Tag Archives: Cassandra Claire

2014 Calendars – Fantasy and Philantropy

So for the last couple of years, Worldbuidlers has put out a calendar to help raise money for charity.

This year, we decided to up our game and put out TWO calendars:

The first one we put together with help from Heifer International itself to showcase the good work they do all over the world:

Cover

The second is filled with joyful geekery, featuring a bunch of cool fantasy authors… and me.

LZ Cover

Right now, both of these calendars are up for sale in our online store, The Tinker’s Packs.

If you want, you could hop over right now and buy them. But if you’d like more details first….

  • The Heifer Calendar:

One of the things that’s always bothered me about charity fundraisers is that they frequently center around guilt and pity.

We’ve all seen the TV commercials. They show you starving, desperate children and say, “For the price of a cup of coffee, you can feed this child. Not even fancy coffee. We’re talking shitty truck-stop coffee with powdered creamer in it. Not that you would ever drink that. Today you had a half-decaf mocha with blueberry syrup and extra whip that cost you six bucks, you fat, disgusting American bastard.”

I’m paraphrasing, of course. But you know what I’m talking about. You see one of those commercials and if you have any empathy at all… well… it’s just crushing. Whenever I saw one, it always made me feel helpless and hopeless.

The first time I ever saw something different was Sarah Mclachlan’s video, World On Fire. Way back in 2004.

The premise for the video was this: They took the $150,000 a video normally costs, and put that money toward different charitable causes instead.

After all these years, I still remember one moment in the video where they said they’d helped send kids to school. Then they showed a picture of this little girl sitting in a classroom. And she was *so* fucking happy to be going to school and learning things. She was beaming with joy.

A screw it, I’ll just post the video here so you can see it yourself if you want….

The part I’m talking about is right at the 1 minute mark.

I remember watching that video, and thinking “This. Is. Awesome. What Sarah McLachlin has done here is Awesome.”

Then, after a moment, I remember thinking, “I want to be awesome too.”

What’s my point? Here’s my point.

When we decided to put together our own Heifer International themed calendar, that’s the feeling I wanted to replicate. I didn’t want people to feel guilty or sad or depressed at the state of the world.

I wanted you to look at this calendar and think: This is Awesome. What Heifer is doing is Awesome.

So our calendar is full of stories of people that Heifer has helped over the years. People who got a little help, then used those resources to improve their lives and the lives of those around them.

Stuff like this:

After working on their own for 21 years, the women in Azacualpa village saw things begin to change in 2005 when 22 families received heifers from Heifer International.

Four years later, in 2009, they received chickens and completed two rounds of Passing on the Gift, sharing chickens with other families in their community. Seeing the positive results from these first two projects, the women wanted to try something a bit more ambitious.

Cashew

“We wanted something more to do to generate more income,” said Maria Elsa (bottom left, with her husband and grandchildren). From this, the Southern Cashew Enterprise Association was born, with Maria serving as president.

Heifer provided the materials and hired builders to construct the storage rooms and ovens for this cashew enterprise. They also provided 200 cashew tree seedlings.

In 2012, a drought destroyed most of the area’s corn harvest. The cashew business, however, along with the ability to sell eggs and milk from their livestock, still provided income for the families in Maria’s village.

Maria gets almost four gallons of milk a day; she uses one gallon for her family and sells the rest.

Victoriano Gonzalez, Maria’s husband, said, “I never expected to see a cow in my yard and now we have four.” While the women work, their husbands have taken over more of the household chores.

“Now our husbands bring us food while we are working,” Maria said.

 This! This is what it’s all about. Heifer helps people, then those people help themselves. Then they help *other* people help themselves.

And you *don’t* have to shell out 60 cents a day, every day, forever, just to keep some poor kid from starving. When I did that, I felt like I was throwing stones into a well. I felt like it would never *really* make things better.

