It may be bad form to resurrect a blog for this, but I don't care.
Sir Terry Pratchett, the noted author, died today. I've been reading his books for over half my life, and I wanted to say, well, thanks.
Thank you for teaching me how to laugh even in the depths of depression when I was sure everyone in the world would be better off if I was dead.
Thank you for making me a better writer.
Thank you for helping to shape my sense of humor.
Thank you for showing me the ridiculousness inherent in Life.
Thank you for giving me amazing female role models of all kinds, remarkable not because they were female, but because they were human.
Thank you for the Discworld.
I could go on and on about how your writing shaped mine, how your work made my life so much better in many little ways, and how much I owe to you, but I fear if I make this much longer I won't be able to see the screen through my tears, so....
For those wondering where to start with Sir Pratchett, I'd suggest Small Gods if you're okay with a (mostly) gentle mocking of organized religion and philosophy. There are starter novels to the various "series", which I don't really recommend as a first Pratchett novel simply because they were almost all written early in his career while he was still honing his craft. I'd also suggest The Truth, or Monstrous Regiment. This article from io9 has a nice chart, and if you're curious, I started with Mort when I was 13 or so.