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Immortalization & Manuscript Critiques

As I write this, the Worldbuilders fundraiser is at $82,000 dollars. That can buy a lot of families a lot of goats, or chickens, or even cows….

But sometimes what people need isn’t materials. One of the other essential things Heifer provides is straight-up training and education. Specifically, sustainable agriculture training of the sort they gave to people like Lotale Chatayika.

Lotale is the sole breadwinner for his household (Which consists of his parents, wife, brother, and two sisters). He has worked hard for many years on his farm, but wasn’t able to produce enough food to feed his family. Because of this, he’s forced to find other temporary labor work (which is notoriously inconsistent and low paying) in order to afford enough food for everyone.

But in 2015, he was selected to participate in the Sustainable Agriculture Lead Farmer Programme with Heifer. They trained him in sustainable agriculture technologies like pit planting, fertilization techniques, and mixed cropping. (Pit planting is making pits on your plot for water to collect and be retained, as well as to reduce erosion.)

After his training, Lotale made 1560 pits on his quarter-acre plot. He added compost and manure to his maize and soya fields for fertility.

Before joining Heifer and receiving training, Lotale was able to produce 50 pounds of maize in a season. Now the same plot yields more than 880 pounds of maize a season. A 1600% increase. Enough so that he can feed his family with plenty left over to sell.

Heifer estimates that training of the sort that Lotale recieved costs about $72. (Bountiful Harvest Training) Since y’all have already donated over $82,000 that means they now have the resources to train over 1,100 people like Lotale. Changing their lives and the lives of their families. Forever.

And we’re only 5 days into the fundraiser….

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Today’s blog continues two of my favorite Worldbuilders traditions, professional critiques of manuscripts and people getting to make guest appearances in upcoming books.

Let’s jump right in.

  • Manuscript Critiques

This is something I would’ve killed for when I was first sending the book off to publishers. The opportunity to have your manuscript read by a skilled editor, agent, or author is huge. It doesn’t just have an impact on your book, this sort of feedback can help you develop your craft as well.

We always put a bunch of these up for auction, and this year is no exception.

But even better, this year we have critiques available in the lottery, too. Back when I was in college I couldn’t have afforded an expensive auction. So now I’m delighted to give unpublished writers a chance to win a professional critique by donating to the Professional Manuscript Critiques team page.

For every $10 you donate, you’ll get the chance to win a critique, as well as all the other goodies in our prize lottery.

So, if you want to jump in on that option in the lottery, donate right here. If you’d like to be a little more certain that you’ll get a critique, then this next section is for you. We have THIRTEEN different critiques going up in the auction.

A NOTE BEFORE YOU DIVE IN: We’ve made each critique expandable here, so if you’re interested in one, you can click on it to expand out more information. PLEASE READ THIS INFORMATION CAREFULLY.

Everyone is offering something a little different. Each author, editor, or agent is handling their auction in their own way…

  • Everyone has different skills, and they’re each offering something different.
  • Critiques are for different lengths of manuscript. From 7,000 to 150,000 words.
  • The professionals below are busy people. Critiques will have to fit in their schedules.
  • When auctions mention “X pages” of a manuscript, that’s standard manuscript format.
  • Most importantly, it’s important to realize that what you’re getting here is a critique. You’re not buying an introduction to someone’s agent or editor. You’re not winning representation with an agent. Or a foot in the door with an editor. That’s not what’s on the block. You’re getting writing advice from a professional.

Okay. Enough preamble. Let’s get to the auctions.

Professor Eric Dahl: A Real-Life Physicist will review your worldbuilding for consistency and realism.

Whether you just want to do away with the pesky speed-of-light limit or are inventing an entirely new reality, there are some ways to do physics that just feel more real than others.  This auction gets you one physics professor’s critique of your world building — what laws are broken, what is or is not consistent, and what crazy inventions your ever-attentive readers might create for your universe….

The winner should submit no more than 7k words describing their world (plus figures if you’d like). Eric will give feedback on this submission.

This is such a weird and cool opportunity to make sure the worldbuilding and magic system in your series FEELS real. If you want to bid on it, click here.

 

Laura Anne Gilman: Publishing Industry and writing talk with a veteran editor and author.

Laura Anne Gilman was excited to provide something for our critique this year, but wasn’t sure she could commit to a full manuscript critique. Instead, she’s offered up a 30-45 minute Skype call where she’d discuss anything publishing-related you’d like. It could be plot ideas, career worries, or anything else.

Laura worked as an editor for over  15 years, and has published more than twenty novels, so she clearly knows her stuff. If you have burning questions, or need plot advice, you can bid on this auction here.

 

Holly Black: 1-hour plot brainstorming session with Holly based on up to 10,000 words of story material.

Holly has offered up something truly awesome here. Before you get too deep into writing, Holly is offering to spend an hour on the phone (or Skype) plotting/brainstorming with you, based on 10,000 words of story material you send to her whether it be outline, chapters, or anything else.

On the phone, she’ll help you try to figure out what you’re stuck on, and where you can go with the story overall.

If this sounds perfect for you, you can bid on it right here.

 

 

Jennifer Azantian: Critique and commentary of your entire submission packet.

Jennifer Azantian is offering a detailed critique and commentary of your submission packet (query, synopsis, and first three chapters up to 15,000 words). She’ll include her thoughts on pacing, impact, characterization, world-building, and more with in-line notes and an editorial letter within three months of receiving your submission. Though she makes no promises, she would be a fool not to consider representing a project if it truly blows her away.

Critiques of submission packets are key to getting your work picked up by agents and publishers. If you’re ready for that step, bid on the auction here.

 

Brad Beaulieu: Critique of up to 12,500 words of your story.

Bradley P. Beaulieu is pleased to offer one story or chapter critique of up to 12,500 words. Brad will draft a formal review that will cover such things as how well the story opens, complicates, and closes, how well the characterization works, dialogue, tone, pacing, tension, and a host of other issues. Essentially, he’ll provide a formal review on the positives and negatives found in the story.

If this sounds good to you, you can read more about Brad and bid right here.

