Paul Gorman joins #TheLOVELANDERProject. #Outlander’s Josiah and Kezzie Buy one, get one free!

BOGOs are the best.

Josiah and Kezzie have long held a special place in my heart from the books. I find their arcs, heartwarming and entertaining. I, like many other fans anxiously waited for the announcement of their casting. On November 13 2019 , that happened. Paul Gorman would be playing both roles. This young man’s photo shone from the Outlander Starz page, eyes blue and piercing, jaw set and strong. I did what most Outlander fans do when a new name pops up, hit up the google machine to see what I could see. The face looking back from his InstaGram was very different, smiles so big and bright they literally hit his eyes to make them shine. That expression “Their smile lights up a room” – that’s Paul.

I admit, I felt like I hit a double jackpot when Paul happily accepted my invitation to take part in this project of mine meant to help fans through a very long Droughtlander.

Soooo dry…

Watchers were introduced to Josiah in the first episode of Season 5 but it was episode 3, called Free Will that we first saw Josiah and Keziah together on screen. The performance and the technology allowed fans to see the depth of this young man’s talent and how Outlander was dedicated to showing how important the twins will be to the ridge. It was wonderful to see production weren’t going to be constantly showing them separated.

On screen together, Josiah and Keziah. (Photo lightened to show the character contrast)

I hope you enjoy getting to know Paul as I have. He shows us Outlander casting doesn’t only pick the best actor for the job, they also choose those who fit into the family they have created on set.

Snug as bugs!

Welcome to my little corner of the interwebs, Paul. I’m grateful that agreed to allow me to interview you. Hi Sherry, thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of The Lovelander Project!

I want to congratulate you on your graduation from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, a huge accomplishment…thank you for the well wishes, RCS has had a massive impact on me as an actor and as an individual which I’m extremely grateful for and I still can’t believe I graduated around this time last year!

Can you tell us a little about where you grew up? I was born in Rutherglen, which is just 15 minutes outside of Glasgow in the south of the city, and between there and Cambuslang is where I went to school. I was raised by my Mum and Dad, and grew up alongside my younger sister Gabrielle who is currently training to be a primary teacher.

Sounds idyllic. Where do you believe those first interests and sparks of performance were lit? When I was younger I was mainly into music and football, it wasn’t until the final years of high school that I began to have a keen interest in acting, I primarily attribute that to my school and the amazing teachers I had there. In my 5th year, they had decided to put on a school show, the first one the school had done. The show was “We Will Rock You” based on the music by Queen. My interest in performing had been sparked by the band and taking Drama as a class in the earlier years of school so I gave the audition a go and got the part of ‘Britney Spears’, the leader of a gang of music rebels who had taken the name from what he thought was a rock legend lost to time. The whole experience of doing the show, from rehearsals to working on the character to that feeling of being part of an ‘ensemble’, being part of a team, working from nothing to creating something palpable and visceral that had an effect on those that watched it – I loved every minute of it. And of course, a high school production based on the music of an 80’s rock band might not change the world, but it offered a sense of escapism and euphoria for everyone in that room for a brief while. After I turned 17 that summer I attended an open day at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and realised I could make a career of doing what I loved, so from then on I decided to give it a shot. I attended college for two years where my passion and adoration for acting matured, and at the end of those two years I was lucky enough to be accepted to the RCS. But I completely owe it to my teachers at high school who organised and supported that first show, without them I would never have discovered what I loved so I’m incredibly grateful.

I found a little something online called “Imperial City” with a pretty sweet grind, with you at the head…I enjoy some punk/grunge…even if my terminology has to be grandfathered in. Oh my God, I can’t believe you managed to track down the remnants of Imperial City, I commend your research efforts!

You gotta love him.

I was around 14 when we first started the band, back then we were called “Post Paradise” but by the time I was 16 we changed it to “Imperial City” due to the fact that there was an Australian band called “Paradise Post” and we didn’t want our many fans (our mates from school) to get confused, so we stole the name from an Elder Scrolls game. I honestly had the time of my life playing in that band, and the band I played in after “Atlas”. As “Imperial City” went, we were most definitely NOT the best punk band in Glasgow but we just had a ton fun: playing covers we wanted to play (mainly Green Day and Foo Fighters), we gigged at our local UC Youth Centre and got to play some iconic venues around Glasgow like the Barrowlands and The Garage and we always had our friends from school turning up to support us. It was honestly just such a good laugh and being in the band was such an informative and thrilling experience, it was a real confidence-building journey for me that directly fed into my turn to acting.

Nothing better for the soul than confidence!

It goes to show you had that drive and confidence much earlier than many, it seems to have served you very well… In terms of music, it was my first year at high school. My Dad plays guitar and he got me into it, then there was a “guitar club” ran by Mr. Miller who was one of the music teachers and along with a growing love of punk and rock music it inspired us to get the band together. The band was so influential in giving me confidence and helping me come out of my shell, I was quite a shy and timid kid, and by being in it helped me find my voice and gave me a positive and creative outlet during my teenage years. The love and passion for acting came a bit later, although I did have an early acting stint at 4 years old when I played a sheep in the nursery nativity so maybe the acting seeds were sown then? No idea haha!

😂 Aww a sheep…I don’t think it suits anymore. Had you heard of Outlander prior to your auditioning for the role? I had definitely heard about Outlander before auditioning for the show! Outlander, both the books and the tv series, has had a massive and profound effect for Scotland in terms of: bringing people to Scotland’s shores for the first time, encouraging discussion all over the world of Scotland’s history and introducing our culture (past and present) to those who don’t know much about us, and so much more! It has also been positive for Scotland’s film and television industry, employing hundreds of crew members and creatives, and has helped many Scottish-born actors break into the industry, so to be asked to join the cast of the show was such a privilege and I’m very grateful for it being my first job.

It’s an impressive accomplishment, you should be very proud. What was the audition process like for you? Tell us all the deets. The auditions I had during Outlander were a part of an incredibly supportive process and were so informative and enlightening for me as a young actor and this is solely down to the devoted casting teams of Suzanne Smith and Simone Pereira Hind. It was my first audition just after my drama school showcase and it involved reading some extracts from Josiah and Kezzie’s story arc. Both casting directors encouraged to explore and play with the text, while also being extremely sensitive and supportive to the work we were doing and it was honestly just such a fun and creative experience. Later on in the recall stages I had to travel down to London and I remember turning up waaaay too early for the audition so I remember kicking about North London listening to David Bowie while running lines for both characters to pass the time, some onlookers were definitely intrigued by the raving, dancing Scotsman playing two characters in the middle of the street. The London recall involved a ‘chemistry test’ with Caitlin, who plays Lizzie, who was amazing to audition with. She was so encouraging and all my pre-audition nerves left me when we started the scene as she is so giving as an actor, completely selfless and full of spontaneity, an acting partner’s dream! We did three scenes in total, continually working on both Josiah and Kezzie with our director Stephen Woolfenden, and that was us done!

We love us some Caitlin around here too, it’s a not so secret wish of mine to have her take part in The LOVELANDER Project, not gonna lie. It quite thrills me to hear you were brought together to test. **And sidenote for all of you reading, of course I asked what scenes they they did in the audition, and of course Paul wouldn’t say. He isn’t going to give up ALL the goods in one interview – he is a sweetheart but no pushover.**

We can’t expect him to give us everything…nope nope nope.

What was that experience of finding out you had earned the role…ummm…roles like? I had just finished a radio class at RCS, I remember checking my phone and seeing I had a couple of missed calls from my agent, so I walked up to the top floor of the building which is usually quite empty, gave him a ring back and that’s when he told me I got the job! I recall just feeling completely overwhelmed, yet so excited to start my first job and also just extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity. I also remember feeling a slight hesitation about accepting as well due to the nature of playing Kezzie. At RCS, I have been extremely fortunate to meet and work alongside many deaf actors as the school offers a BA Performance course in BSL and English, and my hesitancy came from accepting the role of a deaf/hard of hearing character knowing the experiences of my friends struggling to find roles themselves. I met up and discussed with a couple of the actors on the course, along with lecturers who taught on it, about the nature of the role and if it was acceptable for me to agree to it. All that I spoke to gave incredibly insightful advice and noted how it was a unique situation due to the duality of playing both Kezzie and Josiah, who can hear. Because of this they supported taking on the role, and continued to offer help and advice while we were in pre-production and during filming. One of the pieces of advice was to have a deaf adviser on set and that’s how we got Bea involved! That says so much about your character as a human, Paul. Many, I imagine would be so over the moon with their first job, on this huge hit TV show, yet, here you are concerned about others and going to them to confer. Your generation is wise and compassionate, it’s heartwarming to hear.

