Droughtlander 2019

I’ve said before I hate that particular term…it’s so negative. Maybe something like “OutPause” would be better…I don’t know. Honestly, with the way things have gone in life this last week, I think the whole idea is pretty silly.

I’m relatively new to the Outlander universe. A teen maybe. I didn’t discover the books until 2009 while working for St. Vincent DePaul in Oregon running the book department. Being everything we got in was donated, some really interesting things would come through the store: that could be a whole post by itself and if anyone expresses interest maybe I’ll write it. To properly shelve the books, I read lots of jackets to understand where to put the books. I’ve always had a thing for Scotland (maybe I lived there in a former life) so reading the jacket for Outlander intrigued me and I bought that book for myself to take home. Ah yeah….where things went from there! LOL

I’m not as invested in the books as the readers who have been with the series from the beginning might be (time in, all that early fandom stuff with Diana, etc.) but I have read the books through several times each and find them in turns soothing, motivating, enlightening, entertaining and engrossing. I was quite excited to hear about the series and especially Ron Moore as we were both big BSG fans and knew Ron had a unique talent with shows.

I am one of those people that decided early on to not stress differences between the books and the series. Diana said up front to “put the books DOWN” and take the series as its own unique entity. I took that advice to heart and have not regretted it. While there have been some things I didn’t like (true of ANY series I have EVER watched) and some disappointments with moments from the books that didn’t make it on-screen for whatever reason, I have never been so upset/stressed about it as to flip out and go on SM rampages. I’m sure I’ve covered this in MANY other posts so won’t repeat myself – go look if you like – I’ll wait.

Back? Ok – so here is another beef. This whole ‘Droughtlander’ mentality. It makes me mental. I mean, yes, the show is off the air till next season. For all the ‘fans’ (using that term VERY loosely) that spent the last six months bitching about how much the show is pissing them off, they should be happy. I mean, they can focus on other stuff now – but they don’t seem to be.

For all involved that seem to think this is such a horrible ordeal as to have come up with the name ‘Droughtlander’ in the first place I beg you – get a life.

Diana’s books are awesome and the show is great – but there are other authors and other shows to find and explore and fall in love with. There are other terrific actors and artists out there that need support just as much as Sam and MPC and all the great charities the Outlander stars support. Check out a new genre you may not have explored before and you might be amazed at what you find.

Inspiring

For some, and even better suggestion is to take this love of Outlander / Scotland / historical time frame / ??? / all of the above and turn it into a creative passion. Volunteer at a local museum or historical re-enactment place. Turn this passion into a hobby and/or a creative craft that you can enjoy and maybe make some money with. Find a unique thing that you are passionate about and put it to use. Right off hand we have several people who craft jewelry, knitters/crocheters, cross-stitchers, bakers, writers, artists…I mean…just about anything can incorporate elements of your favorite books/shows/movies.

Even a couple of the Outlander ‘stars’ are busy with ‘other’ expressions besides their acting. Aside from acting projects outside of Outlander, Sam has MPC going and Richard Rankin is showing his photos at a gallery in NYC! How exciting is THAT!

It’s so very easy to criticize and critique something – go out and do your own ‘art’ in whatever form to find out

  1. a) it’s not so easy
  2. b) what you find a beautiful, near perfect expression others will hate
  3. c) not matter how good your creative endeavor is, there will be those that have never done anything like it that will tell you how you should have done it to make it better or more something THEY would like and
  4. d) there is more to life than any one passion

 

All this may seem like a bit of a harsh/angry post…and I guess it is. I had an incident a few days ago that reminded me, very poignantly, just how brief and precious and beautiful life can be. That, while books/TV/movies are wonderful and great escapes – they are NOT ‘life’ in all it’s messy, wonderful moments. That sometimes no matter how hard you try – you just can’t fix something. Honestly, my heart is bruised and seeing so much angst over a TV series just irritates.

Love some of the fun, positive stuff fans are doing to keep the show ‘alive’ while it’s on hiatus…but I would also love to see some of the things they are passionate about besides Outlander. Perhaps, by sharing other likes/loves/interests/passions they will introduce people to something new that they too can explore and enjoy.

Peace

 

 

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Outlander’s “Fans of Worth”

As a follow-up to my last post, I wanted to go positive. My last post was a backhanded slam at people I think are being very poor fans of Outlander. They frustrate me and, honestly make me pretty angry when they claim to be the ‘supportive fans’ yet attack, bash, bitch, whine and moan.

