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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NADWCon Schedule Grid Complete - Available Thursday Evening

Update 6/30 3 PM

As promised, Jon posted the pdf files for the Program Schedule to the website.  You will find them here. 

Go pack! Don't forget your duck.


So, I'm minding my own con business when I get an email from dis guy who wants me to make one more -ing change to the schedule grid.  Well, you all know how Marilyn and I feel about that.*  I mean, seriously, who does he think he is?

....Oh. Right.
I am pleased to announce that we are adding one - and only one - Koffee Klatch to Terry Pratchett's schedule. This will be a Kid's Only Klatch
What a guy.

Making the Schedule Public: 

Pssst! Don't tell anyone but the schedule is finally locked down.   Jon will post it up on the NADWCon website by Thursday evening, Wisconsin time., if you will excuse me, I'll get back to working on Confirmation of Participant's Schedules while Marilyn and Ray work on your Pocket Program. 


Speaking of the guy in the black hat: Terry just won his latest battle for funding for demetia in the UK.  Well done, that man.

See you there,


* I believe Marilyn and I finally made our point when we threatened to move the play up on the roof if anyone suggested even one more change.  At that point, we got creative (or punch drunk, you decide) and moved all the Koffee Klatches to the swimming pool and put the Maskerade in the parking lot. All staff meetings, (need I even say it?) will now take place in the pub.

Photo: Terry Pratchett: Back cover photo for Morris and His Educated Rodents 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On the road again


I've been here in Ashland with the Amazing Mom for the last week and now I'm my way home to Portland again.  Mom's place is wired so I've been able to work on the con the whole time I was gone.  Didn't catch a play this time at Ashland's famous festival but I'll remedy that the next time I'm here.

I'll be back on the grid again tonight.

In the meantime, have a kitten. 

My husband and I volunteer at a no kill cat shelter  in our town, and we've had Momcat Bliss and her five kittens with us since they were born. Mamma was rescued off the street and she does all the hard work. This little guy was the runt of the litter.

They are about six weeks old now. All are doing well.

I can't wait to see them. When they get to this age our kitten room is like a furry version of Cirque du Soleil.

I've rather missed the husband, too.  It will be good to be home. 



Monday, June 27, 2011

The Women of Discworld panel at NADWCon 2011

I give you a small description for a very large discussion:
Witches, Wives, Seamstresses and Soldiers: The Women of Discworld
Our panel will discuss the lively lives of women on the Disc.

Friend of the con, Kathryn Hoppe, has agreed to be on this one, along with some members of the Seamstress Guild and the Monstrous Regiment*. Yours Truly will moderate. 

This coven, sorry, panel, should be a very spirited one, to say the least.

See you there,


* A proud nickname for a core group of hardy women volunteers who worked all over the con in 2009 and are back at it, again.  You may have seen our ribbons.

6/ 28/  Update & Correction:  Due to a scheduling conflict,  Dr. Jan Clarke will not be able to join us on this panel.  It's our loss. 

Art: Adora Bell Dearheart from the movie, Going Postal

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Harkins Are Coming! The Harkins Are Coming!

Meet Dr. Patrick Harkin, wit, raconteur, and all around good guy.

He is our Master of Ceremonies, the Maskerade announcer and the auctioneer for our NADWCon charity auction.  His auction commentary will have you rolling in the aisles - don't miss it.

.. and don't let the funny photo fool you. When it comes to medicine, he's the real deal.

His spouse, Dr. Jan Clarke, will also be joining us and she has graciously agreed to be on one of our panels.  Big Pat, their son, will also be there.  These are some of our very favorite people and they are coming all the way from the UK to join us, so please do your best to make them feel welcome.

See you there,


P.S. Pat's Twitter page is @dwauctioneer

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tick...tick...tick...The June Newsletter Is Out


Here is the June newsletter, folks.  Hat tip to Vivian Obarski for producing these.


A partial list of programs is up on the website.

We lock down the program schedule by midnight tonight.  Our excellent volunteer staff have been warned (politely) that there are to be no more suggestions, bright ideas, last minute notes or "Didn't I tell you that? I'm sure I told you that" emails in our in-box.  In other words, Marilyn and I won't be making any more changes to this schedule unless there is an urgent need * (or there will be blood on the floor, and it won't be ours). **

We then move on to creating the Pocket Program with Ray Friesen's artwork.   Unlike the larger program, this one will contain information on days, times and room assignments for all programing elements, plus some handy notes on local restaurants, etc.
We plan to have the full schedule grid (with days, rooms & times for all program items) up on the NADWCon website by the end of next week, so you will all have time to make your plans
At present we have twenty-three Discworld panels listed, plus arts & crafts, talks, movies, special presentations, trips, workshops, meet-ups, games, outstanding parties, and lots, lots more.
NADWCon is organized and run by fans for fans.
Our thanks go out to our volunteers, honored guests, and the Guy In The Black Hat. Their generosity, talents and hard work make this great programming possible.
Tick ...

