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.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Twitterverse Reacts to NADWCon 2013 Announcement

You know what happens when Terry and Rob post a link to your little blog on their Twitter page?  44,000+ people read it.  Which explains why the post announcing which city has been chosen to host the next NADWCon has suddenly received thousands of visitors from:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, England, France, Ireland, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, and pretty much every part the U.S.
in just one hour.

I've been following the response on Twitter which is full of !!! and Yeahs! and tweets along the lines of "Now, I can finally go to NADWCon!"   Many of us felt it might well be time for an East Coast con (after holding the last two in the Southwest and Midwest) and we're very glad to hear that the fans are so happy about this choice.  (1)

Thanks, guys!

Um..Richard? I think we're gonna need a bigger boat.  


P.S. NADWCon has a twitter page: @nadwcon 

Update 12/20: Udupi, Karnataka, India just stopped by.  Nice! 

Tech Notes: Counting Visitors While Honoring Privacy: For those who have asked: I use Site Meter to track visitors to the blog.  It does not give me your name or your email address and it does not attach a cookie when you visit. It does tell me what city and country you're from (based on the location of your IP address), how long you were here and what pages you looked it.  The basic software package is free and you can get one for your own blog or website at the link above. 


(1) I wonder who we'll see bids from for 2015?  Boston? Florida? Nova Scotia? One of the Southern States? Or is California dreaming of this? Stay tuned. 

Art: Twitter feed @terryandrob. Their twitter icon shows Terry and Rob accepting the BAFTA Award

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Drumroll, please: The city picked to host NADWCon 2013 is ...

After giving this (very tough) choice a great deal of thought and discussion, we are delighted to announce that the CITY OF BALTIMORE will be the site for the next North American Discworld Convention in 2013. 

The dates are July 5th - 8th,
Hotel will be announced at a future date 

We believe that Sir Terry and the Discworld fans will be in experienced and capable hands with the Baltimore team and we look forward to working very closely with them as we support their preparations and plans. The steering committee members and our consulting team were extremely impressed with Baltimore's creative and well organized plans for 2013, plans detailed in a comprehensive bid that ultimately came in at over 30 pages.  It was clear to us that this team is a triple threat: they have have the convention, stage and real world skills needed to provide an memorable, well organized and fun convention for all concerned.

Both bidding cities have a great deal to offer visitors and that made the choice all the more difficult.

For those of you who have not been to Baltimore before, we believe that you are going to love what you find.  There is a great deal to see and do in the immediate area (and Washington D.C. is only a short train ride away). The inner harbor hotel they have chosen will fit our needs wonderfully and provide for the kind of mingling and meeting spaces for our guests that we feel is so important the success of this affair.  It is also within easy walking distance of many interesting, historical and family-friendly sites as well as a wide variety of food choices and prices.  The city itself is within easy reach for both our international and U.S. guests and the bid committee has given a great deal of thought to making our time there enjoyable. Wait till you see what they have planned!

The bid chairs were informed yesterday, as were Terry & Rob.  The Baltimore Chair writes: 

I would like to take the opportunity, on behalf of the bid committee, to thank the GoC for their hard work, effort and diligence in the selection process. Having spoken with (the Boston chair) a couple of times over the last few months I'm hoping and sure that there will be collaboration between the Boston and Baltimore bid committees in forming the convention committee at large over the next few weeks.

We look forward to working with the GoC over the next few days, weeks and nineteen months in developing and executing the North American Discworld Convention for 2013. (Our staff members) will be touch next week to discuss the corporate structure required for the convention to operate efficiently and effectively.

Yours Sincerely,
Richard Atha-Nicholls
Chair, North American Discworld Convention 2013
We would like to thank both bid committees and their chairs for their hard work in producing these bids.  Thanks also to our consultants who so generously gave us their time and advice and to the fans for their enthusiasm and patience. 

We know that our Terry, Rob and our attendees appreciate the dedication shown by both groups and we again offer our congratulations to the team in Baltimore. (1) We ask that Discworld fans the world over give them their full support.  The members of the GoC and our consulting team look  forward to working with all here to make NADWCon 2013 the best one yet.   

Update 3:55 PM Richard added this today to answer some questions from our Facebook fans: 
I'm excited to be chairing the Con for 2013 and look forward to sharing all the wonderful things we have planned in due course. Including, what we think, is a great hotel rate. Just bear with us as we get our ducks (or should that be flamingos) in a row. We'll let you know all the details in good time.

Thanks and hope to see you all in Baltimore in 2013,

See you in Baltimore ....


Vice Chair,
The Guild of Chelonavigators AKA the NADWCon Steering Committee

(1) We would also like to invite Boston - and any other interested cities - to consider bidding for 2015.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Terry Pratchett's next book or rather, books.