This time, I want to call out a dozen Twitter accounts that, to me, embody the idea of ‘Fans of Worth’. I grabbed pics from these account’s Twitter feeds, Facebook pages or web pages just as examples of what they have to offer. No copyright infringement intended.

@purpleiris13 & @SummerPic – the ‘POP’ twins….these two ladies take a unique skill and give us wonderful memes and little videos about Outlander and the people connected to the show. They just did a couple for Valentine’s Day that are GREAT! (I also just got ‘popped’ and I LOVE it!)

OL Fans of Worth 1

@RRankinFans / The Rank and File – this group pre-dates Outlander – they are fans of Richard Rankin first, last and always. What makes them Fans of Worth for Outlander (again IMHO) is how they actively support the entire cast, not just their favorite. They vote, promote and love on Sophie, Caitriona and Sam as much as Richard.

@LaughOutLander – The memes this lady puts out are just epic. They are fun, sarcastic, funny, and sometimes just a wee bit twisted. With all the crap going on in the world (and the fandom) it’s good to laugh at the show and ourselves and perhaps the obsession we find ourselves living with.

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@mymtbrain – always on top of/promoting voting without pushing or being obnoxious about it. Lots of RT’s for people to help them spread their messages and kind words for the fandom. Just always ‘there’ and positive for the show and the people and the fans.

@sqrlb8 (Beth) – As someone who does cross stitch myself, I really appreciate Beth’s contribution to the fandom. Not only does she take our favorite subjects and spend hours creating her works of art, she donates all that time and cost in materials to raise money for the charities our stars support.

OL Fans of Worth 3

@outlanderpod – I have had the supreme pleasure of hanging with Summer & Ginger at a particularly fun event. It’s been a couple of years ago now, but it is a favorite Outlander memory – for Kyle too. These gals have gone from ‘just fans’ to serious podcast journalists that cover Outlander with great panache. Plus, they are just kick-ass ladies who are fun to hear/be around.

@A_Badassunicorn – Mika is another fan that turned a hobby into a way to support charities that people on the show promote. She raised gobs of money for Bloodwise and Cahonas Scotland and World Child Cancer early on, and has expanded to supporting other worthy charities with her beautiful crocheted items. You can find her items on FB here CANCER CROCHET

OL Fans of Worth 4

@pixietwit – We have many fantastic writers in the Outlander fandom that do great recaps and insights on the show, the books and the people. Beth just happens to be one I really enjoy both in her take on things and how she writes them. You can find her work here My Outlander Blog

@OutLandAnatomy – This is another fan that added something unique to the fandom by combining their own knowledge with Outlander. Putting together great pictures/screenshots of the actors and knowledge of anatomy, the rest of us get these wonderful lessons about the human body. Detailed posts about the pictures tweeted on the OUTLANDER ANATOMY website.

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@OutlanderAmbass – This account just seems to cover everything. Their mission is to ‘promote all things Outlander’ in a ‘consistency positive light’. This is how the account has always come across to me, very positive and encompassing of ALL the fandom.

@OutlanderOnline – This account is marvelous for capturing so much! Screenshots, promotional shots, info from STARZ – just everything – and having it in ONE place! I also love that you can sign up for the emails and it all comes to your inbox. I have a special folder that everything goes into so I can find things if I want! It’s great!

This is by no means an exhaustive list! We have many, many ‘Fans of Worth’ in the Outlander fandom (I used to call it Clandom – but that never seemed to take).

My suggestion, pick your own ‘Fans of Worth’ and give them a shout out on social media. There may be some newer fans don’t know about or that they just haven’t found yet. Some may not feel like they contribute much and a ‘shout out’ might give them a big boost. Expand this idea to other shows/fandoms. Spread the love!

We often promote the actors and people working on the show, maybe during the off season (ok ok Droughtlander – hate that term personally) we can promote the fans…the regular people that are the audience that keep the show on the air.

So get on social media and give shout outs to YOUR favorites – promote these “Fans of Worth” so others can find them. Suggested hashtag? #OLFansOfWorth  – or something appropriate to other fandoms.

Peace

Fan of Worth

This is something I strive to achieve. Because I am human and flawed I often fall short, but this is my goal, not just as a fan but as a person.

