• “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

Three BEES Excerpts


Social Media Hashtags:#DailyLines, #GoTELLTheBEESThatIAmGONE, #Book9, #YesThereWillBeABook10, #SoonerOrLater, #NOBEESisntdone, #soon, #Meanwhile, #ThreeSHORTExcerpts, &#HardToFindLinesWithoutSpoilers

[Excerpts (3) from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, Copyright © 2019 by Diana Gabaldon]

One

20191017-EKelly-Bees-cropIan had come in quietly—like an Indian, Rachel thought—sometime past midnight, crouching by the bed and blowing softly in her ear to rouse her, lest he startle her and wake Oggy. She’d hastily checked the latter, then swung her feet out of bed and rose to embrace her husband.

“Thee smells of blood,” she whispered. “What has thee killed?”

“A beast,” he whispered back, and cupped her cheek in his palm. “I had to, but I’m no sorry for it.”

She nodded, feeling a sharp stone forming in her throat.

“Will ye come out wi’ me, mo nighean donn? I need help.”

She nodded again, and turned to find the cloak she used for a bedgown. There was a sense of grimness about him, but something else as well, and she couldn’t tell what it was.

She was hoping that he hadn’t brought the body home with the expectation that she would help him bury or hide it, whatever—or whoever—it was, but he had just killed something he considered to be evil and perhaps felt himself pursued.


Two

“What was it your Mam said to your Da about this expedition?” Roger rolled up his breeches to mid-thigh, eyeing the wagon-wheel whose rim protruded from the burbling middle of a small creek.

“It’s too deep,” Brianna said, frowning at the rushing brown water. “You’d better take your breeches off. And maybe your shirt, too.”

“That’s what she said? Though she’s likely right about it being too deep…”

Brianna made a small, amused snort. He’d taken off his shoes, stockings, coat, waistcoat and neck cloth, and looked like a man stripped to fight a serious duel.

“The good news is that with a current like that, you won’t get leeches. What she said—or what she quoted herself as having said, which isn’t necessarily the same thing—was:

‘You’re telling me that you mean to turn a perfectly respectable Presbyterian minister into a gun-runner—and send him in a wagon full of dodgy gold to buy a load of guns, in company with your eleven-year-old grandson?’”

“Aye, that’s the bit. I was expecting it to be more fun…” Reluctantly, he shucked his breeks, tossing them onto the shoes and stockings. “Maybe I shouldn’t have brought you and the kids. Germain and I would have had a great adventure by ourselves.”


Three

I did wonder just how Roger proposed to follow Captain Cunningham’s act. The congregation had scattered under the trees to take refreshment, but every group I passed was discussing what the Captain had said, with great excitement and absorption—as well they might. The spell of his story remained with me—a sense of wonder and hope.

Bree seemed to be wondering, too; I saw her with Roger, in the shade of a big chinkapin oak, in close discussion. He shook his head, though, smiled, and tugged her cap straight. She’d dressed her part, as a modest minister’s wife, and smoothed her skirt and bodice.

“Two months, and she’ll be comin’ to kirk in buckskins,” Jamie said, following the direction of my gaze.

“What odds?” I inquired.

“Three to one. Ye want to wager, Sassenach?”

“Gambling on Sunday? You’re going straight to hell, Jamie Fraser.”

“I dinna mind. Ye’ll be there afore me. Askin’ me the odds, forbye… Besides, going to church three times in one day must at least get ye a few days off Purgatory.”

I nodded.

“Ready for Round Two?”

Roger kissed Brianna, and strode out of the shade into the sunlit day, tall, dark and handsome in his best black—well, his only black suit. He came toward us, Bree on his heels, and I saw several people in the nearby groups notice this, and begin to put away their bits of bread and cheese and beer, to retire behind bushes for a private moment, and to tidy up children who’d come undone.

I sketched a salute as Roger came up to us.

“Over the top?”

“Geronimo,” he replied briefly and with a visible squaring of the shoulders, turned to greet his flock and usher them inside.


Click here to visit my official webpage for GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE which has more information about this book, and access to the more than fifty other excerpts (aka “Daily Lines”) that I have released.


Many thanks to Elizabeth Lutz Kelly, who took the lovely bee photo, and to her mother Jan Lutz, who sent it to me.

These three excerpts are from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, Copyright © 2019 by Diana Gabaldon, the ninth book in my Outlander series of novels. All rights reserved.

If you wish to share these excerpts with others, please copy and paste this link (URL):

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/outlander-series/book-nine-outlander-series/three-bees-excerpts/

Please do not copy the text from this excerpt (whole or in part) and paste it to share on personal or fan webpages, blogs, social media, in printed or digital documents, or anywhere else, publicly or privately. And please do not translate this excerpt into another language and publicly post, publish, or share it. Thanks!

-Diana

These excerpts (or “Daily Lines”) were posted on my official Facebook page on October 17, 2019. This webpage was last updated on Thursday, October 17, 2019 2019 at 7:00 a.m. (Pacific Time).

BEES Workmanship Example


Social media hashtags: #DailyLines, #GoTELLTheBESThatIAmGONE, #Noitisntdoneyet, #SOON, #workmanship, #example

2019-09-Brock-Beatrice-bee-cropA couple of days ago, I was reading a discussion about manuscript size in the LitForum, and a writer working on his first novel asked—“If you think your manuscript might be too long—how you decide which words to cut?”

