Worldbuilders: Traditions, Opportunities, and Bilboing Up.

Hey there everybody,

As I sit down to write this, it’s 12:47 AM here in Wisconsin. It’s officially December 14th, the last day of our yearly fundraiser.

I had an easy blog planned today. A blog full of touching stories. A feel-good blog. A simple blog.

But something has happened. Now I have to change my plans and share some information about the fundraiser. The information is good. But this is no longer and easy blog to write. I am in disarray.

I really wish I could write a beautiful blog for you, all elegant and interwoven. Something smart and clean and quick that would clue you in and maybe give you a chuckle along the way.

But I don’t think I have a blog like that in me right now. I’m writing so slowly that five short paragraphs later, it is already 1:27 AM. I am low on sleep and I cannot fall back on caffeine to help me through, as I have a blood draw tomorrow, and I have to fast for it.

So please forgive me if this comes across as clunky. I can’t think of a better place to start than the strange tradition Worldbuilders has developed over the years. We tend to add a little time to our big yearly fundraiser right at the end.

*     *     *

It’s probably not surprising to anyone that a charity I started tends to run longer than originally expected. I write long books, after all. I miss deadlines. I tend to pursue things with methodical obsession, and that frequently leads to unexpected delays.

In the early years of Worldbuilders, the fundraiser tended to run long because I was doing most of it myself, and while I possess many good qualities, organization is not one of them.

Later on, after I’d decided to bring people in to help, I didn’t bring *enough* people on board. Making it worse was the fact that I didn’t know the first thing about actually managing people or working as a team. So chaos was rampant and the tradition continued.

Still later, we extended the fundraiser because sponsors kept jumping in left and right, we were growing so quickly we couldn’t process the donations people sent us fast enough.


(Nowadays, we get even *more* stuff, but we’re better at handling it.)

The reasons for our extensions were always different, but the results were always good. Using those extra days, Worldbuilders would include a new sponsor, give out more prizes, get better attention in the media, and bring in more donations.

The fact remains that for the last seven years, Worldbuilders has announced an end date, then *always* extended it. Sometimes just a few days. Often more than that. On one notable occasion we pushed it back three weeks.

But every year we got better. Every year the Worldbuilders team got smarter, and stronger, and bigger. And every year we were a marvelous success. So really, what’s wrong with tacking on an extra couple days? Why would I worry about something like that?

*     *     *

Every year as the fundraiser winds down, I struggle with a mash of conflicting emotions.

The most obvious of these is exhaustion. The fundraiser takes a lot out of me both physically and emotionally. I do a interviews. I write blogs. I stay up late writing blogs (It is now 2:39 am.) And work social media as hard as I can. I ask for favors and pull strings in an attempt to make every year a success.

But the end of the fundraiser is an electric time, too. It’s thrilling in a way. Everything accelerates. People are finishing stretch goals. Auctions are ending. The number on our donation page keeps going up and up….

The fact that I end up excited and bone-weary at the end of Worldbuilders won’t surprise most of you. Especially those of you who have watched me livestream recently, or seen the video of me, hollow-eyed and disheveled, driving into the north woods of Wisconsin looking for a Llama to kiss.

But there’s another piece to this that I work hard to keep out of the public eye. Every year, I’m terrified Worldbuilders will fail. Every year, I worry I’m going to pour my heart and energy into this thing and nobody will care. Every year, I fear that if we change things, people will be disappointed. I worry if we stay the same, people will get bored.

The fear is usually the worst at the beginning and the end. When we start, I’m afraid that I’ll announce this year’s festivities and we’ll be met with nothing but indifference and empty echoes. And at the end, I worry that if I don’t keep working at a fever pitch, the fundraiser won’t finish strong enough, and it will leave everyone feeling dissatisfied.

But this year has been different.

You see, this has been Worldbuilder’s Best Year Ever.

A lot of this has to do with Giving Tuesday. When we found out Worldbuilders could take advantage of some matching donations Heifer International had available, I let you all know in a blog about my mom. And we raised $300,000. Three times more than our previous best day ever. (And that’s not even counting the matching donations given to Heifer.)