Vivian writes: 

At-Con News and Communications:
Want to keep up with all the news as it happens during the convention itself? We will have several ways to keep you informed and alerted to where the fun is, was, or will be happening! Here's the latest:

1) At the convention, we'd love to see people share the great time they are having via Twitter, Facebook, their blogs, and more! We encourage you to:

a. Tweet about your fun adventures, using the #nadwcon hashtag!
b. Post to your favorite place to blog, post photos, post videos, etc. and share those posts by sending a link After the con, we will post links to all of the con reports we receive.
c. We are working on creating an official Youtube channel, so keep your eyes open for the NADWCon channel broadcasting videos from the convention!

2) We will also have several committee members tweeting from the @nadwcon account. Each of us will sign tweets with our initials so you can see who's having fun where. Here are some of the folks you'll see sharing their experiences:

Vivian Obarski (VO)
Emily Whitten (ESW)
Missy Hayes (MH)
Denise Connell (DC)
Pat Harkin (PH)


See you there, ***


Photo: Death's Clock by Mark Arling Designs

* Exceptions made for any unintended violations of the laws of physics...grudgingly.

** Truth be told, they've all done an outstanding job.  Kudos to all involved. 

*** Hey guys, what happens when that thing stops ticking?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Meet the Librarian: Special NADWCon Access at the Orangutan Pavillion

Jon Lemerond, one of our Wisconsin hosts, has arranged a very special treat for NADWCon attendees: Zoo Keeper, Mary Schmidt, will speak with our group about the Orangutans at the Henry Vilas Zoo. They will close the Orangutan facility to the public so the group will have exclusive access to the building during this time.
Meet the Librarian - A Trip to the Henry Vilas Zoo
We’ve arranged for a  special presentation for our attendees on Orangutans to be held at the Zoo.The hotel will bus 24 people to the zoo. Sign up sheets are at the desk. We encourage others who would like to go to drive there (It is 5 to 10 minute drive from the con hotel). The zoo is free.

Where: Henry Vilas Zoo
Zoo Open: 9:30 - 5 PM Daily
How: Bus or car. A bus will be sent from the zoo which can hold up to 24 people. The rest can meet us there.
Sign Up Sheets required for Bus. First come, first served.
Time: 3:00 - 3:45 PM
Board shuttle at hotel: 2:30 
Thank you, Jon!

See you there.


Related Posts: Orangutans at NADWCon 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ankh-Morpork Board Game Coming to NADWCon

Oh yeah.

You want it. We got it. The Ankh-Morpork Discworld Board Game is coming to NADWCon.

Here is the review that just appeared in Wired.

Oh, yeah.

We cool.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Discworld Beastiary

In a nice moment of serendipity, Esther Friesner * and I both came up with this idea for a panel at NADWCon.  She has agreed to be on the panel.  This is one our animal lovers won't want to miss. 

Discworld Beastiary

A discussion - both serious and un - of hares, ravens, rats, orangutans, dragons and other animals, both mythic and real, on the Discworld and in the world of folklore.**

See you there, 


* A funny, witty woman and one of our author Guests of Honor, Ms. Friesner is highly skilled in the fine art of Cheeblemancy.

** Including but not limited to: cats, dogs, dragons, elephants, hares, horses, kangaroos, magpies, orangutans, pumas, rats, ravens, sheep, and, of course, a giant turtle and a small tortoise of particular note. 

Art: Hare Through Flame pendant by Discworld Emporium 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Woad Is Me: Face Painters at NADWCon

Happy Solstice

With so many costumers, fun folks and kids coming to this con we thought some face painting might be in order.  I've lined up three good ones and could use a few more.  So if you have some experience and would like to add your talents to the con, please write to me at

See you there,

Woad is Me: Face Painting for All Ages 
Would you like to be a dragon like Errol? A dog like Gaspode (well, ok, much nicer-looking than Gaspode)? Why not walk the halls as blue as a Feegle? Or maybe you'd just like a Feegle on your cheek!  Come sit for the magnificent artistry of our talented face painters.  Designs will include Discworld animals; Wizzardly and occult-ish symbols; Celtic and Nordic designs; Discworld Guild symbols and Nac Mac Feegle clan markings, among others.
 Ages 7 - 70

