I Dun Been Kilted: Shaglander Returns!

So, what did you do tonight? Me? Glad you asked. I stood by an idyllic stream, throwing stones and–


Character Development! Internal Dialogue! Nature!

I personally love the shift to Jamie’s point of view. It’s interesting to hear his thoughts as we edge into the next step of the journey. It also helps to make such bitter pills like, oh, I don’t know– the existence of Jack Randall– more palatable. Okay, not a lot, but a little. Right away, we get reminded of what a colossal douchecanoe Black Jack really is when his, ah. . . craving for Jamie comes to light. 


Jack, Jack, Jack. You dirty little sadist.

Let me be clear: If I was given a choice between drinking this and being naked with Jack Randall, I’d say “Bottoms Up”. Wait– that sounded wrong. Shut up and pass me the cup.



If you think about it, there seems to be a recurring theme of conflict and resolution in this episode, along with something else. Something I just. . . can’t. . . put my finger on. Whatever could it be? Love? Devotion? 


I couldn’t decide if seeing Claire’s bum was worth the guilt of witnessing someone get strapped. Let me clarify: seeing someone who wasn’t wearing black latex get spanked. That was my conflict.
Who am I kidding, totally worth it.

We got to cozy on up to the oncoming Laoghaire Crazy Train. That chick has Stage Five Clinger written all over her.
And a nice rack. 
But I digress. 
In between our first view of L-Lao- Leerah– Lugh– can we just call her Laura and be done with it, for Chrissakes? Anyway, in between her flashing the sweater kittens at Jamie and the final reveal of some bad juju, there is the slight matter of Jamie and Claire’s redefining the term “Unsafe Sex”. 
If you’re a male, like me, unsafe sex means many things. It means cooties. Babies. Bad mornings and awkward nights, but it has never meant what Claire brought to the table tonight. The message seems to be, “We obey each other, you can’t spank my ass, blah, blah, blah– OH, and if you come before me, your balls will be spit-roasted by morning.” At least that’s what I got.


Shall we shag on the shag?

Three items about the love scene tonight that caused me to think.

1) I would LOVE to have been in the production meeting where they discussed exactly how funky they were going to get with each other.
Cait: “So, are we all agreed? A graze of the nipple with the tongue, yes? But not a true suckle? Can I get that in writing?”
Sam: “Define graze.”
Herself: “Not a lick or a rootle (herself’s fave word), but more of a light tongue bath. . . .like a kitten. Here, Sam, let me show you.”
2) Cait’s booty got moves. That is all.
3) I could never be an actor. Never. I could perform open heart surgery with a spork before I could pretend to be passionate with someone in a room full of people with cameras and union jobs. Plus, I like my sex like my basketball: one on one, with socks on.
4) Does the agreement on physical touching cover the entire world, or just the set?


Finally, we close with the bad juju.

So, in the warm afterglow of epic makeup sex, Claire finds what I like to call the Chicken Bones of Doom. (Stage Five Clinger, toldja!).


That scene foreshadows a shitstorm caused by a petulant teenager, or as we call it, “every day in high school.”

So, next week,right? See you then? Have you shared this blog with a friend? Been to my author page? What about a shoebox full of money? Have you sent that? 

Le sigh. 
By the way: I wrote a little zombie erotica. Just in case you weren’t convinced I’m a weirdo. You’re welcome.
Zombies, Dragons, and Witches, oh my.

We’re cool. See you soon. 

Cheers,
Terry


Outlander. Witches. Pancakes.

Welcome Back, Outlanders. 

So, the Winter of Our Discontent is nearly ended. Blessed be, or something. 

Tomorrow, millions of fans will re-engage with the second season. Loins will be girded. Chins will be lifted. Visages will be grim. And then, all hell will break loose as the bilious presence of Black Jack Randall invades our collective senses once again.
I couldn’t help but snicker as I watched people (okay, women aged 18-77) line up to see Fifty Shades of Grey. What was essentially a modest BDSM film paled in comparison to the depravity lurking in the mind of Jack Randall. He makes serial killers look like marriage material, but the good news is that before Jamie is tortured and reborn as something new, there’s a lot of beautiful story to enjoy. But first. . . .



