A Break

We have decided to take a break from blogging so we can more actively pursue various other projects.  Most of us are working on new books, which are all at different stages.  We will continue to share information about our books and some of our other creative activities and may even blog about random topics or books that inspire us.  You can also check out our Boomers and Books Facebook page where we will continue to post the occasional tidbit.

Junk Drawer Inspiration

“How did you come up with that story?” For writers, inspiration can be found just about anywhere. When I lived in Miami, my writing teacher, Dennis Ross, had plenty of ideas for his students. At the end of each class, he’d give us a selection of prompts to use in creating our stories for the following week. But as class ended one evening he asked each of us to bring three objects to our next session. Why? He smiled and said we’d just have to wait and see.

Whistle, Flashlight, Spoon

People showed up with a variety of things: a plastic spoon, whistle, small flashlight, bottle cap, piece of chalk, key, photos, book of matches. Obviously, junk drawers everywhere had been raided. When we arrived with our treasures, Dennis put them in a cardboard box, mixed them up, and instructed us to close our eyes and take out three things. The purpose of this exercise? We had to include those three items in our next story.

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In my case, I picked a dried-up tube of lipstick, a key, and cardboard coaster from The Hog’s Breath Saloon. The guy who brought the key said he thought it belonged to a Harley he once had.

The next day I went online and looked up The Hog’s Breath Saloon. The bar is one of many in Key West, Florida. I had my setting! Lipstick and a Harley key? My brain went in four different directions, inspired by all the possibilities. The short story I wrote started with this line:

Heads turned at the click of Maggie’s four-inch heels on the wooden barroom floor.

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Grab Something!

Maybe all of us should excavate our junk drawers. Just close our eyes and grab something. Who knows what inspiration might lie within our grasp? If you don’t have a junk drawer, then maybe one of the photos in this post will spark your imagination.

Then start writing!

SkateKey2

A Magic Wish List

Six concerts.  That may not sound like a lot, especially when they’re spread over a four-year period, but it’s a huge number if you’re not normally a concert-goer.  So how did this happen?

It’s still all Chris Isaak’s fault, but now there’s a secondary culprit—an apparently magical, semi-secret wish list.  I know I’ve mentioned that I’m a huge fan of his once or twice before.  Well, okay, multiple times, but I have shown some restraint in talking about him, out of consideration for the nonbelievers.  Endlessly nattering on about every tiny detail, such as his latest clever remark or what shoes he wore at a particular concert, is what fan message boards are for.

Attending at least one of his concerts is practically mandatory, even for us non-concert-going fans, because his concerts really are special.  None of the YouTube videos or concert reviews by either professionals or other fans can truly prepare you for the experience.  And the mirror suit he wears during the encore has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated.

So off I went with my sister to my very first Chris Isaak concert.  It was pretty exciting, partly because it was my first one and partly because he always puts on a great concert.  He’s a true entertainer who combines a powerful voice and the ability to hold a note for longer than most people can exhale with a comedian’s innate sense of timing and knack for connecting on a personal level with his audience.  However, the concert was outdoors and general admission and the weather did not cooperate.  It was during a heat wave, so we waited until the last minute to arrive and ended up with lousy seats.  All I managed to get were a few distant pictures, and none at all of his amazing mirror suit.

I needed more pictures.  That meant going to a second concert and getting a better seat.  So the next year, I tried again at the same venue.  Everything seemed to go right this time.  The weather cooperated, and with my vast concert-going experience of one concert, I managed to get a pretty good seat and take a bunch of decent pictures.  Sitting closer to the stage also made it easier to get caught up in the unique “Chris Isaak concert” experience that’s so hard to describe.

His concerts are very audience-focused.  It’s not just a performance by some big star on stage, entertaining an anonymous crowd of lesser beings.  Instead, the audience is treated like valued guests, with Chris being both the entertainment and the host of the party—and he does everything possible to make sure the audience has a great time.  Although he calls it “shamelessly pandering to the audience,” he genuinely appreciates people taking the time and spending the money to come to the concert.  This attitude creates the kind of experience that makes regular concert-goers want to return again and again.

However, the enthusiasm of us non-concert-goers is more easily dampened by various minor hassles.  General admission outdoor concerts take a lot of careful planning to determine the best arrival time to get a good seat, while limiting the length of time one has to wait in line.  Even after the “doors” open and you get in and grab a good seat, there’s another two-hour wait.  Weather is always a risky variable, of course, and parking is usually challenging.

