Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Fiery Cross: Some of my Favorite Moments

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you've finished Chapter 88 in The Fiery Cross. 

I've been underlining and marking in the Kindle like a mad-woman lately.. and wanted to share some thoughts with you all...

How much did you love it when Roger regained slight contentiousness and Jamie said "You are alive. You are whole. All is well." I about LOST it when he said "You are whole". That is exactly what Roger would have been thinking as they were on the battlefield. He'd have come to - realized he's incapacitated - and thought "Oh god - what's wrong with me?" I found it very profound and moving that Jamie knew exactly what to say to calm him. God bless Jamie Fraser.

Again - loved it when Jamie said to the Governor: "As ye laid hands on my son." My son. MY SON. God that is so powerful after all they went through in Drums. The man beat the snot out of him and sold him to the Mohawks. And now is calling him his "son". Just very moving, in my opinion. 

How awesome is Claire? "Very carefully, I laid the limp, heavy little body on Roger's chest. Bree made a small movement, as though to catch the baby and stop him  sliding off-but Roger's arm moved up, stiff and slow, and folded across the sleeping child. Tinder, I thought, satisfied." There are no words.

Lovely Jamieisms: "Egg-sucking son of a porcupine!"  and "Turd-eating son of a flying tortoise".

Jamie to Bree: "I have been marrit near thiry years, and you less than two. What is it that ye think I dinna understand, lass?"  Um...I didn't know how to feel about this. I get his point. And I was moved that he says he's been married to Claire almost thirty years. But really? Really, Jamie? By my count I think it's more like 6 or 7 - and I think you're forgetting a certain someone who makes you send money to Scotland every once in a while. Just sayin'..

Totally verklempt: When Jamie told Bree that he spent 20 years wondering if his wife lived and how she and his child fared - and then touched both her and Claire at the same time while explaining that she'll be OK if Roger dies. Exhale. I just teared up thinking about it.

Claire/Roger: At one point, Diana points out that Claire feels like the dark forest could swallow her whole - and then says the exact same thing about Roger - and I thought "WOW! Total Claire/Roger parallel". And I started thinking about the many parallels between these two people. Both forfeited their lives' work - and everything they knew - to cross the stones and be with the one they loved. Both are always doing for others without asking much in return. Both are willing to accept new challenges and handle obstacles when they could be living a much kushier life in the 20th century. I have a tremendous amount of respect for both of these people and had to point that out.

Vomrific comment from Jamie: "And Brianna, bless her, killed a fine elk, just the other side of the river. A chest shot, but she brought it down - and cut the throat herself, though that's a dicey thing to do, and the beast's still thrashing." Ugh. WhatEVER!!!!!!

Orgasmic: "Jamie's head rose clear, a great maned creature looming over me, back arched in his extremity." Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.

Carol is mush: "D'ye ken that the only time I am without pain is in your bed, Sassenach? When I take ye, when I lie in your arms - my wounds are healed, then, my scars forgotten."

Carol is worse mush: When Jamie tells Claire that his father took his mother's hair out of her plaits in her coffin... and how he moved her hair so it didn't cover his baby brother - and then moved it back again because the baby would be happier with her hair covering him. Wait - have to tear up a bit... OK I'm back. Let me just say that I have a son - he's 5. And a few times since he was about 2 I have tucked him in bed at night... and he has asked me to take my hair out of my ponytail, because he likes it long and he likes to touch it. My husband has never said that to me... so it's not like he learned it from him.  He just has it in his little heart that he likes mommy's hair down. So I don't have to tell you how that scene broke my heart...

Even more mush: When Jamie told Claire he was happy she had grey hair because it means she's aging and didn't die young like his mother. Sigh. Talk amongst yourselves...way too verklempt at this point to continue this line of discussion...

Cool Diana-ism: "The sky overhead curved low and dull as the inside of a pewter bowl." WTF??? WHERE does she come UP with this shit? (Said like Jason Lee) Is that not just a magnificent way to describe the sky? She has such a way with adjectives and description. I am so mortified because I just... don't. Don't believe me? Get this: I once went to a gallery showing of video "costumes" that belonged to John Taylor from Duran Duran. And someone was filming a video for John, himself, to watch afterward. I was so nervous, knowing he'd see it... that when I was asked what I thought of the suit he wore in the "Save a Prayer" video (my favorite, mind you) I moronically replied, "I had no idea it would be so... so... orange!" ORANGE??? That's all I had to say? Really Carol... really. It's just... embarrassing. And thus, why I WORSHIP Diana Gabaldon's talent for description.

Amusing Diana-ism: "There are few things deader than a large, dead pig."

OK - I am totally up to date now. I am off to read, lassies! More later!

Mountainous Carolina Brush

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you've gotten to chapter 84 in The Fiery Cross.

So Roger is alive and well. Well OK maybe not "well" per se... but he's alive, damnit. And once again - Jamie sent him off into the wilderness to go and do something he is relatively equipped to do: survey land. Because, you know, most British historians know how to trudge around their newly acquired 5,000 acres of mountainous Carolina brush and survey it. So off he goes... and that's pretty much when all hell breaks loose; again. Jamie and Claire decide to go help some Cherokee hunt and kill a white ghost bear, which they're not even sure exists... and of course Bree has to come because of her excellent marksmanship. And alas - she has to bring Jemmy - because it seems he'll be nursed until high school or the equivalent in the aforementioned mountainous Carolina brush. But of course, as usual, Jemmy is on the Pay No Mind list and is handed over to any number of Cherokee children to play with while his mother is off showing the rest of the tribe how to shoot.

What I found interesting about this stage of the book is that Claire stayed "home" with the Cherokee women and partook in needlework - or some such 18th century project given to the womenfolk - whilst the men were off being manly. Now... does that sound like Claire to you? Me, either. But in any regard, she got her honey traded for some lye soap - or something that will make soap smell better - it escapes my brain at the moment. And then comes the fire. LORD here COME the fire! In trying to smoke the bear out of his cave, they lit the entire forest on fire. And out of the brush gallops Bree and Jamie... and Jamie and Claire ride off into the forest, not really sure where Bree and Jemmy are; somewhere in front of them, they assume. But they know Bree is like a walking Britannica and will surely find her way home (blindfolded with one hand tied behind her back and the other hand offering a breast to Jemmy because that's all that poor child seems to do.) OK - SO - back to the meat of the story... Claire and Jamie get caught in this terrible rainstorm... and I was literally scared out of my damn mind. That's how Diana is - she knows how to tell a good story - and I was truly feeling the rain and the thunder. And the lightning, which they both happened to get slightly singed by... and which killed poor Gideon. Or was it Judas? Rats - there goes the old brain again...

So at the same time they're feeling the effects of this storm, Roger is fighting it as well, as he's still surveying and muttering to himself about what he's going to do with 5,000 acres of - you got it - mountainous Carolina brush. He ends up getting hit by lightning - getting saved by some escaped slaves who happen to be with - wait for it - MRS. BEARDSLEY! I'd know that broken-toothed lisp anywhere! So Roger has to work some serious Camp David-caliber negotiations with her and her ex-slave baby daddy - who then blindfold him and take him to safety. And Roger tells them about the  baby and that it was a girl who will inherit all of that FREAK Beardsley's land.

Now - let me ask y'all a question... because it has been driving me nuts. Why on EARTH didn't that woman sit tight on her land after Jamie buried Mr. Beardsley?? She could have delivered in a warm bed - had her ex slave baby daddy live there with her (under the pretense of being her slave, maybe)  and she could have said the baby was his with his dead wife or something...and that she had adopted her. And she'd have had plenty of shelter, food, etc. She could have had all the ex-slaves helping to work the land and living there with her and her ex-slave baby daddy - and life would be infinitely better for them than hiding in that ramshackle woods cabin that's falling down around them. And she could have kept her baby! I just don't get it. I suppose brainpower didn't really flourish back in 18th century mountainous Carolina brush. Must have been all the bannocks. One needs a little protein once in a while, do they not?

