Cameos and Critiques

Today’s blog continues two of my favorite Worldbuilders traditions, professional critiques of manuscripts and people getting to make guest appearances in upcoming books.

Let’s jump right in.

  • Critiques

This is something I would’ve killed for when I was first sending the book off to publishers. The opportunity to have your manuscript read by a skilled editor, agent, or author is huge. It doesn’t just have an impact on your book, this sort of feedback can help you develop your craft as well.

We always put a bunch of these up for auction, and this year is no exception.

But even better, this year we have critiques available in the lottery, too. Back when I was in college I couldn’t have afforded an expensive auction. So now I’m delighted to give unpublished writers a chance to win a professional critique by donating to the WriMos for Worldbuidlers team page. For every $10 you donate, you’ll get the chance to win a critique, as well as all the other goodies in our prize lottery. Even better? More critiques will be added as we hit higher donation totals on that team page team.

So, if you want to jump in on that option in the lottery, donate right here. If you’d like to be a little more certain that you’ll get a critique, then this next section is for you. We have sixteen different critiques going up in the auction.

A NOTE BEFORE YOU DIVE IN: We’ve made each critique expandable here, so if you’re interested in one, you can click on it to expand out more information. PLEASE READ THIS INFORMATION CAREFULLY.

Everyone is offering something a little different. Each author, editor, or agent is handling their auction in their own way…

  • Everyone has different skills, and they’re each offering something different.
  • Critiques are for different lengths of manuscript. From 7,500 to 150,000 words.
  • The professionals below are busy people. Critiques will have to fit in their schedules.
  • When auctions mention “X pages” of a manuscript, that’s standard manuscript format.
  • Most importantly, it’s important to realize that what you’re getting here is a critique. You’re not buying an introduction to someone’s agent or editor. You’re not winning representation with an agent. Or a foot in the door with an editor. That’s not what’s on the block. You’re getting writing advice from a professional.

Also, I’d just like to point out that all donations to Worldbuilders are being doubled right now. So if you were looking for an excuse to be generous. This is it…

Okay. Enough preamble. Let’s get to the auctions.

Brett Hiorns: Critique of your manuscript, up to 150,000 words.

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Brett has been one of Pat’s go-to beta readers since the beginning, and was even called in as an alpha reader for Wise Man’s Fear (the book really didn’t make sense at that stage). He’s currently the voice behind a lot of the Worldbuilders website content and auction descriptions, and has done webcomic work, amusing movie reviews and plenty of longer-form horror fiction. Pat keeps pestering him to publish a book or two, but apparently he’s afraid of success.

His preferred genre is horror, but he’ll tackle fantasy and science fiction, or anything that sounds interesting. He also enjoys young adult fiction for its brevity and creativity.

Brett can help you with character voice and dialogue, concise writing, and the nuts and bolts of grammar and punctuation.  He’ll also analyze pacing and the consistency of world building, and he’ll do his best to poke holes in the book’s internal logic.

The critique will include reading up to 150,000 words, marking up the margins with suggestions, corrections, and random comments.  He will also type up a detailed explanation of the manuscript’s strong points and possible weaknesses, as well as clarifications and expansions of his marginal notes.

Pat Says: Brett is one of my oldest and dearest beta readers. I can vouch for his usefulness personally, and highly recommend his services. If you want this critique, you can bid right here.

 

Jennifer Azantian: Critique and commentary of entire submission packet.

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Jennifer Azantian is offering a detailed critique and commentary of your submission packet (query, synopsis, and first three chapters up to 15,000 words). She’ll include her thoughts on pacing, impact, characterization, world-building, and more within three months of receiving your submission. Though she makes no promises, she would be a fool not to consider representing a project if it truly blows her away.

Jennifer Azantian is an agent who founded Azantian Literary in 2014 where she specializes in science fiction, fantasy, and smart psychological horror novels for middle grade, YA, and adult readers. Of particular interest are stories that explore meaningful human interactions against fantastic backdrops, underrepresented voices, obscure retold fairy tales, modernized mythologies, literary science fiction, historical fantasy, magical realism, space operas, hopeful futures, internally consistent epic fantasy, and spooky or quirky middle-grade. With that said, she loves and will read pretty much anything that’s even a little bit “weird”. You can learn more about her on the agency website: www.azantianlitagency.com and probably far too much on Twitter: @jenazantian.

A full submission packet critique is amazing. If that interests you, bid right here.

 

Michael J. Martinez: Critique of up to 25,000 words of a SF/F novel.

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Michael J. Martinez is the author of MJ-12: Inception, first in the MAJESTIC-12 series of paranormal Cold War spy thrillers from Night Shade Books, as well as the Daedalustrilogy of Napoleonic Era space opera novels. His short fiction has appeared in the anthologies Cthulhu Fhtagn!, Unidentified Funny Objects 4, Geeky Giving and Vampire The Masquerade: Endless Lights.

Michael will critique up to 25,000 words of your SF/F novel (or a shorter work), including both an overall opinion on the strength of the work, thoughts on individual sections, and ideas on direction and ways to improve. This doesn’t include line edits, but he’s willing to answer questions and engage in a dialogue to help make your work better!

To bid on this awesome opportunity, go here.

 

Brenda Cooper: Critique of SF/F story up to 12,000 words, as well as a copy of her latest collection Cracking the Sky.

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Award-winning Pacific Northwest writer Brenda Cooper will read and critique a science fiction or fantasy short story up to 12,000 words. Her novel-length work is primarily science fiction written for nine to ninety year old readers, and her short stories range across genres and age-groups.

In addition to the critique, Brenda will provide a copy of her latest collection, Cracking the Sky.

Brenda Cooper writes science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. Her most recent novel is EDGE OF DARK, which came out in March of 2015. Brenda is also a technology professional and a futurist.

Get your own critique of a short story by bidding right here.

 

Robert V.S. Redick: Critique of the first 20,000 words of your manuscript.

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Rob loves all kinds of storytelling, but has a soft spot for the literary end of the SF/fantasy spectrum. He is offering a critique of the beginning of your novel (up to 20,000 words). He concentrates on providing no-nonsense, no-attitude feedback concerning structure, clarity, consistency, pacing and other fundamentals, along with comments on the work’s overall effectiveness. Most importantly, Rob is always careful to search for your intentions rather than imposing his own.

Rob is the author of The Fire Sacraments, a new epic fantasy trilogy forthcoming from Talos Books; and The Chathrand Voyage Quartet, described by Locus as “one of the most distinctive and appealing epic fantasies of the decade.” The Chathrand Voyage began with The Red Wolf Conspiracy (finalist for the Locus Award and SFX Novel Award) and concluded in February 2013 with The Night of the Swarm. He is also a seasoned writing teacher, with an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers in Asheville, NC. Rob’s other passion is international conservation & justice issues. He has lived and worked all over the world, most recently Indonesia (2013-2015).