Just to give you a little more perspective, Worldbuilders was the second most successful charity on Stay Classy that day.

Stay Classy number 2

On Stay Classy is the website used by organizations like the American Red Cross, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and Invisible Children. Despite that, Worldbuilders was the #2 fundraiser on one of the biggest fundraising days of the year.

I hope you’ll forgive me a little pride here. But those other organizations have been around for a while. They have teams of people in multiple offices the around the world. And not to be confrontational or crass, but we kinda kicked their charity asses.

Gech. I shouldn’t say that sort of thing. But again: Tired. It’s 3:35.

But this year’s greatness wasn’t just the result of a single awesome day. This year Worldbuilders has had more sponsors. More prizes to give away. More people participating. More people doing Stretch Goals.

What’s more, we didn’t just beat last year’s total ($886,000). We CRUSHED it, then kept on going until we cracked a million dollars. And we did it on Saturday. Three days before the end of the fundraiser.


(I love it when our donation thermometer explodes into ducks.)

Best of all. We’ve really had our act together. We managed to fit all our announcements and prizes into our original timeframe. This was going to be the first year where we finished the fundraiser on time.

Then, late on Friday, we got an e-mail from Heifer International.

*     *     *

It turns out that Heifer International had been offered $200,000 of matching donation money. And, after seeing what we did on Giving Tuesday, they’ve decided to offer it to Worldbuilders, with the hope that we can find folks to match it.

This is great news in every way. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the fundraiser. It’s a huge gesture of trust from Heifer International. It’s a great way for Worldbuilders to give people who have been on the fence about donating a little extra nudge.

Now. Here’s my confession. It’s something I’m not proud of.

When I heard this news. I wasn’t excited.

Don’t get me wrong. I was interested. I was flattered. Intellectually, I knew it was an incredible thing for Worldbuilders. And lord knows we’ve extended the fundraiser in the past for reasons that weren’t nearly this impressive.

But emotionally, all I felt was dread and exhaustion. This was going to be the year we finished on time.

What’s more, I’d already done everything I could think of to spread the word about the fundraiser. We’d already launched our new items in the store. We’d already announced all our prizes for the lottery. I didn’t have any more tricks to pull out of my hat.

And I’ll be honest, folks. I was tired. I was really looking forward to laying the fundraiser down today. I shouldn’t admit that. But it’s the truth, and while I might not always be the person I’d like to be, at least I’m always honest with you.

The truth is, I was looking forward to having this next week off. Catching up on my e-mail. Hanging out with my kids, who I’ve been short-changing in terms of quality time lately. I was going to do some Christmas shopping. Maybe even get a tree…

So when I got the news of Heifer’s offer, I didn’t say yes. I told the Worldbuilders team I neede to think about it. I gave them a weak excuse about not wanting people to think we were stringing them along with a fake end date. I said I was worried our donors might feel ill-used. Besides, we couldn’t make the announcement until Monday anyway….

And while those are genuine concerns I have. They’re not big concerns. I know you guys are better than that. I knew you’d be excited if we announced something like this.

No. My real reason was that I wanted an excuse to end the fundraiser and go back to my life.

But at some point over the weekend, someone on twitter used the phrase, “Bilbo It Up” and linked to the blog I wrote a couple years ago. They said they were kicking in some money to Worldbuilders even though times were tough for them.

I dimly remembered the blog, but I have a bad memory for stuff like that. So I followed the link. I read the blog. And I was ashamed.

Here’s part of what I wrote:

That’s why I run Worldbuilders. […] Because there are kids out there that are hungry all the time. There are kids out there with no books at all to read. There are kids out there with no beds to sleep in. No homes to come home to. No safe places. No sweet dreams.

That’s why I do all the charity work. Because the world isn’t as good as I want it to be.

We all feel this way sometimes. Because honestly, the world is a fucking mess. It’s full of dragons, and none of us are as powerful or cool as we’d like to be. And that sucks.