Photo: Faerieworlds by WitsEnd

Monday, June 20, 2011

Black Ribboner Meet Up at NADWCon

Not everyone will be quaffing at the Seamstress Guild parties. For example, Mrs Palm will be there but she's not about to quaff, not in that gown, so I've added in a program note for Discworld folks, myself among them, who avoid z B-word.
Black Ribboner Morning Meet Up 
NADWCon is one big party but not everyone wants to drink copious amounts of alcohol, eat junk food or push themselves to the point of exhaustion.  This meet up is for folks who are trying to stay a sane in the hustle and bustle of a busy con.  It isn’t a 12 Step meeting or Rational Recovery or Spiral Steps although all those folks are welcome. Nor is this a formal meeting of any kind. It is simply a Meet Up of Early Birds who want a quiet, peaceful beginning to the wonderful day ahead and a little support from like-minded folks in order to get through it.  Place and times to be announced on The Boards That Are White.
 Ve vil not be having z little zing zong, oh, no.  Just z coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee. 

See you there, 


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Gone To Faerieworlds


I'm doing my bit at Faerieworlds this weekend as I do every year.  I'll have my smart phone and my laptop with me,  and I'll be keeping up with emails and such.  Folks, if it isn't on fire, it gets a return on Monday. * 


... I bring artisan cheeses, pears, some herb roasted chicken, olives, hummus, veggies and Apples of an entirely different sort. And that is how a geek foodie goes camping.

Bother ... Did I pack the French press?
Art: Fairy Godmother by Brian Froud 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hair Braiding Workshops at NADWCon

This makes my day...

John Wardale, the gentleman giving our Bearhugger Whisky Talk, is also teaching our hair braiding workshops.  Clearly, he is a man of many skills.

It's BYOB (bring your own brush). Enjoy. 

Renaissance, Fancy and Exotic Hair Braids.
Our instructor will teach attendees how to make ropes, 4-strand "round" braids, classic (3-strand) French and (3-strand) Dutch (or inverted-French or underhand) as well as a Crown braid (technically a horizontal modified (3-strand) French braid) and other advanced ideas like 5 and 7-strand fingering techniques; as well as shapes like hearts, spirals and a pullup-weave. ** Tailored to the desires and abilities of the audience.

Age 7 - 70.
Limited to: 20 attendees. Sign up sheet at front desk. First come, first served. *

See you there, 


* We think this will be very popular so we may try and schedule two of them. 

** I have no idea what any of this means but it sounds wonderful.  

Photo: from Project Wedding

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Jimkin Bearhuggers Whisky Talk At NADWCon

Have I mentioned that I love Discworld fans

Thanks to a cunning fan, we are introducing yet another new tradition at NADWCon with the first ever, semiannual Jimkin Bearhuggers Whisky * talk:
The Jimkin Bearhuggers Whisky Talk:
Wherein we consider the definitions for Whisky, Bourbon, and Scotch and, within Scotch, Blended, "Vatted",  Single-Malt and single-barrel types.  We will also discuss the specifics of wood/barrels, aging in general and age statements.  

We will then look at a map of Scotland and cover the styles and flavors by recognized regions and some specific distilleries across Scotland. There are Irish and Japanese (and maybe other) Single Malt Whiskeys which are "like" Scotch, but can't officially be called "Scotch" if they're not produced in Scotland.

If we have time, we can talk about "beer" and the difference between grain and malt and how a Maltster converts one into the other.

Later on, we can test what we’ve learned. Madison's best brew pub is 3 blocks away.
The con budget extends to making bail, so play nice. 


Photo:  The 21st Floor blog 

* from the Discworld & Pratchett Wiki 

Jimkin Bearhugger dominates the Ankh-Morpork whiskey market. His local state-of-the-art distillery produces enormous quantities of spirits, sometimes aging them for several minutes. For the more demanding palate, Bearhugger's also bottles fine whiskies from distilleries in the mountains. The city distillery is also notable as the site of Fred Colon's one-in-a-million bowshot at the dragon in Guards! Guards!
The phrase "A drop before ye go" (to which Colon observes "I had a drop once, I couldn't stop going") is a nod to the tag line of Roundworld's Bell's Scotch, as is the claim 'Aged 8 minutes' (though Bell's do actually allow 8 years).
The Bearhugger line of beverages includes (in rough order of increasing quality):
  • Bearhugger's Old Selected Dragon's Blood
  • Old Persnickety
  • Bearhugger's Very Fine
  • The MacAbre
Bearhugger has since branched out into liqueurs to serve the expanding cocktail market:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Victorian Internet and The Technology of the Discworld OR Geek Out!

