Category Archives: cool news

Wyrmwood Gaming: The Prophecy Gaming Table

I’m guessing if you read my blog, you’ve heard of Wyrmwood Gaming before.

They’re the ones who have produced the high-end Tak sets we’ve made. Both the ones in the initial kickstarter, the travel sets we have in the Tinker’s packs, and the one-of-a-kind set pictured above that’s currently up for grabs in the fundraiser’s prize lottery where every $10 bucks gets you a chance to win among thousands of games and books.

I love them with a fierce love, which is why we’ve done so much with them, including, for example, the wooden poker chip sets we did in our recent playing card Kickstarter.

But I’m not here to tell you about the cool stuff they’ve done in the past.

No. I’m here to tell you how cool they are right now…

*      *      *

About a week and a half ago, I went to PAX unplugged where I met up with some friends, played some D&D, and just generally mucked about and had a good time.

I stopped by the Wyrmwood booth too, because, as I mentioned, I love them. I looked around at some of the new stuff they had for sale, chatted with some of the folks there, checked out the Tak set they had on display…

And then, off to one side of their booth, I saw this:

And here’s the thing. This is the point at which words fail me. This table. It was so beautiful. Not just that, it was amazingly well designed and engineered.

This is going to sound a little crazy. But I couldn’t stop touching it. I was there, chatting to the folks running the booth, and I realized that for the last 10 minutes I’d been obsessively running my hands over the table. Almost… well… kinda petting it.

But no. That actually undersells what was going on. I was caressing the table. I’m sorry to put it in those terms. But I was. I was caressing this table in a sensual and loving manner. And I could not find it within myself to stop.

I honestly don’t want to make this weird. But I don’t know how else to explain to you how much I fell in love with this table. How it looked and how it felt.

And then they showed me how it worked. How the recessed playing area could be raised and lowered. How they used rare-earth magnets to secure the drink holders. How the leaves that covered the table were not only tongue-and-groove, and not only held together with magnets, but it also has a rubber gasket so if you spill something it won’t leak through and ruin your game underneath!

God. s I’m typing this, I’m actually angry and sad and frustrated that I can’t accurately describe to you how amazing it was.

Here’s a picture they took of me when I was there.

(Look at my hands.)

How ginchy is this table? Let me tell it you. If a Unicorn were a gaming table, this is the table it would be. If you went to god’s house to play D&D, this is what you’d see. This is the Tesla of gaming tables. It’s the one table to rule them all.

This is the Lin-Manuel Miranda of gaming tables.

Anyway. While I was talking to them, creepily caressing their table, I thanked them for the donations that they had already made to this year’s fundraiser. And then I mentioned, using my best used-car salesman tones, that if they wanted to donate a table to Worldbuilders, I’d do a really good job of showing it off to the world.

And here’s the thing. They said yes.

 

*     *     *

Yeah. So as of right now, there is a Black Walnut Prophecy table in the Worldbuilders prize lottery. That means for every ten bucks you donate, you get a chance to win. (Not only the table, but over $150,000 of other books, games, and geeky swag we’re giving away.)

By the way, here’s a video that shows off the table at some length. You should really check it out.

Let me say it again: This Black Walnut Prophecy table is being added into the lottery for *anyone* to win who donates $10 or more, and selects “GAMES” as one of the items they’d like to win.

The winner, in addition to the table, will also get up to $500 worth of rail accessories of the their choice (in matching Black Walnut, this would be roughly 4 cup holders and 4 component collectors). The total retail value of all of this is $10,500. And, again, anyone who selects games as one of the types of things they’d like to win is eligible to win this table. You could donate $10 and still possibly win this.

Now, there’s some things to take note of.

First of all, this table would be fulfilled at the end of May 2019. Wyrmwood has already sold a bunch of these tables, and they can’t promise it would be done any sooner than that. You’d know you won it early next year (when Worldbuilders does the prize draw) but you’d be waiting until May 2019 for it to arrive.

Additionally, a $500 shipping credit will be applied. Which is to say, you’d be responsible for paying any additional shipping costs for delivery. See, this table is huge, and hefty. Solid wood craftsmanship is like that. And since we’re not limiting this prize to only people in North America, there’s a chance the shipping could cost a LOT of money.

