Tag Archives: Christopher Paolini

Livestreams, Were-Hedgehogs, and Jugglers

Today, we bring you Stretch Goal Round-Up, Part Two: Livestreams, Were-Hedgehogs, and Jugglers edition.

I know it’s nowhere near as cool as the last title, but they can’t all be winners.

Today’s blog comes to you courtesy of the Worldbuilders Team. Pat spent the holiday with his family, had a signing down in Madison for IndiesFirst, and promptly come home sick as a dog.

While he sleeps it off, we’re here to grant him a break, as well as to show off the cool stretch goals we’ve passed in the last week, as well as an update on the #NeilReads totals at the end. If you missed the last collection of stretch goals, you definitely should check those out, too.

Let’s get right to it.

  • $125k: Seth Fishman hosted a livestreamed Q&A teaching everyone how to write a query letter and/or get an agent.

The livestream happened last Monday, but you can now watch the video right here. Seth talked a lot about query letters and agents, and the dos and don’ts of each.

He even brought on one of his clients, Django Wexler, to discuss the first query letter Seth received from him, and why it didn’t get him an agent.

  • $150k: Myke Cole will review Hedging His Bets.

Myke helped us get through the technical issues we had with this video, and it’s up in all its glory for you to see.

If you’ve ever wanted to read were-hedgehog erotica, but wanted to hear a review of the book first, you’ve got it here.

  • $225k: James Ernest will post a video of his signature juggling trick.

James was a juggler and performer before he made it as a game designer, and this trick is his signature trick, that only he performs. Yup. Juuust him. Sure would suck if someone stole his move, made it famous, and gave him full credit. Sure would. Enjoy all of its majesty…

  • $250K Nate Taylor & Pat stream a discussion about the art of Slow Regard

Nate and Pat  had a great time talking about the art from Slow Regard. When you’ve got an hour to spare, be sure to sit down and watch this one.

We passed both of these next goals over Thanksgiving, so the videos aren’t ready yet, but they will be soon!

  • $300k Mikey Neumann writes and reads a short story just for us!

Mikey has been planning this one for a while, and we’re pumped to share it with you once he finishes and films it for us…

“The Eye of Argon” considered the Citizen Kane of bad fantasy writing (or maybe the Plan 9 From Outer Space?), and has been embraced in its infamy by writers and fans alike. Apparently, reading this story has turned into some kind of competition. Folks are challenged to read it, exactly as written, without smiling or laughing. Grandmasters have to read it after inhaling helium.

This is going to be good, no matter how Christopher handles it.

And we’re right on the cusp of the next couple of stretch goals as well…

  • $350k The Doubleclicks play “Love You Like a Burrito” with a special guest…

This special guest may need to redeem himself after not performing the song very well at a book release event in Portland a little while ago…

This one is going to be epic as well, and the folks at Cards Against Humanity are awesome. If you didn’t see CAH’s Black Friday Bullshit sale, you really missed out on your chance to buy real, literal bullshit.

  • $400k John Green eats a Heifer International inspired meal.

Followers of John Green may already know of his history of blenderizing meals. He’s agreed to eat a meal made up of things you can get from Heifer International: Goat cheese, bacon, honey, and lots of other things he might be able to find. It’s probably going to be really gross, in a really awesome way.

* * *

I (meaning Amanda) ran all the numbers this morning to see what animal Pat may have to kiss if we pass our total from last year:

Animal Kiss 11.30

It seems pretty solidly decided in favor of llama.

There were comments here and there of people trying to campaign for the Goat, mostly to spare Pat from what has potential to be a very scary experience with the llama, so we’ll see if they’re successful in the end…

As far as the #NeilReads totals, we’ve got quite the turn of events. I went to run my totals, and when I got the image to share with everyone, it turned up like this.

#NeilReads 11.30

I did a double take when I realized that Jabberwocky and Where The Wild Things are were tied. I’d taken it for granted at this point that Jabberwocky would still have a perceptible lead.  Since I didn’t think it was fair to show you this without offering up the detailed totals, I did a new chart with those included as well.

