Category Archives: fan coolness

WMF Photo Contest Part III – Book Metaphors

As things settle out here at Worldbuilders HQ, I took the time to go through some more photo contest entries again.

If you don’t remember the Photo Contest… well… it’s probably not your fault given that I actually started this contest back in 2011 and am only now finally getting around to posting up the winners.

In my defense, there were over a thousand entries. But honestly, even that isn’t much of an excuse. There’s a reason why I’m thinking of getting business cards made that list my title as “King of Broken Promises.”

If you want to see the previous photo contest posts, they’re over here.

But for now, let’s move on to today’s categories.

  • Heavy Book

When the hardcover of The Wise Man’s Fear came out, it was the same size as NOTW. However, it was also 330 pages longer. This led to a book that was startlingly heavy to some folks. So it makes sense that about a dozen folks made that the focus of their their photo entries.

This one’s called, “Discarding the old equipment:”

Discarding the old equipment 2

Even the hero of Canton can’t hold it up forever.

Hero0fCant0n_1

Honorable Mention

Doctor, my spine is broken

I like this one because it went for the more subtle approach…. at least in the image itself. The title was slightly more forthright: “Doctor, my spine is broken.”

Winner

hot stone therapy

This one rings the winning bell because of the implication that the heft of the book is part of its therapeutic charm. Bridget had this to say when she sent the photos:

“Reading Kvothe’s story is enjoyably therapeutic. Yours words are like the basalt stones, heavy and dark but with the deep, sigh-inducing weight of ancient warmth seeping into my tense muscles and tired bones, melting the stress of the day into a puddle of wax.”

Awwww….

  • Things We Fear

This was another category with a dozen or so entries….

learning about fear

Dentists are a pretty obvious fear, especially if they read while drilling your teeth.

book 001

Honorable Mention

This picture might have been baffling (see our final category below) if not for the title, which was “Fear of Rabbits.”

fear of rabbits

I don’t know if they’re making a specific reference to Anya from Buffy, but I thought it was off-beat enough to warrant an honorable mention.

Winner

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Yeah. Clowns. Winner.

Don’t make eye contact. Let’s move on.

  • Congrats, you have baffled me.

This was a surprisingly large category, comprised entirely of pictures that… well… that just confused the hell out of me.

The-Wise-Man's-Fear Contest Charlie Brown

Don’t get me wrong. I *like* a lot of these pictures.

Handsome book stand

But I have no idea what they were meant to convey.

competition for reading this book is stiff

Is there a narrative here? An implication?

EPT

Did my book get you pregnant? Congratulations? I’m sorry?

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Is this a metaphor? Does the fancy giraffe represent… strife? Man’s inhumanity to man? The uncaring chains of fate and causality that bind us all?

My HipstaPrint 0(2)-2

More importantly, is Yoda shoving something up that wooden man’s ass?

Some of these I’m sure have hidden meaning. I know if I viewed them through the proper lens, they would reveal their mysteries to me.

Like this one:

2011 Winner!

It took me ages to realize it’s about Auri.

Before you realize that, it’s utterly confusticating. But after you make the connection, the picture makes perfect sense. It tells a story. What’s more, it’s rather sweet.

But some pictures… I don’t think there’s any hidden meaning. Some pictures, I’m pretty sure y’all are just fucking with me.

Like bookface.

BookFace

And the bone cake.

chocolate cake of death and awesome

And… this.

Entry1

But when two men ride of a horse, one must ride behind. So…

Honorable Mention

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This one tugged my heartstrings for sheer enthusiasm. I don’t know why she’s wearing a swim cap and goggles, and honestly I don’t care. I’m just glad you’re happy. You keep being your awesome self.

Winner

Bird

(Click to Embiggen. It’s worth it.)

Here we have a beautiful, delightfully mysterious masterpiece. The title of the image? “Bird.”

Winners will be receiving a set of the rare gold talent pipes that I give to beta readers and other folks that have made my life better/cooler.

Gold Pipes

And you know what? Because I feel bad that it’s taken me ages to get around to awarding prizes, we’ll give out pipes to the honorable mentions too.

