Category Archives: my dumbness

Just a Geek

I’ve owned this book for a long while, but it was just two days ago that I finally picked it up and started reading it. You know how it is. Life gets in the way, the book gets buried, you wonder where it is, you get distracted by whatever. Candy. Sex. Aperture science.

I finished reading it less than five minutes ago, and even though it’s 4:30 AM, I came upstairs, woke up the computer, and now I sit here, trying to figure out what I can say about it.

But I don’t know what to say. I’m flummoxed. I’m positively wallowing in flum over here.

I suppose I should mention that I don’t read Wheaton’s blog. I’ve wandered by there now and again, following links friends have sent me. But I’ve never made a habit of it.

Don’t read too much into that. It’s not like I avoid his blog. It’s just that I don’t read blogs. Not at all, really. Not even engaging blogs written by clever people I’m interested in, like Gaiman, Scalzi, or Wheaton.

I know that might sound odd to people. As I’ve been writing this blog for… good lord… over four years now. But the truth is, I don’t think of this as a blog. I think of it as a continuation of the humor column I wrote for almost ten years back in college. I make jokes, talk about my life, and occasionally give some bad advice.

But I don’t think of this as a blog.

For me, it’s a relief valve. This is where I give vent to the parts of my personality that don’t have any place in the novels I’m working on.

This is the place where I can snark and bitch if I want. I can talk politics or get sappy about my baby. I can say “Monkeyfucker” and get it out of my system. Which is a good thing, because that would be really hard to work into book three.

What was my point here?

Oh, right. My point is that I’m not a Wheaton fanboy. I picked up the book because I was curious, then never got around to it because I wasn’t curious enough.

That said, in the interest of full disclosure, I am a bit of a Star Trek geek. I used to watch it in high school. I watched it with my mom who was a Star Trek geek since before I was born.

God. I haven’t though of that in years. I remember watching that first episode of The Next Generation with her. During the first commercial, we agreed that the new version of the ship looked all wrong. It offended our sensibilities.

But we grew to love the show. We watched it as a family. It was an event.

Later on I watched it with one of my best friends in high school, Steve. He was a true geek for the show, and it was one of the things that gave us some common ground.

Eventually I left for college and watched it with my new friends. It let me know I’d found the right sort of people to hang out with.

Much later, after the show was long over, I bought a bunch of collector’s edition VHS tapes at a garage sale. They became part of my nightly pre-writing ritual. I would eat dinner and watch an episode of Next Generation while drinking an insanely strong cup of coffee. Then I would go work on what I called, “The Book.”

It was 1999, and I was still writing the first draft of what would eventually become The Kingkiller Chronicle.

It’s strange to think of how big a part of my life Star Trek used to be. I bet I haven’t watched any in ten years.

So. In summary. I read this book as a Trek geek, but not as a Wheaton fanboy. I’ve known *of* him for some time now. Hell, I’d even written a story with him *in* it. But I really didn’t know much about him. I knew he was a powerful part of the geek culture, but he was one of the cool, famous, Hollywood geeks, and I was just a writer geek. Our paths have never crossed.

Okay. Enough context. On to the book.

Simply said, I found it absolutely fascinating. I wasn’t a Wheaton Fanboy before I read it, but now I kinda am…. Now I can understand why folks like him so much.

The writing is perfectly, painfully candid. It’s like a little backstage pass into Wheaton’s life back when things weren’t going so well for him. Back when he was dealing with some hard stuff in his life.

The story really got its hooks into me. It made me anxious. Gave me troubling dreams. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me before.

There are a lot of things I liked about the book, but I’m still having a hard time putting my finger on the crux of it. I can’t say what it was that made me come up to my computer tonight instead of sleeping. I can’t say what made me write a 1000 word blog tonight, rather than the gushy little goodreads review I’d been planning on.

I liked the fact that I got a behind-the-scenes peek at Star Trek and some of the actors that I grew up watching. That was cool.