#NeilReads 11.30.2

So that’s where things currently stand – Jabberwocky is winning with a mere $405 lead. If you want Where the Wild Things Are to win (I know I do), go in there and vote, or get your friends to vote. It won’t take much…

Hope you all had a great weekend. Stay tuned to the Worldbuilders Facebook page and/or Twitter feed, because we’ll be updating every day with things you won’t want to miss, including a massive blog tomorrow full of books from DAW.

The Worldbuilders Team

Posted in Acts of Whimsy, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Amanda12 Responses

Art Galore

As I type this, our donation total sits at $275,000. Considering that this is only the beginning of our third week, we are absolutely blowing the doors off this year.

So far we’ve talked a lot about the good work Heifer does by supplying animals to families. But we haven’t talked about the fact that Heifer does a lot to improve the lives of women all over the world too.

Promotion of Food Sovereignty Honduras (Project # 23-1502-02) an

Pictured here is Maria Elsa Castellanos Rios, who started the Southern Cashew Enterprise Association in Honduras with the other women who wanted to contribute to the local economy through help from Heifer International.

Heifer knows they need to invest in the entire community, and that means investing in women. According to Economist.com “In emerging markets, women reinvest 90% of their earnings in their families and communities—which means that investing in women is an investment in our collective future.”

Guys, I hate to break it to you. But our numbers aren’t nearly that good. All the research shows that in a similar situation, men typically reinvest only 30-40% of their earnings in the household.

Because Heifer is playing the long game, looking to make families and communities self-sufficient, independent, and sustainable, Heifer typically works with women. In many communities, they form women’s self-help groups. Later, those groups go on to help other women in other communities. And so on. And so on.

And that’s an awesome thing.

* * *

We’re always happy to feature some of the cool art that comes into the fundraiser. This year we’ve got crafts, original art, and jewelry, along with some more traditional signed prints. They’re all going up for auction for those who will love them, so jump in if you see something you need.

  • Auction: Limited edition 2014 Beyond Words calendar. Signed by all 14 featured authors.

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This calendar features the authors Holly Black, Gail Carriger, Cassandra Clare, Tessa Gratton, Lauren Kate, Gregory Maguire, Brandon Mull, Lauren Oliver, Christopher Paolini, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Maggie Stiefvater, Tad Williams, and Brenna Yovanoff. There were only 100 of these signed callendars produced, so they’re are extremely limited and rare.

If you want one of these collectors items, head over here and bid.

  • Auction: A full set of 8×10 prints from the 2014 Beyond Words calendar. Each signed by the author.

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We also have a full set of the photo prints from the calendar. Each photo is signed by its author (or authors, in the case of Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff, and Tessa Gratton).

These are printed on high quality photo paper, and the full bundle of 12 photos can be yours if you bid over here.

If you’d rather only have one or two of these pictures, you can buy them individually over in The Tinker’s Packs.

  • Auction: A Kingkiller Chronicle sterling silver charm bracelet. Featuring over 40 charms.

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(Click to embiggen. Seriously.)

A fan named Noël spent some serious time and money (and time, did we mention that?) assembling so much Kingkiller symbolism your head will spin. There are over 40 charms on this sterling silver bracelet, most of them are sterling as well, a few are silver plate, and some of them are pewter.

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(This is only about a *third* of the charms. Seriously.)

The list of all of the charms is viewable on the auction, and honestly? It’s a little staggering. Even if you’re not looking to bid, you should head over o the auction and check out some of the other pictures we have of this truly one-of-a-kind piece of art.

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This was donated by Neil for our IndieGoGo fundraiser this summer, and the person who purchased it immediately emailed us and said to keep it and use it for another fundraiser. I don’t know what it is with Neil Gaiman’s stuff, but it has a tendency to come back to us over and over again

There were only 750 of this poster produced, and this one is number 210. If you want it, head over here and bid on it.