Since I now had the pictures I craved, I decided I would only go to another Chris Isaak concert if it was indoors with reserved seats.  This decision, I believe, was the beginning of my wish list of things I wanted but didn’t really expect to happen.  An indoor venue seemed unlikely, since most of the concerts he plays in my general area are outdoors.  I thought my second concert would be my last.

But surprise!  At the beginning of my third concert-going year, a March tour date was announced for an indoor venue with reserved seating—not real close to me, but within a drivable distance.  There was even a hotel on the premises that I could stay at, and I was able to reserve a good seat right on the center aisle.

Shortly after I bought my ticket, another indoor concert was added to the spring tour schedule for a venue even closer to me.  I waffled a little over going to that one, too, but finally decided I only needed to go to one.  Besides, the second one was less convenient because there was no hotel on the premises and parking was an issue.  The only possible thing that would entice me to go to this second indoor concert was a front row seat, which was something else on my wish list of things I’d like but didn’t really expect.

Then the magic happened again.  A couple of weeks before that second indoor concert, a front row seat suddenly became available, one right in front of the lead guitar player, Hershel Yatovitz.  I had to go.  When else would I have a chance at getting a front row seat in an indoor venue in my area?  Incredibly, this non-concert-goer was going to two Chris Isaak concerts in one year.

Both indoor concerts exceeded my expectations, in different ways.  At the first one, I took photos throughout the entire concert, getting an immensely satisfying quantity of them.  When Chris ventured out into the audience (which he always does for at least one song), he came up the center aisle where I was sitting, so I had the opportunity to clasp his hand.  I also impulsively—no, make that compulsively—fondled the sleeve of his sparkly suit when he foolishly continued to stand next to me while singing.  Although he refers to his suits as being wool, based on the feel of it, they must be a wool blend.  (My strange fabric fetish could be an entire post, all by itself.)  As a lovely bonus, I met another fan there who I had become acquainted with online.  By sheer coincidence, she was sitting in the aisle seat right in front of me.  Then, after the concert, I was able to get Chris to autograph my favorite CD of his, Mr. Lucky.

At the second indoor concert, the venue said photography was not allowed, although Chris Isaak always encourages picture-taking, saying he didn’t get all dressed up in his fancy suit for people to not take pictures.  But because of the venue rules, I didn’t bring my camera, in case security tried to confiscate it.  So I was able to focus all my attention on enjoying my front row seat.  The particular fancy suit Chris wore at this concert was a black one with multicolored flowers and so many sequins that it literally sparkled in the dark, like it was battery operated.  And I was sitting close enough to see the detail stitching around the edges and hems of his suit.  (Be still, my little fabric-fetish heart.)

While waiting for the concert to begin, I had chatted with two ladies sitting next to me.  They were not familiar with Chris Isaak, so I was able to fill them in with more details about him and his band, Silvertone, then most people want to know.  They loved the concert and were interested in hanging around after it, in the hopes of getting pictures and an autograph.  I agreed to “show them the ropes” even though I had practically no experience and really didn’t have any ropes to show them.  In spite of this, we succeeded, and I got a picture of Chris and me together out of it.  It’s a slightly fuzzy one, but frankly, slightly fuzzy is more flattering to me than sharp ones.  Actually, the best part was the one-arm hug I got from him when our picture was taken.  (He’s a great hugger, and I can only imagine what he can do with two arms.)  I also got to meet Hershel, who recognized me from my front row seat, and had my picture taken with him, too.

There was no doubt about it.  I was spoiled by these two indoor concerts, especially with all the exciting things that happened at them.  I wasn’t sure if any other concert could top them and was almost afraid to go to another one, for fear it would be a letdown.  Besides, four concerts were plenty for someone who didn’t normally go to them.  So I was able to pass up all his outdoor summer concerts in my area.

In fact, there were only a few situations that would convince me to go again.  There was one particular indoor venue I kept hoping he would play at.  It had everything going for it—reserved seats, photography allowed, a hotel on the premises, easy driving distance, and, for the cherry on top, the best buffet in the state.  But it wasn’t one of his regular venues, and I didn’t really expect it to happen.  So imagine my shock when it was added to his tour schedule.  Not only that, it was for a December concert.  Going to one of his Christmas concerts was a “maybe someday, in the distant future” item on my wish list.

