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

Dj Connell
* Discworld Area Head, Sasquan / WorldCon 2015
More info at
* Current Project: The Great Discworld Fan Gathering at Sasquan
* Founder, Discworld Seamstress Guild of North America, Established 2003
* Co-Founder, North American Discworld Dark Clerks.
Established 2011
* Board Chair: North American Discworld Connection

Trouble Made: By Appointment


@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 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Terry Pratchett

Happy Birthday Terry Pratchett  

Fans who wish to honor Terry on his birthday might wish to donate to The Alzheimer's Research Trust or the Orangutan Foundation International (Terry is a trustee and spokesperson for the UK branch of OFI).  Click Here for a lovely photo of Terry at Hobbiton.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Steampunk & Discworld

I'm currently working on a panel that will speak to the convergence of Discworld and Steampunk fans I saw at the last NADWCon.  As Steam Ingenious notes, there are a great many Steampunk elements in the Discworld and these tend to be subtle and mixed with magic. This intriguing mix of history, sf, tech, folklore, modern culture, and fantasy is one of the reasons why Terry Pratchett's books are so popular with such a wide-ranging audience.

The panel will be called When Worlds Collide.

Do you know anyone who is informed, well spoken and interesting who could add to a panel discussion at NADWCon 2011? If, so please let me know.

Sarah (a Seamstress and volunteer extraordinaire) just sent me a great Pterry (1) story from the last NADWCon. Enjoy

Eric P.  is a Geordie, and more to the point, a steam-rail hobbyist: he's a bigwig at the Railway Museum...We're in the bar towards the end of the Tempe con, drinking with Terry, and he suddenly turns to Eric and asks "Did you ever have to piss in a headlight", and they were off for about 20 minutes about carbide lamps and their odder elder relatives.
Oh, to be a fly on that glass....

Ideas? Suggestions? Offers of help? You know where to reach me: 


Geek Fun: Steampunk for your iPhone 
Steampunk cases & apps that will turn your videos & photos into old style movie reels and Victorian photos.  Hat tip to Karen Anderson @writerway in Seattle for the link.

Video: Exhibition: Steampunk in Oxford 

Costuming: Elements of Steampunk Style 


(1) To get that joke you need to read Pyramids

Monday, April 25, 2011

Discworld Maskerade at NADWCon 2011

The on-stage costume competition or "Maskerade" has been a Saturday evening tradition at Discworld conventions from the very beginning. Here at NADWCon, we seek to live up to that tradition with a lively Maskerade. Please, come and show off your finest costume work in front of our select panel of judges. The arrangement is not unlike a fashion show, with a stage and runway. Use this space to show your costume and to present a brief sketch or other performance to lend zing to your costume if you like. A receptive audience will provide itself. 

Go to the Maskerade page of the Convention website to learn all the Maskerade details. 

All entrants must attend the Maskerade Technical Rehearsal.   

Director: Henry Osier
Announcer: Pat Harkin
Judges:  Terry Pratchett and others to be announced. 
Need Some Costume Ideas? 
Visit our collection of photos and videos from the last NADWCon.
Discussion Boards for NADWCon
Want to discuss your costume(s) or other con related topics? Here are three discussion boards of note: 

Official NADWCon Attendee Discussion Board 

Terry Pratchett Books Message Board 
Run by Anna MC, the co-founder of NADWCon 

Sign in to FB first to use this link

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Very Ogg-ish Easter Witch

Isn't she lovely? This very Ogg-ish Easter Witch is from a Swedish postcard dated 1911. The cat is a bit more refined than our Greebo and I doubt that Nanny Ogg would be carrying tea (?) but she does look like someone who enjoys a good party. We'd better go before she sings The Hedgehog Song.  For more on the folklore of the Swedish Easter Witch, go here.  Also, The Sexy Witch blog shows vintage Easter Witch postcards from the 40's on. (The Sexy Witch blog has R rated, adult content - Do not read that one at work!)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Nanny Sutra: Sex and Food on the Discworld

I'm working on staffing this panel: 

Nanny Sutra
Sex, Food & Discworld

Who doesn’t love a double entendre? ("Bartender, make mine a triple!") Our panel* will include some of the most scandalous minds on the Discworld.**

* Hands-on workshop available through the Seamstress Guild by appointment only.

