Category Archives: babies

The Double-Edged Sword of Empathy

So a couple days ago, while I was in the middle of doing some promotional streaming for our charity fundraiser, my phone rang.

Even though I was in the middle of a live-broadcast discussion of mental health, I still tried to pick up. But, since the phone was muted, I was slow and I missed it.

Then a text came in:

“Oot would like to call you about a baby bird he found.”

As soon as I’d wrapped up the stream, I gave a call back. My eldest boy put me on speakerphone. (He is only 11, a stripling youth, and therefore does not know that this behavior is anathema. Plus I love him, so much is immediately forgiven.)

(A rare sighting in the wild)

While they’d been out camping, he explained, his little brother (Cutie, 7) had spotted a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest. They were worried about it, and they wanted to bring it home.

Did it have feathers? I asked. Or was it still pink with its eyes closed?

Kinda some feathers, he said, but it was pretty pink. And yeah, its eyes were pretty closed.

Did you try to put it back in the nest? I asked.

It was way too high up, he explained. They could tell it was the right nest because they could hear the other birds up there peeping. He was obviously hungry because he kept opening his mouth, but he wasn’t very loud.

He and Cutie had a theory that maybe he was weak because he wasn’t very good at peeping up for food. Or maybe his mom had pushed him out of the nest because he wasn’t a very loud peeper.

Or, I offered, maybe it might not be able make much noise because he was hungry and weak.

Oot pointed out they’d already fed him some oats mashed up with some water. Also, he added, they really wanted to bring him home and take care of him.

(The Byirb in question)

This is what happens. You read to them. You talk about emotions, and listen as best you can. You celebrate and encourage their empathy… and then they grow up wanting to save baby birds.

And oh, I love them for it. And at the same time I worry I’ve done them a bad turn despite my best intentions. Because we need that empathy. It is, in my opinion, the defining human characteristic. But it is a double-edged sword. When you have a lot, it gets really heavy. And you can’t just pick and choose. You carry it all the time. And all too often it feels like it’s got no handle either, so you just kinda walk though your whole life constantly cut up and bleeding….

And I love that they’re like this. I love that they want to save baby birds. I wouldn’t want them any other way. But still, they’re *my* baby birds. And I want to keep them safe from both hurt AND harm….

But I can’t keep them from the world, and I can’t keep them from being who they are. It’s just hard, knowing part of your job as a parent is to let your children be hurt by the world.

It’s going to be a lot of work, I tell him. It’s helpless, and it will need care and attention. Warmth and food all the time. Even in the middle of the night….

Oot says he knows.

And there’s a really good chance that the bird won’t make it, I say. Even if we do everything right. Even if we’re really careful, there’s a good chance that it’ll die.

Oot replies that even if that happens, at least we’ll have done our best. And if we do everything we can, we won’t have to feel as bad. And he says that at the very least, if we’re keeping it warm and fed, it will know that someone cares. If it does die, at least it would know (as much as a baby bird can know anything) that someone was there for it at the end. It wouldn’t have to be alone.

(They named him “Mr. Cheepers.”)

These are the things my son explains to me. Or maybe I say them to him. I honestly can’t remember, because the truth is that I’ve said those things to my children in the past, and now they say them back to me. It’s a hell of a thing, having children that listen and remember. It warms my heart and breaks it all at once.

So I tell him of course he can bring it over. And I’ll help them do research. And I’ll help them take care of it. And we’ll do our best. And I tell him that I love that he cares as much as he does.

Then I hang up the call and get ready for the bird to die before he even gets home. Or to die in the night. Or to die after we’ve taken care of it for two weeks. I need to be braced for it, so if it happens I won’t be blindsided and hurt too badly. So if it happens I can ease the boys through the experience…

But they get back with the bird just fine. What’s more, it turns out there’s a place that takes baby birds and cares for them. It’s only an hour away.

I ask them if they’d like to take the bird there, rather than have us take care of it ourselves. It will have a better chance with people who know what they’re doing, who know birds and how to care for them…

And they surprise me by saying yes. Which is impressive in a whole different way. It shows that they don’t just want a pet, or to be the people who nurse a sick animal back to health. They want what is best for the bird. It’s selfless in a way I didn’t expect.

