Category Archives: a few words you’re probably going to have to look up

$300K Bonus: A Favor From Pat (and more)

As I write this blog, our donation total stands at $308,000. So today we’re doing a few things.

1. Adding the 300K bonus to the fundraiser.

2. Announcing the 350K stretch goal.

3. Adding a few other cool pieces of miscellany to the fundraiser.

4. Extending the end date of the Worldbuilders until January 21st at Midnight.

The main reason for #4 is that part of the 300K bonus is going to be an auction, and I wanted to be able to run it for a full seven days.

This is the last extension, so make the most of it.

  • Two (2) Favors from Patrick Rothfuss.

For the last several fundraisers, I’ve given away a favor. I used to refer to this as “The Golden Ticket.” But I realized that I should probably do something more fitting to my own idiom, rather than keep ripping off Roald Dahl.

So now we have a gold ring, designed by Badali Jewelry. In the fine traditions of the Maer’s court, it has my name inscribed on it.

Here’s the deal. I’m giving away two of these. One is going into an auction. The other is going into the lottery.

Details as follows.

The winner of this item will receive a gold ring redeemable for one (1) favor from Patrick Rothfuss.

Possible uses for the favor include:

Asking Pat to insert your name/likeness into a future book or story.
Asking Pat’s assistance in wooing the object of your affection, preferably from under a balcony at night.
Asking Pat to read and critique your unpublished manuscript (or your published one, if you really want.)
Asking Pat give a reading/workshop at your local library or University.
Asking Pat to give a reading/workshop at your house.
Asking Pat to give a reading/workshop in your bedroom.
Asking Pat to help you move a particularly heavy couch.
Etc.

This favor has no expiration date. It can be traded, transferred, sold, or lost. In essence, the ring *is* the favor. You give the ring back when you cash in your favor. So if you lose it, you’ve kinda fucked yourself.

The nature of this favor is fairly open-ended, though some negotiation may be necessary depending on the nature of the favor. Certain ethical or legal restrictions may apply (though not as many as you might expect.) Under no circumstances will Patrick dance for you. Carnal favors must be approved by Pat’s girlfriend in advance. If you won this favor in the auction, and for any reason Pat cannot fulfill his obligation to you, he will personally refund your winning bid in exchange for the ring.

As a side note, let me add that recently, I attended the Child’s Play charity dinner out in Seattle. Partly because I love the folks at PA with a fierce love, and partly because I like to wear a tuxedo.

(I look like I’m about to start a railroad monopoly.)

And, since I was in town, I offered up a favor just like this one for the Child’s Play Auction.

It sold for over 9000 dollars.

Admittedly, at least a couple grand of that was probably due to the tux. But still, it gives you some perspective.

So. One favor is going into the lottery where anyone can win it by donating to Heifer International on our team page.

The second one is being auctioned OVER HERE.

*     *     *

  • 350k Stretch Goal: The Lockless Box. 

This year while at Origins, I had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of Robert Gifford.

What transpired between us is a subject that deserves an entire blog itself. Suffice it to say that since then our relationship has burgeoned into something magical. Something that lies somewhere in-between bromance and the love that dare not speak its name.

Robert runs Geek Chic, a confederation of woodworking artisans and geeks par-excellence. They make bespoke furniture for geeks. They make furniture so beautiful that even a rough-hewn Visigoth like myself who sleeps on a mattress on the floor cannot help but crave it. 

If Worldbuilders hits 350K before January 21st, Robert has agreed to put his carpentary artificers to the task of creating the lockless box from The Wise Man’s Fear.

It will be a functional puzzle box designed by a consortium of the most profoundly crafty fuckers in existence.

If we hit 350K, Geek Chic will design the box. They will make the box. And you will be able to buy the box or win it as part of future Worldbuilders festivities.

But only if we hit 350K before January 21st.

And remember, if we hit $400,000 before January 21st, Worldbuilders will donate an extra $100,000 dollars to Heifer International.

So there’s your motivation. We’ve got one week left. Let’s spread the word.

*     *     *

And finally, a few more geeky items. Some for the lottery, some for auction.

  • Copper Knife.

Esoteric Garage made a second copper knife after the great reaction they got from me and everyone on the blog.

We’re auctioning it off here.

