Photo Contest Winners – Action

Yes. Seriously.

Those of you who know anything about me probably realize that I have a problem with deadlines.

The root of this difficulty is multifarious. But it can mostly be traced back to three elements in my personality.

1. A desire for perfection.

I get obsessive about doing everything *just right* when honestly, *mostly* right would be just fine in most cases.

2. Enthusiasm. 

I get excited about things, which leads me to pick up new projects, which means I constantly over-commit myself, which means I’m always too busy.

3. Stupidity.

This third one is something of a catch-all category, covering my vast array of ancillary character flaws.

Any one of these things can slow a person down, but when you get all three of them together. Well…. it can lead to embarrassing situations.

Like, for example, running a photo contest for your readers, and then taking more than a year to post the results.

There are many reasons for the delay.

Yes, I have been over-busy. (Working on my writing, my fundraiser, and spending time with my little boy.)

And yes, I did foolishly underestimate the number of entries I’d get for the contest. (Well over a thousand.)

And yes, when confronted with the task of judging the entries, my perfectionist tendencies screwed me hard. There were so many good ones.

Besides, so many of the pictures defied easy categorization. Look at this one for example:

Am I supposed to put this in the Kids category? In Costumes? In Clever References? Do I have to start a category just for things that are Unbelievably Frikking Cute?

So many of the pictures were so good. People went to really amazing lengths to take them. I wanted to do the perfect job arranging and judging them. Instead, I just ended up paralyzed with indecision.

But that stops today. I’ve waited too long, so I’m going to bull ahead and settle for *mostly* perfect. It’s time to start showing off the pictures and giving out the prizes.

So here we go, the best photos in the Action category:

*     *     *

There’s a lot of ways you can portray action in a photo.

You can show it directly:

Or indirectly:

We got some Hollywood action, too.

I like this one because honestly, if I could do magic. I would just use it to impress girls.

In the rules of the contest, I told people that they shouldn’t do anything dangerous, like, say, play with fire.

But did they listen?

No, they did not.

They really did not:

They absolutely did not listen to me:

We got some zombie action:

Pirate action:

And geek action:

We’ve got action in the streets:

At the amusement park:

And on top of things:

(He’s a parkour instructor. Don’t do this shit. Seriously.)

But while all of these are great (and believe me, there were dozens I had to leave out) in the end, I had to pick some winners.

Here they are:

Not only is this a great picture, but I’m a huge fan of Aikido. And if I’m mistaken and this isn’t Aikido, it’s still awesome.

This gains a spot not because it’s a scantily clad young woman, but because 1) I could never do this in a hundred years. 2) I actually do not understand the physics that are keeping her from crashing to the floor.

I love this one. We’ve all felt like this at some point, haven’t we?

And lastly:

(You should probably embiggen this one. It’s worth it.)

If you’re having trouble sussing out what’s going on here, let me break it down for you: Young girl + Playing + Red clothes + Swords in a Tree = ???

(Hint: The answer is “Awesome.”)

I’m all sorts of fond of this picture.

“But wait!” I hear you cry. “Pat. There’s no book in this picture! You clearly said in the rules that the book had to be in the picture!”

Don’t quibble. The book is there. You can just barely see it behind her leg….


Here’s another:

And here we see the difference between girls and boys:

OSHA concerns aside, it looks like someone had a pretty great day at the park.

And as a bonus, they (and the rest of the winners) will be sent some Talent pipes as I described in the blog a while back.

It will will probably be a little while before I get to do another one of these. But they are coming. I just wanted to show y’all some proof that even if it takes a while, I do keep my promises.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for something cool, you should stay tuned to the blog, because we’re going to be posting up new items into the Worldbuilders lottery almost every day for the rest of the month. We’ll be adding new stuff to the Worldbuilders auction page too.

Stay tuned….


This entry was posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, cool things, fan coolness, geeking out, Photo Contest 2011. By Pat37 Responses


  1. Kiarrens
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    As one of the people playing with fire, I would like to take a moment to say that I am a trained professional (yes, really, there is a such thing) and that you really, really shouldn’t try this at home. I’m not kidding. Please, don’t.