I liked that Wheaton talked about what it’s like being an actor. I found that really interesting too.

He’s funny, and articulate, and self-deprecating, and honest….

But I still can’t point to what it is that really grabbed me by the nuts, here.

I really don’t know. Still flummoxed.

It could be I liked it because, ultimately, it was a story about stories. I have a weakness for those.

Part of me wishes I’d read this book back in 2008. Back when I’d missed my first deadline and was feeling like absolute shit. Back when I was sure I was ruining my entire career by delaying book 2. Back when I was still trying to get a grip on some of this celebrity stuff while at the same time being wretchedly messed up about my mom being gone. I think this book would have helped me sort though my shit a little more quickly.

Gech. I’m making a rambly mess of this. It seems like the more I like a book, the more trouble I have explaining why.

Okay. I’ll take one more run at this. I’m going to keep it simple this time:

It was a good book. You should give it a try. Unless you really don’t want to. Then you should do something else.

Merciful Buddha. That’s just awful.

Let that be a lesson to any of you that come looking for blurbs. Don’t. I suck at this.

pat

Also posted in blogging, mom, recommendations, the art of blurbing, Wil Wheaton | By Pat38 Responses

My brain….

As I mentioned before I took a recent trip to Iowa City because Nancy Andreasen wanted to take a picture of my brain. She’s a Big Deal neurophysician who’s doing research into how the brains of creative folk do their big, weird think-makings.

The plan was for me to go in, get my brain scanned, have an interview, then do some tests that measure cognitive function.

It was going to be a full day, so I drove down to Iowa City and spent the night. The morning before I went into the hospital, I was nervous.

Specifically, I was nervous about what shirt I was going to wear.

While I was driving down to Iowa, it occurred to me that if, say, lightning struck the building when I was in the MRI, I might develop superpowers of some sort. And on a day when you might develop superpowers, the shirt you wear is a pretty important decision. As they say, clothes make the man.

Because I hadn’t planned ahead, I only had two good options. One was my Legend of Neil t-shirt. And the other was my tried and true, Joss Whedon is my Master Now shirt.

At first the Neil shirt seems to be the front-runner. While pixelated, Link’s powers are nothing to scorn. In addition to a cool pan-dimensional inventory system. I could throw bombs, shoot fire, and engage in some implausible but terribly convenient music-based teleportation.

Plus, when I was at full health, I’d be able to throw my sword. Or shoot lasers out of it. I was never really clear on that.

Despite all this, I went with the Whedon shirt. While less tangible, Whedon’s storytelling prowess is more in keeping with my lifestyle. If I could add his powers to my own, I would become nigh-unstoppable. Plus, I hear that due to contractual obligations, he can call up Alyson Hannigan at any hour of the day or night and have her drive out to his house just so he can smell her hair.

That’s a power I wouldn’t mind inheriting. It would be nice to cross that off my list of…

Okay. Hold on for a second. Time out. I’ve got to tangent away for a moment.

Here’s the deal. Sometimes, late at night, when I’m low on sleep and writing a blog, I write stupid bullshit that strikes me as funny. This isn’t a new thing. In addition to my novels, I’ve been writing ridiculous humor pieces of one sort or another for almost twenty years now.

What’s different now is that I’m doing it online. Also, these days a ridiculous number of people read the blog. People link to it. Sometimes 7-8 thousand people a day stop by to read what I write.

Usually I don’t think about it much. But every once in a while I get a terrible thought: what if someone reads this?

I’m not talking about us geeks. I write this blog for my fellow geeks to read and laugh at. I’m worried about one of THEM reading it. Y’know. One of the cool famous people…

What if a couple years from now I’m at some party out in LA, and I get to meet Alyson Hannigan? A mutual acquaintance waves her over and introduces me as “New York Times Bestselling Author, Patrick Rothfuss.”

