Giving Tuesday: Things That Are Lacking

As I sit down to write this, it’s 3:00 in the morning. So late on Monday that it’s really Tuesday morning.

Not just any Tuesday though. It’s giving Tuesday, which means I’m supposed to write an inspiring blog about the Worldbuilders Fundraiser.

You see, last year I wrote a blog about my mom, and Haiti, and Heifer International….

Marge and Patrick at Beach 1-1(You can read the blog here if you like. It was pretty good.)

…and we had our biggest fundraising day ever.

Of course there were extenuating circumstances. Last year we had unexpected access to matching money. That was a big motivator. We geeks love a power multiplier.

The result? We raised $200,000 that day.

So my team is expecting me to write a really great blog today. Something that will delight and inspire you. Something that will draw you in. Make you enthusiastic. Rile you up. Break your heart. (But in a good way.)

And I’ve been rooting around inside myself for it all night. Looking for that blog. Looking for something to say. And I just can’t find it.

I got nothing.

*     *    *

Part of the problem is that I can’t announce a big BIG one-day-only matching-money extravaganza! A tight timeline is compelling. Anyone who has ever backed a kickstarter knows a ticking clock can light a fire under the most reluctant of asses.

But here’s the problem. Last year, when Heifer gave us access to matching money, we impressed them. And while I was excited to raise that $200,000, I told them I felt bad springing it on my people halfway through the fundraiser.

“I feel like it abuses their trust a bit,” I explained. “What about the people that came in and donated early? They weren’t holding back. They didn’t wait to see if there was a better charity deal hiding around the corner. I just said to them, ‘Hey guys, come with us, and we’ll make the world a better place,’ and they did. But now some of them feel like they missed out on getting their donations doubled….”

I explained to Heifer that I didn’t think surprises were good in the long run. They work wonders in the moment, but next year people will worry if they donate early, they might miss out later….

“But if you give us money to match donations at the beginning of the fundraiser,” I told them. “I’d like the world on fire. My people would go crazy for that.”

But here’s the funny thing. They did. They gave us $1,000,000 of matching money.

And so we launched with it.

And you guys did go crazy for it. We’ve used $340,000 so far, and raised more than $680,000. It’s our best year ever…

But as a result, I have no surprises.

I have nothing shocking to unveil for you today.

But I *can* tell you a story.

*     *     *

This is Klang Savuth and Kid Moa:

kh201512-128(With their son Ky Damkoeung.)

In 2014, they were subsistence farmers, which means they grew just enough to feed themselves if things went well. They didn’t have a reliable source of income, so when they needed anything beyond the bare necessities, they had to borrow or beg.

In 2014, Heifer International gave Klang and Kid 20 chickens and some vegetable seeds. Then Heifer gave them the training and tools they needed to use them, because that’s what Heifer does.

Today, their flock has grown to over 200 birds. They used the profit from their chickens to buy a pig, and now they own 23 pigs. They’ve opened their own general store.

They have a beautiful garden that makes more than enough food to sustain them. And Klang continues to attend Heifer training courses and plans to buy more land. She wants to start a fish pond and build a biogas digester that will turn her animal’s waste into better fertilizer clean methane for light and cooking. They don’t have access to electricity.

And you know what? They’ve given 30 chickens to another family. They gave that family training and tools, too.

(Because that’s what Heifer International teaches people to do. They call it Passing On The Gift.)

In two and a half years, this family has gone from desperately poor to thriving. They’ve gone from needing help, to giving help.

Heifer International does this all over the world. Nobody is better at it.

*     *     *

Do you know how much it costs to give a family chickens?

$20 dollars.

*     *     *

Last week, the Worldbuilders team sat me down and told me that this is a bad year for charities. Fundraisers everywhere are running at all-time lows. They explained to me that with Brexit and the US election, the economy is uncertain. That makes people reluctant to donate money.

My team told me this very gently. And I know what they’re doing. They’re preparing me for the fact that maybe we might not use up all our matching money. More importantly, they’re preparing me for the fact that this year, for the first time in the history of Worldbuilders, our fundraiser might be *smaller* than the previous year.


And I’m not surprised. I don’t follow global economy stuff, but I know people. And I know that since the election, I have felt… devastated. Numb. I am worried for my country, and I am worried for my world.

Pretty much everyone I know feels this way. And many of my friends feel even worse. Less that a week ago, I had a nightmare about nuclear war. My first in 30 years.

This is part of why it’s hard for me to write to you today. How can I infect you with enthusiasm when I’m having trouble finding it myself?

For many of us, it is not easy to be hopeful right now. We hurt. And when we hurt, we curl in on ourselves. It’s natural. Instinctive. It’s an animal reaction to pain.

Charity is the opposite of this. Charity is an act of reaching out.

But where do we find the hope?

*     *     *

I don’t know how to fix the world. But look at this.

