Author Archives: Pat

Fee Fie Faux

So I stumbled across this thing recently…

Even if you’re not a fan of Neil Gaiman, it’s worth watching. If you are a fan, it’s hugely funny. And if you’ve listened to Neil’s Audiobooks as much as I have (Which is to say obsessively) the above video is AMAZING.

My third time watching it, I started wondering, “Could we do something like this, but for my writing?”

At first I dismissed the thought as silly. For one thing, I don’t have Gaiman’s gorgeous voice and accent. I don’t think my writing style is as distinctive as his, either.

But the idea kept tickling at me. And the truth is, when I go to conventions, or events, or signings, I’m always looking for fun, bite-sized things I can read in front of a crowd.

So I’m finally saying “What the hell” and giving it a try. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t. But if it does work, this could be a lot of fun. I could read a couple on the JocoCruise next week, or when I’m out at Gencon. If nothing else, I’ll read the best of them on my twitch channel so everyone can see them, then upload them to youtube later for archival purposes.

So… yeah. If this is something that appeals to you, give me your best Bad Rothfuss style piece of writing in the form below. It should be NO MORE THAN 1800 characters (which is around 300 words).

I know. I know. How can you satirize my effluvient verbosity in only 300 words? Well… I don’t know. Maybe you’ll just have to pick some other element of my style to lovingly satirize. All I know is that if I don’t put a cap on these, we’ll end up with several hundred thousand words submitted and this will go from a fun little activity to a horrifying millstone around my neck. (And by my neck, I mean Amanda’s neck. Because she’s one of the folks who will be helping to winnow these down.)

Anyway. Be aware that the form is set to cut you off before you start to bloviate. What’s more, I let Amanda write her own sassy response that will pop up as an error if you go over the character count.

We’ve included a place in there for your name and e-mail, too. That way, I can give you credit if I read yours….

So… yeah. Here you go. I’m curious to see what comes in, and read some of them in my best audio narrator voice….

Take care of each other,

pat

Posted in Consistent Verb Tense Is For Bitches, cool things, dicking around, fanfic, talking shit, the craft of writing, The difference between 'slim' and 'slender' | By Pat54 Responses

Beautiful Games….

Heya folks,

As many of you have already noticed, the Tak kickstarter has been fulfilled.

(Dear Andrew, I’d like you to be the official Tak spokesmodel. And I’m not just saying that because you’re way *way* pretty. It’s because your presentation here is absolutely flawless.)

The vast majority of you who backed the kickstarter have your goodies now. And while a few of you might not yet, that’s mostly due to international shipping, or because some people never answered their Kickstarter surveys. (Imagine me giving you a disappointed-but-still-loving dad look here.)

But yeah. The big news is that games have been showing up at people’s houses for months. It’s exciting for me to see people finally getting to have their own copies. And not just playing it, but really kinda loving it.

Not only have folks been playing it, but they’ve been taking it out in public, showing it off, and making friends….

There’s been some very nice photography done, as well as some political commentary.

This was one of the more pleasantly surprising tweets I saw from fellow author Sabba Tahir.

I’d always assumed that Oot (age 7) would be too young to play. But hearing that Sabba’s kid and others had been successfully learning the game, I thought I thought I’d try him out…

20170218_172812

We started on the 3×3 and he eagerly moved up into a 4×4 game. Then he wanted to play the 5×5….

Everything said, he took to it pretty well. He’s no mastermind, but… well… neither am I. And he won fair and square one game when I wasn’t paying proper attention.

Most importantly though, we had a good time. And I’m looking forward to playing more with him in the future.

In terms of games being shipped out, we haven’t just fulfilled the kickstarter. We’ve also completed shipping out all the pre-orders people placed in The Tinker’s Packs. That means that as of now you can order the base game, cloth or wooden boards, the Tavern set, and all the other Tak Swag over in The Tinker’s Packs. Not only will we ship it out to you straightaway, but you can sleep soundly at night knowing that all the proceeds go to charity.