He got a lot of useful answers and comments, and I answered him, too—but since my answer involved a snippet from BEES, I thought y’all might be interested in the technique, as well as the snip itself. (If you don’t care about writing techniques, but do want to read the excerpt, just scroll down to “FINAL(ISH) VERSION.”

Answer to the Question: “How do you decide which words to cut?”

You cut the ones you don’t need. The very last thing I do to a manuscript before sending it to the assorted editors (in US, UK and Germany) is what I call “slash-and-burn:” I go through it one word at a time, chanting (silently) “Do I need this word? Do I need this sentence? Do I need this paragraph? Do I need this scene?” And if the answer is no, I pull it out (mind you, I don’t throw them away (I value my work, whether I use it or not <g>); I just park them in a file called the Assembly Buffer and save it, so I can pull things back in if I change my mind or realize that I do need X because it’s attached to a later Y that won’t make sense if X isn’t somewhere, even if not where I originally put it).

Mind you, I do this in medias res, too; I don’t save it all for the final days. <g>

Here’s a brief passage, then its assembly buffer, and then the final (for now…) version:

[Excerpt below is non-spoilerish, but it is from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, Copyright © 2019 by Diana Gabaldon]:

ORIGINAL VERSION

Over the next few weeks, the—you couldn’t call them “warring,” nor even, really, “opposing”—but certainly “differing” approaches to God on offer at the Meeting House had collected their own adherents. Many people still attended more than one service—whether from an eclectic approach to ritual, a strong but undecided interest, a desire for society, if not instruction—or simply because it was more interesting to go to church than it was to sit at home piously reading the Bible out loud to their families.

Still, each service had its own core of worshippers, who came every Sunday, plus a varying number of floaters and droppers-in, and when the weather was fine, many people remained for the day, picnicking under the poplars and [elms?], comparing notes on the Methodist service versus the Presbyterian one—and as the congregations were largely Highland Scots possessed of strong personal opinions, arguing about everything from the message of the sermon to the state of the minister’s shoes.

…[omitted text (because it has a spoiler in it)]

After each of the morning services, I would take up a station under a particular huge horse-chestnut tree and run a casual clinic for an hour or so, dressing minor injuries, looking down throats, and offering advice (along with a surreptitious (because it was Sunday, after all) bottle of “tonic”—this being a decoction of raw but well-watered whisky and sugar, with assorted herbal substances added for the treatment of vitamin deficiency, alleviation of toothache or indigestion, or (in cases where I suspected its need) a slug of turpentine to kill hookworms.

Meanwhile, Jamie—often with Ian at his elbow—would wander from one group of men to another, greeting everyone, chatting and listening. Always listening.

“Ye canna keep politics secret, Sassenach,” he’d told me. “Even if they wanted to—and they mostly don’t want to—they canna hold their tongues or disguise what they think.”

“What they think in terms of political principle, or what they think of their neighbors’ political principles?” I asked, having caught the echoes of these discussions from the women who formed the major part of my pastoral Sunday surgery.

He laughed, but not with a lot of humor in it.

“If they tell ye what their neighbor thinks, Sassenach, it doesna take much mind-reading to ken what they think.”

“Do you think they know what you’re thinking?” I asked, curious. He shrugged.

“If they don’t, they soon will.”

ASSEMBLY BUFFER

(with explanation of changes—or not)

[I took these out because they weren’t necessary, and removing them improved the flow and clarity of the sentences.]

—you couldn’t call them “warring,” nor even, really, “opposing”—but certainly “differing”

—strong but

—[poplars and [elms?],]— Hmm. Do I want specifically-named trees, or should it just be “picnicking under the trees” for brevity? (Also, would you find elms in the North Carolina mountains in the 18th century, and would they be growing near poplars?) Normally, I go for specific details because it helps fix the scene visually, but not sure about this one… I mention a particular tree a little later in this passage, so I think this time, I’m going with “trees.” Shorter, and improves the rhythm and euphony of the sentence. This is background for what’s going to happen at the bottom of the page, so no need to embroider more than necessary.

being (plus assorted punctuation). Better clarity—and as this is Claire’s viewpoint and narrative, the sentence fragment is acceptable.

[I considered removing these (below), but didn’t:]

[if not instruction]—

[piously]— ditto, this one. Do I need that word? Yes, because it evokes a particular mental image that “reading the Bible” doesn’t quite cover. It’s also a judgement from Claire’s point of view—that’s how she sees the attitude of the Bible readers—and this is her voice.

[Punctuation and minor corrections.]

, and (the paragraphs here are rather long and dense-looking. I want to break up the sentences and make them more readable)

Add missing parenthesis after “hookworms.”

Change “decoction” to “concoction” (a decoction is boiled, which would drive off the alcohol from the whisky—and thanks to an alert reader of the original post who brought that to my attention!)

