Author Archives: Pat

Cutie, Crying, and the Weirding Way

I was just laying in bed with Sarah and our youngest child. He’s just a little bit over one year old.

little bug

Codename: Cutie Snoo. (Because I don’t like using my kid’s real names online.)

I don’t know how it works in other households, but in ours, a lot of the day-to-day kid activities end up happening on the bed. Sarah has a huge king-sized mattress that just rests on the floor. Partly because she likes it that way, and partly because low-to-the ground beds are easier and safer for kids.

Anyway, I’m laying in bed with Cutie. I’d come in to hang play with him when I heard him wake up from his nap.  A little later, mom joined us, because she has the boobs, and boobs make everything better.

Cutie was laying between us, nursing (on Sarah) while she and I were talking.

Then, unexpectedly, Cutie rolled over and pushed a little baby spoon he carries around with him at my mouth.

It surprised me. It bounced off my lip a little bit, and hit my teeth. It hurt just a little, about as much as it would if you poked me in the mouth with your fingernail. We’re talking… like… half a newton of force, tops.  Not enough to crack an egg.

Still, it surprised me. And it hurt just a little.

So I looked at him, and I said, “Ow.”

Didn’t shout it, didn’t bark it. Didn’t even do my disappointed dad voice.

I mention this because over the years I’ve learned my voice is a powerful thing. Where my kids are concerned, I’m one of the Bene Gesserit. I’m the Kwisatz Paterach. I’m Black Bolt.

I’m not sure why this is, exactly. I’ve got a pretty good baritone, but it’s not earthshaking by itself. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been a teacher. That I’ve been a singer. That I was a performer who never really liked using a mic until the crowds started topping 100 people and I was forced to go electric.

Maybe it’s all of those things together. I don’t know.

What I do know is that I discovered early on in my parenting career that if I wasn’t careful with my voice, I would terrify my children. Once, back when he was about 16 months old, I barked Oot’s name at him from the top of a stairway and he went into fetal crouch, trembling with animal fear.

I felt like king asshole of the universe at the time. I still do. As a parent, you slowly build a portfolio of memories. Things your children will never remember, things that you will never forget.

Standing at the top of the stairs, looking down at my terrified boy, I thought to myself, “You need to get this shit under control right now, Rothfuss…”

So I did. Slowly. Over many years.

All of this is to say that I’m very careful with my voice these days. I don’t bark. I rarely even snap or get a little sharp in my tone. There’s no need, just a little disapproval in my voice is like iron to these tiny little faen creatures I have flitting around in my life.

So. Remember where we were? Bed. Cutie. Spoon.

I looked at him and said, “Ow.” Not because he hurt me, but because I want him to know that he *can* hurt someone. He needs to learn to be careful.

“Ow,” I said. Softly.

Hearing me, Cutie turned away, facing back toward mom.

“He was trying to give you a bite,” she explained to me.

I nodded, only understanding then what he’d been trying to do with the spoon. It’s a game I’d seen Cutie play with her, but he’d never done it with me before.

Looking down at him, Sarah’s face goes concerned, then she looks up at me. “He feels bad,” she says.

Then Cutie gave a little sob. It was tiny, but it was one of those deep ones. One of the ones that comes out of you in a lump: “Uh-huh.”

When you’re a parent, you learn the different types of crying. You learn to recognize the panicked cry of a baby that’s hurt. There’s the “I can’t believe you took that away from me” cry. There’s the “I’m tired and can’t hold my shit together” cry. There’s the rare, furious red-faced rage rage rage cry. There’s the “Where’s Mom?” cry.

This wasn’t any of those. It went, “Ah-huh” and it was nothing but sadness. One sob. Pause. Then another. Then he was really crying.

He felt bad. He was sad that he’d hurt me.

I read something somewhere that said children start to develop empathy when they’re 3 years old.

I’d like to officially go on the record as saying that is bullshit.

Cutie is 13 months old. He can speak about 10 words, and those he speaks badly. He can’t run, or jump, or eat with a spoon.

But he feels bad when he hurts someone. This is something some adults have yet to learn.

He’s is my boy. My sweet boy. I am so proud of him.

pat

Posted in babies, Cutie Snoo, How to be a Worthwhile Human Being, musings, Oot | By Pat30 Responses

German Book, German Tour (And Austria)

[Edit (3/4/15): There's updated info for these events in this blog so be sure to check it out...]

So today (Feb 21st) The Slow Regard of Silent Things hits the shelves in Germany.

Rothfuss_Musik_Stille_3d_4c(Woo! New cover!)

