What’s for Summer?

Now that my favorite television shows have finished their first-run episodes, what’s a person to do during the summer months (or, in the case of Outlander, more like an entire year)?  How about the SciFi Chicks Summer Series 2015, where I attempt to post weekly discussions favorite episodes (Supernatural and possibly Arrow), highlights and lowlights of the past season (Outlander), and various musings (including, but not limited to The Flash)?

Let’s start with a musing.

Sam Heughan and Jared Padalecki were two of Cupboard Maker Books' champions.

Two Sams: two of Cupboard Maker Books’ four author-nominated champions*

In my bi-annual visit to Facebook yesterday, I found an intriguing entry from my friend Natalie.  She told me to visit Cupboard Makers Books’ Facebook page and vote for my favorite “champion.”  Then, if I came to the book-signing event at the brick-and-mortar Cupboard Maker Books on Saturday, I might win a prize!

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My Own Personal Outlander

[This post is safe for non-readers of the books and non-watchers of the television series.  *cough*Natalie*cough*]

As he did with Battlestar Gallactica (or so I’m told because I never watched it), Ronald D. Moore does podcasts for every episode of Outlander.  I came across them only recently and decided to listen to them in chronological order rather than jumping in with the most recent episode.  My preferred method of listening to the podcast is to synch it with the televised episode (sound off, close-captioning on).

Watching one episode per day (or thereabouts), last night I came upon the highly disturbing “The Garrison Commander” (106).  For this podcast Ron was accompanied by his three cats, the third of which is named Romeo.

Romeo is my black and white tuxedo cat.

Hey Ron, is your Romeo this handsome?

I have a Romeo, too!  I bet Ron’s isn’t as handsome as my boy is.

This fact might not have been blog-post worthy, were it not for something I came across the night before while reading Voyager, Diana Gabaldon’s third book in the Outlander series.

My Kindle app tells my I’m 65% of the way through Voyager, but recent going has been slow.  Glancing ahead to the next chapter (to determine how far I’d read before turning off the light), I espied a word familiar to me, but had never encountered in fiction.  It took me a moment or two to realize what I’d read.

The purser on board the HMS Porpoise is named “Mr. Overholt.”  I’ve seen Overholtzer in creative works before, even Overholtz, but never Overholt.

This Mr. Overholt is described as a bald-headed, short, rotund fellow, so he can’t be related.  All of the Overholt men I know are either very tall, hair-gifted, or both.

I may have to change my opinion of Ms. Gabaldon.  But I probably won’t.

Damn You, Outlander!

Sam Heughan plays the beloved Jamie Fraser on Outlander.

Curse you, Sam Heughan and Diana Gabaldon, for making love this guy.

Have you ever loved a story so much it hurts?  You feel so passionately, you get a hole in your gut and it feels like your heart is being ripped in two.

That’s how deeply Outlander has affected me.  I’ve been fanatical about various shows, characters, couples and the like in the recent past, but I can’t remember the last time something pierced my soul the way this show does.

Outlander actually debuted early last fall, but having never read the books, nor being a regular Starz watcher,  it passed under my radar.  I didn’t discover it until mid-December.  The upside was being able to watch the first eight episodes in quick succession, without having to wait a full seven days for the next episode.  The downside is that most of the fervent online activity has subsided.

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Thoughts on Dragons

The announcement of Cressida Cowell’s latest book, The Incomplete Book of Dragons (or The Complete Book of Dragons in the U.S. because we apparently are stupid) inspired this post yesterday a couple days ago. In describing the different covers, I remembered something I’ve been thinking about for a while—how the movie might possibly have influenced the books.

The cover of How to Steal a Dragon's Sword features the Windwalker.

Book #9’s cover features Hiccup and his Windwalker

As every fan of the books knows, the movie is only loosely based on the books.  Hiccup is significantly older in movie, there is no Astrid (although there is Camakazi, whose dragon is named Stormfly), and Toothless is an entirely different type of dragon (as is Stormfly).

In the books, Toothless is a small Common or Garden dragon, much like the Terrible Terrors of the movie.  He’s also exceptionally noisy, self-centered, and disobedient.  (But in a lovable way.)

Hiccup’s riding dragon in the books is the Windwalker.  Personally, I think he’s based (at least partially) on the movie’s Night Fury Toothless.  He’s completely black and among the fastest flyers of the dragon species.  When Hiccup first picked him, the Windwalker was rather pathetic.  He was timid, appeared to have been abused, didn’t speak (book-Hiccup is able to speak Dragonese), and he was physically damaged.  Even now, six books later, he still has a bandaged foot.  (Well, except for his featured cover.) Continue reading

This and that

A little bit about several things:

Suzanne has posted her review of the terrific Supernatural episode “The End” at Damsel Undistressed.  As usual, it’s great.   Television Without Pity really needs to hire her to replace the current Supernatural recapper.  First of all, it’s the following Thursday and he still hasn’t posted his full recap.  And when he does, half of it will be spent on inane, redundant verbal exchanges with Raoul, the imaginary gay dragon, which add absolutely nothing to the recap (other than making it longer).  [Ok, since I wrote this, the TWoP recap has been posted, but still!.]

I’m not sure I’ll continue watching FlashForward.  How many “I won’t cheat on you” speeches did we hear last week?  It ended up feeling like nothing but time-filler.   I really like Joseph Fiennes and Courtney B. Vance (see, there is life after Law & Order: Criminal Intent), but I’m not sure it’s enough to overcome the annoyances.

Yes, I’m way overdue on my Warehouse 13 season finale thoughts.  But I do have them!  I just need to rewatch the episode to refresh my memory.

I’ve been looking for the Sookie Stackhouse novels (from which True Blood was born).  Ellis Flynn keeps urging me to read them.  The early ones are always checked out from the library.  So I decided to pick one up at Barnes & Noble; but they didn’t have any.  However, I did find the first of Charlaine Harris’s Lily Bard novels, Shakespeare’s Landlord.  It’s not scifi or paranormal based, but it was so good (she’s a terrific writer), I subsequently read the second novel, Shakespeare Champion.  I highly enjoyed the murder mystery, but was disappointed by the turns in Lily’s love life.  Sort of like how I’m not liking the coming changes in Sookie’s love life.