Today’s festivities….

Whelp. It’s the 5th day of the fundraiser, and I tell you, since Tuesday a *lot* of things have happened.

First and Foremost, the fundraiser currently stands at over $350,000. Which is a pretty amazing launch.

Secondly, I made a Wager with My Community while livestreaming. It relates to book 3. But I’ll have to write that story up on the blog later tonight….

Because we’ve got *several* events happening today that I’ve got to announce.

First, for those of you who are into D&D… this is happening:

I’m sure a lot of you remember the previous two games B. Dave ran last year. This is the third one in that series.

It will be broadcast live over on my Twitch page starting at 2:00 central today.

I’m super excited about it. Chuffed even.

But *before* that happens. In bare minutes….

…we’re finally launching something for Worldbuilders that’s been a year in the making.

Specifically? The Worldbuilders Minecraft server for people who donated on Oot’s Cow Jar last year.

I tell you, it’s been a JOURNEY. A saga filled with drama and tragedy. We have struggled and sweated and cursed the name of many gods in our despair…

But that is also a story for another day. Suffice to say that it’s been a long road, and that this morning we’re finally making good on our promise to make a server for all the cool kids of charity to come, hang out, and build a better world together.

If you donated last year, you should have gotten an e-mail with a google form to get your username so we can give you access. If you haven’t seen that yet, maybe check your spam filter?

If you didn’t donate last year but would like to get access to the server as well, you just have to donate over on THIS year’s cow jar page.

You won’t get in right away. We’re going to give last year’s donors a couple days to themselves in there, as they’ve been waiting a while. But we’ll get you access in just a couple days.

I’m going to be streaming the launch in just a brief handful of minutes over on twitch.

Hope to see some of you there.

pat

Posted in Acts of Whimsy, Because I Love, calling on the legions, Cutie Snoo | By Pat3 Responses

Worldbuilders Day 1: Everything Old is New Again

Well folks, here we are at the start of another shiny new Worldbuilders. I don’t know if you’re excited, but I’m excited.

At least, I *think* this is excitement. It could that I’m working on three hours of sleep and 8 shots of espresso right now.

But you know what, that’s tradition. Here we are, day of the fundraiser, we have so many exciting things tee’d up, and still I’m not as ready as I’d like to be. The sun is shining. It’s beautiful outside, and honestly, I’m scared.

I know that when I post this blog, the fundraiser will launch, and I’ll be swept up in it again. Streaming, telling stories, spreading the word and trying to change the world….

But right now, it’s a nervous time. I never really know how it’s going to go. I can only hope.

Let’s bring out the logo to see if that helps a bit.

Hello there, old friend….

And you know what? It does help a little. I can feel the old muscle memory kicking in. I just need to shake off the rust a little and let you know what we’re doing today. How this year’s fundraiser has some of our comforting old traditions, some new experiments, and surprises on the horizon.

Briefly, for those of you who are new here, Worldbuilders is a charity where we all get together to make the world a better place. Over the last decade, geeks of all creeds and nations have come together and raised more than $15,000,000 to make the world a better place. (Yup. That’s the right number of zeros. Geeks are awesome.)

Traditions we’re glad to continue.

1. Matching money!

This year, an anonymous donor is offering to match our first $100,000 of donations.

That means in you jump in right now to donate, So if you jump in early, the good you do in the world gets doubled.

2. We’ve got over $100,000 of prizes to give away!

Cool games, rare, signed books. Original art. Comics. All manner of delightful geeky hodgelany. (We’ll be showing these things off to you throughout the fundraiser, and adding new things, too. As if we tried to display it to you all at once, it could cook your brain like a toad thrown into the sun.

Something new: Worldbuilders Architects.

Here’s the elevator pitch. We’d asking for your help to build a better Worldbuilders, so that Worldbuilders can keep building a better world.

A longer explanation is over on the Worldbuilders Architects team page. And even more details will be released in a day or two.