**consisting of those who are 18 at heart, with at least 32 years of experience, n’cest passe?***

*** That’s foreign for “been there, done that” 

 We'll range all over the Discworld and try not to shock the horses. 

Can you talk about this in a witty, observant and pun-filled way? If so, write to me at 


Hat tip to author Kristine Smith for the title

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Special Events: A Discworld Record Public Reading of Where's My Cow?

This is how the legend goes....

At NADWCon 2011 we will attempt the largest ever public reading of Where’s My Cow.  An Honored Guest will be our narrator and our assembled attendees will make all the noises. Those who participate will receive a blue ribbon. What will it say? We’re not telling. 

Having set such a record, we will then challenge other Discworld cons to beat it

Be there or be a square-shaped thingy. 

See you there, 


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Neil Gaiman lives in two worlds

There are only two worlds – your world, which is the real world, and other worlds, the fantasy. Worlds like this are worlds of the human imagination: their reality, or lack of reality, is not important. What is important is that they are there. these worlds provide an alternative. Provide an escape. Provide a threat. Provide a dream, and power; provide refuge, and pain. They give your world meaning. They do not exist; and thus they are all that matters.
 - The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman, 1990.

As most of you know, Neil Gaiman is the co-author with Terry Pratchett of a wonderful, dark and funny book called. Good Omens.  He is also a world famous, award-winning writer in his own right.  You can find his witty and interesting blog here.

His most recent book, a YA novel,  is called The Graveyard Book, and I think it is one of his best.   My husband, who first introduced me to The Sandman series,  will tell you that some of his favorites by Mr. Gaiman are Neverwhere and Stardust, while I've given copies of Blueberry Girl to many women friends (1) and to every young daughter of every woman friend. 

Like a lot of other people, we are eagerly looking forward to the premier this year of the Doctor Who episode written by Mr. Gaiman.  Speaking of television, if you are currently watching the televised version of Game of Thrones, you will appreciate that I have a soft spot in my heart for Mr. Gaiman for writing a very forthright and honest blog essay called Entitlement Issues (also known in fandom as George Martin Is Not Your B*#%^).

As we speak, Good Omens is being adapted for television under the Direction of Terry Jones. Yes, *that* Terry Jones.

Doing the Happy Dance ...


Hat tip to The Great Geek Manual for the quote.  Check out her post (with gorgeous photos) on the most beautiful libraries in the world.

Another hat tip to Emily (@foresthouse) for putting me on to GGM.


(1) Neil Gaiman recently married singer and song writer Amanda Palmer.  Quite a few of those same friends "went into black" at the news he was no longer single. Being Gaiman fans they were wearing black already so no one noticed.  

Congrats to Mr. Gaiman and best wishes to the happy couple. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

+++Out Of Cheese Error ???????+++ Redo from Start

New Panel confirmed: The Victorian Internet & the Technology of the Discworld
“Imagine an almost instantaneous communication system that would allow people and governments all over the world to send and receive messages about politics, war, illness, and family events. The government has tried and failed to control it, and its revolutionary nature is trumpeted loudly by its backers. The Internet? Nope, the humble telegraph fit this bill way back in the 1800s. “ 
- from The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage.
Our panelists will discuss clacks and other technology of the Discworld

+++Out Of Cheese Error ???????+++ Redo from Start 

See you there, 

P.S. Love Legos? Click on the Hex link. 


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Calling All Igors

A werewolf, a vampire and a troll walk into a bar...ah, but which bar and when? If it's Saturday night at the Mended Drum Dr. Lawn and the Igors may be needed before the night is out.  Based on an infamous writing panel from WorldCon called Maim 'Em Right you can rate this one as bloody, dark and deadly. Our panel members will argue who gets out of a fight like this in one piece, preferably with their original equipment. The Watch is on their way. the Librarian is up in the rafters and someone just spilled Nanny's Ogg's drink.  Right!  Let's have some fun.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Wyrdest Link

Confirmed & staffed:  NADWCon will offer a gameshow on Sunday night called The Wyrdest Link which will be hosted by our own Granny Weatherwax.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Terry's signings at NADWCon

As some of you may have heard, Terry was using a stamp rather than signing books by hand at the Australian convention.  We've had some questions about that and one suggestion that we use hand-signed bookplates on the books beforehand. Here is our Guest Liaison's answer:
Sir Terry (has) PCA (a form of Alzheimer's Disease that first affects motor skill memory). He now finds it difficult to perform motor tasks such as signing...At this time it is still possible that Sir Terry will be capable of signing books at the con, and we are discussing this with him now; but if by the time of the convention he is not able to actually sign books, please be assured that we will do our best to ensure that a nice substitute for that will be provided. 