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Priscilla Spencer is very talented at drawing maps, and she lovingly donated this one to us. If you’re at all a fan of the Iron Druid Chronicles, then you’ll know how nice it’d be to have this map nearby while reading Trapped. Plus, it’s really beautiful.

If you want this all for your own, bid here.

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Priscilla donated three maps total, and the second is the map from Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops series. It has beautiful detail, including detailed sketches of monsters and other creatures.

If you’re a big geeky fan for Myke Cole and/or Priscilla, you should probably bid on this over here.

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Our third map from Priscilla is a beautifully detailed depiction of Alera from Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera.

If you want this one, be sure to bid on it.

  • Auction: A copy of The Fairy-Tale Princess by Wendy Jones. Signed by illustrator Su Blackwell.

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This is a beautiful, hardcover book that collects seven classic fairy tales. Beyond the stories, though, is the detailed papercut sculptures that are the illustrations.

This book deserves a loving home. If you want that home to be yours, bid here.

  • Auction: Set of Copper Goat Paperweights from Esoteric Garage.

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Tait from Esoteric Garage has sent over a lot of copper goodies over the years, and this year’s donation is a set of hefty copper goats based on the Worldbuilders logo. There’s a large goat as well as two smaller ones, and they come with a signed card of authenticity from Tait.

If you want your own little piece of Worldbuilders ephemera, bid over here.

  • Auction: Original Iron Woman mixed-media artwork. Signed by Karen Hallion.

Karen Hallion donation

Karen Hallion gave us the art behind our beautiful calendar this year, and she’s incredibly well known for her princess/police box mashups. But she does a lot more than that, including this Iron Woman series, where she pens and paints a steampunk character over the pages of a book.

The series is amazing, and Brett in particular is hoping our next calendar can feature this art. This is the original, hand drawn-and-painted art, on a wood panel. If you want your hands on this beautiful piece, bid on it here.

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Last year, actor Bill Heck donated two premium seat tickets to see Cabaret, and he’s happily done so again. The show stars Bill Heck, Alan Cumming, and Emma Stone in the leading roles, and you’ll get an exclusive backstage tour after the fact, maybe even a drink or two with Bill afterwards.

If you want this incredible experience, bid on it over here.

* * *

There’s some seriously cool stuff up for auction now, and if you look at the Worldbuilders eBay page you’ll even get a sneak peek of some items we haven’t even announced on the blog yet.

If you’re not into auctions, remember that if you donate directly to Heifer International on the Worldbuilders team page, you’re automatically entered into our prize drawing where you can win over $100,000 worth of cool swag, books, and games.

We’ve got more awesome stuff going up in the store tomorrow, so be sure to come back and check it out.

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat28 Responses

Donations from Generous Fans

Over the years, we’ve had more and more fans donating books to the fundraiser.

In the first couple of years it was only one or two people, but as things have progressed, we’ve had an increasing number of generous folks kicking stuff in from their personal libraries, or goodies they’ve managed to pick up at a signing or a con. That means many of these books are signed, or limited editions, or otherwise awesome.

Most of these are going into the lottery where anyone who donates can win them, but a few are being auctioned off too. So keep an eye out for those.

Let’s jump right into this with some Neil Gaiman.

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Signed by Neil Gaiman.

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I make no bones about the fact that I’m a fan of Gaiman, and this book in particular struck a chord in me. I’m happy to see a signed copy of it heading into the lottery.

If you haven’t read it, you should. I gushed about it on Goodreads a while back, if you’re interested in reading a review that is mostly me embarrassing myself.

  • Auction: First Edition copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Signed by Neil Gaiman.

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We’ve decided to auction off this first edition copy of Ocean at the End of the Lane as well. So if you missed your chance at it, or want a collectible version while you read your unsigned, later edition copy, you can grab it here.