Companion_Book_For_Real-real_1024x1024(I have to say, the companion book turned out pretty nice as well.)

If you’ve been enjoying Tak, feel free to share your pictures and stories in the comments below. You can also review the game on BoardGameGeek. It’s the biggest game review website out there, so a good rating there will do a lot to help get the word about Tak out to people.

Last but not least, Tak has already been nominated for a Golden Geek award for 2016. So if you’re a frequent user of BoardGameGeek, you can head on over and vote for it in the 2-player category.

So… yeah. I’m glad you guys have been enjoying it. And if you missed out on the Kickstarter, feel free to swing by the Tinker’s Packs and pick one up. Or more than that. Don’t worry. I won’t judge.

pat

Posted in Beautiful Games, Oot, The Tinker's Packs | By Pat35 Responses

Humble Bundle: Fantastic Fiction

Hey everyone,

Thanks for a successful Q&A a couple of weeks ago. I had a surprisingly good time on the livestream, with more than 3500 people watching at one point, which beats my previous best livestream by a factor of three.

For those of you who don’t have any real desire to watch a video where I talk almost non-stop for over two hours, (and I can’t blame you, really) I’ll mention that I made an announcement at the end of the session. Specifically, that we’ll be releasing a 10th Anniversary Edition of The Name of the Wind later this year. If you really want more details, well…. *glances up at link to the video.*

I’ll do an official blog about that at some point in the future. Hopefully showing off the new cover and talking in more detail about what will be included in the edition. But that’s probably down the road a bit. Today, I thought I’d let you know about two other things.

  • The Activism Primer.

I wrote a blog about a week ago about how a few members of the Worldbuilders Team were dealing with the current political climate. At the end of the blog, I mentioned that I’d been thinking of putting together a newsletter for people who want to stay informed and/or learn how to engage in effective activism.

Problem was, I didn’t know if that’s something people really wanted, so I put up a google form, and… well… And as of right now about 2100 folks have signed up. So it looks like I’ll be putting a team together to make that happen.

  • A new Humble Bundle.

Good news! Humble Bundle and Subterranean Press have teamed up again to offer some cool books in return for a donation to charity, and they’ve selected Worldbuilders as the charity of choice.

SubPress_BlogImage

For those of you who don’t know, Humble Bundle lets you pay what you want for a bunch of cool DRM-Free books. The more money you donate, the more books you get. And if you donate over 15 bucks, you ALL the books in the bundle.

And this is good stuff too. Books by Jim Butcher, Tim Powers, Mira Grant and Kevin Hearn. Not to mention plucky up-and-comers like John Scalzi and Clive Barker….

If that’s not enough for you, well don’t fret. They’ll be adding even more books in a couple days, so the bundle will only get better.

Perhaps coolest of all, as with all the Humble Bundles, you’re able to decide exactly where where your money goes. For example:

25_wb and subpress equal

Or, for another example:

25_wb awesome

I don’t know about you, but that sort of freedom of choice delights me. It’s one of the things I love most about Humble Bundle.

And if these books aren’t enough to slake your terrible thirst for cool geekery, Worldbuilders is now one of their official registered charities, so you can support us in the Humble Store.

Support Worldbuilders Humble Store

They’ve got a ton of games and other cool things in there if you want to wander around a take a look.

There are lots of ways to help out and get cool stuff in return, but be careful. The Subterranean Press bundle will end on March 1st at 11am Pacific Time.

See you later Space Cowboys…

pat

Posted in Subterranean Press, Worldbuilders | By Pat6 Responses

What We’re Doing & How We’re Coping

So it’s been pretty quiet here on the blog since the fundraiser ended. Partly that’s because I’ve been trying to focus my energy on laying in some infrastructure in my life so that I can be more productive (and that tends to be boring to blog about.)

But don’t assume that silence means inactivity. Home office here has been a whirlwind as my team has been working on fulfilling the Tak kickstarter, drawing prizes for the worldbuilders lottery, and shipping the everyday store orders in the Tinker’s packs.