If you are one of my Twitter pals, you know that I love tech.  I follow the latest tech news, not as a someone in the field,* but as a lover of history who happens to be the daughter of a Skunk Works engineer (look it up) and a science teacher. These days I do a great deal of my work online so I love tech now as someone who uses lot of it, both to make a living and in my volunteer work. As far as I'm concerned, women invented networking, we just called it something else, and I love what tech allows us all to do on this score.

My husband is a software engineer who works in robotics. Both his parents worked in the space program and he, too, is big reader and a  history buff. We both spent many happy years in the Salt Mines of Silicon Valley, so it was with great glee that we came up with this one:
The Victorian Internet & The Technology of the Discworld
 +++Out Of Cheese Error ???????+++ Redo from Start
“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.
Recommended Reading For Fun and Profit: 

The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage  

Geeks Rule. 

See you there,


Art: Leggo Hex  Some of my very favorite things are the Discworld Leggo creations of Captain Smogg on Flickr. 

*  I did spend some very happy years working in the field of technology for people with disabilities.  I was privileged to be involved with the US premier of the first laptop for people with visual disabilities. We sold this device to people who worked in the Navy, the IRS and at the NSA back in the day. One of these is now on display in the Smithsonian. If you rent a Robert Redford movie from the 80's called Sneakers, you'll see it.

Geek note: the character uses it wrong - nobody reads an electric piezo braille display that fast and in the way he's doing it.  I blame the tech advisor, not David Strathairn **

** Just between us, I've always had a thing for David Strathairn. He is partly Scottish, know.***

*** Speaking of sexy Scottish people, Mary McDonnell is in this movie, too, as is James Earl Jones (quite the man, ye ken? but not Scottish, as far as I know). You may remember Ms. McDonnell from Dances with Wolves and Battlestar Glactica. (Oh, dear, my geek is really showing now...)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Dark Clerks Come To NADWCon

Many of our attendees want to volunteer at the con - it's a great way to make friends and honor Terry - but not everyone wants to be on a panel, run a game or teach a class. Some people have a different kind of skill set. They like to manage things behind the scenes, quietly and with little bloodshed.  If you see someone in a dark coat, a bowler hat or a pinstripe corset then I urge you to exercise both courtesy and caution for you may well be in the presence a Dark Clerk.  The members of this Discworld Guild; calm, capable, stylish, and, quite possibly, armed, do far more than shuffle paper. They bring order out of chaos. 

If you have a Dark Clerk in your soul, you will be happy to hear that Millie Shapiro Baker and Co. are organizing a, first ever, North American branch of the Dark Clerks Guild.  She writes: 
 "Do you like filing, organizing, paperwork, and, of course, working for Lord Vetinari to make the city of Ankh-Morpork run smoothly? Then by all means, grab your stationery, don your pinstripes, and join on up!"

We have need of both Igors and Dark Clerks at NADWCon.  The program readth thusly, 
Igors & Dark Clerks Wanted
Have you already signed up to volunteer as an Igor or a Dark Clerk during the Convention? If you haven't, would you like to? Attend this session to find out details on what's expected of you or how you can help, and maybe also a little info on the perks of being a creative, inventive, and adaptable Igor or a Dark Clerk, one who knows where all the bodies are buried...or will be.* 
* and who has the paperwork to prove it. 

Igors and Dark Clerk Guild Masters: Briefing for Volunteers with Special Skills
We can use Igors and Dark Clerks with special skills or qualifications. If you're one of those and would like to help out (or have already offered your aid), showing up here would be the first step in learning what we might need you to do.
Can you spare an hour or two to 
volunteer at NADWCon?
Write to Margaret Grady, 
Volunteer Director & Vice Chair, 

I tip my pen to all the Dark Clerks coming to NADWCon.  The Igors and I await you.  Fun fact: Igors make one heck of a cup of coffee.  Just don't ask what's in it. Just....don't.


Unofficial but interesting Dark Clerks Guild Crest by Lady Twatterby at DeviantArt

Monday, June 13, 2011

Panelists Wanted OR This Way To The Egress ....

