Category Archives: Heifer International

Cool Doodles and Name Raffle News

So we’re a handful of days away from the end of the name raffle, and for the last couple weeks it’s like every day is my birthday. By which I mean I get a lot of letters with money inside. Today when I open the mail I think I’m going to wear a festive hat and eat some cake too. I’ve been in the mood for cake lately.

Wait, what was I talking about? I’m not used to being up this early in the morning, and I find myself a little confusticated.

Oh, right. The name raffle.

In a nutshell, it’s going really well. Paypal continues to be friendly, donations are generous, the names are cool, and I’m having a lot of fun opening the mail.

Admittedly, some mail is more fun than others.

For example, here’s a set of notecards that just got sent in with someone’s poor-boy entry:
(You can embiggen any of the images by clicking them.)


Thanks so much, Carly. This really made my day.

And you’re right. Trowbridge is a great name…. Even if I don’t draw it in the raffle, it might end up in the book.

That’s actually the case with a lot of the names that have been sent in. I find myself thinking, “Hmmm…. Seth could be a good name for a farmer. Mellisa doesn’t quite work, but Melias would make for a good noble surname in Vintas.”

Personally, I’m really interested to see what names get drawn….

And now some FAQ:

You said the contest ends on November 15th. Did you know that’s a Sunday? I can’t mail you anything on a Sunday…

True, but people can still paypal in their donations on a Sunday. If you want to mail in your entry, you should send it earlier in the week.

Pat! I screwed up and forgot to enter my phone number and suggested name into the Paypal form! What should I do?

You should weep bitter tears. Did I not put instructions on the blog? Clearly worded instructions? In red?

Seriously though. Don’t worry about it. You’re not alone. This happened to a bunch of people.

If you donated online, I have a record of your e-mail address. I’ll write that on the card and use it to keep track of your entry. Then, if you win, I’ll contact you and get the other information I need.

How much have we raised so far?

Checks and donations are still coming in every day, so I don’t have a final tally yet. But right now I think we’re at a little more than 16,000 dollars. Which is awesome.

That means if you buy one ticket you’ve got (roughly) a 1 in 800 chance of winning. If you buy six tickets for 50 bucks, you’ve got about a 1 in 260 chance of winning.

I’m hoping we can have a strong finish. So how about this? To encourage people to donate and spread the word during the final days of the fundraiser, I’ll draw a third name if we hit 20,000. That means the odds will actually get better for everyone if more people donate.

Is this the only Heifer fundraiser you’re doing this year?

Oh no. Not at all. This is just a warm-up for the people who are specifically interested in my book.

As I’ve mentioned before here on the blog, we’ll be doing something very similar to last year’s fundraiser. Except this year we’re going to have even more prizes, and some cool auctions too. Stay tuned for details.


I live far away, and I know my letter won’t make it to you in time. Can I just e-mail you the name for my poor-boy entry?

I’ve had a few of these e-mails from foreign countries or from people in the army.

While I sympathize, I really don’t want to change the rules that I laid down at the beginning of the contest. Changing the rules partway through is kinda unfair to all the people who would have liked to e-mail in their free entries, but went online and bought a ticket instead.

Maybe the next time we do this I’ll have an online option, but for now, I think the only fair thing is to stick by the original rules.

Once the drawing is over, do we get to know what names you’ve picked?

I’m going to leave that up to the winners. If they’re cool with me mentioning it on the blog, then I might. Otherwise, I’ll respect their privacy.

That’s all for now, folks.

pat

Also posted in fan coolness, naming | By Pat45 Responses

Huzzah!

In some ways, I’m an optimist. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, a person doesn’t work on the same book for over a decade without a little glimmer of hope to keep them going.

But it’s more than that, really. I believe that the vast majority of people are good. Not just deep-down good, but good right up on the surface. That’s why I run these fundraisers. I think most people enjoy making the world a better place. All they need is an opportunity, and, occasionally, a little nudge.

But in other ways, I’m a pessimist. For example, I believe that most large corporate entities by their very nature tend to be malignant.

When I say malignant, I’m not saying that Global Corp is going to break into your house and kill you while you sleep. But they will make your pillow out of a fire-retardant chemical that makes you breathe toluene all night. Because they can be sued by a smoker who lights their own pillow on fire, but not by someone who gets cancer when they’re sixty.