(And because I know people will ask in the comments: if you missed the kickstarter, you can order Tak over here in the Tinker’s Packs and yours will ship as soon as the Kickstarter is fulfilled. Which will be super soon.)

WaitingUSPSBoxes

Does that sound like a lot of packaging? Because it is.

Mindy

(Seriously, you can barely move in HQ right now)

But while some of our quiet is due to things being busy, it’s not the entire reason for our silence over here. The truth is, pretty much everyone I know is pretty emotionally distraught over things happening in the world right now, Worldbuilders employees included.

I’ve collected a good team over the years. They’re intelligent, empathetic, good-smelling people. They’re socially aware, and politically active. They wouldn’t work here if they didn’t care about making the world a better place.

And… well… not to bullshit around. But we’re all kind of scared right now. There are things happening the the US and around the world that make us very worried for our country and our people.

But when everything seems awful, what do you do?

Well recently, someone sent me a link to this, telling me that it’s helped them recently.

Bilbo it up

It’s a part of a blog I wrote years ago. At the time I was talking about charity, but that particular quote rings even more true these days than it did then.

Because the simple truth is this: When things are bad, all you can do is what you can do.

Which is perfectly accurate but also kinda useless in terms of a strategy.

As I mentioned before, pretty much everyone I know is freaked out right now and feeling some version of, “I have to do something, but what?”

Part of what I’m doing to help is that I reach out to my friends to see how they’re doing. I try to console or comfort if I can. I give them someone to talk to. And if they’re looking for it, I give some advice….

But honestly? I’m calling because desperately looking for help myself. So if my friends have good strategies, I steal them or pass them along. I pick their brains because most of the people I know are smarter than me in at least two or three different ways.

So with the hope that it might be helpful to some of you out there, here’s what some of my crew is doing these days….

  • Brett – Do Research & Talk to People

Brett Monkey

One of the frustrating things about media today is that most people tend to filter their news through Facebook and Twitter, neither of which are ideal venues for nuanced discussion or information dissemination. It drives me nuts to see bad, lopsided, or blatantly spun “news” get shared and retweeted without a second thought. I know I can’t change minds, but at least I can try to get people thinking about the news they share.

I’ve been researching quotes, statistics, and claims put forth in memes and shared blog posts from both sides of the partisan divide since before the election, posting links to reliable sources that either support or refute the information. Snopes is a good, easy-to-digest source (yes, I know, “scandal” and all that, but it doesn’t affect the reliability of the data they compile), but links to the Associated Press and Reuters are solid, as is NPR. If there are several sources that have the same information, find and link to all of them. I usually have several browser tabs open on my phone, just in case I need to look something up.

People will argue with you. They’ll post their own sources and memes to persuade or deflect you, or just to assert their point of view. That’s great–you get to do more research, and you’ll have a better understanding of how they view the issue.

Stuff to watch out for:

1. Topic drift. Stay on target, address only the claims put forth in the original article or meme. If someone tries to argue with you by bringing up something that’s tangentially related or used to deflect (“Trump will release his taxes when Clinton releases her emails”), remind them that you are discussing only the original topic. Stick to your guns, but stay calm.

2. Be patient. Don’t devolve into name calling or one-upmanship. You are trying to give accurate information, not start an argument.

3. Ask for counter-arguments from other valid sources. This will start a dialogue and give others a chance to defend their beliefs with their own evidence. Encourage them to keep explaining their point. If it turns out they’re right about something, let them know.

4. Be open to the possibility that you might be wrong. If you’re wrong, it’s not a character flaw. You might not have the whole story. You might be too close to the argument to see it objectively. These are emotionally-charged times, and we’re all human. If someone you disagree with turns out to be right, admit it and thank them.

5. See things from their perspective. It’s very likely that you both agree on the big picture, but disagree on the source of the problem and the solution needed. The more you listen to someone explain their position, the better understanding you get of how they reached it.