When your casting announcement was made public by Starz, you had already begun filming, what was that “HERE COMES PAUL TO THE MASSES” experience like for you? It was bewildering! I don’t think anyone can get used to the fact that people you’ve never met in countries you’ve never been to suddenly know who you are! When the announcement came I was welcomed with such warmth and love from the Outlander community, it felt like joining a big family.

The rest of cast all have experience with the fandom so, they must be helpful with navigating those waters? The cast were extremely helpful in offering advice about this new world I was about to step into. Caitlin in particular was someone I’d constantly go to seeking guidance, as we both have had similar journeys in terms of Outlander being our first jobs. She had gone through this herself and knew exactly what to advise me on. She’s been incredible and I owe her a great deal.

Fan engagement can be tricky sometimes… Like I said before, I have been incredibly fortunate that the vast majority of the fans I’ve been contacted by have all been supportive and welcoming and seemed to have really enjoyed the work we made on the fifth season. I try not to engage too much on social media as you don’t want too many opinions trying to shape your performance, but the backing we’ve had in the past year really spurs us on as actors to give the most honest and sensitive performances possible. 

I imagine there are ways that are easier to digest the opinions or critiques of fans, as well. Of course, as actors and artists we welcome criticism, as it helps us to improve our craft and the work that we do, but if viewers did take issue with how a storyline or scene was filmed or executed, the way to do so would to be constructive and in a helpful and supportive manner. This will usually be listened to and taken in positively by those that see it and will be welcomed as affirmative motivation for when they next go to work.

In my, oh so, humble opinion, my job as a fan is to support and enjoy the work you do. You are the professionals after all. There is so much preparation that goes into the whole production. As you mentioned earlier, Bea helped with yours. I’m interested to hear about the groundwork you laid out while forming both Josiah and Kezzie as individuals and how Bea and others helped you with that. Knowing that the show’s storylines are based heavily on the books I thought by reading Josiah and Kezzie’s storyline in “The Fiery Cross” and “A Breath of Snow and Ashes” would be a key source to draw on for the performances. What is so good about the Outlander books, as an actor, is that Diana Gabaldon writes such detailed background stories, so you don’t have to join the dots as much, all the information is there! When it came to the actual performances, I wanted to focus on the features that distinguish the two boys while also finding similarities between them, as they continue to get mistaken for each other by other characters.

Key areas to focus on were differences in attitudes, body language, speech and the skills that each of the boys possess. Josiah is a skilled hunter it was important to think about his posture, while his keenness to prove his worth to the Ridge would show in his focus and his conscientiousness towards certain tasks. As I’m most definitely no hunter myself, it was useful to research hunting methods of the time and tools that Josiah might use, they would then have a lasting effect on Josiah’s body language and were good focus points.

For Kezzie, I focused on his more compassionate nature (looking after the barn cats), so he would have a softer touch to his posture, a willingness to smile more and because he relies much more heavily on his other senses to survive he may run his eyes over objects and people more frequently than others would, in order to gain the information required to assess a situation. To work on Kezzie’s deafness we wanted to approach it with sensitivity and accuracy in order to give the most honest representation of the character as possible. To do so, I interviewed some of my friends on the BA Performance BSL & English course at RCS to hear their own personal accounts and how they might intertwine with Kezzie’s, along with contacting local deaf support groups within Glasgow. What was also important was to try and have someone on set who could advise and monitor my behaviour as Kezzie during filming, so we managed to get Bea Webster, who is an actor herself and graduated from the BSL course at RCS, to be our deaf advisor on set. Bea and Carol-Ann Crawford, our dialect coach on Outlander, worked with me to shape Kezzie’s speech and also helped develop “home signs”, (as ASL/BSL were in its infancy stages during the late 17th century), in order to help the boys communicate with each other. The Outlander team and our directors were again very supportive of this and were happy to assist in helping us be as authentic as possible.

I am always impressed at how Outlander seems to take those extra steps to assist the actors in their process. It something we can easily take for granted because it makes your performance so flawless.

We have fans that know the (book) story arc of Josiah and Keziah, yet there are TV viewers that will have no idea. You mentioned you’ve read “A Breath of Snow and Ashes” (the next book, and what Season 6 will eventually be based on) We all know not every storyline makes it into the show but on a scale of 1-10, how much would you like to see some version of the Josiah/Kezzie story arc in season 6? Oh most definitely a 9 or 10! Such a key aspect of the boys’ personalities is their relationship with Lizzie as it sparks a growth in their maturity as characters, she helps ground them in their new reality and also, they find a sense of peace at the conclusion of their storyline that almost feels needed after the years of servitude and pain they have lived through. So to see the boys storyline realized from the books would be an incredible way to add to their journeys.

I couldn’t agree more. I think it would be epic to see that come to life on screen, you and Caitlin would absolutely slay! I am one of those fans that see the way you and your costars interact on SM and BTS. You seem to have this true camaraderie. What do you attribute that to? I think it’s down to the fact that everyone on set, from crew to actors to directors, are just so incredibly sound and also committed to making everyone feel at home and welcome. It’s a perfect duality between everyone being dedicated to the work at hand and also completely up for a laugh and a joke, which is so important on those late-night shoots. Everyone is also totally respectful of each other’s work and will put in the time and effort to support each other which brought us closer as an ensemble.

Speaking of that ensemble, let’s play a game. Give me the first thing that comes to mind when I say the names of these castmates –

Caitlin O’Ryan (Lizzie) An absolute hero, I learn from her every day whether it be about acting or something new I never knew about the world. Also, she’s extremely and undeniably cool.

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W8in for a m8

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Yup, looks cool to me.

Lauren Lyle (Marsali) Incredibly supportive of everyone on set, so kind and approachable and has excellent banter.

Best way to get in on her banter, listen to She’s A Rec

César Domboy (Fergus) So charming and courteous and also effortlessly cool, even when we’ve wrapped after a long day of shooting he still looks like he’s stepped off a fashion show it’s incredible.

I mean…I see it.

Kyle Rees (JQM) An utter legend, such a grounded and down-to-earth guy, so easy to talk to, always up for a laugh, and always brings a smile to everyone’s face. Never met a man so passionate about rugby.

Really? Down to earth? Makes people smile? A Rugby fan? You don’t say…

John Bell (Young Ian) Such a compassionate and considerate actor and person, intelligent and witty, and made me and others feel welcome on set.

I mean…it’s still a compliment right?

Richard Rankin (Roger) King of the wind-up and the odd banter, but also very considerate to those around him, he’s a cracking actor and I think his work this season particularly is exemplary and excellent.

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Posted @withregram • @ntsonline UPDATE . Due to demand the track from our recent #ScenesforSurvival The Longest Summer, by the brilliant @wearenoisemaker and @rikrankin, will be released on 4 August! . All proceeds from the single will go towards our #ScenesforSurvival hardship fund, which has been set up to support artists and those in the theatre industry who have been hardest hit financially by the current crisis. . Richard Rankin said: . “It's been a privilege to work on The Longest Summer as part of Scenes for Survival with the wonderful creative team of Noisemaker and director Jemima Levick, and I'm thrilled that the film and song have resonated with so many people already. The song release is a brilliant way to continue that connection, and a great opportunity to raise some cash for a vitally important cause.“ . The Scenes for Survival Hardship Fund is a fundraising campaign launched by the National Theatre of Scotland in association with the Federation of Scottish Theatre, the McGlashan Charitable Trust and leading Scottish Theatre organisations, to raise money for those in the sector who have been hardest hit financially and are experiencing drastic economic and emotional hardship. . All donations to this fund will go directly to provide support for those most impacted within Scotland, be they actors, writers, creatives, musicians, technicians or any others within our industry. . A sector-wide call out with information and details of how to apply for support from the SFS Hardship Fund will be launched in August 2020. The Federation of Scottish Theatre and the McGlashan Charitable Trust will ensure equitable distribution of the money raised.

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Scenes for Survival was a brilliant way to support Scottish Theatre during this pandemic. If you haven’t watched, I encourage you to check out the whole series of shorts.

Sophie Skelton (Brianna) Such a genial and thoughtful person, super bright and a pleasure to be around! Also incredibly sophisticated and cool like many in the cast.