I put this meme out periodically on Twitter. I do it as a way to hold myself publicly accountable – and as something others might see and want to embrace for themselves. I’ll add it here for reference. 

wolf message-ME

 I had to wait this week or so after the Outlander Season 4 Finale to cool off enough to write without attacking specific people. That isn’t how I like to roll. I may attack specific actions or practices (like RL shipping, personal attacks, bashing rather than giving honest critique/expressing frustration or disappointment). I’ll point out my concerns/irritations with actions and figure if the shoe fits, people will know without me pointing fingers at specific people. I usually work to point out practices or actions that I find disturbing and figure people can make their own determinations.

I sometimes long to go back to the early days of the fandom. I vividly remember the early voting when the sites had comments; how the Outlander fans were appalled with the attitudes and comments from other fandoms. The infighting over different ‘stars’ on the same show. We simply couldn’t understand how, if someone was a fan of a specific show, these ‘fans’ could speak in such an ugly fashion about it or the people involved with it. How many of us Outlander fans were completely turned off to another show due to the toxicity of the fans? I’ll never watch Dr. Who because of how nasty the fans were – and I/we quit watching The 100. The show was fine, but the vile, nasty, threatening social media spewing of the fandom totally ruined the show for me as a whole. I couldn’t enjoy the show (which I liked) because of how invasive the fandoms nastiness was. It seems a bunch of the Outlander fans have joined that club.

As I have said, I have no problem at all with disappointment, frustration or even anger with the show. It’s valid. Some people are feeling those things and that is ok. Now, just so we are all on the same page – here are MY definitions for you going forward in this post and any future posts I may do.

Personal attacks: Any name calling or denigration of a person. i.e. calling someone an idiot, maligning their acting skills (this is your personal opinion – please phrase it that way) anything making fun of or being nasty about their looks/physical appearance. Trying to get someone fired – etc. Instead of saying “x is a HORRIBLE actor/actress– she/he should never have been hired! What the f*ck were they thinking?!” Try “that actress/actor just doesn’t appeal to me in this role or they just aren’t making it believable for ME”. (Because I promise other people have no problems with that persons acting).

Bashing: “So glad this utter joke of a season is over! Horrible”

         “The writers are total idiots that have no clue what they are doing. They have totally RUINED this perfect story.”

        “I GET that it’s an adaptation, but these stupid people have destroyed what should be an easy thing to film! It’s all right there, all they have to do is USE it!”

BIG BIG BIG difference between explaining, with grown up words and language, WHY you are disappointed/frustrated/angry than just bashing the show.

Bitching/whining: “Why won’t these EXPLETIVE people EXPETIVE listen to us?! WE are the fans! We EXPLETIVE make this EXPLETIVE show happen! If not for us, there would BE no EXPLETIVE show! These EXPLETIVE morons better start paying attention or they will be sorry!”

Here is a blog that does everything right. The writer is sad, frustrated, disappointed and angry. She expresses herself well and really explains, without attacks, bashing, whining or bad language WHY she is feeling all those negative things. All the comments I read were equally articulate and respectful – while still making it plain these were NOT happy people. This was one of the few times I really got a good handle on where these people are coming from because I wasn’t rolling my eyes every ten seconds. This was a wonderful post and, while I’m sorry so many are frustrated, I applaud them for really making me think through what they were saying.

You Broke My Heart, Fredo: The Un-Making of Outlander

Please read this! While people reading this will see a lot of negative (anger/frustration/disappointment) it is all stated in ways that clearly show these are personal opinions only and others can and do LIKE the show just fine. It wouldn’t instantly turn someone off that may have just been looking to check the show out and maybe give it a chance.

I saw these two tweets right after the finale – but didn’t answer them there. I was angry at the attitude and it would have only intensified any exchange. I don’t want to fight with people, I (and many others) are just fed up with the personal attacks, bashing/bitching and whining.

Fan of worth blog

YES! Please stop watching – or at least stop with the nastiness. If you want to actually make some progress towards being heard, there is an old adage: You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Being nasty and vulgar just shuts people off – they won’t hear you. So YES…stop watching if all you can do is bitch. Watch or not, but stop bitching. Losing people with this mentality as viewers won’t be any worse than the possible viewers that may actually like/enjoy the show being run off by the nasty/toxic spewing.

Here is how I see it.

