Saturday, September 22, 2018

Outlander and Me

There's nothing quite like an author being surrounded by mobs of passionate readers, even if those said readers are present because of a series of books not associated with said author (me). Yesterday I attended (and worked) one portion of an Outlander weekend, a Scottish festival at Whippoorwill Village in Ferguson, North Carolina.
At the opening ceremony, various clans lit a torch on the torch tower honoring their branch of the greater Scottish family. These people gathered together not only to visit with each other, but to appreciate their heritage brought out in the Outlander book series by Diana Gabaldon. They had read every single page of eight books, soaked up every word, breathed them, mulled over them and wanted to discuss them with others just as passionate. Perhaps they held a slight jealousy of the heroine's ability to walk before a standing stone in 1946 Scotland and be sucked back into the Scotland of their eighteenth century ancestors. By book four, this heroine appeared in the Carolina's colony in time to fight the revolution against the crown. What a concept!

Disclaimer, here. I have read only the first in the series, but after yesterday I'm determined to start book two. Another disclaimer. I'm not Scottish. German actually. An Irish friend once gave me a pin to wear on St. Patrick's Day that proclaims, "Everyone's Irish Once a Year!" Yesterday was my "Everyone's Scottish" experience. I know which clan I wanted to join:
The one with cousins from various states wearing shirts identifying them as "Trouble." Wouldn't that be a fun clan to be a member of?
But then again, wouldn't it be joy to be a member of any Scottish family and watch with pride as they remembered the people before them who made them what they are today.
There's just something about a man in a skirt...excuse me, kilt, even when he has a bagpipe over his shoulder:
Yes, that's me with the piper. Even his version of "The Campbells Are Coming" brought tears to my eyes. I'm decked out in period clothes because I was a volunteer there at the village. I ran the village store for the first three hours, the store by the way, that is in chapter one of my Wheels and Moonshine book. The last couple of hours I was a docent in the schoolhouse where I shared life in the not-so good old days of one room schoolhouses.

In between my duties I was able to partake of an authentic (and super delicious) Scottish, cooked over the open fire, meal prepared by Dawn Mathews. Chicken stew, bannocks (an oat cake bread common in Scottish homes), and the best apple crisp I've tasted in ages. Oh, and the goat cheese...yum!
That's my husband, Van, enjoying his portion under my booth's tent. He sold my books as I flitted about enjoying my Scottish moment under the Carolina sun.

I do have a book with a Scottish connection. Chapter three in Dr. Jane Carswell takes the reader to Flora Macdonald College and to the required physical education class on the Highland Fling.
This photograph was on the back of a 1946 booklet detailing the college and its Scottish roots. No, Dr. Carswell isn't in the photograph, but she had a kilt sewn by her mother to regulations for freshmen entering their first year. Color and patterns were individual to classes and unique to them through the entire four years (in an all-girl school, by the way). Once when Dr. Carswell was in her seventies, she amazed on-lookers when she broke into a full flung Highland Fling!

Now to read the rest of the Outlander story. I can't wait.

Catch of the day,



  1. oh you will love the books! I am eagerly awaiting book 9!!!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Christine. I'm looking forward to reading "the rest of the story!"