Art Contest III: The Artening.

Hey there everybody,

If you’ve been hanging around the blog for a while, you know that in June Worldbuilders holds a fundraiser. It’s called Geeks Doing Good, and we put a bunch of cool geekery up on Indigogo for a week so y’all can come over, ooh and ahhh, then hopefully buy some stuff and help us make the world a better place.

Traditionally, we do some T-shirts during the fundraiser. And we have, in the past, occasionally run contests where people can submit designs for t-shirts which we then vote for here on the blog

I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this.

Truth is, over the years y’all have made some beautiful art. And since it’s been two years since our last contest, we figured we were overdue. So we’re throwing open the doors again, and inviting y’all to submit designs for new kingkiller shirts.

But that’s not all….

You see, long long ago. Years and miles away. We made a kingkiller onesie:

It was adored by children everywhere.

We even shot a video of Oot describing what exactly was going on in the picture:

(Awwww… Daddy’s little shill.)

But that was a *long* time ago. Maybe seven years? And we never did a second printing, so most people never had a chance to pick one up….

So anyway, in addition to t-shirt designs, I’d love to see some ideas for onesies or baby shirts if y’all have any bright ideas. I’ve been wanting to make another onesie forever, and this seems like a good opportunity.

Here are some general rules:

  • Must be your original art/design.
  • Please submit your entry as a jpeg, png, or pdf.
  • Images should not exceed 5MB. (If you win, we’ll contact you for high res.)
  • Please submit no more than three designs per category.
  • You can submit the same design to both categories.
  • Submissions must be sent via email. (Below.)
  • The submission period ends on Wednesday, May 17th.

This isn’t a rule so much as an important note: remember that fewer colors for a design tends to be simpler and more elegant, not to mention cheaper to produce.

Here’s how you submit your entries:

  • If you want to submit a t-shirt design, email it to tshirt (at) worldbuilders.org
  • If you want to submit a onesie or baby shirt design, email it to onesie (at) worldbuilders.org

After the deadline, we here at Worldbuilders HQ will sift and sort them, then post a blog where everyone can come in and vote on which ones they like best.

*     *     *

While we’re on the topic of art, there’s another project I’ve been wanting to do for ages. It started as a stupid joke years and years ago, I think I was talking with Paul and Storm about selling out, and what sort of really crass merchandising I’d do. I can’t really remember products we discussed, but it was crazy bullshit like Kvothe action figures with Real Sympathy Grip (TM) and Name of the Windbreakers.

Oh. Oh damn. I meant that to be a joke. But we could totally sell a Windbreaker, couldn’t we?

No. No no. I’m not going to do that. One crazy idea at a time.

Anyway, the one idea I do remember from that conversation was when we joked about making a kingkiller lunchbox. Mostly because I pictured it as having “The Name of the Lunch” written on it. I laughed my ass off at the thought. Partly because when I was a kid, I actually did have a lunchbox. It had Benji on it. And a thermos for milk. My mom packed me a lunch in it for years until I got too old for Benji. Then she used brown bag lunches instead.

So over the years, whenever we would talk about product development, I’d always bring up the Name of the Lunchbox as a joke. Then everyone would roll their eyes at me and we’d all move on with our day.

But when I brought it up this year, everyone kinda just looked at each other and said, “Why not?” The Indigogo is the perfect place to do it, because if people *do* want this bizarre thing and we sell 500 of them, that’s great. But if sanity prevails and we only sell 15, we’ll produce as many as we need, move on with our lives, and Worldbuilders won’t get stuck with four pallets of them gathering dust in a warehouse.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that this is a strange project. Hell, that’s most of the reason I want to do it. And it may prove too complicated to pull it off this year. But what the hell, right? Let’s at least give it a try…

But to do that, we’ll need art for the lunchbox. So if you’re an arty type, I’d love to see what you’d come up with for something like this.

The rules for the lunchbox designs are a little looser. There are size and shape issues that we’ll have to work out if we pick your design. But for your initial submission, USE THE TEMPLATE HERE as a guide, then email it to (you guessed it) lunchbox (at) worldbuilders.org.