When the winner is selected, we’ll reach out to be sure they’re willing and able to cover any additional shipping costs. If the winner declines, we’ll draw another name and a new winner will be chosen.

Believe me when I say, you want this table. If you’ve been holding out on donating, now’s the time to jump in, and maybe you’ll win.

And also, if you get the chance, can you show the folks at Wyrmwood a little love when you get the chance? They’ve really gone above and beyond with this donation, and they deserve some kudos.

Also posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, Arts and Crafts, Beautiful Games, geeking out, Worldbuilders 2017 | By Pat9 Responses

Worldbuilders 2017

Welcome to you, geeks of all creeds and nations. Welcome, my beloved, bookish brethren and sistren. Welcome, my lovely, empathetic, large-hearted people.

It’s time to make the world a better place. It’s time to fly our flags and engage in fabulous ballyhoo. It’s time to feed hungry children (while winning fabulous prizes.)

It’s time for the annual Worldbuilders fundraiser.

Worldbuilders-Logo_Web--less-space

Over the years, people like you have helped Worldbuilders raise more than $7,000,000 to make the world a better place by partnering with charities such as Mercy Corps and First Book.

Our end-of-the-year fundraiser focuses on our favorite charity: Heifer International, an organization that gives people the training and tools to raise themselves out of poverty and starvation. For more than 60 years, Heifer has worked to improve education, sustainable agriculture, and local industry all over the world.

Don’t take my word for it though. Watch this instead. Seriously. It’s only a minute and a half.

This is what Heifer is all about. They don’t just poke food into hungry kids, they make it so families can control their own futures and take care of themselves. Heifer gives families chickens, and sheep so children have milk to drink, eggs to eat, and warm clothes to wear. They provide communities with clean water to drink, building materials to improve homes, and education that helps improve crop yields.

Heifer International helps people help themselves. It gives people the tools so that they can become self-sufficient. Forever.

If you want to be part of that, there are a few different ways you can contribute to the cause:

  • Option 1: The Lottery

This is the simplest option. Just head over to our fundraising page and donate.

When you donate on that page you’ll be entered into our prize lottery, which contains thousands of books, games, comics, and more.

For every $10 you donate on the fundraising page, your name will be entered into our random drawing. So if you donate $30 (enough for a flock of chickens) your name goes in three times. Donate enough for a goat ($120) and your name goes in 12 times. Enough to give clean water to a whole village ($300) you get 30 chances to win.

What’s in the lottery? A lot. So much that if I showed it to you all at once, the raw intensity of the aggregate awesome would cook your brain like a toad thrown into the sun.

So we’ve spread things out so that we can show them to you in all their glory without risking your precious brain. I’ll be posting up some of it here on my blog, but there will be content going up pretty much every weekday on the Worldbuilders website.

If you head over there, you can see *all* the geeky swag we’re giving away on our Lottery Library page. We’ll update it throughout the fundraiser as more donations come in….

You can also check out blogs full of prizes here:

In order to make sure everyone wins prizes they’ll love, when you make a donation, we let you pick what types of stuff you’d like to win…

As an added bonus, there are lots of sub-team pages you can donate to while still being part of the main fundraiser (and lottery).

There’s a team page for Professional Manuscript Critiques, which has a handful of fantastic authors and editors offering to critique your manuscript. If you donate on their page you’re eligible for the same lottery prizes as anyone else, PLUS those critiques.

There’s also The Fishery: Kingkiller Prizes where we have a whole pile of Kingkiller-specific prizes that people have made. There’s things like fan-made art, a beautiful Cthaeh quilt, some hand-made Tak sets, and a lot more… (If you have something Kingkiller you’d like to donate to this mini lottery, get in touch at donations (at) worldbuilders.org.) Again, donating to this team gets you entries to the regular lottery, plus this exclusive lottery of themed goodies.

There’s a bunch of other team pages too. Too many to list here, but if you’re curious you can go here and check them out.

You can also make a team page of your own if you want. Set your own goals. Invite your friends or family. Create your own rewards, or maybe just try to rally people in a fandom you’re fond of….

  • Option 2: Auctions

Sometimes we get donations that are cool…but only to a select group of people. Some people would squee with delight at winning a portal gun, but some people  just wouldn’t be into it.

(sad, unhappy people)

The same thing is true with action figures, musical instruments, manuscripts, collectibles. Signed art and rare books. Cameo appearances in books. Manuscript critiques….

