Post Kiltum Depression: The Winter of Her Discontent

Post Kiltum Depression: The Winter of Her Discontent

“But look, yon light in that window breaks—‘tis the moon on the arse of Jamie Fraser, and yer mother needs a moment alone.”
                                                                                                  –Himlet, Act 2

And so, the long grind of winter sets upon Outlander fans, blissfully filled with minor events such as “Thanksgiving”, and “Christmas” and “Boxing Day”, serving to fill their hearts with the business of celebration while Jamie Frasier endures a five month squat in a freezing window.

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I couldn’t be more thankful. Before I draw the ire of legions, allow to me explain.

I recently began listening to the Outlander novels while I run.  There are some obvious comments, such as — audio books bring an entire new experience to the story, they enrich my views of the characters, and Davina Porter has, by now, received my offer to narrate my life in live action.  “Terry was never discrete when selecting cheeses at the market,” intones the narrator, “but the Roquefort appealed to the very heart of his roguish nature.”  If she cashes the check, prepare to be wowed by my simplest actions.  She’s that good.

Unfortunately, Davina has captured the vile heart of Black Jack Randall, too, and that’s where the trouble starts, because her skill as a voice actress is interfering with my workout regimen.  I run for health purposes.  You know, maintaining the ole’ ticker and all that, but listening to Davina voice the predations of Black Jack leaves me alternately curling my hands in anger or standing, stock still, with hands on hips and a look of utter disgust on my face when I revisit what happened in Fort William.  Since I run in a family-friendly park, people tend to give me a wide berth while discreetly noting my description.  Male. Face like a bucket of worms. Hates someone named Jack. Could stand to lose a few pounds, but won’t if he just stands there. Davina is so skilled, I find myself wondering if anyone will have the courage to dress as Black Jack — the real Black Jack—for Halloween.

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Now, a note about courage.

Let us discuss actor (and apparently delightful human) Tobias Menzies: a man who actually attended high school with other people, graduated from college with an advanced degree, takes his craft seriously, likes dogs, and by all accounts, is a professional, charming, dedicated person to work with.  For all we know, this gentleman may end up curing cancer and settling Mars at some point, but I’d like to draw attention to the enormity of his decision to play Jack Randall.  Is it a tremendous career opportunity?  Of course. Will millions of women regard him. . . differently, now?

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Why yes, Tobias. Yes they will.

I’ll simply say that Tobias better cut his food into small bites for the remainder of his natural life, because if he chokes in public, every woman in the restaurant will encircle him like malevolent druids, chanting, “You like that, you wee bastard?  HAVE ANOTHER!” while kicking him into a pulp.  Tobias, as one man to another: dine at home, eat toast, and chew your food well.

I’ve found my interest drifting to casting issues for the upcoming episodes.  I love the periphery of Outlander; as a writer, the minor characters bolster a scene, as a reader they make it rich and detailed.  There are major considerations at stake with the casting of Brianna.  After all, this is the fruit of Jamie’s and Claire’s passions, and thus will be a critical addition to the experience.  It’s also an issue that has wildly divergent answers based on who you ask.  If you ask a female Outlander fan, the answer might be something like this:

“Oh.  My.  God.  She should be smart and funny and shy and a little bit uncertain at first, but then she totally falls in love with Roger but only after she realized how smart and sort of tough in a nerdy brilliant way, and you really have to use the line where she describes his green eyes as ‘groovy’.  She has to make you think about Sa- I mean, Jamie, and she should have the perfect accent but not to be too young because I don’t want anyone showing Cait up in set and I will never forgive them if they cast someone with the wrong color eyes”—

Ask an Outmander about casting Brianna, and this is what you get:

“A six foot redhead?  Sweet Jesus.  Yeah, that works.”

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You see, men like redheads like women like Jamie.  Exactly like that. The next one and a half seasons promise to be a win/win, as long as you can overlook the vampirism, sadism, creepy need for oily buggering, rampant death, destruction, use of cattle, broken bones, disease, famine, did I say death, and forced hugging while pleading for cooing about love.

But I’m not complaining. We’ve got redheads.

Until next time, friends.  Stop by my blog, check out my paranormal books, stalk me at will.  It’s been a pleasure.

Terry Maggert
http://www.terrymaggert.com/
The Fearless Series Urban Fantasy

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Thank you Terry for being a guest writer, and show us your Halloween costume…

 

 

What will you do now?