So that is why I spent almost three and a half hours driving through the twisting back roads of Wisconsin on Tuesday night. Phone ran out of battery. Got lost.

But at the end of it all:

(Yay!)

There is a clarity in crisis. When something is very wrong, it’s easy to know what’s important. That means you can focus. That means it’s easier to decide what you can do. This is why crisis can be oddly comforting.

(This is why a lot of us do odd things: like fantasize about the zombie apocalypse, or inadvertently create or promote crisis in our own lives.)

The trouble is, of course, when you have multiple crisis to choose from. The older you get, the more you know about the world, the more you realize that there’s an endless all-you-can-stress buffet of calamity going on every day. I spend a long time on the horns of dilemma, wondering which fire I should be throwing water on. Fascism or the Pandemic? Fighting homelessness or hunger?

Or, just to pick something entirely at random… should I spend my evening trying to save a baby bird, or should I spend it trying to promote my charity fundraiser that only has a few days left?

In this case, I chose the bird. I’m conflicted about that. I’m proud of Worldbuilders, and the work we do has improved the lives of tens of thousands of people over the last decade. What’s more, the current fundraiser is important for the financial stability of the charity. A lot of the products over there are things designed to appeal to my readers. So it feels like there’s no better person to promote them than me…

(Case in Point.)

It’s hard for me to remember that other people *can* spread the word about the fundraiser. And no matter how hard I hustle, nothing works better than word of mouth. Either people will be excited enough to buy stuff and tell their friends during the final days, or they won’t.

On the other hand, I *was* the only person who was going to save this baby bird. And the only person who could have this particular little adventure in empathy with my boys…

So I’m trying hard to count this one as a win. I saved a baby birb and was a pretty good dad.

If you want to check out the cool things Worldbuilders is selling, you can head over here.

Later space cowboys,

pat

Also posted in baby ducks, Because I Love, Cutie Snoo, day in the life, musings, Oot | By Pat29 Responses

Science, Books and Geeks doing Good

Hey there everyone,

If you hadn’t noticed, the Worldbuilders fundraiser is in full swing. In fact, as I’m writing this, our current donation total is over $625,000…

That’s a lot of goats. A lot of chickens. A lot of fruit trees and honey bees. It’s a lot of happy children with full bellies. It’s a lot of parents who get to sleep easier, knowing that they will be able to feed their children in the future.

Together we’re doing something amazing here. And if you’ve already donated, I can’t thank you enough. Every year the generosity of the geek community absolutely knocks me over.

You might also have noticed that I’m not blogging about the fundraiser nearly as much this year. Part of the reason for that is because this year we’ve launched the fundraiser with all the prizes immediately visible in the lottery where you can go and marvel at their glory. 

The other reason I haven’t been blogging, is that I’m to spread the word to *new* people about Worldbuilders. And I’m guessing if you read my blog, you already know most of what I have to say (because I say it on here every year.) So instead, I’ve been focusing on doing interviews and podcasts. Getting the word out to new audiences about the fact that we’re giving away thousands of prizes worth more than $170,000, to people who donate.

That said, I thought I’d make a point of reminding you of a few key things:

  • All auctions are ending Thursday.

There are dozens of auctions, featuring rare and often truly unique items. They’re a great place to do some holiday shopping for that hard-to-please geek in your life. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you really should.

  • We have a lot of cool team pages this year.

A lot of them offer prizes that are unique to each individual page (while still entering you in the main lottery.)

There’s a full list of the pages over here.

  • I’m livestreaming every day until the end of the fundraiser.

There’s a full schedule of streams over here. We’re doing some specialty streams too, like a geek parenting talk with Felicia Day and Clint McElroy. A game stream with my little boys. And an after-dark panel where we talk about the similarites between D&D and BDSM.

(If you follow my twitch channel, you’ll be notified when I go rogue and do unscheduled streams, too.)

  • I did science to books.

Witness the terrible majesty of our $80,000 stretch goal that we recently hit on my Twitch Stream page.

Be warned: Once you watch it, you can’t un-watch it.

If you’re looking for an easy way to spread the word about the fundraiser while traumatizing your friends, sharing that video is about as easy as it gets….

*     *     *

We only have 5 days left in the fundraiser. So if you’re interested in saving the world while winning fabulous prizes, now’s the time to head over and jump in.

