WOSSNAME -- April 2011 -- main issue
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
April 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 4, Post 2)
WOSSNAME is a free publication for members of the worldwide
Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North
American Discworld Society and other continental groups. Are you a
member? Yes, if you sent in your name, country and e-mail address.
Are there any dues? No! As a member of the Klatchian Foreign Legion,
you'd only forget them...
Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Fiona (not Bruce) Bruce
Newshounds: Vera, Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow
Staff Writers: Asti, Pitt the Elder, Steven D'Aprano
Convention Reporters: Mithtrethth Hania Ogg et al
Staff Technomancer: Jason Parlevliet
Book Reviews: Drusilla D'Afanguin
Puzzle Editor: Tiff
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
DW Horoscope: Lady Anaemia Asterisk, Fernando Magnifico
Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare
Copyright 2011 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
03) PRATCHETT PRIZE UPDATES
04) UPDATE FROM THE MASTER
05) THE LATEST DUBLIN LECTURE
06) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
07) GOING POSTAL TELEFILM AWARDS NOMINATIONS
08) ISWM FANS' JACKET SPECIAL EDITION NOW AVAILABLE
09) SOMERSET SWANS UPDATE
10) CONVENTION NEWS
11) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
12) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
13) PTERRY ON AUSTRALIA, AND ROYALTY
14) DEATH COMES TO MORT...?
15) THE GLORIOUS 25TH: SPONSORSHIP SOUGHT NOW
16) DISCWORLD AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
17) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
18) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS
19) ROUNDWORLD TALES: TERRIFYING TEETH
20) SNUFF TEASERS!
21) ISWM REVIEW: A REBUTTAL
22) ABP BITS
01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
"When I was a boy, people still got hanged. What happens is the next
generation looks down at the stupidity of the last few generations
and says, 'You're bloody stupid, how can you possibly sit still for
Pterry, April 2011, NZ Sunday Star-Times
"I am in an indescribable state beyond rage and bitterness over
Terry's affliction. He's a good man; an intelligent man, an
influential man and we goddam well NEED him. He's worth a hundred
f**king Tony Abbotts or Julia Gillards more. Yeah. Well. You
can't always get what you want, eh? But I did promise myself one
thing. I read a piece from him a couple years ago in which he
declared he wanted to die peacefully, at home, with a glass of
decent brandy. And if it comes to defying Britain's government to
allow that to happen, I will fly to goddam England and put myself in
the line with all the others, between Terry and the cops. It's the
absolute least that I could do."
blogger Flinthart, 15 April 2011
02) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR
First and foremost, WOSSNAME wishes a very happy birthday (28th
April) to Sir Pterry! There's some upstart prince who's trying to
steal the thunder of his day with a wedding not 24 hours later, but
we'll just ignore that and raise a toast in scumble to our favourite
author, shall we?
You'll have surely noticed by now that the aether is buzzing with
yet another Pratchett-related controversy, this time concerning
another documentary Sir Pterry is doing for the BBC on the subject
of assisted dying. I've trawled through far too many articles and
op-ed pieces to bring you a sampler of the kerfuffle, and I have to
say it was a less than pleasant task. I don't know whether or not I
hold the same point of view as Our Author about assisted dying, but
I do know that I'm heartily sick of seeing it referred to as
"suicide". Suicide is in my opinion a form of extreme rudeness; it
may solve one person's problems, but it leaves a literal and
psychological mess behind for friends and family, and sometimes
strangers, who were not consulted or even considered by the suicider
(and let me say here that I've lost more than a double handful of
friends and colleagues to suicide over the years). Assisted dying,
on the other hand, is a carefully planned action that takes one's
nearest and dearest into account and deals with the "after"
logistics beforehand. I think it's not appropriate for me to say
more here, although those who know me well know that what I'd have
to say would include giving certain people directions to do
something in a place not far from Slice.
But I'll say it again: Suicide is abhorrent. Assisted dying is not
suicide. Nuff said.
Enough of that. There's plenty of less disturbing or contentious
news in this issue, and some bits that are simply delightful, so on
with the show...
03) THE PRATCHETT PRIZE SHORTLIST
The official shortlist announcement...
"Sir Terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers launched a new award
for aspiring novelists in June last year: the Terry Pratchett
Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now Prize. Since the deadline for
submissions on 31 December 2010, the team have spent many hours
reading, reporting and discussing the over 500 entries that were
submitted for the £20,000 prize as an advance on a
"Here is the final shortlist in alphabetical order:
1. *Postponing Armageddon* by Adele Abbott
2. *The Platinum Ticket* by Dave Beynon
3. *Half Sick of Shadows* by David Logan
4. *Apocalypse Cow* by Michael Logan
5. *Lun* by Andrew Salomon
6. *The Coven at Callington* by Shereen Vedam
"The six shortlisted books cover a breadth of topics and sub genres,
imagination and alternate worlds. Each shortlisted entry was chosen
for their skilful writing, vast imaginative powers and ability to
tell a good story!
"The winner will be judged by Sir Terry Pratchett, Tony Robinson,
Michael Rowley from Waterstone's, Marianne Velmans, Publishing
Director of Doubleday, and Simon Taylor, Editorial Director at
Transworld Publishers. The winner will be announced by Sir Terry
Pratchett at a party to be held on 31 May 2011.
"Sir Terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers would like to thank
everyone who submitted an entry to the prize."
http://tinyurl.com/5tqc39m (downloadable PDF file)
...and support for a shortlister from Book Southern Africa:
"We contacted Salomon straightaway upon hearing the news, and he
sent through a little teaser from on Lun:
"'Richard Nevis is looking to change his life; that is why he has
quit his job at an unscrupulous Cape Town law firm and started
restoring antique boats. But things soon start unravelling when this
volunteer work at a local tokoloshe shelter leads him and a spirited
young tokoloshe named Lun headlong into the shadow side of the Cape.
An ancient metal box that can only be opened by a tokoloshe holds a
sought after object and the evil monster Mamron and his beautiful
but mute sidekick twins will stop at nothing to get it. As if being
on the run from them is not enough to contend with, Richard and Lun
are also pursued by Kras, the merciless Cape Town crime lord who
contracts Mr Doorway said to be the most effective assassin in
the business to retrieve the box and eliminate all who keep him
from this objective. As Richard and Lun try and stay one step ahead
of annihilation they are aided by the Pit-bull Midwives; the
enigmatic Miss Ngoyi whose past refuses to stay past, and her
apprentice, the beautiful Emily White .