If your picture was a winner, keep an eye on whatever email you used in 2011, because we’ll be contacting you to make sure we have the right address for you.

*     *     *

Lastly, as I’ve mentioned, there are too many pictures to post up in the blog. If you’d like to check the other ones out, you can head over to the Flickr stream we made. And by “we” I mean “Amanda” because we’ve all seen what happens when you wait for me to get shit done…

More photo contest results soon,

pat

Also posted in Photo Contest 2011 | By Pat57 Responses

WMF Photo Contest Part II – Pet Stew

These days I’m making an effort to catch up on some things I’ve been letting slide, some of them for an embarrassingly long period of time.

As you can guess from my last blog, one of the things I’m trying to catch up on is my correspondence. Other projects include cleaning out my closets and getting all my books onto shelves in some sort of decently organized fashion.

(I don’t know about you, but if my books aren’t properly organized, I never feel like my life is in order. And honestly? My books haven’t been organized in a long, long time….)

But one of the things I’ve let slide the longest is the Photo contest. The photo contest that I announced… um… back when book two came out in 2011.

Lord, that makes me cringe just to type it. I’m sorry everybody.

Eventually I realized that if I kept trying to finish this on my own, it could take another two years. So I went to my assistant Amanda, handed her the flash drive with the thousand-odd pictures on it, and said. “I’ve got about two thirds of these sorted out, and I’d value your opinion on the rest.”

Which she immediately realized is code for, “If someone doesn’t take point on this project it’s never going to get done in a thousand fucking years.”

She graciously took the reins, and now here we are….

If you want to refresh your memory about the photo contest (or if you’ve just started reading the blog recently and weren’t aware of it) here are some of the previous blogs:

The title of today’s blog, as you can see, is Pet Stew.

This is because when we break the photos down into categories, some of the groups are great big beastly things, like “Animals” and “Kids”

But some categories are tiny. Like this one with only two entries.

  • Stew.

This comes from the fact that before we were friends, the inestimable John Scalzi almost stopped reading The Name of the Wind on page three because I’d brought in a fantasy cliche he has a particular distaste for: people eating stew.

He tells the whole story here, if you’re interested.

Since John and I overlap in our readerships, a lot of readers know about this long standing joke. So….

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Personally, I think I should get some promotional stickers printed up that say that. Then I’ll sneak into bookstores and do some guerrilla promotion…

WMF_Cookbook

This one is worth enbiggening. It took a minute before I noticed Kvothe is wielding a pot instead of his usual sword. That alone is enough to make it the winner in this tiniest of categories.

  • Animals. 

This was one of our biggest categories.

I’m sorry, I should probably say cat-egories. If I miss an easy one like that, they’ll drum me out of the punner’s union.

C. S. Lewis Laughing (2)

I have no idea what reaction this cat is having to my book, but I’m kinda glad I wasn’t nearby when it happened.

We got plenty of dogs, of course.

Westy in Glasses

Some of which I suspected might have been drugged prior to the photo shoot…

Good company_2

Or perhaps persuaded with a carefully placed bit of bacon…

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I love this one’s expression. As if it’s saying, “Dude. Seriously?”

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But we got a lot of other animals too. A much wider variety than the first photo contest.

SONY DSC

(Actual footage.)

CruiserReading

I heard this horse was actually kinda pissed off because Keth Selhen wasn’t in the second book at all…  (Extra points if you catch the obscure reference.)

I honestly can’t tell if this one is photoshopped or not. But if it’s not, it deserves a nod…

Horse jump

This lizard isn’t a skink, and I don’t mean to imply it’s a skink. I just like the word skink.

Green Anole Raves About Wise Man's Fear

(Skink.)

Fish1

I don’t know how you managed to catch that goldfish’s attention. But it looks like he’s totally into it.

But not as into it as this guinea pig….

IMG_1365a (2)

…who almost forced us to start a new category called: Awwwwww.

Where this puppy would have been a contender:

Dog

As would this cat:

Jack and ze book

Amanda has pet rats, so she kinda melted when she saw this one….

