From the moment Jim Butcher (author of the criminally entertaining Dresden Files) made a statement about hating some guy named Patrick Rothfuss for being such a great writer, I was a fan.
His first novel, The Name of the Wind, is a book I recommend to anyone and everyone, fantasy fan or not. No joke. I even inadvertently convinced a total stranger to buy it while trying to talk my Dad into purchasing it for himself. Apparently my enthusiasm was infectious. This woman said to me, “Are you talking about this book?” She pointed to it on the shelf. I told her I was. “Okay,” She said. “I’m buying it.”
My Dad bought it too. And loved it.
(side note: I got a call from my Dad some time later. “I should be really mad at you,” he said. Suddenly I was a teenager with a guilty conscience, trying to remember all the things I’d done that would have made him angry. At last he said, “I can’t stop reading this book.”)
On top of being an aggravatingly great writer, he’s also intimidatingly smart, witty, and sharp enough to cut you through the digital text of his blog. I love reading his posts. Sometimes their related to his writing process. Mostly it’s about what’s going on in his head. Always it is an entertaining, even enlightening read.
So the guy writes novels well. He blogs well. Speaks well too. Yea, look him up. AND he’
For the past few years, Patrick Rothfuss has been running a charity called Worldbuilders. It supports the amazing people at Heifer International – an organization I’d never heard of until he wrote about them. These guys are brilliant. They really put into practice the “Give a man a fish” philosophy. Well, except with goats and chickens. To quote Mr. Rothfuss: (since he’s better at saying everything than I am) “Heifer International is my favorite charity. It helps people raise themselves up out of poverty and starvation. Heifer promotes education, sustainable agriculture, and local industry all over the world.”
Doesn’t that make you feel a little bit better about mankind? Just a little?
To show his massive support of Heifer International, Rothfuss asks his fans and their family and friends and neighbors and everyone they’ve ever met to donate as little as ten dollars. For every ten you donate, your name gets entered into a lottery. When the end of the charity arrives, names are chosen at random for the “Thousands of books, comics, games, and other cool miscellany” that have been donated as prizes.
In the past, so many of these prizes have been sent in that the chances of winning crushed the possibility of not. So, I’d imagine the same will likely be true this year.
Up until now I’ve been in such a financial cluster fuck that I’ve been unable to donate. I’m not much better now, but I’m going to do my damnedest to donate SOMETHING. Not for the swag. Not so I can check one good deed off my list for the year. BECAUSE I completely believe in the work these people are doing. This is the kind of smart and long lasting help the world needs. It isn’t dropping some pocket change in a jar on your way out of a restaurant, assuming it will do some good for someone – SOMEDAY. This is real change.
Anyone reading this, if you’re interested in really helping the world, saving the lives of others, making a real difference in the lives of others, think about Worldbuilders. Consider the Signed Advanced Readers Copy of some totally awesome urban fantasy novel a personal thank you from the family you kept alive.
If you can’t decide what to buy someone for Christmas, donate. Tell them you helped save the world on their behalf. I know I am asking anyone considering buying ME a present this year to take that ten bucks and send it to Heifer.
Feel free to send me the lottery prize as well…if you want.
Read more about Worldbuilders: http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2013/12/worldbuilders-2013/