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These are some great books that were re-donated after last year’s fundraiser, spreading the joy to more of our people from someone who already had them. There are three books, which are compendiums of the entire series, so you’ve got it all here.

“Radford’s considerable gifts as a mesmerizing storyteller shine with undeniable luster.” – RT Book Reviews

Reviver

“Supernatural thrillers don’t get much better than British author Patrick’s assured debut, the first in a trilogy…Patrick has carefully thought through the implications of this phenomenon, including religious objections and insurance issues, and maintains the suspense throughout.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

  • A set of the White Trash Zombie series, books 1-4, by Diana Rowland.

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“Humor and gore are balanced by surprisingly touching moments as Angel tries to turn her (un)life around.” – Publishers Weekly

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This book was sent in by a supporter who knows that the early editions of this book are super hard to come by. It’s by Roger Zelazny, who wrote the Chronicles of Amber (which is included in the giant prize of books I recommend). We’ve put it into the lottery so we can spread the geeky joy.

  • A set of Blood Price and Blood Trail by Tanya Huff.

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“An entertaining blend of warmly idiosyncratic characters, cinematic pacing and sharp-fanged humour” – Locus

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We’ve got signed copies of the first four books in the Inheritance Cycle, and the fourth book is even a super beautiful hardcover copy. We thought someone would love them, so we’re putting them in the lottery.

  • Auction: Limited, slipcased edition of Brisingr. Number 929 of 1500, signed by by Christopher Paolini.

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For those of you who are already big geeky fans of Christopher Paolini, we’ve got a special edition of the third book in the series, number 929 out of 1500. The slipcase is beautiful, with an embossed dragon and gold foil.

If you get all excited looking at it, head over here for more pictures and to bid.

Pompeii

“Harris garnishes the action with seductive period detail, and the novel comes alive in the main event, a cataclysmic explosion with a thermal energy equal to a hundred thousand Hiroshimas.” – The New Yorker

  • First edition copy of The Road to Mars. Signed by Eric Idle.

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Yes. THAT Eric Idle. Of Monty Python fame.

“Filled with intelligent observations about comedy and comedians, and enough one-liners to keep a funnyman in gigs past Pluto.” – The New York Times

  • First edition copy of The House of Rumour. Signed by Jake Arnott.

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“It’s both sci-fi/fantasy pulp and an ambitiously epic work of cosmic proportions: a welcome paradox of a novel that boldly toys with the boundaries between high and low-brow art.” – Kirkus

  • First edition copy of Impossible Monsters edited by Kasey Lansdale.

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“Eschewing romantic vampires and shambling zombies, this collection presents monsters that do not merely kill, but suddenly and incomprehensibly consume, destroy, and reduce their victims to mere bones… Readers who stay up late wondering if there really is something out there will find these stories to be perfect nightmare fodder.” – Publishers Weekly

IronsInTheFire

“Shows McKenna at her best, combining politics, violent action, and a concern for the domestic… it’s fundamentally about clever people, trying to do their best, in swift-changing circumstances.” – Paul Cornell

BloodSong

“Anthony Ryan’s Blood Song is a tremendous debut; it has a fast paced, action packed and character driven story. Qualities to admire in any genre story and most of all in an epic fantasy.” – Fantasy Book Critic

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“A weirdly alluring blend of superspy thriller, deadpan comic fantasy and Lovecraftian horror.” – Kirkus

  • A limited edition, traycased edition of Clowns at Midnight. Number 6 of 500, signed by Terry Dowling.

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“The author of Wormwood and Blackwater Days delivers another tale of psychological terror that should appeal to his fans as well as to general audiences of horror literature.” – Library Journal

Conan

“Howard was the Thomas Wolfe of fantasy, and most of his Conan tales seem to almost fall over themselves in their need to get out.” – Stephen King

  • 5 limited edition copies of I Live Here. Signed by John Connolly.

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This is an extremely limited chapbook from John Connolly. He only had 1,000 printed, and we have signed bookplates to go with each one, making them extra cool.