Launch day- Ballyhoo!

As soon as this blog goes live, I’m doing this.

I’ve played Minecraft before, but mostly just with my boys for run. I enjoy it a lot, but honestly? I’m not very good at it. I’ve never made it to the end fortress, let alone the end. Let alone beaten the dragon.

But today I’m going to do it. I’m going to start a new game and play until I beat the game or until my actual human body dies. For charity.

Tune in on my twitch channel if you want to watch this beautiful trainwreck.

And, of course, you can come over to donate directly on my team page, too.

See y’all soon!

pat

Posted in Uncategorized | By Pat12 Responses

Magic Words….

It probably won’t surprise y’all to know that I think about magic kind of a lot.

There’s a lot of reasons for this, obviously. First, it’s kinda my job. Worldbuilding.

But it’s also kinda my hobby: I’m a geek for fantasy.

It’s also a pleasantly large part of being a dad. I read my boys books, and we play games, and we talk about those things and all their history and context. (See above: geek.) Quite aside from that, sometimes they straight up just ask me out of the blue about myth or superstition, or faeries.

Just the other day, I saw some of this bear fruit when a friend asked my boys, in a very casual way, what she should do about her dice. They’d been rolling badly, and she wanted to fix them.

(These aren’t specifically her dice. They’re just cool dice.)

They jumped in with both feet. Was she looking to dispel bad luck? Or give a blessing? They talked about holy salt and the Eye of Horace…

I was so proud.

Anyway. To the point. I was thinking about magic the other day. Like I do. For… reasons. Reasons I won’t go into lest this blog become super long.

But I was wondering about how you would describe magic effects in words that were as simple as possible. Like, for example, what if you were going to try to describe magic spells or effect in the same way Randal Monroe did in his book Thing Explainer.

So, for example, for Fireball an description might be: “Flame Explode” Or maybe “Hot Explode.”

Or, now that I’m thinking about it, “Hot Explode THERE.” (As opposed to a spell that just blew up in your face, which is somewhat less desirable….)

As another example, for the dice above it could be: “Make Good Luck.” Or “Add Fortune.”

But see, “Fortune” is a really specific term. A broader way of saying it might be “Change This. Add More Good”

Or alternately: Remove Bad Magic.

See where I’m aiming with this?

So I’m throwing this out to y’all. What classic spells or magical effects can you think of, and how would you describe them in the simplest, most basic?

Curious to see what y’all come up with…

pat

Edit: I’m enjoying the back and forth in comments with y’all, as bouncing these ideas back and forth is what I was hoping to do. Kinda of troubleshooting the entire concept.  That’s the easiest way to knock the rough corners off an idea, in my experience….

To further clarify for those of you who are looking to come in and participate, reading through some of the other comments first would probably be a good idea.

For example, after reading some of the suggestions below, I think “Make” is going to be out-of-bounds. “Create” is a good one though, as “Create” is a big concept, but it really only means one thing, which is “Bring into existence.”

What I’m really looking do to is develop a rough vocabulary of terms that could be assembled into different effects. Almost like computer code, but for magic. (Someone down in the comments made this analogy, and it’s too fitting not to share.)

How about this, moving foward, think of this as a note you’re handing to the universe. What’s more, it’s a universe that doesn’t give much of a shit about what you want or intend. It’s not going to read your mind or ask for clarification.

With that in mind, note that FIAT LUX  (Let there be light) is pretty clear.

But something like “Do thing” isn’t.

PUSH is pretty clear. But PUSH AWAY is clearer.

(Interesting note: “Push away” in Latin is “repelle” if memory serves.)

Anyway, yeah. Thanks for everyone who’s been coming in to try out this odd idea with me. This is fun so far…

pat

Posted in calling on the legions, gaming, naming, Terrible Science | By Pat112 Responses

The New Corinthian.

So if you read the blog, you’re aware that a lot of the stories I tell here feature my kids.