If you’ve donated already, I’d love to hear about how it made you feel in the comments. I’ll be honest, stories from donors are what keep me going this time of year. If you’d be willing to share your experiences, I’d really appreciate it.

More news every day from now until the end. Stay tuned.

pat

Also posted in calling on the legions, Warm Fuzzies, Worldbuilders, Worldbuilders 2018 | By Pat36 Responses

Babies: Meet Bast, Auri, Elodin, and Kvothe

If you’ve been reading the blog for any amount of time, you probably realize that I love babies.

This wasn’t always the case. But over the last 8-9 years (mostly since I’ve become a dad) a whole world of coolness has opened up in my life. Kids are great, and I will talk parenting at the drop of a hat. If I’m out in public, I’m constantly having to restrain myself from asking people to let me play with their kids. (Because I look like a bear, or a hobo. Or a hobear.)

Another thing that’s happened over the last 8-9 years is that I’ve been constantly startled and amazed by the enthusiasm people have shown for the books. People write fanfiction, create beautiful art, they dress up, they tattoo their bodies with my words…

And where fan enthusiasm and babies intersect, we get babies named after characters in my books.

This has happened more than once. It’s startling and cool while at the same time being oddly terrifying. I got my first email about one all the way back in 2009, and I showed off little Andan in the blog. But I’ll be honest with you, even after all these years I cannot fully comprehend someone liking my book enough to name their kid out of it.

Then, the other day when I was at the park with my boys. A couple with a stroller walked up to me, told me they were big fans of the books, and mentioned that their baby’s name… was Auri.

(She obviously doesn’t really know what to think of me. Which means she’s smart.)

Then a couple weeks later, I met this little sweetheart who is also named Auri….

(I like how she seems to be saying: “Eh, you’re not that big a deal.”)

Meeting these Auris in person reminded me that I’d been compiling a blog full of baby pictures that people have sent in over the last couple years.

Keep in mind that some of these pictures are pretty old. I think the first draft of this blog might have been from back in 2014. So some of these kids are years older than what they look like here…

Anyway, allow me to introduce:

  • Baby Bast!

father's day

Letter from his dad:

“Our son (coming up on his first birthday) was named after your character Bast. We decided on the name Bast initially, but later, upon realizing with our middle name choice that would have left the poor bastard with three one-syllable names, we decided to modify it a bit to “Bastion”.  His Grandmother (on his mother”s side) calls him Bass (like the fish) which naturally drives me insane to no end. Some humans, eh?”

five months

recent

  • Baby Auri!

“Here’s a picture of our Baby Auri. Technically it’s ‘Aurielle,’ but we only call her by her full name when she’s being a dick . . . which occurs fairly frequently around mealtimes.

Just so there’s no ambiguity, I wanted you to know this is one hundred percent your name. I absolutely snagged that shit from you because Auri’s brokenly bad-assed, and that’s how we feel.”

IMG_6759 copyLooks to me like she is in the perfect place….

  • Baby Auri 2!

 

“Here is a picture of my daughter, born in April. I took her middle name from your books Auri. Her full name is Sutton Auri Prinz, I want to thank you for all that you have done and hope that my daughter will love reading as much as I do. I know that my family will have your books apart of the rest of our lives.

baby auri 2

  • Baby Kvothe!

This is Kvothe, who was originally introduced on the blog in 2013. A while back they sent some updated photos of the little guy, and I couldn’t be prouder.

IMAG2513-1

IMAG2539-1-1-1

You’ll notice that little Kvothe has a badass-looking dragon foot. That’s because he was born missing one of his feet. His parents tell me that in cases like this, it’s easier for the kids to use a prosthetic later in life if they get used to it very early on…

And so, being forward-thinking parents, they got him fitted for a prosthetic. But also, because they’re awesome, one of the prosthetics is a badass dragon foot.

As a fellow geek parent, I salute you.

  • Baby Elodin!

I honestly never expected there to be an Elodin. But I was wrong….

14518544_1275545092464679_958752003_n

 

Best smile ever.

