Category Archives: Acts of Whimsy

A Beautiful Game

This probably won’t come as a surprise to many of you, but I’m a geek for video games. Computer games in particular.

What you might not know is how deep my roots go: I’ve been playing computer games for 33 years. Since 1982. Since I was nine years old.

To give you a frame of reference, the first game I played was entirely text. Which is a good thing, because the computer I played it on didn’t have a hard drive. I learned to type playing those early Infocom games, and played some of them for *years* before finally solving them.

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Long before I ever tried to write a book, I tried to write a computer game. It had puzzles and monsters, and I wrote it in the only programming language I knew: basic. By the time I gave up on the project, the printout of the program was over 32 feet long.

Later on I played King’s Quest, Populous, Alone in the Dark…. But eventually I found Fallout and Fallout 2. They became the  yardstick I use as an example of how good a game can be.

There have been a lot of games I’ve wanted to play these past two years. Bioshock Infinite. Witcher 3. Dragon Age. Borderlands…. So many games I wanted to try. But I didn’t play any of them. I had writing to do, and Worldbuilders to oversee, and a new baby. Contracts to read. Foreign translations to assist with. I had to give up something, so I gave up the games.

This is to give you some context so you can realize how big a deal it was when I heard Fallout 4 was being released. I marked it on my calendar. I watched the trailers. I had someone build me a new computer so I could play it, because my current compy is about 8 years old….

Then I realized Fallout was coming out on November 10th. The same day I was scheduled to drive down to Milwaukee and interview Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Craynor as part of their Welcome to Night Vale book tour.

Even worse, Worldbuilder’s was starting its Big Yearly Fundraiser on November 9th. It happens every year around this time: My team and I rally the geek community to raise money for Heifer International. It’s a lot of fun, and aver the last several years, we’ve raised more than $3,500,000 dollars.

But it’s a lot of work. Every day we post up blogs full of books and games that we give away lottery-style to donors. Thousands of books and games supplied by publishers and authors. We launch dozens of auctions. We shoot video, post stretch goals, do AMA’s. And offer up new items in our online store.

In short, Fallout was dropping at the most insanely busy time of my year.

*     *     *

There’s another part of my life I’m guessing many of you already know about. But for those of you who don’t follow me much on social media…

douche

(I wish it had been hard for me to find this example, but it wasn’t.)

It happens anywhere I have an online presence.

reviews

That’s a comment on a review I wrote on Goodreads. I’d shared a story about reading to my boys.

Tweet bitching

The moral of the story is that there are a lot of people who are really interested in reading book 3. And while I appreciate their sentiment, the way they express this desire… well… It’s exhausting at best.

Now this isn’t the only thing that happens to me online. Far from it. A lot of folks are amazingly kind and graceful.

Many of them step up to defend me from the abuse I’ve shown above:

Book Three - Shut the fuck up

So here’s some truths I think are fairly self-evident.

  • I want to play Fallout 4. And I deserve to play a game every once in a while.
  • I understand a lot of you are impatient for book three. (So am I, honestly.)
  • We *are* in the middle of the Worldbuilders fundraiser.

So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to have some fun with this. I have a supervillain-esque delight in certain types of gambling. So I’m going to put precious gaming time on the line for the good of the fundraiser.

As of now, anyone who donates to Worldbuilders gets to vote on what I do with this precious time I’ve set aside for gaming.

Behold: The Pat-o-Meter.

If you’re frothing at the mouth for book 3, this is your chance. In this limited time offer, I’m willing to let you have a say in how I spend my personal time if you’re willing to help us make the world a better place.

When you donate, you’ll see this option:

patchoice

(Pick whatever one your heart desires. Seriously.)

Every day at 4:00 CST, we’ll tally the donations. And if people have ponied up and demanded I write more of book 3, I’ll give up my gaming time and put in another three hours above and beyond my normal writing time for the day.

What’s more, I’ll stream my writing session on Twitch.

If the will of the people is that I play Fallout 4, I’ll do a live stream of that instead. Since I haven’t gamed in a while, I expect the result will either be the live stream equivalent of riding a unicorn made entirely of orgasms. Or, if my mad skillz have atrophied, it might be an embarrassing train wreck as I’m endlessly killed by rats in the basement of whatever inn we start the adventure in.

