SunnuvaBonnet. I can’t even…

but I will try for the sake of this blog. If you have spent any time following me on Twitter, or talk to me in real life, you will know I have a pretty visceral reaction to Stephen Bonnet. I HATE him. Like HATE HATE HATE him.

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In case you didn’t hear me the first four times (source)

Yeah, I know. He is a fictional character. When he existed only on the pages of Diana Gabaldon‘s books. I hated him there too BUT I had more control over him. Diana could describe him as handsome as she wanted. For me…in my brain…in order to accept this man as the evil he was…that physical attraction couldn’t exist. That would be WRONG. So…good old Stevie BonBon had one eye on scan and one eye on lock, big ole skin tags plaguing his face and I gave him lips like a fish.  For me, that was enough to set him off the hot scale and into icksville.

Then, Ed Speleers was cast. Ed beautiful Speleers. Gorgeous, delightful, handsome in every way.  Like many others, I knew him from Downton Abbey. I saw how good he was at playing dickish but delightful…I felt this just wasn’t gonna be good for me.

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Nope. No darn good. (source)

I was right.  He WAS delicious and it tore me up. In my opinion, the worst kind of evil is the kind that seduces and charms you in one moment and destroys you in the next. It causes you to trust, makes you feel sorry for it, which makes you drop your guard.  Evil like that does it solely and completely to take advantage to get what it wants.  The end result is for their gain.  Any loss someone else may have suffered means nothing to them, in fact, they barely notice the damage they have done. They only care they’ve won.

What I found difficult about watching Season 4 unfold the way it did, was the way Stephen Bonnet just sailed through being scum. Everyone was looking to blame someone for the miscommunication, the lies and the secrets yet…the person, smack dab in the center of ALL of it…was the silver-tongued devil that committed theft, murder and rape. He sat in the corner flipping coins betwixt his scungy fingers with that slimy grin on his face while the world burned around him.

He was the piece of shit that threw the match and everyone watched him do it.  Yet, they all screamed at the person that built the house, they blamed the one who made the matches and they got mad at the hay that became the kindling. They even had the audacity to shame the person that was trapped in the fire, burned and scarred the worst.  Those in the story got mad at themselves for lending him the matchbox and some pretended the fire wasn’t even burning around them. The whole thing made my head want to explode and knowing I sound like a drama llama, made my heart hurt a little too.

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It’s pathetic, really (source)

There was ONE person who deserved the blame, anger and hostility.  The one that manipulated, murdered and raped. Full stop.

This is why I burn with the hate of a thousand suns for the likes of that sunnuvaBonnet. It is the Halo Effect. These types are everywhere. Disarming people with their smiles, leading people with fear and getting away with being the worst kind of human because they don’t look like a bad guy. Think of the Brock Turners of society, the Ted Bundys…how many “Oh, he’s too good looking, he couldn’t possibly be bad?” people in the world that keep getting free passes because they don’t fit what society thinks a bad guy looks like.

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Don’t be fooled (source)

I have written a very personal story here 3 times. Deleted it 3 times and it will stay deleted. I don’t need to share it for us to know that these people don’t just exist between the pages of books or in front of cameras on TV shows. To different extents, of course, but they are real and exist in our lives. They walk around believing they can say and do whatever they choose with no consequences simply because they want to. They see it as their right to get what they want no matter who or what gets in their way. This is why I believe this character ticks all the boxes of horrible, evil, no good sunnuvabitch for me. Watch this space for a blog comparing ‘Outlander Villians’. My brain kept going there while writing this so I figured I might as well do one. 

Every time that sunnuvaBonnet appeared on screen, my husband would side-eye me, waiting. He knew it was coming and every time I TRIED…I tried so hard not to do it but I couldn’t, I would snap and spill “Oh My GAWD! I hate THAT guy! I hate him SO SO SO SO MUCH!!!”  I had to say it, I had to let it out. Every. Damn. Time. Hubby would chuckle at me and shake his head but I found I couldn’t focus on what was happening on screen until I verbalized my hostility. I know. I know. I have issues. At least I admit it.