Sophie-sticated is right…

SamHeughan (Jamie) A true leader, constantly boosts the morale of everyone on set and makes everyone feel valued and seen, he’s both selfless and giving as an actor. Also always up for a laugh and loves his rugby.

Do you think they are talking rugby or fashion?

Caitriona Balfe (Claire) As intelligent, perceptive and intuitive as an actor as she is a person, it’s really inspiring to see her work and command a space with such presence, learnt a great deal from her.

The real deal – it’s so good to know.

Speaking of Caitriona, the last episode of season 5, Never My Love, was a very heavy episode. You were involved in what has gone down as an epic scene, the rescue of Claire, the killing of her captors and those who raped her. I am really interested in what it took to hold up those scenesfrom your perspective. As an actor entering those scenes, what was vital was supporting our fellow cast members. Like our own characters main objectives in protecting Claire, it was our duty as ensemble members to support Caitriona and treating the setting and nature of the scenes with the sensitivity and care that is necessary. The energy, focus and emotional toll required for Caitriona to engage with the experiences that Claire goes through would be extensive and imposing, and it was our job as cast and crew to make the environment and atmosphere as comfortable and safe as possible in order to help Caitriona. And to see Caitriona at work, like that?I thought her performance throughout this season was stunning, but especially in those final episodes her attention to detail and vulnerability she showed as an actor was both heart-wrenching and exemplary, and to see the way she conducted herself professionally and considerately on set should be commended, it was inspiring to see as a young actor.

I appreciate you giving us such a wonderful visual. I am sure you have many but I am going to put you on the spot and ask you what your most memorable time on set was…thus far anyway. Honestly got so many! I think probably the Fiery Cross scene from the first episode, it was amazing seeing all the cast assembled for one scene, and there were so many people involved in the process of making and shooting it, I’d never seen anything like it in my life! Also, the fact it was a night shoot and we were going until 6 in the morning, there was a great sense of camaraderie and also delirium from the tiredness so we had a laugh and amazing time with the cast and crew.

It was enjoyable to watch as well! Outlander is your first TV role, but not your first role. You star in a short film called ‘Tooth’ that will be releasing, hopefully soon. You worked on that film while still in school. How do you feel you have grown as an actor from then until now? So much! Especially in that 3rd year at drama school, you mature and grow rapidly as an actor and a person as you are introduced to the industry. Outlander has been a great catalyst in helping me develop further as an actor. It has allowed me the opportunity to hone my screen acting skills, taught me the process (and my place in that process) of being a part of a television show and also bestowed on me stamina and durability to survive those long shoots (napping is key). It has introduced me to a world I had only known of on my screen, and to see how it works I now have a deeper and more insightful understanding of my industry.

All you have to do is look at this Instagram post. First, this smile – I mean…and then his words. The gratitude he expresses for those he works with and the credit he bestows upon them for assisting him with his brilliant performances is a credit to his character.

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With the season wrapped up, I just wanted to give a wee shoutout to some amazing people who were instrumental in helping bringing the twins to life. We had the incredible Bea Webster who helped develop a language and rapport between the boys through introducing home signs that they may have created themselves in order to communicate with each other. Bea was also on set every time we made the change to Kezzie, helping and advising how his behaviour might be portrayed in certain situations and how we might use the home signs within the scenes. She’s an unbelievably talented individual who’s recently been working on productions with the RSC where you’ll be able to catch her hopefully once everything has returned to normality. In scenes where both twins were featured we had two actors at different points in the year who would act alongside me as the twins and that was Dylan Blore and Daniel McGuire. Two talented, committed and giving actors who were unbelievably supportive during the shoot, always up for a laugh and a pleasure to work with. And also the amazing Carol Ann Crawford who is our voice & dialect coach on the show. Carol Ann was key in shaping the boys voices and was there at the initial stages of developing the twins. With Carol Ann’s help (along with support groups, Bea and a variety of personal accounts), we compiled enough research together to try and make the twins seem as authentic as possible. It was an absolute dream to work with them all, along with the spectacular crew and special effects team who also helped bring the boys to life. I’m forever grateful, thankful and lucky to have worked with them all. So go check them and their wonderful projects out! x

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I don’t think it is possible to be “OUTlandered” but I have asked LOTS of Outlander stuff and of course there is so much more to you. I know the fans will love getting to know you more as I have, let’s talk about some other things that interest you…

Some actors describe themselves as introverts, finding acting helps bring out certain parts of their personality they want to tune into more. Would you fall into the introvert or extrovert corner?I’d probably describe myself as a bit of both or neither haha. I love to be around others but also equally enjoy spending time on my own.How do you think your personality influences your work? I think personality has a direct effect on your job, whatever your profession may be. In acting it can come across in the parts that you play but more than anything else it can show in the way you work. I strive to be a supportive and empathetic person and I hope that is apparent in my approach to acting through ensemble work and being there for others. It sounds so simple and basic to say, but being approachable, attentive and respectful are so key in this industry and encourages others to want to work with you, like any job! If I am these things I do not know, but I always strive to be.

With you starting your career with this mindset, I have this not so crazy feeling your career will be fulfilling. Who would you say has inspired you the most in your life? I have been incredibly lucky throughout my life to have had many people to look up to and continuously motivate me; my Mum, Dad and sister especially have been a constant inspiring force that have shaped me into the person I am today. The way they approach their work, the way they conduct their relationships with other people and how they always put others before themselves is a continuous motivator for how I lead my life, I’m incredibly grateful to have them.

I am sure they are proud of you. It is a blessing when you have a foundation of love and support. You have many of years ahead of you, what kind of projects would you like to work on in the future? Oh anything and everything! I’m at the stage in my career where I’d love to do a variety of different projects of an array of subject matters; hopefully those that are bold, thought-provoking and inspire change, but I’m grateful to just be working and doing what I love. I have a massive yearning to go back to theatre, especially as I haven’t been involved in a project on stage since late 2018, so to be part of a theatre production again would be incredible.

There are so many talented people in the industry, do you have any that are on a ‘dream’ list to work with? Honestly the list is so long, I have so many artists I admire. If I had to choose a director, it would be Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later, Yesterday, to name a few). He’s an exceptionally unique filmmaker who makes such visceral, layered and entertaining pieces and the narratives within his films always have such a great collection of characters, also the soundtracks as well for each of his movies are always stunning.

With your background in theatre and your love of all things creative, that would be a great fit. I would love to see you in something Danny Boyle creates. Since I’ve shared the informations that you can sing, if you could do a biopic of a musician – who would you choose? Ahhh that is very kind of you to say but I assure you I’m no singer! However, if I were lucky enough to be in a biopic about a musician, I would love to be involved in a film about Frank Sinatra. He’s had such a prolific career but also steeped in controversy in terms of his political ties and his alleged dealings with organised crime, it would make for a great character study.

I was thinking something in the punk world and he goes and throws Frank Sinatra out for the win.

Like many Scottish actors, Paul has a versatile CV, 13 theatre productions under his belt, radio, film and of course, now television, he is becoming the total package.

If you follow Paul on twitter or Instagram, you will see quickly that he is passionate about social justice and also has a very creative eye.

It is easy to see you are drawn to things that move you. What would say your favourite creative outlet is? (Movies, theatre, music, TV) Oh, if I’m honest I don’t think I could pick a favourite! They all seem to affect me in different ways and can suit any mood or feeling I’m having. I can find myself listening to a song or album on repeat, diving into the world of a tv series or film or be in awe of some theatre magic I see on stage. I’m gonna be so boring and say all of them cause I can’t pick one.

That isn’t boring at all, I like when people are honest and don’t make up something. To be honest, I am the same way. I can’t pick favourites for the life of me, I have no idea why I put people on the spot like that. Note taken 😂 The world has changed a lot since filming stopped on Outlander, what have you been doing to keep it together? Any ideas to help me out…It has been a difficult time for everyone, and I’m not sure if I would have any new advice, but I would suggest focus on doing things that make you happy, and especially those things you always put off! I’ve been reading books I’ve always meant to read, learning songs on guitar I’ve always wanted to learn, simple and easy things that are manageable and doable but I’ve always put off as I’ve pushed other tasks to the forefront. I also recommend downloading the app “Duolingo”, it’s free and makes learning a language super-easy, I’m currently making my way up the Norwegian course and about to begin my Gaelic one (a must for any Outlander fan). Simple, easy and manageable goals to get you through the day and also encourages you to learn and try something new!