We hope you understand that concessions must be made for Sir Terry's health and condition, and that accommodating our guests as well as our attendees is very important to us.

Emily, Guest Liaison and Convention Advisor, NADWCon2011

I will also add that to most folks, meeting and talking to Terry is the fun bit. We'll all have lots of time and chances to do just that.  FYI I talked to him on the phone before he left for Australia and he is doing very well and in great spirits, considering, as you can see from this recent interview.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Crivens! Workshop confirmed for Sock Mac Feegles

"Crivens! Whut aboot us, ye daftie?"

A crafty Discworld fan named Eileen is going to lead a hands on workshop for attendees who want to make their very own Sock Mac Feegles. She sent me a photo of the finished sock puppets and they look great. (I want one).

* She will provide decorative materials & the con will provide the blue socks so that you can just show up and make your Feegle.

* Attendees can also bring special tartan fabric, buttons for eyes or anything else they want to add to their Feegle's look.

* Age range for workshop: 7 - 70 

* This workshop will be limited to 30 (?)  people on a first come, first served basis, so that we can offer easy, hands-on instruction for our attendees and get all the our Feegles done in time.

I'm off to talk to the Seamstress Guild to sign up some helpers.

Do you have ideas, offers of help for NADWCon programs? Write to me at

"Nac Mac Feegle wha hae!" 


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ankh Morpork, A New Discworld Board Game

Excerpt from the NADWCon newsletter. 

Ever want to run Ankh-Morpork? You’ve got the chance now! 

We are delighted to announce that a prototype of the exciting new Discworld game, Ankh-Morpork, will be available for preview and demonstration at NADWCon2011. Please read on for a message from Martin Wallace of Treefrog Games.

Just over a year ago one of my gaming friends suggested Discworld as a possible subject for a board game. This September, that idea will become reality for the gaming public. In the space of a year I have read 99 percent of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, come up with a hopefully decent game, and made a whole bunch of new friends.

The game is set in Ankh-Morpork, which needs no introduction. The background story is that Lord Vetinari has vanished, with no explanation. There is now a power vacuum to be filled, and your aim is to oblige. You will be randomly assigned a secret personality at the beginning of the game, which will tell you what you need to do to win. If you are one of the three lords (Selichii, de Worde, Rust) then you want to take control of a certain number of areas. If you are Dragon King of Arms then you want to cause trouble. If you are Chrysoprase then you want to make money. You could be Lord Vetinari and secretly back in the city, which means you want to get your minions in a certain number of areas. Finally, you could be Vimes and aim to maintain the status quo, i.e. don’t let any other bugger win. The fact that you do not know what other players are aiming to do creates the right amount of paranoia.

The game is built around a deck of cards, which are mostly well known characters from the books. You play a card, do what it says on it, then refill your hand back to five cards. The cards allow you to place minions on the board (the people who will do your dirty work), remove other minions (with assassins) build buildings, earn money, and lots of other stuff. The actions on the cards are tailored to fit the character of the personality they represent, thus CMOT Dibbler may or may not make a profit, the Fire Brigade will not burn your house down for a reasonable sum of money, and Detritus will put a halt to trouble in a forthright manner. The characters you have to be careful about playing are the wizards, as when you do you also have to draw a random event card. There are no ‘good’ random events. The game ends either when a player achieves their victory conditions or the deck of cards runs out (when Vimes will win if he is in play).

This project is the largest one I have ever undertaken, and without the help of an amazing team of people it would still be just an idea. The kind people at the Discworld Emporium (Bernard and Isobel Pearson, Ian Mitchell, and Reb Voyce) have been instrumental in making sure the artwork is spot on. Ian spent over 300 hours producing an incredibly detailed map of the city. To help with the many card illustrations (one hundred and thirty two unique cards) I managed to convince my regular artist, Peter Dennis, to help out. He has kept up an amazing work rate and turned out some absolutely stunning images (which have passed the Sir Terry Pratchett seal of approval). Finally, Paul Kidby has kindly allowed the use of his artwork on the box cover. My own humble contribution to this project has been to do my best to treat the characters created by Sir Terry in as respectful a manner as possible. I wanted to design a game that captured the feel of the city, rather than paste the theme onto a Monopoly variant. Sometime later this year I will find out if I succeeded in this endeavour.
See you there,


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fair Warning

Fair Warning folks: there are now only 300 spaces left out of a 1,000 for NADWCon 2011.  (1)  It looks like this NADWCon will sell out just like the our first con did in 2009.