Have a rough beginning you want smoothed out? Bid here to get Robert’s help.

 

Cassie Alexander: Critique of your query letter, synopsis, and the first 10,000 words of your novel.

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Cassie Alexander is offering a read and critique of the first 10,000 words of someone’s novel. You’re welcome to include your query letter and synopsis on top of that word count.

She’ll be critiquing for plot, pacing, readability, character arcs, voice, how well the opening works, and give overall, general impressions of the story.  All critiques will be done in MSWord via track changes, and will be done within 60 days.   

Cassie Alexander is the author of the five book Edie Spence urban fantasy series, comprised of Nightshifted, Moonshifted, Shapeshifted, Deadshifted, and Bloodshifted, and has been published in Germany, France, and the Republic of Czech. She’s an experienced workshopper, having attended Viable Paradise and Clarion West, and frequently is a writing workshop professional at conventions she attends.

Your submission packet could rock if you bid on this auction right here.

 

Joe Ducie: Critique of up to 100,000 words of any manuscript.

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Joe Ducie will critique up to 100,000 words of any manuscript, with an eye toward YA, Urban Fantasy, or Spy/Thriller. If you’ve read his The Rig or Reminiscent Exile series, you know what you’re getting into. He’s got a knack for writing books that read like an action scene. If you’re writing a thriller or other lean, fast-paced fantasy, Joe’s opinion will help quite a bit!

Joe is a writer from Perth, Western Australia. By day, he charges a toll to cross a bridge he doesn’t own. Yet by night, in a haze of scotch-fuelled insanity, he works tirelessly on an array of stories both short and long. Joe possesses a fierce love of a smooth finish. Under no circumstances should you ask him just what that means.

Joe was born in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria in November 1987, and currently resides in Perth, Western Australia. He is primarily an author of urban fantasy and science fiction aimed at young adults. His current stories include Distant Star, Upon Crystal Shores, Red vs. Blue, and The Forgetful Library.

Joe attended Edith Cowan University and graduated in 2010 with a Degree of Counterterrorism, Security and Intelligence. He went back, the idiot, and completed post-graduate studies in Security Science in 2011. Joe has also studied Creative and Professional Writing at Curtin University.

When not talking about himself in the third person, Joe enjoys devouring books at an absurdly disgusting rate and sampling fine scotch.

Joe is a really cool guy, so if you want him to read your stuff, bid on the auction here.

 

Mike Braff: Detailed critique and commentary of the first 50 pages of your manuscript (rounded up to end of the chapter).

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Mike Braff is an editor at Del Rey Books and has been part of the editorial team there for the past eight years. He is in charge of the merciless slaying of enemies by battleaxe, the boarding and capturing of space craft in zero-g, and the management of a sect of magic users that secretly runs the paranormal underground in New York City. Not true, sadly, but he does love to read and acquire books about these things and other related sci-fi, fantasy, and urban fantasy topics.

Though he’s from New York originally, Mike once went to Canada for a few years to study Comparative Religion and World History at McGill University (BA ’07). Much to everyone’s surprise (including his own) the course of study proved useful when acquiring and editing fantastic stories for Del Rey, where Mike has been lucky enough to work with the likes of Pierce Brown, Kevin Hearne, Jason M. Hough, Matthew Stover, Ted Kosmatka, Alan Smale, Sylvain Neuvel and Indra Das, among many other talented authors. He lives in Brooklyn with a rescued pit bull named Ruby, adorable pictures of whom will be provided in abundance upon request.

He’s offering a detailed critique and commentary for the first 50 pages or so of your manuscript (rounded up to the end of the last chapter). This is not a line edit, but Mike will get back to you within 90 days of receiving your manuscript with an editorial letter detailing his thoughts and suggestions.

Want a real life editor to read your manuscript? Bid for the chance here.

 

Joshua Palmatier: 7500 word short story critique.

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Joshua Palmatier (co­editor of the DAW Books anthologies AFTER HOURS: TALES FROM THE UR­BAR and THE MODERN FAE’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING HUMANITY and the Zombies Need Brains anthologies CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE: STEAMPUNK vs ALIENS, TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER, ALIEN ARTIFACTS, and WERE) will read and evaluate your short story (up to 7500 words in standard manuscript format) within six weeks of submission. He will write a general evaluation of the story and mark up the manuscript using comments and track changes in the document itself, although this will NOT be a formal line or copy edit, simply commentary at specific points in the short story.

Joshua Palmatier (www.joshuapalmatier.com) has had eight dark, epic fantasy novels published, the most recent by called THREADING THE NEEDLE from DAW, five short stories in various anthologies, and has co-edited six anthologies with Patricia Bray.. He is also founder of the small press Zombies Need Brains (www.zombiesneedbrains.com), which focuses on producing quality SF&F­themed anthologies.  His experience is mostly with all forms of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. His intent will be to offer editorial advice on how to improve your novel and to use his experience as both author and editor to make it the best it can be.

Joshua has requested that you send him your manuscript no later than July 1, 2017.

Have a short story that you want feedback on? You can bid right here.

 

Joshua Palmatier AGAIN: Critique of the first 100 pages of your novel.

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Joshua Palmatier (DAW Books author of the “Throne of Amenkor” trilogy, SHATTERING THE LEY, and THREADING THE NEEDLE) will read and evaluate the first 100 pages of your novel within 3 months of submission. The manuscript must be in standard manuscript format (typed, double-spaced, 12 pt font, etc). He will write a general evaluation of the novel’s opening and mark up the manuscript using comments and track changes in the document itself, although this will NOT be a formal line or copy edit, simply commentary at specific points of the manuscript.

Joshua Palmatier (www.joshuapalmatier.com) has had eight dark, epic fantasy novels published, the most recent by called THREADING THE NEEDLE from DAW, five short stories in various anthologies, and has co-edited six anthologies with Patricia Bray. He is also founder of the small press Zombies Need Brains (www.zombiesneedbrains.com), which focuses on producing quality SF&F­themed anthologies.  His experience is mostly with all forms of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. His intent will be to offer editorial advice on how to improve your novel and to use his experience as both author and editor to make it the best it can be.

Get your novel critiqued by Joshua by bidding right here.

 

Jaime Lee Moyer: Critique of the first 75 pages of your finished novel.

