One Good Thing #2

In an effort to get back into blogging while also focusing the positive things in my life, I’m trying something I think of as “One Good Thing” where I share a good thing out of my day.

This is one of those things:

*     *     *

Today I was hanging out with my boys, and I said, utterly unironically, “Jeepers Cripes.”

(I honestly don’t know why. As a lot of you know, especially if you’ve seen me in person or watched me livestream, I curse like a sailor with a broken leg an will happily shout “Motherfucker!” at the slightest provocation.

That said, I do tend to use different language around the boys, so maybe this isn’t that odd.)

Okay. So. As I said, I was hanging out with my boys, and I said, “Jeepers Cripes.”

Cutie: That would be funny if you said, “Jeepers Crepes.”

Oot: Delicious.

Cutie: That would be a curse word in the Candy Kingdom.

Cutie preparing something for Experimental Sandwich Night using a tortilla,  peanut butter, raspberry jam, and what is known in our house as “garbage cheese.” It could be fairly said that this is about as close to a “Jeepers Crepes” as you are ever likely to see in this world.

*     *     *

Internet went out at my house last night, so I wasn’t able to livestream, tweet, or write a blog to promote the fundraiser or talk about the new items we have going up.

That said, things are going well. We’ve raised over $80,000 so far, which I feel is pretty good given, well, covid and the general state of the world.

That said, we have posted up a *bunch* of new things today, most of them limited in quantity, some of them purely digital (for those of you who live overseas and don’t want to pay crazy shipping), many of them severely discounted…

So if you’re interested in grabbing stuff, keep in mind that there’s only 3 days left before it’s over.

Take care of each other,

pat

 

Posted in Cutie Snoo, Experimental Sandwitch, One Good Thing, Oot | By Pat22 Responses

When the Hearthfire turns to blue….

Hey there everybody,

We made a video to help promote one of the new products we’re featuring in our Geeks Doing Good fundraiser and it turned out way better than I’d dared to hope, so I thought I’d share it here:

(Though whoever chose that paricular thumbnail should be fired.)

If you’re interested in checking out some of the cool things we’re selling for charity, you should head over to check out the indigogo sooner rather than later. Not only are there only 4 days left, but a lot of the items are limited quantity, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.

And if you *have* already checked it out… maybe go have another look? We’re adding new items every day to replace the ones that sell out. (The Jamdrian, for example, just went live yesterday.) We’ve also had a few unexpected donations come through in the last few days. And I’ve been digging through my personal trove of hoarded treasures to find stuff we can add to the mix…

I’m also streaming every day starting at 12:00 Central standard time, and so far it’s been… weird. Fun but weird. If you’re looking for some chill surrealism to help the quarantine pass more quickly, feel free to wander on over and join us in the chat.

Later Space Cowboys,

pat

Posted in Acts of Whimsy, cool things, dicking around | By Pat16 Responses

One Good Thing

A little while back, I was doing some livestreaming over on my twitch channel, and someone in the chat mentioned that they missed my blogs.

Wait…

I just did the math and realized it’s actually two or three months ago. It doesn’t *feel* like 2-3 months. It either feels like two weeks or two years. My perception of time was never the best, and now with Covid it feels like I’m living in a tesseract that’s also an escape room designed by a sadist.

Anyway. Back a billion years ago, I was streaming and someone asked me if I ever planned on writing more blogs. I mentioned that I’d love to. I miss writing the blogs, too. Or rather, I miss the community that we had here where I would share stories and people would interact in the comments.

Truth is, I’ve made notes, taken pictures, set aside links for at least two dozen blogs just this year alone. A lot of them I’ve actually started writing, too…

But there’s a lot that gets in the way. Covid, of course. Regular life. Being a dad. Other work. Mood disorders. Chaos and charity….

Also, when I think of writing a blog, all I can think of is the fact that I haven’t written *anything* here in the last six months. Hell, I’ve barely written much in the last 2-3 years.

It’s so different than it used to be back in the day: I used to post at least once or twice a week, telling y’all little stories about what was going on with me. My adventures as a fledgling author. I enjoyed sharing little pieces of my life, and odds are, if something interesting or important happened, y’all would hear about it here.

But for a long while now, a lot of what’s been going on with me… talking about it just hasn’t been appropriate. Most of the big events in my personal life are depressing, or not entirely mine to share.

