Heeeeeeeeer’s Bree!

It’s one of those days that I wonder if it’s worth the effort to be part of a ‘fandom’. So many good things can be going on which can be so quickly overshadowed by negativity. I once heard that it actually takes 10 positive comments to balance out 1 negative comment. Now, this was talking about individuals and self-esteem, but I imagine the formula holds pretty true. We as human beings tend to be very quick to latch onto the negative rather than embracing the positive.

Today, we were (finally) introduced to the very lovely young lady that will be playing Brianna Randall/Fraser. Almost immediately came the:

She has brown eyes! That’s impossible if both parents have blue! How could they DO this?! WAAAAA (it’s not actually but won’t get into that)

She is too short!  WAAAAAA

She’s a Brit so her accent will be all wrong!!! WAAAAA

She looks nothing like I pictured Brianna! I’m SO disappointed!!! WAAAAAA

 

You all get the picture.

Italian mother.png(BTW – for me it would be a German mamma – but the idea is the same and thank you to @CandidKathryn for this meme!)

A few points here. All the negative nellies get to have their say – it’s their RIGHT by god to disagree whenever and however they please. Ok….that means I get to have my say too.

First, The Outlander books are some of the very best I have EVER read! They catch you up and wrap you into the story and you can see it all in your head. The thing I really REALLY wish people would keep in mind is – we all see it differently. How I picture Jamie is how I picture Jamie (or Claire or Bree or pick a character). MY interpretation of the words DG has put together to create the Outlander universe. It will be different from anyone else’s vision because no one else in the world has my exact background. To me, Diana created this world so SHE has final say. She can’t be ‘wrong’ because for Outlander she is ‘god’. (NOTE!!! I am not being disrespectful or blasphemous here…note the use of the lower case ‘g’. I am merely saying that as this world’s creator, she is the just that).

 

Second, while Jamie and the other characters are very real to each of us in different ways and for different reasons THEY ARE FICTIONAL CHARACTERS. They don’t exist in the real world….hence….there is no one that is going to look exactly like them physically. This is just something everyone needs to except as fact. Might there have been some actors closer in physical likeness to the different characters – perhaps. Could the ‘team’ have found anyone better to embody these characters? Not bloody likely.

I remember the hub-bub when Sam was first cast. People literally flipping out because Sam looked NOTHING like their beloved Jaimie! There is no possible way this guy could pull it off and the whole thing was ruined without a second of film having been shot. Yet, look now and no one can imagine anyone else doing such a fantastic job. Still see gripes about hair color –   *sigh*

 

Third, so far the casting of Outlander has been SPOT ON. The actors may not look exactly as the characters were described in the book (please refer to the second point above) but they have embodied the essence of the characters and totally brought them to life! Since the ‘Team’ has done such a fabulous job so far getting the right actor for the right part, I’m going to trust them on this one too! Sophie Skelton is a lovely lass who has some solid credentials behind her. For a short time acting she has a lot of credits behind her already. She also has some smarts it seems like and is willing to jump into the Twitter fray as it were. Sam tweeted that she “SMASHED IT”…… that says to me that she fits right in and will do a stellar job as Brianna. Also, as a relative ‘unknown’ she doesn’t bring any baggage from previous work – or not much. The other cast members seem pretty excited about this choice – so I hope everyone settles back and doesn’t ruin it for themselves with their own expectations.

 

None of the actors are going to exactly match the physical characteristics of the characters because the characters are creations of an (extremely talented) author. This will only be a problem if you LET it be.

Not every scene/nuance/line that is critical to you from the book is going to be in the series. It just is not possible. You are not going to agree with how the ‘Team’ does everything, accept that. If you want to discuss what you would have liked to see done differently, that’s great – but show some respect for the process and the people who do this for a living. It often isn’t what is said that is the issue – it’s how it is presented.

 

I’m going to ask what I always do. Common sense and courtesy. To each other as fans, to Diana as the author, to the actors busting ass to bring you the best show they can, to Ron and the ‘Team’ who are working hard behind the camera to do the same. Discuss – don’t malign. To others like me that are really enjoying the show – please say so! Don’t try to silence others opinions, give some balance out there on social media! Thank all involved for their hard work and dedication. They may be ‘celebrities’ – but they are still people with feelings that appreciate a sincere compliment/thank you as much as anyone else!

I’m tickled to say that, while I’ve been writing this and doing some other things, I’ve kept a watch on Twitter and FB and as things have progressed the positive comments are starting to balance the negative! This is great! I so hope the trend continues because, as I said above, it’s a 10-1 ratio for balance.

