How to Predict the Future. What I picked up from #TheBalladOfRogerMac

I will say that I have started and stopped this particular ‘not a recap’ half a dozen times already.  I even wrote nearly a whole blog with another topic and trashed it. It’s not only because I was struggling with what to focus the blog on but because my thoughts were so all over the place, I had a difficult time wrangling them. I finally gave up and said, “What the hell, I’m just going to start…and keep going until I am done!” So, here we go.  Fingers crossed this shit makes sense at the end.

I don’t have to go into how emotionally draining this episode was because so many others have, I am pretty sure there is online debriefing amongst fans due to the mass breakdown. Which went in a couple directions. I usually pull on a thread that catches my attention in the episode and unravel the why.  This blog is a bit different than that.

The Ballad of Roger Mac came with loads to unpack, at first, I did struggle. I wanted to talk about control and how we truly have none except that over our own self.  I wrote about the breakdown of one’s spirit.  Nearly 1000 words in and I deleted the whole fucking thing because I was depressing myself. I did NOT need to feed to you – especially now. I closed my laptop and watched the episode, again.

Here I sit with thoughts of preparedness for the future. How that is more a concept than anything. We can prepare physically for what may happen but we are never truly prepared for how things make us feel. The wild, crazy ride of life that becomes intensely personal and all ours.

One way we can predict/prepare for our future is to assess our past.  We don’t have to be psychic or psychotic to think we can see what is in our future.  Our past behaviours in similar circumstances can lead us toward that vision.  Often, the lessons we may have learned from situations can be helpful to determine what actions would be logical (or not) next time around.

Roger is attempting to unload a wagonful of burden before leaving Jemmy and Brianna.  Thoughts of his father dying in WW2 enable him to picture himself in both his father’s shoes and Jemmy’s wee booties.  He is more concerned about Jemmy not remembering him than he is about dying.

Brianna knows Roger more than anyone.  She recognizes Roger’s pattern of behaviour. He puts his own safety in jeopardy to help others. “Act first, think later’ Roger. He has this horrible luck of not having a chance to think later because he’s been forced onto a ship, beaten silly, or tossed back into the idiot hut. You know, those things.giphy-3                                          We know, Rog, we know…

The worry Brianna feels as Roger heads out is not just because of the impending war but because she knows him to his core.  He is a pacifist, she knows he will protect those he perceives as vulnerable, putting his life on the line without a thought. Bree knows Roger’s future will be filled with the compulsion to intercede on behalf of those suffering. Which as we have seen, given the closing scene of The Ballad of Roger Mac, may cost him everything.

Caretakers, we see you.  Perhaps you aren’t as ‘idiot hutty’ as Roger manages but getting lost in moments where safety, whether physical, emotional or both are put aside in order to safeguard others, is commendable.

We are seeing this right now, all over the globe. Without proper PPE, tired and frustrated health care workers are going into work, missing their own families, to save the lives of others.  I promise you, the caretakers doing this, their families will tell you, it is no surprise. These caretakers have been reacting to situations their whole lives with little regard to themselves.  Their past predicted their reaction to this crisis, not the crisis itself.

Jamie has been on the wrong side of the law for as long as we’ve known him. In The Ballad of Roger Mac, we saw him move from the flimsy side of the crown to full-on rebel.  Given his history, this wasn’t hard to anticipate. In the past, he turned his body over to save his wife.  He plotted with his sister to give him over to the crown for the good of those at Lallybroch.  As an indentured servant, he extended his life as a stable hand to be around his illegitimate son. He lived under a pseudonym, as a respectable printer to distribute seditious material and smuggle contraband. Jamie created a life of playing the game in order to achieve what he needed or wanted.

Murtagh was a man who was always prepared to die for what he believed in. Yes, he hated the red coats and undoubtedly believed in the regulator’s cause. Above all, he loved Jamie.

It wasn’t the oath that made Murtagh save Jamie’s life or that made Jamie want to save Murtagh’s.  It was love.  Jamie had lost his father – he had killed his Uncle – Murtagh was the last man standing that could show him. Show him what, you might ask. The ‘what’ are those now unknowns that we can never predict. It is needing their guidance of having lived ‘the whats’ and their ability to share them with us.

Even at 50, such a loss isn’t easy.  It is like our foundation is shaken out from under us.  We believed we knew what the world was going to look like and then someone strikes it with a hammer to shatter it into dust.  How do we fix that?  Is it possible to reimagine it? Will looking back help us see the future here?

It is deep breath time. Acceptance that living through it is to know it.  This is the experience to learn from. This is the hurt from which we heal.  Healing does not mean getting over or moving on or any of the thousand clichés we use.  Healing means being present in our grief, giving it room to breathe while discovering our new normal.  Creating a space for a new relationship with those we have lost.

That is how we can predict our future after a loss. It’s never easy. It’s messy and it hurts. People on TV will go through it in hyper speed but us? We need to do it our way.  How we look at our loved ones in life can be what helps define that new every day we establish.

Claire, over and above, is reaching back into the past to straight-up create her future, hers is full of penicillin.  Technically she’s reaching into the future (but it’s her past – it can get crazy confusing – especially for me who is easily confused 😋).  Bringing her knowledge from becoming a surgeon further contributes to her life-saving abilities each day she spends in the 1700’s. There are lives she preserves simply by teaching folks basic hygiene.

