AMOD Deleted Scenes

I know! Weird that I’m not posting my odd rap lyrics, I’m actually posting something tangentially related to one of my books.  During the editing process of Asteroid Made of Dragons there were tons of refinements and changes made – but only two actual scenes that were cut. My editor wisely advised me that they slowed down the pace and distracted from the main narrative.

“But they’re META!” I whined.

Well, I think we all know how that conversation went. But! I thought it might be fun to pull those cut scenes up off the floor and let you take a gander. No real spoilers for the plot of AMOD, as these scenes feature the players from the framing sequence.

Enjoy!


Cut from Intermission One

Vincent let his wooden sword fall back on his shoulder and the matching shield decorated with tin dangle from his long fingers. The tall actor cocked his head to one side for a moment, and then turned to Sand.

“I’m sorry to interrupt our rehearsal,” he said with tenterhook grace. “But I’m afraid I’m a bit confused.”

Toby, wearing ram’s horns on his brow and a tattered red cloak around his shoulders dropped the fierce stance he held and squatted down on his heels. He crossed his arms and nodded in agreement.

“Yes?” the bald leading player replied, his eyes down in his copy of the script.

“Well, it’s just that — so far there have been plenty of scenes of the Paladin chasing the Demon, or the Demon fleeing the Paladin, and now we’re at the end of the Act and the two are having their first real fight,” the tall man’s tone was careful.

Sand pawed back through the first pages of the folio, then nodded, his attention still elsewhere. “Yes, that’s right.”

“So, what I was wondering is…what does the Sage have to do with it?”

“What?” Sand looked up at last, eyes focusing on his players.

“Well, we have our scenes and you have yours – but the characters never seem to meet. And nothing that happens in your scenes seem to have anything to do with ours?” Vincent looked to Toby for affirmation, the horned blonde man grunted in agreement. “I mean, what is the Sage even doing? I mean, they’re nice scenes, lots of speeches for you

Toby snickered, quite demonically.

“…but what does the Great Evil the Sage uncovers have to do with the Hero?” Vincent held his wooden sword out, the gilt-paint was chipped. “What is this ‘Dark’ that you keep mentioning?”

“A natural question, it is sure.” Sand stood up and clapped his hands together. “But let us keep reading, all will become clear ere the curtain falls, I promise you. Now, onto the next scene. This is a scene for our Demon – he has found his way to the edge of the garden where the Sacred Fountain is hidden. All he must do is find his way within. Soon he is surprised by the Paladin once more, hot on his heels.”
The slight rise in the older actor’s voice left little doubt about his interest in entertaining further criticism of the text. Toby and Victor looked at each other, then shrugged. The tall actor left the playing space, finding a shady spot near the wagon. Toby straightened his horns and cape and flipped through the folio until he found the correct place to begin.


Cut from Intermission Two

“Abscond!” Sand howled the Sage’s lines with eerie vigor, his hands wracked with quivering torment. “You foul Paladin and fouler Demon! I speak the truth and you toss it behind you like offal on the midden heap. If you heed not my warning, then flee. Flee through the verdant bows of the glade and the forgetful arms of Night and disappear to the far Edges of the City.”

“I hear your warning and I heed it,” Vincent held his Hero’s Sword high, “But I follow a greater charge. This Demon must die, by my hand or none. This is my battlefield, my war with the Shadow. You speak of a greater Darkness, one that no single mind can comprehend, no single heart can bear. I can bear this, I can fight this foul Creature before me. This is where I will stand, sword at the ready.”

Toby nodded, then reached under his demon’s horns to scratch an itch.

Sand looked at the handsome player. Toby looked back. Vincent waggled his eyebrows with portent at his lover. Toby arched his eyebrows back. Sand dropped the perfect Agony Tree Pose he had held throughout the scene and pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed.

“It’s your line, Toby,” the bald man tapped his own copy of the script.

“Yeah, I know,” Toby put his horns back on and smoothed his golden hair back into place.

