Thursday, December 31, 2009

Just because...

My husband left this in the kitchen... and before I told him to "put that hat away!" I had to snap a picture... just because. How many times have I hung at the Scots in Kearny and thought nothing of it? My how Jamie Fraser can change one's life!

Ladies of Lallybroch

Just have to make sure I mention the Ladies of Lallybroch website. I come across it periodically when I'm searching for specific Outlander series info. Today I stumbled upon this awesome section on their site where this Scottish fellow recorded himself saying different lines from Outlander. My sister Tracey made me ask my friend Hugh (from Scotland) to do this to which he replied "I wouldn't even know how to make an MP3 file" - or something of that nature. (Perhaps this was preceeded by an "Och!" I'm not really sure. Some things are lost in translation where email is concerned, aye?)

What really sucks is that I canna truly research the site, because I'm terrified of spoilers! So I just come upon it - peek a little - then quickly close it. I feel I owe these wonderful women a "Thank you" because I can tell the site is really awesome - even if I can't let myself properly peruse it!

I also have to throw out some props to the Ladies of Lallybroch because they are mentioned by Diana Gabaldon, herself... in The Outlandish Companion. Does it get any better than that? Maybe my Julie and Julia post was wrong. Maybe Miss Diana wouldn't totally loathe my site; maybe she'd just think  it was a little silly. And I could TOTALLY live with that.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Starting The Fiery Cross

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read Chapter 1 of The Fiery Cross.  (I think it's Chapter 1. I just got a new Kindle and don't want to search too hard to see what Chapter I'm on, for fear I'll lose my place. I'm still getting used to it, aye?)

Just sent the following email to my sister, who has also recently started book 5:

So far I'm a little "ahh... whatever" at Bree with all the sudden acting and speaking like she was born in 18th century Scotland. She made some comment that sounded like Jamie - and Claire addressed it immediately and said "Bree is just like her father and has picked up the language" or something that effect (as if they're not speaking English; it wasn't even Gaelic) but it's just... bothering me. I guess maybe I'll change my mind as I get further into it? They are walking back from the meeting with the soldiers and carrying the two babes (another thing on my nerves; Bree has gone from a young college girl to a mother with a babe on her hip, fixin' up the evenin' stew - in about 30 seconds) and Jamie is drilling Roger about the priest  and just found out he's a Protestant.

And how did this marriage between Duncan and Jocasta come about so abruptly? And Jamie isn't a tad bit worried? I know they're friends... but still. Are we to believe it was brewing for some time, only we didn't know about it?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Diana, Stephenie and Carol

Just finished watching "Julie and Julia", the movie about the woman who blogged about spending one year cooking every recipe from Julia Child's cookbook.

I wish I could say "Wow, that was so inspirational!"  But all it really did was remind me that Diana Gabaldon and Stephenie Meyer would probably be like "Um, yeah, whatever" if they ever saw my blogs. Especially Stephenie, since there are like 40 million blogs about the Twilight series. And Diana... well Diana has degrees in Zoology, Marine Biology and Ecology. Something tells me she's not going to look highly on a blog that obsesses over Jamie Fraser's mojo... and uses words like "shizzle".

I know, I know, that sounds really negative. But Julia Child, herself was like "Um, yeah, whatever" when she found out about Julie's blog. I have to be realistic, ya know?

On the positive side, Julie published a book about her blog - which was later made into the movie I just watched. And before all of that, she seemed to be happy, just cooking and blogging. Kindof like me... only I'm just reading and blogging, right?

So the moral of the story? The moral is that I should keep writing my blogs... because they make me happy. Being a Twilight/Outlander fan makes me happy. Meeting with my friends and talking about these books makes me happy. And isn't that what's important?

Yeah. I think it is. That... and Jamie Fraser's kilts and his big... hard... um, dirk (it's a knife, geez!)  And Edward Cullen's big, iron bed. That he doesn't even need.... the one with the flowers... that Bella doesn't even WANT to sleep on, because she's a FREAK!

Yeah... I love my blogs. :)

The Outlandish Companion

OK so my sister/mentor got me "The Outlandish Companion" for my birthday and WOW is it good. I am learning verra cool things, for instance:

Diana Gabaldon got her internet start the same way I did, with a little thing called CompuServe. My first ever "handle" online was something like That was around 1994/1995. Meanwhile Diana was on Compuserve in the late 80s, sharing her early works with others on a literary forum (Jenny explaining what it feels like to be pregnant to Jamie, precisely).

Jamie Fraser is a Taurus with a Cancer moon, which, if you know anything about astrology, is spot on for this man. Which is REALLY interesting because DG didn't write him with that in mind; she didn't even do his chart. A fan wrote to her, asking for Jamie's birthday, so she could do his chart. How COOL is that???  The best way I can explain to any of you who don't know anything about astrology is this: The sign you know you are is your "sun" sign.  What you might not know is you have other signs that dictate your personality, a very important one being your "moon" sign. My moon sign is Pisces - the fish - which is a water sign. I like to say that your sun sign has to do with the way you think - and deal with things, whereas your moon sign dictates the way you feel - and deal with relationships. (I am no expert so please do not quote me on any of this!) The fact that I'm a Pisces moon means it is verra good that I live near the ocean; it's calming and keeps me feeling peaceful. WHY am I going into all this? Because Jamie Fraser is a Taurus - the bull - which makes him stubborn and tough when dealing with things like building... or supervising, etc. But he's a cancer moon, which is a very touchy-feely kind of sign and that's why he's so sweet with Claire. And even horses when he's all "aye sweetheart look at that fine round arse".

There was something else I wanted to mention.. but I forgot what it was because I've been so excited about this book. And I couldn't bring myself to dog ear the bottom of the page where I found it, because this book is so spectacularly gorgeous, I don't want to desecrate it in any way.

