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

 

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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