Lugazi Dioces Heifer Project (21-0616-01)

Look at him. Look at how happy he is. And you know why? He has clean water to drink.

Heifer International can give a whole town clean, accessible water.

Know how much it costs to give a community full of children clean water?

It costs $300.

*     *     *

A lot of you have been leaving comments with your donations. These little stories keep me going. They are much-needed injections of hope in a time when I need to be reminded that people are good. I can’t thank you all enough for this, (and I hope you all win fabulous prizes in our lottery.)

Let me share a few. Here’s one from Josephine:

I just want to say THANK YOU PAT, for opening my eyes to how EASY it is to make a great difference in other people’s lives, even as a poor student, whose bank account is below 0 every month, just by giving just a little bit – I will forgo the Christmas shopping and instead do homemade gifts.

From Melissa:

I’m broke. Like, really, really broke. But I have food and shelter, so some of my money is going to help someone else who needs help.

And there are some that make me smile a big, foolish, joyful smile, like Julia’s:

I am 10 years old and this is my first time donating to WorldBuilders.  It is such a nice thing to do.  I really wanted to use my own money to buy a family an animal.

I see see a lot of you feel the same way I do, like Paul:

Thanks for keeping positivity and hope in this world. The country is a little short on both right now. 

Like Benjamin:

Doubling what I had planned to donate because I’m frustrated with recent events and want to push back against the darkness. Thanks for being a force for good!

And people like Alyssa make me cry:

Yesterday I was reading The Name of the Wind from inside the adult ward of a mental health facility. Three days ago, I genuinely had no will to live. Today, my partner led me home, and we’re donating a goat to a family that will use it well. My heart is brimming with gratitude. Thank you, World builders, for giving us the opportunity to help. Thanks to Pat for the gift of your words.

*     *    *

I sometimes write about a girl. This girl is alone, living in darkness, working tirelessly to make the world better, one small piece at a time. The darkness constantly surrounds her. But she keeps working, even on bad days, and she always brings her own light.


She is braver than I am. And better. And she never gives up.

So. It’s Giving Tuesday.

What are you going to do?


This entry was posted in Worldbuilders 2016. By Pat58 Responses


  1. Auri Rodrigues
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 7:21 AM | Permalink

    Oh. My. Heart.
    I love you so much…

    • Posted November 29, 2016 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

      Hello Auri. It does my heart good to see you first in the comments today.

      • Auri Rodrigues
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

        Oops, that made me feel very “Auri-like” – it’s better run back to my hidden spot to keep my joy safe! Kisses and stay safe, kind monsieur…

  2. Kthaeh
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

    We are going to use every dollar of that matching money. And then some. I am utterly convinced of this. It’s precisely because of the horror I feel at recent events that I need the Worldbuilders season more than ever. I can’t be the only one who feels this way.

    This was a great post, and thank you for bringing back that picture of your beautiful mom, with her little boy.

    • aemowers
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:12 AM | Permalink

      I feel similarly. I completely understand that Christianity is incredibly unappealing right now, or at least that brand of Evangelicalism it’s associated with, but as a seminary grad and theology nerd, my brain immediately went to two passages I’ve I read recently that have helped keep me from despair:

      “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” -John 1:5

      “O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.” -Psalm 10:17-18

      My husband and I are doing our best to step it up. We’re really grateful for this community, and the beacon of hope it’s been not only to us, but to so many friends with reasons to fear.

      Thank you Pat, for sharing your words, even if it’s simply to communicate a loss of them.

      • jannm
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

        Thanks for your words and quotes – encouraging for me this morning. And thanks Pat, for everything you do..

  3. Kaye1
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:02 AM | Permalink

    I’ve always wanted to comment but part of me has always been too afraid. So here I am, my first post. It’s my girls 10th birthday. 10 years ago, we were both in big trouble. I was only 32 weeks pregnant and my baby only weighed a few pounds in weight. We were both fading. I had a rare problem with my pregnancy.
    One that, during my next pregnancy, the consultant would bring along nurses to speak with me about my symptoms/experience, so they could learn for the future.
    And reading this blog hits me like a ton of bricks. If I had lived in one of the countries that Worldbuilder helps, we would not have made it.
    So however awful I feel about that time 10 years ago, how many tears we cried, we still made it.
    And I am blessed with daughters who are truly a blessing to us. So I will make my donation today in the name of my perfect girls.
    Thank you Pat and your magic words, for reminding me of what really matters- the love we carry inside us.

    • Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:34 PM | Permalink

      Thanks so much for sharing your story. And thanks for chipping in….

  4. juion
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:15 AM | Permalink

    Thank you, Pat, for everything you do to make the world a better place!

    I grew up in moderate poverty, but I’ve been doing much better as an adult. Still, the mindset instilled by not having much as a kid drives you to be a bit miserly.