“You’re not even looking at the script,” Sand crossed his arms.

The blonde Demon shrugged and flipped through the folio with desultory interest. Vincent lowered his sword and leaned on it, long face concerned. “Is something wrong Toby?”

“I don’t want to play the Demon,” the blonde man said, staring pointedly at a square of blank ground slightly to the left of Sand’s feet.

“Why not?” Sand replied, keeping his tone level and soothing.

“It’s no fun. I’m always lurking or crying about something or killing things in fits of passion. Even that one scene where the maid tries to give me the bread I just spent most of the time yelling at her.” Toby sulked.

“Is it…” the leading player made a diplomatic hand gesture, fitting for a queen’s herald. “…is it that you think the audience won’t like you?”

“That must be tough,” Vincent murmured, but Sand shot him a quick glance to silence the tall man.

Toby shrugged and stared at the floor.

“You haven’t read ahead in the script, have you?”

“What?” Toby met the troupe leader’s eyes.

“The last act? You haven’t read it yet, have you?” Sand tapped his copy of the folio again.

“No – why? Do I do something cool?” the patchwork Demon began to flip through the pages with renewed interest.

Sand folded the play between his hands and spoke with professorial elan. “The spine of this script is the hound of Sin. The Paladin’s murder of his mentor in Act One – Scene Two, the Demon’s reckless slaughter at Marwell Abbey, the Sage’s return of that library scroll a full two months past the appointed due date — all transgressions that haunt the characters throughout the events of the play. The things we do to forget, the lies we tell ourselves to mask the truth, we scrub and scrub at the stone but the chisel-marks we can not erase.”

Vincent nodded with understanding, but Toby only shrugged again. “So?”

Sand lowered the jaws of his trap gracefully. “And in all the plays, all the lives we’ve lived in the Twilight Kingdom, how has any character ever washed clean their slate?”

Toby stared down at the script as if struck by lightning. “Shit and beetle-balls, we’re all going to die aren’t we?”

Sand returned to his anguished pose and nodded to the Demon to take his cue. Actors cannot resist a proper death, no more than cats can pass milk or hedgehogs leave a cinnamon bun.

I know! So META. Painful to cut.

Dragon*Con Dragon Award Eligibility Dragon Dragon Dragon

I want the Dragon.

logoTo celebrate their 30th Anniversary, Dragon*Con has announced that they will present their own awards this year, similar to the Hugos or Nebulas. From the site “As a part of our 30th Anniversary as the nation’s largest fan-run convention, we are introducing a new way to recognize excellence in all things Science Fiction and Fantasy. These awards will be by the fans, for the fans, and are your chance to reward those who have made real contributions to SF, books, games, comics, and shows.”

Do I stand a chance in hell? Nope. But, much like Soul Calibur, the soul still burns!

Asteroid Made of Dragons is eligible for the award, Dragon*Con is my home turf and the convention I have most often bonded with the Speed Force in drunken excess. Plus – Asteroid Made of Dragons winning the first EVER Dragon Award?! C’mon.

Asteroid Made of Dragons – Release 4/5/20163411_937441408318_1998784740632060928_n

“An unlikely band of heroes—some of whom are trying to kill one another—must gather together in order to save their world from the return of an ancient menace in an excellent, irreverent mix of sword-and-sorcery fantasy and SF. Adams’s flippant tone recalls Terry Pratchett, taking the skewering of tropes down a very dark path as he establishes a fantasy world built from the ashes of a technological one” – Publisher’s Weekly [full review]

Excerpt

Goodreads / Amazon

You don’t need a badge to nominate  – just register here. [Deadline July 25th]

After the nominations close, all the chosen works will be listed on the site with excerpts and links, so voters can make informed choices. That, quite honestly, is what I really want. A chance for some more eyeballs to come across the book – I really doubt my vicious, but small fandom can wreak their will on a voting system like this where there is no barrier to entry. I’m asking you to nominate AMOD in the category of Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal) [Let’s not get into that it’s SUPER weird to lump Paranormal in with vanilla Fantasy, that’s its own genre man!]

