Category Archives: Photo Contest 2011

WMF Photo Contest Part VI: In Book References

Okay folks. Today we’ve got Part Six of the embarrassingly delayed photo contest.

Earlier parts here: [Prologue] [Part I] [Part II] [Part III] [Part IV] [Part V]

Today we’ve got a category that we’re loosely referring to as, “In book references” or that Oot might refer to as a bit of a “Brain Quest.”

In short, they’re books that you have to think about a little bit to understand what’s going on…

Cut Flower

Oh… right. It’s the cut-flower sound of a photo contest that I started back in 2011…


This one took a little puzzling. But we eventually we figured out that it’s a reference to my name: In German, Rot = red & Fuss = foot. Redfoot.

Photo Contest - Christie Lee

From the drugged conversation Kvothe has with Simmon early on in book two….



Green Flame!

No, wait, sorry. Blue flame. My bad.


An image inspired by the story of Jax. According to the photographers: We sacrificed a lot of blood in a dark ritual… no, strike that. We sacrificed a lot of blood to mosquitos while taking pictures in a nearby forest at twilight.”

Lady Lackless

At first I thought this picture was merely trying to appeal to my prurient interests. Which I don’t mind. Then I saw the title of the file and the little caption. I’m sure you can figure out the rest using a certain piece of verse from the book.


I see someone else has discovered how hard it is to make a mommet out of paraffin wax….




If you click this one to embiggen it, you can see the passage being read deals with Denna’s ring…


Took me a while to notice the reddish light coming from the sympathy lamp. It’s worth your time to take a look at the titles of the other books, too.


I bet I know where you bought that….


Apple and Elderberry

It might help to know that “Holunderwein” is German for “elderberry wine”.


You’ll probably need to embiggen this picture to see what’s going on here. And maybe take a peek at this Goodreads quote.

This one took some work, so we’re going to give it an honorable mention:

wmf - stories and rings

And the same thing with this one, check out the detail of what’s written on the whiteboard in the background….


And here’s the winner:

Mr Whiffle's Interlude

This one will make the most sense to die-hard fans who have read my dark Faerie Tale style picture book, “The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle.
Photographer’s Note:  No “Things Beneath the Bed” were harmed in the making of this photograph. The blood on the “bones” is from a kitten I slaughtered.

I like the cut of your jib. Also, I am slightly terrified of you, and that magical combination means that you take home the prize in this category, the near-mythical golden Talent Pipes.

Gold Pipes

Honorable mentions will also get pins. Because they’re awesome too.

Keep in mind that there are *way* more pictures than I’m able to show here in the blog. You can check them out here on the photo stream.


Also posted in fan coolness | By Pat19 Responses

WMF Photo Contest Part V: Arts, Crafts, Hugs, and Cuddles

Over the last couple years, I’ve developed several fairly large, persistent sources of guilt.

I’m not talking about normal guilt, like knowing I should really floss more. That I should do a better job separating out my recyclables.

That’s just low-grade background guilt. A faint misting of guilt. Even the constant feeling that I should be a more patient, understanding father is hardly more than a drizzle compared to the near bottomless wells of guilt I’ve discovered in the last several years.

For example, I have a backlog of more than two thousand unread pieces of digital fanmail at this point.

Worse, I have more than 200 pieces of actual print mail I haven’t managed to read or respond to yet. A year’s worth of letters from all over the world. Messages that people took the time to write down or type up, put in envelopes, address and mail to me. They are tangible acts of love and affection, and I haven’t been able to find the time to sit down, read, and respond to them.

Something always seems to be eating up my time instead….


(For example.)

But the thing I feel guiltiest about from these last few years, the worst of my broken promises, is the photo contest. Hundreds of you participated. Thousands of pictures were sent in….

And now, three years later, I still haven’t managed to finish posting up the pictures, let alone send prizes to the winners.

But I have been making an effort. Amanda has been helping me sift and sort pictures into categories. And Jessie, new addition to our team, has been lending a hand as well.

I’ve made a promise to myself to get the photo contest finished before The Slow Regard of Silent Things comes out at the end of the month.