 

Let’s give the newest member of the family a warm welcome and trust that she is exactly right to bring this character to life for the series.

 

 

THANK YOU STARZ

Note to STARZ

 

First – I apologize. This is long again but it’s what I felt I needed to say.

 

I have made no secret of my thoughts about this show and the fandom surrounding it. Most of my blog posts have been observations about the Outlander fandom as it is the first and pretty much only fandom I’m really involved with. This fandom can and does do EPIC shit! The money that has been raised for extremely worthy charities, the hundreds of people that have gotten healthier thanks not only to Sam and his Peak Challenge in conjunction with Bear Strength – but the care and support of the fans for each other to strive to reach their fitness goals, support each other in times of trial, rejoice with each other in triumph. This is an amazing group of people and I feel blessed to be part of it – most of the time.

There is, however, a disturbing trend in this group to whine. Nothing, it seems, is ever quite good enough and simply must be complained about. When all this started – everyone was SO excited to just be finally getting it on the screen…..but then….Sam looked nothing like Jamie, Caitriona was too skinny, wrong eyes, Duncan should have hair, those are not the proper knits for the time period and on and on and on. I think for the most part people have settled with those early decisions and have moved on to other ‘issues’.

There is still a lot of ‘discussion’ _ahem_ about all that was done ‘wrong’ in Season 1 – even though all the complaining in the world won’t change it. I have suggested several times that people start discussions about Voyager – aka Season 3 – as that is not set yet. No one seems interested in this idea which is too bad, but if the value of expressing what the fans WANT to see in season 3 before it’s set can’t be grasped I’m not going to waste my time or energy trying to make people ‘get it’.

Today I saw slams against STARZ PR – they aren’t doing enough to promote the show. Over the last few months there have been load of complaints that WE (meaning Outlander) isn’t getting enough attention/press/episodes/hype/or giving the fans enough pictures or information.

Sorry, but I have to stand up and say STOP!

First, STARZ PR has been AWESOME to the fans of Outlander and, like it or not, OL is not their only popular show. All the giveaways they did in December weren’t for the fans?!. I happened to win a set of the posters. I was expecting little 8X10 promotional pictures and would have been perfectly happy with that but…..NO….these are full theatre size, high quality, absolutely awesome posters! Signed by Tobias, Catriona and Sam as appropriate.

STARZ PR got the show spotlighted at Comic Con and the PaleyFest when the show was barely going – amazing! The premiers that they have done are way above and beyond what they have done for other shows and we, as fans, have a lot of access to both the team and the stars. They did THREE premiers for the second half of the first season: LA, New York and the UK. That’s huge and bloody expensive I’m sure. No, not all fans can get to these events, but this is way more than what fans for other shows get.

Doing a bit of research, I picked five other STARZ shows and looked them up. These are shows that even I have heard about and they seem to be fairly popular. Here is what I found.

DaVinci’s Demons: Season 1 had 8 episodes / S2 = 10 Eps / S3 = 10 Eps

Ash vs Evil Dead: S1 = 10 Eps / S2 = 10 Eps

Survivor’s Remorse: S1 = 6 Eps / S2 = 10 Eps / S3 = 3 Eps?!

Torchwood: S1 = 13 Eps / S2 = 13 Eps / S3 = 5 Eps / S4 = 10 Eps (older series)

Black Sails: another favorite of mine and a fairly popular show that doesn’t get anywhere near the PR shine that OL does from what I’ve seen: S1 = 8 Eps / S2 = 10 Eps / S3 =10 Eps

So, realistically in comparison…for its very first, untried season Outlander was given two seasons worth of episodes! Other series get 10 episodes for their second season and OL / the fans got 13! Yet all the fans seem to do is complain that we are getting ripped off! I’m sure that is not how everyone feels, but this is the opinion that seems to be the most vocal – I’m really hoping the positive feelings will be expressed more prominently as time goes on.

STARZ put together an amazing team. Ron Moore has been in this business a long time and is very successful in it. So are the members of his team. They have a vision and know way better than we do the constraints they have to work under to bring in a good show under a contract. We as fans are NOT THERE. We don’t sit in on all the meetings with the accountants and suits and have to please both the fans and the guys that sign the checks. My perspectives are different and while I may not LIKE the way some specific thing was done – I can appreciate the difference in vision and wait to see where it goes. I trust them to do what is right for the series to make it a long-term deal. I’m not qualified to judge or make comments about Ron’s job because I have never done anything close to it! Same for Matt Roberts and the exceptional team of writers, Bear McCreary with his haunting/beautiful music and Jon Gary Steele and all those other marvelous people that give us such a fabulous show – including the PR staff!