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Jaime Lee Moyer is a speculative fiction writer, poet and editor. Jaime is the author of Delia’s Shadow (Tor, September 2013),  A Barricade In Hell (Tor, June 2014) and Against A Brightening Sky (October 2015). Delia’s Shadow won the 2009 Columbus Literary Award for Fiction, administered by Thurber House and funded by the Columbus Art Council, and is nominated for the Salt Lake County Libraries Reader’s Choice Award. She doesn’t take herself nearly as seriously as those credits imply. Jaime’s short fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Lone Star Stories, and two of the well-respected Triangulations anthologies. She was the editor of the 2010 Rhysling Anthology for the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and a poetry and short fiction editor for a semi-pro zine for five years. Jaime is the current editor for the Online Writing Workshop For Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror monthly newsletter. For a short period of time she read slush for a literary agent, and has critiqued more novels and short stories than she wants to count.

Jaime Lee Moyer is offering a read and critique of the first 75 pages of your finished novel. While she won’t line edit for grammar, she will comment on plot, pacing, character arc, voice, how well the “hook” or opening works, how well the story sustains her interest, and give overall, general impressions of the story. Critique will be done in MSWord via track changes, but please use a readable font and double-space your work. The critique will be returned to you within three months, edit letters and deadlines allowing.

If you’ve got a finished novel, get it critiqued by Jaime by bidding here.

 

Django Wexler: Critique of up to 10,000 words of an SF/F novel or story.

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Django Wexler is the author of The Shadow Campaigns series and The Forbidden Library, so he knows just a little about what makes a story compelling. He’s donated his time to read and critique up to 10,000 words of your novel or short story to let you know his opinions on style and pacing, characterization, what works, and what might need tweaking. This is a great chance to get some advice from one of the pros!

Django graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. Eventually he migrated to Microsoft in Seattle, where he now lives with two cats and a teetering mountain of books. When not planning Shadow Campaigns, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays games of all sorts.

Want your novel critiqued by Django? Click here to bid.

 

Kevin Hearne: Critique of up to 15,000 words of your novel or story.

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Kevin Hearne is delighted to offer a critique of up to 15,000 words. His review will focus on issues of plot and character, and provide observations regarding dialogue, pacing, and much more. You’ll hear what works and what needs work.

Kevin is the author of the NYT-bestselling Iron Druid Chronicles and has an epic fantasy coming out in 2017 from Del Rey called A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

If you want Kevin to read your manuscript, you can bid for the chance right here.

 

Pat Rothfuss (me): Critique of your manuscript, up to 150,000 words.

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Patrick Rothfuss (international bestselling author, lover of women, and hirsute iconoclast) will read your manuscript and give you critical feedback. (Up to, say, 150,000 words.) We’ll schedule this based on when your manuscript will be ready and the endless madness of my own schedular constraints.

I’ll read through your manuscript, scrawling notes and dirty words in the margins, then I’ll call you on the phone and we can discuss it. Or we could do a Google+ hangout. Or, if you live close, we can get together and chat over coffee.

I won’t write you up a detailed critique because that’s not how I roll. But we’ll chat for a couple of hours discussing the various strengths and weaknesses of the book, your writing craft, and I’ll offer any suggestions I might have. Then I’ll mail you back the manuscript with my notes on it.

If you wanna bid on this, you can do it right here.

 

  • Copy Edits and Fact Checking

This is slightly different than a critique of your manuscript, and so we’ve separated it out a bit.

A copy edit is a really big deal, and honestly something that most people don’t think about. Most authors don’t get this chance until their book has already sold, but it makes a huge difference in the readability of a manuscript.

Richard Shealey: Copy edit of a fantasy/science fiction manuscript.

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Richard Shealy will provide the service of copy-editing your novel-length manuscript OR short story + pitch. He only does Fantasy and Science Fiction, so please make sure that’s what you write! This copy edit includes typo correction, continuity observation, voice/character consistency, context-appropriate grammar adjustment, and fact-checking where needed. Upon the auciton completion, we’ll get the winner in touch with Richard to establish what sort of manuscript he’ll be working on and to get the ball rolling.

Please note: Richard is booked solid for the rest of the year, so the copyedit will happen in mid-to-late 2017.

Richard Shealy has been a reader of SF/F as long as he can remember, and he finally figured out he might make a living from that by combining it with his horrifyingly enormous word-nerdery. In his still relatively new career (he started in this racket less than four years ago), he already has had the enormous pleasure and honor to work with a number of authors and editors from across multiple spectra, not to mention becoming completely certain that he has found his dream job (seriously, people pay you to nitpick their babies?). He tweets occasionally from his own Twitter account, but far more prolifically in the guise of his alter ego. Caveat: Taking anything seriously from the alter ego is a massive waste of time.

If a copy edit is the thing you’re searching for, search no further and bid here.

 

  • Tuckerizations

What is a Tuckerization, you may ask? Well, it means different things to different people. Historically, it’s called a Tuckerization because Wilson Tucker used so many of his friends’ names as characters in his stories that it became something of an in-joke. Nowadays, it’s the chance to make a cameo appearance in a story. An author will take your name, or maybe your personality, or your physical description, and use it for a character in their story.

Maybe it’s not your name. Maybe it’s a sister’s, or a friend’s, or that kid you spent a lot of time with in kindergarten before he moved away. Maybe you only *start* with your name, but the author changes it a bit to fit in with the culture of the world you’re being put into. If that happens, you collaborate with the author and reach a solution you both like.

Whatever the case, it’s a chance to be a part of something really cool. It’s a chance, in some ways, at literary immortality.

We have ten tuckerizations available below, but they’re all a little different, so read carefully.

Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman: Your name in the final installment of THE ILLUMINAE FILES.

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You are bidding on a tuckerization in the final installment of the NYT Bestselling science fiction trilogy, THE ILLUMINAE FILES. The name that will be featured in the book must be your own legal birthname, not your WoW character’s name or something silly like “Seymour Butts”. The authors reserve the right to reject your birthname for inclusion in their novel, should it be something as mind-bendingly unfortunate as “Seymour Butts”. Sorry, Seymour.

You will be expected to sign a legal disclaimer giving us permission to use your name.

There is an excellent chance your namesake will die in this book. Horribly. Probably in the cold belly of space. While screaming. The authors and their publishers accept no responsibility for any emotional trauma that may result from your fictional doppleganger’s awful demise, or any horrible shit they might get up to before they die. You could end up being a villain who lights orphanages on fire. You could be the kind who kills puppies for sport. You could be an interstellar version of Ramsay Bolton. We don’t know yet, you’re just going to have to trust us now and live with it afterward.

Love,
Jay and Amie

You can bid on this auction right here.

 

Brian McClellan: Maybe get killed in a POWDER MAGE novel.

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I’ll work your name and a brief description into a POWDER MAGE novel as a minor character that will have at least a few lines. I may tweak the name to make it fit better with the world, but it’ll be you (or the person of your choice). Violent death is optional.

Bidding is open right here.

 

April White: Name a character in a new series! The more you pay, the bigger your role!