… [omitted material]

[ After each of the morning services, I would take up a station under a particular huge horse-chestnut tree and run a casual clinic for an hour or so, dressing minor injuries, looking down throats, and offering advice (along with a surreptitious (because it was Sunday, after all) bottle of “tonic”—this being a decoction of raw but well-watered whisky and sugar, with assorted herbal substances added for the treatment of vitamin deficiency, alleviation of toothache or indigestion, or (in cases where I suspected its need) a slug of turpentine to kill hookworms.]—

[Now, at first glance, this paragrah looks ripe for breaking up into shorter sentences and eliminating words, but I’m not going to. It’s a direct rendition of the way Claire thinks—in layers, referencing each other—and (more importantly <g&rt;) give a capsule sense of what her morning surgery under the horse-chestnut tree is actually like: a parade of assorted ailments and her quick handling of them to the best of her ability. This comes well into the book; readers with no patience for parentheses will have abandoned ship long since…]

The end part, I’m not changing anything. I normally fiddle enough with the dialogue and underpainting as I go that it’s pretty much as it should be, and this is clean. Sentences short and clear, but giving what they should in terms of information and attitude.

So—

FINAL(ISH) VERSION:

Over the next few weeks, the different approaches to God on offer at the Meeting House had collected their own adherents. Many people still attended more than one service, whether from an eclectic approach to ritual, an undecided interest, a desire for society, if not instruction—or simply because it was more interesting to go to church than it was to sit at home piously reading the Bible out loud to their families.

Still, each service had its own core of worshippers, who came every Sunday, plus a varying number of floaters and droppers-in. When the weather was fine, many people remained for the day, picnicking under the trees and comparing notes on the Methodist service versus the Presbyterian one. And being largely Highland Scots possessed of strong personal opinions, arguing about everything from the message of the sermon to the state of the minister’s shoes.

After each of the morning services, I would take up a station under a particular huge horse-chestnut tree and run a casual clinic for an hour or so, dressing minor injuries, looking down throats, and offering advice (along with a surreptitious (because it was Sunday, after all) bottle of “tonic”—this being a concoction of raw but well-watered whisky and sugar, with assorted herbal substances added for the treatment of vitamin deficiency, alleviation of toothache or indigestion, or (in cases where I suspected its need) a slug of turpentine to kill hookworms).

Meanwhile, Jamie—often with Ian at his elbow—would wander from one group of men to another, greeting everyone, chatting and listening. Always listening.

“Ye canna keep politics secret, Sassenach,” he’d told me. “Even if they wanted to—and they mostly don’t want to—they canna hold their tongues or disguise what they think.”

“What they think in terms of political principle, or what they think of their neighbors’ political principles?” I asked, having caught the echoes of these discussions from the women who formed the major part of my pastoral Sunday surgery.

He laughed, but not with a lot of humor in it.

“If they tell ye what their neighbor thinks, Sassenach, it doesna take much mind-reading to ken what they think.”

“Do you think they know what you’re thinking?” I asked, curious. He shrugged.

“If they don’t, they soon will.”


This excerpt and explanatory text is from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, Copyright © 2019 by Diana Gabaldon. Please do not copy and paste the text in this post (whole or in part) to any other webpage, social media account, or anywhere else. Kindly share this URL instead:

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/2019/09/bees-workmanship-example/

And thanks to Beatrix Brockman for sharing her lovely bee photo.


I also posted this excerpt and information about it in this blog on my official Facebook page on September 2, 2019.

News: Leo, NYCC and Season Five!


2019-08-29-LeoI’m sorry to be a bit behind-hand with things, but we had a Rather Important Distraction yesterday…

Meet our new grandson, Leo!


NYCC and Season Five of the Starz Outlander TV Series

Well….a nice bit of news…

If you have nothing better to do, why not join us on February 16th (2020) for… the premiere of OUTLANDER, SEASON FIVE!!!

(And in the meantime, OUTLANDER will definitely have a “presence” at New York Comic Con (NYCC), with a panel (featuring Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, Duncan LaCroix, Maria Doyle Kennedy, David Berry… and, um… me. On Saturday, October 5th!)

nycc-logoUnfortunately, tickets to NYCC are already sold out for Saturday, but NYCC does have a system where you can buy tickets from individuals who find out they can’t come. BEWARE, do NOT buy tickets to NYCC from other individuals online! They are not transferable from one person to another except through NYCC. See my official appearances page for more information about NYCC and my other upcoming appearances at http://www.dianagabaldon.com/appearances

SeasonFivePremiere-graphicOK… and now that I’ve got a few minutes between midnight and dawn and Leo is (we hope…) asleep…

Here’s the Ultimate Final All Details Included Press Release about the Season Five premiere and NYCC:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: STARZ ANNOUNCES “OUTLANDER” SEASON FIVE PREMIERE DATE AND NEW YORK COMIC CON 2019 PANEL

Courtesy: Outlander © 2019 Sony Pictures Television Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“Outlander” Season Five to Premiere on Sunday, February 16, 2020 on STARZ

Starz Brings “Outlander” Panel featuring Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Author Diana Gabaldon, Series Creators and more to New York Comic Con on October 5

Santa Monica, Calif. – August 29, 2019 – Starz, a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), in association with Sony Pictures Television, today announced that the fifth season of the Golden Globe®-nominated STARZ Original series “Outlander” will premiere on Sunday, February 16, 2020 on STARZ [network in the U.S.A].