Once you’ve registered, you’ll also get to vote on the nominees, which will be exciting too! [Don’t forget to register if you want to do that part as well.] I won’t be nominating myself – because, well, it’s just super tacky. But! I will be nominating other books, and I heartily encourage you to put your own picks.

There! I said it! I did it! I admitted I wanted something. Let the winds of fate conspire to heap calumny and woe on my head.

I truly appreciate any of you that consider AMOD worthy of nomination – and if not, thanks for the time reading this and the consideration.

Launch Party Photographic Proof

Endless thanks to the hospitality of Avid Bookshop who let me put on a wizard robe and prance around for a while. Also – all photos were taken by Matt Hardy Photography, if you want to reuse any of these you may with photo credit given.

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Quiet before the storm.

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Family photo.

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I am VERY excite.

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Avid Bookshop’s Will fires up the crowd.

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The crowd is FIRED UP.

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I arrive to ruin their excitement.

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The disappointment is embraced.

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I talk with my hands a lot.

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Reading. Chapter 8.

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More hands talkin’.

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Great long shot of the crowd.

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Attractive people who like AMOD.

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Befuddlement next to my novel.

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The weariness sets in.

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‘Why is everyone leaving? Guys? GUYS?!’

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Some wizard, I guess? He got me super drunk later.

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Signing a book for a fellow author. DANG competition.

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Me and my most vicious critic. Emotional age roughly equivalent.

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Just a nice shot from behind the desk at Avid.

There’s so  much more to process as AMOD lumbers out unfettered into the wild, but I wanted to get these pics up post haste. Don’t I look like fun? Want me to come to your bookstore? I WILL COME TO YOUR BOOKSTORE.*

*Within driving distance of Athens,GA currently -until we sell way, way more books. Contact gderekadams AT gmail DAWT com.

Launch Day Made of Dragons

launchdaymade ofdragons

And so it is upon us. Asteroid Made of Dragons is available everywhere. Your local independent bookstore – direct from my publisher, Inkshares – and of course on the 800 lb. gorilla Amazon.

As noted – my first two books are FREE AS HELL on Amazon Kindle from 4/5-4/9. Download them like the wind. They are not required reading for enjoyment of AMOD – but consider this my welcome to the Grand Game for anyone who wants to play along.

This is pure promotional beef, so I’ll keep it lean. Eternal gratitude and thanks to all my supporters and backers, my editors and designers at Girl Friday Productions, everyone at Inkshares, and of course Tom Merritt and Veronica Belmont, my Pokemon trainers from Sword & Laser. I’m not saying nearly enough here – but I tried to say a lot more on this post.

I’m going to be on Twitter of course – @gderekadams – as much as I can during the day, and the rumor is I’m going to be given temporary control of my publisher’s Twitter as well, unless someone realizes what AN AWFUL IDEA that is in the next few hours. Come talk to me! Are you hating this book already – well, pull up some internet and let’s jaw about it for a spell.

I love you? I don’t know what I’m doing, but I hope to dance and cavort with most of you today. Either here on Internet Mountain or at my Launch Party – Avid Bookshop 6:30 Athens, GA!

Today’s a good day; today we win.

 

Hold On, I’m Getting At Something

The backer copies of Asteroid Made of Dragons have all shipped and the wave is crashing down on the East Coast. By tonight – tomorrow maybe – they will have all arrived. My Facebook profile is awash with pictures – pictures of my friends with their copy, the copy they bought a year ago because I asked them to. Some have one, some have three, or five, or more. A gesture of love, of confidence, of faith and it wrecks me.

Writing is lonely. Being a human is lonely.

I don’t do well with moments of connection. Socially, sure. Joking, sure. But a real moment? Something important and true? Not my scene. We’re so unstable, the most unsuitable of symbols. How can I know the things I say are being received in the moment, in the blur of memory and sense and thinking of the next thing to say while half-hearing what you are saying now while also feeling the echoes of other versions of this conversation from before and beyond  on TV, in dreams, from splinter-blinks of fragmented now? I mean, how? Maybe it’s just me.

