So I’ve been trying to remember what it is a person does when he isn’t working on a book 10 hours a day, then blogging, running a fundraiser, and mailing t-shirts for the other six hours he’s awake.

Sarah informed me that what a person does is go get a Christmas tree. She informed me of this very firmly. Several times. With increasing levels of frantic need in her voice. Getting a tree was very important to Sarah. She made it clear that if we did not go pick out a tree, together, our relationship would suffer irreparable damage.

So we got a tree. We did this pretty much the very day after I posted the last blog. It made me feel like a big man lifting it up and tying it to the roof of the car. Oot watched me with muted awe, amazed that I could lift up something so big.

I sawed off the bottom, which is more exercise than I’ve had in months. And while I wasn’t that excited about it at the beginning, the tree is actually pretty awesome.  It makes the house smell piney and nice.

We also made gingerbread men to hang on the tree, because Sarah wanted to, and I owe her because I’ve been neglecting family-ish things pretty severely over these last several months.

I’ve never decorated a gingerbread man before, but I was pretty sure it was supposed to go something like this:

And so that’s the first one I did. Then I tried to do a Santa, but it really sucked. Then I got bored.

You see, I have a strong contrary element in my personality. Plus I have a real problem when it comes to strictly adhereing to genre guidelines. So my next gingerbread people were more… meta.

I’m especially proud of this one:

To me, his expression really conveys the mute horror and existential doubt occasionally brought about by the holiday season.

At first Sarah expressed a little mute horror of her own at my cookie decorations. But there are only so many cute gingerbread people you can make before it starts to grate on you a little, so eventually she got into the spirit of things and made an emo gingerbread man. I made one too…

I think they’re in love….

After that, just a couple days before Christmas, our car broke down. Sarah was actually driving it down to our mechanic because the clutch was behaving oddly, and it died about a mile before she got there. Transmission was utterly shot. They can fix it, but it will take a couple days to get the parts.

By the time we got the diagnosis on the 24th, all the rental places were closed. And you can’t rent a car on Christmas. And in Stevens Point you can’t rent a car on the Sunday after Christmas either.

So the precious few days I’d been counting on to catch up with my shopping were spent car-less. And since I couldn’t shop, I spent some time playing Fallout New Vegas instead.

Merry Christmas to me.


P.S. In a related Christmas Miracle, the Kingkiller shirts showed up on the 24th. My assistants are off for the holidays, so I had to borrow a car to move them over to the place where we do the packaging. Yesterday I slogged away for about 10 hours to get as many of them packaged up as I could. I really owe the folks at the post office something nice for putting up with me….

So rest assured, t-shirts are on the way as quickly as I can get them out the door.

This entry was posted in being awesome, Oot, SarahBy Pat36 Responses


  1. Posted December 27, 2010 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    Those gingerbread men are awesome.

  2. Chocolate Sushi
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    I get the feeling those emo gingerbread men will have the least problems being eaten.

  3. Dianadomino
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    In October, I found these cookie-cutters online. They are “Ninjabread Men” cookie cutters. So I made some.

    And a gingerbread dojo. They had to have somewhere to hideout. ^_^

    (Here is where I got them: http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/kitchen/e55a/action/)


    • Posted December 27, 2010 at 10:47 PM | Permalink

      Those cutters are awesome, Diana! My boss calls our team ‘the ninja’s’ and is pretty obsessed so reckon some of those at the next work event will go down well lol

      • Dianadomino
        Posted December 28, 2010 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

        They went over very well at my office. I didn’t frost them, as they stood out too much, but used a toothpick to mark the dough with the appropriate features. They blended in much better that way. ^_^

        GO NINJAS!

  4. MLBurt
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 10:11 PM | Permalink

    To think, this artist, this God, this pillar of literary brilliance, played the same game I (and nearly everyone else, so what) did the past few days!

    I feel all tingly inside … though that may just be the abnormally high blood-sugar.

  5. justajenjen
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

    I always make, um…interesting gingerbread persons. It’s way more fun. I also got the ninja gingerbread men cutters, because they are awesome. This year for Christmas, my mother, who knows me way too well, got me a set of Star Wars cookie cutters and a Darth Vader spatula. I’m going to cross the streams and put them in my TARDIS cookie jar.