Starz also announced the official “Outlander” panel presentation at New York Comic Con 2019 (NYCC) will take place on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. ET in The Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden. “Outlander” stars Caitriona Balfe (Claire Fraser) and Sam Heughan (Jamie) are confirmed to attend with New York Comic Con first-timers Duncan LaCroix (Murtagh), Maria Doyle Kennedy (Jocasta) and David Berry (Lord John Grey). Diana Gabaldon, author of the bestselling Outlander book series, plus Executive Producers Ronald D. Moore and Maril Davis, will attend with Ginger Zee, chief meteorologist on “Good Morning America” (ABC), moderating the panel.

In addition to the “Outlander” panel, the cast will do an autographing session exclusively for NYCC Fans. NYCC will send information on how to sign up for the autographing lottery in the coming weeks via their website, social media pages, and newsletter. You must have a valid Saturday or 4-Day badge to enter. Be on the lookout for details.

About “Outlander” Season Five

Season Five of “Outlander” finds the Frasers fighting for their family and the home they have forged on Fraser’s Ridge.

Jamie must find a way to defend all that he has created in America, and to protect those who look to him for leadership and protection—while hiding his personal relationship with Murtagh Fitzgibbons, the man whom Governor William Tryon has ordered him to hunt down and kill.

With her family together at last, Claire Fraser must use her modern medical knowledge and foresight to prevent them from being ripped apart once again. However, while focusing on protecting others, she risks losing sight of what it means to protect herself. Meanwhile, Brianna Fraser and Roger MacKenzie have been reunited, but the spectre of Stephen Bonnet still haunts them. Roger strives to find his place—as well as Jamie’s respect—in this new and dangerous time. The Frasers must come together, navigating the many perils that they foresee—and those they can’t.

Season Five of “Outlander” is currently in production in Scotland. The fifth season will play out over 12 episodes and is based on material from Diana Gabaldon’s international best-selling Outlander series.

The “Outlander” television series, executive produced by Ronald D. Moore, Maril Davis, Matthew B. Roberts, Toni Graphia and Andy Harries, is inspired by Gabaldon’s Outlander series that has sold an estimated 30 million copies worldwide, with all the books having graced the New York Times best-sellers list. The “Outlander” television series has become a worldwide success with audiences, spanning the genres of history, science fiction, romance and adventure in one amazing tale.

“Outlander” is produced by Tall Ship Productions and Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television.

Starz recently renewed the “Outlander” series through its sixth and forthcoming season.

“Outlander” TV Series – Social Media:

For more information, go to the official “Outlander” Facebook Page at:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/OutlanderTVSeries.starz/

and follow @Outlander_Starz on Twitter and Instagram. Join the conversation with hash tags #Outlander and #STARZ.

Starz’s Official Outlander TV Series Website:

http://www.starz.com/originals/Outlander


This blog post also appeared on my official Facebook page on August 30, 2019.

Happy Summer Solstice!


Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #fromWRITTENinMYOwnHEARTSBlood, #electromagnetism, #BreeAndRoger

Image of Stonehenge in the Mist. From NASA-APOD.She flexed her fingers and picked up the pen, but didn’t write at once. She hadn’t thought further with her hypotheses and wanted them to be clear in her mind, at least. She had vague notions about how a time vortex might be explained in the context of a unified field theory, but if Einstein couldn’t do it, she didn’t think she was up to it right this minute.

“It has to be in there somewhere, though,” she said aloud, and reached for the wine. Einstein had been trying to form a theory that dealt both with relativity and electromagnetism, and plainly they were dealing with relativity here—but a sort in which it maybe wasn’t the speed of light that was limiting. What, then? The speed of time? The shape of time? Did electromagnetic fields crisscrossing in some places warp that shape?

What about the dates? Everything they thought they knew—precious little as it was—indicated that travel was easier, safer, on the sun feasts and fire feasts; the solstices and equinoxes… A little ripple ran up her back. A few things were known about standing stone circles, and one of the common things was that many had been built with astronomical prediction in mind. Was the light striking a specific stone the signal that the earth had reached some planetary alignment that affected the geomagnetism of that area?

“Huh,” she said, and sipped, flipping back over the pages she’d written. “What a hodgepodge.” This wouldn’t do anyone much good: nothing but disconnected thoughts and things that didn’t even qualify as decent speculation.

Still, her mind wouldn’t let go of the matter. Electromagnetism… Bodies had electric fields of their own, she knew that much. Was that maybe why you didn’t just disintegrate when you traveled? Did your own field keep you together, just long enough to pop out again? She supposed that might explain the gemstone thing: you could travel on the strength of your own field, if you were lucky, but the energy released from the molecular bonds in a crystal might well add to that field, so perhaps…?

“Bugger,” she said, her overworked mental processes creaking to a halt. She glanced guiltily at the hallway that led to the kids’ room. They both knew that word, but they oughtn’t to think their mother did.

She sank back to finish the wine and let her mind roam free, soothed by the sound of the distant surf. Her mind wasn’t interested in water, though; it seemed still concerned with electricity.

“I sing the Body Electric,” she said softly. “The armies of those I love engirth me.”

Now, there was a thought. Maybe Walt Whitman had been onto something… because if the electric attraction of the armies of those I love had an effect on time-traveling, it would explain the apparent effect of fixing your attention on a specific person, wouldn’t it?

