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.
https://twitter.com/RikRankin/status/715936029627256833

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).
https://twitter.com/RikRankin/status/741312895984750593
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!

 

 

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Outlander Blurbs n stuff about “In the glass, whisky”

I’m BAAAACK!  With the blob blurbs I like to ummm…blurt.  Outlander made its way back to our TV screens on April 10th in care of Showcase only one day after airing in the US.

I wonder whoooo helped them with that decision?

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We are super stoked to have had Showcase jump on the #OutlanderCAN hashtag we created when starting our LiveTweet events. Seriously, we make Sunday nights FUNDAY nights…If this doesn’t prove we are some curds of cheese short of a poutine…I don’t know what does.

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Passionate is just another word for NUTS

Onto to *drumroll pls* Episdode 1 Season 2 AKA Episode 201 if your fancy!

“Previously, on Outlander” Really? Like most of us don’t have this burned into our minds eye.  That tends to happen when you re-watch something…repeatedly…

I very much enjoy the “warning” of language, nudity & sexual situations.  Warning or a list of bonuses?  Yes, I agree…the latter prevails!

If the title of the episode made ya go hmmmmm??? Here is what “Through the glass, darkly” means…To see “through a glass”a mirror“darkly” is to have an obscure or imperfect vision of reality. The expression comes from the writings of the Apostle Paul; he explains that we do not now see clearly, but at the end of time, we will do so.  Just knowing that makes some puzzle pieces slide into place. I think I am in love with that quote now…because it feeds into my everything for a reason theory of life and not really every finding out why…till the end of time for most of those reasons.

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Cait was the glue that held this whole piece together in my green eyes. (They are green and that’s good because I am jealous of this woman…not the scratch her eyes out jealous but ERMERGED I wish I could be her jealous!)

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Probably a little of both…

We start…dramatically. “I wished I were dead.”  Claire is back at the stones…not confused and hyperventilating but broken. Completely and utterly B.R.O.K.E.N.  She has lost something…a ring…*there it is*…with no stone. This means A LOT but no one knows what.Save those who know it all .

It wasn’t a yellow brick road she was trudging her way down, but the same eerie road she left her car on 2 yrs prior.

I loved the look on her face when the car honked its honk… *BEEP BEEP*.

If there was a voice over, this is what it would have said, “If I turn around and see a car…that means I’m where I know I am and I don’t wanna be”

Just don’t turn around! I understand how this particular option wouldn’t have helped the situation.

Poor bugger who happened to be in that car nearly got his vest wrapped around his neck for stuttering & fumbling when Claire asked him a direct question. Culloden…who won?A  question with a heart breaking answer.  Somewhere she hoped all she had sacrificed would be worth leaving Jamie for…but….nope. Sorry. Totally not worth it…and now what?  AH yes, Claire does what any self respecting time traveller who left her heart 200 years in the past does. Cries like an Outlander fan during the last episode of the season. RIGHT!? Tragic.

It truly was painful to watch her- the emotional pain was a physical one.  I felt like I was kicked in the tender bits!

Caitriona thought it fair to suck us into that emotional crushing experience.

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Well played Caitriona. Well played.

We would be doing a disservice not mentioning the new Title song…not new but reimagined. It was entertaining to be in a room of 13 women who knew the original for the series…get to the point where the french started…and it trailed off into “Wtf’s?” “Is that.. french?” “That’s cool!”…being Canadian, recognizing french but not really knowing it is one of those things…in Alberta anyway.  Bear McCreary was able to make what was old new…again.

We have wee Roger on the title page…and his knees…and his plane…this makes me a bit uncomfortable as I know how women have been lusting over big Roger (ok…Big Roger is worth a giggle) to be portrayed by Richard Rakin, a pretty comely laddie himself.  Breaking up the 2…who are “supposed” to be the same person might bring me some anxiety. Might.

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I heard rumblings  sounding like “That little boy hasn’t aged since last season.”  Seriously the kid is in the show for less that 2 minutes both seasons and you wanted them to recast someone that could have been him 2 yrs later…Logic folks…it comes at a price.

Next up, Frank.

