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.

badali-goodies

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.)

games-day-1

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?

followpat

notifyme

(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.

_dsc0250_2

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…

dollar-panarama-704155

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

Five Sentences, Three Events, Two Videos, and a Bag of Chips….

Heya everybody,

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to get a solid blog up, so I thought I’d remedy that today, especially as there’s some news that’s a little time sensitive….

First and foremost, I’ve got a few readings and Q&As coming up in places I don’t visit very often.

  • Charleston, West Virginia

This Saturday (October 29th) I’ll be in West Virginia for the West Virginia Book Festival.

I’m going to be giving a talk on the importance of reading. (Where hopefully I’ll find something to say other than just shouting DUH! really loud.) I’ll also do some Q&A, and then have a signing for everyone who’s interested.

And if that isn’t enough for you, I’ll even be introduced by Justin McElroy, West Virginian and co-host of the awesome podcast “My Brother, My Brother, and Me.” It’s one of my newest loves, and if you don’t listen to it, you should. It is a source of genuine delight.

Here’s all the info for the event itself:

October 29, 2016 at 3:00 PM
Charleston Civic Center
Little Theater
200 Civic Center Dr
Charleston, West Virginia 25301
Facebook Event

If you’re in the area, come say hi. And if you happen to be in a different area…

  • Madison, Wisconsin

Despite the fact that I only live a hundred miles away, I’m doing my first event in Madison in years. Even better, I’ll actually be doing *two* different events, both with some Q&A and books available for purchase, though the first is primarily a reading and Q&A, and the second is primarily a keynote speech.

The first one is next week Thursday…

November 3, 2016 at 5:00 PM
Reading and Q&A
Agriculture Hall, Room 125
1450 Linden Dr
Madison, WI 53706

And the second is going to be on Friday night…

MADISON, WI
November 4, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Talk and Q&A
272 Bascom Hall
Madison, WI 53706

Both events will have books for purchase from A Room of One’s Own, one of my favorite bookstores in Madison. So if you’re all signed-book-wanty, this would be a great place to get one without paying shipping costs from our online store

For those of you who aren’t in West Virginia OR Wisconsin, there’s some cool internet things I’ve been up to as well….

  • Moana Screening in New York

And a couple weeks ago, his happened. For real.

I’ll probably gush about this more in the future. But the short of it is that I got to see an early version of Moana, and it was stunningly good.

More than that. Honestly? I think it might be the best Disney movie I’ve ever seen. Though honestly, with Lin Manuel Miranda involved, that shouldn’t really be a surprise.

Super good, folks. Seriously.

 

  • Podcast: “I’m Not Here to Judge You Chickenf*ckers.”

The most recent episode of Unattended Consequences is up, and it was a pretty good one. We recorded it live at NerdCon: Stories,  and the audience did a good job reining us in. We even said some not entirely stupid things.

Give it a listen if you’re so inclined. And be aware some of the stories I don’t have time to write up on the blog these days end up on the Podcast instead.

And finally, here’s the most time sensitive of the announcements:

  • A  delightful kickstarter that will help you friendship better.

Yesterday, I agreed to write five cards for Jenn and Trin’s Friendship Postcards Kickstarter Project:

You should really check this out. It’s a wonderful idea. The campaign includes cards like “Wow, that thing you did to your hair is super cool!”, “You make the internet a happier place,” and my favorite, “I said some shitty things (That’s not really how I feel, and I’m sorry.)”

782a6bde35266775fcadc2a84c8a34d3_originalWhen I saw this project, I actually emailed Trin and Jenn to tell them they were awesome, and to offer my help if they needed it.

I don’t talk about it a lot on here. But I have a hard time making and maintaining friendships these days. It used to be so easy for me. You just met people, they came over to your house. You watched movies and played games. You were friends.

Then I got published. I got busy. My friends moved away to pursue jobs and relationships. And I wasn’t in college any more. Wasn’t teaching any more. Wasn’t meeting people socially any more. Which means that friends don’t just happen to me any more. Which means… for about a decade now, I really haven’t had a lot of close friends.

But this last year, I’ve made a really good friend by the name of Thera. She’s better at being a friend than I am. And she’s taught me a lot about how to be a good friend as an adult (As opposed to just being a sort of an older maladjusted post-collegiate manbaby.)

So we’re writing these cards together. Me and my friend. Not only does this make me happy. Not only does this mean they’ll be better than if I did them myself. But it also means they’ll probably get done on time….

Here’s the downside, the project ends Thursday, October 27 at 1:00 PM CDT.

Yeah. Today. There’s just a few hours left. So if you want a set of postcards you should hop to it.

Be good to each other,

pat

Posted in being awesome, conventions, cool news, cool things, geeking out, Interviews, Link salad, panels, podcasts | By Pat19 Responses
  • What are my chances of winning a prize?

  • Our Store

  • Previous Posts

  • Archives

  • My Twitter

  • Bookmark this Blog

    (IE and Firefox users only - Safari users, click Command-D)