She thought of standing in the stones of Craigh na Dun, thinking of Roger. Or of standing on Ocracoke, mind fixed fiercely on her parents—she’d read all the letters now; she knew exactly where they were… Would that make a difference? An instant’s panic, as she tried to visualize her father’s face, more as she groped for Roger’s…

The expression of the face balks account. The next line echoed soothingly in her head. But the expression of a well-made man appears not only in his face;

“It is in his limbs and joints also, it is curiously in the joints of his hips and wrists;
It is in his walk, the carriage of his neck, the flex of his waist and knees—dress does not hide him;
The strong, sweet supple quality he has, strikes through the cotton and flannel;
To see him pass conveys as much as the best poem, perhaps more;
You linger to see his back, and the back of his neck and shoulder-side.”

She didn’t remember any more, but didn’t need to; her mind had calmed.

“I’d know you anywhere,” she said softly to her husband, and lifted the remains of her glass. “Sláinte.”


Copyright © 2014 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved. You are welcome to share the link (URL) to this excerpt (“Daily Lines”), but please do not copy the text in whole or in part and post it yourself elsewhere, or share the text with others. Thank you.

Photo credit: “Sunrise Solstice Over Stonehenge,” the Astronomy Picture of the Day for June 20, 2016,” Copyright © by Max Alexander/STFC/SPL. Courtesy APOD-NASA.

This blog entry was also posted on my official Facebook page on June 22, 2019.

World Outlander Day 2019!


Sunday, June 2, 2019

Diana Gabaldon image on World Outlander DayGoodness….it’s #WorldOutlanderDay! People keep saying to me, “Did you ever think this would happen, when you started writing your book in 1988?” Well, no…

I thought that I’d write this whatever-it-was for practice, and then write a Real Book—perhaps a crime novel, as that’s what I mostly read at the time. I thought I could probably get that one published, eventually, and if so, then I’d write crime novels on the side (while doing my university job) for about twelve years, at which point I might be good/lucky enough to get onto the NYT Bestseller List. At that point (I thought), I’d quit my job and become a full-time writer.

So I thought I’d succeed, eventually—but I sort of didn’t plan on anything like this…

SO—THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU! Because we wouldn’t be here without your kind appreciation and support.

AND SO….what are y’all planning to do to celebrate #WorldOutlanderDay?

a) Re-read OUTLANDER

b) Re-read the whole series

DianaGabaldon-n-Cast-2c) Watch OUTLANDER Season One on Netflix

d) Watch OUTLANDER Season 4 on DVD/Blu-Ray/Collector’s Edition

e) Drink whisky (mind, you can do that while doing any of the above)

f) Have the White Sow tattooed on some appropriate part of your anatomy

g) (if female) Make Claire’s Red Dress and get your husband to take you out to dinner in it (remember to bring a Large Fan)

h) (if male) Learn how to do a Scottish sword-dance and do it for your wife if she’ll wear the Red Dress

i) Eat haggis (it comes in a can, if you’re short of sheep stomachs)

OR, you know, just relax and enjoy the following two excerpts, which just go to show that the more things change, the more they stay the same, and that it’s Really Good to have a healer along on the journey.

THEN…

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright © 1991 by Diana Gabaldon]

Outlander-anniv-editionApparently he was feeling better. I smiled, despite myself, but spoke firmly nonetheless. “You be quiet,” I said, “or I’ll hurt you.” He gingerly touched the dressing, and I slapped his hand away.

“Oh, threats, is it?” he asked impudently. “And after I shared my drink with ye too!”

The flask completed the circle of men. Kneeling down next to me, Dougal tilted it carefully for the patient to drink. The pungent, burnt smell of very raw whisky floated up, and I put a restraining hand on the flask.

“No more spirits,” I said. “He needs tea, or at worst, water. Not alcohol.”

Dougal pulled the flask from my hand, completely disregarding me, and poured a sizable slug of the hot-smelling liquid down the throat of my patient, making him cough. Waiting only long enough for the man on the ground to catch his breath, he reapplied the flask.

“Stop that!” I reached for the whisky again. “Do you want him so drunk he can’t stand up?”

I was rudely elbowed aside.

“Feisty wee bitch, is she no?” said my patient, sounding amused.

“Tend to your business, woman,” Dougal ordered. “We’ve a good way to go yet tonight, and he’ll need whatever strength the drink can give him.”

The instant the bandages were tied, the patient tried to sit up. I pushed him flat and put a knee on his chest to keep him there. “You are not to move,” I said fiercely. I grabbed the hem of Dougal’s kilt and jerked it roughly, urging him back down on his knees next to me.

“Look at that,” I ordered, in my best ward-sister voice. I plopped the sopping mass of the discarded shirt into his hand. He dropped it with an exclamation of disgust.

I took his hand and put it on the patient’s shoulder. “And look there. He’s had a blade of some kind right through the trapezius muscle.”

“A bayonet,” put in the patient helpfully.

“A bayonet!” I exclaimed. “And why didn’t you tell me?”

He shrugged, and stopped short with a mild grunt of pain. “I felt it go in, but I couldna tell how bad it was; it didna hurt that much.”

