Outlander North Carolina

droughtlander musings

April 10, 2019

guest post by Jan Grupp

I’ve lost track how many times I’ve gone back to reread Diana Gabaldon’s series of books about a certain Scottish Highlander and a time-traveling nurse, but living once more in Droughtlander territory makes me think about doing it all over again.

But re-reading after Season Four hasn’t happened for several reasons.

photo credit: janetoffkilter.blogspot.co

First, there is the issue of starting from the beginning.  A very wonderful idea, perhaps, and one that’s been accomplished by many of us, more than once.  But really a seriously LARGE project–something in the neighborhood of 5,000 pages, even for a voracious reader.  And where does this get me…to travel from that once upon a time, post-war belated honeymoon to now? A nice diversion, you say?

It would pass a goodly amount of days in the current wait for the next 900 pages or the start of Season Five to move Jamie, Claire and me forward, but only if my family doesn’t want to eat, the Spring pollen didn’t build up beyond EPA limits on my windowsills, and I get to sit in PJs all day. This sounds overly dramatic I know, but we re-readers, who absolutely love the complexity and length of living in close quarters with the Frasers, in reality do have other lives!

Secondly, I’ve been in and out of Droughtlander since the early 1990s.   Twenty-five years’ worth!   I fell in love with a young Highlander and his lucky wife back when my youngest was starting second grade.  After that final page, I didn’t know what I felt, or what to call it when I finished. Exhausted, perhaps, by the rather full life the Frasers were leading, but also, maybe a serious case of separation anxiety?

Now I know those feelings as big time Droughtlander.  Had it waiting for Book Two.  Then again between Two and Three.  What next? Darn! I had to wait some more.

Nothing has changed.  You get the idea. I like to think that agonized waiting back then made the excitement of coming home to this story even better.  You know, absence makes the heart grow fonder? Perhaps that’s only an obsessanach explanation, but I think it likely true.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, I don’t want to give up the tender moments that have held my attention all along, by plunging back into a storyline that requires reading a long way to relocate the special bits I already know almost by heart.  Sure, repeat readers like myself, always mention how FUN it is to find ourselves back in familiar story lines with both fondness of memory and insight from before. We also relish those aha moments when a re-read provides extra detail, little gifts rising up from the pages as additional nuggets of intimacy in the lives our favorite duo.  If we take a lesson from Diana’s hub who describes her fiction writing style as something akin to jumping from the frying pan into the fire, out and back in again, re-readers already know the delight of familiar adventure and predicament resolution that repeat storytelling offers.  All true.

But if re-reading is a bit like coming home, toting around Outlander, Voyager, Drums of Autumn. The Fiery Cross and the rest still may never quite make up for permanent memories of pages past, those Fraser “family stories” etched into my brainspace.  I don’t need re-reading to witness Claire treating Jamie’s shoulder dislocation because I forever see the very tender beginning of two people feeling attraction and uncertainty, along with my own slightly heady wish-it-were-so belief in time travel, anytime I want to think about it.  

I can’t hardly read about icky Jonathan Wolverton Randall’s outrageously dark brutalities and spurious sexual proclivities without thinking about the freakishly black screen portrayal (thank you, Tobias Menzies) and feeling sick.  So, let’s not think about (or re-read) that so much, but spend time instead embracing the blossoming of a two-hundred year marriage on a journey with no known finish, and that extra special moment of reunion twenty years into the heart of our Fraser family connections.  

Without a re-read, I can feel waves wash up against the Artemis anytime I want, and I sweat alongside the entire crew in the doldrums, finally finding myself amused by a trained pelican.  I have memorized the excitement of a giant bonfire, fueled with national pride and love. I go along through the stones with Brianna whenever I think about the bond of family, and (screen spoiler alert) nod to myself over Lord John’s eye problem, while hopelessly stuck picturing a group of travelers coming up the road yelling, “hello, the house.” Yep, I’m dying to know what happens next. Do I need to relive that again?

Do I need more time with Geillis Duncan? Uh, no. Do I need more time with J&C under the willows along the riverbank? Uh, maybe.

