• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
    —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

Loch Ness, Naked Man

I don’t know why _I_ never see naked men emerging from bodies of water. Not looking at the right moment, I suppose.

Doug and I had a lovely dinner on the 19th at Castle Stuart (which sort of has to be seen to be believed), with Alastair Cunningham and his merry tour group of Australians, all of whom _had_ been looking at the right moment, earlier in the day, when they paused to have a look for Nessie and instead beheld a local gentleman emerging from the loch “in all his glory,” as one lady put it. “I couldn’t believe it; it was only _that_ long!” (fingers held about two inches apart). (Well, Loch Ness _is_ very cold, after all.)

The one drawback to Castle Stuart is its internet connections; as the castle was built in 1625, it’s rather impervious to modern wiring (though they did somehow manage to do remote-controlled fires. Really—you point a little box at the fireplace and poof! Fire. Push the button and it burns higher, push the other one and it burns lower. Click again, and poof! It goes out).

After leaving Castle Stuart, we took up with independent tour guide Hugh Allison (whom I met many years ago, when he was working at the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre) for a four-day journey around the north and west of Scotland, to places we’d never been. And _what_ places!

[Isle of Stroma - image from Wikipedia]

Orkney, for one. We took the ferry from the mainland, going past the Isle of Stroma—where the entire population emigrated en masse in the 1960′s, leaving their houses deserted. Eerie place, but well populated with puffins, who whirled off the island like a hurricane of fish-eating autumn leaves, some couple of thousand of them wheeling round the ferry, close enough to see their amazing bills.

[Image courtesy of The Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds - www.rspb.org]

I’ll tell you more about all the cool things we’ve seen—Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar, Maeshowe, etc.—but right now it’s the middle of the night at Culloden House, and we’re leaving in the morning to drive to Edinburgh (pausing to walk the battlefield at Sheriffsmuir on the way), and I wanted to post the information about Tartan Day in Aberdeen, coming up THIS SATURDAY!

Tartan Day, Aberdeen, Scotland Saturday 30 July

RED HARLAW Premiere of Mike Gibb’s new short play (with music) with a cast that includes Allan Scott-Douglas and Michelle Bruce from the Outlander The Musical CD.
Performances at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm in the historic Drum Aisle of St Nicholas Church. Admission is free

DIANA GABALDON BOOK SIGNING Courtyard of St Nicholas Kirk between 12.00 and 1.00pm

I’ll be around most of the day, so hope to see lots of you there!

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67 Responses »

  1. I just stayed at Castle Stuart back in June, and you really must see it to believe it. It was the highlight of my trip. The internet access is lacking a bit, but all was made up for when I found a signed copy of your book in the drawing room. I’ve been a fan of your books for years now and it was so neat to be in Scotland, staying at Castle Stuart and coming across your hand writing!!! Anyway, enjoy the rest of your trip and I look forward to reading the next, highly anticipated, Outlander novel!!

  2. Somewhat off topic…but this article is running a poll, and your Outlander series is on there! Everybody go and vote! :)

    http://www.npr.org/2011/08/02/138894873/vote-for-top-100-science-fiction-fantasy-titles

    • hey! thanks for that, i love voting for my favs! BTW, if you love all ‘Gabaldon Literature’, than you will love Karleen Koen’s ‘Through a Glass Darkly’, ‘Now Face to Face’ and ‘Dark Angels’. she’s my second favorite author next to ‘Herself’ {cough} …..LOVE YOU DIANA!!!! working my way through series for fourth time…. on Voyager (my fave). cheers

  3. Hey Michelle – I tried your link, but I don’t see any more books to pick from, it looks like it is just book titles from A through C, do you know how to get the entire list?

  4. Castle Stuart is great, I love the place. I worked their as a tour guide for six summers as a student. My house overlooked the castle and I loved looking at it out of my window. I am sure that is where my love of Scottish history comes from. I still play the accordion their sometimes for the guests and played for Diana last year. I love your book Diana they are great.

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