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Under no illusions here, folks. (source)

At first, like I said, I was concerned with the casting of Ed Speleers because he is so incredibly beautiful and that really messed with my head. I figured I would never be able to enjoy him in any other production as I would always see him as Bonnet or I would always see Bonnet as this attractive guy and it would cause me even more animosity towards him. That would be very very dark and not at all healthy.

I am happy to report that somehow Ed morphed his sweet dimpled face into a darker version of itself. I believe I will be able to watch him in other things and see him in the real world without connecting him with Bonnet’s pure evil. Screenshot (2038)

By the time the episode rolled around that Brianna confronted him, that transition was completed in my mind.  His appearance wasn’t beautiful. I realized that he looked more like I felt about him – if that makes sense. I wasn’t seeing the striking eyes or chiselled features. I was seeing the ugliness that was inside of him and again, I thank Ed Speleers for that.  Unlike my imagination having to create these traits for book Bonnet, Ed’s powerful performance with sunnuvaBonnet created that hideousness that seeped from the inside to manifest itself on the outside.  Of course, it didn’t make the character anymore tolerable for me but, it did help me.  It helped me because I didn’t have to feel that battle of being attracted to a person that was a complete piece of human garbage.

Ed, on the other hand. RAWR.

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I mean…he is very talented et al. (source) 

 

Until next time,

Sher (ABOotlander founder)

 

 

 

Just because you can do it alone…doesn’t mean you should. S04E09 #Outlander

I am going to open this #TheBirdsandTheBees blog with a huge SIGH.

There. I feel better now I suggest all of you do the same.  Deep breath in…let that sucker out.  Feels better, doesn’t it?  Episode 409 was one that made us hold our breath more than once.  I want to talk about all the things that made me tear up…the things that made me rage and the things that made me just sigh with pure joy and happiness.  That isn’t what my blog has been about this season though and I shouldn’t change that now.

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This time for me, the loudest thing was the silence.  Bree’s silence, in particular, was deafening.

Like most of us, Brianna learned from those around her.  To protect those we care about, we deny them the truth and shoulder the burden of our secrets. Her mother and father both did this for her.  It is her natural go-to whether or not she understands it, almost like a reflex.

This young woman is so protective of those around her that she carries each worry on her own. She is taking such great care of Lizzie, that she holds onto the joy and heartbreak of her time with Roger. She keeps the subsequent violent rape at the hands of that sunnuva bastard piece of Bonnet to herself. Lizzie all but begs her to share her burdens but instead, Brianna holds them even tighter. Bree shows she is strong enough to weather any storm alone and as impressive as that might be, there is no reason for her to do it alone.

Ian retells the horrid story to Brianna, of how Bonnet attacked the family on the river and stole Claire’s ring. She takes note of this and puts this in her own personal file as “Reason 132 why I should heap more onto my breaking heart to protect my mother and Jamie and not think of how it will eventually affect me”.  Yes. Brianna, you are strong, you are mighty, you can handle all of the things, but should you?

We can see the toll that the secrets are taking on Brianna as the episode goes on (I would mention the meeting with her bio-da and reunion with her mama but I would just cry again and I have Bells-Palsy and my ugly cry is a butt-ugly cry so…no).  Bree is distracted, uninterested in things that would usually thrill her, flustered and easy to anger. All normal reactions that happen when we are holding onto something toxic, they poison us from the inside and start showing on the outside.  Claire notices, not just because she is in tune with her child but because it is like looking at a mirror.  Claire does exactly the same thing when she is hiding something, the behaviour is familiar to her.

How often do we walk through life saying “I can do it on my own.” “I don’t need help.” Or “I’m fine by myself, I’m good.”?  You know what?  We probably are.  It’s also probably hard and would be easier with help, it likely would feel better if we said “Sure, here…thank you.”, and simply allowed the person who offered to help, to do that, help. We struggle and we carry the heavy stuff all for…what? Who does it help? Who does it end up protecting? If we answer this question honestly we will often find out the answer is – no one. In fact, sometimes, it ends up hurting someone in one way or another.  We become so busy protecting people we lose focus on the important things. We become so involved in hiding our hurt that we fail to see the other things going on around us.