Being lonely is writing. A human is.

Hold On, I’m Getting At Something. This should be my coat of arms. I’ve written three books now (THREE!), and thousands of other words off in the Grand Margins.  And all in the service of this dimly perceived quest of discovery of meaning – of this THING I’m trying to say, but cannot express. Only glimpse the edges of as I travel forward and back in time. It’s hard to connect with humans – but with words, you have a puncher’s chance. This word connects to that, shapes form. Things stay where you put them. Mostly. Rime is Rime and Jonas is Jonas and Xenon loves graham crackers and Linus snores just a little bit. Now, on my desk is a red ball, the color of summer sunset and it is red, red, red. And it will stay red as long as I believe that it is red.

A lonely human is writing. Being.

So now – I see these pictures, I see these signs of love and faith. And all I can say is – do you see the ball on my desk? Is it red? Is it summer sunset or is it more of a cranberry? Why are you listening? Why are you picking up the signal? Why are you dreaming with me of the three moons that have no name and the Lost and the stupid, stupid power of friendship that keeps the dark at bay?

Being human is writing lonely.

Ah, the simple words. I’ve already said them – but they don’t land right. Thank you. Thank you. You thank, you are thanks. Thanks You. A tic, a nod, a thing we say to strangers and waiters and cats when they heed. An empty thing, not enough, a hollow gourd. A blob of ink at the end of emails and yammering sales pitches. Useless, sere, not enough. I pick up the pieces and slam them together, that’s all that I am, all that I do – all that I can do. With whatever art I have I try to say the Thing.

Lonely is being. Human is writing.

Thank you. You thank. You are thanks. Thanks are you.

Lonely human thanks you. You are writing.

Writing is you.

You are thank.

The ball is red and it is not so lonely. Thank you for coming so far with me.

 

Music for Your Face

I made a Spotify playlist for Asteroid Made of Dragons! It was fun for me to do. FUN I SAY. I’m a recent expatriate from Songza (RIP) and I hate Google Play Music, so I’m fairly new to this as my streaming music font of choice. I’m — okay with it? Still learning my way around and making this playlist was a good venue for that. One thing that is annoying is there doesn’t seem to be a way to control the order of the songs on the playlist, so I can’t put them there in proper  ‘I burned you this CD mix’ order. SO – below I’ll put them in the intended order, along with a little description of which character, scene, or concept from AMOD made me pick it.

Fair warning, this is heavy on late 90’s and early 00’s pop, as that was when I was in high school and college and a lot of my musical inclinations coalesced. This whole exercise started when I realized that ‘Freak of the Week’ by the Marvelous 3 was an excellent backing track for the Rime and Jonas plot line in the book. Probably some light spoilers below if you want to be 100% PURE for your first read of the book.

 

Hit Parade – BRADIO

If anyone’s curious, my mental image of the book is flat-out anime – so I would want the feel of an anime opening theme. I also keep my age-old tradition of beginning and ending the mix with the same artist. I would have put ‘Flyers’ up front, but Death Parade beat me to that pretty soundly, but I’ll steal it as my closer. This song is just super goddamn fun, the anime titles would have the Players in the cart, arguing over props – while inter-cutting images of the Main Characters doing whatever they were doing 5 minutes before they appear in the book.

Science Genius Girl – Freezepop

Xenon! The best – my archaeologist goblin with a heart made of nerd. I was determined to have a brand new main character for this book, one who does not express their might through any sort of combat – only in her quest for knowledge and prodigious drinking prowess.

Freak of the Week – Marvelous 3

Our Heroes, Rime and Jonas – this would play during the fight scene with the golem after the semi-botched bank heist.

My Name is Jonas – Weezer

No reason.