 

Jeffe Kennedy: First chapter and synopsis critique.

A first chapter & synopsis critique, along with genre analysis – particularly apropos for anyone writing in romance/romantic elements crossover novels in SFF.

She is an award-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.

If you want to get your synopsis critiqued by an award-winning author, you can bid here.

 

Joe Ducie: Critique of up to 100,000 words of any manuscript.

Joe Ducie will critique up to 100,000 words of any manuscript, with an eye toward YA, Urban Fantasy, or Spy/Thriller. If you’ve read his The Rig or Reminiscent Exile series, you know what you’re getting into. He’s got a knack for writing books that read like an action scene. If you’re writing a thriller or other lean, fast-paced fantasy, Joe’s opinion will help quite a bit!

Joe was kind enough to offer us TWO critiques, so one is up for auction right here, while the other is in the lottery on the Professional Manuscript Critiques team page!

 

Sherwood Smith: Critique of up to 150,000 words of your fantasy manuscript.

Sherwood Smith is the author of the Inda series, the Crown & Court series, and co-author with Rachel Manija Brown of the brilliant YA series Change. She will read your fantasy manuscript, up to 150,000 words, and critique it, giving you her opinions on everything from character and pacing to plot and more. She’s a brilliant writer who creates memorable characters and intricate worlds. She’s also been workshopping for years, and teaching at the Viable Paradise science fiction and fantasy writers’ workshop.

Thisa is an amazing opportunity you won’t want to miss, so if it’s at all tempting to you bid here.

 

Joshua Palmatier: Critique of up to 7,500 words of your short story.

Joshua Palmatier (co-­editor of the DAW Books anthologies AFTER HOURS: TALES FROM THE UR­BAR and THE MODERN FAE’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING HUMANITY and the Zombies Need Brains anthologies CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE: STEAMPUNK vs ALIENS, TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER, ALIEN ARTIFACTS, WERE-, ALL HAIL OUR ROBOT CONQUERORS, and SUBMERGED) will read and evaluate your short story (up to 7500 words in standard manuscript format) within six weeks of submission. He will write a general evaluation of the story and mark up the manuscript using comments and track changes in the document itself, although this will NOT be a formal line or copy edit, simply commentary at specific points in the short story.

It’s hard to find people with so much experience with short stories, so if you have one you’d like critiqued you should bid here.

 

Jaime Lee Moyer: Read and Critique of the first 75 pages of your manuscript.

Jaime Lee Moyer has offered many critiques over the years, and we’re always grateful. This year’s critique is for the first 75 pages (double spaced) of your manuscript, where she’s comment on plot, character arc, voice, pacing, and other overall, general impressions of the story.

PLEASE NOTE: Jaime has a very tight schedule this year, so she’s requested that the winner be ready to send the manuscript to her within four months of auction end (by March 2018 at the absolute latest). So this is for someone who’s ready to hand over their manuscript soon.

If that someone is you, head over here and bid.

 

Richard Shealy: A Professional copyedit of your fantasy or science fiction manuscript.

Richard is offering a copyedit of novel-length manuscript (or short story and its pitch). Includes typo correction, continuity observation, voice/character consistency, context-appropriate grammar adjustment, fact-checking where needed. This copyedit will be completed sometime in 2018, since Richard is a pro and booked solid for the remainder of 2017.

For a list of works he has copyedited, visit http://sffcopyediting.com/index.php/what/ and scroll down until you see the wall of cover images!

A copy edit is a really big deal, and honestly something that most people don’t think about. Most authors don’t get this chance until their book has already sold, but it makes a huge difference in the readability of a manuscript. If you’re ready to take this on, you can bid right here.

 

Seth Fishman: Critique of up to 25,000 words of a sci-fi/fantasy novel.

Seth is a literary agent who has worked with Worldbuilders before to bring folks critiques, and he’s also done two different livestreamed Q&As about the industry as part of previous fundraisers. He did one on how to write an effective query letter (with one of his clients, Django Wexler) that you can watch right here, and one on the publishing industry as a whole from his perspective as an agent, which you can watch here.

Needless to say, he knows his stuff. If you want his advice on your novel, you can bid here.

 

Patrick Rothfuss (me): Critique of the first 20,000 words of your manuscript.

Patrick Rothfuss (international bestselling author, lover of women, and hirsute iconoclast) will read the beginning of your manuscript and give you critical feedback. (Up to, say, 20,000 words.) We’ll schedule this based on when your manuscript will be ready and the endless madness of my own schedular constraints.

I’ll read through your manuscript, scrawling notes and dirty words in the margins, then I’ll call you on the phone and we can discuss it.

If you want this, you should bid on it quickly. My schedule has become such that I really had to fight my team so that they’d let me do this.

You can Bid right here.

 

That’s all of the critiques for this year, but don’t forget that we have a few more up in the lottery on the Professional Manuscript Critiques team page.

Maybe you could bid on your favorite option (or options) and then if you don’t manage to win on Sunday night, you put the money you were willing to spend on it into the team page. After all, all of the money will be going to Heifer International, and they can do a lot of good with it.

But maybe you don’t have a manuscript. Maybe a tuckerization is more your speed…

  • Tuckerizations

What is a Tuckerization, you may ask? Well, it means different things to different people. Historically, it’s called a Tuckerization because Wilson Tucker used so many of his friends’ names as characters in his stories that it became something of an in-joke. Nowadays, it’s the chance to make a cameo appearance in a story. An author will take your name, or maybe your personality, or your physical description, and use it for a character in their story.

Maybe it’s not your name. Maybe it’s a sister’s, or a friend’s, or that kid you spent a lot of time with in kindergarten before he moved away. Maybe you only *start* with your name, but the author changes it a bit to fit in with the culture of the world you’re being put into. If that happens, you collaborate with the author and reach a solution you both like.

Whatever the case, it’s a chance to be a part of something really cool. It’s a chance, in some ways, at literary immortality.

We have NINE tuckerizations available below for auction, but they’re all a little different, so read carefully.