Do I miss hanging at Lallybroch with the fam? Of course. But I can conjure the heart-strong Jenny and the soothing fortitude of Ian anytime I want because I already know these guys.

Shouldn’t I just bide my time, or binge watch Seasons 1-4 again?  (Yes, of course, I’ve already done that, more than a few times). The real answer to more re-watching is likely a yes, especially the next time I’m stuck somewhere by weather and in for the long haul.  For now though, I confess to pulling out the guide and handpicking special episodes for a visual treat. Honestly, Season 1 has so much to offer, I find myself back there again and again—except for Wentworth Prison, and nobody wants to think about that!

So what else is an obsessed reader, forever fan of books and series, to do in these months while actors ply their craft, while set designers and costumers pull together more lush details for the season to come?  Find something else to read? Drown myself in all the internet options to stay connected to the Frasers? Study colonial history?

Right now, I think I’ll pray.  Yes. Pray. This story is all about life and love, and God certainly is present in this remarkable tale.  So, I’ll pray. Pray that the actors continue their talented efforts to get it right, pray that the producers don’t mess with THE STORY too much or apply too many contemporary critiques to historical fiction, and yes, pray that Diana locks herself away to finish the Fraser’s next installment so I can be with them again as soon as they show themselves.

But if it all that takes too long, my conviction to not re-read (again), might waver.  I may start randomly opening the books one by one, (sequentially, of course) and diving in, just to see where I find myself.  There’s an idea! Grab a few moments and time travel myself back to visit somewhere with dear old friends, the Frasers.

I miss these people too much.                   

Years ago, Jan was a newspaper reporter, a PR exec, editor, social services director for Red Cross, and a teacher. Mother of three, grandma of two, she divides her time between Florida(mostly), Michigan (some),and world travel as opportunity and dollars allow. She will publish Walking with Mom, a life care planning and living true story later this year. She and husband Bob recently celebrated 45 years of marriage by swimming with manatees, but she’s been in love with a fictional redhead (mostly), and his headstrong wife (some), since 1992. Thanks, for guest posting for us, Jan!

So tell us. What are you doing to treat your Droughtlander-itis?

NC Historic Sites Outlander North Carolina Scottish Immigration

Celtic Festival at Historic Latta Plantation

March 22, 2019

Outlander North Carolina was privileged to be a part of the Celtic Festival at Latta Plantion in Huntersville, NC on March 16 & 17, 2019! We had a wonderful time, met some Facebook group members, and really enjoyed talking Outlander “shop” with all of our new friends. We hope we made some new Outlander converts as we shared our love of the Fraser’s North Carolina.

Our booth/tent was filled with wonderful sights and scents, as we had Jamie and Claire there for photo opportunities, and offered exclusive Outlander NC-inspired candles (handmade right here in NC!), as well as special edition ONC suncatchers and stemless wine glasses. Festival goers entered their names in our giveaway for an amazing Outlander item-filled basket, and the winner was Belen Molins! Thanks to all who stopped by to say hello!

The theme of our booth was a rustic cabin, and everyone worked hard to make it look absolutely amazing! Thanks so much to Carolyn Baker, Stephanie Bryant (of Outlander Print Shop), Nancy Roach (whose alter ego is the White Sow on Twitter!), and Mitzie Munroe for helping me create an inviting stop for visitors to come and browse and pose with the Frasers or by the “fireplace.”

There were so many things to do and enjoy at the Celtic Festival, from Viking reenactors, a friendly shinty game between the NC 71st and 84th Highland Regiments, cooking demonstrations, reenactors’ encampents, Latta Plantation building tours, dancing, traditional music, and an Outlander Party! Saying it was a fun-filled weekend is an understatement! Thanks to everyone at Latta Plantation for giving us this amazing opportunity!

Please enjoy these photos, with contributions from Mitzie Munroe, Connie McKenzie, Lisa Margolis, Joy Forster, Stephanie Bryant, and Nina Eads:

Our next stop will be at the Loch Norman Highland Games at Rural Hill April 12-14, 2019! If you are planning on going, please stop by and say hello–we’d love to meet you!