New Video from My Outlander Purgatory

So as I mentioned... Jenn, Shannon and I went to Tracey's for a little lunch and Outlander discussion yesterday. We had a great time and made this video for you to watch and feel like you're discussing along with us. Tracey was starting A Breath of Snow and Ashes... and the rest of us are still on The Fiery Cross. We have a little theorizing about how the series will end... but no major spoilers are given as none of us has gotten past book 6 yet!  Enjoy! And we'd love to hear your (spoiler-free) comments!

PS - After our video is the way cool SIMS video made by Akashana on youtube that we mention in our video. Check it out!



Saturday, January 30, 2010

January Book Club Meeting: OUTLANDER

Hi All! I'm back! PLEASE forgive me for not blogging in days. Life has been nothing short of hectic since Wednesday.


Hosted my book club meeting on Thursday... and we had a great time!!



Went to Cameron's in Brick, NJ on Thursday to pick up Scotch Pies, Sausage Rolls and a huge flag with the Lion Rampant on it for my book club meeting.



I also made bannocks and served them with jam (and a spoon that was clearly way too large to make a good presentation, but whatever. No one cared about the spoon. They RAVED about the bannocks and now Shannon wants to make and market them!)


I basically had a ton of meats and cheeses, trying to be as in keeping with 18th century Scotland as possible (while serving foods that were as easy to make/buy as possible.)

 My dear friend, Teresa made a SPECTACULARLY GORGEOUS carrot cake that I found on one of my favorite Scottish sites: A Wee Bit of Cooking. Wow. I mean... WOW. Look at it! Stunning! (Those are cranberries and pistachios on it!) And it was tremendous, too. Teresa actually used to live in Scotland. She lived in Dunoon (I've been there - adorable town. Loved it) when she was a wee lass... and she happens to be the best cook I know. So when I sent her a link to the website with a photo of the cake, she offered to make it. Who was I to say "no"???

All in all, the book club meeting was a lot of fun. People were in different stages of reading the book - so many did not partcipate in the discussion as they have not finished yet and didn't want spoilers. It just about killed me to keep my mouth shut all night long about Outlander, let alone the rest of the series. But somehow I muddled through. Someone innocently threw a bit of a spoiler out there about Echo in the Bone after reading a few sample pages at the end of Outlander (why do they DO THAT?? They should only give a sample of Dragonfly in Amber, darnit!)...but nothing bad at all. And one person gave a last page spoiler to Teresa... but she put her fingers in her ears and said "lalalala" with a huge amount of dignity. LOL

OK....next up... a blog about our meeting at Tracey's house today. More to come!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Roger, Roger. Over, Over.

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read until you have reached Chapter 80 in The Fiery Cross.

So there I was... reading along merrily.... kindof shaky subject matter, what with Jamie, Claire and Bree waiting for the order to "charge" to come down.. but not really all that worried. I mean, let's face it, Lassies, there are 2 more books after this one.. and Diana is writing #8 as I type (I hope.)

So imagine my surprise when Roger suddenly finds himself HANGING FROM A MOTHERFARGIN TREE for the love of all that's holy in this world.

I was nothing short of verklempt. Tears. OH there were tears. LORDDDDD there were TEARS!! I'm lying in bed on Saturday morning... just reading and reading with my cup of joe that my hubby brought me (he's a good egg).. and then I get to that part and flip the HELL out. I sit up - and I'm going "No. NOOOOO!!!! He CAN'T be dead!!! Nooooo!!!" I then email my Outlander mentor/sister, Tracey (because it was 8:30 and I figured she wouldn't be up yet)... and entitle the email: "OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG". The email said the following:

IS ROGER DEAD????? 

I had to stop reading at the hanging. But he voided and saw the white light and heard the cries of an "orphan"  in the distance - assuming that's his own Jemmy. WTF??? And was Morag standing there watching?????  And not HELPING????

But I don't see how you wouldn't have called me and said something huge happened if he was really dead.

But he MUST be dead????  Ugh. I'm going to read on the treadmill. I am already in tears. Damn that DG. If Roger is dead, I might not even read this anymore...

Yes. That's what I wrote. I actually contemplated not reading any more of the Outlander series. (Oh who am I kidding, that would have lasted all of 10 minutes.) And that is precisely the moment that I realized I truly love Roger and would be devastated if he were dead.

So at that point, I found the will to read again (much like Edward found the will to stop. But that's another book series.) And what did I read?

Morag brings Jamie and the gang to where the hangings have taken place. And Jamie - sadistic %$#@ that he is (kidding) actually makes BREE cut him loose. And they get Roger down... and he moans. He WHAT?!? HE MOANS!!!  And what did I hear in my head at that point?

HE SAYS HE'S NOT DEAD!!!!

And then Claire starts working on him like a FREAK and cuts open his throat and shoves a PIPE in there for god's sake - in all her MacGyver glory - and Roger starts breathing! And at this point I'm on my treadmill and I've got my fist in the air and what do I think to myself but:

"FUCKING CLAIRE!!!!!!! YOU GO GIRL!!!!!"

(sorry about that but it was a very emotional moment and some shamefully crass language got the better of me. C'mon... even Diana/Claire throws the f-biscuit around SOMEtimes!!!)

OK I have to stop typing because this is getting dangerously long... but yes. Roger lives. With little to no voice... and a geese-shooting, horseback-riding, portrait-painting, land-surveying, baby-nursing wife who could not give a shit that he's losing his dignity with every passing breath. Nope. Girlfriend doesn't give a rat's ASS. All she cares about is the fact that she has to remember eating dolmades alone, because Roger is too sad to remember it with her. POOR HER (said like Tony Soprano's mom.)

More to come lassies... more to come...

I Willna Eat Green Eggs and Ham

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished Chapter 63 in The Fiery Cross. 

OK - so Claire and Jamie and the militia are waiting for the word to come down from Governor Tryon about when/if they'll fight. Jamie's pretty sure they will - so in a last ditch effort, he sends Roger (who gets hotter by the day in my book) to see Hermon Husband and ask him to come back to camp with him and meet with Tryon. To this day I'm scratching my head as to WHY Jamie sent Roger - but we'll get to that in a bit, mmmkay?

So out of the clear blue sky, who shows up oh horseback but Gaelic-speaking, quail-shooting, portrait-painting, land-surveying (I'll get to this later) super-daughter-of-the-apocalypse, Bree... much to Jamie's chagrin (although I don't know why as she could most likely fight off the regulators single-handedly.) And of course they have a little spat back and forth in full Gaelic - most of which Claire can't even understand. But Jamie realizes Bree does what Bree wants - and therefore, she's staying.

They then get word that the battle will begin in about an hour... because Tryon could not, would not deal with a mob (aka the Regulators). And it is at this point that Bree and Claire have a private little exchange.... and I find it to be so amusing and endearing at the same time. We'll call it Cat-in-the-Hat Battle Speak:

Claire to Bree: "Could you, would you, in a box? Could you would you, with a fox?"
Bree to Claire: "He could not, would not, with a mob. Could not, would not... do the job?"

And they're both giggling under their breath - because they're essentially shitting their pants about what is coming down the pike. I can relate to this like nothing other in this series. Just ask my mentor sister, Tracey. We come from a family of laughter. Laughter when something is funny - laughter when something is sad - laughter when something is downright terrifying. That's what happens when your parents are children of the Great Depression who were never taught how to properly convey their feelings. They find solace in laughter; and so do I.  So I'm reading that - and Claire and Bree are giggling nervously - and I'm thinking "Wow this would so be Tracey and I"... and I understood.