How many of our ancestors do you think would still be alive if they didn’t have poop fingers? That’s a legit question, friends.

When Claire sees Jamie off to fight, their departure has a much different feel than Bree and Roger’s.  She is his wife, of course, she has concern for his wellbeing. Claire is also exceedingly pragmatic. She puts complete trust in his word to her.  In order to concentrate on what she needs to do, she puts her worry into his hands.

This tactic is one that many of us could learn from.  Especially chronic worriers. I know they are out there.

I am validating the incredibly difficult times we are in right now.  I am going to urge those struggling to go the way of Claire.  For those overwhelmed by worry about those they love.  Ask questions.  Do you trust their intelligence?  Are they capable human beings? If you answer yes to those. Trust them.

Tell them you are concerned and ask them to share their experiences with you.  We tend to get so carried away with random thoughts we disconnect from the reality.  Claire understands that Jamie has said, today isn’t the day we part for good. She trusts him and his words.  Claire focuses on the things she can control, which are medicine and healing. She can not control each outcome but she does her level best with what she has.  That is all any of us can do.

Imagine we could predict our futures to the letter. Having the information of when we would lose someone or we could foresee falling in love…we could never be truly prepared.  We might picture the physicalities of the situation however the feelings we experience will always be new. Emotion is the element that can not be nailed down.

Claire used her knowledge of how wounds are created, faced off with that skeezy Lyle Asshat Brown. She accused him of shooting Isaiah Morton in the back.  His manbaby ego is battered so badly he smashed her one and only syringe, like a toddler.  Keenly aware of the consequences of his actions, Claire is horrified into silence.

Jamie knew he would be battling against Murtagh in this fight.  He always knew there was a chance his Godfather could be killed, yet, when the moment came that he was. Grief took over.

Brianna wrestled with her fear that something terrible happened to Roger when he did not return to camp before the battle. She knew he was missing.  Her worry was colouring everything in front of her. When faced with her husband hanging from a tree. Shock overcame her.

Emotion. Emotion. Emotion.  It will often be the curve in the path to foreseeing what is ahead.  I believe the key is to feel whatever it is you are feeling.  Anger, fear, sadness or shock. Allow it to take its course, validate why it is there and know it’s all right. The less we suppress or deny our emotions, the sooner we move towards the future we envision.

I am sending you all love and hugs- virtual hugs because those I can give you, up close and personal.

Sher xo

ps. I try to livetweet every Sunday with W Network’s airing of Outlander at 7 PM Mt. using the hashtag #OutlanderCAN

 

 

 

 

Serendipity. In this #Outlander world.

Today it was announced that Caitriona Balfe was once again nominated for a Golden Globe for her stellar performance of Claire Fraser.  This got me thinking of how lucky we are to have her in this role. My thoughts quickly turned into how all the pieces of this production have fallen into place at the perfect time for it to become what it is.

As far back as the ’90s, I recall talking to a friend about the idea of the Outlander book series being made into a television show. That was when there were only 3 or 4 books on the shelves.  Caitriona and Sam would have been teenagers around then, Ron D. Moore was in his Star Trek phase of life.

Diana Gabaldon, the creator of this universe we so happily devour, has spoken of the many times the books had been optioned but those offers never came to fruition.  In the end, Jim Kohlberg had the rights for over five years. It wasn’t until Ron D. Moore and his producing partner Maril Davis approached him with the idea of an epic TV drama, which started the ball rolling.  Both Ron and Maril visited Diana personally with their vision and let’s just say, the rest is now on TV screens around the globe for our viewing pleasure.

Imagine these pieces, all falling into place at the right time. Individual choices that happened to intersect by chance.

I sit back and think about this puzzle. I have a hard time wiggling my brain into believing they could have found a Tobias, Sophie, Caitriona, Sam, Richard, Duncan, Lotte, Nell, John, Graham, Cesar, Roman, Lauren…the list just goes on and on., at any other juncture at any other time. The secondary characters have also been absolute magic and it seems if one were off – the show may have tumbled like a Jenga tower. (Or more likely it would look absolutely nothing like it looks like now and maybe I have a pathetic imagination but I simply can’t picture it looking any better.) 

The writers, crew, sets, costumes and all of those involved in this production seem to have such a passion for this project it shows deep into the guts of it. When viewing the behind the scenes photos or videos, even when they are standing in the cold and gloom, there are smiles and laughter. The crew and production staff that take part in online chatter with fans do so with such a joyful heart, it is a nice reminder that when those creating something enjoy doing it, it makes it a worthwhile thing.dkrccftvaaavlpo

The cast seems to genuinely enjoy one another’s company. They do a lot of press, conventions, interviews and interactions on social media.  The truth is, they don’t have to.  Some media is expected from the studio, sure, authentic interaction is an entirely different thing. We have all seen cardboard interviews between costars before and the cast of Outlander is so far outside of that sphere. They truly make it fun to watch them together. The trust they have for one another is a pleasure to see.                                                      2b42001989373025b267d9028377fe12 tumblr_nb8ocdzp8p1tj014jo1_500

I mean, really…think about it. If Caitriona hadn’t decided she had her run with modelling and not gone back to her first love of acting, we wouldn’t have our Claire. How could that be a thing? Had Sam gotten any of those Game of Thrones roles he had tried for…he wouldn’t be our Jamie Fraser. It doesn’t make sense to me how we could have anyone else in these parts now.