What’s my point? Well, my point is that when my account got flagged by Paypal a couple of days ago, I really didn’t have much hope of being able to straighten things out with them.

In fact, I was ready to be all indignant about it. I’ve had a Paypal account since 2001, and I felt a little betrayed. I had all sorts of scathing things I was going to say. Names I was going to call them. Mud I was going to fling. How dare they take a crap on my fundraiser? Especially when it was going so well…

Despite this pessimism, I e-mailed them to straighten things out. I tried to work within the system. I talked to them on the phone.

So imagine my surprise when they were really nice. And today, all the limitations were lifted from my Paypal account. I really wasn’t expecting things to work out so quickly and easily.

The purpose of this blog is twofold.

First, I just wanted to say thanks to Paypal. You guys impressed me.

The second is to update everyone on the status of the name raffle fundraiser thing.

Things are going amazingly well. So far we’ve got about 150 people donating, and we’ve raised over 8000 dollars. Way better than I ever expected.

Because I’m drawing two winners, that means if you buy a ticket, you’ve got about a 1 in 400 chance of winning.

If you donate 50 bucks, which gets you 6 tickets, you’ve got about a 1 in 70 chance.

That beats the hell out of most lotteries, you have to admit. Besides, and all the money is going to a great cause.

(How can you not want be a part of this?)

I’m hoping we can finish strong on this. We lost a few days because of the Paypal thing, but if people help spread the word I think we can make up for it.

And one more time, here’s the link to the blog with all the raffle details and the now-functional online donation buttons.

And lastly, if you’re thinking of donating online. You might want to strike now while the iron is hot. A lot of Paypal’s system is automated, and there’s an outside chance it might flag my account again in a week or so. It would be shame if you missed your chance to donate because of that…

Frabjously yours,

pat

Also posted in musings | By Pat45 Responses

So You Want to Be a Hero?

A while back, I said I’d be giving people a chance to get their names into my second book: The Wise Man’s Fear.

I’ve finally managed to work out all the details. So we’re going to do our best to kill two birds with one stone.

You want to get your name into book two….

…and I want to raise money for Heifer International.

So, as a prologue to this year’s fundraiser, we’re going to have a raffle.

There are three ways you can get your name into the book. Pay attention.

Option One: The Regular Raffle.

You buy chances to win, like raffle tickets. Tickets will be 10 dollars each.

That means if you donate 30 dollars, your name gets thrown into the drawing three times. Simple.

However, if you want to be a big spender and donate fifty dollars, you get a free ticket. So fifty bucks gets you six tickets total.

At the end of the lottery, I’ll be drawing a winner from these tickets. If you don’t win, your ticket will enter a second drawing combined with the free entries. (See below.) What this means is that every ticket you buy gets two chances to win.

You have two ways to buy tickets:

  • To Buy Your Tickets by Mail:

You only need two things.

A check, made out to Pat Rothfuss. Signed by you.

A 3×5 index card that looks like this:

(Click to Embiggen)

Remember folks, I have to read these. That means you should probably print instead of using cursive. It doesn’t need to be pretty, just legible.

And you see what I did up there? Where I wrote an “a” then wrote over it and made it a “u?” That’s not very clear, is it? I should have used some white out, or done something else rather than leave it ambiguous. That would have been the smart thing to do…

Lastly, mail the check and the card to:

Pat Rothfuss
PO Box 186
Stevens Point, WI 54481

  • To Buy Your Tickets Online:

[EDIT: Woo Hoo! After a relatively painless review process, the online option is back! Thanks for being cool about this, Paypal!]

Because international post is slow and expensive, I decided to make a paypal option available. (You can use the three custom buttons below to donate.)

Note – Tickets through paypal will actually be $11 each. This is because paypal takes a percentage of all the money it helps transfer. And, to be completely honest, because it’s going to be a bit of a pain for me to sift all these digital entries onto paper tickets.

(Click the picture to be cool and donate 11 bucks.)

However, if you donate an even 50 bucks through paypal, I’ll cover the extra fees myself, and you can still have six tickets.

(Click to be awesome and donate 50 bucks.)

If you’re feeling extraordinarily extravagant, you can donate as much as you like with this button. (Keeping in mind that it should probably be some multiple of 11 or 50.)

(Click to be a rockstar and donate according to your desire.)

Remember: when you submit your paypal order, you need to include all the information you would have written on the note card.

