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

 

Sex & Intimacy. My version of O-Lander

Let me start with saying everyone is entitled to their opinion. I believe our opinions are just that. Our perceptions. We all have them and they will all be different. I do not expect nor want everyone to agree with me, however, respect my right to say what I perceive…as I respect all of yours. 

One of the biggest discussions in the world of Outlander this season was the sex…or there lack of.  Many say “We didn’t see the love.”  “We were robbed of what makes Jamie & Claire…Jamie & Claire.”  “The love would never last 20 yrs if they don’t connect!”

Believe it or not, I have made a living talking about sex & intimacy in life & relationships. That is what I want to do now.  Class is in session.

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Listen up!

Romantic relationships need TWO things to survive. Intimacy & Communication.  I didn’t say sex because sex is a product of these 2 categories.  Without intimacy, there likely will be no sex. Without communication, we likely won’t choose to have sex.

Let’s first keep in mind that Outlander the TV Show is that. The TV show, not a play by play of the book.  Conveying intimacy is something they can do in the show and it will turn out to have more meaning. The depth of talent that Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe have, means they are able to delve into that. Deeply.  Skin & sweating does not equal love & commitment. No matter how much we want to “see” it.

To reference being robbed, denied or missing something. These were never there in the first place.  What I mean by that is Outlander the TV Show has never existed before it did. 

But we read the books! Yes, I know, so did I…repeatedly.  This does not mean the TV show has been ‘built’.

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These are both dogs. Definitely NOT the same thing.  Outlander, the show & the books. Like these two puppies right here.

If the argument is “They gave us all the sex in season one and took it away in season two.” I do see your point. I would like to reference that season 2 was a different relationship, a different set of circumstances and frankly, a different show with the same title. It wasn’t a bait & switch, it was an evolution. The evolution of a marriage. Those of us blessed  enough to have found a deep love have likely experienced something similar ourselves. Change happens & it’s not always comfortable.

Season 1 was an exploration of a building romantic relationship, which is undeniable more passionate. That, for visual purposes, should be seen to some degree.  Each sex scene in Season 1 had a purpose. The wedding. Each scene was given in stages.  First newness/awkwardness, passion/exploration & then falling in love.  The scene in which they were having sex away from the group, distraction. The scene in which they have sex after the spanking scene, is not only forgiveness but also ferocity. 

Season 2 was a marriage. The people in the marriage had been through a huge trauma. Jamie’s rape along with the fight to keep him alive was one that could have easily broken a marriage apart. In the start of the season we saw that.  Sure, it might have been nice to see a little skin here and there, however, it wouldn’t have made a lot of sense.

Those who are dealing with a physical trauma such as the one portrayed in the show, more often than not, lack the desire a) to perform b) have someone THAT close. No matter how much you love & trust them.  It isn’t about the partner, it is about the victim and their ability to process.  When a sexual assault happens, very often the victim is loathe to put themselves back in that vulnerable position … especially when they are still emotionally coping with the trauma.

The beautiful thing we love about the visual exploration of these books should be the writers ability to see that the human experience will need to over rule the labido.  

What we saw a GREAT deal of in season two was intimacy.  I am not referring to the fade to black or the scene in the blue room. I am referring to the looks, touches and conversations/arguments that took place.  It is in these moments that our characters become the lovers that can not bare to lose one another.

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The ability to fight.  Jamie & Claire did that. Expressing anger can be quite a passionate act between partners.  It encourages us to say what is on our mind, it encourages us to not only say but show with emotion what our true feelings are.  An example is when Jamie was upset with Claire for working at L’Hôpital des Anges.  The argument was a conduit for deeper understanding which creates intimacy, which creates a deeper bond. Even when our partners say & do irrational things it causes us to think of the deeper issues. Disagreements tend to open lines of communication which in turn leads us to healthier relationships.

Another tragedy befalls Claire & Jamie.  It is the loss of a child.  Hurt, anger, pain -both physical & emotional will cause a rift in any relationship. What truly matters is the bridge back to one another and crossing it together. For when they do…it cements the relationship into something more permanent. Something that could span lifetimes.

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Loss + Forgiveness + Love = Solid Love Lessons

There was a WHOLE LOTTA story to tell in 13 episodes.  We need to speak of the actors commitment to their characters.  Caitriona Balfe & Sam Heughan have said they will not do gratuitous love scenes for the sake of them.  They understand they are telling a story and that the scenes, whether sexual or violent in nature will not be over done.  That is something I am personally grateful for.   It is when shows start throwing in ass shots for the sake of ass shots that they lose credibility.  Honestly, we know that Claire & Jamie are having sex.  Like any other married/loving couple…but we don’t have to see them do it to know they are. It’s like bathing…we really don’t have to see the act, the flies aren’t gathering so we get it.

Conveying the depth of their relationship is more important to the story than sexytime.  

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I would encourage folks to examine logistics of the end of the season as well.  Cold, hungry, weary and focused on changing the future.  Having sex for the sake of having sex isn’t exactly what any sane couple would do under the circumstances.  There is no doubt in my mind that they were, as their intimacy & connection showed greatly in those episodes, however, it was probably pretty un-sexy & the telling of that story was far more important.

The sex at the stones was much like the sex in the book. Fast…intense…and final. That kind of sex is never like a movie, its more like a punch in the stomach. Which I believe they captured perfectly.

I would love to end my view on the sexual world of Outlander. O-Lander if you please. Some of the most intense and intimate moments in books…don’t involve “sex” at all.   *cough* Get ready for the print shop folks. *cough* 

Too skip even further ahead to what I believe to be one of the most intimate scenes in all of Diana’s books…the final passage of  The Fiery Cross.

**Book Spoiler—if you haven’t read to this point in TFC, it is up to you to continue**

FYI-   Fun/Heartwarming Trivia —Diana Gabaldons husband is the one who uttered the final line of this particular passage. It is a testament of a well balanced marriage.  Translated to Claire & Jamie, we have watched the start of it & will continue to enjoy it.

“I sat down beside him, close, my hand on his leg, and his hand on mine. We sat thus for a bit, side by side, watching the rain clouds roll in over the river, like a threat of distant war.  And I thought that whether it was choice or no choice, it might be that it came to the same thing in the end.

   Jamie’s hand lay still on mine.  It tightened a little, and I glances at him, but his eyes were still fixed somewhere past the dooryard; past the mountains, and the distant clouds.  His grip tightened further, and I felt the edges of my ring press into my flesh.

   “When the day shall come, that we do part,” he said softly, and turned to look at me, “if my last words are not ‘I love you’–ye’ll ken it was because I dinna have time.”

2006

SherryLynn

@ABOotlanders Founder