I have acted a little and done some production work. I have done some costume work and I am in absolute awe of Terry Dresbach! If I could afford the trip I’d go work for her for free for a season just to learn a tiny bit of what she knows. None of this ‘experience’ makes me even remotely qualified to judge what any of these people do and have done on a daily basis for years. There is no way I would have the temerity to say they are ‘wrong’ about any decision they make for this or any other show they work on.

I’m sure I have a few people fairly steamed right now so let me qualify and clarify. No one is going to ‘like’ every single thing done on the OL show. (ah…I imagine that includes the people working on it). There is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing that opinion and why you would have liked to have seen something different. I encourage this – I always have. What I don’t like and wish people would stop doing is judging something they are not qualified to judge (i.e. STARZ PR is not capitalizing on the GG buzz enough, wasting opportunities…etc) and doing it in such a way as to be all negative. Unless you WORK or have worked in a particular field – you simply do not have enough information to ‘judge’ it. We as civilians to that have no idea what all STARZ is doing to promote the show – I’m pretty sure it isn’t all just what you see as an ad on TV/cable. This is true of any aspect of production.

STARZ has been really great to the fans of Outlander – in my opinion. Yes I won the posters which is cool but it is very unusual for me to win stuff. They have done lots of giveaways, lots of promotion, lots of ‘fan events’ – so many things that other shows aren’t getting and yet what I see most often is negative thrown at them. Why should they keep doing all they do if all they get is crap in return.

There is an idea being generated right now about kindness. Being kind to each other as fans; being kind to the actors to that work so hard to bring these characters to life; being kind to all the production team that does so much to make OL the great show that it is. Let’s include STARZ in that and be kind and grateful for all they have given us.

There is an old saying that you get more flies with honey than vinegar. People are perfectly within their rights to express disappointment with something – but it can still be done in a positive way. I hope more and more fans start expressing, loudly, all that we like and appreciate about this great show and the marvelous people that get it on the screen for us.

A final tidbit to mull over. If the loudest expressions about the show on social media are negative (this was wrong, that was wrong, hated this or that, Ron/writers/STARZ is ruining the story, etc.) why would anyone checking the show out want to watch it? I encourage all fans to start tweeting, facebooking, tumblering (whatever your preferred SM platform is) all the stuff you love about the show. Counter a negative/judgmental comment with something positive. DO NOT attack the person! DO NOT attack the opinion – simply balance it with something positive.

 

 

 

Kindness: Let it be the coin of the realm

A question popped up on an OL FB page today that, again, got me to thinking. It was a question that has been asked and answered many times and some opinions won’t change no matter what. Some people who answered were obviously frustrated and got a little snippy. This particular issue, and several others, can be huge points of contention within certain factions of the fandom. That is too bad but not really what I wanted to address.

The person that asked the question was new to the fandom and had no idea the hornets’ nest that particular question can bring on. While many of the ‘book people’ have been around for 20+ years, and many ‘series people’ have been around for a couple of years – many more may be brand new and don’t know all the idiosyncrasies of this particular fandom. Impossible you say? Not so much.

Everyday someone new gets cable and maybe splurges on the premium channels so now has access to STARZ. They stumble upon Outlander, watch it and are hooked on the show without ever knowing before that moment it existed. They go hunting for other fans to share their glee with on social media.

A current die-hard fan finally convinces (pick any possible relationship) to give the show and/or books a try. Brand new fan. No idea the politics the fandom has going.

We all just came off a MAJOR award weekend. While it was disappointing that OL didn’t win any of the awards nominated for, but it was a huge boost in visibility. Caitriona, Sam and Tobias were SEEN and recognized. The show was talked about and promoted. I saw comment after comment on twitter the day after the awards saying ‘oh I hadn’t heard of that show (mostly Mozart in the Jungle?), I must check it out!’….so doesn’t it stand to reason people will be saying the same thing of Outlander?

All of us have to admit that there has been some pretty – harsh stuff – going around the fandom at various times. We are all unique people with our own visions and ideas – which means we aren’t all going to agree on things all the time. Discussion about differences in the show compared to the book compared to our own ideas of how we envisioned them is wonderful! Various facets of the same thing. What I am really hoping for as we prepare for S2 is that we can discuss these ideas without getting nasty with each other. No bigger turn-off to a new fan than infighting.

being Kind 2

I keep repeating it – Courtesy and Common Sense. I repeat it for myself as much as anyone else because I too get frustrated and angry and say things I shouldn’t. Please let’s be kind to each other! Let’s respect each other and differing points of view. We don’t have to agree with each other to respect each other, we just have to be willing to listen to other POV’s. We don’t have to agree with them, but if each of us expects our POV to be listened to and acknowledged, then each of us needs to do the same in return.