Sometimes they’re sweet stories. Sometimes funny stories. Or sometimes they’re stories about how I struggle to balance being a dad with… whatever else it is that I’m supposed to be.

(Huh. Went looking for the link for that blog and couldn’t find it. Did I never post that one online? It’s possible. I have roughly 300 half-written blogs that I don’t know if I’ll ever finish.)

Anyway. Not every parenting experience contains a lot of narrative. Sometimes your kid just does something and you want to share it….

For example, this Saturday, Cutie came into my room and told me that he wanted me to see his new “art installation.” So I go into the other room and this is what is on the computer screen….

(You can click to embiggen if you really want to, but….)

I want to say, “There’s a lot to unpack here.” But the truth is, I don’t think it will bear up under much unpacking. Instead can we just agree that this is… That there’s just a lot.

I wish I could share the entire experience with you of zooming in…. and in… and in…. Like an endless Mandelbrot nightmare. Like some cocaine-fueled Hollywood producer working on Sandman gave the note, “Listen, I love this Corinthian character. Super spooky. The best. But… and just come along with me here… what if we kept all that AND made him somehow cuter and also more purple and infinite?”

Y’know what? I’m gonna retract the cocaine jab there. That is an actual non-drugged, non-ironic thing someone would say in LA. I think Neil would back me up on that.

Also, I’d like to make it clear, there’s no cheap cut-and-paste going on here. It’s bespoke. Each of the faces-in-eyes-in-faces is its own small-batch artisanal horror.

It’s the night terrors of turtles all the way down….

And that’s it. No moral. No narrative arc. No sense.

Just nonsense.

That’s something my boys help me remember. I am too often with the world, getting and spending. My boys help draw me back to my other, better self from long ago, that knew the joy of the ridiculous.

So I’m sharing it with you.

Hope y’all are doing okay.

pat

Posted in Cutie Snoo, day in the life, graphic novels | By Pat32 Responses

An Appropriate Dosage of Hope.

So I’m downstairs, making breakfast for me and the boys.

This is an elaborate and arcane process. It involves more wandering in and out of rooms than you might expect, and trying to remember what I meant to do there. Plus a fair amount of esoteric behavior like looking for a spoon that I’m sure I was just holding…. but it’s not here anymore. Was I holding it? Is this a Matrix thing? Was it some sort of fucking magical elf-spoon?

(It was not a magical elf-spoon. Alas.)

Some of the reason for this is because part of the breakfast I’m preparing is coffee (for me, not the boys). And that means I haven’t yet had my coffee. And that means that daddy needs his medicine. And by medicine I mean the literal drug that I literally take because I want all that ergogenic mojo all up in my headbrains and bodymeats. And by daddy I mean literally me. Because I am that.

(Who’s your parasocial daddy?)

I can’t blame it all on coffee though. Some of it is just me being groggy. And some of it is me thinking about everything at once, like I do. And part of it is probably some of the ADHD (though I still never know how much to point the finger at that, as I’m still knew to that diagnosis. And it seems unfair to lay *all* my disorganized bullshit at the feet of that particular acronym.)

Nevertheless, as I walk past the end-table, hunting elusive faerie cutlery, I see my little pill-box thing.

(Because this is my life now. This is who I am, apparently.) 

First I have to figure out what fucking day it is. And yeah. It’s Thursday. But if it’s Thursday, why are there still pills in the little Thursday pill home? But I’m pretty sure that I remember taking my meds this morning. That’s why the pill thing is here, right? Because I carried it downstairs when I was getting ready to take the pills….

But the pills are still in there.

So I look at this thing, and I say, “I don’t know if I took my meds already.”

I have to make something clear here, I’m not talking to myself. But at the same time, I’m not really asking my kids for advice on this, either. Because while I value their thoughts and feelings, they shouldn’t be making certain decisions. They’re 7 and 11 years old, respectively. They’re wise beyond their years and off-the-charts articulate, but *I’m* the one who needs to fucking figure out whether I’ve taken my meds.