But here’s the thing: you send some money to Heifer, and they use it to help people make significant, long-term changes in their lives. Now when I donate money, it feels like I’m throwing a stone and Heifer is making sure that stone lands in *just* the right place so that it triggers an avalanche of awesome that will go on for decades, improving the lives of thousands of people.

If you buy this calendar, you are throwing a stone too. I hope that every day you look at it and think: That is awesome. And I am awesome too because I helped.

  • The Beyond Words Fantasy Calendar:

The second calendar we’re doing this year is fantasy-themed. But unlike last year’s calendar that focused on fantasy characters. This calendar focuses on the authors themselves.

For example, Brandon Sanderson:

Sanderson-watermark

Or Lauren Oliver:

oliver-updated(It’s worth it to embiggen this.)

Or Gregory Maquire:

Gregory-Maguire-promo

As you can see, the point wasn’t to dress up the authors as something out of their own books. (Gregory isn’t dressed up as someone from Wicked, for example.) This was a chance to… well… to do something fun and cool.

There are a lot of cool authors involved in this project, including:

If you’d like to see more of the pictures, you can peek at some more over in The Tinker’s Packs.

  • A special offer:

Now I can hear many of you out there howling, “How can I possibly choose between these two awesome calendars? I love Heifer, but I’m also a big geeky fan of [insert author name here]!!”

First off, rest assured that if you buy *either* of these calendars, money will go toward supporting Heifer International.

But really, why buy only one calendar? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a calendar in your office AND in your kitchen? A calendar at home *and* a calendar at work?

And what about Christmas presents? Think of those older relatives that are hard to shop for. Do you really want to give them another kitten calendar? A scented candle? No. You really don’t.

But if you give them a Heifer Calendar, you can explain to them how the money went to a *really* good cause. Then they get to feel awesome, too.

Calendar-2-forSo here’s the deal we’re offering. If you buy more than one calendar, we’ll give you a break on the price.

  • If you buy two calendars, you get $5 off.
  • If you buy three calendars, you get $10 off.

You can mix and match to your heart’s content. Here’s the link the the calendar combo deals on The Tinker’s Packs.

  • The fine details:

A few other things you might want to know:

1. If you buy the Beyond Words calendar, your money will support First Book as well as Worldbuilders.

2. The Beyond Words calendar isn’t *quite* back from the printer yet.

It should be finished in a week or so. And we’ll be shipping it soon after. That’s why it’s listed in the store as a pre-order.

So if you order a calendar bundle including Beyond Worlds, we’ll wait until *all* your calendars are ready before we mail them. It will take a little longer, but shipping is much cheaper that way.

3. Last year, a lot of people complained that while the calendar was attractive, it was hard to use.

The reason for this was that the re was little functional space for writing down doctor’s appointments, anniversaries, birthdays, etc.

We’ve fixed that this year. Both our calendars have nice, big colored boxes for you to write in.

  • Being in the Loop:

As you all know, I end up being really busy. That means I don’t always get to write blogs as quickly as I’d like.

This blog is a great example of that. I’ve been working on it for days.

But the people who follow The Tinker’s Packs on Facebook and Twitter heard about the calendars almost a week ago. That means they’ve already had a chance to place their orders, and in some cases have already received their calendars, giving them the chance to be very smug among their geek friends.

If you want to make sure you don’t miss stuff like this, it would be a good idea to follow those accounts. Especially as I don’t always blog about everything we put up in the store, and a lot of time, items are limited….

More cool things happening soon. Really soon. Stay tuned.

pat

P.S. If you’d like to sell some of our calendars in your store, or just buy in bulk, drop us a line at [email protected]

P.P.S. If you’d like to help out Worldbuilders in some other way, drop us a line at [email protected]

Posted in being awesome, Heifer International, The Tinker's Packs, Warm Fuzzies, Worldbuilders 2013 | By Pat24 Responses

Final Donations, Final Days

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

This is it, folks. The last blog of author-donated books for this year’s fundraiser.

We’ve got some really good stuff in here, enough books for two blogs, really. But these are the final days of the fundraiser, so we’re going for one big, action-packed blog instead.