The show is what it is and it is not going to change. The writers/producers have their path and it is not likely to suddenly shift directions just because some whiny brats want it to. This leaves fans with a few choices:

Stop watching. Simple, easy, save money, don’t waste time/energy on something that so clearly bothers you. Also means you stop commenting. Outlander isn’t a show for you so move on to something else and let the people that like it – enjoy it in peace.

Watch – understanding this is what the show is. If you choose to keep watching with this understanding – that it is not/never will be YOUR vision of it – stop bitching about it. Discuss it, EXPLAIN why you are angry/frustrated/disappointed, but PLEASE stop attacking/bashing/bitching/whining. Many fans DO enjoy the show, love the actors and are interested in the differences between the books the series and I’ve seen comments from many of them that the nastiness is turning them off the fandom.

There are a few people I really like/respect on Twitter & Facebook that are engaging in this just nasty commentary – which I find very sad and out of character. ALL fans opinions are valid – but if you are THAT unhappy with the show, why keep watching?

WHY KEEP WATCHING

Sometimes it seems these people watch so they HAVE something they can bitch about, which is annoying to other fans and turns off potential viewers.

I encourage all to be a “FAN OF WORTH” – be it for Outlander or anything else.

 

 

Drama and Politics

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*BIG SIGH*

As a general rule, I refrain from commenting about politics on social media for a couple of reasons. One, there are many people I enjoy interacting with that do not hold the same political ideas that I do. Politics are a f*cked up deal and I don’t want them dictating my personal interactions. Second, on Twitter especially (even with the increase in characters) it is difficult to have a really decent discussion about something as layered and nuanced as politics are. Just for example…I am pro-choice AND pro-life. Yeah, try to explain that easily on any social media platform where you don’t have tone, body language and other markers to help give and get the message.

Every person has an opinion, a belief system, things that are of vast importance to them and it is their right to express those thoughts and ideas. Social media has been a mecca for people all over the world to do just that. Yes…that includes celebrities. Actors and other ‘names’ are still just people with things that are important to them and the right, like everyone else, to express their ideas and opinions.

It can be very difficult when someone is a ‘fan’ to have that ‘celebrity’ espousing things they are dead set against. The current political climate is just nasty and having a celebrity you have long enjoyed and supported be on the opposing side can be frustrating. You don’t want to hear their political agenda, you want to hear about their current project or their great new character or nifty little tidbits about their personal life. There has been a lot of ‘hate’ in the last year on this subject, and it came up again pretty strongly in the last 24 hours.

Celebrities have every right to post, discuss, and support what is important to them – just like their fans do. If a favorite celebrity is on the other side of politics from you, there are a couple of options. 1) Just scroll past their posts about politics – don’t engage. 2) Stop following them on social media. If it is going to bug you that much, don’t put yourself through it. 3) Mute them when they are talking politics so you don’t have to see it. No one talks politics all the time and that might be an easy fix. 4) Try engaging them in a respectful conversation about your differences of opinion. Telling them to shut up, just do your job or calling names – never appropriate. It just isn’t. Have a little class and respect yourself enough not to look like a loon.

I completely support any celebrity that wants to post their feelings/ideas/political thoughts on social media – they, however, need to keep in mind a few things. People most often DO follow them for their ‘work’ (be it acting, sports, music….whatever makes them a ‘celebrity’) and not for their political leanings. That is what your public is interested in. You have every right to post political comments, just as your fans/supporters have the right to not appreciate it and stop supporting you. I also have the concern that, celebrities often live in their own little bubble – what is real for them may not translate well to their fans. With a huge following, in my mind, there is a responsibility to be accurate and informed when commenting. Thousands follow – and things can get ugly very quickly. How many celebrities have tweeted something out in haste only to be in a shit storm for a week? Everyone has to make their own choices in what they will or won’t post on social media – celebrities just need to understand that because of the numbers they command, some responsibility come with that.

One of my biggest frustrations that causes me great sadness in the current political climate, is how nasty people are being to each other. Harsh language, ugly names, slurs, threats…..it’s all so stupid! Families that are split; parents keeping kids away from grandparents; brothers and sisters not speaking to each other, people that have been friends through the worst sort of trials for years or decades at war with each other. WTF?! Really?

PH-UnitedWeStand

We are where we are politically. Both sides need to grow up and start taking some personal responsibility. If you don’t like a political standpoint – see my points above – don’t attack the other person no matter who they are. All attacking does is put them on the defensive and throw out any possibility of sane conversation. There is a lot of bad mojo going on in the world right now, but until we can act like civilized adults and start working together instead of constantly fighting, NONE of it will get fixed.