    Also, I laughed so hard at your cookies, I choked on my candy cane. It was worth it, though. :)

  6. Fattimus
    Posted December 28, 2010 at 12:19 AM | Permalink

    Have you ever entered Penny Arcade’s Dickerdoodles contest? If not, you should soon, before it becomes entirely too inappropriate to be making penis-shaped cookies in the same house as Oot.

  7. Linda
    Posted December 28, 2010 at 3:29 AM | Permalink

    Stressed out much? It looks a lot like the dark side of Christmas is closing in for the kill on the one happy guy up in the corner.

    We didn’t have any decorations but I tried some improvised carving. I was particularly excited about my Batman which looked great going into the oven but came out as Fatman. That’s Christmas.

  8. TimAZ
    Posted December 28, 2010 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    Talk about Proust’s madeleine. For me, it’s not the cookies but the plate in that first picture. I ate some pretty lousy food off those exact same plates for the first 18 years of my life. (And I’m pretty sure they stopped making that pattern before first episode of The Brady Bunch was filmed.) But I have one great memory of them, when my dad grew potatoes the year he decided to keep a garden, and my mother just boiled them and tossed them in butter. I’ve never again tasted potatoes that good.

  9. cat collector
    Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    The last part of this entry is what you need to refer people to when they ask you what it’s like to be a famous writer. “Well the car broke down right before Christmas and I spent 10 hours of my holiday preparing t-shirts to be sent out…” Thank you for spending so much time and effort on us—my t-shirt came in before Christmas and I love it.

    On another note, showing your appreciation to those post office workers could be tricky for them if you’re thinking of some physical token. They may be limited on what sort of “gifts” they can accept. A letter of appreciation to their supervisors, especially if you use their names, may not seem like much; but it will be noted to their benfit when/if they get their yearly reviews.
    (I work for the local library and we were told last year in no uncertain terms that we were not, repeat NOT allowed to accept any Christmas gifts from patrons—not even a plate of cookies! Not even emo gingerbread people.)

    • Posted December 31, 2010 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

      That’s really sad. I also work at a library but we are able to accept gifts. I mean of course they can’t be worth like $50 but we’re allowed to accept them, even cookies.

  10. Robo
    Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    I feel a little uncomfortable eating a gingerbread man. A gingerbread woman, no problem.

    On a side note, I grew up eating breakfast/lunch/dinner off those plates you have. And I’m probably ten years older than you. Not sure what that means. Maybe it’s a compliment on your flatware taste. Or maybe it’s a reflection of how f’n indestructable they are. Either way, I’m now heading over to Mom’s to have her make me some french toast.

  11. Bartb11
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

    My favorite is the gingerbread pirate.

    I live in Lincoln, NE, and our local license plates are currently three letters followed by three numbers. The letters are towards the latter half of the alphabet, starting with O or P or Q or R…..and I’ve been seeing some license plates lately where the three letters are OOT. I smile every time I see one, as then I think of the adorable Oot Rothfuss.

    If you have a photo of Oot enjoying a gingerbread cookie, I’m sure we’d all love to see it.

  12. Willy
    Posted December 30, 2010 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    Lo siento por el idioma y también por escribir en este post, pero no tenia como dejarte un mensaje para expresarte mi agrado… Acabo de leer “El nombre del viento” (Fue un regalo de navidad ya que yo no dispongo de mucho dinero, y ya hace muchos meses que estaba en mi lista de espera) y sinceramente me enamore, me lleno completamente y por las noches solo el sueño me impedía terminar antes este impresionante libro.
    Muchas gracias!
    Gracias por tenerme una semana en otro mundo… (y con sueño xD)

    • Lostmartyr
      Posted December 30, 2010 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

      What he said :)

    • DShannon
      Posted December 30, 2010 at 8:51 PM | Permalink

      “Sorry for the language and also to write in this post, but I did not leave a message as to express my satisfaction … I just read “The Name of the Wind” (It was a Christmas gift because I did not have much money, and many months ago and was on my waiting list) and honestly I fell in love, I completely filled and at night kept me from sleep just to finish before this impressive book.
      Thank you very much!
      Thanks for having me a week in another world … (and sleepy xD)”

      Google Translate > High School Spanish

      • Willy
        Posted December 30, 2010 at 9:02 PM | Permalink

        the original text is better ¬¬
        na! is a joke

  13. Mickey
    Posted December 31, 2010 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat ( and all affiliated geeks, ninjas and fanboys (or is that fanpersons ?) )

    From me and mine, in the fragrant South African night, to you and yours wherever you may be, Happy Happy Merry Merry !!!