As usual, this book is significantly larger than its English counterpart. I haven’t gotten to see one in person yet, but in this photo mock-up they seem to be able to fit my name and the title horizontally on the spine. So that indicates that the book has undergone its typical 40% growth from being translated into German. (A phenomenon I mentioned in a blog a couple years back.)

Despite the fact that the post office is slow delivering my copy, I’ll be getting to see a copy of this book in person soon. In fact, I hope to be seeing a lot of them, as I’m going to be making a trip to Germany and Austria next month.

Here’s the schedule:

March 13-14  – Leipzig Book Fair

March 14 – Leipzig

March 16 – Berlin

March 17 – Cologne (Koln)

March 18 - Reutlingen 

March 20 – Vienna, Austria

As you can see, there are a lot of opportunities to catch me on this trip and witness my catastrophically inept attempts to speak German.

  • Details about the Events:

Though we’re calling most of these events “Readings” most of them are actually going to be readings combined with Question and Answer periods, followed by signings.

That said, each event is different, and I highly recommend you take a close look at the details of the event you’re thinking of attending to make sure you understand what’s really happening there.

Will you need a ticket? Will you need to reserve a place at the signing?

Honestly? I don’t know. It’s just my job to show up at these things and look pretty….

  • Concerning where I’m going and/or not going:

Do I wish I could do more events? Yes. But there’s only so much time in the world. I can’t hit major city in the country. Not even a quarter of them.

So before y’all start screeling things like “Why don’t you come to Frankfurt!!!1!” Please keep in mind that I’m already traveling more than 6,500 kilometers to get into your neighborhood. Globally speaking, I’m going to be right next door. If you’d really like to see me, why don’t you and your friends have a road trip and come the last 150 kilometers on your own?

C’mon. You know you want to have a road trip….

  • A Warning:

I don’t know when I’ll be back in Germany. But it probably won’t be for at least a couple years. This is fair warning. If you’d really like to hear me speak and get your book signed, this is the time to do it.

  • An Apology:

Originally, I had one more event in Heidelberg, and I know a few people got tickets and made plans before it was cancelled.

I’m incredibly sorry about that.

Some personal matters came up, and I had to change plans. I feel really bad about it.

In an attempt to make things right, everyone who was signed up for Heidelberg was offered tickets to the event in Reutlingen. What’s more, that event will also be live streamed, so you can see me, even if you can’t be there in person. (I’ll be posting the link to the livestream here, on twitter, and on facebook when we have it.)

{Fancy placeholder for eventual livestream link}

  • A Request:

As you can see, I’m announcing these events about 3 weeks ahead of time. What’s more, I’m painfully aware that a *lot* of the people who might be interested in attending don’t read my blog, or don’t speak English.

So if you know anyone who’d like to attend but might not know about it, I’d deeply appreciate it if you’d clue them in.

Thanks everybody,

pat

P.S. For those of you who are here in the US, and feeling all ensaddened because none of these events are for you.

Here’s two shows I have coming up with Paul & Storm and Joel Hodgson that I have coming up. (And yes, I just got a bit of a tingle when I typed that last bit.)

3/26 Portland http://bit.ly/NMPortland 

3/27 Seattle http://bit.ly/NMSeattle

I’ll be making a more elaborate posting about this later, but I thought I might want to throw this up sooner rather than later for those of you who like to plan your lives in advance a bit.

We’re going to be bringing in other guests, too, so you might want to grab your tickets sooner rather than later….

Posted in book covers, signing books, travel abroad | By Pat80 Responses

Alternative Voting for the Discerning Reader

So last week, I wrote a blog about how I had a couple stories eligible for the Hugo awards this year.

As I mentioned then, it’s not the sort of blog I like to write. But still, I wanted to let people know that they could nominate the stories. Y’know, if they were into that sort of thing….

After I posted it, folks chimed in on the comments, saying things like: “Yay!” and “I’d love to vote for you! Where can I do that?”

For those of you who are curious, the details are here.

For those of you who are curious (but too lazy to click a link) the upshot is this: If you’re an attending member of Worldcon, (Or if you attended the convention last year) you can nominate works for the Hugos.  If you’re going to the convention, you can participate in the voting after the nominees are announced. (Or you can buy a supporting membership, which gives you the right to vote.)

This is another reason I’m not fond of writing awards blog like this. It feels too much like I’m saying: “Hey everyone! Want to do a thing? Well… most of you can’t. Sorry.”

So. For those of you who can’t vote are thereby ensaddened, here are a few things you could do instead:

  • Vote Anyway

Here’s what you do: Write my book’s name on a piece of paper, then fold that paper in half and put it into one of those suggestion boxes you see all over the place.