DO THIS BEFORE YOU COMPLETE YOUR DONATION! After you donate, there’s no way to go back and add this information.

Your phone number.
Your name.
Your e-mail.
The name you’re hoping to get into the book.

Option Two: The Poor-Boy Raffle.

I spent nine years as an undergrad, so I know what it’s like to not have a lot of folding money. This is the option that will give everyone a chance to throw their hat into the ring, even if they can’t afford ten dollars for a ticket.

To get into the free option, you just mail a 3×5 note card, filled out just like the one above.

To this address:

Pat Rothfuss
PO BOX 186
Stevens Point, WI 54481

And that’s it.

After I draw the winner from the paying option, I’m going to take all the non-winning tickets from that raffle, combine them with the free entries, and draw a second winner.

Important: If you buy a ticket, I will automatically enter you in the poor-man’s raffle.

That means if you buy a ticket, DON’T don’t send in an entry for the poor man’s raffle too. This will only waste your time and anger me.

Option Three: The Cool Name Option

If I look through the entries and see a suggested name that looks cool to me, I might tweak it a bit and use it in the book.

Simple as that. I’m always on the lookout for cool names.

FAQ:

When is the raffle over?

One month from now: November 15th.

What are the odds of my winning the raffle?

Just like all raffles, that depends on how many tickets you buy, and how many people enter. But it should be obvious that you’re (roughly) twice as likely to win than if you use the free option.

Edit: As of October 27th, we had raised a little more than 8000 dollars.

That means if you buy a ticket, your odds of winning are roughly 1 in 400. (Because I’m drawing two winners.)

Or, if you donate fifty bucks and get six tickets, your odds are about 1 in 70.

Those are pretty good odds.

Also, if we get a bunch more people participating. I’ll draw an extra winner from the group that paid for their tickets.

That means it won’t hurt your odds to spread the word to your friends. More participants will actually lead to more chances to win.

Can I use my own name as the one I want in the book?

Of course. I’m guessing this is what most people want. I’m just leaving the door open for people to suggest other options.

If I buy more than one ticket, should I send in more than one card?

No. There’s never any reason to send in/fill out more than one card.

Does this mean book two isn’t finished yet?

*sigh* Yes. That should be pretty obvious. I couldn’t add things if it was finished. The revision process for a book this big takes a long time, and I’m still fixing things. Adding more awesome. Taking out things that aren’t quite awesome enough. Making sure everyone’s eyes are the right colour. That sort of stuff.

So if I win, I get to put whatever name I want in your upcoming book?

No. What will happen is the two of us will have a talk about how your name, or a variation of it, will fit into my book. Something that will make us both happy.

Read this blog for details and reasons why.

Will I get any control over who I am in the book? Will the character with my name look like me?

This will be part of our negotiation. If you really want to be a student at the University, and your name will work for that, we can make that happen. I might be able to tweak their appearance a little so it’s closer to yours, too.

The short answer is that I’ll do what I can to make you happy. But the book comes first, and I’m the final arbiter of what goes in and what doesn’t.

Will you be doing this again for book three?

I don’t know. A lot of that depends on how well this raffle works. If people are excited and we raise a lot of money, then I’ll probably do it for book three.

On the other hand, if the response is small, and the whole thing ends up being a pain in my ass, there’s a real possibility I won’t do it again.

So all of the money you raise from this is going to charity?

Yes. All this money will be going to Heifer International. This raffle is actually just a warm-up to the bigger fundraiser that I’ll be running on the blog next month.

If you’re curious, you can look at last year’s fundraiser HERE.

What’s to keep people from swamping the free option with multiple entries?

There are several things that I think will keep this from being a severe problem.

1) Human Decency.

My readers are generous, kind human beings. Only a rapacious fuckwit would try to game the system on a charity raffle.

2) Human Laziness.

There’s no online option for the free drawing. I doubt very much people will be filling out dozens of note cards by hand and sending them all in.

3) The name and phone number required with each entry.

I’m using phone numbers to catalog and organize the entries. That means I’m just going to throw away multiple free entries that have the same phone number, or those with no phone number at all. It’s the classic “one entry per household.” Except in this case it’s not a house, it’s a phone.

And yes, I know it’s not a perfect system. But it’s the best we can have without going to ridiculous lengths.

Are these prices in American dollars?

Yes. Foreign payments are one of the mail reasons I’m including a paypal option. Paypal will convert from your currency to US dollars.