Fair warning. We *might* not be putting the lunchbox design up for a vote. As I said, this project is a bit of an odd thing. As I mentioned earlier, you may not see the final product this year. Or maybe ever. But getting art we like is the first step in making my lunchbox dreams come true.

On a completely unrelated note, if you happen to know anyone in the lunchbox-making business who would be willing to give a charity a break on minimum order quantities, feel-free to send them our way.

*     *     *

Lastly but not leastly, I’d like to say that I’m a big fan of people getting paid for their work. Especially designers and artists, who are all-too-frequently asked to ply their craft for free. And while exposure is lovely, we all know you can’t eat it.

Since Worldbuilders is a charity, we run on donations. Partly because of that, and partly because we began as a shoestring operation running out of my living room, most of the art we’ve used was simply given to us out of the kindness of the artist’s hearts. In doing so, those folks have helped us raise a ton of money to make the world a better place.

But artists have to eat too. So from now on, Worldbuilders is adopting the policy of paying the winners of these contests for the use of their art. It’s not going to be buy-an-island money or anything. But it’s something. And don’t get me wrong, if you decide to waive the fee or re-donate it to the charity, we’re still cool with that, too…

I’m just saying. I admire you art-doers. I respect your cleverness and craft. The designs you create fill me with great joy, and help us produce things. You are important to us. So. From now on, there will be money on the table if we pick your design.

I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with…

pat

Posted in calling on the legions, contests, cool things, fan coolness, Geeks Doing Good | By Pat28 Responses

The Warning on the Door

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

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

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

(Here he is winning a game of Tak.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

20161211_124915(Click to Embiggen. Seriselee.)

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

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

“Do. not. Entre.”

“i. Will. Kil. You. if. You. Trn.”

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

“Seriselee. Stae. The. Fukc. Out.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_20170406_191850

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So he takes another run at it:

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

I hope y’all are doing okay out there.

Take care of each other,

pat

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

Elections, Activism, Updates, and Invitations

Heya everybody, I’ve got some news today:

1. Heads up about the Newsletter:

A while back, I wrote a blog where I talked about the results of the election, and talked about how I was thinking of starting up an activism newsletter. When 2500 of y’all signed up for it in just a couple days, it let me know that people really wanted help engaging in productive activism and getting reliable news.

Since then, I’ve been assembling my team of People-Who-Are-Smarter-Than-Me (TM) to make this happen. I want the newsletter to be smart, easy-to-interact-with, and efficient. I want it to be useful and exciting. Something you’ll look forward to showing up in your inbox. Something you’ll tell your friends about.

But that takes time. And despite the fact that the newsletter isn’t up and running yet, there are important things happening.

Specifically, there are elections happening. And if you care about changing things, you have to get out and vote.

Y2HTItLT.jpg large(Actual Footage.)

2. Elections

If you live in Wisconsin, like me. There are elections today. And one of the big things up for grabs is State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Given that the current secretary of education is an embarrassingly unqualified billionaire heiress who was appointed due to the fact that her family donates millions to politicians… well… it’s pretty important that we get qualified people into positions of power on the state level.

(By the way, Tony Evers is the guy who has my vote. He’s been doing the job for a while and comes highly recommended by my teacher friends.)

But it’s not just happening here in Wisconsin: there are four seats in the house of representatives up for grabs over this next month. Given what’s going on in our country right now, that’s a *huge* deal.

And here’s the thing: spring elections have *really* low turnout. You can make a huge difference with just a few votes.

How few? Well, I have a friend who was once elected to a seat on the city council. You know how many votes it took?

Eight. And she didn’t win *by* eight votes. She got Eight. Total. Votes.

But that was enough. And she got in.

That’s why I’m reaching out today. Your vote is a big deal. And if you take a step even further and clue in your friends and family, it can make a HUGE difference.

So. Below are a list of elections that are happening soon. Some of them are happening TODAY.

If the table below doesn’t work for you, here’s a direct link to a spreadsheet with the information.

Most of the elections are regional, and you’ll need to look up whether or not your county or city is one of the regions. A few of them are statewide, but the provisions on each ballot will still be different depending on where you live.

ALL of them are important. People on school boards have a *huge* impact on local education. Primaries are a *big* deal.