Brian McLellan will include you in a POWDER MAGE Novel, and maybe even kill you.

Brian McLellan has offered up the opportunity to be a minor character in a new POWDER MAGE novel, his awesome fantasy series. Brian’s a fantastic author, and a generally great guy to begin with, so working with him on this will be a dream.

He’ll work with you to make sure the name fits well in the world, and says that “violent death is optional.”

Fans of the series, or those who are eager for the option of violent death, can head over here and bid.

 

Elizabeth Bear: Get tuckerized into a galactic medical rescue novel + a signed first edition of the book.

Elizabeth Bear is working on a new novel called Machine, a space opera about medical rescue and a galactic hospital, and she’s offering up the chance to tuckerize a Worldbuilders supporter in it. To make things even cooler, she’s included a signed, first edition copy of the book to be sent to you upon release, so you’ll have a collectible to brag about to your friends, in addition to naming a character.

A signed first edition might be enough on its own for some people, so if you want to get your hands on this you’ll have to bid over here.

 

William Alexander will include you in a road trip novel that brushes up against The Wild Hunt and more.

 

William Alexander has been supporting Worldbuilders for a while now, including a give a spirited, Kermit-voice performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream last year. This year he jumped in with an opportunity to appear in the next novel he’s writing.

His current work in progress is a road trip novel featuring the Wild Hunt, the trolls of Vermont, and your name. Maybe.

Bid now for the chance.

 

Joe Ducie will tuckerize you in a spy-thriller novel.

Some of you may remember Joe Ducie from the before-times. He’s our very own Captain Joe, winner of a previous photo contest and all-around awesome person.  Since his first claim-to-fame here on the blog, his YA novel won the 2012 Young Writers Prize, and Joe’s been writing ever since.

Joe Ducie was kind enough to offer us TWO opportunities for fans to be included in his upcoming work! This auction is for an appearance in his upcoming spy-thriller titled THE DARK WINTER. The winner would be on a team of spies/soldiers off to save the world. It’s due to be published around this time next year, and you’ll have the chance to chat with Joe about which member of the team best fits you (or a loved one) and he’ll make sure that character does you proud.

If you’ve always wanted to be a spy, you can bid for the chance hereyes.

 

Joe Ducie (AGAIN) will tuckerize you in his YA time-loop novel.

Joe’s second offering for a tuckerization is in his upcoming urban fantasy novel, THE ONLY REAL PLACE, a YA story featuring an intense time-loop situation.

The novel is still in very early drafts, so there’s going to be a lot of flexibility to the character you’ll be. You will have the chance to chat with Joe about the best way to include you (or a loved one) as a cameo in his book.

You can bid on this one right here.

 

April White will include your character in her new Sherlockian mystery time-travel series.

This isn’t the first time April White has offered a tuckerization, and we’re always so grateful for her offer.

April is offering the chance to name a character (and provide an identifying characteristic or two) in book two of her new fantasy series. In the event the winning bid is higher than $250, that character will have a significant interaction with Ringo, the main character. If it goes higher than $400, that character will become a major contributor to the story.

To read more about the series, and to bid, head over to the auction and read up!

 

Tim Pratt will name a character in his upcoming space opera after you.

Tim Pratt’s novel The Dreaming Stars will be coming out around this time next year, and he’s offering up the chance to be a part of it by naming a character after yourself or a loved one. Space opera means that there’s going to be tons of options for him to make your character fun or interesting, so this is an awesome opportunity.

Plus, last time he let someone name a whorehouse in his books. So Tim’s a pretty cool dude.

If you want to be in a space opera, bid here.

 

Jeffe Kennedy will tuckerize you in the first novel of her new fantasy romance trilogy.

Jeffe Kennedy’s novel The Orchid Throne will be released in 2019, and she’s offering you the chance to name a character in it, at the beginning of a new trilogy.

It’s going to be a great series, and you can bid on the chance to be a part of it right here.

 

Bradley P. Beaulieu will incude you in his brand new epic fantasy series, and the more we raise the cooler you'll be.

Brad is a Wisconsin native, and longtime supporter of Worldbuilders. He’s offering up the chance to be in the fourth novel of his Arabian Nights-inspired epic fantasy series, THE SONG OF THE SHATTERED SANDS. He’ll work with you to make sure the name you provide can be tweaked and adjusted to fit into the world seamlessly.

As a bonus, the more money the auction raises, the more important your character will be to the overall plot. The series will have SIX books in it, so your character may very will live beyond the pages of the fourth.

If the auction raises $500 or more, the character will be elevated from a minor character to one that has a real interaction with one of the main characters, and Brad will work with you to adopt some specific personal characteristics to the character. If it raises $1,000 or more, your character can either die in a spectacular way or perform some other heroic, selfless act.

There’s a ton being offered here, and you can bid for the chance to make it yours here.

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All of the money from auctions also goes to Heifer, so bidding on and winning auctions will go to help people who need it, like Lotale and his family. And, as a reminder, there are critiques available in the lottery as well, as long as you donate on the Professional Manuscript Critiques team page, and every $10 donated there is another chance.

Auctions will be ending on Sunday nights, and the first round of auctions ends THIS Sunday for things like the Dresden Force Ring that Jim Butcher wore while writing Skin Game, or the limited-edition Caesura sword with a custom, one-of-a-kind scabbard, or one of every book published by Subterranean Press for 2017. To check them out, click on AUCTIONS below.

Happy bidding…

Also posted in the business of writing, the craft of writing, Worldbuilders 2017 | By Pat4 Responses

So… I’m going to be on TV tonight.

Huh. That’s not really an elegant title, is it? But I guess it gets the point across…

Here’s the deal. A couple months back, I shot a pilot for a TV show with the Travel Channel.

That show is going to be airing TODAY (October 27th) at 10pm Eastern Time. On… well… the Travel Channel. Like I said.

(Edit: For those of you who don’t have cable: It’s also a part of live linear schedule on Play Station Vue, Hulu Live TV, & Sling.)

Here’s a teaser.

As you’ve probably guessed, the show is called Myths and Monsters. It’s about how myths evolve and grow. It’s about stories, really. How stories come to be.