The story enfolds at a brisk pace around Cape Town, Nieu Bethesda,
Uniondale and Gansbaai as Richard gets way more change than he would
ever have wanted, and more than he might survive. This is a South
African landscape where myths and stories take flesh and the
monsters are not just in your imagination. This is the world of
04) UPDATE FROM PTERRY HIMSELF
...and a very short update it is, for the same reason that WOSSNAME
had a special early edition this month:
"Apologies for the lack of news thus far this month; this isn't
because of a lack of news, but quite the opposite there's simply
far too much of it! We're presently writing this in Australia in the
middle of a magnificent tour and will update you shortly with great
tales of speaking at the Sydney Opera House and visits to Hobbiton.
"More from me very soon."
[signed] Terry Pratchett
Originally published on the web at:
05) THE PROFESSOR IS IN
In all the kerfuffle about the grand tour of Australia and New
Zealand, let us not forget that Sir Pterry is still a visiting
professor at Trinity College Dublin, and thus still lecturing there.
Here be a lovely article by Nadine O'Regan in the Irish Sunday
Business Post about Sir Professor's most recent class:
"The ten students before him today are all studying for an MPhil in
Creative Writing at Trinity and Pratchett will drop in from
semester to semester to help their cause. Over the next two hours,
Pratchett engages in a sort of freeform monologue: it's part-
instruction, part-memoir, part-close reading of his Discworld novel
Guards! Guards!. He talks about his youth 'I got my library
tickets and said four is not enough!' He talks about beginning to
write, how he would 'type so fast that the page evolved under my
fingers'. He is funny, erudite and warm to his students. But you
notice how he struggles to drink the pint that he has so jauntily
installed beside him. He raises it to his lips often, then pauses
and returns the glass to the table, its contents untouched. The only
time he seems able to snatch a drink is when one of the students
asks a question at length. The fragility that comes with age is hard
to watch sometimes and so it is with Pratchett...
"...he's here because he has a need to 'pay it forward'. 'What
you've got, you give it to the kids,' he says. 'When I was a young
science fiction fan, I went to a science fiction convention. It was
the first time I'd been away from home and there at the bar was
Arthur C Clarke and Michael Moorcock, and a whole load of writers
you haven't heard of now because of the fashion. But they were
giants in their time and they talked to me so if you were young
and you had your eyes open, you could get some idea of the
possibilities.' Does he really believe it's possible to teach
creative writing? 'I'm not certain that it can be taught,' Pratchett
says. 'I think you have to have a spark. If the spark isn't there,
then I don't think things are going to work. But I think quite a few
people have the spark and I think you can make a decent writer
"'Terry Pratchett is an inspiration because he doesn't give a shit
he's going to write what he writes,' says one student. 'What I
learned from him is that reading is important and broadening your
knowledge is important,' says another. 'I find his range of
knowledge particularly fascinating.'... For a long time Pratchett
was regarded as a wacky fantasy writer, albeit one who chalked up
serious numbers. And the thing is, Pratchett is wacky, but in the
most brilliant and smart of ways..."
06) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
6.1 NEW DOCUMENTARY
A forthcoming BBC documentary, "Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die",
is stirring up controversy even before it airs, drawing cries of
outrage from the doomsayers and words of approval from the more
intelligent members of the community. Here be a selection of news
From BBC News:
"Actor Sir Patrick Stewart has spoken about his decision to become a
patron of an organisation campaigning to legalise assisted suicide
in the UK... the 70-year-old said the choice to have an assisted
death 'should be a right'. 'Should the time come for me... I would
like there to be a choice I might make about how I die,' he
continued. His comments follow those of author Sir Terry Pratchett,
who is to appear in a BBC documentary about assisted suicide... News
of the BBC Two programme, to be shown this summer, drew censure from
the Care Not Killing organisation, which accused the BBC of 'acting
like a cheerleader for legalising assisted suicide'. Both Sir
Patrick and Sir Terry are patrons of Dignity in Dying, which
campaigns for a change in the law on assisted dying for terminally
ill, mentally competent adults..."
In The Telegraph:
"Viewers of the BBC2 show will see the writer, whose Discworld
series of books have sold millions of copies worldwide, at the
Dignitas clinic in Switzerland with the 71 yearold motor neurone
disease sufferer, named only as Peter..."
In The Sun, under the (typically) misleading headline "Suicide is
filmed by Pratchett":
"Sir Terry - who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2008 -
said: 'I believe everybody possessed of a debilitating and incurable
disease should be able to pick the hour of their death. I wanted to
know more about Dignitas in case I ever wanted to go there
In c21 media:
"In other commissioning news, the BBC has been accused of being a
"cheerleader for assisted suicide" after greenlighting a documentary
in which a man kills himself at the notorious Dignitas clinic in
Switzerland. Prominent euthanasia supporter Sir Terry Pratchett,
author of the Discworld fantasy novels, presents the film Terry
Pratchett: Choosing To Die, which will air on BBC2 this summer..."
In online media magazine The Drum:
"Charlotte Moore, the BBC's commissioning editor for documentaries,
explained the decision to film: "Assisted death is an important
topic of debate in the UK, and this is a chance for the BBC2
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.'..."
In the Daily Mail:
"Whether or not you agree with assisted death and what goes on at
the controversial Dignitas clinic in Switzerland where the suicide
takes place is almost beside the point. To my mind, this is the
almost pathologically liberal BBC at its worst, producing a
propaganda film for the pro-euthanasia lobby and deliberately
offending the significant number of Britons who believe in the
sanctity of life. What makes this all the more insidious is the high
moral tone adopted by the corporation. 'The BBC does not have a
stance on assisted suicide, but we do think this is an important
matter of debate,' says a spokesman. Giving Sir Terry free rein in a
documentary on this highly sensitive matter seems like a pretty
strong stance to me. And the very fact that Sir Terry is the front
man is in itself a form of moral blackmail. How could any
compassionate and reasonable person object to this individual a
man who, we are all too dreadfully aware, suffers from an incurable
disease himself promoting the right of another sufferer to be
assisted to take his own life? The fact is that all right-minded
people should be objecting to it..."