I know that some reading are going to be thinking “Paul is too good to be true!” So let’s give them a kick rocks moment *smile*. Give me three things you miss most from our pre-covid life.

  1. The cinema. I would try and go as much as I can to see everything and anything. Though saying that, they have started opening up again and I managed to catch our Colonel Fraser be the bad-guy in ‘Bloodshot’, he was terrifyingly good (as always).
  2. Greggs. It’s like a bakery chain in the UK, but has a special place in Scotland’s heart. They do everything from sausage rolls to baguettes to pancakes, literally everything. But again they’re starting to open up, so I’m able to pick-up my empire biscuits nae problem.
  3. The pub. I’m not even a massive drinker, but the experience and ease of meeting up with a few mates in town and going to the pub and having a laugh was missed a lot during these last few months. Will never take it for granted again.

That is exactly it, isn’t it? Not taking things for granted, you are right. I am sure you could give me a list a mile long, I know I have one, but how about you give me three. Three things you have come to be more grateful for during this difficult time?

  1. Family and Friends. They’ve kept me sane and smiling throughout this entire time, I’m extremely lucky to have them in my life.
  2. My cats. Ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll mention how his cats basically make up his whole personality. Cats in general are just the funniest, most entertaining and beautiful creatures on the planet. Sorry dog lovers.
  3. The NHS. I’ve fortunately been lucky not to need their services recently, but the work they have been doing this year, the years before and the years to come is exemplary and beyond inspiring. We are incredibly lucky to have them.

The cats answer may gain you a whole new following within this fandom and there may be many questions about them in the future. Consider yourself warned. *laugh*.

I know theatre has a special place in your heart and it has been hit particularly hard…The pandemic has brought a wide range of difficulties to the way we all live our lives, and industries around the world have been devastated by it. The entertainment industry has been severely affected by it, as it mainly survives on revenue generated by ticket sales for its performances and the way in which the virus spreads, is of course, halting theatres re-opening.

What can we do to support the theatre industry right now? While theatres remain shut, a way in which you can help them out is if you have a penny to spare, donate to the variety of funds that have been set up by theatres and local charity organisations supporting local arts funding. It is key to support the regional/local theatres across the country, as they have been the hardest hit throughout this pandemic. Understandably, if money is an issue, continue to engage with theatres online on social media and various campaigns they are running and advocating for. Knowing they have your support and your voice can go a long way in shifting governments attention to helping them out!

And one final thing, once theatres do begin opening up and you’re not shielding or suffering from any health issues, I implore you to get out there and see some theatre! Treat yourself to a musical you always fancied seeing, or a Shakespeare or a new up and coming playwright or theatre company! You’ll be giving yourself a well-deserved night-out and also committing to keeping this wonderful industry afloat and inspiring the artists of tomorrow.

Theatre companies are struggling all over the world and the arts are so important to our young people, all you have suggested is worth our attention.

I know I have been spending some time binging shows, Outlander just got the season 1-5 treatment, again. I don’t have a problem. What is the last show you binged? I’m currently watching and binging the show “I May Destroy You” on BBC iPlayer. It is incredible, bold, informative, unsettling yet still manages to be hilarious and superbly acted by all involved! I think it might be on HBO across the pond? Whatever you can get it on, get it watched!

Consider it watched! Now that we are going down the endorsement road, let’s play “Paultimate Recommendations”:

MOVIES1) The Departed   2) Birdman    3) Inside Llewyn Davis

BOOKS: 1) The Shining (Stephen King)    2) The Master and Margarita (Mikhail Bulgakov) 3) 1984 (George Orwell)

TV SHOWS: 1) Scrubs (Honestly, whatever mood you’re in, it just works)    2) Breaking Bad 3) Fargo

ALBUMS: So these are my favourite albums, opinions may vary 1. American Idiot (Green Day) 2) Puzzle (Biffy Clyro)  3) Take This To Your Grave (Fall Out Boy)

Puzzle is the only one I hadn’t heard of. I popped it on and it has a great mix of heady lyrics and grittiness. I’m not too old for that. I do find much of who we are is developed in our teens, I often think of the advice I would give my teenself if I could. If you could go back and give ‘teen Paul’ advice or words of encouragement, what would you say? Don’t hold back, try everything and anything. Even ABBA.

I’m just going to put that in my pocket and use it now, cuz I might be running out of time.

It is obvious you are intune with the inner workings of ‘Paul’, so I am going to ask you to give yourself a tagline, a warning label and a theme song.   

TAGLINE: With great enthusiasm comes a great number of exclamation points.
WARNING LABEL For best results, add Fanta.

Paul’s Theme Song is Feeder, imagine it playing whenever you see him.

Your kind heart and authenticity shine through in your words and in your performance as Josiah and Kezzie – I want you to know, even if my opinion might not matter in the big scheme of things – I believe you have found your calling – not only for you but those that are blessed enough to find themselves in your circle. Thank you for being exactly who you are. Thank you so so much and once again thank you for allowing me to be a part of this project, it was an absolute pleasure answering your thoughtful questions. It is such a lovely service you are doing for the fans and you and your work are greatly appreciated!!!

It is kind of fantastic when you can say “What you see…it what you get”. This has been my experience with each member of the cast Ive had the pleasure to interview or meet. It’s my opinion the casting department has a great deal to do with that. Like attracts like and all that smart stuff.

It was such a nice escape from my Droughtlander to get to know Paul and I hope you can say the time you spent with us today, did the same for you. From this video – I can say underneath the wig and gnarly looking collar, that’s Paul. Gracious, courteous, humble and kind.

From his answers in his interview here, to my follow up conversations and this W Network video – THIS is Paul

I know you have a successful career ahead of you, as for Outlander fans, once you are loved by us, you are on the radar and will be supported by us, always. Thank you so much once again Sherry it was an absolute privilege!

Sherry

Have you missed Previous editions of – The LOVELANDER Project – Edition 1 Vida/Blancklanderz  Edition 2 Erin/Three if By Space  CastEdition 3 Vincent/Supporting Artist  Edition 4 Tracy/Outcandour CastEdition 5 Nell Hudson/Laoghaire Cast Edition 6 A Quickie w Kikki Fleming/ Lesley Edition 7 Koko/Outlandish Vancouver

ABOotlander LOve – Previous Interviews –  Julia LeBlanc/VideoQueen  Summer & Ginger from Outlander Podcast  CastDr.Joe Abernathy/Wil Johnson  CastAdrienne-Marie/Suzette Beth Wesson/@PixieTwit  Connie Verzak@ConnieBV  Karmen @OutLandAnatomy  Jane @RRankinFans  CastSera-Lys McArthur /Johiehon CastCarmen Moore /Wahkatiiosta CastKikkiFleming/ Lesley

#TheLOVELANDERProject brings you Tracy, the elegant voice of Outcandour.

If you are not familiar with the recap/review/ponderings of Outcandour – I suggest you check them out. Tracy has been taking us through the episodes since Season 3. She always identifies the core of what the episode is shouting at us and in her very unique way gives us the recap we wanted all along.

Tracy doesn’t give away much about herself in her writing except you quickly see she is highly intelligent, compassionate and damn, the woman is a deep thinker. It becomes obvious she researches what she speaks of, whether it is theological, Greek/Latin based or social issues. You can find these things in her writing and all are clearly composed for her readers.

I found ‘Outcandour’ in season 4 but didn’t nudge my way into Tracy’s life until the middle of the season. One, to support her by linking our blogs and two, to reach out. It is what we should do when we find people out there that we feel “Hey, I would like to have that person in my bubble.” I knew I could learn from her. She was gentle where I was rough. Her prose, eloquent where mine was, let’s just say unladylike *snort*, see? I enjoy the way I write. It’s only, different. I was drawn to her style. That is the reason I asked her to be featured in #TheLOVELANDERProject.

I know Tracy has many dedicated readers, I thought they would like to know about this incredible woman behind her words. I must say, she is just as lovely as I thought she would be. Actually, she is even better and I’m not even mad.

Classical music loving, Tracy, a self described awkward child, she grew up in southern California. Frizzy haired, thick eye browed and a step behind her peers in regards to the latest trends, she thought herself a late bloomer. Like many introverts, Tracy was quiet around people she wasn’t familiar with but goofy around her closest friends and her family. Being a good student, a rule follower, her love of books and athletics helped her build her confidence in senior high school. Thus developing into this woman we have grown to admire so much.