Drums Of Autumn Native Americans Season 4

ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards – The Best & Worst of Outlander Episode 412, Providence

January 25, 2019

It’s time for the final Admin Choice Awards for Outlander Season 4. What? No awards for Episode 413? Nope. We’re skipping the awards for the finale besides I think we will all be too depressed to even think about it. Not to mention, I have a date with a certain mouse down in Florida so I’ll be taking a couple of weeks off to try to forget all my sorrows as we head into that unspeakable thing called Droughtlander. And speaking of that horrid word, how in the world did we get here? How can 13 weeks go by so quickly? How are we to endure the rest of 2019 and probably part of 2020 without our favorite show? Well, we here at Outlander North Carolina have some ideas and we will be trying to fill the gap for not only ourselves but for you as well with some things we think you’ll appreciate. Special projects and posts are on the way so don’t despair, my Outlander friends! We will muddle through together!

So without any further whining and complaining, I present to you the winners of this week’s ONC Admin Choice Awards for Episode 412, Providence. This week’s voting contributors are Susan Jackson, Mitzie Munroe, Nancy Roach and Harmony Tersanschi. The envelope please…

Susan:  This may sound morbid, but watching a man be tortured and die for his beliefs made my heart swell. The priest’s death didn’t speak to me as much in the books, for some reason.  

Nancy: My choice may surprise you, but I was happy to see a little bitter, sarcastic humor show up in the script as Roger referred to himself as an idiot for making poor choices because of his love for Bree. I loved that he referred to his place of captivity as “the idiot’s hut”. I think that should really have been the title of the episode.

Mitzie: Seeing Roger make the decision to abandon his escape and return back to the Mohawk village to help the priest die a quicker death, thus ending his suffering. The musical overlay to the most stunning sequence of visual events that transpired during that whole scene was just amazing. Bravo!

Harmony: This is going to be a tough one for me, because I truly loved the entire episode. If I had to choose though, I think I’d go with the scene with LJG & Bree discussing her wanting to speak to Bonnet. Everything about that scene was wonderful, the acting, chemistry between the two, the way LJG was there for her, and the icing on the cake was Jamie narrating his letter to Bree.

Susan:  Roger: “Ah, f*@#in’’ hell.” Everyone has said something similar when they realize they’re about to do something that doesn’t make good sense.

Nancy: Roger:  “That’s it lads. Take me back to the idiot’s hut.”

Mitzie: Bree telling LJG “You are impossible not to like”. That was just too, too sweet. And so, so true. #TeamLordJohnGrey

Harmony: Bree to LJG, “you are impossible not to like”. That was such a cute moment & Oh so true!

Susan: Richard Rankin was absolutely wonderful in this episode.

Nancy: Richard Rankin. This was his episode.

Mitzie: This years Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor is…… This years Emmy for Best Supporting Actor is…… This years Screen Actors Guild for Best Supporting Actor is…… RICHARD RANKIN!!!!!! Seriously, he better be on one of these lists for that performance.

Harmony: I have to give it to the actress who played the Mohawk woman, the love interest of the priest & the mother to his child. She was absolutely phenomenal throughout every scene she was in!

Susan:  The grief of the Mohawk man-I didn’t realize his feelings were so invested in Johiehon until I saw his face as she climbed onto the pyre.

Nancy: The Mohawk woman stepping into the fire. This was not in the book.

Mitzie: Seeing the mohawk woman (Johiehon) step onto the pyre to die with her love. That was so heartbreaking to witness. And to see Kaheroton’s grief upon witnessing her decision and he’s left holding the only thing left of her, her child, that just had me bawling.

Harmony: Was watching the Mohawk woman walk into the flames with the priest. Such an emotional moment.

Susan:  The realization that every major scene came about because someone was doing something that seemed unreasonable because of their own personal convictions.

Nancy: Roger’s performance. He was really outstanding.

Mitzie: All the conversations Roger had with the priest. Roger’s emotions were so gripping, I was completely sucked into his despair. And bless him, he tried his damndest to convince the priest his convictions were not worth dying over but alas the priest would not relent and Roger could not abandon him to save himself. Roger is such a good guy!

Harmony: All the moments with LJG and Bree together. Those two just completely shine when in a scene together!