But when you’re confronted with that fact, you can either crawl into a hole and quit, or you can get out there, take off your shoes, and Bilbo it up.



It’s 4:58 AM here in Wisconsin. It’s 42 °F and raining. And right now my neighbors are probably calling the cops because of a crazy guy standing in the middle of the road taking pictures of his feet.

But you know what? I’m all the way awake now. Like, super awake. And as I was just walking back to my house my feet all tingly and numb, I remembered that a lot of people don’t have shoes. I remembered a lot of people don’t have nice insulated houses with central heating to retreat into when they’re wet and cold.

My kids are well-fed. They’re healthy. They have access to medicine and books. I read to them every night and never have to worry about clean drinking water or where their next meal will come from.

Some other people’s kids out there have none of these things. That’s wrong.

Right. I’m ready. Let’s Bilbo It Up.

I’m taking Heifer International up on their offer. I’m extending the fundraiser through Friday the 18th at midnight. Amanda will change the official countdown clocks when she wakes up and reads this.

I feel good about this. I can actually feel the excitement in my chest again. It wasn’t there when I started this blog, but it’s back now. Amazing how doing something really stupid can help you regain your perspective.

I know many of you have already donated. If you’re tapped out, I understand. But if you’re not sure. Or if you haven’t chipped in yet, here’s what I’d like you to do. Take off your shoes. Go outside. Think hard about the world you want to live in.

And if you want to make it better, come back in and donate. Spread the word about Worldbuilders. Take a picture of yourself Bilboing It Up and share it with the world. When I wake up, I expect to see your feet on Facebook, people. By the time I wake up, I want #BilboItUp to be trending. I want a billion mentions on twitter.

I can’t promise new blogs filled with fabulous prizes every day this week. But I’ll dig through my shelves and pull some treasures to put into the donation lottery to sweeten the deal. I’ll see if I can think of another couple stretch goals, too.

Here’s a link to the donation page. You know what to do.

This entry was posted in My Mom Would Like This Blog, the longest fucking blog ever, Worldbuilders 2015. By Pat60 Responses


  1. Knightrous
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 6:20 AM | Permalink

    Having missed the Giving Tuesday announcement, I’m heading over to the donation page straight after posting this. I hope that the matching is “live” already?

    • Posted December 14, 2015 at 6:26 AM | Permalink

      It is. Thanks for being awesome.

      • Knightrous
        Posted December 14, 2015 at 6:39 AM | Permalink

        Done, my total for this year is $100, though I also chipped in the extra costs each time.

        I did 6 $10 donations towards Fallout 4 each time (sorry, suspect I’ve added to your exhaustion!), was annoyed that Facebook hid your Giving Tuesday announcement from me, so thankful for this second chance to top out my donations.

        Unfortunately, we don’t get to make a tax deduction for charities, here in the UK, they kind of reverse it and give the charity the tax that you paid on the income instead; so, no tax write-off, but the charity still wins out in the end, just means a bigger pocket is needed to begin with.

        • F.N.T.
          Posted December 14, 2015 at 9:12 AM | Permalink

          Sadly our enlightened government only give the Gift Aid rebate to UK-registered charities – but I have a plan about fixing this for next year so that we UK-based donors can help make more of a difference in future (I’ll be in touch with the Worldbuilders team when the dust has settled on this year’s fundraiser).

        • cynrtst
          Posted December 15, 2015 at 3:35 AM | Permalink

          I #Bilboedup and added an additional $20 and change making my donation this year $100 and change. Waywardbackers as a group did good this year. We didn’t break last years’ donation, but we are at $7,421 as of 1:30am December 15th. We also held a raffle for group members and I donated a bundle of books from Ace/Roc. You spur us to greater heights, Pat. You can rest assured of having done great things for the underprivileged. You inspire us to be unselfish.

  2. sandibd
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 6:25 AM | Permalink

    Congratulations on breaking a million!!!! Now, onward and wayward to even loftier heights!!!


    • cynrtst
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 3:36 AM | Permalink

      He spurs us Waywards on and on…..

