Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of the upcoming holiday, here are some Thanksgiving-themed quotes from the OUTLANDER books. This has become an annual tradition here on Outlandish Observations, and I hope you enjoy them!

*** SPOILER WARNING! *** If you haven't read all of the OUTLANDER books, you will encounter spoilers below! Read at your own risk.

1) Roger and Brianna, hunting turkeys:
"What a thing," he said. He held it at arm's length to drain, admiring the vivid reds and blues of the bare, warty head and dangling wattle. "I don't think I've ever seen one, save roasted on a platter, with chestnut dressing and roast potatoes."

He looked from the turkey to her with great respect, and nodded at the gun.

"That's great shooting, Bree."

She felt her cheeks flush with pleasure, and restrained the urge to say, "Aw, shucks, it warn't nothin'," settling instead for a simple, "Thanks."

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 20, "Shooting Lessons". Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
I love this scene, especially for Roger's reaction. He's a little taken aback by her shooting skills, but his ego doesn't seem to be threatened by the fact that she's better at hunting (providing food for the family) than he is.

2) Claire and Jamie receiving gifts from the local Native Americans, very much in the spirit of the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving:
Once the official introductions were over, Nacognaweto motioned to Berthe, who obediently brought out the large bundle she had carried, and opened it at my feet, displaying a large basket of orange and green-striped squash, a string of dried fish, a smaller basket of yams, and a huge pile of Indian corn, shucked and dried on the cob.

“My God,” I murmured. “The return of Squanto!”

Everyone gave me a blank look, and I hastened to smile and make exclamations--thoroughly heartfelt--of joy and pleasure over the gifts. It might not get us through the whole winter, but it was enough to augment our diet for a good two months.

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 20, "The White Raven". Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

3) Jocasta and Duncan's wedding feast:
"Can ye not decide where to begin, Sassenach?" He reached down and took the empty wineglass from her hand, taking advantage of the movement to come close against her back, feeling the warmth of her through his clothes.

She laughed, and swayed back against him, leaning on his arm. She smelled faintly of rice powder and warm skin, with the scent of rose hips in her hair.

"I'm not even terribly hungry. I was just counting the jellies and preserves. There are thirty-seven different ones--unless I've missed my count."

He spared a glance for the table, which did indeed hold a bewildering array of silver dishes, porcelain bowls, and wooden platters, groaning with more food than would feed a Highland village for a month.

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 46, "Quicksilver". Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Most major holiday dinners give me this same feeling, although I can't say I've ever seen thirty-seven different varieties of *anything* at one meal before. <g>

4) The "hearth blessing" on Fraser's Ridge:
We blessed the hearth two days later, standing in the wall-less cabin. Myers had removed his hat, from respect, and Ian had washed his face. Rollo was present, too, as was the small white pig, who was required to attend as the personification of our "flocks," despite her objections; the pig saw no point in being removed from her meal of acorns to participate in a ritual so notably lacking in food.

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 19, "Hearth Blessing". Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Considering how successful that little homestead on the Ridge would prove to be, I think there must have been something extra-powerful in that blessing. <g> And I love the mention of the little white piglet, who will grow up to become the infamous White Sow. If this blessing was intended to ensure fertility on the part of that sow, it succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

5) The Selkirk Grace:
[Hamish] glared round the table to insure that everyone was in a properly reverential attitude before bowing his own head. Satisfied, he intoned,

"Some hae meat that canna eat,
And some could eat that want it.
We hae meat, and we can eat,
And so may God be thankit.

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 6, "Colum's Hall". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Happy Thanksgiving! (And to those of you outside the U.S., best wishes for the holiday season.)  If you're looking for OUTLANDER-related food ideas, check out this OUTLANDER Thanksgiving Feast posted by Theresa of Outlander Kitchen!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Nine years!

Nine years ago this week, I started reading OUTLANDER, and my life changed forever, in more ways than I can count.

Here's the story of how I found Diana Gabaldon's books.

Diana often says that these are "word-of-mouth" books, but that's not true in my case. I had never heard of the series or its author, I knew no one else who had read the books, and I knew nothing at all about the plot or the characters in advance.  I found OUTLANDER completely by accident, browsing in a Barnes & Noble bookstore sometime in the fall of 2006.

It was the small-size (mass-market) paperback edition. I remember it was on a rack at the end of one of the aisles, or I probably would never have noticed it. My eye was caught by the striking blue color of the cover, and I picked it up (a little startled by the size of it, but not at all put off -- I like Big Fat Historical Novels, and always have) and briefly glanced through it.
Time-travel...that's good, I'm always up for a decent time-travel story. Hmm...Scotland? That could be interesting. starts in 1945, and the main character is an Englishwoman. Is the author British too? Probably.* I often find British novels hard to get into, especially if they take place that far in the past [and by that I meant the 1940's, not the 18th century!]. Am I going to be able to, you know, relate to these characters? **
And so I put it back on the rack. Walked out of the store, and promptly forgot the author's name (quite unintentionally) ***. But I hadn't forgotten about the book, by any means, and I promised myself that if and when I ever saw it again, I'd give it a closer look.