This particular episode is about the Mothman.

There’s a brief write up of the show with a few more details over here if you’re interested.

I’ll save you a click if you just want to see the funniest part, which is this:

You see, when anyone is taking a picture of me, I can be serious for about 10-15 seconds. And then I start making faces until the person with the camera laughs, cries, or just gives up. (People who have been to my signings can verify this.)

When I saw that picture, I thought to myself, “Where the fuck did they get that photo?” Then I realized that it probably happened when we were off shooting the show. People with cameras would come up to me and say, “We need some production stills” or something like that. And I’d nod and smile, or try and look dignified or somehow… I dunno, authorial or something.

But again, only for about 10-15 seconds. Then I start goofing off.

This one was probably one of the photos they took *after* that initial 15 seconds, when I was fucking around and looking dramatic, or crazy, or… fuck. I don’t even know. Maybe I was just hungry. I don’t know what that expression on my face is supposed to signify.

Personally, I like the rendition that they did on this social media banner more:

(Feel free to plaster my gormless mug on all your medias!)

I think that looks a little more like me. Or at least how I look to myself inside my head.

So… Yeah. That’s all. I’m on TV tonight. If y’all wanted to watch the show, it’s at 9:00 CST. If you’re interested in monsters or mythology or stories or mothmen or me, you might find it entertaining.

I will say, I had a good time shooting it. I met a lot of interesting people, and had a lot of interesting conversations. I just hope that the stuff I remember being cool didn’t end up on the cutting room floor. I haven’t seen the final version yet either.

If you don’t have Travel Channel… I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe find a friend who does and go to their house? Have a Pre-Halloween Rothfuss Mythology party? Maybe develop some sort of drinking game you can play during the show?

(Edit: If you don’t have access to cable. The show is part of the live linear schedule on Play Station Vue. It’s also on Hulu Live TV and Sling.)

Here. I’ll give you the first two rules:

1. Every time I cuss, take a drink.

2. If it’s such a bad cuss that they have to bleep me out, take two drinks.

Edit: Some Good Suggestions from the comments and Twitter.

  • Every time someone says the title of the show during the show, take three drinks.
  • Every time Pat looks up at something in an inquisitive manner, take a drink.
  • When Pat Rothfuss looks at the camera with “teacher eyes,” take a drink.
  • Pat Rothfuss starts explaining something by first pointing at the sky – two drinks.
  • Drink when someone references Pat’s books.
  • Drink Every time you wish you were watching Stranger Things instead.
  • Drink every time Pat uses a word you don’t know.

Advanced/Dangerous options

  • Anytime Pat says, “Actually…”
  • Any Pat is self deprecating, take a drink of your friend’s drink. Then apologize.
  • Reference to book three – Three Drinks.
  • Pat Rothfuss says “story about stories” or gets meta – drink.
  • Drink every time Pat says a fascinated “…huh.”
  • Everyone pick a specific phrase and only drink when your phrase is uttered.
    • “That’s interesting”
    • “Urban Legend”
    • “Moth dong”
  • Put a fake mustache on your TV. When it lines up with someone’s upper lip, you drink.

I’m open to suggestions in the comments below. If you have any clever ideas, put them down there. I might move a few new rules up here if they really tickle me. But otherwise, I suggest that y’all look through them on your own and make a ruleset that works for your peer group, genetic makeup, and available liquor supply.

Have fun everyone,

pat

Also posted in Achievement Unlocked!, cool news, cool things, movie talk, my rockstar life | By Pat18 Responses

JoCo Cruise 2018

Those of you who follow me on social media probably know that for the last several years, I’ve been a part of the JoCo Cruise. What’s more, over the last couple years, they’ve brought on Worldbuilders as their official charity, and they donate a portion of the proceeds every year. (More on that later, for those of you who are fans of Worldbuilders.)

For those of you who don’t know, (and why would you, because I haven’t ever written a blog about it, though I’ve meant to for years) JoCo Cruise is kinda like a convention, except it’s on a cruise ship. So you can go to a panel about writing, go to workshop about game design, then go and drink rum out of an actual Pineapple on a beach. Or go snorkling. Or sit by the pool. Or go listen to some live music. Or hang out with your fellow geeks and play games. By the pool, at the bar. With, and I cannot stress this enough, rum.

If that wasn’t cool enough, last year the cruise took over the *entire* boat. So not only are there no normal cruise-goers giving us the side-eye. But we have full control over all the event spaces, so the amount of programming has become truly insane.

You can see the full schedule from last year right here, just so you know the scale of what I’m talking about.

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(Some of the guests from a previous cruise.)

This year is only going to be bigger and better, and booking has been going on for a while now.

It’s a chunk of change. But if you’re in the habit of going to conventions, you know that after you factor in hotel rooms, taxis, all your meals, badges, and extra events, you can easily spend as much as the cruise just attending a 4 day convention. More if it’s a convention like San Diego Comic con…

And this cruise isn’t just four days. It’s a 7-night, 8-day trip, with stuff going on literally at all hours. And the price includes all the JoCo Cruise events, 24 hour room service, all your onboard meals, use of the onboard gym, etc etc.

  • But Pat, I hear you say, “What sort of things happen on the cruise?”

Honestly? So much stuff. It’s almost ridiculous to try to mention all of it.

There’s performances every night. Dozens of musicians. Last year there were some cool magicians I’ve since seen on TV. Last year we had Nightvale on board, and I participated in one of their shows.

I myself usually do some panels, some readings, some performances.

Well, there’s usually a fair number of podcast recordings, like the one I did with Max last year…

This year, I’ve let Paul and Storm know that I want to sing at least once…. So there will be that train wreck to watch as well…

Tak made its debut on the Cruise, and was first playtested there. This year Travis McElroy is going to be there. So I’m guessing we’ll have some fun and games with him. And some D&D if I have anything to say about it…

There are things like the Gaming Room and Library, where you can settle in and play a board game with anyone who happens to pass by.