    Congrats to the winners and the other runners-up, they are all wonderful! Particularly love the Aikido one!

    • Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

      I’ve played with fire like this too. And I’m not professionally trained. And I would also like to take a moment to say you shouldn’t try it at home, too.

      You shouldn’t try it anywhere, honestly. At anyone’s home. Anywhere.

      • Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

        Seriously. You people have no idea how many times I’ve lit myself on fire.

        • TheLazarus
          Posted December 4, 2012 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

          Pics or it didn’t happen….


          Well I would love to see pics of this, wouldn’t you?

  2. Gerry
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

    Amazing photos!

    And yes the Aikidoka in the picture is performing a Kote Gaeshi or wrist turning throw. I like the subtlety and colors on these pictures.

    • d1verjim
      Posted December 3, 2012 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

      This photo becomes even cooler when you know the name of the throw is “Kote” Gaeshi!

      • Posted March 12, 2013 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

        Unfortunately, the pronunciation is “Koh-tay”, not “coat”. It’s funny; I came across this page while re-reading “The Wise Man’s Fear”. Patrick’s depiction of Ademre and the Lethani was so spot-on I had to find out if he studied aikido and/or based the culture on that of Japan (full disclosure: I’ve been studying aikido for 12 years and living in Japan for 11). BTW, I’m pretty sure Spinning Leaf really does exist, although I’ve only seen it demonstrated when being showed how to cross a room of attackers.

  3. Iamwater
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    Squiggly Picture blows my mind. I think she is walking? I too, read and walk places leaving little bits of the book in the world around me… sometimes you read about a dog, and right then a dog walks by….. I love that picture.

    • Posted December 3, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

      Thanks so much! :) The photo is more of what figuratively happens when I read’s Pat’s work. What actually happened was me trying as hard as I could to not move whilst someone else goes spastic with a flashlight around meh head. Haha. ‘Twas fun! And there was certainly lots of reading and walking when not funneling inspiration.

      • Oatmeal
        Posted December 5, 2012 at 10:27 PM | Permalink

        Wow. I thought you’d photoshopped this. Even cooler to know who you did it.

  4. Mitchell Hundred
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    I wasn’t aware that the Adem were compliant with OSHA regulations. Good for them!

  5. Sharruk
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

    The picture with the lights flooding out of the book perfectly describes how I felt while reading Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear.
    I love that picture.

  6. mjshea
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

    The physics keeping the young woman on that pole are embarrassingly simple: it’s mostly friction.

    And I completely identify with the paralysis you experienced. My husband, who is wiser than I, has a rule for that: “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing half-assed.” Which can be rephrased, “Better half-assed than half-done.”

    • Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

      Yeah. I need to get better at separating things into one of two categories:

      Needs to be Perfect and Needs to Get Done.

    • JoniN
      Posted December 4, 2012 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

      Hum, friction actually isn’t “simple”, as a good theory for explaining it (still discussed in the scientific community) was published this year – and it’s not about molecules rubbing against each other… Something to do with thermodynamics and surface friction – the stuff you can easily get yourself lit on fire I suppose.

  7. Daniel
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    Beautiful pictures! And congrats to the winners! Badali makes very nice pieces.

    And I totally think the girl is being held up by her hair. You can clearly see it resting on the ground.

  8. spoonyspork
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    About 6 months ago, I was looking at a ‘photo bomb’ thread on a forum I’m part of, and someone had posted a tasteful, artful, lovely picture involving your book.

    And there was a dog taking a dump in the background. Not just squatting, but ‘okay poop is coming out now’ focus right on it, mid-drop.

    She said she was so horrified she didn’t even try for another entry. I begged her to send it anyway as it was hysterically awesome. I wonder if she ever did…

    (now I have to find it, too!)

  9. kimblyann
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    I wonder if it’s possible if you could get the minions to post all the submissions (or the ones that aren’t really terrible at least) on facebook in a photo album, or maybe some photo hosting website.

    It would be great to see all the creative and different takes (ha! get it? takes?) people had on getting just the right picture.