Burden in My Hand – Soundgarden

The Squire’s Dark Secret. This song doesn’t quite fit the tone for all of the revelations about what made Jonas flee from Gilead – but it’s a song that will be important later, so I’m wedging it in. Side note – in Aufero this is a song from Gilead, something of a Low Ballad that soldiers sing when deep in their cups.

Karma Police  – Radiohead

The fight scene on the ship, where Rime goes a wee bit too far involving lightning and half-ghost pirates.

Postcards From a Midwestern Salesman – Dayroom

Linus, the dread knight of duty. The lyrics don’t quite fit – but the feeling of age, of time, and of being completely weary do.

Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues – Jimmy Eat World

Ah! In the anime, we would use a TOTALLY different art style for this flashback to the ‘caging’ of the dragons – mimicking the ideographs and stylized depictions on the urn, with this rad, RAD song in the ground.

Are You Jimmy Ray? – Jimmy Ray

Sideways’ theme song. Also perfect for when he’s drunk and sunbathing between murders on the cruise ship.

Longview – Green Day

Just for whenever Rime and Jonas or Mercury and Xenon are just kind of wandering around. Lyrics don’t fit, but it’s my favorite Green Day song, so deal.

Fuck and Run – Liz Phair

Rime loves this song. Just sits in her room, with her headphones plugged in and listens to it on repeat.

Desperately Wanting – Better Than Ezra

I like this song. Yep, that’s it. There’s precious little romance in the book – some beginnings, some endings, and a good deal of platonic connection.

Low Man’s Lyric – Metallica

Jonas returns home. Lots of dog imagery for this kid. Just a song about feeling like dirt for all the crap you did. Also good for while he’s in the dungeon.

Gimme Sympathy – Metric

Xenon at the Weary Titan bar. Just kind of drunk and lost, man.

Pacific Rim (Main Theme) – Ramin Djawadi ft. Tom Morello

Rime IS A JAEGER AND THE ASTEROID IS A KAIJU.

Gotta Get Up – Harry Nilsson

Asteroid Response Team.

So Clear – Junip

Entering the Asteroid, also the feeling of unraveling all the weirdo Precursor mysteries and secrets that are crammed all over the damn place.

Power of Two – Indigo Girls

No comment. Probably about Mercury and Xenon, but also applies to Jonas and Rime.

Fall Behind Me – The Donnas

Parting of the Ways.

Flyers – BRADIO

End credits and a sky-cycle.

 

Spell/Sword Audiobook Contest Winners!

Here are the winning entries!

CZC208gW8AA6z6l

Phil Rood

Scorecard: 6 chances

 

Spell AND Sword +2

Tweeted x3

Judge’s Comments: Unexpected to receive a drawing, but very pleased to do so. The barbarity, the virility of the linework, that dashing mustache! Also the sensible messenger bag really sets of the ensemble. This piece is ready to be airbrushed on the side of a van.

richheinz

Rick Heinz

Scorecard: 9 chances

Sword +1

Cosplay +2

Tweeted x3

Judge’s Comments: Just look in those eyes. The intensity, the focus. Those are the eyes of a killer. A killer of hearts. Emotional damage 10d6+5, roll vs. swoon. DC Impossible.

redtom

Thomas J. Arnold

Scorecard:21 chances

Sword +1

Bad Cosplay +6

Tweeted x3

Judge’s Comments: There’s a lot to unpack here. Does he know that bird is there? Is the bird whispering forlorn secrets of regret and torment into his beard? What an adorably tiny blade! Has this piratical gentleman absconded with a fairy’s rapier? Excellent framing as well, as you can see the white abyss of nothingness that wait sto devour us all.

spell-sword

Margaret Poplin

Scorecard:16 chances

Spell AND Sword +2

Cosplay +2

Mystery Multiplier (Holy Shit Effect) x 4

Judge’s Comment: Wow! I don’t know if that is the proper grip one uses on a katana while casting an ice spell with your off-hand wand, but still damn. Definitely my personal favorite.

