Thursday, September 30, 2010

THE EXILE is #1!



Diana Gabaldon just made the following announcement on her blog:
"I'm thrilled beyond measure to report that THE EXILE debuts at

#1


on the New York Times Graphic Books Bestseller List for Oct. 10!"
This is wonderful news! Congratulations to Diana and Hoang!

Thursday Thirteen: THE EXILE

Thursday 13 Books

Thirteen Things I Liked about THE EXILE:

In no particular order:

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1) The "wedding kiss" portrait of Jamie and Claire.

2) Gorgeous landscapes!

3) Jamie's Butt (along with the rest of him <g>) on page 5.

4) We finally learn what happened to Claire's shoes.

5) The white owl and its symbolism.

6) Jamie's face in the early pictures, especially in Chapter 1, is just as I imagined it.

7) "And if one of those effing sparrows sh!ts in my tea...." (I love that line.)

8) How Murtagh and Rupert acquired a wedding gown. ("Force, or bribery?")

10) The story of the nameless girl in France.

11) The wedding-night sex scene -- even if it IS "expurgated" <g>

12) Ned Gowan, who looks very dignified in beard and spectacles.

13) The very last panel on the last page, with Jamie and Claire literally riding off into the sunset, the standing stones in the background, and Murtagh looking at Ellen's picture. I love that.

You will notice that I didn't include the Geillis-Kenneth storyline here. I'm still not quite sure how I feel about it, but aside from the mystery factor on the first reading -- "Who the hell IS that?!? And what's he doing here?" -- it wasn't one of my favorite aspects of this book.

Feel free to add your own favorites to this list. I have more things that I liked, but there wasn't room to include everything above.

*** NOTE ABOUT SPOILERS ***

You don't need spoiler warnings to discuss THE EXILE on my blog. But if you're commenting about this on Facebook, please be careful not to reveal major spoilers. People can't avoid reading the comments. Please comment here on the blog directly if you want to talk about the specifics of the story or artwork. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Allan Scott-Douglas as a possible Jamie?

Diana Gabaldon has been very enthusiastic lately about the idea of Allan Scott-Douglas (who sings the part of Jamie Fraser on the "OUTLANDER: The Musical" CD) as a possible candidate to play Jamie in any future OUTLANDER movie or miniseries.

This is a really interesting development. For years Diana insisted she had no interest in movie-casting, that she'd never seen any actor who was capable of pulling off the role of Jamie. Now, ever since she met Allan Scott-Douglas on a recent trip to Scotland, she seems very much impressed with him. To the point that she has started showing his picture (in kilt, below) at her public appearances, to gauge the fans' reaction.





What do you think? He's 6'4" (I think, or close to it anyway), Scottish, with red hair (I do wish he'd grow it out some so we could see it as Jamie would wear it <g>), an impressive singing voice (well, OK, yes, Jamie can't sing, in the books, so this is not a qualification for the movie), and he can convey an amazing range of emotion, judging from the songs on the CD.

So....could he be a possible Jamie? Or is Diana Gabaldon just encouraging him because he reminds her of her son? Allan Scott-Douglas is 27, which I think is close to Diana's son Sam's age. Diana likes this young man a great deal, judging from her interactions with him on Twitter. (She's Writer_DG, and he's Actor_Allan, if you want to follow them to see what I mean.)

I don't normally participate in the endless movie-casting debate, but I'm curious to know what the rest of you think about this. All opinions (pro or con) welcome!

It would be particularly interesting to hear from those of you who were at the performance in Aberdeen at the end of July, and got to see him in person. (Shona? Anybody else?)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

If you liked THE EXILE



If you have read and enjoyed THE EXILE, how about posting a review on Amazon.com? (Even if it's just a few brief comments.) I've been startled by how many 1-star reviews this book has been getting so far, and I think it's going to give a lot of people the wrong impression about this book.

I get the feeling that a lot of people who wrote those comments have never seen a graphic novel before, or were expecting something very different. I think it's only fair that those of us who enjoyed the book should make our opinions known as well. (And of course, it's perfectly OK to comment on anything you didn't like.)