Naturally, I’ll be paying attention to all aspects of the show, not just the parts that interest me. This is all in the name of science and stuff, of course.



So! there’s a lot to look forward to, eh? After the episode, I’ll have a breakdown and commentary– I look forward to yours as well.
Also, if you like witches or pancakes, or witches and pancakes, read the blurb about a new paranormal series that hits stores this June. I think you’ll love it– but for now, a little teaser.




Cheers!
Terry

Outlander: Current Casting Concerns

Let’s be clear: So far, Great.

The team at Outlander has selected some actors who are going to be iconic for their parts in the series.
I don’t think anyone could have prepared for the onscreen malice of Tobias Menzies, the luminous versatility of Cait, or the presence of Sam. Great job all ’round.

HOWEVER.

Since my home state was in the grip of winter this month, and I had to run on a godforsaken treadmill (it’s really a deathtrap with handrails), I have been listening to “Drums of Autumn”. This reinforces several concerns.

1. Davina Porter, please narrate my life. 
This should be self-explanatory. “Terry selected an apple with the verve of a charging knight. He would make the apple his own, one sensual bite at a time.” Annnnnd SCENE.
2. Please Dear Lord, let Brianna be tall. Let Roger be taller.
I cannot abide the destruction of another beloved literary character due to a lack of height. It happened once, and if it happens again, you’re going to see some aberrant behavior on my part. By aberrant behavior I mean, “beating the casting agents senseless with a sock full of bolts”.

I AM TOO 6’5″.

 Another point: Brianna must have cat eyes. And she must have a nontraditional beauty that dares me to look away. And freckles. And long legs. That’s just a personal preference, but I want my wishes to be on record. I have standards.
3. The Lord John Issue.
Easily one of my favorite characters, he has to be charming. Urbane. He must have the gravity of charisma and a trustworthy nature that merits Jamie’s friendship, and later, Brianna’s. Also, he better be blonde. None of this “sort of brown as a blonde” nonsense. Don’t tell me there aren’t British blondes; I’ve seen the BBC in the 1970s. It looked like a Nazi recruiting poster.
4. Ulysses
Look, slavery was the bane of humanity, and I don’t want to descend into a political lesson. I hope that the cultured gravity of Ulysses can be found in an actor without resorting to some sort of mishmash where the character is turned into a boilerplate activist. That will ruin the dynamic between Jocasta and Ulysses.
5. Jocasta
For the love of all that is holy, please find an actress who bridges that intellect and grace without being an intransigent harridan. The temptation to make Jocasta into a sort of taskmaster might be present, but I can only hope that she is presented as written: Intelligent, graceful, and oh-so-very-Scots.

That’s all for now. I have plenty to worry about before Black Jack starts his onslaught on my psyche via sexual torture. I like to think of it as “Fifty Shades of Cray”, because everything that happens to Jamie is flat-out insane.

Until next time. Buy my books, I want to buy a Scottish island, and yes,you can come visit.

Cheers!
Terry

 

I Dun Been Kilted: Claire Goes Both Ways

Well hello there, friends! I trust you’ve had a week to adequately, ahh. . . review the material from last week’s episode.

You know, for the purposes of art.

Moving on. I admit that, based on the title, I thought that many Outmander’s wishes were about to be granted as Claire played both sides. After I realized my, ah, interpretation was incorrect, I made peace with the actual plotline and moved on after some quiet sobbing.
We begin our travels this week within the friendly confines of the Scottish police offices, and I’d like to give proper credit to the producers for resisting the temptation to resort to cheap stereotypes. That’s integrity!

And one more thing about Scotland. Seriously, even in the most dreary of conditions, the raw beauty acts as another character, a looming presence that either crowds the actors into a cloistered tension or spreads before us, without limit and daring the eye to look away. Is it any wonder that such land creates poets? That this land can make us believe, with great ease, that there is a love story unfolding before us that is so powerful, it overcomes the rules of clocks?
Forgive me for descending into romanticism. Let’s return to the brutality of the era, shall we?