We have friends of Frank, we have Frank sux clubs…Frank…no matter what you think of the book Frank or the show Frank…you have to be open enough to admit Tobias Menzies absolutely slays in the dual role!

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Oh. Why yes, I am remarkable!

I have a theory that I stand behind pretty firmly when it comes to “show” Frank.  Ron D. Moore has a soft spot for Frank, he has empathy and compassion for Frank and wants others to understand that empathy & compassion. The only vehicle he has to make that a reality is….more Frank on TV.

Just so you know, the more people bitch & complain about it, the more he will be laughing  and doing it more.boy-would-i

Book Frank. In my humble opinion isn’t as fleshed out because Diana wanted people to draw from their experiences to develop a sense of him- I believe she wanted Frank to remain…a mystery in some respects.  Allow YOU to form conclusions with only part of the information so later on…she could knock you right in the kisser with some back story. If you haven’t noticed by now…Diana tends to be the smartest person involved in her stories.

TV Frank. In the TV show…we are getting the back story.  Largely from the man who empathizes with the character and doesn’t think he is a POS. Ron.  Why in the world would a man empathize with a man, who is deeply in love with his wife and loses her to another man? Hmmmm…I think you see what I am getting at here?  I am not saying he has experienced this situation himself…what I am saying is he knows how he would feel if he was in that situation.  So he brings that to our screens.  He absolutely did showing all the faces of Frank.  Tobias has range…he truly shines when he is digging deeper to the place of no return. That dark place. Ron understands using Tobias to bring the friends of Frank to the forefront is not a foolish idea. Ummmmm….F’s….so many F’s totally not being used like I generally do. Interesting.fqdjsu0

There is paparazzi back in the 40’s…I bet they have been around since cameras became public domain. People have always trying profit off of others pain. This isn’t a new thing surely however…in 2016…much more intrusive than when they had to carry around 30 lb cameras.

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As someone who has taken statement analysis through the years, Franks shaking his head saying “I could not be more grateful”…means he really could be.  That can be construed a few way to be duplicitous.  I am pretty sure it was just him acting though.

Claire was harsh with Frank…but you can’t really blame her. She just left the love of her life being faced with her first love…but will never love him like that or like Jamie again. Yeah…harsh is exactly what someone might expect.

Thankfully Frank has given Claire a safe haven.  The Reverend’s home. She really only cares that Mrs.Graham is there so she can talk to her. Mainly cuz Mrs. Graham is a believer in all things cray cray.  It’s better in pairs, believe me.

Random question…Do you think that this is what Frank thought when he was smelling her clothes? Maybe.

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Claire changes rolls with Frank and is pouring over the books about the Jacobites and sharing Jamie with Mrs. Graham.  The grief on Claire’s face is almost something you can reach out and touch.  I love that Mrs. Graham allows her to have him but gently tugs her into the here and now.

So much sadness happening *sigh*

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A week in Claire decides it’s time to tell him the whole sorted story.  You all know what it was…here is a fast forward to the stages Frank went through.5faces

I don’t believe Frank buys it 100% but, he is has words to live up to. Then…BOMBSHELL.  She is preggers! The looks…incredible crazy emotion on his face!  Dun…dun…dun! Under the door squeaks some Black Jack …under the back door.  giphy

There was Frank, with his fist clenched, spittle starting…and a tear. I am sure Claire is seeing BJ…and hoping beyond hope that he will just snap and she won’t have to deal with facing him…but nope…he staggers out like an angry drunk and beats the crap out of the Rev’s junk drawer. Which happens to be a shed of some sort. Probably the worst thing a guest can do.  Oh…no peeing in a closet. That’s worse.

The Rev is a pretty forgiving character…I suppose that is why he is a reverend eh?  He forgives Frank for taking out his shed…forgives Frank for dropping the F bomb in the presence of Wee Roger (though many of us know Roger’s life becomes one F bomb after the other..might as well start him early). Frank telling him to takes God’s plan…and…not.

Frank divulges to the Rev that his wee Franks will never produce baby sausages to show off to the world…so this plays with his head and heart.image

Rev explains to him “Everything for a reason”  and lays it out pretty clean for him…can you commit to this woman and her unborn child?

