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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Writers falling for their fictional heroes

Some years ago, after Shark Island, the second in the Wiki Coffin series, came out, I received a horrified letter from a fan.  The book had a hot love scene, and she took great exception to it. "You were supposed to be saving him for ME," she complained.

Well, I guess Wiki is a hunk.  As my agent observed, he is hot.  A lot of detail went into creating him, but did I fall in love with him?  Just like his fan?  I must confess I had never thought about that before, not until Helen Hollick, the author of the rousing Sea Witch series, confessed that she had fallen in love with her dashing hero, the pirate Jesamiah Acorne.

So I asked her about it,  and this is what she wrote.

Falling for a Fictional Hero…
by Helen Hollick

The first character I fell in love with was a rabbit. Little Grey Rabbit from the tales by Alison Uttley. Well, I was only three years old!

Several others (characters, not rabbits) followed through the years, mostly entering my little shy (and somewhat lonely) childhood world at night beneath the covers by the romantic light of a torch. I can’t remember many of them now, but most of my fictional heroes and heroines had something to do with animals, especially horses.

I branched out as I ‘grew up’. (Jury is still out on whether I ever actually have grown up….)
Characters came, characters went. Then along came Llewellyn ap Fawr in Sharon Penman’s Here Be Dragons. I fell for him – what a hunk of a guy! It was somewhat disappointing to realise, some months later when I had the great pleasure, and honour, of meeting Sharon personally that Llewellyn was not a one-reader-man. It turned out that many dozens of readers had fallen in love with him. I guess fair enough. The real man had, after all, been dead for several hundred years.

Meanwhile, I had created my own hero: my version of King Arthur. Did I ‘fall in love’ with him? No, I don’t think I did, I thought of him as more of a really close friend, a brother, a favourite uncle, a mentor – a forever presence in my life. Not surprising really, it took me over ten years to write what was eventually accepted by William Heinemann and materialised in print as my first historical novels, the Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy.

But, oh! Finishing that third part! We all know that King Arthur dies at the end of it all. I felt like I was planning an assassination or a divorce after a long-term relationship. In the end, I wrote that very last chapter first, then went back to the beginning to write Book Three.

I am, still, most fond of my Arthur. Even if he isn’t always a ‘nice guy’. (Come on – he was a rough-tough warlord. You don’t get to be King by being nice all the time!) I was somewhat comforted when I received a letter from the fabulous Rosemary Sutcliff, written in her own hand and complete with her famous dolphin signature. In it, she confided that after completing Sword at Sunset, her magnificent novel about Arthur, it took her six weeks to get him out of her head.

Is there something charismatic about ‘Arthur’? Does his ghost continue to haunt the realms of imagination? Is that why he will always be the ‘once and future king’? Why, wherever he appears, writers and readers fall in love with him? That poser of a question aside, I grew fond of my next Character, King Harold II (he of 1066 Battle of Hastings fame), and then King Cnut - better known as Canute, who tried to turn back the tide. (Only actually he didn’t:  the story has got mixed up. He was actually trying to show that he couldn’t turn the tide…) So fond of, admiring of, honoured to research and write about. But not love.

Enter at a swagger, one pirate, stage left. (Page left?)

I met him one drizzly  October Friday afternoon on a beach in Dorset, southern England. I wanted to write something different to my previous historical novels already gathering dust on my bookshelves. I wanted something with a touch of fantasy and a charming rogue of a hero alongside his comely heroine. I wanted a Richard Sharpe, Indiana Jones, James Bond, Horatio Hornblower, Jack Aubrey-type mixture. There were several young adult novels that partially fitted the bill, but not quite. There were many ‘straight’ nautical novels, but back then in November 2004 nothing remotely like Jack Sparrow’s fun-adventure on the Big Screen in print as a novel. I wanted a darn good adventure tale written for adults, with adult content. I wanted an exciting read that was something akin to that first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. But better.

I decided to write my own.

I had my plot and my research was accumulating. All learnt via books and the Internet. I’ve never been aboard a sailing ship in my life – not one that was moving that is! I had my heroine, my secondary characters. But not my hero of a Captain.

I sat on a rock on that Dorset beach and pondered. I looked up. And there he was standing as bold as brass, as cocky as he later turned out to be. Dressed in full pirate regalia, complete with three-corner hat, pistol, cutlass and a gold acorn-shaped earring dangling from his ear.
He touched his hat, nodded at me.
“Hello Jesamiah Acorne,” I said. *

And that was it. Hook, line and sinker, as they say, I was in love. Who could resist those gorgeous eyes?

