Shawn L. Bird

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

RE-POSTED from AB-Ootlander: Bucketlist — Dining with Diana – August 21, 2015

Filed under: OUTLANDERishness — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:26 am
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I was there! ūüôā (You may find me “Hanging out at the Library” if you look). How lovely to meet these whacky ladies and spend time with them this weekend. Diana is right about her fans when she says they’re delightful, intelligent people! ūüôā

Diana&I-WWC2015-crop3-bwI was busy in workshops rather than going out for lunch (*facepalm*) but it was certainly a great weekend!

Of course, this is my third trip to the When WORDS Collide Writing Conference. I was there as a presenter/writer not as a Diana fan, but it’s always great to see Diana and spend some time with her. ¬†I’m keeping our conversations to myself, but inside, I may have been just as excited as SherryLynn describes here. ¬†Perhaps even a little more. <g> ¬†Diana is awesome, considerate, funny, and patient. I think she makes everyone feel that she’s completely there for them. ¬†I watch and learn, in case some day I have an army of fans. ¬†ūüôā

Enjoy the AB-Ootlander excitement!

ABOotlanders w/Sher

How? How does something like THAT happen to normal people?

*Blink* *Blink* We must be dreaming! *Blink* *Blink*
We must be dreaming!

Ok…first. We perhaps aren’t normal.  However the perfect storm WAS brewing.

An event- When Worlds Collide.¬†¬†Diana Gabaldon¬†will attend said event. The ABOotlanders find out about said event and decide there is NO OTHER CHOICE. This is the perfect storm. The positive intent, good will, good people & love we have following us around ‚Äď we knew this event was going to be one we would cherish no matter what.


I am sure you are curious as to how WE…the lowly AB-Ootlanders could have gotten Diana to dine with us.  I assure you there were no Diana’s hurt in the making of this experience.  No duct tape, or chloroform used, no draw of puppies/hedgehogs or Toger’s at the table (O.K. there was a Toger but we didn’t take that out til…

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My Sam Heughan encounter April 20, 2015


A true story.

Back in the summer of 2013, there was a lot of excitement over Ron Moore starting the process of casting for Outlander.  When Sam Heughan was cast in July, he and author Diana Gabaldon started tweeting a lot, and it was fun to be part of the delight and anticipation.  Diana teased him a LOT, and he gave as good as he got.

On August 2, Sam tweeted that¬†he was going to Canada. ¬†I expected him to be going to Ontario, because when people talk Canada, I know they’re not usually thinking of us here in the West. The next thing we knew, Sam had posted an Instagram selfie of himself beside a lake. ¬†I looked at the photo and posted on Facebook, “That looks suspiciously like he’s in the Okanagan…” ¬†i.e. my home town of Kelowna. ¬†I tweeted him and offered to take him out for coffee. ¬†So far, Sam hadn’t had any ‘Outlander fan’ meetings,’ and it would have been fun to meet him, say hi, chat about the books, and the adventure he was about to embark upon. ¬†I know Diana from writing conferences, so she could vouch that I wasn’t anyone creepy (See PPPS, below ūüôā ). ¬†Sam did not reply. ¬†(Not that I was surprised at that; you know the adage: nothing ventured, nothing gained!)

He posted assorted photos from around our region, including one of a relation and a beat up old pick up that they were travelling around in.  August 7 he posted a photo of himself in the Rockies that sounded like he was leaving the country.  I presumed he had made it to Calgary and gone back to Scotland.

August 8, I headed across the Rockies to a writing conference in Calgary ¬†(When Words Collide- a very entertaining Sci-Fi/Fantasy event). ¬†I was on my own in my cute lime green bug, Sheila. ¬†Along the way, I saw a couple of young men standing beside a vaguely familiar old pick up on the side of the TransCanada Highway. ¬†The guys were looking scruffy in shorts and Tshirts. ¬†I glanced over as I drove by; one of the scruffy young men met my eyes. ¬†I always wish I could stop in these situations, but as a woman travelling alone, without mechanical skill, I do not. ¬†I tried to look sympathetic as I gave him a smile, but alone in my cute little Bug, I didn’t stop.BugcovercropTwitter

I got to Calgary, checked into my hotel and about 9 pm that night, logged into Twitter to read that Sam Heughan had been stranded on the side of the TransCanada Highway for 4 hours that afternoon.  The truck had broken down on the way to Calgary.