More to follow. Much more to follow!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Daniel Cudmore as Jamie Fraser?

Jenn M. brought up a good point the other day... and I feel I have to look into it further. She suggested Daniel Cudmore - aka Felix from New Moon - for Jamie Fraser in the Outlander movie. At first I thought "He's OK - yeah he's big but I dunno..." But the more photos I see of this 6'5" fellow, the more I'm thinking she's right. If he could do a Scottish accent, that is. Let's review. He's HUGE for one thing. He's got a straight enough nose. He's got this interesting dark auburn hair that has decent red glints in the sun... (see the middle photo) and I've even seen him with reddish brown (ruddy?) stubble - again, in the sun. I'm thinking he is definitely on the short list. What do you think?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Frank, Roger and Ian

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you've finished Drums of Autumn.

Another email with my mentor and Jenn M. Jenn finished Drums today...

Not only did I think Frank is even more of a douche than I thought to begin with... BUT... I can now finally say this to both of you: Did you pick up on the reincarnation reference? FRANK IS JACK RANDALL. I have no doubt in my mind. Jamie fucked him in the end.  That's why Jamie's ghost shook his head at Frank and looked at him like he hated him. I just have to wonder who Jamie became - if anyone. I always thought maybe Roger... but I don't know if he'd be able to go back in time and hang out with himself. LOL

I was upset with Roger when he didn't go right back with them, Jenn. I kindof thought "FUCK HIM - she was RAPED! If you LOVED her, you'd want to BE BY HER SIDE". He came down a notch in my mind when he did that. It's like Jamie said - did Claire mind when Randall raped him? Hell NO! She loved him and wanted to help him. I was OK with Roger when he finally showed up though - because, like he said, he showed up. He came back. He didn't leave. And that's what's important.

I am still grieving Ian. I am heartbroken still. I thought of him today and had a pang of "oh god, Ian!" I think they let him down. I really do. I know Ian's probably happy enough with those people and always wanted adventure and a thrill - but he didn't have to get it THAT way. Jenny and Ian are going to flip the hell out, too. Ian asked Jamie to keep Ian there in the US so he'd be safe... and instead he was somewhat fed right into the lion's den. They will be wishing they let him stay and fight in Scotland. Maybe that's why the next book is called "The Fiery Cross". Maybe Jenny and Ian are coming over.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Amusing Email

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you've read MOST of Drums of Autumn: 

This is an email I sent my sister Tracey,  and my sister-in-Outlander Jenn M today - and Tracey wants me to post it. Here ya go:

Are you kidding? Tom told me he was going out tonight and my very first thought was "YES! I can READ!" My second thought was "Oh shit, we're not starting until 2010." My third thought was "Damn Amazon! WHERE is that freakin BOOK?!?" I should have gotten it today. I am NOT happy. Then again - I ordered the $7.99 version so it will probably be the teeny book. I have to have the bigger one to go with my collection, but I might have to keep this one just in case I get restless. I seriously don't know what this will be about, other than life on Frazer's Ridge...

PS - Jenn - we have to discuss Lord John more. Tracey and I had a big, ol' conversation about him yesterday and how we'd love to be his "hags". Once we saw him come out of the slave quarters and start sharing about having feelings for Bree's da, I saw him in a whole new light. It's as if he jumped off the page, sporting cut-off daisy dukes and a sleeveless, hot-pink, midriff-baring tank that said "I Love Liberace" on the front. I now love him.

When it comes time to die...

"When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home."        
~ Chief Aupumut, Mohican. 1725

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished DRUMS OF AUTUMN. 

So I've just finished DRUMS OF AUTUMN. Wow. I don't even know where to begin. I had a terrible time with Ian joining the Mohawk tribe. I don't mean a "got a little bummed" hard time. I mean a "called my mentor at 10:30 PM, sobbing profusely" hard time.  I just have to say it; WTF??????? Why? WHY? (screamed like Nancy Kerrigan). I don't know why that had to happen. I just know that they TATTOOED HIS FACE. I canna get past it. I try - but I canna do it. Even if he were to escape with his new little wifey and unborn child, and come back to Fraser's Ridge - and grow his hair out and dress in his plaid and breeks - WHAT THE F*CK are they going to do with his TATTOOED FACE????? Unless Claire comes across some miracle herb that will slough off the top 4 layers of his skin, what is the stupid, wee nephew going to DO with that FACE???  NOTHING! That's what he'll do! Because he's NEVER COMING BACK!!!!! It was like a death to me. Sitting there... reading it... suspecting Ian would offer to stay... but never, EVER expecting James Alexander Malcom Mackenzie Fraser to LET HIS WEE ASS do it. But when he walked in all mohawked-out and TATTOOED - I knew that was it. That was the end of Ian. Even if we see him in the future - warning them - helping them - visiting them - FIGHTING AGAINST them... he's NOT IAN MURRAY anymore. He's Brother of Wolf or whatever the hell they're calling him. And I'm pissed off. OH YESSIR I am PISSED. OFF. He's been nothing but good to these people. He's helped in every instance he's been asked to help. He's gone out of his way time and time again to do for others and never asked for SHIT in return. The boy was RAPED by Geillis Duncan for christsake!!!! And what does he get for it? I'll tell you what he got for it: THEY TATTOOED HIS MOTHER FRIGGIN FACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK I'm just going to move on to more pleasant topics before I lose my shiz and have to go lie down. (Did I mention my FIVE YEAR OLD'S name is IAN??? No, I bet I didn't. Find a happy place. Find a happy place.)

