The Outlander Podcast gets some ABOotlander LOVE!

The ABOotlander LOVE series bring you The Outlander Podcast.  They started in 2013 and were the only podcast dedicated to our fandom.  There are a whole stream of them now and Ginger & Summer are still all kinds of awesome.

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​​I found the Outlander Podcast when I started my own twitter journey into the wild world that is the Outlander fandom…forever ago. It makes me very grateful to know humour & intelligent conversation isn’t leaving the fandom as long as they are around.

Let’s meet the fun behind The Outlander Podcast.  Their names are Summer & Ginger, or Ginger & Summer. 

The Outlander fandom pulls all kinds into their orbit. Summer and Ginger were not immune.  This is a recap of what made them a part of this huge & wonderful world.

Summer: I found the books in the 90s, while I was living in New York and wanted a huge novel to read during my long subway commutes. I first read Drums of Autumn, and could quickly tell that I did not have the first book in the series. When I finished, I made sure to get Outlander, and so many things made sense! I’ve been hooked ever since.

Ginger: Summer introduced me to Outlander in the late 90s. I didn’t actually read it at first. But she kept on me. We actually found that I had a copy of Outlander in German on my bookshelf! (German is my second language.) Once I started reading them, I was hooked. When the Starz series was announced in 2013, I approached Summer with the idea of a podcast, and we were off.

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With all the ways people share their love of Outlander, I was curious to hear more about why they chose a podcast.

Summer: I Blame Ginger.

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Ginger: I had been listening to podcasts since 2008, and they were a unique medium to me. I was fascinated with the concept of creating your own show, using your own voice, literally, and putting it out there. It seemed scary, but I always thought I’d have a show of my own one day. When the Starz series was announced, I knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of, this electric atmosphere, this growing fan community. There were so many other wonderful blogs and sites out there, I wanted to do something new. And it just clicked. Our show started summer of 2013, a full year before Season 1 aired.

 As fans of this diverse Outlander world we all hope to have an encounter with one those who helped create it.  Summer & Ginger were lucky to have their share. Here are the ones they recall best.

Summer: You always remember your first… Attending the first Fan Event in Los Angeles, where they showed the first trailer for Season 1. That event cemented my belief that our beloved series was indeed in the right hands to be adapted for TV. Also I got a pic with Sam Heughan during the meet and greet portion of that event. I’ve been threatening to make it my Christmas Card ever since.

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Here, let me.

 Ginger: I’ve been going to book signings of Diana’s and attending Scottish Games where she appeared, for years. I think I will most remember seeing her at the 2002 Pleasanton Highland Games. I had a friend take a picture of me with her. She was there, surrounded by books, we were both comparatively so young looking! It wasn’t surreal at the time; it was fun. Now, however, looking back, it’s surreal. It’s likely she’ll not do such events anymore. I look back on her events of the early 2000s as nostalgic, and realize how lucky I was. I’m thankful to have been able to attend some wonderfully intimate events, the kind that don’t really take place anymore.

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Diana with the honour of meeting Ginger

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Thinkin ’bout the good ole days

It’s enjoyable when we can watch/listen to others that are open to conversation. The Outlander Podcast has so many great moments.  I asked the ladies to share their favourites with us.

 Summer: I loved our interview with Diana Gabaldon (http://www.outlanderpod.com/49). We had heard her speak at a local event where she described her books as having specific shapes, which I was fascinated by. When we had her on, we asked her to describe them for our listeners.

Ginger: This is a difficult question. I think some of our favorite episodes, the ones that stick out, are the interviews, because you have time to go in depth with people and a topic. I think my favorite episodes are our interviews with voice actor Davina Porter. She narrated all of the Big Books and it is fascinating to be speaking with “Claire” (have to wrap your head around that!) and to learn about her process, hear about her background, is fascinating. http://www.outlanderpod.com/13  and http://www.outlanderpod.com/47

Also, our interview with Bear McCreary at San Diego Comic Con 2016. He revealed something very personal about how he came up with Faith’s Theme. Definitely worth a listen. http://www.outlanderpod.com/156

 Sometimes a cast member can effect us in a way we aren’t expecting. Ginger shares her experience with a cast member that impacted her.

Ginger: Surprisingly, Tobias. He’s very magnetic, and of course I’m very attracted to his performance of BJR. Probably my favorite Season 1 character. While I’ve never hated Frank, his portrayal of BJR really made me get into Frank, he’s so great at both roles. And, in turn, I’ve become more interested in Frank as a character, in general. This has surprised me. When we did our recent discussion of Voyager chapter 19, wherein we say goodbye to Frank http://www.outlanderpod.com/177 , it was a tough one to get through. So I think Tobias’ portrayal of his characters has affected me even outside of the television series. It’s forced me to reconsider Frank. I quite like him now.

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Gotta love me

All of us have an idea what Outlander will look like in the years to come.  Summer & Ginger are no different. They give us a taste of what they see in their crystal ball.

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Summer: Like we always say, we want “All the Books.”

Ginger: I am happy that the series is on the air, period. Though anyone can appreciate the television series for what it is, it’s especially magical to long-time book fans who have been living with these characters for, some of us, almost 30 years! My vision for Outlander is selfish: I’d like to see all of the Big Books translated to screen, and also the Bulges. And if there are any spin- off series, I wouldn’t complain.