Do emails swarm, I wonder, or do they flock? Missy, our Seamstress Guild Party Director, tells me that her's lurk. Mine seem to migrate. Just now they look like a herd of African Wildebeests all trying to cross the same river, in the same place. Once I have beaten back the crocodiles and seen them all safely to shore, I will be working (happily and yet again) on Panels for NADWCon.  (1) 
Below, you'll find a short list of some of the panels we're going to offer.  
This is still a work in progress. As I write this, we've sold 856 memberships out of 1,000. More and more people are coming forward offering to help in this last month before the con.  T'was ever thus.  (2)
Updated 6/13/2011 
My thanks to everyone who came forward when I first posted the request for panelists for some of our panels back in May.  We are now in great shape. 
 I could use a few more costuming panelists for these two panels
Dress to Express:    
Identity is often defined by clothing in the Discworld novels–a strategic rolled-up sock or a  washerwoman's skirt in Monstrous Regiment; a pointy hat in the witch and wizard books; or a badge, a breastplate, and cheap boots in the Watch books. Come join us for this examination of clothing choices and effects in the Discworld and elsewhere. We’ll discuss how to dress for Discworld and related events like Steampunk and fantasy conventions. Whether your character is high style or low comedy, we’ll discuss budget busting fun and cheap-but-looks-fab costuming effects.  We’ll talk about what works and what has gone deeply, badly, horribly wrong in our own attempts to get that perfect look.

Tools of the Trade: The Seamstress Guild’s Guide To Using...Oh, Let’s Just Call Them Props
Get your minds out of the gutter, people; this panel is about costume items we flaunt like fans, hats, jewelry and those little boots that Terry Loves, as well as the essential but unseen, a.k.a. Items of a Delicate Nature. (You, there in the back, stop sniggering.)

Join our guild members as we go beyond the dress and corset and discuss the elements of costuming that often get overlooked from the wig down to the toe ring. This is a panel brimming with information no good Seamstress should be without. Spectators are welcome, but must keep their hands to themselves!
otherwise, we're good to go. 
I've sent the Master List for our program over to Ray Friesan who will add the artwork, essays and the rest of the text.  Then, on to the printer.  
Now if you'll pardon me, I'm off to wrestle with the schedule.
(1) Behind me, metaphorically speaking, is a gentleman in black, waiting to rip this list out of my hands so that he can do the Programming Book.  Update 6/12/01: Ray took the program list last night. After he does his art and editor thing, it goes to the printer.
(2) Well meaning people often write to me and say, "You should do *this*!".  Do I ask, "With what army?" I do not. I have the Morpork Mob to call on.  (pssst! That's you). 
... I love you folks best when you say, "I can do this and this and can I help?".
Art: Egress Sign by Marg Grady for NADWCon 2009.  This piece is now in my collection.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Perfect Shamble

You don't choose the Craft, it chooses you. - Granny Weatherwax 

When All Is Said and Done this may very well come to be known as the Arts & Gaming NADWCon

But I digress ... 

On to Arts & Crafts

We liked this idea so much (Thank you, Margie*) that we've scheduled two of these workshops:
Shamble Making Class
Learn how to make your own Shamble -  ages 7 - 70
A shamble is a handmade device used by Witches to detect or amplify magic. A conversant Discworld Witch can assemble a shamble in a matter of seconds using stuff like strings, twigs, leaves, feathers, beads, coloured paper, an egg or even a beetle. The whole thing looks like a "cat's cradle", or some sort of nest made of rubbish.
We will have materials and tokens available to add to your shamble but you are welcome to bring some items of your own to add if you wish.  
Now, I want to be verrra clear about this.  A shamble, as you lot know, usually contains a live object, like an egg or in certain cases, a Feegle.  Now then,  (You! - yes, you there in the back I'm talking to you)  will be finishing your Shamble at home where you can add the live elements yourself, and, let there be no mistake, cats (You, in the back there, are you listening?) cats, as I said, are not any part  of this.  So take it home to finish, and clean up any resultant mess yourself. 

 There. Now you know. Go to.

(Not, you! You'll be staying after. I want a word in your ear ...)

See you there, 


Related Posts: Cutting Me Own Throat OR Arts & Crafts at NADWCon 

* The ideas was Margie's, and the workshops will be taught by Megan with help from Erin.   Thanks to Missy for hunting down and finding our supplies. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat OR The NADWCon Program Schedule

I love this part, I really do. *

Right now, I'm finishing my bit of the Program Book all of which goes to the printer on Monday. pressure, then.