Either way, I will have my snark turned up to eleven, so it’s bound to be a good time.

As an extra bonus, every day the Worldbuilders team will pull a random winner out of that day’s donors. (We’ll work it the same way we do the main lottery, where every 10 bucks you contribute gives you a chance to win the cool thing.) So even if your team doesn’t win, you have a chance to get something cool. These items will be specific to my books, and they’ll mostly be stuff you can’t buy in the store because I’ve only hoarded a few of them.

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(Your donation will still enter you into the main prize lottery, too.)

You’ll be able to watch the live stream on my newly forged Twitch channel: twitch.tv/PatrickRothfuss. I’ll start at 4:00 pm CST every night. If you don’t want to constantly be peeking at the widget, you can follow @FalloutVsBook3 on Twitter to see which side is currently winning….

We’re starting today (Thursday) and we’ll do this for two weeks. If folks enjoy it, maybe we’ll extend it all the way through the end of the fundraiser….

I’m going to be honest with you. I only had this idea a couple days ago, and until today, I wasn’t sure if we were actually going to be able to pull it off. As a result, we’re kinda making this up as we go along. (As you can see, above, we haven’t figured out a way to automate the widget, so the Worldbuilders team is having to update it manually.)

Because of this, we might tweak a few details as we move forward. Fair warning.

But no matter which team wins, I win. Either I get to play the game I love, or I get closer to moving book three off my back. This will be an interesting social experiment, I’m genuinely curious as to what will happen.

And no matter what, it will be a beautiful game.

pat

P.S. If you don’t know anything about Worldbuilders. Here’s a link to the blog where I explain everything in some detail. Here’s a link to the auctions we’re currently running.

And here’s a link to the page where you can donate and case your vote.

Also posted in Beautiful Games, Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat241 Responses

Stretch Goals, Teaming Up, and the Impending Fundraiser

I’m guessing you know what’s right around the corner.

That’s right. The annual Worldbuilders fundraiser starts on Monday, November 9th. Just a handful of days away.

It’s been a bit of a madhouse for the last couple weeks while we’ve been getting ready. Every year the fundraiser gets bigger and better. And this year we’re doing things we never could have dreamed of pulling off before.

As a result, we have a new addition to the Worldbuilders team. Her name is Mindy, and she’s been thrown into the fray at… well…  let’s just call it an interesting time.

So… yeah. This is it. Your official advance warning. Start your engines.

Huh. Okay. That felt kinda strange to say. I don’t know where that “start your engines” metaphor came from. I take that back.

Worldbuilders-Logo_Web - crop smaller

Did I mention we’ve raised $3,500,000 for Heifer International?
Because we have. We very have.

If you’re one of the true believers who read the blog regularly and enjoy helping out with the fundraiser ever year. Or if you’ve always kinda wanted to help out but didn’t know how, I have a few things you might want to consider before this year’s festivities kick off.

1. Team Pages

Last year was the first time we’ve had an easy option for people who wanted to create and manage their own teams inside the bigger Worldbuilders Fundraiser. We didn’t think much of it at the time because, well… we were busy getting all the books and prizes ready for the lottery.

But my readers are clever, quick witted folk, and some of you jumped right in and started making teams of your own. Some teams offered their own stretch goals and prizes. Some had friendly rivalries (Team Nerdfighteria and The Wayward Backers in particular)….

Worldbuilders 2014  teams

*Salutes The Wayward Backers*

It was, to be perfectly honest, one of the cooler things that happened last year. It delighted me to see what y’all came up with, and it made me proud to see so many people taking the fundraiser and making it their own.

Last year someone set up a Spanish team. A family decided to forego Christmas gifts and raise money for goats instead. A convention in Luxembourg rallied their members to donate.

And I’m sure many of you remember a young girl named Charlotte who made a video because she wanted to raise $500 dollars, enough for a Heifer. You can see her smiling face in the picture above. You’ll probably also notice that she helped raise a lot more than her initial goal.

So if you’re amazed at the fact that over 60% of the world still cooks dinner over an open fire, but you don’t have the $1000 it would take to help an entire village get stoves. Or if you wish you could help a town get clean water but on your budget $300 might as well be a piece of the moon….

