Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

please never die! August 30, 2012

This is purely selfish, I know.

Since October 2011, I’ve been obsessed with author Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series (though I read anything by her I can find: the Lord John series, blog posts, articles, tweets, Facebook postings).  Like millions of rabid fans around the world, I am waiting desperately for the next installment in in the adventures of Claire and Jamie Fraser, et al.  Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (aka MOBY) isn’t due until SEPTEMBER 2013!

>>Insert anguished groan here<<

Recently, Diana went to Scotland to celebrate the wedding of her daughter.  I found myself praying passionately that there would be no plane, train, bus, ferry, or auto accidents.  What if Diana was to expire in some sort of dramatic, Fraser worthy way?  She puts her characters through enough, fate might just mock her with an ironic  twist, and she could be caught in such a scenario up close and personally!  Worse, some ignominious event could fell her, some blip of biology could shut down that brilliant brain and still that witty pen.

😦  NOOOOOOOOO!  The very idea makes my heart pound in dread.

Yesterday, in my audio book of Gabaldon’s Drums of Autumn, Jamie fought off a bear with a dirk, bare hands, and sheer determination.  (Claire contributed to his defence by whacking at the combatants with a dead fish).  After this attack, Claire shakily observes,

Anytime. It could happen anytime, and just this fast. I wasn’t sure which seemed most unreal; the bear’s attack, or this, the soft summer night, alive with promise.

I rested mv head on my knees, letting the sickness, the residue of shock, drain away. It didn’t matter, I told myself Not only anytime, but anywhere. Disease, car wreck, random bullet. There was no true refuge for anyone, but like most people, I managed not to think of that most of the time.

I am not a worry-wart.  I have a generally relaxed, laissez-faire attitude about most things.  I believe in doing what you can, and then letting go.  I wait without anxious fear for results of jobs, test results, admissions, reviews, and queries. Impatient curiosity may cause frustration, but not anxiety.  My kids and husband are on their own, provided only with my good wishes and sensible advice.  I never panic over their prospective demises, despite their penchants for death defying recreational activities that would indicate I really should.  Yet, Diana Gabaldon’s books can keep me up all night, fretting about how things are going to turn out for a character who’s stuck in another impossible situation.  Her fictional world stresses me out far more than the real world does.

I love her for it.

So I worry about Herself .*   This is slightly absurd, and definitely selfish.    I know it, and yet I can’t help it.

Please be immortal, Diana.  Or at least, get yourself into a time loop next time you’re in Scotland.  I recommend looking for wild flowers at the base of standing stones around Beltane.

*I also worry,  not infrequently, about Davina Porter, narrator of the Outlander audio books, for much the same reasons.  She HAS to keep narrating this series!  She can’t die or retire!

Imagine my head, cupped in my hands, shaking in embarrassment.  This is quite pathetic, but very real.  Am I alone in this absurdity?  Tell me someone else shares author anxiety?

July/2013 Especially now that MOBY won’t be released until March 2014 now!

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