A Spathic Convention

Every year there are a few conventions I make a point of attending.

I go to Worldcon because the paneling is really top notch. I go to World Fantasy because it gives me the chance to hang out with other authors I’d never get a chance to see.

And, of course, I go to San Diego ComicCon for many, many reasons.

But I also make a point of going to a few other conventions every year. The main reason I do this is so I can get to different parts of the country and meet readers I might not get a chance to see otherwise.

Which is why, just a couple months ago, I was Guest of Honor at a little convention called Stellarcon.

Whenever I’m GOH at a con, interesting things happen. So for those of you who don’t get to attend, here’s the highlight reel from this year’s Stellarcon.

I’ll admit to having a terrible green-eyed envy of artists. (And by artists I mean people who do art. (And by art, I mean taking something out of your head and making a picture out of it.))

That said, the modern artists I can name off the top of my head I can probably fit on two hands. Mark Poole is one of those artists, because he was doing art for Magic Cards back at the beginning. Back when I used to play it. Back before it was cool.

Yeah. Okay. I’m just kidding. Playing magic is never cool.

So I was surprising when we sat next to each other at the opening ceremonies and Mark turned to me, introduced himself, and said he was a big fan.

I was a little shocked. I still think of myself as the new kid on the scene, publishing-wise. It  knocks me for a bit of a loop when other professionals know who I am.

For the record, Mark is a really nice guy.

I’ve known about John even longer than I’ve known about Mark, because I grew up reading his comic in his the Wisconsin State Journal. We share Madison, Wisconsin as our home town, so it seemed a little odd that I’d end up traveling to North Carolina before I finally got to meet him….

And you know what? I didn’t get to meet him. We sat two seats away from each other at opening ceremonies, and that’s the closest we got to each other over the space of the whole convention.

The Moral of the story? I end up being really busy at cons most of the time. I used to try make plans to meet with my friends and hang out, but these days I know better. Between readings, signings, panels, and occationally running a tabletop game, I just don’t have a lot of free time left over.

But this story had a happy ending. John and I ran into each other in the Madison airport and got to chat there. Small world.

  • I had an… intimate signing experience.

When I got home from Stellarcon, Sarah was in the kitchen, feeding Oot some dinner.

“How was the convention?” she shouted to me.

“I got to sign a boob!” I said.

“A naked boob?” she asked.

“A gentleman doesn’t speak of such things,” I said.

Which is a total lie, of course, because I wouldn’t shut up about it for a week. Someone asking you to sign their boob  is one of those mythical things that everyone jokes about, but it never really happens.

Except it did. It totally did.

Now just to be clear. The boob wasn’t naked. And she asked me. Without any instigation on my end.

To say I was surprised is a bit of an understatement.

But you know what? It was cool. Because for a brief moment, I got to feel like a rockstar.

(Note that Pikachu has turned his back on me, ashamed.)

Truthfully, I wasn’t very suave about the whole thing. I couldn’t stop laughing.  And as you can see in the above picture, I was more than a little blushy and flustered by the end of it.

Luckily, the young lady in question was very forgiving when I explained it was my first time. (It was her first time too.) Who knew that signing a boob would actually prove to be pretty tricky?

By the end of the experience, the two of us were good friends. What’s more, Pikachu stopped judging me so harshly, and Sarah really didn’t mind at all.

Honestly though, I think Oot was a little jealous.

Later all,


This entry was posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, Achievement Unlocked!, Tales from the Con, things I shouldn't talk about. By Pat37 Responses


  1. MidgetMe
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 2:05 AM | Permalink

    XD For me it’d be a mix of “This is awesome!” and “I hope this pen doesn’t try to molest her.” Or something similar.

  2. Posted June 1, 2012 at 2:12 AM | Permalink

    And apparently it also was a very nice boob to sign. ;-)
    Oh, ad while I love that you’re wearing one of my favorite XKCD shirts… How about changing that into ‘Stand back, I’m going to use sympathy/sygaldry/artificing!’


  3. ccceto
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 2:24 AM | Permalink

    Stand back, I’m going to try NAMING!

    *Picture of Elodin, with leaves in his hair calling Fire; students running away in panic*

  4. chaelek
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 2:32 AM | Permalink

    Speaking of artists, I need to get a guy who can make me achievement tokens like your buddy does for you. ‘Cause those seem to be The Best Thing. Perhaps Ever, definitely of The Day.

  5. chaelek
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 2:33 AM | Permalink

    Also with what does one sign a boob? A felt tipped pin? Some manner of marker? Finger paint? ;)

  6. Piccadilly
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 5:50 AM | Permalink

    I used to have the same backpack q.q I wished my mother didn’t give it away…

  7. Posted June 1, 2012 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

    This is pretty hilarious and awesome. A couple days ago on Attack of the Show, Bruce Campbell was on there explaining the technique to sign a boob properly.

  8. rmcphail
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

    Dude that’s awesome. And she’s hot which is more awesome. But we all know that the artist shout outs are a smokescreen. You totally just wanted to brag about signing a boob. If there is one thing your readers are good at its spotting the hidden motivations of an unreliable narrator. :)

    • rmcphail
      Posted June 1, 2012 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

      Also if you google “spathic”, your blog is the 6th hit.

  9. Thigis
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    Thank you for adding the word “spathic” to my vocabulary. Just out of curiosity how long have you been waiting to finagle it into a conversation/blog post?

  10. Uwila
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    I once accidentally kind of asked someone to sign my boob. As I realized what I had just asked, I thought I was going to die of embarrassment.

