From the Archives: V-Day

I’ve had several people e-mail me in this last week asking for Valentine’s Day advice.

Unfortunately, I’m at the end of a long stretch of revisions right now, and it would break my stride to write an appropriately frothy, bile-filled screed about this most abhorrent of qua-holidays.

Then I realized I didn’t need to write a new screed. I probably had an old one on file from when I wrote a weekly advice column for the college paper.

So I dug around in my files a bit and found one. Actually, I found several, but here’s the one I liked the best.

Share and Enjoy:

*****

Dear Pat,

What are your feelings towards Valentine’s Day? Personally, I believe it is just another Hallmark holiday in which consumerism reaches its ugly hand in the picture, forcing couples to exchange gifts and singles to feel like crap.

By the way, what are you getting your girlfriend/sister? Teehee.

Jessie

For those of you who missed last week’s column, the last line of Jessie’s letter is a reference to a joke I made. Just so nobody is confused let me re-state again, for the record, that I am NOT dating my sister.

Not that there’s anything wrong with my sister, mind you. She’s great: smart, funny, and hot. It’s just that we’re really good friends, and I worry that getting into a relationship might jeopardize that.

*ahem* Okay. Moving on.

Honestly Jessie, I’d all but forgotten that Valentine’s Day is coming up. You see, I don’t pay much attention to crap like that. And that’s what VD is: a big, steamy pile of crap in a shiny heart-shaped box.

You were right in your letter. As a holiday, it’s made-up bullshit. But Hallmark didn’t start it, Chaucer did. He wrote “The Parliament of Fowles” back in the late 1300’s. I tell you, there’s only one time in history that more crap has been spawned from bad poetry, and that’s the musical Cats.

Now I don’t want to get a bunch of huffy letters with people telling me VD all started with St. Valentine, the priest who was imprisoned and fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. If it were true, February 14th would be Go-Fuck-A-Priest day. A holiday, I might add, that I would wholeheartedly endorse.

But no, what we have is Valentine’s Day. The day designed to convince you that if you don’t spend money on someone, right now then you’re not really in love. Prove your eternal devotion through a four-dollar greeting card sporting some freakishly deformed bug-eyed puppy on the front. Go ahead and give someone the severed sexual organs of a plant. Diamonds are forever. Every Kiss begins with Kay.

(You can tell it’s an older column, because Brett’s illustration
is in B&W and optimized for newspaper printing.)

Now I’m not just saying this because I don’t have a girlfriend and I’m frothing at the mouth with bitter loneliness and rage. Contrary to what you might think, I do have a girlfriend.

I know, it seems to go against all the laws of god and nature. But not only do I have a girlfriend, not only have we been in a happy, healthy relationship for almost six years, but Sarah is sweet, kind, smart, funny, and almost unfathomably hot.

I know, it boggles the mind.

There are many theories among my family and friends as to why someone like her would take time to smile in my direction, let alone date me for six years.

Some of my more religious-minded friends used to believe that she was working off a hefty karmic debt from a previous life. But this theory lost credibility when one of my calculus-savvy Buddhist friends did the math for me, showing how much bad karma Sarah was actually burning off by dealing with me on a daily basis.

What it boils down to is this, if Sarah had, say, beaten a nun to death with a bag of kittens in a previous life, she could have worked that off in about three weeks of putting up with my endless bullshit. In fact, after six years of living with me she’s built up so much good karma that she’ll most likely reincarnate as a transcendent being composed entirely of white light and multiple orgasms.

Other theories held by my friends and parents include: blackmail, Truman-Show style conspiracy, and the suspicion that she is performing a prolonged psychological experiment.

What does Sarah herself say? I’ll go ask….

In response to the question, “Why the hell do you love me, anyway?” Sarah responded thusly:

Some part of my soul recognizes part of your soul as being really awesome. And sometimes you take out the trash.” Sarah then made several sexually explicit comments that cannot be reprinted here. Suffice to say that apparently I possess certain skills that shall remain nameless.