On the other hand there’s my professional life. There have been big things there too, many of them centering around the development deal with Lionsgate, and the show I was working on with John Rodgers for Showtime. Those things have been a big part of my life for years, taking up a ton of time, energy, and headspace. (Hell, just negotiating the contract with Lionsgate took me nearly 18 months.)

Was it interesting? Absolutely. New? Terrifyingly so. Were there stories to tell? Very yes. Once Flavor Flav stopped me in my hotel lobby and told me I really looked like an old friend of his. I actually worked with Sam Raimi. (He’s really nice.) I got to be in a writer’s room for the first time. In fact, I’ve been in more than one.

The problem is this: A lot of times I wasn’t legally allowed to talk about some of those things. Like one of the writer’s rooms I was in. Signed a big NDA. Just not allowed to say.

Even when it wasn’t illegal for me to talk about, a lot of times it would have been really unforgivably rude. Like when I met Raimi, we talked a couple times *long* before Lionsgate ever made the announcement that he was involved in the movie. So I couldn’t just go on my blog and tell y’all about how he was really nice and also he gave me a lemon.

(Also, for those of you who haven’t been following the news. Raimi isn’t involved in the project any more. It just didn’t work out.)

So yeah. Through the last couple years, even when it wasn’t illegal for me to share news, after a few mistakes I learned it was still really bad form to talk about a lot of things publicly. And so, because I wanted to be a good collaborator, I just didn’t talk about things.

So what does this have to do with me streaming a couple months back?

Well, as I said, someone mentioned that they missed the blogs, I said I missed them too. But I’ve gotten out of the habit. And the world is on fire. And I’m constantly exhausted. And part of me feels like I’m going to start sharing stories here again, I should try to catch people up on that last 4-5 years of my life. An odd, impossible urge…

So I mentioned a thought I’d been rolling around in my head. That rather than worry about posting up something important or profound, I could just share one good thing out of my day on the blog. Just a little thing to remind me that not everything is covid. That there’s still joy to be had in the world.

People seemed to like the idea, so I decided to do it.

And then a couple months went by….

But here. Now, I’m going to do it. Here’s one good thing, a text a business associate sent me after we had a zoom meeting:

As you can see, this is from a while ago. I’ve been saving a bunch of little things like this with the intention of sharing them here more regularly.

In other news, Worldbuilders just launched its Midseason Fundraiser. For the next week, we’re selling a bunch of cool geekery so we can keep the lights on.

It only lasts for a week, and some items are limited quantities. So if you’re curious, you should head over and check it out.

Also, in addition to my regular streaming and gaming and Q&A and such that I do, today (Tuesday) I’m going to be doing a livestream to talk with him about his new book that’s releasing today: Peace Talks.

This chat will be extra fun for us here at Worldbuilders, as we’re we’re also selling copies of Jim’s Books with specially designed Worldbuilders-Exclusive  bookplates…

You can catch our Q&A over on my twitch stream.

You can see the cool bookplates designed by Satine Phoenix and Nate Taylor over here in our Indigogo or over here in the Worldbuilders store.

As always, all proceeds go to making the world a better place.

Stay tuned. I’ll be doing a couple more blogs over the next couple days…

pat

Posted in a ganglion of irreconcilable antagonisms, One Good Thing | By Pat66 Responses

A beautiful board for a beautiful game

I am constantly blown away by the amazing things you kind folks make, and even more impressed that you donate those works of art to Worldbuilders.

If you join me on Twitch you may have seen me share a lovely Tak board donated by Aaron Schmersal.

If you haven’t seen it you can get a good look here:

I’ll be giving this away as a prize for folks who donate to my page through the course of the fundraiser. Thanks to our super fun Afterparty you still have chances to donate and be entered into the drawing for all of the fun stretch goals!

Take a look at this lovely thing. It truly is a work of art.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | By Pat115 Responses

Ain’t no party like a Worldbuilders Party cause a Worldbuilders party don’t…

As I start typing this, It’s around 10:30 on Dec 17th. It’s the final day of the 11th annual Worldbuilders fundraiser.

We are rapidly closing in on three-quarters of a million dollars.

And that’s excellent. I’m over the moon. I want to talk about that. So much.

But here’s the thing: I have news…

And rather than work up to it slowly like I normally do, I’m going to switch it up an little and jump straight to it. Imma gonna spring the news, then go back and tell you the why and the wherefore.

You ready?

(Bam!)