But I started wondering... "Where the hell is Roger"?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Scottish Recipes

OK guys - I need your help! I am hosting my book club's monthly meeting at my house this Thursday... and of course I picked "Outlander" for the book. (This has spurned on two other friends to suggest it for their January meetings. What can I say? I am a "Disciple of Diana"; a spreader of Outlander love.)

Sooooo....I'm serving Scottish foods. Not a sit-down dinner or anything... just a taste of Scotland. Scotch Pies, Sausage Rolls, Bannocks.... but I'd love your input! Do you have an easy recipe for a Scottish appetizer? Let's hear it!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

TRACEY TRIES THE HAGGIS!

Thought you might all want to have a looksee at my sister/Outlander mentor, Tracey enjoying some Haggis for the first time (and last?) with her husband and friends.

TO THE HAGGIS!

So last night my sister/mentor, Tracey went to the Argyle restaurant in Kearny, NJ (Scottish capital of NJ) for their annual "Address to a Haggis" celebration of Robert Burns' birthday. She took video so y'all could partake in this interesting ritual.  Enjoy!

Robert Burns' Address to a Haggis

Na na na na na na... you say it's your birthday...

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished Chapter 59 in THE FIERY CROSS.

OK - so no sooner are Jamie and Claire back at the Ridge than they're heading out to go fight the Regulators with the Militia... and Roger Mac is going with them. (I LOVE that name. It makes Roger seem a little more mysterious and manly.) Because, you know, Roger has soooo much experience with guns and the like. He is ridiculously lucky that Jamie doesn't tell him to stay home with the weans and tend to Claire's garden.

So once they get where they're going, Jamie sends Roger's arse out into the wood to go find Hermon Husband and ask him to please come and talk to the governor. Jamie probably figured this was an easy enough task for Roger who is lacking in um, shall we say battle skills.

But a few days before Roger's departure, Jamie and Claire wake up in their tent on Jamie's birthday. And Jamie is holding up his right hand (and we all know what THAT hand looks like... damn you Jack Randall. Damn you to hell!) and examining it for changes, now that he has turned 50. HOLY SHIT JAMIE IS 50, Y'ALL! (Fifty and fine... say it with me!) And Carol melts a little further into her chair, beaming with pride over a fictional character and his journey through hell and back again - lucky to be with his one true love at the half-century mark of his life. And Jamie and Claire have a very moving and poignant conversation about outliving their parents... which made me shed a little tear for both of them.

And then the journal entries start. LORDDDD the journal entries. Journal entries made by Governor Tryon. And then the skimming starts. Because it was late and Carol was tired (why else would she be talking about herself in the third person?) and she kindof loathes Tryon and doesna really care what he's up to. All I cared about was this: Are we fighting or what???

The Gold Rush

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you've finished Book 5 in The Fiery Cross. (Shannon - that means you. Go 'way and read something further down the page, Lass!)

OK forgive me if I rush this but there is so much happening in book 6 (or am I on book 7??) now that I have to get to it PRONTO. But the following must be mentioned, so let's get to it.

So here's Claire - all happy after some good stable lovin' with Jamie... where she got a new lesson in Jamie Nethers Aesthetics, if you will. And next thing we know, Betty is no longer drunk in the slaves quarters. No... Betty is now dead in the slaves quarters. How do I know? Because the poor woman is spitting up blood and just keeled over right in front of Claire's face - and in front of "the good doctor's" face - who is now a fan of Claire because she made him feel better after he lost one of his patients. I was proud of Claire for putting away her condescending attitude toward ignorant 19th century doctors for a minute or two, to make him feel better. Go Team Claire.

So Claire - feeling in her gut that Betty was murdered - and in her infinite need to find the culprit (a la Fred from Scooby Doo) -  decides she's going to give poor, ol' Betty an autopsy, right there in the shed where she's laid out, awaiting burial. And why is she awaiting burial? Because Jocasta isn't about to bother herself or her guests with the nasty business of burying a slave woman - heaven forbid. Because, you know, she's just  a HUMAN BEING and all. (I plan to do a whole post at some point about how the slave storylines are tearing my heart right out of my chest.) So Jamie accompanies Claire to the shed to help hold the lantern steady while she slices Betty into pieces, without asking her next of kin or anything (um, that would be Phaedre, a character I absolutely adore and could read an entire series about, I'm sure.)

So yada yada yada - cut cut cut, "Jamie hold the lantern steady"... and who should come flying in the door but Philip Wylie - followed closely by STEPHEN BONNET. Um, hello? WTF??? Where'd HIS RANK DIRTY IRISH ASS come from???? I was like "Um - did I skim something??" but alas - no - because there he was, all ready to steal some gold from the shed, until JAMES ALEXANDER MALCOLM MACKENZIE FRASER saw him and chased his ass down like a panther chases an antelope in one of those Animal Kingdom shows my dad is obsessed with. It ruled. But unforch - Jamie lost him. And in the skirmish, the shed went up in flames - and poor Phaedre is turning into a mental patient after all this hubbub with her poor mom, Betty. And THEN we find out Bonnet had tied up Jocasta and Duncan, after messing up Duncan pretty dang good... because he's looking for gold she's had hidden in the house since her late husband was alive. (Remember Dougal's gold? Yeah - it's the same gold. Enough said.) And Bonnet had an accomplice who Jocasta knows - because he didn't speak while he was in the room with her, Bonnet and Duncan - so she is assuming he didn't want her to hear his voice.

Anywho.... after all of that... Claire and the gang had a big, ol' powwow in Jocasta's room - and again at breakfast the next morning (god I salivate when the talk about their breads and all those jams) and they all tried to come up with theories about who the mystery tier-upper was.... but to no avail. I'm sure that will come back in another book. But for now... it's just back to life on the Ridge!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jamie and Claire, Sittin' in a Tree...

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished Part 5 in The Fiery Cross.

So where were we? Oh yeah - Jamie made JFBM2 and asked Claire to give him both of her wedding rings. Not too cool, Julie. (If you can name what movie that line is from I will be seriously impressed.)

So Claire goes and finishes taking care of all her various patients (it's amazing how many people get hurt in Claire's world, no?) and goes to sleep on the floor in a room with about 45 other wives. Someone comes in, starts playing with her feet, then works his way up to her nethers and starts getting seriously frisky - and GIRLFRIEND DOESN'T KNOW WHO IT IS. OK, now... do you not sit up and say "Hmmm... someone has his hand dangerously close to my vajayjay... maybe I ought to take a lil looksee"?????? NO - she just lays there thinking "Well goshdarn, I surely hope this is Jamie." I've said it before - I'll say it again: "CLAIRE, YOU IGNORANT SLUT." ;) 

So anywhoooo - boyfriend runs out of the room because the annoying woman next to her rolls over... and Claire ends up laying there for a while, wondering if it was Jamie who was playin' "this little piggie goes to market" with her toes (and other areas)... and when she can stand the curiosity no longer (this would so be me; obsess much?), she gets up and goes to the stairs, of which Jamie is standing at the bottom, waiting for her. And he's drunk. Really, really drunk. And summons to her to "Come down". And a shiver runs right the hell down my own spine and I'm thinking I'd probably slide down the banister to get there as uber fast as possible. And he tries to "take her" right there on the stairs... but Claire's like "Um, hello? This isn't our house. HELL to the NO!" and they go out to the stables, where Jamie proceeds to do one of the hottest things he has EVER done and tells her to "Look down" and "Watch while I take ye" while he's railing her against the wall. Mmmm hmmm. It was about as TASTY as you can possibly get where James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser is concerned. Oh yeah - and he gave her the rings back, because, in addition to sword fighting.. and soothing horses... and running a farm... and showing Claire a good time, boyfriend is apparently tremendous at cards, as well. He tells Claire he won Wylie's prized horse in the game... and is verra excited about the prospect because he's going to sell it (you know, so they won't starve this winter and all.)