When things like that get donated, we put them up for auction.

All our current auctions are over on the Worldbuilders eBay page. Keep an eye on it. We’ll be adding stuff all the time.

The funds raised through the auctions will be going to Heifer International too, so you’re still helping us have a huge impact on the lives of people who need it.

  • The Sure Thing (The Holiday Gift Option.)

For those of you who want to have an absolute sure thing, we have an online store.

We have geekery from my books, games, t-shirts, and tons of other stuff for your perusal. You won’t be entered in our prize lottery, but all the profits will go to Worldbuilders and help make the world a better place.

Fun and Games.

Every year, we also do some fun events for Worldbuilders. We will be posting up whimsical videos on our youtube channel as always, and organizing another video game tournament along the lines of last year’s Overwatch Tournament.

And, in following of the tradition of the last two years, I’ll be…

  • Streaming on Twitch

For the last couple of years I’ve been livestreaming on Twitch to raise awareness of the charity. In the past I’ve done Q&A sessions about the craft of writing or mental health. We’ve played board games, had sing-alongs and blanket forts.

I’ve also played games, obviously. The last two years I’ve played Fallout 4 and Witcher 3. I’m not sure what I’m going to do this year, but I’ve heard good things about Destiny 2….

My Twitch schedule through the end of the fundraiser will be MONDAY – FRIDAY 4PM-7pm CST

(Unfortunately, I won’t be starting until Wednesday the 15th, because I’m away from my streaming computer right now.)

Note: I might also be streaming on the weekends. But those days will be more erratic, especially as I’ll be at PAX Unplugged from November 17th to the 20th, and I’ll also be skipping November 22nd to the 25th to spend Thanksgiving with my family.

The fabulous Amanda might do a stream or two on days where I’m not available, too. She seemed pretty excited to show you her Stardew Valley farm. I’m also going to bring in some other people to play games with, make funny talk, and just generally have a good time.

But you won’t catch wind of any of this, if you haven’t headed over here to my twitch channel, followed me there, then changed your settings so you get a notification when I start a new stream.

Important Links and Contact Information

Our website will have all of the information you’ll need, including how much money we’ve raised and how many prizes are currently in the lottery. Worldbuilders also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account for those of you who like to have the internet injected directly into your veins.

Have a question that wasn’t answered here? Check out our handy FAQ.

Want to donate something to Worldbuilders? Help us spread the word? Do a stretch goal? Write a story for your local paper? Drop us a line here: donations [at] worldbuilders.org.

All right folks. Are you ready? I’m so ready.

Let’s do this thing.

pat

P.S. Just in case you missed it, here’s one more link to our Fundraiser donation page.

Also posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, calling on the legions, Worldbuilders 2017 | By Pat15 Responses

So… I’m going to be on TV tonight.

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

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

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

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

Here’s a teaser.

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

This particular episode is about the Mothman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Every time I cuss, take a drink.

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

Edit: Some Good Suggestions from the comments and Twitter.

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

Advanced/Dangerous options

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

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

Have fun everyone,

pat

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

10th Anniversary Edition: Cover Reveal

Hey there everybody,

As I’ve mentioned before in various places, we’re doing a 10th Anniversary edition of The Name of the Wind later this year.

Today we get to show off the cover:

The art is by Sam Weber, the same guy that did Gaiman’s Norse Mythology,and it’s designed by Paul Buckley, the creative director of Penguin Classics.

The new edition isn’t just wrapping paper on the same old thing though. This new edition of the book has a lot more to offer.

Such as more than 20 illustrations inside by Dan Dos Santos.

A few of those illustrations have been floating around for people to see before this, and I showed some of them off during the recent fundraiser…

But in case you haven’t seen them yet…

Aside from that coolness, the book will also have not just one new map of the world, but two. Both of them much more detailed, and both of them illustrated by good friend and frequent collaborator Nathan Taylor.

There’s also a bunch of supplementary appendices where I go all the way down the rabbit hole and talk in some crazy detail about things like my currency systems, worldbuilding, the commonly used calendar, and the spread of the Aturan Empire. (These are also featuring illustrations by Nate Taylor.)

There’s other stuff too, The folks over at Book Riot talk about some of it too. (They got to show off the cover a little earlier today.)

