Monday, December 29, 2008
Home for the Holidays

While I live in the cozy little town of Stevens Point, I grew up near Madison. That's where my family is. It's home, in the biggest sense of the word. That's where I go when the family-type holidays roll around, and that's where I went this Christmas.

A couple months ago, I went down to Madison to attend Wiscon. It's nice to go to a convention that doesn't involve spending all day on a plane, and this one is practically in my backyard.

While I was there, I ended up hooking up with Tobias Buckell and David Anthony Durham. And by "hooking up" I mean that we were going to hang out at the coffee shop and chat. Not that they aren't attractive men and all... But... well. Yeah.

Anyway, before I go into the coffee shop, I hit the Jamba Juice next door. Because I love Jamba Juice. Specifically, I love the Orange Dream Machine smoothie. If there was a Jamba Juice here in Stevens Point, that is all I would eat. Ever.

So I get a smoothie and head across the street to the coffee shop. There, I order a mocha and politely ask if it's okay for me to bring in my smoothie. The hipster behind the counter is cool about it, and I tip him generously.

So Toby, David, and I are waiting for our drinks when a policeman shows up. Not mall security. This is a real cop, blue suit, badge, gun and everything.

This makes me edgy. Back in high-school my friends and I used to be hooligans. Our main hobby was toilet-papering houses. In a small town like Deforest (which is where I went to school) that means that you have to get pretty good at dodging the cops, because most of their job was keeping us from doing stuff like that. It was like an elaborate game of tag.

My friends and I were pretty good at it, and we were never caught. We developed highly sensitive cop radar that let us know when to run or hide.

The unfortunate result is that these days, whenever I see a cop, I feel like I've done something wrong. This isn't helped by the fact that at any given moment that I might be returning from, going to, carrying around, or at least thinking about something illegal.

So when I see the cop, I immediately feel shifty. I do a mental inventory of my pockets and backpack, wondering what I have on me that might get me in trouble. This is also a holdover from highschool. Back then, innocent things riding around in your car with you can get you in trouble. Things like fireworks, silly string, shaving cream, and, of course, the case of toilet paper in the trunk.

But I don't have anything on me. Lockpicks might raise an eyebrow, but they're legal to carry here in Wisconsin. I have a bottle of caffeine in my backpack. And while it looks suspicious, it's not illegal either. I'm clean.

Still, I can't help but feel like this cop is giving me the eye. I get my mocha and wander over to the condiment stand to add my requisite four or five sugars. I'm sure of it: he's looking me over. Is it because I have terrorist beard? That might single me out in line at the airport, but in a coffeeshop in downtown Madison? Not likely. There are hippies here aplenty.

I head over to the table Toby and David have picked out, and he's still watching me. What is it? Am I wearing my t-shirt that says, "You say tomato, I say fuck you." No. Is it my black leather trench coat? Am I just radiating latent guilt? What? What?

He comes over to the table where I've just taken off my coat. His expression is serious, he's frowning a little. Then it occurs to me - the Jamba Juice. He knows that I shouldn't have it here in the coffee shop. Is it illegal to have a carry-in?

He then he says. "Did you write The Name of the Wind?"

And I'm floored. He's read my book. We chatted for a bit, and I got to look popular in front of my fellow writers.

However, I knew that for what it was, a fluke. There had been a story about me in the paper a couple days before. A "Local Boy Does Good" sort of thing. They used a picture of me, and I have to admit I do have a bit of a distinctive look.

Jump forward to last week. Sarah and I are walking out to my car in the Borders parking lot. Heading toward the bookstore is a stranger, making more than the usual amount of eye-contact. As he had some respectable chin growth, I figured he was just expressing beard solidarity.

But then, as he comes closer he nods and says, "I like your work."

I say, "You're kidding me. You know who I am?"

He does, apparently. Still, I can pass this off as a fluke too. It did happen in the parking lot of a bookstore, after all.

But then, two days later, I'm at the post office mailing the check out to Heifer. When I hand the guy the envelope, he looks down at it, then says, "Are you the writer Pat Rothfuss?"

So... yeah. It was weird. Cool, but weird. It's nice that these last two things happened when Sarah was around, so she thinks I'm cooler than I really am. This is important because she's much prettier and nicer than me. I need to have something to balance the scales out.

In unrelated news, I'm going to be making an appearance at a bookstore in Pasadena on January 17th. I can't lay my hands on the details right now, but I'll post them up as soon as I can find the appropriate piece of paper.

Hope everyone is having a good time,


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posted by Pat at


Blogger Ben said...

Come on, Pat, everyone knows that Triple Berry is the best flavor at Jamba Juice!

Ben from MPLS

December 30, 2008 1:15 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Michelle Hauser said...