“Is it hurting now?”

“It is,” he said, shortly.

“Good,” I said, completely provoked. “You deserve it. Maybe that will teach you to go haring round the countryside kidnapping young women and k-killing people, and….” I felt myself ridiculously close to tears and stopped, fighting for control.

Dougal was growing impatient with this conversation. “Well, can ye keep one foot on each side of the horse, man?”

“He can’t go anywhere!” I protested indignantly. “He ought to be in hospital! Certainly he can’t—”

My protests, as usual, went completely ignored. “Can ye ride?” Dougal repeated.

“Aye, if ye’ll take the lassie off my chest and fetch me a clean shirt.”

AND NOW…

[Excerpt from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, Copyright © 2019 by Diana Gabaldon]

Mackle-Laura-beeJamie and Brianna came back in late afternoon, with two brace of squirrels, fourteen doves, and a large piece of stained and tattered canvas which, unwrapped, revealed something that looked like the remnants of a particularly grisly murder.

“Supper?” I asked, gingerly poking at a shattered bone sticking out of the mass of hair and slick flesh. The smell was iron-raw and butcherous, with a rank note that seemed familiar, but decay hadn’t yet set in to any noticeable degree.

“Aye, if ye can manage, Sassenach.” Jamie came and peered down at the bloody shambles, frowning a little. “I’ll tidy it up for ye. I need a bit o’ whisky first, though.”

Given the blood-stains on his shirt and breeks, I hadn’t noticed the equally stained rag tied round his leg, but now saw that he was limping. Raising a brow, I went to the large basket of food, small tools, and minor medical supplies that I lugged up to the house site every morning.

“From what’s left of it, I presume that is—or was—a deer. Did you actually tear it apart with your bare hands?”

“No, but the bear did,” Bree said, straight-faced. She exchanged complicit glances with her father, who hummed in his throat.

“Bear, ”I said, and took a deep breath. I gestured at his shirt. “Right. How much of that blood is yours?”

“No much,” he said tranquilly, and sat down on the big log. “Whisky?”

I looked sharply at Brianna, but she seemed to be intact. Filthy, and with green-gray bird-droppings streaked down her shirt, but intact. Her face glowed with sun and happiness, and I smiled.

“There’s whisky in the tin canteen hanging over there,” I said, nodding toward the big spruce at the far side of the clearing. “Do you want to fetch it for your father while I see what’s left of his leg?”

“Sure. Where are Mandy and Jem?”

“When last seen, they were playing by the creek with Aidan and his brothers. Don’t worry,” I added, seeing her lower lip suck suddenly in. “It’s very shallow there and Fanny said she’d go and keep an eye on Mandy while she’s collecting leeches. Fanny’s very dependable.”

“Mm-hm.” Bree still looked dubious, but I could see her fighting down her maternal impulse to go scoop Mandy out of the creek immediately. “I know I met her last night, but I’m not sure I remember Fanny. Where does she live?”

“With us,” Jamie said, matter-of-factly. “Ow!”

“Hold still,” I said, spreading the puncture wound in his leg open with two fingers while I poured saline solution into it. “You don’t want to die of tetanus, do you?”

“And what would ye do if I said yes, Sassenach?”

“The same thing I’m doing right now. I don’t care if you want to or not; I’m not having it.”


Visit my GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE webpage for more information and access to over fifty Daily Lines (aka ‘excerpts’).


And thank you to Laura Mackle for the lovely bee!

You are welcome to share the URL (web address) of this blog entry. But please do not copy and paste any or all of the text and post it elsewhere, since it is my copyrighted material. Thank you. Instead, copy and paste this URL to share:

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/2019/06/world-outlander-day-2019/

If you decide to post a public Response (aka web comment) discussing this blog entry, note that comments are moderated, which means they don’t appear until and unless approved. This could take awhile, depending on how busy things are.

This blog entry was also posted on my official Facebook page. Yes, you likely have to have a Facebook account to view it there. No, sorry—neither my Webmistress nor I can change that. <g>


Possible BEES Back Cover Copy


Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #GoTELLTheBEESThatIAmGONE, #Book9, #laterthisyear, #Godwillingandthecreekdontrise, #backcovercopy

Image of bee on plant by L. CornwellAt the moment, aside from madly writing the last two sections of the book (and juggling the pieces of the third), I’m messing with some sort of back-cover copy for the U.K. paperback versions of BEES (which might also be part of the flap copy for the U.S. hardcover).

This is always a problem with my books, for obvious reasons. <g>

My lovely editor made a valiant stab at it, but it ended up as a two-sentence description of each of the main characters, first sentence stating the character’s position at the end of the last book, and the second giving (what appears to be) their main motivation in this one. It’s a perfectly good summary, but not real gripping in an “and then what happens?” sort of way.

I am, needless to say, not spending a Whole Lot of time on the problem, but as I juggle my pieces, it occurs to me that it may best be solved by the same technique I’ve always used to sell my books: free samples, i.e., I’m contemplating just using a brief (as in 250 words or less) excerpt from the actual text that—while not telling you a lot about the actual plot, would shove you forcibly into it. Here’s one of my candidates:

[SPOILER alert just in case, because it is part of the actual text—though in fact there's nothing whatever spoilerish in the text itself...]