  • Discreet Lady’s Knife.

Since not everyone is going to need to kill something mythic. Tait and Loren designed a more practical knife for the lady who likes to be prepared for the worse.

They specifically asked that this lady’s knife be put into the lottery. As with some other items, we want to make sure that this goes to someone who really wants it, so we’ll call and ask the winner before mailing them this prize. If they don’t want it, we’ll pick names until we find someone that does.

We do this because we care. And also because we don’t want to be sued.

  • Copper Batarang.

This year we received a letter from Wayne Enterprises.

In a separate package, we also received two copper Batarangs. The perfect gift for the sociopathic billionaire in your life. Also perfect for that hard-to-shop-for confused fanboy.

Edit: We’ve run into a couple of snags with the batarang, and have taken it down.

*     *     *

Fair warning: Worldbuilders is ending soon, so if you want in on the lottery make sure to donate on the Worldbuilders Team Page before January 21st. For every $10 you pitch in, you get another chance to win thousands of books, DVD’s, knives, favors, and other mythic goodies.

Also, be warned that many auctions will be ending soon. You can view all the current auctions over here.

If you want to see the other items that have been donated to Worldbuilders, or learn more about the fundraiser itself, you can head over to our main page.

Also posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, Geek Chic, geeking out, Worldbuilders 2012 | By Pat43 Responses

Photo Contest Winners – Action

Yes. Seriously.

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

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

1. A desire for perfection.

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

2. Enthusiasm. 

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

3. Stupidity.

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

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

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

There are many reasons for the delay.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*     *     *

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

You can show it directly:

Or indirectly:

We got some Hollywood action, too.

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

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

But did they listen?

No, they did not.

They really did not:

They absolutely did not listen to me:

We got some zombie action:

Pirate action:

And geek action:

We’ve got action in the streets:

At the amusement park:

And on top of things:

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

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

Here they are:

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

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

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

And lastly:

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

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

(Hint: The answer is “Awesome.”)

I’m all sorts of fond of this picture.

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

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

See?

Here’s another:

And here we see the difference between girls and boys:

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned….

pat

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

An Open Invitation

First of all, let me clarify something. The Worldbuilders fundraiser will be starting in a month or so.

It hasn’t started yet. We’re just gearing up for it.

(I Love our Logo.)

Now I know some of you are excited. I get that. I really do. But let’s not get crazy here. Let’s not go running around all higgledy-piggeldy.

I mention this because after I posted the last blog, some people got riled up and donated on last year’s Worldbuilders page, the one labeled Worldbuilders 2011.

In some ways, that makes me happy, because the money does go to Heifer International. But in other ways it makes me sad, because those folks are missing out on this year’s festivities. Including the matching donations Worldbuilders offers….

So listen when I say unto you: Be patient. We’re still warming up for the main event.

For example, today’s the day we’re officially making our open call for anyone who would like to help with the fundraiser.

What sort of folks can help? Well….

  • Are you an author who would like to donate some signed books to Worldbuilders?

Author-donated books have always been the backbone of Worldbuilders. We’d love to put them to use.

What’s more, if you have extra foreign editions taking up shelf space, we’d love to make them available for non-English readers in The Tinker’s Packs.

Drop us a line at donations (squiggly-at-thinger) worldbuilders.org.

  • Are you a crafty geek-type person who would like to donate something cool?

Last year we experimented with Jane hats, hand-crafted bear steins, and hand-bound books. To our delight, they sold really well.

So if you’d like to donate your geeky crafts to the cause, drop us a line at donations (squiggly-at-thinger) worldbuilders.org.

  • Are you a vast corporate entity looking for a tax write-off?

Did you know that Worldbuilders is a federally recognized 501(c)3 charity? Well we are. We’re bona fide.

What’s more, this year Worldbuilders is offering official corporate sponsorships, allowing you to exchange your dirty, dirty money for good publicity and positive karma.

Want more details? Contact us at donations (squiggly-at-thinger) worldbuilders.org.

  • Are you a publisher who would like to promote your titles right before the holidays?

It seems to me that sending books to worldbuilders would be a great way to do that. We’re great at showing off books….

What’s more, if you’re willing to kick in enough books, Worldbuilders will hold you up as a glorious specimen of generosity by making you an official sponsor of the fundraiser.

