rwehavingfunyet?

What Matters? What Works? What's Next?
This blog belongs to:

Dj Connell
Discworld Liaison, Sasquan / WorldCon 2015
Current Project: the Great Discworld Fan Gathering at Sasquan 2015,
More info at www.sasquan.org
Founder, Discworld Seamstress Guild of North America, Established 2003
Co-Founder, North American Discworld Dark Clerks.
Established 2011
Trouble Made: By Appointment
rwehavingfunyet?

@ItBodes on Twitter

These are my opinions and mine alone.

This image of Death is by artist Paul Kidby. Mr Kidby's images are used with his permission. Copyright: Paul Kidby.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Some Updates on The Great Discworld Fan Gathering at Sasquan / Worldcon 2015

Updates on The Great Discworld Fan Gathering at Sasquan:

There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes regarding Discworld programing and events for Sasquan / Worldcon 2015 but much of it is a surprise, at least for now.  But here is what I can tell you:

Sasquan is making ribbons for DW fans to wear on their badges so they can find one another.  These will be purple and will say, "Ook".   

(Traditionally, the Seamstress Guild makes up their own ribbons which have their motto:  Nil Volupti sine lucre. The guild will give these out at the parties they're hosting at Sasquan.) 

In addition to all the great experiences offered by a Worldcon, Sasquan will be hosting Discworld programming, events, a Discworld exhibit, guild meetups, and our fabulous Seamstress Guild parties.

Here are the Sasquan Membership Maps (along with facts and figures) for those attending Sasquan / WorldCon 2015. 


Sasquan has recently welcomed new members from Chile, Estonia, Hungary, India, and Romania, North Dakota, Newfoundland, Saxony-Anhalt, and Yukon.  Join us at Sasquan and make friends all over the world.

One of the Guests of Honor for Sasquan is David Gerrold, who is also a Terry Pratchett fan. Mr Gerrold has recently started an informal group called Just Us.  These are Discworld fans who perform random acts of kindness at conventions and other events.  We'll have more on this movement and what it might mean at Sasquan next month. 
 
We hope to see you there. 
 
Dj 


Art: Marc Simonetti. This is a piece he painted after Terry passed.  His work for the Discworld is here. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

North American Discworld Fans Remember Sir Terry Pratchett


Sad Oook.  Sad, sad, Oook.

I got the call early this morning.  I'm still in shock.

We knew this day was coming, and that our friends / his fans would need someplace they could go to grieve with those who understand the depth of their loss.  So some of us have spent the morning posting to the various Discworld pages on Facebook.  (1) Each time we post the same sad announcement but we put up a different photo of Himself for each guild.  It's important to us that "Terry's people" know they have a welcoming place to go to in order to share their memories.  He wasn't just Sir Terry -ing Pratchett to us.  He was pterry.  Many of us have known him years, some for decades, and we loved the man as much as we loved the work.

North American Fans are remembering Terry Pratchett today on Twitter and at the North American Discworld Connection Facebook page. You can read their comments here. 

North American Discworld Connection

Our thoughts are with Terry's family and friends today.  One of his long time friends, Bernard Pearson AKA The Cunning Artificer, has posted a lovely note on his FB page today. 

We will host a remembrance for Terry at The Great Discworld Fan Gathering at Sasquan / Worldcon 2015 which takes place in Spokane, WA, August 19th - 23rd.

Update: There will be a memorial panel to Terry at Sasquan / Worldcon 2015 and we will host many a glass in his name at the Seamstress Guild parties planned for that convention.

For those who are interested, I am posting some of the best tributes to Terry that I've found on Twitter on @ItBodes

Today, and May 25th we'll wear the lilac, and I'll be urging Discworld fans to contribute to two of his favorite charities in his honor.  These are

Orangutan Foundation

Alzheimer's Research

This loss is huge for all of us, and it will take a long time to process.  Right now, I just can't imagine a world without him in it. 