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All photo Credits to Steve Petrucelli and JoCo Cruise Shutter Monkeys

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There’s concerts every night that have performers like The Doubleclicks, Paul & Storm, Jonathan Coulton, and so many more.

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(Jonathan Coulton, complete with Zombies trying to eat his brains, here.)

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(Jean Grey here. I became a fan of hers *because* I saw her on the cruise.)

And, I mean, you’re on a CRUISE.

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For those of you curious about the price, here’s someone’s complete breakdown of all of the costs associated with this trip:

“But Pat!” I hear you cry. “The cruise isn’t until February, why would I want to book so soon?”

Well, there are a few reasons…

First of all the sooner you book, the more options you get for booking your cabins. Actual cabin placement is made in order of booking, with preference for folks who have booked early.

There’s also a “Refer a Friend” program where folks who already booked on the 2018 cruise can refer a friend. When both of them make their booking they’ll each receive a $125 onboard credit to their accounts, which they can use for fancy food, adult beverages, or buying merch and swag in the stores onboard. You can read up on the full info here, but it’s a limited time offer, so book soon.

If you don’t already have a friend sailing on board, there’s another special opportunity you can take advantage of: the Worldbuilders Charity Booking.

If you enter the offer code “worldbuilders” when booking a new cabin, two things will happen:

  1. Worldbuilders will receive a $250 donation on your behalf
  2. Everyone in your booking will have guaranteed attendance at a special onboard meetup with me.

This doesn’t count if you make a booking and cancel, obviously, and there’s a couple of other rules and restrictions as well (all of which you can read here) but once again, it’s a limited time offer, so if you’re hoping to get in on this one you should book now.

There’s also ALSO a Child discount of $250 per child under the age of 3 (at the time of sailing). That’s gonna be true the whole time, but it was still worth noting. I almost always bring my boys, and it’s a ton of fun to have them there. Oot wants nothing more than to spend as much time as humanly possible in the on-ship pool.

Anyway, there’s a whole bunch of options, all broken down on their Pricing Page, but, as with everything, the sooner you book, the better off you are.

So… yeah. There’s a reason I go on this every year. It’s a lot of fun.

One thing I learned in working with Nerdcon is that no matter how cool something is, there’s no guarantee it’s going to last forever. So if you’ve been thinking about it for a while, maybe jump in and try it this year.

Here’s the booking link one more time.

Hope to see some of you there,

pat

Also posted in conventions, cool things | By Pat21 Responses

10th Anniversary Edition NOTW: Sneek Peek at Art, Tour Dates, and Events at NYCC

Heya folks…

The 10th Anniversary Edition of the Name of the Wind comes out on Tuesday, (October 3rd.)

What’s that you say? What 10th anniversary edition?

This one:

(I’ve been signing a lot of them for The Tinker’s Packs, lately.)

It’s a pretty, pretty book. And if you think the front cover looks nice, you should see the back….

Now that, my friends, is how you blurb a book. I’m all blushy.

The book has improved, cleaned up text. An introduction, an author’s note (by me), pronunciation guide, and several appendixes about things like the currency systems, the calendar, the Aturan Empire, etc etc.

Also? It has more than 20 illustrations from Dan Dos Santos like this:

And this:

And two new maps from Nathan Taylor like this:

And the appendixes are further illustrated by Nate Taylor like this:
So… yeah. That book. That is the one I’m talking about.
Here’s the dates for the very short book tour I’m doing:
  • Tuesday, October 3: Seattle, WA
7 PM: Reading, Q&A, and Signing with University Bookstore
University Temple United Methodist Church
  • Wednesday, October 4: San Diego, CA
7 PM: Reading, Q&A, and Signing with Mysterious Galaxy
Mysterious Galaxy Book Store
5943 Balboa Ave, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92111

 

October 6-9: New York, NY for New York Comic Con

 

  • Friday, October 6th
10:30 AM-11:15 AM: The Adventure Zone: ABRA-KA-GRAPHIC NOVEL (Location: 300 W. 36TH ST., HUDSON MERCANTILE)

 

The Worldbuilders Party is an amazing time where you can buy tickets to play board games with cool folks like Naomi Novik, Trin Garritano, Myke Cole, Peter V. Brett, Holly Frey, Amy S. Foster, and lots more.
Tickets are still available over here.
7:45 PM-8:45 PM: An Evening with Pat Rothfuss. Javits, Room 1A06
  • Saturday, October 7th
2:45-3:45 PM: Telling Stories with Patrick Rothfuss, Jonathan Coulton & Friends. Javits, Room 1A06
5 PM-7 PM: Signing in the Autographing Area, Table 23
  • Sunday, October 8th
12:30 PM-2 pm: Signing in the Autographing Area, Table 22
  • Monday, October 9

6 PM: Reading, Q&A, and Signing with Barnes and Noble

Barnes & Noble Tribeca
97 Warren St,
New York, New York 10007
Purchase book in store on the day of the event to receive a wrist band for the signing line.
  • Tuesday, October 10: Pittsburgh, PA
7 PM:Reading, Q&A, and Signing with Barnes and Noble
301S. Hills Village
Pittsburgh, PA 15241
Purchase book in store on the day of the event to receive a wrist band for the signing line.
  • Wednesday, October 11: Boston, MA
7 PM: Reading, Q&A, and Signing with Brookline Booksmith
Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446
$5 or purchase of the new book for the 145 available seats in the actual store. An additional signing line will be outside.

*This event has sold out of seated tickets..however you can still sign up to attend the signing here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/patrick-rothfuss-1011-tickets-37891595783#tickets  And while you wait for the signing the reading will be broadcasted on an intercom for all who attend to enjoy.*

That’s all the planned events for now. Sorry if I’m not hitting your hometown, but there’s only so much touring I can do at this point.

If I’m not coming to your neck of the woods, you should contact your local bookstore and pre-order one. (It might work better than just showing up and hoping they have it in stock.) Sometimes bookstores don’t realize how many of you there are, and how enthusiastic y’all are….

Anyway. It’s super late right now. And I’m pretty tired. I need to get to bed.