Moving on... I have done a complete and utter 180 on Lord John Grey. Ho. Ly. Cow. I love him now. My mentor kept telling me this would happen - but I didn't know how. It's not that I didna believe - I did. But I just couldn't see how I was going to take a liking to that pompous, arrogant, Claire-I'm-in-love-with-your-husband-and-there's-nothing-you-can-do-about-it ASS John Grey. God even now I think about Jamie embracing him and saying "Oh John" and my skin crawls. But....BUT... this was before. Before he helped Bree... before he shared his feelings with her... and BEFORE BOYFRIEND VISITED THE SLAVE QUARTERS FOR A LITTLE SUMP'IN SUMP'IN!!!  I LOVED that. Once he did that - and told Bree he digs her dad's scene....well, then all bets were off. SHE'S A BIG, FAT QUEEN named JOHN GREY and I love her!!! Tell me you couldn't be best girlfriends with Lord John??? Once I saw him in that light - I wasn't threatened by him anymore. All I wanted to do was hug him - discuss our Prada pieces and visit the Lancome counter!!! Seriously - I've said it before, I'll say it again: The best girlfriend you'll ever have is a gay man. Doesn't matter how masculine he is, either. My friend, Dave was on his local fire department and loves Mustangs. And yet he can tap into my feelings better than anyone I've ever met. THAT is what I needed from Lord John... and THAT is what I got. So kudos to the almighty DG for giving us that gift; I really needed it.

I canna give a complete reassessment of the entire novel; it is too lengthy and detailed. But I can tell you how I feel about it. LOVED IT. And I can also tell you that I still canna pick a favorite. I'm 4 in now - only have 3 left to be current - and am so thrilled that I love them all for different reasons.  Sure I suppose if I had to choose, I'd say Outlander will always be my favorite (you never forget your 1st) but each book is just so good - for entirely separate reasons. What I loved about this was in the earlier part of the book, it was so magical to watch Claire and Jamie relate to each other and fall in love all over again, really. They have such respect for each other and I think that's what makes their relationship so profound. I loved reading about Bree and Roger, though, and I really never expected to. There was a time or two, earlier on in Drums, where I'd actually get annoyed when the story went back to Jamie and Claire. ANNOYED! About JAMIE! That's how I knew I'd be OK with the story evolving into a family story - and not just a love story between two people. But please, oh please, DG, please keep the hot-and-heavy scenes coming with Jamie and Claire. I don't care that they've got a AARP cards up on the Ridge - they're still HOT!!!

OK that's all. I'm exhausted. And I need to go check Amazon and see where the freak "The Fiery Cross" is!!!

Beautiful Fan-made Video

I usually try to avoid the internet where Outlander is concerned. I've seen this beautiful video from Arantxa69 come up on youtube a ton of times and I've always blown it off. But now that I've finished DRUMS (yes - you read that right; commentary to follow) I am starting to get a little bold online. More than halfway there. 4 down... 3 to go, Sassenachs.
Watch this. I don't know if it's the PMS but holy god; it made me cry.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Best. Bree. Line. Ever.

"Do you have any idea how mortifying it is to have your own mother standing up in front of everybody, drawing pictures of penises?!

Dying. Absolutely dying.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Quick Drums Update

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read until you have read chapter 41,  Journey's End.

Well - it happened. Jamie met Brianna. Yawn. Diana - in her usual Diana fashion - gave us a very anti-climactic meeting, a lot like when Jamie saw Claire again after 20 years. I have to believe she does this for a reason, Sassenachs. I really do. It's one of those times where I just have to close my eyes and TID ("Trust In Diana").

Oh and one more thing:

Dear Mr Nickelodeon,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for a little thing called the "Spongebob Marathon". 

We're snowed in but my children are happy. And my husband is napping. And I am now going to read. There is a couch calling my name next to a fireplace that is blazing bright.



Friday, December 18, 2009

My New "Fiery Cross" Theory

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read unless you've already gotten to where Roger is on his way to Inverness in DRUMS. Not sure what chapter. At least halfway through. Page 464 or something? I canna remember and my book is in my car an it's way too frigid at the Jersey shore to go outside right now.

OK y'all. I came up with a possible theory this AM and I had to share. So Roger knows that Bree has either crossed - or is crossing soon. *I* don't know if she has crossed or not but will hopefully be finding out shortly. NOW - here's my possibility (not really a prediction yet; not enough info).

I was thinking about Bree crossing this AM... and how Diana is always writing about Roger and we never really get inside Bree's head.  I thought "well I don't want to just find Bree in the past... I want to experience crossing over WITH her." And I wondered if maybe Diana would ever go backwards in time and go BACK over something that we have already read - but in someone else's mind - ie: Bree. It was at that point that I thought "Trask...".... no wait - what I really thought was "Bree crossing over....The Fiery Cross....Bree crossing over... The Fiery Cross...  So THEN I thought - WAIT A MINUTE - maybe THE FIERY CROSS isn't referring to the NOUN "cross" at all. Maybe it's referring to the VERB "cross" - and it's going to be about Bree's crossing. And we'll get HER story.

So - in summary - I'm thinking MAYBE the rest of this book will show us Roger traipsing around Scotland, looking for Bree and finding some little adventures of his own. (And maybe a return to LALLYBROCH! Squeeee!) while continuing to tell the tale about Jamie and Claire in the backwoods of North Carolina. And then the Fiery Cross will start off in the future - but at a time we've already covered with Roger, Jamie and Claire while Bree crosses over... and then we'll get to experience her cross over and subsequent adventures and mishaps until her final settlement in North Carolina with Jamie and Claire and her new husband Fergus after Marsali dies of the morbid sore throat. Poor Roger... although maybe he's going to take up with one of Ian's sisters at Lallybroch after their husband ALSO dies of the morbid sore throat. Ahhhh the possibilities....

Oh man. I can't WAIT to read tonight!!! The snow is headed our way (I live in NJ)... I'll have a roaring fire... maybe a wee dram of scotch... and JAMIE! It's truly literary nirvana.