We have the earlier blogs here: [Prologue] [Part I] [Part II] [Part III] [Part IV]

Today we’re have part five, providing warm fuzzies in two categories:

  • Hugs and Cuddles:

A lot of people sent in pictures of themselves just… well… loving the book.

Sun and hugs for book

The pure look of contentment on her face makes me want to smile.

Better than a teddy

The title of this one is “Better Than a Teddy” and I’ll admit that’s the reason we picked it to include in the blog. I know I’ve fallen asleep more than a few times cuddling a beloved book.


Jessie commented that she thought it was pretty telling that while this woman was wearing a shiny wedding ring, the look of adoration is all for the book. But I don’t like to think of my novel as a home wrecker. Can we just assume she’s in a relationship *with* the book?


I hope this one was a loving cuddle, and not a situation where the book fell onto this woman’s hair, pinning her to the ground because it was too heavy for her to move….


Here’s our winner for this category.

Part of me wants to say something like, “This is a wonderfully composed picture.” But the truth is, I don’t know anything about visual composition. All  I know is that when I look at this picture and it makes my heart happy.

So. Winner.

Even broken up into many blogs and categories, there are still too many pictures for us to put them all up in the blog. But we *have* posted the rest of this s category up in its own Photostream.

  • Arts and Crafts:

I am not by my nature a crafty person, and I view folks who do crafts like this with a sort of baffled wonder and confusion. I don’t have the right sort of mind to make something small and particular with my hands.

Like this:



Because this is nothing I would ever do myself, it strikes me as so phenominally cool. Even though I’m not skilled in the dark arts of the crochet, I know that all those tiny, tight stiches have to be hard…. 


That’s right. These ladies took the time to have the cover of WMF printed onto cloth and then sew that cloth into bikinis. That’s something that I never, ever in a million years would have guessed people would do.

Amount of paper used to make that swan

We got several pieces of origami. But this one was unlike any I’ve ever seen before. The title was “The Amount of Paper Used to Make That Swan.” Which Jessie guesses is a reference to the fact that it probably took the amount of paper in WMF.

(You can see the other pieces of origami in the photostream a the end of the blog.)


We’ve got this cute guy in the garden. 


And a dog in a hammock. But you should really click that one to look at it more closely. How it’s constructed is really cool.


Here we have the prize winning honorable mention. Not only were these people nice enough to send me this puzzle back in the day, but Amanda was particularly tickled by it. “The idea of these books putting together the map puzzle… I just can’t stop giggling at it.”

But we have one entry that honestly just blew the top off my head.

Remember the guilt I mentioned up above? This final entry, the winning entry in this category, is why I feel this guilt.

This person made something truly amazing. Something flat-out fucking awesome and it’s taken me more than three years to thank her properly and show you the coolness.

She sent in these three images:


You can’t appreciate these without looking at them more closely. So here’s each image separately. You have to click them to embiggen them…


The amount of detail here is awesome. The first thing Amanda noticed was that the chimney is made of a bra. It took us a long time before any of us noticed that the moon was actually a dinner plate.

I don’t want to steal the joy by pointing everything out. Click it and look at it more closely. Look at what everything is made of. It’s so, so cool….


The chapter in the ebook has even been turned to chapter 44, “The Catch” where Kvothe finishes and presents his arrow catch to Master Kilvin.

The Cthaeh

This is the Cthaeh in its tree. It has all of the butterfly wings scattered on the ground, all made out of tissue paper, and the tree itself is made of a sweater. Kvothe’s even naked. And, again, the ebook is turned to chapter 104, “The Cthaeh.”

The winners and our honorable mention will get their very own sets of the rare gold talent pipes.

Thank you everyone. You have delighted and amazed me. I’m only sorry it’s taken me so long to show off all of your awesome.

Speaking of, here’s the other arts and crafts pictures in the Photostream!

Feel free to “Oooh” and “Ahhh” in the comments below. These folks deserve it.

Also posted in fan coolness | By Pat20 Responses

WMF Photo Contest Part IV: Babies and Knives

Okay. We’ve got the next installment of the photo contest.

You can find the other pieces here: [Prologue] [Part I] [Part II] [Part III]

Today we’re doing two rather… divergent categories: Babies and Knives.

  • Knives

For some reason, a fair  number of people sent in pictures of my book with some sort of blade-related theme. Not dozens of them, but a statistically significant amount. Enough to warrant a small category of their own.