Tracy now lives in northern California with her husband and two young sons (ages 4 and 7). She is a small animal veterinarian. Hearing this was no surprise, even with only online interactions her compassionate nature shines through.

I wanted to know more about how Tracy found her way to her profession as a vet – “Like most people, I’ve always loved animals but I wasn’t someone who had wanted to be a veterinarian since a very young age. My uncle is a veterinarian so I saw a bit of the profession growing up. But I actually started college at the University of California, Irvine as an International Studies major. I thought I might want to work for the UN someday. I had to take a few basic science classes as part of my general undergrad education, and I actually ended up doing really well in them. I had never considered myself a science-y person until college, so I was happy to find that I not only really enjoyed biology but I actually understood it! So I took a few more science classes to explore that, then began considering veterinary medicine as something I might pursue. I began working as a veterinary assistant near the university (one of my friend’s fathers was a veterinarian), and then before my junior year I decided to transfer to UC Davis to study Animal Biology. After college I worked for three years as a veterinary technician in my hometown (huge shout-out to Dr. Edward Jezbera of Riverside) so I could get even more experience, and then I applied to veterinary school. I just celebrated the 10-year anniversary of my vet school graduation this week!

Such a wonderful achievement. Congratulations on that. I could easily see you working with the UN as well *smile*

Having a young family is enough to keep any mom busy. Tracy is one of those women that I look at with a touch of awe and a side of ‘good on ‘er’- She is an avid runner, having completed four marathons. She and her family (pre-covid) are very active in sports, basketball, little league and soccer. This little family is a whirl wind of activity and laughter.

Tracy and her beautiful family.

Tell us how Outcandour came to be. “I’ve always loved reading in-depth takes on television shows or movies. I’m that person watching movies with the director’s commentary turned on. Tom and Lorenzo are some of my favorite bloggers, and they used to write great recaps for Mad Men and Outlander. They stopped recapping Outlander during Season 2, and I found myself missing the sort of commentary I was used to. When Season 3 started I figured, why not attempt to write something myself? And
thus Outcandour came into creation.

When did your interest in Outlander start, Tracy? ” I discovered the show first during Season 1, after reading a number of articles praising its female gaze. I was hooked from the moment I saw those opening shots of Glen Coe with Caitriona’s voice narrating the mystery of what was about
to unfold. I read all the novels in the Droughtlander between Seasons 2 and 3, and I’ve since read them all multiple times.

Someone else in your family was a long time fan –My grandmother, who is 95, was amused when I discovered Outlander and started my blog. She read all the novels back in the 90s…like all Outlander fans, she wondered what had taken me so long!

I want to take a moment to remember Tracy’s grandmother, who since we did this initial interview has passed away. Her name was Sherry, too! She was born Shirley but she always hated the association with Shirley Temple, so she went by Sherry her whole life. Her death wasn’t totally unexpected and she was suffering quite a bit at the end, so although it’s so painful I find some solace knowing that she’s finally at peace.
Like all conversations that we wish we could remember, I can’t remember specifics as it relates to Outlander. I know she read the novels and I think perhaps Dragonfly in Amber might have been her favorite. She was rereading
it just a few years before she passed away. She was very proud of her English heritage and her outspoken nature, so I think she really identified with Claire.” Sherry, sounds like a woman we all would have been honoured to meet. I’m very sorry for your loss.

Tracy and her Grandmother, Sherry.

It seems there may be something hereditary going on there. 😘 That, and the compassion that comes out in your writing. Who or what would say were some of the bigger influences in your life? “Well, thank you for that! I’m not sure I can name only one thing or one person. Certainly, my parents are most responsible for instilling a sense of compassion and empathy in my life. My husband and sister are my best friends and I’d say they probably keep me the most honest. I was fortunate to have some truly great English teachers in middle and high school who really fostered my love of reading and critical thinking.

Critical thinking, yes, that and a depth of knowledge of the subject matter. You introduce those aspects so clearly to the themes in your recaps – why do you think that is important to do – delve so deeply? I could never presume to know what the Outlander writers ever intend, but I think it’s important to remember that they are writing intentionally and with their own artistic perspective in creating an adaptation. Sussing out an episode’s theme makes me appreciate the writing; I find I enjoy the episodes more if I try to look deeper. Hopefully my readers feel the same way.

It is one of the comments I see often. Your readers thanking you for giving them a new perspective. It’s refreshing to have an unbiased view dig into the middle and work their way out. It is akin to reading comprehension but via a different medium. When did you realize you had this gift with words?I’ve always really enjoyed writing. As I mentioned before, I had some really wonderful teachers growing up who gave me invaluable feedback and encouragement. And so much of my love for writing comes from my love of reading…I’m so jealous of beautiful prose that I’m anxious to create it myself.

I’m curious, many writers have a certain process, where they feel comfortable gathering ideas, do you have a time or place you do your writing?Usually while I’m running. I’ll start thinking about something, then pull out my phone to jot it down before I forget. Running really is mind-clearing for me. Otherwise I do most of my writing at the dining table after my kids are asleep.

I find that fascinating…while you are running. It makes sense as your writing has such a flow and beauty to it. I am going to wonder aloud, if you were to write a book…I think you should…what genre do you think you would lean towards? “Hmmm, well, that might not be a totally theoretical question! *wink* So I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say it is an adaptation of a well-known story with a modern political and feminist slant.

As avid readers, we all have those books that impact us, what books have made the biggest impressions on you, Tracy? “As a Californian, I’ve always loved John Steinbeck. There are a few books I’ve read as an adult that have stayed with me in significant ways: The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger), Circe (Madeline Miller), The Underground Railroad(Colson Whitehead), One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel García Márquez), and Lonesome Dove (Larry McMurty) are some of the ones I cherish the most. And, of course, I truly love the Outlander series. I find that after I’ve been reading any of the Outlander novels it’s difficult to slip into another author’s voice and point-of-view…Diana Gabaldon creates such a distinct but relatable voice for all her characters.

I completely agree, I seemed to have read them over and over until I knew the characters so well that I was “O.K. NOW, I can leave you all for a bit. *laugh* It was ridiculous. I now can read other genres, fluff and stuff but I do always return to them and they feel like home. Sort of like the show. I know you have a love of it, like I do. If you could put the five seasons in order of favourite…What order would you put them in?Hmmm…well Season 1 will likely always be my favorite as it was the one to capture me with its magic and beauty. Then I suppose I would rank them as follows: 3, 5, 2, and 4. But, honestly, it’s only a hair’s difference that separates them in my mind…I have truly enjoyed them all.

Same, same. Though I am a bit of a weirdo *shocking I know* I always seem to put the latest season as a favourite. I love them all. I hope it goes on til Diana is done with it. Is that likely? No one knows. What do you expect the future looks like for the show? *HUGE shrug* “I do get the impression that Season Six may be the last one…it is so rare for a premium television show to last longer than six seasons. I really hope I’m wrong, of course. I can definitely see a Lord John spinoff coming down the line, as well as a feature length film, similar to what Downton Abbey did.

Anything is possible, I am happy we got anything at all. Now what’s your take on the books? Any thoughts or ideas?As for the books…only Diana knows! I’m personally hoping to have all my conspiracy theories about Frank either confirmed or denied.” *wink*

Oooooh, I got some of those myself! So many things I am hoping are wrapped up all nice and neat – however, Diana has a lot more writing in her devious/delicious mind, I am sure.

Diana mind power

It is due to that deliciously devious Diana mind that we have this huge community, this fandom. Which of course is the reason why we have come into each others lives. The fandom continues to grow every day, what do you find are the greatest joys and the biggest challenges of being a part of it?I’d say the joy comes from the expansion of my world this fandom has given me. There are so many smart and thoughtful people I would have never known otherwise…present company included, of course! Of course! *snort* And I really love reading all the different opinions and takes on the episodes and characters. It’s fascinating to me that we can all watch the same thing and experience it so differently. Such is art! I think the challenges do come from that subjectivity, though. We all feel such a personal connection to Outlander that it’s hard not to be possessive of the characters and stories.

Sometimes it does get to be a lot. It is lovely to see that much of the interaction you have online is positive and really respectful.I find the engagement I get through the fandom, especially on Twitter and through my blog is very rewarding.

It’s Droughtlander time and we are all going through some fandom pains, what is your advice for us to get through this?It’s going to be a long one, isn’t it? I don’t have the most original advice…lots of reading, catching up on all the movies I’ve missed, discovering new shows, etc. I recently watched Normal People on Hulu and found it to be one of the most
beautiful shows I’ve ever seen.