PS - I'm giggling at the thought of Tracey and Sassy laughing their butts off at me if I'm completely off base. But admit it - if I'm wrong - it would be a cool way to do it, would it no?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Slightly Auburn Earl of Brattiness

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you're well into chapter 25 of DRUMS OF AUTUMN.

I canna BELIEVE Jamie Jr. is in the states with John Grey. I only just met him at the river, getting his leeches picked off by Claire, and already I'm annoyed with  him. I have this DREADFUL feeling John is going to leave him there to be raised by Jamie... and I'm getting this strange Kramer Vs. Kramer feeling in the pit of my stomach about how it's going to go. I wonder if Claire likes chicken.

OK backtracking a little...I have a burning question: Can someone remind me what happened in Voyager in the cave as far as IAN goes? Shouldn't he have questions about what Geillis was trying to do... and why Claire almost disappeared in front of his face??

ALSO - another complete tangent - not sure if I've mentioned this but it's come up with three people over the course of the last 24 hours: Clearly they CAN change the future if Jamie's grave was in Scotland - but Roger's got a record of Jamie and Claire dying in a fire in North Carolina. (Let's hope they don't burn up because of an explosion in the privy, due to Jamie trying to kill yon rattlesnake.)

Metal Mouth

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you've finished chapter 23 in DRUMS OF AUTUMN.


OMG this is up-to-the-second commentary. I was going to leave the post like that - but then I read on. THERE IS A PORTAL NEARBY!!! I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT! I knew Diana wasn't going to make Bree go through the arduous task of sailing the 7 frickin seas. I KNEW IT!!! She's going to come over right in NORTH CAROLINA!

Does anyone hear James Taylor playing in the background??? Shall I add him to the playlist? LOL "In my mind I'm going to Carolinaaaaaa"....

PS - I'm just coming the realization that Diana is most-likely going to make me wait until the very end of this book for Brianna to come through. Isna she?

The Ruby Slippers

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you've finished chapter 23 in DRUMS OF AUTUMN.

I MUST make a prediction here. When Claire's horse threw her and she ended up spending the night under the uprooted tree... are we to assume the Indian took her shoes? I noticed that right away. She got up when the rain stopped - almost at dusk - and went up to the burning tree to get warm. And before she left, she reached around for her shoes but couldn't find them. Then when she got back from the burning tree, she reached around again - this time in the pitch black-  and found the skull, along with the opal. And then the Indian came along - watched her - and left. And then when Jamie and Ian found her, they had that CRAZY-ASSED story about hearing noises outside the window and finding her shoes on the doorstep. Um, is it me or is this ALL SORTS OF BLAIR WITCH people???????  I was TOTALLY freaked out by that story - and yet Claire seemed to "get gooseflesh" and then move on to raping Jamie and having a little grub along with her 19th swig of whiskey. (Friggin HILARIOUS scene, by the way. I loved it. And I've NEVER done anything like that. No siree. Not me.)

I suppose at this point I predict it was the Indian who took Claire's shoes - wore them to her house - and left them there - but why? So they'd find her? Was he being nice? Sounded like he was scary with his Mohawk. Then again - the Mohawks are supposedly friendly with the Indians from Anna Ooka?

Marsali Who?

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read chapter 23 in DRUMS OF AUTUMN.

I am going to start cutting and pasting email because I'm trying to read read read... and I dinna have time to type twice. I email my Outlander Mentor, Tracey quite a bit - and I need to just BLOG rather than email - so she can comment in answer. OK here is the email I sent about Marsali:

Months and years of her story are just mentioned in passing by Claire.. over the course of a few paragraphs while she's thinking back. It's hilarious. She'll go on and on about a stupid argument between Jamie and Duncan - paragraphs and paragraphs.... but then Marsali's return and CHILD are thrown in as an afterthought.

Honestly, I don't really care, as I've never formed any kind of attachment to Marsali. As much as I accepted her in Voyager, she's still the Wee Ho's daughter. Enough said.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A New Banner

Check out this new banner I whipped up (with all my amazing graphic design skills; NOT! I know I suck.) I got the original photo from my friend, Hugh, who happens be from Scotland, y'all. Born and raised. The photo is below - he sees this view from his house near Glasgow. (He calls these mountains in the background "hills" by the way.) Let me tell you something about Hugh: He's got a thick Scots accent and if he wants to mess with your head, he's tremendous at it. Ye willna understand most of the shite coming from his mouth if he lays the Scots on thick. Or worse - if he starts throwing the Gaelic around. He used to fool the wee lassies in college and speak to them in Gaelic - and the dopey girls would just bat their eyelashes at him and say "oh really?" having no clue he wasn't speaking English. It was truly comical.

Jamie Fraser Playlist Nirvana

Holy shite, Sassenachs. I've been making a few additions to the playlist tonight and I am SPEECHLESS at just how much musical goodness I found this evening. It's not in order yet; just head down to the bottom and listen to the new stuff. And make sure you read these LYRICS whilst doing so. "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) is SO Roger. I dinna think I can keep a dry eye at some of the other songs. It's like Jamie is speaking from the grave. Where that grave is, I canna be sure...

Big Country - "Look Away"

This time we run
this time we hide
This time we draw on all the fire we have inside.
We need some time to find a place
Where I can wipe away the madness from your face.
Our name is out
our name is known
Our name is everywhere
but who knows where we're flown.
I never meant to kill a man
But I will show you how to live like no one can.
So look away
look away
Hide your eyes from the land where I lie cold.
Look away
look away from the lies in the stories that were told.
Look away
look away from the love that I hide way down deep in my soul.
I met you wild in a snowed up town
When I was waiting tied and bound to be sent down.
Then I broke loose
you weren't around
So I raised banks and trains until I tracked you down.
Now look away
look away
. . .
You followed me why I said no
You lay with me when there was nowhere safe to go.
We made some friends
but now it's done
I always knew that we would never find the sun.
So look away
look away

Simple Minds - "Home"

God gave me travelling shoes, God gave me the wanderer's eye,
God gave me a few gold coins to help me to the other side.
Looked around and said: be careful how small things grow,
God gave me travelling shoes and I knew that it was time to go.