After some thought Frank says SURE! BUT…there is always a but…Claire has to agree to his conditions.  Pretty much, shut all the love you have in your heart out and let me in.  Claire, I think was so desperate for some type of direction, she grabbed on.

Letting Jamie go…sorry Claire.  I just can’t do it, so I am more than willing to say…neither can you! No matter what Frank burns, that love goes nowhere but deeper.

2 things that made me go “Hmmmm”.  Frank burned her invaluable 18th century clothing.  I get it…it still baffled me!  Claire making the motion to remove her ring from the wedding to Jamie. Even if Frank didn’t stop her, I don’t think she would have taken it off…much like the missing stone ring. That’s not going anywhere either, it’s in her suitcase…she will be keeping it. Nothing happens on this show without good reason.  Like the blue coat re-emerging. How cool was that? I have a feeling this season will be full of visual goodies. (Besides Sam’s backside)

The transition. Can we squee about this transition. In unison.giphy1

My heart SOARED with joy when the transition took place.  Franks hand, to Jamies hand…the present into the past…or is it the past into the past-ier? More Hmmmmm thoughts.

It is so bittersweet isn’t it?  You are back with Jamie and Claire but you know…it’s all going to end with what we transitioned from.  It is a never ending cycle of tears!

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They are in Paris…together…so sweet.  Then Murtagh gets a whiff of the place.  He isn’t what we would call-a fan.

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Smells like frogs…tastes like poulet!

 

Our story takes the spin back to what Claire & Jamie were talking about before they reached Paris.  Stopping the Jacobite rebellion, not winning it but stopping it. We are looking at danger, intrigue, treachery and violence. A little something for everyone!

Super convenient…enter Cuz’n Jared. Fancy scot living in France with his wine business.  Jamie and Claire convince Jared that Jamie wants to be a solid Jacobite *cough* liar* cough*. Naturally the PERFECT solution is right there. Jared wants Jamie to take over the wine business temporarily and get into society that way. He has been wanting to go to the Indes anyway…what great timing. At least one thing went in their favour!

I always thought that Murtagh in the books knew exactly what was going on.  I know he is loyal to a fault, however, the truth is…that;s a whole lotta faith to put into people if you have NO CLUE wtf is going on.  I always assumed it was a conversation that happened at the abby, when Jamie told him to bring her back to the Lallybroch (the Stones in the book).  Murtagh is just someone who doesn’t talk about stuff much so…it made sense in my brain. Then again…pop rocks makes sense in my brain too…so…take it how you will.

I want to steer WAY off track.  Duncan Lacroix has become my favourite supporting character in the show.  I loved him in the books as well.  I also loved another Character in the books. Duncan Innes. Now…call me crazy but I would love to see these two characters melt into one.  For those who haven’t read the books, I’m not going to ruin anything but for those who have…I think you know what I am talking about. There I said it.

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I won’t really shoot anyone, I’m Canadi

Now, we can never have an episode of Outlander that Claire doesn’t do or say something to piss someone off.  She generally focuses this good work on people who end up wanting her to die.  She really ought to shake that profile…

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She sees some sort of kerfuffle brewing and thinks “I MUST be in the middle of THAT! It looks exciting!” and she goes.

Every. Single. Time.

This time smallpox on the dox. Terrible wasteful disease that SHE can’t catch…cuz she…is a witch. Or so the story has been told. She shouts it out on high that smallpox came off the ship, we gotta do something. However, everyone seems like they just want her to shut her healer hole.

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Especially the very handsome and mean Comte. St. Germain.  I mean really, men shouldn’t be allowed to look like that…and in a wig! Seriously…something things just aren’t fair to us mortals.

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He warns Claire…and Jamie that he is NOT impressed.  She cost him the cargo on and the ship itself.  Claire…not to be stepped on pipes up with its better you lose that then the disease spread over the whole city.  I believe he really could give a nuns nipple about the people in the city.  He wants his monies!  Threats happen. He calls Claire some pretty nasty stuff but it’s in french so if you don’t read the subtitles you can lost in his death stare.

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Yep…his ship burns.Jamie and Claire look out at the flames on the water, so romantic. As per usual,they start making out.  No time like the present…in front of the dude watching his ship burn to the…ummm…water.