Meanwhile, my old friend and Con Scheduler, Marilyn, and I are working to assign places and times to all our program elements, which include arts & crafts, games, panels (great panels this year), special trips, dances, classes, Morpork Mob events, author signings, Koffee Klatches, plays, talks, movies, meet ups, The Maskerade, The Banquet, three Seamstress Guild Parties (set in a different Discworld city every night) and a host of other fine offerings. Creative and crafty help comes forward at the last moment - t'was ever thus - and up goes the cry, "We have got to include that".  The next morning, watching the sunrise on my deck, cup of coffee in hand,  I think, "We're gonna need a bigger boat."

We have marvelous Discworldian line-up; truly something rich and strange, and now we have to find a way to fit it all in.  At most events, this is the part with the running and the screaming. ** Not this con. This is the Monstrous Regiment, boy-o. These are my brave little lads and I will bring them home.  In other words,  I'll spend most of next week giving out chocolate, cheer and hugs. Then, when the smoke of battle clears, I hand the finished (??) grid schedule over to Jon L. to put up on the web.

FYI: We hope to have the program schedule up on the NADWCon website at least a week before the convention.

Quantum Butterly? What Quantum Butterfly?  

Any schedule changes - and with so much going on and so many people involved there are always changes - will be noted on The Boards That Are White in the lobby.

I've been asked many times by our newcomers: "When do we see/hear/meet Terry?"  In brief: daytime Terry events; the Reading with Rob, the Good Omens Panel & his Guest of Honor Talk, will occur on Fri, Sat and Sun afternoon between 3 and 5 PM.  He is scheduled every evening, as well. But this is Pterry we're talking about. He'll be all over the con, both where he's scheduled and where you least expect him.  Enjoy.

Wait till you see this program. to our volunteers and guests you can be busy from morning till ... morning.  (and please remember to thank these people when you meet them).

It's going to be a joyful and memorable convention. I'm so glad that you can join us. 

Ooops! I see that Marilyn is glaring like Granny Weatherwax at her spreadsheets.  Do I hear cackling?  Gotta run.  


*  It's Scotch/German maven thing.  

** ...but if you happen to be in the room when I suddenly become very still, rather quiet and exceedingly polite.  RUN.  

Art: by The Ink Witch

Friday, June 10, 2011

Terry's Signings at NADWCon

I did the math the other day and it turns out that I've known Terry Pratchett for almost 18 years.  I've spent some of that time at various of his West Coast signings trying to 

a) feed him 
(why does no one feed these people?) 


b) finding ice for his hand when it became swollen after he had cheerfully signed pretty much anything for over four to six hours at a stretch. 

I'm happy to say that I don't have to worry quite so much about ice at NADWCon except, perhaps, to find some for his drinks.  I'll still make sure he eats.  We're both a little older and our cinnamon bun and bear claw days are well behind us in more ways than one.  (In my case, they went straight to my ... oh, never mind) 

It's healthy veggies in the Green Room, now. Hummus, no doubt, will be involved.  It's hard to get as excited about mashed chickpeas as I would about, say, a great bear claw. On the other hand, we both look *good*.  

So...where was I? Oh, yes, signings.  All things change and so do these.  The new procedures are detailed below.  (This and other NADWCon info can be found in our June Newsletter)

I'm sure that I don't have to say this to you, Dear Reader,  but feel free to pass my thoughts along should the need arise: These changes are made with Terry's health in mind.  Anyone who doesn't respect that, I don't want to know them.  More to the point, they won't want to know me, should I get the unfortunate impression that a fan cares more about a scribble on a flyleaf then they care about the man himself.  So, 'nuff said ... *


Here's the tactful wording the ConCom put into the June newsletter.  Never had much truck with tactful meself but it's good for them as likes it.  **
Good news! You no longer need to pack those heavy hardcovers!
Due to both consideration for Sir Terry's health and well-being and the sheer number of Discworld fans who will be attending our amazing convention, it has been arranged that in place of traditional signing sessions, we will be hosting meet-and-greet sessions in which each attendee will have the opportunity to receive a special signed bookplate from The Man Himself.  The bookplate that you will receive personally from Sir Terry will be a limited edition made just for our convention, and will indicate that the plate was signed at the NADWCon2011!
Bookplate session tickets will be assigned randomly, and may be swapped between attendees at a Friday swap meet session that will be indicated on the program schedule. Please be aware that just like with a traditional signing, you will need to bring your ticket to the session to be admitted and receive your bookplate.  More details to come!
Please note: No flash photography will be permitted during these sessions, nor will photography while at the front of the line be permitted.  Non-flash photography from the sidelines that does not slow Sir Terry or the line will be allowed.  We also request that out of consideration for Sir Terry and out of fairness to all of the attendees, you do not approach Sir Terry at any time with requests for signatures. Approaching him with offers of a beer or interesting topics of conversation, or just to say hello or have a chat is fine, however!
But wait! There's more!
There will be a special Monday signing session where Sir Terry will personally sign a limited number of books or other items.  This session will be open solely to those who have won items in the Charity Auction that they would like signed, and for the lucky folks who win a Signature From Sir Terry in the Charity Auction. We will have 20 lots of one signature each available for bidding.