If you’re one of the people who’s lucky enough to get the chance to vote today, take the time to look things up and do your research. My team worked hard all day to try to find government websites that would give you the information you’ll need, but I’m gonna tell you the truth: some state websites are not good. Many haven’t updated since the November election.

(We’ve added this to the list of issues we’re going to try and address in the newsletter in the future.)

For the regional elections. You’ll be much better off looking up information on your city or county website. Or you can do what I do, and call up someone who you you trust and respect, and ask their opinion. Have a conversation and become more informed. (Also it’s a nice excuse to catch up with a friend.)

We’ve done our best here on kinda short notice. But this list isn’t perfect. If you don’t see your state on this list, but you know there *is* an election coming up, drop us a line we’ll keep things updated.

3. A Second Chance…

So here’s the thing, if you signed up for the newsletter. I just sent something very similar to this to your inbox. It’s probably sitting there right now, in fact. Waiting hopefully for you to click it.

If that’s the case, why am I repeating it here?

For one, to give those of you who didn’t know about the budding mailing list another chance to sign up for it here:

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required



(Or you can follow this link if the form isn’t working for you)

I’m also repeating it here because… well… even if you didn’t sign up for the newsletter, voting is still important.

What’s more, I don’t know how many of you might have missed that blog. Or how many of you might have particularly aggressive spam filters. Or how many of you might simply ignore a kinda rando message showing up out of nowhere…

I will say this though. When we get the newsletter up and running, I won’t be duplicating what it does here. So if you want to be involved, hit that form.

One final thing: If you’d like to help us get this mailing list off the ground, send an email to us at activism[@]patrothfuss.com with “STARTUP” in the subject line and we’ll get in touch.

That’s all for now, folks.

Thanks for taking the time to go out and do good in the world.

pat

Posted in a billion links | By Pat40 Responses

Fictional Conflict

Hey there everybody.

So every year or so, there’s a website that organizes what they call a fantasy cage match, wherein they pair a bunch of fictional characters up against each other and make them fight.

It’s a fun concept, very tongue and cheek, and my characters have ended up involved in various ways over the years. I think it was the very first year they did it when Kvothe went up against Aslan. I was so tickled by the idea, that I wrote up how I thought the match would go. (And a couple years later, I posted it up on the blog.)

kvothe_vs__aslan_by_rainforestgoddess-d4v5mgz(And someone liked it enough to do Fanart. Which makes me happy.)

It’s funny. I can remember where I was when I wrote that. I was in a hotel lobby down in… Iowa? I was traveling down to Virginia Beach for a signing, and Sarah and Oot were still sleeping in the hotel room. He was so tiny then. I think he was barely even one year old…

That was a tricky time for me. In some ways, I was in a great place: After more than a decade of work, my book was finally published, and people liked it. I had a beautiful son, a successful book, money in my pocket, and fans who loved my work. I got invited to conventions, and when I did a signing, as many as a hundred people would show up….

But in other ways, things were a real shitshow. I hadn’t finished book two yet, and I was a mess of self-recrimination and guilt about that. I was trying to come to grips with being a professional writer, and adult, a father, and a minor celebrity. Though I didn’t yet know it, my mood disorder was becoming more prominent, and my writing was not going well.

Then I sat down in that hotel lobby and wrote what turned out to be a lovely, fun, sweet little scene between Kvothe and Aslan. It only took two hours, and it came out nice and clean. It was startling how easy it was, because working on book two was excruciating.

Anyway. There’s another cage match going on, and this time it’s Devi in the mix. She made it to round four, where she’s going head-to-head with Tom Bombadil.

The thought of them in a confrontation tickled me, so this Sunday I sat down to write it up.

And as I write this it’s interesting how similar things are right now. Viewed from one angle, my life could not be better. I’ve got a movie and tv deal going. Lin-Manuel Fucking Miranda is involved. I have several successful books out. Translated in 35 languages. Millions of books sold. TWO lovely children….

But I’m a mess. I’m such a mess. And I’m behind on everything. And the writing isn’t going well.

But on Sunday I wrote this thing. And it was fun. And easy. And for the space of about 10 hours I felt really good.

So. Anyway. I’m sharing it with you now with the hope that you’ll enjoy it.