I’ll see some of you soon….

pat

Also posted in appearances, conventions, signing books | By Pat46 Responses

Elections, Activism, Updates, and Invitations

Heya everybody, I’ve got some news today:

1. Heads up about the Newsletter:

A while back, I wrote a blog where I talked about the results of the election, and talked about how I was thinking of starting up an activism newsletter. When 2500 of y’all signed up for it in just a couple days, it let me know that people really wanted help engaging in productive activism and getting reliable news.

Since then, I’ve been assembling my team of People-Who-Are-Smarter-Than-Me (TM) to make this happen. I want the newsletter to be smart, easy-to-interact-with, and efficient. I want it to be useful and exciting. Something you’ll look forward to showing up in your inbox. Something you’ll tell your friends about.

But that takes time. And despite the fact that the newsletter isn’t up and running yet, there are important things happening.

Specifically, there are elections happening. And if you care about changing things, you have to get out and vote.

Y2HTItLT.jpg large(Actual Footage.)

2. Elections

If you live in Wisconsin, like me. There are elections today. And one of the big things up for grabs is State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Given that the current secretary of education is an embarrassingly unqualified billionaire heiress who was appointed due to the fact that her family donates millions to politicians… well… it’s pretty important that we get qualified people into positions of power on the state level.

(By the way, Tony Evers is the guy who has my vote. He’s been doing the job for a while and comes highly recommended by my teacher friends.)

But it’s not just happening here in Wisconsin: there are four seats in the house of representatives up for grabs over this next month. Given what’s going on in our country right now, that’s a *huge* deal.

And here’s the thing: spring elections have *really* low turnout. You can make a huge difference with just a few votes.

How few? Well, I have a friend who was once elected to a seat on the city council. You know how many votes it took?

Eight. And she didn’t win *by* eight votes. She got Eight. Total. Votes.

But that was enough. And she got in.

That’s why I’m reaching out today. Your vote is a big deal. And if you take a step even further and clue in your friends and family, it can make a HUGE difference.

So. Below are a list of elections that are happening soon. Some of them are happening TODAY.

If the table below doesn’t work for you, here’s a direct link to a spreadsheet with the information.

Most of the elections are regional, and you’ll need to look up whether or not your county or city is one of the regions. A few of them are statewide, but the provisions on each ballot will still be different depending on where you live.

ALL of them are important. People on school boards have a *huge* impact on local education. Primaries are a *big* deal.

If you’re one of the people who’s lucky enough to get the chance to vote today, take the time to look things up and do your research. My team worked hard all day to try to find government websites that would give you the information you’ll need, but I’m gonna tell you the truth: some state websites are not good. Many haven’t updated since the November election.

(We’ve added this to the list of issues we’re going to try and address in the newsletter in the future.)

For the regional elections. You’ll be much better off looking up information on your city or county website. Or you can do what I do, and call up someone who you you trust and respect, and ask their opinion. Have a conversation and become more informed. (Also it’s a nice excuse to catch up with a friend.)

We’ve done our best here on kinda short notice. But this list isn’t perfect. If you don’t see your state on this list, but you know there *is* an election coming up, drop us a line we’ll keep things updated.

3. A Second Chance…

So here’s the thing, if you signed up for the newsletter. I just sent something very similar to this to your inbox. It’s probably sitting there right now, in fact. Waiting hopefully for you to click it.

If that’s the case, why am I repeating it here?

For one, to give those of you who didn’t know about the budding mailing list another chance to sign up for it here:

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required



(Or you can follow this link if the form isn’t working for you)

I’m also repeating it here because… well… even if you didn’t sign up for the newsletter, voting is still important.

What’s more, I don’t know how many of you might have missed that blog. Or how many of you might have particularly aggressive spam filters. Or how many of you might simply ignore a kinda rando message showing up out of nowhere…

I will say this though. When we get the newsletter up and running, I won’t be duplicating what it does here. So if you want to be involved, hit that form.

One final thing: If you’d like to help us get this mailing list off the ground, send an email to us at activism[@]patrothfuss.com with “STARTUP” in the subject line and we’ll get in touch.

That’s all for now, folks.

Thanks for taking the time to go out and do good in the world.

pat

Posted in a billion links | By Pat40 Responses

What We’re Doing & How We’re Coping

So it’s been pretty quiet here on the blog since the fundraiser ended. Partly that’s because I’ve been trying to focus my energy on laying in some infrastructure in my life so that I can be more productive (and that tends to be boring to blog about.)

But don’t assume that silence means inactivity. Home office here has been a whirlwind as my team has been working on fulfilling the Tak kickstarter, drawing prizes for the worldbuilders lottery, and shipping the everyday store orders in the Tinker’s packs.

(And because I know people will ask in the comments: if you missed the kickstarter, you can order Tak over here in the Tinker’s Packs and yours will ship as soon as the Kickstarter is fulfilled. Which will be super soon.)

WaitingUSPSBoxes

Does that sound like a lot of packaging? Because it is.

Mindy

(Seriously, you can barely move in HQ right now)

But while some of our quiet is due to things being busy, it’s not the entire reason for our silence over here. The truth is, pretty much everyone I know is pretty emotionally distraught over things happening in the world right now, Worldbuilders employees included.

I’ve collected a good team over the years. They’re intelligent, empathetic, good-smelling people. They’re socially aware, and politically active. They wouldn’t work here if they didn’t care about making the world a better place.

And… well… not to bullshit around. But we’re all kind of scared right now. There are things happening the the US and around the world that make us very worried for our country and our people.

But when everything seems awful, what do you do?

Well recently, someone sent me a link to this, telling me that it’s helped them recently.

Bilbo it up

It’s a part of a blog I wrote years ago. At the time I was talking about charity, but that particular quote rings even more true these days than it did then.

Because the simple truth is this: When things are bad, all you can do is what you can do.

Which is perfectly accurate but also kinda useless in terms of a strategy.

As I mentioned before, pretty much everyone I know is freaked out right now and feeling some version of, “I have to do something, but what?”