In the Sunday Mercury:
"The scenes, which are certain to upset, represent a first for
British terrestrial television, although a suicide death was once
beamed here by a satellite TV station. Now, you might expect me to
be outraged, to be calling for heads to roll at the BBC. You might
expect me to demand that the programme is banned. But I won't
oblige. Because, just for once, the bungling Beeb has got something
right. What's more, I will be glued to the screen myself to see what
I can learn from the experience. The programme in question is a
documentary about euthanasia, and is fronted by best-selling fantasy
author Sir Terry Pratchett, who suffers from Alzheimer's...
"Not far behind in the race to moral outrage was Right To Life
campaigner Phyllis Bowman, who found the programme even more
sinister than her counterpart. 'The BBC has an agenda,' she warned.
'It has had one for years. Allowing Sir Terry Pratchett to make this
documentary is effectively promoting assisted death.' Well, good for
the BBC then. Because it is about time that someone did. Under
current legislation, Sir Terry could face prosecution, and a prison
sentence of up to 14 years, for simply being present at Peter's
suicide and failing to prevent him from taking his own life. In such
circumstances, the law is just about as wrong as it can possibly
get. And although the Director of Public Prosecutions has said he
will not prosecute in cases if the motivation of friends and
relatives is shown to be purely compassionate, and there is no undue
financial gain, the law remains on the books. This is a denial of
the most basic human right of all, the right to die with some
semblance of dignity. It is a protracted and cruel charade which has
to be brought to an end, and the sooner, the better..."
6.2 ASSORTED NEWS
A radio interview on 2UE, during Pterry's Down Under tour:
"Fantasy novelist and million selling author Sir Terry Pratchett was
recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He talks to Michael Smith about
his plans to die. An incredibly sobering interview that raises the
issue of euthanasia."
A press interview, in the Sydney Morning Herald...
"[Pratchett]accepts the subject is divisive and raises vehement
objections from religious groups and conservatives. But its
legalisation should be a simple matter in secular states such as
Australia. 'It seems to me since there are some perfectly decent,
stable democracies that manage to run physician-assisted suicide it
surprises me, given the amount of public support [for it], that some
governments seem unable to face a proper debate let alone allow it.'
Pratchett is not sure if assisted suicide will be legal in Britain
by the time he wishes to end his life. But change is coming, he
...and one for TVNZ, during his Kiwi leg of the 2011 tour:
"When he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, he made it his mission to
tell everyone. 'I was a journalist for a while and I believe in the
truth. I have Alzheimer's. That's the truth and I would not lie
about it. And I hope, and I have been told, that because I stood up
and said "I've got it" that has helped the cause of Alzheimer's in
the UK,' he told TVNZ's Close Up... He added he was 'neither proud
of having it nor ashamed of having it' and that it could happen to
anyone. 'You don't have to consort with naughty ladies to get it or
anything like that,' he said. Pratchett's support of assisted death
has drawn controversy in the UK, but he says there is no reason it
should be illegal and does not believe it will mean that 'old
grannys[sic] are going to be marched into the gas chambers'. The
term 'assisted death' has also become a point of contention, with
Pratchett saying those who label it 'assisted suicide' are off the
mark. He said his time spent as a journalist led him to believe that
suicide is an irrational act, but that assisted dying suggested an
act that was undertaken using a lot more consideration..."
Small but significant news in The Scotsman: a new treatment might
help improve the daily life of dementia sufferers by improving the
quality of their sleep:
"Researchers are appealing for 50 volunteers with Alzheimer's
disease, the most common cause of dementia, to take part in a six-
month clinical trial of a drug containing the sleep hormone
melatonin. In the first study of its kind in the world, the
scientists from CPS Research believe that prescribing the hormone
could help improve the quality of life for people suffering from
dementia. It follows findings showing that people suffering from
dementia produce less melatonin than others. They are also known to
experience disruptions in their sleep pattern, waking up in the
night and often getting up and moving about.
"Dr Gordon Crawford, from CPS Research, said: 'Dementia is a
shattering condition for patients, their families and friends. By
reducing the symptoms of the illness, it is hoped that both patients
and their carers can enjoy a better quality of life and manage the
condition more effectively... Our findings suggested that the
participants functioned better during the day possibly due to a
better quality sleep pattern.' The move comes after author Terry
Pratchett, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in
2007, made a plea for more research into treatments for dementia..."
Pterry talks to Charlotte Orson of Cambridge First about
Alzheimer's Research UK and his own experience of PCA:
"Sir Terry is still working and the 39th novel in the Discworld
series will be published later in the year. He said: 'One of the
quickest ways to describe it is it ages you quite fast and the way
you have to think about things makes you more doddery. It seems to
me I have had Alzheimer's forever. I might have had it for 20
years before it crept up on me. You think yesterday was normal and
today is like yesterday so everything's OK. But what we don't
realise it's this little change each day which is sufficiently big
enough to make things change. It's a very slow gentle slide and
every now and again you notice you have slid a little bit further.'"
Not Pterry, but a documentary about Australians and Alzheimer's:
6.3 WHAT THE FANS SAY
Blogger lilactoventoux she of the sponsored bicycle ride (see
item 15) wrote in LiveJournal's Discworld community:
I came across this via Twitter: Sir Terry Pratchett to probe
assisted suicide for BBC. Is anyone else having trouble
reading/viewing these things? I don't mean technical trouble,
I mean emotionally. I'm finding it incredibly difficult to accept
that he is in a position to be having to explore this (particularly
the bit on the ABC's 7:30 Report where he said that he would
probably have to take this option while he is still compos mentis
enough to communicate his wishes, i.e. before he's actually to the
point where he would want to go). I fully support what he is trying
to do, but it hurts immensely that it's him having to do it, if you
see what I mean. I can't imagine what it must be like for his
nearest and dearest.
he talked about this a little when i went to see him and it made me
extremely uncomfortable. though at the time he talked about
'assisted death' as opposed to suicide which is even more
unsettling. im not gonna click the link, just because the whole
thing gets me upset. it's not something i want to explore to be
I haven't listened to/read a few things for the same
reason. It's hugely confronting.