Or, for those of you who prefer more info in your info-graphic:

Simply said, tomorrow, December 18th, I’m going to be streaming for 14 hours straight to celebrate the success of this year’s fundraiser. We’ll have guests stopping for discussions, I’m going to play Minecraft with Oot, we’re going to show off videos for the stretch goals we’ve achieved, tell some old, beloved stories…

…and talk about the amazing things Heifer does, like give away goats…

Here’s the schedule:

(All the times [except the multifarious midnights] are CST.)

And, since we’re doing all that, it only seems to make sense to leave the doors open for people to donate throughout the day.

The reasons we’re doing this are manifold, but here are the main two:

1. Tradition.

Those of you who have been following Worldbuilders for a while know that our end-of-year fundraiser used to look a lot different than it does now. For one thing, it used to be exclusively run off of my blog, and it used to run for an entire month.

Except it didn’t. For years and years, we ended up extending the fundraiser out past our initial ending date. Sometimes it was because we had a last minute sponsor we wanted to showcase. Sometimes it was because some chaos or catastrophe threw us off schedule. Once it was because we got offered some matching money and we couldn’t bring ourselves to say no to that. Once things got so out of hand we extended *past* Christmas and the whole fundraiser spanned over seven weeks…

And some times we did it just for fun, or because we’d gotten into the habit.

This year, we’re deciding to continue the tradition in a different way. We’re taking one final day just to appreciate how lovely this community is. To put a bow on it. To show off some of the lovely things people have done. To relax and have fun and enjoy our success.

And, of course…

2. To give the latecomers one last chance.

What usually happens the day after the fundraiser is that I go into a deep, healing Odinsleep. When I emerge, I peek on social media and I invariably see dozens of people saying, “Oh no! Worldbuilders is over?!? Did I miss it? Can I still donate?”

And I get that. This is a busy time of year. Finals. Holiday planning. Family travel. Or maybe you’re just like me and tend to put things off to the last minute and then kinda forget about them.

But still, it breaks my heart to see those messages.

So. One extra day. If you were meaning to donate. Now’s your chance. If you were going to tell your friend about us, you’ve got a few more hours. If you were going to spread the word on social media, now you can use this amazing gif to do just that.

(Ooontz Ooontz Ooontz Ooontz Ooontz.)

*      *     *

So yeah. C’mon over and take one last chance to win fabulous prizes while making the world a better place…

Every $10 you donate still gets you a chance to win all manner of coolness. And if you donate on my team page, you’ll be eligible to win even more.

Look forward to seeing many of you over on the stream tomorrow.

But for now? I sleep…

pat

 

Later Edit: I meant to ask this last night, but forgot because I was tired.

If any of you have stories about worldbuilders, I’d love it if you shared them in the comments below. Here’s an example from a previous year:

“I started a new job as a barista for an Independent cafe in Philadelphia this year. I saved up all the change that people tipped to me. I was so surprised at how much i had when I counted it up! Thanks for all that you do!”

It warms my heart to hear those stories, and I might share some of them on the stream.

Posted in Achievement Unlocked!, Ask the Author, baby ducks, Because I Love, being awesome, Worldbuilders 2019 | By Pat17 Responses

Crapping Presents: In Which Oot is Cute

Heya everybody,

It’s been a while since I told a story about my kids here on the blog. And over the last couple days, my kids have been *particularly* fucking cute. So I figured this was as good a time as any to break my dry spell…

My little boys are, despite my best efforts, getting older. Oot is ten, and just a little while back, Cutie (also known as Cutie Snoo) turned an almost incomprehensible six years old.

(Here they are at Gamehole Con, dressed up as squids.)

Now some of you might think that the costumes they’re wearing look suspiciously like those costumes people buy for their dogs at Target. And some of you would be right. But my kids don’t know that. And I don’t plan on telling them. And also they were super cheap. Also shut up. Also, I’m an awesome dad.

Also also, just because it’s been a while since I’ve talked about the boys here on the blog, I should make it clear that Oot and Cutie Snoo aren’t their real names. I keep their real names private because I talk about them and share pictures of them on the internet. Using public names gives them a bit of privacy and safety. If they really want to be internet famous, they can make that decision for themselves when they grow up. I don’t want to make it for them.

Anyway, as I was saying, I’ve been wanting to tell a cute kid story for a while now, and for a similar amount of while, I thought that that story was going to involve the time that I heard them playing in their room together.

