I’m in the military and I travel quite a bit. Well at one of our port calls I went for a bike ride. After of about an hour of riding I came across this strange town. Surrounded by forest and road leading to it besides the bike trail. I looked around for quite some time and something was off. Not a single person was there. Not only that but these houses showed no sign of anyone ever living in them for years.
The street signs were rusted white and the grass was patchy and dead
I looked inside some houses and found graffiti covering some of the walls. Most of it was illegible or in another language.
I stayed until nightfall to keep exploring until I saw a dark figure standing on the edge of the sidewalk behind me.
I immediately left to get back to my ship. I would have gone back but we were recalled back out to sea a few days later


Next Stop - Antarctica!

Cockle Creek is literally the end of the road…in Australia! The township is the furthest point south that you can drive in Tasmania.

The area was an important port of call in the early 19th Century for ships transporting convicts to Sarah Island, as well as sealers, whalers and loggers with over 2,000 residents living in the town. 

Today Cockle Creek is a haven for campers and hikers keen to explore Tassie’s southern wilderness and Recherche Bay’s clear turquoise waters. Walkers are able to either start or finish the famous 82km South Coast Track from the township. 

Go Behind The Scenery here

Photo Credit: Published on Instagram by Garry Norris

Gavin’s sunglasses are just as much a mask as Ryan’s skull is, for those few who know where to look. The others give him a lot of shit for them, gaudy golden things he wears indoors as much as out, but there’s no denying the results.

Gavin’s the charmer, the negotiator, the link between the crew and the rest of the city. If you want anything from the FAHC he’s the first port of call, and if the crew wants anything from you he’s the one who’s going to come a'knocking.

Once Gavin puts those glasses on, grins wide and charming, its all over. He talks circles around the competition, gets prices lowered, gets overdue payments paid without bloodshed, talks hardened criminals into and out of jobs and deals like its nothing, all the while convincing them that it was their idea all along. Let him talk long enough and you’ll sell him your own mother with a smile on your face.

Research snapshot: "How do I find a name that's reasonably culturally and historically accurate?"

How Stella Got Her Name Back
(with apologies; sorry! I couldn’t resist)

My short story Rivka in Port Saltspray called for a character who’s supposed to be coded Roman Jewish. Rome has its own Jewish community, which supposedly dates back to even before the original diaspora (destruction of the temple) and is its own subculture independent of Sephardic culture. I chose this because I needed the character to be Jewish, but speak a language that Rivka, whose primary language is Yiddish (a Jewish hybrid of German and Polish, written with the Hebrew alphabet), wouldn’t understand. The obvious choice was to code her Sephardic and have her speak Ladino, but I knew that with my limited resources, translating her three and a half lines of her-own-language dialogue into Ladino would be a bit of an uphill climb. So, she wound up being Italian, because I figured that I could find people to help me with the translation more easily.

But then, how to find a name that was both obviously Italian and realistically Jewish?

After all, I wanted my readers to catch on that she’s supposed to be coded Italian (I keep saying “coded” because this is a fantasy series, with no actual Germany or Poland or Italy.) But many obvious Italian names have Christian or specifically Catholic roots. I live in a region and consume fiction steeped in Christianity; at one point, my publisher had to rein me in because I’d used “bloody” as an oath without knowing it had Christian roots. I really wanted to make sure I wasn’t using a name that was “off.”

So I decided to google for historic records of real names that were used by real people in the Italian Jewish community. I picked various centuries – the 1500’s, for example. Here’s one of the sites I found. Many were Hebrew, as I expected, but I chose one that sounded obviously Italian yet familiar to English-speaking ears: Stella. (Shout-out to our own Korean-American mod; I hadn’t met her yet!)

I hope this helps some of you who are wondering how best to take advantage of Google when looking for little details like that.


Notes I scribbled during todays Q&A at Sydney Comic Con

* Benedicts favourite negative emotion to explore as an actor is power.

* His favourite childhood movies were Ghostbusters, Star Wars and Indiana Jones

* His favourite cheese is manchego

* If he could be one of Alan Rickmans characters - seeing as he imitates him so well - it would be Jamie from Truly, Madly, Deeply.

* In Australia he has been skydiving, surfing, visited vineyards, taken in the beautiful Sydney sights, visited friends…..His 3 ports of call were Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

* A text he would like to see become a script to perform on film is the Patrick Melrose novels….and he would like to play Patrick.

(I’ll scan and upload my photo with Benedict tomorrow. Promise.)

Looking at the crowd’s reaction to Yang breaking Mercury’s leg and how quickly Prof Port called for the cameras to be stopped because of it was kind of interesting. 

And we see why - the crowd’s negative emotion began to attract the attention of the Grimm on Vale’s outskirts. So they were probably trying to stop the broadcast from spreading that emotion to the rest of the country.

Which makes me think my god, Remnant must have the most boring TV ever. Happy endings and fluffy feelings 24/7. 

Show gets too popular? Woe betide the producers if they ever hit too many feels. Depressing news? Euphemisms or you’re going to get a Grimm invasion within the hour. 

Their censors must have a helluva job. 

I’m now starting to get the impression some people in the overwatch fandom legit think women can only have smooth skin right up to the age of 29 like the minute they hit 30 POOF they become crones a la the anime grandma trope. like you guys know Beyonce is 35? Kira knightly is 31? Not to mention plastic surgery exists and would be MY first port of call after changing my identity.

And if you wanna say “she doesn’t ACT 30” well how does a person act 30 should sombra be making healthy snacks and updating her Pinterest boards or something?

If ya want to see a little less Pixar face on the ow ladies then that’s legit, I agree with you, but stop phrasing it like “sombra’s too pretty to be that old!” bc that’s just downright offensive.