No. 28 Sword

beach trip 2011 004

book is mightier than the sword

I looked at this picture and said, “Wait, is that Glamring?” Then I went to check the internet and saw it was.

I don’t know if if I feel proud for recognizing it or not…

Our winner in this small category is…


The composition is beautiful, and it reminds Amanda a little bit of the photos we took of my Gemmel award.

While normally, I don’t approve of book abuse, I have to admire this person’s dedication to the contest. Bravo.

  • Babies

This was one of our larger categories, since pretty much everyone had a cute kid who loved my book.

Bruce likes to read in the garden

Bruce here made an appearance in a few different photos, clearly engrossed in the book.

Just two more minutes please, I just got to a good bit

The title of this one was “Just two more minutes please, I just got to a good bit.” Which is pretty much exactly what it looks like happened.


Image title can actually have a lot to do with which ones I like. For example, the above photo’s title was “bwuh.” It was pretty fun to say out loud. Amanda and I said it back and forth to each other for kind of a remarkable amount of time.

World's Best Big Sister

A big sister reading to her little brother. Or at least pretending to…

The Wise Man's Fear

My books tend to cause exhaustion, especially in such tiny bodies.


Mommy probably just told her there’s no release date for book 3.


This was just an adorable picture.

Picture V

I respect anyone willing to dress their kid up in a cloak.

Picture A

I could do a kid’s book called, “The Littlest E’lir…”

mixed up diaper

He looks so proud of himself…


Holy Sympathist Batman Kvothe did what

This one scores extra points because:

a) you can see the tape holding the glasses to the kid’s face,

and B) the image title was “Holy sympathist batman, Kvothe did WHAT??”



There were multiple pictures sent in of little Abby here, and Amanda declared that, although she has no intention of ever, *ever* having children, she would change her mind if she knew hers would come out as adorable as this.

That near-miracle by itself is worth a place in the winner’s circle.

Adem born WINNER for smug look

The incredibly smug look on this baby Adem won my heart.

Our Pride and joy

Here we’ve got someone who actually took the time to bring my book to the hospital for a photo op when they were having an actual baby. An act of devotion that you’d think would win them the top place on this list.

Except we’ve got someone who takes the concept of dedication to a whole different level:

DSC00060 (1024x768) WINNER

Reading during, and after, her labor.

DSC00104 (1024x768) WINNER

It looks like it was a long labor, considering how far she got in the book. Plus, I appreciate that she went the extra mile and wore one of the Kingkiller T-shirts we sell in the Tinker’s Packs. That was a nice touch.

* * *

There were too many baby and knife photos for us to fit into one blog. But we’ve got the others in over here if you want to check them out….

Also posted in fan coolness | By Pat23 Responses

WMF Photo Contest Part III – Book Metaphors

As things settle out here at Worldbuilders HQ, I took the time to go through some more photo contest entries again.

If you don’t remember the Photo Contest… well… it’s probably not your fault given that I actually started this contest back in 2011 and am only now finally getting around to posting up the winners.

In my defense, there were over a thousand entries. But honestly, even that isn’t much of an excuse. There’s a reason why I’m thinking of getting business cards made that list my title as “King of Broken Promises.”

If you want to see the previous photo contest posts, they’re over here.

But for now, let’s move on to today’s categories.

  • Heavy Book

When the hardcover of The Wise Man’s Fear came out, it was the same size as NOTW. However, it was also 330 pages longer. This led to a book that was startlingly heavy to some folks. So it makes sense that about a dozen folks made that the focus of their their photo entries.

This one’s called, “Discarding the old equipment:”

Discarding the old equipment 2

Even the hero of Canton can’t hold it up forever.


Honorable Mention

Doctor, my spine is broken

I like this one because it went for the more subtle approach…. at least in the image itself. The title was slightly more forthright: “Doctor, my spine is broken.”


hot stone therapy

This one rings the winning bell because of the implication that the heft of the book is part of its therapeutic charm. Bridget had this to say when she sent the photos:

“Reading Kvothe’s story is enjoyably therapeutic. Yours words are like the basalt stones, heavy and dark but with the deep, sigh-inducing weight of ancient warmth seeping into my tense muscles and tired bones, melting the stress of the day into a puddle of wax.”