Once again, I was making plans to go to a Chris Isaak concert—somewhat complicated plans because it involved coordinating a group of five people.  My sister and her husband joined me, and we met up with my new Chris Isaak fan friend (from the first indoor concert in March) and her friend.  Interestingly enough, she was once again sitting in the aisle seat right in front of me.  This turned out to be the perfect arrangement because Chris came zipping up our aisle, straight toward my friend, and sat down in her lap.  He serenaded her with Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, just long enough for me to recover from my astonishment and snap a picture as a keepsake for her.  (Even though I always know he’s going to come out into the audience, I never seem to be prepared for it.  And he moves so fast, without appearing to hurry, I never seem to get any good pictures, even when he goes right past me.)

This concert was even better than the others.  Chris was extra chatty and funny, and his singing was amazing.  His rendition of Wicked Game (a song that really should have won a Grammy) was so mesmerizing, the audience was spellbound.  And he sang Last Month of the Year with such feeling that it was a powerful emotional experience.  It was almost as if it was a dedication or a memorial.

After three indoor concerts in one year, each one uniquely special, each better than the previous one, it felt like it was a good time to end on a high note (if you’ll pardon the pun).  So I didn’t plan on attending a concert this year.  When his tour schedule for my area was announced, there was nothing on it to change my mind.  I definitely would not be going to a concert…unless I won VIP tickets, of course.

You can probably guess where this story is headed next, but not how it turned out.  Chris Isaak teamed up with Fretlight Guitar to offer a prize package that included a pair of VIP tickets.  This prize package was available for every single one of his concerts through the end of the year.  Only one entry per person was allowed, so I entered for the venue closest to me.  Although it was an outdoor concert, the winner wouldn’t be notified until a day or two before each concert, so it was the easiest one for last-minute planning.  My expectations of winning were low (and, as it turned out, I didn’t win) but it meant that I was paying close attention to that concert and possible hotels to stay in.  And my mind frame had shifted from definitely not attending a concert this year to maybe attending one.

It was the ideal setup for my wish list to work its magic again.  A few weeks before the concert, the venue announced that Chris’s oldest brother, Nick Isaak, would be the opening act.  Seeing the two brothers together had been on my wish list from the beginning, although once again, I wasn’t sure it would ever happen.  Usually, Nick only opens for Chris at concerts in central California, which is a bit far to travel for an opening act.  So I jumped on the chance to see Nick at a venue close to me, buying a ticket for concert number six and making a hotel reservation.

Nick and Chris IsaakNick’s performance—a set of nine country-western songs—was everything I could hope for.  He’s better than any other opening act I’ve seen, though admittedly my experience is limited.  Chris also joined him for a couple of the songs.  Later, when Chris was performing, Nick joined Chris for a third song.  It was such a delight to see them together.  They joke around a lot, poke a little fun, like brothers do, but their love and respect for each other are palpable.

As if that wasn’t enough to make this concert special, I also finally got to hear Roly Salley, (the bass player) sing his own original, Grammy-winning song, Killing the Blues.  Fulfilling that desire always seemed more probable than the other items on my wish list because he did sing it fairly frequently, though irregularly, at concerts.  Yet, ironically, this hoped-for event that appeared more likely to occur had not happened at any of my five previous concerts.

On top of all that, I got a close-up, eye-level view of Chris’s black-and-white shoes when he walked by on the elevated terrace right behind me, during his foray into the audience.  (Although it’s not entrenched like my fabric fetish, my recently acquired shoe fetish seems to be growing.)  So basically, his feet were a foot away.  My only regret is that, once again, I wasn’t fast enough to snap a good picture of his shoes.

So is number six my last concert?  Maybe.  Most of the things on my wish list have been checked off.  What’s left seems pretty unlikely to happen.  Of course, I didn’t really expect any of the other things to happen either.  But they did—and with no apparent effort on my part to make them happen.  So I’m not going to assume anything on my list is impossible.  Or share what else is on it for fear of jinxing it, because I’m not really sure how or why it’s working.  I might even add a few farfetched and seemingly unattainable wishes to it.  Just in case it really is a magic wish list.

The Future is Here…

Several years ago when I moved to a new city, I left the camera we shared with my ex. At about the same time I got my first cell phone, my 9-1-1 phone as I thought of it, something every single woman should have.

I kept putting off buying a camera, relying on friends and family for pix at gatherings. Little did I know then it was because I had seen the future…

Thirty years ago or so I was fascinated to read an article on the future of technology which suggested we would soon be in a world where our telephones (I’m talking land lines here, this was before even the behemoths of old mobile phones, or cordless phones of any sort), would be multi-use devices: the caller’s picture would come up live when we answered our phones, we would use the phone to turn lights and television on and off, and various other magical-sounding features.

