Category Archives: Acts of Whimsy

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.

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(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

Worldbuilders-Logo_Web_Smaller

 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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