It all leads to that one, beautiful thing my friends…serendipity.

May we have the honour of enjoying it for many more years.

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Sherry (ABOotlander Founder)

 

 

 

 

Outlander BedtimeStories. #Hubservations while I am his Audiobook

Our first round of Bedtimes stories started because of the initial Droughtlander and my husband’s inability to wait for anything. Like ANYTHING – when he knows the answer is right there.  I only have to tell him.  He really enjoyed the TV show & knew the books were out there – however not being a reader – there was a problem…unless he could get someone to read them to him. WELL GEE!

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I’d be THRILLED to…like really!

#BedtimeStories were born.  Sometimes I read and he is silent & enjoys. Sometimes, he is contemplative. Sometimes there are tears or laughter. Often…smart ass comments erupt from him. As I read “Jamie gingerly….blah de blah Claire blah.”  He pipes up with “Doesnt he do EVERYTHING gingerly?  Get it?”  Yeah MasterDad joker, I get it.

I stopped keeping my phone in my room at night around A Breath of Snow & Ashes so I haven’t tweeted his witty remarks as they come.  They are jotted down in a note book…maybe slightly illegible but we’ll wait till we are done reading Written in My Own Hearts Blood to do that shall we?

If you have NOT read the books. Stop reading now.  Hubbychilds comments are SPOILERS.  Not just little spoilers…BIG WHOPPING RUIN YOUR OUTLANDER EXPERIENCE SPOILERS!  If you havent read the books…and you read ANY further than this line. It is your own damn fault. You made a choice and it was probably the wrong one. So…with that being said, you are not allowed to leave comments or send me DMs scolding me for throwing spoilers out to the world.  Just because the cookies are there…didn’t mean you had to eat them.

The following hubservations are from Voyager on up to a piece of  A Breath of Snow & Ashes.  So again, I warn you. SPOILERS ARE AHEAD.  Can you tell someone has smacked my nose with a newspaper over this before? Uh-huh.

As we closed the pages of Dragonfly In Amber…my husband made an interesting observation.  For the record…Me…Diana…and Caitriona…and any other girl person in a Disney movie (thats fairly recent so it might be an age thing)

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This was more than a couple years ago now…so…the list is longer
We pick up somewhere in Voyager.

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Lover of the craziness. Explains a lot eh?

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Sometimes I wondered if he read ahead on me…and then…reality
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I wasn’t afraid of dreaming it…why should he be?

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Seriously.  I hate when he guesses right & I have to NOT yell it at him
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Its like Claires own version of Rock, paper, scissors. 

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Its a pretty specific Canadian reference there folks…them Newfoundlanders. LOVE.
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I only laughed because…it was funny.

You know…my sweet hubbychild has always been a little jealous of Jamie.  Calling him my boyfriend etc.  I have compiled some of his comments throughout storytime…enjoy.

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He really did say that…I was there. 

Lets take a look at what he thought during Drums of Authumn shall we?  

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He’s pretty???
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My husband was a chef in the military…he had 2 bears (different times &locations) jump onto his kitchen trailer…both times…he screamed like a girl and ran out the back door.  Like a smart man would. 
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Saying it might have got him a smack.

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Uh-huh…I’m SURE that is what he meant.  He didn’t. 

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The “Willies a lil snot” chronicles…by my husband

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I think he has a HUGE point here…HUGE…biggest point ever…not like any other point. 

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He’s a fan of dirty lady mouths…since you know…his wife has one. 
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This is the moment…everyone was yelling the same thing at Jamie…UGH. Men! 

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You may be able to tell…my husband doesn’t like it when people don’t communicate.  He notices a common theme with Claire. 

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At least he knows the character well enough to know…Drinking helps. A lot.

 

There is one character over all the others my husband feels bad for…its poor wee Rog. It sure entertains me to listen to him yak about him. And he has a face now. Richard Rankin…we adore you. We feel sorry for you…but we adore you. 

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I believe its an accurate assumption…don’t you???

 

I know you probably feel like meh…this is good. I read enough. I don’t need to hear her husbands ramblings any more…but…since I planned to write this all out…I’m doing it.  Feel free to bookmark this and come back later to finish up…

 

but I am powering through this!

 

We are at Fiery Cross…you know the one. No…let my hubbychild remind you. FC001

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Sometimes he says stuff that he KNOWS he is going to get smacked for…but yet…he continues.  Never letting fear or common sense stop him.

 

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Yes…all the characters get their own voice.  Im a method reader

 

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Jimbo=Jamie…in case you missed his disdain for his perceived perfection

 

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He is a dad…and over 40…its a part of their evolution apparently.

 

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I think it botherth him…tho I keep doing it.

 

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I am always like COME ON!  I didn’t pick up on half this shit when I read the 1st time

 

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Now you see why I like him…his mind lives in the same gutter as mine

 

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He loves the numerous back from the dead stories

 

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hashtag combustakid

 

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Things he asked that I don’t have the answers to.

 

Last…but not least we end with a bit of A Breath of Snow & Ashes.

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I think thats an appropriatly inappropriate spot to stop.

You gotta love the guy…

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Until next week…

I’m Sher…ABOotlanders Founder

Let’s talk about sex baby. “Surrender” was all about letting go!

I am sure if you have watched episode 2 of season 3 for Outlander you are quite aware there seemed to be as much sex in it as there was in season 2.  That should have topped ya all up.

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Do you think I am sexy baby? No? 