I've already put in my review. Some of you may already have done the same -- and if you have, thanks! If you prefer to post a review anonymously, that's fine, you don't need to tell me about it, but I think if we can mobilize the OUTLANDER fans who DID like the book to post their reactions, it would help to balance things out a little.

For what it's worth....Diana Gabaldon has often said that she doesn't read the Amazon reviews. (Not that I can blame her!)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Random House OUTLANDER book giveaway



I just saw this on LOL and I wanted to get the word out quickly:

Random House is offering a new book giveaway of the special promotional version of OUTLANDER, similar to the one they did last year before AN ECHO IN THE BONE was published. (Look here for pictures of last year's contest winners with their books.)

Here's the text of the announcement:
Do you want to be a Diana Gabaldon ambassador? Just click here, fill out the form, and you could receive 10 copies of OUTLANDER* to pass along to friends, family and anyone who should be reading the OUTLANDER series!

Winners will be chosen at random, and will also receive a copy of THE EXILE, Diana Gabaldon’s graphic novel from Del Rey.

* while supplies last
I'm not going to enter the contest myself, but I just wanted to pass along the information for the rest of you. Please spread the word to anyone you know who might be interested!

The picture above shows the front cover of the special promotional edition. Personally, I just love this cover! <g>

Good luck, and if you have any questions about the contest, please post on the Random House site. There is a comment form here. I'm not affiliated with this contest in any way, just helping to get the word out. (I'm sure Diana will get this announcement up on her blog and web site just as soon as she has a moment to breathe. <g>)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"OUTLANDER: The Musical" now on Amazon

Kevin Walsh, co-creator of "OUTLANDER: The Musical", announced today on Compuserve that the CD is now available for sale on Amazon.com.



The direct link to the Amazon page is here. Please note: if you see a message that says "temporarily out of stock", Kevin assures us, "I believe they'll have CD's to ship very shortly. In the meantime they are able to take orders."

If you already have a copy of the CD and you'd like to leave a review, I'm sure that would be much appreciated!

Please spread the word to anyone you know who might be interested. Thanks!

Diana talks about THE EXILE

Here are a couple of very interesting interviews with Diana Gabaldon, talking about THE EXILE.

The first is a fascinating discussion with Betsy Mitchell, editor of THE EXILE. They talk about the making of THE EXILE; about the artist, Hoang Nguyen; about some of the fan reaction to the early pictures; and about the infamous picture on page 5, among other things. <g>

I thoroughly enjoyed this interview, and I would really encourage all of you to take the time to watch it.



The second video is an interview with Barnes & Noble that covers some of the same ground, but also talks about Diana's reading habits. I note that Diana tactfully did NOT point out, when discussing the merits of e-readers, that she owns a Kindle, not a Nook. <g>



Both of these videos are available on Diana's YouTube channel, so watch that site for more videos that may be added in the coming days. (And check out the EXILE book-trailer, if you haven't seen it already!)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

THE EXILE: First impressions

So, what did you think? Feel free to post your comments and reactions here. I'll wait to post my own reactions in detail until I read it through a second time, but I really enjoyed both the story and the artwork.

I'll put a spoiler warning here, for those of you who don't want to see the comments until you've read the book:

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Overall, I thought the artwork was very good, but Jamie's face seemed to fluctuate too much. One minute he's just as I pictured him, the next, he's a cartoon character whose face doesn't resemble the Jamie of my mental image at all.

I thought Claire came out quite well. Her hair was just as I pictured, except the color was a little darker than it's described in the books.

Murtagh comes off as a much more likeable character in this book, and I liked the way he was drawn. Sort of scruffy-looking, which seems right. <g>

I liked the backstory of the "nameless girl" very much. Very powerful.

The storyline with Geillis and Kenneth was intriguing, and I will have more to say on this later, I'm sure.

My favorite picture in the whole book is the "wedding kiss" picture in chapter 6. I think it's Just Wonderful, and Hoang did a beautiful job with it.

I loved the landscape pictures in this book. Just gorgeous!

What about the rest of you?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Launch day for THE EXILE!



