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.
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….
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…
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.
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.
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.
Some of which I suspected might have been drugged prior to the photo shoot…
Or perhaps persuaded with a carefully placed bit of bacon…
I love this one’s expression. As if it’s saying, “Dude. Seriously?”
But we got a lot of other animals too. A much wider variety than the first photo contest.
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…
This lizard isn’t a skink, and I don’t mean to imply it’s a skink. I just like the word skink.
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….
…who almost forced us to start a new category called: Awwwwww.
Where this puppy would have been a contender:
As would this cat:
Amanda has pet rats, so she kinda melted when she saw this one….
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”)
* * *
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.
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…
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…
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.
Many of you who have heard me read at events know that I have a somewhat checkered history when it comes to Guinea Pigs.
(Cue: “Also Sprach Zarathustra.”)
And the one below is a favorite. Though I don’t know if it’s cute, or really kinda creepy….
Lastly, Ladies and Gentlemen, as the head-and-shoulders winner, I would like to introduce you the animal I refer to as “Ugly Cat.”
Please don’t think that I gave him this name as a pejorative. It’s purely descriptive.
Sorry. Purr-ly descriptive.
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.
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:
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.