STAY TUNED to Showcase for previews of the next episode!

I’m so ready for ALL the episodes…I want to devour them. Bring it on Showcase…Your Canadian fans are READY!

All of our #Outlander friends are welcome to join our Live Tweets along with the episode, Sunday nights. #OutlanderCAN is the hashtag. See you there!

 

SherryLynn

Founder of the ABOotlanders

 

 

Bucketlist — Dining with Diana – CHECK…holy snapping turtles…that’s a CHECK!

How? How does something like THAT happen to normal people?

*Blink* *Blink* We must be dreaming!

*Blink* *Blink*
We must be dreaming!

Ok…first. We perhaps aren’t normal.  However the perfect storm WAS brewing.

An event- When Worlds Collide Diana Gabaldon will attend said event. The ABOotlanders find out about said event and decide there is NO OTHER CHOICE. This is the perfect storm. The positive intent, good will, good people & love we have following us around – we knew this event was going to be one we would cherish no matter what.

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I am sure you are curious as to how WE…the lowly AB-Ootlanders could have gotten Diana to dine with us.  I assure you there were no Diana’s hurt in the making of this experience.  No duct tape, or chloroform used, no draw of puppies/hedgehogs or Toger’s at the table (O.K. there was a Toger but we didn’t take that out til later) or trickery of any kind. However, I believe the story starts the night before. I think I will start there. This is called suspense.

Stories need that – or so I learned at this writers conference.

Did you seriously just groan?  Rude…that’s just rude.

You are such a kidder! Big kidder mckidderson!

You are such a kidder! Big kidder mckidderson!

These are random details of what happened at this years When World Collide event in Calgary. From how I remember it.  That mean’s artistic license or something to that effect *snort*.

 The ABOotlanders came out in droves. WHY? Because SHE, would be there. Diana.  With our crowd…she needs no last name.  Diana, not only would be here but she would be ALL over here. 

Our first opportunity to see her…maybe walk by her…or make eye contact with her and get a little Diana nod (Someone should make a Diana bobble head…it needs to be very lil, sweet and not wobbly but a stiff wobbler because she has the perfect way of acknowledging you without seeming dismissive like some, hers said “I know you are here & happy to see me” and THAT’S COOL.) was at the Fish Creek Library.  Event starting at 7:00 pm.  Kim & I decided we MUST get there early. 5:00 pm will be early enough right?  Maybe 4:30…there are SOOOO many people who love Diana…its going to be crazy.  Ok…we will go at 5:00. Fine!

Are we early? Huh? Huh? Huh?

Are we early? Huh? Huh? Huh?

We race up the elevator at mach speeds. I lie. SLOWEST. ELEVATOR. EVER. Maybe its super fast but seriously we felt like we were getting sucked into another dimension this thing was so slow. FINALLY the door open and there are a few people standing there. 2 ladies & a gentleman. Staring at us very questionably. “Oh…hello” the gentleman at Fish Creek Library says “Who are you with?” I realize because we are SO early, he thinks we are with one of the authors to help set up books to be sold. Ummmmmm a little embarrassing but Kim…her enthusiastic and wonderful self pipes up “THE ABOOTLANDERS!”  The 3 people stare at her blankly. “The…Ab-whowhat?” – “You’re a bookseller?” he says look down at Kim’s shirt, which is silkscreened with the words  ‘A. MALCOLM  BookSeller & Printer’ (Which btw – Diana told Kim she liked – cuz…well…it’s an awesome shirt)

“Oh no” Kim replies “I don’t sell books, I’m a fan!”  Realization dawns on their faces and they look at each others faces.  These are fans. Oh boy!peasant1

Yep! That’s us! Keeners!  Are arms are full!  We have gifts for Diana, we have a HUGE flat cardboard box which houses our Giant Jamie & Semi Giant Claire (poor girl came out smaller than we hoped).  They were very gracious and offered to let us store our goodies while we were banished to the downstairs library to wait…one WHOLE HOUR! UGH! Longest. Hour. Ever.  We were labeled as super fans…which I will wear happily as it’s kinda true.