Here is another really good thought to leave you all with. We’ve all seen it before, something to keep in mind these dark days especially.

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Namaste

 

The Book is the Book & the Show is the Show

BookVsTV (2)

I’ve been hanging out on the CompuServe forums quite a bit lately, and have been seeing an interesting trend in the comments. My ‘take’ is that the majority of the forum are book lovers that watch the show based on their love of the books.

As a side note, this is a place where there are many opinions and much nit-picking, but done with courtesy and respect. It’s a nice breather from most of the social media out there.

What I see as a trend in the comments, all over social media, is the disappointment of the show cutting out wonderful bits of the story claiming there ‘just isn’t time’ yet inserting other things that are totally off book that take up time. If they can do that, why can’t they use the wonderful material provided for them right there in the books?!

Now, I don’t have a degree or even much study in TV production. I have read what was basically a text book about TV production (A book called “Inside Section One” about the making of the original La Femme Nikita series) which opened my eyes to many things about making a weekly TV show that would never have crossed my mind. In this post I am merely taking my minor experience with acting, doing theatre (both on stage and behind the curtain), having participated in a movie, reading that book and just my own thinking and formulating one possibility as to why the show is going the way it is. It is an opinion, nothing more – I have no idea if I am thinking correctly or not.

The Team has said from day one that this would be an adaptation that would adhere to the story of the books as closely as possible. They have also said, absolutely, that while they will do their best to satisfy the long-standing fans of the books, their first priority is to make good television.

The term ‘good television’ is, somewhat, subjective. I know some people that think good TV is 24/7 sports. Others, find good TV in blood/guts/gore. Some, think reality TV is the greatest. Comedy, drama, soaps and so on….everyone has their own idea of what is good or bad television. For the bean counters, it is a show that will include the biggest possible audience that will draw in advertisers and grow to keep making money. There is quite often a ‘target’ audience. I know with LFN the original ‘target’ was 18 – 35 year old males, hence Peta Wilson in the title role. However, as the show progressed, while the producers got that target audience, they were shocked to find their biggest most supportive audience was 18 to 65 year old women because of the lead male role of Michael played brilliantly by Roy Dupuis (who they didn’t want originally).

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I would say, JMHO, that for the particular show of Outlander, good television is meaning that it appeals to a fairly large audience (those interested in the books, Scotland, history, drama, and adventure with the added twist of time-travel). Good television has to capture an audience with EACH episode. One never knows when a viewer will stumble upon an episode having no idea the show exists or, never having watched it, and – lacking better options at that moment chooses to watch. So, there has to be tension, some comedy moments for relief, some conflict that can happen and be resolved in that timeframe while leaving a bigger thing hanging to draw viewers back to the next episode. A lot to balance.

Diana is a wordsmith of epic proportions – literally. Davina Porter reading the unabridged version of Voyager goes 42 hours and 50 minutes. The Team is trying to shoehorn this story into around 13 hours. Bloody YIKES!    UPDATE for Season 4 – “Drums of Autumn” read by Davina Porter runs 44 hours and 50 minutes….a full 2 hours longer than Voyager and still trying to get crammed into just under 13 hours.

Like all the Outlander books, Diana has woven a rich, thick, complicated tapestry of a story. Even many of the ‘secondary’ characters (Mr. Willoughby/Yi Tien Cho is a great example) have pages and pages dedicated to ‘their’ story. All these wonderful side bits and stories within stories that she can layer in because she has the time and space to do that – and while they are rich material, those bits might be far too complicated to get across in a one hour-ish episode with lots of other stuff going on.

So, here is my thinking. The team takes the important bits of the story that need to be kept in to keep cohesion (Jamie & Claire’s relationship, young Ian being kidnapped, going after Ian which takes them to Jamaica and beyond) and breaks those important elements into the 13 episodes they have been given to work with. Then they have to fill the time for those episodes in such a way to make it ‘good television’ (all the points I mentioned above) and keep the flow of the story. To me, this means inserting less complicated bits to hit all the notes they need to while keeping with the main push of the story and ending the episode in such a way people will want to come back.

I know many book people are disappointed with missing so much of the rich material that is in the books, but really, because it is so layered and nuanced, it is hard to give it any kind of justice in the time they have. Likely it is far easier to invent a simple bit of tension; the “Jonah” arc in “The Doldrums” episode rather than trying to actually explain the entire story behind Yi Tien Cho. It keeps to the overall story in plausibility without stripping a good piece of writing down to so little as to be meaningless and still be plausible within the frame of the original work.