    2011 will contain not only WMF but also Rugby AND Cricket World Cup Tournaments, much happiness and geeking out-ery already planned. If you can’t get stoked on that alone you need to consult your doctor because you may be clinically deceased. Of course this may mean you are a zombie, in which case you need to avoid my house because if you don’t you’ll not be visiting anyone ever again….

    Much loving to you all

    • Little My
      Posted January 3, 2011 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

      Happy New Year to you, too, Mickey!

  14. Pandora
    Posted January 1, 2011 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

    Urte berri on! Happy new year!

    Just 3 months waiting now…

  15. G
    Posted January 1, 2011 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Hi Pat, and others—

    Is it possible that you or someone else could post a picture of the Kingkiller T-shirt that has the two chess pieces on it? “Grey” is a little ambiguous, and it says on The Tinker’s Packs that the font may have been changed . . . .

    Oh, and if the picture included a person wearing the shirt that would be really great.

    Thanks, I hope—

  16. Papoula
    Posted January 2, 2011 at 12:54 PM | Permalink


    I just hope you had a great Christmas, despite all the set backs and a great New Year!!

  17. Steffan Eubanks
    Posted January 3, 2011 at 2:51 PM | Permalink

    Loving the gingerbread men/ woman(s) not sure what sex they maybe but loving it anyway ^.^ Thanks pat!

    With love,

    Steffan Eubanks

  18. sfa.as.in.s.f.a.butnot
    Posted January 3, 2011 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

    pat, do you accept checks/cash? As in me mailing to a mysterious address with a check/cash for a t-shirt and you mail a t-shirt back, check slash cash? Just wanted to know.

    • Mickey
      Posted January 6, 2011 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

      Esseffay ?

  19. vegetablelasagna
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    Has anyone recieved an email from Pat/assistants in regards as to whether or not they had “won” anything from the Wordbuilders drawing(s)? I havent recieved an email (yet, hopefully!) and I was just wondering if this meant that my name did not get picked. I dont want to bug Pat with silly items such as this; we all know he is a busy man!! Thanks and Happy New Year!!

    • kdculb
      Posted January 4, 2011 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

      I had a book waiting for me when I got back from Christmas vacation. It was postmarked December 23rd. It was a hardcover edition of Lock and Key.

    • kdculb
      Posted January 4, 2011 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

      Correction: Locke and Key Welcome to Lovecraft. I did not get an email just the book with a nice letter from Pat. I have never heard of this book and have never read anything from the genre, so I am looking forward to reading something completely new.

  20. Mikaus
    Posted January 7, 2011 at 7:16 AM | Permalink


    One) Awesome cookies.
    Two) Any chance that you’ll sell hoodies in the future?

    • G
      Posted January 9, 2011 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

      Excellent idea. I think Kingkiller hoodies would be a huge hit—I’d definitely buy one.

  21. TheJaguar
    Posted January 7, 2011 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    On the topic of gingerbread men. Here’s a link to the binge-er-bread man.
    And a bit of a warning to go with it, it’s not something any children should watch.
    But I figured you might appreciate it.

  22. Dianadomino
    Posted January 7, 2011 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    You know, the Kingkiller shirts are perfectly lovely. ^_^

    But from a woman with hooters, they are a wee bit snug, not like that’s a real down-side from my hubby’s point of view, but just saying. If there are any ladies with goddess proportions, please be aware, the ladies tees are more junior proportioned, at least imho.

  23. sevvack
    Posted January 7, 2011 at 7:50 PM | Permalink

    epic gingerbread for the win

  24. Posted January 9, 2011 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    Love the ginger-men. My cookies looked more … tame. ;-)

    I have an importand question, when do you plan to announce you book on your side (under “The Books”) where you present NOTW.
    Would be cool to see it there.

    Nice rest of freee time

  25. chat
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

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