This just in: A Further Word About Book Plates from the ConCom

 * I tell a lie. There was more to say: I'd like to quote what Maribeth just posted on the NADWCon FB page: 
I'm glad that Sir Terry will not have the pressure of hundreds of autographs to write on the spot... the book plates will make a lovely keepsake, and he won't have the stress. I want Sir Terry to enjoy this convention as much as we all will. 
Well said. 

** Don't get me started on the !!s Emily, our Esteemed Chair, likes her !!'s.  The gal's got a law degree.  She can use a few !!s when she wants to. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Evil Genius, Good-ish Samaritan: Dr. Hicks Comes to NADWCon

This delightful program item is being offer by three of the UK fans coming to NADWCon.
Evil Genius, Good-ish Samaritan
Dr Hix DPMC invites the audience to present for comment and judging their suggestions for evil deeds that are either (a) not very evil and would be acceptable by the Unseen University if performed by Dr Hix or (b) are evil deeds masquerading as good deeds (e.g. giving children broccoli in their Hogwatch stocking as it better for their teeth). The ideas will be judged by Dr Hix, Lord Vetinari (for his ability to judge when someone is truly evil or when they may require an angel) and an Igor (who has experience of evil geniuses) and the applicant may be deemed an Evil Genius or a Good-ish Samaritan if their idea has merit. Or they may be ridiculed.
Presented by: John Hicks
Judges: Chris Boote (Igor) Atha-Nichols (Lord Vetinari)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

rwehavingfunyet? OR NADWCon Announcement

To all our Discworld friends,

As you may know, NADWCon recently lost some committee members in key positions due to unforeseen circumstances. Certain volunteers have stepped down recently due to Illnesses, financial difficulties or the needs of family. Fortunately, Discworld fans are a wonderfully helpful breed, and we have been able to quickly fill the gaps left behind with more folks from Wisconsin, dedicated fans from all around the country, and members from the ever-helpful Seamstresses' Guild (Always happy to lend a hand).  The North American Discworld convention is organized by Discworld fans, for Discworld fans, and we are deeply grateful for everyone's help.  We know that this is a tribute to the affection and respect they feel for Terry as well as their desire to provide a wonderful experience for those who share their love of the Discworld books. Our first and only concern is that the convention be worthy of the fans who are attending and that guy in the black hat.

Among the committee members lost was our Chair, Joshua Goes, who had to step down due to illness. After much deliberation and discussion, and by mutual agreement, a few key positions have now been shifted to make best use of the experience and expertise of our volunteer staff.

*  Emily Whitten (former Vice Chair, NADWCon 2009) will step into the role of Chair (and continue in her role as Guest Liaison)

* Our former Vice Chair, Jon Lemerond, who has been working with great dedication on this convention for two years will now be serving as Assistant to the Chair, Co-Coordinator of Ambience, and Con Webmaster.

* Marg Grady, coordinator of the excellent NADWCon2009 banquet and convention decor, and a seasoned con-runner, is now serving as our Vice Chair and Treasurer, along with her current duties as Volunteer Coordinator.

* Denise Connell, Founder and Chair of the Seamstresses' Guild, will be serving as Assistant to the Vice Chair, along with her current roles as Programming Director and Seamstresses' Guild Parties Producer.

We would also like to welcome these experienced and talented folks to our team:

David Barker (ConOps & Information Coordinator)
Barry Newton (At-Con Treasurer)
Erin Prindiville (Art Show Coordinator)
Fae Townsend (Costumers Dungeon Coordinator)
z! (Tech & Staging Coordinator; Charity Auction Co-Coordinator)

...and we extend our thanks for the continuing dedication of our current committee members, who will continue their work in these positions:

Matt Cira - Hotel Liaison; Sponsorship Director
Ray Friesen - Program Book; Staff Artist; Ambience Co-Coordinator
Matthew Gress - Movie Room Coordinator
Craig Hampton - Security Coordinator
Pat Harkin - Master of Ceremonies
Missy Hayes - Seamstresses' Guild Parties Coordinator; Charity Auction Co-Coordinator
John Ketner - Programming Director
Greg Ketter - Dealers Room Coordinator
Dave Luect - Gala Banquet Coordinator; Hospitality Suite and VIP Lounge Coordinator
Jon Manzo - Co=Guest Liaison Coordinator; Convention Advisor
Neil Miller - ConOps
Vivian Obarski - Communications and Online Publicity Coordinator
Henry Osier - Maskerade Coordinator
Katie Pennell - Pre-Con Registration Coordinator
Michelle Rehbein - Merchandise Coordinator
Ray Rehbein - Game Room Director
Bryan Sennhenn - Message Board Moderator; ConOps

Our recent staffing changes are a positive and beneficial evolution. The convention is on track. NADWCon will be a unique and very special experience for all our attendees and guests.