    I was going for “Please sign this shirt?” but my bag was kind of in the way and it was crowded. There was this awkward pause and he made the most of it by signing very high on the shirt.
    Bravo for handling it with such, well, grace. Also, I am glad Pikachu forgave you, that seemed awful judgy of him.

  11. mushacles
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    Loved this! Someday I’d like to be in a position to sign boobs (not that boobs are my thing but anyway). This genuinely made me laugh out loud, or LOL if you will :)

  12. Rael
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 10:48 AM | Permalink


  13. Posted June 1, 2012 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    That’s quite the pun there… I approve.

    Playing magic is never cool.

    Aah, the good ol’ days. Thanks for the laugh!

  14. IvoryDoom
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

    Loved that Picture, you do look sort of embarrassed LOL. That was the first thing I thought when I saw it!

    Super funny.

    I didnt get tickets to Comic-Con this year :( I was way to late for that. But I’m going to try for next year, since it seems about the only time you make it to Cali and I’d really like to see you in a panel and get my book signed in person….yep.

    So…you better go next year too! GRR that con sells out in like 1 hr. BS!!

  15. Tove
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    Do female authors get to sign female’s boobs too? And can males ask authors to sign their boobs, or would that be extremly wierd? It´s kind of intresting that you can read a book. And find it great. And then look at the cover and see that it is a man who has written it. And THEN get the feeling that this man is such a good author, what a sexy thing it woud be to have his name witten all over my boobs.

  16. tikamajere316
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 2:18 PM | Permalink
  17. Brady Dill
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

    You misspelled “Kovalic.”

    • Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:16 PM | Permalink

      Ah shit. That’s embarrassing.

  18. Brady Dill
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 10:12 PM | Permalink

    I like your title.

    Spathic: Having good cleavage. Used of minerals.

  19. lykashii
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 7:20 AM | Permalink

    Hi Pat, was just wondering, when will we hear about the photo competition you held last year??

  20. Gemma
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

    I was one of the ones who got to play with Pat on the tabletop game. It was awesome. Pat has a very flexible play style. He set the one-shot in “modern times” at the University, which was great because it allowed the players generally know the resources available. This way, we could be more proactive in thinking up solutions.

    He also assumed the mannerisms and speech of some of the characters we encountered, including drunk Elodin. The group got a lot done in the 4(ish?) hours of role-play, considering that we also did some character creation as well. There were 5 players and creator of the game system (Steve) played as well. Steve also acted as a Parliamentarian of the game system,.

    Being a 3.5 and 4th Ed D&D player, it was a little strange doing combat without a map, but it was pretty seamless.

    Anyway, if Pat offers the table top role play chance for Worldbuilders again this year, I highly encourage people to bid on it. There were lots of challenges so that everyone had the opportunity to shine.

    • IvoryDoom
      Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:33 PM | Permalink

      ooh, so jealous.

      If the convention hadnt been on the otherside of the states for me, I so would have bid on a seat. But alas, I couldnt afford that AND room, food, travel –

      So needless to say….release the Core Books for that shit already! LOL.

      And I agree, it would be weird to play without a map. Thats old school man.

      I’ve wondered if Pat releases said RPG if it would stick with D20 rules or switch it up some. Interested to know on that – I heard he wasnt working with WoTC, but I’m pretty sure all there shit is open license anyway.

      Honestly, I think Four Corners is a perfect setting for RPG – When I finished NoTW I was dieing for him to write a campaign setting, even more than I was for him to finish the series LOL

  21. Mnemanth
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat!
    I hope you had a great time in Columbus. The Barnes and Noble signing was a great time, so thanks for coming in with one hour of sleep and speaking to everyone!

  22. Posted June 3, 2012 at 3:51 AM | Permalink

    I really want to go to a convention!!!!!!! One which you are at, preferably, because that would be awesome. Boob-signing is a great achievement :)

  23. justajenjen
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 8:53 AM | Permalink

    To the tattoo parlor!

  24. nelswadycki
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

    I was going to say this this “Okay. I’m just kidding. Playing magic is never cool.” was the highlight of the post… then I read the rest of the post and looked up the definition of Spathic. Ha!

    No… the part about Magic was still the highlight.

  25. Lord Periwinkle
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    Hehehehe boobs

  26. Nimbex
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    And here I was hoping the subject was something about Star Control!

  27. drgnlvr
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    I just wonder if she raced off to a tattoo artist to have that signature made a permanent fixture upon her person.

  28. mdgraham
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

    Don’t let anyone belittle that!
    Third, Eleventh, Seventy-Ninth..
    A boob is still a boob!
    A boob with your name on it……
    Even better.

  29. Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

    Woa are you left-handed?

    Teehee you looked so red in the picture :)

  30. trinka
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 3:34 PM | Permalink

    I’ve never been so proud to own that xkcd shirt.

  31. JoBird
    Posted June 14, 2012 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

    I feel kinda bad for her. Just a little bit. I don’t know why.

    It just seems like requesting a “boob” signature is coming from a bad place — a place of low self-esteem, a place that’s begging for attention.

    Who knows. Maybe it’s just my baggage. It could be that it’s coming from a place of supreme confidence. In which case, sign on.

  32. AlejandraMx
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    Hello Patrick
    My name is Alejandra and I’m from Mexico. I love your books and I wonder if there will be opportunities for you to go to Ohio next month, say from 3 to 15 July. Hahaha I know it’s a little crazy request but I’d really like you to sign my books. Would feel like in heaven. It would be a great birthday present.
    Anyway, I wish you well and will soon publish the third book.
    PS. I have a question. Will be 3 or 4 books?
    A lot of thanks for Kvothe and Elodin.

  33. Rollinrebel
    Posted June 16, 2012 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    You are a rockstar Pat! You need to come to Dragon*Con and enjoy the south.

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