I get it…season 2 was NOT sexy.  Stillbirths, starvation, war….not foreplay in the making.  Season 3 however…the lovin’ was stong in “Surrender”

All the sex wasn’t shown, all the sex wasn’t with someone else or even completed but we are going to talk about it anyway. Why? Why focus on the sex? Because it was more than that…just like in real life.  The way two people communicate often involves their bodies. Whether it be with love, need, desire, anger or pure hatred.  Sex can be an expression of any of those.

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The first sex scene we were treated to was with Claire. Taking things into her own hands so to speak.  We know Claire is sexually advanced to societies expectation – which makes perfect sense considering she was a woman who always pushed the boundaries in each time she existed in.  At this moment, fantasizing about the man she loves and pleasing herself seemed as natural as breathing.  Frank, asleep and oblivious was not as important to me. Part of me thought any hot blooded man, who hasn’t gotten some in a while, would recognize that heavy breath and pay very close attention.  In my mind, Frank did in fact wake…he just was super polite and just let her finish up.

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Fooled ya…

The second winka winka scene, brings us back to the Claire/Frank marriage bed.  This time, Claire looking a million miles away but still managing to reach out and poke him in the face to wake him up.  Ok…she brushed her fingers across his cheek.  He asks her “What is it.” She responds “I miss my husband.”  Which, let’s be honest here, she isn’t lying.  She really misses her husband.  The red-headed one, the one she dreams about. Frank will just ignore that for now. Cuz a man woken in the middle of the night with an invitation to the pleasure highway generally will pay the assigned toll.

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Most of the time anyway

Claire sure wanted to scratch a lot of itches getting back to being who she used to be.  The third sex scene was anticlimactic.  Literally.

Claire does a little dance for Frank, removing her knickers (you couldn’t call those billowy things panties even if you wanted to), again, feeling the need to get out of what you know she feels mundane.  If she has to walk in these slippers, she wants them to have some heels. So she seduces Frank.  Who is totally into it, until he tries to connect with her emotionally.  The eyes are the windows to the soul and Claire has hers firmly SHUT.  He pleads with her to open her eyes and she basically ignores him, because she isn’t with him.

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How ’bout this Frank? Do you think I’m sexxxxxy???

She has a desire to escape and he is not heeding it by reminding her. Reality is, it is Frank she is having sex with not making love to Jamie. He stops. He has had enough.  It is one thing to have sex half asleep and ignore it but he is full on awake and totally gets it.

We notice when Claire gets SUPER angry when confronted with the truth.   She either throws ashtrays or she buggers off and seethes.  It is vastly different from the Claire who is motivated by her anger.  When she knows she is right, she turns that anger into action…when she is called on her shit she lashes out and shuts down.

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HURMPH!

Our fourth sex scene happens between a very broken man and a woman who simply wishes to be a balm in his life.

I heard a lot of people upset that we had to see Claire have sex with Frank but they didn’t make us see it with Jamie and Mary.  Here is my take.  You have already seen Frank and Claire have the sexy time in episode one, season one.  This isn’t a completely foreign concept.  Jamie with anyone but Claire…that is going to take a bit more getting used to.

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Plus, I think after being in a cave for 6 yrs…he erupted after about 2 seconds…maybe….just maybe…he was a bit quick on the uptake and you DID see it all. In my lowly opinion, watching Mary and Jamie have sex probably wouldn’t be so sexy.  I mean, they were both super skinny due to poor living conditions.  It might have been super distracting having two people that sounded like someone playing Yahtzee as opposed to having sex. Bones banging against one another – not so erotic eh?

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Nope…not even a little in the sexy department

This episode is the sex-circle of life.  Frank is Claire’s Jamie…Mary is Jamie’s Claire…round and round we go.

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Maybe we aren’t as connected in the sex circle…but you get my meaning.

Orgasm is an escape.  A surrender, so to speak.  It is a healthy way to treat the bodies wounds as it serves to be a bridge to the soul.

So have an orgasm today! Alone or with someone.  It is all good for you.

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Join us while we watch Outlander on Sundays via W Network! There is live tweet action and aftershow chat happening on the twitter., using the hashtag #OutlanderCAN

Sher

ABOotlander Founder

 

 

The Other Outlander “F” word. FRANK.

Yup. In the history of Outlander there has always been discussions about Frank. If we think this is a new topic of conversation because of the way the TV show has presented him.  We are wrong. This is just one discussion that is 6 yrs old . It took place on Karen Henry’s blog, Outlandish Observations, which was started in 2008. See…WAY before the show became a “thing”.

I assure you, these discussions/arguments have been happening since the first book came out. My guess, somewhere in the world on June 2, 1991 the first debate about Frank and his place in Claire’s story took place. Why? Because there is a distinct character there, with a distinct personality. The interesting part is which side people fall on.

Frank is the man who was left behind by Claire’s unintended trip into the past. It’s funny, not “haha” funny but “Hmmmmm, how about that?” funny – that if you love him, you defend him like no one’s business – or you despise him and everything he stands for…oh wait…everything we believe he stands for.