She smiles politely. Nods. But wait… there’s something more. I see a flicker of recognition in her eye. I get excited, thinking, “She’s read the book! She knows who I am!”

Then she says, “You’re that pervert who wants to smell my hair!”

I freeze in place, trying to think of something witty and disarming to say. But all I can think is, “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Why did I ever write that blog? Why didn’t I just post up tour dates on my website like all the other authors? Why didn’t I write nice safe blogs with funny pictures of my cat? What is wrong with me that I’m compelled to tell these weird fucking stories all the time?”

Then, with the fluid grace that comes from years of experience, Alyson maces me. I fall to my knees, clawing at my eyes and saying something garbled about the fact that all humor is rooted in transgression. But before I can make my point clear, Alexis Denisof steps up and proceeds to give me the beating of three different lifetimes in the space of about 45 seconds.

Which sucks, because that means I probably won’t ever get a chance to smell his hair either. So that’s two things that are never getting crossed off my list.

Jesus. You see? I can’t stop. I swear there is something wrong with my brain.

Speaking of which, *that* was supposed to be the point of this blog. Showing you the picture of my brain.

So here it is:

(Click to Embiggen)

It’s actually a computer model that they generated based on the MRI scans. If any of you can find the spot on there that compels me to endlessly make an ass of myself, I’d appreciate it if you’d point it out to me. Maybe then I could do a quick Dremel trepanation and let the demons out or something.

Wearily yours,

pat

Also posted in Joss Whedon, small adventures, tangentality | By Pat72 Responses

High School Writer’s Workshop

Back in the long ago. Back in the beforetimes….

Specifically, back in 1990, I submitted a piece of writing to a contest. It was a first for me.

I didn’t go looking for the contest, a teacher mentioned it to me. So I decided to send something I’d already written for class. I was proud of my last paper, mostly because I’d gotten an A on it.

I looked at the contest’s different categories: Formal Essay, Short Story, Poetry… In the end I shrugged and I decided to call my piece of writing “Familiar Essay” and sent it in.

I didn’t hold out any high hopes for winning, but since I was a senior, I knew I should start thinking about colleges. And the prize for winning this contest was a thousand dollar scholarship to the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.

UW-SP also offered something called the High School Writer’s Workshop. If your writing was good enough, you got to skip school for the day, hang out on a college campus, and, presumably, learn something about writing.

The end of the story probably isn’t what you’d expect. I didn’t win. I was a distant runner-up. I was invited to attend the writer’s workshop, but I didn’t go. I can’t remember why, but given that I was a bit of an idiot back then, it’s quite possible that I simply forgot.

I did apply to UW-SP, because if the winner didn’t collect the scholarship, it went to the next runner up. If *they* didn’t go to Point either, it would continue down the line.

UW-SP was the only college that I got around to applying to. Again, I can’t remember why, exactly. But again, it’s safe to say that I probably just didn’t think of it. Or I forgot. Or I was busy watching Twin Peaks and playing D&D with my friends. As I’ve already pointed out, I was a bit of an idiot.

Later on, long after the application deadline had passed, I also applied to UW-Madison. Despite my obvious inability to follow instructions or read a calender, I got accepted there too.

That meant I had to chose between Stevens Point and Madison. Two schools that I knew absolutely nothing about.

I picked Stevens Point for the simple reason that it was 100 miles away. Close enough for a visit home, but not *too* close, if you know what I mean.

It’s strange the little things that shape our lives. The small choices that turn out to be so big in hindsight.

As many of you know, I stayed at UW-SP for nine years, taking classes and generally having a great time. Later on, after I got my Masters Degree, I came back to teach for a while. It’s where I still live.

Two years ago, they let me run the fiction category of the High School Writer’s Workshop. Last year I was the keynote speaker at the event.

And this year, for the first time ever, they’ve added a new category: Speculative Fiction.

(For those of you who don’t know. Speculative Fiction is what academics call Fantasy and Sci-Fi.)