 
BUT. The possibility of freedom– of a sort– for Jamie, and by that rationale Claire? It’s a tantalizing glimpse at what might be even in the convoluted world of Outlander. I’d be remiss if I forgot to mention the issue of Jamie (Former Virgin) and Claire (Veteran) establishing that, yeah, it was pretty good. Okay, maybe better than good.



The pain that Frank is experiencing almost lets us forget what a total bastard his progenitor is, but nonetheless, the loss of one’s spouse is reason enough to take leave of your good senses. I was nearly shouting at the screen as I watched the comedy of errors unfolding. Desperation can make stupidity as natural as eating or breathing. We hear new theories about Claire’s disappearance, much to the chagrin of Frank.



And correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Frank a World War II veteran? At what point does it seem like a good idea to visit a darkened alley. Past midnight. With reward money? Oh, perish our collective worry. He’s the suspicious blood of Black Jack Randall coursing within him, and if we learn anything from Outlander, blood never forgets.

Claire must begin to adapt. 1743 will not mold to her; she must recast herself to survive in the world around her. Fair enough. Begin with a knife, and some of the finest advice ever given.

Indeed.

 
 But then, the real world intrudes yet again in both flashback and highland settings. I would love to see the casting call for the actors so ably filling the roles of rotten bastards in red uniforms.
“Wanted: Filthy sod with antlers for teeth and flexible position on sodomy. Bonus for pre-existing skin condition. Apply to Herself. Be on your best behavior.”
A passionate exchange between Jamie and Claire is shattered as only a marauding scumbag could: with violence, arrogance, and terrible hygiene. Once again, the world is harsh mistress.

There’s some crossover between cynicism of Frank and the hatred of Black Jack. When presented with the possibility of Claire slipping through time, Frank shows us. . .something.
I admit– hearing the echo of Frank and Claire calling to each other across time was wrenching. The scene was filmed so beautifully, with the proximity of two worlds separated by a thin veil. But this episode is ultimately about move, counter move, and a crescendo that serves to push Black Jack Randall to the right hand of Stalin (and bucking for a promotion). It’s incredibly difficult to watch the violence Black Jack brings to Claire; her face collapses upon itself like the last leaves of fall as they lose to the bitter winter. 
And then, Jamie. The sonofabitch is heroic and has good timing!

And THEN, reality sets in. 

BUT, we’ll survive. I’ll still have some occasional funnies as I gather more images and such. It isn’t as if we’ll forget about the show, right?
So! Thanks for dropping by. Tomorrow is a big day for me– my fourth book is released, I announce two new series, and I plan on eating most of a blueberry pie. I won’t share the pie, but if you’d like to explore the world I’ve built in my books, drop by one of the links below, and as always, thanks.

The Fearless Urban Fantasy 


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Cheers,
Terry

 

I Dun Been Kilted: Nothing New Happened Whatsoever

Oh, hi. What’s new? Nothing here, busy weekend reviewing some tax policies that have troubled me for quite a while. I just cannot fathom how to logically claim certain business–


So there was a wedding, eh?

And did it meet your exacting standards?

I surveyed one hundred ardent female fans of Outlander, and oddly enough, not one of them answered their phone. It was as if they were intentionally avoiding me!

I’m a huge fan of timelines that seamlessly transport the viewer (or reader) along a non-linear path. The episode begins at the end, so to speak, and reveals the intricacies of the day through vignettes. For me, that humanized the event. Due to the limitations of Black Jack’s request to *ahem* question Claire, there was no time for a long, dreamy montage of preparatory action and reaction. In short, you can blame that bastard Black Jack for robbing you, the audience, of the entire joy that planning such a wedding might bring to the viewer.

But, in a rare expression of kindness, it appears that Captain Randall heard the collective wishes of female Outlander fans, and actually accelerated the process of Claire and Jamie’s love story. Furthermore, he did it all of his own accord. Jack is really turning out to be a fine fellow.