Well, maybe you could start a team, then rally your friends and family to help make it happen.

Trust me on this. People are good. If you give them a chance they will surprise you.

2. Stretch Goals

Over the years, we’ve had some awesome stretch goals. Here’s some of my particular favorites:

Molly’s Greatest Adventure

Trey Ratcliff’s bathroom selfie:

Trey Ratcliff - Bathroom Selfie

Amanda is particularly fond of everything Hank Green did for us, but last year’s angsty cover of Shake it Off cover was particularly fine.

The Doubleclicks Love You Like a Burrito!

Or what about that time Kevin Hearne did the Thriller dance?

We’re always trying to think of cool new stretch goals, and cool new people to help out with them. So if you have a clever idea feel free to mention it the comments below.

That said, let’s be reasonable in our expectations. Of course it’d be cool to see me and Nathan Fillion kiss, but obviously I don’t know Nathan Fillion. Because if I knew Nathon Fillion, the two of us would be playing Betrayal at House on the Hill in my tree house right now.

3. Donations and General offers of assistance.

Are you an author? A book collector? Someone who desperately needs to reclaim some shelf-space and the illusion of control over your life?

Are you a publisher? A game designer? Are you a maker of cool geeky things and you’d like to make the world a better place by donating a few to a good cause?

Are you a juggler? A gymnast? A singer? Can you bend spoons with your mind or something else you think would make a fun stretch goal?

Are you a programmer? An artist? A musician? Are you Nathan Fillion?

(If so, I’m sorry about that whole kissing thing I wrote up there. I didn’t mean to make things weird.)

Either way, drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.

[email protected]

Soon,

pat

P.S. Don’t forget to leave your stretch goal suggestions below.

Also posted in Worldbuilders, Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat31 Responses

Livestreams, Were-Hedgehogs, and Jugglers

Today, we bring you Stretch Goal Round-Up, Part Two: Livestreams, Were-Hedgehogs, and Jugglers edition.

I know it’s nowhere near as cool as the last title, but they can’t all be winners.

Today’s blog comes to you courtesy of the Worldbuilders Team. Pat spent the holiday with his family, had a signing down in Madison for IndiesFirst, and promptly come home sick as a dog.

While he sleeps it off, we’re here to grant him a break, as well as to show off the cool stretch goals we’ve passed in the last week, as well as an update on the #NeilReads totals at the end. If you missed the last collection of stretch goals, you definitely should check those out, too.

Let’s get right to it.

  • $125k: Seth Fishman hosted a livestreamed Q&A teaching everyone how to write a query letter and/or get an agent.

The livestream happened last Monday, but you can now watch the video right here. Seth talked a lot about query letters and agents, and the dos and don’ts of each.

He even brought on one of his clients, Django Wexler, to discuss the first query letter Seth received from him, and why it didn’t get him an agent.

  • $150k: Myke Cole will review Hedging His Bets.

Myke helped us get through the technical issues we had with this video, and it’s up in all its glory for you to see.

If you’ve ever wanted to read were-hedgehog erotica, but wanted to hear a review of the book first, you’ve got it here.

  • $225k: James Ernest will post a video of his signature juggling trick.

James was a juggler and performer before he made it as a game designer, and this trick is his signature trick, that only he performs. Yup. Juuust him. Sure would suck if someone stole his move, made it famous, and gave him full credit. Sure would. Enjoy all of its majesty…

  • $250K Nate Taylor & Pat stream a discussion about the art of Slow Regard

Nate and Pat  had a great time talking about the art from Slow Regard. When you’ve got an hour to spare, be sure to sit down and watch this one.

We passed both of these next goals over Thanksgiving, so the videos aren’t ready yet, but they will be soon!

  • $300k Mikey Neumann writes and reads a short story just for us!

Mikey has been planning this one for a while, and we’re pumped to share it with you once he finishes and films it for us…

“The Eye of Argon” considered the Citizen Kane of bad fantasy writing (or maybe the Plan 9 From Outer Space?), and has been embraced in its infamy by writers and fans alike. Apparently, reading this story has turned into some kind of competition. Folks are challenged to read it, exactly as written, without smiling or laughing. Grandmasters have to read it after inhaling helium.

This is going to be good, no matter how Christopher handles it.