If, for some strange reason, you want to send me a foreign check you need to do the following.

1. Figure out how much you want to donate.
(Let’s say you live in London and want to donate 50 dollars.)

2. Add three dollars. Because that’s how much my bank charges me to cash a foreign check.
(That makes your total 53 dollars.)

3. Convert this into your local currency.
(53 dollars = 32.96 British Pounds.)

4. Write your check out for this amount in your native currency. My bank can’t cash it otherwise.
(So you write me a check for 33 pounds. Rounding up because you’re a generous human being.)

Keep in mind that the raffle will be happening pretty soon after November 15th, and international post is slow. So if you’re going to mail me a check, do it sooner rather than later.

I was really looking forward to this being an auction. I’m all full of money and was willing to pay whatever it takes to get my daughter’s/husband’s/dwarven monk’s name in the book.

I’m willing to entertain the thought. If you really want an auction, let me know in the comments below and I’ll think about setting one up, maybe in conjunction with the other auctions we’re going to be running for the main fundraiser in a couple weeks.

More FAQ over here.

I’m excited, folks. Let’s do this.

pat

Also posted in book two, cool things | By Pat133 Responses

Names Are Important Things…

So. A while back I mentioned I was going to be giving people the opportunity to get their name into book two.

Since then I’ve been putting a lot of thought into how I was going to accomplish this.

I considered an auction. I’ve seen that done a couple different ways by a couple different authors. It would be fairly simple, and it would be a good way to raise money for the upcoming Heifer fundraiser…. (Which is going to be even more awesome this year, by the way.)

However, something about the thought of an auction rubbed me the wrong way. It would be relatively easy to handle, and I’m all about raising money for Heifer. But still, it seemed odd for me to set up a system where the person with the most money automatically wins. That irks my egalitarian nature.

Plus, I had WAY too many imagined conversations along these lines:

Me: [on the phone] Congratulations! You won the auction!

Winner: Yay! I want to put my D&D character’s name into the book!

Me: What’s his name?

Winner: Studd Beefcake.

Me:

Winner: He’s awesome. He’s a dual class fighter/ranger. That means so long as he’s only wearing leather armor…

Me: I don’t think the name Studd Beefcake will fit smoothly into the world I’ve created.

Winner: How about my other character? Grignir Theqjirn’ateth.

Me: I beg your pardon? I think there was some static on the line…

Winner: Grignir Theqjirn’ateth. He’s a dwarven monk.

Me: Do you…

Winner: Stunning Fist!

Me: Yes. Stunning Fist. Do you have any ideas for names that aren’t your D&D characters?

Winner: Well… We could use my little boy’s name…

Me: That sounds great. What is it?

Winner: Drizzt.

Me: I think there are copyright issues involved…

Winner: Drizzt Do’Urden RULES! Wooo!

Me: I don’t think we can use Drizzt, either.

Winner: [Angrily] Why do you keep shooting down my awesome ideas? I paid, like, 4,000 dollars for this!

That’s how all these conversations end in my mind. With the auction winner feeling that because they’ve shelled out a bunch of money, they have the right to stick whatever they want in my book.

But that’s just not going to be the case. What will happen is you’ll win a chance to propose a name for book two. If the name you’re proposing sounds great to me, then huzzah. If not, the two of us will talk it over.

For example, maybe you want to get your girlfriend’s name into the book because you’re hoping it will get you that threeway you’ve always wanted. But her name is “Veronica” and that doesn’t quite feel right for my world.

So we start talking it over. Maybe we can use her middle name instead. Maybe we use her nickname and I tweak the character’s description a little bit so that it more closely resembles her. (Though I’ll probably do this a little bit anyway.)

Maybe I put a little twist on the name. “Veronia” would be fine for the book.

Or maybe you decide you’d rather use your own name after all. And it turns out I’m fine with that because your name is Ferrel and that’s exactly the sort of name that would fit on a Vintish Courtier, and I happen to be tweaking that section right now…

What I’m getting at here is that we’ll negotiate until we’re both happy with the addition to the book.

Anyway, the point is that I’ll be running this like a lottery. That way we can raise money for Heifer, AND everyone has a chance to win.

In fact, everyone will have *several* chances to win.

In fact, even people that can’t afford to buy their way in will have a chance to win.

Interested? Of course you are.

Tune in on Monday for the details.