Oh, Marianne and Connell absolutely broke my heart! I was bereft when I was done the last episode. Genuinely had a good sob. I was 15 again, watching that. *sigh*. It seems we have something else in common, any other shows you love?Well, like most parents of young kids, I find that most of the shows watched in our house are children-oriented. Shows I’ve loved watching or catching up on recently include Call the Midwife, The Spanish Princess, Downton Abbey, and Mad Men. They’re all essentially period dramas that provide good social commentary on their times.

That is one of the things I liked most about getting to know Tracy better. It solidified why I was drawn to her. This is a woman I personally don’t have a lot in common with, however, I admire her. We see things differently and we live contrasting existences yet we find ourselves seeking the others outlook. It really is how we grow as people, isn’t it? I want to thank Tracy for accepting the invite to be a featured guest with #TheLOVELANDERProject. If you want to follow her on twitter CLICK HERE . Fill up on some of her archived blog posts, by going back to the beginning, they age well, CLICK HERE.

Finally, our close out ABOotlanders silly Albertan question (which I am going to have to switch up soon because ya all are starting to figure them out- derp)

The ABOotlanders have invited Tracy to a fancy get together and we are letting her choose the main course.

What do you choose, Tracy? Moose Droppings, Beaver Tails, Prairie Oysters or Taber Corn?Okay, well I know what Moose Droppings are from reading your previous installments of this series. So, I won’t pick that. I have no idea what any of these are! Are Prairie Oysters the same as Rocky Mountain Oysters (testicles?). I guess I’ll be brave and pick that! See? Tracy is a smart one! That is exactly it. Prairie Oysters are bull testicles – they say they taste a lot like calamari or seasoned rubber, depending on your taste buds. This is Alberta so naturally, we have a Testicle Festival. That is not MY fault, Tracy picked this one.

Now with that wonderful thought in your head and taste in your mouth, I leave you with this. I do hope the fandom sees how truly lucky we are to have people such as Tracy in our orbit. She ‘overthinks Outlander for the masses’ so we can take a look through another window. When we take the time to see the different shades in a painting it creates a depth we may have missed.

Thank you so much for joining me for another edition of #TheLOVELANERProject. I have a great line-up that includes other fan accounts, cast members et al. in order to keep our gullets quenched during this Droughlander.

Until next time,

Sher xo

The L🖤VELANDER Project – Edition 1 Vida/Blancklanderz Edition 2 Erin/Three if By Space Edition 3 Vincent/Supporting Artist

ABOotlander L🖤ve – Previous Interviews –  Julia LeBlanc/VideoQueen  Summer & Ginger from Outlander Podcast  CastDr.Joe Abernathy/Wil Johnson  CastAdrienne-Marie/Suzette Beth Wesson/@PixieTwit  Connie Verzak@ConnieBV  Karmen @OutLandAnatomy  Jane @RRankinFans  CastSera-Lys McArthur /Johiehon CastCarmen Moore /Wahkatiiosta CastKikkiFleming/ Lesley






Another week in #TheLOVELANDERProject

I am happy with how well received this project has been. Each person I have reached out to has been so open to taking part. So far, you have met or gotten to know Vida, Erin and Vinny. From the amount of attention, shares and feedback, it sounds like you are enjoying them all.

I’m not giving up names but I have many of your faviourite fan account interviews in the works,a few Outlander cast members have also agreed to be apart of The LOVELANDER Project ( I keep reaching out to more 🤞🏼) , Kikki Fleming and I have also done a fun lil somethin-somethin which I am waiting for the perfect time to release. I want to keep this going throughout Droughtlander, which means I don’t want to spray this all over your face and run out of content.

The LOVELANDER Project isn’t only the interviews. It is also a mindset during Droughtlander. Especially, this one. There is so much going on around the globe right now. Be it the pandemic, much needed demands for racial justice, our own country’s challenges and of course, our personal bubbles and stresses.

I attempt to ask questions on twitter than encourage people to engage. The questions are meant to focus on a positive space, if it only for a moment. There are times we need a moment to think about ourselves. To pull away from the madness for a while. This weekend there were tweets about things that make us happy and self-care.

These are some things I found this week that made me smile. I want to share them with you in the hopes they may do the same for you.

Scottish piper plays Amazing Grace at sunset to honour virus victims. CLICK HERE

Sri Lankan cafe owner feeds and shelters stranded tourists. CLICK HERE

A 9-year-old boy from Kenya builds a wooden handwashing machine and wins a presidential award. CLICK HERE

Man and his daughter deliver groceries to 120 seniors, as they need them. CLICK HERE

Stories about some everyday Canadian heroes. CLICK HERE

If you have found some feel good stories, please share them with us, we can all use a little escape!

You can get away!

I hope that you find #TheLOVELANDERProject a safe place to land every now and again, because that is all I want it to be.

Watch for another interview next week! I hope you love reading it as much I love bringing them to you.

Sher xo

The L🖤VELANDER Project – Edition 1 Vida/Blancklanderz Edition 2 Erin/Three if By Space Edition 3 Vincent/Supporting Artist

ABOotlander L🖤ve – Previous Interviews –  Julia LeBlanc/VideoQueen  Summer & Ginger from Outlander Podcast  CastDr.Joe Abernathy/Wil Johnson  CastAdrienne-Marie/Suzette Beth Wesson/@PixieTwit  Connie Verzak@ConnieBV  Karmen @OutLandAnatomy  Jane @RRankinFans  CastSera-Lys McArthur /Johiehon CastCarmen Moore /Wahkatiiosta CastKikkiFleming/ Lesley

Erin Conrad, Three If By Space’s Outlander voice tells ALL!

How’s that for a headline, eh?

Welcome to the 2nd edition of The LOVELANDER Project. Erin Conrad won’t like me saying this and will ask me to edit it out (I won’t) but, she’s kinda a big deal.

If you already know her, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn something new, if you only know Erin from her Three If By Space life, then sit back and let’s close that gap. Maybe you haven’t heard of her – it’s possible – if that is the case, stick around, meeting new people, even virtually, can be very rewarding.  

I have been following Erin on social media for years. First on Twitter and then I started listening to her TIBS radio show, sometimes live but mostly following a few days later while writing or working on my own things at home. I generally stay away from reviewers as I am the ‘keep things positive’ at all costs type o’ gal. (This is not because rainbows shoot outta my butt – this is because I must maintain my own sanity- it’s a tippy thing) There is something about Erin’s TIBS approach. She has the enjoyment and knowledge of the source material while maintaining a respect for the creators. She never speaks as if her word is the last and always invites discourse and treats other’s opinions with kindness. Her lifetime of experience in journalism may have just a little do to with that but perhaps the diplomacy comes more from being married to the same man for 31 yrs and to raising two sons.

giphy-28

All the things, together – the perfect puzzle.

The super cool thing is, I don’t have to see eye to eye with Erin on her reviews. I still enjoy reading them as her views are succinct and beautifully explained. She helps me understand why she sees things the way she does and that is important to me. It’s not just “I hated it” or “It was stupid”.  That doesn’t help anyone see what the reviewer struggled with.

The benefit of a well-written review is we are able to respect the viewpoint because we understand it. We are then able to move on with our overall love of the journey.  Kind of like being on holiday together, going out to dinner and one devouring the cake and the other thinking it was too sweet. It was still yummy cake.

Let’s dive in with Erin to see what it is that makes her – the her – that she is. I want those reading to know about ‘everyday’ Erin…give us a glimpse will you?  Erin-“Ummm, okayyy… I’m 60, retired last year after our parents had major health issues that required my time and my father in law died. Kevin and I have two sons, Greg and Andy. Greg is 27, a musician, married, and expecting their first child (awww, CONGRATS Grannie!) and they live in New Zealand. Andy is 24, engaged, living about 20 minutes away with his fiancée. I have a degree in journalism – I’ve always been a writer. I stepped back from fulltime work when Greg was 6 months old and did a lot of freelance stuff, then substitute teaching, and a string of admin kind of jobs, most of which bored me silly, but paid some bills. In addition to writing for TIBS, I started doing fused glass work three years ago, and now my basement is full of glass, kilns, equipment. This year was supposed to be my year to start travelling, but of course, that’s difficult now. We’re just hoping to get to New Zealand over Christmas to meet our new grandchild.”