And we’re right on the cusp of the next couple of stretch goals as well…

  • $350k The Doubleclicks play “Love You Like a Burrito” with a special guest…

This special guest may need to redeem himself after not performing the song very well at a book release event in Portland a little while ago…

This one is going to be epic as well, and the folks at Cards Against Humanity are awesome. If you didn’t see CAH’s Black Friday Bullshit sale, you really missed out on your chance to buy real, literal bullshit.

  • $400k John Green eats a Heifer International inspired meal.

Followers of John Green may already know of his history of blenderizing meals. He’s agreed to eat a meal made up of things you can get from Heifer International: Goat cheese, bacon, honey, and lots of other things he might be able to find. It’s probably going to be really gross, in a really awesome way.

* * *

I (meaning Amanda) ran all the numbers this morning to see what animal Pat may have to kiss if we pass our total from last year:

Animal Kiss 11.30

It seems pretty solidly decided in favor of llama.

There were comments here and there of people trying to campaign for the Goat, mostly to spare Pat from what has potential to be a very scary experience with the llama, so we’ll see if they’re successful in the end…

As far as the #NeilReads totals, we’ve got quite the turn of events. I went to run my totals, and when I got the image to share with everyone, it turned up like this.

#NeilReads 11.30

I did a double take when I realized that Jabberwocky and Where The Wild Things are were tied. I’d taken it for granted at this point that Jabberwocky would still have a perceptible lead.  Since I didn’t think it was fair to show you this without offering up the detailed totals, I did a new chart with those included as well.

#NeilReads 11.30.2

So that’s where things currently stand – Jabberwocky is winning with a mere $405 lead. If you want Where the Wild Things Are to win (I know I do), go in there and vote, or get your friends to vote. It won’t take much…

Hope you all had a great weekend. Stay tuned to the Worldbuilders Facebook page and/or Twitter feed, because we’ll be updating every day with things you won’t want to miss, including a massive blog tomorrow full of books from DAW.

The Worldbuilders Team

Also posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Amanda12 Responses

Puppets, Wild Things, Pumpkin Spice, and Viking Llamas…

First, I would just like to say that this blog has the best title I’ve ever written. Possibly the best title *anyone* has ever written. Ever.

As I type this, Worldbuilders has raised $250,000 dollars and we’re not yet at the end of our second week. That’s pretty amazing no matter how you look at it.

Today I’m going to post up all the stretch goals we’ve unlocked so far in case you’ve missed a few.

But first, allow me to answer a few questions y’all have been asking:

As y’all know, when we hit 600,000, Neil will read something for us. Everyone who donates to Heifer International on our team page gets to vote. Here’s where the total stands right now. Fox in Socks is still in the running, though it’s a bit of a dark horse….

#NeilReads 11-19

My stretch goal is looking like a bit more of a foregone conclusion:

Animal Kiss 11.22am take 2

I will admit, when I proposed my stretch goal, I put Llama on the list without doing much research other than to make sure there were some living in Central Wisconsin. Since then I’ve discovered that a llama and an alpaca are, in fact, two very different animals. Alpaca are kinda like a cross between a sheep, a kitten, and a giraffe. By which I mean they’re furry, friendly, and they have long necks.

Llamas, on the other hand, are apparently like a cross between a sheep, a camel, and Viking berserker. By which I mean they’re furry, they hate you, and they will fucking destroy all things that oppose them. A lot of farms use them as guard animals, because other predators like coyotes are terrified of llamas and avoid even the sound of them.

So… yeah. Right now it’s looking like that’s what I’m going to end up kissing. For charity.

Here’s the stretch goals we’ve unlocked so far:

  • $50k: Nika Harper Reads Dinosaur Limericks

Happiness comes in Dinosaur Limericks that are based in scientific fact.

  • $75k: Molly Lewis Sings Pumpkin Spice Lament

Do you want to know a true fact about Amanda? She recently got a ukulele, and she’s been playing Molly Lewis songs nonstop. This one is her new favorite.

  • $100k: Patrick Rothfuss will perform “The Song of Tom Bombadil.”

Yup. That’s a thing I did. Once you’ve seen it, you can’t un-see it.

  • $125k: Seth Fishman will host a livestreamed Q&A teaching everyone how to write a query letter and/or get an agent.