Also, I’d like to note that in writing something like this, I’m not hoping to tip the Scales toward Devi. I’m not trying to rig this voting thing. If you prefer to think of this as a straight-up fight and you think Tom should win, because… well… he’s Eldest and Fatherless. Probably one of the Valar. That’s cool. Vote for him. Vote ten times.

Even if you read my alternate take on events, (no spoilers here) and still decide that Tom would win the alternate competition that ends up getting proposed there. That’s cool. And rather reasonable, too. As Tom still has the home field advantage in that scenario. Great. Vote for him. I’d honestly love to see him go up against Ragnar in the final round.

Anyway. Here’s a link to the write up I did.

I’ll eventually post it up here on the blog just to archive it. Because I never know when some other site will move or change or a link will go dead. It will also be nice to get a chance to edit the piece a little bit, as I wrote it in a single day, and I usually like to tweak and massage my writing a lot more than that. Even if it’s just a little something that I do for fun.

I hope all of you are doing well.

pat

Posted in Uncategorized | By Pat65 Responses

Fee Fie Faux

So I stumbled across this thing recently…

Even if you’re not a fan of Neil Gaiman, it’s worth watching. If you are a fan, it’s hugely funny. And if you’ve listened to Neil’s Audiobooks as much as I have (Which is to say obsessively) the above video is AMAZING.

My third time watching it, I started wondering, “Could we do something like this, but for my writing?”

At first I dismissed the thought as silly. For one thing, I don’t have Gaiman’s gorgeous voice and accent. I don’t think my writing style is as distinctive as his, either.

But the idea kept tickling at me. And the truth is, when I go to conventions, or events, or signings, I’m always looking for fun, bite-sized things I can read in front of a crowd.

So I’m finally saying “What the hell” and giving it a try. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t. But if it does work, this could be a lot of fun. I could read a couple on the JocoCruise next week, or when I’m out at Gencon. If nothing else, I’ll read the best of them on my twitch channel so everyone can see them, then upload them to youtube later for archival purposes.

So… yeah. If this is something that appeals to you, give me your best Bad Rothfuss style piece of writing in the form below. It should be NO MORE THAN 1800 characters (which is around 300 words).

I know. I know. How can you satirize my effluvient verbosity in only 300 words? Well… I don’t know. Maybe you’ll just have to pick some other element of my style to lovingly satirize. All I know is that if I don’t put a cap on these, we’ll end up with several hundred thousand words submitted and this will go from a fun little activity to a horrifying millstone around my neck. (And by my neck, I mean Amanda’s neck. Because she’s one of the folks who will be helping to winnow these down.)

Anyway. Be aware that the form is set to cut you off before you start to bloviate. What’s more, I let Amanda write her own sassy response that will pop up as an error if you go over the character count.

We’ve included a place in there for your name and e-mail, too. That way, I can give you credit if I read yours….

So… yeah. Here you go. I’m curious to see what comes in, and read some of them in my best audio narrator voice….

Take care of each other,

pat

Posted in Consistent Verb Tense Is For Bitches, cool things, dicking around, fanfic, talking shit, the craft of writing, The difference between 'slim' and 'slender' | By Pat55 Responses

Beautiful Games….

Heya folks,

As many of you have already noticed, the Tak kickstarter has been fulfilled.

(Dear Andrew, I’d like you to be the official Tak spokesmodel. And I’m not just saying that because you’re way *way* pretty. It’s because your presentation here is absolutely flawless.)

The vast majority of you who backed the kickstarter have your goodies now. And while a few of you might not yet, that’s mostly due to international shipping, or because some people never answered their Kickstarter surveys. (Imagine me giving you a disappointed-but-still-loving dad look here.)

But yeah. The big news is that games have been showing up at people’s houses for months. It’s exciting for me to see people finally getting to have their own copies. And not just playing it, but really kinda loving it.

Not only have folks been playing it, but they’ve been taking it out in public, showing it off, and making friends….

There’s been some very nice photography done, as well as some political commentary.

This was one of the more pleasantly surprising tweets I saw from fellow author Sabba Tahir.

I’d always assumed that Oot (age 7) would be too young to play. But hearing that Sabba’s kid and others had been successfully learning the game, I thought I thought I’d try him out…

20170218_172812

We started on the 3×3 and he eagerly moved up into a 4×4 game. Then he wanted to play the 5×5….