I wrote the first draft of Sea Witch in less than three months, the words pouring from me every day except Christmas Day, when I took a (reluctant) break. From the moment I met him, Jesamiah become a real person to me. I know what he looks like, smells like (hmm maybe, given that he’s a pirate that isn’t such a good thing?) I know his voice, how his eyes sparkle, or frown when he’s angry. I know every callus on his hands, every scar on his body. I don’t always know what he is thinking, for often when I am writing he startles me by throwing in something unexpected. I do occasionally wish he would clear off to sea and leave me alone to write his adventures, but this writing process doesn’t quite work like that. Not when your lead character has entered your head, heart and soul as part of you. Not when you can clearly feel him standing behind your shoulder chuckling or grumbling beneath his breath – depending on what you are writing.

He is there now, standing behind me, glass of rum in one hand, in need of a shave (and a bath,) querying, “You’re not going to share all that, are you?”
“Yes, Jes dear, I am. Do you object?”

… He’s sauntered off. (I doubt he’s gone in the direction of the bathroom – more likely the drinks cabinet.) I did, however, distinctly hear the words: “Well, if your readers conclude that you’re barmy, don’t go blaming me.”

Ah, these  fictional characters. You have to be mad to listen to them, let alone love them, don’t you?

* I swear all that is true!

©  Helen Hollick

Helen lives on a thirteen-acre farm in Devon, England. Born in London, she  wrote pony stories as a teenager, moved to science-fiction and fantasy, and then discovered historical fiction. Published for over twenty years with her Arthurian Trilogy, and the 1066 era she became a ‘USA Today’ bestseller with her novel about Queen Emma The Forever Queen (UK title A Hollow Crown.) She also writes the Sea Witch Voyages, pirate-based nautical adventures with a touch of fantasy. She has written a non-fiction about pirates and one about smugglers in fact and fiction, due to be published in 2018

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Twitter: @HelenHollick

Friday, January 12, 2018

Seabird doggedly attached to his concrete love

We have some crazy birds in New Zealand.

First, there was Sirocco, the kakapo (a kind of really dumb parrot) that became an internet sensation when it was filmed trying to make love with Stephen Fry's photographer's head.

You can watch the shameful episode on the BBC, here.

But the craziness is not just on land.  We have a goofy gannet, too.

His name is Nigel, and it is quite a story.

For the past twenty years the Department of Conservation has been trying to lure gannets to Mana Island, just north of Wellington, hoping to establish a colony.  Their plot was diabolical and complex, involving eighty concrete decoys, and a lot of concrete bird poo, which was dutifully sprayed white at regular intervals, to make the guano look real.  And there is a solar-powered gadget, which hoots gannet noises, also at regular intervals.

Success of a kind arrived in 2016, with the alighting of one lone male.  He seemed quite happy to be alone (which was why he was named Nigel), to the extent of falling in love with one of the concrete birds, and even building a nest for "her."

And so life went on for two whole years.

But then fate intervened, in the shape of a visiting scientist, who suggested that the gannet-noise-making gadget might be pointing the wrong way.  So they adjusted it.  And it worked!  Three other gannets moved in.  "I was flabbergasted to see them," said Department of Conservation (DOC) ranger, Chris Bell. "I nearly fell off into the sea in shock."

But Nigel was not welcoming at all.  Instead, he shunned them. As  Chris Bell observed, "They are on one side of the colony and on the other side is Nigel, who is still making love to his concrete bird. He definitely has some sort of fetish.  It's tragic."

But the outlook is optimistic.  After all, Nigel might be super-odd, but at least he helped attract the newcomers. "He may be a weirdo," Chris Bell ruminated, "and they may not want to associate with him, but he's played his part.  Maybe one day he will figure it out."

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Russian "space" pirates tie the noodle knot in Wellington

Down here in the coolest little capital in the world, we sure do enjoy a lighthearted romp.  And so it is perfectly proper that the world's first legal marriage by a celebrant of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster should have been staged here.

Pastafarians (and yes, that does does with "P", or else you don't get the joke) Dmitry and Daria Losev, from Moscow, chose Scorching Bay Beach as the ideal venue for renewing their vows to be meatballs to each other's pasta.