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Name a character in book one of a brand new series from the author of The Immortal Descendants time travel fantasies. Ringo, the charmingly clever street urchin who traveled through history with Saira Elian, a Descendant of Time, is getting his own spin-off series. He begins book one as the guest of Oscar Wilde at a fateful meeting with Arthur Conan Doyle, and with the skills of his otherworld-seeing friend, Charlie, finds himself at the heart of a mystery in Victorian London.

The winning bidder of this Tuckerization auction will have the honor of naming a character (and providing an identifying characteristic or two) in book one of Ringo’s series. In the event the winning bid is higher than $250, that character will have a significant interaction with Ringo. If it goes higher than $400, that character will become a major contributor to the story.

To find out more about Ringo, download book one of The Immortal Descendants series – Marking Time, by April White – and follow his adventures through history.

Interested? Bid right here.

 

Joe Ducie: Become a character in a new espionage thriller, and get a signed manuscript & first edition when it's done.

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I’m offering to name a character in my upcoming espionage/spy/thriller novel after you, a friend, family member, whatever you’d like. We’ll iron out the finer details together, but a few solid names are up for grabs. I still need to formally name the main antagonist, who will be a recurring character throughout the series, and is quite villainous. I’ve got the plucky sidekick in need of naming. A whole slew of characters who need properly naming in the protagonist’s team of rough-around-the-edge heroes.

I’ll send you a signed manuscript and first edition copy of the completed novel – these books are due to hit shelves around late 2017.

If being in a spy thriller is up your alley, you can bid right here.

 

Joe Ducie AGAIN: Name a character in a new YA fanatasy, again with signed manuscript & first edition on completion.

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If Sci-Fi/Fantasy is more your game, I’ll stick you in my next YA release about a magical library for lost and wayward, dimension-hopping, pocket world exploring, teenagers. Fair warning that one is rife with awkward love hexagons and brooding antagonists who are really just misunderstood.

I’ll send you a signed manuscript and first edition copy of the completed novel – these books are due to hit shelves around late 2017.

Sound awesome? You can bid right here.

 

Bradley P. Beaulieu: Become a character in THE SONG OF THE SHATTERED SANDS! The more you pay, the bigger your role!

Bradley P. Beaulieu is pleased to offer one Tuckerization for inclusion in his brand new epic fantasy series, The Song of the Shattered Sands. The character will appear in in Book 3 of the Shattered Sands series, and may live beyond those pages.

In the event that this auction breaks $500, I will elevate the character from a minor character to a character of some import. In the event that this auction breaks $1,000, I will ensure that the character either dies in a spectacular way or performs some major, selfless, heroic act.

Please see the auction description for the full details.

Does this sound epic or what? Check it out and bid right here.

 

William Alexander: Get your name in the sequel to A Properly Unhaunted Place.

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William Alexander’s next novel, A Properly Unhaunted Place, is about ghost appeasement specialist librarians. Peter S. Beagle makes a brief cameo. But you don’t. You aren’t in that book. You could be in the sequel, though. Bid for the chance to see your name in print, but please note that wonderful and/or terrible things are likely to happen to your fictional self.

Want in with the likes of Peter S. Beagle? Bid right here.

 

Shawn Speakman: Name a character in The Everwinter Wraith.

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Next year, I will publish The Everwinter Wraith, the sequel to my debut novel,The Dark Thorn, which has been reviewed as a cross between Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files and Terry Brooks’s Word/Void series. For this year’s Worldbuilders, I am offering a tuckerization for The Everwinter Wraith! The novel takes place in our world as well as in Annwn, giving us the opportunity to put your real name into the story in our world or creating a fantasy name and putting you in Annwn.  If you’d like to have your name and physical description written into the story, you have to bid and win this auction!

Want to know what kind of story you are getting yourself into before you bid? Write me at shawn@signedpage.com and I’ll send you an EPUB of The Dark Thorn or any of the short stories set in the Annwn Cycle series!

You should really check this out. Bid right here.

 

Kevin Hearne: Get included in an IRON DRUID story in the Besieged anthology.

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Kevin will use your full name in one of his new Iron Druid short stories to be included in the collection BESIEGED, out July 11 2017. You might be in California during the Gold Rush. You might be in modern day Poland. You may survive, or you may die a spectacularly gory death.

Kevin is the author of the NYT-bestselling Iron Druid Chronicles and has an epic fantasy coming out in 2017 from Del Rey called A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

Wanna hang out with Atticus? Bid here.

 

Mary Robinette Kowal: Be included in an upcoming piece, plus receive a signed manuscript before publication!

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Hugo-award winning author Mary Robinette Kowal will tuckerize your name into a forthcoming piece of fiction. What does this mean? It means that she will work your name into a story or novel depending on what your name is and which project it seems to fit best into. She’ll also send you a signed manuscript before publication. So it’s like a literary twofer.

Want this awesome prize? Bid right here.

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So, we’ve got a lot of options for you there, folks. Take your time, click around, and see what option tickles your fancy the most. Maybe make a list of the top 3. These auctions will be ending at slightly different times, so if you miss out on one, you can still go for another.

And if all of them slip past you, don’t forget that you could win a manuscript critique in the lottery if you donate to the WriMos for Worldbuilders team page. All hope is not lost.

More coming soon…

pat

Posted in Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat8 Responses

Our Best Launch Ever: The First Four Days….

It’s day four of the fundraiser. And as I write this, we’ve just crested up over the top of 70,000 dollars. With our matching money, that means we’ve already raised over $140,000 and hit our $100K stretch goal: Launching my new website (a little earlier than we’d planned.)

At some point this weekend we’ll be flipping the switch on that so y’all can look around at the new coolness, kick the tires a little, and…. to be honest… probably see some things that aren’t working the way we’d intended. Think of this as a very solid beta launch…

More importantly, this blog is a reminder that this year I’m not posting everything that goes up in the fundraiser on this blog. Instead, the Worldbuilders Team has taken over a lot of the information distribution over on their website. You can follow their blogs right here, and keep an eye on the lottery library to see what’s being added to the fundraiser every day.

For example, on Tuesday they posted a ton of cool geekery from Badali Jewelry and Valyrian Steel.

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valyrian-steel-swag(Click on the photos and you can read all about them…)

Wednesday they featured a ton of signed books donated by authors….

author-donatedAnd today we’re putting in over 600 games into the lottery where every $10 dollars you donate gets you a chance to win. (And then gets doubled, too.)

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So right now we’ve got nearly 900 prizes in the lottery worth over $33,000. And we’re only just barely four days into our festivities.

If you want to keep seeing everything as it comes it, keep an eye on the Worldbuilders website.

  • Twitch News:

As many of you already know, I’ll be on my Twitch chanel, streaming every night from 4pm-7pm CST to promote the charity.

So far, I’ve played the alpha version of Hero’s Song, only sucked a little in Overwatch, and performed a writing Q&A so intense it almost cost me my voice.