But why am I saying this out loud then? I honestly don’t know. I do tend to process things out loud more often when the boys are around. Maybe that’s how we’re wired as primates, to talk around our children so we can model our decision making process.

Anyway, whatever the reason, I’m talking it through, saying, “Do I risk missing my meds entirely, or do I risk doubling up on my meds? If I double up, will that make me really scattered, or will I be Super Productive today…?”

Without missing a beat or breaking stride, Oot walks behind me and asks casually, “What’s the LD-50?”

I turn to look at him, not quite sure what I just heard. He’s doing something at the sink now. “Did you just ask me about the LD-50?” I ask.

He turns to look at me, nodding. He’s not above showboating. He likes being clever. And if there’s a pedantry gene, he has it (and he got it from me) but right now he’s not doing that. Or if he is doing it, he’s gone next level and has realized the value of the slow-play. Maybe he’s learning that less is more…

Either way, he’s just looking at me with vague curiosity in his big, serious eyes, as if he can’t understand why my tone would be incredulous. As if he doesn’t know why I would be impressed that he remembered the concept of LD-50. Something I didn’t learn about until my junior year of college. Something I’m pretty sure I only mentioned once to my boys a couple months ago, probably when I was dosing Cutie with antibiotics during a recent deeply shitty medial adventure.

“Yeah,” he says.

And I just start to laugh. I go over and hug him, laughing. And I keep laughing uncontrollably for at least a solid minute.

I know I’ve laughed in surprise before. (That’s one of the big theories about laughter, actually. Some folks believe true laughter, [Duchenne laughter] only erupts as a symptom. It’s the result of a sort cognitive fuse being blown when we experience something that goes contrary to our expectations. The cognitive and neurophysiological roots of laughter is one of the many odd rabbit holes of research I’ve gone down over the years, as I used to consider myself a bit of a humorist. But that, as they say, is a blog for a different day…)

Anyway. I’m laughing. And while part of this *is* surprise. It’s also just joy. I don’t remember laughing out of real joy before I became a dad. It’s been happening a fair amount this last year as these boys continue to startle me with their kindness and honesty. They startle me by actually remembering things I’ve told them. And not just remembering. They actually understand and internalize and make use of this stuff, too….

You might wonder why this surprises me. I mean, why on earth would I be dadding so hard if not to this exact purpose? Why would I be spending so much time and energy trying to teach them stuff, if not so they would learn it?

And… yeah. I mean. Of course. That’s the dream.

But if I’ve learned anything over the last decade, is that you can care a lot, and work really hard, and do your level best… and in the end all you get for your trouble is double therapy and trouble sleeping at night. So these days I fight to keep my expectations modest. It’s the whole Buddhist thing: Taṇhā leads to dukkha. Desire causes suffering. Hope is the highwire without which you need not fear a fall.

So I try not to hope too much for the boys. The world is hard enough, and life is heavy enough. They don’t need my expectations weighing them down. I just try to take them as they come and enjoy them for who they are.

But oh it’s hard. These boys, they’re pretty great.

It occurs to me that I sat down to tell a cute (if slightly braggy) story about my kids, and it’s turned into something else. I can’t be surprised at that, though. Most people think that writing is just expressing what you already think or feel. It’s transcription. It’s explanation. I used to think that, too, way back in the day. But not for decades. Now I know better. For me, writing is almost always a process of exploration and discovery. Not always, but often.

You want to know the *real* truth? I originally started to write this little story as a *tweet* and instead it turned into a thousand word maunder where the upshot is that I’m surprised my boys actually listen to me. In some ways that doesn’t seem like much. Hardly worth the work or words.

But on the other hand, what’s better than your kids listening to you and then turning around and reminding you of what you’ve shared? What more could I hope for?