In the days and weeks that follow the rest of the world will comment on his books, his profound influence on literature and culture, his courageous activism on a wide variety of fronts, and his many kind and charitable acts.  But today we remember the man, and we're all glad that he died in peace, surrounded by friends and family, and with one of his beloved cats by his side.

Goodbye pterry.  We love you.  

*********
 
RIP SIR TERRY PRATCHETT

It is with immeasurable sadness that we announce that author Sir Terry Pratchett has died at the age of 66. Fans are welcome and to share their memories of Terry here today. 

Terry faced his Alzheimer's disease (an 'embuggerance', as he called it) publicly and bravely. Over the last few years, it was his writing that sustained him. His legacy will endure. 

Our sympathies go out to Terry's family and friends and all those whose lives were touched by this fine man and his wonderful work. 

Terry passed away in his home, with his cat sleeping on his bed surrounded by his family on 12th March 2015. Diagnosed with PCA1 in 2007, he battled the progressive disease with his trademark determination and creativity, and continued to write. He completed his last book, a new Discworld novel, in the summer of 2014, before succumbing to the final stages of the disease.

We ask that the family are left undisturbed at this distressing time.

His daughter Rhianna posted these notes on his twitter page: https://twitter.com/terryandrob

(1) Some of the Discworld Guilds and pages on Facebook 

North American Discworld Connection

Discworld Guild of Bakers 

Discworld Dark Clerks 

Discworld Guild of Engravers and Printers

Discworld Guild of Singers and Musicians

Discworld Seamstress Guild 

Guild of Cunning Artificers 

and our Discworld friends in the UK and all over the world are at a discussion (?) group known as  The Discworld Monthly 

Update: On a personal note: I would just like to say a heartfelt "Thank you" to Jason Anthony and the moderators at the Discworld Monthly and other FB pages. Thank you, all, for making these pages a safe place to share our feelings and memories.  And thank you, Discworld fans, for sharing. <<hugs from afar> D. 

Art - found at The Discworld Monthly




Friday, January 23, 2015

Update - The Great Discworld Gathering at Sasquan / Worldcon 2015

This announcement about The Great Discworld Gaterhing at Sasquan / Worldcon 2015 just went out to the 19,500 Discworld fans who read the Discworld Monthly Newsletter.  

Our sincere thanks to Jason and the great gang at DWM for
helping us get the word out about this event.  
Come One, Come All to the Great Discworld Fan Gathering at Sasquan!
The World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention takes place in Spokane, Washington on August 19-23, 2015. Known as Sasquan, it will attract over 5,000 Science Fiction and Fantasy fans from all over the world. Among their ranks will be hundreds, if not thousands, of Discworld enthusiasts. The organizers of this convention would like to invite all of you to be a part of the Great Discworld Fan Gathering at Sasquan.

Sasquan takes place in Spokane, Washington, a gorgeous area in the Pacific Northwest. It is on the west coast of the United States, about 4 hours' drive from Seattle, WA. For more information about this convention, please visit sasquan.org/

Spokane is a great city with an international airport. There is lots to see and do for individuals and families. For more information about Spokane, WA, please visit www.visitspokane.com/

Various North American Discworld Guilds have been invited to organize and host DW fan meets at Sasquan and these include:

* The Seamstress Guild (famous for its parties, it has many decorators, costumers and performers among its members), 
* the Alchemists (our science minds), 
* the Cunning Artificers (arts & crafts), 
* Discworld Musicians and Singers (for filking and other fun), 
* Engravers & Printers (our writers and editors), 
* the Dark Clerks (folks who like to organize both paper and people behind the scenes),
* our fabulous Bakers (lovers of food and drink who may be leading some of our pub crawls), 
* the Witches & Wizards (cunning women and men who love history, myth, and folklore), 
* various DW Family Groups
* Ze Black Ribboners (DW folks in recovery), and more.

