ABOotlander LOVE- Episode 2- Connie V does it her way…tickles eh?!

ABOotlander Love is all about spreading KINDNESS JOY & SUPPORT throughout the OUTLANDER Fandom, especially during #Droughtlander. In our last edition we shared Beth Wessons story with our readers.  

The ABOotlander World FB Page is choosing those in the Outlander fandom who have made it their mission to add a touch of positivity & entertainment.

We are highlighting bloggers, artists, podcasters, cast or crew members who simply share parts of themselves that bring happiness to those enjoying the World of Outlander. 

ablove

 

There is no doubt that Connie Verzak aka ConnieBV aka atom1cflea.tumblr.com is the epitome of this.  Connie’s recaps are inventive, creative & not just funny – they are uproarious.  If you have any bone of funny in your body…it will be tickled.

200w

We always wonder what makes the fanciful tick, what is it that causes them to see the comical in things that others see as mundane.  

This is what I adore about Connie – I feel a kinship with her…a weird, wild and witty connection.  I was thrilled when she happily agreed to step into the ABOotlander LOVE spotlight. 

200

Let’s listen to Connie’s OUTLANDER Journey.

In Connie’s real life she is a translator  (we know she turns the everyday into awesome) and a proofreader. She has had a wide variety or jobs from bridal salon attendant to telemarketer. (I wouldn’t say mean things and hang up on HER!)
All of us have our “Outlander” story, how we got here… Here is Connie’s-
The first book was on display in the library shortly after it came out. I think it was under “New Historical Romance” or something similar. I picked it up, read the first few pages to see if it would be up my alley and was intrigued by the writing, so very painterly… I took it home and read it in two days. I have been waiting for the next book ever since, and the Frasers have been with me through my own ups and downs. It’s such a cliché, but it really is like looking in on old friends. (This is the cliche of our lives)
jfpxjj
We are inspired by many different things and I was curious to know what inspired the crazy lil fleas recaps, aren’t you?
Oh, a combo of boredom and whimsy. I heard the show was coming out and I wanted to talk about my favorite scene, so I did a bit of that and then made the images to accompany it. A few folks on Tumblr knew me and liked them, and by episode 3 I had promised them full recaps, and though I couldn’t do them fast enough to keep up with the show, people seemed to enjoy them and so I kept it up. I didn’t even finish the long S1 recaps till a month or two before S2. The first time Diana shared them I almost had a heart attack. I still get such a thrill that she likes them and am so happy whenever anyone says I made them laugh.
It was so exciting to see Connie’s recap headlined with ScotlandNOW, I really wanted to know how that came about, so, I asked of course.
Well, I heard through a couple of fandom friends that they were looking for someone to recap the show, and that they had forwarded my name. I replied to the editor with a sample of my work (I either sent the “Rent” recap or the Wedding, can’t quite recall) and she had me finish out season 1. They were very short and more like reviews, since I had almost no time to work on them between airtime and deadline. People kept liking them, so we kept on. I love that I can ask her if it’s a good idea to write as a cow and she’s like “Well, let’s see it…” For S2 I have tried writing longer ones with some more analysis. At some point I’ll settle on a format, but they’ll always be humorous. I have to laugh.
Being an Outlander fan is such a kick in the pants, when we get to cross paths with those who started this brilliant world it can be … the best ever! 
Meeting Diana Gabaldon was my biggest fangirl moment.
connie

Such love..such admiration…so much awesome in one frame. Photo by friend Allison.

I was at a fan gathering in Iowa, and I had brought my camera to have my picture taken because I wanted a good photo, and the girl wasn’t sure how to use it and the photo was blurry, and it was very late and Diana had been signing for quite a while, so she glanced briefly at my printed recap page and then moved things along. I was SO crushed, I didn’t get to talk or anything I was so nervous. My friend Allison who I bless to this day forced me to get back in line, and tell Diana the name of my blog and when she said, “You’re Connie!” I wanted to faint. I got my picture re-taken and she hugged me and told me I was “a  funny lady.” I don’t think she knows how much that means to me, but it’s a warm glow every time I think about it. Especially in winter.
1cqaagc
There is no denying that Connie makes us guffaw, giggle, snort and chortle.  I had to wonder if she ever thought “Man…that was too funny!” 
It’s usually not the funniest ones in any traditional sense. For me at least it’s the ones where I jump out of bed or the shower and make something ludicrous and cackle because I can’t believe I get paid for this (please keep paying me). (In fact, give that woman a raise!) This particular one was free but I laughed myself stupid making it, hearing this cat’s voice in my head. I laughed just now seeing it. Making animals and inanimate objects talk always gets me, because I am a child. Also I love my running gags, of which I have many.