Wise Rat's Fear

She mentioned that her rats love my books too. I didn’t ask if she meant they used it as bedding….

Sometimes the title of a photo is all important:

needs more draccus

(“Needs More Draccus”)

*     *     *

We’ve got a few honorable mentions before we get to the winners here.

Amanda picked this one, because of the clever reference to the books.

Beware_of_dog_L (2)

You’ll have to click to embiggen and read the sign.

I picked this one because I have no idea how this person managed to attract the attention of these squirrels…

Squirrel2

Plus, I really like squirrels. Back when my life was simpler, I would carry around a pocket full of peanuts. If I saw a squirrel, I’d sit down and make friends. Usually in the space of half an hour, I could get it to trust me enough to come take a peanut out of my hand…

True story.

Squirrel1

Third place:

IMG_0117

Now. Those of you with good memories will remember that I expressly forbade anyone from doing anything dangerous in these photos. But Ty here emailed me saying that he works at a Wildlife Educator and Large Animal Trainer, and he works with the alligators all the time.

So while yeah, this is dangerous in potentia, it’s not dangerous for this particular person in this particular place. So I’m going to allow it.

This alligator’s name is Goliath. Just in case you were wondering.

Second Place:

Many of you who have heard me read at events know that I have a somewhat checkered history when it comes to Guinea Pigs.

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(Cue: “Also Sprach Zarathustra.”)

And the one below is a favorite. Though I don’t know if it’s cute, or really kinda creepy….

wmf 063.1s

Lastly, Ladies and Gentlemen, as the head-and-shoulders winner, I would like to introduce you the animal I refer to as “Ugly Cat.”

DSCI0041 (2)

Please don’t think that I gave him this name as a pejorative. It’s purely descriptive.

Sorry. Purr-ly descriptive.

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The truth is, I have come to love Ugly Cat with a fierce love. When I look at pictures of him (her?) with my book, I am filled with a warm glow of joy. Quite often I laugh aloud.

DSCI0038 (2)

I love you, Ugly Cat.

I highly recommend you embiggen at least one of those pictures, so you can share my joy.

*     *     *

Winners will be contacted and sent copies of the fabled gold talent pipes:

Gold Pipes

And what the hell. We’ll give pipes to the Honorable Mentions, too. On account of me taking a mortal age to finally post up the results of the contest.

If you’re curious about the rest of the pictures we received, you can check them out over here. It made me sad to not show them all, but a blog with 60 pictures is raw fucking madness, so a cut had to be made.

There’s more Ugly Cat over there, and guinea pigs, and a newt, too, if I’m remembering correctly.

Stay tuned to the blog these next couple weeks. I’m going to be posting a lot more. Not only will I be making up for lost time with the photo contest, but we’ve got big things happening and cool news to share.

pat

Also posted in Photo Contest 2011 | By Pat35 Responses

Idiom’s Delight

When I was in Columbus recently, I met a reader that I’ve known for a long time….

For those of you who have been reading the blog for a while, you might recognize her name: Carly Trowbridge.

Trowbridge4-711731

She told me that she really liked the Cealdish idiom that I put into Name of the Wind, “Don’t put a spoon in your eye over it.”

For those of you who don’t know, an idiom is a phrase that means something other than what it means. For example, when you “pull someone’s leg” you’re not *really* pulling their leg, you’re teasing them. You’re telling a joke.

I love idioms, especially foreign idioms. For example, in German, you can say, “Du hast ein vogel.” Literally, it means, “you have a bird” but what it *really* means is “You’re crazy.”

Another one I like goes like this: “Jim likes to drag people through the cocco.” but what it really means is that Jim likes to trick people and pull jokes on them.

Anyway, Carly told me that she and her friends started making up their own fake idioms. Her favorite was “I’m angry enough to punch mirrors.”

So I’m throwing open the doors. Feel free to share your favorite foreign idioms in the comments below.

Or make up one of your very own.

Have fun,

pat

Also posted in dicking around | By Pat294 Responses

What Happens At Signings, Stays At Signings (Unfortunately)

If I had to make a guess, I’d say that I’ve done over 200 signings since The Name of The Wind was first published back in 2007.