And there we are gain. Back at hope. And hope, you see, is a hell of a drug, and while that doesn’t make hope bad, it does make it dangerous. Maybe it’s just that way for me though. Maybe I have hope sensitivity. Or whatever the hope-appropriate version of drug-intolerance is. Maybe it’s that when it comes to hope, the Effective Dose is way too close to the Lethal Dose for me.

But these boys. I tell you. They are such a wonder and a delight. And so, despite myself sometimes, I hope.

pat

Posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, Because I Love, day in the life, musings, Oot, The Art of Letting Go, the man behind the curtain, Uncategorized | By Pat84 Responses

The Literary Tarot: Being Foolish Together

So here’s the thing, I got a little rambly while writing this post. Even for me.

The crux of the issue, is that I was invited to help design a tarot card for the Literary Tarot project that’s running right now.

Not only that, but I got to do the Fool, which is a particularly meaningful card to me. Even better, I got to pair the fool with Don Quixote, a *character* that is very close to my heart.

(Click to Embiggen.)

Did I mention that the kickstarter is raising money for a charity? Which is absolutely my jam. Except when it’s a charity that’s focused on improving global literacy, which is *double* my jam.

And if that weren’t enough, the person who is running the charity (and the kickstarter) has agreed to add a tier so that people can back at that level and support both Brink (their charity) and Worldbuilders (my charity).

Here’s the catch: as I type this, there’s only about 36 hours left in the kickstarter.

That’s why the new tier is named “Foolish Together” because doing something like this at the last minute at the end of a successful kickstarter is pure madness. (Right now they’ve got almost 10,000 backers, and are poised to tear past 700,000 dollars.)

That’s why I’m doing this little summary here, so if you’re interested, you can just hop over there go over there and take a quick look. Even if you’re not interested in backing it, you should really go look at the art and the different authors invovled. It’s really cool.

But if you want the whole story, maunder and all, here it is….

*     *     *

For years now, a big part of my job is saying no to cool new projects.

And believe it or not, I’ve gotten pretty good at it. It might not seem like it to the casual observer, or to any observer at all, really. The problem with non-action, of course, is that it is non-visible. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to write a blog or tweet,  “I said no to being in a writer’s room!” Or “I passed on the opportunity to be a keynote speaker today!”

But the truth is, I nope out of the vast majority of things I’m invited to do. Maybe, like… 97% of them.

Sometimes it’s easy. But some of the missed opportunities I still think about years later. I’ve passed up several chances to do narrative design for video games. And twice I’ve said no actually holding the reins and helping assemble and lead teams for parts of video game design: once for Worldbuilding, once for narrative. Those really stung to walk away from.

I’ve given a regretful no to writing an opinion piece for the New York Times, to being involved in writer’s rooms for *very* cool properties, and writing stories comic book characters that I’ve loved since I was a kid…

And those are just the ones that spring to mind. Not to mention the hundreds of conventions, dozens of licensing deals, and many anthology invitations I’ve politely declined.

Almost all of these things I would have loved to do to some degree, but I know I need to focus more. Working on too many projects at once is foolish…

But several weeks ago, some friends introduced me to Dani Hedlund, who was putting together a Literary Tarot Deck for a charity fundraiser. Authors were pairing up cards with literary characters. A bunch of authors. Cool authors.

These are just the ones that were announced TODAY. Seriously.

And yes, that’s Steven Fry.

Anyway, I got the invite. It sounded fun and easy, and I like charity, and I’ve been dabbling with Tarot for about 30 years now. Plus, just picking a card and pairing it with a literary figure should probably take what? Ten minutes? Fifteen?

Fast forward two weeks to where I’m on a call with the CEO of the other charity doing art direction, talking about Sancho Panza, and excitedly bubbling over about the fact that what’s on his head is not, in fact, a helmet. It’s a shaving basin.

Also, there might have been singing.

Then this:

Fast forward another two weeks, where I’m talking with Dani again, asking if there’s anything I or Worldbuilders can do to help.