cat

Everyone has “things”…here are a few of Connie’s…I am disturbed by both marshmallows and licorice. You didn’t happen in nature. Someone made you! (She is so weird…did I mention I adore HER?)

tumblr_n09sy5wobf1rmmb9qo1_500

When you are an entertaining person, you need to be entertained. I inquired as to who amuses Connie.
My husband is the funniest person alive. He’s well-read, quick and has a fine grasp of the ridiculous. I don’t like humor that makes people feel bad, or puts someone down. I like it when you laugh, and you had to think quickly to get that laugh.
68fc09cb2c6d60c49f46e41e17b7c6bc

The ABOotlanders must ask question for all spotlight inners.  You come to Alberta Canada and someone offers you —

a) Moose Droppings b) Beaver Tails c) Prairie Oysters d) Taber Corn…which would you choose & why?

I live in the U.S. Midwest now with a proud Midwestern dude, so unless I say corn I might find the door locked when I come home. (Good choice Connie, Taber Corn is delish! Drowned in butter n salt and you have yourself a Friday night!)
corn

Taber is a town…in Alberta…with the sweetest corn EVER!

The ABOotlanders are so grateful Connie agreed to join the ABOotlander LOVE adventure! We started with Beth Wesson’s thoughtful prose. Followed it up with Connie’s humourous peek on life…stay tuned for our next spotlight…it will be therapeutic folks!
SherryLynn
ABOotlander Founder & funmaker
 

ABOotlander LOVE with Beth Wesson

We, the ABOotlanders have been up to something in this fandom since we stuck our noses into it.  It’s about positive energy & intent, support and basic kindness.  We are lucky that so many others are in it with us.

giphy

Like ferrets in a ball pit. FUN FUN FUN

Love & Kindness are things we all can use more of and the law of attraction is something we practice so every two weeks in our bubble of the interwebs you will see us celebrating!

Celebrating what you ask? I am so glad you did…we are celebrating Outlander bloggers, podcasters, fans, cast, crew, twitterers…you know people we associate with Outlander that we also associate with the positive energy & kindness.

The people we have enjoyed following & sharing our interwebish experiences with.  We hope you join us and share with us your wonderful experiences in our comments section.

You may recognize our first ABOotlander LOVE featured guest. Beth Wesson.

beth-wesson

Beth @ NYTartan Week

She is a writer & this is her blog.    I developed an admiration for Beth through her blog as most do. Though, my admiration came from my not agreeing with a few things she wrote.  The beauty of this is, Beth is a great person to have discussions with. Knowing we don’t all have to agree to get along. We can understand one anothers views without making them our own.   I believe it is more than agreeing to disagree.  This is more being able to say what you mean without being mean.

Let’s learn more about Beth! She is a wife of almost 41 years (to the same man!), Mother to a lovely daughter who is a photographer and a son who is a foreman for Honda.  She has six lovely granddaughters that range in age from 17 to 2.  She teaches high school and attend sporting events when she isn’t  writing.

We all have started with Outlander somewhere. Beth’s story emerged about eight years ago. I asked her when her love for Outlander started, this is her story.

eric-idle-storytime-o

“I was looking for new reading material.  I loved Historical Fiction so, I typed into the search bar, “best Historical Fiction you’ve ever read”.  It generated a list and Outlander  by Diana Gabaldon was in the top five.  I then typed in “best Science Fiction, best Romance, and best Fantasy you’ve ever read”.  Outlander was in the top five of every list and I was intrigued.  “What kind of book was this?” I asked myself and so, I ordered the first book.  I almost quit reading (I always tell my new recruits to get through those first one hundred pages).  I’m so glad I didn’t because I was hooked and couldn’t read them fast enough.  I felt sorry for those folks who have been reading since the beginning and have had to wait and wait for the next novel.  I read a lot and I couldn’t believe I had missed this series! Diana’s attention to detail, beautiful dialogue, and layered and nuanced characters have completely ruined me for other reading experiences.  I read other books, I just don’t enjoy them as much! I find myself re reading and never tiring of the truths revealed between her pages about what it means to love and be human.”

