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, February 15, 2016

Memories of Sir Terry Pratchett OR So Long I Must Be Going

I finished closing down the following Facebook pages for these Discworld guilds and groups today.  

Discworld Dark Clerks  
Discworld Guild of Singers and Musicians
Discworld Seamstress Guild of North America 
Guild of Alchemists 
North American Discworld Connection - NADWCon 

While there was crossover in readership, posts went out to roughly 2,500 Discworld fans. Here is the letter I posted on those sites several weeks ago

I know some of you would like me to write more about Terry-the-man but to be honest, the loss of such a good, brave and kind person is still, for me, too recent.  There are - no doubt - people who were closer to him, and who will write about him much better than I could but some day I will post a few of my favorite Terry moments.  For now, here is a slice of the work we did on behalf of the fans.  Terry always put the fans first, and so did we.    

Dear Discworld friends: 

I first met Terry Pratchett in the early 90's, well before he was famous in the U.S. I will always be grateful that I met him when he was just this nice British guy who came to my friend's bookstore, because I might have been too wary or too shy back then to talk to The Writing Rock Star he later became.

Over the years it has been both my pleasure and my privilege to organize and host DW events in my friend's honor. It began in 2002 when he asked me to throw him a party at ConJoseWe had tremendous support from that con's Co-Chair and Terry's friend, Tom Whitmore, and a grand time was had by all.  It meant a lot to our team when Terry said it was one of the best parties he'd ever attended. 

In 1998, he asked me to to help organize the first NADWCon which took place in Tempe, AZ in 2009, I was happy to help out with programming, and to organize the Seamstress Guild's Opening Night Gala in his honor. Those of us who were lucky enough to share those times with him will cherish our memories for many years to come. 

Our Seamstress and other guilds have since been involved with many DW events and meets, including the Great Discworld Fan Meet last year at Sasquan / Worldcon 2015. I was happy to serve as the DW Area Head on that ConCom, and I met many wonderful fans from all around the world as a result.  I am deeply indebted to Laurie Mann, the Programing Chair for Sasquan, for her help, advice and support.  We could not have done any of this work without her.  We had a lot of support of others on that talent-rich, creative ConCom and the experience was a great one for our team.   

My thanks also go out to all those who came to the memorial for Terry at Sasquan and who shared their stories for our documentary film, The Turtle Moves, during the course of the con. 

I knew Terry for almost 20 years, and his friendship graced my life. I will always miss him. I felt it was important to honor his memory in 2015, and to help the fans do so, as well. Now that he is gone, and we've grieved this loss together, I feel that my work here is done. So while I look forward to seeing many more generations embrace the books as the years go on, I will be closing this and other FB pages, and moving on to other projects. I will keep what Terry taught has me through both his work and his life as a constant example, and I will cherish the friends that I have made through Discworld fandom over the years. 

I may add on a few notes about the film, et al, before I shut down these pages for good. In the meantime, please enjoy what we've posted in past. 

Cheers, and Best Wishes, 

Denise Connell 

P.S If you're wondering what I'm up to next, well here's a hint. It makes sense when you think about it, for who of all people could follow Terry? <grin>

Art: Tiffany and the Feegles by Paul Kidby  

P.S. The @nadwcon twitter feed will close down shortly.   It will soon reopen under new management. 

Please note: My team and I are not associated with the current effort to organize a North American Discworld convention in 2017 in any way, shape or form.  If you have questions about that event, please contact the organizers directly.  

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

NADWCon wishes to thank three very special people - guest post

Guest Post: 

NADWCON wishes to thank three very special people in our organization: Denise Connell, Patty Panek and John Kentner . This team provided extraordinary support for Discworld fans over the years, and we want to recognize them for their contributions to Discworld Fandom in North America.

If you were a volunteer for NADWCON at Sasquan, you already know Patty. She was the dynamo, making everything work for the Arts exhibits, organizing the volunteers, helping with the panels and being generally indispensable. Patty began working on this project long before anyone made their reservations for Sasquan. She contacted all the guilds to make sure they were ready for the event. (In addition, Patty manages several of the guilds!) She gathered materials and encouraged people during the long preparation period for the Con. We would not have had an art show without Patty’s efforts. During Sasquan, she was busy everywhere to keep the volunteers and fans happy and involved. Patty, we can’t say enough to thank you.

John Kentner filmed a wonderful tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett and the Dicsworld fans at Sasquan. Many fans were interviewed for his project there and they all told wonderful stories. We all know how much Sir Terry has touched our lives and John worked to put that experience onto film for others to see and share. The film project has been in the planning stages for some time now. John was able to secure funding through a Kickstarter campaign which allowed him to make this marvelous documentary. Thank you, John for your creativity and drive.

You may have missed Denise Connell who works quietly and tirelessly behind the scenes to support NADWCON. She made the connections to have NADWCON collaborate with Sasquan. As the Discworld Area Head for this Worldcon Denise set up the Discworld panels and games, gathered films, supported DW events, and organized Terry's memorial at Sasquan. She also backed John Kentner’s film efforts with advice and support while wrangling people for John to interview. She was there for Patty, as well, to help with background, past experiences and aid. Without Denise, there would not have been a North American Discworld fan gathering at Sasquan. 

Denise is also the founder of the North American Seamstress Guild as well as the Dark Clerks, and she has a served as a staff member at DW cons in 2009 (AZ) and 2011 (WI). She has been the NADWCon Board Chair since 2012. 

Thank you to these three wonderful NADWCON volunteers. We literally could not have done it without you.

Thank you, as well, to all the volunteers who served on panels, worked as costumed docents, helped out with events, and promoted Discworld fandom at Sasquan / Worldcon 2015. 

Thank you, to the various DW guilds on FB who help get the word out and contribute so much to our fun at events. 

We would also like to salute the writers like Fran Wald and editors such as Anne Hoppe who served as panelists and helped make the discussions of Sir Terry’s world both illuminating and erudite.

We salute you, all, and we think Sir Terry would be proud. 

Marilyn Bunzo,
Web Mistress and NADWCon senior staff member and volunteer since 2010.