Friday, December 16, 2011

The Commandments of Rachel

Everyone has their own code. (Although I sometimes wonder about some people.) This is mostly a joke, but here are my personal commandments from myself to myself.

No. 1 If you don't want to do it, don't do it.

No. 2 If you don't want to do it, consider whether there is a good reason to override No. 1. For example: You're being paid. It's the right thing to do. You'll be glad later you got it done now. Etc. Peer pressure is not a good reason.

No. 3 Don't lie. Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

No. 4 You're responsible for yourself. No one else is. Let other people be responsible for themselves.

No. 5 You said you'd do it, so do it! If you aren't going to keep your commitments, don't make them in the first place.

No. 6 Be nice. It costs nothing and pays excellent dividends.

No. 7 Stand up for people who need a friend. Bullying, sniping, and gossiping are Not Cool.

No. 8 You always have time to read.

No. 9 If you don't know, say so. It saves time and embarrassment later on.

No. 10 Be grateful. Blessings accumulate when you count them.

No. 11 Don't panic. Seriously. It's unhelpful. And annoying.

No. 12 Have fun. It takes just as much effort as being miserable, but the consequences are more enjoyable.

No. 13 Stand your ground. Finish what you start.

No. 14 Move with confidence. Watch people get out of the way. It's fun AND it really moves grocery shopping along when you don't keep stopping for people to decide whether they'll move their cart out of the way.

No. 15 Don't speed. If you crashed into a minivan and killed a soccer mom and her kids, wouldn't you feel absolutely awful? Wouldn't it feel worse if you knew you were going ten miles over the limit and maybe if you hadn't been there would have been time to stop? Besides, you can't afford a ticket.

Well, this turned out more serious than I expected it to be. I would tweak it to be more funny, but actually I feel pretty strongly about all of these.

Particularly No. 11. Hysterics, even when it's an actor acting hysterical on a tv show, drive me up the wall. And if more teenagers followed No. 1, there would be a lot less problems with drug use, teenage pregnancy, cheating, and so on. And there's always time to read! If you have time to eat, you have time to read. And No. 2 is bang on- life sometimes requires doing what you would rather not. Like homework.

What are your commandments from yourself to yourself?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The end is near!

Today, the world ends!

Or, at least my semester does.

One more comprehensive final, and it's all over. Over!

Bwahahaha! Free! Free!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The List of Worthy Opponents and Magnificent Mentors

Full disclosure: none of these people have ever heard of me. I just really, really love their writing.

I have another list - the Black List - but it's a list of one, and doesn't really count. I make it a rule to never finish reading a bad book, in case the terrible craftsmanship is catching, but I've only officially put one writer on that list. And I'm not telling you who it is, because hundreds of thousands of people disagree with me. As is their right.

The List of Worthy Opponents and Etc is my list of writers who are so great that I want to write like them and eventually surpass them. (Admittedly, it boggles me slightly when I imagine surpassing Terry Pratchett - all hail the Discworld Creator!) The List is not the same thing as all writers that I enjoy reading. I enjoy reading Georgette Heyer, but I have no intention of making a career in romance. C. J. Cherryh is another great writer, but at this time I don't plan on branching into hard core sci-fi. David Brin, on the other hand, writes what I think of as 'soft' sci-fi, (no judgment on the story substance at all), which is like fantasy with a different flavor and style.

Behold, on the sidebar, the current List of Worthy Opponents and Magnificent Mentors, abbreviated to The List because the full title won't fit. I'll update it as I remember and/or find more worthy opponents and magnificent mentors. It is in a state of permanent incompleteness.

If you're interested in trying out a new author, or finding out what my taste in awesomeness is, try one of their books. You might not like it, but you certainly won't be disgusted by sloppy POV, poor characterization, blatant emotional manipulation, plot holes, unbelievable character motivations, and if I don't stop now I'll go on all day.

(Disclaimer: Martha Wells wrote the excellent Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, and Dean Koontz wrote (is writing, please, a new one soon soon soon) the Odd Thomas books. I can't recommend every book, because I haven't read all of them.) (In fact, that applies to everyone on The List except Terry Pratchett, who is at the top for a reason. Everything Terry Pratchett writes is great. (Collaborations don't count.) Everyone after Terry Pratchett is in no particular order.)