I have truly never minded the differences because I started out on the journey of the series expecting them. I can embrace them because I like being shown a different facet of the same story – seeing it from a different perspective that challenges my own thinking. Also, the books will always be there to drown in and enjoy in a way, no matter how much you might like the series, simply has no comparison.

Again, this is only MY opinion and thoughts.

Cheers!

Words Matter

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I haven’t written here for a long time. Honestly, I didn’t see much point. The things I was saying didn’t seem to be reaching very many people and the ones that needed to see/hear them most don’t even look at my blog. The few that do seem to stop by and read, well, I’m pretty much ‘preaching to the choir’ there.

Recently, while discussing a fandom issue on a Twitter thread, a couple of people expressed the wish that I would continue with my blog. I guess if it helps or makes even a single person think then it has fulfilled its function. It isn’t up to ME to dictate how my writing affects others, it’s up to ME to write it and let the universe handle the rest. Makes sense given what I want to talk about here today.

First, I am going to ask…beg really…for people to respond to this question either here on the blog or via Twitter. Please look at this picture and tell me if you think any of these girls are ‘fat’…. ‘porky’……. ‘chunky’ ….. or any of a number of other adjectives used to denote being overweight. I seriously want comments on this – as detailed as you will like to get them.

 

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Now, this is an old picture so no feelings will be hurt. I happen to know that one of those girls (they were all….16 or 17 in this picture) was told repeatedly by her family that she was overweight and needed to trim down. She was told she was fat and would never make anything of her life if she didn’t fix it. At school she was called a variety of names all indicating that she was overweight. Can you pick which girl this was said to?

She believed what people said; believed it so completely that she dressed differently from her friends, constantly stressed about how ‘fat’ she was and never felt good enough for anything. I happen to know she reached adulthood consistently gaining weight and now, as those words that she was bombarded with from the time she was a young teen said, she is indeed fat/overweight. Very likely she would be told she is obese by a doctor – though she tests out fairly healthy. Joint issues are beginning to manifest and the extra weight likely isn’t doing her heart any good, but overall healthy.

Words matter. How might this woman’s life have been different if she would have told – especially by her family – that she was a perfectly normal teen? If she had been encouraged to be more active at a younger age? (She’s a bookworm, has been since she was six and likes to do crafty things – all sitting down activities.) I wonder if she would have had more confidence and followed her dreams rather than working in jobs that she was good at but never really enjoyed. Would she at this stage just be slightly overweight rather than obese?

Words matter. I am using this story to illustrate that. The tongue is one of the strongest muscles we have; it can build up or tear down. If you have never read them, I highly recommend two books: Hung by the Tongue and The Tongue: A Creative Force.

Words matter. What we say matters. How we say things matters. How often is ‘constructive criticism’ actually more DEstructive and meant to be? What we say to others, tweet to others, respond to others – blog – matters. It has cause and effect. Should we keep silent in our own worlds? Of course not – but we should be ever aware of the words we use and how we use them.

Some people are very secure in themselves and their chosen professions and so can take a lot of criticism in stride without too many negative side effects. Many are not in that place. I encourage you to ‘speak’ to people from a place of respect: both for yourself and them. They may look different, think differently than you, believe differently or have different ideology – but they are still a human being just like you. You may not agree with them, but respect that they believe differently. Discuss those differences! Learn about and from each other! Have respect. Words matter.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not perfect. I screw up on a regular basis. I have probably ‘said’ things here in this blog I shouldn’t have or that came across badly. I try to be very mindful when I post anything as to how it comes across and might affect others – but I get angry sometimes and just don’t police myself well.

I just pray I never do to anyone else what was done to that girl that so irrevocably affected her life.

Words matter.

Namaste

Highlanders vs Vampires

2 August 2017

As anyone with any knowledge of me knows, I have a ‘thing’ for vampires. Long before they hit mainstream popularity – again – these creatures have intrigued me. They are compelling in their complexity while being simple predators. So many different directions an author can go with them by tweaking various points of vampire lore…….ok I’ll stop now because it really isn’t vampires per se I wish to discuss here.