I’ll go into more exhaustive detail about the contents of the book in a couple weeks, in a blog where I’ll get to tantalize and amaze y’all with some more of Dan and Nate’s beautiful art.

For those of you who are curious, the book comes out October 3rd. If you wanted, you could call your local bookstore and pre-order a copy. Y’know. If you’re into that sort of thing…

And for those of you who are thinking, “Why are we getting this book instead of book three?” I answered that question in some detail in a video Q&A I did for my charity last year.

Here’s a link to the part of the video where I answer to that question.

So…. There you go folks. All the news that I have to share right now.

If any of you have any follow-up questions, you can ask them in the comments below. Or, alternately, I’ll be doing some livestreaming tonight (Friday the 23rd) at about 11:00 CST. If you show up for that, you can ask your question in person, and I’ll probably be able to answer it in a little more detail. (Because talking is faster and easier than typing things out.) After I’m done with questions, I’ll probably play some Fallout….

Later space cowboys,

pat

Also posted in Arts and Crafts, Nathan Taylor | By Pat64 Responses

Creative Collaborations and Odd Opportunities for Immortality

So, it’s been an interesting couple days….

On Tuesday the news broke that Lin-Manuel Miranda has officially signed on to help develop my books into movies and television.

This news has been a long time coming, and it hasn’t been easy to keep under my hat.

I’ve already done a Q&A about it over on my twitch stream, and I’ll write about it here in the blog in the future. But for now just let me say that my creative crush on Lin is of Whedonian proportions. I’m about as excited as a human being can possibly be.

miranda-rothfuss(This excited. Plus ten.)

And if that weren’t enough to make this my best week ever, my books also got passing mentions from the Vlogbrothers and Nightvale. Which is a confluence of events that seems to imply I have gained a fairy godmother or access to a genie. It’s odd, and feels a little bit like maybe god checked his ledgers, realized that someone had done the karmic equivalent of running over my cat, and is desperately trying to balance things out before the new year for tax reasons.

Anyway. It’s been a good week. And that’s not even taking into consideration that Worldbuilders raised (and then matched) another quarter million dollars this week. Which means as of right now, we’ve raised more than $1,100,000 for Heifer International.

That’s enough money to give 9000 families goats, along with the education, training, and tools to care for them.

Buwamdelema Village, Mbale District, Eastern Region, Uganda Sandra Nabwire, 16 years old, and Edward Wanyama, 4 years old, feed the family goat fodder at their home in Buwandelema village on Friday May 20, 2011.

Goats are awesome, because they’re hardy, easy to care for, and produce a gallon of milk a day. That milk is a valuable source of protein and calcium for children, and the excess milk is easily sold to provide household income so families can pay for school fees, clothes, and medicine.

You see, in most of the world, a goat isn’t just a source of food, it’s a small business. But more importantly, it gives birth to other small businesses.

So far, Worldbuilders has raised enough to give 55,000 families flocks of chickens ($20.) Enough to provide 3,600 communities with clean water ($300.)

And we’re not done. We still have some time left. And we have some cool new announcements today.

  • We still have matching money!

Once we hit $1,000,000, a lot of people thought that we were out of matching money.

We’re not. We’ve used up $555,000 of the million dollars we have available for matching. So rest assured, when you donate, your money is still getting doubled.

  • Return of the Widget!

I’m delighted to announce the return of the probability calculator widget. Powered by math from the fabulous Vi Hart.

As you know. (Or at least I hope you know.) Every $10 you donate to Worldbuilders gets you a chance to win thousands of books and games from our prize lottery. This widget is updated with the most up-to-date numbers so you can tell what your odds are of winning something, depending on how much you donate.

  • Odd Opportunities for Immortality

As faithful readers of the blog know, earlier in the fundraiser, a handful of awesome authors offered up cameos in upcoming books.

We’ve done this for several years at Worldbuilders, and my only regret is that we’ve always auctioned them off. It brings in good money, but it makes me feel bad that only folks with a lot of money to splash around get a chance to get their names or faces in upcoming books.

So last week when a more authors came forward to offer us walk-on roles in their books, we decided to try something new, a little experiment, if you will.

We’re making separate pages for each of these new cameos, if you go in and donate there, you’re still eligible for everything in the regular fundraiser. Your donation will be doubled. You’re eligible for all the prizes in the lottery.