6 pm rolls around and we ixnay the elevator and boogie up the stairs to claim our front row seats! We set up Giant Jamie & Semi-Giant Claire in the back of the library.  I really ought to bring a donation box for those who take photos with them. The ABOotlanders could make a mint! It was so great to make so many Outlander fans happy though. We ended up recruiting so many wonderful friends to our group that evening.  Diana came up on the elevator & I watched he make her way in the room…I am sure she has feet but she almost seems to glide…yeah…ok…shhh. I saw her catch a glimpse of Jamie & Claire and her face was one of “Oh…look isn’t that odd- those two just standing there like that.”  Make me giggle inside.No…I giggled out loud and babbled to everyone around me to as what I had just witnessed.

The Fish Creek Library did a great job of hosting the readings. We were gifted with readings by not only  Diana Gabaldon but Daniel Abraham (M.L.N. Hanover), David B. Coe (D.B. Jackson), CJ Carmichael, Faith Hunter (Gwen Hunter) and the amazingly witty and wonderful Brandon Mull.  Brandon won the hearts of all of the ABOotlanders, as well as Diana.

brandonmull diana

I bought his BEYONDERS series for my 16 yr old man child but I plan on reading it as well.  Seriously, this guy IS personality.  The other authors all have something wonderful to offer, don’t get me wrong.  David was another one of my favourites.  He truly is a wonderful human being with a contagion of spirit & I will be picking up his Thieftaker Chronicles very soon!

The readings were wonderful, Diana went last and she read from book 9. *sigh* I am not in a huge rush for this book to come out, even though I will be first in line when it does. I understand her standing in front of me for 4 days means there is no way she is going to be able to write…so…I take this.

She reads so beautifully, I get transported into her story…she says something about Jamie being naked and boom…you can hear the audible sigh of the room, its almost like the collective intake of breath pulls the walls of the library in around us…I sag in my seat. I don’t really mean to but her imagery is just too good. It’s really her own fault isn’t it? Yeah. That’s what I think too.  As she continues to read…the scene is intense, poignant and ends with a universal “oh” around the room. Leaving us wanting more…but that is the magic of Diana is it not?

There was a Q&A with the authors & then the signing.  Since there were only 200 people at this event, it didn’t take long and the ABOotlanders had a plan.  We planned to hang back.  Wait till the last to try and score a bit more time with her because we brought some very special gifts with us.  One of our admins, Cheryl came up with the brilliant idea to have a set of 5 whiskey glasses hand painted by the talented Nikki Galenza, who is our resident ABOotlander artist.

whisky

You can commision Nikki to do these for you.  They are themed to each of the first 5 books in the series and they are stunning!  We wanted to be able to show Diana & explain where we had them done.  Plus taking time to have our books & other bits of nostalgia signed by her. Sweet Kim also  gave her a box of Canadian chocolates, one in the box was whisky infused to go with our theme.  Diana loved the glasses & the chocolates, as per usual was extremely gracious.  I made sure they were packed up good and solid & mentioned I hoped she had room. She said she would make room.

Hanging out at the Library :)

Hanging out at the Library 🙂

We had such a fabulous time. Meeting so many new members for our group & having extra moments with Diana. We were leaving the library all together when I thought to myself “LIFE MADE” because I made her laugh. Lil ole me…might not seem like such a big deal but I do love to make people giggle and making Diana laugh was a special thing for me. We were all tromping down the stairs (Diana doesn’t tromp – no…she was gliding.heehee) and Kim mentioned she would like to hit the swimming pool at the hotel for a dip. In which I had to remind her I forgot my swimsuit so “Ummmm yeah Kim, I’d have to go naked and girlfrien’ ain’t NO ONE wanna see THAT!” in which Diana looked over her should with a laugh. In that moment my heart skipped a beat and yes…I thought “Life made.” However…Friday hadn’t happened yet…That was premature speculation.

See what she did there?

See what she did there?

I am heading straight for the BIG MOMENT on Friday. Of course we would like to think Diana knows who the ABOotlanders are 🙂 She has shared our Blog in the past, she tweets with us

tweet

I don’t make this up…

We aren’t delusional we know we aren’t the only ones, however, we still love our happy lil bubble!