Susan:  Knowing that Lord John had knowledge of the jailbreak and he let it go. He could get into as much trouble as everyone else.

Nancy: The portrayal of the priest and Mohawk woman’s demise was a little over the top for me.

Mitzie: Nothing really bugged me in this episode except the fact that no one noticed the keys on the floor. Really? No one noticed? I did find myself yelling at the screen “Ya’ll, get the keys”! But I guess it was needed to extend our beliefs that we will be seeing more of Bonnet in the future.

Harmony: I can honestly say that there wasn’t one thing that I disliked about this episode. Shocking, I know lol.

Susan:  This episode knocks 403 off the number one spot on my list.

Nancy: Will wait until next week to rate the episode.

Mitzie: 1st*409 / 2nd*405 / 3rd*412 / 4th*403 / 5th*404 / 6th*407 / 7th*408 / 8th*411 / 9th*410 / 10th*406 / 11th*401 / 12th*402

Harmony: This one took the cake for me. By a hair it slid into my #1 spot, followed closely by the episode of Sam & Bree’s meeting.


A BIG thanks to all the administrators who took the time out of their busy schedules to contribute their votes each week during this season and thank YOU for taking the time to read our Admin Choice Awards! We’ve had fun doing them and then comparing each other’s opinions once they got posted. But now, we want to hear from you? What did you think of Episode 412, Providence? What were your favorites? What didn’t you like?

P.S. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks after some emotional therapy with “the mouse”. In the meantime, keep a chin up and hang on tight, Sassenachs! We can do this!!!

Your Forever Outlander Friend and Fanatic,

Beth


NC Historic Sites Outlander North Carolina

Survey: Outlander Season 4 Exhibit

January 22, 2019

NC Department of Natural & Cultural Resources

Outlander North Carolina, it’s readers, subscribers and group members have been asked by the North Carolina Department of Natural & Cultural Resources to participate in a survey as described below:


The NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (the agency that oversees the state’s cultural venues, including Tryon Palace and Alamance Battleground) is in talks with Sony Pictures Entertainment about obtaining props, costumes and other items from Outlander Season 4 to develop a proposed exhibit on Outlander, NC history and separating fact from fiction. As part of these discussions, Sony will need a very specific list of requested items. In order to make this proposed exhibit as appealing as possible, we want to know what YOU the fans want! Please take a moment and complete the survey below to help us shape this exhibit experience.

Kimberly Kandros
Manager, Development & Special Projects

The survey consists of only four questions. Would you kindly take a few minutes of your time to complete the survey below and help the NC Department of Natural & Cultural Resources in these very important discussions? Your feedback is sincerely appreciated!

Extremely DisinterestedDisinterestedDoesn't MatterInterestedExtremely Interested
A historical talk with a researcher
Exclusive episode screenings at our sites, such as Tryon Palace or Alamance Battleground
A talk with the writers, producers, directors, costume designers or other “behind the scenes crew
Meet and greet or photo opportunity with the cast

What is the fourth letter of the alphabet?

Outlander North Carolina

ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards – The Best & Worst of Episode 411, If Not For Hope

January 18, 2019

This week the admins for Outlander North Carolina will be focusing on Episode 411, If Not For Hope. Our voting contributors this week are Susan Jackson, Stephanie Bryant, Nancy Roach, Tara Heller, Mitzie Munroe, Blair Beard, Harmony Tersanschi, and me, Beth Pittman. Now for the envelope please…

Blair: When Fergus declined Murtagh’s request for him to fight with him, my heart warmed. Fergus turned him down, so that he could stay with Marsali and Germain.

Susan:  At first, I answered this with “Claire and Jamie making up,” but when I remembered the scene w/ Fergus and Marsali, and seeing some of her mother in her, but the good part (there has to be some good in Laoghaire, right?), I think her encouragement to her husband is my favorite.  I wish they’d show more of Fersali.

Stephanie: The River Run scenes with Lord John Grey!! (Except for one) Love his interactions with Bree. Of course, when he enters the dining room along with his own musical accompaniment!

Nancy: When LJG enters the room to the disappointed glares of the other single men at the dinner party.