The truck I passed.

I met Sam Heughan’s





Sam *does* drive around all the time in my Bug, in the guise of a ‘Pocket Jamie’ tucked behind the bud vase. ¬†When I picked up Diana Gabaldon at the airport last year, she climbed into the passenger seat, caught sight of him, pulled out her phone to take a picture and laughingly said, “Pocket Jamie sure gets around!” ūüėČ


In the interest of complete honesty… There were 2 young men. ¬†One was at the front of the truck, looking down, like at a phone; one was walking around the box and he looked up and met my eyes. ¬†I think the one whose eyes I met, was actually Sam’s relation, and Sam was the one at the front, busy with his phone, not noticing me go by at all. ¬†But that is not nearly as fun a tale, and so I apply literary licence. ¬†I like to think that if Sam had looked up, I would have actually recognized him, and ‘knowing’ him, would have stopped. ¬†Right? ¬†(cough). ¬†So it’s his own fault he was stranded so long. ¬†If he’d been paying better attention to cute bugs driving by, he could have be rescued far sooner! ¬†ūüėČ ¬† At any rate, I definitely saw Sam. ¬†It’s just 50/50 whether he saw me! ūüėČ ¬†Though you’d think he’d at least remember a car that looks like this, wouldn’t you?


In looking for the links to Sam’s tweets for this post, I came across this whole hilarious conversation between Diana and me¬†that happened through the wee hours of August 4-5. ¬†The poem she refers to is (which she helped¬†me write, the traitor). ¬†ūüôā ¬†Perhaps in consolation, Diana¬†dedicated her daily lines to me on August 5th. ¬† Fair trade, really. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†Summer 2013 was full to ->bursting<- with Outlander magic.


poem- knowing glances June 29, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:00 pm
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Her eyes twinkling with  fervour

I introduced the devotee to the star of the evening.

Without preamble she leapt into analysis

of the opus, confusing words, likely erroneous.

The star gave me a glance with eyebrow raised

and I offered a half smile and shrug,

as graciously she said

“Oh, yes?” and¬†turned to her¬†next supplicant;

dismissing the devotee  withdrawing

on her delighted sighs.


Poem- love letters between a fan and a light bulb July 19, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:27 am
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Following the model by Sarah Kay- Love letter between a toothbrush and a bicycle tire

Here is a love poem between a light bulb  and  a  paper fan, by me



With a flick of your curves,

you turn me on.

With the rhythm of that modest arc


to and fro

to and fro

to and fro

I glow with passion


and round.

I long for you to

wrap your

accordion folds

around me.


you make me want

to channel my heat

to bake a cake

to celebrate

your slender curve,

your snapping




Oh bulby,

you light up my life.

Against you, I’m a

transparent frame.

I wish

I could really

open myself to you,

but bulb,

I must cool your incandescent ardor


if I get too close 

I will burn.

You will leave me


and smoking.

Oh yes.

I can see right through you.

You’re not on fire;

our love is a

filament of your imagination.

I’ll wave a fond farewell

but be assured bulby,

you’ll leave an

after image.


hyper-ventilating October 16, 2012

I have met some ‘famous’ people over the years, and while I may be in awe of their talent, they generally turn out to be people pretty much like me. I know that. But at the moment, it’s rather difficult to BELIEVE it.

As you’ve noticed if you’ve read this blog for any time, I love Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, and I am amazed by her talent and her generosity to her fans and other writers. I have posted questions on her Facebook page and on the Compuserve Writers’ Forum, and she has provided helpful (and sometimes lengthy) responses.

For these reasons, I am hyperventilating as this week ticks by, because in less than 48 hours I will be meeting Diana Gabaldon (and J. J. Lee, Jack Whyte, Mary Balogh, Anne Perry and Michael Slade, not to name drop or anything) ūüôā at a fund raiser for the Surrey Writers’ Conference, and on Saturday I have the honour of sharing the scene that Diana had helped me with in a 15 minute blue pencil appointment at the conference. ¬†I am nervous, excited, and slightly terrified of making a fool of myself.

My son said, “Just don’t be a fan, Mom. Be professional.”

Yeah. Easier said than done, kid!


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.

ūüė¶ ¬†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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