6. Be cool. Be Zaphod Beeblebrox cool. Don’t resort to name calling. Don’t start your own topic drift. Don’t bring up old stuff. You’re better than that. You have access to facts and data the likes of which we’ve never had before this day, and you can use it to build your platform, argue your case, and–probably not change anyone’s mind, but get them thinking. And that’s what we want: we want people to start really thinking about stuff.

TL;DR: Fight “alternative truth” with solid facts from reputable sources. Stay cool about it. Understand that you probably won’t change anyone’s mind, but you might get them to start looking up facts for themselves before they click Like, Share, or Retweet.

  • Amanda – Write Letters to Your Representatives

Amanda Draccus

I’ve been feeling very helpless for the last few days, and most of my coping mechanisms haven’t been all that great.

But there’s a lot of productive things that can be done, and while I’m kind of exhausted these days, it’s important to funnel this destructive energy into the policies I disagree with, and not, you know, myself.

I remembered a video I watched from Hank Green this last summer, and I’m using it to have a system to write to my representatives.

This video was made shortly after the Pulse shootings this summer, so it’s focused on LGBT and gun control issues, but you can use this script to write about anything that’s important to you.

Representatives are much more likely to respond to a hand-written letter than an email or signature on an online petition. I actually got a letter back from one of my representatives, and while he didn’t change his vote, he thanked me for my honesty and he gave me a genuine and thoughtful response. He really read my letter (or a staffer did, but still, *someone* did), and it had an impact.

So imagine if he had been inundated with these letters. Maybe we can make a real difference. And making your voice heard is what democracy is about.

Though, honestly, a letter is great, but a call is better.

  • Nicole – Call Your Representatives

Nicole

It seems like there’s something new happening every day that needs our attention, and with the list of points to discuss with your representatives only growing longer, it’s getting harder to keep it all straight.

It’s overwhelming, to be sure, and while it’s got me feeling like this uphill battle may never be over, I realize now more than ever that giving up is not an option. The more issues that need to be discussed, the more important it is that we discuss them.

I’ve started using 5calls.org to help me stay organized in my effort. While their list of issues that need attention may not be 100% complete, it’s a great place to start, and a great resource for phone numbers and even provides talking points and scripts.

The best part of this site is that it prompts me to make another call immediately after I finish one, which helps me maintain my momentum once I get started.

  • Amanda Again – Take Care of Yourself

The hardest part of this whole thing, for me, has been the incredible desire to disengage. Bad news just keeps coming through, and we need to be constantly vigilant to stay on top of it.

But then my beloved Jenn tweeted something out that I really needed to hear.

Jenn saves my life

So I’ve had a game night or two where we’re not allowed to look at our phones. I’ve been reading a book and watching TV in the evenings rather than going on social media. I play Stardew Valley and revel in the simple living in that little town, flirting with every.damn.body.

I don’t take whole days off yet, but I’m considering it. One a week maybe.

And then, once I’m feeling a little bit better, I see what else needs doing. I look up phone numbers, I read multiple stories from a variety of sources, and I try to make sure I’m informed by more than the inflammatory stories that happen to line up with my beliefs.

***

My people are good people. I love them with big love.

But the fact remains, I don’t know what *I* should be doing.

Part of the problem is that I have a lot of resources, and that gives me a lot of options. I have money. I have a platform from which to speak to many people. (This blog, for example.) I admire the hell out of the folks who call and write letters. But I wonder if that’s the best thing for *me* to do with my time and energy.

I feel like there are a lot of people out there that want do do something. They want to make a difference, but don’t know the best way to do that. I feel like there are people out there who want to stay informed, but who are becoming emotionally exhausted by Twitter. People who want to want to be active, who want to help… But who aren’t sure how. They don’t know where to start. Or once they start, they don’t know where to go next….

For over a month now, I’ve been wanting to start a newsletter for people who want to be activists, but could use some help getting started. Or people who *are* activists but want to up their game. People who only have thirty minutes a week to spare, and want to use that time to the best effect. People who want help staying informed without burning out and being overwhelmed.

This idea keeps rolling around in my head. A mailing list that gives people tools and tricks for effective activism.