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I know for a fact we have lost at least a few ‘fans’ over infighting and nastiness. I myself have dumped out of groups and walked away from SM for a time, and I wasn’t even around the really bad nastiness.

If a quote from a cute rabbit won’t make you think twice:

“If you can’t say something nice – don’t say nuthin’ at all”

How about a request from a truly gracious lady and our living Lady of Lallybroch:

Kindness from Cait

Outlander Season 2 – Some Thoughts

This popped up on Twitter

Season 2 tweet

I responded easily, but it got me to thinking, which means I needed to write so you can blame this one on Jen!

 

What am I most excited for in regard to Season 2? The experience – all of it.

Will “The Team” (meaning Ron and the writers and anyone with a hand in putting this show on the air) follow the book exactly? Of course not. It simply isn’t possible to cram DiA into less than 13 hours of television. Will “The Team” put out a good series that uses DiA as its base and guide? Yes I believe so. Will I like every single thing that they do? Probably not – but that is a personal preference not a slight on their decisions for the show.

I look at it this way. Season 3 of Black Sails starts in a short time. I’m very excited about that! I have back story and a ‘relationship’ with these characters now, but rather than locking myself into an idea of where the story ‘should’ go in my opinion, I want to just jump in, go for the ride and let the story take me where it will. Same with The 100 (which I found thanks to one of our votes BTW).

It’s a bit more difficult with Outlander because we DO have the story already. Diana did a fabulous job with DiA and it is many people’s favorite book in the series. I loved it once I got over the WTF moment of how the book opened. I don’t, however, want my love of the book Diana wrote to diminish my enjoyment of the series. I purposely have not read the books since MOBY came out. I remember the story and where it goes but not every tiny detail, so have been able to enjoy the series for itself. Have I liked everything done in the series? No. But I don’t like every detail of the other two I mentioned or any other series I’ve gotten involved in over my lifetime.  As the story progresses I usually find that there was a purpose for that thing I didn’t like and it all works out. Just my observation and I trust “The Team” to make this a great series – not a word for word/scene for scene copy of the books.

Beth Wesson did a great blog about ‘New Beginnings’ – (Click the link).

That covers a lot of what I wanted to say and she has such a great way of writing!

 

The series has given me some new perspectives on this story that I love. Sam & Caitriona may not be exactly what I had physically pictured in my head for Jamie and Claire, but they, by virtue of being living breathing people, have given a new depth to those characters. I don’t know if I’ll picture them when I go back to read the books again – more their expressions I think. The actors captured the essence of the characters for me, which is far more important than their physical characteristics. When I do go back and read, I’ll see the story with fresh eyes and new perspective because I have interacted with so many fans and seen “The Teams” vision as it unfolded onto the screen. I can only ever comment on my perspective. Mine isn’t right or wrong, only mine.

The only absolute authority on the world of Outlander is the author. Diana Gabaldon has written a rich, complex world layered with real history. She can’t be ‘wrong’ about something she wrote because it is her creation. It lives in her head. We each bring to our reading or viewing our own history, experience and ideas. We each view it differently because of that – but ultimately it is an individual perception not necessarily what the author had in mind. Sharing those different ideas is awesome and lends a varied perspective for another to consider – but doesn’t make any one of us more ‘right’ than any other.

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So, I am looking forward to embracing the experience of Outlander Season Two in all its glory. The sets, the costumes, the intrigue, the love and yes, even what might be seen a major deviations from ‘the book’. I don’t care. It’s going to be a hell of a ride with stellar acting, a marvelous story and all those wonderful details that make this such a great show!

SM – Love to Hate It

First of all – a note to all my followers on Twitter. Thank you. I’m humbled. I never expected to HAVE followers at all so this is pretty cool. I appreciate you – I truly do. What I want to do here is explain my ‘take’ on Social Media and how I deal with it. If I haven’t followed you back, this blog should explain why. I’m not trying to be snooty or anything – just keep my sanity! LOL

Second – in this blog I am talking about ME. How I feel about SM, my thoughts and ideas. You don’t have to agree with me and I’m not trying to point fingers at anyone. I am giving my opinion about what I see on social media. If you take it personally – that is your problem not mine.  Many of you probably won’t care about any of this – that’s ok. This is just my perspective on SM, take what you can use and leave the rest.