    I didn’t really ever think of donating to charity until I heard about Worldbuilders, and it’s a good feeling to know that something so simple as donating a relatively small amount of money can affect such a large change in a community.

  5. kkojot
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    You, Sir, are a Monster! It is most unseemly to make a 16-stone bald man start leaking from the eye in the middle of a day. WITH ONE PHOTO. And a single sentence. Every. Darn. Time.

  6. JasonB
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:21 AM | Permalink

    I just bought a cow. That’s pretty cool. Pat, thanks for all that you do.

  7. Lannar
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    Is it normal that I cried reading this post?

    I’ve been crying quite a lot recently. Not for good reasons. But today I’m doing it out of hope and happiness, and I feel in debt. At least a goat in debt.

    How do you do it, Pat? how do you write to existence a brave character while not feeling brave? how can you teach a thing unknown to you?

    • Amanda
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:47 AM | Permalink

      I’ve been crying all morning reading the post and the comments, so you’ve got company.

  8. Seraken
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

    I’ve already donated (twice, actually; there’s a story there) but since it’s Giving Tuesday and ALSO my birthday, I’m in for another round. Now I’m going to share this fundraiser so if anyone doesn’t know what to give, or to whom, they have an excellent idea!

  9. Bethany
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

    Pat. Oh, Pat. “I got nothin,” you say. And then you pour out words, and you tug heartstrings, and you light a candle, and, and …. Your ‘nothing’ is so beautiful. Tear-and-heart inspiring. So very necessary in the world – especially now. My heart hurts because our last paycheck, my husband accidentally made a double payment on a bill, and we had some medical stuff come up. “I need you to spend as close to $0.00 as you can, until next payday,” he said, regretfully but firmly. So I’ve been counting down the days until tomorrow. The paycheck hits tonight at midnight, but it won’t be Giving Tuesday then, and I’m sitting here weeping at work because I want to do something, anything, -today-, right now, to *show* you know that your words matter and your leader-ing matters. I want -terribly and urgently – for you to know that. Is it awful that I want to donate to Worldbuilders, not just because it also helps families and children and changes their life, but that it lightens *your* heart and it gives *you* joy? You, who have given me such a world to explore and enjoy? (There’s a little known Spider Robinson story, called “The Meddler” (it’s found in Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon, if you’re curious) that I re-read recently. It resonates in my chest right now. I just want to do something to ease Bobby Joy’s/Patrick Rothfuss’s pain.) I’m rambling. I’m sorry. Tonight. I promise.

  10. LadyIsta
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

    You said that you didn’t know how to infect us with enthusiasm. I think what we need now is not enthusiasm, but hope. Thank you for giving us something to hope for. This community, especially TeamPatChat, has reminded me that there are so many people working for good.

    “But she keeps working, even on bad days, and she always brings her own light.” I’m writing these words on my heart.

    You have my goat. Again.

  11. Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    First off, just straight up had to deal with tears at work. Thanks Pat.

    Secondly, if we have any employer that matches charitable donations, are those matched by the Heifer folks? Either way, I’ve donated and have requested the match, but it’s cool to think that my one goat will turn into four goats.

    • CountShrimpula
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

      I had the same question. Are the matching donations for anything donated to Worldbuilders right now? My employer matches through Benevity, specifically. So if I submit there and they match my donation, do I get to quadruple up? How about Amazon Smile donations? Will I double up on my donations when I do my Christmas shopping on Amazon?

    • Brett
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

      Hi guys! I just tackled Mr. QFC’s question below. The short of it: there’s usually a couple months of processing time for employer matches, so they won’t get matched by the Heifer funds. Amazon Smile isn’t included, since only donations that come through our fundraiser page are matched.

      Now, if Amazon decides to send the Smile percentage through our fundraiser page…..

      • Posted November 29, 2016 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

        thanks for letting us know Brett! Still cool that it’ll eventually turn into three goats, so yay!

  12. Rallon
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    My wife and I just found out that we’re having a baby. It’s a heck of a time to bring a new person into this mess of a world. It’s been tough to feel much of anything lately, let alone motivation, and money is about to get a lot tighter. We can still give a little, though, and make the world a little better. Bit by bit by bit.

  13. setsights
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    I logged on to put $50 on the lottery yesterday and was shocked to see how bad the exchange rate from £ is, thanks to Brexit. Even stretching my money, I can’t afford to donate more than $40.

    But I really want to be able to donate $50, so I decided to hold back and take a risk, since everything is matched no matter the day.

    I’m going to donate on the last day of the fundraiser. If the exchange rate gets worse, I’ll still donate $40 – I’m not going to give less just because I made a bad call – but if it gets better, I’ll stretch to $50. If the exchange rate gets much better, I’ll try and stretch to $60.

    P.S. Pat – seeing the smile on that little boys face is why I’m happy to wait years to read book 3. Your time is being spent perfectly.