Maybe more. Maybe 250 or so.

I’ve done them in libraries and bookstores. At conventions and universities. I’ve done them in at least seven different countries.

I’ve done events where three people showed up (two of whom were friends) and I’ve done events where 900 people showed up.

And honestly? I’ve enjoyed them all. Big or small. Cosy or Chaotic. I really like getting together with my readers and hanging out. Because the vast, vast majority of my readers are genuinely cool people.

Every event has something that makes it unique. Some reader that was exceptionally kind, or a venue that was exceptionally cool, or a question that was particularly fun or insightful. Many times it’s all three of these.

And every time something like this happens, I think to myself, “I’m going to have to tell folks about this on my blog…”

But I rarely do. What usually happens is that after the signing, I’m exhausted. Then the next day, I’m either traveling, or segueing straight into a convention. Then after that I have to catch up on my e-mail and sleep and spend some time with my boy….

And by the time I’m caught up again, it’s usually been several days and I’m tangled up in another project, doing writing, or otherwise busy.

But last night I had another signing in Kansas at Mysteryscape, and some fun things happened, and I had a few spare hours today before ConQuesT kicks off, so I’ve decided to share a couple stories…

*     *     *

The first of these stories isn’t from last night though. It’s from earlier this month in Little Rock, when I did a reading at Heifer International’s headquarters.

After a couple hours of signing, a pair of young women came to the front of the line. They said, “We knew we couldn’t match wits with you, so we decided to match beards instead.”

Then they pulled out beards they had knitted, and put them on.

Seriously.

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Here we all are, stroking our respective beards thoughtfully…

They were even kind enough to give me one of the beards as a gift, so I could take it home and give it to Oot.

rothfuss-beards-001

I honestly don’t know what to make of his expression here. He looks a little dolorous, which is only appropriate for a dwarf, I guess. Sarah, who took the picture, assured me that he thought it was really cool.

I think we’re going to be wearing that a lot this upcoming winter….

The second story is a familiar theme  with an unexpected twist….

One of the things I hear a lot from people is how they found my book, or how they’ve shared it with other people.

This always warms my bitter old heart, not just because I like selling more books, (though I do) but because reccomending a book to a friend is one of the most sincere forms of flattery there is. If you read someone I wrote and like it enough to tell a friend, that means I’ve done something right. That means more to me than any sort of professional review….

So last night, someone got to the front of the line and they didn’t just tell me how word of my book had been spread around their circle of friends, they *showed* me…..

DSCN1128

Nobody’s ever done this before…. and it was really cool to see how one person liking a book and talking about it can start a sort of avalanche. And it’s also fun to notice things like the fact that everyone seems to have teamed up on Timothy over on the left side there….

Even cooler was the fact that these folks showed up en mass and we all got to do a picture together. Here’s the one where I said, “Let’s do Crazy Eyes.”

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You should really click this to embiggen it, if for no other reason than to see the little girl sitting next to me. She’s *into* it.

Lastly, some lovely folks noticed a facebook post a while back where I commented on how I liked some photgraphy tricks people were doing.

So they came out and helped me do some of my own….

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I lost a little power because my heel came up, but generally speaking, I think this is pretty good for my first Hadouken.

force choke

The force choke comes at little more naturally to me. I worry what that might signify….

That’s all for now, folks.

pat

P.S. I haven’t had time to write up a properly detailed blog about our kickstarter yet. But I thought I’d put a link up here now, as the limited edition decks are selling out pretty fast….

 

Also posted in Tales from the Con | By Pat36 Responses

The Wise Man’s Blurbs….

This showed up in the mail about a week ago….

WMF crop

(Guest Starring: My Thumb)

It’s officially hitting the shelves today (Tuesday, April 2th.) The paperback version of The Wise Man’s Fear.

Or rather, it’s what *I* call a paperback, but what everyone else calls a “mass market paperback.”

I’ve probably seen 80-90 different versions of my books come out in various languages and editions at this point. So by now I probably should be kinda blase about the whole thing….