We can make it happen, just drop us a line at donations (squiggly-at-thinger) worldbuilders.org.

With authors like Neil Gaiman, George RR Martin, and Charlaine Harris involved, you know they’ll sell….

Drop us a line at questions (squiggly-at-thinger) worldbuilders.org and we’ll discuss details.

  • Are you a blogger, journalist, or member of the geek glitterati willing to spread the word about Worldbuilders?

We would love to make that happen.

Contact us at questions (squiggly-at-thinger) worldbuilders.org

  • Are you Batman?

Seriously. The suit looks cool and all, but it’s time someone told you. Everybody knows you’re Bruce Wayne.

We know your parents got killed, and we’re sorry as hell about that. We also know it must be pretty fun running around on rooftops, beating the hell out of the lower class, and boning Catwoman.

And we’re not implying you should stop that. Everyone needs a hobby.

But if you *really* wanted to help people, you’d take just a fraction of the money you were going to spend on Batarangs and give it to us instead. $120 bucks is all it takes to change someone’s life forever. Do you have any idea what we could do with some of that Bat-Mobile money???

We’ll make you an official sponsor of the fundraiser too. You don’t have to be a corporation or a publisher for that. We respect regular old-fashioned personal philanthropy too.

You can donate on behalf of your parents if you like. You can be anonymous if you want.

Seriously. We’re okay with that.

Just drop us a line and we’ll work out the details.

We’re at: donations (squiggly-at-thinger) worldbuilders.org

Later,

pat

Also posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, calling on the legions, Worldbuilders 2012 | By Pat35 Responses

Foreshadowing….

We’re getting close to the launch of my show.

How close? So close that I’ve settled on a title. Yeah. Pretty crazy, huh?

We’re going to have a logo and everything. This makes me feel very professional. Not at all like the sort of person who barely managed to pick the name for his show less that a week before it goes live….

When is the show? Why I’m glad you asked. It’s going to be the first Tuesday of every month at 7:00 Pacific time.

That means this first show is going to be Tuesday, August 7th. 7:00 PM Pacific time.

Just so you know. You’ll be able to watch the show two different ways.

The first way is to watch it happening live over on Google+.

To do that, you’ll need to start a G+ profile, of course. And it wouldn’t hurt to add my profile, either.

I’ll post the link to the live show, and you’ll all be able to watch our premiere episode launch like the majestic Zeppelin that it is. Imagine, you’ll be able to tell your grandchildren you were there to see it sail gracefully into the heavens, held aloft by the mysteries of the luminiferous aethers.

Or… well… you’ll see it do the other thing. Which you have to admit will still be pretty interesting.

For those of you that can’t catch it live, rest assured we’ll be posting it up on youtube afterward. No worries there.

In the meantime, might I interest you in my current favorite show? It’s another one from Geek and Sundry called Written By A Kid.

Keep in mind that’s this is the THIRD episode of the show. If you haven’t already caught the first one, you’re missing out on so many cool things that I’m surprised you’re still alive.

And for you Goths out there, here’s episode two…

Yeah. Go watch them. You can thank me later.

pat

Also posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, cool things, Geeks and Sundry, videos | By Pat36 Responses

Comic-Con Schedule

This is my fourth year attending San Diego Comic-Con. And every year, something happens immediately before my trip, as if some cruel deific being were trying to prevent me from getting my geek on.

The complication this year? Rabies.

But that, as they say, is a story for another time. Suffice to say that I refuse to be thwarted, and am currently at ComicCon, preparing to lave myself geek culture.

Whenever I go to ComicCon, I prepare a list of things I’d like to do in my head.

Some of these are simple things. Friends I’d like to get together with and chat. Booths I’d like to visit. Presents I’d like to buy for people.

Other things on my list are more…. esoteric. It’s almost like the entire con is a game. Or a safari. And I get points if I see certain things on my trip. Like, say, a 300 pound guy with a beard dressed up as sailor moon. If I put that on my list, then see it at the con, I’d get, like, 35 points. More ordinary things, like spotting Stan Lee would only get me 5 points. (15 if he’s not doing a signing, or some other event.)