Frankly (heehee), he is one of the most complex characters in the Outlander series. Why in the world would I say that? It’s true. That’s why. In 8 books, we keep getting snippits of his story. We THINK we know it all but that’s not true. Diana still has not fully revealed what unquestionably happened in the 20 yrs Claire spent with Frank.  I don’t think that is because she doesn’t care or it’s not important. I believe it is because there is so much to tell, so much that is laying underneath…Frank is simply one of those Tetris pieces that hasn’t fallen completely into place.  We don’t have to like him to know his importance in the story. Perhaps that is where some of us stumble. “WE” don’t like him so he doesn’t belong.  Seems kinda like my high school years allllll over again. OMG…I’m FRANK!

I hope we can see how short sighted that mindset is in the grand scheme of Diana’s tomes. Everyone, whether we like their character or not, has their place in the story she has written. We might think Mr. Willoughby served no purpose but the truth is, he did. In Diana’s story…and lets be frank (snort), it is HER story.  We digest it the way our brain see’s fit, not necessarily as it was written.  Its like broccoli, some people devour it and love everything about it and some get indigestion and end up super gassy.

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The “F” word has been popping up again because of this picture in this article.

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Lots of people took it as a personal nose rubbing because Frank isn’t that big of a deal to them, they don’t personally care for him or they believe he needs to hurry up and die already. Lots of people LOVED the photo, saw it showed what life would be like for Claire & Frank in the future, validated their feelings that Frank’s a good guy. An important good guy.

Neither of these view points are wrong.  Why?  Because people are people and they feel how they feel.  The trouble is when we get to the point where we believe only our view has merit.  Only our view is “right” and our need to express it in ways that are pointless to the grand scheme of things.  Examples of pointless expressions might be : anger, telling people how to do their job, spitefulness or passive aggressiveness. One of my favourite sayings is…You can say what you mean – without being mean.  We can also do that without trying to make others adhere to our beliefs.

Outlander (the show) has a story to tell. The writers, producers and directors want to make the best show possible in their eyes. That is where the crux of it all is. Their eyes.  What is the thing about eyes folks?  They are all unique.  They all see things differently.  Those who want to bask in the things they see…will.  Those who want to contradict the same visions, won’t stop because someone says “You are wrong.”  If it were the “fans” that created the show it would say in the credits SHOWRUNNER – Fans, but it doesn’t. It says Ronald D. Moore.   Whether you believe that’s good or bad, it’s his to run the show.

I have no issues at all with those who use critical thinking to express their thoughts.  I have no issues with rose coloured glasses and those who choose to love everything.  My view is simply to be kind to one another while expressing your differences and maybe, just maybe allow each person their view.

Frank isn’t the bad guy. He isn’t the hero. He’s an intricate part of a story about a woman who is torn between times. The story, whether we believe it needs to be told or not, is the story.  Perhaps sitting back and experiencing the ride is the solution.  Like a roller coaster, some are going to love it…some are gonna wanna puke when it’s over. Either way…it is the experience that creates the outcome.

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Hold on everyone, buckle your seat belts. If I know anything about this fandom, and I think I do…it’s gonna be a helluva ride!

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Side note- I don’t think anyone can deny…Tobias Menzies…is super awesome, pretty good looking and well – brought Frank to life. Whether you like that particular life or not – is up to you.

SherryLynn

Founder of the ABOotlanders

 

Jane of the Outlander Jungle! #ABOotlanderLOVE

Here we go again, bringing you some of our favourite Outlander fans who bring joy, entertainment and a kind place to rest our weary heads upon.

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If you haven’t checked out our previous ABOotlanderLOVE spotlights, please do.  We talked with Beth Wesson, the heart felt blogger. Connie V , the hilarious creator of one of the most popular Recap Blogs. Our last ABOotlanderLOVE blog was dedicated to the one & only Outlander Anatomy creator Dr. Karmen.  

We encourage you to leave comments & let us know who you feel has worked to bring the Fandom together in a happy light.  I would like to add, this isn’t a popularity contest, the admin team I work with and I simply feel what we feel. Since we are the purveyors of #AlwaysAssumePositiveIntent we gravitate to those people we have connected to within the fandom.

 

This time we are Spotlighting – Lady Jane AKA Jane Sherwood. She is the lead admin for The Rank and File. If you are not a member of the Richard Rankin Fan Group , you are missing out on some fantastic banter, close friendships & seriously smart women.

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Lady Jane’s humour & authentic nature comes out in droves as she drives the ship that is this fan group.  It is worth noting that this fan group formed BEFORE Richard Rankin was cast as our beloved Roger Mac.  I am almost certain the collective universal force that is this fan group was instrumental in RR loading up as Rog.  When you have that many people throwing good vibes your way, you are bound to get caught up in it.

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Please get to know & love Lady Jane as I do.  

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We all start somewhere on this Outlander journey.  When did you first become interested in the world of Outlander?

About 18 years ago, I started reading, and rereading, the books. I’m afraid I actually don’t remember how I found them! (I blame a baby that didn’t sleep in the meantime and Mommy Brain.)

 

However I do remember precisely when I heard about the show. It was when Sam was cast, and I was at a family dinner. My sister, SIL, and I – all major book fans – squeed over his picture. Even though his hair was dark and short, we could see that he would be the perfect Jamie. And of course all the guys present rolled their eyes. The next day, I joined Outlander Facebook groups and the rest is history.

*Baby Brain…yes, the good ole days!  My son was 1.5 when I found the books, lets just say thats when he learned to entertain himself.*

What inspired you to start your fangroup?