2c2cc4dfdd99becd96b8ba29a20ef6d3

This approach has a lot to recommend it. First and foremost, you don’t have sign up for any conventions, fill out any annoying forms, click buttons, etc etc….

SuggestionBoxBig

What’s more, these boxes are all over the place, so it’s really easy to vote.

Even better, you can vote as many times as you want.

suggestion-box-spit1

Best of all, since you’re writing your own ballot, you aren’t limited to just nominating Slow Regard for a Hugo.

Notecard

(Let’s be honest, this is a little boring.)

You’re the boss of this ballot. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste.

Note3

(Better…)

Seriously. Go whole hog. You can vote for *anything.*

Notecard2

(Yeah. That’s about right.)

Remember folks, if it’s worth doing. It’s worth doing in glitter pen.

Alternately, you can always…

  • Vote for Something Real

I enjoy living in my own little world as much as the next guy. But the sad fact is that my physical body is trapped here on earth.

And here’s the thing, unbeknownst to many of you, the spring primaries are today. These elections have notoriously poor turnouts. What that means is that in practical terms, anyone who votes in them has a disproportionately large effect on the elections in question.

So if y’all did about 20 minutes of googling, then went to vote, it would have a *huge* impact on who is going to be running your local government for the next couple years.

Just sayin.

  • Stars upon Thars

I know what you’re thinking. “But Pat,” you think, “Both of those options require me to leave my house! There are bears outside!”

Believe me, I know. I too am loathe to leave the womblike security of my home.

So if you’re borderline agoraphobic, or just lazy like me, let me reassure you that any author loves reviews just as much as a vote for an award.

The nice thing about giving reviews is that you don’t need to worry about whether a work is eligible for an an award (based on when it was published) or if it’s a novella or a novelette (based on how many words it has.) All that really matters is how you feel about the story.

So. If you wish you could vote for something of mine in the Hugos, but you can’t, feel free to write a few lines of nice review somewhere. Or tell a friend. Or go splash some stars onto it over at Goodreads or Barnes and Noble.

Or don’t. It’s all good with me. I’m just giving you options….

pat

P.S. If anyone does the notecard thing, I’d love to see a picture of your self-made ballot….

Posted in Arts and Crafts, awards | By Pat46 Responses

Eligibility for Awards and Stuff

So. Here’s the thing. I seem to have accidentally written something last year.

When that happens, it sets off this whole weird chain of events. First the thing you write (maybe) gets published. Then (hopefully) people buy and/or read it.

And then, the next year, the thing you wrote becomes eligible for awards.

This is the life cycle of books.

Part of this process traditionally involves me making some sort of announcement to the world about my stuff being eligible for nomination. I say *traditionally* because it’s something that is commonly done among authors. Me personally? I’ve never done it.

This is mostly because it never occurs to me. When The Princess and Mr. Whiffle came out, I didn’t realize it could have been nominated for Best Graphic Story. When I did Storyboard for Geek and Sundry, I didn’t know it was eligible for Best Related Work.

The best example of my not remembering to mention my work is back in 2012 when I wrote a blog asking people to consider nominating Betsy Wollheim (my editor) for Best Long Form Editor.

The good news is that Betsy won that year. The stupid news is that when I wrote that blog post, I didn’t think to mention that The Wise Man’s Fear had been published in the previous year, and folks could have nominated it for Best Novel while they were at it.

So… yeah. As I mentioned in that blog: I’m the king of not having my shit together.

rothfuss-king

Also, to be honest, the thought of writing a blog where I ask people to vote for me… it makes me uncomfortable. Not for any good reason. I like reading other author’s posts where they talk about their work. But writing one myself… it’s never been that appealing….

So why am I writing a blog like that now? (In case you hadn’t guessed, that’s what this blog is about. Or it’s what the blog *will* be about, once I get to the point.)

Well, about half a year ago, I was chatting with someone who pays better attention to the publishing world than I do. He mentioned that The Wise Man’s Fear almost made it onto the list of nominated novels that year. I think he said it was something like 8 votes short.

So this year, when I saw people start to make their Hugo eligibility posts, I thought maybe I should mention, in a casual, low-key sort of way, that The Slow Regard of Silent things is eligible for a Hugo award this year.

Slow Regard Cover Art

Here’s the thing. It’s not eligible for Best Novel. For the Hugos and Nebulas and such, a story has to be over 40,000 words to be considered a novel, this book falls short of that.

Also, while it’s full of pictures, I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t nominate it for Best Graphic Story, either.

It’s a novella. So if you’re the sort of person who votes in these sorts of things, and if you liked the book, you could nominate it for something like Best Novella.