“What are you guys doing?” I asked.

“We were playing M&M!” Cutie chirrups.

“What’s that?” says me, the very good dad who would never dress his kids in dog costumes unless, of course, they were super cheap and his kids looked amazingly adorable in them.

“It’s kinda like D&D,” says Oot. “Except without the dice.”

Which is to say that what they were *really* doing was telling stories together.

I hope I don’t need to stress to you how ebullient that makes me feel. I’ve been telling them stories for years now. Little adventure tales where they are characters and they solve problems or make choices that shape the narrative. It’s like role playing without the roll, if you catch my meaning.

And now, apparently, they’re doing it with each other….

I’ll be honest with y’all. I wish I had that story on tape. Partly so *I* would get to listen to it all, but also so I could share it with you. All I really caught from listening in the hallway was that someone had stolen someone else’s socks. Further inquiry informed me that Cutie was originally going to be a Frost Gecko who would eventually transform into an Ice Dragon. But then he became a Flame Raven. But now he was a human because he needed to have a backpack because… honestly. I don’t remember why. Probably just Because Backpacks, I’m guessing.

(Also, I think he had a shock toad as a pet? And it ate battery flies? I don’t have any more context than that for you, sorry.)

But that story, sadly, will have to wait for another time. Maybe I can get lucky and get them to continue it on tape at some point.

For now, as I was saying, my boys = cute and awesome. Also, my littler, Codename Cutie, just recently had a birthday.

So. Cue the music. Cute story time.

*     *     *

The other day, I had a remarkably large amount of fun going shopping for Cutie’s birthday presents with Oot. This didn’t used to be the case, as little kids, by and large, are more interested in getting presents than giving them. And taking a kid to a toy store and telling them over and over, “Yes, I know YOU like that Frozen 2 Drum Set (TM) and the Farting Kermit the Frog plushy with RealStinq technology, but we’re shopping for your brother, remember…?”

But this year, shopping was such a delight. Oot had ideas of his own. Things *he* wanted to shop for. Even picked out his own card, which is one of the best I’ve ever seen:

But wait, it gets better.

One of the things I struggle with a lot as a parent is *not* doing things for my boys. Especially when we’re in a hurry. Especially when I can see my boys are struggling.

This may not make sense to a lot of y’all, but I think one of my main jobs as a dad is to let my children struggle. They need to try things, fail, be frustrated, fail again, get irritated, try again, then eventually get something done and be generally disappointed in the fact that it hasn’t turned out as well as they’d hoped.

But it’s HARD. I’m a fixer. I’m a helper. I want to make their lives easy. I want to offer assistance, give advice, and help them *avoid* disappointment.

Still, I strive to leave them be and force them to do things themselves even when they’re bad at it. Because doing things yourself is the only way you get better.

I’ve done this for years with Oot, one of my earliest memories of this was him around 2 years old. We’re in the kitchen, and I’m watching him try to cut a potato with a butter knife for AGES while my fingers twitch with the almost overwhelming desire to step forward and say, “Here, let me help….”

Fast forward to now. He’s 10. He’s picked out his own presents. He knew exactly the wrapping paper he wanted. Picked out the bow he wanted, too.

We were a little late for the party. Time was tight. He didn’t want to be late. I asked him if he wanted me to help him cut the wrapping paper… and he said no, thanks anyway, he’d rather wrap it himself…

Then he wrapped this:

I am going to be completely honest here. This is more fastidiously wrapped than anything I’ve done in my whole life. This will probably shock none of you, but when I wrap things… pretty isn’t the word that leaps to mind.

Here, for example, is a prize package that I wrapped for the Worldbuilders lottery years and years ago…

(Click to embiggen.)

Needless to say, they don’t let me help with that anymore.

But here’s my boy, age 10, doing this:

Then this:

Whatever gene governs this ability must be recessive, because it certainly didn’t manifest in me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love how beautiful my boy’s presents turned out. I love that he cared about making something beautiful for his brother. And I love seeing him be better at something with me.

But that wasn’t the really excellent part.

This was:

Then:

And finally:

The final result: a present that looks like it was wrapped by an angry badger. It looks like Oot  either didn’t care at all, or that he really couldn’t use tape to save his life. We spent so much time strategizing about how to make it look crappy, laughing and laughing. It was 15 minutes of pure joy. Joy the likes of which I rarely experience these days. Quite literally the most raw and perfect happiness I’ve had in a week.