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Amanda covets this book in a way that is not all together proper. She just donated again just to up her chances of maybe winning this book, so if you want it, you might want to get in there and out-donate her.

“Inventive and absorbing…I look forward to Harris’ next foray in to fantasy, especially if she applies her love of Norse mythology again.” – Fantasy Book Review

  • Limited edition copy of The Mallet of Loving Correction. Numbered 924 out of 1000, signed by John Scalzi.

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If you’ve never read Scalzi’s blog, Whatever, you should. This is a collection of those blogs, and I wrote up a possibly-tmi-review on Goodreads for it.

  • Auction: A Publisher’s Copy, slipcased edition of Best Served Cold. Signed by Joe Abercrombie.

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“Abercrombie is both fiendishly inventive and solidly convincing, especially when sprinkling his appallingly vivid combat scenes with humor so dark that it’s almost ultraviolet.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

This is a gorgeous edition of Best Served Cold with a hardcore slipcase. Subterranean Press doesn’t do anything halfway.

If you want to grab this gorgeous thing all for yourself, bid on it over here.

* * *

If anything caught your eye, be sure to go donate on the donation page, where you have the chance to win many of these items, not to mention the thousands of other books and games available in the fundraiser. You can even fly your particular geek flag fly by contributing to one of the teams that’s helping Worldbuilders fundraise this year, like Team Nerdfighteria, or Team NaNoWriMo.

Keep in mind that a bunch of our current auctions are ending tonight and Sunday. So if you haven’t headed over there to take a look at what’s available, you might want to, before it’s too late.

Have a good weekend, space cowboys….

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat10 Responses

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:

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

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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.

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“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:

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Or Lauren Oliver:

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

Or Gregory Maquire:

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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

Comic-Con Schedule

This is my fourth year attending San Diego Comic-Con. And every year, something happens immediately before my trip, as if some cruel deific being were trying to prevent me from getting my geek on.

The complication this year? Rabies.

But that, as they say, is a story for another time. Suffice to say that I refuse to be thwarted, and am currently at ComicCon, preparing to lave myself geek culture.

Whenever I go to ComicCon, I prepare a list of things I’d like to do in my head.

Some of these are simple things. Friends I’d like to get together with and chat. Booths I’d like to visit. Presents I’d like to buy for people.

Other things on my list are more…. esoteric. It’s almost like the entire con is a game. Or a safari. And I get points if I see certain things on my trip. Like, say, a 300 pound guy with a beard dressed up as sailor moon. If I put that on my list, then see it at the con, I’d get, like, 35 points. More ordinary things, like spotting Stan Lee would only get me 5 points. (15 if he’s not doing a signing, or some other event.)

Then there’s things I hope to do at the con. The top of the list is, of course, Meet-Joss-Whedon-Then-Become-Best-Friends-and-Totally-Hang-Out-In-A-Tree-Fort-Together. That’s worth so many points that I would actually level up on the spot, perhaps with embarrassing consequences.

So far I’m doing pretty well at 78 points, with the big score being the fact that I got to hear John Scalzi sing “Somebody that I used to know” in the style of Fred Schneider from the B 52s while accompanying himself on the ukulele.

And listen. I know that sounds like some bullshit thing that I made up, but it really isn’t. I swear. It really happened. It’s printed indelibly on my on my heart and mind. Fire could not burn it from me.

Anyway, if you happen to be one of the 120,000 + people here at the con this weekend, here’s some of the stuff I’ll be doing, if you’re hoping to catch me here.

Thursday, July 12, 7:00-11:00pm
W00tstock

I’m just doing a little walk-on with the aforementioned John Scalzi. But if last year was any indication, it’s going to be a hell of a show.

There *might* be tickets available here.

