Yesterday was Sir Terry Pratchett’s birthday. This year he is 65 and we celebrate every year he is still alive and compos. I thought it would be appropriate to take a few minutes to dwell on what Pterry means to me.
Pratchett has written about 40 books about Discworld, some with assistance and many without. They are all really good books but some are better than others. He is so good at writing about people that it doesn’t matter whether they are written as Dwarves, Trolls, Werewolves or Humans it is possible to recognise them as people I know.
He has written about issues such as slavery and genocide, couching them within the framework of a universe we know and love to make them more palatable and easier to understand.
People think so much of his books and want to get together to talk about his books and speculate on what he’ll do next – I’d say that’s called a convention. They are SO much fun. Imagine finding yourself in a hotel room at a stupid hour of 8am on a Saturday morning finding like-minded people. They’re dressed in weird clothes but that doesn’t matter as so are you. You could all be dressed as witches, wizards, strumpets, trolls, the Librarian or even Moist von Lipwig.
Craft type stuff
I’ve never considered myself to have any great skills with crafty stuff but I’ve found myself making stuff anyway. For the first Nullus Anxietas I joined in the craft making and we made dragons, driving down to Geelong for the day to do papier mache and talk. I, again, found myself doing crafty type stuff for the second Nullus Anxietas but we were able to use a room in a nearby congregation and leave everything sitting drying until the next time we were able to get together. I don’t have photos of these things but for NAIV I still have most of my props for my costume and this is a photo.
There’s all sorts of things there: a photo book so I can sell things to the unwary; 1,000 year old eggs, the one in the top right hand corner is a troll egg; sausages inna bun and; meat pies. I only did two types of sausages inna bun – ratwurst and frank-n-furters. The meat pies have undisclosed meat and have tomato sauce on top in the shape of Australia. Yes, I had fun!
I can’t count the number of friends I’ve made thanks to Pratchett. It all started back in 2005 when I saw a post on a newsgroup mentioning the first Australian convention and that they still needed more committee members. I thought that looked like fun and I was trying to push myself out of my comfort zone so I sent an email and a few months later I went to a meeting where I didn’t know a soul, let alone a person. Somehow I managed to stay and have made so many friends around Australia. Whenever I go to a convention I get cuddles as there’s always someone I know. I trawl Facebook and see Discworld friends at every turn. There’s always a friendly face and conversation somewhere. Twitter is similar, as is Google+.
Sir Terry Pratchett
You really don’t know what you started when I found your books. You have expanded my brain, my knowledge, my skills and my friendship base and I’ve only met you very briefly a couple of times. For all of the above I can only thank you and wish you a very happy birthday…for yesterday.