  • Things We Fear

This was another category with a dozen or so entries….

learning about fear

Dentists are a pretty obvious fear, especially if they read while drilling your teeth.

book 001

Honorable Mention

This picture might have been baffling (see our final category below) if not for the title, which was “Fear of Rabbits.”

fear of rabbits

I don’t know if they’re making a specific reference to Anya from Buffy, but I thought it was off-beat enough to warrant an honorable mention.



Yeah. Clowns. Winner.

Don’t make eye contact. Let’s move on.

  • Congrats, you have baffled me.

This was a surprisingly large category, comprised entirely of pictures that… well… that just confused the hell out of me.

The-Wise-Man's-Fear Contest Charlie Brown

Don’t get me wrong. I *like* a lot of these pictures.

Handsome book stand

But I have no idea what they were meant to convey.

competition for reading this book is stiff

Is there a narrative here? An implication?


Did my book get you pregnant? Congratulations? I’m sorry?


Is this a metaphor? Does the fancy giraffe represent… strife? Man’s inhumanity to man? The uncaring chains of fate and causality that bind us all?

My HipstaPrint 0(2)-2

More importantly, is Yoda shoving something up that wooden man’s ass?

Some of these I’m sure have hidden meaning. I know if I viewed them through the proper lens, they would reveal their mysteries to me.

Like this one:

2011 Winner!

It took me ages to realize it’s about Auri.

Before you realize that, it’s utterly confusticating. But after you make the connection, the picture makes perfect sense. It tells a story. What’s more, it’s rather sweet.

But some pictures… I don’t think there’s any hidden meaning. Some pictures, I’m pretty sure y’all are just fucking with me.

Like bookface.


And the bone cake.

chocolate cake of death and awesome

And… this.


But when two men ride of a horse, one must ride behind. So…

Honorable Mention


This one tugged my heartstrings for sheer enthusiasm. I don’t know why she’s wearing a swim cap and goggles, and honestly I don’t care. I’m just glad you’re happy. You keep being your awesome self.



(Click to Embiggen. It’s worth it.)

Here we have a beautiful, delightfully mysterious masterpiece. The title of the image? “Bird.”

Winners will be receiving a set of the rare gold talent pipes that I give to beta readers and other folks that have made my life better/cooler.

Gold Pipes

And you know what? Because I feel bad that it’s taken me ages to get around to awarding prizes, we’ll give out pipes to the honorable mentions too.

If your picture was a winner, keep an eye on whatever email you used in 2011, because we’ll be contacting you to make sure we have the right address for you.

*     *     *

Lastly, as I’ve mentioned, there are too many pictures to post up in the blog. If you’d like to check the other ones out, you can head over to the Flickr stream we made. And by “we” I mean “Amanda” because we’ve all seen what happens when you wait for me to get shit done…

More photo contest results soon,


Also posted in fan coolness | By Pat57 Responses

WMF Photo Contest Part II – Pet Stew

These days I’m making an effort to catch up on some things I’ve been letting slide, some of them for an embarrassingly long period of time.

As you can guess from my last blog, one of the things I’m trying to catch up on is my correspondence. Other projects include cleaning out my closets and getting all my books onto shelves in some sort of decently organized fashion.

(I don’t know about you, but if my books aren’t properly organized, I never feel like my life is in order. And honestly? My books haven’t been organized in a long, long time….)

But one of the things I’ve let slide the longest is the Photo contest. The photo contest that I announced… um… back when book two came out in 2011.

Lord, that makes me cringe just to type it. I’m sorry everybody.

Eventually I realized that if I kept trying to finish this on my own, it could take another two years. So I went to my assistant Amanda, handed her the flash drive with the thousand-odd pictures on it, and said. “I’ve got about two thirds of these sorted out, and I’d value your opinion on the rest.”

Which she immediately realized is code for, “If someone doesn’t take point on this project it’s never going to get done in a thousand fucking years.”

She graciously took the reins, and now here we are….

If you want to refresh your memory about the photo contest (or if you’ve just started reading the blog recently and weren’t aware of it) here are some of the previous blogs:

The title of today’s blog, as you can see, is Pet Stew.