I met the co-founder of The Rank and File in the Heughligans FB group in early 2014. She posted this video of Richard doing Shakespeare and it truly made me a fan for life! The Crimson Field aired shortly afterwards in the UK. I opened a Richard Rankin Fans Twitter account – which promptly got so much attention and swooning over the captivating Capt. Gillan, that we decided it would be best to also open a private FB group for moral support.

The name was a difficulty for a long time… after all how many positive things go with “Rank”?! We finally settled on The Rank and File for its military connotation, and the fact that we wanted to be RR’s army.  And so we are the VADs (Very Adorable Darlings) of RAF. It is pronounced “vads” like a word, and is from a joke, actually based on history, in The Crimson Field where the Voluntary Aid Detachment is referred to as such. Even today, not one single day goes by when someone somewhere doesn’t post how sad they are that it wasn’t renewed, but at least we got our Roger Mac.

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Jane has done a great job of forming a community in their fangroup.  Not an easy task. Curiosity bade me to ask HOW.

I have a professional background in web and graphic design, and video editing, so it naturally became a fun hobby for me to share professional quality media. However, what really built our group was its wonderful and intelligent members (the #BrainyFangirls!) and the great admin team I have:  Amanda, Michelle, and Stephanie. We all support each other 100%, with no competition between us, and are committed to running a kind and respectful group.

During the past over two years since the RAF began, I’ve learned a lot about myself, and people in general. We constantly get comments from our members that The RAF is a unique place to share opinions freely in a supportive environment, so that is what I think what truly makes us stand out.  We’ve all worked really hard at building that, and it has not been easy sometimes. None of us knew how to run a good fan group when we started, and sometimes how to best handle conflict. We were lucky we started very slow to be ready when the huge influx happened when he was cast as Roger!

We are somewhat different than other main OL fan groups as Richard already had a large and varied career before he was cast, which has since continued. He will be appearing in S2 of The Last Kingdom and a mini series called The Replacement for the BBC fairly soon. While OL may be our main topic lately, I don’t think the spirit of the group changed very much even though our membership numbers exploded.

I do want to give a special shout out to the admins of the Heughligans, Caitrionation, Tobias’s Tribe, and many, many other admins of Outlander fan groups that helped us when Richard wasn’t even part of the show! We are so proud to be in this incredible union of positive fans.

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What was your most memorable fan encounter?

The Season 2 Premiere in New York City, and subsequent Tartan Parade that followed. Meeting the cast is exciting, but really what stands out is all the fans from all over the world that I was finally able to see in person. It’s such an amazing network of people you instantly feel at home with!

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Brunch with members of the Rank & File. Lady Jane is 2nd from the Left.

Your fangroup is well organized, enjoyable and incredibly positive. The banter you have with Richard Rankin is cheeky & fun. It takes time to develop… how is it that you have done so well?

Thank you so much for saying that! I’m not sure how to answer this – by being myself I guess. Richard is so cheeky and fun himself. One day, he will be boasting and warning us about the #OneScotRule (to admire only him), and the next day, he will be self deprecating. Rarely is RR not teasing on Twitter. Sometimes people have a hard time figuring out when he is serious – and I admit there was at least once when even I wasn’t sure. He’s so good to his fans and it inspires us, his army!

I would say that the RAF is equal parts serious and cheeky. We are super professional in promoting his career and all the shows he is involved in, but we also aren’t letting him get away with anything. Our followers seem to enjoy the mix. The RAF sees him as a real person – someone to admire, but also someone to treat with respect. I’m really proud of our group for that. Our primary goal is always to be a positive force, for him, and for the fans. I get the most pleasure out of this when someone tells me I brightened their day, or made them feel welcomed.

Please share a few of your favourite exchanges with Richard – I know mine.

Gosh, there are so many. Like when he would drop Outlander references during that long dark time before his casting on December 14, 2015. We were all on edge, praying he would be named as Roger, and then he would run away while everyone had a meltdown at the slightest mention. Or tweet that he’s naked in the gym, and disappear. I don’t think I’m biased when I say he’s one of the most entertaining actors to follow on Twitter.

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Many VADs will say that April Fool’s Day 2016 was one of the best days ever. I changed the profile pic of the RAF Twitter account to Loki. Less than an hour later, I was hilariously called out by RR. A day of teasing ensued.
https://twitter.com/RikRankin/status/715936029627256833

https://twitter.com/RRankinFans/status/716282105056071680

And when he complained about our Instagram, which has many more followers than he does (there are still only four photos on his).
https://twitter.com/RikRankin/status/741312895984750593
https://twitter.com/RRankinFans/status/741313458965188612
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Another one of my all time favorite Twitter threads was debating whether Bree was technically engaged to LJG. It went on for two days. Richard really likes to be right. Usually he is, and will defend it TO THE DEATH. Here’s a link to the Storify:
https://storify.com/RRankinFans/in-which-richard-rankin-defends-his-claim

Explain what your reaction was to seeing “Roger” appear on screen for the first time was like.

I was completely overwhelmed. Having watched The Crimson Field in 2014, it was a really long wait! We all knew then that Richard was the perfect Roger Mac.

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He’s such an emotionally powerful actor.  The role of Roger is extremely complex, and RR was born to play it, like all the other cast members who are so perfectly cast! It was meant to be. So basically, I cried along with him during that opening scene of 213…

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We all have our own visions of what Outlander of the future will look like – What do YOU see?