  14. Selmoh
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

    and two goats on their way :-) …. Love trumps hate !

  15. M the Record Keeper
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

    Hey Pat (and everyone), first time commenting (hope no one will mind my occasional Canadian spelling and excessive use of exclamation points)…

    I’ve been living off of friends and family’s generosity for a few years, and so have only been a spectator to this wonderful fundraiser before… but now that I have a job, it makes me insanely happy, not just because I work in a bookstore (which is awesome), but because I finally be a part of this! Hurray! Bees and chickens for everyone!

    I love that you and your team are doing this every year, that you found this way to bring us geeks together to do good and act as a community in such a positive and enthusiastic way. I’ve been checking on the Worldbuilders page a lot today and it seems like there’s a few thousand dollars more on the counter every time I do! It’s almost at 730K now! I really hope we get to use all of that matching money. And, well, the thought that by doing this we might all be a bit like Auri, that makes me happy too (and I am currently trying not to cry while eating lunch, so thanks for that, Pat).

    So I’m going to keep sharing and talking about this to everyone who will listen to me. Keep up all the hard work, team Worldbuilders!

    P.S. Pat, hope you get to take a long break to just relax, enjoy the holidays, and be with your family and friends for a while after all this. You more than deserve it!

  16. RoyceShatzel
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    I’d *light* the world on fire, Mr. Rothfuss. Spelling error very early on.

    That said, I agree with what you are doing here. I’ll help out as much as I can.

  17. Andreas
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:09 PM | Permalink

    Oh man… You know nothing, Pat.
    Having read about Klang Savuth and Kid Moa and their son you almost had me in tears. Well, I’m not usually giving money to donations, in fact I have not given anything the last couple of years.

    Of course, I know there are lots of things going bad on our little spaceship and there are zillions of people in need. And I have to admit, I’ve become quite ignorant to all the bad news on TV and letters in the mail asking us to give for a multitude of organizations that I have no trust in at all.

    As an infrequent reader of your blog I recall earlier blog posts about Worldbuilders last year and the years before, but that was just another donation thing and I only skimmed through the text.
    Cannot say why I took time to read your post today. Really read it. And your message hit home. Just donated money for a goat and hope this will make someone else’s life a little bit better.

    *I got nothing.* … but a heart of gold and words of honey and the courage to change things. And you really think you got nothing? You know nothing, Pat. ;)
    To me, you have one of the greatest gifts on earth: you can move people with your words and remind them of what life actually is about. You just did remind me, living on another continent, thousands of miles away, only connected to your blog by a shaky web connection…
    Thanks for this, Pat. Hope to meet one day.

  18. Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    Your posts always bring me to tears, and I sure hope we pass that 1 million mark, but even if we don’t, don’t worry about the darkness. I donated again this year, but the only reason I didn’t donate quite as much is because I’m donating to more charities than ever before. Between Planned Parenthood and the National Resources Defense Council and the ACLU and Standing Rock and political contributions, I’ve never given away so much money to try to help people and make the world a better place. And I’m a struggling writer who only has enough work lined up to last me a few more months (hopefully more will come!). Keep up the good work!

  19. blacklighttheworld
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    Thanks Pat, for inspiring me to donate.
    I wasn’t sure about donating this year. I just had a baby, so naturally I want to make sure I have enough money to provide for her, etc.
    Then I thought about all the new mothers that want to provide for their children, that don’t have it as easy as I do. And I saw other people saying “I’m broke. But I’m still going to donate.” You guys have inspired me, and even though I couldn’t donate much, I’m glad I was able to help a little.

  20. 1999Brock
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    In other news, when were you going to tell us that Lin-Manuel Miranda is helping to make the Kingkiller movie/series?

  21. Mr. QFC
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    Woohoo, my company already confirmed they’re matching my donation. Amanda, do the company match funds qualify for the $1 Million Heifer match as well?

    • Brett
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

      Hi Mr. QFC,
      We usually get matching funds from folks’ employers a month or so after the fundraiser ends (there’s paperwork and transfers and things), so sadly, their matching money won’t be doubled by ours. Your initial donation will totally be matched. So at least you get to double-dip, even if you can’t triple-dip…or, you know. However things stack up.

  22. MeepleMinion
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    As this year I am financially in a position to make a difference – and in order to let you know that your blog DOES inspire – I’ve just donated water. Which will be doubled, yeah! I’ll drink to that. #GivingTuesday

    • MeepleMinion
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

      Also, this is perfect to celebrate the news of your collaboration with Lin-Manuel Miranda. So looking forward to seeing Kvothe’s world on screen!

  23. Posted November 29, 2016 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat. Thanks for doing this. I am very grateful to have a simple way to make a difference. All the best to you and the other awesome people who make this possible.