  3. LizisSparta
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 6:27 AM | Permalink

    Maaan, Pat, you’re doing it again, this talking that leaves me sniffeling a bit.
    Uff. I’ll Bilbo it up and spread the word. There’s to a sprint for these last few days!

  4. cephalomania
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 6:32 AM | Permalink

    It still amazes me after all of these years what a truly good person you are, Pat. This year especially I’ve noticed how exhausted you look in the livestreams, and I know firsthand how exhaustion can force your hand and make decisions for you that otherwise you wouldn’t have wanted. Reading this blog brought tears to my eyes and gave me a twinge of guilt. Because I thought I was, as you said, all tapped out. I’m a poor grad student and every dollar I have is marked for bills, food, etc. Every year I kick in $20 to Worldbuilders and feel as though that’s enough. This blog really drove things home for me though – I HAVE food. If I have a little less money in my budget and cut a few corners and go for the slightly cheaper ramen packages, or skip out on a few bottles of wine (you know, the grad student essentials), my life basically won’t change at all. But if kicking in a little extra this year means my contribution is doubled, and other people feel the same way, then somebody’s child might be able to eat more than once or twice a day. Like you said, this isn’t the kind of world I want to be living in. So I’ll be donating a little more, bilboing it up, and encouraging my friends to do the same. Thanks for putting things in perspective Pat.

  5. Stealinx
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 6:35 AM | Permalink

    It’s December. It’s an expensive month. I should save up.

    …or i could get some ducks. That’s pretty much a no-brainer.

    thanks for being awesome Pat, lots of love from Holland. Now go spend your time with your kids. We got this…

  6. lykashii
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 6:58 AM | Permalink

    I’ve donated twice already but I just couldn’t not donate to this!
    Shared my picture to Twitter! Hope it helps. Wonderful inspiring man!

  7. swiltam
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 7:11 AM | Permalink

    Talked to my kids about it, they each have a small savings account (single mom of 5, so you can imagine how small, and at the same time, big that might be). They’ve each decided to donate and some of them have decided to forego what gifts they would have received so we can donate more. Thanks for the honesty and inspiration.

    • F.N.T.
      Posted December 14, 2015 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

      ^^ Made me happy-cry.

  8. EAJ3
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

    Additional donation made, mighty band of four followers tweeted; I’ll e-mail the link to this post to other folks presently. Have that blood drawn, and get some sleep.

  9. mister wisp
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

    Kind of moved by how raw this is. Reading this in the morning before heading to work. Realized I can afford to donate my first few hours of pay when I get home.

    As someone who is also compulsive and takes a long time to do things, I can relate at least in some very small way to how it might all feel like too much sometimes. Would hiring more staff at Worldbuilders help? Is there a way you can share the work load a little more?

    You are sounding a little burned out which is very understandable. I hope you are able to look after yourself enough to keep looking after everyone else. Anyways, take care man, all the best to you and yours this Christmas. Hang in there. Thanks for the generosity and all the work and belief in the possibility of a better world.

  10. Posted December 14, 2015 at 8:07 AM | Permalink

    Also, what’s awesome about the extension is that some people get paid in the middle of the month, so maybe this announcement is coming at the perfect time for those feeling generous with a fresh boost to their bank accounts, but were a little late to the game and thought they’d have to miss out on participating this year.

  11. shurg
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

    I’m Canadian, so I wasn’t planning to Worldbuilders because one of my pet peeves is tax inefficient charitable giving. But this was a really good post, so I decided to meet you half way, and I’ve signed up for $100 recurring monthly donations to Heifer International Canada. It won’t help with the matching funds, but should pay for a few goats.

    If you’re looking for more stretch goal ideas, I vote for more podcasts.

    Also in reference to your coffee problem discussion on the podcast, I highly recommend Black Blood of the Earth. Invented by a diabetic lab technician who wanted coffee with lots of caffeine but no bitterness and no sweetener.

    • Amanda
      Posted December 17, 2015 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

      I’ve actually had that, it’s fantastic.