  • And One Final Auri…

“Some interesting facts:

1. ‘Auri’ means ‘shines like gold’ (apparently)

2. She was born with Auburn hair

3. The first track on the radio taking her home was ‘Gold on the Ceiling’ by the Black Keys (a band my wife and I saw on the first night of our honeymoon in Chicago)

So despite us having decided on the name before we even knew we were having a girl, it is a perfect fit – ☺”

20131208_115254

20131031_183044

Because I’m as slow about writing blogs as I am with all other types of writing, Auri’s folks have sent some more pictures of her, now that she’s a little older….

20140119_133713

20140208_181224

That smile though…

20140712_114348

There have been more. Many more. I’ve been introduced to Auris, Dennas, and Simmons at cons. And other parents have shared photos with me that they’d prefer to keep private, which I can totally understand.

For those of you who have stuck around to the very end of the blog, I have a special treat for you. A teaser of something that’s going to be happening soon.

In fact, it’s going to be launching on Tuesday (the 15th)…

Stay tuned,

pat

Also posted in Achievement Unlocked!, naming, Surreal enthusiasm | By Pat39 Responses

The Warning on the Door

Y’know what? It’s been a while since we’ve had a cute kid story on the blog here. I think we’re overdue.

So a while back we were having a little party at our house. And my oldest boy Oot….

You guys do know Oot, right? It’s been a while since I talked about him here. He’s the older of my two little boys.

(Here he is winning a game of Tak.)

Oot is 7 years old now, if you can believe it. He is my heart’s delight. And despite my failings, he has grown up sweet and kind and loving and full of empathy.

So. A couple months ago, we were having a little shindig at our house. Except this wasn’t an event of the sort that I would organize, not a couple people coming over for games. Sarah’s family is huge, and there are roughly eleven billionty children in it. So this isn’t a cozy little gathering. It’s going to be an event. It’s going to be a happening.

The complication? We have a relatively small house. Only about 1400 square feet, and one of the two bathrooms is only accessible through a bedroom.

And here’s the thing. It’s *my* bedroom. Which means it a fucking mess. I’ve got piles of books and detritus everywhere. You can’t hardly see the floor. Plus I have a lot of stuff on my shelves is  dangerous at best, and at worst just straight-up deadly. Picture it as a more cramped version of a wizard’s lab, except instead of having a stuffed crocodile hanging from the ceiling, there’s a mattress on the floor.

Simply said: I do not want people wandering through my bedroom. For real. I’ve mentioned this many, many times to Sarah when she has family over.

So. Anyway. We’re getting ready for the party, and I come back from an errand to discover Oot has written up some helpful signs and stuck them to my door.

20161211_124915(Click to Embiggen. Seriselee.)

Please, *please* click the above image and try to puzzle out what it says on your own. Oot has my genes both for penmanship and spelling, but if you click on it, you should be able to make it out with a little work. And it’s *so* much better if you read it in the original.

For those of you who can’t quite make it out, the signs say:

“Do. not. Entre.”

“i. Will. Kil. You. if. You. Trn.”

“This. Nob. (Arrow pointing to doorknob.)”

“Seriselee. Stae. The. Fukc. Out.”

Now when I see this, I am absolutely fucking delighted. I am over the moon. I could not possibly enjoy it more.

First and foremost, this is a very thoughtful thing he’s done. I ask Sarah if she put him up to it, and she said she hasn’t. All on his own, my little boy has decided to help me keep my room private because he knows it bothers me when guests wander in there. He’s heard me talk about it, and he’s trying to help.

As for the rest…. well… I’m probably reading it a little differently than you, because I know more of the backstory. (It might surprise none of you to know that I consider backstory to be pretty important.)

You see, years ago, when I discovered that here in small town Wisconsin, a mortgage is actually cheaper than renting an office. So I bought a grotty old student rental house to use as a disturbance-free writing space.

In that house, I have a writing room which nobody is allowed to enter. Because it’s my fucking writing room.

But I also use the house as a guest house where friends can stay when they’re in town. And my friends are curious people. So years and years ago I put up some signs on the door:

IMG_20170406_191850

Oot comes to visit me at the Workhouse sometimes. And I put these signs up *years* ago. Long before he could read.

But the world keeps spinning. And things change. And our children absorb so much more than we are ever ready for. And no matter how careful we are, we are never careful enough….