This is because when we break the photos down into categories, some of the groups are great big beastly things, like “Animals” and “Kids”

But some categories are tiny. Like this one with only two entries.

  • Stew.

This comes from the fact that before we were friends, the inestimable John Scalzi almost stopped reading The Name of the Wind on page three because I’d brought in a fantasy cliche he has a particular distaste for: people eating stew.

He tells the whole story here, if you’re interested.

Since John and I overlap in our readerships, a lot of readers know about this long standing joke. So….


Personally, I think I should get some promotional stickers printed up that say that. Then I’ll sneak into bookstores and do some guerrilla promotion…


This one is worth enbiggening. It took a minute before I noticed Kvothe is wielding a pot instead of his usual sword. That alone is enough to make it the winner in this tiniest of categories.

  • Animals. 

This was one of our biggest categories.

I’m sorry, I should probably say cat-egories. If I miss an easy one like that, they’ll drum me out of the punner’s union.

C. S. Lewis Laughing (2)

I have no idea what reaction this cat is having to my book, but I’m kinda glad I wasn’t nearby when it happened.

We got plenty of dogs, of course.

Westy in Glasses

Some of which I suspected might have been drugged prior to the photo shoot…

Good company_2

Or perhaps persuaded with a carefully placed bit of bacon…


I love this one’s expression. As if it’s saying, “Dude. Seriously?”


But we got a lot of other animals too. A much wider variety than the first photo contest.


(Actual footage.)


I heard this horse was actually kinda pissed off because Keth Selhen wasn’t in the second book at all…  (Extra points if you catch the obscure reference.)

I honestly can’t tell if this one is photoshopped or not. But if it’s not, it deserves a nod…

Horse jump

This lizard isn’t a skink, and I don’t mean to imply it’s a skink. I just like the word skink.

Green Anole Raves About Wise Man's Fear



I don’t know how you managed to catch that goldfish’s attention. But it looks like he’s totally into it.

But not as into it as this guinea pig….

IMG_1365a (2)

…who almost forced us to start a new category called: Awwwwww.

Where this puppy would have been a contender:


As would this cat:

Jack and ze book

Amanda has pet rats, so she kinda melted when she saw this one….

Wise Rat's Fear

She mentioned that her rats love my books too. I didn’t ask if she meant they used it as bedding….

Sometimes the title of a photo is all important:

needs more draccus

(“Needs More Draccus”)

*     *     *

We’ve got a few honorable mentions before we get to the winners here.

Amanda picked this one, because of the clever reference to the books.

Beware_of_dog_L (2)

You’ll have to click to embiggen and read the sign.

I picked this one because I have no idea how this person managed to attract the attention of these squirrels…


Plus, I really like squirrels. Back when my life was simpler, I would carry around a pocket full of peanuts. If I saw a squirrel, I’d sit down and make friends. Usually in the space of half an hour, I could get it to trust me enough to come take a peanut out of my hand…

True story.


Third place:


Now. Those of you with good memories will remember that I expressly forbade anyone from doing anything dangerous in these photos. But Ty here emailed me saying that he works at a Wildlife Educator and Large Animal Trainer, and he works with the alligators all the time.

So while yeah, this is dangerous in potentia, it’s not dangerous for this particular person in this particular place. So I’m going to allow it.

This alligator’s name is Goliath. Just in case you were wondering.

Second Place:

Many of you who have heard me read at events know that I have a somewhat checkered history when it comes to Guinea Pigs.


(Cue: “Also Sprach Zarathustra.”)

And the one below is a favorite. Though I don’t know if it’s cute, or really kinda creepy….

wmf 063.1s

Lastly, Ladies and Gentlemen, as the head-and-shoulders winner, I would like to introduce you the animal I refer to as “Ugly Cat.”

DSCI0041 (2)

Please don’t think that I gave him this name as a pejorative. It’s purely descriptive.

Sorry. Purr-ly descriptive.

DSCI0019 (2)

The truth is, I have come to love Ugly Cat with a fierce love. When I look at pictures of him (her?) with my book, I am filled with a warm glow of joy. Quite often I laugh aloud.

DSCI0038 (2)

I love you, Ugly Cat.