So, what the devil is a Pastafarian, pray?  He or she is a member of a movement that promotes a lighthearted view of religion.  Not only is it as legitimate as any other creed -- or so they say -- but it is perfectly harmless.  Its deity is the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and pirates are divine beings.

The ceremony was conducted by Wellingtonian Karen Martyn, who is not just the Ministeroni and Top Ramen, but also the world's first legal marriage celebrant for the Church.  And, you must admit it, Karen has style.  "All hands on deck," she boomed. "Ye be welcomed to the nuptial noodle nodding of Dmitry and Daria.

"'Tis their love and lust that hooked 'em to each other and we be here to witness and support them with all our hearts."

And so, forthwith, the happy couple became "lawfully wedded co-captains," vowing to "stay at the helm when the seas are rough, whether he [or she] brings you a bouquet of flounders or a case of clams."

"I declare there be two captains of the good ship Losev," hollered Karen. "What say ye?"

No one dissented, and so an exchange of rings was made, each ring tastily made of ring-shaped "ringatoni," and the union was blessed with a slurping of the "noodle of love."

"Pastafarians are serious sceptics," declared Karen to the reporter, presumably with a straight face.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Rare pirate ship papers uncovered

It seems that there really were pirates who could read and write.

The Smithsonian reports on the latest find from the wreck of Blackbeard's ship.

Three-hundred-year-old scraps of paper that somehow survived centuries aboard the wreck of Blackbeard’s flagship are offering new insight into what pirates read during their down time, according to conservationists at the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
As George Dvorsky at Gizmodo reports, researchers found 16 tiny scraps of paper embedded in sludge pulled from a cannon recovered from the wreck of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard’s flagship vessel re-discovered in Beaufort Inlet in 1996.

According to a press release, the largest scrap from the exciting find is only about the size of a quarter. That made identifying the literature somewhat of a challenge. However, Megan Gannon at LiveScience writes that the team was successful in transcribing the words “South of San,” ”(f)athom” and “Hilo,” which they believed referred to the name of a city in Peru. 
For a year, the researchers scoured the library, looking for books that referenced Hilo. Finally, in August, Kimberly Kenyon found a match in the book A Voyage to the South Sea, and Round the World, Perform’d in the Years 1708, 1709, 1710 and 1711 by Captain Edward Cooke. “Everyone crowded into my office and we started matching all the fragments we had,” Kenyon says in an interview with Gannon. 
As it turned out, the book recounts the voyages of two ships, Duke and Dutchess, which set off on an expedition in 1708. Ironically, the expedition leader Captain Woodes Rogers was later sent to the Bahamas as Royal Governor in 1718 with the mandate of getting rid of pirates. The book also recounts the rescue of Alexander Selkirk, a man who had been marooned on an island for four years and who was the inspiration for the 1719 book, Robinson Crusoe.
Dvorsky reports that narratives of voyages were popular reading material at the time. While no one can say if Blackbeard, aka Edward Teach, read the book himself, it’s likely someone on his crew did, either for fun or to gather ideas for places to pillage or insights into pirate-hunters of the Royal Navy.
Kristin Romey at National Geographic writes that historically speaking, some members of a pirate crew needed to be literate. That’s because, to plunder the high seas, they needed to read navigational charts. There are also accounts of pirates stealing books from ships and there’s even some evidence that Blackbeard kept a long-missing diary. 
Kenyon tells Gannon that finding the book might also be a political statement. It’s likely that pages were torn from the book and used as wadding in the cannon. Someone could have randomly grabbed the book during the heat of battle. It’s also possible that Blackbeard and Rogers knew of one another or tangled with each other. The same year Rogers arrived in the Bahamas, Blackbeard departed the area, heading to North Carolina. “We’re starting to formulate ideas about whether these two men knew each other,” Kenyon says. “Were they connected somehow? Did Woodes Rogers’ arrival spark Blackbeard’s imminent departure? Was this act of tearing up a book of his a statement of some sort?”
It’s probably impossible to know for sure. Romey reports the conservators are currently working with the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Division of Archives and Records and experts at the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation to preserve the fragments.  They hope they will go on display sometime later this year as part of celebrations commemorating the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s death.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Rave Quarterdeck review of Rick Spilman's latest

Spilman’s splendid story puts flesh on the bones of dramatic events, which fired colonial passions and eventually led to America’s War of Independence. His intimate acquaintance with ships under sail, those who trod their decks, and their role in sustaining a young nation create a lively and fast-paced narrative.
Evening Gray Morning Red is a piece of first-rate historical fiction, introducing Thom Larkin, a bright and appealing Yankee hero.
Read the full review HERE

Saturday, January 6, 2018


She's a witch.