We find inspiration all around us, sometimes in very interesting places.  I wanted to know what brought Beth to her blog.  It turns out it was snow.

zesdm19

Meanwhile…in Canada…

“No, seriously, snow.  We had a really bad winter and I was housebound and bored.  My nieces suggested that I start writing.  I said I would love to, but I had no idea how to start.  I think I had this idea that I had to start writing a novel right out of the gate.  They suggested that I write a blog. “They are free and easy to set-up!”,they said.  They were right.  Even with my limited techy skills I was able to set up a page.  Then It was a matter of finding something to write about.  I asked myself what I was interested in the answer was Outlander.  Believing the only people who would be reading my ramblings were my nieces I started to write.  Unbeknownst to me, my nieces sent one of my first articles to Diana.  I remember the day I was flitting around twitter and a notification flashed across my iPad that Diana had tweeted me.  I sat in shock for a second and then went to my notifications.  There it was… a message from Diana that she had read my little blog post and found it lovely…..I screamed…then quickly screenshot the message and then explained to my startled husband what had happened.  Here is a link to the article they sent Diana. http://wp.me/p4mtBT-e  I continued to write about Outlander basking in the glow that my favorite author had read and liked my writing.  Then a fortuitous accident happened.  I tried to figure out how to use my blog features.  Long story short, I accidently posted an article to Twitter. Here is the link!  http://wp.me/p4mtBT-3 Within 24 hours 1300 people had read my article.  This seemed like a huge number to me and having my writing ”outed”has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  Here it is almost three years later and I’m still writing about Outlander and my favorite author, executive producer, writers, and costume designer have posted my articles and I’m read all over the world.  I’m amazed!”

giphy

The heart of our blogs is our love of Outlander, which makes us fans.  Having fan experiences is something  we can share with one another and “get”. Here is Beth’s most memorable.

“I’d have to say traveling to Washington DC to hear Diana speak.  My lovely husband came with me and besides actually meeting Diana, his reaction to the line of fans stretching out the building and around the block to see her was priceless.  It tells some pretty funny stories about the whole experience.   The fan encounter I’m most looking forward to is the “Thru the Stones’ fan event in Iowa.  I’m hoping to meet Terry Dresbach! “

giphy1

When you are browsing through the blogs, podcasts & fan art… leave your thoughts with those who have put their energy out there for you.  It gives them something to go with.  Read how Beth utelizes your feedback to grow as a writer & as a person.

One of the best things about writing a blog is hearing from my readers.  I always gain insight.  People write responses worthy of their own blog posts and sometimes I feature some of their responses on the blog as guest posts.  I’ve always said the most polarizing character in the series is not Black Jack Randall, but Frank.  I wish I would have thought to screen shot some of the comments written on Facebook in response to an article I wrote about Frank.  They were amazing!  The thought fans have given to what Frank knew and didn’t know and what he did and didn’t do was staggering.   http://wp.me/p4mtBT-9Z I started out pretty sure I knew , but after reading my readers comments…not so much, LOL.  I have a friend that says when I write it’s like I see a thread and pull until it all unravels and makes sense.  I like that image and believe I see several threads and pull to find out how it all fits together.  Like I did in this article I wrote about the costumes.  http://wp.me/p4mtBT-Yx “

It’s through our connections that we learn & in turn are inspired by others. Beth shares where this has happened for her.

“I have received many lovely compliments about how my writing makes people re-examine topics. I’m humbled to learn that my efforts resonate.  I have made some friends from this whole experience of blogging about Outlander.   Jane Davis is a friend I often bounce ideas off of.  She has a great ability to listen and then ask questions that cause me to look at things from another angle.  Another person is Terry Dresbach  who has a lot of non-Outlander discussions on Twitter.  There is often something brought up in those conversations that will trigger curiosity for me.  Gun control was one of those issues.  Her conversations with people on Twitter caused me to take a serious look beyond the talking points.  Her enthusiasm for meaningful conversations between people and tolerance is inspiring and affords me the chance to participate in conversations that don’t often happen in my rural part of the world.”

We all wonder what the future of Outlander is. I asked Beth to look into her magic 8 ball and this is what she came up with.

“All 9 books on the screen, Emmys, Diana writes forever.” 

e27966fd16516ce67b7a7d2ea410aa05

We ABOotlanders have a MUST ASK question. Its totally an Alberta thing to anoint our guests.  We offer them 4 things and they must choose one.   a) Moose Droppings b) Beaver Tails c) Prairie Oysters d) Taber Corn.

Beth chose Moose Droppings.First, she was confused over what Taber corn even was and she figured she could use the moose droppings for fertilizer.  Personally…I would just eat them! DELISH!

moose-droppings

 

Thank you Beth for being the first of many Outlander connections to step into the spotlight with the ABOotlanders.  Your warmth & openness has been a delight!

We look forward to many more years of insight & laughter with “My Outlander Blog

Stay tuned for our next #ABOotlanderLOVE celebration coming up in two weeks time. Share your thoughts on Beth & her contributions to the Outlander fanmily.

 

SherryLynn

Founder of the ABOotlanders