 After engaging with Summer & Ginger, we may forget they have a life outside of our view of them. It is always nice to know a little extra something something.

Summer: I am mother to an 8 yr. old, who pays the bills working in an administrative capacity.  (Just to clarify, her 8 yr.old does not pay the bills ) 

Ginger: I’m a linguist and instructional designer who likes to play guitar (not very well). I love to travel and always have a good audiobook ready.

We can be inspired by the things that inspire others. The ABOotlanders have promoted the #BeKind attitude since our inception. We share with our followers/friends it seems the same thing inspires Ginger & Summer.

Summer: I am inspired by random acts of kindness.

Ginger: I’m inspired by music, by nature, and kindness.

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Our ABOotlander must ask (This is strictly for giggles – not serious at all) – If the ladies were to come to Alberta Canada and someone offered them a) Moose Droppings b) Beaver Tails c) Prairie Oysters d) Taber Corn…which would they choose & why?

Summer: I know for a fact what prairie Oysters are in the States so I’m gonna pass on those for sure… LOL My hope is that Moose Droppings are some sort of a confectionery treat is tempered by the fear that it may also be poop… so I’m gonna go with Beaver Tails, which, I am going to imagine, is like a donut-shaped like a beaver tail. But even if it did end up being an actual beaver tail… it is probably the most muscular part of the beaver and seasoned well could be good… (Wait were we allowed to Google what they are before answering? Cause I feel like Ginger Cheated…  ;o)  )

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deep fried yummy goodness #nomnomnom

Ginger: I would have to go with Taber Corn! Because I’d like to taste the corn from the place that gets the most sun n Canada.

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The best corn comes from the back of a truck on the side of a road.

We are so grateful to Ginger & Summer or Summer & Ginger for agreeing to be a featured guest with our #ABOotlanderLOVE blog series. 

Sher AKA SL

ABOotlander Founder and Friend

ABOotlander LOVE. Fan Videos w Julia LeBlanc

ABOOTLANDER LOVE is the ABOotlander way of spreading KINDNESS JOY & SUPPORT throughout the OUTLANDER Fandom.

The ABOotlander World FB Page is choosing some in the Outlander fandom who have made it their mission to add a touch of positivity & entertainment.

We randomly highlight bloggers, artists, podcasters, cast or crew members who simply share parts of themselves that bring happiness to those enjoying the World of Outlander.

I discovered todays ABOotlander LOVEs recipient on Twitter @jessicaleblanc1981 as a fellow Canadian in this fandom. 

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the LOVELY Julia

Julia LeBlanc creates fan videos. Many shared by Diana Gabaldon.  Julia’s are heartwarming, funny and all together a great way to quench your thirst caused by Droughtlander.

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GULP GULP *gasp* GULP

Julia’s interest in Outlander started in the same way many others have. “I had heard of it years ago, my sister was a huge fan of the book series, but I hadn’t read it. When she told me they were making a T.V. show I decided to watch it, I was hooked instantly. After the second episode I went online to read stuff about it and find out Claire and Jamie get married! What?! LOL so I immediately went out and bought the whole series. Read all 8 books in 10 weeks. I was sucked in.”

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As many of us Outlander fans, Julia has a life outside of creating videos. She is a stay at home mom with two young kids.  Her background is in education. spending 6 years studying child development and 10 years working in the field. Unfortunately, there aren’t any jobs available in the teaching field,  where she lives so she and her husband decided to start a family. She has been a SAHM ever since. It’s a lot of work, but she has good time management skills, this makes it easier to fit her hobbies in and have “me time” when it is needed.

If you haven’t seen any of Julias videos…you are certainly missing another form of fan art.  I was curious as to what inspired her to create the videos.

“After the 4 episodes or so, I went on YouTube and noticed people making them. I started to think of songs that I thought would be perfect for the series. I would do searches for the songs and couldn’t find anyone that had done them. Songs like “Turing Page”, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “Against All Odds”. So during the fist Droughtlander, I decided to try and make one myself.  I was shocked at how much I loved making them. I like trying different things in my videos, romantic, funny, involving the whole cast…it’s a lot of fun.”

Since this is the whole Outlander environment, being a fan is what we do here.  I am always asking my fellow Outlanderites if they have had any exciting fancounters.  Julia has a BIG ONE!

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“Meeting Sam was a BIG deal for me. He is so charming and sweet. We waited for him for a long time in the cold. When I met him I told him that he had shared a video I made and he got excited. Which of course just made my day.  And then he mentioned meeting me in an interview which was a thrill. He was sweet to all the fans there, he took time with us (as much as he could) and chatted with us. I have mentioned this before, but one thing I found really interesting happened while I was talking to the camera man waiting for Sam. The man told me that they have a lot of celebrities come in, but no one has been as nice and caring as Sam. He said Sam wanted to make sure he got to meet the fans, and was concerned because it was so cold. He said that we are very lucky to have him and he’s right. We are. I got to meet Cait too when she was in Toronto. I made a mad dash into downtown and got a quick meeting with her. There weren’t as many fans there (no one knew she was coming) so it didn’t last as long. She is even more stunning in person.  And very warm. The whole thing happened so fast, she had to quickly go to another location. I met Diana too when she came to the Fergus Festival last summer, which was something I was looking forward to.  She stayed late at the autograph signing for us and we were so grateful. I told her that she shared some of my videos. She told me I do a wonderful job with them. She also has this aura about her, I don’t think she stopped smiling the whole time.  And listening to her speak was a thrill I never thought I would have. She was very funny and took time to answer many fan questions.  I dream of meeting Tobias and I love Richard, Sophie, and Graham too.  Hopefully one day I will meet them. But I’ve been very lucky to have such great experiences with my idols.”