But there’s so much more to be discussed! There’s a fantastic scene with our favorite asthmatic barrister Ned, who goes dress shopping for the blushing Mrs. Beauchamp and comes home with more than he bargained for. Who knew that Ned could be so randy at an advanced age? Who knew that Scottish prostitutes had such exquisite skin? Who knew that dresses could be traded for sexual favors?

Wait– that actually makes sense. No matter. Moving on.

This is, above all, the episode in which the duplicity of Claire’s life plays out over her face. If you didn’t think that the casting was perfect before. the interplay of Claire, Jamie, and the entire cast make a compelling case that this group of actors have fully inhabited their roles.

The flashbacks reveal that Claire was day-drunk, nervous, and adapting to Scottish traditions quite easily.

But enough chit-chat about “plot” and “acting” and such.
Three times. The consummation of the wedding is a play in three acts, described as follows:
One: Hey, give the guy a break.

Surely he can be forgiven for such a reaction to the mysteries of a woman. Plus, I sense there is more to Claire than meets the eye.

I’d be remiss if I said I didn’t hear the collective intake of breath from female Outlander fans when Jamie revealed his bum. Ok, it wasn’t a noise, it was more like a near-riot. Which brings us to the next iterations of the Wedding Night Love Train. This episode is a rarity in that is uses sex as a plot device to advance the relationship between two characters. These are people in turmoil. They’re nearly broken, but one can almost sense that something will happen to bind them together forever. The ring crafted from a key is one part of the equation, but there is something more, something drastic, that will cause Jamie to forever be linked to Claire. We’ve also got to mention the fact that Jamie, the virgin, thought that one made love a’la’ barnyard, via the back door. Och, lad.

But. . .heh. . .he gets the hang of it, and—
Let me stop here for a moment. While I can appreciate the passion that fans have for these characters and the actors portraying them, let’s never forget that they are, in fact, real people, and objectifying them can come across as crude or, in some cases, creepy. In fact–

What? I’m not weird. I’m just observant!

Round three in the wedding night is one of those events that caused unilateral jealousy among men and women. Well done, Outlander. Well done indeed. Women can both admire Claire’s beauty and relationship while simultaneously wishing she was sent to the great beyond, to be replaced by them, of course.

And from a male perspective, allow me to tell you what every single dude with a pulse was thinking at one point when Claire introduces Jamie to the greatest invention since the television remote. Jamie is, of course, powerless to resist. Heh.

 
There’s something to be said about sexual power, isn’t there? And remember, in the world of Outlander, apparently everyone gets their cookie, so to speak.

So, a rousing success. Dougal is still an asshole, the wedding is now complete, Claire and Jamie can get down to the business of navigating a vicious world, but they’ll do it together. Let’s close with a prayer, in honor of all the women who waited so patiently for this event to unfold on the screen.

Until Next Week!
Cheers!
Terry
Love Paranormal Fantasy? Let’s be book friends! Take a bite out of evil.

As always, thanks for the visit, emails, and support. 

I Dun Been Kilted: To Dance With the Devil

We’re going to want to stretch a bit for this one. Perhaps some deep knee bends. A few jumping jacks. Then, we can all settle in and let our feeling for Black Jack flow. Even from the preview, I knew that something like this was likely:

Wow, the smugness and entitlement of the Redcoats is rather hard to take, isn’t it? Less than four minutes into the episode, I found myself wanting to kick things. Like, many things. The introductory scene of the British commander certainly didn’t seem to help my mood, either. He’s priggish, oily, vaguely pervy, and dismissive. That’s quite an achievement for such a small scene, but John Heffernan pulls it off with ease.

And then Black Jack showed up.

The claustrophobic feel of an English officer’s dinner went from awkward, to convivial, to toxic. The only new ingredient was Captain Randall, whose malignant presence made every measured gesture into something dangerous. Tobias is growing into his role, just as Black Jack is swiftly morphing into much more than a sadist. He’s a psychopath. The ensuing– and I use this term loosely —medical scene is yet another of those moments where the collected prayer Thank God I Don’t Live In The 18th Century was lofted heavenward by millions of people. Let’s just say it was an uncomfortable scene and leave it at that, because how much more violent can this episode get, right? Surely our level of discomfort can’t get any greater, because that simply doesn’t add up.