AND you’re eligible to win the guest star appearance that’s detailed on that page.

This way, you have a chance at immortality even if you’re not made of money.

I’m really excited to offer these up, folks. I’m huge fans of all the works listed here.

wesandcassandra

It was recently announced that the awesome authors Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu are co-writing a new trilogy featuring a fan-favorite character of Cassandra Clare’s, Magnus Bane. The book is out in November of 2017, and they’ve offered to name a character after one of our lovely supporters.

They were happy to let us put this in the lottery for anyone who donates via their page, so that’s exactly what we’ve done. The more you donate, the better your chances, but even if you only have 10 bucks to spare, there’s still a chance.

ratqueensblogimage

Rat Queens have also stepped up to the plate. But this isn’t just going to be some little walk-on part. The fabulous Kurtis Wiebe is offering up the opportunity to be Killed by your favorite band of adventuring badasses: the Rat Queens themselves. They’ll draw you and your likeness in to the comic, and you’ll get super dead.

Don’t be a Gary. Donate to make the world a better place, and rest comfortably in the knowledge that every $10 you kick in on their team page, gets you a chance to get killed by Rat Queens.

sandman-slim-feature

Or, if you’re more into the Sandman Slim novels, you could get killed to death in that.

If you donate on this team page Richard Kadrey will include you in the next Sandman Slim novel and kill you. What’s more, he’s promised to make it “as messy as possible.”

Those were his exact words.

bitchplanet_blogimage

If you aren’t reading read Bitch Planet, you really should. I picked it up just last month, and it instantly become one of new favorites.

It imagines a world where women who don’t fit in with the patriarchal society’s standards for women are shipped away from earth and jailed on Bitch Planet for being “Non-Compliant.” That can involve anything from being a violent felon, to simply not speaking politely, using too much sarcasm, or being overweight.

This comic is smart, folks. It’s dark and sharp and full of clever humor. I love it with big love.

So I’m delighted to say that for every $10 you donate on their page will get you a chance to name an inmate and the infraction that caused them to be exiled. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Valentine De Landro will work with you to put this character into their world.

sexcriminals1

Matt Fraction is one of my top five comic writers of all time. And honestly? I think Sex Criminals is my favorite comic he’s currently working on.

And it’s hard for me. *ahem* Because it’s not exactly easy to go around recommending a comic called “Sex Criminals” to everyone you know.

The premise is this: In Sex Criminals, when Suzie and John have sex, time stops. Not in the cheesey way that people talk about sometimes. Literally, time stops. Then they do what any red-blooded American with sex superpowers would do: They rob banks.

Writer Matt Fraction and artist/maniac Chip Zdarsky assure you that, while very dirty, Sex Criminals is mostly sweet. And they’re offering you the chance to name your very own sex act in the series. Which is something I’m pretty sure everyone has wanted to do at some point in their lives. Or is it just me? (It can’t just be me, can it?)

Again, every $10 you donate on Team Brimpers gets you a chance for this.

  • Name Viari’s own personal intern in Acquisitions Inc

I talked to the folks at Acquisitions Inc, and they’re letting me raffle off the chance to name Viari’s own personal intern in a future game. You and I will work out your character’s name, as well as their character class. And then they’ll be an NPC in Acquisitions, Inc. They’ll fetch my coffee, update my day planner, and… well… probably die. Because… well… intern…

Roll with Viari over here if that sounds like a good time to you.

[Edit: Amanda hereOne more opportunity came through this morning after we shared the blog, so I’m throwing it in here because I KNOW you wanna see this.

  • Get your name and likeness in an issue of Revival

timseeley_blog

Revival is a FANTASTIC comic set in rural Wisconsin after a day when the dead come back to life. The main character, Dana Cypress, has ongoing investigations into the phenomenon, and the series has been running monthly since July 2012.

Tim Seeley is the writer of he comic, and he and artist Mike Norton have agreed to put your name and/or likeness (whatever you prefer) into the comic. If you love Revival as much as I do, every $10 you contribute on their page puts your name in the hat.]

***

Thanks again for coming along with us on this adventure, folks. And do keep in mind that even if none of the new teams I just mentioned ring your bell, you can just go donate on the main page.

I really want to use up all of our matching money this year.

I’m hoping beyond all hope that we can hit $2,000,000.

pat

P.S. Our servers are getting hit kinda hard today. Because a now that we’re over a million bucks, we’re getting some media attention.