Terry Pratchett and Nancy Pearl, Librarian of the Year, 2011

Lately, Terry's been talking about his next book(s). Here is an excerpt from an interview he gave on 12/4:
 He’s currently working on a novel with a working title of Happy Families, set in the early Victorian period, and which he compares with the Flashman series since the lead, fictional character has a series of encounters with historical figures.

The other is a science-fiction novel, The Long Earth, co-written with Stephen Baxter and tackling the quantum universe.

There’s even another Discworld novel brewing, provisionally titled Raising Taxes, and starring conman Moist Von Lipwig. “Unless I come up with a better idea. Narrativia moves in mysterious ways. Or I might be dead.”

He has hinted in the past that Rhianna, a computer game scriptwriter, might take over the Pratchett empire when he is no longer able to write, although he says they have only discussed it in the broadest sense.

“It’s only if she wants to do it. In no way would I press her to do it but I know she could do it because I’ve seen her stuff.” In fact, Rhianna might find she will be glad of the money since her father plans to leave the bulk of his fortune to good causes.

Terry talked about Happy Families at the brunch with Book Maven Nancy Pearl following his October 11th Town Hall event in Seattle.   I can't wait to read it.

Terry and Ms. Pearl are old friends. You may know Nancy Pearl from her wonderful book blog or her insightful commentary on NPR.  She is the author of the Book Lust series and (I love this) the inspiration for the famous Librarian action figure.

Meeting Nancy Peal was a real treat. (In person, she is just as nice as one could hope.)  When these two began talking I just sat in the corner, very quiet, like a UU rat with very big ears.  They talked about books and writing and I joyfully listened while my eggs got cold.  My thanks again to Terry and Rob for graciously including Ray Friesen, Prof. Kathryn Hobbe, my guy and me in their plans on this wonderful weekend in Seattle.  The chowder at dinner was excellent - I can see why Terry raves about that. The sun was even shining.  Clearly, Narrativia, AKA She Who Smiles On Writers, was enjoying her time in Seattle.

Kudos and thanks to the charming and well organized team at the University Bookstore for hosting such a great event. 

Let me also add a shout out to animal lover, writer and photographer, Shelly Rae Clift, who was taking photos for Locus Magazine.  Anytime I get to meet someone who tells great stories and who knows American English, Old English, Middle English, British English and Spanglish, it's a good day.

Regards to all here,


Photo: Terry Pratchett & Nancy Pearl, Seattle 2011

Video: Nancy Pearl's 2010 Interview w/ Terry Pratchett at University Bookstore in Seattle

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Update on NADWCon bid process for 2013

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded 
Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies
Greetings, all
Here is an update on the bid process for NADWCon. I posted this to the North American Discworld 2013 Facebook page on Monday:
As we mentioned earlier, one of the bidding cities requested a week's grace past the deadline which stretched into 11 days. As a result, our timeline for deciding this was pushed back as well. We sincerely hope to have an announcement for everyone by Nov 30th, as we've said, but that may not happen.

Nope ... didn't happen. 
Discussion with the NADWCon Consultants Guild has ended and the Steering Committee is formulating additional questions, as needed, for the cities in question based on both their notes and ours.
Fair warning: We may not have an official announcement until Dec. 6th. We know you folks want us to do a very thorough job on this and that you'd also like an answer asap so you can make your plans. We are doing our very best to make both of those wishes come true - djc
Response to this has been positive and supportive.  Here is a sample:
Do your excellent job. We'll wait. We want the best venue for our Sir PTerry and his fans.


YAY!!!! To be honest I don't mind when you decide, it means you are making a well thought-out and rational decision. That being said, I check every time I am near my computer just so I know as soon as you do decide. Thank you for all your hard work, time, and effort.

Our thanks to Sir Terry's many fans for their patience and support and to the bidding committees in both Boston and Baltimore for their help in answering all our questions.

Update to the Update 12/10/2011

Info posted to LJ, Facebook, Twitter and the Seamstress Guild group today: 
The GoC has just been informed that one bid committee's proposed hotel contract expires on the 15th. We might be able to push the vote up but a lot will depend on whether or not they get back to us with the answers to our questions in good time. - djc

Update 12/11/2011 A. Stewart, a fan and an expert in hotel contracts wrote us to say,

An expiring hotel contract (actually it's typically an option date) only means something if the property has a similar or better prospect in the pipeline. Hotel sales staff are under a lot of pressure to get deals closed before year end but that shouldn't force you to make a decision that may or may not be right for the convention....

Hotels can put out second option contracts to other parties that if signed would obligate you to execute your option or lose your date.

It always delights me to find out how varied and knowledgeable Terry's fan base it.  Thanks, Tony!