The North American Seamstress Guild will be hosting its famous parties at this convention, and a Discworld exhibit will be mounted in the convention's Exhibition Room. 

Discworld fans are invited to submit their art to the Sasquan Art Show, and costumers should consider entering the famous Worldcon Costume Masquerade.

The Programming and Events departments are working with notable fans and attendees from around the world to create a fascinating Discworld-themed track for fans.

Many events will take place at the Spokane Convention Center. Many of the parties and meets will take place at the historic Davenport Hotel (see The Davenport Hotel and Tower, Spokane, Wash. - In Photos: America's Top Historic Hotels at discworldmonthly.co.uk/url/SPO213A ).

And reservations have just opened for the new Grand Hotel, one of several hotels (with varying and reasonable rates) all serving this Worldcon. Sasquan writes that, "The Grand is still under construction, but will be open in June. It is part of the Davenport Collection, which is now branded as Marriott. It will be attached to the Spokane Convention Center (SCC) across the street via a skybridge on the southwest side. The INB Theater is the closest space in the SCC, where the Masquerade and Hugos will be held."

If you make reservations, please use the housing bureau software system: www.visitspokane.com/sasquan

To follow Sasquan on Facebook, please like their FB page: www.facebook.com/sasquan

To purchase your membership to this event, please visit Sasquan's registration page: sasquan.swoc.us/sasquan/reg.php
 
Please note: This is a family-friendly event and there will be a track for young people. Why not bring the kids?

It's going to be a well-organized convention and one heck of a party. We hope to see you there.

D. J. Connell 
writing for the Great Discworld Fan Gathering at Sasquan 
 Oook!

P.S. We're hearing that there might also be a Steampunk / Discworld themed dance on the first night of the convention. 

*************

Art: Tiffany Aching by Paul Kidby www.paulkidby.net.  Art poster by Kim White. 

Here is a direct link to the Discworld Monthly Newsletter for January of 2015

Friday, August 22, 2014

Updates: Programing for The Great Discworld Fan Meet At Sasquan

Greetings all,

We've been in touch with Sasquan (WorldCon 2015) about the Discworld panels we'd like to see offered there for The Great Discworld Fan Gathering at that convention.  We have suggested, among others, the ever popular NADWCon panels titled "The Science of Discworld" and "The Tech of Discworld", "The Women of Discworld" and "Folklore, World Myths, Ancient Legends and The Discworld".


Are there classes, panels, events, or meets you'd like to see there, either for kids or adults? Let us know using the link noted below.



We can and will suggest the names of interesting people (many of them folks you might know from previous NADWCons) for these panels and events AND we are always looking for new people who can add to our sum of Discworld knowledge.  So don't be shy, step up and offer your skills.

Over the next few months we will be working closely with the Chair of Events and the Chair of Programming for Sasquan.  We will gather names and recommend folks for *every* Discworld panel and event until May 1st, 2015 (which is the programming cut off date).  If you wish to be included on a panel - or want to suggest some good ideas - please use the Sasquan Program Idea form:


http://sasquan.org/program/idea-form/ 

This is what you will see: 

SASQUAN PROGRAM IDEA FORM:

Have an idea for Events or Program? Drop us an E-mail. We’re eager to hear what you’ve liked at conventions.

Worldcons are always interested in ways to innovate new kinds of Program and Events. Currently, we have panels, videos, dances, parties, workshops, contests, game shows, concerts, Masquerade, Hugo Awards Ceremony, readings, autographings… Over the last few years, a film festival and Strolling with the Stars have been added to the Worldcon schedule. Between now and September 1, 2014, we’d like to get con attendees to think a little about new types of Program or Events we could add.

We’re also looking for new topics and panelists for Program, and can take topic/panelist suggestions until May 1, 2015.

This idea form can help you reflect on what you’ve liked about recent conventions, and what you’d like to see Sasquan try to do in 2015.