I’ve seen that glasswork of yours, it’s gorgeous! (Check it out peeps). I imagine it becomes a great outlet, and the pieces you have done for your Outlander groups have been stunning, which swings me back around again, we fans all have the story of when Outlander came into our life, how did your journey start? “I found Dragonfly, I think, in the large print section of the library (not where I usually look for books), in probably 1997 or early 1998, right after we moved to Crystal Lake. I realized quickly that it was part of a series, and ran to find the first book. I’ve been hooked since then. I didn’t realize that, other than Ladies of Lallybroch, which I knew about, that there was a huge following until I started writing about it.”

Which leads us of course to Three if by Space… “TIBS started when the owner, Robert, won a contest to go to the set for the show Falling Skies (the site’s name is a line from the show). He started the website as a fan site for that show, and it quickly became a multi-show review site.  I loved Falling Skies and found TIBS looking for info about it, then found out they were looking for writers. That was in 2013, right as news about a TV series of Outlander was coming out. I asked if it fell in their world – sci-fi – and he said sure. So I’ve been writing for the site since then, and have been senior editor, second in charge, for a few years now.” 

Sounds like perfect timing to me! I am always curious as to what other book lovers thought when they found out Outlander was going to be adapted into a TV program. I almost lost my damn mind.  “I was very excited. I have a copy of one of the older books that says on the back that a major motion picture is coming – of course, I was thrilled to see that, and we know that never happened. A TV series is definitely the better choice. It made me nervous, though – how faithful would they be to the books? I was a little reassured that Diana would be involved, but I have enough experience with the world of adaptations and writing to know that there would be differences. Since the show has come out, I haven’t been thrilled with everything they’ve done, but that’s fine – like I’ve said since the beginning, I don’t have the talent, the money or the contacts to do it myself, so I’m happy that someone with all of those is taking it on. I can live with the differences, even if they make my head hurt sometimes – I’d rather watch what’s there than not watch at all. I would give the series a B+ – some of the casting has been off (and some has been spot-on), and I personally think that the show’s angle is skewed in an uncomfortable direction.”

Since I listen to your radio shows and read your reviews, I get exactly what you are saying and where you are coming from. If those reading haven’t tuned in –CLICKITY CLICK RIGHT HERE– You can listen to past episodes. So, what would you say your vision is for the future of the TV show? “As much as I would like to see the show finish out the entire book series, I don’t really know that they will. I think I can live with it if they don’t. I don’t really want to see 80-year-old Jamie and Claire, except in a flash-forward at the end. I’d rather see the show end on a high, rather than dribble on and on toward an end where it’s cancelled because of low viewership. I LOVE David Barry as Lord John but don’t really need a spin-off. I’d watch it – don’t get me wrong – but I’m not going to live and die over it.”

I’d love to hear your vision of how those books will end?  “Now here, I’d be happy to see an 80-year-old Jamie and Claire. I don’t know that Diana wants to go that far. She’s said one more after Bees, and for the main series, that’s good. I’d love to see Germaine and Jemmy and Mandy as adults, solving crimes and taking names (just kidding).” 

Damn, that would be so awesome. Can you imagine? The Mystery Conestoga *snort* My imagination has been tapped. That is never a good thing.

You’ve attended many Outlander events over the years and this is something that many fans might not get to experience. I, personally, am a serious introvert so I know there are certain events I would be overwhelmed by. There will be certain readers who think “I wanna be like ERIN!” tell them about events you dove into.    “Of course, this year, a lot has been cancelled. One I’m hoping doesn’t get cancelled is Thru the Stones, in Davenport, Iowa, in December. This is a great every-other-year event, and it’s different than others – there’s always one BTS guest and one actor guest (although last time Terry Dresbach, former costume designer, came for her second appearance and brought Ron D. Moore with her). But organizer Deb Ford does classes and a trivia contest, a lot of things that other events don’t do. Last year, I went to Outlandish Vancouver for the first time (even though I’ve been good friends with the organizer since my very first Outlander event in 2014) which was really a lot of fun and where I met YOUUUUUUU. (I mean, that had to be the highlight for all *snort*) That one’s been cancelled for this year, and because of Andy’s wedding next year, I don’t think I’ll make it then either, but I encourage everyone else to look at that one.”

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These women love each other so much. Meet Alyson, Cardboard Bonnet, Erin, Cardboard Jamie, Samantha, Cardboard Young Ian. Pass some Droughtlander hours and go back for a listen. Stay Tuned for new ones!

I’m going to live vicariously through you because I think my only cast experiences will ever happen at Outlandish Vancouver (I’m not complaining, because they have been freaking life-altering– not even kiddin’) Please share your most memorable fan experiences… “My favourite was probably my first – the Random  House MOBY book debut in Seattle in 2014. I met so many wonderful new people, met Diana Gabaldon for the first time, saw the first TV show trailer…

I love being in the position to be able to meet the stars and creators personally when I’m interviewing, or on red carpets, etc. For the S1 Part 2 premiere in NYC, I did my first red carpet. I had a minor role in helping the SoCal group meet Sam at what they thought was just going to be a chance to look at the packaging for the upcoming DVD, and Sam walked into their review session. For my assistance – which was just providing a name – Sony sent me a personalized photo of Sam holding up a sign for me. At that red carpet event, I brought a printed out copy of that picture. Sam saw me holding it, and ran over to say “That was for YOU?? Can I sign it for you?” That was a thrill. Everyone has been wonderful to meet.”

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Erin with Diana Gabaldon (L) – and with Sam Heughan. 

THUD! Yup. Just THUD. I’m that person that says something inappropriate to break the ice and ends up wearing it forever. I’ve seen you on the red carpet while watching live streams and you are always so damn dignified. It’s annoying and why I like hanging around you – you make me look like a grown-up. Just put your cursor right here and click! You can see for yourself how cool she is. I am always grateful for the people that Outlander has brought into my life. What do you feel it has brought to yours? “Outlander has really expanded my personal and semi-professional life (since I don’t get paid for any of this). I’ve met the BEST people, women I never would have met otherwise, and that’s enriched my life to no end. I’ve also done things I couldn’t have conceived of doing – I’ve interviewed not only Outlander stars, but then had the confidence and opportunity to meet stars of many other shows, hone my interviewing skills, and develop a bit of a reputation. I’ve really enjoyed managing Facebook groups, setting up and running an annual Holiday Gift Exchange (6 years and still going), and doing an internet radio show.

Now that Droughtlander is in full swing, have you any advice for fans that are starting to get antsy?Find something else to do in real life. Like I said before, it’s not healthy to be so invested in one book and TV series. I see people, over and over, saying “nothing else lives up to it,” and I don’t get that. There are SO many books, TV series, real-life adventures, children and grandchildren, things that need to be done. And then when it comes back on, you’ll enjoy it even more because you’ll be ready and refreshed, rather than in agony over every little word and delay.” 

That’s some damned good advice, my friend. For those reading, leave any books you have read and enjoyed in the comments or the thread of whatever media you are reading this on. Share and share alike!

This is the ABOotlander finale question.  You have been invited to dinner with us and you have been offered these Albertan delicacies  A) Moose Droppings B) Beaver Tails   C) Prairie Oysters D) Taber Corn.  Which would you choose & why? “AHHH. I know what Prairie Oysters are, not having those.  I like most things corn-related, but somehow this feels like a trick question. I hope moose droppings have something to do with chocolate, so I’ll pick that one.” I love you think I would trick you with corn. It speaks so much of what you know of me.

The Outlander fandom started before the TV show was even created due to the popularity of the novels. When the show was announced, the book fans started an online presence that was impressive. Erin was certainly a part of that wave, we are grateful for her dedication. Thank you, my friend for sharing your mind and your heart with so many…especially me!

Sher xo

 

The LOVELANDER Project – Edition 1 Vida/Blancklanderz

ABOotlander L🖤ve – Previous Interviews –  Julia LeBlanc/VideoQueen  Summer & Ginger from Outlander Podcast  CastDr.Joe Abernathy/Wil Johnson  CastAdrienne-Marie/Suzette Beth Wesson/@PixieTwit  Connie Verzak@ConnieBV  Karmen @OutLandAnatomy          Jane @RRankinFans  CastSera-Lys McArthur /Johiehon CastCarmen Moore /Wahkatiiosta CastKikkiFleming/ Lesley

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

 

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’.

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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.

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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!

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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

Outlander Episode 3 – Heartstones , amiright?