If you have trouble donating, please don’t give up. I know it’s frustrating. But please stick with it.

Also posted in movie talk, Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat25 Responses

Worldbuilders 2016

Well folks, it’s that time of year again.

It’s with genuine excitement, that I announce the beginning of our annual Worldbuilders fundraiser.

Worldbuilders-Logo_Web--less-space

Worldbuilders is the charity I founded when I realized that geeks were startlingly empathetic and caring people, and, when given the chance, they will charge out in force to make the world a better place.

Worldbuilders raises money for several different causes, but our end-of-the-year fundraiser focuses on raising money for Heifer International. Heifer helps people raise themselves out of poverty and starvation. For more than 60 years, they have worked to improve education, sustainable agriculture, and local industry all over the world.

Don’t take my word for it though. Watch this instead. Seriously. It’s only a minute and a half.

This is what Heifer is all about. They don’t just keep kids from starving, they make it so people can take care of themselves. They give families goats, chickens, and sheep so children have milk to drink, eggs to eat, and warm clothes to wear. They provide communities with clean water to drink, building materials to improve homes, and business training to help families become self-sufficient. Forever.

Now for the big news: This year, Worldbuilders has access to a million dollars of matching money.That means if you donate enough to buy a woman like Chasha a goat, your donation will be doubled and Heifer will be able to provide another goat for someone else in need. If we can hit our total, we’ll have raised two million dollars that will help permanently change the lives of thousands of families all over the world, from Nepal to Appalachia. We have all the way until the end of the fundraiser on December 19th at 11:59pm PST to use it all.

There are a few different ways you can contribute and help us earn that matching money, each with a couple of additional benefits…

  • Option 1: The Lottery

This is the simplest option.: quick, easy, and tax-deductible. You just head over to the fundraising page we’ve created and donate.

When you donate on that page, in addition to having your donation doubled, you’ll be entered into our prize lottery, which contains thousands of books, games, comics, and more.

For every $10 you donate on the fundraising page, your name will be entered into our random drawing. So if you donate $30 (enough for a flock of chickens) your name goes in three times. Donate enough for a goat ($120) and your name goes in 12 times. Enough to give clean water to a whole village ($500) you get 50 chances to win.

What’s in the lottery? A lot. So much that if I showed it to you all at once, the raw intensity of the aggregate awesome would cook your brain like a toad thrown into the sun.

So we’ve spread things out so that we can show them to you in all their glory without risking your precious brain. I’ll be posting up blogs a couple times a week here on my blog, but there will be content going up pretty much every weekday on the Worldbuilders website. (Which we just finished re-designing, so it’s even better than last year.)

worldbuilders-home-page

(NEW AND IMPROVED!)

If you head over there, you can see *all* the different games and books we’re giving away on our Lottery Library page that we’ll be updating throughout the fundraiser.

You can also go check out the blogs full of prizes here:

In order to make sure everyone gets prizes they love while also making sure all our prizes find good homes, we’ll have you answer a question or two when you make a donation.

prize-question

Alternately, if you prefer not to leave things to random chance….

  • Option 2: Auctions

Sometimes we get donations that are cool…but only to a select group of people. Some people would squee with delight at winning a portal gun, but some people (sad, unhappy people) just wouldn’t be into it.

The same thing is true with action figures, musical instruments, manuscripts, collectibles. Signed signed art and rare books.

When things like that get donated, we put them up for auction.

Sometimes we also have people offering interesting services. Like writers and editors who are  willing to read and critique manuscripts. We’re auctioning off cameo appearances in comics and the chance to have your name in upcoming books.

All our current auctions are over on the Worldbuilders eBay page. Keep an eye on it. We’ll be adding stuff all the time.

The funds raised through the auctions will be going to Heifer International too. So whatever you bid in the auctions will be doubled as well. So and they count toward our matching money, so you’re still helping us have a huge impact on the lives of people who need it.

  • The Sure Thing

For those of you who want to have an absolute sure thing, we have an online store.

We have geekery from my books, games, t-shirts, and tons of other stuff for your perusal. The purchases there don’t go toward our fundraiser total, but the profits in the end will come to Worldbuilders and help make the world a better place.