She mentions what I already know, that the biggest challenge is always getting the word out.

I tell her what *she* already knows, that my charity is currently doing its own fundraiser right now. Worse yet, both our fundraisers end almost exactly at the same time. We both know it would be deeply foolish for me to change directions and to promote hers at the same time.

I mention that if Brink and Worldbuilders could somehow work together in some way, we could hit it from that angle. Use the Worldbuilders mailing list. Do a livestream. Pitch it as a superhero team-up. But we both know that it would be deeply foolish for her to make a sudden addition or change to what is already a *super* successful project right at the end.

Fast forward to this:

Yup. She added an entire new tier to her kickstarter out of the goodness of her heart. Just so our charities could work together. It’s got a special postcard based off the card that we designed together that’s full of delightful little flourishes like this:

And I took a chunck of time on Sunday and we had an *amazingly* fun talk about Tarot cards, books we love, the madness of running a charity. I explain why I picked Don Quixote, and we talk about the art direction we did. It’s honestly one of my favorite streams I’ve done in ages.

Also, I was in fine form. I’m not saying I was so witty at one point that I made Dani snort. But I’m not *not* saying that either.

You should check out the video just for the joy of getting to meet Dani, honestly. She’s charming AF. Straight-up one of the most delightful people I’ve ever met. (And I’m saying this as a person who once hugged Felicia Day and Neil Gaiman on the same day.)

So… yeah. You’ve got about 36 hours to jump on that kickstarter if you’re interested.

Here’s the link.

You know what to do.

pat

Posted in Arts and Crafts, calling on the legions, cool news, cool things, geeking out, hubris, Me Interviewing Other Folks, meeting famous people, My Iconoclastic Tendencies | By Pat19 Responses

The Double-Edged Sword of Empathy

So a couple days ago, while I was in the middle of doing some promotional streaming for our charity fundraiser, my phone rang.

Even though I was in the middle of a live-broadcast discussion of mental health, I still tried to pick up. But, since the phone was muted, I was slow and I missed it.

Then a text came in:

“Oot would like to call you about a baby bird he found.”

As soon as I’d wrapped up the stream, I gave a call back. My eldest boy put me on speakerphone. (He is only 11, a stripling youth, and therefore does not know that this behavior is anathema. Plus I love him, so much is immediately forgiven.)

(A rare sighting in the wild)

While they’d been out camping, he explained, his little brother (Cutie, 7) had spotted a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest. They were worried about it, and they wanted to bring it home.

Did it have feathers? I asked. Or was it still pink with its eyes closed?

Kinda some feathers, he said, but it was pretty pink. And yeah, its eyes were pretty closed.

Did you try to put it back in the nest? I asked.

It was way too high up, he explained. They could tell it was the right nest because they could hear the other birds up there peeping. He was obviously hungry because he kept opening his mouth, but he wasn’t very loud.

He and Cutie had a theory that maybe he was weak because he wasn’t very good at peeping up for food. Or maybe his mom had pushed him out of the nest because he wasn’t a very loud peeper.

Or, I offered, maybe it might not be able make much noise because he was hungry and weak.

Oot pointed out they’d already fed him some oats mashed up with some water. Also, he added, they really wanted to bring him home and take care of him.

(The Byirb in question)

This is what happens. You read to them. You talk about emotions, and listen as best you can. You celebrate and encourage their empathy… and then they grow up wanting to save baby birds.

And oh, I love them for it. And at the same time I worry I’ve done them a bad turn despite my best intentions. Because we need that empathy. It is, in my opinion, the defining human characteristic. But it is a double-edged sword. When you have a lot, it gets really heavy. And you can’t just pick and choose. You carry it all the time. And all too often it feels like it’s got no handle either, so you just kinda walk though your whole life constantly cut up and bleeding….

And I love that they’re like this. I love that they want to save baby birds. I wouldn’t want them any other way. But still, they’re *my* baby birds. And I want to keep them safe from both hurt AND harm….