I asked Julia if she had any favourite videos and she gave me links to other creators.  It just goes to show that her love of making the videos isn’t limited to herself.  She promotes and respects others doing that same thing she is. That really is what attracts us ABOotlanders to her.  She is very kind.

Here are some of Julia’s personal recommendations:

“I really like Elena Vas videos. She’s so talented and has really inspired me to learn and try new things with my videos. I love this one Never Tear Us Apart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuaD_ZHtIxU ,  “Good For You” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFFVrzjYQCE&t=7s , and “Survivor” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJEnfxv_H9E

This is a beautiful one by Silverxvideso who also makes great videos “Already Gone” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEDUgY_fIgs

Here are some of Julia’s videos that are sure to engage you.

Who Wants To Love Forever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPSATBXAUAo&t=212s

Uptown Funk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_QyGgrFFbA

I Put A Spell On You: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWV0ZE1OHho&t=33s

Thinking Out Loud: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzvQqVyq82Q

Better yet. Subscribe to her You Tube channel YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/nancy777ca/videos

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Each of us have characters and actors we gravitate to more than others and Julia is no different.  She loves the whole cast and crew as she sees them to be inspiring. Everyday, it seems to change which one she is most inspired by. “I think it’s hard to pick one and my answer may change depending on what day you ask me. Today I’d probably pick Sam. He is so sweet and accessible to fans. He interacts with us and seems to genuinely have fun with his fans. It’s not at all to say the others don’t-they do! But His MPC is something that really is helping me and others live healthier, and overcome an obstacle, change something they’ve been wanting to. I can’t wait to get really started on it when the kids go back to school and I can be more organized again.  And Jamie is probably my favourite character in the series”

Many Outlander fans have not had a lot of experiences in fandoms before and it is new territory. Julia talks about her walk in the fandom world.

“I’ve never really been in a fandom before.  I was a bit in the Glee one, but I just followed towards the end-never participated. This is the first one I’ve really been in. It’s a lot of fun. To have people you could share ideas and creations with, so many talented people in the fandom. I love watching everyone’s labour of love. And I get really interested in other’s points of view. I don’t always agree, and sometimes it’s really hard to not get into arguments (I try though). Sometimes it’s hard to stay positive when you see some negativity. But overall, this is a great fandom. The vast majority of this fandom is wonderful, and very accepting, warm and encouraging. To the cast and crew but also to each other.  It’s a community, and in the end, we all want our community to be a fun place.”

I am not a creative kinda person so when I come into contact with them. I want to know how their brains work. Knowing that they must have ideas and notions that spring up, I wanted to know what Julia had up her sleeve for Season 3.

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“A few…last I counted I had over 70.  Yes, I know I’m crazy. I have a few I’m really looking forward to doing. “Don’t Know Much”, “Battlefield (by Lea Michele)” …and I’m really looking forward to doing one for “A Thousand Years”, it will be a recap of their love up to the Print Shop. Every time I hear a song I wanna do it.  And I get a lot of ideas from fellow fans.”

We all have a special dream for what Outlander will look like in the future.  Julia is no different.

“Diana has said there will be 10 books, so I’m envisioning 10 seasons. I’m an optimist. I especially hope we get season 6, because ABOSA is my favourite book in the series-if I had to chose one. I’m envisioning a show with longevity, with a cast and crew that gets accolades not only from fans but from the entertainment industry. They are so deserving of awards and nominations; I know it will come. The books just get better and I know the series will too. I also would like Diana to write more episodes. It was so much fun watching all the little tidbits she shared and insights she gave us into writing an episode. I hope we get that again.

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PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

Julia has a few words of encouragement to share with the Outlander fan family.

“Make it a fun place! I think everyone should have a place they can be a fan girl or fan boy the way they want to. Fandoms are supposed to bring joy.  There are great people in this fandom. We are very lucky to have such interactive cast/crew and Diana! There are a lot of Twitter/Tumblr accounts and groups on Facebook that are a lot of fun.”

As per each time we interview someone…we ask this ABOotlander deep and meaningful question.  What is your favourite – Moose Droppings,Prairie Oysters, Beaver Tails or Taber Corn?

When you say “moose droppings” you mean the chocolate treat right? LOL. I would choose Taber Corn…because I like corn, and I could say that without making a funny face.

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You can also find Julia on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/moduinne-and-redjamie

Droughtlander is to end soon. Share some love and share the gifts that Julia presents you in the form of her videos.

Sher

AKA SL

AKA #ABOotlanderFounder

ABOotlander on the ground.

 

Jane of the Outlander Jungle! #ABOotlanderLOVE

Here we go again, bringing you some of our favourite Outlander fans who bring joy, entertainment and a kind place to rest our weary heads upon.