Pat, you're like a legit celeb now. Just stay out of those late night clubs or you'll be on the front cover of Star or The National Enquirer!

December 30, 2008 1:25 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Blasphemy. Orange Dream Machine is the only true path!

December 30, 2008 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Markus said...

Wait. You're the guy who wrote "The Name of the Wind"?


December 30, 2008 1:41 PM  
Blogger Zach Taylor said...

I, too, will spot you one day when you least expect it!

(and are in Austin)

December 30, 2008 2:06 PM  
Blogger Summer said...

... See, that there is the reason that when I'm a fabulously bestselling author I will always wear a pair of those glasses with the funny nose and mustache attached. And possibly a sombrero. Just to make it more interesting for fans who want to recognize me. (Except for the sombrero, because sombreros are just plain nifty.)

December 30, 2008 2:11 PM  
OpenID suziko said...

*sigh* I live in Madison and keep hoping that I'll some day see you on the street. Just curious- were you at Fair Trade Coffee on State?

December 30, 2008 2:16 PM  
Anonymous Snall Trippin said...

" I figured he was just expressing beard solidarity."


December 30, 2008 2:20 PM  
Anonymous greg said...

we've got to be careful guys and establish our "I knew Pat back when" cred before he ends up on the cover of one of the trashy celebrity mags for supposedly having an affair with sarah michelle geller

December 30, 2008 2:24 PM  
Blogger Vorak said...

I'd be lying if I said I weren't a wee bit jealous that I didn't run into you on your latest trip into Madison.

Maybe next time eh?

December 30, 2008 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See cops are human, we are more than just coffee and doughnuts... We occasionally enjoy a good book and once in a great while we may even hug our mothers.

December 30, 2008 3:27 PM  
Blogger John said...

By Pasadena, do you mean the Pasadena in southern California, or some other Pasadena?

December 30, 2008 3:54 PM  
Blogger sparkly_jules said...

Argh, krap! I'm a mere 30 miles from a bookstore in Pasadena, but we're heading back up to NorCal in a few days.

hmmm, I'm unemployed, I could probably skip town for a day or so to go to PASADENA!!

Rockin'. Now I need to get my copy of TNOTW from my MIL. Or jeez, maybe I'll have to buy a new one, hardback this time. tap tap tap, let me think......

I will try so hard to be there so I can get some swag and an autograph. :-)

sparkly jules

December 30, 2008 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Kanna said...

Pat, you should lobby for a Jamba Juice in Steven's Point.

Or you could come to Austin, we already have Jamba Juice. :D

December 30, 2008 5:34 PM  
Blogger heykaren said...

Well, if you ever came to Texas for an appearance - I promise you I would shout your name in glee (as would all the members of my book club...)!

December 30, 2008 5:38 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...

I'm glad that I am not the only person that does a self-inventory when they see someone in an "official capacity".

Seeing as Pasadena is very close I certainly hope to be able to make it out on the 17th!

Best Wishes for all in the New Year.

December 30, 2008 6:15 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

You know, one of the art shops in madison sells a pack of fake moustaches. They also still sell gum cigarettes. And googley eye glasses. And I'm with Madisonly fans, well, we demand your presence...or presents...

December 30, 2008 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Hayleigh said...

Ooh, ooh, I saw you in a restaurant and was far too shy to say anything. Does that count?

December 30, 2008 7:03 PM  
Blogger Alice O said..., CALIFORNIA??? That would be so great!!!

Can you link to the article? I wrote to the AP and also the Sentinel and told them they should write about you. They probably already knew you were cool though.



December 30, 2008 7:21 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

That sounds like the best life ever, to me.

I like the idea of an elaborate game of tag being played with the police. Maybe we could all get laser guns too, and make it LASER tag...

December 30, 2008 7:52 PM  
Blogger Shane said...

Hey man, just finished name of the wind and loved it, read it in four days. I just ran into your post on amazon while looking into info on the sequal. I was surprised to see you live in Stevens point. I'm down in Delavan right now, went to school in Whitewater, several friends from point. Anyway . . hmm, I see i have no real point other loving your work. Man good luck with the rest of this awful winter!

December 30, 2008 9:04 PM  
Blogger Stacy Byas said...

I've been cultivating a fan base of your book here in Anchorage, Alaska. So, should you ever visit, you'll likely get stopped a few times. But not because of your beard, which really fits in here.

December 30, 2008 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Danzic said...

Pasadena is only 3 hours from me! Sounds Like a road trip. Whats happening in Pasadena anyways?

December 30, 2008 10:26 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Suziko: It was Fair Trade.

Alice: The article wasn't about Hiefer, unfortunately. It was a couple days before Wiscon. Almost a year back. I don't know if it's still online.

Hayleigh: Which restaraunt?

December 30, 2008 11:00 PM  
Anonymous Reggie said...