Future plans include inviting Sarah onto the stream for Date night (tonight), playing Witcher 3, and generally getting up to all sorts of hijinks. Hell, things might actually escalate to the point of full-blown shenanigans by early next week.

If you want to be part of that, you can sign up for notifications for when I start streaming.

Simply go to my twitch channel and click “Follow” then turn on notifications.

Um… Amanda? Can you tuck in a graphic to show them what I’m talking about?

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(Here you go, Boss.)

Thanks much Amanda, that’s very… high tech of you. um… maybe not pick a screencap where I look quite so dumb next time?

We’re going to start letting people vote on what I do during each stream as soon as we have the technology to do that. Which is sure to lead to absolute madness. You don’t want to miss the madness, do you?

With that in mind, any ideas for fun things you’d like to see on the stream? Share them in the comments below…

Oh, and also, I’m just going to put a link to the donation page here.

And a link to all our current auctions here.

I’m sure you can figure out what to do with those…

pat

Posted in Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat25 Responses

A Boat, A Board, A Table, and Books

Hey there everybody,

This year’s fundraiser is going to be bigger and better than ever, and today’s blog includes four of the reasons why.

Rather than save our coolest things for last as we’ve occasionally done in the past, we’re launching out with big items that are all going into the lottery, which means for every $10 you donate on our fundraiser page you have a chance to win them and a ton of other prizes.

This first one is something new to the fundraiser. We’ve never put anything like it in the lottery before…

  • A cabin for 2 on the 2017 JoCo Cruise

joco_logo

JoCo Cruise 2017 is a cruise ship full of music, comedy, and general nerdery. The 2017 cruise departs from San Diego, CA on Saturday, March 4th for a 7-night adventure along the Sea of Cortez and will return on Saturday, March 11.

joco-fun-times

I’ve gone on the JoCo Cruise for two years in a row now, and 2017 will be my third trip out. I didn’t know if I’d like going on a cruise, because honestly? I’m a bit of a cave dweller. But despite my initial reservations, I have to say, I absolutely love it. It’s a great atmosphere, and this year’s cruise will be the first time the geeks are taking over the entire cruise ship.

It’s the best time. I’ve had more genuine interactions with fans and other geeks on the boat than I can hope to have at a convention.

So I’m delighted to announce that JoCo Cruise has donated a balcony cabin on the boat to Worldbuilders, and we’re putting it in the lottery where anyone who donates at least $10 can win it.

You’ll still need to pay for your own flights to and from the cruise, but once you’re on the boat you’re pretty much golden. There’s free food and drinks (with some options you’d have to pay for), concerts, events, panels, and so, so much more.

gaming-with-steve-jackson-pic-by-steve-petrucelli-600x401

(Like the 24 hour gaming room, for example)

The JoCo Cruise folks made a handy-dandy list for us of everything this does and doesn’t include, but the big thing is that every $10 you donate gets you another chance to win this awesome trip.

  • The Vanguard gaming table from Geek Chic

3-standardvanguard_lid-on-side

The lovely folks over at Geek Chic have offered up one of their elegant gaming tables for this year’s Fundraiser.

If this table looks a little familiar, it might be because you’ve drooled over one at a convention like GenCon or PAX. Or maybe us playing on one in an episode of TableTop (where I crushed all who opposed me.)

Geek Chic makes gorgeous stuff. This table has an inset game field, so not only will your dice not roll onto the floor, but the replaceable top means you can cover up a partially finished game and still have a functional table you can use for eating dinner or doing work.

The table also has a grooved rail system that allows you to add on things like cup holders, trays, and dice containers onto the *side* of the table without cluttering up your game or risking spills.

7-_standardvanguard_transparent_layer_grande

This table is one of the newer designs from Geek Chic: the Standard Vanguard. There’s a lot more information about it over on their website. (Click that link.)

But wait, it gets better.

If you win this prize and want to customize your Vanguard, adding accessories or picking fancier woods, Geek Chic will give you the $2500 value of this table as credit toward your new configuration or anything else you’d like to buy from Geek Chic. Including a different table.

Even international donors have a chance of winning this, but we’ll coordinate with the winner after the fact, since international shipping can be tricky on something this large.

Remember, you get a chance to win it for every $10 you donate to the fundraiser and select games as something you’re interested in winning.

  • A Beautiful Tak Set from Wyrmwood

Some of you might recognize the Wyrmwood’s handiwork from the recent Tak kickstarter, where they made Devi’s Box and Devi’s Board.

Well this year for Worldbuilders, they made us something special….

boardangelwalnut

Seriously. Look at it. It’s gorgeous.

boardangelwalnut_4

It’s a handmade, one-of-a-kind Tak set, constructed with Kingwood, African Blackwood. (All ethically sourced.) The board has solid silver stringing and mother-of-pearl inlay. If they were selling them, the retail cost of this board would be around $5,000.

_dsc0304

But they’re not selling them. Even I don’t have one. This item is just available for some lucky geek to win if they donate to Worldbuilders.

  • Books From Subterranean Press

For those of you who love books more than games, the rest of the blog contains gorgeous limited-edition books from Subterranean Press. Sub Press has been around since the beginning of Worldbuilders, and all but one of their donations is going into the lottery.

All told, there’s over 200 books going into the lottery today. Many of them signed, numbered, or otherwise rare.

down-burgler-freedom

Subterranean Press always goes the extra mile to make truly beautiful books, so we love being able to show them off. They work hard to make their books incredibly high quality, and they don’t miss the mark.

aquila-confessions

There’s more than just novels going in, too. Both of these books are collections of stories from some of the best authors in their genre. Confessions is completely sold out, and the only place left to get a copy is here in the lottery.

tao-authentic

Each of these limited edition books was limited to 1,000 numbered copies, so you’re getting a real rarity in them.

mallet-amityville

John Scalzi’s collection of posts from his blog, Whatever, is a deep dark look into the things on his mind over the time between 2008 and 2012, which is both horrifying and hilarious.

Amityville Horrible is a wonderful horror story for more traditional reasons: it’s full of ghosts, necromancy, werewolves, and murder. It was limited to 1500 numbered copies which are all leather-bound and gorgeous.

  • Auction: One of every book published by Subterranean Press in 2016.

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This is one of the coolest things Subterranean has been doing for a while now, which is a collection of every single book they’ve published in the last year. It includes some of the books already featured in the fundraiser, plus a bunch more, including some that haven’t come out yet.

There are 38 beautiful books in this bundle. To add some serious class to your bookshelf, you can bid on this auction right here.

* * *

Happy first day of the fundraiser, folks. Remember that I’ll only be posting a few times throughout the fundraiser, but Worldbuilders will be updating their website every day with new items in the lottery, auctions, and stretch goals.