Friday, July 13, 2012 3:30-4:30PM
Panel: THE CROWNLESS AGAIN SHALL BE KING:
Comic Con room 6A

Legendary editor Betsy Mitchell gets epic with panelists Brandon Sanderson (Alloy of Law), Raymond E. Feist (A Crown Imperiled),Robin Hobb (City of Dragons), N.K. Jemisin (The Inheritance Trilogy), Christopher Paolini (The Inheritance cycle), Rachel Hartman (Seraphina), Patrick Rothfuss(KingKiller Chronicles), Heather Brewer (The Legacy of Tril), and Lynn Flewelling(Casket of Souls). 

Friday, July 13, 2012 5:00-6:00pm
Signing  with the panel from Epic Fantasy War
Autograph booth AA9

Saturday, July 14, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm
Geek and Sundry Panel
Indigo Ballroom in the Hilton.

(I’m not on this panel, but I’m going to be there. For reasons that must remain secret for now….)


[Edit: One more event!
Saturday, July 14, 2012 5:30-6:30pm
Spotlight on John Scalzi
Room 7 AB

I’ll be moderating this one.]

Other than that, I’m just going to be skulking around the con, looking for trouble. If you can’t get into my panel, then you have a decent chance of running into me in places like the Badali Jewlery booth (#530) or Geek Chic (131-133). I also tend to lurk around the Mysterious Galaxy booth a lot, I can’t remember the exact number of it, it’s somewhere in the 1000’s, but they have signed copies of my books there, and if you happen to catch me while I’m passing through, I’d be happy to personalize one to you.

And, of course, if you see me walking around the con, feel free to say hello.

Okay, I’m off. Wish me luck….

pat

 

Posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, appearances, conventions | By Pat33 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

The Final Day, our Final Goal, our Final Donations.

Our Final Day:

Tomorrow, Worldbuilders is over for another year.

More precisely, after Friday Dec 17th 2:00 PST Worldbuilders will be over.

While this has been our best year so far, I feel a little bad that I wasn’t a little more organized.

I was planning on doing more author interviews like the ones I did last year. I wanted to write a blog about my adventures on House on the Rock to accompany Gaiman’s book. I wanted to write another about how I met Paolini at Comic-con to go with his donations. I’d planned on finishing the second half of my Perils of Fanfiction post from months ago.

Unfortunately, edits on book two took a lot more time and energy than I expected. And as a result, I had to let some of those plans go.

Because of that, we have a lot of items in this final blog that are cool enough to be set aside in blogs of their own.

But there’s just no more time. So you’re getting them all at once. Try not to let their combined awesome overwhelm you.

A Final Goal:

So yesterday in the blog that posted Neil Gaiman’s donation, I said I hoped we might be able to hit 150,000 dollars before the end of the fundraiser.

We hit that goal in less than ten hours. So I’ve decided to re-set the donation thermometer one last time.

Our last goal, the goal that I really don’t know if we’ll be able to meet, is going to be 166,700 dollars.

It’s an odd number. But if we raise that much money on our Team Heifer page it means that after Worldbuilders makes its matching donation, we will have raised a quarter million dollars for Heifer International this year.

That would be an amazing milestone. Plus when I’m trying to persuade people to donate books next year, I could say to them, “Last year we raised a quarter million dollars.” That’s a persuasive piece of information…

I don’t know if we’ll be able to make it. But I’m excited to try…

  • A copy of the UK and a copy of the US version of The Black Prism by Brent Weeks. Signed by the author.

I did an interview with Brent Weeks last year. And this year he’s not only kicking in some books, but stepping up to the plate and helping me match donations as well. This earns him a warm place in my heart forever.

Black Prism is his new book, and BSC review says that it’s full of “Multiple twists and compelling  characters…a page-turner.”

  • A set of The Night Angel Trilogy: The Way of Shadows, Shadow’s Edge and Beyond the Shadows by Brent Weeks. Signed by the author.

  • A set of Graphic Audio books of Shadow’s Edge by Brent Weeks. Both signed by the author.

“I was mesmerized from start to finish. Unforgettable characters, a plot that kept me guessing, nonstop action and the kind of in-depth storytelling that makes me admire a writer’s work.” – Terry Brooks

  • A hardcover set of Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr by Christopher Paolini. Signed by the author.