  24. sharnish
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat (and Lin if he gets a chance),

    I am about to donate $225 to Worldbuilders. Minus $20 I put into a subway ticket, this will be a week’s paycheck for me. I have student loans to pay and rent, but this is important to me as well. Have I got your attention now? Good. Now that I’ve done this, I would like to tell you something about myself.

    In all probability, you do not know me at all. I may seem like just another fan of your books that loves everything having to do with it beyond any reason or sense. In other words I am a geek. I love fantasy and because I’m a fan of yours, I am a geek who wants to make the world a better place. But what I am first and foremost is a film geek. Not just for movies themselves but how they are made. I have made many short films in my past, none of them particularly good but I learned a lot from all of them. I have been a huge fan of your books for a long time and as an exercise and experiment, I gave myself the task of seeing how they would work in film, if they could, and I would like to share my thoughts with you.

    When I got the news today from three different people that your book was being made into a movie, I was editing a video of footage from the David Lynch cult classic tv show, “Twin Peaks” with Kanye West’s opus “Blood on the Leaves.” I was planning on staying an extra two hours at the film department but when I got the news, I threw on my jacket and ran out the door to the train at the Brookline Hills T-Stop in the rain. But when it wasn’t arriving I just started running through the rain to the next T-stop. Why did I run? Because I have never felt such mixed emotions about a film adaptation news in my entire life. On one hand I was delighted that your friend and artist Lin Manuel-Miranda is going to be part of this but on the other hand I was absolutely crushed.

    The thing about filmmakers Pat is that we cannot read a novel without turning it into a film in our heads. And sometimes one just reads a book that is absolutely…YES!!! It fits not only the cinematic aesthetic we want to achieve but also our own personal aesthetic. Pat, I know you are worried and even firmly believe that your book is unfilmable, that to adapt it into a movie would be “half a dog.” But Pat, I and apparently many other people in the industry including the good folks at Lionsgate, would disagree. “The Name of the Wind” and “The Wise Man’s Fear” are two of the most cinematic books I have ever read in my entire life. Not in the sense of Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, Climax, Dénouement or any of that. Of course your book cannot be adapted in a typical fashion because it is not a typical book. And that is what can make it a great film.

    On an early Unattended Consequences you said you wanted “Fucking Danny Kaye” to be in your movie when you and Max were jacked up on caffeine. (To your credit, Kaye would be a pretty good choice for adult Kvothe. My personal choice would be Louis CK.) Although the cinema is still the second-youngest art medium in the world, it has gone through many changes in the century it has been around. But filmmakers and film geeks like myself all look back on certain periods in cinema history, European countries in the 1960’s, post-war America and Japan in the 40’s and 50’s, and the Golden Age of the 70’s when filmmakers like Scorsese and Coppola and Michael Cimino and Robert Altman were experimenting with everything that had come before them. And who could forget the 90’s when Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kevin Smith, Robert Rodriguez and Spike Lee picked up cameras in their own garages and just made movies with their friends and went on to become the great auteurs they are today.

    All of these filmmakers came to us at a time when there was a demand for having our fears and angers addressed and our deepest hopes and dreams confirmed, but they also came out of a need for cinema. I believe that with the nearing commencement of our newest President-Elect, that we are entering a new period of courage and fearlessness and originality and innovation in the cinema. If done right, I feel The Name of the Wind could be a part of this and I want to be there to make sure that it can.

    Let me explain myself: I’ve had some time to work a little bit on adapting this story on my own, as an experiment. (I hope this doesn’t qualify for lawsuits.) As a novelist, you can write whatever you want and not have to think about how it’s going to be seen in a three dimensional space but you do have to think about how to write something so that a reader in Alabama will understand it at the same time as a reader in Boston (like me.) I have a similar job, I want an audience in Japan to understand what is happening on screen at the same time as the audience in Buffalo, New York. The difference is that you achieve this with words, and I achieve it with images.

    When I heard you speak on the podcast, there were a lot of things that you and I agreed on, chief among them being that the cast be reflective of your views on the film industry today. We have had enough movies in the fantasy genre where the cast is all-white. In a country where white supremacists are working in government, Hollywood movies can no longer be a reflection of the idea that this country is comprised of only white people or even that this was our rightfully owned land.

    Speaking of our land, another thing I want to do differently is shoot this film in America. New Zealand, England and even Iceland have probably used up all of their neat locations so much that they’ve become to fantasy movies what Monument Valley was to John Ford’s Westerns. I imagine Temerant is very flat in many places with wide plains and grasslands, tall mountains and dry deserts. Probably ties in nicely to the fact that you grew up in the Midwest, the heart of America. America is lost right now and we need to find it by looking in the places that nobody else is. Plus fans of the books and movies won’t have to fly across the Atlantic to see their favorite movie locations. Like the Simon and Garfunkel song, we have to go and look for America and show it for the diverse place it is.