[Excerpt from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, Copyright © 2019 Diana Gabaldon.]

166 words, not bad…


My official webpage for GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE is:

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/outlander-series/book-nine-outlander-series/

My BEES webpage has links to all of the more than fifty excerpts (Daily Lines) that I have posted so far, and other information about this new book.


Thanks to Lorianne Cornwell for sending the lovely bee image!

This text and BEES excerpt in this blog entry are Copyright © 2019 by Diana Gabaldon. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to share the web link (URL) to this blog entry, which is:

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/2019/05/bees-backcover/

But please do not copy and paste the entire text (or parts of it) and post it elsewhere. Thank you.

This blog entry was also posted on my official Facebook page on May 13, 2019.


“Doorways In Drumorty”


Graphic for "Doorways In Drumorty"A wee favor for a friend—

Mike Gibb is a lovely Scottish playwright, whose acclaimed “Doorways in Drumorty” is currently on an 18-city Scottish tour!

Details from play’s schedule are below (beginning tonight), and are also listed in the graphics from the play, at right. (Click on either graphic to view a larger version).

And click here to view a special promo video on Youtube showing a bit of the rehearsal for the show, which opens in a new browser window.

If the play is coming anywhere near you, I hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity!

-Diana


“Doorways in Drumorty”

Text from the play’s promotional graphic (upper right):

‘Some folk in this toon are terrible for gossipin, ye ken’

Mike Gibb’s smash-hit Scottish play based on Lorna Moon’s short stories. Directed by Andy Corelli.

Set in a 1920s gisspy, rural Aberdeenshire community, this witty play is based on a book of short stories by Strichen-born Lorna Moon. Laugh-out-loud funny yet steering through a sharply satirical observation of the personal agonies of the town’s inhabitants beset by the strict observance of moral codes and prohibitions. This is a new prodution of Mike Gibb’s acclaimed play first performed in 2010 to sold-out audiences. Amongst the dozen other musicals and plays Mike has written is Outlander the Musical.

Upcoming Dates, Times and Venues for “Doorways In Drumorty”

Please be sure to confirm the dates and times with the venue. Dates, times, and prices are also listed on the playbill graphic (at right):

DoorwaysInDrumorty-datesApril 26th, Friday 7:30 p.m., New Deer Public Hall, New Deer, http://www.netshows.org.uk.

April 27th, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Alvah Parish Hall, Bannf, http://www.netshows.org.uk.

April 28th, Sunday, 7:00 p.m., Little Theatre, Nairn, http://www.wegottickets.com

May

May 1, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., Biggar Corn Exchange, Biggar, http://www.biggarcornexchange.org.uk

May 2, Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Bowhill Theatre, Selkirk, http://www.bowhillhouse.co.uk

May 3, Friday, 7:30 p.m. East Kilibride Arts Centre, East Killbride, https://www.sllcboxoffice.co.uk

May 4, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine, http://www.facebook.com/HarbourArtsCentre

May 8th, Wednesday, 8:00 p.m., Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, http://www.beaconartscentre.co.uk

May 11, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Aros, Portree, Isle of Skye, http://www.aroscommunitytheatre.co.uk

May 15, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., Victory Hall, Benderloch, http://www.wegottickets.com

May 16, Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Riddle’s Court, Edinburgh, http://www.wegottickets.com

May 17, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Kirkcaidy Old Kirk, Kirk Wynd, http://www.wegottickets.com

May 18, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Dundee Rep Theatre, Dundee, http://www.dundeerep.co.uk

More Information:

Visit @AwkwardStranger, the Facebook page for the theatre company. Includes links to buy tickets, reviews, and comments from the production staff and public.


Information was originally posted on my official Facebook page on April 11, 2019.

BEES – More Chapter Titles!


2019-03-25-DGabaldon-crop

Here’s a bit to enliven your day… the next seven Chapter Titles from BEES!

(The titles for chapters in Section One are listed in a previous blog post.)
.
[SPOILER SPACE — in case some people think the titles might give anything away. Though somehow, I don’t think so…]
.
SECTION II: No Law West of the Pecos

   CHAPTER 8: Lightning

   CHAPTER 9: Erstwhile Companions

   CHAPTER 10: What Is Not Good for the Swarm Is Not Good for the Bee (Marcus Aurelius)

   CHAPTER 11: Mon Cher Petit Ami

   CHAPTER 12: The Hound of Heaven

   CHAPTER 13: Reading by Firelight

   CHAPTER 14: Duck, Duck, Goose

Visit my official webpage for GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE for more information.


Copyright © 2019 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.

Please do not copy and paste the text of this blog yourself and post it elsewhere. Instead, I ask that you provide a link to this blog page. Thank you.

Image credit: This photo of me was taken by a lovely French journalist/blogger named Victoria Arias (Twitter name: @mangoandsalt), who was one of several journalists who came on a brief tour of Outlander filming locations in Scotland. It was taken in a small room of Falkland Palace, made up to look like an apothecary’s workroom—they said it was used in Season Two, for the apothecary’s where Claire meets Mary Hawkins unexpectedly. Taken on my trip to receive a VisitScotland Thistle Award.

Click here to view the full image.