This livestream is going to be Monday, November 24th at 7:30pm CST. If you have any questions for Seth, you should be sure to be there, live, when it happens. Follow Worldbuilders on Facebook,  Twitter, and YouTube to know when it goes live.

  • $150k: Myke Cole will review Hedging His Bets.

Myke was great and had the video all ready for us… and then the file corrupted when he tried to send it to us. We’ll have it up as soon as possible, so keep an eye on the Worldbuilders YouTube channel.

  • $175k: Vi Hart will write and perform “The Lay of Felurian.”

Vi nailed it here. She even included the verse that causes Felurian to cut Kvothe off, and ends it there. It’s wonderful.

  • $200k: The Heifer International staff will perform a puppet show.

This baffled me in all of the best ways. Some of Heifer International’s staff (primarily the ones who work with Worldbuilders directly every year) got together and did this in their free time. Be sure to stick around for the outtakes at the end, because people have some stuff to say about Kvothe and his lute…

We’ve got two more that have just been recently unlocked…

  • $225k: James Ernest will post a video of his signature juggling trick.
  • $250K Nate Taylor & Pat stream a discussion about the art of Slow Regard

We passed both of these goals just yesterday, so we haven’t had a chance to post them up yet, but as we’ve said above. But if you stay tuned to the Worldbuilders Facebook page and/or Twitter feed we’ll be posting them up when that happens.

Stay tuned folks, if for no other reason than to see me get trampled to death by a llama.

pat

P.S. Just in case you wanted a link where you could help us reach more stretch goals while also making the world a better place, here it is.

Also posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat25 Responses

Adventures in Texas and Arizona

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

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

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

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

  • Phoenix ComicCon:

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

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

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

Batsu

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

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

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

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

Oot liked it.

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Sarah and Cutie had a pretty good time too…

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Most Awkward moment of the Con:

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

Me: Is it just a guy with a beard?

Him: No. He looks just like you!

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

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

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

Then I feel guilty.

Near Miss of the Con:

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

Best part of the Con:

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

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

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

 

  • Austin:

Signing at Independent bookstore: Book People.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Barbeque and Breathing Fire:

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

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

20140610_151123

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

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

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

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

Pat eating fire screenshot

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

  • Dallas.

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

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

paulstorm-038

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

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

*     *     *

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

Mark Talent Jot Drab Drab

Take care of each other folks,

pat

Also posted in conventions, Cutie Snoo, Oot, Tales from the Con | By Pat28 Responses

Stretch Goals Past and Stretch Goals Yet To Come….

Hey there everybody,

We’re entering the final stretch of the Worldbuilders. And in case you don’t make a habit of checking the Worldbuilders News page, or following us on facebook or twitter, I thought I’d take a moment to talk about one of the newer things we’ve been doing this year.

I’m talking about our Stretch Goals, of course.

As I write this, geeks of all creeds and nations have banded together to raise $274,000 dollars, which means we’ve unlocked ten Stretch Goals and we’re closing in fast on the eleventh.

In case you’ve missed  a few, I thought it would be a good idea to gather them all in one place for you to take a gander at.

We mentioned this one on the blog last month, but back then we didn’t have the terrifying video footage yet.

Since then, we’ve edited together this:

Honestly, this video kinda horrified everyone in the office, and the first time we watched it there was a lot of awkward laughter and cringing behind hands. But it definitely started us out in the right foot in terms of proper promotional Ballyhoo.

This one pretty much speaks for itself.

You don’t want to know how many times I’ve listened to that.

False Equivalency - Final

(Click to embiggen. If you dare….)

Jim did yet another of his cover pose parodies for our $75,000 fundraiser, and did a great write up about it over here.

If this intrigues, or even disturbs you, you can buy a calendar full of these over on The Tinker’s Packs.

This is a really cool one.  Brandon has agreed to write a story and broadcast the event live for everyone to see.

What’s more, the story will be based on ideas and suggestions from viewers turning in to watch.

BrandonGray

Afterward, he will be releasing the story into the Creative Commons, so anyone can download the story and finish it on their own.

If you want to be a part of it, keep your schedule open on January 17th from 2-7pm Mountain Time, and keep an eye out for the link to view it on the Worldbuilders Facebook Page.