It's here! We've been waiting three long years for THE EXILE, and today it will finally be published! Congratulations to Diana Gabaldon and artist Hoang Nguyen.

I'm expecting my copy to arrive sometime today. When it does, I'm going to take a few hours to read it SLOWLY, savoring both the story and the pictures.

This project has fascinated me from the moment that Diana first announced the idea on Compuserve back in 2007 (not long after I joined the forum), and it's been really interesting to watch it evolve, from the preliminary character descriptions, to the selection of the artist, to the tantalizing glimpses of pages in progress, to the very few finished pages we've seen so far. <g>

Doing something different like this is always risky, but Diana has gone out of her way to reassure us that it would be done with the highest quality possible, and my initial skepticism has long since been replaced with a feeling of excitement. I can't wait to see it for myself!

If you want to talk about your reactions to the book, you're welcome to join the discussions on Compuserve. Or you can post on the LOL Exile Board. (I'm sure there are many, many other fan-sites where THE EXILE is going to be discussed, analyzed, dissected, viewed under a magnifying glass, etc., but these are the two that I'm most familiar with.)

I wanted to pass along one important piece of information, for those of you who don't already know:

THE EXILE does not have page numbers!

I was rather dismayed to hear that. It's going to make it a lot harder for people to discuss the specifics of the story and the artwork, if we can't refer to pages by number. But there are, at least, chapter breaks (nine chapters in all), so we can come up with some sort of numbering system -- "Chapter 3, page 9, the third panel" -- to make it clear to everyone what we're referring to.

Several people on Compuserve have suggested the idea of using post-its to mark the pages, and I think that's a great idea. (Making a mental note to stock up on post-its today before my book arrives! <g>) The ones that are sold in narrow strips should be perfect for this purpose, and they won't deface the book.

Happy reading, everybody!

P.S. This note from Diana on Compuserve made my day:

Dear Karen--

THANK You! To all of you, but YOU, especially! I can travel with a peaceful mind, knowing you're shepherding the flock here. <g>

-- Diana

Monday, September 20, 2010

Arizona Republic interview with Diana and Hoang

Check out the interview in the Arizona Republic with Diana Gabaldon and Hoang Nguyen, talking about THE EXILE. I liked the description of Hoang working as a "police sketch artist" to get Jamie's face just the way Diana wanted it.

Very interesting article, and a nice photo of Diana, too!

Thanks to McBride on Compuserve for the link.

THE EXILE: Frequently Asked Questions



I have posted a new FAQ page for THE EXILE. Click on the tab at the top of this page labeled "THE EXILE: FAQ" to see it, or go here.

This information is accurate, to the best of my knowledge. I hope it's helpful to you. If you have further questions about THE EXILE that were not addressed in this FAQ, let me know, or ask on Compuserve.

I know you're all going to be eager to comment on the book as soon as it's published! I will put up a new blog post on Tuesday where you can put your comments about the book.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Graphic novels

While we wait for the publication of THE EXILE on September 21, I have been looking for some interesting articles about graphic novels.

Novel to Graphic Novel: Turning Popular Prose into Comics
by Ada Price, Publisher's Weekly, April 5, 2010

I liked the discussion in this article of whether to do a straight adaptation or a story set in the universe of the existing novel. (Even if the author of this particular article can't spell Diana's last name correctly. <sigh>) Betsy Mitchell, editor of THE EXILE, had this to say:

"[W]e've seen, by comparing print runs, that readers get much more excited about original stories than they do about [literal] adaptations.”
I wonder if that's true in this case? Would you be as enthusiastic about THE EXILE if it was simply a straight re-telling of OUTLANDER in graphic-novel form? (I don't think I would, personally. I love the idea that there will be new aspects to this story that we have never seen before!)

Drawing Power, by Bob Thompson, The Washington Post, August 24, 2008

This is an in-depth look at the history and evolution of graphic novels, including the way they are marketed. I like the fact that the author approaches the subject from the point of view of someone with a "personal bias toward prose", like so many of Diana's fans.