Registration page for NADWCon. 

See you there,


(1) Dear Attendees, it's your con and we welcome your ideas.  Write to me at to tell me your ideas, wishes, and suggestions for programming.  Can you help? Serve on a panel? Offer a workshop?  Even better!

On another note:  For you space fans, like pterry, today is Yuri's Day.  (nice logo on Google today - check it out).  This goes out to my friends, G & R who are touring the National Space Museum in Washington, D.C. as we speak.  Lucky <censored>!

Honored Guests at NADWCon

The NADWCon 2011 list of honored guests is growing and now includes authors Stephen Baxter and Esther Friesner, Cunning Artificer, Bernard Pearson, and artist Stephen Player, among others.

Terry Pratchet plans to attend as he did in 2009.  If you have always wanted to meet him, now is your chance.

See you there,


Monday, April 11, 2011

Congrats to our friends at Nullus Anxietas

The Australian Discworld convention has ended and from the accounts I'm reading on Twitter  (#dwoz) it sounds like

a) everyone - especially pterry and rrrob -  had a great time and

b) Bilious, the Oh God of Hangovers is rather busy this morning.   (1)

Congraulations to everyone involved for pulling off your third Discworld convention and living to tell the tale (or, at the very least, refute the rumors). 

Incriminating [correction] Convention photos are already coming in.  You can see them at the Nullus Anxietas Flickr page.

...and now if you'll excuse me, I have to pour over their page, send a lot of emails and steal [correction] take inspiration from as many of their good ideas as I can.

No worries.


(1) Check out their Youtube commercial from 2009.

Calling all Video Witches and Wizards: Can you make a NADWCon 2011 YouTube commercial for the US Con? Write to me at and I'll put you in touch with our publicity folks.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Science of Discworld Panel

Confirmed for our Science of Discworld panel:

A systems engineer who specialized in robotics, a software engineer who has worked for both NASA and Honeywell, a chemist (and author) working in biopharmacology, and a paleobiologist.

Two of our panelists are men, two are women.

Knowledge = Power = Energy = Matter = Mass. 
A library is just a genteel black hole that can read 
- Terry Pratchett

Saturday, April 9, 2011


This just in from our Wisconsin hosts (1)
"We're planning a Cripple Mr Onion Tournament on Sunday with smaller practice events on previous days.

Discussions are underway for a possible Thud tournament as well."
Would you like to help run some games?  Contact Neil Miller, the Volunteer Director at


(1) NADWCon Committee List

Friday, April 8, 2011

Seamstress Guild Parties at NADWCon

It's official, folks: The three Seamstress Guild parties, one for each night of NADWCon, will be held in Genua, Uberwald and Quirm.

The ladies and gentlemen of the guild, under the direction of Missy Hayes, will decorate the con's party suites differently each night and costume accordingly. Guests may come as they are or dress to impress.  (1)

We look forward to seeing you there.


(1) The parties this year will begin every night at 9 pm.  They will be for adults. We will serve both alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks. The Watch will be carding our guests at the door.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April Newsletter for NADWCon w/ Programming Notes

Greetings all,

The  April newsletter is out for our Discworld convention and it has these programming notes:

Got ideas?

(Insert name of Yours Truly here), of the Seamstress Guild and the Seamstress Guild Party from NADWCon2009, is now hard at work formulating a fun and exciting program of convention events for all to enjoy. As she develops this schedule, she would be happy to hear from any folks who would be interested in putting on or helping to run Discworldian events for convention attendees.

If you are interested in helping with programs, or have a programming idea that you think might be fun to add to the schedule, please contact Denise at  When contacting Denise, please include your name, preferred contact information, any programming ideas or what help you might like to give, and any skills, background, or experience that might fit you for the role for which you are volunteering (including if you helped out in some manner during the 2009 convention).  Our convention is made better by the involvement of our many enthusiastic attendees, and we would love to hear from you if you'd like to get involved!
Thanks for the vote of confidence, folks. pressure then?