Lastly, she gazed rapturously at me and said that I was “gorgeous.

All this seems to confirm my personal theory, that she has some kind of brain tumor that makes her love me. Really, it’s the only thing that makes sense.

The only other explanation is that I treat her with kindness and respect. Or because when I give her a gift she knows it comes from a sincere upwelling of emotion, not because it’s National Buy-A-Gift Day (TM). Maybe it’s due to the fact that I make a habit of not taking her for granted, and I tell her I appreciate her, rather than buying a card that says it for me once a year.

Yeah. I know. Too crazy. I’m sticking with the tumor theory myself.

*****

That’s all I’ve got for now, folks. I hope each of you end up enjoying V-day in your own special way. If that means drinking a pint of rye whiskey and cursing the unfeeling sky, more power to you.

pat

Posted in BJ Hiorns Art, College Survival Guide, Fanmail Q + A, Sarah | By Pat61 Responses

Fanmail Q & A: Advice For New Writers

Pat,

I know you’re busy, so I won’t take up much of your time. I want to be a writer (Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to read anything of mine.)

I was just wondering if you have any advice for new writers. Just one piece would be really helpful…

Love the book,

Becky

Heya Becky,

Over the last few years, I’ve heard this question a lot. It comes up in e-mails and interviews with clockwork regularity.

Despite that, it’s a question I never mind answering. I like giving advice, and I like talking about writing. So this one’s a twofer for me.

That said, my answer tends to change. If I’m reading something that irritates me, my advice might center around how to avoid that particular irritation. Sometimes it just depends on my mood, or what I’m working on in my own revisions.

But I’ve also noticed a slow change in how I think of this question as time goes on. Sometimes my answer centers around the nuts and bolts of the craft: revision, or character, or how to comport yourself professionally at a convention.

But more and more, I tend to answer this question in more practical terms. While these snippets of advice tends to be much more universal and useful that talking about managing POV, interviewers seem to be put off by it.

I’ve come to realize that when an interviewer asks me, “Can you give one piece of advice for new writers?” what they’re really looking for is something pithy and encouraging. They want me to say “Reach for the Stars!” or “Never give up!”

But that’s not really good advice. I mean, you could really hurt your shoulder reaching for the stars. Good advice is occasionally disheartening. “Come to grips with the inevitability of rejection.” Or “Don’t quit your day job.”

Once, I had a lovely 30 minute phone interview that ended roughly like this:

Thanks for the interview, Pat.

My pleasure.

In closing, if you could give one piece of advice to new writers, what would it be?

Live somewhere cheap.

I beg your pardon?

Odds are, it’s going to take you a long time to finish your novel. Then it’s going to take you a long time to break into the publishing world. That means you’re effectively going to be working at a job that will pay you nothing, and you’re going to be doing it for years. So you should live somewhere cheap.

I was thinking something more along the lines of worldbuilding….

If you live somewhere like Seattle or Manhattan or LA, you’re going to have to shell out thousands of dollars just in rent. If you have to work three jobs just to pay your rent, when are you going to find the time to write?

Do you know how I managed to keep working on my first novel for 14 years without starving to death?

Student loans? Some sort of trust fund?

Shit no. I learned how to live cheap. Up until 2005, I never paid more than $225 a month for rent.

Wh– how?

I’m a good bargainer. And I had roommates. And small-town Wisconsin is a cheap place to live.

Also, I lived in some real shitholes from time to time. But you know what? You can write in a shithole. You can’t write when you’re working 70 hours a week.

[chuckles nervously] Well, I think that’s about all the time we have….

Hell, I was so poor for a while I qualified for low-income housing back in 2004. Those places were pretty nice, actually.

Remember to turn in next week, folks. Thanks again, Pat.

Did you know that if you boil a paper shopping bag long enough, it makes something that’s almost like soup?

[Cut to static]

Okay, I made up the part about paper bags, but the rest of it is true.

The nice thing about being a writer is that you can do it pretty much anywhere. If you want to be a Hollywood actor, you have to live in LA. If you want to be a professional pianist or a ballet dancer, your options are pretty limited. But if you want to write, you can live whereverthehell you want.