Part of what I’m doing to help is that I reach out to my friends to see how they’re doing. I try to console or comfort if I can. I give them someone to talk to. And if they’re looking for it, I give some advice….

But honestly? I’m calling because desperately looking for help myself. So if my friends have good strategies, I steal them or pass them along. I pick their brains because most of the people I know are smarter than me in at least two or three different ways.

So with the hope that it might be helpful to some of you out there, here’s what some of my crew is doing these days….

  • Brett – Do Research & Talk to People

Brett Monkey

One of the frustrating things about media today is that most people tend to filter their news through Facebook and Twitter, neither of which are ideal venues for nuanced discussion or information dissemination. It drives me nuts to see bad, lopsided, or blatantly spun “news” get shared and retweeted without a second thought. I know I can’t change minds, but at least I can try to get people thinking about the news they share.

I’ve been researching quotes, statistics, and claims put forth in memes and shared blog posts from both sides of the partisan divide since before the election, posting links to reliable sources that either support or refute the information. Snopes is a good, easy-to-digest source (yes, I know, “scandal” and all that, but it doesn’t affect the reliability of the data they compile), but links to the Associated Press and Reuters are solid, as is NPR. If there are several sources that have the same information, find and link to all of them. I usually have several browser tabs open on my phone, just in case I need to look something up.

People will argue with you. They’ll post their own sources and memes to persuade or deflect you, or just to assert their point of view. That’s great–you get to do more research, and you’ll have a better understanding of how they view the issue.

Stuff to watch out for:

1. Topic drift. Stay on target, address only the claims put forth in the original article or meme. If someone tries to argue with you by bringing up something that’s tangentially related or used to deflect (“Trump will release his taxes when Clinton releases her emails”), remind them that you are discussing only the original topic. Stick to your guns, but stay calm.

2. Be patient. Don’t devolve into name calling or one-upmanship. You are trying to give accurate information, not start an argument.

3. Ask for counter-arguments from other valid sources. This will start a dialogue and give others a chance to defend their beliefs with their own evidence. Encourage them to keep explaining their point. If it turns out they’re right about something, let them know.

4. Be open to the possibility that you might be wrong. If you’re wrong, it’s not a character flaw. You might not have the whole story. You might be too close to the argument to see it objectively. These are emotionally-charged times, and we’re all human. If someone you disagree with turns out to be right, admit it and thank them.

5. See things from their perspective. It’s very likely that you both agree on the big picture, but disagree on the source of the problem and the solution needed. The more you listen to someone explain their position, the better understanding you get of how they reached it.

6. Be cool. Be Zaphod Beeblebrox cool. Don’t resort to name calling. Don’t start your own topic drift. Don’t bring up old stuff. You’re better than that. You have access to facts and data the likes of which we’ve never had before this day, and you can use it to build your platform, argue your case, and–probably not change anyone’s mind, but get them thinking. And that’s what we want: we want people to start really thinking about stuff.

TL;DR: Fight “alternative truth” with solid facts from reputable sources. Stay cool about it. Understand that you probably won’t change anyone’s mind, but you might get them to start looking up facts for themselves before they click Like, Share, or Retweet.

  • Amanda – Write Letters to Your Representatives

Amanda Draccus

I’ve been feeling very helpless for the last few days, and most of my coping mechanisms haven’t been all that great.

But there’s a lot of productive things that can be done, and while I’m kind of exhausted these days, it’s important to funnel this destructive energy into the policies I disagree with, and not, you know, myself.

I remembered a video I watched from Hank Green this last summer, and I’m using it to have a system to write to my representatives.

This video was made shortly after the Pulse shootings this summer, so it’s focused on LGBT and gun control issues, but you can use this script to write about anything that’s important to you.

Representatives are much more likely to respond to a hand-written letter than an email or signature on an online petition. I actually got a letter back from one of my representatives, and while he didn’t change his vote, he thanked me for my honesty and he gave me a genuine and thoughtful response. He really read my letter (or a staffer did, but still, *someone* did), and it had an impact.

So imagine if he had been inundated with these letters. Maybe we can make a real difference. And making your voice heard is what democracy is about.

Though, honestly, a letter is great, but a call is better.

  • Nicole – Call Your Representatives

Nicole

It seems like there’s something new happening every day that needs our attention, and with the list of points to discuss with your representatives only growing longer, it’s getting harder to keep it all straight.

It’s overwhelming, to be sure, and while it’s got me feeling like this uphill battle may never be over, I realize now more than ever that giving up is not an option. The more issues that need to be discussed, the more important it is that we discuss them.

I’ve started using 5calls.org to help me stay organized in my effort. While their list of issues that need attention may not be 100% complete, it’s a great place to start, and a great resource for phone numbers and even provides talking points and scripts.

The best part of this site is that it prompts me to make another call immediately after I finish one, which helps me maintain my momentum once I get started.

  • Amanda Again – Take Care of Yourself

The hardest part of this whole thing, for me, has been the incredible desire to disengage. Bad news just keeps coming through, and we need to be constantly vigilant to stay on top of it.

But then my beloved Jenn tweeted something out that I really needed to hear.

Jenn saves my life

So I’ve had a game night or two where we’re not allowed to look at our phones. I’ve been reading a book and watching TV in the evenings rather than going on social media. I play Stardew Valley and revel in the simple living in that little town, flirting with every.damn.body.

I don’t take whole days off yet, but I’m considering it. One a week maybe.

And then, once I’m feeling a little bit better, I see what else needs doing. I look up phone numbers, I read multiple stories from a variety of sources, and I try to make sure I’m informed by more than the inflammatory stories that happen to line up with my beliefs.

***

My people are good people. I love them with big love.

But the fact remains, I don’t know what *I* should be doing.

Part of the problem is that I have a lot of resources, and that gives me a lot of options. I have money. I have a platform from which to speak to many people. (This blog, for example.) I admire the hell out of the folks who call and write letters. But I wonder if that’s the best thing for *me* to do with my time and energy.

