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, August 29, 2012

Seamstress Guild Party at WorldCon This Friday

Ladies and Gentlemen

"Not A Needle Among 'Em" 
Is Hosting A Grand Party
to help promote NADWCon 2013
To Which You Are All Invited
At the 70th Annual
this Friday Evening at 9 PM
Hyatt Regency, Park Suite 3471
In Fabulous Chicago
We Hope That You Can Join Us 

The good people at Snowgum Films 
have generously allowed us to present 
the first U.S. showings of 
at this event* 

We hope you can join us. 

* Snowgums will be showing the trailer for Troll Bridge. Run, Rincewind, Run is a short.  Other short films will also be shown. 

Update 9/2/2012 

The party and the movie/TV showings at Chicon7 were a huge success.  Missy Hayes and the Guild made lots of new Discworld friends. They also sold registrations to NADWCon 2013.

Here is a photo of author David Brin sporting a Seamstress Guild Ribbon 
What a guy!  


Monday, August 20, 2012

Pillage First, Then Burn OR Baltimore, Our Kind of Town.

Baltimore has pirates?  Why was I not informed?

The Maryland Science Center is featuring a exhibit on famous shipwrecks and their treasure (1)

aaaargh!  Odyssey’s SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure,  is a new exhibit featuring the compelling stories behind some of the world's most famous shipwrecks, their treasure, historic artifacts and pirates. Multiple hands-on interactive exhibits and cutting- edge computer games engage visitors with the adventure and excitement of deep-ocean shipwreck exploration, as well as intrigue them with pirate history and legend.
Baltimore Science Fiction Society

Baltimore is also the home of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society.  (2)

Many of their members volunteer at and/or attend BaltiCon, the Maryland Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention.  This convention has been held annually since 1966.  Attendees number between 1,800 - 2,000.

A lot of these people will be attending and/or volunteering at NADWCon. Lucky us.

The link above is for their Facebook page.   Here is the link to their website. 

Here is the link to their Meet Up Page.

Ghost Tours

Update:  Missy Hayes just shot me a link about Baltimore's Haunted Pub Tours
Step through the doors of some of Fell's Point's most haunted pubs for this fascinating tour of the historic maritime neighborhood. Even when it's freezing outside you'll stay toasty and warm on our Haunted Pubwalk! And if your arms break out into goosebumps, and the hair on your neck stands up, it may be because ghost sightings have happened right where you are sitting. Participants can choose to buy a drink, relax, and hear tales of that haunted tavern and ghost stories from nearby sites.
You can read about the other Ghost Walks on their webpage

Visiting Baltimore

Meanwhile, the volunteer staff at NADWCon are preparing lists of interesting places to visit and great places to eat in and around the Inner Harbor Area.  You might want to come a bit early to the con in order to take in the many wonderful sites in this town. 

We're gonna have a good time at NADWCon.  But remember folks, it's pillage first, then burn.


Related Articles

NADWCon Hotel and Memberships 

Booking A Room At The NADWCon Hotels 

The City Picked to Host NADWCon 2013 Is .... 


(1) Based on the work of Odyssey Marine Exploration 

The exhibit provides guests a close-up encounter with the artifacts recovered by Odyssey Marine Exploration.  Some of the archaeological excavation, the first of its kind ever conducted at such depths, produced more than 51,000 gold and silver coins and nearly 14,000 artifacts--a wealth of mid-19th century trade goods hidden on the ocean floor for over a century.  Coins, bottles, personal effects, on-board items, and pieces of the vessel are on display in the exhibit.

(2) More on BSFS from Wikipedia:

BSFS is an active organization which hosts many free, public events at its headquarters in the Highlandtown section of Baltimore City. Located at 3310 East Baltimore Street, it holds a business meeting on the second Saturday of each month at 7 PM that covers planning for Balticon and general BSFS organizational issues. It also hosts an anime, manga, and gaming social event on the third Saturday of the month from 2 - 6 PM. BSFS also hosts a Speculative Fiction Critique Circle for science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc. writers to receive feedback on their work: that Circle meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month, from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM. There is also a Book Discussion Circle that meets on the 4th Saturday of every month, from 6:30 to 8 PM, to discuss and analyze an assigned book; then there is a General Social Meeting which follows right after that. And on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month, the Games Club of Maryland hosts a gaming day called Alphabet Soup at BSFS headquarters from 12 - 6PM. [1] [2] Authors such as Catherine Asaro, Philippa Ballantine, Charles Shields, T.J. Perkins, and others have spoken there in recent years. [3] It maintains a large free lending library, cooperates with other science fiction organizations, runs which is a detailed website with extensive resources, and conducts other public outreach events promoting literacy. BSFS is an open, equal organization which welcomes every gender, sex, religion, and creed

Photo: Found at the Urban Pirates website 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Look at your cat. Now look back at me.

It's Black Cat Appreciation Day at the no kill cat shelter where I volunteer. We're hoping that lots of great cats and kittens get good homes today. Wish us luck.

In NADWCon and Discworld news: 

The North American Seamstress Guild is throwing one of their infamous Discworld parties. They will be at this year's WorldCon in Chicago to help promote NADWCon 2013.   

I'll post more about this on Monday.

Meanwhile, 2013 NADWCon Chair, Richard Altha-Nicholls, is getting ready to go to the (sold out) Discworld Con in the UK. 