And guess who’s running this new category? That’s right, baby. Me.

So if you’re a high-schooler who lives in Wisconsin, and you like to write fantasy and such. You might want to check out this link to the brochure containing all the information you need to submit something. (Hint: You need your teacher to help you submit.)

The deadline for submissions is Oct 15th.

I can’t say for certain why I didn’t mention this on the blog earlier. It might be that I was busy with book two. It might be that I forgot. Or it could be that after all these years, I’m still a bit of an idiot…

Have a good weekend everybody,

pat

Also posted in contests, musings | By Pat33 Responses

The Way of Kings

I have trouble taking things seriously. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, this probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise to you.

In medieval times, people probably would have referred to me as “Phlegmatic” and attributed this tendency to an imbalance of my humors. These days people just think of me as an an irreverent asshat.

It’s especially bad when I’m asked to write anything remotely promotional. A good example of this is my endless struggle with biography.

It’s also a real problem when I want to write a blurb for someone’s book.

I very rarely give blurbs, and part of the reason for this is when I sit down to write one, I feel like I have to be all professional and formal. I feel like I should use words like, “Luminous” and “Scintillating” and “Perspicacious” “Resplendent.”

But that’s not how I talk. If I really liked a book, I would say to my friend, “This is a really fucking good book. Seriously. Have you read it? No? Go buy it, shitweasel.”

However, that’s not really the sort of thing publishers are looking to print on the cover of a book.

My most recent experience blurbing a book was when Brandon Sanderson sent me an ARC of the Way of Kings a while back.

I read the book and liked it, which irritated me. Brandon writes way faster than I do, and his books are consistently good. This means that I feel like I should really despise him. Either that or hunt him down like an animal so I can devour his liver and thereby gain some of his power.

But even though I’ve tried really hard, I can’t help but like him. Brandon’s a really nice guy.

So I sit down and try to write a professional style blurb for him. Here’s what I come up with:

“Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite new authors, and The Way of Kings continues his tradition of creating vivid, fantastic worlds for us to visit.”

How’s that for awful? That isn’t just some first quick attempt, either. I worked for like twenty minutes to come up with that. It’s one part bland, one part stiff, and two parts fake-sounding. “Continues his tradition”? Who the hell says something like that? Not me.

So I try again:

“Sanderson knows how to tell a good story, and he’s created another vivid and fantastic world in The Way of Kings.”

If anything, this one’s even worse. It’s more boring. And I’m clinging to the word “vivid” like it’s somehow going to keep me from looking like an idiot.

At this point I’m frustrated. So I quit taking the whole process seriously and write,

“Brandon Sanderson’s books are so good that he’s starting to piss me off.”

And you know what? It feels pretty good. That’s something I’d actually say out loud. And in its own way, that blurb is more honest and complementary than the other two.

So I decide to run with it, and write.

“This book is cool, and Brandon Sanderson smells like fresh-baked cookies.”

“Sanderson’s newest Brobdingnagian epic is sure to please. Look it up, bitches.”

“Brandon Sanderson’s new book is printed on delightfully soft-yet durable paper. With more than a thousand pages, The Way of Kings is sure to bring you several weeks of good, solid use, though that may vary according to your diet and personal hygiene.”

“When’s book two coming out? What’s taking so long?”

“Brandon Sanderson is one of the great new writers on the scene today. And he’s not hard on the eyes either. Rawr.”

“The Way of Kings is a tour-de-force. Luminously meretricious, yet with a round oaky underbite, this book offers notes of toffee and broam with just a hint of having someone’s nephew hit you in the groin with a tennis ball. Best served with fish.”

Writing these sorts of blurbs come really naturally to me.

After about an hour of this, I sent a handful of potential blurbs along to Brandon and his agent. I told them the truth, that I suck at giving the classic blurb.

And that was the last I thought of it until I wandered into the bookstore two days ago and saw that The Way of Kings has just hit the shelves.