    Speaking of music and diversity, I also have many plans for how to use music in this film. We’ve got Lin but could you maybe tell him there’s a bunch of other artists to use and draw influence from. And I mean a diverse kind. Music has to be important to this story because music is important to Kvothe. Some of the greatest moments in cinema history have been sequences set to music: The Battle on the Ice from “Alexander Nevsky”, the spaceships dancing with each other to the Beautiful Blue Danube from “2001: A Space Odyssey”, Gene Kelly dancing in “Singin’ in the Rain”, Michael Madsen dancing while cutting off a guy’s ear in “Reservoir Dogs”, the list goes on! Frankly it doesn’t make you feel good to see a movie without music in it. I love listening to music to get a sense of the sound and rhythm of the scene and how it relates to the film as a whole. My mix is as diverse as the cast should be: Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” for when Kvothe rescues the village of Trebon from the Draccus, “Mrs Robinson” for when Kvothe is rescued from expulsion from the University (We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files) “Bones” by Radiohead for when Kvothe throws himself off the tower hoping for Elodin to catch him with the wind. “Daydreaming” also by Radiohead for when Kvothe allows his sleeping mind to reawaken for the first time in three years after hearing Skarpi’s story about the Chandrian in Trebon. I’ve also been listening to a lot of “Yeezus” by Kanye West and Kid Cudi for the mood of The Wise Man’s Fear when the story gets a little bit darker.

    Finally, the idea that I’m most excited about is shooting pieces of the film at 120 FPS (Frames Per Second). Now don’t worry, not the ENTIRE movie like that! Let’s be honest, filmmakers shouldn’t have to make audiences choose between five different versions of their movie. There is a film out right now by the great director Ang Lee called Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, the story of a young Iraq war veteran who is honored at the Superbowl Halftime show for bravery, and while onstage, reminisces about his harrowing experiences in the war. It’s a noble effort to experiment with a new technology but like many experiments, it has flaws. Lee shoots many dramatic dialogue scenes and action scenes in this format and often times it feels more like a distraction. The only time it does work is the Superbowl scenes. It makes you feel like you are on that stage with Billy Lynn. Some concert films have utilized this format well and it looks great. You feel like you are really at that show. I want to utilize this for the sequences where Kvothe performs music, particularly his first time at the Eolian where he performs “The Lay of Sir Savien and Aloine” and he says that he could not tell where the music ends and his blood begins. This is such a heightened state that only a high frame rate could accurately describe this. In fact it would be great for many moments in your books where Kvothe calls the wind, especially when he speaks the name of Felurian. The way you wrote it in the book, I thought “HOLY SHIT!! How do I put that into visuals?!?” A high frame rate could give the audience some idea of what it is like for all things to be clearer than they have ever been before and to have full awareness of all things, and may even inspire them to seek out more awareness as well. Every thing you do as a filmmaker is not for yourself or for the actors or the studio, but for the audience. Kvothe knows it, you know it, Lin knows it and so do I.

    So there you have it. That’s what I’ve been stewing over with this book and it’s why I was crushed to hear that it’s moving ahead without me. I am not an entitled person but I do really, really, really, REALLY feel like I have to be part of this somehow. I would do anything on this production – be an assistant to an assistant — I’m just a twenty-three year old kid from Boston who still lives at home with a geekiness of 110% for filmmaking and your books. You don’t have to ask me to be a director, lord knows I think I am less qualified to direct a feature than Donald Trump is to run a yogurt stand, much less an entire nation. But I have put a lot of thought and energy and time into this, I don’t want to feel like this has been in vain.

    The final reason I ran through the rain was because I have almost been tormenting myself with whether or not my ideas are any good for this. The usual back and forth in your head of “This is great!” to “I am worthless!” Hearing big news like this would mean that I would be free from the burden of worrying about whether or not I was worthy of this project, but if being free means letting something like this pass me by, than I do not want to be free. So go ahead and shackle me Pat, you have my permission. Your books are really special and have meant more to me than almost any book I have ever read. That alone makes me feel that I have something—anything–to offer this project. I don’t even know if you will see this, but I am not going to throw away my shot.


    Sam Harnish

    Boston, Massachusetts. 149 Mass Ave, Apt 1

    P.S. Who do you think Lin will play in this if he has a role? I know you were thinking Arliden or Master Elodin, but I also think he would make a great Bast! What do you think?

    • Mph1399
      Posted December 1, 2016 at 2:22 AM | Permalink

      Also Louis CK. is way too old for the role.

  25. Alyssa
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

    Normally, Pat’s blog is a safe thing for me to read, in a sea of toxic social media anger… Imagine my surprise today, checking in here, to find that I had made my favorite author cry. The internet is a dangerous place, but I think I’ll stay connected just long enough to send my sincerest apologies to Pat, and to donate one more time at least.