It's sad, but to me it makes sense and I completely support it. I
watched my grandpa deteriorate and die trapped in a body that he
couldnt do anything in. I watched him loose the ability to walk, to
speak and to remember his family. I watched him do that for over a
decade. I remember that when he finally passed away it was almost a
relief because I knew he wasn't trapped in his body anymore. I'm
sorry to go on about this, and now I'm stupidly crying.
You don't need to be sorry, I know what you mean because it was the
same for us with our Grandpa. It was terrible to watch a once
independent, lively, fit man be reduced to essentially being an
adult-sized baby, unable to care for himself or communicate. I
wouldn't wish that fate on anyone. :( More power to the researchers,
I hope they find a cure or at least a good treatment soon, for this
terrible disease... It's not stupid to cry about this at all.
Yes. I get really emotional when he talks about that, too, but I
understand why he does it, or why he'd want it. I know the day is
coming when we're going to have to say goodbye to him, but knowing
and accepting are two different things, I guess. My heart goes out
to his family. This can't be easy for them, either. It's gotten to
the point that I can't read those articles, or watch those
programmes. It's just self-preservation I end up bawling my eyes
out. Sigh. He has to do what feels right to him, though, in the end.
I know the day is coming when we're going to have to say goodbye to
him, but knowing and accepting are two different things, I guess.
This is it, exactly. I feel for his family and friends.
For me the big shock was the initial announcement that he had
Alzheimer's. Personally I'm far more deeply disturbed by stories
from friends whose parents or other relatives are gradually turned
by the disease into walking shells than by his discussion of an
escape from that fate. But certainly once you know what he's talking
about, there's no reason you have to keep exposing yourself to it if
it causes you pain. The important thing is for people who can
reasonably afford it to support Alzheimer's research so that in the
future people can avoid having to make this choice.
You won't get any argument from me there! One of the things that he
said in his interview on the 7:30 Report (which the interviewer
didn't pick up and I *wish* she had) was that much of the funding
goes on finding out what causes Alzheimer's/dementia, and on
diagnosis, with the implication (he didn't come right out and say
it) that not enough is being spent on research into treatments. I'd
really like to ask him if that's what he intended to say.
I think my reaction to his campaigning for assisted death is mixed
up with my reaction to his Alzheimer's diagnosis. I saw how it took
my grandfather, and I wouldn't want him to go through that too (or
anyone else for that matter). It's a bittersweet thing to wish for
him to be successful in his campaign, when it also means he might go
before 'his time'.
At this point research points to better chances of prevention than
of treating cases after they're diagnosed. I didn't catch the item
to which you're referring, so I don't know what he might have meant,
but I'm sure he's aware of the situation and at the same time wishes
something could be done for him before it's too late.
Oh that's interesting, I somehow missed that in my reading. Thank
you for the clarification. I can understand why that would be a
primary focus too though the projected figures for dementia in the
coming decades are really scary.
If you can somehow get a hold of it, I highly recommend you watch
the 20 Richard Dimbleby Lecture that Sir Terry wrote on Assisted
Death. The lecture was aired on BBC Two and it was incredibly moving
and heartwrenching. The lecture was read by Tony Robinson (because
Pterry has problems with reading, now, and just hearing the
explanation behind that broke my heart) and he was incredible at
portraying the emotion that Pterry wanted to get across. I think
this lecture was the start of the BBC's interest in the subject
matter and I'm not surprised in the slightest that they've teamed up
to probe this.
I believe this is the one to which you refer
I think it's brave and clever. He has so many fans that it is
spreading the word like nothing else. I don't think we are anywhere
close to losing him but he is making preparations well before time.
I think it's great that he's getting the issues around assisted
death discussed in the public forum. I really hope it gets the
results that he's aiming for.
Most of all what I feel about this is pride in him for his campaign
and awe and respect for him that he's willing to stick his neck out.
Also I don't think it takes anything away from his genius as a
writer, doesn't matter if I agree with his views on assisted death.
Which I probably do, but then I'm not sure of anything except that
it ought to be a legal option or at least not "criminalized".
Yes, I think it's amazing of him to be doing this, particularly
considering his personal context (i.e. actually being in the
situation where he hopes to benefit himself from a change in the
laws). I think that's pretty courageous.
It's also ironic, isn't it, that his PCA and his campaigns for
Alzheimer's Disease research and for the right to assisted death
seem to be making him even more alive, if you know what I mean. When
I listen to him on radio and telly and read interviews he sounds
sharper than ever. Does that make sense?
Yes it does. He comes across as very determined, almost non-
negotiably so (to use an entirely out of context term). I find it
I think its more shocking than anything, I mean death isn't exactly
something people normally talk about but especially assisted death
but I mean I can see why people would want it. Watching someone with
Alzheimer or Dementia deteriorate is not something I'd wish on
anyone. My husband tells me stories about his grandmother and how
she thought her husband was just the nice man who took care of her
and how she thought that her husband had left her many years ago.
She also thought that my husbands father was the child who had died
in a car wreck instead of his brother.
I don't know that I could personally ever have dealt with that and
have been thus far lucky to not have to. Its a painful thing to hear
about and I imagine even worse to witness that being said I will be
incredibly sad when he starts deteriorating and I'm sure since he is
campaigning for it he will choose assisted death if he can. I've
never really cried when another author has died but the day he does
I know I will.
My mother had Alzheimer's. Whichever variant, it's an ugly thing to
watch, and the part that would break my heart a bit more each time
wasn't that she forgot me completely while depending more and more
on my daughter, who, oddly enough, was identifiable up to the end as
her 'only granddaughter', but those few lucid moments, when the
intelligent woman peaked out of the crazily fogged old eyes and told
me she knew she was going crazy but couldn't stop. Then the moment
would pass, and she'd be trying to let my daughter's cat out again.
(She hated cats. My daughter moved in as full time caretaker, and
shortly after adopted a rescue cat. My mother convinced herself it
was a dog named "Poochie" who needed to be let out regularly. We'd
also find bologna sandwiches in the cat's bowl, because my mother
said Poochie was too thin and needed a snack.)
