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    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

The Second Sunday of Advent – 2020


2020-DG-2nd-Sunday-AdventToday is the second Sunday of Advent. Whether we live in peace or in times of chaos, uncertainty and danger, we need someone to trust, to love, and to trust to love us. We light our second candle tonight in that trust, knowing that Love awaits.

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Chapter 15, REVELATIONS OF THE BRIDAL CHAMBER. Copyright © by Diana Gabaldon.]

“Are you all right?” he whispered. His fingers brushed my wet cheek.

“Yes. I’m sorry to wake you. I had a nightmare. What on earth—” I started to ask what it was that had made him spring so abruptly to the alert.

A large warm hand ran down my bare arm, interrupting my question. “No wonder; you’re frozen.” The hand urged me under the pile of quilts and into the warm space recently vacated.

“My fault,” he murmured. “I’ve taken all the quilts. I’m afraid I’m no accustomed yet to share a bed.” He wrapped the quilts comfortably around us and lay back beside me. A moment later, he reached again to touch my face. “Is it me?” he asked quietly. “Can ye not bear me?”

I gave a short hiccupping laugh, not quite a sob. “No, it isn’t you.” I reached out in the dark, groping for a hand to press reassuringly. My fingers met a tangle of quilts and warm flesh, but at last I found the hand I had been seeking. We lay side by side, looking up at the low beamed ceiling.

“What if I said I couldn’t bear you?” I asked suddenly. “What on earth could you do?” The bed creaked as he shrugged.

“Tell Dougal you wanted an annulment on grounds of nonconsummation, I suppose.” This time I laughed outright.

“Nonconsummation! With all those witnesses?” The room was growing light enough to see the smile on the face turned toward me.

“Aye well, witnesses or no, it’s only you and me that can say for sure, isn’t it? And I’d rather be embarrassed than wed to someone that hated me.” I turned toward him.

“I don’t hate you.”

“I don’t hate you, either. And there’s many good marriages have started wi’ less than that.” Gently, he turned me away from him and fitted himself to my back so we lay nested together. His hand cupped my breast, not in invitation or demand, but because it seemed to belong there.

“Don’t be afraid,” he whispered into my hair. “There’s the two of us now.” I felt warm, soothed, and safe for the first time in many days. It was only as I drifted into sleep under the first rays of daylight that I remembered the knife above my head, and wondered again, what threat would make a man sleep armed and watchful in his bridal chamber?


“The First Sunday of Advent – 2020” is a related blog entry and WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD excerpt that I posted on November 29, 2020.

This blog entry was also posted on my my official Facebook page on December 6, 2020, the Second Sunday of Advent.


Image of Advent candles by Diana Gabaldon © 2020.

7 Responses »

  1. Dear Diana, I am very sorry that I tweeted lines from “A Breath of Snow and Ashes” yesterday to Trump and the Republicans because despite the fact it came from the wooded grave scene in which Roger says last words over the
    dead Dutch family, it so perfectly echoed the unending despair that wells up from me and all of America as we lie
    dying. Yesterday was hell for me because my son was getting yet again another Covid test. He works on the roads and this is the 4th time I sweat it out to see if my only child has this plague. So far, he has escaped, but how much longer can he? I credited the title but I did not do it in the format you requested. I am not a regular on your blog. That is my only explanation. But when I was reading those lines, I felt such an explosion of rage and sorrow like those around the Dutch family’s grave, I found myself in a 2 hour call to action that shot the words into the twitosphere. I have tried everything I know to persuade these people to help stop Covid, but to no avail. I have failed again. I offer my sincere and humble apologies. I will not do it again. 2020 is too much for me. I will take my
    beagle, my books, my blankets, and escape to the 1700′s. With sincere regards and the kind of painful affinity only a reader has for a beloved storyteller I close, Valerie Stroud

    • Hi, Valerie,

      Diana reads all public web comments, and responds when she has time. You can also send an email to her at:

      dgabaldon@aol.com

      which is always listed under the Resources menu on her website.

      I searched for your tweets to Trump, found them, and the passages you quoted from A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES are actually verses from the Bible. Beginning with Job 19:9, to be exact.

      I doubt that Trump has read either book.

      I hope you and your son stay healthy!

      Cheers,
      Loretta
      Diana’s Webmistress

      P.S.: Diana told me years ago that she does not discuss her opinions or views about current politics publicly, or politicians and their behavior.

  2. Hello Diana,
    Having, along with my wife, only recently discovered and addictively binge-watched/thoroughly enjoyed all 5 seasons of Outlander, I’m now going back and relishing your actual books . . . one by one, starting at the beginning. (Only getting a “late start” at this of about 29 years!) Your characters and their story, their conversations and experiences, their world is so vivid and real – an experience into which the reader soon finds themselves disappearing so deeply and completely. I wonder if, as the author (who has experienced a disappearance into this world more deeply and completely than anyone else) – are there times you find yourself grieving that these characters we grow to love are NOT real . . . that there is no place somewhere in the present (or the past) where you might theoretically go to visit and spend time with them, to invite them over, to wish them well – as one does with living and breathing friends?? Just wondering. Wishing you and your family continued blessings.
    Larry Smith

  3. Thank you for sharing so many wonderful excerpts from Bees.

    Merry Christmas or more importantly, Nollaig Chridheil.

  4. Dear Diana,
    I have been patiently (especially for me, since I have absolutely none of the virtue) awaiting the release for purchase of Bees since 2018 when we were informed of it’s pending release. Please, please, please. . . . I UNDERSTAND about all the things you have no control over but your readers are in pain and I know I am not the only one in this situation.

    Again truly and faithfully following yours,

    Carol McDonald

  5. Hi Diana,
    “Don’t be afraid It’s the two of us now”. Jamie sure knows how to turn your insides to goo! I have been reading and rereading these books for almost 30 years and I still get goosebumps at lines like this. As much as I love all the Outlander books, I think the first will always be my favorite. Jamie and Claire learning to trust each other and finding love in the process. Thank you for these rich characters and beautifully written stories! Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!

    Brenda Peterson

  6. Excellent can’t wait for more, ie the book lol. Loved the idea of the advent candles

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