I picked it up just to check how many long it was. It’s over a thousand pages, so that made me feel better about The Wise Man’s Fear. Especially because I just added a new chapter yesterday.

Then I flipped it over and saw this:

What’s that down there on the bottom?

Just me and Orson Scott Card, hanging out on the back of Brandon Sanderson’s book.

And you know what? I kinda like my blurb. It’s not fancy, but then again, I’m not a fancy person. But sincere? I’ve got sincere in spades.

If you’re looking for something to read, you might want to check it out…

Best,

pat

Also posted in My Iconoclastic Tendencies, recommendations, the art of blurbing, Things I didn't know about publishing | By Pat130 Responses

Circadian Spring

Okay. I’m going to tell a little story. But for it to make sense, you’re going to have to understand two things…

First, my sleep schedule is wildly variable. When I’m in the thick of revisions, it’s not odd for me to be up until 5 or 6 AM. Neither is it odd for me to sleep until 2 or three in the afternoon.

Second, spring is a confusing time in Wisconsin.

Don’t get me wrong. Spring is great. In Wisconsin we appreciate spring way more than most other folks because we spend half the year buried in snow. In more temperate parts of the world, if the thermometer dips to 68 degrees people start putting on sweaters and shutting their windows.

Not here in Wisconsin. Our winters can easily dip to -40 Fahrenheit (Which, for those of you who are all metric, is the same as -40 Celsius.) So when we get a sunny spring day that hits, say, 55 degrees, we’re all putting on our shorts and playing Frisbee. To us, 55 degrees is like getting a kiss from God…

The main problem with spring in Wisconsin is that Mother Nature is beginning fresh after the hard winter. She’s effectively starting her whole life over again.

That means in April and May Mother Nature is the equivalent of a 14 year old girl. Which is to say she’s insane.

So on May 13th, she can be sunny, happy, and sweet. She can wear a pretty sundress and hug puppies. Then, 12 hours later, she’s weeping inconsolably in her room. By May 15th she’s listening to NIN, wearing black lipstick, and burning herself with cigarettes.

That’s what a Wisconsin spring is like: Sun. Warm breeze. Two inches of snow. Lilacs. Birds singing. Hail. Tornado.

But even in her less extreme mood swings, a Wisconsin spring can be troublesome. Lately I’ve been heading out to my writing space at night, and it’s been chilly, if not chilly and damp. So I put on my coat and hat, walk over there, and write most of the night. Then, if it’s gotten really late, I sleep on the futon mattress I have over there just for that purpose. (Yeah. I know. Pretty glamorous, huh?)

The point is, when I wake up the next day at 1:00 in the afternoon, it’s lovely and sunny. I don’t want to wear my coat home and get sweaty, so I leave it at work and enjoy the weather on my way home.

The first day this happened it wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t have my black leather duster, so I went to the back of the closet and pulled out my old, grey denim duster that I wore for 9 years back in college. It’s tatty, but it’s warm. I also found a weird furry hat that was too small for me, and stuck up about a 8 inches off the top of my head.

So I walk, write, and sleep again. Then when I get up it’s lovely, so I walk home coatless to see Sarah and Oot.

But the third night I was out of options. I don’t own multiple coats. It goes against my whole philosophy. And while Sarah has roughly one Billion hats, they’re all too small for me.

Normally I wouldn’t mind walking a mile or so if it’s just a little chilly. I’m built like a bear, after all. But I was fighting off a bit of a headcold, and I didn’t want it to get worse just a before heading off to so a reading down near Madison.

So, for all these reasons, I ended up walking through downtown Stevens Point at 1:30 in the morning wearing a cloak.

I’d forgotten I owned it. I bought it back when me and my friends used to hit the Ren Fair. Or maybe when we were doing our fantasy LARP. It’s green and black, and in many ways, it was the perfect garment for the job, as it had a hood, too.

But wearing it made me realize two surprising things.