As best I can tell, what elevates these very different [graphic novels] are the same things that work in good, first-person prose: sharp-eyed observation, strong storytelling and a narrator who functions as the reader's guide. What seems different is the literal immediacy of the graphic versions. Within seconds, they can pull you into strange worlds.
And I am very much looking forward to seeing that!

Words & Pictures: A Reader's Guide to Reading Graphic Novels
by Rick Kleffel (December 31, 2004)

This is another article from someone who started out as a skeptic, and became a fan of graphic novels.
The reading experiences offered by a typeset novel -- even if it's illustrated -- and a graphic novel -- even if it's laden with words -- are quite different. When you are immersed in a typeset novel, you as a reader are creating a sort of movie experience in your mind. Some writers create a more cinematic experience and others a more abstract experience. As you read, the words flow from the page at a rate you the reader have some control over, though often not as much as you’d like. Some books can't be read fast enough, while others a reader will slow down to savor, page by page, paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence, word by word.
By contrast, in a graphic novel:
[As] I pick up a graphic novel to read, I'd just speed through the words and glance at the pictures, applying the same reading sensibility to the graphic novel that I did to the typeset novel. That style of reading renders the graphic novel into an annoyingly vapid and underwhelming reading experience. The pictures then lack the fullness of illustrations and the words lack the richness of a novel. The experience won’t gel correctly if you read graphic novels like novels.
I think that's a very important point, and something we should probably all keep in mind as we read THE EXILE.
It took me a while to learn to slow down, a while longer to pace the panels, so that I could enjoy the visual progression of the story as well as the text-based plot. In both Pekar's stories and Vess', the visual elements enabled the storytellers to extend the implications of the story, to provide a level of depth that text alone cannot provide.
This issue of how to approach the reading of a graphic novel, as opposed to one of Diana Gabaldon's usual books, has concerned me for some time. Here is a post of mine on Compuserve from September, 2008:
I think I'm beginning to see how to approach this, as a reader who appreciates the depth and complexity and subtleties in your usual writing (and as someone who worries that very little of that will come through in the GN, due to the nature of the format).

I'm beginning to see that the depth is still there, to some extent at least, but in order to see it, we may have to look beyond the words on the page, assessing the characters' motivations and viewing their actions based not only on what's in this particular story, but also on what we already know of the characters' personal history, temperament, and so on, and considering what implications the events of this story may have for the overall storyline of the main series. In other words, it won't be strictly a matter of taking the story at face value, but rather -- just as with everything else you've written -- interpreting what's going on in the GN in light of what we already know (and maybe also vice versa -- because the GN may well shake some of our assumptions about things we thought we already understood in OUTLANDER).
Diana's response was reassuring:
[Yes], that's right; the depth is still there. That depends on the characters, and _they_ haven't changed. We're just interpreting them via a different medium.
So, here we are, with three days to go until THE EXILE's release, and I'm still somewhat ambivalent about the whole thing. Willing to approach it with an open mind, certainly -- the artwork I've seen so far is just gorgeous, and I'm very much looking forward to the new story! -- but at the same time, I'm still not sure whether this book is going to live up to all the hype. I suppose we can't know that until it's published and we see what the reaction is among Diana's fans, and how well it sells.

I will, of course, post my impressions here just as soon as I've had a chance to read the book for myself. <g> (For those of you who are wondering, no, I did NOT get an early copy of THE EXILE, much as I would have loved to. I'll be getting it on the 21st along with many of you.)

"OUTLANDER: The Musical" Lyrics



The lyrics to the songs on the "OUTLANDER: The Musical" CD are now available on the musical's web site, OutlanderTheMusical.com.

If you've been looking for the Gaelic words to the "Blood of My Blood" song, they can be found here.

I have listened to the CD often enough to have the words pretty much memorized <g>, but still it's interesting to see the Scots dialect in written form like that.

Please pass this along to anyone you know who may be interested. Thanks! (And if you haven't voted in the September poll yet, please take a moment to do so.)

