Adventures in Texas and Arizona

Well, I’m back from a week on the road, having hit Phoenix comic-con, Austin, and Dallas.

I always mean to chronicle these trips on the blog, but I rarely end up doing it. I never got around to talking about my trip to Spain where 2000 people showed up for my signing in Madrid. Or the second half of the story where I was at House on the Rock with Neil Gaiman….

Hell, I’ve never even gotten around to telling the stories of my first trip to Europe, and that was nearly five years ago.

So, rather than try and give a cohesive narrative of recent events down in Texas and Arizona, I’m just going to give some you the good-bits version. Sort of like a blog montage. A Blontage. Or perhaps a mog.

  • Phoenix ComicCon:

This was the first time hitting Phoenix ComicCon. And I have to say, I really enjoyed it. I literally *have* to say that. It’s in my contract.

Seriously though, I had a really good time. The main reason I went to the convention is because I’d heard they treated their authors really well, and had a really solid track of writer-centered programming.

And it was all true. They took very good care of me, and brought in a bunch of other authors, leading to some of the best panels I think I’ve ever been on. And I don’t say that lightly.


Above is an actual picture from an actual panel. That’s John Scalzi body-checking Chuck Wendig while Aprilynne Pike looks on with near-teenage levels of ennui.

It was the Batsu Panel. It’s a long story.

On Friday night I had a show with Paul and Storm & John Scalzi, with other special guests including Amber Benson and Seanan McGuire. Needless to say, that was pretty awesome time.

This was also the first big con I’ve attended with my entire family.

Oot liked it.


Sarah and Cutie had a pretty good time too…


Most Awkward moment of the Con:

A guy comes up and says: Hey, can I introduce you to one of my friends? He looks just like you!

Me: Is it just a guy with a beard?

Him: No. He looks just like you!

He leaves and comes back with his friend, who is, in all fairness, a white male with brown hair and a full beard. However, we do not look very much alike aside from that.

Highly caffeinated, I hold forth on the subject that not all guys with beards look the same. People send me e-mails like that all the time. I don’t look like fucking Zach Galifianakis. We just both have fucking beards.

My screed is so sudden an intense that after a few minutes, both of them just walk away.

Then I feel guilty.

Near Miss of the Con:

John Scalzi and I almost kissed during the Author Batsu Panel, but then we stopped because Delilah S. Dawson cracked under the pressure.

Best part of the Con:

I had a short  break in my schedule on Saturday. So Oot and sat on the floor for an hour, shared an ice cream cone, and looked at costumes together.

It’s the best time I’ve had in a long, long while.

Best Quote from Oot: “Dad, that guy looks like the fancy man from Pirates of the Kerosene!”


  • Austin:

Signing at Independent bookstore: Book People.

Despite the fact that we only set up the event a week ahead of time, about 450 people turned up for the signing. It was a good time.

Someone brought me cookies with the multifarious covers of my books on them:


I also got to see the Lego Trouper Wagon I mentioned on the blog a while back:


You can still vote for it to become an official thing at Lego if you want.

I signed a saxophone, hugged a few people, and just generally had a good time. If you’d like more of the details, you can read about the event over here on their blog.

Best Quote: “My husband got to kiss Neil Patrick Harris. Will you kiss me?”

  • Barbeque and Breathing Fire:

The day after my signing, when I admitted that I’d never had Barbeque before, Paul & Storm and Brian Brushwood set out to fix the situation. It was good.

Then we went back to Brian’s place and he brought out his gear.


(Note: the Play Doh was not part of the gear.)

Then Brian taught us how to eat fire. For reals.

Why would I do such a thing? Honestly, that question doesn’t even make sense. Why would I *not* do such a thing?

But the other reason is that this was the $575,000 stretch goal from last year’s Worldbuilders fundraiser.

Pat eating fire screenshot

I had a blast, and didn’t hurt myself hardly at all. We’ll be posting up a video showing the results as soon as we have a chance to edit things together.

  • Dallas.

On my last day in Texas, I got to hang out briefly with the cool folks who produce Cyanide and Happiness. Then it was off to do my last show with Paul and Storm.

Here we are during the infamous pirate song (The Captain’s Wife’s Lament.)


(The bottle of mead was also a gift from a fan.)

All in all, it was a rollicking good time. But honestly, I’m glad to be home.

*     *     *

Stay tuned to the blog. In just a couple days, we’ll be posting some long-anticipated stuff up in the Tinker’s Packs. We have limited quantities, and it’s going to be first-come first-serve.

Mark Talent Jot Drab Drab

Take care of each other folks,


This entry was posted in Acts of Whimsy, conventions, Cutie Snoo, Oot, Tales from the Con. By Pat28 Responses


  1. Posted June 14, 2014 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

    It was great to meet you! Please tell me you ate the cookies? :)

  2. Silvence
    Posted June 14, 2014 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

    I know that, in a way, this is lame, but I’m kind of excited to be so early in the comment thread. I never get to read the posts only moments after they’re made public!