So I come home from my errand to see my sweet child has carefully labeled my door. I read these signs and I laugh. And I thank Oot for being so helpful and considerate. And I tell him that I am really impressed that he has done such a good job of writing everything out. And it’s true. I am impressed.

“But I’m wondering,” I say. “We’re inviting these people over to our house for a party. Do you think it might be a little rude to threaten to kill them?” (I’m going to leave the discussion of the word ‘fuck’ for another day.)

Oot looks thoughtful, he narrows his eyes a little and nods. “You’re right,” he says, as if he’s really kind of impressed that I’d figured that out. “I’ll make a new sign.”

So I wander away, happy that I’ve so deftly fixed the problem.

Ten minutes later, I come back to see this:
20161211_125516

I would like to point out that I’ve never heard Oot say, “Fuck.” But obviously the sign at the workhouse has made a deep and lasting impression. It occurs to me that in his mind, this might actually just be the natural way you ask people to stay out of a room. This is just a regular warning sign: “Wet Paint.” “Do not park.” “Stay the fuck out.”

So we talk again. And I tell him that he’s done a good job by getting rid of threatening to kill people… “But it’s still not really *polite* yet, is it?”

So he takes another run at it:

And these notes are still on my door to this day. I cannot think of a reason I would ever want to take them down….

I hope y’all are doing okay out there.

Take care of each other,

pat

Also posted in Because I Love, day in the life, I am completely fucking serious, Oot, Things my baby has taught me about writing | By Pat64 Responses

Conversations with Cutie

For those of you who are keeping track, my youngest son is just a little more than two years old now. And far all ages have been good ages with my sons (so far) this is a particularly special age for me. It’s the age of language acquisition.

He’s a good talker, and has been using full sentences for a couple months now. But listening to him is still a bit of an acquired skill, because…. well… he’s still a baby, so all of his words don’t quite sound right.

By the way (Pat said, managing to tangent away from his primary purpose in the blog in a record-breaking two paragraphs) did you know that the reason it takes kids so long to talk isn’t primarily mental? A huge portion of it is actually physical. They lack the physical control required to make the proper sounds with their mouths.

It makes sense when you think about it. Learning how to pick up a pencil is hard, but learning to whistle is *way* harder. Learning how to accurately and consistently recreate the 42-46 phonemes that comprise American English…. well… it’s easy to forget how hard it is until you see a kid struggling with the process.

Think about it, your lips, tongue, jaw, and vocal cords all have to orchestrate things together *very* precisely just to make just *one* phoneme. Like an “Mmmmm” sound. And each phoneme has many variations.

Then realize that even a simple word like “more” has *three* of those phonemes. And all of those need to be pulled off correctly, together, in about a tenth of a second.

And that’s just for one word.

This is why a lot of parents do sign language with their young kids. Kids can understand you much younger than they can talk (Most folks who have studied a foreign language know the same feeling: being able to understand a question in your new language, but not answer it.) Babies can think in words much earlier than they can *say* most words, which means they can communicate with you much sooner than you think if you teach them a few gestures.

Cutie

(Don’t look so smug, little man. That’s a pretty sloppy “more.”)

The reason parents understand their kids better than anyone else is because we’re more experienced with our own children’s  particular accent and dialect. And even then, *we’re* clueless some times as to what the kids are saying.

This is why parents constantly repeat what kids say back to them. Partially we do this so children can hear a clearer version of what they’re saying, which helps them improve their pronunciation. But it’s also because we’re double checking what we think they’re saying. (And honestly, I’m guessing there’s some straight-up biological imperative mixed in there, too.)

Anyway, all of this is preamble and context so I can share a conversation I had with Cutie the other day.

Cutie: Daddy Faat es laou!

Me: Daddy’s fart is loud?

Cutie nods: Es yike ayafat.

I’m clueless here, so I look to Sarah.

Sarah: It’s like an elephant?

Cutie nods again: Daddy’s faat es yike a yion wohr!

Me: Daddy’s fart is like a lion?

Cutie: Wohr!

Me: It’s like a lion’s roar?

Cutie nods again.

So… yeah. Now you know. Even if you didn’t want to know, you still know. And you can’t unknow it.

Sorry about that.

pat

P.S. In case you were wondering, having kids is pretty great.