For example, back in 1994 I lived in a one-bedroom apartment with a shared bathroom down the hallway. The rent was $135 a month, everything included. My friends called the place: “The Pit.”

I was really poor back then. I was working three little part-time jobs and paying my own tuition. I didn’t even have a telephone because the 30 bucks every month for basic service was money I could really use for other things. Like food. You can eat for a month on 30 bucks if you’re careful.

Was the place a shithole? Absolutely. Was it inconvenient not having a phone? Of course. Hell, at one point my parents took out a classified add in the college newspaper because they had no other way to get in touch with me.

But I had time to write.

In fact, I distinctly remember writing Kvothe’s first admissions interview while living there. And his first class with Hemme. I was pretty proud of those scenes, and they didn’t change all that much between there and the final version of the book.

Best of all, living cheaply is a skill that will serve you well *after* you’re a published writer too. Especially if you’re writing Fantasy or Sci-fi. Tobias Buckell did some research into the advances a new writer gets for a first novel. And, on average, it’s not a ton of money.

So there you go, Becky. My advice for a new writer. Live somewhere cheap. Sorry if it’s not the gem of wisdom you were looking for, but really, what would you do with a gem of wisdom anyway? This is more like a muffin of wisdom. Everyone likes muffins.

Later all,

pat

Posted in Ask the Author, BJ Hiorns Art, Fanmail Q + A, my student days | By Pat80 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

Posted in day in the life, my dumbness, Oot, Sarah, small adventures | By Pat77 Responses

Interesting times….

I really don’t go in for talking about current events on the blog. The main reason for this is the fact that I am profoundly out of touch with the outside world. I don’t have cable and I don’t watch the news. On the rare occasion I miss the news and feel the need to absorb some fearmongering bullshit, I just drop a tab of acid and read a Lovecraft story. There’s less pretense that way.

I generally assume that if something really interesting happens, one of my friends will tell me, or it will show up in some of the webcomics I read. In a pinch, I assume I’ll simply absorb the knowledge through the aether, have it beamed into my mind with alien space rays, or apprehend it directly through examination of my Socratic soul using the dialectic.

I’m well aware that this isn’t the most efficient or comprehensive way to aggregate information. But it still beats the hell out of watching Fox News.

The other reason I don’t talk much about the issues on here is that when things are big enough to be interesting, they also tend to be so big that it’s hard for me to form easily encapsulated opinions about them.

For example, when there was the big kerfuffle about Google digitizing a shitload of books and thereby egregiously violating international copyright law, I was interested. Anything dealing with intellectual property rights effects me personally and professionally. So I read a bunch of stuff about it, thought some thoughts, and had a few really good conversations with a few of my librarian friends.

The upshot of my research? It’s a really complicated issue, and I have mixed feelings about it. Is Google being a bit of a dick and doing morally questionable stuff? Absolutely. But…. Well…. It’s more complicated than that.

See? Any blog I wrote on the issue would be nothing more than a long-winded shrug. Not terribly fun to write, and not particularly entertaining to read.

That’s my recent take on the current Amazon dealio.

For those of you who haven’t heard. Amazon (the bookseller) recently got into a bit of an argument with Macmillan (a book publisher) about e-book pricing. As a result, Amazon pulled all of Macmillan’s books off their website. Not just the e-books. All the books.

I’ve done some research and talked to some people and my conclusion is that.

1. This is a big deal.

2. Amazon is being a bit of a dick, and attempting to bully folks in order to get more of the publishing pie than is really fair.

This feels weird for me to say, because honestly, Amazon has been good to me over the years. They gave me good reviews and really helped promote my book early on. It was really nice.

But it really doesn’t matter how good they’ve been to me in the past. If you’re nice to me, then beat up my neighbor for his lunch money, you’re still a bully. I’m afraid there’s just no way around it.

3. This whole thing is pretty complicated, and I’m not well informed enough make any real intelligent assessment of the overall situation or what it might mean for publishing, DRM, or the future of e-books.