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If you haven’t checked out our previous ABOotlanderLOVE spotlights, please do.  We talked with Beth Wesson, the heart felt blogger. Connie V , the hilarious creator of one of the most popular Recap Blogs. Our last ABOotlanderLOVE blog was dedicated to the one & only Outlander Anatomy creator Dr. Karmen.  

We encourage you to leave comments & let us know who you feel has worked to bring the Fandom together in a happy light.  I would like to add, this isn’t a popularity contest, the admin team I work with and I simply feel what we feel. Since we are the purveyors of #AlwaysAssumePositiveIntent we gravitate to those people we have connected to within the fandom.

 

This time we are Spotlighting – Lady Jane AKA Jane Sherwood. She is the lead admin for The Rank and File. If you are not a member of the Richard Rankin Fan Group , you are missing out on some fantastic banter, close friendships & seriously smart women.

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Lady Jane’s humour & authentic nature comes out in droves as she drives the ship that is this fan group.  It is worth noting that this fan group formed BEFORE Richard Rankin was cast as our beloved Roger Mac.  I am almost certain the collective universal force that is this fan group was instrumental in RR loading up as Rog.  When you have that many people throwing good vibes your way, you are bound to get caught up in it.

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Please get to know & love Lady Jane as I do.  

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We all start somewhere on this Outlander journey.  When did you first become interested in the world of Outlander?

About 18 years ago, I started reading, and rereading, the books. I’m afraid I actually don’t remember how I found them! (I blame a baby that didn’t sleep in the meantime and Mommy Brain.)

 

However I do remember precisely when I heard about the show. It was when Sam was cast, and I was at a family dinner. My sister, SIL, and I – all major book fans – squeed over his picture. Even though his hair was dark and short, we could see that he would be the perfect Jamie. And of course all the guys present rolled their eyes. The next day, I joined Outlander Facebook groups and the rest is history.

*Baby Brain…yes, the good ole days!  My son was 1.5 when I found the books, lets just say thats when he learned to entertain himself.*

What inspired you to start your fangroup?

I met the co-founder of The Rank and File in the Heughligans FB group in early 2014. She posted this video of Richard doing Shakespeare and it truly made me a fan for life! The Crimson Field aired shortly afterwards in the UK. I opened a Richard Rankin Fans Twitter account – which promptly got so much attention and swooning over the captivating Capt. Gillan, that we decided it would be best to also open a private FB group for moral support.

The name was a difficulty for a long time… after all how many positive things go with “Rank”?! We finally settled on The Rank and File for its military connotation, and the fact that we wanted to be RR’s army.  And so we are the VADs (Very Adorable Darlings) of RAF. It is pronounced “vads” like a word, and is from a joke, actually based on history, in The Crimson Field where the Voluntary Aid Detachment is referred to as such. Even today, not one single day goes by when someone somewhere doesn’t post how sad they are that it wasn’t renewed, but at least we got our Roger Mac.

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Jane has done a great job of forming a community in their fangroup.  Not an easy task. Curiosity bade me to ask HOW.

I have a professional background in web and graphic design, and video editing, so it naturally became a fun hobby for me to share professional quality media. However, what really built our group was its wonderful and intelligent members (the #BrainyFangirls!) and the great admin team I have:  Amanda, Michelle, and Stephanie. We all support each other 100%, with no competition between us, and are committed to running a kind and respectful group.

During the past over two years since the RAF began, I’ve learned a lot about myself, and people in general. We constantly get comments from our members that The RAF is a unique place to share opinions freely in a supportive environment, so that is what I think what truly makes us stand out.  We’ve all worked really hard at building that, and it has not been easy sometimes. None of us knew how to run a good fan group when we started, and sometimes how to best handle conflict. We were lucky we started very slow to be ready when the huge influx happened when he was cast as Roger!

We are somewhat different than other main OL fan groups as Richard already had a large and varied career before he was cast, which has since continued. He will be appearing in S2 of The Last Kingdom and a mini series called The Replacement for the BBC fairly soon. While OL may be our main topic lately, I don’t think the spirit of the group changed very much even though our membership numbers exploded.

I do want to give a special shout out to the admins of the Heughligans, Caitrionation, Tobias’s Tribe, and many, many other admins of Outlander fan groups that helped us when Richard wasn’t even part of the show! We are so proud to be in this incredible union of positive fans.

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What was your most memorable fan encounter?

The Season 2 Premiere in New York City, and subsequent Tartan Parade that followed. Meeting the cast is exciting, but really what stands out is all the fans from all over the world that I was finally able to see in person. It’s such an amazing network of people you instantly feel at home with!

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Brunch with members of the Rank & File. Lady Jane is 2nd from the Left.

Your fangroup is well organized, enjoyable and incredibly positive. The banter you have with Richard Rankin is cheeky & fun. It takes time to develop… how is it that you have done so well?

Thank you so much for saying that! I’m not sure how to answer this – by being myself I guess. Richard is so cheeky and fun himself. One day, he will be boasting and warning us about the #OneScotRule (to admire only him), and the next day, he will be self deprecating. Rarely is RR not teasing on Twitter. Sometimes people have a hard time figuring out when he is serious – and I admit there was at least once when even I wasn’t sure. He’s so good to his fans and it inspires us, his army!