TO FILL OUT THIS FORM, PLEASE GO TO THIS LINK: 
http://sasquan.org/program/idea-form/


Your Name

Your Email

What Was the Best Event or Program Item You Saw at a Recent Convention?

Why?

Who Were the Best Event or Program Participants You Saw at a Recent Convention?


Why?

If You've Attended a Recent Worldcon, What's the One Change You'd Like to See for Sasquan Events or Program?


What's the Optimal Length for a Panel?  
60 minutes
90 minutes
Suggest a New Type of Event or Program

Suggest an Idea for a Panel Topic

Suggest Participants for this Panel

Any Other Comments for Events or Program?



TO FILL OUT THIS FORM, PLEASE GO TO THIS LINK: 
http://sasquan.org/program/idea-form/

Thank you,

Dj Connell
Chair, The Great Discworld Gathering at Sasquan
Chair, NADWCon Steering Committee
Founder, Seamstress Guild of North America
Co-Founder, Dark Clerks of North America
Blah, blah, blah, Ginger

Art: Death Playing Guitar by Paul Kidby www.paulkidby.net

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

We R Igors - 2015 Discworld Calendar


Good news: The new Discworld Calendars, from Gollancz will be available from The Discworld Emporium in August of this year.  

The Discworld Emporium writes:
As any Igor will tell you, ‘What goeth around, cometh around’. This excursion into Pratchett’s world of the Igors has taught us more about anatomy, and indeed ‘re-cycling’, than one could possibly have wished to know. Regardless, we’re delighted to share it with you in this little tome. Hopefully it will have you in thtitcheth!
The Gollancz announcement states that 
The Discworld Diary 2015 is the most lavishly illustrated Discworld diary Gollancz has ever produced – full-colour throughout for the first time – and is published in hardback on the 21 August 2014.

Time to do some Hogswatch shopping ....

Enjoy,

D. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Programming for The Great Discworld Fan Gathering at Sasquan



Programming for The Great Discworld Fan Gathering at Sasquan in 2015

As many of you know, the World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention takes place in London in 2014. In 2015, it will be in the U.S. and it's called Sasquan. There is going to be a Great Discworld Fan Gathering at Sasquan in August of 2015.

Sasquan has asked us to offer Discworld and other programing ideas for this WorldCon, which will host 5,000 or more attendees from all over the U.S., Canada and the world. If you wish to offer DW or other programing ideas, here is the form to use: http://sasquan.org/program/idea-form/
 
You don't have to buy a membership in order to give suggestions. If you have been to a NADWCon or other DW con please let them know what these cons offered that you enjoyed. (Excepting Terry and Rob, of course, as they can't make it). We know you folks have many skills, a lot of experience, and a wealth of ideas, and now would be a a great time to share these.

Sasquan takes place in Spokane, WA., a gorgeous area in the Pacific Northwest. It is on the west coast of the United States, about 4 hours drive from Seattle, WA. For more information about this convention, please visit http://sasquan.org/

Spokane is a great city with an international airport. For more information about Spokane, WA, please visit http://www.visitspokane.com/

Various North American Discworld Guilds will be joining us in organizing and hosting DW fan events and these include:

The Seamstress Guild (famous for it's parties, it has many decorators, costumers and performers among it's members), the Cunning Artificers (arts & crafts), Musicians (all kinds), Printers & Engravers (our writers and editors), the Dark Clerks (folks who like to organize both paper and people behind the scenes), our fabulous Bakers (lovers of food and drink who may be leading some of our pub crawls), the Witches & Wizards (cunning men and women who love history, myth and folklore), the Librarians (DW book lovers and knowers who often run the DW pub quizes), the various DW Family Groups, the Black Ribboners (DW folks in recovery), and more. 