  26. BigZ7337
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 11:04 PM | Permalink

    I couldn’t give too much money, but I thought that I’d do my part increasing word of mouth about Worldbuilders and Name of the Wind by making the video of me talking about the books for around half an hour. It took forever to render and upload, but thankfully it finished uploading this morning, which was perfect because of Giving Tuesday and the amazing Lin-Manuel Miranda news!

  27. moonbeast
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

    When I started donating to Worldbuilders I had a great job for a huge company that matched my donations. This year I am jobless, disabled, going through a divorce, and devastated not only about my situation but also about what is happening in the US today. But I have family. They have taken me in and are helping me to heal. I am luckier than most. I have some luxuries left over from when I made really good money and have been selling them to pay my remaining bills and living expenses. And, of course, to donate to Worldbuilders.

    As always, you have my goat.

    Thank you for not only making a difference yourself, but for inspiring others to do so as well. <3

  28. Sandhya
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 12:45 AM | Permalink

    It hurts my heart to see how tired and sad you look. Please remember to appreciate every moment you have now and celebrate it ALL! As I grow older, I realize how many “moments” I missed from being in my head and not in my heart. Stay in the moment! You are loved for the human being you are, as well as a damn good writer!

  29. iabervon
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    You know, a surprise matching donation for everyone who donates today, plus all previous donations, might be a clever idea (assuming you managed to announce it before using up the matching money…). You get the surprise, plus the motivation, plus people who donate early find they’re doing even more good than they thought they were. And people know that, next year, if they donate first thing, they’ll be sure to do the most good possible, even if they don’t know how much it is at the time.

  30. Kthaeh
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

    Can we have the goal meter back? And Vi’s odds calculator, please? I know it’s silly, but I like checking up on these things as the fundraiser goes on. Others might find it motivating as well.

    • Vink
      Posted November 30, 2016 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

      I love the goal meter! Please bring it back. I logged on everyday the last few years to watch the progress. Another thing I miss are the crazy stretch goals. There are fewer stretch goals this year than in years past. Feels a little less like a community coming together to have fun and make a difference and more like an official annual charity thing. I donated the most I ever have this year but it was less fun to do so.

      • Amanda
        Posted December 1, 2016 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

        Vi’s odds widget is back! We’re working on the thermometer, but you can always check to see that until we’ve got it ready :)

        • Kthaeh
          Posted December 1, 2016 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

          Wow, thank you! But I have to ask…(please don’t hear this as whiny) Is the odds widget accurate? I donated the same amount this year as last year, and it’s now saying that my odds are about 60% lower than last year. Given the number of lottery prizes this year (which I think Pat said are more numerous than ever), this seems strange. If it’s accurate, that’s totally cool. If it isn’t, is this a stealth move to dampen down expectations so we’re pleasantly surprised when we win?

          • Amanda
            Posted December 1, 2016 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

            It’s accurate to today’s count in the lottery. There’s more coming, but it updates every day as we add things to the lottery, so your odds will change every day :)

          • Kthaeh
            Posted December 1, 2016 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

            Ah. Got it. Thanks again!

  31. catmccoy
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 10:35 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat,

    I was struggling this year with Christmas present ideas for my family. I frequently check your blog to see what awesome things you might be up to next, and was so happy to discover your charity fundraiser for the first time (better late than never right?). This year my family will be receiving cards with a story inside. Heifer’s story. The end of the story will inform them that I have donated $30 each on their behalf, and that together we have bought another family a goat, or several families ducks, chickens, rabbits or bees, aka a positive start to a new chapter in their lives. I can not think of a better way to give the Gift of Giving. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continuous inspiration and spreading nothing but good in the world!

    Another dedicated reader, Catherine.

    • catmccoy
      Posted December 1, 2016 at 12:07 AM | Permalink

      Christmas present ideas that were meaningful*

  32. phiephie
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

    I volunteer on a sexual assault hotline, and some shifts are really tough. When I feel myself struggling, I remind myself of a quote from Fred Rogers’s mother. When things are scary, particularly after this election, “look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” You are a helper, and you inspire me to continue helping in any way that I can, even when I feel helpless.