Everything said, he took to it pretty well. He’s no mastermind, but… well… neither am I. And he won fair and square one game when I wasn’t paying proper attention.

Most importantly though, we had a good time. And I’m looking forward to playing more with him in the future.

In terms of games being shipped out, we haven’t just fulfilled the kickstarter. We’ve also completed shipping out all the pre-orders people placed in The Tinker’s Packs. That means that as of now you can order the base game, cloth or wooden boards, the Tavern set, and all the other Tak Swag over in The Tinker’s Packs. Not only will we ship it out to you straightaway, but you can sleep soundly at night knowing that all the proceeds go to charity.

Companion_Book_For_Real-real_1024x1024(I have to say, the companion book turned out pretty nice as well.)

If you’ve been enjoying Tak, feel free to share your pictures and stories in the comments below. You can also review the game on BoardGameGeek. It’s the biggest game review website out there, so a good rating there will do a lot to help get the word about Tak out to people.

Last but not least, Tak has already been nominated for a Golden Geek award for 2016. So if you’re a frequent user of BoardGameGeek, you can head on over and vote for it in the 2-player category.

So… yeah. I’m glad you guys have been enjoying it. And if you missed out on the Kickstarter, feel free to swing by the Tinker’s Packs and pick one up. Or more than that. Don’t worry. I won’t judge.

pat

Posted in Beautiful Games, Oot, The Tinker's Packs | By Pat35 Responses

Humble Bundle: Fantastic Fiction

Hey everyone,

Thanks for a successful Q&A a couple of weeks ago. I had a surprisingly good time on the livestream, with more than 3500 people watching at one point, which beats my previous best livestream by a factor of three.

For those of you who don’t have any real desire to watch a video where I talk almost non-stop for over two hours, (and I can’t blame you, really) I’ll mention that I made an announcement at the end of the session. Specifically, that we’ll be releasing a 10th Anniversary Edition of The Name of the Wind later this year. If you really want more details, well…. *glances up at link to the video.*

I’ll do an official blog about that at some point in the future. Hopefully showing off the new cover and talking in more detail about what will be included in the edition. But that’s probably down the road a bit. Today, I thought I’d let you know about two other things.

  • The Activism Primer.

I wrote a blog about a week ago about how a few members of the Worldbuilders Team were dealing with the current political climate. At the end of the blog, I mentioned that I’d been thinking of putting together a newsletter for people who want to stay informed and/or learn how to engage in effective activism.

Problem was, I didn’t know if that’s something people really wanted, so I put up a google form, and… well… And as of right now about 2100 folks have signed up. So it looks like I’ll be putting a team together to make that happen.

  • A new Humble Bundle.

Good news! Humble Bundle and Subterranean Press have teamed up again to offer some cool books in return for a donation to charity, and they’ve selected Worldbuilders as the charity of choice.

SubPress_BlogImage

For those of you who don’t know, Humble Bundle lets you pay what you want for a bunch of cool DRM-Free books. The more money you donate, the more books you get. And if you donate over 15 bucks, you ALL the books in the bundle.

And this is good stuff too. Books by Jim Butcher, Tim Powers, Mira Grant and Kevin Hearn. Not to mention plucky up-and-comers like John Scalzi and Clive Barker….

If that’s not enough for you, well don’t fret. They’ll be adding even more books in a couple days, so the bundle will only get better.

Perhaps coolest of all, as with all the Humble Bundles, you’re able to decide exactly where where your money goes. For example:

25_wb and subpress equal

Or, for another example:

25_wb awesome

I don’t know about you, but that sort of freedom of choice delights me. It’s one of the things I love most about Humble Bundle.

And if these books aren’t enough to slake your terrible thirst for cool geekery, Worldbuilders is now one of their official registered charities, so you can support us in the Humble Store.

Support Worldbuilders Humble Store

They’ve got a ton of games and other cool things in there if you want to wander around a take a look.

There are lots of ways to help out and get cool stuff in return, but be careful. The Subterranean Press bundle will end on March 1st at 11am Pacific Time.

See you later Space Cowboys…

pat

Posted in Subterranean Press, Worldbuilders | By Pat6 Responses
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