Saturday, January 12, 2008

Yes, it was a VERY Happy Birthday, thanks!

Thanks to all the kind people who have been showering me with good wishes, emails, chocolate, and presents--and if I can figure out how to post additional pictures here, I'll put up a photo of Special Object contributed to the festivities by the Ladies of Lallybroch. Who else do you know who has his/her own bobblehead, I'd like to know?

My husband got me three pairs of socks (I asked for them), a set of weights (I hadn't specifically asked for them, but certainly wanted them), and a very pretty watch. My elder daughter is sending me some hand-spun yarn (we both knit, and she's lately taken up spinning and dying her own wool), my younger daughter brought me flowers and a shadow-box and informs me that we are going together to the spa next week for hot-stone massages (Eeee!), and my son got me "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" to complete my Pirates collection. He also took the Little Bad Dogs back to Flagstaff with him this afternoon, so I got another present as well--less dog-pee in the living room!

Anyway, I had a lovely day, doing pretty much just what I wanted--which, oddly enough, turned out to be writing. [g] So I wrote, blithely ignoring the enormous stacks of books waiting to be boxed in my office (that's what gets remodeled next), the small-but-oppressive stack of Important Things on my desk (dog-license forms, things waiting for blurb or comment, and the case number/phone number I have to call in order to replace the defective CD drive that came with our new desktop--we got the computer six months ago, and discovered the CD drive to be defective three months ago (it took that long for the EB*'s at Best Buy to fix the defective _hard_ drive, and reinstall the defective Vista OS--which had to be ordered twice, because they sent it with French installation disks the first time--so that we could get to the point where we could _tell_ the CD drive was defective). What with book-tours and holidays, I sort of haven't had the necessary three or four hours to spend on the phone with the EB*'s in order to get the d*mn thing replaced; it took six phone-hours to make them replace the hard drive, telling my story to _five_ different people in turn, all of whom put me on hold for anything from 20-45 minutes, all of whom agreed in turn that yes, they _did_ need to replace the drive...and then transferred me to someone else--ending up with a pothead in Canada who kept nodding off during the conversation, and ended up giving me an appointment time for a technician--but then putting in a different time, a week later, for the actual appointment, causing me to wait at home for three hours, and spend another two hours on the phone to find out where the &@^@&* the technician was. The technician's a nice young man, though--we've seen him four times so far; I should set him his own place at the dinner table), and sixteen phone calls from people wanting to rent an apartment. Had a great time! (And for those who are interested, part of what I wrote is posted as an excerpt on the Compuserve Books and Writers Forum, at

(message 35 has the excerpt attached to it)

And thanks to my husband--and the nice people at Avanti ("Restaurant of Distinction" [g]) for a delightful birthday dinner, featuring hot, fresh, buttery garlic bread, cold Rombauer chardonnay, a Benito salad (an enormous plate of mixed greens with giant shrimp, hearts of artichokes and palms, tomatoes, and garlic-basil vinaigrette), and Tortellinig Portofino--meat-filled tortellini in Alfredo sauce with mushrooms and walnuts. Followed--as though this were not enough--by chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream (and a little Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark for a midnight snack, courtesy of my sister [g])

It's been a great birthday--thanks!

* EB = Evil B@st@rds (see if I _ever_ buy another (haha) "Service Plan" from these people, that's all I can say)


  1. Fanfriggintastic! I am so excited for this project! Please keep us updated with further renderings!


  2. Hey Diana,

    you should be able to post photos with your posts like this: when you're writing a new post, there's a little icon at the top, looking like... a photo :) It's the second from right in HTML-mode and the third from right in the "normal"-mode. Just click on it and you can either enter an intenet address or chosse a photo on your drive and then upload it. And then you can move it around in your post by drag-and-drop.
    Et voilĂ !

    Nina B.

  3. All I'm saying is that the Vista OS is a frantic attempt by Microsoft to copy the iLife/iWorks software that Apple's had for sometime.

    And, of course, happy b-day.

  4. Diana I love your books! I have read them all- the Outlander series twice!

    In response to your computer troubles I just want to throw out there the idea of getting a Macintosh computer.

    I teach graphic design and my lab at school consists of 36 Mac G5's that were also purchased 4 years ago. They have had zero hardware issues in the 4 years- not a one of them... or viruses either for that matter. My 4 year old laptop is used constantly, dragged around, shoved under the bed and couches and it is still as reliable as the day it was purchased.