Sent in the ship at night to take me to the hidden port.
Found me the key at last to open up the prison door.
Brought down the blackbird's wings, gifted me with beggar's eyes.
Sent in the jackals to tell me I should say bye, bye, bye.

I'm home, home,
Home, home, home
And I'm home, home,
home, home, home
But I'm miles and miles and miles and miles and miles away
Where can I hide?

God gave me one last chance, gave me one last reprieve.
Jah gave me hunger, gave me the air to breathe.
Gave me one suitcase, gave me one last goodbye
Gave me travelling shoes, without them I would surely die, die, die

Home, home
Home, home, home (2x)

Miles and miles and miles and miles and miles away
Where can i go?
Where can I hide?

Susan Boyle performing "I Dreamed a Dream"

There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed 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

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

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came

And still I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

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.

Steve Harley - Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)

You've done it all, you've broken every code
And pulled the rebel to the floor
You spoilt the game, no matter what you say
For only metal - what a bore!
Blue eyes, blue eyes, how come you tell so many lies?

Come up and see me, make me smile
Or do what you want, run on wild

There's nothing left, all gone and run away
Maybe you'll tarry for a while
It's just a test, a game for us to play
Win or lose, it's hard to smile
Resist, resist, it's from yourself you have to hide

Come up and see me, make me smile
Or do what you want, run on wild

There ain't no more, you've taken everything
From my believe in Mother Earth
How can you ignore my faith in everything
When I know what Faith is and what it's worth
Away, away, and don't say maybe you'll try

Come up and see me, make me smile
Or do what you want, run on wild

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Buy a Castle in Scotland

Y'all... if I had $4 million smackeroos burning a hole in my pocket, you'd better BELIEVE this is the first thing I'd do with it.

Make Baltersan YOUR Scottish castle

COULD you be the next Laird of Baltersan?
The castle is for sale. If you have the vision and the passion to breathe new life into this fine Renaissance castle, now is your chance to become its keeper - and claim a grant for around 25% of the reconstruction bill.
The right buyer (individual or consortium) will be able to raise around 75% of the cost of the restoration.
A government subsidy worth nearly £500,000 (approx. $1million) has already been offered by Historic Scotland to cover the remainder.
Buying Baltersan is not an undertaking for the faint-hearted.
But much of the hard work has already been done notably:
  • Historic Scotland grant offer
  • Full planning consent
  • Site clearance - 1,000 tonnes of soil and rubble cleared ready for final archæology, artefacts catalogued, and reusable masonry sorted and stored
  • Architectural and historical research
  • Exhaustive interior design sketches and architects' plans
  • Possible option to purchase additional land
Click here to download Sales Brochure PDF

Jamie and the Savages: Takes One to Know One

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read chapter 15 in DRUMS OF AUTUMN.
OK Sassenachs... I am starting to get a little nervous as to the direction this book is taking. Not so much this book, but the whole series. I have mentioned my Outlander mentor, Tracey, who has told me that halfway through Drums, I'll start to see where the series is headed.  I had a hard time once they started talking about settling in the US - down south no less. (You Southerners know I love ya - but I told ya; I'm a Yank. It's in our blood to roll our eyes when hearing Jamie and Claire are going to settle anywhere south of Newark, Delaware.)

OK so anyway... cue Waltons music now, Peeps. Will Claire and Jamie be settling on Fraser Mountain, perhaps?? Na na na na na naaaaaa... "Goodnight Sassenach"... "Goodnight Scottish Bastard".

And now allow me to change gears, if you will. When I realized we were going to start having run-ins with "the savages", I sortof changed my tune about what direction this series might be taking.  Let's just say that I just stumbled on a (verra cool) site - - and looked at readers' renditions of Jamie Fraser - and happened upon a picture of a fellow in some sort of suede ensem with arrows strapped to his back. At that point I closed the webpage and thought "Was that supposed to be Jamie? Or was it some random "savage"???

And that's when Kevin Costner reared his aging head in my imagination and I thought "Oh no. Oh please, God, please no."  Please dinna tell me Jamie and Claire will be running around, selling furs for wampum and coming up with names for each other like "Leaf Lover With Large Bosom" and "Red Warrior Who Canna Be Gentle About It".

And then I started pondering what will happen if Jamie and Claire settle in the garden of earthly delights... and make a home for themselves as regular old Jamie-the-former-Highlander and Claire-the-surgeon... and then the Red Coats come-a-callin and stir up trouble at their happy home. And I started having visions of Jamie having dinner with John and Abigail.... and holding the kite for Benjamin...and telling Cornwallis to kiss his not-so-wee arse... and it all became crystal clear:

                     THIS:                           is verra much like                         THIS:

Now run along and think on that, Sassenachs. I've got to get back to my book. Ian's still with the "savages", and something tells me it's not going to be as easy as Jamie thinks to meet him with old Mr. Third Ball in 10 days...

Friday, December 11, 2009

River Run and Bree's Great Auntie Jacosta

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have started chapter 10 in DRUMS OF AUTUMN.  

Lord I'm a sucker for familial relationships. I think this may be my first cry of Drums and thus, I feel compelled to write about it. I never expected to feel so emotional when Claire met Jacosta for the first time. But... wow. It hadn't clicked beforehand that she's Bree's blood relation. When Claire said her handshake felt like Bree's, that was it for me. My eyes got all watery and I couldn't even see the words on the page. (Reminds me a little of Bella in New Moon when she was crying and couldn't see Edward clearly. She referred to the process as "insanity". But I digress.)