Tantalizingly Yours,

pat

Also posted in naming | By Pat65 Responses

Heifer International Part II – Return of Baby Ducks…

Those of you who have been reading the blog for a while know we did a fundraiser for Heifer International last year.

For those of you who are new to the game, you can see some of the details HERE.

In a nutshell, I started what I thought would be a little fundraiser, offering prizes and various other incentives to get people to donate. Things quickly spiraled out of control, other people in the Fantasy and Sci-fi publishing world pitched in, and by the end of it we had raised over 100,000 dollars.

Have I mentioned yet that Heifer is my favorite charity? It’s my favorite charity.

So imagine my delight when Heifer’s publication, World Ark, showed up this week and I found this inside:

(Click to Embiggen)

They’re using us as an example of good fundraising. Go team us!

Seeing this has made me think of several things…

1. My hair looks pretty good in this picture.

2. We still need a good name for the fundraiser.

So far the best we’ve come up with is “Geeks for Goats” or “Worldbuilders Ink.” I kinda like the second one, but it’s punny. (Ink = Inc. Get it? Yeah. Not that funny.) What’s more, the pun makes me wonder if the possessive apostrophe is really appropriate. Should it be “Worldbuilder’s Ink” or maybe even “Worldbuilders’ Ink?”

And as for “Geeks for Goats” well… it’s kind of a silly name. While I’m not opposed to silliness, a fundraiser with a goofy name does not inspire confidence in donors. And we want donors. Many, many donors.

That means we need something clever, catchy, and subject-appropriate. Penny Arcade’s “Child’s Play” is a good example of a this.

3. In a couple months we’ll be starting fundraiser version 2.0. That means….

  • If you’re interested in participating, start saving your pennies.
  • If you’re going to *raise* money to donate, start gathering your troupes.
  • If you’d like to donate something, like signed books, collectibles, or a cool service, drop me a line at paperback.contest (squiggly at thinger) gmail.com.

Last year most of the prizes were Sci-fi and Fantasy books, given out lottery-style. This year, with more time to plan, I think we’ll be auctioning off some specialty stuff as well.

Some of the auction items will be things like signed books and one-of-a-kind manuscripts. Or services like having a pro author read your book and give you feedback.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ll still have the lottery prizes for people that want to donate. But in addition to that we’ll be running auctions for the specialty items: things like, say, getting your name into The Wise Man’s Fear.

So if you have stuff you’d like to donate to the cause, drop me a line. (Not money. That will come later. Right now I’m looking for stuff like signed books, memorabilia, stuff like that we can use as prizes.)

So stay tuned folks. It’s going to be a good time.

pat

P.S. If you have any clever ideas for what we could call the fundraiser, comment below. We’re creative people, right? We should be able to come up with something….

Also posted in baby ducks | By Pat125 Responses

Reaping the Whirlwind

First, I’d like everyone to take a moment and appreciate the clever title of this post. I’m unreasonably proud of it.

We good? Okay.

After a long week, Sarah and I have finally managed to tie up about 99% of the loose ends on the fundraiser. We’ve drawn numbers, sorted prizes, sent e-mails, and packaged nearly everything up.

And when I saw “we,” I mean “Sarah.” I did a lot of the sifting, number juggling, and e-mailing, but Sarah was the package queen.

Awww…. She loves those packages. Those hundreds and hundreds of packages.

Also, as you can see in the lower lefthand corner, the holy light these prizes exude can shine through cardboard, tape, and two layers of bubble wrap. It’s powerful stuff.

I’d also like to note that these packages do not include the Subterranean Press books. Because not only was Subterranean Press cool enough to donate a great pile of stuff, they were nice enough to handle all the shipping for those books too. Which is why I am filled with love for them.

And speaking of love….

Here Sarah is modeling the catgirl hat many of you have seen before. I wanted to prove that I actually did buy it for her, and wasn’t secretly keeping it for myself.

Simply said, the fundraiser would have been impossible without Sarah. She spent dozens of hours bundling up books, running errands, and generally getting everything done. Hell, the trip to the post office alone took two full hours, and that was with a friend with a van helping.

Everyone say, “Thank you Sarah.”

And now, answers to some final questions.

  • Things went really crazy right at the end of the fundraiser. What happened?

Things did go a little crazy. On December 9th, I mentioned on the blog that I thought we had a decent chance of breaking $40,000. Then, we raised over $16,000 in the next two days, tearing past $50,000 and leaving me worried that I was going to have to take out a loan so I could cover my half.