Friday afternoon, a group of the ABOotlanders decide to head to the pub that is attached to the hotel to get a bite to eat & talk about all the awesomeness we have experienced so far.  We are talking about Diana’s readings…when Sam (our Sam…not THE Sam…well she is our THE Sam..not the HE THE Sam…ugh..

I want me to shut up now

I want me to shut up now

you understand right?) whispers to us “Diana just walked in…she’s alone.”  Huh? What? Now? Here? What? Then Sam looks at me and says “SherryLynn you are the only one with balls big enough to go and talk to her!”  I puff up a bit at the compliment but in my head I am thinking “NO I’m not…I left my balls under the sink at home…and that’s 3 hours away!”  However, I squared my shoulders, got up from the table & filled with 9 other women who are relying on me and follow Diana around the pub. “Hello Diana”  “Oh, Hello

Are you here alone (DUH of course she is here alone you bonehead…there is NO ONE with her..save yourself!) or are you expecting someone to join you (good save idjit!)?  “No no, I’m here alone.”  “I’m here with a few (ok…maybe not a few – more like 9 but who’s counting…hell…I can barely form a thought…math can’t happen) friends and we’d  be honoured if you would join us for a bite & a drink if you have the time.”  “That would be lovely if you wouldn’t mind.”  (Wouldn’t mind…wouldn’t mind….oh my gosh…I am doing everything in my power to keep from grasping your hand and running up those 3 little steps to the table with you and yelling “LOOK WHO I BROUGHT FOR DINNER!“) But I don’t…I take a deep breathe and say “Mind? Diana…I can’t tell you what a thrill it would be!” or something like that…I am sure I gushed but I don’t think I got any on her.

We walk up the tiny steps to the table and the looks on the ladies faces were priceless. They looked like little children seeing Santa on Christmas morning, and Diana graciously smiled to them and THANKED US for letting HER join US. I mean come on…Best Moment.  I think I said something to this effect and she made a comment along the lines of her hoping my life was more exciting than that. *snicker* I quite like that about her too. She is “just Diana”. I admire that. But to me…well you all know.  Serious lady admiration right there!

woman-crush-wednesday-shailene-woodley

The pub was understaffed…oh darn. That gave us lots of time to chat. I certainly didn’t want to sound like I was interviewing her but I had SO many questions to ask. So many things I had always wondered. This was the only opportunity I would ever get. She was sitting right beside me. I could touch her.  I tried not to…I think I did once…just to make sure she was real. She was.

I have always suspected & I truly don’t think anyone would be surprised by this however it is something I always wanted to know from her. If she was an introvert.  That is a 100% yes.  Of course introverts aren’t always what people believe but Diana is one & I respect her greatly for how she carries herself, especially in crowds & with people (like us) vying for her attention.

Second up – I have always watched videos of interviews, read about Diana, & viewed media clips of her (not because I am a creepy freaky stalker…AM NOT!) but because of my draw to her personality.  It started for her writing, but her demeanor, introverted nature, say it like it isness, direct style & analytical mind intrigues me.

Way before Outlander became a TV series, her answers to questions or outlook has simply fascinated me. Where I have heard others complain the same answers come again and again…I admire that.  It means she is nothing else but 100% authentic. Same question? Same answer. Why in heavens SHOULD it change? To entertain the masses? Hell no. If we want a different answer then someone ought to ask another question right?  ANYWAY…when you have listened to her speak for a good long time, you tend to get an idea of how this lady thinks. What her opinions might be on different subjects.  So I find myself…while reading certain parts of her books my mind drifting out of the characters I am reading. Such as when Lawrence Stern & Claire are having such conversations about Faith vs Science. Or Claire is struggling with the idea of tying the tubes of a slave being impregnated by her master…my mind drifts from the voice of the character to the voice of Diana and I feel I am listening to her. Her opinions, her voice and her commentary. I wanted desperately to know if I was crazy or if it was a way she was simply slipping “a random” social commentary into the dialogue.

It turns out I am not crazy at all and Diana is IN her books. Not just in her main characters but in her stories, scattered throughout.  I love her & her books all the more to hear that sweet detail.