Brianna keeping the truth from Lizzie allowed her to create a story from the information she had. Something all of us do. We take visual cues and fill in the blanks, it is how the brain works. Brianna not telling anyone about the ring ensured no one knew who raped her. Leaving those doors open for further misunderstandings. Yes, Bree, you can do it alone – you definitely should not have. We all make mistakes, some repercussions cost more than others.

Jamie rounded out this picture for us at the end of the episode. He chose to go it alone. Demanding Lizzie not tell Claire or Brianna what was happening. Storming off to take care of who he thought was Brianna’s rapist.  Just because you CAN do it alone…doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

The proof is in the pudding with this one…the pudding being poor Rogers beautiful face.

We may be strong. We may be capable. We may be all of the things we think we should be.  We also are allowed to be tired. We are allowed to lean on people. We are allowed to accept help without shame or regret.  We never would tell a loved one they are weak for letting us help them, we would never tell a friend they couldn’t rely on us for a hug or an ear when they needed one – so someone please tell me why do we feel we are any different? Why should we be the exception?

I wish you the happiest of New Years.

 

With Love,

Sher (founder of the ABOotlanders)

Join us for Live tweeting while us Canadians watch on W Network Sunday nights at 8 pm MST.  Use the hashtag #OutlanderCAN so we can find you!

 

 

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

 

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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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)
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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.
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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.
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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.

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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?)

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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.
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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!)
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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
 

The Effects of DroughtLander

Did I even know what that simple wee phrase “Droughtlander” would grow into the first time I used it in this meme all those years ago? That’s a hard no…droughtlander

I didn’t have a clue that everyone and their dog would be using it to describe the time between seasons of our favourite show Outlander.  I can thank Diana Gabaldon for posting that particular blog on her facebook page and sending it into Outlander history.  That link has since died because our group, previously known as the Heughliots, found our own identity as the ABOotlanders so you can read it HERE at its relocated addy.

The interesting thing about a drought is the impact it has on the environment around it. In the case of #Droughtlander…the impact largely falls on the fandom.

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Us ABOotlanders are a hearty bunch.  During Droughtlander we get by on help from our neighbours. We share our resources.  This includes talking about the days of all the Outlander, reading about the Outlander and how plentiful and fantastic the Outlander days were. Yes…and how we know that one day the Outlander will return.  We find it immensely therapeutic.

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Alas, there are the people who are crawling across the droughtlander fields gasping for breath, ridden with anxiety & depression because the Outlander hasn’t touched their lips for too long.  They can’t see the Outlander in the forecast & will do anything to make the oasis a reality in their every day…except instead of embracing the good they are allowing the drought to blur their vision of the good it started as. Instead of remembering the things they love they are focusing on things like the bad taste the lack of Outlander has left in their mouth.

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Droughts cause migration…migration of people to other things.  This is normal…when the Outlander comes back – so will the people and so will more.  Some people might not come back and that’s o.k.  Making their life with another fascination or love.  That has nothing to do with the drought itself but the way they chose to deal with it, their choice isn’t wrong. It is what is best for them.

You know droughts also cause wildfires? All you have to do is take a peek behind the curtain of this fandom to see that.  The small flames of discontent are there but unless individuals fan those flames they will never catch & become a disaster. When a spark comes your way, put it out.  How do you do that? Don’t respond.  Don’t blow on it, don’t give it the air it needs to grow. Yes, it is that simple.

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Most droughts don’t have that surety of ending, ours does. Droughtlander never lasts forever but the things we say & do during the drought does.  If we seek out the cracks, we will fall through them.  If we seek out the light, we will feel the warmth.

Let’s do our very best to keep our faces to the sun. That means our heads are tipped back enjoying a bevy.  As spoken before…the true remedy for #Droughtlander. (this could be the reason my liver is now broken – sad story, eh?)

amen

Sher

ABOotlander Founder & Lover of all things happy!