If you’re interested in that sort of thing, you might want to check out this blog written by the lovely and talented Charles Stross. He understands the landscape of publishing WAY better than me and does a great job of summing things up.

Amazon, Macmillan: an outsider’s guide to the fight.

Here’s also a blog from Tobias Buckell that has more technical details. He does some of the math for you and explains what all this really means in a delightfully low-bullshit way.

Link to Buckell’s blog.

Here’s the public statement from Macmillan too.

I’m bringing this to your attention because if you’re like me, you sometimes miss things like this unless someone points them out. Also, I’m guessing most of you kinda like books.

I like books too, and while two companies having a corporate slapfight might seem far removed from the book you pick up, read, and enjoy, the truth is that these corporate manoeuvrings have very real effects on which books get published in the future, their quality, and how well authors get treated in the process.

If anyone else has relevant links they’d like to post in the comments below, please feel free to do so. I’m way too tired to dig up more stuff right now. I’ve got to go to bed.

We’re living in interesting times, folks….

pat

Posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, Things I didn't know about publishing | By Pat52 Responses

A few updates: Coolness and Prizes

Those of you who read last week’s blog about the Gaiman-Day scale of coolness might be interested in this picture:

(Click to Embiggen)

These are just the weekly stats, and my numbers are artificially inflated by my recent blog post. But still, if you’re like me, it’s nice to get to play with the cool kids, even if it’s just for a week or so.

In other news, we’re still dealing with the aftermath of this year’s fundraiser. It’s going a lot slower this year because we’ve got WAY more stuff to sort, package, and ship out.

Just to give you a basis for comparison, this was our prize shelf last year:


I was really proud of that shelf and all the authors that contributed to it. But still, you can see that a lot of the books on there are mine.

These are our prize shelves this year…

(Click to Embiggen)

Huzzah.

This doesn’t even include all the swag from Subterranean Press, as they’re shipping out their own books. (God bless them.)

Try not to be distracted by the extreme coolness of my brick-and-board shelves which, I would like to mention, I put up by my very own self.

As you can see, a *lot* more authors chipped in this year. Which gives me a warm, glowy feeling of goodwill toward the entire sci-fi & fantasy community. It goes without saying that the donations from DAW and Gollancz made a world of difference, too.

And just so you know, we’re not contacting all the winners beforehand. It would be *way* too much work. You’ll know you’ve won something when a package shows up in the mail. Please don’t e-mail to ask if you’ve won….

[Edit 2-2-10 Answers to a few questions:

I’m not going to post up a list of everyone’s names that that won, because not everyone wants their name posted up on the internet. Just in case any of you were wondering, it’s not cool to post personal information about people on the internet without asking first.

I’m not going to e-mail everyone asking if I can post their info up on the net either. Because, well… duh.

What I will be doing is asking folks to take pictures of themselves and their prizes, then we’ll post them up here. That way, even if you didn’t win something yourself, you can live vicariously through the joy of others. That’s kinda what worldbuilders is all about.

The big winners I’ve already contacted personally. The people who won Gaiman and Sanderson’s books, as well as the guy who won the golden ticket. I’ll be putting up some information about them, if they’re cool with it.

We can ship to PO boxes just fine. Don’t worry about it. If something is strange or confusing about your address, rest assured that we’ll contact you to sort it out.
End edit.]

More blogs on the way….

pat

Posted in my rockstar life, Subterranean Press, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat40 Responses

Fanmail Q & A: Coolness

It’s been a while since I answered an e-mail from a reader. How about we do that?

Pat,

I just wanted to say I’ve loved The Name of the Wind for over a year now, but I just recently found your website. Your blog has kept me laughing for almost two solid weeks as I go back and read the archives. That’s something I’ve never done with a blog before.

Even better, your fundraiser was seriously amazing this year.

Seriously, how cool are you?

Jake

Jake,

You strike on a topic I’ve been curious about for some time. How cool am I?