I feel like there are a lot of people out there that want do do something. They want to make a difference, but don’t know the best way to do that. I feel like there are people out there who want to stay informed, but who are becoming emotionally exhausted by Twitter. People who want to want to be active, who want to help… But who aren’t sure how. They don’t know where to start. Or once they start, they don’t know where to go next….

For over a month now, I’ve been wanting to start a newsletter for people who want to be activists, but could use some help getting started. Or people who *are* activists but want to up their game. People who only have thirty minutes a week to spare, and want to use that time to the best effect. People who want help staying informed without burning out and being overwhelmed.

This idea keeps rolling around in my head. A mailing list that gives people tools and tricks for effective activism.

I have a list of people I’ve already been reaching out to, just exploring. Just seeing if they might be interested in helping me put this together. Folks who are smarter, more informed, and more organized than I am. People with good brains and kind hearts. Experienced activists of many stripes.

And yeah. I don’t need another project. Believe me. Nobody knows that better than I do. I’m too busy. I’ve got too many irons in too many fires.

But what’s happening right now is really important. And besides, I wouldn’t do this myself, I’d bring someone in to orchestrate it, because I suck at organization.

So. Here’s the question. Is this something y’all might be interested in?

If so, enter your e-mail into the form below. If only 8 people sign up, I’ll breathe a sigh of relief, send everyone a polite thank-you, and walk away from the idea.

But if 500 people are interested… well then I might start putting my team together. A 1000 people? Well, that means there’s a pressing need for activism advice out there. And I could help make that available to people…

So… yeah. If you’d be interested in a mailing list about political activism and things going on in the world, drop your e-mail here. Rest assured that if this moves forward, you’ll be able to choose your level of engagement. I can’t imagine sending out more than one email a week at the most…

So… yeah. There’s that. If you’re interested.

I hope y’all are doing okay. Take care of yourselves….

pat

Also posted in How to be a Worthwhile Human Being, the man behind the curtain, things I shouldn't talk about | By Pat81 Responses

Author Donated Books….

Yesterday I wrote a blog about a little girl named Charlotte. About how she is holding an Geek-Themed internet concert on behalf of Worldbuilders, and encouraging people to sing.

Since then, her team page has raised over $10,000, and a lot of folks have been recording songs and uploading them to her playlist.

Thanks so much for showing her some love. She’s she’s come a long way from the 7-year-old girl who made a video because she wanted to raise $500 to buy a heifer back in 2014.

Which isn’t to say her first goal wasn’t admirable, given what a Heifer can do for a family:

(Did you see my awesome segue there?)

And as a reminder, every dollar in the fundraiser is being doubled. That means if you give enough for a family to receive a heifer, you’re not just going to improve their life forever. You’re effectively donating enough for two heifers, which means you’re twice as awesome, and you’re doing twice as much good in the world.

Also, have I mentioned that if you donate, you can win cool prizes? I’m pretty sure I might have brought that up a couple times over the last month.

***

Ever since I started Worldbuilders (accidentally) back in 2008, my brethren and sistren authors have been amazing in their support of the charity. They boost my signal on social media. They write blogs in support of Heifer, and perform silly stretch goals. They donate critiques and cameo appearances.

And, of course, they send us books we can give away to donors.

Without getting all maudlin here, it’s meant a lot to me over the years.

A lot of times…. well… I feel like I’m not a very good author. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m good at putting words together. I’m good at telling stories. But I also know I’m kinda shit at doing those things on a consistent schedule.

To put it differently: I’m pretty good at writing, but I’m not very good at being a writer.

Despite this, I’ve met with a ridiculous amount of success. And that makes me feel like… well… it makes me feel like kind of an asshole. Because pretty much every other author I know is better at sitting down, producing text, and getting books out into the world than I am.

The fact that so many other authors come in and with this project…. It’s really kind. Authors whose books I love. Authors whose minds I admire and envy. Authors who consistantly do what I cannot. It’s so flattering that they would take time out of their busy lives to help.

And it’s more than flattering, really. And it makes me feel welcome. Like I’m really part of this community despite the fact that I only *barely* do enough to keep my union card.

Whatever their reasoning, I’m proud and excited that so many of them are willing to come and help out. This year we had over 40 different authors contributing to the fundraiser, donating well over 500 books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(I’m horrified that I might have left someone’s name off the list. If I did leave your name off, I’m sorry. Please know that I still love you. I’m just so tired and frazzled at this point in the fundraiser. If it helps, know that I just now, in this final pass on the blog, saw that we’d left off Gaiman’s name. (I just added it.) So if anything, know that if we glitched on this list, you’re in the same brainspace I reserve for Neil, who I love and admire beyond all words.)

Some authors donated an entire series, so that a new reader would have everything they could want in one prize.

brentwfullset

(Like Brent Weeks)

marthawfullset

(Or Martha Wells)

kristenbset

(Or Kristen Britain)

A lot of our authors sent us a truly ridiculous number of books. We’re always happy to have a couple of books, especially because most authors who send us their books are going out and buying copies to send to us. Most folks are lucky to get a few author copies written into their publishing contracts, but those usually go to family and friends. What we get from authors is almost always above and beyond that.

We have shelves full of author donated books, and individual authors take up entire sections of our wall.

bradbdonations

Like this shelf full of books from Brad Beaulieu.

hollybdonations

Or this one full of cool stuff from Holly Black.

paolobdonations

Or this practically-unknowable shelf of books from Paolo Baccigalupi.

If that wasn’t enough, some also sent rare, limited, or otherwise fancy editions that we’ve thrown into the lottery for you. We received ARCs, numbered editions, and books that have been out of print for a while. And a truly astonishing number of them to boot.

rarebooksinlottery

There are so many books that if I tried to show them all here, the blog would be twenty thousand words long, and… well… knowing me, I wouldn’t post it until 2018.

But you can see all of them if you go visit the Worldbuilders’ Lottery Library page….

*     *     *

Only a few days left, folks. All of the auctions we’re going to have up are live, including some other author-donated books for those of you who don’t want to take your chances in the lottery.

Here’s the donation link, just in case you happen to need it for anything….

Be good to each other,

pat

Also posted in Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat13 Responses
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