Since I read the books to my husband with our BedTimeStories, I used this to bring up the topic of relationships.  Her relationship with Doug is admirable. We spoke about how she usually travels on her own but she made sure to take him when she visited the set – knowing he would in fact have a delightful time before he did.  That’s the thing about many relationships, we know. It was lovely to see her face light up as she spoke of him having fun with the crew of the show.

Ain't LOVE Grand?

Ain’t LOVE Grand?

Diana is writing episode 2-11 & will be traveling to Scotland again when they film it.  It is definitely a different process but one you can tell has challenged her in a good way. It certainly seems she had fun with it. I tried to dig more out of her but she won’t budge & may I say it? I respect the hell out of her for it.

She speaks highly of Sam Heughan…interestingly enough, we spoke of him when we spoke of introverts. I said I had an inkling he shared that same trait with her. She said she thought so too however being an actor he certainly knew how to deal with the public and was a very secure & good natured young man.  As we can plainly see in the way she corresponds with him in the public eye on social media, she likes the guy.  Letting us know he has a generous & kind guy.  It is of course one thing to see this kind of thing in play online…it is quite another to hear it spoken.

You know, having a meal with Diana wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be. I do NOT remember what I ate. No idea. I am drawing a total blank.  I do know I didn’t have the calamari. *snort*

Yeah Sam...how could YOU?

Yeah Samantha…how could YOU?*snicker*

Conversation was natural with the all the ladies, talking about places to visit. Characters, the books & most of the time “I can’t believe this is happening.” was floating around in my brain. Eventually it turned to “I am so grateful this is happening.”

The ABOotlanders always come prepared. (In fact we were planning on giving this to Diana the next night but Bobbi Jo is awesome and HAPPENED to have it with her and when opportunity knocks – we answer that damn door)

Ok...we answer no matter WHO is at the door.

Ok…we answer no matter WHO is at the door. We are a trusting bunch.

We like to get those we admire shirts with our mascot on them. Toger.  He’s an adorable beaver. Now…we thought Diana might like a cowl neck, 3/4 cut sleeve, beautiful blue shirt instead of a T-shirt, so AB-Ootlander Bobbi Jo had one made. She had Toger put on Diana’s shirt- on her shoulder…I mean how PERFECT !  Who doesn’t imagine looking over her shoulder while she writes? Maybe Diana will wear this shirt one day while writing & wee Toger will have that gift. I was honoured to present her with the shirt, explaining to her Toger & how he came to be.  Telling her how Graham McTavishes reacted to his shirt at Calgary Expo.  It was entertaining…and she was, once again…gracious & lovely.

Togershirtpre

Eventually, Diana finished her meal & it was time to leave – getting her wallet out I assured her that wasn’t necessary. I wanted to take care of that. I couldn’t fathom having shared a meal with her & having her pay for it. THAT just wouldn’t be right on any level. Plus, I am pretty sure simply for the fact I talked  and watched her the whole time…I owed it to her.

Here take it...take it all...I owe you so much more than lunch!

Here take it…take it all…I owe you so much more than lunch!

We had 2 more days of Diana readings, visits & banquets. I also asked her permission to talk about our “date” here – which I received.

The ABOotlanders who attended pose with Diana at the Western Themed Banquet

The ABOotlanders pose with Diana at the Western Themed Banquet

Our Giant Jamie & Semi Giant Claire - Hmmmm- Petite Claire...Hanging out with their favourite person!

Our Giant Jamie & Semi Giant Claire – Hmmmm- Petite Claire…Hanging out with their favourite person!

Gracious…you would think that would be the one word I would use to describe this woman if I had to.  I have thought about that a lot this week…what word would I use?

I have chosen one. Dynamism.  It means a great energy, force, or power.  That’s what Diana has. A great energy. A force that draws you in.  New word!  Dianamism. There you go.

force

 I can’t hold off sharing this with you any longer! Naughtlander has taken a lot out of us but this was the restorative we needed…granted…whisky or your bevvie of choice will help, as per, it is always the best cure for Droughtlander!

droughtlander

Click to see the 1st of our blogs Diana shared on her FB page

KINDNESS & LOTS OF LOVE coming your way!

                               SherryLynn- ABOotlander in Chief