As I write this, we’re less than 500 dollars away from breaking $250,000. I honestly didn’t think we were going to make it. Now I’m curious to see how high things will manage to go before the fundraiser is over at midnight on Feb 7th.

And just to be clear that includes all of Feb 7th. And yes, I know I should technically say the fundraiser ends at 11:59 PM CST on February 7th, but that’s cumbersome. We all know what midnight on the 7th really means…

Will I still count your donation if it’s a little late? Yeah, we’ll probably still include you in the prize drawing and match your donation 50%. But why wait when you can just head over to the Worldbuilders Team Page and donate right now?

And remember, for every 10 bucks you kick in, you have the chance of winning some something from among the thousands of books folks have already donated.

Plus the books we’re adding today, of course….

  • An Advance Reader Copy of Redshirts by John Scalzi. Signed by the man himself.

(Book modeled by the Amazing Athena)

Though I’d never say it to his face, John Scalzi is a hell of a nice guy.

I’m not just saying that because he’s always been kind to me and given me good advice. I’m not saying it because invited me to be part his Clash of the Geeks anthology a while back.

It’s not even because he recently teamed up with Bill Schafer of Subterranean press to donate a week’s worth of profit from his most recent e-book to Planned Parenthood after Komen pulled their support. (If you head over there and buy a copy before the 8th, you can support the cause, too.)

No. The real reason I’m fond of John Scalzi is because he sent me an early look at his upcoming novel Redshirts.

At 20 pages in, I was really enjoying it. At 30 pages in, I was laughing out loud in the restaurant where I was sitting, reading it. Around page 43, I got out my phone and called him just to gush about how much I was enjoying it.

I finished the book later that day, thought I should have been doing other things, and was delighted to discover that it was brilliant to the very end. (Which isn’t always the case.) When I e-mailed John to tell him that I’d love to blurb it, he offered to donate an Advance Reading Copy to Worldbuilders.

That means if you win it in the auction, the lottery you can read it long before it comes out in June. This will improve your herd rank among other geeks and give you a great opportunity to be smug.

I won’t go on about how much I loved the book. But if you’re really curious, you can read the review I wrote on Goodreads.

  • Six copies of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Signed by the author.

This is one of the handful of books that I liked well enough to blurb last year. The publishers liked the quote well enough that they put it on the back cover of the UK edition:

Laini was also cool enough to send along four copies of the audiobook of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, too. So we’ll add those to the fundraiser as well.

  • Four audio book copies of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

  • One hardcover set of The Mortal Instruments Books One through Three: City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass by Cassandra Clare.  Signed by the author.

“Clare’s atmospheric setting is spot-on, informed equally by neo-gothic horror films and the modern fantasy leanings of Neil Gaiman. Fans of the smart/chic horror typified by Buffy the Vampire Slayer will instantly fall for this new series.” – Publishers Weekly

  • One hardcover set of The Infernal Devices Books One and Two: Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.  Signed by the author.

“Mysteries, misdirection, and riddles abound. . . . Fans of the Mortal Instruments series and newcomers alike won’t be disappointed.” – Publishers Weekly

  • One paperback set of Goblin Hero and Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines.  Signed by the author.

“Hines recognizes that wisdom is most often common sense, and that mouthing off to the big guy with the sword is a very bad idea.” – Tanya Huff, author of Smoke and Ashes.

  • One hardcover set of Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin by Tobias S. Buckell.  Signed by the author.

“Tobias S. Buckell is a dazzling new voice.” – Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Hominids

“Tobias Buckell is stretching the horizons of science fiction and giving readers a hell of a lot of swashbuckling fun in the bargain.” — John Scalzi, bestselling author of Old Man’s War

  • One first edition hardcover set of The Edge of Reason and The Edge of Ruin by Melinda Snodgrass. Signed by the author.