Still taking a detour from the blog bursts that look like recaps.  I feel there are enough ppl doing those now that, well, even doing it Canadian style with bacon isn’t different enough.

Episode 3 of Outlander was full of…Oooooh’s , awwwww’s & Snorts so I finger I will just talk about those with you.  Heartstones is something us ABOotlanders are not short of.  We are a bunch of sulks (I say that because I am…and I do not like being lonely).

Heart STONES are those things in your heart that when they are hit, they send you back in time, memories.  I believe that is why we are so connected to Outlander.  It isn’t just our own created memories but those Diana Gabaldon authored when we read the books for the first time.  How many times have we seen comments telling new readers how jealous we are because they get to experience that first time feeling?  Its a nostalgia we connect to from remembering our “first time”.  It really is a better “first time” than the other first time… that’s rarely enjoyable.

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Aaaaanyway.  That’s how I now feel when I watch the show. It’s like a new read.  I recognize it, it’s familiar…yet it is different so I get a new thrill from it.  It’s not about if I like the changes, only that they exist and create new heart stones for me and my friends to travel through together.

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Heartstones being created

The name of the episode is “Useful Occupations & Deceptions”.  We don’t have to reach to far to guess what this is all about so lets get right to it.

OOOOOH’s , AAAAAW’s N Snort’s of Episode 3… Our HeartStones…

Aaaaaw #1 -This came when Claire shoved Jamie’s wigman away so she could do up his vest instead.  I mean, that was a “Why are YOU doing this, I am sitting right here.” jealous wife move and I loved it.  You can’t blame a girl…husband out at brothels- oh wait…one brothel (but remember, its fancy…it’s got dildos), drinking his face off with the guys, coming in reeking of smoke n whores.  Yep, I would probably feel the need to exert ownership. You can tell the scheme of these moves is to show…she misses him.

Snort #1– The first laugh of the show for me was Jamie’s wee SAWNY going missing.  So what you are saying Jamie is…lostsnake

This could just be because my brain has a disorder. Its called ‘inthegutteria’. It’s catching. You might have it now. If not, you may not find me near as entertaining as I do.

Snort #2– Louise. Sweet Louise! She MADE the interaction with Mary & Claire go to another level of giggles.  Her SHOCK at the accusations Mary made about men and their things…was…snortworthy.1cohno

Ooooooh #1 – Claire realizing who the truck Mary Hawkins was! 1emaryhawkins

For our Frank lovers…they got another peekaboo at him and Claire finally put the puzzle of where she had heard the name before!  You could see she wasn’t particularly thrilled.  I heard a few people say “She didn’t seem to care when BJR was dead so Frank was before…but now she is all worried about him?!”  Let’s look at it this way – When Claire found out that BJR was dead, she was in the midst of taking care of Jamie, making sure he didn’t die.  Once she did that…it’s kinda late to be thinking about saving Frank.  Pragmatic is one way I would describe Claire, I can’t see her dwelling on something she knew she couldn’t change. HOWEVER, once there is something she thinks she can fix or change…ummm…dog with bone sound about right to us?

Oooh, Awww N Snort – 3 for the price of oneMurtagh getting some lovin! #Suzagh! Sounds like a great clan call…for tail.  There was a couple of things about Claire walking in on her ladies maid, Suzette (zee lov-a-lee Adrienne-Marie Zitt)  and her husbands Dudley do right-hand man.  1…Claires expression of shock. Now, was it shock that she caught them doin’ it? Was it shock that Murtagh was getting more action than her? Was it shock that Murtagh could be ungrumbly long enough for a woman to want to get jiggy with him?  I think it could have been any or all of those reasons.  2. The fact that she hasn’t got lucky in so long she didn’t recognize the sounds of two people gettin jiggy w’it.

The surprise coupling of the 2 characters gives Murtagh a lil more zip & brings the staff in the house to “human” mode., not just following picking up after everyone.  #Suzagh all the way!

Oooh #2 SNAP!  Claire done looses it on Murtagh because he reminded her that she isn’t getting any.  That face…says it all.snappy

After her poop ungroups, she tells him that BJR is alive & the deception duo is born.  For now – by the end of the show Murtagh has his kilt in a wad because she didn’t tell him.

Snort #4–  That Duverney dude is funny. Not just his wig either.  Telling Jamie while playing chest he was going “get him” and that he gave him permission to respect him less.  See in my world, those are are things I would say to Jamie too…maybe not playing chess…but playing- chest? See…I find things entertaining because I make them up in my head sometimes.

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He has this way of wrapping scenes around his fingers…and getting wanna be Kings to kiss his fingers.  Knowing this guy, I sure as heck would NOT be putting my mouth around his digits…I see where he goes with those!

Oooh #4The Comte.  That is all. I need not say more.

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I mean. Really. The Comte St.GermayIhavesomemore?

Awww #2– Master Raymond plays Ann Landers. Claire doesn’t really ask for advice but Raymond gives it.  Stop pouting about being bored lady and go do what you like doing. Lancing boils & sticking your fingers in puss n guts! Its nice to see someone looking out for her isn’t it?tumblr_mdvrqbfyca1ruaozy2

Snort #5 is a loooong giggle. “Claire goes to the Hospital”.  We could write a childrens book about this you know.  The look on Mother Hildegardes face when this “lady” came and said she wanted to use her medical knowledge and help. “Ummm, go dump a bedpan ‘lady’. See you never.”  Claire doubles up the back bone and not only empties bed pans but starts drinking them. That will show her!

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Ok…she wasn’t drinking out of the bedpans…but she was taste testing them.  Which baboom…makes Momma Hilde take notice and decide “Hmmmm, if she likes urine, she’s gonna love it here…let’s keep her.”  And BOUTON! Well…yeah…somehow we all have fallen in love with the little hairball. It sure helps when you remember loving Bouton of the books. Its not about the dog they got so much as it is about that they got a Bouton!

The scene with the nasty puss filled groin splinter (ummm branch not splinter) was spot on. Freaking LOVED the moment Bouton showed his talents & at the same time helped Claire get in good with the big nun on campus.

Awww #4– #WeeFergus .  Like we didn’t get to meet enough awesomeness in this episode but then we get the lil bandit too. It was a smorgasbord of characters being brought to life. I had the constant “awwww head tippy” going on the whole fricken episode.

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All these feels in the awww spot

I loved the introduction to Jamie…something we only got a  quick description in the book about how the wee gommrel came to be in their world.  This gave it the character development that the TV character deserved to have.

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’tis a delight to meet you!

I loved how he called Jamie dirty names and tried to blackmail him and Jamie’s reaction…I wanted to squeeze both their cheeks! Throughout the episode Fergus (played by Romann Berrux) displays the all the charm of a small gentleman while being the brothelbabe he was.  “Hey, girls love it when I sing the praises of their corset fillers.”  It’s not hard to tell that like Fergus from the book – TV Fergus is going to have us all wrapped around his bitty doigt.

The best move Jamie had this episode? Hiring a pickpocket.

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You did the right thing…for interesting reasons.

Awwww #5 – This awww is more of a “Awwww muffin!” awwww than an “Awwww so cute”  awww though.  Jamie was having a party and we were invited.  It was a pity party. Now why oh why wasn’t his wife home to greet him? Pout, sulk, grumble grumble and snark. Once folks showed up for his party he lashed out on them.  Jamie is kinda a bad event planner in that respect.  We came away with it being all about Jamie – if he is going to be a miserable sulk, then why shouldn’t he share that?  Because it sucks Jamie…it sucks.

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Pity Parties are not as fun alone

We know why you’re a pouty pants, but we aren’t enjoying it.  You need a lil lovin…that will fix everything. As long as it is with your wife…those brothelbabes…not so much.

Snort #6–  You know Jamie was going to have to swallow his pride at some point. Watching him do it with Mama Hildegard was a good move. Her being a musical savant and all that.  Her view of her friend Bach was less than flattering though wasn’t it? Clever but no heart. Without him, they wouldn’t have figured out the code to the letters Fergus our boy was stealing though!

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WhooHoo…so clever

All the emotions of episode 3 and we wrap it all up in a happy little ball of “relief, happiness, guilt & disappointment. Relief because they believe they figured out who was promising BPC money for this campaign. Happiness because Jamie was happy for a moment. Guilt by Claire because she STILL hasn’t told Jamie BJR is alive. Disappointment in Claire by Murtagh because she didn’t tell Jamie BJR is alive.

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Perfect way to  tie that bow up and be ready for Episode 4.

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