Also posted in Cutie Snoo, day in the life, things I shouldn't talk about | By Pat24 Responses

A Story about My Mom, Haiti, and Irresistible Math

As I write this blog, Worldbuilders has raised nearly $516,000.

That was going to be my big announcement today, that we broke half a million dollars.

But it turns out I actually have a much bigger piece of news to share.

Today, Heifer International is running a special event in conjunction with Giving Tuesday. For one day, all donations made to Heifer will be matched and put toward their work in Haiti.

There’s two reasons that this is a big deal for me.

The first reason has to do with my mom. I don’t talk about her a lot on the blog, though I think of her constantly.

Marge and Patrick at Beach 1-1

(Here she is. With her little boy, long ago.)

You see, years and years ago, my mom went to Haiti.

It’s a long story, but the nutshell version is that she moved down to Haiti for two weeks to help run an orphanage in Port au Prince. This orphanage took care of babies that people abandoned at hospitals, usually because the babies were really sick, or they had permanently debilitating medical conditions. The parents left the children because they were desperately poor, and had no way to pay for their care.

Marge 1 068 (2) - Copy

But the hospitals couldn’t afford to care for the kids, either. Because the government in Haiti doesn’t pay for that. And the orphanage wasn’t in the nice part of town, so the government wasn’t giving them any money either. As a result, this wasn’t one of those posh orphanages like in Annie. They didn’t have beds for the kids, for one thing. But that doesn’t even begin to paint the picture for you. Huge swaths of Port au Prince don’t have any infrastructure at all, so the orphanage didn’t have luxuries like, say, running water.

Imagine that. Imagine taking care of these poor disabled babies and not having any running water. And I don’t mean that they couldn’t take showers regularly. I mean nothing came out of the faucets. They got water out of a cistern that was open to the air. They hoped for rain to re-fill it, and they had to boil every drop they drank and cooked with.

As a result, my mom came back from Haiti with a parasitic infection that took her years of serious medicine to get rid of.

She also came back with stories.

Marge in Haiti

I could tell you a lot of stories about the time my mother spent there. But the truth is, if you’ve read my books, you already know some of them. When she was there, my mom met an old barefoot man who took care of orphan boys with physical and developmental problems. A lot of times the boys were dangerous to themselves or others.

I saw a picture of him once. My mom said he was barefoot all the time, and she suspected he might have been a Trappist monk at some point in his life.

Sound familiar?

The stories my mom brought back from Haiti gave me my first glimmering realization that not everyone’s life was like mine. Not everyone could microwave a burrito when they got hungry. Not everyone had clean water to drink. There was an entirely different world out there where people were so poor, they had to abandon their babies if they were born sick.

So. That’s the first part of the reason I’m excited about Heifer matching donations today and all the proceeds are going to projects in Haiti. Because the roots of Worldbuilders go all the way back to my mom’s experiences there. The stories she told me.

The second reason I’m excited is when we caught wind of Heifer’s event last night, we gave them a call and did our very best fast-talking. And because Heifer is full of cool people, they’ve agreed to let our fundraiser take part in their event.

This means, that for the entire day, every dollar you donate on the Worldbuilders team page will be matched. (And you’ll be entered in our prize lottery.)

This is great news for us. Huge news. And I can’t thank Heifer enough for being willing to work with us on such short notice to make this happen.

But even so, something hasn’t been sitting right with me. I’ve been up all night rolling this around in my head. I’ve been looking through old pictures and thinking about my mom.

Marge 1 001 (3) - Copy

If my mom was still around, she would be moving heaven and earth today for this fundraiser. She’s be baking cookies and making quilts and talking to people at church. She would be filming goofy stretch goals and helping us package up orders in Tinker’s Packs.

And she’d do more than that. She’d put her money where her mouth was.

But here’s the thing. At the start of this year’s fundraiser, I’d decided that I wasn’t going to donate any more money to Worldbuilders. I’d talked myself out of it. I’d already given a bunch of money to charity this year, (Syrian Refugees, First Book, etc.) I’d done my part. I was going to be done.

And besides, I’ve kinda been saving up to build a house out in the country.

And besides, I already give a bunch of my time and energy to the fundraiser, right?

And then I think about my mom. And I think about kids in Haiti.