He's a pirate.

She is young and lovely, and learning the extent of the power of her Craft, and he is flamboyantly handsome, with blue ribbons braided into his long black hair, and a golden acorn in one ear.

What more could the reader in search of romance, adventure and excitement expect?

But wait. There's more.  There's a wonderful creation called the Tethys, a supernatural sea-creature who rules "her water realm with unchallenged power and a terrible omnipotence."  In Maori myth she would be known as a Taniwha -- a mighty Taniwha, a taniwha nui.

The three powerful spirits clash and intertwine right from the start of this rousing adventure.  The witch, young Tiola, has taken passage on a Cape Town-bound ship, fleeing from the Cornwall mob that would have hanged and burned her.  The pirate, Jesamiah Acorne, is in hot pursuit of that same ship, determined to seize it, ransack the holds, rob the passengers, and vanish like smoke into the far horizon.  In the midst of the frenzy of action that accompanies this, their souls link and cry out to each other, a spiritual questioning that Tethys, the taniwha asleep in the depths below, overhears, rousing her to dangerous awareness.

And so the complicated story begins.  There is conflict, there are battles, there are remarkably well described love scenes, marriages of convenience, vendettas, and vivid characters, many of them evil.  Real historical figures appear on the same page as the supernatural, and of course there is plenty of rum.  It is Pirates of the Caribbean with a twist.

Helen Hollick's forte is her ebulliant imagination.   Everything is original, from her writing, which is vivid and yet as economical as conversational French, where unnecessary words ("the", "and") are dropped for fluency. Notable is the lavish use of the color blue, so expensive and cherished at the time, that the cheeky blue of Jesamiah's ribbons is almost eclipsed by the sheer arrogance of painting his ship -- Sea Witch  -- the same blue that was the prerogative of monarchs and prelates! And there are wonderful jokes, snitched from real history, such as the raid of a merchant ship by a crew of pirates who merely needed a haul of hats for their heads.

This book is strongly recommended for young adults who want a rousing story, and also for those who want a thought-provoking new approach to the traditional pirate yarn.

Helen Hollick is the founder of the Discovering Diamonds book review site.  You can read more about her here.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Yiannopoulos book blasted

Milo Yiannopoulos is a purveyor of one-liner hatred, being a writer for Breitbart and a stirrer-up of restive crowds, but managed to become popular enough for publisher Simon & Schuster to sign a contract for his memoir, called Dangerous.

The manuscript proved unpublishable.  In February, S&S cancelled the contract, and the resultant court case has been going on ever since.

The latest development is an intriguing one.  Simon & Schuster has released a copy of his original manuscript, complete with blunt comments from his editor.  These include criticism of the book's "scattershot thinking," his paragraphs of "fake news" and his off-color jokes about Lesbians and fatties.

You can read some examples here, courtesy of the Washington Post.  To sum up, editor Mitchell Ivers (a vastly experienced editor in this field) said that he and his colleagues were "disappointed" with the work, which turned out to be a mere reworking of his incendiary speeches.

Yiannopoulos alleges that Simon & Schuster cancelled his book because of his comments about underage sex.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Culture and world leadership

"Goebbels and Hitler were as obsessed with movies as American adolescents are today with social media."

The front page headline in today's Dominion Post is WELLINGTON HAS EYE ON CHINESE FILM MARKET.  This is big news -- as the whole film world knows, Wellington is the home of Weta Workshop, the firm that creates the effects for a whole raft of big-earning, award-winning films. Here, we are accustomed to film stars as neighbors, and previews of mighty productions.  The Weta Cave is a hugely popular tourist attraction, and Peter Jackson is a big mover in town.

"Lights, camera, let us be part of the action.  Wellington is forging closer ties with the 'exploding' Chinese film industry," the story begins.

"Representatives from Wellington's economic agency and the New Zealand screen sector - including producers, post-production house, studios and the NZ Film Commission - recently travelled to China, which is tipped to outgrow the massive American film industry."

Agreements have been signed, and many handshakes exchanged, and an annual growth rate of ten per cent is confidently predicted.  "China will surpass the United States to become the number one box office," said Dave Gibson, the outgoing CEO of the Film Commission.