Fast forward to today. Though it did not come as quickly as thought (I believe the predicted period of time was about ten years), that future –and more – is now here.

After that first cell phone, I got new mobiles when my renewal period was up and they kept getting better and faster. But I still thought of them as my security device. Only a handful of friends and family had the number and they quickly learned not to bother trying to reach me on them; I would be unlikely to be near them or if I were, unlikely to hear the ring. Besides, I didn’t like talking on them in public.

All of that has not fundamentally changed. But when I published to Kindle I decided it might be a good idea to get one of those newfangled smartphones and since I was contemplating publishing to iBooks, though it pained me (I’m Canadian, a Blackberry would have been my first choice), it seemed prudent to purchase an iPhone.

The first thing I discovered was that the phone had a convenient camera built in. I merrily clicked away, having no idea what to do with the pix I took. After a year or two I began downloading them to my computer and was soon after making instant prints at my local photo shop. I downloaded several apps too, with Facebook, Twitter and other social media available at a touch. I can use internet and check emails too, but these apps I rarely used, even on vacation – I have a tablet I bring with me and leave in the room.

What I do find handy is apps that allow me to book a table at a restaurant, find movies, check what food trucks are available as I wander city streets, make notes and voice memos, and use the flashlight for finding door locks or lost items in the dark.

My daughter also insisted I sign for the texting option and I began using text as a quiet way to communicate with the device – when I thought to look at it.

But back to the future. Early this year I upgraded to an I5. I believe some of the older versions of the iPhone have the same features, but I discovered ever more useful uses for the device. Just before I went on vacation to points south my nephew told me about an app that allows me to make free phone calls anywhere in North America, as long as I am on WiFi. Worked like a charm for checking in to home!

iPhoneAnd the camera? It is downright brilliant! It’s almost as if I am carrying a camera which has a built-in phone and other cool features. I am constantly snapping pix when I am out and though I still prefer checking social media on more readable devices and in the comfort of my home, I have begun downloading pix and text – and my new discovery, videos – directly to Twitter and Facebook posts, occasionally from the events themselves.

I’m pretty sure there is an app that will allow me to use the device for turning TV and lights on and off and it can be used as a GPS. But these don’t interest me. I like to move and getting up to turn the lights on is not a hardship, plus I have a very good sense of direction and read maps well and navigating is a satisfying occupation for my mind.

Recently a friend was at her vacation home on the Cote d’Azur. We had texted each other a few times, a free international feature for iPhone-to-iPhone users. Then one day my i5 rang and I happened to be near enough to hear it. It was my friend. She was using another free feature called FaceTime to call me. I answered and there she was, live, all the way from France. I had never been to her home there and as we talked she turned the camera lens out and gave me a tour of the place, wonderful but unpretentious like my friend, and showed me the view, which was grand.

I may not use the device as a phone much, and I definitely do not want a wrist watch with these features, (the new new thing, it seems) but that phone call was nothing short of amazing.

I cannot help but wonder what sci-fi ‘future’ will be next. Perhaps we will be travelling the atmosphere in space-age vehicles a la ‘magic carpets’ of old, riding unseen electromagnetic waves…

** Disclaimer – This piece is not an endorsement for iPhone. As mentioned I purchased mine for the purpose of the experience of iBooks on the device. I have come to love many of its features, but am neutral on how it compares to other smartphones.

Changing Horses

Last year about this time, I had two great story ideas. One was a widow who finds her old college flame on a dating website, and decides to re-connect with him to see if there’s any spark left after 30 years. The other was a 40-something type-A business woman who gets drunk at a convention and wakes up in bed with a charming stranger, only to discover that he’s the prince of a supernatural race, and in his eyes, and the eyes of his entire world, they’re married. She then has to figure out how to get her life back.

The first idea took off right away, and eventually became a book called A Slight Change of Plan, which will be released on Nov.19th. Trust me – I’ve got a whole other post waiting to tell you all about it!

The second idea dragged. I could never get past the second chapter. Then, as I was watching – along with the rest of the world – as The Hunger Games kicked serious butt , I got an idea. What about YA book? Instead of having sex, the girl could just get tricked into saying some magic words or oath. After all, 16-year-old girls get in more trouble just by opening their mouths than anything else. Then she’d be engaged to the Prince of the Fae, but she’d still want to go to football games and watch ‘Friends’ reruns.

So – the story started to change.