 So. . . .things go from bad to worse. Claire learns, too late, that everything she says is being examined for an advantage to the Crown, and by Crown I mean Black Jack and his toybox full of crazy. His retelling of scourging Jamie is like watching a wine tasting. He rolls each syllable on his tongue, and yes, it’s worse than we could have imagined. Therefore, may I present:

 Umm. . . kudos to the show, I guess? What a ghastly scene. But, hey, Captain Randall reveals, at last, a core of humanity within his shriveled heart. Claire has reached him! There is hope! 
And then– Oh. So Captain Randall isn’t the devil. He’s worse. To quote Claire, “Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!”

Dougal then hits warp drive to Jamie town for you ladies. His simple solution– a wedding– is delivered on the banks of a Liar’s Spring, which science reveals to be sulfur,not the fumes of hell. If that were true, then every other home in Central New York would be sitting atop the gates of hell. (Trust me, my neighbors washed their hair in that water. It was. . .aromatic, but fortunately, the Aquanet drowned out the sulfur). Nonetheless, the die is cast, and Claire is in need of a wedding. Well, well, well.*


 During the brief encounter between Claire and Jamie, the collective gasp of women the world o’er collapsed thousands of draperies, caused several car accidents, and altered the orbit of the moon. Slightly. Claire’s thoughts were transparent.

But wait! Claire grabs the bottle of hooch, strides purposefully into camera, and everyone girds their loins for THE WEDDING. Now, I hate to name drop, but I called Diana and asked her if she could confirm something I suspected about the incipient in flagrante delicto between Jamie and Claire.
She mentioned a restraining order, so I was forced to turn to other sources, but let me just say, for the benefit of all the women who have wondered for so long. . . .

Annnd, we’re done for this week!
*That’s really me. Personal ad pic from 2001. True story.
Thanks for the following: your visits to my page, you emails, your voodoo fetishes (New Orleans, heh) and your continued support of my books. Two notes: we’re less than two weeks away from my next release date, links are below. Also, if you drop by my site, sign up for our newsletter– I don’t spam, and never will. It’s strictly cool book related items once in a while.
Cheers,
Terry
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I Dun Been Kilted:A Squirt of Rent Edition

I apologize for the blog running later, I’m recovering from a pie and cake induced birthday coma. I emerged from said coma to watch Outlander, thank the stars I live in the modern world, and eat some blissfully urine-free cake, all within the span of an hour. But first, a word about Dougal:

And while we’re at it, let’s address the growing conflict between Claire and the other bastion of cosmopolitan manners that is giving her a serious case of travel remorse, as well as the truly jarring moment when Claire learns how the ladies of the Highlands keep their colors from fading:


“I see. So, I’ve fallen through time to a place of wanton savagery, ruthless competition, and people who are willing to do anything to rise to the top.” Claire might think. You know what I thought? I’d seen this type of behavior before.


 Rent is the first long, slow descent into a culture of pandering, violence, extortion, unwilling taxation, poverty and social practices that one might find unusual and repellent despite their apparent necessity. Cait’s performance is excellent. Raise your hand is you were hoping she hauled back and kicked someone in the balls after being treated like a glorified pack animal. I know I winced on three or four occasions, thinking that Claire’s character was being revealed by what she didn’t do, rather than what she did. Although, there were some fantastic moments where Cait’s facial expression and mine were nearly identical.

But everything in “Rent” is not lighthearted. There are violent deaths, subterfuge, and the use of Jamie’s scars as a rallying point to fight against the tyranny of a distant king. It’s  sad and beautiful, just like much of history. Let’s give Sam credit (and Cait) for an elegant, coy scene where he concerns himself with her honor.  In the shadows and light of the tavern’s hall, it’s easy to see the luminous quality of Claire that will come to possess Jamie. She’s radiant, and he’s the perfect mirror for her beauty. Once again, a hearty well done! to the casting team.