So we’ve come to a “break” or a “hiatus” as some call it, the proverbial period of time that the Outlander fans must wait from the moment Episode 8 “Both Sides Now” ended and we get to see Episode 9 “Jamie Stretches His Legs” on April 4, 2015.  Six months, 26 weeks, approximately 180 days, whatever you want to call it, its ages.

Some have called it a “break” and so I decided to look it up. The definition of “break” is just the disruption or separation of parts. All true and some fans may think that their innards have become disrupted over said break.  Reminds me of Geordie, RIP.

The term “hiatus” is also being used for the gap.  My first career was in the medical field, so every time I hear that term, my brain goes back to doing gastrointestinal studies looking for a hiatal hernia (an inguinal or umbilical hernia), or any other place one can develop a hernia; it’s a gap or an opening and my long term memory would rather not go there.  Never will the image of a male bilateral inguinal hernia be erased from my mind (think cantaloupe).

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Nope, I’m not calling it a hiatus (for obvious personal reasons).  What I will call the time between September 27th and April 4th is a “sabbatical.”  Why?  Because its use in academia suits my geeky scientific side rather well.  During a sabbatical, the person/persons take a break, but are still working on a product (in situ or another location).  We do know that Ron Moore and his entire team of cast and crew are not “taking a break” for six months. They are still working on the editing of Outlander and the beginning stages of bringing us Season 2: Dragonfly in Amber.  They are still working, but what are the bloggers going to do?  Dump writing about Outlander?  Nah.  Rewrite recaps?  Not me.  Diana has mentioned writing about what happens between the scenes we’ve seen on TV; I personally dig that idea.

We could all reread Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Drums of Autumn…you know where I’m going with this and notice I wrote “reread” rather than “read.”  The pre-STARZ fan base have read the books and probably more than once, myself included (most of them anyway).

What about all those new fans that just tuned into Outlander (the TV show) and now want to read the books?  They all know about Outlander, but what of the other books? Outlander is a great place to start and this is coming from someone who didn’t read Outlander first.  I picked up Dragonfly in Amber in a bookstore while in Ankara, Turkey – and it was in English.  Then when I was in Zurich (about two weeks later) at the train station on my way to Lugano, I found Voyager.  Score! I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.  That book was quickly devoured on the train ride through the Alps.  I returned to the US and immediately started combing the internet for Outlander because I could tell I was missing something (read as: Wentworth).  This was back in 1999.

Shame on me for not reading them in order, but my Outlander experience hasn’t suffered.  I’ve already completed one first-to-last reread in anticipation of the release of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, to include ALL the side stories.  I’m on my fifth read of Outlander now and completely enjoying (again) the nuances and feel of the story.

So where do new fans start?  While each book can stand on its own, there really is an order and sometimes it isn’t just the end of one book and the beginning of the next.  I’m not saying the new fans have to read them in order, but it’s helpful, and even Herself has recommended reading the “Big, Enormous Books” in order. If it were me and I’d just seen eight episodes of Outlander, seen and heard all the squawking about anything and everything, I’d pick up a copy of Virgins, which is a novella included in the anthology Dangerous Women, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

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It’s a short read, covering a span of time when Jamie is in France with Ian Murray (I think we’ll meet him when Outlander returns from sabbatical).  I can’t imagine there would be a spoiler in that, but I’m sure someone will come up with something.

Next I’d pick up a copy of The Exile, the graphic novel by Herself.

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Apparently for many fans, The Exile is a love/hate relationship.  I happen to reside on the love end of the spectrum.  Maybe because it’s a comic book, maybe because it’s told from Murtagh’s persective (Murtagh fan here!), maybe I don’t have a real reason why, but it’s a definite favorite of mine.

The Exile is a small book, comparatively speaking, but you need to pay attention to the characters as they look similar.  Read Chapter 1, then five pages of Chapter 2 and STOP.  Here is where you pick up Outlander and read it.  Since we already know she travels through the stones, read through that part and pick up The Exile again. You can then figure out where to stop and start on your own.

If you want to see Diana’s description regarding the chronology, click here.   I’ll be revisiting The Exile next week and one lucky fan will have the opportunity to win a copy in a contest that will be open to anyone.

So I ask you, what are you doing during the sabbatical?

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I chose this page because the, ah, nude character (not Jamie) is asking…”Now what do I do?” Unless someone spills the beans, find a copy of The Exile to find out.

Disclaimer: All views are expressly my own.  I’ve tried to separate the use of the TV series/fandom by not italicizing “Outlander” from reference to any of the books, which are italicized.  I do not know what Episode 9 is titled, I used that term because he will be, in our minds, crouching in the window for six months.