First, about Faery and the Fae. My original hero was going to be tied to all that, but when I started doing research, my brain exploded. There’s a ton of stuff out there about it, some going back hundreds of years. The Winter Queen, The Selkie Court – it’s really complicated, and I didn’t have the energy to try to fit my story around existing mythology. I needed another supernatural being – not a vampire, werewolf, or fallen angel. They had all been done. To death. What I was looking for was a totally new take on a paranormal story.

Now, I’ve had a gargoyle sitting in my rose garden for years. He’s a little chipped around the left ear, but he’s not too hideous. I’d like to say I had an epiphany while pruning my Queen Elizabeth rose, but I don’t think it was that dramatic. In fact, I don’t know how I came up with using gargoyles. I do know that when I went to Wikipedia, there was very little about them. Mostly, their duty as ornamentation of churches, their usefulness in re-directing rain, and reference to an animated Disney series about them a while ago. There was also the legend of the Bishop of Rouen, who battled a dragon, won, and turned him into a stone downspout on the cathedral.

Perfect. With so little about written gargoyles, I could make up a whole bunch of stuff. Which is what I did. I took the Rouen legend and created an entire history. I carefully planned out a family tree, and tacked it to my wall so I wouldn’t get too confused about who was who.

Armed with my paranormal side taken care of, I went to work. I wanted this to be about gargoyles and their possible war with the non-sparkly- vampire clans, but I also wanted it to be a story about sisters, family and friendships. So, since my daughter had complained that I had written three books and she wasn’t a character in any of them, one of the two narrators is named Carrie. She’s the smart, savvy younger sister. Her older sister, Sara, is the beautiful one, and she’s the one that caught the eye of the prince of the gargoyles. But Sara is a serious musician, and can’t be bothered with boys, not even sexy ones who profess their undying love.

My daughter, by the way, looked at me and rolled her eyes. “Why couldn’t I be the pretty one?” she wailed.

Kids.

That’s how Smoke, Wings and Stone evolved. That’s how a sexy romantic comedy became a supernatural adventure starring two high school girls. I never thought to write something like this. Really. But once I started, it was SO much fun. I got to write fight scenes and car chases and even threw in a little witchcraft.

I also wrote from 2 POV’s. Carrie and Sara switch off as narrators, and getting the ‘voice’ right for both of them was a challenge. My first draft was a disaster. Carrie sounded too simple, and Sara was an insufferable twit. One of my beta readers pointed out that teen readers wanted to read ‘above’ their level of conversation, so Carrie needed to smarten up. And Sara – well, she was a complete do-over. So I did a re-write. I sent it out to a content editor and did another re-write. I was finally happy with the story.

I had the book. I had a gorgeous cover. Now, I needed an author. I did not want this published as a Dee Ernst book. People, mostly women, who read my books, like my writing because of the strong characters ‘of a certain age’. I didn’t want someone to buy the book just because my name was on it and start reading about…high school? Gargoyles?? WHAT???

I made up a pen name. Marijon was the name of a character in a book I read when I was MUCH younger – by Victoria Holt? Anyway, I always though it sounded cool. For a last name, I needed something that would end up in the beginning of the alphabet (some sites list their books by author last name) and something that was easy to spell and pronounce. My first choice happened to be the same last name of a very popular YA author. Ooops. So, I settled on Braden. I’m getting used to it.

Then – a new website. And new Author pages. And a new email address, Facebook page, Twitter account – I even went onto Pinterest, which, by the way, is a very serious and dangerous time-suck.

Had it copy-edited, then edited again. Then formatted. And on May 9th – LIFT-OFF!

How is it doing? Very badly. Maybe 30 sales in the first three months. But – I’m starting to get good reviews, even on Goodreads,(and they’re a very tough crowd over there). I did a few giveaways, and I’m getting some sign-ups on my website. I’m working on the next book in the series, and once that’s published, sales should pick up. I deliberately made sure the story of Carrie and Sara ended nicely, because I wasn’t going to write a sequel if nobody wanted one, but the reviews and comments have made it clear – readers want to know what’s next. And so do all my friends who read it, and they’re a lot harder to put off!

The fact that my friends are all my age shows me that this could very easily be a cross-over title – non-teen reviewers liked it as well. That would be great. Of course, the dream is that, in addition to becoming a best-selling series, somebody picks it up as a TV series so I can finally move to Hilton Head and write on the beach.

But – that’s a whole other post.

Advice from 1949

Singer Advice

When I saw this advice posted online (on more than one blog/website), my first thought was, “You’ve got to be kidding.” Did women back in 1949 actually follow those instructions? If so, how did they ever find time to even get the needle threaded?