Then there’s things I hope to do at the con. The top of the list is, of course, Meet-Joss-Whedon-Then-Become-Best-Friends-and-Totally-Hang-Out-In-A-Tree-Fort-Together. That’s worth so many points that I would actually level up on the spot, perhaps with embarrassing consequences.

So far I’m doing pretty well at 78 points, with the big score being the fact that I got to hear John Scalzi sing “Somebody that I used to know” in the style of Fred Schneider from the B 52s while accompanying himself on the ukulele.

And listen. I know that sounds like some bullshit thing that I made up, but it really isn’t. I swear. It really happened. It’s printed indelibly on my on my heart and mind. Fire could not burn it from me.

Anyway, if you happen to be one of the 120,000 + people here at the con this weekend, here’s some of the stuff I’ll be doing, if you’re hoping to catch me here.

Thursday, July 12, 7:00-11:00pm
W00tstock

I’m just doing a little walk-on with the aforementioned John Scalzi. But if last year was any indication, it’s going to be a hell of a show.

There *might* be tickets available here.

Friday, July 13, 2012 3:30-4:30PM
Panel: THE CROWNLESS AGAIN SHALL BE KING:
Comic Con room 6A

Legendary editor Betsy Mitchell gets epic with panelists Brandon Sanderson (Alloy of Law), Raymond E. Feist (A Crown Imperiled),Robin Hobb (City of Dragons), N.K. Jemisin (The Inheritance Trilogy), Christopher Paolini (The Inheritance cycle), Rachel Hartman (Seraphina), Patrick Rothfuss(KingKiller Chronicles), Heather Brewer (The Legacy of Tril), and Lynn Flewelling(Casket of Souls). 

Friday, July 13, 2012 5:00-6:00pm
Signing  with the panel from Epic Fantasy War
Autograph booth AA9

Saturday, July 14, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm
Geek and Sundry Panel
Indigo Ballroom in the Hilton.

(I’m not on this panel, but I’m going to be there. For reasons that must remain secret for now….)


[Edit: One more event!
Saturday, July 14, 2012 5:30-6:30pm
Spotlight on John Scalzi
Room 7 AB

I’ll be moderating this one.]

Other than that, I’m just going to be skulking around the con, looking for trouble. If you can’t get into my panel, then you have a decent chance of running into me in places like the Badali Jewlery booth (#530) or Geek Chic (131-133). I also tend to lurk around the Mysterious Galaxy booth a lot, I can’t remember the exact number of it, it’s somewhere in the 1000’s, but they have signed copies of my books there, and if you happen to catch me while I’m passing through, I’d be happy to personalize one to you.

And, of course, if you see me walking around the con, feel free to say hello.

Okay, I’m off. Wish me luck….

pat

 

Also posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, appearances, conventions | By Pat33 Responses

A Spathic Convention

Every year there are a few conventions I make a point of attending.

I go to Worldcon because the paneling is really top notch. I go to World Fantasy because it gives me the chance to hang out with other authors I’d never get a chance to see.

And, of course, I go to San Diego ComicCon for many, many reasons.

But I also make a point of going to a few other conventions every year. The main reason I do this is so I can get to different parts of the country and meet readers I might not get a chance to see otherwise.

Which is why, just a couple months ago, I was Guest of Honor at a little convention called Stellarcon.

Whenever I’m GOH at a con, interesting things happen. So for those of you who don’t get to attend, here’s the highlight reel from this year’s Stellarcon.

I’ll admit to having a terrible green-eyed envy of artists. (And by artists I mean people who do art. (And by art, I mean taking something out of your head and making a picture out of it.))

That said, the modern artists I can name off the top of my head I can probably fit on two hands. Mark Poole is one of those artists, because he was doing art for Magic Cards back at the beginning. Back when I used to play it. Back before it was cool.

Yeah. Okay. I’m just kidding. Playing magic is never cool.

So I was surprising when we sat next to each other at the opening ceremonies and Mark turned to me, introduced himself, and said he was a big fan.

I was a little shocked. I still think of myself as the new kid on the scene, publishing-wise. It  knocks me for a bit of a loop when other professionals know who I am.

For the record, Mark is a really nice guy.