I have read way more than this... but I need to end this here as Tracey told me to make my book review posts shorter - and post them more often - so y'all will actually want to read them.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Outlander Book Club







Just have to give a shout out to our friends over at the Outlander Book Club. They rock. You must go check out their site. They have forum discussions about every single Outlander series book. And the BEST part is that they list each book separately, so if you're like me and you're still in the midst of the series, you can go to whatever book discussions you want without worrying about spoilers. AWESOME. And I just have to say that their banner with the stones is so cool I don't know what to do with myself.

I couldna resist...


Thursday, January 21, 2010

A My Outlander Purgatory GATHERING

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read or watch unless you have finished OUTLANDER.

Here's what happens when the girls and I get together for a little Outlander chit-chat. If we all seem a little overly excited, it's because my mentor/sister, Tracey was here... and she lives an hour away and doesna usually make it to these meetings. We start off discussing "All I Want is You" by U2 and how I feel it is soooo perfect for the witchcraft scene in Outlander. We then discuss Tracey's "Claire hair"... Shannon questions whether she has her "pins to keep her diaper on for her courses" (DYING at that)... and we do a little Gathering-esque introduction that, I think you Outlander fans will get a kick out of.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Outlader Purgatory discusses The Fiery Cross

So my mentor/sister (Twitter Tracey) and I got together over the weekend to discuss the first half of The Fiery Cross... and thought it would be fun to video our thoughts. Let us know what you think! 



Discussing The Fiery Cross - Part 2

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Pissing on the Gateposts"

By the way... isn't it completely bizarre when Jamie does odd, 18th century spiritual things? Like... he's this big, strong, hulking man... and he can fight any warrior who comes down the pike... but make him go near one dead body in a shed... and he starts performing rituals to keep out the spirits. It seems so ironic, maybe? I dunno.... I just had to mention that.

Monday, January 18, 2010

1 Wedding and a (Possible) Funeral

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished chapter 46 in The Fiery Cross.

OK so when we last left off, Claire was getting annoyed with the house guests, and rightly so. Well right after that, she took the hell off with Jamie, Roger and the Militia, leaving Bree to stay at the Ridge and deal with all the annoying people by herself. And don't forget wee Jemmy. So - as a mom - let me set this scene. Bree is breastfeeding Jemmy all damn day long. Don't forget, she couldn't just give him a sippy of half water - half Juicy Juice - and a little bowl of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish - and set him up in front of Elmo. Oh. No. None of that was taking place. Here's what life in charge of the women-folk on the Ridge was like for Bree:

Get up - Feed Jemmy - Put clothes on - Change Jemmy - Eat breakfast with Jemmy on her lap - Feed Jemmy - Churn the butter while Jemmy played with the fireplace poker - Chase Jemmy - Yell at Mrs. Bug and Mrs. Chisolm while holding Jemmy - Feed Jemmy. Wash the floor while holding Jemmy - Change Jemmy - Clean the chicken coop while picking crickets out of Jemmy's mouth - Nap Jemmy. And that was all before noon, my friends. I had nothing but respect for Brianna whilst Claire was having yet another adventure in her breeks on horseback. Yessir. Nothing but respect.

OK so moving right along - I enjoyed the section about the Beardsleys as it was a welcome change from life at the Ridge. COMMA HOWEVER - it - in and over itself - could have been a full length horror flick which would undoubtedly sell out most theatres in the US and Canada. I mean seriously. That dude's festering leg was enough to make me vom... let alone all the, um, VOM!!! And feces. And urine. And moldy food (which you know Claire probably hid in her purse for her experiments back on the Ridge.) And what bugged me even MORE was crazy-assed MRS. BEARDSLEY who lived with him and burnt his toes! EWWW! I would not have wanted to be within 25 MILES of his NASTY ASSED TOES!!! At any rate - all kidding aside -  what an amazingly powerful scene when Jamie buried Mr. Beardsley and was in tears, thinking about how his own father had a stroke and wondering how long he may have suffered. Who could blame him? And it just made me even more upset about Ian being gone - and Jenny being mad at him. He should be in contact with his sister, no? Ugh. I canna even go there; talk of Ian breaks my heart. And I want Jenny and Ian to get their rears on a boat and come to the RIDGE. And I dinna see it happening... but maybe herself will surprise me.

SO - what was with Mrs. Beardsley dumping her kid in the woods with Claire and Jamie??? Yeah Yeah - it served to finally put to rest the question of Claire ever spawning again (and by the way - I'm sure there are some fertility doctors who would love to sit down and chat about what Claire seems to consider her overproducing loins. Girlfriend is what - 52? 53? I've heard it happens... but come on.) I will say that - I couldn't decide whether I wanted them to keep that baby. I loved the idea of them raising their very own baby - together. But they already moved into the big house to escape Jemmy screaming all night... so I kindof thought "bad idea". And I have the strangest feeling we'll see that baby again - but what do I know? I liked Stephen Bonnet and wanted to see more of him when Jamie gave him a ride out of town... so DINNA listen to me, Lassies!

Dug the Brownsville section - again, it's a change from the Ridge - but I was fighting a bit of agida until they got the message that the possible battle was off - and Jamie was once again in a good mood. OH - and one thing that bugged me - and I'm sure this is just silly on my part - but I wanted to experience them going back to the Ridge. I was more than a little concerned about Jamie and his obvious PNEUMONIA - which seemed to have cleared up on its own, seeing as we closed out the chapter in Brownsville and started a new one days after their return to the Ridge. And again - there was poor Bree (don't mistake me, I don't love her character, but I can sympathize with any woman left alone with children for days on end. LORD can I sympathize) upset with Roger because she cleaned the floors and all he cared about was his man-trip with Jamie and the boys (and Claire.)

Moving on.... to my one of my sister/mentor's FAVORITE parts - when Claire and Jamie were in Claire's surgery and Claire was explaining the facts of (20th century) life to Jamie. His reaction to the fact that there are little wee swimmie things with tails was adorable - as are most of his reactions to things from Claire's time (I will write up a whole post on this soon - there are things I'd like to see in a future book but am too shy to email DG about.) I really enjoyed the scene... but I loved when Claire did the surgery on the Beardsley boys. And I loved Lizzie's protectiveness over them, too. She is going to become a more important part of this story... I just KNOW it, y'all.

OK so on to the wedding - Jocasta and Duncan - which is where I am now. WHAT A FRIGGIN DAY this has been! My god it's like being at the Gathering all over again! (LORD, THE GATHERING! Poor Jen L. is probably STILL there!) It's been very interesting... ESPECIALLY the part where Jamie got his romeo on with Claire in the grove. Tracey and I are always looking for new ways for Jamie and Claire to get busy - and damn if DG didn't offer up a new and interesting morsel; 3rd base, my friends...3rd base. WHILST HOLDING CLAIRE in one arm, might I add. Unbelievable, that Jamie. Actually I still haven't figured out the logistics of that little acrobatic act. Was he behind her? That's why his arm was around her middle like an iron rod - right?? Le sigh. DG does it again. She never ceases to amaze me with her new forms of copulation for Jamie and Claire. I just sit back, hold my breath and wonder what's coming next.