I highly recommend you embiggen at least one of those pictures, so you can share my joy.

*     *     *

Winners will be contacted and sent copies of the fabled gold talent pipes:

Gold Pipes

And what the hell. We’ll give pipes to the Honorable Mentions, too. On account of me taking a mortal age to finally post up the results of the contest.

If you’re curious about the rest of the pictures we received, you can check them out over here. It made me sad to not show them all, but a blog with 60 pictures is raw fucking madness, so a cut had to be made.

There’s more Ugly Cat over there, and guinea pigs, and a newt, too, if I’m remembering correctly.

Stay tuned to the blog these next couple weeks. I’m going to be posting a lot more. Not only will I be making up for lost time with the photo contest, but we’ve got big things happening and cool news to share.


Also posted in fan coolness | By Pat35 Responses

Photo Contest Winners – Action

Yes. Seriously.

Those of you who know anything about me probably realize that I have a problem with deadlines.

The root of this difficulty is multifarious. But it can mostly be traced back to three elements in my personality.

1. A desire for perfection.

I get obsessive about doing everything *just right* when honestly, *mostly* right would be just fine in most cases.

2. Enthusiasm. 

I get excited about things, which leads me to pick up new projects, which means I constantly over-commit myself, which means I’m always too busy.

3. Stupidity.

This third one is something of a catch-all category, covering my vast array of ancillary character flaws.

Any one of these things can slow a person down, but when you get all three of them together. Well…. it can lead to embarrassing situations.

Like, for example, running a photo contest for your readers, and then taking more than a year to post the results.

There are many reasons for the delay.

Yes, I have been over-busy. (Working on my writing, my fundraiser, and spending time with my little boy.)

And yes, I did foolishly underestimate the number of entries I’d get for the contest. (Well over a thousand.)

And yes, when confronted with the task of judging the entries, my perfectionist tendencies screwed me hard. There were so many good ones.

Besides, so many of the pictures defied easy categorization. Look at this one for example:

Am I supposed to put this in the Kids category? In Costumes? In Clever References? Do I have to start a category just for things that are Unbelievably Frikking Cute?

So many of the pictures were so good. People went to really amazing lengths to take them. I wanted to do the perfect job arranging and judging them. Instead, I just ended up paralyzed with indecision.

But that stops today. I’ve waited too long, so I’m going to bull ahead and settle for *mostly* perfect. It’s time to start showing off the pictures and giving out the prizes.

So here we go, the best photos in the Action category:

*     *     *

There’s a lot of ways you can portray action in a photo.

You can show it directly:

Or indirectly:

We got some Hollywood action, too.

I like this one because honestly, if I could do magic. I would just use it to impress girls.

In the rules of the contest, I told people that they shouldn’t do anything dangerous, like, say, play with fire.

But did they listen?

No, they did not.

They really did not:

They absolutely did not listen to me:

We got some zombie action:

Pirate action:

And geek action:

We’ve got action in the streets:

At the amusement park:

And on top of things:

(He’s a parkour instructor. Don’t do this shit. Seriously.)

But while all of these are great (and believe me, there were dozens I had to leave out) in the end, I had to pick some winners.

Here they are:

Not only is this a great picture, but I’m a huge fan of Aikido. And if I’m mistaken and this isn’t Aikido, it’s still awesome.

This gains a spot not because it’s a scantily clad young woman, but because 1) I could never do this in a hundred years. 2) I actually do not understand the physics that are keeping her from crashing to the floor.

I love this one. We’ve all felt like this at some point, haven’t we?

And lastly:

(You should probably embiggen this one. It’s worth it.)

If you’re having trouble sussing out what’s going on here, let me break it down for you: Young girl + Playing + Red clothes + Swords in a Tree = ???

(Hint: The answer is “Awesome.”)

I’m all sorts of fond of this picture.

“But wait!” I hear you cry. “Pat. There’s no book in this picture! You clearly said in the rules that the book had to be in the picture!”

Don’t quibble. The book is there. You can just barely see it behind her leg….


Here’s another:

And here we see the difference between girls and boys:

OSHA concerns aside, it looks like someone had a pretty great day at the park.

And as a bonus, they (and the rest of the winners) will be sent some Talent pipes as I described in the blog a while back.