  12. killyourdarlings
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 8:15 AM | Permalink

    I’ll donate for shire (jokes).

    • hatshepsut72
      Posted December 14, 2015 at 11:35 AM | Permalink


  13. Posted December 14, 2015 at 8:18 AM | Permalink

    Hi Pat!
    Thanks for being awesome! I already did my donations but now I’m going to use the money I reserved for buying presents for my family and will donate that too. I’m going to translate some of your blog into German to make them understand – so yeah there will still be the printouts to unwrap beneath the Christmas tree, everybody wins.

  14. hatshepsut72
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 8:57 AM | Permalink

    I was hoping to donate again and after seeing this I definitely will.

    Does the matching go through the 18th or just today?

    • Posted December 17, 2015 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

      It’s until we use up the whole 200K. So it’s until the end of the fundraiser, probably….

  15. awkwardlyfeminine
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 8:57 AM | Permalink

    Just donated to send a girl to school. That means two girls get to go. That means so much to me, because while I had access to school, I was effectively homeless my senior year in high school and the years before that my studies went from near perfection to nearly failing due to a really bad situation at home. I always wanted to go to college right after high school (partially because it would get me out of that situation but also because I love learning), and because of everything that went on, I ended up unable to go to college. I’ve just passed my 10 year reunion and I’ve taken some courses and will continue to further my education. But even with my own issues, I still had access. And if it was hard for me, I can’t imagine what it must be like for people with significantly fewer resources than I had. So helping along with that means a ton, and it’s one of those personal victory type things.

    Thank you so much, Pat. The extended deadline must be hard on everyone, physically and emotionally, but it did let me eke out a last-minute donation.

    Now, please, go take a nap! Take care of yourself. Take a nice long, hot shower or bath, relax, spend time with your beautiful family. Even Bilbo would take care of himself, if only so he could continue to help others.

  16. F.N.T.
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    It’s fair to say that, with anyone else, I probably would have been suspicious about false deadlines and all that – but I think I speak for pretty much everyone who reads your blog, Pat, when I say that you’ve earned our trust – and, because it’s you asking, because you ask in the way you do, I am happy to join one last big push.

    I KNOW I speak for everyone in the world ever that nobody needs to see photos of my feet, though. In fact, me withholding that image should be a stretch goal – and, for the good of all, a not very stretchy one…

  17. chaelek
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    I know you’re not doing this for thanks. But thank you. Thanks for sacrificing so much of yourself for so worthy of a cause. Thanks for reaffirming my faith in the Milk of Human Kindness. Strong and I have been looking for that for a while. Thanks for being you, Pat.

  18. He without a clever name
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

    Oh, Pat. Your blogs are always such wonderful short stories.

    We’ve got this. I hope you get good rest.

    If you need to stop streaming, do it. As much as we enjoy it, everyone will understand. You give us too much of yourself.

  19. Posted December 14, 2015 at 9:39 AM | Permalink

    Damn it Pat. I can’t teach the high school kids if I’m all wet eyed and trembly. You make me proud to be a donor, and we’ll be scratching up some cash to help! Get some rest dude. Seriously.

  20. GuyG
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

    I’ve Trapised up.
    keep on rocking.

  21. Kelasyn Malethis
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    Do items purchased from the Tinker’s Packs count towards the fundraiser? I already got 2 t-shirts this season, and you know what? I think my friend needs one too. I just want to make absolutely sure that it will count towards the goal, because if it won’t, then I’m going to straight-up donate as well. This has to be done, because how else am I going to explain tearing up in the middle of Bio? I’m totally rambling, but I don’t care because this is the greatest organization ever, and Pat is the greatest human being ever because he gives so much of himself and asks so little in return. Well, that’s not true, but he doesn’t ask it for himself, he asks it for the betterment of people who need it and humanity in general. I had to give a speech earlier this semester on the most inspiring person in my life, and I did it on Pat because if I can do a fraction of what he’s done in just a few years over the course of my entire life, I will feel like I’ve accomplished something great. Okay, I’m done now. Thank you for everything!