But I can’t keep them from the world, and I can’t keep them from being who they are. It’s just hard, knowing part of your job as a parent is to let your children be hurt by the world.

It’s going to be a lot of work, I tell him. It’s helpless, and it will need care and attention. Warmth and food all the time. Even in the middle of the night….

Oot says he knows.

And there’s a really good chance that the bird won’t make it, I say. Even if we do everything right. Even if we’re really careful, there’s a good chance that it’ll die.

Oot replies that even if that happens, at least we’ll have done our best. And if we do everything we can, we won’t have to feel as bad. And he says that at the very least, if we’re keeping it warm and fed, it will know that someone cares. If it does die, at least it would know (as much as a baby bird can know anything) that someone was there for it at the end. It wouldn’t have to be alone.

(They named him “Mr. Cheepers.”)

These are the things my son explains to me. Or maybe I say them to him. I honestly can’t remember, because the truth is that I’ve said those things to my children in the past, and now they say them back to me. It’s a hell of a thing, having children that listen and remember. It warms my heart and breaks it all at once.

So I tell him of course he can bring it over. And I’ll help them do research. And I’ll help them take care of it. And we’ll do our best. And I tell him that I love that he cares as much as he does.

Then I hang up the call and get ready for the bird to die before he even gets home. Or to die in the night. Or to die after we’ve taken care of it for two weeks. I need to be braced for it, so if it happens I won’t be blindsided and hurt too badly. So if it happens I can ease the boys through the experience…

But they get back with the bird just fine. What’s more, it turns out there’s a place that takes baby birds and cares for them. It’s only an hour away.

I ask them if they’d like to take the bird there, rather than have us take care of it ourselves. It will have a better chance with people who know what they’re doing, who know birds and how to care for them…

And they surprise me by saying yes. Which is impressive in a whole different way. It shows that they don’t just want a pet, or to be the people who nurse a sick animal back to health. They want what is best for the bird. It’s selfless in a way I didn’t expect.

So that is why I spent almost three and a half hours driving through the twisting back roads of Wisconsin on Tuesday night. Phone ran out of battery. Got lost.

But at the end of it all:

(Yay!)

There is a clarity in crisis. When something is very wrong, it’s easy to know what’s important. That means you can focus. That means it’s easier to decide what you can do. This is why crisis can be oddly comforting.

(This is why a lot of us do odd things: like fantasize about the zombie apocalypse, or inadvertently create or promote crisis in our own lives.)

The trouble is, of course, when you have multiple crisis to choose from. The older you get, the more you know about the world, the more you realize that there’s an endless all-you-can-stress buffet of calamity going on every day. I spend a long time on the horns of dilemma, wondering which fire I should be throwing water on. Fascism or the Pandemic? Fighting homelessness or hunger?

Or, just to pick something entirely at random… should I spend my evening trying to save a baby bird, or should I spend it trying to promote my charity fundraiser that only has a few days left?

In this case, I chose the bird. I’m conflicted about that. I’m proud of Worldbuilders, and the work we do has improved the lives of tens of thousands of people over the last decade. What’s more, the current fundraiser is important for the financial stability of the charity. A lot of the products over there are things designed to appeal to my readers. So it feels like there’s no better person to promote them than me…

(Case in Point.)

It’s hard for me to remember that other people *can* spread the word about the fundraiser. And no matter how hard I hustle, nothing works better than word of mouth. Either people will be excited enough to buy stuff and tell their friends during the final days, or they won’t.

On the other hand, I *was* the only person who was going to save this baby bird. And the only person who could have this particular little adventure in empathy with my boys…

So I’m trying hard to count this one as a win. I saved a baby birb and was a pretty good dad.

If you want to check out the cool things Worldbuilders is selling, you can head over here.

Later space cowboys,

pat

Posted in babies, baby ducks, Because I Love, Cutie Snoo, day in the life, musings, Oot | By Pat34 Responses
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