I have a list of people I’ve already been reaching out to, just exploring. Just seeing if they might be interested in helping me put this together. Folks who are smarter, more informed, and more organized than I am. People with good brains and kind hearts. Experienced activists of many stripes.

And yeah. I don’t need another project. Believe me. Nobody knows that better than I do. I’m too busy. I’ve got too many irons in too many fires.

But what’s happening right now is really important. And besides, I wouldn’t do this myself, I’d bring someone in to orchestrate it, because I suck at organization.

So. Here’s the question. Is this something y’all might be interested in?

If so, enter your e-mail into the form below. If only 8 people sign up, I’ll breathe a sigh of relief, send everyone a polite thank-you, and walk away from the idea.

But if 500 people are interested… well then I might start putting my team together. A 1000 people? Well, that means there’s a pressing need for activism advice out there. And I could help make that available to people…

So… yeah. If you’d be interested in a mailing list about political activism and things going on in the world, drop your e-mail here. Rest assured that if this moves forward, you’ll be able to choose your level of engagement. I can’t imagine sending out more than one email a week at the most…

So… yeah. There’s that. If you’re interested.

I hope y’all are doing okay. Take care of yourselves….

pat

Posted in a billion links, How to be a Worthwhile Human Being, the man behind the curtain, things I shouldn't talk about | By Pat81 Responses

Worldbuilders Stretch Goal: Book 3 Q&A.

Hey there everybody,

As many of you know, one of the final stretch goals for Worldbuilders was a book three Q&A.

Generally speaking, I avoid talking about book three for the simple reason that when I do, a disproportionate number of people start whining at me about how it isn’t out yet. Shockingly, that’s not something I particularly enjoy. Hence my silence.

The other problem is that I’ve answered people’s questions about book three in the past. Done interviews and written blog posts. And you know what happens? Two days later people ask me the very same questions. The result is that I end up irritated, exasperated, and feeling like the whole thing was a waste of time.

So again. Silence.

Still, people *have* been asking for some time. So I was happy to offer it up as incentive to help Worldbuilders hit $2 million in donations.

Scheduling was difficult after the fundraiser, as I had a few unexpected trips to LA this month to talk about Hollywood stuff. But now we have a date for the Q&A: Friday, February 3rd from 3pm to 5pm Central Time, live on my Twitch channel.

(If you head over there now, follow the channel, and set notifications to “on” you’ll get an e-mail when my streams go live.)

Pat Streaming(Actual Footage)

If you have a Twitch account, you’ll be able to participate in the chat. If not, you can submit questions via the form below.

(If you want to share the link to the form elsewhere feel free, the link is right here)

I’ll take questions from the chat as well, but if our turnout is good the chat will be lively, and there’s a fair chance that your question will scroll off the screen before I can see it. And yes, we’ll be putting the chat in slow mode so you people can’t spam your question over and over. So if you *really* want your question answered, your best bet is to fill out the form.

Now, for those of you who have never done a live Q&A with me before, someone at PAX South recently suggested that my Q&A’s should more appropriately be called “Questions and Anecdotes.”

This is very true. People ask questions, and I tell a story. It’s usually somewhat related, but by the time I’m done telling it it’s possible I won’t remember what the original question was. The same will likely be true for this Q&A.

A few facts about the Q&A:

  • I will be accepting questions on other subjects, too.

Like some of the Hollywood stuff that’s been going on. I know everyone’s curious about that.

That said, I’ll be giving questions about book three, the revision process, etc, priority.

  • It will be spoiler-free. (In regard to book three.)

I’m not going to be spilling any secrets about what’s coming up. Anyone who knows anything about me knows better than that.

  • The twitch chat might NOT be spoiler free.

The questions and comments people ask in there might contain information about the first two books. Not to mention speculation about upcoming books. So if you’re vehemently anti-spoiler, you might want to just watch the video and skip the chat.

  • There is no release date yet.

If there were, I would already have told you. Serious people. Why would I sit on that news?