This book has been absolutely beautiful so far. It truly has. When I spoke with Jenn M. at school pickup this afternoon, I said it feels like Drums is Diana's gift to us; the gift of Jamie Fraser. So far there hasn't been too much of that roller coaster feeling... (love the highs, not always crazy about the lows)... just a constant warm feeling of Jamie and Claire goodness. We all giggle about how much we love the sex scenes in all the books... but so far it's been mostly sweet remarks and loving glances. (I know, I sound like a sap, but I canna help it when we're talkin' about James Alexander Malcom Mackenzie Fraser, Sassenachs.)

OK that's it for now. I. Must. Read!!! Jenn and Shannon are pages and pages ahead of me. Someone get me away from this computer!!

I'll be wrapped around Jamie's finger....

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read chapter 9 in DRUMS OF AUTUMN. 

"I can see the destiny you sold, turned into a shining band of gold."  ~Sting

Wow. WOW. Did I not just blog a couple hours ago about Claire still wearing her gold ring from Frank? And now it's gone. Wow. I feel bad. I feel like I brought on the pirates! Seriously though. If she had taken the damn thing off before, it would be safe, most likely with Brianna. (I know, I know, nobody likes a Monday morning quarterback... so I'll just be shutting the hell up now.)

SO glad Jamie found it for her. I was NOT looking forward to her having to sift through her, uh, defecatory matter in order to find it. (Been there, done that. My son swallowed a penny once. Note to husband: Don't let the baby play with a penny when he's on the changing table, mmmmkayyyy?)

And the pirates. THE PIRATES. For the love of all that's holy... the damned pirates took the jewels.

Jamie Fraser = Job

Wedding Bands

 SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read chapter 9 in DRUMS OF AUTUMN.  

Why is Claire still wearing Frank's gold wedding band on her left hand? She barely loved him. They didn't have a tremendous marriage. Mofo's DEAD. Why is she still wearing that band? Take it off! You're married to Jamie now! I can understand why she kept it on before going back to the future; she felt bad for leaving Frank. But Frank's time has come and gone. He had his time with Claire. It's JAMIE'S turn now. TAKE OFF THE GOLD BAND.

Playlist update

Need to fill you in on some Outlander Playlist happenings...

First - I just realized I added the wrong "Adagio for Strings". Whoops. It was some electronic version that actually made me tinkle slightly when I realized my mistake. Can you imagine? A quick and steady beat that sounds like the music Jason Biggs danced to in American Pie - right after Culloden?? Shudder. Soooo - it promptly came off - and the correct version was added.

Second - I've mentioned that this playlist encompasses all the books - or at least the ones I've read so far. What I haven't mentioned - because I just realized it - is that it sortof skips from Claire deciding to stay with Jamie in 1743 after the witch debacle in Outlander to Claire reuniting with Jamie after snogging him out of jail in Dragonfly in Amber! Holy cow! That won't do! I need some more songs on this thing, no Sassenachs?!

Soooo...I promise to do that soon. I also promise to put together a post that shows what scenes I see in my head during each of these songs.

OK that's all for me - gotta go read - kthxbye.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Nine Greatest Words Ever Spoken:


America the Beautiful (and apparently stinky in 1767)

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you've finished chapter 7 in DRUMS OF AUTUMN.

OK so we're on our way to Cross Creek on a small boat which Jamie abhors. Why Claire isn't just shoving the needles in his neck without even asking is beyond me. He's going to be green in about 2 seconds. If you've never been seasick, you truly have no idea just how god-awful it is. It's like taking the worst nausea you've ever had and coupling it with the worse fear or panic attack you've ever had... and then asking someone to spray you ever 15 seconds with a spray bottle. But I digress...

One of my favorite Jamie lines: "What is it-has the spiced crab given ye flatulence?" Oh how I giggled at that.

Why is everyone so damned stinky all the time? I know, I know... it's the 18th century. They didn't exactly have Mennen Speed Stick. But - at some point - don't you go "Oh god I reek!" and jump in the lake?? Or rinse yourself with some water somehow? I mean seriously. The layers of filth and grime are making me so sick - as is the constant sweat.  It just goes to show what a fantastic writer Diana Gabaldon is... because I literally feel sick when these people are sick or hot or hurt, etc etc.

QUESTION:  Was anyone as put off as I was when Claire and Jamie were sweaty on the rock, discussing Claire being master of her domain - and she says "Well I was a widow for two years, you know." Um, HELLO??? If Jamie made reference to his sex life while they were apart - she would flip. Oh poor YOU, Claire! You went without Frank's manly essence and la leche cocktails for two whole YEARS! Somebody give this woman a prize! I was really mad at her for saying that. And of course - good-natured Jamie  is too nice to say anything. Or too taken with the realization that women also occasionally may take a solo trip downtown, if you will. (As Tracey says, how cute is it that Jamie is 46 years old and still learning about sex. Absolutely adorable.)
Did that bother anyone besides myself? 

OK and might I say - the grave is killing me. KILLING me. We're veering a little too close to that "Jamie Fraser is dead" feeling again like way back in Dragonfly in Amber, and I'm no happy with it at all, Sassenachs.

*Things I love so far:

*I loved when they were burying poor Gavin and they thought Stephen Bonnet was a ghost. Can't you just see that scene? Jamie, Fergus, Ian, Duncan... all yelling and bumping into each other like Scooby Doo near the wagon, only to find out it's some stinky Irishman who's been hiding all damn day next to a corpse? Oh holy hell I laughed at that scene. I loved Mr. Bonnet too, by the way. He's a great character. I hope we meet with him again.