  22. Thunderborn
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    Hmmm…. Pat you should throw something or someone in the auction to wake people up a bit that you have extended.

  23. katieighty
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    We’re hosting orphans from Eastern Europe over Christmas, so I wasn’t going to donate to WorldBuilders, even though I have every year so far that I’ve been a fan. I’m doing enough, right? Ha. But even using my little bit extra to donate here, we’ll have plenty of food, water, books, & clothes. Can’t ask for more than that.

  24. dorwinrin
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    Bilboed it up. Thank you for giving me some perspective again, Pat.

  25. Cinnamon
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for giving us another chance, Pat. Fruit tree seedlings donated!

  26. arefalo
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

    Thank you Pat. Your words always remind me I can do more, I can be better.

  27. tracy
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    You’ve got me. There is no possible way I can refuse a request to Bilbo it up. In fact, I think that’s going to be something I try to do every day from now on. Love you, love your writing, love what you do. Thanks for letting me be a part of it.

  28. sythiel
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

    After reading this post, it was just impossible not to donate for the second time this week.
    Love how your writing inspires me to be a better person…

  29. Linrandiel
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat and the Worldbuilders Team,

    I’m currently unemployed, living with my mom so that someone can pay the costs of my chronic medical condition until my application for disability status goes through. But since the fundraiser started this year, I have had cake on my mind, and have been scraping the bottom of my mental barrel for ways I could pitch in despite my current lack of means. After all, I still have a roof over my head and food on my table thanks to my family; surely that counts as cake?

    This weekend I got a refund check from my previous insurance company, and literally my first reaction was “yay! I can throw a little more money at Worldbuilders!” Then I realized the fundraiser was ending, and it will still take another day or two for the deposit to go through. I was majorly bummed.

    So thanks, from the bottom of my selfish heart, for giving me another chance to share my cake and feel the pride that comes of knowing I’ve helped good people make good things happen. My current circumstances leave me feeling stuck a lot, and this kind of contribution makes my life feel a lot less meaningless.

    And after Friday, I hope you and the team can enjoy a break and relish spending the holiday season with your families. Know that we appreciate your efforts and your lost sleep.

    Gratefully and bare-footedly,

    PS How is my weather in Tucson the same as yours in Wisconsin?!

    • colinthom89
      Posted December 14, 2015 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

      I was touched by your story. Only give what you can, and make sure you have enough to take care of yourself. I am in a better financial position and will donate $100 in your name.

      • Nate.v.
        Posted December 14, 2015 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

        Wow. Just. Wow. Words cannot express how it made me feel to read this story and the response.

        You are awesome.

      • Posted December 14, 2015 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

        Thank you both for reminding me how cool people can be!

  30. Posted December 14, 2015 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    Hey Patrick. Thanks and a big Hobbit hug to you and the Worldbuilders organization. Heck, a round of hobbit hugs to all the cool people and companies who donated too. I’m glad for the extension as it means my final payday before Christmas falls in the window; it might be a good idea to schedule it that way in the future so people will be torn between additional donations with their bonus money or buying the little crochet sweaters that golfers put on their golf clubs(?).


  31. Erzberger
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

    You guys are my fuckin’ heros. Cudos to all worldbuilders.

  32. Posted December 14, 2015 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    I’m happy to see it got extended. I got my end of the year bonus at work today, so I’ve got some spare money.

    I’m going to match the amount that the rose petal necklace I made in honor of my Mom sold for. She always donated to charity. Even when she had barely any money to spare for herself, she found a way to scrape a bit together and give to those who needed it. So I’ll match what the petal sold for, because it’s what would have made her happy. I’d like to do a little more good in her name.

  33. Posted December 14, 2015 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    I know some authors that would love to donate signed copies of books for prizes if they could. Maybe they aren’t NYT best sellers, but some of them have some fantastic scifi and fantasy books out there.