“If H. P. Lovecraft and H. L. Mencken had ever collaborated, they might have come up with something like The Edge of Reason. This one will delight thinkers-and outrage true believers-of all stripes.” – George R. R. Martin

  • One set of Wild Cards novels: Wild Cards I, Inside Straight, Suicide Kings, and Busted Flush, edited by George R. R. Martin. Signed by many of the authors.

“Delicious… Everything I’d hoped for in a new Wild Cards book. The character interactions and plot twists have exactly the complexity, surprise, and unsentimental realism I’d expect out of a George R. R. Martin project.” – Austin Grossman

  • One set of Jennifer Brozek-edited anthologies and an audiobook of The Tasty Collection, read by Andrew Mayor.  All signed by Jennifer Brozek.

“You’ll hear echoes of Stephen King’s The Stand, David Brin’s The Postman and even Cormac McCarthy’s The Road as you read this series of stories about the survivors of a great plague. The stories are varied and lively, and their talented authors lead you (sometimes kicking and screaming) toward sanctuary.” – Patrick Swenson

  • Two sets of the complete Rai-Kirah series: Transformation, Revelation, and Restoration by Carol Berg.  Signed by the author.

“Superbly textured, splendidly characterized, this spellbinding tale provides myriad delights for the fantasy connoisseur.”  – RT Book Reviews

  • One complete series of The Novels of the Collegia Magica: The Spirit Lens, The Soul Mirror, and The Daemon Prism by Carol Berg.  Signed by the author.

“Set in a world in which the implacable laws of science war with the resonances of magical power for supremacy, Berg’s novel is rich with vivid characters and unforgettable places…an infectiously enjoyable series opener that fans of thought-provoking fantasy and intriguing mystery should appreciate.”  – Library Journal

  • One bound galley of Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg.  Signed by the author.

“Berg brings to life every stone in a peaceful monastery and every nuance in a stratified society, describing the difficult dirty work of ordinary life as beautifully as she conveys the heart-stopping mysticism of holiness just beyond human perception.”  – Sharon Shinn, author of Troubled Waters

  • One US trade paperback re-release of The Song of the Beast by Carol Berg. Signed by the author.

“Berg’s fascinating fantasy is a puzzle story, with a Celtic-flavored setting and a plot as intricate and absorbing as fine Celtic lacework…. the characters are memorable, and Berg’s intelligence and narrative skill make this stand-alone fantasy most commendable.” – Booklist

  • Two first edition hardcover copies of Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. Signed by the author.

“This book is an achievement. Readers… will be transported.” – Sunday Times

  • One hardcover copy of Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed.  Signed by the author.

“Ahmed is a master storyteller in the grand epic tradition.  Swashbuckling adventure, awesome mystery, a bit of horror, and all of it written beautifully.  A real treat!” – N. K. Jemisin, Locus award-wining author of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Pat’s Note: This book is also an ARC. The final version of the book won’t be hitting the shelves until June. So if you win it, you get to be reading way ahead of the curve…

“The best debut I’ve read all year! Nightshifted is simply amazing!” – Kat Richardson

  • One set of Jabberwocky and Hatter by Daniel Coleman. Signed by the author.

“The surprising story inspired by Lewis Carroll’s epic poem. You might know how it ends, but you won’t believe how it happens.”

  • Seven Hardcover copies of The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. Signed by the author.

  • Four sets of The Magicians, The Magician King (audio book) and a Brakebills University t-shirt from Lev Grossman. Book and audio book are signed by the author.
Pat’s Note: I did a gushy write-up about The Magicians back when I first read it. I liked it enough to write a blog about it over here.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Take George Martin’s instead: “The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea.”

*     *     *

Well folks, that’s the last of the books for this year.

Remember that for every 10 dollars you donate on the Worldbuilders team page, you get a chance to win these books and many, many more. What’s more, worldbuilders will match your donation by 50%.

We also have a few auctions still running, you can find them over here.

If you want to see the other items that have been donated to Worldbuilders, or learn more about the fundraiser itself, you can head over to the main page here.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2011 | By Pat43 Responses
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