I’ve known about John even longer than I’ve known about Mark, because I grew up reading his comic in his the Wisconsin State Journal. We share Madison, Wisconsin as our home town, so it seemed a little odd that I’d end up traveling to North Carolina before I finally got to meet him….

And you know what? I didn’t get to meet him. We sat two seats away from each other at opening ceremonies, and that’s the closest we got to each other over the space of the whole convention.

The Moral of the story? I end up being really busy at cons most of the time. I used to try make plans to meet with my friends and hang out, but these days I know better. Between readings, signings, panels, and occationally running a tabletop game, I just don’t have a lot of free time left over.

But this story had a happy ending. John and I ran into each other in the Madison airport and got to chat there. Small world.

  • I had an… intimate signing experience.

When I got home from Stellarcon, Sarah was in the kitchen, feeding Oot some dinner.

“How was the convention?” she shouted to me.

“I got to sign a boob!” I said.

“A naked boob?” she asked.

“A gentleman doesn’t speak of such things,” I said.

Which is a total lie, of course, because I wouldn’t shut up about it for a week. Someone asking you to sign their boob  is one of those mythical things that everyone jokes about, but it never really happens.

Except it did. It totally did.

Now just to be clear. The boob wasn’t naked. And she asked me. Without any instigation on my end.

To say I was surprised is a bit of an understatement.

But you know what? It was cool. Because for a brief moment, I got to feel like a rockstar.

(Note that Pikachu has turned his back on me, ashamed.)

Truthfully, I wasn’t very suave about the whole thing. I couldn’t stop laughing.  And as you can see in the above picture, I was more than a little blushy and flustered by the end of it.

Luckily, the young lady in question was very forgiving when I explained it was my first time. (It was her first time too.) Who knew that signing a boob would actually prove to be pretty tricky?

By the end of the experience, the two of us were good friends. What’s more, Pikachu stopped judging me so harshly, and Sarah really didn’t mind at all.

Honestly though, I think Oot was a little jealous.

Later all,

pat

Also posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, Achievement Unlocked!, Tales from the Con, things I shouldn't talk about | By Pat37 Responses

Consolation Prize: Kvothe vs. Aslan

As those of you who were following the cage match already know, Bast couldn’t pull off the win against Rake.

What can I say? Dude can eat a *ton* of pie.

And before you ask, no, I won’t be writing up the Bast vs. Zaphod fight anyway. I was surprised at someone’s post on Wednesday’s blog when they said something along the lines of, “After he mentioned something like this, how can Pat not write the scene?”

The answer is this: “Quite easily.”

You see, *not* writing things is really, really easy. Believe it or not, there are an infinite number of stories that I don’t write every day. Adding one more to that list won’t appreciably increase the not-burden of that not-writing.

What I did find oddly galling were some of the comments along the lines of, “Bast could never win against X. X has a power level of 9000!!1!”

This bothered me for two reasons:

First, you have to realize that any time something like this is an open vote, it’s ultimately a popularity contest.

Here’s a mnemonic to help you remember: “When the internet votes on who will die, it comes down to Vox Populi.”

But vastly more irritating to me is the odd opinion that strength/power is the key factor when two people come into conflict.

The truth is, I find that sentiment more than irritating, I find it troubling. It means a lot of you haven’t been paying attention to the books I know you must have read.

If power is the only important thing, then Frodo loses against Sauron. Hell, if power’s the only important thing then Gandalf loses against Sauron. If magic is the deciding factor of a fight, then four plucky kids from England get their asses turned to stone by the White Which.

So yeah, Rake can turn into a dragon, but the point of fairy tales is that they teach us that dragons can be beaten.

I see too much fatalism these days, folks. The truth is that the world is full of dragons, and none of us are as powerful or cool as we’d like to be. And that sucks. But when you’re confronted with that fact, you can either crawl into a hole and quit, or you can get out there, take off your shoes, and Bilbo it up.

Man. I don’t know if this is going to make any sense to anyone. I meant this to be a lighthearted blog. A quick lead-in to the story below.

But the truth is,  folks, tonight wasn’t a good night for me. It was one of those nights where I wake up and can’t go back to sleep because I’m worried about things. I worry about so many things. The environment. The concealed carry law. Kids not having food to eat. Parents who have to work so much that they don’t have time to be good parents. The fact that people vote based on television ads. The fact that some guys out there want to kiss other guys, and some girls want to kiss girls, and other people really have a huge fucking problem with this, to the point where people get killed over it.