 

For any that have been around my blog, you know my mantra. Here it is again because it is what I try to live by. I screw up, get angry, post things I shouldn’t – but mostly, this is what I believe and work to consistently practice.

Courtesy

 

I mainly inhabit Twitter. I have found it the easiest for me to deal with. I like that you have to be short and concise. However, that does make it easy to misinterpret things – so I’m working at not doing snap responses.

When I first got on Facebook I had the horrible experience of it taking me 4 hours just to set up my basic account – and I’ve never quite recovered from that. I am on it and participate in several groups….but it isn’t my favorite.

Tumbler I actively avoid – 99% of what people have wanted me to look at has been some vile rant and I just don’t need that sort of thing. Instagram, I’ve never joined or really figured out – same with Reddit. Nothing wrong with the platforms, but I spend too much time on SM as it is and don’t need other platforms to add to that.

What I chose early on with Twitter was to be very selective with who I followed. I didn’t fall into the whole ‘you follow me I’ll follow you’ idea. That’s is fine if you want to do that – I just chose not to. Two reasons for this: It’s not really honest to just follow someone for the sake of following them – you should follow them because you really want to and feel it will add to your experience. The other is simply time. I can already – easily – sit with my coffee for a couple of hours in the morning catching up with Twitter/Facebook/Email. If I had MORE on my TL….yikes. I’m not as disciplined as I need to be to walk away from it and get back to writing! Working on that. Also, I already see a lot of the OL stuff multiple times due to who I follow, I don’t need even more. I have picked up though that – not everyone follows everyone so RT’s and such ARE important. Some of my follows may NOT see something unless I RT so – I do.

 

I follow accounts for a specific purpose. Some people I have followed I have later unfollowed. Their politics or style of Tweeting just wasn’t a good fit for me. Not to say anything bad about the other person or account – it just wasn’t a good fit for me. If someone interacts with me and I get interested I follow. I have some celebs I follow and *GASP* they are NOT all Outlander related.  I try to avoid too much political stuff on my feed. I have very strong beliefs and get passionate about defending it – but I don’t want to do that so much on Twitter. Politics can so easily ruin an otherwise very cordial relationship and that isn’t how I want my SM interaction to be.

 

I’m learning to block people. I’ve done that very little, but a few have just been so negative about something I simply didn’t want to see it or have to deal with them. I get on Twitter to have a bit of fun and pick up information. I had one person that I hugely respect and like a LOT that I muted. She just was all gung-ho promoting a show I don’t really care for/know about and it gotten so about every 3rd tweet on my TL was about that and I got tired of it. I can keep track of what she is up to over on FB so it’s all good. Nothing against her or the show – it’s popular and that’s fine – I just didn’t want that to be the majority of my TL.

My other challenge is that I live on a boat. This is awesome and cool for the most part – BUT – I don’t have access to Wi-Fi in this port. (If you want to learn more about the boat – here is our website for that www.gratefulaire.com ). That means my internet connection is through my phone using it as a wireless hotspot. It’s not very reliable as we have hills all around us so sometimes the signal is crap – and it can get VERY expensive if I don’t watch data usage. I can’t watch all the great video clips and live stream stuff (like the interview Sam & Cait just did)  I have to collect links and URL’s and wait till I can get into town (when the other half isn’t working and I have transport) to Wi-Fi.

I need to work on my own time management skills and be willing to shut SM down and ‘miss’ some information or interactions to focus on more important things. This is especially true when stuff is going happening on SM and particularly within the fandom I don’t care for. I’ve already written a blog about that so won’t get into it again (see Pages section). I picked up another gem the other day (Thanks Wildcat!!) – I’m finding it very helpful. Repeating this to myself has likely saved me a lot of grief in the last 24 hours because I have deleted comments I started.

minion 2

 

Everyone has an opinion – I’ve never denied that. I just really wish some people would learn to use their words better; not feel the need to demean themselves and others by cussing every other word through a comment and be purposely mean, snotty and vulgar to people just to – it seems – start a social media shit storm. I love discussion and getting other POV’s – everyone has different experiences and history so gets a different perspective on things. I learn by trying to understand another’s POV – but attacking and abusive attitude is not productive in any way.

 

So there it is. Probably boring but it’s just a little piece of me to share. Honestly – there are some days I disconnect on purpose and, while I miss the interaction with my internet ‘friends’ I get a lot more  done and don’t tend to be so stressed. Love to hate it.