 

 

Sex & Intimacy. My version of O-Lander

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

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

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

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Listen up!

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

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

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

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

2002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Loss + Forgiveness + Love = Solid Love Lessons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2006

SherryLynn

@ABOotlanders Founder

I’ve got a crush…Outlander SETS and the man who designs them…

Yep, Jon Gary Steele.  I am super crushing on him.  Why?

First…have you SEEN the sets on Outlander?  They have been perfection since the first episode of season one. Season two has blown my mind.

Second…those dimples!

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See…Those DIMPLES.

Photo Credit: Jon Gary Steele on Twitter

I just want to crawl in them and take a wee nap!

Third…He is brilliant. THE Jon Gary Steele (and I always say all 3 names because, he is classy like that)

Be prepared. I am going to do some gushing about a few sets for season 2. Why? Because the recap market is stacked to the rooftops.  I want to celebrate what Outlander has given us. I want to  give credit where credit is due.

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This is one example of how the sets on Outlander support the actors in their stories. 

Photo credit : http://www.architecturaldigest.com/ 
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I often wonder how people like Jon Gary Steele sleep at night.  If this is the kind of thing they envision during their waking hours…what in the world does their brain do while resting?

The Paris Apartment, had so much detail. So much richness…it was like you were visually sinking into the most beautiful fabric ever found.

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The story is made richer by the little things.

Photo Credit: www.architecturaldigest.com
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LOOK at THAT detail.  It takes me so long to just scan the Paris Apartment, the moldings, the BLUE velvet, the interior of the fireplace…I mean really. It is THE INSIDE of a fireplace…that Jon Gary Steele made it this elegant little niche a visual worth dissecting.

Master Raymond’s apothecary was one of my absolute favourites. I found myself pausing and scanning. Pausing and scanning.  I love how the molding was used in the shop. To my uneducated eye it was framing more treasures…everywhere.

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I could play in this room for HOURS, I believe I have!

Photo Credit: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/  http://media.architecturaldigest.com/photos/5706e210b2d72bc242ccecb6/master/pass/Outlander-second-season-set-design_07.jpg

This apothecary makes me feel like I am in a world…inside of a world.

The Star Chamber.  As a HUGE Book fan. I had a hard time imaging the scale in which this set would need to come to life. You can view many images of the Star Chamber on Jon Gary Steeles website

I can not imagine this scene from the books being as powerful as it was; had Jon Gary Steele and his team did not have their hands in this production. The word perfection might get flung around willy-nilly but this absolutely WAS perfection.

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Each of these characters took the lead of the Star Chamber. It was a living breathing character. The way the light danced through the dome to the flickering torches. Even the floor in which we see the Comte take his last breath…it enveloped him.

Photo credit: http://www.jongarysteele.com/

Jon Gary Steele spoke with Variety about the sets. CLICK HERE to watch that video.

I especially enjoyed the sets in the Outlander finale episode this season. As we made our emotional way through the Rev.Wakefields home, sheds & dusty rooms. These places seemed so stale & untouched, yet filled with ghosts.

Culloden House, yes, we have seen in before, yet this time. I noticed the stark coldness permeating through those walls.

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You know, I could very well feature each set, each design and all of the set decoration.  Jon Gary Steele has an incredible team to work with & I know that he knows how much the fans adore his talent and vision.

Me…I happen to LOVE his brain.  What ever it is that goes on in there, I would love to ride one of those waves one day. Watch him in action.  I devour interviews & videos to see if I can just grab a nugget of what it is that makes him tick but…I believe what he has, is that unique, that special…that mere mortals such as myself, won’t ever be able to grasp just what is going on in there.  I am utterly convinced that Mr.Steele has a Cerebral Cortex external pack as well as what he was blessed with at birth.

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My husband often tells me “Sum up.” SO…in conclusion I need to thank Jon Gary Steele. Tell him that he has surrounded himself with greatness in the team he has.  I have always said that we are the product of those we share our days with…this product is an Emmy deserving, soul lifting group of people.

SherryLynn

@ABOotlanders Founder