A couple of months went by, and then I finally did find OUTLANDER again. I still hesitated (my thought at the time was, it's an awfully big book to buy if you're not sure ahead of time if you'll like it or not). So I went home without buying it, again, and with the name of the book and the author firmly fixed in my memory this time, looked up the Amazon reviews. (Lots of talk in there about the Wentworth scenes, but I'd already had a bit of warning about that, having flipped through the book in the bookstore. The first bit of a scene I read was the part where Jamie tells Claire about the fortress inside him, so I knew something awful was going to happen to him. But I had no idea just how devastating it would be. Not a clue.)

I was still wavering, undecided, and then I got a B&N gift card for my birthday. And I figured, why not? <g>  Within a few pages, I was hooked! I devoured the first six books (ECHO and MOHB hadn't yet been published) in only about five weeks, then immediately started over, and I have been in a more-or-less continual state of re-reading or re-listening to the books ever since.

HUGE thanks to Diana Gabaldon for creating this amazing story, and for her support and encouragement over the last few years!

* It took me a LONG time to learn otherwise. For those of you who don't know, Diana was born and raised in Arizona, and currently lives in Scottsdale, AZ.

** Mea culpa #1. This particular thought makes me want to go back in time and slap myself. <g>

*** Mea culpa #2. I would have been hooked several months earlier if I'd just bought the darn book the first time I saw it! <wry g>

#FranceNeedsOutlander Twitter party rescheduled for Dec. 7

OUTLANDER France announced today that the #FranceNeedsOutlander Twitter campaign, postponed due to the terrorist attacks in Paris, has been rescheduled for Monday, December 7.

As some of you may know, the OUTLANDER TV series is still not available in France. :-(

French fans have been waiting for a very long time for news about which TV channel will carry the series, but so far they've heard nothing. You can imagine how frustrating that is for them, when OUTLANDER is being broadcast all over the world, including in many parts of Europe. There will even be a French version available in Canada, starting in January 2016.  But in France itself....?  RIEN!

So the French fans have decided to hold a Twitter campaign to raise awareness and hopefully catch the attention of the TV network executives in France.

If you're on Twitter, please tag your tweets with #FranceNeedsOutlander on Monday, December 7, from 6-8pm France time (that's noon-2pm ET, 9am-11am PT, 5pm-7pm in the UK).

For more information, see the announcement here.

Please help spread the word to anyone you know who may be interested. Thanks!

Friday, November 20, 2015

OUTLANDER 12 Days of Christmas

Check this out!  I think it's hilarious.

OUTLANDER: 12 Days of Christmas

Thursday, November 19, 2015

What are you looking forward to in Season 2?

What are you most looking forward to seeing in Season 2 of the OUTLANDER TV series?

* * * S P O I L E R  W A R N I N G!! * * *

If you haven't yet read Diana Gabaldon's DRAGONFLY IN AMBER (Book 2 of the OUTLANDER series), you will find MAJOR SPOILERS below! Read at your own risk!









Which characters introduced in DRAGONFLY IN AMBER are you really excited about getting to see on TV?  For me, that list would include the young Lord John, Mother Hildegarde, Master Raymond, and Fergus.

Which scenes from DRAGONFLY are you looking forward to the most, and why?  Personally, I can't wait to see:
  • Jamie and Claire's reunion after the miscarriage
  • Jamie in the brothel with a "verra large sausage" <g>
  • The French court at Versailles -- I'm sure the costumes will be amazing!
  • The whole sequence involving the 16-year-old Lord John at Prestonpans
Of course there are scenes I'm dreading, too.  It's going to be really tough to say goodbye to Rupert, Murtagh, and Dougal at the end of Season 2.  And I'm 100% positive that the farewell scenes at Craigh na Dun will leave us in floods of tears -- but I don't want to think too much about that just yet!

What about the rest of you?  Which scenes, characters, locations, etc., are you looking forward to the most in Season 2, and why? Please leave a comment here or on my Outlandish Observations Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Davina Porter wins an award for MOHB!

Davina Porter has won a 2015 Voice Arts Award for her audiobook narration of Diana Gabaldon's WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD!

From the Recorded Books blog post announcing the winners:
Created by the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences as part of the That’s Voiceover! Conference, the Voice Arts Awards is an international competition showcasing the best work in professional voiceover acting, creative direction and communications for advertising, audiobook narration, movie trailers, video gaming, animation, television, radio and casting realms.
Congratulations, Davina!

The audiobook of WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD is available for download here. I highly recommend it, and all the other OUTLANDER audiobooks.

Monday, November 16, 2015

OUTLANDER Pop! Photography on Instagram

I'm sure many of you have seen the little Pop! Vinyl OUTLANDER figures from Funko.

I just discovered an Instagram account where a fan has been posting some very clever recreations of scenes from the OUTLANDER TV series, featuring the Pop! figures.

OUTLANDER Pop! Photography

Here, for example, is the scene from Episode 102 ("Castle Leoch") where Claire takes a basket of food out to Jamie in the stables.

You can see the whole collection here. Some of these photos are hilarious!