…as an Outlander Virgin…
Ok, we’re less than 3 months away from the second half of series 1…**ahem, ahem** 75 days but, then, who’s counting?? I’m certainly not… Gifts have been wrapped and unwrapped; festive foods have been prepared and eaten; decorations have gone up and come down (maybe. The jingle bell wreath still adorns the door to my apartment. Hey. They’re cool. They make a sleigh noise and everything when you open and close the door. Everyone should have one).
We’ve entered the post-holiday phase of the year; our lives should be getting back to a less stressful cycle of normalcy. We had those distractions but now, heading into the dead of winter, we’ve got to keep Jamie alive and warm in our lives. What do we do now?
1. Are you knitting your cowls, fingerless mitts and shawls?
2. Are you writing in-depth analysis theorizing what’s on the other side of your Stones? I don’t know about you but my paper would be rather short. (Jamie. A kilt. A secluded glen. The rest of our lives. Buh-bye. I’m done.)
3. Have you taken up the intricate (and surprisingly seductive) art of corn grinding?
4. Are you staging impromptu productions, perhaps in grocery stores, doctor’s offices and office break rooms, of The Gathering, The Wedding and maybe The Wedding Night? If you are re-enacting The Wedding Night, more power to you but please refrain from sharing pictures. If you’re staging it in front of an audience…you’re braver than I am.
While the time has been trying (and get ready for a long Droughtlander between S1 and S2), it’s kept a book, and a series, alive in the imaginations and hearts of so many people. The series have given outlets for debate to many people, spawning discussions about anything from the published books, to the current work-in-progress to the other projects of the actors/actresses, to our own lives. Groups of fans are getting together, going to Sam’s movies (Thank you, Tugg, for giving us Emulsion and Heart of Lightness!) and making friends (SHOUT OUT TO KCAOF! YOU ROCK!!). And you just know the tourism trade is booming in Scotland, what with all the people looking for Their Own Stones.
But this isn’t, necessarily, a post about what you’re trying to do to get through Droughtlander though it started out that way. It’s sort of evolved into a posting about a newly deflowered Outlander Virgin getting through Droughtlander. And that would be me.
And, let me tell you, I’m rather overwhelmed. Not in a bad way; in a very, very good way. See, I’m just a couple of years older than Sam and I remember having crushes on TV and movie characters but not having people to get excited about them with me. I internalized my SQUEEEEEs.
I didn’t hang pictures up on my bedroom walls (my parents couldn’t understand stuff like that; they were rather conservative.) I was a teenager just before computers became popular and long before social media groups. I didn’t have my own computer until after college (I was a poor college student; I used the computer lab). I was 13 when Outlander was published, too young to understand it. I hadn’t even heard of the books until about five years ago. (Ironically enough, because Diana Gabaldon and I have the exact same birthdate (January 11), Diana was EXACTLY only two years older than I am now when Outlander was published.)
So, I tried to read the book, for the first time, about five years ago and, let me tell you, I was in the wrong period of my life. I couldn’t get into it. You could say I had an Outlander semi-deflowering, if you know what I mean. And it was messy, just like those teenage we-almost-went-all-the-way go. I just wasn’t ready.
Skip ahead five years and I’m a different woman. When I heard they were making this show I was rather blasé. I wasn’t going to watch it; I didn’t have Starz. I didn’t even have cable.
Until I heard that the premiere would be available online for free.
I decided, hey, what the heck? I’ll give it a whirl.
I watched the episode… once.
In a row.
The next day I signed up for cable.
After the premiere I opened the book my friend gave me but had simply been gathering dust on my bookshelf. I still had the book, just waiting for me to grow up and pick it back up I guess. I gobbled it up as I watched the series and wrote reviews, on this blog, from my newly deflowered point of view.
Now I’m reading (well, listening. Davina Porter is A-MAY-ZING!!) through the books. I’m currently into Drums of Autumn and having a grand time. I’m posting reactions to events in the books on my local Outlander fan Facebook page and we all, this newbie and the more seasoned (not in age) fans who are laughing at the girl who is now catching up and giving play-by-play analysis, are experiencing Outlander in a new way. I’ve heard, more than once, how jealous they are that I’m experiencing it for the first time as they want to experience the novels as a virgin as well.
And, let me tell you, being a fan girl at my age is fun. I appreciate it more I think. While yes I’m fueled (partly) by raging hormones (you know what I mean), I’m savoring the meat of the story. The history, the practical, the emotional, all the components, together, to make the unique experience that is Jamie, Claire and the worlds around them.
So, while I may not have been running out and purchasing the books as they’ve been released, I’m here now and the perspective I’m gaining from fans of various ages, viewpoints and places (in the series) is mind boggling and amazing. In fact, I think I’m in the perfect place to learn from the fans who have been with the series from the beginning…and from the fans who are newbies just like myself.
When the second half does finally air, it’s going to be wonderful…and go by so fast we won’t realize it’s over until it is!! I know that reading through the books my first time, and experiencing it all brand new, has helped me through this first Droughtlander. (But what will I do when the others come??)
Hang in there folks. We’ll get through it, whatever stage of the stories we may be at. I have my beloved shortbread with me which I love.
The affair I have with shortbread may surpass that of Jamie and Claire’s own love affair.
Then again…perhaps not.