Anywho... where am I now? Jamie found poor drunk-assed Betty lyin' in the garden all high on what we'd consider Opium. And they're thinking maybe she just picked up someone's drink and that someone is trying to kill whomever's drink it was. (Does that last sentence make any kind of grammatical sense? I thought not.) And the crazy-assed 18th century doctor "bled" her, much to Claire's dismay. Side note - don'tcha just love how Claire silently berates these doctors for their stupidity when she'd be doing the same damn, moronic healing had she been born in the 18th century? Mmmm hmmmm. I think Claire needs to work on her social technique with these docs... but I digress. So anyway... the slave is still drunk but Jamie has convinced himself she was taking the Opium on her own (um... yeah right). I'm sure this will come out later. My guess - as I said on the video I made with Tracey yesterday - is that Ulysses was trying to off Duncan so he couldn't marry Jocasta and move him right the hell out of the picture. And PS - am I the only one who sees Ulysses as the butler in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air? (Will Smith was in my class freshman year of high school, but that's not important right now) Totally reminds me of him.

OH and Jamie found out there are like 1,000 regulators gathered together and camped out - just waiting for a conflict - so now he's going to have to deal with THAT when he gets his horny ass back to the Ridge. Why horny, you ask? Well I'll tell you. Because he no sooner got back from his baseball expedition in the grove with Claire, then he's back at it on the terrace, fondling his wine glass and watching her command a group of gentleman with her feminine wiles. For some reason that doesn't embarrass him at all - but chit chatting with Wylie did. OH how could I have missed the WYLIE sitch??? So after the baseball session, Claire went into the stables alone with creepy assed Wylie, because he said he needed to show her something. Next thing you know, boyfriend kisses her and Claire ends up on the verge of kicking him in the privates, but she settles for his shins. So she runs out  and runs smack into James Alexander MalcoLm Mackenzie Fraser, who proceeds to pick Wylie's beauty mark off her face and freak the hell out. ooooh it was GOOD drama. Absolutely. Loved it. Although I'd have been mad when he tried to hug her into submission... that was a little odd. So yada yada yada.... Jocasta gets married after Claire tells her poor Duncan canna do the deed because of an early childhood injury. Now we all know Claire is going to be slicing into his nether regions in another day or two.... just so he can consummate this marriage PROPER! But regardless - Jocasta marries him anyway. No one is really sure as to what her exact motives are... not even Jamie.

Sooooo- back to the scene on the terrace where Jamie is fondling his wine glass and thanking the LORD for his belted kilt which covers a multitude of weaponry; both the literal and figurative kind, mmm hmmm. And just as he's about to get Claire and head to the stone bench beneath the willow trees... some annoying guy (George Lyon) grabs him and wants to chit chat about lord only knows what. Turns out he wants Jamie to set up camp with his dinero and make lots and lotsa whiskey - but Jamie tells him (nicely) to eff off because he knows that such a large operation would lead to no kind of good, y'all. So he hightails his hot arse back to the terrace, starts flirting with Claire - and we're thinking "this is it... here we GO!" and then BAM! Wylie shows up and challenges him to a serious game of cards later - and Jamie accepts. And Claire and Jamie go walking on the lawn and start arguing about the situation.

But I was still so convinced they were headed down to the willows to have some matrimonial fun after their tiff that I sent the following email to Tracey:

I was LOVING his POV (point of view) - totally. "He wasn't hungry, either, though. At least not for puddings and savories." Why can't EVERY chapter be from Jamie's perspective?? It's like "Midnight Sun" on acid!!!!!!!! But then DG switched to Claire's POV and it was a bit of a let-down. Anyway - they were getting all amorous and she took her hair down right there at the buffet table (Claire, you ignorant slut!) and then Wylie showed up asking JF to play cards. So now they're walking on the lawn - verra fast - and Jamie's dander is up over the cards, and Claire's all "You don't have shit to gamble with" and the reader (that's me) is assuming they're going to have some mean groping and lovin' out on the stone bench under the willow (oh mother of god, can we say lift up the skirt and HOP on POP??? I'd just ride that wave and watch those injured fingers beat the HELL out of that thigh, I would.) So anyway - I don't know what's going to happen. I almost think nothing is going to happen since we just went to third base at the grove a matter of hours ago. But maybe DG is giving us a verra special gift of a JF double whammy... kindof like when Claire came in the house in the West Indies and found Jamie bathed and nekkid on the bed.... right the hell after we took it from behind while biting the birth at sea. So who knows... OFF TO READ, MOTHERF*CKA!!!!!!

 OK let me be clear on this - I am so NOT the person who uses the term "motherf*cker" (see, I can't even TYPE it!) and certainly not with an A on the end, all gangsterish.... but damnit that's what the possibility of a naked Jamie Fraser does to me. So ANYway....

We have now hit JFBM2 - Jamie Fraser Bonehead Move #2 (JFBM1 being the part where he accused her of getting down to bizznazz with Wylie in the stable - snort):  Jamie asks Claire for her gold wedding ring from FRANK so he can go GAMBLE!!!!!  My god that's right out of a movie! It could be Goodfells or something! Is Karen coming to help you make the sauce?!? Wow. Low, low and more low, Jamie. And I didn't even get a good love scene because Claire gave it to him - AND HER SILVER RING FROM HIM - and stalked off. And I don't blame her. And he'd better plan on kissing her ass after the game tonight or he's going to be sleeping under the trash bin or inside the privy instead of where he would have been sleeping had he not been a moron; in the stables or under a large rock with Claire.

Fraser Tartan Keds

Dinna even ask me HOW I just stumbled upon these. I don't know whether to laugh - or to order some! $60 - totally customizable. You can change the binding colors, etc, inside and out. Check 'em out!

Oh Holy God indeed...

"A belted plaid, though, could hide a multitude of sins - or at the least, a dirk and pistol - let alone a random cockstand."

I can now die a happy woman.

The 6 Greatest Words Ever Spoken together:

Mercy?
No
He
Would
Have
None.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why I Blog

"Art in the blood is liable to take the strangest forms." 

~ Conan Doyle, by way of Robert Downey Jr. at the Golden Globes

Helen Mirren IS Jocasta

Took this picture of Helen Mirren looking fabulous - as always -  on the Golden Globes tonight. She is SO my Jocasta. Truly.


Verra Cool Scotland-Themed Websites

When you run a website, you do a lot of research googling... and you run into some tremendous websites.

I HAVE to mention a beautiful site I found recently, Scotland for the Senses. If you are a fan of the most beautiful country on earth, you'll love this site.

Another neat Scottish-themed site is A Wee Bit of Cooking that has tons and tons of Scottish recipes.

And if you are a fan of Scottish actors, you MUST check out Weirdly Obsessive Gerard Butler Fans. (Great job, Diane!) And might I say that I just saw him on the Golden Globes and they did NOT give that man enough dialogue or on-air time. I could pass up everyone else on the show (except Stephen Moyer, of course) and watch him all night. Seriously.

Two Words: Stephen Bonnet






















*Thanks to socialitelife for this lovely shot of Colin Farrell.

Blog Changes

OK so I'm messing with the blog today. Feel free to make suggestions. Keep in mind I'm limited to whatever Blogger.com offers in the way of design.  In my next life I'm coming back as a (talented) graphic artist. Really.

Another Jamie Fraser Possibility

So I was searching for old-fashioned fonts and stumbled upon the Everything Anna blog. She gives a suggestion for a good Jamie Fraser: Max Martini. Wow, I'm impressed. I've never even heard of this guy! Verra red and a long, straight nose. And red stubble! I think I dig him. I'm still on board with Philip Winchester (until they find the right Scot lurking at a casting call in Edinburgh or Glasgow...) but this guy is not too shabby!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Just a wee picture of Philip Winchester

Spoiler Alert: Dinna read unless you have read VOYAGER. I thought it was high time I posted another pic of Philip Winchester - aka a great Jamie possibility. According to IMDB, he'll be 29 in March. Do you know what that means, Sassenachs? It means he could play Young Jamie - and Older Jamie. Mmm hmmm. Chew on THAT for a while - and let me know what you think!

