Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Yeah, you guessed it. I'm at the lake.
I smile alot here.

(Actually, totally unexpectedly, I ended up crying this evening. Sorry and thanks Heather. Yeesh. "Hey, wanna come to the cabin for night, it'll be fun. Waaaaa. Waaaaa." I'm such a loser sometimes.)

Other than that moment, it's been all smiles.
I love eating dinner on the deck.

And dinner tonight?
Something she made. "It's healthy," she warned/gushed.
Thank goodness it was also delicious.
(I was going to take pics, but my memory card is not compatible with my camera and I don't know how to make it better. I think they're heading for a divorce. Irreconcilable differences. And this is why I was crying. Not.)
Anyways, it had chick peas and ground turkey and pumpkin spice and curry and we ate it in lettuce wraps. Oh. And if you're wondering? We taste tested some local corn on the cob and it tasted like candy. Seriously.  So, so, SOOOO very good.

And then I ate 2 family-sized chocolate bars.
No I didn't.
I had some raspberries and cherries.
It just seemed like the right thing to do.

Anyway, that's not what I was going to blog about.

I wanted to blog about this:
The book, Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon is going to be made into a 16 part mini-series. Filming starts this fall in Scotland. You can read about it here.

If you are a Diana Gabaldon fan, this news is huge.
Outlander is the first book in an 8 book series. That first book came out in 1992; I've been a fan for 21 years. Jamie and Claire? Are real to me. I've loved them and their relationship since forever.

The only book readings I've ever been to are Diana's.
And the first time I went to the Surrey Writer's Conference? Was to see her.

I am thrilled for her. This is a big deal.

So. That said, it is JUST PLAIN FUN being a fan on her facebook page right now. Oh my goodness. They just cast Jamie and BOY HOWDY. Women have opinions. This poor young lad does not have a hot clue what kind of fan base Jamie has.

This is Sam Heughan,the actor who was cast as 22 year old Jamie:

When Diana posted this photo, along with these words, her facebook page exploded with comments and likes. 10,000 of them.

A few thoughts.

Do you, um, know what it is that an actor does?

No, really. Do you? They do what I do—they make magic happen. They do it with their faces and bodies, while I do it with words, but it’s essentially the same thing. They create something that wasn’t there before.

Granted, sometimes it helps if you have the rough physical outline for a particular role. MOST of a physical resemblance, though, is really not necessary, and for two reasons:

1) Physical appearance is _very_ mutable. Hair and eye color are so simple to change that I’m amazed anyone is carrying on about what color Mr. Heughan’s hair is. (For the record, he’s blond. Like any other actor, he dyes his hair as needed. It’s dark in these photos; it could be red within half an hour.)

2) Much more importantly—beyond very basic things like height and general build, physical aspects are just not that important, provided that an actor can act.

As one of the producers said to me—aboutt the auditioning process—“We were hoping that somebody would just walk in and be Jamie.”

OK. Now, I got the word about Sam Heughan (it’s pronounced HEW-en, btw, in case you were wondering. He’s Scottish, and it may well originally have been a Gaelic name) while I was driving to Santa Fe with my husband; they thought they’d found Jamie and were sending me the audition videos a little later. Well, naturally, I spent the next hour Googling “Sam Heughan” on my iPhone.

Now—I think this point may just possibly have escaped a few thousand of you, so let me restate it: Jamie is TWENTY-TWO in OUTLANDER, and a virgin. And as the producers do understand and respect the story very much, they wanted a guy who could believably be a twenty-two-year-old virgin. (Yes, I know half of you are thinking of him as he is in the later books and thus “see” him in his 50’s. That doesn’t mean the producers should cast someone in his late 40’s and ask him to play a 22-year-old virgin. Am I right? Yes, I am. Now that that's settled...)

So I’m lookin’ at some of Sam’s photos and sayin’ to my husband, “Yeah, I buy him as a virgin…but I think Claire’s going to get done for statutory rape!” You know, a bit apprehensive. He’s quite big, but a very chiseled face that makes him look a good bit younger than he is, at least in stills.