Friday, September 17, 2010

More fun with Random Art

To entertain you all while we wait for THE EXILE's release on Tuesday, here are my latest creations from Random Art:

The Exile by Diana Gabaldon



EXILE vs. OUTLANDER



waiting4 theexile



four days to go



I was really pleased with the way these came out. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

THE EXILE book trailer on YouTube

Check out the book trailer for THE EXILE, created by Nikki Rowe (who manages Diana Gabaldon's YouTube channel). I think she did a great job with this.



Note: this trailer contains at least two pictures from THE EXILE that we haven't seen before.

Please pass the link to anyone you know who might be interested! There is a thread on Compuserve here if you want to let Nikki, or Diana, know what you think about it.

Five days and counting! I'm really starting to get excited.

UPDATE 9/18/2010 1:46 pm: Diana says this video is "summat viral", thanks to everybody who's watched it in the last couple of days. Check out her blog post here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What do YOU want to see in THE EXILE?



Six more days until THE EXILE comes out! While we wait, I thought it might be fun to talk about what we're looking forward to seeing the most.

It could be a picture -- for example, the infamous picture of Jamie's Butt <g> that Diana referred to in her latest blog entry, which is rumored to be on page 11 of THE EXILE.

It could be the answer to a mystery. Who is the nameless girl in France that Jamie thinks about in ECHO? What happened to Claire's shoes? <g>

It could be something we already know about -- for example, the moment where Jamie and Claire come face-to-face for the first time, or the point where he falls in love with her.

For me, I'm especially looking forward to the artwork -- I know it's going to be gorgeous! -- as well as seeing how the new story in THE EXILE changes our perceptions of what we thought we already knew in OUTLANDER. That should be really interesting.

What are YOU looking forward to the most in THE EXILE?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Who is Jamie Fraser?

No, really. <g> This is a serious question. (Apologies to VanillaSeven, who asked this question in a comment on one of my recent blog posts.)

If you were talking to someone who didn't know Jamie Fraser at all, had never heard of OUTLANDER or Diana Gabaldon, how would you describe Jamie? (Let's say, in 200 words or less. <g>) I don't mean just physically, but in terms of personality and so on.

And if you can describe him without citing specific examples from the books, that's even better. (Wouldn't want to spoil anything for people who haven't read the books, I mean.)

Anybody want to give it a try?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why aren't all men like Jamie Fraser?

I just saw this and had to pass it on. Enjoy!

Why aren't men like Jamie Fraser?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pictures from the book-signing in Winston-Salem

I'm back! Had a wonderful time at Diana Gabaldon's book-signing today in Winston-Salem, NC. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and we managed well despite the fact that it rained lightly throughout Diana's talk and book-signing.

Highlights of this day, for me:

Lunch with Diana and a group of forumites at a local restaurant. That was a thrill for all of us, I think, and I was just delighted to be able to spend some time chatting with Diana in person and in a more relaxed environment.



I love this pic of Diana and me and Shirley Williams (right), who organized the luncheon - what a wonderful memento of an unforgettable day!



I got to hold THE EXILE in my hands -- briefly -- and it looks gorgeous! (Tried not to look too closely. I want to *savor* that first-reading experience, and I figure I can wait 10 more days. ) It's thicker than I was imagining, somehow, more substantial-looking, which is good.

I asked Diana, over lunch, "Have you decided what excerpt you're going to read?" She nodded. "From Book 8?" "Yes." "Is it one of the cliffhanger pickups?" "Yes. Y
ou can cover your ears if you want to." But of course I couldn't bring myself to do that when the moment came. The excerpt (Jamie and Lord John) was WONDERFUL, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and my first coherent thought afterward was, "If ECHO ended with a series of firecrackers, Book 8 looks like it's going to begin with fireworks!"

My homemade sign was a bit the worse for wear by the time Diana saw it, due to all the moisture in the air, but it recovered just fine as soon as I got it home, and I was happy to have it signed. I'm sure I'll use it again sometime. (Note D
iana's copy of THE EXILE on the table at the lower left side of this picture. <g>)



Diana signed my Hebrew copy of OUTLANDER. (Not sure if she's ever actually signed one of those before; I forgot to ask.) The picture below shows her looking at the page in the text that shows the blood vow at the wedding.