Yes, I’m old-fashioned and I love to sew. One of my favorite pastimes is strolling through a fabric store, paging through pattern books, and browsing through the bolts of possibilities. I’ll stitch just about anything—little dresses for my granddaughter, a quilt for my niece, pillows for the couch, and most recently a Roman shade for the window in our study. I’ve been sewing since age twelve.

But do I finish all my housekeeping duties before starting? Do I dress with care and put on makeup first? No way! The best I can do is make sure I’ve changed from my nightgown to jeans, brushed my teeth, and dragged a comb through my hair. My husband has become accustomed to seeing me with bits of thread stuck to my t-shirt. If a visitor should drop in, what they see is what they get.

The same thing goes for writing. When inspiration strikes or when some spare time presents itself, the last thing I’m worried about is whether my hair is “in order” or whether I’m wearing lipstick.

My, how times have changed. For the better, in my opinion. Do you agree? Or do those of you who write or craft or sew agree with “The Mental Approach to Sewing?”

Photos sources:
Advice from a Singer Sewing Manual – 1949 – This same text was posted on dozens of quilting and sewing blogs across the internet. The one posted above says “Tater Patch Quilts – Merrill Oregon.” Their website is here: http://www.taterpatchquilts.com/

Claire and Jamie, finally coming to a screen near you!

So… I was trying to figure out what to write about this month. I self-pubbed a YA under a pen name, that was kind of exciting. The cover for my new Rom-Com coming out in November was finalized, that was also exciting. But then I got a Tweet that an actor was chosen to play Jamie Fraser in the Starz mini-series based on the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon.

WHAT???

OMG REALLY!!!!!!

Now THAT’S something to write about.

If you haven’t read the Outlander books, first published in the 1990’s, maybe it’s because you heard about them, but decided not to read them because you were sick of historical romances, particularly those involving kilts. Maybe you didn’t read historical fiction period, even if the series did become an international bestseller and spawned a rabid following. Maybe you didn’t like to read series, and, let’s face it, The Outlander books are quite a long series.

Or maybe you were living in a cave.

No matter. Here’s a quick overview of the first book, Outlander.

Claire Randall, in the months after the end of WWII, tries to re-kindle her marriage by going up to an inn in the Scottish Highlands. She was a combat nurse, in her thirties – not your usual simpering romantic heroine. While wandering around one day, she falls through a circle of stones and finds that she traveled back two hundred years to Scotland in a much more primitive, even barbaric time.

This is a sketchy time in Scotland’s history – there’s the Jacobite uprising brewing, English garrisons preying on would-be rebels, not to mention the day-to-day intrigue of the clans. And because of her skill as a nurse, Claire is constantly being accused of witchcraft, a burnable offense back then.

There’s also romance – man, what a romance – when Claire is forced to marry a young soldier, James Fraser, who takes his vow to love and protect very seriously.

This was a great series of books for me. I loved a spunky, older heroine, learned a little about Scottish history, and fell in love with Jamie. After the first book was released, fans were abuzz – would there be a movie? This would make a GREAT movie. When the second book came out, fans got worried – would there be TWO movies? Then came the third…and the hopes of fans were crushed. Only sci/fi movies came in threes, and while the time-travel element was part of these books, nobody expected a trilogy. And after she kept cranking them out…only a mini-series would do.

Finally, a mini-series came. Starz, the cable-movie network, came on board to do the Outlander series.

And now, a young man named Sam Heughan has been cast to play Jamie Fraser.

He’s exactly Jamie’s height. 6”3’. He’s handsome but not too – Jamie was never described as a knock-out. He’s not a natural red-head, but that’s easily fixable. Apparently, he’s been naked in a few of his past projects, which is good, because anyone who’s read these books knows that Claire and Jamie spend quite a bit of quality time naked.

A friend of mine worried that he couldn’t do a Scottish accent. No problem. HE”S SCOTTISH!

Yep, this looks like a win-win for all involved.

Claire hasn’t been cast yet, but I’m not too worried. Obviously, these folks know what they’re doing.

So, now, I have to figure out how to talk my husband into getting Starz when I always bitch and moan about spending too much on our cable bill.

Then, I’ll have to find a way to kick him out of his man-cave so my girlfriends and I can all watch on the 60 inch, HDTV – 3D with surround sound.

Will it be in 3D? Because, we have 3D glasses. And you ain’t seen nothing ‘till you’ve seen somebody’s naked butt in 3D.

I’m finally learning to embrace the technology. I can’t wait for this to come out!