So yeah. Submit your questions and tune in for the show. I plan on drinking a bunch of coffee beforehand, so it should be a good time.

See you soon,

pat

Posted in Ask the Author, Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat25 Responses

Final Day: Touching Stories

Well folks, this is it. The final day of the fundraiser.

One of my favorite traditions of the fundraiser is the final day. We’ve already showed off all the prizes we’re giving away (over $200K of geeky swag.) We’ve told you about Heifer International in great detail, explaining why they’re the best at what they do.

What’s more, this year we partnered up with a bunch of cool folks this year. People like Rat Queens, Acquisitions Inc, Critical Role, Team Non-Compliant, Team Brimpers, True DungeonRevival, and Team MBMBaMBinos have all offered up their own special prizes and let their geek flags fly on their individual team pages.

As I write this, we’ve raised more than $2,250,000. So I’m declaring this our most successful Worldbuilders ever.

In order to celebrate, today we’re sharing stories and comments that y’all have left for us in the comments on the blogs or on the donation pages pages themselves. We do really read them all. They keep us going.

I love hearing how people get creative raising funds for Worldbuilders, like Saskia.

For our wedding, my husband brewed and bottled beer, and we offered it at the reception in exchange for cash donations to give Worldbuilders. It was a small, costumed wedding in the middle of nowhere, so not many people brought cash, but we’re contributing what we got!

Or Catherine:

I was struggling this year with Christmas present ideas that were meaningful for my family. I frequently check your blog to see what awesome things you might be up to next, and was so happy to discover your charity fundraiser for the first time (better late than never right?). This year my family will be receiving cards with a story inside. Heifer’s story. The end of the story will inform them that I have donated $30 each on their behalf, and that together we have bought another family a goat, or several families ducks, chickens, rabbits or bees, aka a positive start to a new chapter in their lives.

Susan has been supporting Heifer for years, and is enthusiastically joining up with our little shindig:

I love this!  As a 73 yy (years young) person, I have given all my relatives bees and chickens and trees and shares of animals as Christmas gifts for years – Heifer is a wonderful organization, one that you know will see allotted donations reach those that the donations are intended to reach!  Thank you for furthering Heifer’s mission!

And folks like Ann-Christin set aside a specific day’s pay to donate:

Tonight was pretty great. I just worked a 9-hour shift at a restaurant and this is the tip I got. I made the plan to give it all to Worldbuilders before I started working and was really motivated. It felt so great, because I knew with every table I’m waiting, I’m doing something good. And it helped me through all the stress and the long hours of running. So worth it!

It’s a worthwhile reminder that there are lots of ways to get donations together, and that every little bit helps. Chandler put it really well in his comment:

I think I don’t have much. But Worldbuilders always reminds me that I don’t have not much, I have some. And some is better than not much. And after I give some, I still have some. In fact, I have some plus feel goods. And that’s nice.

And Matthew had some great perspective as well:

I don’t have much to give, but if I can help people with a flock of ducks for 20 bucks, I can absolutely forgo eating out this weekend. Thanks as always, Pat.

People like Kurt made significant sacrifices in order to donate. (You’re a better man than I am, Kurt.)

Sold my book collection to donate to world builders. Hope I can win something nice :) . Everyone keep up the good work.

Or like Karen:

I was thinking of buying a new video game today, then I read your blog. Now today I’ll actually (instead of virtually) try to *save the world*. Well, maybe not *save the world* but at least make it a better place for those who truly need it! Brb, donating.

Lots of people have been around for a while, but haven’t had the means to donate, instead spreading the word on our behalf, which we always appreciate. And sometimes, when they finally can donate, those people do so with interest, like MeepleMinion:

As this year I am financially in a position to make a difference – and in order to let you know that your blog DOES inspire – I’ve just donated water. Which will be doubled, yeah! I’ll drink to that.

Or M the Record Keeper:

I’ve been living off of friends and family’s generosity for a few years, and so have only been a spectator to this wonderful fundraiser before… but now that I have a job, it makes me insanely happy, not just because I work in a bookstore (which is awesome), but because I finally be a part of this! Hurray! Bees and chickens for everyone!