By far, my favorite reveal of “Rent” is the complex nature of rebellion and honor. I love a good bar fight, and the revelation that the donnybrook we see is caused in defense of Claire’s honor explains a great deal of the backstory. The Highlanders are engaged in a complex dance of manners, crudity, and the perception that, despite being English, Claire is worthy of their blood. She also unleashes a well-placed joke about Rupert’s, ah, lack of companionship.

The flashback to Culloden Moor is a sobering moment. Claire is carrying the burden of history, and it’s hard to watch. The raw beauty of a battlefield is always such a contradiction, isn’t it? I teach Military History, and I visit these places, the swaths of holy ground, and I’m always stunned into silence by the feeling of ghosts, and peace, and beauty. Isn’t that what we are seeing in each and every scene of this grand cinematography? A story to break your heart, but a vision to lift you up?

Now, on to our ending. The tension. The drama. The:

As always, thanks for dropping by. If you feel like stalking me online, I wholly encourage that kind of behavior. I hope your week is free of, uh, setting dye in tartan.

Cheers!
Terry

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I Dun Been Kilted: Scottish Rave Edition

Good Sunday to All. Or Perhaps Tuesday.

I don’t really understand the International Meridian, but whenever you are, welcome.

Let’s revisit one tiny little issue from last week. As it turns out, Father Bain was supposed to have an assistant priest for his scene, but the producers could not reach terms with the actor they most wanted for the role.

Moving on to this week!
Almost immediately in the episode, we’re treated to a contrasting view (and commentary) on women and how they operate in two different cultures. Claire reveals an organized, methodical cleverness that is focused and sly.

 In a departure from such concepts as “the rule of law” and “don’t commit a felony every day just so your hubby doesn’t smush on you”, we have the confession of Geillis Duncan, who has no compunction using whatever works to achieve her position in life.

THANK GOD Claire is different from the underhanded cunning of–what’s that?

This is an excellent commentary on the end justifying the means, and all that. Two women, two different situations, one solution. Next time you complain about a mean spirited Facebook post directed at you, imagine having dinner at your enemies’ home and being forced to wonder, “Is this the drink that makes me wake up with my pants unbuttoned?”

Claire enacts her plan, which is, all things considered, as solid as can be given her limitations. She isn’t suspicious enough, despite having just left a world that was riven by massive war. We’re also treated to a brief shot of a plush, lovely woman (played by Victoria Taggart) stirring a steaming pot of something. Apparently, this is irresistible to Claire’s shadows, and the byplay that comes next says quite a bit about sexual attitudes in 1743. As in, everybody was doing it. A lot. And they drew straws for the attentions of said plush maiden, and then compared her to pie. Now, if you know anything about me, you know I love pie. I think Scottish pie may be slightly different, and the pie being referenced even more different.


 Finally, in the midst of the intrigue, and the Gathering, and all of the myriad paths of Highlander politics, Jamie takes his shirt off. He tells Claire that the words of his clan are different than that of the MacKenzies. What was the phrase Jamie used? Something French. Hmm. . . .

On to the hunting. What a shift to the reality of a dangerous time.
Another cultural adjustment for Claire? Hunting dinner that can hunt you back. Beautifully filmed, brutal, and hectic. Death is always close to the surface, no matter how beautiful the land and the people. There’s a joke about a superpig, but in the face of the emotion and performance, let’s pass that one by.

There are two more thoughts I’m betting we all had. One is this:

And the second was that moment when you pumped your fist and said:

What an episode. So, as always, thanks for dropping by. Thanks for the fun emails, the mild threats, the lewd pictures, and the coupons. Dear Lord, thank you for the coupons.
Until next week!

Cheers,
Terry

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I Dun Been Kilted: We’re Not In Kansas, Toto

                                          Welcome back, Heughligans and Caitriots!!

I said it last week, and the week before. The world of 1743 is less forgiving than a scorned wife. Let’s put that in perspective before we move on and discuss the episode, shall we?