But the truth is, I still get excited.

This edition I’m particularly glad to see, because when I was a kid, paperbacks were the only books I bought and the only books I read. This is the edition that will be easier for people to afford, and easier for people to carry around with them.

But in addition to that, when I picked it up and flipped it open, I got to see something cool:

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You’ll have to click to embiggen if you want to read the text, but the opening pages of this edition are full of the nice things people said about the book in their reviews and blurbs.

Truth is, I don’t remember getting the vast majority of these blurbs or reviews.

That might seem a little odd, but you see, the month before The Wise Man’s Fear came out, I was doing promotion round the clock: interviews, podcasts,  getting ready for my book tour….

Then when the book came out, I spent three weeks touring. I think I had something like 22 events in 21 days. I didn’t have the time or the energy to obsess about my reviews.

And after that, I just wanted to sleep and spend time with Oot.

So a lot of these reviews were new to me and gave me all sorts of happy feelings.

They also reminded me of something else I did back in 2011 when I finished touring. I went through the 500-600 e-mails that readers had sent me while I was away.

Those were the real reviews I read about my book, and so many of them amused and delighted me that I started cutting and pasting them into a word file, thinking I would eventually post them up here in the blog…

It seems that time has come. So here are the ones I could dig up on my computer, in celebration of the paperback release….

*      *      *

  • I had a passionate love affair with Wise Man’s Fear. Seriously, I was calling my husband Kvothe for 2 weeks. Still do on occasion. He loves it.
  • My husband and I were sorting out a lot of issues, learning to understand each other… to love each other again. I was ready to give up and call it quits and it was about this time I finally got my hands on your second book. It was as if I learnt how to live again, how to feel, how to imagine, how to create. The few minutes spent with Kvothe each day taught me to love myself again.

That’s once of the nicest things anyone has ever said about my writing.

  • Ok, you know when you find The Shoes? The ones exactly that colour of red. The ones with the slightly rounded toe – not too pointy, not too round. The heel is the right height and shape. When you wear them they make you feel gorgeous and sexy and confident and you can take on the world. They are just wide enough to fit your hideously wide foot and just long enough so that they don’t rub your heel until it’s bloody every time you wear them. You know when you put that shoe on, it feels like…it’s perfect. It fits like the proverbial glove. That’s your writing style for me, Patrick. I’m so glad I found you :-)

I’m not much of a shoe person, but I know where you’re coming from. Extra points for including the u in “colour”

  • For the week leading up to the release of The Wise Man’s Fear, I slept with The Name of the Wind under my pillow. For the three days that it took me to finish The Wise Man’s Fear (and for an additional two days after I finished), I slept with that book directly under my face, as I stayed up so late reading that I was too tired to relocate it beneath my pillow. Now, the front and back covers of both books have face-shaped curvatures in them. Thank you again for a wonderful read. Yours Truly, Lexa P.S. The Wise Man’s Fear smells delicious. It definitely meets my all-good-books-must-smell-like-heaven standards.

Nice to meet a fellow book-smeller Lexa. And no, I’m not being sarcastic.

  • I missed my train stop when Kvothe was fighting Carceret at the First Stone. You know how long it’s been since I missed a train stop? I’m a veteran city dweller. That’s just not done man.

Don’t worry. We’re not judging.

  • The Wise Man’s Fear has the absolute best texture to its pages. Kudos!

I agree. Thank my editor for that. (This is mostly a hardcover issue.)

  • Your characters are 3-D and lifelike. I can just imagine Denna gliding through the doors of a Hilton daring the world to comment while Kvothe watches her meet a senator from the corner of a building, a bag of McDonalds forgotten in his hands. Or Elodin flouncing into a lecture hall in an ivy league college, bewildering his students with impossible questions….
  • I have gotten about seven hours of sleep over the last three days because I have refused to put down Wise Man’s Fear. I’ve failed a test, gotten no work done, missed a class, and shunned my friends. You may have heard of me.

Hell. I’ve *been* you.