The inscription in the Green Slime ECHO paperback (which I did not actually read until I got home) reads, "To Karen, Czarina of Traffic and a great friend."
Great friend? I was really, genuinely touched by that. It means a lot to me.

It was great meeting so many Compuserve forum members for the first time today! Hope you all enjoy the pictures, whether you were there in person or not.

Friday, September 10, 2010

National Book Festival poll - VOTE NOW!

Diana's lead in the National Book Festival "Favorite Author" poll is dwindling rapidly. Please help us keep her in the #1 position until the voting ends on Sept. 25.

Even if you've already voted, you can vote again! You can vote once a day, and you may even be able to vote more often than that, I'm not sure.

Details here. Please vote for Diana and help keep her in the lead! Thanks.

UPDATE 9/10/2010 4:45 pm: Well, the John Grisham fans got mobilized today and are far ahead in the voting. Too bad, but as I noted on Compuserve, this is basically a clicking contest, not a true poll that measures the author's popularity. <shrug> I am not going to participate in it any further, but by all means, feel free to keep going if you want.

UPDATE 9/11/2010 7:21 am: Thanks to Aida and others on Compuserve, who figured out how to add huge numbers of votes easily, Diana is at well over 40,000 votes now. I'm still not going to participate in this anymore. The mass-voting thing is a huge turnoff for me. But as I said, don't let that stop you, if you want to continue voting through Sept. 25.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Going to see Diana on Saturday!

Just two more days until I see Diana at the Bookmarks Book Festival in Winston-Salem, NC!

I'm starting to get very excited! This is only the second time I've gone to one of her appearances; the first was about a year ago in Columbia, MD, just after ECHO came out.

Diana is scheduled to give a 45-minute talk, followed by a book-signing, starting at 1 pm on Saturday.

The timing of this event, just ten days before THE EXILE's publication, means that Diana won't be signing copies of that book on Saturday. Which is unfortunate, but I'm not really complaining. I will bring other things for her to sign:

- The "Green Slime" trade-paperback edition of ECHO
- The Hebrew edition of OUTLANDER
- The copy of CROSS STITCH that Judy Lowstuter gave me last year
- And the "OUTLANDER: The Musical" CD, of course. <g>

If any of you are planning to be there, please let me know. I am aware of a handful of people from Compuserve and LOL who have told me they're coming.

I should be relatively easy to spot in the crowd; just look for a redhead driving a little electric scooter, sporting the same homemade sign I made for the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in July.



I can't wait to see Diana's reaction to the sign when she sees it in person. Maybe she'll autograph it for me?

I'll be attending the Bookmarks festival along with my dad. He's not much of a reader of fiction, but he's being a very good sport about the idea of tagging along with me, to help with picture-taking, and to be there in case I need help getting around.

My dad has NOT read any of Diana Gabaldon's books, but he's heard me talk about her many times. (My mom is actually much more of a reader than my dad is, but unfortunately she'd already made plans to be elsewhere on Saturday, and isn't going to be able to come with us. Maybe next time.)

I'll tell you all about it when I get home!

P.S. L'shana tova to all of you who are celebrating Rosh Hashanah today!

UPDATE 9/10/2010 5:48 am: Diana has posted a new blog entry about this visit to NC.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

THE EXILE "unexpurgated" wedding-night picture

The "unexpurgated" version of the wedding-night sex scene from THE EXILE, referred to in the "Making of the Exile" section recently posted on Scribd, is now up on Diana Gabaldon's blog, here.

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My reaction: Yow! It was a bit startling to see that at first. It's not actually all THAT explicit, but I can see why they toned it down. <g> Those of you who are logged in from work or where small children are around may want to be a little cautious before clicking on the link, but IMHO it's no worse than the sort of thing you'd see in an R-rated movie.

As one of the My Outlander Purgatory lasses posted on Twitter yesterday: "Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ. In a good way." <g> And I totally agree with that!

I liked Jamie's scars in this picture, too.

By the way, Diana says the altered (toned-down) version of this picture will be on page 124 of THE EXILE.

SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH cover art



Amazon is finally showing the cover art for the upcoming SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH anthology, due out on November 16. This is the anthology featuring Diana Gabaldon's story, "A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows", which is about Roger MacKenzie's parents.

I like this cover. It's a very striking image, I think. What about the rest of you?

And prompted by seeing this cover picture today, I finally pre-ordered a copy for myself. <g>

"Blood of my Blood" pronunciation guide

This Gaelic pronunciation guide to the "Blood of my Blood" song was just posted on the YouTube channel for "OUTLANDER: The Musical", and I thought it might be helpful to some of you.



I have more or less learned how to pronounce the words, after listening to the song many times, but I can see there are subtleties that I was missing. ("Tu" is pronounced "thoo"? I had no idea. <g>)

Kevin Walsh (composer of "OUTLANDER: The Musical") commented on Compuserve (here):
Being a lowland Scot I'm not a Gaelic speaker, so what is on the video is the phonetic pronunciation I used after Iain Livingstone had provided me with a spoken version. I hope you find it useful.
The complete Gaelic lyrics are here, if you're interested.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Searching this blog

I have added a new "Search this Blog" feature, located just below the blog archive on the left-hand side of the page.



Simply type in any word or phrase, just as you would with Google, and click Search.



The search results are displayed in the middle panel of the blog, where the blog entries normally appear. You'll notice there are two tabs at the top, "This Blog" and "Linked from Here", and an X at the far right.

"This Blog" shows you all the references found on the blog itself.



"Linked from Here" shows you all of the references found in sites that this blog links to. (In the example below, you can see Diana Gabaldon's blog, as well as Wikipedia and Scribd.)



To close the search results window, just click on the X at the top right corner.

I hope this will be helpful to you. Now that I've accumulated two years' worth of blog posts, there is a LOT of information available on this site, and this new search function should make it much easier to find.

Please let me know what you think.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Random Art is back!

After a long absence, the Random Art site is back up and running! For those of you who don't know what I'm referring to, go to random-art.org. You type in a word or phrase (case-sensitive), and click Paint, and the program generates a random picture while you watch. Punctuation and spacing matter; changing one character can result in a completely different picture!

If you come up with a good one, you can save it in the Gallery by typing its name in the Picture Name field at the bottom of the screen and clicking Submit.

One advantage of the new version of Random Art is that you can see the pictures "develop" in real time, and if you don't like the way a picture is coming out, you just click Stop and try again with a different word or phrase. On the other hand, the process of creating the picture can really slow down your browser! But try it for yourself and see what you think.

Here are a few OUTLANDER-related ones that I did today:

Diana Gabaldon and Hoang Nguyen



The Exile an OUTLANDER Graphic Novel




Have you heard about OUTLANDER: The Musical?



And here's what it did with my name. (I like this one very much!)

Karen Henry



And here is Outlandish Observations:



Have fun, and let me know if you come up with any good OUTLANDER-themed pictures!

If you like this, there's a new Facebook group here for fans of Random Art.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Some Outlandish humor

Check out the Outlandish humor on M&M's blog. Hilarious! I saw the link on Facebook this morning and could not resist passing it along.

By the way, in case you didn't know, the author of that blog, Michelle Moore, runs the Author's Attic site (where you can order OUTLANDER-themed jewelry). She's also the creator of the web site for "OUTLANDER: The Musical".

Thanks for all you do, Michelle, and in particular for giving me a very good laugh to start off the weekend!

Where's the wedding-night picture from THE EXILE?

For those of you who have seen the "Making of The Exile" preview on Scribd, you may be wondering where the infamous wedding-night scene is -- the one that the artist had to tone down because it was considered too risque for publication. <g>

***UPDATE 9/8/2010 4:30 pm***: The picture has been posted on Diana's blog. Enjoy!

Diana commented Friday night on Compuserve (writing from Atlanta, where she's attending DragonCon and the Decatur Book Festival this weekend):
I'll put it up as soon as I get home--Monday night or Tuesday morning. Mind, it'll actually _show_ up when the webmistress gets it there, but I'll also post it on my blog.
***UPDATE 9/10/2010 7:15 am***: The picture has been posted on Diana's web site. Scroll down to see it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Making of THE EXILE

Check this out! This is a sneak preview of the "Making of The Exile" section that will be included in the OUTLANDER graphic novel, THE EXILE, to be published on September 21. I thought it was really interesting, and I can't wait to see the actual book. Thanks so much to Oorjanie for the link!