*Roger Wakefield/Mackenzie has done an about-face and is almost as tasty as James Alexander Malcom Mackenzie Fraser, himself. I don't know when it happened, but he went from a nerdy, slightly anxious straight-laced guy to Hotty MacHottie, kilt-wearing, boner-hidden-behind-the-sporan-sportin', longish hair-raking MANLY MAN of the century!! I am thrilled to be reading about Brianna again. I cried when I turned the page and there she was, in 1969. I canna WAIT to see where this storyline is going to go. Will they go through the stones? I thank god that Roger can hear the buzzing and will be with her if she decides to go meet her father. *Thanks to for the hot kilt photo.

OH and Tracey (My Outlander Mentor aka MOM) is telling me I will get to the point where I can see how the overall story is evolving - and it's going to make me feel like I did when I realized Claire and Jamie were going to age 20 years. So far - here are the possibilities:

Possibility #1) I'm coming to the realization that Jamie and Claire will never leave the South, let along the Colonies. I want them back in Scotland. I don't want them in America. Let me amend that. I'll take my Jamie anywhere I can get him - but I'd prefer Scotland.

Possibility #2) I'm coming to the realization that Jamie is going to die - and that Claire is going to bury him. I canna even consider that thought without losing my shite... so... next:

Possibility #3) I'm coming to the realization that I love Roger and Brianna almost as much as Jamie and Claire, so they're going to grab the torch and be the next hot storyline once Jamie and Claire end up swinging on a porch swing? (Please dear LORD, let it be at LALLYBROCH!)

OK that's it for me. I'm leaving out so much but I really need to get reading. Later Sassenachs!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Scene Suggestion: "All I Want is You"

OK I just had a vision and wanted to share as well as get it written down before I empty the dishwasher or something and TOTALLY forget.

Imagine this - the witch trial scene. Slow motion. Claire and Geillis' wrists are tied up - and we're hearing "All I Want is You" from U2.  Jamie comes riding in on his horse - remember - all of this is in slow motion. The song makes the scene completely eerie as you're seeing various shots of the two women hanging by their wrists - Jamie flies off his horse and cuts Claire down... and the end of the song is playing where Bono is sceaming "All I want is YOUUUUUU.... all I want is YOUUUUUU..." and during the guitar portion at the end Claire looks over - sees Geillis' vaccination scar - their eyes meet, just as Geillis sees hers. Then Jamie whips her up on the horse - and they ride off...

Go listen to it right now. RIGHT FREAKIN NOW. And picture that. My god I can't wait for this movie. Somebody please tell me Randall Wallace is really working on this screenplay as I type. Please.

Drums of Autumn

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have reached page 5 in Drums of Autumn.

OK I'm peeking. Just a little. Had time for a quick snack and well.. I couldna resist taking a wee look. I'm only on page 5. Here are my observations so far:

Brianna is so coming over. Diana says the book has a lot about fathers - and thanks her own. Mmmm hhmmmm. Brianna is SO coming over.

LOVE the ghost prologue. Oh my god I love it so much I want to let it get to 3rd base with me in the back seat. I might have to type it out and put it on the blog so we can all pray to it every third Tuesday.

Getting a "The Other Boleyn Girl" vibe since this starts with a hanging, just like that did.

Not sure about the setting; Charleston, South Carolina. It's a beautiful area of the country, don't get me wrong. But I'm a Yank. And I have to assume this book is going to have lots of redcoats all over our asses in the years leading up to the Revolutionary war. And since my hometown borders Valley Forge, PA, I was kindof hoping for some stories of Jamie Fraser hanging near where I grew up, so I could take my local Sassenach posse on a field trip. I also figured we'd be seeing Jamie at the tea party in Boston.... but instead we're going to be subjected to Claire's shift being stuck between her breasts in  unbearable Southern temps. But dinna worry, lassies... It's all good.

Oh and speaking of Redcoats being all over our asses in the colonies, I'm thinking Diana shouldn't have killed Jack Randall. Wouldn't he be outstanding in that capacity?

PS - And speaking of Jack Randall and the colonies, this makes me miss Heath Ledger. :(

More fun with Jamie Santa!

If someone dubbed a Scottish accent on Kris Kringle I might just fall the hell over. ;)

Starting Drums of Autumn tonight!

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read unless you have finished VOYAGER!

Here is an email I just sent to Tracey, Jenn, and Shannon. Tracey has recently finished Drums of Autum. Shannon just finished Voyager last night (like a good little girl) and Jenn and I have been waiting to starts Drums with Shannon. There. You're all caught up. Now here's my email:

I am so excited about this (Shannon finishing). We can all chat. What did you think of the ending? I wasn't thrilled with Georgia - but - as Tracey said - it was nice to see them calm and at peace and Jamie not having to lie about his identity for once. I liked the hurricane...and dug the excitement of all of them holding on for dear life... but I thought the mast incident with Claire was a little unnecessary. And the fact that Jamie lost his beloved pictures because he had to save Claire made me horribly sad. They better bring Brianna to the 18th century so he can see her in person. What makes me sad is that he'll never see her as a baby again - even if she does cross over. SOB.

OH and I have a prediction. I was lying in bed this AM, thinking about Brianna coming back and if she does, who she'll end up with. I feel like there is only one possibility; Fergus. Which means DG will have to off Marsali. Not that I'd be too upset. She didn't win our hearts in Voyager. I just feel like Fergus is the only logical choice for Brianna. He's the only person close enough to Jamie to be good enough for her (in Jamie's eyes) and even that would be a stretch; Jamie will flip. I also think DG has made Fergus so special in our eyes for a reason. I'd WANT to get them together.

Sometimes it's more fun to predict than to know. When is everyone starting? I am headed to Target (anyone want to come?) and doing various things around the house today - so I won't be starting until later, if not tonight.

Tracey - hold off on starting The Fiery Cross as long as humanly possible. I think it's time we all get on the same page. 

