I believe that use of the word ” ’tis” is a common marker for a certain type of pretentiousness, though I find it hard to describe the type I mean. It goes along with the use of “mundanes” to describe people who aren’t you or your friends and with the belief that describing yourself as “weird” automatically means you’re cooler than those who aren’t. (You may well be; some weird people are. I just don’t believe that “weird” is only a description, not an automatic positive or negative value.) In occasional use, ” ’tis” doesn’t make me want to run the other way, but it does elicit from me the sort of “there s/he goes again” sigh you might give when someone you like gets a little pedantic on their favorite topic.

I believe that there is no such age as “too old for adventures”. Or for fun. And that the consequences of looking stupid are highly overrated.

I believe that it’s perfectly possible to wear clothes you enjoy and that feel good on, while still looking professional enough for most jobs. (Caveats: This may be easier for women than for men. And there are some jobs with uniforms or rigid enough dress standards that this is not possible. In those cases, fun underwear may help, again if possible.)

I believe that one major advantage of blogs is that when people get pompous you can just close the window and go away. (You made it this far? Surprising.)

I believe there aren’t masses, neither the great unwashed stupid immorals many very conservative people seem to believe in nor the hapless victims of circumstance many very liberal people believe in. Just people all the way up and down, and the majority of them are neither stupid nor venal though many are tired, stubborn, and maybe feeling trapped.None of these contribute to great choice-making. Unfortunately, it’s also true that some rich people do get calluses in their sense of humanity, and that poor people are limited by their circumstances to a degree most richer people don’t understand or believe. The poorest still have choices, but the costs can be cripplingly high.

I believe that maybe we should worry less about teenage sex and go back to worrying about people falling in love too young. I don’t think it’s coincidental that the topic is addressed in all of the ‘Little’ books (Little Women, the Little House series, the Little Colonel books) as well LM Montgomery and others of the period. Those books don’t make fun of ‘puppy love’; they take it very seriously, but the girls (and hopefully the boys) are taught that they ought to wait before selecting a life partner. I don’t think that’s a bad idea. The Little Colonel books describe the best idea, though they do tend to grind it in a bit: anyone remember the Hildegarde story? There is the girl who is kept from all knowledge of the adult world and so makes a bad choice (today’s equivalent: abstinence-only education and those dances girls go to with their fathers); the girl whose father jokes about the boyfriends early on an gives no guidance (modern equivalent: too many to count) and the girl whose father gives her a yardstick to measure her prince by. Then the story is translated into the world of the book, when the Little Colonel’s father gives her a ‘yardstick with three notches’: her future husband must be clean, strong, and honest, physically and morally. Meanwhile, he *doesn’t* keep her away from boys, or even from suitors, just helps her develop judgement and then depends on it. I think a modern equivalent might include more dating, maybe including sex – but I wonder if more kids practice safe sex when they think it’s just a flirtation and not True Luv Always. (I don’t know, maybe not. Either way I do think working to build judgement would help more than just forbidding.)

I believe that there are some things you need to have felt to be able to write. Wait – don’t get me wrong – I know you can’t judge a writer’s opinions by those of her characters. And you don’t have to have every experience to be able to write it, or we’d have no speculative fiction at al. And certainly the converse isn’t true; a writer can have all the experience in the world and fail to make a scene real. On the other hand, after reading Operation Luna and Old Man’s War, respectively, I’d have been deeply shocked to learn that Poul Anderson or John Scalzi didn’t love and respect their wives.

I might be wrong on any or all of these, but I’m pretty happy believing in them unless and until serious disproof arrives.