  34. Kthaeh
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    Fer cryin’ out loud, Pat! Sometimes I just want to shake you. I get the exhaustion, don’t get me wrong. But I ask you to have a little more faith in the world and in your fans. So your fundraisers run long. Who cares? I mean, do you really think that even moves the needle on anyone’s annoyance gauge? This thing you’ve built is beautiful, and I don’t think I’m the only one who honestly looks forward to it every year. It’s exciting and fun, and your enthusiasm and the goodness that shines through you make it that way. Your superpower is that when you ask, people will open their wallets for a good cause. So that dread you feel? Try to take my word for it: it’s unfounded.

    I’ve already given this year. If I didn’t have any more money to give, I wouldn’t see this extra matching opportunity as you stringing along donors. It wouldn’t make me feel ill-used. (That doesn’t even make sense to me, if you want to know the truth.) I can give more, and I’m about to as soon as I finish this comment. Be nice to yourself. Be gentle. Maybe give yourself permission to end the fundraiser as soon as that $200k is matched. I suspect it’ll be quick. Now I’m off to chip in what I can.

  35. Posted December 14, 2015 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    Good man, Pat Rothfuss. I’d sing a song for you, but when I did that at PAX you looked horribly embarrassed (it was the “raddest, baddest, bad-ass” line that did it, right?). So I’ll claim a 200th of that matching instead, because even if the road goes ever on, I want to help it get there faster.

    Keep Bilboing.

    • babblefish
      Posted December 14, 2015 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

      More like Bombadiling

  36. Posted December 14, 2015 at 10:47 PM | Permalink

    Damn, Pat. The road goes ever on and on, doesn’t it?

    • Posted December 14, 2015 at 11:02 PM | Permalink

      Done. And thanks. I was sitting here feeling lonely and sad about facing my first Christmas since losing my mother. As you noted, some kids don’t have that luxury or the memories of a happy and wonderful childhood under the guiding hand of two loving parents. Thanks for the reminder. We all have those moments where we’re ready to let the dragon win. Instead, I sent some honeybees to someone who needs them because I think she’d have liked that.

      I’m glad I got thrown your way by Adrienne as a volunteer at Nerdcon. Bless you and all your helpers. Well met.

  37. arinmorf
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

    “Bilbo it up” is my new favorite phrase.
    I just read the blog after a long time away, and I’m so happy the chance to donate was a few extra days long.

    Pat, I was at the Writer’s of the Future award ceremony when you won, and I read your story that night and thought “this is freaking amazing, I can’t wait until this is a novel!” I’m so delighted at everything you’ve continued to do since then.

    Donated. Happy.

  38. froz
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 1:09 AM | Permalink

    Well Done Sir.


  39. pinecones
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

    Because of this I just donated again, and linked to it on my page.

  40. pacifist
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    How much do I need to donate in order to change one of the “what is Pat gonna do” options to “sleep”?

    I think it might be worth it

  41. Posted December 15, 2015 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    Having just discovered Pat’ s blog and World Builders, I feel like I’ve opened an early Christmas present! Thanks Pat

  42. Wheel
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 8:37 AM | Permalink

    I would love to donate but I’ve got neather a credit card nor pay pal. Is there an other way? Maybe I could simply transfer the money to your bank account?

    • Amanda
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

      There’s an option for an “offline donation,” we explain all of the details right here under “I don’t have a credit card If I mail you a check will you enter me into the lottery?”

      Feel free to email us at questions @ if you have any troubles.

  43. Jake Trauberman
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    Stop making me cry, damnit! Just shut up and take my money!

    (PS – Thank you so much for extending this. I got home late last night after getting paid, and I was scared I wouldn’t be able to donate properly in time. Being that this is the first year I’m really financially stable enough to make a good donation, this means so, so much to me.)

    • angledge
      Posted December 15, 2015 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

      Jake, you sound like good people. Congratulations on achieving some financial stability & thanks for immediately using that power to help others. #BilboItUp

  44. mingfish
    Posted December 15, 2015 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    As I write this the tears are drying on my face and the snow is melting off my feet. Not everybody gets to come in from the cold. Thank you for reminding me. Thank you for being you.

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