I would say that the RAF is equal parts serious and cheeky. We are super professional in promoting his career and all the shows he is involved in, but we also aren’t letting him get away with anything. Our followers seem to enjoy the mix. The RAF sees him as a real person – someone to admire, but also someone to treat with respect. I’m really proud of our group for that. Our primary goal is always to be a positive force, for him, and for the fans. I get the most pleasure out of this when someone tells me I brightened their day, or made them feel welcomed.

Please share a few of your favourite exchanges with Richard – I know mine.

Gosh, there are so many. Like when he would drop Outlander references during that long dark time before his casting on December 14, 2015. We were all on edge, praying he would be named as Roger, and then he would run away while everyone had a meltdown at the slightest mention. Or tweet that he’s naked in the gym, and disappear. I don’t think I’m biased when I say he’s one of the most entertaining actors to follow on Twitter.

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Many VADs will say that April Fool’s Day 2016 was one of the best days ever. I changed the profile pic of the RAF Twitter account to Loki. Less than an hour later, I was hilariously called out by RR. A day of teasing ensued.
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https://twitter.com/RRankinFans/status/716282105056071680

And when he complained about our Instagram, which has many more followers than he does (there are still only four photos on his).
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https://twitter.com/RRankinFans/status/741313458965188612
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Another one of my all time favorite Twitter threads was debating whether Bree was technically engaged to LJG. It went on for two days. Richard really likes to be right. Usually he is, and will defend it TO THE DEATH. Here’s a link to the Storify:
https://storify.com/RRankinFans/in-which-richard-rankin-defends-his-claim

Explain what your reaction was to seeing “Roger” appear on screen for the first time was like.

I was completely overwhelmed. Having watched The Crimson Field in 2014, it was a really long wait! We all knew then that Richard was the perfect Roger Mac.

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He’s such an emotionally powerful actor.  The role of Roger is extremely complex, and RR was born to play it, like all the other cast members who are so perfectly cast! It was meant to be. So basically, I cried along with him during that opening scene of 213…

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We all have our own visions of what Outlander of the future will look like – What do YOU see?

A ten season series with every single book represented. And multiple awards for all cast and crew, including Richard, who is going to slay season 4 … and 5! He and Sophie will be the second leads starting then, and their love story will be at the heart of the show as much as Jamie and Claire’s. Outlander will catapult Richard’s career to the next level, and give him the ability to make his dreams come true. It means that we will be guaranteed to get lots and lots of Rankin screen time to many years to come. The future is very bright indeed.

My husband has said Diana must have a man named “Roger” locked in her basement *smile*.  With all that is to come for his character – how will you prepare for his story line? 

Haha, that’s a great description. Yes, we use the tag #PoorRoger on Twitter. He’s such a lovely character and means well, but he’s just beaten down by life time and time again. Richard said in a recent interview that Roger has an inner strength, so that is what I think he will bring to the role. I’m just so excited to see it all, and have so much faith in Richard’s abilities. I’m thrilled that he will have a chance to stretch his skills and create some epic and emotional scenes that will really touch the viewers. It’s why we are his fans – his characters have such depth and are so full of feeling. It’s the role of a lifetime, and I couldn’t be happier for him.
The fandom’s acceptance of Richard has been incredible, unprecedented really. The huge celebration when he was cast was wrought from months, and years for some, of his fans rooting for him. We are just so grateful to join the Outlander family – so beat him, hang him, do what you will – we will pay the price gladly!  -Stocks up on tissues and whisky-.

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This is an ABOotlander must ask –  If you were to come to Alberta Canada and someone offered you a) Moose Droppings b) Beaver Tails c) Prairie Oysters d) Taber Corn…which would you choose & why?

I’m truly afraid to answer this question! And I hope I get points for not googling the 3 out 4 that I don’t know – I’ll pick the Taber Corn because it sounds the least problematic and reminds me of Graham McTavish’s corn jokes.

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If you want to join in The Rank and File fun, here is a list of all the ways to do it!

Thank you so much Lady Jane for being so open & sharing with the fandom.

 

SherryLynn

Founder of the ABOotlanders

*Stay tuned for the next #ABOotlanderLOVE feature…we dive into a new realm!

 

 

The Doctor is IN! Outlander Anatomy gets the LOVE.

We have featured Beth & Connie – we are at it again.

Next up in our #ABOotlanderLOVE spotlight —  You know her…you love her…you feel smarter after you read one of her blog posts, so you make sure to read more of them.  She is as warm as she is intelligent.  That is why we keep going back to OUTLANDER ANATOMY.

It was no surprise when I asked my fellow admins in the ABOotlander group who they wanted to see featured, her name was brought up loud and clear.  Again, when I tweeted to our followers who they thought was a positive influence in the fandom…dozens responded with OutlanderAnatomy.  I am going to call her Dr.Karmen for the remainder of the blog as to protect her brand and to keep my carpel tunnel from kicking in.

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I was so pleased that she accepted our invite to step into the spot light & share with us some behind the blog aspects of what makes her tick.

My introduction to the world of Outlander came via my daughter. She had read all the big books (in less than a summer) and invited me to join the party. I kept saying no, I didn’t have the time and, anyway, I wasn’t interested in time-travel novels. She kept at it for a year… “Mom, you must read these books!” Finally, in early 2014, I yielded. By the time I arrived at Jamie’s dislocated shoulder, I was in – hook, line, and sinker! Since then, I have read the eight big books, at 8-10 times each.  –  And the lesson is, it sure pays off to nag. Well done Rebecca- We salute you!