Anyway, the point is, I'm right on board with Sir Pterry's wishes.
Why in all the hells can't a person legally decide when life is no
longer able to be lived? Whether chained to machines or unchained
from reason, I personally can't see that as a life worth continuing.
I think it's important to remember that he's not definitely going to
do it. He just wants the choice to be there if he ever needs it.
I'm of two minds. On the one hand, I can be the "Edge Witch" who
stands at the foot of my dying loved one's bed and assures the
nurses that if they make a "mistake" in medicating her that I would
not only hold them blameless, but bless them for it, so my Grandma
Wilma's suffering could finally end. She died of stomach cancer and
mid-stage Alzheimer's and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. On the other
hand, it's Pterry. This man created characters that aren't just
figures in a book but friends and loved ones to me. His books give
me solace and hope that nothing else can, and I can't really stand
by silently at the thought of that going away any time soon.
It does make me sad and upset that he is having to even contemplate
these things. But as someone whose both parents show signs of
dementia/wasting away before their time...I'm so glad that he is, in
as glad as someone who is heartbroken can be.
it is so hard to think about. it makes me cry. i hate that he is
faced with the loss of himself, and i find it terrifying and can not
imagine how i would feel if it were happening to me. i support him
fully, it is his choice, but i can not ever reconcile myself to the
thought of it.
I have no problems with Terry talking about this (although my
personal feelings on the issue are something I still haven't worked
out), but during his recent trip to Australia, it seemed that the
only questions journalists asked him were about a) the knighthood,
b) Alzheimer's and c) Assisted Dying. Hardly any of them asked any
questions about the books or his writing process. I started to get
sick of the same questions (and hence the same answers, which I
don't blame Terry for using)
Well, to be fair, Michael Smith tried to steer his interview away
from the assisted death topic, and Pterry specifically dragged him
back to it. He asked him something like, "Now, why don't you ask me
about assisted suicide again?" After that, I think everyone supposed
that that was what he wanted to talk about.
I understand exactly what you mean. It makes me terribly sad to
think that someday he'll be gone, but actually, I think I'll find it
less upsetting if he choose the time and place. Death is a much less
frightening option if you can control it. We may never be able to
control what comes after, simply because we don't know, but the
before and during...
When he talks about assisted suicide, he talks about strength and
power. He could let the Alzheimer's progress as usual, could resign
himself to his slow and miserable descent toward death, but he's
choosing not only to consider the other option, but also to spread
the word and try to open that option to more people. He's assuming
control over the rest of his life, the real rest of his life, and
bringing a debilitating disease to bear. Death is bitter to think
about, but the idea that we can make it into a choice makes it less
That's why I can listen to what he has to say without getting too
upset. It's bittersweet and I'll certainly cry when the day arrives
(just like I cried, most recently, when I heard that Diana Wynne
Jones had died), but I find it easier to swallow because he's
approaching this without resignation and without remorse, but with
open arms and determination.
07) "GOING POSTAL" NOMINATED FOR TELLY AWARDS
Going Postal has earned three nominations for the 2011 BAFTA
Television Craft Awards. The winners will be announced at the
British Academy Television Craft Awards on Sunday 8th May 2011. The
nominations are for Original Music (John Lunn Terry Pratchett's
Going Postal, SKY 1/The Mob Film Company), Photography & Lighting
Fiction (Gavin Finney Terry Pratchett's Going Postal, SKY 1/The
Mob Film Company), and Visual Effects (Simon Thomas, Reuben
Barkataki, Zoltan Benyo Terry Pratchett's Going Postal, SKY
1/The Mob Film Company).
08) ISWM FANS' JACKET SPECIAL EDITION NOW AVAILABLE
"Thanks to everyone who took part in adding their image to the
jacket. If you want to check you made it onto the cover, view the
full list of contributor names: http://tinyurl.com/3sdo2co
"You can pre-order this edition now, exclusively from Amazon.co.uk:
"Please note, this edition is not available in the USA or
territories reserved exclusively to the US publisher."
09) SOMERSET SWANS UPDATE
From The Express:
"Three men, aged 34, 37 and 45 were arrested in connection with the
incidents. But police yesterday confirmed that two had been released
without charge due to lack of evidence. A third, Shane Alway, 37,
from Wedmore, is to face one charge but only of possession of a
shotgun without a firearms licence. A spokesman for Avon and
Somerset Police said: 'The men were arrested on suspicion of
criminal damage, as the swans were on a piece of land owned by a
sanctuary. Unfortunately there was not enough evidence to proceed
with that charge.' Tony Whitehead, South-west spokesman for the
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said: 'The police have
put a lot of effort into this investigation, but we are disappointed
no charges could be brought. These cases are really difficult to
work on. But we are still hopeful that something can be done because
shooting swans is not nice to see or do.'
"Pauline Kidner, founder of the Secret World animal charity, which
helped raise the reward to find the culprit, said: 'We have
contacted everybody who pledged money to explain there won't be
any prosecutions, which we were very upset about. It was a horrible
thing to have happened and somebody should have paid for it. But the
money will be used to protect swans, such as dealing with discarded
fishing tackle and educating children to grow up to respect
wildlife. We had calls across the country reporting similar
situations with swans being shot. So maybe this has highlighted the
problem and people will report such incidents to police earlier'..."
10) CONVENTION NEWS
10.1 NADWCON NEWS
Thanks to kind words from HarperCollins AuthorTracker, Made of Fail,
io9's Geek's Guide to the Galaxy, and numerous other friends,
we're getting more and more members signing up to join us for the
shenanigans. Currently we're up to 650 members and counting.
Gorgeous New Merchandise!
Cast in solid bronze, our new Owl Logo pendant is made to resemble
our clever little Ankh Morpork convention logo. It is around one
inch in diameter, and is available as either a pin or pendant. For
those of you looking for something even more rare, you may be
interested to know that this Pendant is also available in Sterling
Silver! If you enjoyed the Silver Turtle Pin featured at the 2009
NADWCon, you may want to keep your collection going with this
extremely rare and beautiful piece of jewelry. These high quality
pieces of fine jewelry will be made to order with very few available
for sale during the convention. Check out our convention merchandise
to see for yourself! The price of precious metals is on the rise so
we suggest placing your order as soon as possible because we may be
forced to raise our prices in the near future.