So here’s what we’re going to do.

If you donate to Worldbuilders today. I’m going to match your donation. Then we’re going to take ALL that money to Heifer and they’ll match both of us. So if you chip in today, your donation will be doubled, then doubled again.

I’ll match up to 100,000 dollars. I’ll let you do the math on that.

Come on, folks. Let’s be awesome together.

Here’s your link.

[Edit: Hey guys, Amanda here! I’ll be in the comments answering questions all day, and we’ve had a fair number come in already, but you can always email us at questions [@] worldbuilders.org as well]

Also posted in mom, Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat68 Responses

Books, Games, Terror, and Toddlers

As I sit down to write up my traditional blog full of Rothfuss-specific items I’m putting into the fundraiser, I notice that Worldbuilders has just crested over the $100,000 mark.

This fills me with joy. Not only because it confirms that all of you are lovely, generous people. But also because it means we’ve passed two stretch goals, and have just unlocked a third, where Nika Harper will do a Tarot reading for a goat.

What were the previous two stretch goals? Well, I brought my littlest boy (codename Cutie Snoo) into Worldbuilders the other day to see the team. While we were there, I found myself wondering what would happen if I introduced him to one of the … odder people that hangs around in our basement.

Namely, Cinder.

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This is a life-sized statue created from whole cloth by Ravn Cotino. He kickstarted the project, then donated the statue to Worldbuilders.

If you’ve been following the Worldbuilders blog, you know how it arrived and has been freaking everyone out several months. Including me. Because let me tell you, nothing is better than showing up at Worldbuilders at midnight, knowing I’ll be able to have the place to myself while I sign books for the Tinker’s Packs. And then, while I’m catching up on the Nightvale podcast, I wander back to get a fresh pen and see this out of the corner of my eye….

Cinder crop

So yeah. It’s only natural that when I brought my not-yet-quite two year old toddler into the office, I proposed that we expose him to this tangible nightmare as a stretch goal for charity.

This is what happened.

If you want to see the other stretch goals as we unlock them, or see what’s coming in the future, you can take a peek at them on the Worldbuilders page.

Now, on to today’s prizes.

*     *     *

First and foremost we’ll start with the items going into the prize lottery. For every 10 dollars you kick in on our donation page you have a chance to win these items and many, many others.

Lottery Items

  • Card Decks: Sets of Name of the Wind, Pairs, and Geek a Week Decks

CardGames

There are 3 different Name of the Wind decks (Limited, Unlimited, and Magician’s Deck), 4 different Pairs decks (Commonwealth, Princess & Mr. Whiffle, Modegan, and Faen), and 3 different Geek-a-Week decks (Season 1, Season 5, and Season 5 Limited).

I’m putting 10 of each set in, so that’s 30 prizes into the GAMES part of the lottery.

  • A Set of Foreign Editions in the Language of Your Choice

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My books have been published in 35 different languages, and I get between 5-10 “author copies” of each edition. More if the book goes into multiple printings.

Whoever wins this item will receive everything I have published in the language of their choice. Love Portuguese? You can have O Nome Do VentoO Medo Do Homem Sábio, and A Música do Silêncio. Want to give the book to your Grandma who only speaks Estonian? We’ve got you covered. We even have the rare, out of print set of the 3-volume Japanese edition of Name of the Wind.

And if you don’t want to leave it to chance, you can always buy some copies straight out of the The Tinker’s Packs, where all proceeds go to Worldbuilders.

Stuff in the Store

Speaking of the store, we have a lot of items in there you might not be aware of. And for the duration of the fundraiser, all the sales in the store count toward raising our donation totals and unlocking new stretch goals.

  • T-shirts

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We have a lot of t-shirts. So many we don’t have enough staff to model them. Our Eolian hoodie, a onesie, and a scarf, all over in the Apparel section of the store.

  • Games & Collectibles

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There are lots of games in The Tinker’s Packs, including some limited edition game pieces, like the Draccus monster for King of Tokyo and King of New York (it works for either game).

We also have Boss Monster and Boss Monster 2, which has limited edition Bast & Bastas heroes you can kill (again, in either game). Plus there’s cool collectible game stuff like our True Copper Dice made by Shire Post Mint.