But wait, there’s more.

I also had a story come out in Rogues anthology last year. It was the story about Bast called “The Lightning Tree.”

But that wasn’t a short story. (Like I was trying to write.) It ended up being a novella too, just barely.

I kinda wish I could do what I’ve seen other people do, post up a list of things I think y’all should consider for your Hugo nominations in all the categories, but the sad truth is, I’m woefully out of date with a lot of my reading. Any of y’all who follow me on Goodreads know that I’m constantly reading and talking about books on there.

The problem is this, most of those books came out years ago. Sometimes decades ago. Only rarely do I end up reading books that came out recently.

For example, it was only last week that I finally got around to reading Raising Steam. Yeah. A book by Terry Pratchett, one of my all-time favorite authors, and I’m only reading it 18 months after it came out.

Wait. I would recommend one thing. Box Trolls should get a nomination for Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form). That movie was brilliant, and if you haven’t watched it, you’re missing out on one of the good things in life. The folks at Laika are my kind of crazy, and I love them with a passionate love.

Seriously. I just checked, and Box Trolls is out on DVD. You have no excuse. Go watch it.

So… yeah. That’s all I’ve got.

Anyway, there you go. My eligibility blog. Yay. Woo.

For those of you who aren’t able to vote, or who don’t care to vote, or who didn’t like what I wrote last year. He’s a picture of Auri, just so you have something to enjoy in this blog.

auri_above_the_city_by_athenapallas87-d893u5g

(Credit where credit is due.)

Sorry this blog is pretty limp. I’ve been writing it off and on all day, but my heart really hasn’t been in it. I’ll write something fun in the blog soon, but now I should go to bed…

Goodnight all,

pat

Update: Because folks in the comments have been asking how they can nominate/vote in the Hugos, I’m posting up a link here.

The brief version is this: If you’re attending Worldcon this year (or if you attended Worldcon last year) you can nominate works and vote in the awards. Alternately, you can buy a supporting membership, and that also gives you the right to vote.

Posted in awards | By Pat19 Responses

January Novelties: Games, Books, and Valentines

For those of you who don’t know, I’m leaving today to set sail on JoCo Cruise Crazy. While I’m gone, my internet will be spotty, if not downright nonexistent. I have the feeling this will be simultaneously be liberating and terrifying.

I wanted to post up several blogs this last week before I left. But I just haven’t been able to find the time. I’m trying to focus more on my writing these days, and that means other things get pushed into the background.

For some reason, I’m guessing most of you won’t mind this particular change in focus.

That said, there are some things I’m eager to talk about here on the blog. Some little. Some big. Some informational. I’m expecting to have a little time over the next week to finish at least one of those, so stay tuned if you’re curious to see what those are…

* * *

For today, we’ve got a couple new things happening in The Tinker’s Packs. Including the Valentine’s Day cards I mentioned on the blog a while back.

But first, some lovely books, donated by some lovely authors:

RandomWithSignature

We’re really grateful for these books from Alma Alexander. She even took the time to doodle in every one, so they’re extra special and cool.

“You will never read another shapeshifter book like this. Every surprise will catch you unwary. And, like me, you will find that others will have to pry it out of your fingers.” – Tamora Pierce

We only have a few, so grab yours right here.

Stranger_WithSignatures

Sherwood Smith’s new novel is gorgeous, and she worked with her co-author, Rachel Manija Brown, to send some lovingly doodled copies over to us.

Stranger‘s thrilling depiction of a changed and deadly future landscape filled with bloodthirsty plants and dangerously altered animals drew me in. The plot hooked me with its deft interweaving of messy personal problems and lethal conflicts that threaten the town, while the vivid, likeable characters kept me reading long into the night.” – Kate Elliott

We have ten copies, so if you want one all to yourself, you can grab your own copy right here.

  • Game codes for Torment: Tides of Numenera. Game is not yet released.

Torment

Some of you may remember that I’m writing for a video game. A game that means a lot to the gamer in me.

It’s still in production. I’m still working on my part of the writing. But it’s coming along nicely, and they’ve got a pre-order system set up on their website for when it comes out at the end of the year.

This works a little differently. Since it’s a pre-order of a game that was Kickstarted, you’ll be redeeming a code we send you for enough credits on the Torment website to get either the Digital Download Plus level or the Digital Collector’s Edition level (the second of which has a novella available for immediate download).

So you can preorder the game through us, read some stuff if you’re a Collector’s Edition type of person, and when the game comes out, take a week off work and play it like a crazy person. Not that I condone that sort of behavior, mind you…..