The concept of  “A Bad Day”has a radically different meaning in 18th century Scotland, but in the spirit of proper context, imagine that the smallest crime can be met with overwhelming brutality. Example:

It’s a hard way to make it through the day. Life was. . . .different. But, was it always worse? Was there no pleasure to be had in that land of morning mists and stunning vistas?

Of course there was. I want you to close your eyes, and imagine a world so free, so boundless–

 
This episode has beautifully rich scenery that brings 1743 to life. Right down to the grimy, drunken, parasite laden truth of it all, which is– much as modern travelers still know– when you visit, don’t drink the water. Wine was a blissful necessity, since the water sources were. . . let’s call them dodgy and leave it that *cough* cholera *cough*. Claire’s surgery is a wonder. “Hold the sheep dung, and get me more powdered skull!” Ah yes. Medicine. It’s so. . . sciencey.

The village is a filthy, wonderful wreck, and I loved it. I loved the cloistered feel of the room where we get to meet the newest applicant for the position of Evil Overlord and Killer of Babies, or as he is known to everyone else, Father Bain.
Casting note: Well done. You’ll be paying for therapy for everyone in a scene with him, but bloody well done indeed.
Father Bain’s intransigence isn’t unusual; in fact, it’s probably fairly common. Claire becomes something dangerous– a woman with a mind– and her breakthrough to save Thomas is a thing of beauty. Along the way, we get to see Father Bain as a sort of– well, I leave that to you to decide. Here he is on duty:

 
And here he is enjoying some “me time”:

 

But the crazy train wasn’t done chugging yet. We get to see the necessity of a woman’s wiles when used to prevent what could have been a far more savage punishment for a simple act of theft. The scene also let us glimpse the cunning of Geillis Duncan, who isn’t above using her milky skin, lush bosom, and long, red hai– excuse me. My apologies. Now then, where was I? Ahh, of course.

The atmosphere at Castle Leoch is both alien and beautiful. Claire’s fearless bumrubbing helped ingratiate her with Himself. DUH. Rub any man’s bum for “medical” purposes, and you’ll either have a friend for life or a serious marriage proposal. We get to see the haunting effects of music in that drafty, noble pile of stones, as well as how people interact with each other under the roof. In short, life. 
There was some tension, as expected, between Jamie and Claire. I was relieved to see that some things in our modern world remain solidly in line with our past. Case in point, Jamie uses subterfuge to be alone with Claire. What brought her boldness on once they were alone?

Faster than Jamie could say, “Do you want to get in the backseat?“, Claire lets her cups get the best of her. A little bit. Frankly, I think they did a great job of building tension in an episode that incorporated a lot of new material. Note to self: BUY RHENISH WINE FOR WIFE.

This episode was part culture clash, part commentary on superstition, and a further stoking of the relationship between Claire and Jamie. And on an author’s note, where did they find a woman like Caitriona Balfe? She must have been first in a line the day that English Roses With Swan-like Necks were made. She’s luminous, and it makes it even more believable that a person like Jamie can be entranced with her. Finally, a casting agent says, “Let’s find people with chemistry and looks.” Yeah, I’m looking at you, Hollywood. 

Until next week, friends. And kind thanks to those of you who have promoted my books. I appreciate your time and efforts. I REALLY appreciate those of you who left nice reviews on Amazon. I wish you Scotch Eggs and Whiskey and Naked Highlanders, but not in that order.

Cheers!
Terry

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I Dun Been Kilted: When Bears Play The Lute

Welcome back, Heughligans and Caitriots alike! After my initial blog post, I realized I’d been remiss in addressing the stellar musical score. It was poignant, and haunting, and—

For the LAST time, woodwinds— MORE VERVE!”  

1) The music, when done well, effectively becomes another character and augments the setting. Bear McCreary’s theme is superior, and captures an emotional quality that makes me, a male, uncomfortably emotional. If I’d wanted to experience surging feelings, I wouldn’t have married a polite Norwegian Lutheran.*

2) I’d like to thank the wonderful participants in last week’s blog. I received a great deal of funny, charming, witty input. I also managed to wrangle three marriage proposals and one restraining order. Otis– you’ve been warned. No means no.