So anyway…we get to Santa Fe, let the dogs out, air the house, go have dinner… And then, I sit down at my computer, in a lather of trepidation and excitement, to watch the audition tapes.

First five seconds, I’m interested—he looks totally different than he did in any of the stills—and five seconds later, Sam Heughan’s GONE, and so am I. It’s Jamie Fraser, right there in front of me, moving, talking. One of the biggest thrills ever.

And that’s what actors do. Good ones. They can “be” someone else, totally.

Now, I saw him do two scenes: the confrontation between Jamie and Dougal, after Dougal exposes Jamie’s back in a tavern. Ferocious, explosive, a glimpse of the warrior. And he…freakin’ _exploded_.

And then…the scene in which Jamie explains to Claire exactly why he intends to punish her for disobeying his orders to stay hidden, thus nearly getting them all killed.

OK. This is arguably the most controversial scene in all the books. And I’m not about to go into the scene itself—not the point here. The point is that that’s one heck of a complex scene, emotionally, and could be read/performed in a lot of different ways. Now, I happen to know exactly how Jamie acted and spoke during that scene…and that’s…exactly what Sam did. Thoughtfulness, intimacy, fair-mindedness, annoyance, firmness—and quite a lot of humor. One of Jamie’s hallmarks is the ability to be threatening and funny at the same time—and Sam pulled that off.

So, yeah. I’ve watched those videos a couple dozen times, just to be sure I wasn’t imagining things. I wasn’t.

Now, —the necessary physical aspects are all there. Sam’s tall—my head would hit about the middle of his chest (he’s only an inch shorter than my husband)—and very well-built, in terms of what Jamie actually looks like. Tall, lean (not burly), rangy (not bulgy), broad-shouldered, muscular (but a young muscular. Young athletes look way different from gnarly middle-aged ones). Face…chiseled, striking—but looks different in every single role.

And the bottom line is simply this: He showed up and he WAS Jamie.

The biggest beef Diana's unimaginative readers had was 'Jamie is supposed to have red hair.'

So Sam, who must've been reading Diana's fan page, sent her this pic with this comment, "So you want red hair?:

Which of course just endeared him to everyone. Me included. He's just adorable.

The announcement of his part in the production was announced this afternoon and the number of followers he had on Twitter jumped by 3,000 in a few hours. His tweet:
I'm DELIGHTED to be bringing D Gabaldon's to life! Now need to find my "sassanach", she out there!?

Twitterdom may never be the same.

A photoshop savy fan manipulated the hairdo a tad more and presented this:

Oh Sam. You ARE Jamie. 
This may be your defining role. 
Diana's books have sold 20 million copies. Women have been drooling over Jamie for over 2 decades. Are you sure you want all this attention?

As I watched/read that all unfold today, it just had me smiling.
So much fun glimpsing behind the scenes drama in the entertainment industry.

In other news...

I walked into the bank today with a wheelbarrow overflowing with eleventy hundred gazillion pennies and was treated like royalty. Interesting experience. Last week I was almost maxed out on my credit line, this week I've got a financial advisor.

After he'd interviewed me to get a complete financial history and current living situation, he sat back in his chair and observed that I'm in a sweet spot. "So much freedom. No one is dependant on you? No debt? Not married? Healthy? Wow. You have so many options. You can do anything. Nothing is tying you down..."

He apparently doesn't get many clients like me.

I told him things were quite different last year, round this time. You never know what the future holds.
And everything could change for me again in 12 months. Who knows?


Have you seen this Dustin Hoffman clip?
Watch it, OK?


"If I was going to be a woman, I should be beautiful, of course."

And then the sad knowledge that, "There are so many interesting women that I have not had the experience of getting to know because I have been brainwashed ..."

I love this man.


OK. That's it for tonight.

Thanks for dropping by.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Easy friendships.
2. Wise friends.
3. Night sounds. Like crickets.


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