  • Added Incentive: Stretch Goals

To help spread the word about the fundraiser (and encourage donations) we’ve brought members of the geek community together to do whimsical things as our donation total grows. There will be dirty limericks, grown adults clucking like chickens, happy dances, Neil Gaiman reading in that awesome voice of his, and so, so much more….

A special stretch goal this year is coming from Neil Gaiman: he’s offered to read to all of us again, and this year, you get to help decide what he reads. You can cast your vote when you make your donation:

what-should-neil-read

Once we hit $1,000,000, we’ll tally all the donations and tell Neil what he’ll be reading for us. In 2013, Neil read Green Eggs and Ham; the next year he read The Jabberwocky. This year promises to be equally wonderful.

  • Streaming on Twitch

Last year as an experiment, I tried livestreaming on Twitch to raise awareness of charity, talk about our prizes and what Heifer does, and have some fun with y’all at the same time.

It worked pretty well, so this year we’re doing it again. Here’s my new Twitch schedule through the end of the fundraiser (December 19th):

  • Mondays: 1pm-4pm CST
  • Tuesdays: 4pm-7pm CST
  • Wednesdays: 4pm-7pm CST
  • Thursdays: 4pm-7pm CST
  • Fridays: 2pm-5pm CST
  • Saturdays: 2pm-5pm CST
  • Sundays: 2pm-5pm CST

I don’t have anything scheduled on Wednesday November 23, Thursday November 24, and Friday November 25 to spend Thanksgiving with my family. I might do a surprise, unofficial stream in the evenings, but it won’t be pre-planned, and it definitely won’t be at these scheduled times.

As for what I’m streaming… well… I’m thinking I’m going to figure that out as we go along. I’ll probably play some games. But I’ll probably also do some Q&A sessions. Maybe do a few writing discussions. Maybe I’ll read some more kids books, or just work on book three while y’all stare at my coffee mug and listen to the tantilizing clickity of my old IBM keyboard while I write.

You won’t know unless you tune in. So if you want to know, you should head over here, follow the stream, and then change your settings so you get a notification when I start a new stream.

Important Links and Contact Information

Our website has all of the information you’ll need, including a nifty bar that shows off how much money we’ve raised from all of our various avenues. Worldbuilders also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account for those of you who like to have the internet injected directly into your veins.

Have a question that wasn’t answered here? Check out our handy FAQ.

Want to donate something to Worldbuilders? Help us spread the word? Do a stretch goal? Write a story for your local paper? Drop us a line here: donations [at] worldbuilders.org.

All right folks. Are you ready? I’m so ready.

Let’s do this thing.

pat

P.S. Just in case you missed it, here’s one more link to our Fundraiser donation page.

Also posted in Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat11 Responses

Being a Trouper

Hey there everybody,

I’d meant to post a fun blog earlier this week. I had a couple cued up and almost ready. One was full of Kingkiller tattoos I’ve seen over the last year, another was pictures of babies that have been named after characters from my books. The one I *really* wanted to post involved the story of how I snuck some underage chicks into Max Temkin’s hotel room at Gencon.

41f23fed1b92a824ced03db71d8b4a9c(Like this. You pervert.)

But, as everyone knows, the election happened. Anyone who watched my election-night twitch stream might have an inkling of how I felt about that. And those of you who didn’t watch it can still probably guess.

And I’m guessing a lot of you feel the same way.

Interesting fact for those of you who feel shattered about the results: What you’re feeling now? That’s what a depressive episode feels like. At least it does to me. The pisser about depression is that you can feel desolate hopeless dread of exactly this sort even when nothing bad has happened.

Anyway, as a result, I couldn’t bring myself to finish a fun blog earlier this week. In fact, I’m not in the mood to write a blog now, either. I’ve been writing this thing for TWO HOURS and this is as far as I’ve gotten. It’s like trying to walk with a broken leg.

How the hell am I supposed to feel hopeful right now? How am I supposed to launch this year’s fundraiser and be enthusiastic about the cool news I have to share? I feel like everything is crumbling.

Earlier today, I found myself wondering what Auri would do in this situation. Well… that’s not actually true. Maybe it’s more that I wish I could ask for her advice? I wish she could just… help me. Like maybe she could give me a seashell or something and I would put it in my pocket and then I’d feel a little better.