As I mentioned above, this is one of the donations I wanted to set aside in its own blog.

You see, I met Paolini at Comic Con this year. He’s a hell of a nice guy. He conducted an interview with me on Suvudu. It was the first interview he’d ever conducted, and he did a way better job with it than I did with my first interview earlier that day with Sandeep Parikh.

The blog I was writing was a tricky one, and I talked a lot about the strange place Paolini occupies in fantasy. In some ways he is the biggest rags-to-riches story we have in the genre. Young kid writes a book, gets published, gets a movie, becomes an international bestseller.

A ton of people read his books. A ton of people love his stuff. Published in 50 countries.

On the other end of the spectrum there’s a big camp of people who get all bitchy and snarky whenever his name comes up. They talk about plagiarism and such.

My blog talked about my own preconceptions about Paolini’s work. Most importantly it talked about something embarrassing: that I judged his books without ever reading them. That’s a hard thing to admit, because I like to think that I’m better than that.

After months of tinkering on the blog, doing research, finding links. It was finally finished. It was about 2000 words long. I was going to post it last Sunday night. It was going to lead off our final week of the fundraiser. I even got my friend to illustrate it, depicting me in all my ignorant judgmental glory:

Then, about 45 minutes before I was finished with the blog, my computer crashed and I lost it.

I’ll reconstruct that blog eventually. Then everyone will get a chance to voice their opinions and discuss in the comments.

But not today. This isn’t the time or place for it, understand? During Worldbuilders geeks of all genres come together and make the world a better place. We do not snark and froth at each other no matter what our differences of opinion. Follow me?

In addition to these signed books that we’re adding to the general lottery, Christopher has offered up another set of books for auction….

  • A set of Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr by Christopher Paolini, signed and personalized by the author.

If you win this auction, Christopher Paolini will sign and personalize these books to you however you like.

To see more pictures or bid on this auction you can follow this link.

  • A copy of 3 Dead Princes, An Anarchist Fairy Tale by Danbert Nobacon and illustrations by Alex Cox. Signed by the author and illustrator. Donated by Exterminating Angel Press.

“This is a beautiful book. The illustrations are wonderful. It definitely rocks! I ought to know.” – Iggy Pop

  • A copy of Sorceries edited by Katharine Kerr. Signed by Katharine Kerr.

Another donation from Katherine Kerr who was nice enough to donate an original manuscript to the auction this year. Sorceries has been out of print for a while, so this signed copy is pretty cool.

  • A set of anthologies: Timeshares; Terribly Twisted Tales, signed by author Kelly Swails; and Stalking the Wild Hare, signed by author Dylan Birtolo.

Here we’ve got three different anthologies; a veritable buffett of new authors and stories to sample from. You have twisted faerie tales, hard sci-fi, epic fantasy, urban fantasy. A little bit of everything…

  • A copy of Hungry for Your Love: An Anthology of Zombie Romance edited by Lori Perkins. Signed by the author.

This anthology only needs two words to describe it: Zombie Romance.

Yeah. A whole anthology of Zombie Romance. I’m going to have to pick this one up…

  • A set of the October Daye Novels: by Seanan McGuire. Signed by the author.

“A refreshingly original story told in a wry, confident voice. Rosemary and Rue is a treat to read.” – Kelley Armstrong

 

If you’re a geek trying to raise geek children, you might want to check out this charming picture book for kids. It’s received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and is a 2011 ALSC Notable Nominee.

Here we have some lovely donations from Apex Books.

“Fresh, inventive, stylish and captivating, the work of a writer of unusual promise.” – Dean Koontz

  • A copy of The Apex Book of World SF edited by Lavie Tidhar.

“This literary window into the international world of imaginative fiction, the first in a new series, is sure to appeal to adventurous sf fans and readers of fiction in translation.” – Library Journal.