3) An additional point I failed to mention was the ethereal scene in the stone circle. Look, I’m a four decade geek veteran. I know the entirety of Druidic culture through years of celibacy and playing Dungeons & Dragons. The notion of a group of druids in a modern setting was one of those scenes that could have been wildly successful or sadly tacky. What we saw onscreen was exactly what I envisioned. A blend of whirling shapes, music, natural beauty and mystery all braided together. It was a rousing success, due in part to– once again– the music. Let’s face it, thumping tympani just seem right, primal, and natural. I think the specific music for that scene was a nice hybrid between the old and new. Think “Loreena McKennitt meets Clannad”. I know that had Stevie Nicks been present, she would have been overcome by the driving beat and atmospheric quality of the scene.

“I JUST WANNA SPIN!”

4) In continuation from last week, the hub of Castle Leoch is introduced as a de facto character. It’s big, ominous, and most importantly, it’s not the relatively civilized atmosphere of, say, a home in the Cotswolds. Or a pit full of dragons, for that matter. 

“Plumbing? Never heard of her.”


5) The Highlands breed tough, hard people, and Claire begins to understand that the definitions of man and woman have changed during her fall down the rabbit hole. Men are– well, for the viewer, they’re wholly alien. They don’t wear Axe body spray, and they don’t concern themselves with things like manscaping.

6) Claire is incredibly resilient, but the men leading the culture she is immersed within are simply. . . different. The disconnect goes beyond anything superficial. Even things like diet are– let’s say– more direct.

7) As a nurse, and a modern human, Claire understands that within this life, there is a great deal of risk. And for anyone who has ever made the mistake of saying, “Yeah, I know how to do that!”, the lesson is clear: Don’t make yourself indispensable, because then, you become a prisoner who has to casually inform a group of suspicious warriors that their previous medicinal regimen of powdered dung and dandelions may not have been in their best interest. Claire is no shrinking violet, but even the brutality of Scotland is shocking. Jamie’s flogging isn’t the most ghastly moment; it’s the casual nature of violence. But, let’s move on to happier topics for now. As in, the fact that Jamie is being. . .rolled out, incrementally, like a rare car at an auction. And yes, ladies, I know what you’re thinking. Claire knows botany, and you’re willing to learn.


8) The firelight scene is what the audience wanted. Intense, wrenching, and filled with the whole gamut of emotion between Claire and Jamie, the undercurrent is powerful. Don’t look at the mud, and the pain. In our world of immediate gratification, Jamie and Claire are not meant to find each other on Tinder or OkCupid ( THANK GOD).  Yes, there is attraction, but it’s more of a flash followed by the kind of simmer that will linger.

9) As a male, let thank whoever cast Caitriona one more time. Two words: Plunging Decolletage. That is all I am currently allowed to say under existing American marital law.

10) Oh, Claire. You’re a seasoned combat nurse. Why did ye imply ye knew anything?

“You need more air in yer bodily humour plumbing!”


11) After seeing that “Kitchen”, you have my permission to scissor kick me the next time I complain about peeling potatoes.

12) So, we get to meet Geillis Duncan. The term “Dipped in Crazy” comes to mind, but let us recall that Outlander is set in a time mere decades after a woman was accused of witchcraft for making an apple dumpling. Seriously.

13) Betcha won’t use the term “hero” for a sandwich again after the asswhipping Jamie took as a proxy. Jamie shines here, taking the kind of beating that made me wonder if blood loss doesn’t lead to undue valor. Note to Jamie: just because you can withstand something doesn’t mean you should do it, unless there is pie involved. And to my horror, I saw no pie exchange hands.

More to come, this was, as expected, a LOT to take in for one evening.

Love Paranormal. Get my newest book here: Take a bite out of evil. Halfway Bitten.



Also– kind thanks to all the nice email and interest in my books. Very cool of you all, and thanks for spreading the word. Feel free to stalk me on Facebook, or my website, or Goodreads– wherever the mood strikes.

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Cheers!


Terry