I’ve talked about my love for the Doubleclicks before. And I’m pretty sure I’ve shared around their epic song Nothing To Prove, where they talk about the bullshittery inherent in the whole Fake Geek Girl movement.

So when they agreed to come in and help us spread the word about Worldbuilders by performing Moonlight Sonata on a pair of cat keyboards… Well, I couldn’t help but love them just a little bit more.

Epic and awesome.

Mary Robinette Kowal is a truly awesome person. Some of you might remember her as the person who beat me at being me in my twitter contest earlier this year.

Since Mary has proven that she can mimic me so well none of you can tell the difference, we were delighted when she offered to write some NOTW erotica fan fiction for us.

Yeah. You heard that right.

The Wind Comes - Cover

You can download it and read it over here.

You may have seen the recent blog on the subject, but if you haven’t, it’s over here.

We haven’t gotten the video for this yet, but it’s for a very legitimate reason:

So while we might not have this one yet, we’re pretty sure it’s going to be awesome.

  • $225,000 Patrick Rothfuss will reveal his first piece of fan fiction.

Once, years and miles away, I wrote out the lyrics to a song that gets mentioned in some of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.

Specifically, I wrote the lyrics to “A Wizard’s Staff Has a Knob on the End.”

This was long, long ago, you realize. Twenty years.

Neverthleless, because I’m a packrat, I managed to find an old copy tucked away in a folder. It was printed out on a dot-matrix printer, for those of you who even know what that is. In computer terms, it’s like finding something written on a papyrus scroll.

It was my first piece of fan fiction. And now that I’ve unearthed it, I’ll be doing a blog about it and posting a video very soon.

  • $250,000 Peter Orullian will perform a heavy metal version of Joss Whedon’s “Ballad of Serenity” theme with lyrics retooled for Worldbuilders.

This also got a lot of laughs in the office.

Future Stretch Goals

We’ve got some awesome stuff lined up for the next two weeks as well:

$275,000 Trey Ratcliff, internationally renowned photographer, will take an “ill-advised” bathroom selfie.
$300,000 Scott Lynch & Elizabeth Bear will give a drunken review of the second Hobbit film.
$325,000 John Scalzi will perform “But Not Tonight” on either ukulele or tenor guitar.
$350,000 Hank Green will seduce a particularly nice-looking tree.
$375,000 Patrick Rothfuss will team up with Mary Robinette Kowal to read the NOTW erotica she wrote.
$400,000 Sandeep Parikh will drink Capri Sun while doing a handstand with other members of The Guild.
$425,000 Bradley P. Beaulieu will read an excerpt from The Hobbit while enjoying the Wisconsin weather.
$433,420 Molly Lewis will perform The Greatest Adventure on various silly instruments.
$475,000
Pat Rothfuss and Amber Benson will write urban fantasy erotica together.
$500,000
Neil Gaiman will read you Green Eggs and Ham.

Now I hear the more observant of you saying, “What’s up with that $433,420 stretch goal?”

Well you see, that’s how much money Worldbuilders managed to raise last year: $433,420.

That is my personal goal for this year’s fundraiser. I would very much like to beat that. If you’d like to see that happen as well, there’s a few things you can do to help.

1. You can donate here.

This one’s obvious. If you donate to Heifer on our Team page, you’re not only making the world a better place, but you can win some of the thousands of books donated by generous authors and publishers.

ShelfJanuary

2. You can help us spread the word.

Share the videos. Tell your friends. Makes some noise on twitter or your blog. (If you’d like to contact us for a more traditional interview, or would like to help out in some other way, here’s our e-mail: questions [@] worldbuilders.org)

3. Let us know what you’d like to see.

If you have any suggestions for future stretch goals, I’d love to see those too. I’m hoping we’ll need to add a few more before we’re done this year….

Thanks for tuning in folks, and thanks for being awesome,

pat

Also posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, Worldbuilders 2013 | By Pat24 Responses

Stretch Goals 2013 – $25k and $50k

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 This is a Worldbuilders blog.

This year’s fundraiser has taken off amazingly fast, breaking all the records we’ve had in the past.

For example, this year we raised more money in our first week than we did in the entire first year we ran worldbuilders, back in 2008.

Needless to say, this gives me a big warm fuzzy.