Have fun, folks! Safe travels.




No, I'm sorry. We're all out of those. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Stephen Baxter will attend NADWCon 2013

This poster, a favorite with the Seamstress Guild, (1) comes to us from our friends at Walden Pond Books. Check out their witty and literate Facebook page.

WPB recently posted a link to an article titled The Philosophical Roots of Science Fiction.   Here is an excerpt: 
Science fiction is a genre that uses strange worlds and inventions to illuminate our reality — sort of the opposite of a lot of other writing, which uses the familiar to build a portrait that cumulatively shows how insane our world actually is. People, especially early twenty-first century people, live in a world where strangeness lurks just beyond our frame of vision — but we can't see it by looking straight at it. When we try to turn and confront the weird and unthinkable that's always in the corner of our eye, it vanishes. In a sense, science fiction is like a prosthetic sense of peripheral vision.
Steven Baxter Coming to NADWCon 2013

Among the Honored Guests coming to NADWCon 2013 is well known Science Fiction author Steven Baxter.  Our attendees had the pleasure of his company at NADWCon 2011 in Madison where he served on a number of panels and hosted a Koffee Klatch, and we're delighted that he is going to join us again in Baltimore:
Born in Liverpool, England, Stephen Baxter has degrees in mathematics and engineering, has worked as a teacher in mathematics and physics, and since 1987 has published over forty books, mostly science fiction novels, which have been published internationally and have received many awards. He is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, President of the British Science Fiction Association, and Vice-President of the HG Wells Society. He is also involved with advisory groups for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). 
Along with his current "Northland" series of solo novels, Stephen Baxter is collaborating with Sir Terry Pratchett on the "Long Earth" series.
Here is a video interview with Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter talking about their friendship and their writing collaboration on The Long Earth.




(1) The Seamstress Guild: Showing Folks How To Do It Right Since The Year of the Fruit Bat.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Keep Calm and Land on Mars

Congratulations to the NASA team at JPL.  You make us proud. 

 I would love it if parents would share the photo posted by The Mary Sue tumblr site today with their kids.  It shows the men and women scientists who made this great adventure possible and lists their names and job titles.

Gamers and science fans will know The Mary Sue website; a popular "geek site for women". Today she writes:
I also celebrate NASA/JPL for how visible women were as part of this extraordinary event. Several times on the livestream last night people made reference to kids looking at the launch of the Mars Curiosity and seeing possibilities for themselves in STEM - and thanks to a number of prominent women on the team, little girls will see a path to space for themselves too.
You said it, Sister.  To infinity and beyond!


Sign: from Facebook page for

Updates: 11:05

A photo of Curiosity During Landing has been leaked. 

Keep Calm Sign: As many of you know, I have a particular fondness for the Keep Calm ap and the history of the origional British WWII sign.    

I knew nothing of this until the fabulous Sandra Kidby shared both the saying and the story with me during a challenging day at NADWCon 2011.  Thanks, Sandra!

Update: 11:09  Geek Culture posted this Mars Meme on their Facebook page  - Are you seeing what I'm seeing?

Update: 11:27 Hat tip to Seamstress and Social Media Maven, Patty Panek, who subtitled this essay, Mars Needs Women on the Guild's FB page.  #WhyDidn'tIThinkofThat? 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Registration for NADWCon Temporarily Closed Due to Techincal Problems that I have your attention: 

The Baltimore Con Committee is experiencing technical difficulties.  As a result, registration at their website has been down since July 29th. There is no word, as yet, regarding a date when online registration will be resumed.  
They are working on this as we speak and apologize for the inconvenience.  Please be patient. 
Stay tuned to the NADWCon website, Twitter and Facebook pages (and this blog) for further announcements. 
Update 8/7/2012
The ConCom are working tirelessly to get registration back online, hopefully within the next few days. We will also be extending the $88 rate to compensate for the lost time. We'll keep you posted!

Thank you,


Update 8/5 :  As of this writing there have been roughly 250 tickets sold thus far out of a projected 1,000.  That is an excellent number for this early on in the game.  (1) The Con Treasurer tells me that the hotel staff are very impressed to see so many bookings for the con this far out (11 months) from the date of an event. (2) So no worries, folks. Unless things change radically,  I firmly believe that this con will be a sell out.

Figgins crossed that registration is open again soon.  I'm sure lots of folks still want to get in on that $88. Octarine price.  It's a very good deal.


Steampunk Corset photo from Spanky Spangler Steampunk Creations

P.S. One of our more popular panels in 2011 was on the Steampunk elements in the Discworld novels.  


(1) The last two NADWCons were capped at 1,000 attendees and both sold out (with more people wanting to buy tickets in the last weeks before the cons began and unable to do so).   Could this ConCom make more tickets available if this happens again? That is up to them. Stay tuned.  As for me, I'm not taking any chances; I've got my tickets and our hotel room is booked.

(2) Rumor has it that their comment was, "Who are you people?" ... I could not possibly comment.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lindsey Stirling at Faerieworlds

I just got back from meeting old friends at the Faerieworlds Festival where a grand time was had by all.

While I catch up on emails, I'll leave you with a Youtube video featuring the magical playing (and dancing) of Lindsey Stirling.  Enjoy,