BelleCalendarPage

I’ve talked about the Karen Hallion Calendar a few times, pretty much because it’s just lovely.

KHCalendarSpread_1024x1024

January has come and nearly gone, so we’re decreasing the price of the calendar in The Tinker’s Packs to $10. We won’t be printing more after this, so don’t miss your chance to grab one while there’s still a chance it can help you keep track of your life.

  •  Valentine’s Day Cards

I’ve been wanting to do some Valentine’s day cards for years now. But this is the first time I’ve actually manage to think of it far enough ahead of time to brainstorm some good concepts, spent time designing them, and get them printed at a proper printer.

This is kind of an experiment for us. We’ve never done cards before, so we’re testing the water with these four:

There’s the beautiful art from Karen Hallion featuring Kvothe and Denna.

_DSC0933

It’s blank inside, so you can write whatever your heart desires.

Second we have a card with with one of my favorite pieces of art from The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

_DSC0939

Inside it says, “You are as lovely as the moon.” Which just happens to be, by strange coincidence, seven words.

If those seven words aren’t quite to your liking, our third card gives you more options for The Seven Words that Will Make a Person Love You.

_DSC0940

My favorite is: “I brought back Firefly for another season.”

Finally, the most requested card was this one:

_DSC0941

(Click to Embiggen.)

I remember working on that particular part of book two for days, wondering to myself, “Is this going to make sense to anyone but me?”

Apparently it did, because at last count, I’ve heard of at least a dozen different people using it in their wedding ceremonies.

It’s available over here.

You can buy all of these cards singly, or in three-packs. Or you can get a set of all four cards for those of you who would like one of each.

As always, all proceeds from The Tinker’s Packs goes to Worldbuilders. Making the world a better place.

Wish me luck, folks, I’ve never been on a cruise before, and while I’m looking forward to spending time with my family, I hear they don’t have hardly any snow at all on this cruise. I don’t know how well I’m going to be able to cope with that rapid climate shift.

Posted in Novelties, The Tinker's Packs | By Pat37 Responses

I’m curious….

So… if we were to make some Name of The Wind themed Valentine’s day cards and put them in The Tinker’s Packs, is that something y’all would be interested in?

And if so, what would you like to see on those cards? Quotes? Pictures?

And which quotes? Which pictures?

Curiously yours,

pat

 

Posted in The Tinker's Packs | By Pat134 Responses

… and I’m back.

Whenever I go a long time without posting on the blog, it feels like I should have something really important to say when I get back. Something newsful. Something portentous.

But I don’t. I’ve just been hanging out, catching up on my sleep, reading about a gajillion books, and spending some time with my family.

Let’s think… what news do I have to share…

Cutie is walking now. And he can say “mam” which is kind of like “mom” but about ten thousand times cuter.

We’ve started the vast packaging that is the prelude to shipping out all the prizes for Worldbuilders this year.

packages

There’s a *lot* of packages this year. A super lot….

And… that’s it. I’m just trying to remember what it’s like to have a normal life again, where I get up, spend time with my family, and get writing done every day.

It’s not a bad time. But it just doesn’t make for great stories. In a book, this is space of time that I would gloss over by saying something like, “It took me about a month to get my life straightened out after Worldbuilders…”

But if you’re looking for news of a smaller, more comfortable sort of the kind I usually post up under the hashtag #OotSays, here’s a little story.

*     *     *

Last night at bedtime, I’m reading to Oot. Instead of the two chapter books we’re reading: On the Shores of Silver Lake (With me) and Mary Poppins (With his mom) he wants a picture book, one of Richard Scarry’s.

I’ve read it before, and I don’t deal well with boredom. So:

Me: Do you know why they call it a library?

Oot: No.

Me: Because every book has one lie hidden in it. It’s right in the name: Lie-brary.

From where she’s laying in bed, I feel Sarah suddenly become alert.

Oot: What does ‘brary’ mean?

Me: It’s called that because “Brary” was the name of the first person who ever built one.

Sarah lifts up her head and gives me a scowl. That’s my payoff right there. I only do these things when she’s around. Ever since Oot was little that’s been true. It’s no fun giving an pornographic ad-lib reading of Fox in Socks to a 5 month old if there isn’t an adult around to be horrified about it.

Oot, however, is his father’s son. Which means he has a finely-tuned bullshit detector. He gives me a bit of a narrow-eyed look.

Me: I’m just teasing you. It’s a joke. It’s called a library because “Librum” is an old word for book. Libr-ary.

Oot’s face light up, and he asks me to make up jokes for all the other pictures in the book, which I happily do.

More news and musings soon,

pat

Posted in Oot | By Pat43 Responses
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