I recently left my co-pirate and our boat to travel back to Washington State to help some friends with a major move. Vancouver, WA to Colorado Springs. Major because these people are not quite pack-rats but close and not very organized. They had been in the same house for years and are some of my oldest/dearest friends, so on a plane I hopped. They gave me an amazing deal on an extra vehicle they didn’t want to try to move which gave me transportation. With that, I went (between the moving packing due to my friends schedules) for a quick visit with my sister’s family and to help my dad do a yard / estate sale. All told, I was gone three months. Very glad to be home.

I tell you this because, while I was with my dad, he took me to a half-off book place. WOW! Not a safe place for me to hang out as I am addicted to the written word and being on a boat, hard copy books just don’t do well due to moisture and lack of space. However, they have pocket books on sale for 25¢ each on Tuesdays and I managed to get the Sookie Stackhouse books (2-8) by Charlaine Harris for that fantastic price. This is a series I had wanted to ‘try out’ for a long time but just hadn’t gotten around to it (so many books – never enough time). I tracked down book one and dug in. I had found and read all 13 books in the series twice within a few weeks. (I read through fast the first time for the story as a whole then go back for detail – yes….even with Diana’s books).

Why do I bring this little story here – to a predominately Outlander fan page? Well for those that don’t know, the Sookie Stackhouse novels became HBO’s series ‘True Blood’. After reading the books I commented on social media somewhere I would have to track down the series to watch. I was warned, several times, that the series deviates from the books – BIG TIME.

Once I got home, I tracked down Season 1 of True Blood and have watched it. Yes…it varies hugely from the book. Part way through S2 and there are bigger and wilder variations from the book. There is one story line I’m not fond of – not because it is SO far removed from its book elements, but because it is very dark and abusive.

Where Outlander has combined some minor characters for time / continuity or had a major character pick up some small thing to avoid bring in yet another character – True Blood has major characters going WAY off book (this is highlighted with Sookie’s brother Jason in S2 which we are part way through) doing things that book Jason wouldn’t dream of.

UPDATE 7/22/19:  Having watched the whole series since writing this post, I can say the longer the series went, the farther off book it went. Totally changed the ending. Some things I wasn’t thrilled with (especially the ending) but overall it was good television based on fun, enjoyable books. For me, while they are the based in the same world with the same characters they are different stories – each to be enjoyed (or not in some instances) for their own merits.

So, how do I feel as a book lover first seeing these huge departures from the story I fell for? Great! I mean….it’s the same characters with a different spin, two great stories in the same universe with the same characters. It’s interesting to see the differences and some of them, I actually like better. Now that one story line I’m not thrilled with…..so what. Overall the show is a good watch with great twists. I’m not going to bag the entire show for one storyline that I’m not thrilled with. If I felt I had to do that I’d never watch ANY series.

Ron Moore and the entire team that bring fans the Outlander series have done a phenomenal job of being true to the books. Yes…there are a few tweaks and changes. As has been discussed, ad nauseam it seems sometimes, television is a completely different medium than print with different constraints and structure. While some people would like to see 20+ episodes per season, it is just not going to happen. I already did a post on Outlander vs other cable series and how we are spoiled with our numbers. (THANK YOU STARZ) changes that have been made might bring out something book people feel is minor or tweak something so it flows better on screen. The always present combining of minor characters or having a major character ‘pick up’ something so another character doesn’t have to be introduced. This is all common practice when converting from book to screen.

My point here? The series CAN NOT – WILL NOT – SHOULD NOT follow the book verbatim. How boring would that be?! Embrace those changes as new facets and nuances on much beloved characters and story or make yourself miserable. Outlander fans have no grounds for griping about ‘changes’ IMO – after watching what was done with True Blood.

And please Outlander readers….if you truly can’t stand the series and the team’s vision of it – just stop watching and go back to curling up with the books. Don’t feel the need to dump your aggravation and disappointment on people that are enjoying the show for itself. I’m told there is actually a subculture of people out there that watch shows they hate simply so they can hate them via social media. What a sad, sad thing. Life is too short to embrace so much negativity.

Not everyone love the same things. I’m sure many reading this don’t like True Blood or even want to see/read it. That’s ok. Some people like all the super-hero shows out now while others are firmly entrenched in comedy. JMO If you find you don’t like something – GREAT! One less thing to clutter up your life with. Find something you love and share that with the world. You never know, sharing your positive thoughts, love of new shows/books/music etc. may turn someone else onto it and make new friends.

Cheers!