    • melischerie
      Posted December 3, 2012 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

      i second this idea. put them on facebook!

  10. Ryuyasha
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    I love that I’m an honorable mention. I am so disappointed I don’t get talent pipes.

    • Posted December 4, 2012 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

      We’ll be doing more things like this in the future…. No worries.

      • Ryuyasha
        Posted December 4, 2012 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

        Oh, I know we will have more. I’m already thinking of ideas in case you do a Doors of Stone photo contest

  11. tamiam
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    Our little Adem warriors had a blast at the park that day. They haven’t read the book but once we explained the Sword tree and told them to be warriors-in-training they ran with it. They also loved seeing their photos on the blog. Thanks!

    • Oatmeal
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

      Your kids are super cute and I’m sad I didn’t think of it first.

  12. Marcus Cox
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    Hurray! It’s finally happening! I look forward to seeing three results.

  13. Mathilde224
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    I never lost faith in you Pat ;) haha !! The pictures are amazing – but my favorite will have to be the little girl and the sword tree! It makes me want to go make a sword tree in my garden :)
    And as for procrastinating – well we all do it – and when you make posts like this – it’s ok that it took more than a year!

  14. Posted December 3, 2012 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    Thank you so much!

    But seriously. You’re books are too clever. Stop that. I’m blinded by lasers and pyroflies every time I open them.

  15. Posted December 3, 2012 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    I learned the following phrase from a manager at work earlier this year, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.” Meaning what you said, don’t let the desire for perfection prevent you from doing a good job. I have that same problem.

  16. Lastasis
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

    I love all of these, the sword-tree one especially~

    As an person of the non magical-photo-taker type, I’m curious if ever in the future there would be a sort of “King Killer Chronicles” art-contest, in general, and not simply photography
    Like, a category for illustration, possibly video/animation, and hand crafted stuff and the like

  17. Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    This is so awesome! It confirms what I like about your books. I gave your book to my teen son, and you know how hard it is to get them to read. He read through both of them, then talked his Dad into reading them (and it didn’t even take him a year as has happened in the past), and now son is shocked that none of his other friends are reading. I’m just glad that he didn’t see this contest! Smart book for smart, albeit crazy, super artistic people.

  18. James F
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    I think I enjoyed best the motorcycle with pedestrians diving out of the way. The reason — and I’m not proud to admit it — is I have read and driven. Not little phones, but big, honking books in my lap, or even laid out on the passenger seat.. Usually during traffic jams, but still. This is wrong (and I use the bus, now.) Plus I don’t recall anyone flying out of danger.

    Still gave me a chuckle, though.

  19. christie
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

    It’s the last 10% tweaking that ends up taking 90% of the time.

  20. CruEllenDeVille
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    I am so exited this got posted! I really love seeing how creative the fans are. Looking forward to seeing more of them soon, and checking in every day to see how we’re doing on Worldbuilders!


  21. Oatmeal
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 10:36 PM | Permalink

    Pat, you make me feel better. As a procrastinator from way back, I can at least say I have never taken over a year for something.
    But I am neither as busy nor as awesome as you. I thin the lenght of time you can say “it’s on its way, I swear.”increases exponentially based on your Gaiman -Day rating.

  22. Sparklecat
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

    I missed the fun……
    Great photos!

    Can’t wait for the next contest. Though, since I’m a procrastinator,I’ll probably miss submitting any.

  23. Marcus Cox
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    Haha. Wow. I was looking back and reading some old blogs when I came across this one. It really doesn’t feel like it’s been seven months since this was posted. How the time flies. Still hope to see more of these some day, but do what you need to do Pat, regardless of if it’s this, book three, playing with your son, spending time with Sarah, writing a video game, or taking a well deserved rest.

  24. Posted October 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    My first thought when seeing the picture of the sword tree was: “Wa-hey, awesome!”

    My second thought was “Wait, Celean wore yellow clothing. Isn’t the red reserved for trialled (but relatively non-über) mercenaries?”

    My third thought was “Seriously, that’s your second thought?”

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