Support the NADWCon and you can still get convention exclusive
merchandise! You all really seem to love the merchandise we are
offering. However many people have told us that they are not able to
attend our convention, but still want a Shirt, Car Plaque, or
Plushie of their own. We are sorry that we can't sell you these
items outright; we have an agreement that they remain convention
exclusive. What we can do, though, is send them to our Supporting
Members, if they agree to pay for the shipping costs. We are sorry
that we can't sell our merchandise to just anyone who wants it, but
we hope this will help some of you get the items you desire:
The ever-capable Denise Connell, 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 programming@.... 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!
A Change in Announced Guests
We are sorry to announce that while the estimable Bernard Pearson
will most definitely still be joining us for the fun and frivolity
of the 2011 convention, his other half, the lovely Isobel Pearson,
has decided that someone needs to stay behind in jolly old England
to mind the shop, the cats, and all the rest. However, while Isobel
will surely be missed at the con, we are delighted to say that in
her place we will be hosting two other members of The Discworld
Emporium, Ian Mitchell and Reb Voyce!
As we are assuming inquiring minds always like to know more about
all of the wonderful guests they may be meeting at the con, here is
a bit about our newest two:
Ian has learnt an awful lot over the past years working with Bernard
and Isobel Pearson at the Discworld Emporium, perhaps most notably a
cruel and unusual new vocabulary. He accidentally became a Fine Arts
graduate which may some day come in useful; in the meantime he
continues to make silly things in the name of Discworld. He enjoys
his continuing involvement in Discworld Stamps, sculpture, and
artwork, and is currently helping to illustrate Ankh-Morpork, a new
Discworld board game from Treefrog Games.
Reb, once introduced by Terry as his hairdresser, has had her life
hi-jacked and couldn't be happier! A 'grade-1 grown-up', she does
her best to keep Ian and Bernard's noses to the grindstone and
fingers out of the till. The pair were recently made partners at the
Discworld Emporium, so there's no escape.
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
Just over a year ago one of my gaming friends suggested Discworld as
a possible subject for a boardgame. 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 (Selachii, 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
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.
Helping out our convention goers:
In our registration area you will find a list of memberships for
sale by registered attendees who find they have an extra one, or are
regrettably unable to attend themselves. Some of these may even cost
less than the current convention price, so be sure to check them
out. You might save a few dollars, and you will certainly help out a
fellow Discworld fan who finds they can't attend the convention:
We have also included, in the hotel information section of our
website, a place for members that are looking for someone to share
their room. If you have booked a room but have an extra bed, contact
our hotel liaison and let them know that you want your contact
information to be put on this list. You may be able to find someone
to help you split your hotel costs:
Is your trip to Madison going to be by car? Then you may want to
have your contact information added to the Road Trip section of our
Travel and Tourism page. You may be able to find someone else coming
from your general area that would be willing to help pay some of
these rising gasoline costs:
Costumes, Costumes Costumes!
The Maskerade section of our website has been updated recently, for
those of you with questions about the details of our Maskerade, check
it out. If you still have questions, contact our Maskerade Director at
What's been going on in Madison lately?
We understand some of you are concerned about the political
situation currently going on in Madison. There has been a lot of
news coverage about our state Capitol lately, some of it positive,
some of it negative, all of it eyebrow-raising.
Since the convention committee consists mostly of Madison natives
living with this political situation let us reassure you that the
NADWCon is still taking place without a hitch. The convention space,
food, hotel rooms, guests, entertainment, etc. have been booked. We
accepted your registrations and fully intend to put on a great
convention for you.
Our downtown area has been very busy the past couple of weeks. The
current state budget controversies have resulted in some very strong
willed, but also incredibly peaceful protesting around our Capitol.
There have been more than one hundred thousand people expressing
differing opinions downtown but there has been virtually no
violence, and almost no arrests.
Even if the NADWCon 2011 were going to take during the height of the
downtown protests, we would still put it on. Right now, the worst
thing going on downtown is that it's a little more crowded than
usual. However we have more than three months until our convention
will take place; that is a long time for the situation change.
When you arrive in Madison in July, we cannot say that you won't see
any protesters around our Capitol. We are a young, hip, college town
with a major government facility displayed right in the middle of
it. Expressing political views is part of the background of our
city, and there is almost always someone holding a sign in protest
of one thing or another around our Capitol.
What we can predict is that by July, the current situation will be
vastly different. The budget situation will likely be resolved, and
you can do what the rest of us in Madison do after a big political
event, which is enjoy the atmosphere, buy a snarky politically
charged t-shirt, and take lots of pictures.
By July the crowds will be different, but probably not smaller. The
annual Art Fair on the Square will be taking place at the same time
as our convention, and it draws in more people than even our current
number of protesters. No one ever said our city was boring!
That is it for this month's NADWCon 2011 news. Now if you will
excuse us, we want to climb these cool palm trees that have suddenly
sprung up in our fair city!
Josh Goes Chair
Jon Lemeornd Vice Chair
Vivian Obarski Online Coordinator
The North American Discworld Convention 2011
July 811, Madison WI
Also... calling all seamstresses, hem hem...
The Seamstress Guild has a Facebook page:
"We are using this page to post updates on our party plans for
NADWCon 2011. We are hosting 3 parties at the convention, one for
every night of the con. One will be in Uberwald, one in Genua and
one in Quirm. You can also find info on Twitter via @nadwcon
Mrs Palm (Programming Director & Party Producer, NADWCon 2011)
on Twitter as @Itbodes
10.2 WINCANTON SPRING FLING
"The Discworld Emporium Spring bash will be from Saturday April 30th
to Sunday 1st May here in Wincanton. though festivities will really
kick off with the Fairytale wedding of Discworld superfan stalwarts
Dave Hayden and Chris Gibbs on Friday 29th (see this 'ere thread for
"We love our little spring do's as we get to frolic around like new
born lambs, dress up in traditional May day themes and pretend we're
in Lancre for a bit. This year's event however also coincides
gloriously with a certain Royal wedding which altogether makes a
fantastic excuse to wear a hat. On Saturday therefore we would like
to see these themes manifested on your heads from your most
majestic millinery to your bonniest Easter bonnet!