First, the silhouetted figure on the cover of The Wise Man’s Fear is absolutely perfect.

(Click to Embiggen)

I know it’s perfect because when I was walking down the street, the shadow that splayed out in front of me on the sidewalk looked exactly like that. Almost to an uncanny degree.

The second thing that surprised me was how amazingly self-conscious I felt. I don’t like to admit it, but I was really mortified at the thought of anyone seeing me walking around in a cloak.

I think I’m vain. The old denim duster I’d worn the night before was really ragged and awful looking. It’s frayed and torn. Holes in the pockets. The furry hat looked stupid, but not nearly as stupid as the hat that I wear the rest of the time.

So if I’m not vain, why was I so uncomfortable with the thought of someone seeing me in this cloak? It couldn’t be that I was worried I might look stupid. I’m fine with looking stupid. I go out of my way to look stupid sometimes.

I think my worry was that someone would recognize me as, “That Local Fantasy Author,” and then that they’d assume I dressed up in a cloak because I was desperately trying to be… I dunno… extra fantasy author-y. (Which would make me a poser.) Or that I was trying to dress up as Kvothe. (Which is worse.)

All whys aside, I was trying to stay out of sight. But it quickly occurred to me that trying to be inconspicuous while wearing a cloak looks really, really suspicious. And if there’s one thing worse than being identified as “that local fantasy author who dresses up in a cloak.” It would be people thinking of me as, “That local fantasy author who dresses up in a cloak and hides in the bushes outside your house.”

Plus, there are some places you simply can’t hide. I have to cross a couple parking lots to get where I’m going.

So, of course, when I’m crossing one of these parking lots, that’s when the cop car drives by. He’s trolling along Main Street at bar time, looking for drunk college kids. I’m the middle of the empty parking lot, wearing my cloak.

I knew the cop was going to circle back and come talk to me. He would drive up and say, “Um, hello?”

And then I would get my ass in trouble because when I’m put in a situation like that, I just can’t take it seriously. The urge to flap around like Batman would be overwhelming. Or I’d pretend to cast Magic Missile when he talked to me. Or when he asked “Who are you?” I’d say something like, “I am the servant of a secret fire! Wielder of the flame or Anor!” and then get my stupid, sarcastic ass would get tazered and put in jail for the night.

But the thing is, as soon as I saw the cop, I wasn’t nervous any more. If one person sees you doing something kinda weird, it’s really embarrassing. But getting thrown in jail because you wore a cloak and then quoted Gandalf? That’s awesome. That’s a story I’d tell for the rest of my life.

Unfortunately, the cop didn’t circle around. It would have been the perfect ending to this little adventure, but real life rarely gives us that sort of satisfying closure. That’s why we love stories: they give events the pleasing shape the real world so seldom provides.

pat

Also posted in day in the life, small adventures | By Pat90 Responses

How to Embarrass Yourself in Front of Famous People

Over the last couple years I’ve learned that whenever I do a signing, I will inevitably screw up the inscription in at least one book.

This trend started with my very first signing, the day The Name of the Wind hit the shelves. I actually wrote about that in one of my earliest blogs. I still have that book inscribed “To Hell” on a shelf.

A lot of times my screw up is a minor thing. It’s not uncommon for me to misspell a word. This is embarrassing, but it’s easy to laugh it off. I usually correct my mistake with proofreaders marks, and say something like, “That’s what editors are for.”

Occasionally I misquote a piece of my own book. That’s not so bad either. Understandable, as I’ve known the book it for 15 years in several hundred different revisionary versions.

Sometimes it’s just my handwriting itself that’s embarrassing.

But nothing is worse than screwing up someone’s name. This is why, when I do a signing, I usually ask people to spell it out for me. I write it down on a separate piece of paper, point to it, and ask, “is this right?”

Most people don’t bat an eye at this. They’re not Nicky, they’re Nikki. It’s not Sandy, it’s “Big S, little A, little N, Big D, little E, Big E. With a star at the end!”