ALL of you win a free download of Spell/Sword from Audible.com. I’ll be contacting you all via email with your download codes shortly. Now I will announce the winner of The GRAY PRIZE, a 50.00 gift certificate to the local bookstore of your choice.

52 chances in the pool. The selection was totally random, based on the number of chances each of you had. I just figured out the probability and rolled some dice.

The winner of the GRAY PRIZE is: Thomas J. Arnold!

Thank you all so much for participating! And I hope that you enjoy the audiobook of Spell/Sword.

But wait ! Some of you are probably wondering what happened to the other 6 downloads? I offered to give away 10 downloads,right?! Yes, you are right, person who follows my blog and social media presence very closely but still didn’t bother to enter. I only had four entries, so they all get the download and I still have six remaining. But what am I going to do with them? Tell you what, the contest is over, but I’ll put a bounty on those remaining six downloads – all it takes is a picture as awesome as the four that I’ve shared above. Send to me any way you like, @gderekadams on Twitter is the easiest. I’ll honor this until I decide not to – or the six downloads are claimed, either way I’ll come back and update this post to prevent confusion.

UPDATE [2/1 – 2:24 EST]

1 Bounty Claimed

davebarrett

Dave Barrett

Judge’s Comments: Puns are never acceptable. I hate and love this.

2 Bounty Claimed

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John Waldrip

Judge’s Comments: RAWR

Spell/Sword Audiobook Contest BIRTHDAY EDITION

Time for another giveaway! I’ve been sitting on these download codes for the Spell/Sword spell_sword_cover_finalaudiobook for long enough. My birthday is at the end of the month and to celebrate I want to GIVE 10 people a free download of the book from Audible.com. Admittedly I’m GIVING you these with the idea that you will GIVE me an honest review and GIVE me your undying support and perhaps GIVE me a sandwich if I am hungry at some undisclosed date in the future. All of this giving, it warms the heart.

10 people will win the free download, and one person will win the The Gray Prize.

The Gray Prize

  • $50.00 gift certificate to local book store of your choice OR I take you to lunch  and tell you what  nice person you are (location/travel permitting)
  • Unique, one of a kind Gray Witch mug, hand-made by the author with a Sharpie.
  • Your choice of one (1) of my completed Gundam models
  • One Question That I Must Answer Truthfully*
  • So, how do you enter?

Send me a picture of yourself with a SPELL or a SWORD. [counts twice if your picture has BOTH].  You can email to me directly spellswordcontact AT gmail DAWT com OR tweet to me @gderekadams. If you tweet it, because of the native social media boosting properties, I will add a x3 multiplier to your entry.

1 chance – Picture of you with a SWORD

1 chance – Picture of you with a SPELL

2 chances – Picture of you with a SPELL AND A SWORD

Tweet your entry – x3 Chance Multiplier

Other bonus attacks for pictures:

+2 chance – cosplay

+4 chance – Spell/Sword cosplay

+6 chance – bad cosplay

+10 chance – bad Spell/Sword cosplay

+5 chance – somebody famous

+5 chance – impressive location

+5 chance – unsettling composition/spooky

+50 chance – Lev Grossman

x4 Mystery Multiplier – ????

The contest ends at midnight on January 31st, 2016.

No purchase necessary – all entries will be entered into the drawing for the download codes and The Gray Prize. I’ll do the drawing on February 1st and announce here the winners and contact you via email to get you your filthy winnings.

NOTE: I’m going to want to share these pictures with the Internet, obviously – if you are NOT OKAY with that, you can still enter. Just let me know in the email that the images are not for sharing. I’m planning on sharing the 10 winners – along with any other pictures I get that are super hilarious or poignant.

Any questions? Drop them in the comments below – let’s go! I’m very excited to see what you folks come up with.

*What is truth? I am a secretive writer, and much of the Grand Plot of Spell/Sword still lies in shadow. This is your chance to ask me one question about the books that I have to answer truthfully and fully to the best of my ability. Or I guess you could waste it asking me about my political views or something? It’s your nickel.