    Before getting the teaching job and I was a PC user. I will never go back because the Mac experience is so much more pleasant and trouble free.

    ...and no I don't work for Apple!

  5. Hi Diana,

    one day too late, but Happy birthday from Germany. I am looking forward for the Graphic Novel and of course for the Echo!


  6. Happy birthday and happy new year and everything. I am very much looking forward to the new book in the series. I want to comment on the picture of Claire for the graphic novel. Please please please don't make her cute. Generally speaking the face shown is good, a strong face, but lose the pouty, heart shaped 1950's movie star lips. She is a strong, knowledgeable, capable, opinionated woman. Please don't make her into a sex object.

  7. Joe--

    Well, Claire is most certainly strong, courageous, etc.--but you might have an argument with Jamie as to whether she's also sexy. [g] 'Tis possible to be both, you know. [cough]

  8. Nina--

    Thanks! I'll try that a little later.

  9. merrymags and kimberly--

    Believe me, I'm leaning strongly in the direction of a Mac, next time I need to replace my laptop (I tend to beat them to death within 18 months or so). What's held me back so far has been the lack of good word-processing software for the Mac (I use DOS-based Word Perfect 5.1 on the PC systems [g]. Down with Beastly Word!). Now, though, I hear that there's something rather neat called Scrivener for Mac, which sounds as though it might suit me well. So we'll definitely have a look, as soon as the opportunity arises.

  10. Diana --

    I have is a Duo Core Intel iMac -- almost 2 years old & soon to get a new 24" version. I loaded Microsoft Word, Excel, & Powerpoint onto it; we have an external modem/firewall to eliminate fears of viruses, trojans, etc., though the Macs are FREE of almost any threat out there. They are unparalleled in ease of use; all systems are synced -- and NO stupid b@$t*rd tech support. I'll be getting my boys MacBooks Pros in the next couple years. Awesome fun!

  11. Yeah, I hear you about Word perfect. It's weird that they offer a linux version, but have failed to update for the Macintosh computers with Intel chips. I run Painter X also a Corel software- (we have 2 of the newer machines) so they are supporting the new machines in some instances.

  12. Belated birthday wishes, Diana! *s*

    My brother sent us a tin of Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark for Christmas, along with a lovely candy stand to display it. I fear the candy stand was hardly necessary, though, as we consumed the Peppermint Bark in short order. *g*

  13. Sorry to junk up your blog, Diana, but I just checked out LiteratureandLatte's Scrivener info -- looks like a cool program. Then, again, I'm such a sucker for Macs that anything related is fine with me. BTW, I was a PC user for years until our last one crashed -- which seems the norm every 3 years. I haven't had ANY problems with Mac. Enough said, no more bothering.

  14. Hi Diana,
    Love your blog, your books, your voice, your graphic novel concept. I can see this as a very young pre-WWII Claire. The hair doesn't seem quite curly enough. Several have mentioned they envision her hair like Alex Kingston. The opening scene of Outlander compares it to a perm gone I expected more curl.But I think the eyes and attitude are perfect, I even like the lips. :) And I agree sexy and strong work well together. I think that's much of what I adore about this series and there is MUCH to adore about your books! Now, when are you going to host a writing workshop???



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  16. Diana,

    Oops, forget the url on the first attempt.

    You're actually the second person I know with a bobble head! My BIL has one, I have two in a basement closet somewhere. *G*