Another perk is that we’re hitting our stretch goals faster than ever before. So today we’re going to share a few of those:

  • $25,000 – Peter V. Brett shaves Myke Cole’s head.

This year, we wanted to make more of our stretch goals more whimsical and fun. And as you can see just from the title, Myke Cole and Peter V. Brett started us off on the right foot.

Here’s the thing. When Myke sent in his idea, I laughed my ass off and said it sounded great….

… but I had no idea they were planning to use a straight razor.

The first I heard about it was on Twitter:

Twitter convo

And this is true. Any of you who have read my blog for any amount of time know I regularly make bad decisions in the pursuit of science, mischief, or entertainment. My attempts to distil coffee, for example. Or the time I accidentally burned a pentagram onto the carpet of the house I was renting….

Anyway, the point is, I’m the person you should be talking *out* of doing something, I’m not used to it being the other way around.

But back when I used to shave, I shaved with a straight razor. I have a few very pale, slender scars from those days that I could show you if not for the beard. It’s *hard* shaving with a straight razor, and if Peter was going to try for the first time ever on Myke….

I caved. I called Peter on the phone.

But he didn’t pick up. And I knew why. This had obviously already gone terribly wrong. Peter couldn’t pick up because he had to use both of his hands to stanch the blood that was even now gushing from Myke’s head.

I left a truly incomprehensible voicemail message that was broken up with bouts of panicked/hysterical laughter. Imagine what the Joker would sound like if he drunk dialed Batman. My voicemail was like that.

Peter called me back about three minutes later. The conversation went roughly like this.

Me: Are you guys seriously using a straight razor?

Peter: Oh yeah. I went out and bought one just for this.

Myke: [In the background. Laughing.] Pat! Is that you? Send help!

Me: So you’ve really never used one before?

Peter: I watched a five minute video.

Myke: [In the background] You watched thirty seconds of a video.

Peter: I skipped some the boring bits. It seems pretty simple. You just go against the grain of the hair….

Myke: [In the background] I think he’s been drinking.

In the end, all I could do was beg them to be careful. Partly because they were in New York and I was in Wisconsin, but also because they obviously really wanted to do this.

And also because I can’t start being the voice of reason at this point in my life. It’s just too late for me.

So:

My pleading

They kept posting up pictures through the whole process, while I did the twitter equivalent of watching with my hands in front of my face, peeking between my fingers….

Ward head

And honestly, I wouldn’t have stopped them if I could. Because they’re my kind of crazy.

Friar_Myke4

No_Sense_Crying

Ooopsie

They took video of the whole thing, but it’s going to take a while to splice it all together in a pleasing way. Rest assured that as soon as it’s ready, we’ll share it around.

(Suggestions for the soundtrack should go into the comments.)

  • $50,000 – Paul and Storm Lyrically Mock Patrick Rothfuss

As many of you know, I did a couple shows with the fabulous lyrical duo Paul and Storm early in November. In our brief stint on the road, I like to think we bonded a little. Over the long hours on the road, we learned and shared and grew closer together.

We also discussed the following song….

I’m going to let it speak for itself. The tune might sound familiar, but trust me it’s a different version than the one you’ve heard before.

Suffice to say that when I heard it, I laughed my ass off.

If you know about Paul and Storm, I’m guessing you’ve already heard about their awesome Kickstarter project that’s ending in just a couple days. But you might not know that I’m writing up a short anecdote about our time on the road for inclusion in their PaulandStormonomicon stretch goal.

If you *don’t* know about Paul and Storm, and you got a chuckle out of the song up above, you might want to check them out. And if you’re looking for a good place to start, might I casually suggest their amazingly innuendo-laden-yet-playful 5th album: Ball Pit?

More stretch goals are coming folks. We have some *amazing* stuff lined up.

So stay tuned, and thanks for spreading the word…

*     *     *

Want to learn more about Worldbuilders? You can check out our shiny new website here. Or you can get all the details about this year’s fundraiser on my blog.

There are a bunch of cool auctions up right now, as well, some of which haven’t even been blogged about yet.  If you want to get in early, be sure to check the Worldbuilders eBay page.

Also posted in Beautiful Games, music, My checkered past, Worldbuilders 2013 | By Pat20 Responses
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