It will will probably be a little while before I get to do another one of these. But they are coming. I just wanted to show y’all some proof that even if it takes a while, I do keep my promises.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for something cool, you should stay tuned to the blog, because we’re going to be posting up new items into the Worldbuilders lottery almost every day for the rest of the month. We’ll be adding new stuff to the Worldbuilders auction page too.

Stay tuned….


Also posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, cool things, fan coolness, geeking out | By Pat37 Responses

The Photo Contest: Explanations and Prizes

Once, years and miles away, I did a photo contest on my blog.

It was way back in 2008. It was the first time I realized how creative and enthusiastic my readership was.

Fast forward to April of 2011. The Wise Man’s Fear had been out for a month, and I tossed the idea for a second contest out onto the blog.

Then the photos started coming in. And coming in. And coming in….

People sent more than a thousand pictures. Amazing pictures. Terrifying pictures. Pictures that clearly broke my rule of “Don’t do anything dangerous or illegal.” People got crazy. People got naked. People asked for an extension to the deadline so they could comply with FAA regulations. Seriously.

I felt like I’d gone into my backyard to start a campfire and accidentally ended up with a volcano instead.

And, much to my shame, it’s been more than a year, and I still haven’t posted up the winners.

The biggest problem, of course, is that it takes a long time to sift, sort, and pick winners from over a thousand pictures. Complicating things was the fact that I got some bad news last august which knocked me out of play for a while. Then came the fundraiser, which, while awesome, ate up a couple months. Then my assistant left unexpectedly and I had to hire and train some replacements….

And of course, I had a few other things to do, too. Like hanging out with my little boy, and, y’know, writing and stuff.

It would have been easy if there had been 70-80 pictures and half of them were crap. But there were so many, and there really wasn’t much chaff at all.

Simply said, I was unprepared for the full extent of your combined awesome.

Y’all caused me one other problem by being too cool. When I saw the quality of the pictures that were coming in, I realized that I was going to have to produce something really worthwhile in terms of prizes.

You see, for the first contest, I just gave away signed books and posters to the winners. But that was before we opened up the Tinker’s Packs. These days, I’m guessing most of you who really want signed books, posters, or a t-shirt have probably bought them already.

I wracked my brain for a long time. Because so many of the pictures were so cool, I really wanted the prizes to be cool. But I couldn’t think of anything….

Then the lovely folks at Badali Jewelry dropped me an e-mail. They were wondering if it was okay if they made some talent pipes in gold to go with the silver ones they were already selling.

I e-mailed them back saying I’d really rather they didn’t make any gold-colored pipes. If the pipes are meant to be replicas of the jewelry from my world, it wouldn’t be realistic for there to be any gold ones. The only pipes given out at the Eolian are silver.

Well, except for two. Deoch and Stancheon each have a set of gold pipes because they own the Eolian. They get the gold pipes because they run the show. They’re the ones behind the scenes make everything work….

That’s when I realized what I could give out as a prize….

I asked Badali to make a special batch of gold talent pipes. And they did.

Now before you get too excited, they’re not solid gold. They’re plated.

That said, these are pipes that money can’t buy. These are pipes you can only get from me. I’m giving them out to people that have done nice things for me. People who have helped with the book. People who have made me happy.

For example, I’m giving them out my beta readers, because their feedback helped me polish and refine book two.

And I’m giving them to the folks that win the photo contest. Because they have filled my heart with geeky joy.

That means if you see someone wearing a set of gold pipes, you know that person is some special flavor of cool.

So. Now I have prizes and time to finish organizing categories and picking winners. That means you’ll be seeing the results of the contest over the next month or so. I’m going to be breaking them into several blogs because there are *way* too many for me to post up in just one blog.

Hell, there were ten blogs worth of pictures in the first contest, and this time around we easily have 7-8 times more photos. I’m going to have to make some hard choices….

[Edit: The grand prize winner’s link works now, or you could just click here and take a look…]

So get ready, folks. You’re going to see some cool stuff in the weeks to come….

For now, if you *need* to look at some pictures, you can peek at the honorable mentions I’ve already posted up and set Seussian-style rhyme over here.


Also posted in fan coolness | By Pat44 Responses
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