  • My name is D– and I am currently deployed to an undisclosed location in Afganistan with the U.S. Armed Forces. I just wanted to simply say thank you. Your two books have given me an opportunity to escape from here while reading for just a minute.

Glad I could help, even if it’s just for a minute.

  • Thanks for putting homosexuals in WMF that are not queens or craven pedophiles, an odious habit of many fantasy writers.

My pleasure. Thanks for noticing.

  • I finished reading the new book tonight (er… this morning), and I just wanted to let you know: I’ve been sad lately, and it’s kept me away from playing music. Your book made me want to play again.

Huzzah!

  • I have just received my copy of The Wise Man’s Fear in the mail. I have not opened the book, yet already I feel the need to apologize to you. I am sorry. I know this is your baby, I know that you have been working on her for years and that you love her dearly. I wish I could feel the same, and that I could show her all of the respect that she deserves. I want to my time with her, but I cannot. I am using all of my patience to send you this message. My first time with this book is going to be fast, it is going to be dirty, and it is going to be all about me. Again, I am sorry. I promise that the next time, and the next time I read this book that I will be gentle and caring. But not this time.

Congrats. It’s rare someone pulls of the hat-trick of “creepy” “funny” and “true” all in the same e-mail.

  • Hi, I really enjoyed your work. Your prologues and epilogues could win awards, if there were awards for prologues and epilogues.
  • I would like to wish you a BIG congratulations on the book! CONGRATULATIONS! I was one of those whiney fans ‘Whens the book coming out. How soon. When? Wahhh Wahh Wahh.’ I regret every word. The time you have spent on such a masterpiece of work was well worth it and I, as a whiney fan, have been quieted.
  • Greetings from the sunny (AND 120 degree) Middle East. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your second book, The Wise Man’s Fear. I dragged it all the way back from Washington, DC with me on a 17 hour flight back to Bahrain. I also brought it to Beirut, Lebanon. It was well worth it, but now I see the advantage for using a Kindle. In short, I loved it. I also wanted to let you know that in a very, VERY serious meeting with NAVCENT Brass, I snickered (for the 40th time) about, “I liked Shehyn’s little hat.” It was just loud enough to get noticed by a full bird colonel. Well, I thought you’d want to know what you were contributing to the global war on terror.

There were many more. Too many to print here.

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has sent me a message over the years with a kind word about the books. I can’t reply to all of them, but I do read them, and they make me smile….

Later Space Cowboys,

pat

P.S. That cool thing I mentioned before is over soon. If you like things that are cool, don’t miss it.

Also posted in the art of blurbing | By Pat59 Responses

Photo Contest Winners – Action

Yes. Seriously.

Those of you who know anything about me probably realize that I have a problem with deadlines.

The root of this difficulty is multifarious. But it can mostly be traced back to three elements in my personality.

1. A desire for perfection.

I get obsessive about doing everything *just right* when honestly, *mostly* right would be just fine in most cases.

2. Enthusiasm. 

I get excited about things, which leads me to pick up new projects, which means I constantly over-commit myself, which means I’m always too busy.

3. Stupidity.

This third one is something of a catch-all category, covering my vast array of ancillary character flaws.

Any one of these things can slow a person down, but when you get all three of them together. Well…. it can lead to embarrassing situations.

Like, for example, running a photo contest for your readers, and then taking more than a year to post the results.

There are many reasons for the delay.

Yes, I have been over-busy. (Working on my writing, my fundraiser, and spending time with my little boy.)

And yes, I did foolishly underestimate the number of entries I’d get for the contest. (Well over a thousand.)

And yes, when confronted with the task of judging the entries, my perfectionist tendencies screwed me hard. There were so many good ones.

Besides, so many of the pictures defied easy categorization. Look at this one for example:

Am I supposed to put this in the Kids category? In Costumes? In Clever References? Do I have to start a category just for things that are Unbelievably Frikking Cute?

So many of the pictures were so good. People went to really amazing lengths to take them. I wanted to do the perfect job arranging and judging them. Instead, I just ended up paralyzed with indecision.