    January 12, 2008 4:52 PM

  17. Hi. As most people, I must say that I absolutely LOVE your books. My family gets upset when a new one comes out because I spend every waking moment (include ones when I should be sleeping) to see what happens, and not communicating with them.
    I am in my first year of university, living away from home, and thus missing my Mommy. I always read a lot, so my Mom gave me your 2 newest Lord John books to keep me busy (when not doing school work) so I wouldn't be homesick. Well, although the idea was nice, I had the books done before I returned to university (much to my Mother's surprise). But don't worry I have more books to read (althought they aren't as good as yours).
    As too the picture of Claire. Fristly, I have never been able to visualize many books when I read. I love to read, but for some reason I do not "see" the scene in my mind. Secondly, I could see your books! It is rare for an author to write in a manner that I can see what is happening. If they do, it's usually only certain scenes and not the whole book. However, as soon as I started Outlander I could see, and it was great. I actually burst out laughing in middle of "silent reading" in grade 11 much to my teacher's amusement (she had read the novels so she wasn't upset). On that point I did have a picture of Claire in my mind. She was similar to the drawing you show, however she had slightly lighter coloured hair and much more curlier like others have been saying. However, I am by no means an art critic. I can't even draw stick people so I am by no means qualified to judge. But it is also interesting to see your version of Claire and what you want your readers to see. I would sometimes wonder what she was really suppose to look like.
    As for the graphic novel. I have never been interested in them because I thought they were always some sort of adult comic book. Now that I know they can be "real" stories I am interested. Now I will be able to see what is happening in novels. I will definitely be buying it when it hits store shelves (along with Echo).
    Well I thank you for your comments and giving us eager readers a taste for what is yet to come.
    I can't wait for the movie. I don't go to the movies that often since they are so expensive, but Outlander will be worth it!

  18. Hi Diana,
    I love your books, I love all the characters, I see everything, taste everything, smell everything, your description of each scene is so unbelievably clear to me...
    I have read Outlander 3 times..the rest of the series twice, and now
    I am in the middle of "A Breath of Snow and Ashes" I recently read your exerpts from the next book, and as usual; you never cease to amaze me...I can't wait to see what happens!!
    I am not sure about the picture of Claire...I think her hair needs to be much curlier.
    If you do allow a movie to be made please don't let them change a thing!!!
    And you probably hear this all the time: your characters seem to be so real that I am amazed I don't walk up to a friend or family member and say, "Hey, did you hear what happened to (Claire/Jamie/Briana) yesterday?"
    Not that anyone I know has never heard of them...I try to get everyone to read your books! (My 13 year old grand-daughter is asking if she can read them yet.)
    (gulp) Any advise here?
    Happy Birthday!
    Have a wonderful New Year.
    Blessings to you and yours,

  19. Happy Birthday, Diana, and...yay, you have a BLOG! :)

  20. Hi Diana,

    Sounds like you had a really nice birthday celebration. Yummm to the lava chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. I'm stopping to wipe drool off my chin now. *g*

    I'm a Lady of Lallybroch and we always love it when you mention our motley crew anywhere. We're reputed to be "axe murderers" but don't believe that stuff. *g*

    It's just our spouses that say that. As in, "Are you talking to those internet axe murderers on the computer again!" Really, we're harmless, just a little obsessed with Jamie and Claire and all things concerning The Books.

    Oh, here's a link to the infamous bobble head. Charyl, hope it's ok to link it here.

    Hugs, Marcie

  21. marcie--

    Haha! Thanks for the picture--saves me hauling my camera out (I've had such a busy day--had to go to a wedding clear on the other side of Phoenix--which is not a small city--that I haven't had time to answer any of the nice messages on the LOL boards! Will get there tomorrow, I hope.

    My husband was _fascinated_ by the bobblehead [g], barely tearing his eyes away from it long enough to assure me, "You're really not _that_ short!"

    Wonderful job by Sue Wilkindson, who made the bobblehead--thanks, Sue!

  22. Happy Birthday Diana, glad you had a lovely one. Love it that you have a blog. Hate it that you have a blog, I want you to be writing books.
    PD - long time LOLer and Surreyite

  23. I thought Claire's hair was curlier, too.

  24. Ahhhh... I've seen a "Very Good Candidate" for Jamie's bum... now my life is complete... ;-)

  25. hehe, lmao about the EB's, we have always called them DB's, D for your writings, reading voyager right now for the dozenth time at least...the graphic novel sounds great, cant wait for that!

  26. Hi Diana
    I'm almost a month late but I send you belated muchly happy returns for your birthday.
    ALso wanted to suggest -BLASPHEMY for you - that you try an imac computer ... they're virtually headache and virus free. I've been using macs since they were little oblong boxes and still can't tell you what the Apple Service is like because I've never needed it. No, I don't have Apple shares nor do my husband or son work for Apple. It's just that mac users are passionate about their machines... sort of like chocolate lovers[g].
    By the way ... who is that handsome male holding the dog in the picture on your blog. Your husband, son or other Scot?
    All the very best

    PS Please don't blame us for all the arctic air that's
    in your backyard now ... it from Siberia :)