And some people have really taken the time to put things into perspective, like Phillip:

I recently lost my home in the Louisiana Floods this fall. My entire family was hit by it and our community. I can count on one hand the amount of people i know that have not lost their house. It’s been a rough couple of months, but I know that even throughout all this that there are still some that struggle everyday to eat. I cannot give a lot, but as Pat said, this is a time when the world needs love and generosity more than anything. I wish everyone happy holidays and bright days ahead.

Or Kaye1 here on the blog:

I’ve always wanted to comment but part of me has always been too afraid. So here I am, my first post. It’s my girls 10th birthday. 10 years ago, we were both in big trouble. I was only 32 weeks pregnant and my baby only weighed a few pounds. We were both fading. I had a rare problem with my pregnancy.
Reading this blog hits me like a ton of bricks. If I had lived in one of the countries that Worldbuilder helps, we would not have made it.
However awful I feel about that time 10 years ago, how many tears we cried, we still made it. And I am blessed with daughters who are truly a blessing to us. So I will make my donation today in the name of my perfect girls.

And really, who better to put things into perspective for us than the kids. So many children got involved this year, whether it was through a group like the story Matthew shared:

From our Piggy Banks for Piggies Campaign, donated by The Gingerbread House Kids! Twenty eight kids ages 18 months – 10 years old donated their own money at our annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party to support this amazing charity!

Or decidedly on their own, like this comment here:

Hi my name is Antonella and I am 3 years old. I like to do good because it makes me feel like hugs and kisses. I would like my donation to go towards 3 flocks of ducks.

Lots of kids left their own comments, as a matter of fact. Here’s one from Evan:

I’m Evan.  I’m 10 and I want the world to be a kinder place.  It’s scary out there. Everyone deserves a chance and I want people to have chickens to help them have a better life and survive.

But most chose to donate after hearing about it from others, like Matthew’s boys:

Just sat my boys down (ages 7 and 5) and spoke to them about the family with the chickens from Pat’s last blog post.  Thanks for giving me the opportunity to give them a little lesson about how charity isn’t just about giving money but also helping people to help themselves.

Or Johanna’s kids:

This donation is from my wonderful kids – they received some money from their grandma and decided there were people that needed it more. Once I told them about what Worldbuilders, they were so excited.

Or Judy’s son:

I’m making this donation at the request of my son, Quinn Gaddy, in lieu of a Christmas gift for him, because he is awesome and requested this specific donation instead of presents. Yay for the next generation!

Or Elyssa’s daughter:

We used your blog to explain the concept of charity to our 5 year old tonight and allowed her to choose the donation level (a chorus of goat! goat! goat! was heard ringing immediately around our house). Hopefully it will get a little girl full of light to share her light with others. Thank you.

We have kids like Charlotte and Maggie, who started a concert on Youtube to promote our cause, or we have kids like Julia, who has truly taken things to heart:

Thanks for everything you’ve done on the fundraising drive this year.  You may (or may not?) recall that my 8 year old, Julia, sent in a picture of her bank last year along with her donation.

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I thought you might get a kick out the attached photo, a snapshot of her 2016 Heifer catalog.  She has read every word “at least 5 times,” and sleeps with it in her bed.   Julia will contribute $20– 1/3 of her savings– to purchase a flock of chicks.

Everyone. I cannot thank you enough. You’ve warmed my bitter old heart, and made this our best year ever. Your kindness and generosity will change the lives of many people in the years to come.

Today’s our final day. And because of a generous donor’s support, we still have funds to match *all* donations coming in. So if you want to come in now, here at the end, rest assured that your money will be doubled.

Here’s the link one last time.

I’m sure you know what to do with it.

pat
Posted in Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat20 Responses

Author Donated Books….

Yesterday I wrote a blog about a little girl named Charlotte. About how she is holding an Geek-Themed internet concert on behalf of Worldbuilders, and encouraging people to sing.