Please note: I don't think there are any plot spoilers included in this, so spoiler-phobes probably don't need to worry too much <g>, though it does include sketches and pictures of the artwork in progress.

There's a thread on Compuserve here if you want to tell Diana what you think.

Enjoy!

THE EXILE in the UK



I just saw this announcement on LOL and I thought I'd pass it along, for those of you in the UK.

It appears that THE EXILE will be available on Amazon's UK site starting on September 23. (Only two days after the US publication date.)

See details here. I have NO information other than what ali cat posted on LOL, but her information was accurate for the UK release of ECHO, so presumably she's talking to the right person at Orion. <g>

Anyway, I just wanted to make sure those of you in the UK were aware of this. Keep watching the UK Amazon site for further updates.

This is great news for UK fans. Thanks to ali cat for letting us know! Please pass this information along to anyone you may know in the UK who would be interested.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Diana Gabaldon on Twitter

Diana Gabaldon's latest blog post is mainly about her upcoming visit to Atlanta over Labor Day weekend for the Decatur Book Festival and DragonCon. But she also had this to say:
Now, normally, I don’t Twitter [g]--no time!--but it strikes me that this weekend might just be the kind of situation where that might be helpful. So—just in case y’all want to follow me temporarily, my Twitter ID is “Writer_DG.”
I think this is interesting, for a couple of reasons:

1) Where on earth is she getting the time?? Diana's schedule is normally so busy that I wouldn't have thought she had extra time to devote to Twitter. I said something to that effect in a comment on her blog, and here's her response:
Believe me, I'm not up for a lot of conversation on Twitter! [g] But at least I can tweet locations, delays, reschedulings, etc., if necessary.
2) Diana's normal writing style is definitely not suited to 140-character bursts! <g> I would think it's a bit of a challenge, or at least a change of pace, for her to limit herself to the sort of very brief messages that Twitter allows.

I normally don't Twitter, either, except for posting links to my blog entries automatically via twitterfeed. But if you want to follow me, my id is karenh3a.

Finally, for those of you who may already have heard about Diana's tweets (someone mentioned it during one of the recent Monday-night OUTLANDER chat sessions on My Outlander Purgatory), I suppose the secret is out now. If Diana is talking about it openly on her blog, she clearly doesn't mind if the rest of us know she's doing it. <g> Just don't expect her to respond back to all of your tweets personally.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August poll results

Here are the results of the August poll:

Have you ever been to one of Diana's book-signings or other public events?

28.2% - No, but I'd love to do so some day!
25.7% - Yes, I've met her at least once.
21.8% - No, I live too far away.
8.9% - Yes, I go to as many as I can.
7.9% - Not yet, but I'm planning to do so later this year.
3.5% - What book-signings? How can I find out where she will be appearing?
3.0% - I've heard her speak, but we did not meet in person.
1.0% - Other

I fall into the second category. <g> I've met Diana in person once before, at a book-signing in Columbia, MD, about a year ago. And I am planning to see her in about ten days, when she comes to the Bookmarks Book Festival in Winston-Salem, NC, on September 11. (If any of you are going to be there, please let me know!)

There were 202 votes in this poll. Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

If you want to find out more information about Diana's planned public appearances, look here for the official book-tour schedule for THE EXILE, and here for a list of Diana's public events for the rest of 2010. All of this is, of course, subject to change, so check these sites for further updates. If you have questions about specific events, it's best to check with the event organizers, for example, the bookstore where a particular signing will take place.

This month's poll is all about "OUTLANDER: The Musical". I'm curious to know what the rest of you think about it. Please take a moment to vote in the poll. Thanks!