But that stops today. I’ve waited too long, so I’m going to bull ahead and settle for *mostly* perfect. It’s time to start showing off the pictures and giving out the prizes.

So here we go, the best photos in the Action category:

*     *     *

There’s a lot of ways you can portray action in a photo.

You can show it directly:

Or indirectly:

We got some Hollywood action, too.

I like this one because honestly, if I could do magic. I would just use it to impress girls.

In the rules of the contest, I told people that they shouldn’t do anything dangerous, like, say, play with fire.

But did they listen?

No, they did not.

They really did not:

They absolutely did not listen to me:

We got some zombie action:

Pirate action:

And geek action:

We’ve got action in the streets:

At the amusement park:

And on top of things:

(He’s a parkour instructor. Don’t do this shit. Seriously.)

But while all of these are great (and believe me, there were dozens I had to leave out) in the end, I had to pick some winners.

Here they are:

Not only is this a great picture, but I’m a huge fan of Aikido. And if I’m mistaken and this isn’t Aikido, it’s still awesome.

This gains a spot not because it’s a scantily clad young woman, but because 1) I could never do this in a hundred years. 2) I actually do not understand the physics that are keeping her from crashing to the floor.

I love this one. We’ve all felt like this at some point, haven’t we?

And lastly:

(You should probably embiggen this one. It’s worth it.)

If you’re having trouble sussing out what’s going on here, let me break it down for you: Young girl + Playing + Red clothes + Swords in a Tree = ???

(Hint: The answer is “Awesome.”)

I’m all sorts of fond of this picture.

“But wait!” I hear you cry. “Pat. There’s no book in this picture! You clearly said in the rules that the book had to be in the picture!”

Don’t quibble. The book is there. You can just barely see it behind her leg….

See?

Here’s another:

And here we see the difference between girls and boys:

OSHA concerns aside, it looks like someone had a pretty great day at the park.

And as a bonus, they (and the rest of the winners) will be sent some Talent pipes as I described in the blog a while back.

It will will probably be a little while before I get to do another one of these. But they are coming. I just wanted to show y’all some proof that even if it takes a while, I do keep my promises.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for something cool, you should stay tuned to the blog, because we’re going to be posting up new items into the Worldbuilders lottery almost every day for the rest of the month. We’ll be adding new stuff to the Worldbuilders auction page too.

Stay tuned….

pat

Also posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, cool things, geeking out, Photo Contest 2011 | By Pat37 Responses

Fanmail Q&A: Convention Adventures

Pat,

I know you just did some touring around. You hit a bunch of conventions in Indianapolis, Chicago, and Seattle…

Why don’t you tell us about your trips? Not a lot of us can make it to your events, but we’d love to hear some cool stories from the road…

What was you’re favorite part of your travels?

Joe.

*     *     *

Joe,

The truth is, I always mean to write about my conventions/readings/adventures when I get back from them. Because honestly, something interesting always happens.

(What happens in Austin, stays in Austin.)

The problem is, when I get back from these things, I’m exhausted. Plus the travel has usually put me behind on a bunch of other projects. So I spend a couple days answering e-mail and trying to get caught up with things. By the time I *am* caught up, the convention has usually been over for a month. Or two. Or ten.

In fact, when I was at Gencon, someone asked me a question similar to yours. Except they asked about the book tour I did last year. 21 events in 21 days, all over the country.

“You never wrote about it on the blog,” she said.

“Oh sure I did,” I said.

“A little,” she said. “But not much at all. And I should know. I just recently found your blog and read the whole thing.”

“Wow,” I said. “Seriously?”

“Yeah,” she said. “I twisted my ankle so I couldn’t go hiking. It took me about three weeks and I kinda I read it all. The baby ducks. Your Aslan Story. The  Gaiman-Day unit of coolness…

I thought about it for a second, and realized that while I had *planned* to write blogs about some of my road adventures, I’d probably never gotten around to it.

Alternately, sometimes I start writing a blog, and never finish it because other things come up. I have a blog titled: “why people kill themselves in hotel rooms” that I’ve been trying to finish for more than a year now….

“So what was your favorite part of the tour?” she asked.”What was cool?”