Let’s show Heifer International what we can do with $1 million in matching money.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat14 Responses

Worldbuilders 2016

Well folks, it’s that time of year again.

It’s with genuine excitement, that I announce the beginning of our annual Worldbuilders fundraiser.

Worldbuilders-Logo_Web--less-space

Worldbuilders is the charity I founded when I realized that geeks were startlingly empathetic and caring people, and, when given the chance, they will charge out in force to make the world a better place.

Worldbuilders raises money for several different causes, but our end-of-the-year fundraiser focuses on raising money for Heifer International. Heifer helps people raise themselves out of poverty and starvation. For more than 60 years, they have worked to improve education, sustainable agriculture, and local industry all over the world.

Don’t take my word for it though. Watch this instead. Seriously. It’s only a minute and a half.

This is what Heifer is all about. They don’t just keep kids from starving, they make it so people can take care of themselves. They give families goats, chickens, and sheep so children have milk to drink, eggs to eat, and warm clothes to wear. They provide communities with clean water to drink, building materials to improve homes, and business training to help families become self-sufficient. Forever.

Now for the big news: This year, Worldbuilders has access to a million dollars of matching money.That means if you donate enough to buy a woman like Chasha a goat, your donation will be doubled and Heifer will be able to provide another goat for someone else in need. If we can hit our total, we’ll have raised two million dollars that will help permanently change the lives of thousands of families all over the world, from Nepal to Appalachia. We have all the way until the end of the fundraiser on December 19th at 11:59pm PST to use it all.

There are a few different ways you can contribute and help us earn that matching money, each with a couple of additional benefits…

  • Option 1: The Lottery

This is the simplest option.: quick, easy, and tax-deductible. You just head over to the fundraising page we’ve created and donate.

When you donate on that page, in addition to having your donation doubled, you’ll be entered into our prize lottery, which contains thousands of books, games, comics, and more.

For every $10 you donate on the fundraising page, your name will be entered into our random drawing. So if you donate $30 (enough for a flock of chickens) your name goes in three times. Donate enough for a goat ($120) and your name goes in 12 times. Enough to give clean water to a whole village ($500) you get 50 chances to win.

What’s in the lottery? A lot. So much that if I showed it to you all at once, the raw intensity of the aggregate awesome would cook your brain like a toad thrown into the sun.

So we’ve spread things out so that we can show them to you in all their glory without risking your precious brain. I’ll be posting up blogs a couple times a week here on my blog, but there will be content going up pretty much every weekday on the Worldbuilders website. (Which we just finished re-designing, so it’s even better than last year.)

worldbuilders-home-page

(NEW AND IMPROVED!)

If you head over there, you can see *all* the different games and books we’re giving away on our Lottery Library page that we’ll be updating throughout the fundraiser.

You can also go check out the blogs full of prizes here:

In order to make sure everyone gets prizes they love while also making sure all our prizes find good homes, we’ll have you answer a question or two when you make a donation.

prize-question

Alternately, if you prefer not to leave things to random chance….

  • Option 2: Auctions

Sometimes we get donations that are cool…but only to a select group of people. Some people would squee with delight at winning a portal gun, but some people (sad, unhappy people) just wouldn’t be into it.

The same thing is true with action figures, musical instruments, manuscripts, collectibles. Signed signed art and rare books.

When things like that get donated, we put them up for auction.

Sometimes we also have people offering interesting services. Like writers and editors who are  willing to read and critique manuscripts. We’re auctioning off cameo appearances in comics and the chance to have your name in upcoming books.

All our current auctions are over on the Worldbuilders eBay page. Keep an eye on it. We’ll be adding stuff all the time.

The funds raised through the auctions will be going to Heifer International too. So whatever you bid in the auctions will be doubled as well. So and they count toward our matching money, so you’re still helping us have a huge impact on the lives of people who need it.

  • The Sure Thing

For those of you who want to have an absolute sure thing, we have an online store.

We have geekery from my books, games, t-shirts, and tons of other stuff for your perusal. The purchases there don’t go toward our fundraiser total, but the profits in the end will come to Worldbuilders and help make the world a better place.

  • Added Incentive: Stretch Goals

To help spread the word about the fundraiser (and encourage donations) we’ve brought members of the geek community together to do whimsical things as our donation total grows. There will be dirty limericks, grown adults clucking like chickens, happy dances, Neil Gaiman reading in that awesome voice of his, and so, so much more….

A special stretch goal this year is coming from Neil Gaiman: he’s offered to read to all of us again, and this year, you get to help decide what he reads. You can cast your vote when you make your donation:

what-should-neil-read

Once we hit $1,000,000, we’ll tally all the donations and tell Neil what he’ll be reading for us. In 2013, Neil read Green Eggs and Ham; the next year he read The Jabberwocky. This year promises to be equally wonderful.

  • Streaming on Twitch

Last year as an experiment, I tried livestreaming on Twitch to raise awareness of charity, talk about our prizes and what Heifer does, and have some fun with y’all at the same time.

It worked pretty well, so this year we’re doing it again. Here’s my new Twitch schedule through the end of the fundraiser (December 19th):

  • Mondays: 1pm-4pm CST
  • Tuesdays: 4pm-7pm CST
  • Wednesdays: 4pm-7pm CST
  • Thursdays: 4pm-7pm CST
  • Fridays: 2pm-5pm CST
  • Saturdays: 2pm-5pm CST
  • Sundays: 2pm-5pm CST

I don’t have anything scheduled on Wednesday November 23, Thursday November 24, and Friday November 25 to spend Thanksgiving with my family. I might do a surprise, unofficial stream in the evenings, but it won’t be pre-planned, and it definitely won’t be at these scheduled times.

As for what I’m streaming… well… I’m thinking I’m going to figure that out as we go along. I’ll probably play some games. But I’ll probably also do some Q&A sessions. Maybe do a few writing discussions. Maybe I’ll read some more kids books, or just work on book three while y’all stare at my coffee mug and listen to the tantilizing clickity of my old IBM keyboard while I write.

You won’t know unless you tune in. So if you want to know, you should head over here, follow the stream, and then change your settings so you get a notification when I start a new stream.

Important Links and Contact Information

Our website has all of the information you’ll need, including a nifty bar that shows off how much money we’ve raised from all of our various avenues. Worldbuilders also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account for those of you who like to have the internet injected directly into your veins.

Have a question that wasn’t answered here? Check out our handy FAQ.

Want to donate something to Worldbuilders? Help us spread the word? Do a stretch goal? Write a story for your local paper? Drop us a line here: donations [at] worldbuilders.org.

All right folks. Are you ready? I’m so ready.

Let’s do this thing.

pat

P.S. Just in case you missed it, here’s one more link to our Fundraiser donation page.