*No Spoiler comments, please! THANK YOU! :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jamie Fraser at Christmastime!

Scottish Nutcracker anyone?

We're putting up our Christmas decorations today. This guy gave me a chuckle when I took him out of the box. I've never quite seen him in the same light before...

Embarrassed, party of 1 ??

Y'all... I just read parts of Outlander at the salon... because I'm waiting until tomorrow night to start Drums... because Shannon is almost finished Voyager... and Jenn M, Shannon and I are going to read Drums together. (My god that was a run-on sentence, was it not?)

BUT - if you havena read Outlander in a while, I suggest you do so. Pronto. My GOD it's a thrill ride. Holy crap. The entire honeymoon sequence is just so tasty I dinna know what to DO with myself. I was blushing right there in my colorist's chair! I was afraid everyone in the place knew I was reading about sex! And not just any sex... but hot, steamy, tasty, Jamie Fraser's goin' DOWNTOWN sex. Seriously! Dinna - I repeat - DINNA take Outlander to your salon! You'll be mortified because you'll get so wrapped up in it - you won't realize you look like a complete ASS!!!

PS - I keep forgetting to mention - please no spoiler comments! My buds and I have only read up through Voyager. We still have 4 more to go, Sassenachs! THANK YOU! :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

I Couldna Resist, Sassenachs!

 *Thanks to the for the lovely photo!

Diana Gabaldon IS my Claire.

Seriously. She is my Claire...

Playlist Update

Not sure if I've mentioned... but my Outlander Playlist has songs for multiple books. Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager, to be exact. I will be starting Drums of Autumn this weekend, and will keep adding as I'm reading.

Today I added Ryan Adams' neat little version of Oasis' "Wonderwall"... thinking it would work somewhere around the time that Jamie comes back to Claire in France after she lets King Louis put his thingie in her va jay jay in order to spring Jamie's gorgeous-but-dumbass, Jack-Randall-dueling, Scottish arse from jail.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

All are welcome... all welcome!

I just have to throw a big WELCOME out there to you newcomers who have recently discovered my humble little Outlander series blog. "Sassynach" - ye keep commenting, Lass! We love discussion around here.

It was also brought to my attention that some of you over at the Henry Ian Cusick forum at cusick are digging the playlist... and that is SO FRIGGIN COOL because a) I live for music tie-ins when I read and 2) could Henry Ian Cusick get any hotter? I'm thinking "NO", BROTHER! One of these days I'm going to get my casting suggestions up and he's going to be at the top of the list. My god I just drool at my TV when he's on Lost. And when I first fell for Jamie Fraser, my sister Tracey called me and played some HIC audio. Ever melted over the phone? Yeah. Me too.

So make sure you say "Hi" and comment - and don't be afraid to disagree with me if my opinions aren't jiving with yours while I read the rest of the series. I love Outlander discussion. LOVE IT! :)

3 down... 4 to go, Sassenachs.

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read unless you've finished VOYAGER. 

So I finished Voyager yesterday. I had a lot of back and forth email with Tracey about it and should post some of that here. There has been a large discussion brewing between Tracey, Jenn M and myself regarding Jamie's sex life over the last 20 years. Tracey thinks he bedded others; the whores included. I say "NO WAY". I just don't think he had the time or inclination, what with all that cave-dwelling, Ardsmuir prison-running and Helwater grounds-keeping he was doing.  He had Mary McNabb in the cave... himself in prison... and Geneva at Helwater. Then Laoghaire at Balriggan. Tracey thinks got a piece whilst carrying out his sedition and smuggling in Edinburgh. She thinks he was skimming off the top at the brothel. I disagree vehemently. I don't think he would have touched one of the whores; it would have gone against his "honor" (snicker.) I think he was busy doing his thing - and he wasn't there that long. A year? 18 months?

And speaking of honor... have I shared my views about forgiving Jamie for letting Claire walk into the lion's den-o-lies on more than one occasion? I finally put it away and reread the section where Jamie gets down on his knees and swears his loyalty to Claire. Wait a minute - I just need a minute...

OK I'm better now. I was just picturing Jamie Fraser down on his knees, swearing his loyalty to me... and I almost had to go lie down. Now back to my point...

I was just bothered because I didn't feel like Jamie was respecting Claire's honor. He's not the only one with integrity and dignity, right? Tracey feels like he was stupid by taking Claire back to Lallybroch when Loaghaire lived close by. Stupid, yes. But also WRONG. How about Claire's honor? How about telling Claire about Loaghaire just because it was the "right thing to do"? What of that, Sassenachs?

OK so anyway - moving on - I was OK with the end of the book. I LOVE Geillis as a character and was thrilled to witness the return of that character. I was also thrilled she's the one who died in the cave, because I didn't want Margaret to be offed in such a cruel manner. I loved her eerie relationship with the slaves. I also loved the slave uprising... and I felt like Claire would have been leading the movement had she not had other matters to attend to. Which - reminds me of something Jenn M brought up yesterday. Claire is always attending to JAMIE'S matters; not her own. I want to see more of Claire's own situations in the next book. Remember when she was the doctor at Leoch and Lallybroch? Remember the hospital in France? Remember her dealings with Raymond? I want Claire to have something of her own to deal with, that doesn't involve following Jamie around through his own struggles.

ALSO - I was OK with the hurricane on the ship... but I thought it was a little over-the-top when Claire fell into the water... and when they ended up - yet again - in a strange room somewhere, with one of them in need of medical attention. We've seen this scene multiple times. No more rooms with small beds and a window and a fireplace. I would have been fine if they'd come up on shore after the hurricane and just sat there - side by side - on the beach. Oh god. I'm doing it again. Picturing sitting side by side with Jamie Fraser, on a beach. A secluded beach, preferably. Holy crap. I have to go. I canna type anymore with so many lovely visions dancing around in my head...