Five of the top ten films released in China in 2016 (yes, 50 per cent), were co-productions with New Zealand, and the figure is going to zoom.

How important is this development?  Does it merely mean a loss in profits for folks in the US?

According to a recent (October 26, 2017) paper in The New York Review of Books, dominance of the film market is much more critical than that. Robert O. Paxton, in his review of The Nazi-Fascist New Order for European Culture, by Benjamin B. Martin, reveals that both Hitler and Mussolini sought to dominate the arts, as part of the wider plan to dominate the western world.

"Cinema," he says, "was the Nazi leaders’ first cultural target."  

"Convinced that cinema was their era’s main engine of cultural influence, they tried to control film-making as far as their influence could reach. At the Venice Film Festival in 1935, at Goebbels’s instigation, delegates of twelve nations agreed to create an International Film Chamber (IFC) designed to establish a continent-wide system of film exchange and regulation. 
"As the possessor of the continent’s largest and most powerful film industry, Germany became the dominant force in the IFC. Fascist Italy, however, assured for itself a strong second position by exploiting its considerable film-producing assets, such as the technologically advanced studios of CinecittĂ  and the Venice Film Festival, which continued to be the main venue of IFC activities."
And the US film industry was firmly in mind.  "The main role of the IFC was to combat the Hollywood menace. The dominance of American films had troubled European filmmakers and intellectuals from the beginning. By 1928 54 percent of all films shown in France, 72 percent in Britain, and 80 percent in Italy came from Hollywood. Already in the 1920s most European countries had imposed quotas on American films or limited them by reciprocity agreements. The respite given to European films by the arrival of “talkies” in 1929 had been brief, as expert dubbing soon allowed Hollywood films to predominate again. Many Europeans endorsed the IFC position that American films were trivial entertainment designed to make money, while European films were artistic creations that deserved protection."
Well, as we know, the "soft" approach to world dominance collapsed at the same time as the "hard" military campaign.  And Hollywood, as money-obsessed as ever, was left to take over the cinematic scene.
But now it looks as if another change is in the air.  The films might be as "trivial" and profit-focused as ever, but this new development in the industry is yet more evidence of America's ever-increasing loss of status as a world leader.
It might be significant, too, that another page in today's Dominion Post is devoted to the interesting story of what it is like to be a Chinese New Zealander.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Fascinating background material for Regency novelists

The Smithsonian reports an intriguing find in an archaeological site in Cambridge, England.

Nothing less than plates, cups, saucers and cooking and serving material from an eighteenth century coffee house.  Yes, from the time of Jane Austen and the Prince Regent.

Archaeologists at the University of Cambridge have published details of a fascinating excavation that turned up some 500 artifacts from an 18th-century British coffee joint. As David Behrens of the Yorkshire Post reports, Clapham’s coffeehouse was located on a site now owned by St. John’s College in Cambridge, and its cellar was packed with the remains of cups, saucers, teapots and other vessels that helped serve up tasty treats to patrons. Researchers have compared the establishment to Starbucks—you know, if Starbucks also served eel and calf’s foot jelly.