A big piece of this was brought about by folks spreading the word on their blogs. Most notably, Neil Gaiman.

I’d heard through the grapevine that Gaiman was a bit of a Heifer supporter, so I sent him a little e-mail, asking if he’d be interested in mentioning it on his blog.

I should have realized that asking for something like this would be like sticking my tongue into…. well… into anything, really. In my experience, whenever you stick your tongue into something, the outcome is going to be either very exciting, very dangerous, or both.

This was one of those “both” situations. After his blog, Gaiman’s readers flooded over to participate in the festivities. Felicia Day mentioned it on her blog too. Plus, I know a lot of folks were finishing their own personal fundraisers and/or waiting until the very end to make their donations. Hence the crazy.

Rest assured, everyone who got their donations in by the 11th was entered into the lottery.

And yes, I’m all twitterpated that Gaiman referred to me as a “good author.” Though I hope at least some of that was referring to my storytelling as opposed to my ethics.

  • The donations hit nearly $55,000. How much are you matching?

The other day I asked Sarah, “What do you want for Christmas?”

Nothing you can afford to get me,” she said huffily.

And we laugh. This has become the running joke in our house.

I’ve decided to match all the donations. I could have stopped at forty thousand, but I said I’d keep matching until the 11th, and I like to keep my promises.

  • What was the final total?

If you’ve read the blog that started it all, you know I offered two options to people who wanted to donate. There was the Sure Thing option, and the Lottery option.

A surprising number of people chose the Sure Thing, which meant they mailed me a check and I mailed them something back, usually a book or a map signed however they wanted it.

(Click to Embiggen)

A *lot* of people chose this option. So many that I ran out of first edition books. The total amount raised from the Sure Thing option was over six thousand dollars.

That, plus my matching donation from the lottery, minus the cost of postage and packaging materials, brings us to $58,493.14

I’m showing you the check not as proof that I’m mailing it, but because it took me ten friggin minutes to write this thing out. I screwed up five checks before I managed to get it right. I misspelled “ninty,” wrote the wrong amount, wrote the wrong year, and failed more than once to get the total to fit on the line.

I keep pretending that I’m a grown-up, but I’m not.

Anyway, this money, plus the donations that were made directly to the Heifer page, makes a grand total of $113,466.28.

I don’t have words enough to express how happy this makes me. I firmly believe that deep down, people are fundamentally good. But it’s nice to have some data that backs that sentiment up every once in a while.

I’d like to thank all the authors who donated books, all the people who mentioned the fundraiser on their blogs, and all the people who donated money to the cause. Yay us.

  • Are you planning on doing this again next year?

Yes. But I’m planning on doing some things differently.

More stuff. A lot of people wanted to contribute books or other goodies to this year’s auction, but they didn’t hear about the fundraiser until it was nearly finished. I’ve already got stuff piling up for next year’s fundraiser.

Streamlined lottery. Next year, when you make your donation you’ll be able to mark what prizes you’re interested in. That way if you win something, it will be something you’re sure to like.

Auctions. Some prizes are really cool, but only to a very select group of people. So next year we’re going to auction those items off separately. These might be things like manuscripts. Or they might be services, like an author agreeing to insert your name into an upcoming book, a lawyer offering legal consultation, or feedback on a manuscript from a literary agent.

  • I want to be a part of next year’s fundraiser. How can I help?

Donate. Want to chip in a signed book or two? Lovely. Have a cool collectible or unique skill you think would be a worthwhile addition? Wonderful. I’m already collecting prizes for next year. Send them along.

Or maybe you’d like to be an even bigger part of the fundraiser? I’m going to be looking for official sponsors to help me match donations for next year. I’d like to be able to do all of it on my own again, but I just can’t afford it.

If you’d like to help out, drop me a line on my contact form or send an e-mail to Paperback.contest (squiggly at thinger) gmail.com.

Spread the word. Not everyone has signed books to donate or money to throw around. But you can help a lot by letting people know about the fundraiser. A lot of the prizes I received came from authors who contacted me, saying, “A fan sent me an e-mail about your fundraiser and I’d love to be a part of it.” So if you know someone that might be interested in helping, donating a prize, or potentially being a sponsor, talk to them about it. It’s a big help.