Hell. You know you’re not doing well when you wish a fictional character would help you out. What the fuck does it even mean that I want help from the person who is arguably the most broken of all my characters? Is this it? Am I finally having a nervous breakdown?

No. I’m not. I’m depressingly sane.

Maybe it’s that Auri never lets it get to her. Not really. Not deep down. She’s a fighter, and despite everything, she always has a tiny flame of joy burning inside her. We’re very different in that regard.

I keep thinking of this picture and I don’t know why….

a-and-e-brazen

One of the things I share with Auri is that we both want to fix the world. Maybe that’s why I wish she could give me some advice. I can’t see a way to fix things right now. I am all unkilter.

Shit. I’m doing an awful job of this. I should just erase everything I’ve written and start over, but that would feel dishonest. I don’t want to lie to y’all. I don’t want to pretend I have my shit together. I don’t. I’m not doing great right now.

But still, I have some news to share. And it can’t wait.

Today I heard someone say, “We have to soldier on” and while I appreciate the sentiment, I don’t think there’s any way I can think of myself as a soldier.

I’ll be a trouper instead. How about that? The show must go on, right?

Okay, I’m taking a mulligan and starting over. Ready?

*     *    *

Hey there everybody,

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that this is the time of year when we do our big annual Worldubuilders fundraiser.

Last year we raised over 1.2 million dollars for Heifer International. We sent little girls to school in Nepal and fed hungry kids in Haiti. We gave people clean water and education. Medicine and self-reliance. The work we do literally brings light into the lives of people all over the world.

And no, I’m not misusing the word “literally” there. One of the many things Heifer does is teache people to make biogas digesters.

biogas-diagram-990x1024This miraculous contraption turns animal waste into fertilizer and methane. Then families can use that methane as a clean, cheap source of light and heat. Cooking over gas is much safer and easier than using a cookfire. That’s a big deal in parts of the world where electricity is expensive or straight-up unavailable.

It’s like real-life alchemy, folks. Heifer teaches people to turn shit into gold.

Over the last 8 years Worldbuilders has raised more than $5,000,000 to make things better all over the world, in Ukraine and Uganda. From Peru to Appalachia.

This year’s fundraiser is launching Monday, and we’ve got some big news. News I’ve been sitting on for months. And despite the fact that I’m a tease of epic proportions, I’m actually going to tell y’all that news today.

1. Story time with Neil Gaiman.

Two years ago, Neil Gaiman red us Green Eggs and Ham. While last year people who donated got to vote on what Gaiman would read. Jabberwocky beat out Where the Wild Things Are and Goodnight Moon, so he shot a video of himself reciting it from memory to help us spread the word about the fundraiser.

If y’all had any thoughts about what would be fun for him to read this year, I’d love to hear them in the comments below. Personally, I think The Monster at the End of This Book would be great. I’d love to hear him do Grover’s voice.

2. More livestreaming on Twitch.

Last year, I experimented with livestreaming on twitch to help spread the word about the fundraiser and it worked surprisingly well. So this year, not only will I be streaming again, but Worldbuilders is reaching out to the streaming community in general, and providing tools so that you can do fundraising for us on your own stream.

If you’re a streamer and you’d like to help out Worldbuidlers, contact us at twitchteams@worldbuilders.org and we’ll work with you to make that happen.

And now the big one….

3. A Million Dollars of Matching Money

This year, with Heifer’s help, Worldbuilders has access to a million dollars worth of matching money.

That means that if you come in and donate $10 to Worldbuilders, this anonymous benefactor will double that money, turning it into $20. You donate enough for a goat? It becomes two goats…

dollar-panarama-704155

This is a HUGE deal. And it means we have the chance to absolutely destroy last year’s totals.

I mention this to y’all in advance with the hope that you might be are willing to come in swinging in the early days of the fundraiser. If we manage to get some good donations early on, then double them, I’m hoping the total will be impressive enough that we can get some coverage in the media. That means people will find out about worldbuilders who otherwise would never have noticed it.

If that happens…. well… it means we get to feed a *lot* of hungry kids.

And that’s what I’m really in the mood to do right now.

If you have any suggestions for the upcoming fundraiser, or if you have a clever way of helping us spread the word, please drop those in the comments below, too.

Thanks much.

Take care of each other,

pat

Also posted in Acts of Whimsy, calling on the legions, Uncategorized, Worldbuilders | By Pat108 Responses
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