Since then, her team page has raised over $10,000, and a lot of folks have been recording songs and uploading them to her playlist.

Thanks so much for showing her some love. She’s she’s come a long way from the 7-year-old girl who made a video because she wanted to raise $500 to buy a heifer back in 2014.

Which isn’t to say her first goal wasn’t admirable, given what a Heifer can do for a family:

(Did you see my awesome segue there?)

And as a reminder, every dollar in the fundraiser is being doubled. That means if you give enough for a family to receive a heifer, you’re not just going to improve their life forever. You’re effectively donating enough for two heifers, which means you’re twice as awesome, and you’re doing twice as much good in the world.

Also, have I mentioned that if you donate, you can win cool prizes? I’m pretty sure I might have brought that up a couple times over the last month.

***

Ever since I started Worldbuilders (accidentally) back in 2008, my brethren and sistren authors have been amazing in their support of the charity. They boost my signal on social media. They write blogs in support of Heifer, and perform silly stretch goals. They donate critiques and cameo appearances.

And, of course, they send us books we can give away to donors.

Without getting all maudlin here, it’s meant a lot to me over the years.

A lot of times…. well… I feel like I’m not a very good author. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m good at putting words together. I’m good at telling stories. But I also know I’m kinda shit at doing those things on a consistent schedule.

To put it differently: I’m pretty good at writing, but I’m not very good at being a writer.

Despite this, I’ve met with a ridiculous amount of success. And that makes me feel like… well… it makes me feel like kind of an asshole. Because pretty much every other author I know is better at sitting down, producing text, and getting books out into the world than I am.

The fact that so many other authors come in and with this project…. It’s really kind. Authors whose books I love. Authors whose minds I admire and envy. Authors who consistantly do what I cannot. It’s so flattering that they would take time out of their busy lives to help.

And it’s more than flattering, really. And it makes me feel welcome. Like I’m really part of this community despite the fact that I only *barely* do enough to keep my union card.

Whatever their reasoning, I’m proud and excited that so many of them are willing to come and help out. This year we had over 40 different authors contributing to the fundraiser, donating well over 500 books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(I’m horrified that I might have left someone’s name off the list. If I did leave your name off, I’m sorry. Please know that I still love you. I’m just so tired and frazzled at this point in the fundraiser. If it helps, know that I just now, in this final pass on the blog, saw that we’d left off Gaiman’s name. (I just added it.) So if anything, know that if we glitched on this list, you’re in the same brainspace I reserve for Neil, who I love and admire beyond all words.)

Some authors donated an entire series, so that a new reader would have everything they could want in one prize.

brentwfullset

(Like Brent Weeks)

marthawfullset

(Or Martha Wells)

kristenbset

(Or Kristen Britain)

A lot of our authors sent us a truly ridiculous number of books. We’re always happy to have a couple of books, especially because most authors who send us their books are going out and buying copies to send to us. Most folks are lucky to get a few author copies written into their publishing contracts, but those usually go to family and friends. What we get from authors is almost always above and beyond that.

We have shelves full of author donated books, and individual authors take up entire sections of our wall.

bradbdonations

Like this shelf full of books from Brad Beaulieu.

hollybdonations

Or this one full of cool stuff from Holly Black.

paolobdonations

Or this practically-unknowable shelf of books from Paolo Baccigalupi.

If that wasn’t enough, some also sent rare, limited, or otherwise fancy editions that we’ve thrown into the lottery for you. We received ARCs, numbered editions, and books that have been out of print for a while. And a truly astonishing number of them to boot.

rarebooksinlottery

There are so many books that if I tried to show them all here, the blog would be twenty thousand words long, and… well… knowing me, I wouldn’t post it until 2018.

But you can see all of them if you go visit the Worldbuilders’ Lottery Library page….

*     *     *

Only a few days left, folks. All of the auctions we’re going to have up are live, including some other author-donated books for those of you who don’t want to take your chances in the lottery.

Here’s the donation link, just in case you happen to need it for anything….

Be good to each other,

pat

Posted in a billion links, Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat13 Responses
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