  3. Star
    Posted June 14, 2014 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

    Did they take you to the Salt Lick?

  4. Posted June 14, 2014 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

    Glad you had such a good time, that is awesome you got to take the whole family.
    I’ve heard rumor there will be video footage of that Batsu panel, I hope that’s true. LOL

    Also, those cookies are really cool!

    Also, Also, weren’t you at least moderately afraid of catching your beard on fire? Because I felt some concern just looking at the picture!

  5. tzalabak
    Posted June 14, 2014 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for coming to Austin, it was a great time.

    Hope you enjoyed the mead and hoping the kiddos get some use out of my wife’s hats when it gets colder.

  6. BeasMeeply
    Posted June 15, 2014 at 1:23 AM | Permalink

    Pat I want you to know that it is deeply unfair that you are offering me true-ringing Cealdish coin in exchange for my dollars. This is a dim mak strike to my wedding fund.

  7. Sawdust4Brains
    Posted June 15, 2014 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    Happy Father’s Day Pat.

    There are moments when my kids and I are laughing so hard about some random thing…and through teary eyes of joy I’m given a sudden and fleeting answer. The answer to the big question, the “why are we here” one. This moment is the answer. The alive sparkle in their eyes, resounding choked giggles, snorts and eye wipes.

    I am truly alive it feels only then.

    And then typically later I stare toward the heavens and cry the “question” again with shaked fist.

    Nevertheless, HFD Pat.


  8. Dantetoledo
    Posted June 15, 2014 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    Brazil. You must come to Brazil. Simple as that.

  9. darlinkaty
    Posted June 15, 2014 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    Near-Teenage Levels of Ennui is the name of my Smashing Pumpkins cover band.
    But seriously, the show in Dallas was great, I hope your whole family enjoyed Texas and thank you, seriously, thank you for coming to see us, making yourself available both before and after the show and being so, so kind.

  10. Marcus
    Posted June 15, 2014 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    How is it to eat fire with a beard? Would think the risk for burning it off to be pretty high?

    Love your work


  11. junebug88
    Posted June 15, 2014 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    Um hello, you are totally holding out on us. Did you or did you not kiss the person who has kissed the person who has kissed Neil Patrick Harris? And if not, how could you pass up the opportunity to be two degrees of smooches from NPH???

    • Blarghedy
      Posted June 15, 2014 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

      It’s the new game – four degrees of NPH.

    • Posted June 16, 2014 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

      A gentleman doesn’t tell.

      So, yeah. I kissed her. It only seemed fair.

  12. jazdia
    Posted June 15, 2014 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    We saw you at the Phoenix Comic Con! We missed the first panel, but I did get your signature on my Worldbuilder calendar. On Saturday, my husband and I went to your panel – and still wonder how the book ended, because we bought the first one! We saw you outside of the Drinks with Authors panel, and I saw Sarah and Cutie, but didn’t want to be a boorish fan. On Sunday, we saw you and Oot in line for ice cream and then saw you in the “Very Epic Epic Fantasy” panel. Thanks for coming – it was the reason I chose this con, even though it was our son’s graduation gift from high school. :)

  13. Kytxgirl
    Posted June 15, 2014 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    Thanks again for coming to Dallas! I’ve been contemplating your nightmare children’s book reading that you shared with us. I think you just created the ember for that young girl. You shook the foundation of her fairy tale dreams, after all, of course she would have that reaction. But, perhaps you also sparked the beginning of her scientific journey into what she truly believes. Or, you may have devastated her for life…time will tell. :)

  14. Erich
    Posted June 15, 2014 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for coming to Changing Hands book store in Tempe, Arizona!

  15. mattbt
    Posted June 15, 2014 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    Awesome blog post, minor typo bugged me:

    So Oot and sat on the floor for an hour

    Should be So Oot and I etc.

  16. tommythecat
    Posted June 15, 2014 at 9:42 PM | Permalink

    I am sorry Pat, but there is only one mog…and his name is Barf. ;)

    • kdculb
      Posted June 16, 2014 at 6:49 AM | Permalink

      …and he’s half man – half dog, he’s his own best friend.

  17. firebird
    Posted June 16, 2014 at 1:00 AM | Permalink

    The world you have creates is sort of like meth. I don’t want Cealdish money, I need it.

    • Posted June 16, 2014 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

      Heh. This batch turned out pretty cool….

  18. theundefeatedgaul
    Posted June 17, 2014 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    Echoing the thanks for your signing at Changing Hands–my brother lives in AZ and he was able (just in time) to get a Name of the Wind HC signed for me (and one for himself–we’re both fans; he’s the one who insisted I had to try The Name of the Wind…it’s all been downhill from there.)

    He hasn’t sent the book, or its bill, to me yet but I’m already overjoyed.

  19. Tempi Tantrum
    Posted June 17, 2014 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    Dude, you TOTALLY look like Edward the Confessor… (I’ll get my coat)

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