The Pillars of the Earth MOVIE!

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you've read VOYAGER.
This morning I remembered that exactly one year ago, I was reading The Pillars of the Earth. Fast forward to a little while ago when I sat down to watch a bit of RocknRolla with my hubby so I could pick through the mostly British cast for Outlander possibilities. After hanging on Gerard Butler's every word for a while... and realizing I might actually be down with the folks who think he's a good candidate for "Older Jamie"... I googled some dude from the movie; can't even remember his name now, as it is SO not important. What IS important is that I just came to the realization that they have filmed a "The Pillars of the Earth" MOVIE!!! 8 HOURS WORTH! Can we say "miniseries"?? You could have heard me "squeeee!" from across the country. I loved that book. I'll admit that - while it has lots of traipsing through the woods - it wasn't exactly as exciting as Outlander. And OK so I may have skimmed through some of the details of the cathedral architecture. But my god - the drama - the angst - the Jobian feel of poor Tom Builder! I canna tell you how much I loved that book -  and that character - for some of the same reasons I love Outlander and Jamie Fraser. Read it! (When you're finished Outlander, that is!)

PS - I can honestly say I am more than happy to see this on the big screen because I wasn't attached to it like I am to the Outlander series. See my Randall Wallace post and comments for further explanation!

C'mon Randall! Back the RIGHT Horse!

Ugh. He's been directing a movie about a horse instead of Outlander. The only horse I want to see in the movies will have Jamie's Scottish ass majestically splayed upon it.

Secretariat -- October 8
Sports movies tend to have a lot of biblical parallels. Perhaps that is why the Apostle Paul uses sports as metaphors for the spiritual life. Secretariat was the name of the horse that won the Triple Crown in 1973. With director Randall Wallace, who wrote the screenplay for Braveheart and who was the screenwriter for We Were Soldiers and The Man in the Iron Mask, I expect to see those metaphors fully explored.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Outlander Reading Challenge!

Tracey just sent me a link to The Outlander Reading Challenge website. I love it! I'm hoping they'll let me take the challenge. It started in November and I started reading Outlander in October. But you have until November 17th, 2010 to finish.  Enjoying every second of reading, Sassenachs!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Outlandish Observations

Let me tell you something I love about the Outlander community. Everyone is so friendly - and so willing to spread the Outlander love. We got a very cool mention from Karen over at Outlandish Observations yesterday.  It's a GREAT Outlander site and I can't wait to more thoroughly check it out once I finish the series!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Outlandish Companion II is Coming!

Diana has posted on her own blog - Voyages of the Artemis - that she is working on The Outlandish Companion II  - ALONG WITH BOOK 8 (squeeee!) - and is actually interested in finding out what the fans want to see in the books.

I have to throw out a big, ol' THANK YOU, DIANA for giving a hoot about her fans the way she does. It's completely refreshing that she makes herself accessible by having a website, a blog, a youtube page, etc. The woman actually answers some of the comments. And if she has an assistant doing a lot of it? Doesna matter. Good for her.  I think it's absolutely wonderful.

Let me tell you something about my life regarding the Outlander series. My friends and I meet at school pick-up and we read. We meet for coffee and we discuss Diana's characters. We meet my sister for drinks and discuss Jamie Fraser's anatomy (ooops! Did I say that?!) The bottom line here is that we're all hard-working women - some with young children and a lot of stress... and these books have brought a lot of joy and comfort to our lives.  It's heartwarming to know the author actually cares.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oh Bannocks!

I don't know what came over me today... maybe it was the FREEZING COLD northeast US weather... maybe it was the dream I had last night about STALE BANNOCKS. (Crazy, party of 1?)

Either way - I tried my hand at baking Bannocks after finding a truly easy recipe on iChef.com.

I've reprinted the recipe below - and linked to it for your convenience.

It's definitely true that they are somewhere in between an oatmeal cookie and a biscuit. I'd say it's a sweet biscuit. Kindof like a scone - but much more apt to get crunchy verra soon after you bake them. They are really good with butter and jam... and a cup of tea or coffee. I also made a few with raisins - and a few with chocolate chips. I preferred the plain ones, however, which is odd, seeing as I've got a sweet tooth the size of Nebraska.
Enjoy!

Scottish Bannocks Recipe
Yield: 10 Servings

Ingredients
1 1/2 c All-purpose flour
1 c Quick-cooking oats
1/4 c (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
2 tb Sugar
1 tb Baking powder
1 pn Of salt
1/2 c (about) milk

Instructions

A cross between a chewy oatmeal cookie and a biscuit. Serve fresh from the oven as is or split and toasted. Excellent for breakfast or tea. Bannocks are best the day they are baked.

Makes 10 to 12

1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Combine flour, oats, butter, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Rub mixture against side of bowl with wooden spoon until butter is completely blended in. Slowly stir in enough milk to make stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead just until dough holds together. Reflour surface lightly. Roll dough out 1/3 inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2-inch rounds. Gather scraps together. Reroll and cut additional bannocks. Arrange on ungreased baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake until light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot or cool on racks.

**Post Scriptum:  I have recently changed the way I shape the bannocks and like them much better.  I don't roll them anymore; now I just knead the dough.  Then I grab a chunk of dough...roll it into a ball and flatten it out.  This way they are closer to 1/2 inch thick and come out higher - with more of a cakey consistency.  This way, they aren't as hard the next day and are much easier to slice or pull apart...and add butter, jam, etc.  Enjoy!

Just a typical (freezing cold) Sunday in NJ...

Found this book about Highlanders on a shelf in my husband's office... along with a beautiful book on Scotland... and a book on Scottish Clans. Interestingly enough, a book entitled "1776" about Washington's crossing and the Declaration of Independence,  among other things relating to the American Revolution, was right next to them. What amuses me is that I most likely gave him these books (since he's the Scot with relatives in Scotland) and yet I'm the one who now cherishes them. What's an Irish/Italian-American, Diana Gabaldon-loving gal to do?


Who is YOUR Outlander Mentor?

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished Drums of Autumn.
So my sister Tracey (and Outlander mentor) has been telling me I should post about Outlander mentors - and how it's vital to have one. Which, it is, Sassenachs. I have had more than one occasion where something happened in the books and I've had to call my sister - who is always at least a half a book ahead of me - and ask questions. Or complain. Or yell. Or cry my eyes out.

I called Tracey on the first page of Dragonfly in Amber to say "WHAT THE F*%#???????"

I called her again at the end (and many times in between) to cry my eyes out and spend an hour discussing the books - our lives - and just generally sound like Nancy Kerrigan whilst chanting "Why? WHY?" over and over again.

Tracey, Jenn and I had a massive one hour conference call when Marsali burst in on Jamie and Claire in Voyager.  THAT was an interesting call.

And I called Tracey in tears - with a desperate need for guidance when Ian became a Mohawk. (Poor Shannon had to endure this alone as she was in Florida visiting relatives.) I shudder to think of not being able to call my mentor when I need to discuss.

So again - I ask you: Who is YOUR Outlander Mentor??

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Authentic Gaelic Music

Give a listen to Griogair Labhruidh over at MySpace. Tremendous Gaelic tuneage - being SUNG in Gaelic. Sounds like Roger's in the houseeeee!

Friday, January 8, 2010

It's getting a little crowded up on the Ridge...

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have reached Chapter 22 in  The Fiery Cross.