“Burrow’s debut is a swift-moving, pathos-free, creatively amusing riff on zombies from the zombie perspective.” – Publishers Weekly

“Braoddus and White are an unlikely pairing of talents that works astonishingly well. Orgy of Souls is a powerful, innovative work of fiction and one I recommend wholeheartedly. A damned fine read.” – James A. Moore

“Michael A. Burstein is an Isaac Asimov for the new millennium” – Robert J. Sawyer

“A remarkable collection, bursting at the seams with thought-provoking ideas and shattering visions.” – Brandon Massey

*     *     *

  • Two hardcover copies of The Splendid Magic of Penny Arcade. The 11.5 Anniversary Edition. Signed by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins.

Earlier this year, I got a bit of thrill when I was mentioned on Penny Arcade on their blog.

Okay. That’s a slight understatement. I was giggly as a schoolgirl. It might even be fair to say that I was twitterpated.

When it happened, I realized that my life was pretty cool. I also decided that since I don’t get to play many video games these days, I was going to start celebrating the cool things that happen to me by giving myself achievements.

Getting mentioned on Penny Arcade, I decided, would be the first achievement I officially unlocked.

I even got a friend to do an illustration to commemorate the event:

Note to people who don’t read Penny Arcade: Wanged is a technical term.

Suffice it to say that I love me some Penny Arcade, and these books are lovely collections.  If you want more details than that, you can read the interview with Jerry Holkins I posted up just a couple hours ago.

“Sanderson knows how to wrap things up cleanly. He spins a world that’s easily complex and mysterious enough to warrant sequels, but prefers to end it climactically, answering many of his biggest questions, while leaving others to the imagination.” – The Onion

*     *     *

Lastly, we have another set of donations I wanted to put into its own blog.

The lovely folks at Badali Jewelry make rings, necklaces, pentants and pins. What’s more, some of the stuff they make is based off the jewelery in fantasy novels.

They got in contact with me recently in order to talk about plans for… things. Secret things. Things which will be revealed in the near future.

When they found out about Worldbuilders, they were eager to donate some of their stuff to the fundraiser.

Then I dropped Brandon Sanderson a line and asked if he’d be willing to donate some books to go along with the Jewlery. He said he would, because Brandon is a hell of a nice guy.

  • A hardcover set Mistborn, The Well of Ascension and The Hero of Ages of by Brandon Sanderson. Signed by the Author.

With accompanying Steel Alphabet Medallion from Badali Jewelry.

“Intrigue, politics, and conspiracies mesh complexly in a world Sanderson realizes in satisfying depth and peoples with impressive characters.” – Booklist

  • A hardcover copy of The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. Signed by the Author.

With accompanying set of Asha’man Dragon pin and a Dedicated Sword pin from Badali Jewelry.

“The Wheel of Time . . . is a fantasy tale seldom equaled and still less often surpassed in English.”—Chicago Sun-Times

With accompanying Aon Omi Love Pendant from Badali Jewelry.

“Outstanding fantasy debut . . . . The intrigue and excitement grow steadily in this smoothly written, perfectly balanced narrative; by the end readers won’t want to put it down.” – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

I think that’s a great item to end the fundraiser on, don’t you?

I don’t need to mention that I can actually read what’s written on this ring, do I? That I can actually recite it from memory… in the original language?

No. I didn’t think so. Let’s pretend that I’m not quite that much of a geek.

*     *     *

Well folks. That’s it for this year. Remember that for every 10 dollars you donate on the Team Heifer page you get the chance to win these cool donations and hundreds of others.

We also have a few auctions that are still running for a little while. You can find them here.

Lastly, here’s the link to the main Worldbuilders page. You can head over there to see all the other donations and cool things.

Thanks again for eveything folks. Here’s hoping we can make our final goal.

“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”

Posted in Achievement Unlocked!, BJ Hiorns Art, Nathan Taylor Art, videos, Worldbuilders 2010 | By Pat50 Responses
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