We hope to see you there,

Dj 
Chair, Discworld Fan Gathering at Sasquan 2015
Founder, Discworld Seamstress Guild of North America, Est 2001
@ItBodes on twitter 
Yada, yada, yada, Ginger 

Art: Dragons by Paul Kidby, www.paulkidby.net - used with permission 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Announcing the Dates and Location for the North American Discworld Gathering in 2015

The world is made up of four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. This is a fact well known even to Corporal Nobbs. It's also wrong. There's a fifth element, and generally it's called Surprise.
-- Terry Pratchett, The Truth


Ladies and Gentlemen,


There are two things you need to know before we announce the location of the 2015 North American Discworld Gathering:


#1 Sir Terry Pratchett is not able to be with us in person this time, as much as he might like to. Terry and Rob's international travel schedule has changed substantially, and he is focused on his writing, and on forthcoming projects.

Your best chance of seeing Sir Terry in person is to attend the International Discworld Convention in 2014 in Manchester, England, August 8-11, 2014. 

Update 7/4/2014  Sadly, Sir Terry has just announced that he cannot now attend the UK con. 


#2  There is no seed money available to help fund another NADWCon.  As some of you know, NADWCon 2011 did not make a profit, and it appears that NADWCon 2013 did not, either. 

A number of people worked very hard on those last two NADWCons.  Those of you who have served in the convention trenches will know how hard it is to put on a good, 1,000 person event, let alone one that makes any money.

Many of the fans who’ve been volunteering at NADWCon from the very beginning had imagined that each NADWCon would help construct a solid foundation which would, in turn, support future cons, but things don't always work out as well as we could wish.  (1) 

Given this news I've just shared, the 2014/2015 team knew that producing another NADWCon in 2015 was going to be a challenge.  So, here is where things stand today:


Drum Roll Please .....   
  
Many of you guessed right: Seattle was the chosen venue.  (Note the past tense).     

and...

We've been discussing dates for this event that ranged from late summer to early fall because we did not wish to compete with our friends at Norwescon; a fantasy and science fiction convention that takes place in Seattle every Spring.  

Then this happened .... 

Oh, look! Is that a Quantum Butterfly?

An experienced, fun-loving, and collaborative core group of volunteers was deeply engaged in planning when WorldCon, Inc. announced that Spokane, WA had won the 2015 bid for the World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention.  This meant that most of the talent and volunteers on the west coast would now focus their time, resources and attention on that event.  Add to this the fact that many of our NADWCon attendees also go to Worldcon; we cannot ask them to fly out to the same location twice in one year.  

In light of these circumstances we have decided not to hold a NADWCon but to hold A Great Discworld Gathering at WorldCon in 2015This WorldCon's official name is Sasquan.  

Sasquan will take place in Spokane, WA on August 19th - 23rd in 2015. 

They know we're coming:

The Planning Committee is in touch with the organizers of Sasquan.  Our job now is to support this large, international convention, and make sure that our Discworld friends have fun while they're there. Our first question to Sasquan was,
"How can we help?".

The North American Discworld Guilds
are on board, including the Seamstress Guild (extroverted, costume loving party givers) led by their talented Director Missy Hayes. (2)  Also with us are the the Dark Clerks (highly organized folks who like to run things backstage), the Printers and Engravers (writers and editors), the Cunning Artificers (arts and crafts), along with musicians, various family groups, and other North American guilds to be named later.

We're planning the Seamstress Guild parties (oh, those parties!), and - pending Sasquan’s approval, where needed - various Discworld meets, panels, classes, arts and crafts, pub crawls, kids events, and lots of fun across this great con for all our Discworld friends.  


In a way, this will be like leaving little Lancre to visit Ankh Morpork.  You might want to bring The Luggage. 

You can buy your membership to
Sasquan, at their 2015 WorldCon website:


PLEASE NOTE: 
* Sasquan attendees can't book hotel rooms for this con until late summer or early fall of 2014.  (See the Sasquan website for details)
* More information about our Discworld events at Sasquan will be forthcoming at our website (nadwcon.org), through social media, and via a newsletter.