A ten season series with every single book represented. And multiple awards for all cast and crew, including Richard, who is going to slay season 4 … and 5! He and Sophie will be the second leads starting then, and their love story will be at the heart of the show as much as Jamie and Claire’s. Outlander will catapult Richard’s career to the next level, and give him the ability to make his dreams come true. It means that we will be guaranteed to get lots and lots of Rankin screen time to many years to come. The future is very bright indeed.

My husband has said Diana must have a man named “Roger” locked in her basement *smile*.  With all that is to come for his character – how will you prepare for his story line? 

Haha, that’s a great description. Yes, we use the tag #PoorRoger on Twitter. He’s such a lovely character and means well, but he’s just beaten down by life time and time again. Richard said in a recent interview that Roger has an inner strength, so that is what I think he will bring to the role. I’m just so excited to see it all, and have so much faith in Richard’s abilities. I’m thrilled that he will have a chance to stretch his skills and create some epic and emotional scenes that will really touch the viewers. It’s why we are his fans – his characters have such depth and are so full of feeling. It’s the role of a lifetime, and I couldn’t be happier for him.
The fandom’s acceptance of Richard has been incredible, unprecedented really. The huge celebration when he was cast was wrought from months, and years for some, of his fans rooting for him. We are just so grateful to join the Outlander family – so beat him, hang him, do what you will – we will pay the price gladly!  -Stocks up on tissues and whisky-.

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This is an ABOotlander must ask –  If you were to come to Alberta Canada and someone offered you a) Moose Droppings b) Beaver Tails c) Prairie Oysters d) Taber Corn…which would you choose & why?

I’m truly afraid to answer this question! And I hope I get points for not googling the 3 out 4 that I don’t know – I’ll pick the Taber Corn because it sounds the least problematic and reminds me of Graham McTavish’s corn jokes.

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If you want to join in The Rank and File fun, here is a list of all the ways to do it!

Thank you so much Lady Jane for being so open & sharing with the fandom.

 

SherryLynn

Founder of the ABOotlanders

*Stay tuned for the next #ABOotlanderLOVE feature…we dive into a new realm!

 

 

The Doctor is IN! Outlander Anatomy gets the LOVE.

We have featured Beth & Connie – we are at it again.

Next up in our #ABOotlanderLOVE spotlight —  You know her…you love her…you feel smarter after you read one of her blog posts, so you make sure to read more of them.  She is as warm as she is intelligent.  That is why we keep going back to OUTLANDER ANATOMY.

It was no surprise when I asked my fellow admins in the ABOotlander group who they wanted to see featured, her name was brought up loud and clear.  Again, when I tweeted to our followers who they thought was a positive influence in the fandom…dozens responded with OutlanderAnatomy.  I am going to call her Dr.Karmen for the remainder of the blog as to protect her brand and to keep my carpel tunnel from kicking in.

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I was so pleased that she accepted our invite to step into the spot light & share with us some behind the blog aspects of what makes her tick.

My introduction to the world of Outlander came via my daughter. She had read all the big books (in less than a summer) and invited me to join the party. I kept saying no, I didn’t have the time and, anyway, I wasn’t interested in time-travel novels. She kept at it for a year… “Mom, you must read these books!” Finally, in early 2014, I yielded. By the time I arrived at Jamie’s dislocated shoulder, I was in – hook, line, and sinker! Since then, I have read the eight big books, at 8-10 times each.  –  And the lesson is, it sure pays off to nag. Well done Rebecca- We salute you!

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Dr.Karmen’s blog is incredibly interesting and so unique – I wanted to know what inspired her to start it.

I began my blog in October 2014, after watching early episodes of Outlander S.1. About that time, my daughter said, “Mom, have you considered writing an anatomy blog that incorporates Outlander?” No, I hadn’t thought of that. So, my daughter is to blame for getting me reading and writing the language of Outlander.  –  This daughter, is a keeper. We owe her a huge debt of gratitude. CHEERS Rebecca!

Fan to fan, we wonder if Dr.Karmen had experienced one of those momentous occasions that makes your heart pound just a little extra- sure enough – she had.

My most memorable fan encounter was meeting Diana Gabaldon in October of 2014, at Fort Vancouver, WA. I was first in line for her autograph, handed her my book, and waited while she searched a bag. I asked her if she needed a pen and offered her mine.  She pulled out a rolled container, opened it, and presented an array of every type of pen needed for autographing different surfaces. Of course, I laughed at myself, Herself would come prepared!

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I find all Outlander Anatomy lessons fascinating.  They teach me things I had no bloody clue about, they give me insight & extra tidbits of info but I don’t feel stupid while I read them. Pretty incredible.  I wondered if Dr. Karmen had any personal favourites in her collection? (I double dog dare ya to guess mine, you cheeky buggers)

Thank you for the lovely compliment about my blog. Oh, dear, this is a hard one because I learn from every lesson. Perhaps my favorite is always the last lesson I write, not only because I must thoroughly review the anatomy but because I strive to present the topic in a way that is accessible to all. Although some of my readers have biology backgrounds, many do not, and I feel compelled to direct my lessons to folks who lack anatomic experience. My latest, is the first of a series about the gastrointestinal system: Anatomy Lesson #44, “Terrific Tunnel – GI System, Part 1.”

My first lesson, Anatomy Lesson #1, “Jamie’s Tush or Bottoms up!”, was posted just after the airing of Starz episode 107, The Wedding. To be perfectly honest, it was Jamie’s beautiful bottom that caused me to consider just how I might teach the anatomical “underpinnings” of such a splendid body part. He is a perfect male anatomical model and I hear he works quite diligently for those bonny buttocks!