If I asked one of my local bookstores to contact you for a signing or an appearance or something epic like that..well would that completely inconvenience and annoy you?

December 31, 2008 1:29 AM  
Blogger LibrarianChan said...

Ha! I spotted you reading in a back hallway like months ago! Meeting you was certainly one of my favorite 2008 moments! My paperback book is way up on my top bookshelf bumping corners with my hardback copy. I'm sure the hardback is very jealous it isn't awesome and signed like the paperback! =)

December 31, 2008 1:31 AM  
Anonymous James said...

I'm going to make sure that the next author I start maniacally ranting about lives here in England, as I feel slightly cheated by being left out from all the stalking.
Although if you ever want to escape you know where to head. Not because nobody will know you... but the freezing fog outside we've been getting lately means visability just isn't all that good.

December 31, 2008 3:37 AM  
Blogger Captain Joe said...

Kind of an off post-topic, but...

Pat, serious question, what the devil is in that extravagent roah chest sealed with three locks?

Curiosity has its jagged hooks embedded firmly in my mind. Insanity will soon follow.

December 31, 2008 6:13 AM  
Anonymous DDrex said...

Last year the Madison Public Library posted book recommendations from downtown police officers:

It's not an extensive list (likely it just proves that cops read!) but maybe you'll make their list this year! One more in a long list of accolades . . . :-)

December 31, 2008 6:23 AM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Heh, let us know the day when you expect someone to compliment you and he turns out to actually be expressing beard solidarity :D
It is highly unlikely that I'll see you walking down a main street here, given that I'm some thousand miles away, but should you ever be in England, give me some notice and I shall bring cohorts of fandom to impress your lady :)

December 31, 2008 6:41 AM  
Blogger Sailor Matt said...

Heh... lockpicks and a bottle of caffeine pills. What, no garden gnome?

word verification: fegismsa
I couldn't find a way to keep this def. decent, so I'm gonna pass on this one.

December 31, 2008 7:49 AM  
Anonymous Maarten said...

Jep, cops read Fantasy to. Here in Holland we don't have the donut thing though. But we do enjoy coffee and I also hug my mother... I guess it's a shame we don't have Jamba Juice.
Pat, if you'll ever get here in the low lands, I'll arange an police escort ;)

December 31, 2008 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Taliesin said...

Hey Pat,

Not that you're not a nice guy and your blog posts aren't fun to read, but couldn't we get an update on how far you are with Wise Man's Fear and when it will come out in your estimation? I keep hoping for some word from your side but you never address the topic.


December 31, 2008 1:47 PM  
Blogger Lilith said...

That must've been funny. All that worry just because a cop read your book.

Though it's cool that you're a celebrity now. I'll be looking for you in the newspaper now.

Oh, and commenting on your previous post - Good job on raising so much for Heifer International.

December 31, 2008 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Pat! Don't know if you remember me from Point. It's Amber, from the Femmes! I just wanted to comment real quick!

I live in a condo building in Chicago currently, and we have this mini-library in the laundry room where we can all share books and what not. Totally cool. Anyway, I was thumbing through them the other day and was floored when I saw your book! It was a total "OMG PAT'S BOOK!!" moment. And I got to point to it and tell some old lady that I had hung out with the author of said book in college and she should read it.

She just stared at me, but it was a great moment all the same!

It was a cool tingly feeling! Like a "Holy crap, I actually HAVE hung out with a published author!" feeling. Very cool!

You're famous everywhere! :D

December 31, 2008 3:30 PM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

OMG. I could actually meet you? I live about 40 minutes from Pasadena. PLEASE make sure you post details!

On the other hand, perhaps you are famous enough that I can just ask any random passerby where Pat Rothfuss is appearing and find out myself. ;)

January 1, 2009 12:38 AM  
Anonymous Kalligenia said...

Happy new year! :)

January 1, 2009 11:47 AM  
Blogger Tallow said...

Walking muppets are pretty easy to spot...

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2009 12:21 PM  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

tee hee hee. You're famous! I love the cop story. What the world needs is more fantasy readers!!

January 1, 2009 10:58 PM  
Blogger marky said...

Ha! Quality stuff Pat, a Happy New Year to you and the Mrs.
The year of The Wise Mans Fear is upon us. I feel good about this year, really good.

January 5, 2009 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Cecrow said...

Work your edge while you can; pretty soon everyone will have to acknowledge Sarah when she's with you as well, thanks to your blog. Otherwise it's like saluting Batman while ignoring Robin, ya know?

January 7, 2009 9:28 AM  
Blogger klaxon12 said...

"As he had some respectable chin growth, I figured he was just expressing beard solidarity."

Definitely one of the best sentences I've ever read!

October 7, 2009 2:11 PM  

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