Let me tell you why Diana Gabaldon is such a fantastic writer: She makes you feel the story. I have spent countless hours reading these books and being uncomfortable. Or nervous. Or downright scared.

Right now I am feeling uneasy. And annoyed. And claustrophobic. Why? Because there are WAY too many house guests at Fraser's Ridge. The women woke up to empty beds; the men have all disappeared. To go hunting - or train - or something of that nature... which is what I'm assuming along with the wives. And the wives and kids are all sitting around the huge table, eating breakfast. Claire is taking mental notes of what food is still available in the pantries and cellars - and she's starting to get worried. And so am I. These people came along... and set up camp... and Mrs. Bug feeds them all nonstop... but has ANYONE caught anything lately? And they only have finite supplies of things like butter or raisins or parritch, etc.

And speaking of feeding them - has anyone noticed what big meals they eat for people who are low on supplies and sharing one household? Mrs. Bug is making them breakfast... just the women and children, no less... and it consists of toast and jam... sausage... porridge... raisin cake... and coffee. And now she's heading for the cellar to get some potatoes for the Muellers (who wouldn't be allowed in my house after the scalping incident; but that's just me. Yeah yeah, it was "the times".)  How about just a bowl of porridge and some coffee or water - and we'll save the cake and sausage for another day? Add some eggs and it's like a Grand Slam Breakfast! For moms and kids! My kids should eat so well every morning!

A few things you might want to know (all info and photos came from Wikipedia):

Head cheese (AmE) or Brawn (BrE) is a cold cut originating in Europe. Another version pickled with vinegar is known as souse. Head cheese is not a cheese but a meat jelly made with pieces from the head of a calf or pig (sometimes a sheep or cow) in aspic. It may contain onion, black pepper, allspice, bay leaf, salt, and vinegar. It may also include meat from the feet, tongue, and heart. It is usually eaten cold or at room temperature as a luncheon meat.

Corn dollies are a form of straw work made as part of harvest customs of Europe before mechanisation.



Hieronymus Bosch (English pronunciation: /ˌhaɪəˈrɒnəməs bɒʃ/, Dutch: [ɦieːˈɾoːniməs ˈbɔs]; born Jeroen Anthoniszoon van Aken [jəˈrun ɑnˈtoːnɪsoːn vɑn ˈaːkə(n)]; c. 1450 – August 9, 1516) was an Early Netherlandish painter of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The artist's work is well-known for the use of fantastic imagery to illustrate moral and religious concepts and narratives.

Jamie and Claire

Found this on Photobucket. It's breathtaking. I believe it was done by someone named Lilly who goes by "Doverbears" on Photobucket. Just beautiful.

Diana Gabaldon Explains the Creation of Outlander

There is so much online with the regards to spoilers... so I avoid a lot of it like the plague. But since I'm on Book 5 - The Fiery Cross - I've gotten a little less timid as I tip toe through the Outlander tulips on the interwebs. In doing so, I found this video which I allowed myself to watch and I'm so glad I did. It's Diana Gabaldon - who I've never even heard speak before -  discussing Outlander and how the novel came to be. There are many parts to this video series; I only have the guts to view this one. Baby steps. And it has no spoilers. Enjoy. (And thanks to Suwannee79 for posting it.)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Casting videos

Interesting casting choices. (Not down with Colum, though; too old.)  I like Laoghaire... Bree... Roger... Murtaugh (a LOT like mine) but what really intrigued me was Jonathan Rhys Myers for Randall! He can definitely play him - no question about that once you've seen him play Henry Tudor. How about casting him as John Grey? Not a bad choice, either. Thanks to Tiedyedaisy.



This is just Jamie and Claire from MaggiePhenix. Not bad. Again - intriguing. Evangeline Lilly - I've NEVER thought of her. Wonder if she can do the accent? She does look perfect for Claire. And this Chris Hemsworth dude? Australian. Hmmm. I like it. I'll have to see him act in something.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Comments have been FIXED!

You can comment without registering now! Looking forward to reading your opinions!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Predictions

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you've read chapter 14 in The Fiery Cross.
So yesterday I read where Roger told Bree about the letter from Frank (aka Douchebag Extraordinaire). Were you not impressed with Roger's memorization skills? Myself as well... let me tell you. I could have used that memory in the 10th grade advanced chemistry class I shouldna have been in in the first place... but I digress...   *Thanks to gratefuld95 on travel.webshots.com for the photo.

I have to tell you that I am LOVING all this Frank's-message-from-the-grave business. Loving it. I, being a firm believer in reincarnation, think Frank is/was Jack Randall and have said that from the beginning. So hearing him say (in Drums) that he has the "oddest sense of James Fraser, almost a memory" makes me think I'm right. I almost fell over when I read the poetic "or end forever in some Celtic hell, with our hands wrapped round each other's throat?" Does that not send shivers down your spine? Especially when you think about Jamie sitting up at Culloden and throwing Jack Randall's lifeless body off of himself. Which, by the way, was never really explained any further.  Sassenachs, do you mean to tell me ye havena thought about that? I thought not.

So my latest prediction... not even that firm, but maybe a theory, is that Frank could have come through the stones during his marriage to Claire... and he's going to show up at any point. You never know. Geillis didn't travel exactly 200 years; maybe Frank didn't either. Maybe Frank got so fed up with living in the shadow of a dead man, that he decided to go meet this Jamie Fraser, himself... and ended up in 1770 Scotland. And after inquiring about Jamie's whereabouts, finally found someone who knew where he was - and was told "We just heard Jamie Fraser is living in the colonies with his wife, Claire and their daughter, BRIANNA."  Holy shite - you KNOW that would get Frank on a boat crossing the Atlantic so fast... and then picture it. Claire's doing a little Laparocopy on old Mrs. MacHugh in her surgery while Jamie is out front chopping wood, smelling of woodsmoke and pungent man, and up walks Frank. Whoo hooooooo..... what I wouldn't do to get a little piece of THAT little read. Mmm hhhmmmm. Hell, I might have to write it myself!

OK and speaking of predictions - here is another one - that my friend SHANNON had today. Shannon, Jenn M and Jen L and I got together this AM over coffee to discuss Outlander. Shannon, Jenn and I are all on TFC and Jen L is just starting Drums. So Shannon emails me today and makes the following TREMENDOUS prediction:

I'm thinking that this book is going to be based on alot of religion. Since Jamie is catholic and catholics weren't to own property. He is going to be forced to sign his land over to Roger (b/c he's protestant) in order to keep the land. And of course Jamie is going to loose ownership of his land ONCE MORE!

Now - it's an awesome prediction and verra plausible. But what makes it even more tremendous is that our mentor, my sister Tracey, had the SAME prediction yesterday. She is a few hundred pages past us - and she's our MENTOR! So I am giving major props to Shannon for the mere suggestion. Canna WAIT to see what unfolds....

Beans, Beans, They're Good For Your Heart...

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you've read Chapter 14 in The Fiery Cross.

Why, oh why, must Diana wave this horrible fear that Jamie is going to die in front of my face on a constant basis? He and Roger have been rounding up the men-folk for the arduous task of standing up to the backwoods hicks from the western part of the state. All in the name of the crown, of course. And this is what I dinna understand, Sassenachs. If the crown wants so badly to keep the peace, then why don't they STAY in the colonies and do their own, damn dirty work??  Private Ogilvie  is hoping to get on the last boat to Scotland just as soon as Lizzie stops filling him with eggs and strawberry preserves. (How cute is that, by the way?) Why doesn't HE stay and fight the backwoods folk instead of JAMIE always having to do everything? Riddle me THAT, Batman! *Thanks to osv.org for the photo.