  33. Azoth
    Posted December 1, 2016 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    Today, you made a grown man cry. Here I am in the middle of a major university campus awaiting finals and perusing through my favorite authors blog for the first time in a while. You see, he has this little thing called WorldBuilders going on and every year I find one excuse or another to avoid giving. “Oh, I only have 59.04 dollars in my bank, I need to prioritize bills, my phone broke and i need $100 to fix it.” these are all thoughts I had today while I was considering giving. I love charity and spend time in my community helping those in need but have not given to a charity in quite some time.
    The process to tears started when I read an article about your first few years starting WorldBuilders when you matched money and went broke. This was enough to put a smile on my face and a little doubt in my heart. A good doubt, one that needed to be there. When I finished this article I went to the blog, I read the beginning of this article and then went to last years giving Tuesday article and read that as well. Your mother was a beautiful soul, one that I wish to emulate. In fact reading her story brought the first bit of moisture to my eyes. I blinked and pushed it down as not to look weak on campus. Then i went back to Tuesdays blog and continued to read. tears started slowly falling at the picture of the boy with water, then faster when I read about some of the other donation stories, finally i read your bit about Auri and how she makes the world better day by day, bit by bit and was reminded of my uncle. This was the last damn that had to be broken.
    My uncle passed away two years ago but when he was alive he had downs syndrome. mentally he was a child despite being 63 years old, and despite this apparent disorder he was the happiest, most giving and caring person I knew. He made a few dollars a week at a workshop that is basically an adult daycare. Every week he would come home so proud of his effort he would immediately cash it and save it. When he had enough he never spent any on himself, but rather on his friends and family. Every paycheck went to buying dinner out for his mother, or to anyone else that he thought might need money. To him money was a tool to help people. It was to show them how much he cared. Remembering him and thinking of how we are all broken in some way made me ugly cry. I mean no stops being pulled. My 59.04 dollars can almost buy 3 families some chickens. It can provide education and a means for prosperity to those who dont even live on $59.04 in a year. I can help. I can do something.
    So now my bank account stand empty. I will have to wait until next week when I get my paycheck to fix my phone. Hopefully i stocked the pantry well enough on Monday. Hopefully I experience for one week what these families experience every day if only to build a bridge between me and them. If only so that I don’t think of these families as “them” but rather as family.
    Thank you Pat, you made me cry and it was beautiful.


  34. Caesura
    Posted December 1, 2016 at 9:37 PM | Permalink

    The amount of love pouring from the people involved in this, year after year, gives me hope. Hope for today, for tomorrow, and for the future so distant I can’t quite see it. It’s no lie that this year has been, well, rough. To be honest, it’s been a real dumpster fire of a year (to steal a phrase from John Green). But then I see the Worldbuilders annual fundraiser. And I read your blog, and the comments that people write, and I can smile just a little. Because people still CARE about things. This year, I gave more than I was able to give last year. This year I have a job. I have family who loves and supports me. I have so many people in my life that will help me if I fall. Not everyone is so lucky. So I knew that this year, I had to give a little more. I’m crying I type because I keep thinking of the uncertainty of the future, and the comfort that I find in Auri and the people like her. Not characters – people. Auri is a person. Perhaps a little bit of a strange person, but she is beautiful and she sees the way that the world fits together. She wants to mend all of the cracked pieces. It is important that everything be just so in order for there not to be pain, and anger, and screaming. I just keep thinking that if everyone were like Auri, if everyone tried just a little bit to fix a small part of the world, what could happen? Maybe wonderful things.

    I suppose that’s all I wanted to say. Pat, thank you for shining a light in the darkness with your honest words. Thank you for continuing Worldbuilders and encouraging everyone to help build a better world together. Everyone, thank you for helping me feel a little more positive about tomorrow.


  35. Laish
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 6:42 AM | Permalink

    Hey Pat.
    I’m from Brazil and things are not looking so good here either. We have the extremest drought of the last 100 years in the Northeast of out country (which is very very very poor). Corruption scandals every-single-day. A big economic crisis waiting to pop just around the corner. All my friends are being fired. And I am frightened with the perspective of Trump as the new president of the biggest/strongest country in the world.
    Yet, I still have my job. I work everyday from a office that views the ocean, and it’s beautiful. I can still afford paying my LLM (even if it eats more than half of my paycheck). I have a wonderful place to live, with cats, netflix and a fridge full of food.
    It’s not easy for us (Brazilians) donating in dollars. (Its 4x our currency). But I’ve done it. Thank you for your kind words and for giving us a chance be better… To see that things might go wrong, but they haven’t yet. There is still hope. And that’s enough for today.
    (Sorry for my imperfect English.)

    • Laish
      Posted December 2, 2016 at 6:48 AM | Permalink

      Oh, and I gave up my entry in the lottery. I was scared of how much would cost you guys to ship the prizes to Brazil. Better safe than sorry, right!? ;)
      But as you have an option for covering process fees, maybe you should add one for shipping as well? Would that be possible in the future?


  36. Thosetimis
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

    Pat I think you need to stop this habit of making me cry

  37. Barbarian of Seville
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    Gosh darnit, mr. rothfuss, you went and made my vision all blurry. :)

  38. arwyl
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    I will be glad to donate if you promise–for Tehlu’s sake-to promise Lin-Manuel Miranda will not make Kvoth rap, and absolutely no hip-hop!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Our Store

  • Previous Posts

  • Archives

  • My Twitter

  • Bookmark this Blog

    (IE and Firefox users only - Safari users, click Command-D)