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Dr.Karmen’s blog is incredibly interesting and so unique – I wanted to know what inspired her to start it.

I began my blog in October 2014, after watching early episodes of Outlander S.1. About that time, my daughter said, “Mom, have you considered writing an anatomy blog that incorporates Outlander?” No, I hadn’t thought of that. So, my daughter is to blame for getting me reading and writing the language of Outlander.  –  This daughter, is a keeper. We owe her a huge debt of gratitude. CHEERS Rebecca!

Fan to fan, we wonder if Dr.Karmen had experienced one of those momentous occasions that makes your heart pound just a little extra- sure enough – she had.

My most memorable fan encounter was meeting Diana Gabaldon in October of 2014, at Fort Vancouver, WA. I was first in line for her autograph, handed her my book, and waited while she searched a bag. I asked her if she needed a pen and offered her mine.  She pulled out a rolled container, opened it, and presented an array of every type of pen needed for autographing different surfaces. Of course, I laughed at myself, Herself would come prepared!

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I find all Outlander Anatomy lessons fascinating.  They teach me things I had no bloody clue about, they give me insight & extra tidbits of info but I don’t feel stupid while I read them. Pretty incredible.  I wondered if Dr. Karmen had any personal favourites in her collection? (I double dog dare ya to guess mine, you cheeky buggers)

Thank you for the lovely compliment about my blog. Oh, dear, this is a hard one because I learn from every lesson. Perhaps my favorite is always the last lesson I write, not only because I must thoroughly review the anatomy but because I strive to present the topic in a way that is accessible to all. Although some of my readers have biology backgrounds, many do not, and I feel compelled to direct my lessons to folks who lack anatomic experience. My latest, is the first of a series about the gastrointestinal system: Anatomy Lesson #44, “Terrific Tunnel – GI System, Part 1.”

My first lesson, Anatomy Lesson #1, “Jamie’s Tush or Bottoms up!”, was posted just after the airing of Starz episode 107, The Wedding. To be perfectly honest, it was Jamie’s beautiful bottom that caused me to consider just how I might teach the anatomical “underpinnings” of such a splendid body part. He is a perfect male anatomical model and I hear he works quite diligently for those bonny buttocks!

I was also intrigued about writing a blog. Up to this point, I had been writing grants and medical and technical papers. As you can see from this first lesson to the most recent, it’s taken time to develop a voice, a format for my lessons, and understand this new medium. I also want to be respectful of the actor’s private lives so I only refer to their character’s names as they graciously provide anatomical examples. I wrote about this POV last year: Education & Privacy.

Diana’s books and the Outlander series are filled with anatomical goodies that demand attention. I also love the pathology (abnormal anatomy) which is abundantly sprinkled throughout the books and episodes: a veritable gold mine for an anatomist!

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Some people may lose their joy after working in a particular field over time.  Reading Dr. Karmen’s blog shows me, this has not happened to her. I was curious how she keeps her love of anatomy thriving. You know, besides Jamie’s cute tushie.

My passion for anatomy stays alive because I harbor a profound awe and respect for the human body, a sublime blend of form and function, which we often take for granted as it ferries us through a rather precarious world. It matters not how much I learn about the human body, there is always more, and the more is endlessly fascinating. Why wouldn’t it be? It is our vehicle, our home, our sanctuary….erm…as you see, I can easily wax poetic about the human body!

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We all have our own vision for what we believe Outlander will look like in the years to come. Dr. Karmen sees things a bit more intimately than others do, haven’t you noticed? I was anxious to hear what her brain thinks the world of Outlander will be like in the years to come.

The future of Outlander world… First, I hope all of Diana’s big books and the Lord John series are filmed. Then, I envision the largest global community of devoted fans, constantly networking to appreciate, support, create, praise, enjoy, and celebrate this amazing, shared adventure. Hurrah for Diana Gabaldon who, one day, decided to write a book for herself. Praises to her CompuServe pals who encouraged her to publish it. Kudos to her family who support her fathomless talents. Thanks to Ron D. Moore, Terry Dresbach, Maril Davis and to all the actors, writers, directors, staff, designers, composers, musicians, builders, trainers, linguists, herbalists, doctors, sempstresses, and detailers. Without them devoted fans would wander lost in a vast desert-scape, otherwise known as, Droughtlander!

I wanted to give all of you a chance to peek into the Outlander Anatomy waiting room.  Sit back a moment & spend some time peeking behind the curtain that is Dr. Karmens life.

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Well, I am now professor emerita (retired female professor) of human anatomy at my medical university. When I was actively teaching, my “waiting room” (dissection lab) was filled with medical students, graduate students, allied health students, surgical residents, surgeons, and donor bodies. I was director of the gross anatomy course for many years, ran the body donation program for my institution, and was demonstrator of anatomy for my state in the US. Over the course of my career, and before birth of the internet, I taught almost 10,000 medical students gross anatomy, histology, embryology, neuroanatomy, and cell biology. And now, that the internet (and Outlander) has such a long reach around the world, I am able to teach many more readers about the amazing human body.

I always am curious what others find most fascinating about Gabaldon‘s world of Outlander. It is one of the topics of conversation I can’t get enough of.