As I’ve mentioned before in the blog, growing up, I wasn’t one of the cool kids. But things change, and these days geek is chic. I’m willing to admit to the fact that these days, I might actually be a little cool.

Your letter poses an interesting problem though. If you’d simply asked, “Are you cool?” I could have gotten away with answering “maybe” or “kinda.” But you’ve asked for a _degree_ of coolness. What’s more, you’ve requested that I *seriously* consider the problem.

That means we need to use science and shit. We need quantifiable units of coolness that we can plug into formulas. We need to be rigorous.

Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, the BIPM hasn’t established a standard unit by which we can measure coolness. I can’t just tell you that I’m say, 85 pascals of cool. Or 158 newtons. Or whatever.

That means if we want to determine how cool I am, we have to measure me against some sort of universally accepted standard of cool. We need to develop our own yardstick, as it were.

So, let’s pick two people who are undeniably cool. The king and queen of geek cool: Felicia Day and Neil Gaiman.

Now we need some numbers. While popularity isn’t quite the same thing as cool, you have to admit they’re closely related. Since I don’t have access to things like book sales or website hits, we’ll have to go to the lowest common denominator: Facebook.

(Yes, I know. Technically, Myspace would be the lowest common denominator. But there’s only so low I’m willing to go, even for science.)

A quick search of fan pages reveals the following stats.

Felicia: 192,000 fans.

Neil: 90,000 fans.

Me: 10,000 fans.

Now we could stop here and say, that I’m about .05 as cool as Felicia. Or that I’m roughly .11 of a Gaiman. Or something like that.

But drawing data from only one source strikes me as slipshod. To round things out, why don’t we take a look at Goodreads rankings?

Here’s a screenshot of their list of most-followed people.

[Edit: Yes, I know these numbers have changed since I took the screenshot. I’m not redoing the math.]
(Click to Embiggen)

As a side note, you can see that according to Goodreads, I’m ever-so slightly cooler than Wil Wheaton. I like how it looks like his little Lego man is pissed at me for being above him.

“Curse you, Rothfuss,” Lego-Wheaton says. “How dare you get between me and Felicia day?”

“Takest not that tone with me,” Russian-dictator-looking-Rothfuss glowers from above. “Lest I crush you with my manly, blue-lit beard.”

“Bring it Hagrid,” he replies. “I’ll beat you like a redheaded stepchild.”

“What are you going to use?” I say. “Your kung-fu grip? Hell, you don’t even have any elbows!”

Wait… Sorry, what was I talking about again?

Oh. Right. Coolness. I guess I lost a few points just there.

Anyway, as you can see things stand like this:

Me: 383 friends, 308 people following my reviews.

Felicia: 2,710 friends, 380 people following her reviews.

Not pictured above, Neil Gaiman sits at #1 on this list. Topping the chart on a mountain of cool with 5,175 friends and 3,133 people following his reviews.

Let’s just combine these for simplicity’s sake:

Gaiman: 8308

Felicia: 3090

Me: 691

Because the Facebook numbers are really high compared to Goodreads, we have to normalize them by multiplying by .045. (Don’t ask how I got there. It’s boring. If you understand statistics, you know how it works.) That gives us:

Gaiman: 4050

Felicia: 8550

Me: 450

So we add these together and apply the bonus multipliers.

Gaimain:
Medium Bonus – Novels, Comics, Movies, Audiobooks: *1.4

Association Bonus – Engaged to Amanda Palmer *1.5

Flair Bonus – Accent *1.4

Appearance Bonus: Sexy *1.5

12358 *1.4 *1.5 *1.4 *1.5 = 54499

Felicia:
Medium Bonus – Television, Webisodes, Comics: *1.3
(The Guild comic is coming out soon, in case you didn’t know.)