As we were getting ready to take him to the party, I looked at the package and started to laugh.

“It’s such crappy wrapping!” I said.

“Crapping,” Oot corrected me, making a portmanteau of the words. (I should teach him that term, now that I think of it.)

“You did a good job crapping that present,” I said.

“We crapped it together,” he said, grinning like a maniac.

And we continued like that, back and forth, all the way to the party.

*     *     *

It’s been too long since I shared something like this with y’all. It feels nice.

As an interesting side-note for those of you who are interested in my writing process, I wrote this blog live on my Twitch Stream as part of the daily livestreaming that I do to promote our yearly fundraiser.

If you’re interested in seeing things like that, you could wander over and give my Twitch page a follow.

Alternately, you can visit Oot’s Team page for the fundraiser over here. He’s really excited about raising money for Worldbuilders.

In other news, the Worldbuilders Auctions are in their final day. If you haven’t wandered over there to take a look at what’s being offered, you’re really missing out. There’s some truly unique items there, and all the proceeds go to charity.

And lastly but not leastly, tomorrow (Sunday the 15th) I’m doing a special livestream where I talk about the upcoming liveplay podcast I’m doing set in my world with the One Shot Podcast Network.

(That will be over on my twitch stream too)

That’s all for now, but stay tuned. The fundraiser is over in just a couple days, and we’re going to have cool things happening every day until the end…

See you later space cowboys…

pat

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Beautiful Games, Cutie Snoo, Oot, small adventures | By Pat31 Responses

For Authors, From Authors, or: Critiques and Tuckerizations

Every year, authors and editors donate critiques and tuckerizations to help us raise money for Heifer International. These authors and editors are offering their time and expertise and that spirit of generosity is deeply moving to me.  It’s also a service that’s tough to come by if you’re just starting out. What exactly are they offering? Let’s take a look, shall we?

Critiques

With a critique, the author or editor will read your finished manuscript and give feedback. They do this for a living, so they have a good feel for what works, what might need work, and what you excel at. And everybody donates a service they’re comfortable with–some authors will read and critique the first few chapters of your book to make sure it grabs the reader from page one and keeps escalating. Some authors will read the whole manuscript (which is rare!). Some offer to critique the first couple chapters as well as your query letter, which is the letter you send to an agency or publisher to get them hooked and draw them into your manuscript. We even have a couple auctions for brainstorming and worldbuilding sessions. So you can choose the pro and the service you need!

April White
Anna Smith Spark
Brooke Johnson (she offered a query letter and short story critique)
Randy Henderson
Bishop O’Connell
Bradley P. Beaulieu
Carol Berg
Cassie Alexander
Django Wexler
Editor John Adamus
Joe Ducie
Agent Seth Fishman
Michael J. Martinez
Pamela Freeman
Prof. Eric Dahl (build your SF world with an actual rocket scientist!)
Sebastien de Castell
RJ Barker
Sherwood Smith

There are so many moving pieces in the industry, and if you don’t stand out from the crowd, you run the risk of being overlooked. That’s why having a professional read your submission and give constructive feedback is awesome! Critiques are a great gift for a writer!

We know how valuable critiques are as a service, and how expensive they can be, so to open up the opportunity to some folks who can’t bid on auctions, we have some Critiques in the lottery–just go to the Critiques team page and bid through there to have the chance to win one!

Tuckerizations

The tuckerization is a tradition that got its name from science-fiction author Wilson Tucker, who would consistently use his friends’ names for minor characters in his work. Authors will name-drop their family and friends, sometimes altering the names a little so while the person in question recognizes themselves, the name still fits the genre. It’s a fun, original way to get a callout, and if you know someone who is a fan of an author, it makes a great gift idea!

Alma Alexander (she donated two!)
Kevin Hearne
Nicholas Eames
Bradley P. Beaulieu
Tim Pratt
Carol Berg
RJ Barker

We don’t have tuckerizations in the lottery, since it’s a more personal thing, but you can find all of them on auction. This is something usually reserved for the author’s friends and family, so we’re thrilled to be able to give everyone the chance at a little bit of literary immortality!

Thanks as always for joining us for our annual fundraiser. May all your criticism be constructive, and may your tuckerizations be…um…tucked?
Well, that fell apart. But thank you!

Posted in Uncategorized | By Pat6 Responses
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