Wow, this is a hard one because I find Diana’s creations endlessly fascinating. If I had to choose one thing it would be her remarkable ability to divine a story from a single line, sometimes books apart. Here’s an example: in Outlander book, Jamie and Claire are eating dinner at Castle Leoch; the table convo centers on Sandringham and his personal preference for young lads. In a line or two, Rupert comments that Jamie should guard his wife because unlike the Duke, his man servant actively pursues women! This really didn’t grab my attention until my last read-through. Then, Bingo! In the next book, Dragonfly in Amber, the Duke’s valet reappears as a member of the foul gang that rapes Mary Hawkins! This type of thing happens many times throughout her books. How does Herself recall such wee things and then revisit them hundreds of thousands of words later?! I actually learned the answer this past week while attending SiWC2016 in Surrey, B.C. Diana said (and I’m paraphrasing), that she writes all sort of things that might be classified as debris, but which provide kernels for later works.  – It’s what I call Gabaldon word Tetris 

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In this photo, taken at 2016 SiWC, she honored me by donning a necklace I made for her: Mr. Willoughby, complete with acupuncture needles inside his hollow body!

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Diana Gabaldon with Dr. Karmen & DG wearing the super cool Mr. Willoughby necklace

This an ABOotlander must ask. We ask for shiggles – If you were to come to Alberta Canada and someone offered you a) Moose Droppings b) Beaver Tails c) Prairie Oysters d) Taber Corn…which would you choose & why?

My first choice would be Taber corn.  I have never tasted this variety but it sounds delish and I love corn and corn-grinding! <G> Second choice would be beaver tails, that is, if you mean the fried pastries –  they look yummy!  But, if I am wrong and you mean the rear appendage from a large, big-toothed rodent, then I will pass. I will also pass on the prairie oysters as I am not fond of raw eggs. Finally, I refuse to dine on moose poop because I am a picky eater (although, I suspect these are chocolate covered candies). Great question!  – I must say I am impressed, though not surprised at Dr.Karmen’s thorough answers. What an absolute delight she has been!

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Please feel free to share your comments with us about #ABOotlanderLOVE below. It takes no time to #BeKind & spread the LOVE.

 

Sher

ABOotlander Founder & Friend of the Fandom

 

ABOotlander LOVE! It’s about YOU!

As the blog that brought you #Droughtlander , we are now spreading KINDNESS JOY & SUPPORT throughout the OUTLANDER Fandom as our new adventure.

The ABOotlander World FB Page is spotlighting members of the Outlander fandom who have made it their mission to add a touch of positivity (my word) & entertainment in our wee bubble.

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We are highlighting bloggers, artists, podcasters, cast or crew members who simply share parts of themselves that bring happiness to those enjoying the World of Outlander. (#WOO)

We have already spotlighted Beth Wesson & Connie Verbek .  Next week we reveal our next incredibly inspiring blogger! Who will it be….

Visit the ABOotlander Twitter feed and show your #OutlanderLOVE – share the people in your Outlander Universe who bring you joy. If you have room for the #ABOotlanderLOVE hastag – use it but as long as you are tweeting us, I should be able to wade through 🙂

 Leave a comment here for us and tell us what the great things the community has brought to your world.  After all, what we focus on expands (just check out my butt — I really should STOP focusing on THAT — I mean…for reals)  Focus on supporting one another, focus on the kindness, focus on the LOVE.  That’s what will be in our direct view.

Much Love,

SherryLynn

ABOotlander Founder & Friend to the Fandom

ABOotlander LOVE- Episode 2- Connie V does it her way…tickles eh?!

ABOotlander Love is all about spreading KINDNESS JOY & SUPPORT throughout the OUTLANDER Fandom, especially during #Droughtlander. In our last edition we shared Beth Wessons story with our readers.  

The ABOotlander World FB Page is choosing those in the Outlander fandom who have made it their mission to add a touch of positivity & entertainment.

We are highlighting bloggers, artists, podcasters, cast or crew members who simply share parts of themselves that bring happiness to those enjoying the World of Outlander. 

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There is no doubt that Connie Verzak aka ConnieBV aka atom1cflea.tumblr.com is the epitome of this.  Connie’s recaps are inventive, creative & not just funny – they are uproarious.  If you have any bone of funny in your body…it will be tickled.

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We always wonder what makes the fanciful tick, what is it that causes them to see the comical in things that others see as mundane.  

This is what I adore about Connie – I feel a kinship with her…a weird, wild and witty connection.  I was thrilled when she happily agreed to step into the ABOotlander LOVE spotlight. 

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Let’s listen to Connie’s OUTLANDER Journey.