There’s just so much shit that is really wrong in the world. And it’s so big.

But that’s the point, isn’t it? Yeah. It’s big. What are you going to do? You can lie in bed, staring at the dark. Or you can get up and do something. Even if that something is as small as writing a blog that might make people smile.

Or, in this particular case, you write a blog that ends up as a great rambly mess that makes you look like a homeless guy preaching on a street corner. I should probably just erase this and start over. But fuck it. If I can’t write what I want in my own blog, then what’s the point of writing anything at all?

Okay. Back onto topic.

Simply said, I’m not going to write up the Bast vs. Zaphod fight. But when I wrote Wednesday’s blog, I dug out the scene I wrote for the Kvothe vs. Aslan match. What’s more, I was surprised at how well it held up. I wrote it two years ago sitting in a hotel lobby when I woke up in the middle of the night and, coincidentally enough, couldn’t get back to sleep.

I’m pretty sure it’s okay for me to post this up. While I am using a character that is Lewis’ intellectual property, I think it falls under fair use, as I’m not making any money off it.

Anyway folks, for those of you who wanted to see it, here it is:

*     *     *

There wasn’t any snow on the ground, but the early morning air was chill as the cloaked and hooded figure moved through the forest, brushing aside the fir branches as he went. Eventually the trees thinned and the figure stepped from the pale blue of early morning into a warmer, richer, light.

The cloaked figure smiled fondly and ran one hand over the iron lamppost. Then sighed and walked past it, moving deeper into the forest. After the better part of an hour he found a clearing where a small stream cut through the thick grass, making a gentle sound as it rolled over the stones.

Still wearing his hood, the figure looked around for a long moment. Then he spoke: “Aslan,” he said, and though he did not speak loudly, his voice was strangely resonant, striking the air like a bell. “Aslan.” He looked around, drew a breath, and squared his shoulders. “Asl–.”

“You cannot bid me come,” came a deep, sweet voice from the edge of the clearing. It was like distant thunder laced with honey. “Neither can you bid me go.”

“Of course not,” the cloaked man said. “You’re not a tame lion.”

There was a low, throbbing sound that almost sounded like a purr, and a lion padded softly out of the trees, his huge feet making no noise in the grass. The sun came out from behind a cloud, warming the air, and when it struck the huge animal he shone as if made from molten gold.

“Nice entrance,” Kvothe said pushing back his hood. His hair caught the sun as well, shining like copper and fire. He looked younger than his voice sounded, a boy just on the verge of becoming a man.

“I will admit,” Aslan said. “I did not expect you to come here.”

Kvothe unclasped his cloak and lay it carefully on a nearby tree and looked back up at the lion. His clothes were threadbare, only a half step away from being truly ragged. “I thought we should talk.”

“We are to fight,” Aslan said. “It strikes me as odd that you should come here and give me the advantage of the home ground. It seems your best hope would be hold your ground, force me to come to you, so you might catch me with some trick or trap.”

Kvothe smiled. “That reminds me of a joke,” he said. “How do you catch a unique lion?”

The lion cocked his head.

“You neek up on it,” Kvothe said with a straight face.

Aslan’s tail stopped its restless motion. He turned his head slightly to look behind himself.

Kvothe continued, “How do you catch a tame lion?”

The lion turned back to look at him, but said nothing.

Kvothe gave a slightly embarrassed smile. “Tame way.”

There was a moment of silence, and then the clearing was filled with a low thrumming noise that could conceivably be the sound of a lion chuckling.

“It’s been a long time since anyone told me a joke,” Aslan said, then shook out his great golden mane. “But we still have to fight.”

“We do,” Kvothe agreed. “Though it might be more accurate to say that we are forced to come into conflict.”

“And you know you cannot win, especially here,” Aslan continued. “The only question is how much you might hurt me before the end.”

Kvothe shook his head seriously. “No, the real question is how much will winning cost?” The young man smiled a small, sad smile. “Believe me, this is something I have some personal experience with.”

“I… I don’t know if I follow you,” the lion said.

“If we fight, you’ll kill me,” Kvothe said matter-of-factly. “You’ll win, but there will be a cost.”