Help me come up with a name.
We *really* need a name, folks. We can’t keep calling it “The Heifer Fundraiser.” It lacks panache. Names are important things, you know. And they can tell you a lot about a fundraiser.

Right now, the best I’ve been able to come up with is “Worldbuilders.” But we need something catchier than that. I know that a lot of you are word-clever, as shown by your constant, witty definitions of the word verification giberish. Funnel the churning magma of your creativity toward this problem and I’m sure we can come up with something good.

In fact, let’s try to get the ball rolling in the comments below. Serious suggestions only please. Believe me, I’ve come up with enough sarcastic-sounding ones on my own…. (Geeks for Goats being the least lame of these.)

Thanks again everyone,

pat

Also posted in baby ducks, Catgirl, cool things, Neil Gaiman, Sarah, Worldbuilders 2008 | By Pat75 Responses

Some of the Best for Last – More Delicious Swag

Did I mention that Heifer International called my house? Yeah. They’re the coolest folks. Apparently some of them have been watching our fundraiser with more than passing interest. They confirmed something I had started to suspect. Namely, that y’all are cool as hell.This is the last treasure post, and we have some lovely stuff. Detailed below, we have another original manuscript, signed books and ARC’s, and some cool swag from Queen of the Geeks, Felicia Day.

I’ve raised the donation bar a couple times just in the last week, and right now it looks like we stand a good chance of actually raising more that 40,000 dollars. Which is awe-inspiring, really.

For the last month, the first thing I’ve done in the morning is check the Heifer donation page. It’s been a great way to start my day. But I’ll be honest with you, there have been a few times in the last week that I’ve woken up, looked at the total, and thought. “This is it. I really shouldn’t match any more. I said I’d keep going until Dec 11th, but I’m sure folks will understand if I stop matching donations a couple days early….”

When I get that feeling, I go look at Heifer’s website. Then I learn things like the fact that half the chickens in Korea are descended from eggs that Heifer supplied after the Korean War.

Or I read about a young man in Uganda who had to quit school to take care of his five younger siblings because his parents died. He got a Heifer, greatly improving the family’s nutrition. And the money they get from selling the surplus milk is helping to pay for school.

And then I think, “I can order Chinese food any time I want, and they bring it to my house. I have a car in reasonably good repair. I have a house that stays warm through the Wisconsin winters. I have a house full of books to read, and all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD. I am living the best possible life.”

Then I relax, and I realize that nothing makes me happier than raising the donation bar again. And again after that if need be.

Okay, enough touchy-feely. Let’s talk about free stuff.

  • A set of the first three books in Daniel Abraham’s Long Price Quartet: A Shadow in Summer, A Betrayal in Winter, and An Autumn War. Hardcover. Signed by the author.

While I haven’t mentioned these books on my blog, I’ve read them and they’re really good. In fact, these were the first books I ever decided to give an official blurb to.I’d almost forgotten about it. But when Daniel’s books showed up today, I saw that my blurb was actually there, right on the cover. First book: quote from GRRM. Second book: quote from GRRM. Third book? Quote from me. That’s right baby. Me.

So obviously I thought these were great books. But don’t take my word for it. Instead, why not trust bestselling author Patrick Rothfuss when he says, “There is much to love in the Long Price Quartet. It is epic in scope, but character-centered. The setting is unique yet utterly believable. The storytelling is smooth, careful, and–best of all–unpredictable.”

  • An advance reading copy of Jeri Smith-Ready’s The Reawakened, conclusion to the Aspect of Crow trilogy. Signed by the author.

Another one of those cool ARC’s for those of you who are interested in getting a peek at the book before it hits the shelves. Publisher’s Weekly says, “Myth blends with passion in this colorful conclusion to the Aspect of Crow trilogy.”

Award winning author Stephen Baxter calls Mirrored Heavens, “A crackling cyberthriller. This is Tom Clancy interfacing Bruce Sterling. David Williams has hacked into the future.”

  • A copy of Questions for a Soldier, by John Scalzi. Limited edition.

Questions for a Soldier is a limited edition Subterranean Press book set in the world of Scalzi’s first novel, Old Man’s War. Scalzi himself says, “for those of you looking for rare and unusual Scalzi-related curiosities, this is it, baby.”Paul Di Filippo, writing for The Washington Post Book World says, “Scalzi’s imagined interstellar arena is coherently and compellingly delineated….His speculative elements are top-notch. His combat scenes are blood-roiling. His dialogue is suitably snappy and profane.”