I was also intrigued about writing a blog. Up to this point, I had been writing grants and medical and technical papers. As you can see from this first lesson to the most recent, it’s taken time to develop a voice, a format for my lessons, and understand this new medium. I also want to be respectful of the actor’s private lives so I only refer to their character’s names as they graciously provide anatomical examples. I wrote about this POV last year: Education & Privacy.

Diana’s books and the Outlander series are filled with anatomical goodies that demand attention. I also love the pathology (abnormal anatomy) which is abundantly sprinkled throughout the books and episodes: a veritable gold mine for an anatomist!

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Some people may lose their joy after working in a particular field over time.  Reading Dr. Karmen’s blog shows me, this has not happened to her. I was curious how she keeps her love of anatomy thriving. You know, besides Jamie’s cute tushie.

My passion for anatomy stays alive because I harbor a profound awe and respect for the human body, a sublime blend of form and function, which we often take for granted as it ferries us through a rather precarious world. It matters not how much I learn about the human body, there is always more, and the more is endlessly fascinating. Why wouldn’t it be? It is our vehicle, our home, our sanctuary….erm…as you see, I can easily wax poetic about the human body!

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We all have our own vision for what we believe Outlander will look like in the years to come. Dr. Karmen sees things a bit more intimately than others do, haven’t you noticed? I was anxious to hear what her brain thinks the world of Outlander will be like in the years to come.

The future of Outlander world… First, I hope all of Diana’s big books and the Lord John series are filmed. Then, I envision the largest global community of devoted fans, constantly networking to appreciate, support, create, praise, enjoy, and celebrate this amazing, shared adventure. Hurrah for Diana Gabaldon who, one day, decided to write a book for herself. Praises to her CompuServe pals who encouraged her to publish it. Kudos to her family who support her fathomless talents. Thanks to Ron D. Moore, Terry Dresbach, Maril Davis and to all the actors, writers, directors, staff, designers, composers, musicians, builders, trainers, linguists, herbalists, doctors, sempstresses, and detailers. Without them devoted fans would wander lost in a vast desert-scape, otherwise known as, Droughtlander!

I wanted to give all of you a chance to peek into the Outlander Anatomy waiting room.  Sit back a moment & spend some time peeking behind the curtain that is Dr. Karmens life.

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Well, I am now professor emerita (retired female professor) of human anatomy at my medical university. When I was actively teaching, my “waiting room” (dissection lab) was filled with medical students, graduate students, allied health students, surgical residents, surgeons, and donor bodies. I was director of the gross anatomy course for many years, ran the body donation program for my institution, and was demonstrator of anatomy for my state in the US. Over the course of my career, and before birth of the internet, I taught almost 10,000 medical students gross anatomy, histology, embryology, neuroanatomy, and cell biology. And now, that the internet (and Outlander) has such a long reach around the world, I am able to teach many more readers about the amazing human body.

I always am curious what others find most fascinating about Gabaldon‘s world of Outlander. It is one of the topics of conversation I can’t get enough of.

Wow, this is a hard one because I find Diana’s creations endlessly fascinating. If I had to choose one thing it would be her remarkable ability to divine a story from a single line, sometimes books apart. Here’s an example: in Outlander book, Jamie and Claire are eating dinner at Castle Leoch; the table convo centers on Sandringham and his personal preference for young lads. In a line or two, Rupert comments that Jamie should guard his wife because unlike the Duke, his man servant actively pursues women! This really didn’t grab my attention until my last read-through. Then, Bingo! In the next book, Dragonfly in Amber, the Duke’s valet reappears as a member of the foul gang that rapes Mary Hawkins! This type of thing happens many times throughout her books. How does Herself recall such wee things and then revisit them hundreds of thousands of words later?! I actually learned the answer this past week while attending SiWC2016 in Surrey, B.C. Diana said (and I’m paraphrasing), that she writes all sort of things that might be classified as debris, but which provide kernels for later works.  – It’s what I call Gabaldon word Tetris 

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In this photo, taken at 2016 SiWC, she honored me by donning a necklace I made for her: Mr. Willoughby, complete with acupuncture needles inside his hollow body!

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Diana Gabaldon with Dr. Karmen & DG wearing the super cool Mr. Willoughby necklace

This an ABOotlander must ask. We ask for shiggles – If you were to come to Alberta Canada and someone offered you a) Moose Droppings b) Beaver Tails c) Prairie Oysters d) Taber Corn…which would you choose & why?

My first choice would be Taber corn.  I have never tasted this variety but it sounds delish and I love corn and corn-grinding! <G> Second choice would be beaver tails, that is, if you mean the fried pastries –  they look yummy!  But, if I am wrong and you mean the rear appendage from a large, big-toothed rodent, then I will pass. I will also pass on the prairie oysters as I am not fond of raw eggs. Finally, I refuse to dine on moose poop because I am a picky eater (although, I suspect these are chocolate covered candies). Great question!  – I must say I am impressed, though not surprised at Dr.Karmen’s thorough answers. What an absolute delight she has been!

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Please feel free to share your comments with us about #ABOotlanderLOVE below. It takes no time to #BeKind & spread the LOVE.

 

Sher

ABOotlander Founder & Friend of the Fandom