I thought about it for a bit. Then told her the truth: There were a lot of cool things that happened. I met a lot of lovely readers. I got hugs and cookies and whiskey and knives…

And a plush unicorn Pegasus kitten.

I did a midnight reading in San Fransisco for the people that couldn’t fit into my earlier reading. Much to everyone’s surprise, more than 300 people showed up despite the ridiculously late hour.

My first signing was over 600 people. So many that I couldn’t take a picture of them all at once. So many that they filled two levels of the bookstore. I got to read in the Library of Congress. I met people that actually squeed with delight.

I met someone who had my name tattooed on her arm…

…which is a level of devotion that is equal parts flattering and terrifying. Especially given that book two wasn’t even out yet.

I got to do a reading at the Library of Congress. People dressed up in costumes….

But honestly? My favorite part came right at the end of the tour, when I met up with Sarah and Oot right at the end of the tour in Boston. I hadn’t seen them in a long while, and I missed Oot terribly.

Oot was barely a year an a half old at that point, so me being away for three weeks was a big deal. I got to see him at various points in the tour, but it was only for an hour or an evening at a time. And as I’ve made clear on the blog, when I’m away from him for a long period of time, I start to lose my shit. Around day five I become a wretched weepy thing, unable to go out in public without embarrassing myself.

It was even worse back then. He was so young. I was worried he wouldn’t remember me. Worried that he’d be shy of me….

So the first morning after the tour was over, we hung out in the hotel. We cuddled a little, and when he got bored with that, I asked him if he wanted to make a pillow fort.

He did. So we made a fort using the ridiculous number of pillows that those posh hotels feel obliged to put on your bed.

To all you parents out there. If you’re not making pillow forts with your kids, you’re really missing out. You don’t need a lot of pillows. Three or four is plenty. In some ways, it can be better without a lot of pillows, because then you can make yourself *part* of the fort. If your kid isn’t a big cuddler, you can get some clandestine snuggling that way.

Sarah and my dad went out for breakfast. Oot and I didn’t. We stayed in the hotel room and continued to made forts.

I told Oot that he better be careful, because there was a creature called the Goonch that would nibble his feet if they were hidden under the pillows. Then I would sneak my hand under the pillow and tickle him.

It has been more than a year since I started that little game, and it still hasn’t gotten old. Not for either of us.

He had a few plush toys with him, and I thought that maybe they would try to break into the fort. Add some drama to the game.

But Oot thought that if they wanted to come in the fort, that was fine by him. That made me unreasonably proud. No pointless antagonism. No warmongering. He just wanted to hang out in his fort with his friends.

So it went for about two hours, until Sarah and my dad got back from breakfast.

That was my favorite part of my book tour….

[Editorial note: I just searched my computer for an hour, looking for the pictures I know I took of little Oot in his pillow fort. I can't find them and it breaks my heart a little.

Instead, please accept this picture of comparable cuteness]

(Click to Embiggen the Cute.)

I know we’re all programmed to think our kids are cute, but seriously. Look at him.

And that hair. I can’t bring myself to cut it. He’s just too pretty. About 80% of the people who meet him think he’s a little girl because of it. But I love it. Plus  can’t help but feel that will probably be healthy for him in the long run. Maybe if folks think he’s a girl for another couple years he’ll be slower to absorb some of the gender bullshit that’s constantly fucking up our culture.

*     *     *

Anyway Joe, I hope that kinda answers your questions. For one, it’s not that I try to keep these stories secret, it’s just that I tend to be busy and forgetful.

For two, generally speaking, my favorite part of these adventures is coming home to my little boy.

Rest assured that I’ll be sharing at least one cool story from Gencon in the semi-near future. One that Scalzi has already mentioned on his blog.

In the meantime, here’s one cool thing that happened in Chicago.

I wore a tux:

Oot wore a tuxedo shirt. We were quite the dashing pair….

Later all,

pat

Also posted in book two, conventions, emo bullshit, Fanmail Q + A, Oot, Surreal enthusiasm, Tales from the Con | By Pat60 Responses
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