Our committee will be working hard in this final month and we look forward to seeing you all in Madison,


The North American Discworld Convention 2011 Convention Committee

Monday, June 6, 2011

Welcome to Holy Wood - Movies at NADWCon

"Did I hear things, or can that little dog speak?" said Dibbler. "He says he can't," said Victor. Dibbler hesitated. "Well," he said, "I suppose he should know."
-- Dibbler meets Gaspode the Wonder Dog in Moving Pictures
Moving Pictures? We got 'em!

We will offer a special selection of Discworld movies in our Holy Wood movie room during the convention. These will include: The Colour of Magic, Hogfather, Going Postal, Johnny and the Bomb, Johnny and the Dead, Living with Alzheimers (a BBC documentary which includes interviews with Terry Pratchett), Wyrd Sisters, and Soul Music.  We will show these films in rotation during all four days of NADWCon.  Look for the schedule posted in front of Holy Wood:

This Just In: 
The North American Discworld Convention 2011 is pleased to announce that it will be hosting the North American premiere of Sir Terry Pratchett's newly finished BBC documentary, "Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die."

The program will be aired, with permission from the BBC, during The North American Discworld Convention 2011 (taking place at the Concourse Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin from July 8-11, 2011), and will feature an in-person introduction by Sir Terry Pratchett and his assistant Rob Wilkins, as well as a post-airing question and answer session by the same. (1)

According to the BBC press release:

In “Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die,” world-renowned author Sir Terry Pratchett explores the realities of medically assisted death. Diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's disease in 2008, Terry considers how he might choose to end his life as his condition progresses. Terry meets men suffering from degenerative conditions and is with a British motor neurone sufferer as he carries out an assisted death at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.

Sir Terry says: "I am a firm believer in assisted death. I believe everybody possessed of a debilitating and incurable disease should be allowed to pick the hour of their death. And I wanted to know more about Dignitas in case I ever wanted to go there myself."

Sir Terry has said that he would like to choose to end his own life rather than succumb to his degenerative condition. However, he acknowledges that there are a number of people who are against assisted dying for religious, moral or practical reasons and at present, assisted death is both an ethically contentious and illegal act in the UK.

In a moving BBC Two documentary, Sir Terry meets those who, like him, would like to control the way they die.

From across Europe he compares other countries' legal positions with that of the UK and asks what the future is for assisted death in the UK.

Charlotte Moore, Commissioning Editor for Documentaries, says: "Assisted death is an important topic of debate in the UK, and this is a chance for the BBC Two audience to follow Sir Terry as he wrestles with the difficult issues that many across Britain are also faced with. I hope this sparks a constructive debate that people across the spectrum of opinion can engage in."

Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die is an exploration of one of society's most sensitive issues and reunites the best-selling author with the award-winning team that made Terry Pratchett: Living With Alzheimer's.

Craig Hunter, Executive Producer for KEO North: "This intensely personal film, by one Britain's best loved authors, tackles a deeply taboo subject with sensitivity and with Pratchett's idiosyncratic humour. It's a valuable contribution to the increasingly urgent debate as to who determines when and how we die."

Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die (1x60-minutes) was commissioned by Charlotte Moore and executive produced by Craig Hunter for Keo North and Sam Anthony for the BBC.

A Note from The North American Discworld Convention 2011:

Please be aware that this film covers a controversial topic, and that it features the assisted death of a man on screen. The North American Discworld Convention neither endorses nor disagrees with any occurrences or opinions contained within this documentary. The purpose of this convention is to provide a weekend of programs and events which focus on the life and works of Sir Terry Pratchett, and as such, we are honored to have been given permission to include this documentary in our program schedule.

See you there,


(1) This documentary will premiere first in the UK at Sheffield Doc/fest on June 11, 2011, and follows on the success of the Scottish BAFTA Award-winning “Terry Pratchett: Living With Alzheimer’s.”

Art: Death with Kitten by Paul Kidby