Between the 1740s and 1770s, Clapham’s was run by William and Jane Clapham. The couple’s coffeehouse was a popular spot among residents of Cambridge and students of the university. According to a Cambridge press release, the joint was even mentioned in a poem that ran in a student publication of 1751: “Dinner over, to Tom’s or Clapham’s I go; the news of the town so impatient to know.”
Researchers believe that Clapham’s cellar was filled with items in the late 1770s, when Jane decided to retire (William had since died). The site was rediscovered after St. John’s College commissioned an archaeological survey of the area around its Old Divinity School. The excavation revealed the most extensive collection of early coffeehouse artifacts that has ever been discovered in England, which has in turn shed new light on centuries-old coffee culture.
Like modern-day coffee spots, Clapham’s appears to have offered a range of comforting hot beverages. Archaeologists found coffee cups, saucers, sugar bowls, milk and cream jugs, an impressive collection of 38 teapots, and cups for holding chocolate drinks. “[C]hocolate was served with a frothy, foamy head,” the Cambridge press release explains, which required tall cups that researchers could distinguish from other types of vessels. The team also discovered utensils and crockery that would have been used to make pastries, tarts and other desserts.
In many ways, Clapham’s was less like a cafĂ© and more like an inn, Craig Cessford of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit tells the BBC. Animal bones found at the site suggest that patrons were enjoying hearty meals of mutton, beef, pork, hare, chicken goose, fish and eel. The excavation also turned up a large number of feet bones from immature cattle, leading experts to believe that calf’s foot jelly, once a popular dessert in England, was a house specialty.
It also seems that people at Clapham’s came for a boozy time; amidst the various drinking vessels, archaeologists found a robust selection of wine bottles, wine glasses, and tankards. The discovery “suggests that the standard view of early English coffeehouses, as civilized establishments where people engaged in sober, reasoned debate, may need some reworking,” according to the press release, which also makes note that no evidence of reading materials were found at the site.
Cessford, the Cambridge Archaeologists, posits that establishments like Clapham’s were “perhaps at the genteel end of a spectrum that ran from alehouse to coffeehouse.”
The Brits first started sipping on coffee in the 16th century, according to the release. Turkish merchants are credited with bringing coffee to London, and the drink soon became all the rage, though imbibing on the stuff was not a particularly pleasurable experience at the time. “Whilst the taste of 17th century coffee was not very palatable – indeed, it tasted quite disgusting according to accounts of the time – the caffeine in it and the ‘buzz’ it provided, proved quite addictive,” explains the website of Historic UK.
By the mid-18th century, there were thousands of coffeehouses dotted across the country. They were important social hubs, where people gathered to chat, conduct business and debate the news. But by the end of the 18th century, coffeehouses began to decline in popularity as another type of hot drink captured the public’s fancy: tea, the drink that would become a quintessential British pastime.
Story by By 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Worst passwords of 2017


And it is so easy to hack into so many accounts - simply because passwords are created by people with no imagination.

All the pirates need to do is tap in one or more of the most popular passwords, and there they go.  Into your private email, and into your banking account.

Popular, you say?  Yes, it seems that password choice is a matter of (a) fashion (b) a person's love of his or her own name, or (c) a non-random sequence of numbers.

As they comment in the New York Times, the choice says a lot about ourselves.

“Starwars” (No. 16) reflects a resurgent force in popular culture.
“Whatever” (No. 23) and “letmein” (No. 7) seem to speak to an exasperation with online security itself.
And “password” (No. 2) speaks to our collective lack of creativity.
They are among the 11 new entrants to the annual “worst passwords” list, compiled by SplashData, a company that creates applications for password management and security. The popularity and simplicity of those passwords pose risks for those who use them, the company said.
“Hackers know your tricks, and merely tweaking an easily guessable password does not make it secure,” Morgan Slain, SplashData’s chief executive, said in a news release. “Our hope is that our Worst Passwords of the Year list will cause people to take steps to protect themselves online.”
The analysis was based on more than five million leaked passwords, most of them used by people in North America and Western Europe.
And here (tra-la) are the 25 worst passwords:
 SplashData’s “Worst Passwords of 2017”:
1 - 123456 (rank unchanged since 2016 list) 
2 - password (unchanged) 
3 - 12345678 (up 1) 
4 - qwerty (Up 2) 
5 - 12345 (Down 2) 
6 - 123456789 (New) 
7 - letmein (New) 
8 - 1234567 (Unchanged) 
9 - football (Down 4) 
10 - iloveyou (New) 
11 - admin (Up 4) 
12 - welcome (Unchanged) 
13 - monkey (New) 
14 - login (Down 3) 
15 - abc123 (Down 1) 
16 - starwars (New) 
17 - 123123 (New) 
18 - dragon (Up 1) 
19 - passw0rd (Down 1) 
20 - master (Up 1) 
21 - hello (New) 
22 - freedom (New) 
23 - whatever (New) 
24 - qazwsx (New) 
25 - trustno1 (New)
SplashData estimates almost 10% of people have used at least one of the 25 worst passwords on this year’s list, and nearly 3% of people have used the worst password, 123456.
SplashData offers three simple tips to be safer from hackers online:
1. Use passphrases of twelve characters or more with mixed types of characters including upper and lower cases. 
2. Use a different password for each of your website logins. If a hacker gets your 
password they will try it to access other sites. 
3. Protect your assets and personal identity by using a password manager to organize passwords, generate secure random passwords, and automatically log into websites.
To help protect computer users from hackers and to do its part in preventing 2018 from becoming another “Year of the Hack,” SplashData is offering the full list of Top 100 Worst Passwords, a free one-year subscription for individuals to its Gpass password manager, and a TeamsID (password manager for enterprise workgroups) demo for businesses. 
I just hope you are not one of the number....