"In a similar (blue blooded) vein, activities will include a cake
contest so bring along your Easter cakes, Royal Iced buns, or
wedding confections to be judged and consumed at teatime on Sunday.
Also the traditional Grand Charity Auction will be held on Sunday
morning with all profits going to Alzheimer's research if you'd
like to donate an item please contact reb@...
.co.uk with details.
"There'll be plentiful other good-natured going's on throughout the
weekend to be delved into in greater detail soon. Please note that
due to being on a well-earned tour of his beloved Australia Sir
Terry will be unable to attend on this occasion.
"Being a smaller gathering than Hogswatch, buying meal tickets from
us will not be necessary. We will however be enjoying a communal
feast a 'Royal Banquet' if you will, on Saturday 30th for which
bookings with our participating inns will be required details to
"Each year around early Spring the inhabitants of Wincanton can
expect to catch a glance of a hungover Feegle or the swish of a
wizards cloak in the alleyways of this fine market town. We invite
you all to touch base with friends, new and old, to toast the coming
of the new season and to have some bloody good fun. Each year we
host an event where the sun doth shine, the cider flows and tales
"It was at one of these events where Terry first coined a phrase
which has summed up the fans at our events for years 'They drink
like a rugby club and fight like a chess club'."
10.3 CABBAGECON IS COMING!
The first official Dutch Discworld convention is a true fans'
convention no big name guests announced, just an opportunity for
Discworld fans to gather and celebrate the works of Pterry... and
play Thud, of course...
"From May 28th to May 29th 2011, Cabbagecon will be held at the NH
Hotel Atlanta in Rotterdam. This will be the first time a Discworld
convention takes place on Dutch soil! It will be a place for many
Dutch and non-Dutch fans of Sir Terry Pratchett's work to connect
and have fun. We hope to see you there!"
11) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
11.1 REMINDER: NANNY OGG'S COOKBOOK IN BRISBANE
Nanny Ogg's Cookbook The Play
by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs
adapted for the stage by Ian Rennie
by arrangement with Brisbane Arts Theatre
"Specially prepared for the Australian Discworld Convention in
Sydney, this one-act play will be performed only once in Brisbane!
Meet the cast for drinks and the 'Joye of Snacks' after the show!"
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD
When: One show only, 8 May 2011,
Tickets: $20 each. Ticket price includes the Joye of Snacks.
11.2 REMINDER: MORT THE MUSICAL, A READING
The Compass Theatre (UK) will present a reading of "Mort: The
Musical" in May 2011.
"Join us for a fun, informal reading of this stage adaptation with a
professional cast of actors and a very large skeleton, prior to the
Youth Music Theatre: UK production in 2011."
When: 1st May 2011
Venue: Compass Theatre, Glebe Avenue, Ickenham, Middlesex UB10 8PD
Time: 3:00 PM
Tickets can be reserved online at http://tinyurl.com/4uhr7u9
Box Office 01895 673200
11.3 WYRD SISTERS IN BANBURY
The Mill Arts Centre will present Stephen Briggs' adaptation of
Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters, directed by Linda Shaw, in May 2011.
When: Wednesday 18th-Saturday 21st May
Venue: The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park, Banbury, Oxfordshire
Running Time: Approx 2 hrs
Tickets: £7.50/£8.50 (no concessions Fri/Sat)
Box Office: 01295 279002 (open Mon to Fri 9am - 8pm, Saturday 10am-
8pm, Sunday 12.30pm-5pm)
11.4 WYRD SISTERS IN ADELAIDE
The Unseen Theatre, premier presenter of Discworld plays in the
continent of Fourecks, will stage Wyrd Sisters as their next
production in June 2011. Adapted by Stephen Briggs, directed by
Pamela Munt and David Dyte, and featuring "the usual cast of
When: Preview Fri. 10th June; opening night 11th June; season
continues Wed to Sat until 25th June
Venue: The Bakehouse Theatre, Angas Street, Adelaide, SA
Time: 8pm all performances
Tickets: Preview Night $14, Free Tix for healthcare card holders
All other nights Adult $18, Conc $15, Groups (of 10+) $14,Fringe
Duration: 2 hours plus a 15 minute interval
11.5 THE TRUTH IN ICKENHAM
The Purple Theatre Company of Pinner, Middx (UK) will be performing
Stephen Briggs' stage adaptation of The Truth from 29th Jun 2011 to
2nd Jul 2011 at the Compass Theatre, Ickenham. No information on
times and tickets yet, but the bookings number is 01895 673 200 and
you can check their page for updates:
11.6 REMINDER: SNUFF IN ABINGDON
First, the book; then the play... Stephen Briggs and Studio Theatre
Club are planning to stage the first official performance of Briggs'
adaptation of Snuff on 15 to 19 November at the Unicorn Theatre,
Abingdon (UK). Tickets will go on sale on 10 September. Tickets will
go *very* quickly, so mark the September date in your calendars!
12) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
The next meeting of the Broken Drummers will be on Monday 2nd May at
the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London W2 1JQ.
Drummers Downunder meet on the first Monday of every month in Sydney
at Maloneys, corner of Pitt & Goulburn Streets, at 7pm. The next
meeting will be on the 2nd of May. For more information, contact
Perth Drummers meet on the traditional of first Monday of the month.
The next meeting will be on the evening of Monday 2 May at The
Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco.
Adelaide Drummers (if they don't have a formal name yet) are gearing
up for their first meeting, though *not* on a Monday:
"Attention all Discworld Fans in Adelaide, Australia!
Coming out of Nullus Anxietas 3, we are starting up a new fan
social group, along the lines of the Broken Drummers.
"Our first meeting will be on Thursday, May 5th at
Higher Ground, 9 Light Square at 6pm for dinner, migrating
across to the Colonel Light Hotel at 8pm. Come along for
a chat, drink, and potentially a game or two.
"We have also set up an email mailing list at
so please sign up there."