I ask everyone. If you get to the front of the line and say, “Can you sign this to Joe?” I write down J O E in my childlike scrawl, point to it, and ask, “like this?”

The reason I’m so careful is because I can fuck up any name. Once a guy got to the front of the line and said, “John. With an ‘h.'”

So I write, “To Jhon.”

Then I sat there, staring at it, thinking: “I am a fucking idiot.”

The thing is, not only do I tend to screw up one book at every signing. I typically screw up the worst possible book. If someone drove four hours to get there and brought the first edition hardcover their mom gave them… that’s the book I’m going to make a mistake in.

Or, if someone cool shows up to the signing, someone I’d like to not look like an idiot in front of, I’ll cock up that book instead. That’s what happened when Felicia Day showed up when I was doing a signing in LA. I made a real mess of the book I was signing for her brother.

Are we sufficiently backgrounded for the story? I think so.

So let’s jump back to last year when I went to San Diego Comic Con. While I was out there, I did a few signings. One in the main autographing room, one at at Mysterious Galaxy’s booth, and one in the nearby Borders.

The Borders gig sounded pretty cool. First we were going to have a panel where a bunch of authors would discuss urban fantasy vs epic fantasy, then we would do a signing.

I was really looking forward to it. Partly because I love discussing books with other authors, and partly because I love doing signings and meeting fans. But mostly because one of the other authors on the panel was Amber Benson.

I was excited all weekend, telling everyone I met about the panel/signing. But when I mentioned Amber Benson’s name, they mostly looked at me blankly. “I don’t think I’ve read her stuff,” they’d say.

“She hasn’t been doing books that long,” I said. “She does comics. Screenplays. Directs stuff. She’s an actress too. You probably know her as Tara from Buffy. Willow’s girlfriend.”

It was only when I mentioned the last bit that I would see the light of recognition go on in people’s eyes. So eventually I just started skipping straight to that, saying, “She played Tara in Buffy.”

I had one signing earlier that day, and despite the fact that a ton of people showed up, I managed to make it through the whole thing without screwing up anyone’s book.

Maybe that’s it, I thought to myself. Maybe my streak is broken.

Later on in the evening I went to Borders and had a great time. I managed to say a few clever things during the discussion which is nice, because, well, Amber Benson was there, and I wanted to look cool.

 

[Photo link dead]

 

After the panel everyone signed books. I had a nice line of people, which gave me another iota’s worth of cool. More impressively, I didn’t screw any of them up, not even a little. My streak finally seemed to be broken.

After all the fans had their books signed, the authors hung out and chatted. Amber came over from her end of the table and said something along the lines of, “I don’t normally do epic fantasy, but after what you said, I’ll admit I’m curious about yours….”

“I’d love to give you a copy,” I said. “So long as you’ll sign my copy of Death’s Daughter.”

She agreed and signed my book. I was all aglow with geeky joy. I’d met someone cool, made a good impression, and even had a little bit of banter. I was awesome….

So I grabbed one of my books and opened it to the title page. Then, so I didn’t screw up her book, I looked up and asked, “Do you spell it T-A-R-A?”

She looked at me, slightly confused, as if she didn’t understand what I meant.

I looked back at her, slightly confused, not understanding why she wasn’t following me.

Then, at the same moment, we both realized what I’d done. At the same moment, we both realized that I wasn’t awesome at all. I was, in fact, a fucking idiot.

The other authors standing around overheard this. They realized it too.

Amber was very gracious and laughed it off. But I was still covered in shame. Even now it makes me cringe to remember it.

So there you go. Welcome to me.

For those of you who don’t know, Tara Amber has written and directed a couple movies. In fact, her most recent one, Drones, is being shown in a few select locations right now.

In fact, it’s being shown tonight, (Tuesday the 13th) in LA, with all the proceeds going to charity. If you live nearby and you aren’t going, you might want to seriously reconsider your priorities. In fact, you might want to reconsider what you’re doing with your entire life.