Posted in cool news, Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat10 Responses

Being a Trouper

Hey there everybody,

I’d meant to post a fun blog earlier this week. I had a couple cued up and almost ready. One was full of Kingkiller tattoos I’ve seen over the last year, another was pictures of babies that have been named after characters from my books. The one I *really* wanted to post involved the story of how I snuck some underage chicks into Max Temkin’s hotel room at Gencon.

41f23fed1b92a824ced03db71d8b4a9c(Like this. You pervert.)

But, as everyone knows, the election happened. Anyone who watched my election-night twitch stream might have an inkling of how I felt about that. And those of you who didn’t watch it can still probably guess.

And I’m guessing a lot of you feel the same way.

Interesting fact for those of you who feel shattered about the results: What you’re feeling now? That’s what a depressive episode feels like. At least it does to me. The pisser about depression is that you can feel desolate hopeless dread of exactly this sort even when nothing bad has happened.

Anyway, as a result, I couldn’t bring myself to finish a fun blog earlier this week. In fact, I’m not in the mood to write a blog now, either. I’ve been writing this thing for TWO HOURS and this is as far as I’ve gotten. It’s like trying to walk with a broken leg.

How the hell am I supposed to feel hopeful right now? How am I supposed to launch this year’s fundraiser and be enthusiastic about the cool news I have to share? I feel like everything is crumbling.

Earlier today, I found myself wondering what Auri would do in this situation. Well… that’s not actually true. Maybe it’s more that I wish I could ask for her advice? I wish she could just… help me. Like maybe she could give me a seashell or something and I would put it in my pocket and then I’d feel a little better.

Hell. You know you’re not doing well when you wish a fictional character would help you out. What the fuck does it even mean that I want help from the person who is arguably the most broken of all my characters? Is this it? Am I finally having a nervous breakdown?

No. I’m not. I’m depressingly sane.

Maybe it’s that Auri never lets it get to her. Not really. Not deep down. She’s a fighter, and despite everything, she always has a tiny flame of joy burning inside her. We’re very different in that regard.

I keep thinking of this picture and I don’t know why….

a-and-e-brazen

One of the things I share with Auri is that we both want to fix the world. Maybe that’s why I wish she could give me some advice. I can’t see a way to fix things right now. I am all unkilter.

Shit. I’m doing an awful job of this. I should just erase everything I’ve written and start over, but that would feel dishonest. I don’t want to lie to y’all. I don’t want to pretend I have my shit together. I don’t. I’m not doing great right now.

But still, I have some news to share. And it can’t wait.

Today I heard someone say, “We have to soldier on” and while I appreciate the sentiment, I don’t think there’s any way I can think of myself as a soldier.

I’ll be a trouper instead. How about that? The show must go on, right?

Okay, I’m taking a mulligan and starting over. Ready?

*     *    *

Hey there everybody,

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that this is the time of year when we do our big annual Worldubuilders fundraiser.

Last year we raised over 1.2 million dollars for Heifer International. We sent little girls to school in Nepal and fed hungry kids in Haiti. We gave people clean water and education. Medicine and self-reliance. The work we do literally brings light into the lives of people all over the world.

And no, I’m not misusing the word “literally” there. One of the many things Heifer does is teache people to make biogas digesters.

biogas-diagram-990x1024This miraculous contraption turns animal waste into fertilizer and methane. Then families can use that methane as a clean, cheap source of light and heat. Cooking over gas is much safer and easier than using a cookfire. That’s a big deal in parts of the world where electricity is expensive or straight-up unavailable.

It’s like real-life alchemy, folks. Heifer teaches people to turn shit into gold.

Over the last 8 years Worldbuilders has raised more than $5,000,000 to make things better all over the world, in Ukraine and Uganda. From Peru to Appalachia.

This year’s fundraiser is launching Monday, and we’ve got some big news. News I’ve been sitting on for months. And despite the fact that I’m a tease of epic proportions, I’m actually going to tell y’all that news today.

1. Story time with Neil Gaiman.

Two years ago, Neil Gaiman red us Green Eggs and Ham. While last year people who donated got to vote on what Gaiman would read. Jabberwocky beat out Where the Wild Things Are and Goodnight Moon, so he shot a video of himself reciting it from memory to help us spread the word about the fundraiser.

If y’all had any thoughts about what would be fun for him to read this year, I’d love to hear them in the comments below. Personally, I think The Monster at the End of This Book would be great. I’d love to hear him do Grover’s voice.

2. More livestreaming on Twitch.

Last year, I experimented with livestreaming on twitch to help spread the word about the fundraiser and it worked surprisingly well. So this year, not only will I be streaming again, but Worldbuilders is reaching out to the streaming community in general, and providing tools so that you can do fundraising for us on your own stream.

If you’re a streamer and you’d like to help out Worldbuidlers, contact us at twitchteams@worldbuilders.org and we’ll work with you to make that happen.

And now the big one….

3. A Million Dollars of Matching Money

This year, with Heifer’s help, Worldbuilders has access to a million dollars worth of matching money.

That means that if you come in and donate $10 to Worldbuilders, this anonymous benefactor will double that money, turning it into $20. You donate enough for a goat? It becomes two goats…

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This is a HUGE deal. And it means we have the chance to absolutely destroy last year’s totals.

I mention this to y’all in advance with the hope that you might be are willing to come in swinging in the early days of the fundraiser. If we manage to get some good donations early on, then double them, I’m hoping the total will be impressive enough that we can get some coverage in the media. That means people will find out about worldbuilders who otherwise would never have noticed it.

If that happens…. well… it means we get to feed a *lot* of hungry kids.

And that’s what I’m really in the mood to do right now.

If you have any suggestions for the upcoming fundraiser, or if you have a clever way of helping us spread the word, please drop those in the comments below, too.

Thanks much.

Take care of each other,

pat

Posted in Acts of Whimsy, calling on the legions, cool news, Uncategorized, Worldbuilders | By Pat104 Responses

The Obligatory Election Blog.

Well. Here we are.

I approach this blog with all the eagerness and delight of a man about to shut his dick in a car door. But if I don’t write it, I won’t feel good about myself.

The problem is, I don’t even know where to start. So I guess I’ll do what I always do, and just tell a story….

*     *     *

About a month ago, I got to hang out with one of my fellow authors. Partway through the conversation he turns to me and says, “You’ll appreciate this. I turned in my manuscript two months late.”

I did appreciate it. He’s one of the workhorses of the genre. Gets his job done on time. He’s a machine. Him turning in a book two months late is like me turning in a book fifteen years late. “Congratulations,” I said.

“I apologized to my editor,” he said. “Told her that it was this election. It’s ruining me. It’s all I can think about.”

“Was she pissed?” I asked.

He shook his head. “She told me pretty much every book for the spring lineup is getting turned in late. Everyone’s brainsick. Everybody’s a wreck about the election.”