Association Bonus – Works with Joss Whedon *1.6

Flair Bonus – Smells like flowers and PS3 *1.3

Appearance Bonus: Sexy *1.5

11640 *1.3 *1.6 *1.2 *1.5 = 47212

Me:
Flair Bonus: Beard *1.2

Penalty: Engaging in imaginary smack talk with Lego-Wheaton. *.09

1141 *1.2 *0.9 = 1232

You still with me? Now we have to create our yardstick for the measurement of geek-coolness. Imagine if Neil Gaiman and Felicia Day were somehow alchemically combined into one creature. Some ubercool, sexy, hermaphroditic, webisode-creating, rockstar, gamer, author thing.

I think it’s safe to say that godlike creature would be the ultimate amalgam of geek cool.

So if we add together the scores of Neil Gaiman and Felicia Day, we get roughly 100,000 units. These I hereby term Gaiman-Day units. They will hereafter be used to determine how cool someone is. 100,000 Gaiman-Day units is the coolest you can be without collapsing into some manner of singularity.

So there we go. Now we have a way to quantify how cool I am, Jake. I am exactly 1232 Gaiman-Day units of cool. Only about one percent as cool as it’s possible to be.

I hope this answers your question, Jake.

pat

Posted in facebook, Fanmail Q + A, Felicia Day, Goodreads, Neil Gaiman, Science, Wil Wheaton | By Pat113 Responses

Aftermath and an Introduction

Y’know, as much as I love doing the fundraiser, I’m glad it’s over.

I started writing this blog mostly to relax, share interesting news, and amuse myself. I like to cuss in my posts and make the occasional odd joke about clown sex. But, strangely enough, I don’t feel comfortable doing those things in the middle of a charity fundraiser.

Now that we’re done being all charitable on the blog, I can get back to buisiness as usual here. Which is to say I can get back to not doing business and start screwing around instead.

Rest assured that in a week or so I’ll post up some final details about the fundraiser, and some exciting news about a few things that happened right at the end. But right now we’re dealing with the aftermath, assigning prizes, waiting for checks to clear, and preparing to wrap and package roughly a zillion books.

[Editorial note: Don’t email me asking if you won anything. Seriously.]

As many of you might remember from last year’s fundraiser, Sarah was my plucky assistant who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, helping me manage donations, take pictures of books, and package all the prizes.

This year, however, she’s been absolutely no help at all. When I asked her why she was being such a slacker, she reminded me that we had a baby now, and that boobing him took priority over pretty much everything else.

What’s that? Can I post a picture of him? You bet your ass I can….

(Click to Embiggen.)

Here Oot accompanied by one of his compatriots: Friendly Carrot. Not pictured here are Crazy Chicken, Subtle the Colorful Not-Mime, and Perverted Elephant.

Anyway, since Sarah is busy cooing and gurgling, I needed someone else to help me tend to the shop, as it were. That meant that until little Oot is old enough to copyedit, I needed an assistant.

So, without any further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Valerie:

(Say it with me now, “Hi Valerie!”)

Valerie has been helping me take care of a lot of the epiphenomena that tend to clutter up my life. She does research, organizes stuff, takes care of mail, runs errands….

Generally speaking, she takes care of a bunch of stuff for me, leaving me more time to work on the book.

Over the last two months, that means Valerie has been doing a lot of the heavy lifting behind the scenes of Worldbuilders. She takes pictures of the donations and has managed all the personalized books and posters people bought to support the cause.

She’s also been stockpiling the materials we’ll need to package up this year’s prizes.

(It’s fun to play with big rolls of bubble wrap.)

Suffice to say that without her help, Worldbuilders would have been a chaotic mess, and I wouldn’t have gotten a lick of work done on my revisions.

Anyway, she’s been working really hard on all this stuff. So I figured it was high time I introduced her…

Say hello Valerie.

Hello.

No. Sorry. That won’t work. You can’t be purple, Sarah’s purple. There will be mass confusion. You’ll have to pick a different colour.

I like green. Can I be green?

That suits you, but it’s a little too bright. Could you bring it down a bit?

How about this?

Perfect.

Everyone, meet Valerie. Valerie, this is everyone.

Say hello, everyone.

pat

Posted in Oot, Sarah, Valerie, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat130 Responses
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