  • Jewelry

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There’s lots of jewelry too, like the Pinny Arcade Talent Pipes pin, Auri’s Brazen Gear, the official Eolian Talent Pipes, and even Denna’s Ring. There’s a lot more than that, though, so be sure to head over and peruse to your heart’s desire.

Lottery AND Auction

There’s a lot of stuff that I wanted people to have a chance at winning, even though the items are bit more limited and rare. So for everything in this section, I’m putting one item up in an auction (for folks with more money, or who want a sure thing) and one going into the lottery (So everyone who donates gets a chance.)

  • Doodled Beta copy of Princess 2. A Matching Set of Numbered Princess 1 & 2. All signed by me and Nate Taylor.

PrincessPack

These are all really rare.

When we were working on the second princess book, Nate would send me his newest illustrations, I’d get them printed and bound, then get feedback from friends. After that was done, I had a few left over, so Nate signed and doodled them. There’s one up for auction right here, and one in the lottery.

We also have fancy numbered editions of the Princess books.  They’re both numbered editions, leather bound, with beautiful signature pages signed by both me and Nate. We have two matching sets, so one is in the lottery, and the other is in an auction here.

  • Rare books: 1st Edition Name of the Wind. ARC copy of Unfettered.

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Here you have it guys. I’ve had to start buying 1st editions off of people at signings to keep Worldbuilders stocked for things like this. One first edition/first printing of NOTW is going into the lottery, and the other is in an auction. We sold three of these for $2500 last summer, so I can only imagine what this will go for.

These ARCs of Unfettered are pretty rare too. The regular print run only had 5,000 copies, and there are only 250 of these ARCs.  Here’s the link to the auction if you just can’t leave it to chance, otherwise one is in the lottery as well.

Auctions

There are some things that are just too specialized to put into the lottery, so we’re auctioning these off to make sure they’re going to get into the right hands.

  •  General Geekery: Limited Edition Boss Monster cards, Master Set of  Cealdish Coins, and 300 Chip Poker Set.

BossMonsterCards_PokerSet_CealdishCoins

The first is an auction for the Quothe Ladykiller, Bast, and Bastas Hero Cards for Boss Monster. There were only ever 200 made, and we only have this one because a fan donated it back to us.  Auction is here.

We also have a 300-piece poker set from the Albino Dragon Kickstarter a while back. This contains 60 of each color chip, all three decks, plus some extras in in a lovely wooden case. The bidding starts here.

Next up is a Master Set of my Cealdish currency, made by the folks at Shire Post Mint. This even includes version 1.2 of the iron drab, which  you can’t get any other way. We only made 94 of these, and they’ve been sold out since about 2 hours after we made them available.

To bid on this, head over here.

  • Bookish Geekery: ARC of NOTW, ARC of WMF, Edited & Critiqued NOTW Text Scarf.

ARCsAndScarf

It’s getting harder to find ARC copies of The Name of the Wind, but we’ve got one up for auction. It’s one of the cool rarities where they didn’t print on the dust jacket image. Instead my editor, Betsy, wrote a note on the cover explaining why people should take a risk on this unknown author named Patrick Rothfuss.

There’s also a Wise Man’s Fear ARC looking for a new home, and if there’s a space for it on your shelf you can bid on it here. These are extremely rare (only 227 copies were ever printed), and all of them were numbered so that we’d know who had leaked their copy if one sold before the actual book release.

Those of you signed up for The Tinker’s Packs newsletter probably saw one of the new items launched last month, an infinity scarf printed with text from The Name of the Wind. I took the liberty of correcting some of the purpler prose on one of the scarves, and it’s going up for auction. This one is truly one-of-a-kind, because the team took my pen away before I could correct the rest of the scarves.

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So there you go, folks. A bunch of signed and rare stuff in the Lottery, new items in the store, and unique items up for auction. A little bit of something for everybody.

Don’t forget: I’m streaming on Twitch every evening from 4:00-7:00 CST. I’ll either be working on Book 3 or playing Fallout 4 depending on which option people vote for.

The auctions for professional critiques of your manuscript go through Sunday, so be sure to check those out too.

Thanks for helping out, everyone. And thanks for spreading the word…

Also posted in a billion links, Acts of Whimsy, Cutie Snoo, Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat26 Responses
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