Mitzie: It would have to be when Lord John Grey made his grand entrance at the dinner party. Just seeing Forbes and Lt. Wolfe’s faces just lose all hope at that moment was just too funny.

Tara: LJ entering the dinner party and knocking the wind out of the eligible bachelors sails.

Beth:  The make up scene with Jamie & Claire. Sam is killing it this year and that scene was so beautiful and tender. Goes to show you don’t necessarily have to have nudity to have a perfect love scene.

Harmony: LJG’s grand entrance and the way everyone stopped what they were doing & eyed him down.

Blair: Jamie’s half comment/half question,  “I would be seen as a fearsome brute”, is memorable. His tone leaves room for Claire to comment otherwise,  but she shrugs and says, “that would be one side of the story.”

Susan:  I don’t recall the exact line, but I loved hearing Jamie compare his longing for Claire during the “lost” years to Bree’s separation from Roger.

Stephanie:  “LJG: “Thank you for waiting for me my dear” “Have you told them the good news?” You could hear a pin drop!

Nancy:  Marsali: “ I’ll have a whole man or none at all.”

Mitzie: Ian: “Do you think anyone will miss him”?  Jamie’s reply: “One thing’s for sure, he was someone’s child”. Ugg, that had me tearing up.

Beth: When Claire said “I’m sorry” to Jamie – twice. She had completely failed to take any responsibility for her role in the Roger fiasco so I’m so glad she apologized.

Harmony: LJG: “It’s only new because there is hope, and hope is at the very heart of love.”

Blair: Sophie Skelton captivates the episode. Brianna’s in an unenviable position of being an unwed mother to be, during a different time. Yet, she is a quick thinker and deflects attention from herself,  during Jocasta’s dinner party, to the silly suitors.

Susan: The actor who plays Lt. Wolfe was a hoot–his facial expressions should win an Emmy.

Stephanie:  David Berry, he can stand still and still be a great actor!

Nancy: I would like to give a shout out to all the supporting actors. They were all strong. That’s what makes a scene worth watching. (Loved seeing a Hobbit vie for Bree’s hand in marriage. Lol!) Lauren Lyle is really holding her own as Marsali.

Mitzie: I just absolutely loved watching Lee Boardman as Lt. Wolfe this episode. I had so much fun watching all of his movements like puffing his chest out and giving Forbes some interesting steely eyed looks across the way.

Tara: David Berry- I enjoyed seeing his acting in scenes without Sam. It was a whole other side of him. I appreciate him a lot more.

Beth: David Berry. Oh, how many different layers of Lord John Grey did he revealed to us in this episode??? Loved it.

Harmony: David Berry as per usual stole the show for me this episode. He is a class act & plays LJG phenomenally in my opinion.

Blair: I was feeling annoyed with Lord John Grey, but then he takes a turn and strides into Jocasta’s parlor to “save the day”! If the Lone Ranger’s,  “William Tell Overture”, had piped in, I wouldn’t have been surprised. Bree was happy, Jocasta was surprised, and Gerald Forbes was stopped in his tracks.

Susan:  Murtagh capturing Bonnet so easily–Bonnet is surely a wanted man, and him hanging out in plain sight, well, not a good move for him.

Stephanie: The opening scene with Roger in the shower. I kept thinking WHY?? Not sure except as a teaser for book readers? Was it a dream?? Still pondering it!

Nancy: Roger taking a shower. For a second I thought, “Don’t tell me the writers decided to stray that far from the books! Please have mercy! We’ve had enough deviations from Diana’s works!”

Mitzie: The opening scene with Roger in the shower. My brain went instantly into scramble mode to try and understand what I am watching and just when I thought I had an idea as to why the writers are having Roger back in the future he is instantly pulled back into the past. WHEW, that had me spinning for a moment.

Tara: Pantry scene- just not in character for LJ. He has more discretion.

Beth: Bree catching LJG in the wide-open pantry. I was not expecting it to play out that way at all.

Harmony: The scene with Phaedra & Bree. I loved Phaedra’s accent & the exchange between the two about Bree’s reasons for wanting to draw her. Very sweet & surprising moment.