In Connie’s real life she is a translator  (we know she turns the everyday into awesome) and a proofreader. She has had a wide variety or jobs from bridal salon attendant to telemarketer. (I wouldn’t say mean things and hang up on HER!)
All of us have our “Outlander” story, how we got here… Here is Connie’s-
The first book was on display in the library shortly after it came out. I think it was under “New Historical Romance” or something similar. I picked it up, read the first few pages to see if it would be up my alley and was intrigued by the writing, so very painterly… I took it home and read it in two days. I have been waiting for the next book ever since, and the Frasers have been with me through my own ups and downs. It’s such a cliché, but it really is like looking in on old friends. (This is the cliche of our lives)
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We are inspired by many different things and I was curious to know what inspired the crazy lil fleas recaps, aren’t you?
Oh, a combo of boredom and whimsy. I heard the show was coming out and I wanted to talk about my favorite scene, so I did a bit of that and then made the images to accompany it. A few folks on Tumblr knew me and liked them, and by episode 3 I had promised them full recaps, and though I couldn’t do them fast enough to keep up with the show, people seemed to enjoy them and so I kept it up. I didn’t even finish the long S1 recaps till a month or two before S2. The first time Diana shared them I almost had a heart attack. I still get such a thrill that she likes them and am so happy whenever anyone says I made them laugh.
It was so exciting to see Connie’s recap headlined with ScotlandNOW, I really wanted to know how that came about, so, I asked of course.
Well, I heard through a couple of fandom friends that they were looking for someone to recap the show, and that they had forwarded my name. I replied to the editor with a sample of my work (I either sent the “Rent” recap or the Wedding, can’t quite recall) and she had me finish out season 1. They were very short and more like reviews, since I had almost no time to work on them between airtime and deadline. People kept liking them, so we kept on. I love that I can ask her if it’s a good idea to write as a cow and she’s like “Well, let’s see it…” For S2 I have tried writing longer ones with some more analysis. At some point I’ll settle on a format, but they’ll always be humorous. I have to laugh.
Being an Outlander fan is such a kick in the pants, when we get to cross paths with those who started this brilliant world it can be … the best ever! 
Meeting Diana Gabaldon was my biggest fangirl moment.
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Such love..such admiration…so much awesome in one frame. Photo by friend Allison.

I was at a fan gathering in Iowa, and I had brought my camera to have my picture taken because I wanted a good photo, and the girl wasn’t sure how to use it and the photo was blurry, and it was very late and Diana had been signing for quite a while, so she glanced briefly at my printed recap page and then moved things along. I was SO crushed, I didn’t get to talk or anything I was so nervous. My friend Allison who I bless to this day forced me to get back in line, and tell Diana the name of my blog and when she said, “You’re Connie!” I wanted to faint. I got my picture re-taken and she hugged me and told me I was “a  funny lady.” I don’t think she knows how much that means to me, but it’s a warm glow every time I think about it. Especially in winter.
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There is no denying that Connie makes us guffaw, giggle, snort and chortle.  I had to wonder if she ever thought “Man…that was too funny!” 
It’s usually not the funniest ones in any traditional sense. For me at least it’s the ones where I jump out of bed or the shower and make something ludicrous and cackle because I can’t believe I get paid for this (please keep paying me). (In fact, give that woman a raise!) This particular one was free but I laughed myself stupid making it, hearing this cat’s voice in my head. I laughed just now seeing it. Making animals and inanimate objects talk always gets me, because I am a child. Also I love my running gags, of which I have many.

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Everyone has “things”…here are a few of Connie’s…I am disturbed by both marshmallows and licorice. You didn’t happen in nature. Someone made you! (She is so weird…did I mention I adore HER?)

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When you are an entertaining person, you need to be entertained. I inquired as to who amuses Connie.
My husband is the funniest person alive. He’s well-read, quick and has a fine grasp of the ridiculous. I don’t like humor that makes people feel bad, or puts someone down. I like it when you laugh, and you had to think quickly to get that laugh.
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The ABOotlanders must ask question for all spotlight inners.  You come to Alberta Canada and someone offers you —

a) Moose Droppings b) Beaver Tails c) Prairie Oysters d) Taber Corn…which would you choose & why?

I live in the U.S. Midwest now with a proud Midwestern dude, so unless I say corn I might find the door locked when I come home. (Good choice Connie, Taber Corn is delish! Drowned in butter n salt and you have yourself a Friday night!)
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Taber is a town…in Alberta…with the sweetest corn EVER!

The ABOotlanders are so grateful Connie agreed to join the ABOotlander LOVE adventure! We started with Beth Wesson’s thoughtful prose. Followed it up with Connie’s humourous peek on life…stay tuned for our next spotlight…it will be therapeutic folks!
SherryLynn
ABOotlander Founder & funmaker
 

ABOotlanders R Us…and now YOU too!

Yes we know…us ABOotlanders are an Alberta Canada based fan group.  We have regularly made “honourary Canadians”  a part of our ABOotlander bubble on twitter & with our blog.

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Those would be fellow Outlander fans  who have a desire to make their bubbles better.  You know the people. The ones who choose to assume positive intent. Those who want to lead with kindness.  Those who let go of the nasty negative.

Us ABOotlanders are passionate, fun, slightly inappropriate and have hearts of lollipops n rainbows so it’s natural that some people gravitate to that.  It’s also natural some people hate our ever lovin guts…that’s cool too.  We however, do not share our sandbox with those folks and we don’t engage with them either. Our energy is better spent being goofballs…happy goofballs.

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We have the blog, which has peeps from all over the world reading it…We are pretty active on twitter and lots of friends from all over playing with us there…you know…playing.

It all started on our Facebook group which is exclusive to our Alberta Members…and being Canadian we feel so bad every time we turn one of our international folks away. We are sorry. Really sorry.

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The only solution was to  open up an ABOotlanders Around the World FB page.  Please Like it here…and invite your friends to like it too.  We will post content and fun daily.  We will ask you to share with us and we will be doing contests & draws periodically.

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See you there!

 

SherryLynn

@ABOotlander Founder