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Hope, Diana Gabaldon, Charyl

Lady Hope

Not considering myself one to be starstruck, I had pretty much decided to go with my natural instincts and just let it all hang out where Diana was concerned. Luckily Kiltboy made his appearance and I was not obliged to actually let anything of mine hang out. Whew!

What I’m really getting at here is, it’s my belief that since we’re all naked under our clothes, and most of us have some cellulite to hide, I feel it’s my responsibility, as a person with some cellulite to hide, to respect any famous person I might meet by treating him or her as I would any other person I might meet. Now, keep in mind, I have met several hundred famous people in the last thirty-two years, so I’m an old pro with the celeb set. *snort* Hmmmmm… Ok, Oprah has met several hundred famous people, I’ve met Oprah and so… by association… that six degrees of separation theory… are you buyin’ my logic here? Alrightly then, maybe not… So back to not being starstruck then, hmm?

Weel, I figured out we, MacHosers, had differing opinions in regards to partying with Diana when Judie and I were talking, with great anticipation, about the still upcoming events in Surrey. Judie mentioned that she sure hoped we wouldn’t all get too drunk and make complete fools of ourselves in front of Diana. I, in my usual “is she serious or is she kidding” manner said, “Damn, I think it would be a hoot if Diana got drunk and made a complete fool of herself in front of us!” Judie was mortified that I would even venture to jest about such a thing! *g* Of course, already having Kiltboy up my sleeve (yeah, I wish!) I knew somebody would be making a fool of themselves, it only remained to be seen who.

So let us, now, skip ahead to that most magical of moments when Ms. Diana Gabaldon appeared at our door. At this point, I must admit that I really wasn’t paying a grand amount of attention to our esteemed guest when she first arrived, having the knowledge that Kiltboy had to be hot on her heels. As a matter of fact, I’m still amazed that they didn’t share an elevator up! Oh, wouldn’t that have been a wall to have been a wee fly upon? And of course, once Kiltboy did make his entrance I was rather preoccupied…. ahhh…. held enrapt, would, I suppose, be a more accurate description!

Once “Dancing for Dollars” ended, well jeepers, I really felt it was only my duty to get acquainted with Kiltboy while the other ladies were chatting with (grilling) Diana. I certainly didn’t want the poor lad to feel snubbed, ye ken?

And so it came to be that Kiltboy and I were talking (Okay, he was talking. Of what I canna say since I was much too busy ogling his bod. After all when will I get the chance to ogle with impunity, again?) when my greatest party fantasy came true…. Can you just picture it? You’re standing in a lovely hotel suite talking to Mr. Hunk-o-rama, (who just happens to be the only man in the room) when a best selling author, (who just happens to be your favorite author) seeks you out and wants to join in your conversation! How flattering can one moment be?

So there we were. Diana, Kiltboy and ME! Diana stood politely listening to the conversation for a minute or so before jumping in with a few comments of her own. We talked about this and that; her flight, the room, she asked Kiltboy a few questions etc. Kiltboy reciprocated by asking Diana about her book. Seeing his “curiosity” as an open invitation, Diana launched into a detailed account of Claire’s first meeting with BJR, Dougal and the Highlanders in the cabin etc. etc.

I soon recognized that glazed-over look to Kiltboy’s eyes, but wasn’t paying much attention to his boredom factor, my own attention being rather held enrapt (for the second time that evening.) This time, of course, by a masterful storyteller who was getting so excited with the telling of her tale that her speech became slurred, as often happens to a child who cannot relay a turn of events quickly enough. (It surely couldn’t have been Diana’s one glass of wine that was responsible?) I, being more excited than Diana, was finding her display extremely entertaining. Kiltboy on the other hand, was finding her display extremely pathetic, until…. It suddenly occurred to him that he might get a “beefcake” job out of the famous author.

“Hey, maybe I can be the model for your second book cover?” he suggested with great enthusiasm. To which Diana barely beat me to saying “FIFTH! And, they’re NOT that kind of books!” I had the distinct impression she too, had a real struggle keeping herself from adding “ you numbskull!” Kiltboy did have the grace to look mildly abashed by Diana’s remarks. *snort again* Poor lad, put in his place by a bunch of crazed women!

As the evening went on, I all but forgot about trying to treat Diana as a normal human being, mostly because she is a normal human being! I found her very warm and real and I soon found myself sitting back just enjoying the pleasure of her company, absorbing how very much she loves Jamie and Claire, how they really live for her, just as they do for me. Before meeting Diana I was nervous and afraid, not of meeting someone so famous and talented, but I was terribly afraid that meeting Jamie and Claire’s creator would dehumanize them, afraid that I would hear Diana’s voice with each word I read, afraid that the luster would be gone and the story wouldn’t be the same.

In the weeks that followed, I purposefully avoided even looking at the stack of books next to my bed, not to mention the other stack of books next to my computer, and the daily quote became something I had to scan past very quickly. My fear gnawed at me, until I knew it was time to face my fears and put my DG meeting to the test.

Since Voyager seemed to be getting quite a lot of discussion on the board and was also very prominently featured in a recent trivia game, and since I was having trouble answering the questions, much less participating in the conversations, I decided a reread was due. I admit freely to having read certain ‘key’ scenes several times, but have read Voyager, in its entirety, only once… Waaaaaay back last summer! So, a few days ago, I took a leap of faith and began. “He was dead.” Oh God! I was so afraid. So afraid my beloved story would not be the same, but this was a test and a journey to be traveled, so I continued. And in all honesty, it is not the same. But for some inexplicable reason and to my complete amazement, I found it to be better. Far better than I could have ever believed was possible! This I knew to be irrevocably true when, without consulting me, I found tears slipping, unguarded down my face by the time I had read not halfway down page two.

Epilogue:

I am now happy to report, that in all my anticipation to see Jamie and Claire reunited when reading Voyager for the first time, I missed a great deal of what lead up to their reunion. And on this second reading, I have thus far, had the great pleasure of reading quite a bit of it as if for the first time…. and how sweet it is! *g*

FaithMandyTamaraKateKimLorriHopeDaveCharylJudie

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