Blair: I liked that there was time spent in different locations with the characters; River Run, the trail northward and Wilmington. The story development and scenery at River Run was my favorite.

Susan:  The theme of hope throughout the episode–we all need that reminder, no matter how bad things may be.

Stephanie: Seeing Bree as a young mother having a baby in the 1760’s. The transformation as she talks with LJG and Aunt Jocasta. She begins to understand the differences from her time to the present.

Nancy: The interaction between LJG and Bree. I love LJG and look forward to his scenes. However, I agree with others about the indiscreet sex scene being out of character for this very proper British Lord.

Mitzie: Seeing Bree adapting to her new norm at River Run. I enjoyed seeing her passing the time by drawing; seeing her dressed in her new dresses courtesy of her Auntie and watching her handle some tough conversations with Jocasta and LJG.

Tara: Seeing Bree at River Run and interacting with LJ.

Beth: This episode was about relationships. Bree & Jocasta, Bree & LJG, Marsali & Fergus, Murtagh & Fergus, Murtagh & Marsali and Jamie & Claire. Relationships are what make the Outlander books so wonderful and this episode was special because of that.

Harmony: Finally getting to see LJG and Bree together. Their talk on the porch was specifically what I enjoyed the most out of the episode.

Blair: What I did not care for was Aunt Jocasta’s eagerness to marry Bree off. Auntie was a product of her time, but thankfully, Brianna and Lord John made Lemonade out of the lemon suitors.

Susan:  LJG completely losing his mind and having sex with another man in someone else’s house, with the door wide open, and the “lights” on.  Completely out of character for LJG. I can imagine Diana Gabaldon shook her head when she saw that scene written in there. But that’s just the number one issue I had with this episode.  Oh, well.

Stephanie:  LJG out of character having sex in the hallway, no way that would happen!!

Nancy: Things I have problems with: How can Bree stay that clean when drawing with charcoal? Why weren’t Fergus and Marsali invited to the dinner party? Bree’s elbows on the table as she leans in to talk to LJG at a formal dinner party is out of character for her upbringing. I hear my mother saying “Mabel, Mabel, strong and able, keep your elbows off the table. This is not a horses table. This is a dining room table.” Lord John having indiscreet sex in an open area is out of character. Claire’s hairstyle. I picture book Claire with, long, loose uncovered hair or maybe in a long braid. When she wears that scarf, is this supposed to be her protest against slavery as black females were required to wear a turbin?

Mitzie: Seeing LJG in the pantry with the Judge. It was not in his character to do something like that and I can’t seem to figure out why the writers felt that scene needed to be filmed like that. It was just not necessary and kinda confusing.

Tara: The pantry scene and it just felt flat as most of the episodes this time in the season usually do for some reason. I heard it said that this could have been one of the first episodes that were filmed.

Beth: The scene at the dinner table with Bree playing the psychology game. I felt that was a waste of time other than to set the stage for my second least favorite thing which was the scene with LJG and the Judge. So, really both were unnecessary in my opinion.

Harmony: That’s an easy one, the sexual encounter between LJG & the Judge. It was completely unbelievable given the time they were in, as well as the status of both these men to be so openly intimate with one another where truly anyone could’ve stumbled upon them in the act. That was a major change that just didn’t work in my opinion.

Blair:  The last episodes are running in a dead heat for me. I cannot choose a favorite between.

Susan:  This is getting harder and harder to do with so many episodes! Lol This may be number eight on my list.

Stephanie: It’s one of my least favorite. You can tell the difference when Matt and Toni write the episodes, they’re always perfect!!

Nancy: I’m waiting until the end to rank the episodes.

Mitzie: 1st*409 / 2nd*405 / 3rd*403 / 4th*404 / 5th*407 / 6th*408 / 7th*411 / 8th*410 / 9th*406 / 10th*401 / 11th*402

Tara: I would have to say 5th.

Beth: Gracious! This is getting difficult. Probably in my bottom 5.

Harmony: I can’t give an exact number ranking, but definitely somewhere within the top 4 for me.

OK. There you have it! Now, it’s your turn. Tell us your thoughts about Episode 411, If Not For Hope. What did you like most? What did you like least? Tell us about it in the comments!