13) PTERRY ON AUSTRALIA AND ROYALTY
From the Sydney Morning Herald:
"Terry Pratchett, the prolific British fantasy author best known for
the 65 million-selling Discworld novels, is no stranger to
Australia. In a topic he is likely to address in his talk at the
Opera House on April 17, his regular visits to the antipodes have
even found their way onto his pages. His 2008 novel, Nation, for
instance, was set on a fictional Pacific atoll, but much of the
book's flora and fauna came from far north Queensland, where
Pratchett often holidays. 'In the book, my heroine is going through
brush on the island where she keeps finding these bloody great
spiders with their webs across the path,' he told the Herald's
fantasy correspondent, Sacha Molitorisz. 'She looks in her guide
book, which says, "With a few regrettable exceptions, the spiders
are harmless." So these are the regrettable exceptions.' For
Pratchett, part of the appeal of Australia is its deadly beasties.
'What I like about the philosophy of the place where we stayed was
that it allowed no kids and no dogs, because they'd get eaten.'
Pratchett announced three years ago that he has early onset
Alzheimer's, but is still going strong and will continue visiting
Australia. 'You're all Republicans down there now, aren't you?' asks
Pratchett, who was knighted in 2009. He says he likes the Queen.
'Somehow, she doesn't cost too much to run, and prevents some
arsehole politician being at the top. I just trust an unelected
14) DEATH COMES TO MORT...?
"Mort... C'est Mort?
"Not much to report yet but word has come to me that Mort, the
animated feature which Ron Clements and John Musker had planned to
adapt from Terry Pratchett's 1987 fantasy/comedy novel, has been
abandoned. I've been given no explanation yet for why this happened,
but it's yet another promising project down the drain at the Walt
Disney Animation Studios. The known animation slate at Disney
remains remarkably bare; no wonder some animators might be looking
to other studios, where they actually make movies.
"UPDATE: I've just now come across this post and comment thread at
the Animation Guild blog, which echoes these rumors, while also
pointing out how bare Disney's development slate is these days.
According to the anonymous nabobs on the Guild site, the issue with
Mort came down to rights. Apparently Disney couldn't secure them,
which is naturally a problem when you're trying to make a film based
on a book. I haven't heard this personally from my sources, but I
guess it's as good a reason as any to abandon another interesting
premise for an animated film..."
15) THE GLORIOUS 25TH: THE ONLY WAY IS UP...THE MOUNTAIN
You may remember a feature here a few months ago on Camilla, a
Discworld fan who's planning a sponsored bicycle ride up Mt Ventoux
on the 25th of May whilst wearing the lilac, to raise money for
Alzheimer's research. Now that the Glorious 25th is only a few weeks
away, she could use your assistance more than ever!
"The fundraising side of things is looking a bit worrying. I have a
goal of £2000 on my JustGiving page, of which I've raised so far
... £40. Given that there are only 42 days till my ride on The
Glorious 25th of May, I'm getting anxious about whether I'm going to
make my fundraising goal. Part of the problem is that I am terrible
at promoting myself. I'm generally shy, embarrassed about drawing
attention to myself, and not wanting to be a pest, which is not a
good combination for getting a message out there and inspiring
people. The other is that I haven't been talking about it much with
people who know me face-to-face, concentrating my efforts online
instead. I think most of the people where I live have absolutely no
idea what I'm planning to do, which seems like a mistake to me.
Well, I have six weeks (argh) to turn this around. I think I can
still make my goal, but I'm going to have to do some seriously way
out of my comfort zone stuff to get there (which should be a useful
experience in itself). So ... er, here I go?"
"I am filled with a mixture of excitement and terror - the
excitement for obvious reasons, and the terror because I did my
first hill training on Saturday when Arnout and I went to Valkenburg
and cycled the last part of the Amstel Gold Race route. We did a
total of 42km, with six climbs, including (not necessarily in order)
the Gulperberg, Kruisberg, Eyserweg, Fromberg, Eyserbosweg and the
infamous Keutenberg (the steepest hill in the Netherlands, with a
section at a gradient of 22%). Ouch... I was really proud of myself
for making it up the hills I did though (especially the one that
took me by surprise by being hidden round a corner. That was
hilarious - I rounded the corner swearing and crashing down through
all my gears, and there was a woman sitting on a rug on the grass by
the side of the road, wearing a Nanny Ogg-ish grin and enjoying the
spectacle... Now with Mt Ventoux firmly in my sights, I'm even more
determined to get to the top of the mountain. The other 'mountain'
in my sights is my fundraising goal of £2000. Thank you very much
to Judy M and Rachel K who donated at my JustGiving page this week,
and to Linda H, Arni and Stacie Y who donated there earlier, and
also to Madfilkentist who donated to the Fisher Centre for
Alzheimer's Research in honour of Lilac to Ventoux. I really
appreciate your support.
"With the Glorious 25th of May so close now, I'd be very grateful
for some extra help in spreading the word about what I'm going.
Please feel free to re-post, retweet and reFacebook to your hearts'
content! And of course, if you can manage it, your donations to help
Alzheimer's research would also be much appreciated..."
16) DISCWORLD AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
Blogger SJ Higbee reviews ISWM:
"There are familiar Pratchett themes in this book the importance
of thinking for yourself, rather than accepting what you're told; of
doing the right thing whatever the cost; the notion of community;
endeavouring to leave things better than you find them... Which all
sound very worthy and rather stodgily dull. But this is Pratchett's
genius he manages to wrap up such fundamental, worthy ideals in
stories that sparkle with wit, humour and adventure. This one is no
exception. And there is, of course, the overarching idea that runs
throughout this particular sub-series of the Discworld books the
notion that stories and belief profoundly impact on everyday life,
affecting even those who are more sceptical. Pratchett's contention
is that humankind cannot cope with Life on almost any level, without
overlaying it with a veneer of the mystical, amazing and macabre.
This theme is embedded in all the Discworld books to some extent
but is at the core of all the Tiffany Aching books, as Tiffany is
the sceptical one who is frequently amazed at the lengths people
will go to preserve their ideas and beliefs..."
Blogger Carolyn on Cannonball Read III reviews Mort:
"When I found out that Death played a large role in Mort, I decided
to go ahead and pick it up. I liked Death a lot from the Hogfather
film I watched on Netflix and so thought I'd like this Discworld
novel equally as well. And I did, largely because I found Death so
appealing. The story follows the life of Mort, a boy who, for lack
of better options<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)