That’s all, folks. You now have over fifteen months to make your arrangements.  (3)  We're going to have a great time. We hope you can join us.


The 2015 Planning Committee


Endnotes:


(1) NADWCon 2009 (the very first NADWCon) was well organized, well attended, great fun, and nicely profitable.  The majority of those profits (money raised through ticket and merchandise sales, not including the funds raised for Terry's two charities) were kept by our Arizona hosts, Leprecon, Inc.  We understand that some seed money was given to one of the NADWCon co-founders, and we believe that she made these funds available to NADWCon 2011 (for which she served as a senior staff member).


(2) The North American Seamstress Guild was initially founded by Yours Truly in 2001 to create and host a party for Terry at ConJose, a Northern California-based WorldCon, where he was an Honored Guest. We produced this event with the kind support of that con's chair, who is also a friend of Terry's.


Later on, at Terry's request, and with the support of the two ladies who founded NADWCon, and much invaluable help from our fabulous guild members, we designed, organized and hosted the Opening Night Gala for Terry and 600 of our friends at the first NADWCon in 2009.


I asked Missy Hayes to serve as the guild's Director in 2010, and she has proved to be an outstanding leader and manager.  Under her direction the Seamstress Guild threw marvelous parties every night at NADWCon 2011, and they provided over 75% of the volunteers for NADWCon in 2013.


(3) Costumers: On Your Mark. Get Set. Sew! 

Art: Magnus & Loki by Sarah Clemens, ClemensArt.com

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Clues as to the location of the 2015 Discworld Event



We've been giving out clues as to the location of the 2015 Discworld event on the official NADWCon Facebook page:

The Death Coffee Grinder (seen below) was Hint #1 as to the location of the 2015 Discworld event.  Fans have since had a lot of fun guessing in the comments section.

The art at the top of this page was hint #2. It gave an idea as to location and time of year. Oddly enough, some people seem focused on the lighthouse on the left hand side.  One clever duck looked up the artist, and found out that the title of this piece is Sasquatch Summer.

Well done.

Dj

*******************

P.S.

We haven't been able to post the event information until just recently.  Nor could we say why that was. Understandably, the Discworld fans are anxious to know more, and they want to be able to make plans.  These notes below were posted at the FB and Twitter pages earlier in the month.

This note was posted to the NADWCon Facebook page on April 5th:

Things You Should Know: Events outside our control have made it impossible for us to comment on plans for 2015 until just recently. (Work has been going on behind the scenes for the last nine months and we have been communicating with the fans via social media.) The official announcement is planned for April of 2014.

PLEASE NOTE: It is not possible to book a hotel room at the event site until later in the year. We promise to make our announcement in time to give potential attendees well over a year to plan.

We have taken contact info from all those who have volunteered to help thus far, and we are very grateful for everyone's enthusiastic support and patience.


This note was posted to NADWCon FB page on April 9th:

Hi folks. We'd like to thank you all again for your patience and support. As we've said, we had hoped to make our 2015 announcement back in January but events outside of our control made that impossible. As we speak, the Planning Committee is working to solve problems that are none of their making. PLEASE NOTE: If it weren't for these folks, there wouldn't *be* a North American Discworld event in 2015. So please continue to be patient, and please also keep in mind that these people are Discworld fans just like everyone here. Each of them is a volunteer who is working diligently for the benefit of all the Discworld fans in North America. They will receive nothing but your thanks in return for the many hundreds of hours worth of work they put in before, during and after this event.

Regards, and Happy Spring to all here.


(Lots of really nice comments came in, especially after we made that last announcement - I heart Discworld fans)

**************

 




Sunday, November 24, 2013

Happy 30th Birthday to the Discworld!


It was on this day, 30 years ago that the first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, was published.

And now, a young Gytha Ogg will sing us a song in honor of the occasion. 

anda 1 ... anda 2 (Hop it, people, we're giving you time to run!) and .....