  • A set of S.C. Bulter’s Reiffen’s Choice and Queen Ferris, books one and two of The Stoneways Trilogy. Signed by the author.

Children’s Literature says, “Fantasy fans of all ages will be drawn into the world that Butler has created…. If one wanders away from the main characters they will not fall out of the story but will find another story somewhere in the Stoneways or Valing, and that is the mark of a truly great fantasy.”

This husband and wife team just sent me some of their stuff out of the blue. And I’ll admit that when this graphic novel showed up, I invoked my sovereign right of… um… book-lookingness. Anyway, I read it. And it was pretty cool….According to Publishers Weekly, “The tale’s unfamiliar setting and the uncanny events work together intriguingly.”

In a starred review, Kirkus says, “Featuring both an uncommonly well-conceived setting and buckets of high-energy action, Taylor’s debut tale of a thumb-sized devil hunter who comes this close to meeting her match belongs at the top of everyone’s fantasy must-read list.”
  • A copy of Dead to Me, the debut novel of Anton Strout. Signed by the author.

Anton Strout is, among other things, my mortal enemy. However, I’m willing to set aside any personal rancor I feel toward the man in order to accept his generous gift on behalf of Heifer International.

Bestselling author Charlaine Harris gives this review: “Following Simon’s adventures is like being the pinball in an especially antic game, but it’s well worth the wear and tear.”

  • An ARC of Fenzig’s Fortune by Jean Rabe. Signed by the Author.
Jean has donated both a signed ARC, and a signed hardcover to the cause. Publisher’s Weekly says that, “Readers of all ages will find simple pleasures in this traditional hobbit-inspired fantasy.”
  • A manuscript of Steven Savile’s new Stargate novel, Shadows, book one of The Iblis Trilogy. Signed by the author.

I can’t say enough good about Steven. When he heard about the fundraiser, he immediately went out and started beating the bushes for donations. He brought in the folks from Bad Moon Books. He tipped off Kevin Anderson and many others. Finally, he’s donated this lovely manuscript.

Here’s what Steven says:

“Shadows is the first book in the Iblis Trilogy, an SG-1 novel featuring the original team. What makes this manuscript unique is it includes all of the mistakes and material that MGM won’t approve – so there are a good 10,000 words different between it as a first draft and the finished book which is coming out at the end of January. The story itself pits the team against the Goa’uld, Iblis, and features the Mujina, an archetypal monster who can be all things to everyone, the hero and villain their heart most desperately desires.”

(That’s not my thumb this time, folks.
Judging by the grace and poise, I think it might be Felicia’s.)

When I heard from Felicia a couple days ago, I hurried downstairs to tell Sarah.

Me: Felicia Day just sent me an e-mail! She says she’d like to donate a signed copy of The Guild DVD and a Dr. Horrible poster signed by the cast.

Sarah: Well that must make you excited enough to pee.

Which, in fact, sums up my reaction quite nicely.

I made a blog post about The Guild a while back, singing its praises. Later, Felicia and I interviewed each other, each in our respective blogs.

What I’m getting at is that I thought she was cool even *before* Dr. Horrible came out and she worked a deal with X-box to sponsor season two of The Guild.

The Los Angeles Times praised The Guild as “perhaps the smartest (and definitely the funniest) webisodic series of the year.” This year, they’re putting out a new season that’s way more budgety.

If you haven’t heard about Dr. Horrible, then you obviously haven’t been reading my blog for very long. Maybe you have been living under a heavy, heavy rock. Or perhaps you hate everything that is lovely and good in the world.

How much do I love Dr. Horrible? I’ll let this picture from my Halloween party tell the story:

Yeah. The ladies were totally into my Dr. Horrible costume.

So… yeah.
Dr. Horrible was bigger than Lennon, and the poster is pretty cool too. Signed by Felicia Day, Neil Patrick Harris, and Nathan Fillion. This prize is guaranteed to make you excited enough to pee.

That’s all she wrote, folks. Remember you have until the end of December 11th to get in on the action. Tell your friends….

Want to know how to win these and other fabulous prizes while making the world a better place? Check OVER HERE for the blog that describes it all.

Rock on, team geek.

pat

Also posted in a billion links, Felicia Day, recommendations, Worldbuilders 2008 | By Pat39 Responses
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