Scotland Visit and Thistle Award


2019-03-Gabaldon-Thistle-AwardA few weeks ago, I travelled to Scotland to receive a special “International Contribution to Scottish Tourism” award at VisitScotland’s Thistle Awards ceremony, which I was Very Honored (!) to receive for services to Scottish Tourism (VisitScotland being kind enough to credit me with—doubtless single-handedly <cough>—increasing Scottish tourism by 67 percent by means of “the Outlander Effect.”)

Mind you, the Outlander Effect is you guys, my readers and fans of the Outlander TV series, so this is really your award, as well!

Many, MANY thanks to all the great people, from Hamish, Louise, Jennifer and Lord Thurso from VisitScotland, to the staff of Hopetoun House, to Jamie Crawford and Marie from Publishing Scotland, and all the lovely journalists, bloggers and photographers—and, of course, the fans (Viva Barcelona!)—who made the week so memorable—and last but by NO means least—the wonderful people of Scotland!

What Happened In Scotland…

These news media aricles give some details about my recent visit to Scotland, the award, and other events:

“Diana Gabaldon: On Superfans, Whisky and the ‘Miracle’ of Outlander,” by Alison Campsie for The Scotsman. Explores the effects of Outlander on a town, as well as some ‘superfans’ from Barcelona. (Note from Diana’s Webmistress: I LOVE this article!) Published on March 17, 2019.

“JACOBEAN QUEEN: Outlander Author Diana Gabaldon Hits the Tourist Trail and Visits Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe’s Filming Locations Ahead of Season Five,” by Matt Bendoris for The Scottish Sun. “Fans mobbed the American as she visited Scottish locations ahead of season five of the hit telly show.” Published on March 18, 2019.

“Outlander’s Diana Gabaldon: The Story of the First Lady of Lallybroch,” by Lorraine Wilson for The National. Published on March 23, 2019.

“Outlander Author Receives Top Tourism Award, a press release from VisitScotland. Released on March 14, 2019.

“Outlander author Diana Gabaldon to be honoured in Edinburgh,” by Brian Ferguson for The Scotsman. Published on March 13, 2019.

Click here to read/download a copy of “The Outlander Effect and Tourism” by VisitScotland.

“Thistle Be Our Night,” by Anne Sykes for VisitScotland. This article lists the fifteen individuals and businesses that received a 2019 Thistle Award for promoting Scottish tourism. Published on March 15, 2019.

“Outlander author Diana Gabaldon calls for greater protection of Scottish heritage sites,” by Brian Ferguson for The Scotsman. ‘Outlander creator Diana Gabaldon today called for greater protection for Scottish heritage sites from the impact of over-tourism and threats from housing developments.’ Published on March 15, 2019.


VisitScotland and the Thistle Awards

For those not familiar with VisitScotland, it is the official national tourism agency for Scotland, “an executive non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government,” according to Wikipedia. Tourism is an important part of the Scottish economy, and VisitScotland maintains a network of tourism websites with resources for visitors including the main webpage, VisitScotland.com.

The Thistle Awards are given by VisitScotland to recognize the best businesses or individuals who benefitted Scottish tourism each year.


BEES Update With Chapter Titles!


Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #SortOf, #GoTELLTheGEESThatIAmGONE, #comingtogether, #noitsnotdone, #youllhearaboutitwhenitis

2019-02-honebees-on-lacetop-cropWriting a book (for me) has multiple phases. As many of you know (from having heard me talk, or reading THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION books), I write (for a long time) in small, disconnected pieces and scenes. Eventually these start sticking together to form Chunks, and in the latter stages, the Chunks begin to line up along a sort of mental timeline (composed of historical events I want to use and personal events that transpire with one or another of the characters), and—in the fullness of time, I begin to pull together related Chunks and scenes, to write bridges (where needed to connect the pieces, establish a time or place, or provide a quick summary of what’s been happening that I don’t mean to show directly), and… generally, come up with something vaguely resembling a novel.

I begin to see the shape of chapters, and to be able to put them—gradually— into a reasonable sequence and shape (though chapters do move around for awhile before settling into their final place in the story).

That’s where I am now, in terms of writing/assembling the book. I’m still writing it (naturally…), but a good deal of the daily work now includes the pulling together of pieces and the formation of chapters, sections, etc.

So, for your entertainment, here’s the Title list of chapters from Section One of GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE. (NB: Chapter titles do sometimes change—if I think of something better, which I do all the time—so this is by no means a guaranteed final list—but this Section is completely assembled. So is a lot more of the book, but I’m not showing you everything at once…)

Have fun!

SECTION I: A Swarm of Bees in the Carcass of a Lion

   CHAPTER 1: The MacKenzies are Here!

   CHAPTER 2: A Blue Wine Day

   CHAPTER 3: Meditations on a Hyoid

   CHAPTER 4: Home is the Hunter, Home from the Hill

   CHAPTER 5: Dead or Alive

   CHAPTER 6: Visitations

   CHAPTER 7: Animal Nursery Tales


Remember that there are almost fifty excerpts (aka “Daily Lines”) from the book on my official GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE webpage.


[And Many Thanks to Mardi Priest for the honeybees on Lacecap!]

This BEES update also appeared on my official Facebook page.