And am I the only one who seems to have a morbid fascination with all the weird ailments Claire treats? I was on the edge of my seat when she was cauterizing the poor slave's nose polyp. Wasn't it exciting? I wanted to hold that blade in the fire and do it myself! This might be due to my lack of medical fun around my own house as my husband won't let me near the occasional pimple... and the kids run from me when they have a splinter. Can't a girl play doctor once in while?? (And I'm not talking with JAMIE unfortch.)  I wonder why I want to. I loved Biology class... maybe that has something to do with it. At any rate, do you find yourself thinking up new and even more weird ailments for Claire to handle? I know I do. *Thanks to nlm.nih.gov for the photo.

So I have a new Kindle... and I find myself highlighting every time Jamie and Claire have a special little moment together. Kindof like this:


"And then I want to go home," he whispered... His forehead was pressed against mine, and his eyes very blue. "I want to take ye to bed-in my bed. And I mean to spend the rest of the day thinking what to do to ye once I've got ye there...."

Melt. OK focus, Carol.

Or how about this:


"Did I ever think to thank ye, Sassenach? he said, his voice a little husky. "For what?" I said, puzzled. He took my hand, and drew me gently toward him. He smelled of ale and damp wool, and very faintly of the brandied sweetness of fruitcake. "For my bairns," he said softly. "For the children that ye bore me." "Oh," I said. I leaned slowly forward, and rested my forehead against the solid warmth of his chest. I cupped my hands at the small of his back beneath his coat, and sighed. "It was... my pleasure."


le sigh... Does it get any better than that? I'm thinking no...

OK so before I leave go read, I must say that I verra much enjoyed the way Roger stood up to Jocasta when she dropped that "you're only marrying my niece for the money" bomb on him. That was uncalled for. And yet, I can't let it make me too mad at Jocasta just yet. I feel like she's got a plan - even beyond the plan Jamie and Claire were discussing (Jocasta trying to save Roger's rep in a way?) And how much did I love Jamie's reaction to the whole thing. His booming laugh is something I will mourn when this book series is over, Lassies... I truly will.

I also loved his "whooping laugh" when Claire recited the little beans jingle. When I was a kid, we weren't allowed to say "fart" - so we had to change it to the following:

Beans, beans, the musical fruit
The more you eat, the more you toot
The more you toot, the better you feel
So eat your beans at every meal

LOL! Can't you just hear Jamie laughing now????
  
*Thanks to Mary Hattler from al.com for the photo.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Another MUST HAVE for an Outlander Film

Watched "Mansfield Park" last night and - besides thinking a 1999 version of Johnny Lee Miller might have been a fantastic Edward Cullen - realized there is someone I MUST see in an Outlander film. He can be sinister as hell... and has one of the best charming-whilst-being-naughty streaks on the planet.  I want him for a Red Coat. Oh yes I do. Two words:

James Purefoy


Philip Winchester for Jamie Fraser

I think I may have chosen my Jamie Fraser. I stumbled upon Philip Winchester on a site that I canna remember; I was so excited I just started Googling him and well... that was that. I confess I have not seen him act in anything; a lot will hinge on that. But I have looked him up on a few youtube clips - and from what I've seen, I have no complaints. We'd have to roughen up that pretty little English accent a little (which is not his own, by the way. He's from Montana - but left at the age of 17 to study acting in London where he ended up doing quite a bit of theatre.)

One non negotiable: he must be able to do a proper Scottish accent. I will admit that I'd MOST prefer a Scot to have the role - but just LOOK at this guy! He IS Jamie Fraser. I am dying for Diana Gabaldon's opinion.

Let's see some Jamieisms, shall we?

"What have you done, Sassenach?"













"Oh, aye?"













"Dinna try me too hard, Sassenach."


"Ye're fools, the lot of you."

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Outlander Playlist - EXPLAINED!

Check out my Outlander Playlist. I've finally sat down and made a table of songs and where they fall within the series. It isn't finished - but it will be a constant work-in-progress because I'm always adding new songs. Dragonfly in Amber is definitely a little thin... and I haven't even started on Drums yet. What I have is almost finished; the remainder of what's in the player should be updated by tomorrow. ENJOY!

PS - Suggestions are ALWAYS welcome and may be added to the list!

Dougray Scott is an Outlander MUST

I'm not sure I've mentioned this prior... but let me just state right here - right now - for the record - that Dougray Scott is 1000% necessary in any Outlander film. I havena made up my mind regarding his character but have thought long and hard about him for Dougal.

Dougray Scott is 100% authentic Scot (OK he's got some French in there, but work with me people!) Born in Glasgow and raised in Glenrothes, Fife - the man exudes all things Scottish.

Check this out. It's old, I'll admit. But you can hear his accent - and you can see how he looks in period costuming. (TreMENdous. That's how.) OK so it's 200 years too early but whatev. *Thanks to one of my favorite sites; The Lit Connection - for the photo.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Have the lambs stopped screaming???

So I'm flipping out just a bit. Why, you ask? Because I just came back from a neighborhood party and got an email from my sister and Outlander mentor, Tracey. Last week, Tracey made a video of herself reading the first few pages of The Fiery Cross... and uploaded it to youtube for us. She later got shy and made me take it off my site, where it sat for maybe 5 minutes. She then agreed to leave it on youtube temporarily. Fast forward to today, where she finds out 45 people have viewed it. And why?

BECAUSE DIANA GABALDON HAS IT LISTED AS ONE OF HER FAVORITES ON HER OWN YOUTUBE PAGE. Thus, the wine folks. This is a stellar day. So without further ado, I give you, my sister and Outlander mentor Tracey... and her "reaction video" for The Fiery Cross.

Voyager Montage

SPOILER ALERT: Please dinna read unless you have read VOYAGER.

I have pieced together a montage I'd like to see in a Voyager film, to the sound of "I Dreamed a Dream", sung by a female - but not sounding too dramatic and Broadwayesque.

Click here to open the playlist - and scroll down and click "I Dreamed a Dream" so you can hear it while you read. And let it continue to play the next song if it ends while you're still reading. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We see Claire, sitting on her bed, getting dressed to go to the hospital after we've just seen the huge fight she had with Frank - about Jamie. (Remember, it's the first time they've truly spoken about Jamie - and Frank's infidelities - in 20 years.) She is sad... and contemplative... and thinking about the Frank she married all those years ago...

Instrumental intro...

Claire is now sitting at the hospital, thinking back to her time with Jamie - and we see a flashback sequence of happy scenes from Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber.

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I prayed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

Cut to Jamie in jail, lying on the floor, waking up from a nightmare, feeling ashamed.

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
And they turn your dream to shame

Cut back to the hospital, the doors fly open and Claire sees EMTs, wheeling someone in. A nurse walks toward her, looking grave.

And still I dreamed he'd come to me
That we would live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

Claire is sitting by Frank's side, holding his hand, softly crying, and accepting the fact that her husband is dead.

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.

The music immediately flows into Amazing Grace. We see Claire and Brianna, standing at the cemetery, watching the priest saying the final prayers over Frank's coffin.

Cut to Jamie, holding his meager possessions while being walked toward Helwater...

Christ Sassenachs... I'm crying just typing this.

The Proclaimers

I have to link to a cool little "Where Are They Now?" blurb  I just came across about The Proclaimers on TMZ.

Tracey and I have debated whether their song "500 Miles" should be added to the Playlist since a) they are BEYOND Scottish and b) the song is about a guy who would go to any lengths for his girl, which reminded us of yon Jamie Fraser of the House of Lovat.

I have resisted adding them until now... thinking their sound might be a little too modern day... but I canna help it, Sassenachs; I just love the song. And hey - I added Travis, didn't I??