I’d be there in a heartbeat if it wasn’t 2000 miles away. Right now I’m kinda pissed at you cool kids who live in your big cities with your film festivals and fancy hats. Yes. I’m looking at you Orlando, Boston, and LA.

If nothing else, you should really check out the trailer. I was curious about the movie before I watched this. Now I’m filled with a terrible longing like unto hunger. I love Jonathan Woodward.

Share and Enjoy,

pat

Also posted in buffy, meeting famous people, signing books | By Pat103 Responses

Elodin Enterprises: Making Tomorrow’s Mistakes a Reality Today.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about women.

When I was younger, I was the guy all the girls came to for relationship advice. Don’t ask me why. I’d never actually had a relationship. But I was thoughtful, and a good listener, and I didn’t openly gawk at their breasts. (I did gawk, of course, I just wasn’t rude about it.)

These three things may not seem like much, but from what I understand they rarely come together in a 16 year old boy. The result was that most girls found me to be trustworthy, fun to be around, and neuter as a Ken doll.

But I learned a lot by listening to their relationship problems. I learned what irritated them, what they really wanted in a relationship (or said they wanted, anyway), and the sort of jerky things guys were capable of.

Eventually I started to develop a list of things you should never do in a relationship. Rules of conduct that should never be broken. I continued building that list all through college.

Now I’m not talking about the obvious stuff here. Rules like, “Don’t sleep with your girlfriend’s sister.” or “Don’t jab her in the eye with a pointy stick.” Shit like that is obvious.

My rules were more specific, but other people had paid for them in blood.

A few real examples:

* Never tell a woman she looks like her pet.

* Never compare a woman to a cow.

* Never compare a woman to any sort of cheese.

Maybe those last two don’t happen so much outside of Wisconsin. But trust me, you really can’t pull them off. Dairy products are fine. If you’re careful, you can use creamy or milky. You can even, depending on the situation, get away with buttery. But cheese is right out. It can’t be done in a good way.

Later on in life, as I started to date more, I began to add new rules based on my own experiences. Things like:

* Don’t break up with a girl then send her roommate a love letter.

* Don’t invite four different women to the same poetry reading. Especially if one of them is your ex-girlfriend, one is your current girlfriend, and one is the girl who kinda wants to be your girlfriend.

That last one might seem a little specific, and it is, I suppose. But if I can keep even one other person from making that mistake, I will be doing the world a very big favor.

Now some of you may scoff at my list of rules. Thinking them bizarre and overly specific. I don’t really feel the need to defend myself or prove the efficacy of my system. Simply look at me, then look at my past girlfriends, all of whom have been lovely, intelligent, and sexy as hell. My results speak for themselves.

I’m not claiming to have it all figured out. Far from it. I’m still adding things to my list all the time.

For example, the other day I’m laying in bed with Sarah and little Oot. Because Oot is a happy little bundle of cute, Sarah experienced a moment of what I call Mom Bliss. I’m pretty sure this is an evolutionary thing. Specifically, it’s a rush of endorphins designed to make moms adore their children, rather than devour them.

So we’re all on the bed and Oot kinda squirms around, looks up at us, and gives us one of his trademarked triple-distilled cuteness grins. Then he makes a happy little shriek that sounds like he’s trying to speak dolphin.

This presses Sarah’s mom button, and the endorphins hit her brain like a pixie stick dissolved in a jam-jar full of heroin.

Oh!” Sarah says, her eyes all dewy with Agape-style love. “This is so great! I’m in bed with my two favorite people!

“Yeah,” I say, pretty much agreeing with her. “It’s kinda like a lame three-way.”

New rule: Do not refer to quality time with mom and baby as “kinda like a lame three-way.”

Here endeth the lesson.

pat

Also posted in day in the life, Oot, Sarah, small adventures | By Pat77 Responses
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