I hadn’t known, but I wasn’t surprised. You can’t chop wood with a broken collarbone. And when your head is in a bad place, it’s hard to do work that requires your head.

Writing, if you hadn’t guessed, is pretty head intensive.

It’s cold comfort, I suppose. My writing hasn’t been going well either.

I’m scared. My faith in humanity has been shaken kinda badly. I am afraid for my country.

I’ve been thinking about the election a lot, too….

*     *     *

I don’t talk about politics on the blog very much. Not because I don’t care, but because at my heart I’m a teacher. And deep down in my heart of hearts, I know that talking about this election is kinda pointless, because everyone is way too hot right now. Everyone’s way too emotional. Everyone is way too certain of themselves.

This means that very little actual learning can take place. The people who agree with me aren’t going to agree with me *more.* And the people who disagree with me probably aren’t going to change their minds.

So why would I write this? God knows I’ve got better things to do. I mean, Worldbuilders is right around the corner. We’re crazy busy gearing up for that.

So why do this?

Well… because with moderate power comes moderate responsibility, I suppose. People read this blog, so if there’s the chance even a handful of you might find some merit in what I say… I kinda have to try.

So let’s tell another story….

*     *     *

Earlier this year I was on an airplane sitting next to an older guy. Sixties or so. Retired. We talked about Wisconsin, and farming, and charity, and eventually things wandered into the realm of politics.

It was a pretty easy conversation. This was maybe six months ago, before the primaries, so things weren’t nearly so crazy.

“Who are you for?” I asked.

“Clinton,” he said. “You?”

“Bernie,” I said. “I’d vote for Clinton though.”

He nodded agreeably. “I’d vote for Bernie.”

And that was about it. It was a nice conversation. It was nice to have a gentle disagreement with another human, but to know that ultimately we were both on the same team.

I’ll admit that I was kinda pissed that Bernie didn’t get the nomination. I had my heart set on him, and part of the reason is that I knew he would take Trump apart at the seams because… well… partly because he was an old white guy. And generally speaking, people are more likely to vote for an old white guy. We’re used to it.

Since then though, I’ve had a straight-up change of heart. These days, I admire Clinton.

Sure I disagree with some of her policies. Sure I disagree with some things she’s done.

But fuck. Show me someone I *don’t* disagree with from time to time.

This woman has been through hell and she is still in there swinging. She’s carved out of wood.

I’d be proud of our country if we elected her president.

*     *     *

At one of my events this week, someone asked me if I died, who would I want to finish my book?

It’s not an uncommon question. And I have thought about it. My books are important to me. They’re precious, and they need to be taken care of.

Despite this, when I was asked that question recently, I couldn’t name anyone.

But I can tell you this, I would rather it be someone with experience writing books. A Jemisin. A Sanderson. A Butcher. A Kowal.

If I die and someone says, “I’ve never written a book, but I’m sure I’d be super great at it!”

Please don’t let them write my book. Because that person would be an idiot. Writing a book is hard.

I’m pretty sure being a politician is harder.

*     *     *

Want a confession? Back in 1992, I voted for Perot.

It was a long time ago. 25 years. And I don’t remember much about the election. I was 19 years old, which is pretty much the same thing as saying I was a huge goddamn idiot.

Oh I didn’t *feel* like an idiot. I was completely self-confident. But trust me when I say this: self-certain is the worst kind of idiot you can be. (Think about Kvothe, folks. I kinda know what I’m talking about here.)

I don’t remember my reasoning for that vote, but I do remember feeling REALLY smug. Because I’d stuck it to the man. I’d rebelled. I’d shown the world what I thought of their fucking politicians! I’d voted for an outsider! I was a rebel! A free thinker!

Here’s the thing: if everyone’s trying to order pizza, and they’re either going to get pepperoni thin crust or plutonium deep dish, and you vote for “elephant” you’re not a free thinker. At best, you’re wasting people’s time. At worst….

*     *     *

My point is this: if you’re thinking of voting third party. I understand. I really do.

But distrust of *all* politicians is…. well… it’s kinda bullshit thinking. Politics is a special type of administration. It’s a job. It’s a set of specific skills.

Y’know why I like my therapist? Because he’s super fucking good at his job. And he’s good at his job because he went to school for it, and he’s been doing his job for over 30 years.

When I hire a plumber or a painter or an illustrator, you know what I look for? Experience.

You know why I decided to publish The Name of the Wind with Betsy Wollheim at DAW? Because she has a lifetime of publishing experience.

Hillary has a *ton* of experience in politics.

Trump has *no* experience. Not just less experience. No experience.

He has no experience in politics or international diplomacy.

No experience.

*     *     *

I know if you’re voting for Trump, there’s probably nothing I can do to change your mind.

But could you do me a favor?

If you’re only voting for Trump because of something Clinton did, could you head over to Snopes and see if maybe she really did it?

I would really appreciate that.

*     *     *

If you are thinking of sitting out this election, can I ask you for a favor?

Could you please vote?

If you trust me, I’ll vouch for Hillary. And for Feingold, if you’re in Wisconsin.

I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t important.

*     *     *

If you’re voting for Hillary, can I ask you a favor?

Can you call some of the people on your phone who might be sitting the election out? Give them a nudge? Maybe offer them a ride to the poll they need one?

Maybe send them a link so they can find out where to vote? How to vote? What they need to vote?

That’s what I’m doing today. It will be hard.

Everyone is so tired of the election. Nobody wants to talk about it any more.

But we have two more days to make a difference.

This is really important.

Thanks,

pat

Posted in a ganglion of irreconcilable antagonisms, things I shouldn't talk about | By PatComments closed

So I’m guessing some of you like stories….

Heya Everybody,

There’s a few projects we’ve been working on over here at RothCo. Some of them for years and years. The biggest of these is the website renovation. I’ve wanted a new website for 8 years, and we’ve been working on it for ages.

And now, believe it or not, it looks like we’re going to be able to launch it by the end of the year.

But here’s the thing. One of the big problems with the current website is that it didn’t really show off the blog properly. Because when we created the website, I didn’t know I’d be writing a blog. Or at least I didn’t know I’d be writing a blog as extensive as mine has ended up becoming.

Over the last decade, I’ve written stories I’m proud of. Some funny. Some sad. Some strange. I’d like to show those blogs off to people who swing by the new website, or to people who have only tuned into the blog in the last couple years, and have no way to find those old stories except to troll through

I have a few that I remember that I’m proud of, but to tell you the truth, I wrote a lot of them a long time ago. A lot of times, people say, “I love that blog you wrote about your dog,” and I honestly can’t remember writing it.

So if you have a blog you’re particularly fond of, could you let me know down in the comments below? Preferably with a link?

Thanks,

pat

Posted in Achievement Unlocked!, blogging, calling on the legions | By Pat136 Responses
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