“You would bring your death curse upon me?” Aslan said.

“That’s Harry Dresden,” Kvothe said, obviously irritated. “Come on now. Except for point of view and a respect for thermodynamics we really don’t have much in common.”

“Oh,” Aslan cleared his throat. “Right. Sorry.”

“There’s nothing I could do to you if I lost,” Kvothe said. “And honestly, I’m not sure I’d want to. I’m not really one of those ‘from hell’s heart I stab at thee’ types.'”

“Actually,” Aslan said, “From what I’ve heard, you’ve…”

“Don’t believe everything you hear,” Kvothe interrupted, his eyes narrowing. “My point is this: if you kill me, there will never be a second book.”

Aslan was silent for a moment. “So you’re threatening me with reprisal from your fans?”

Kvothe shook his head again. “You’re missing my whole point. I’m not threatening you at all. I’m just saying that if you kill me now, people will never get the chance to read the rest of my story.”

Aslan looked thoughtful. “And the result is…”

“Despair,” Kvothe said. “Terrible despair in the hearts and minds of thousands.” He gave the lion a frank look. “You’ve always struck me as the sort of person…”

“Lion.”

“Sorry… You’ve always struck me as the sort of lion that was trying to make people happy in the long run. Not the sort that would actively cause despair.”

Aslan lifted one huge paw from the ground and then pressed it down again. He cleared his throat. “Tricky.”

Kvothe nodded. “Your books are all finished. You’re immortal in ways more important than the obvious. I’m not quite there yet.” He sighed. “That’s why I figured we should talk.”

After a long moment, the lion looked up. “So what’s the other option?” his voice was low and uncertain.

“Forfeit,” Kvothe said. “Just walk away.”

“*You* could forfeit,” Aslan pointed out.

Kvothe shook his head. “It’s not in my nature to give up or walk away. I’m psychologically unable to back down from something like this. Hell, I’m a short step from feral.” He ran his hands over his ragged clothes, half embarrassed.

Then he made a sweeping gesture to the huge lion. “You, on the other hand, are a noble creature. You have a precedent for martyrdom. It’s consistent with your character. You better than anyone know that sometimes the only way to win is to concede.”

Another pause, then Aslan spoke. “You’ve thought about this a lot, haven’t you?”

Kvothe smiled again, and for a moment his face was almost boyish. “It’s all stories,” he said. “That’s what I do.”

Aslan looked up and swished his tail. He drew an impossibly long, deep breath. “Fine. Fair enough. I concede.”

Kvothe sagged with relief. “Thank God.”

“You’re welcome,” the lion said as he turned his massive head and began to walk from the clearing.

“Um…” Kvothe said. And for the first time since he came into the clearing he looked unsure of himself. “Before you go…. I was wondering…. Could I?”

Aslan gave a great gusty sigh that was more amused than exasperated. “Very well.”

Kvothe stepped closer to the lion, moving hesitantly. Then he raised his hands slowly and sank them deep in the thick golden mane. He leaned forward and gave the huge lion a hug, burying his face in the lion’s fur.

After the space of a deep breath, Kvothe pulled his face away, but left his hands where they were. “I’ve wanted to do that forever,” he said softly, his voice a little choked. “My mom used to tell me your stories.”

“I would lick your face,” Aslan said gently. “But it looks like it’s been a while since you’ve washed it.”

Kvothe laughed and stepped back from the lion.

“When is the second book coming out, by the way?” Aslan asked. “I’ve been waiting frikking forever.”

“Soon,” Kvothe said.

“What does that mean?” Aslan said. “In a couple months? Sometime this year?”

“I call all times ‘soon'” Kvothe said.

Another deep, thundering chuckle. “I suppose I deserve that,” Aslan said, and turned to pad silently out of the clearing, where he was quickly lost to mortal sight.

*     *     *

That’s all for now, folks. Be good to each other.

pat

P.S. I’m going to be on WPR this morning with Veronica Rueckert from 10-11. I‘ll be chatting with her and Laura Miller about heroines in literature.

I think I’m going to need some serious coffee before I sit down to that….

Also posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, Achievement Unlocked!, Stories about stories., things I shouldn't talk about | By Pat89 Responses
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