I just get all tingly saying that out loud. I found this past week looking for ways to stumble into conversations the fact that I met Diana Gabladon.
Me - "You look nice in red today"
Them - "Oh thanks"
Me - "Did I mention that when I met and talked with Diana Gabaldon this past weekend she was wearing red?"
Today's blog post is called "My Fan Girl Heart Went 'Splodey" (thank you dear friend Mags for the title) and it documents my anticipated meeting of my idol, Diana Gabaldon. (because meetings of this magnitude require full documented recounts to be told to future generations.)
This past weekend was the annual Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games. I went last year with my youngest son and we_ had_ a_ blast. This year's trip was a special bonus because Diana Gabaldon was attending the festival. I swear it was the equivalent to counting down the days till Christmas. I've been on an Outlander high this past month with the Outlander 20th Anniversary Edition being released and then posting my interviews with Allan Scott-Douglas & Kevin Walsh from Outlander the Musical. It's turning out to be a very memorable summer of 2011 indeed.
To best describe how my day at the Fergus Highland Games went, let me share my first tweets of the day.
At about 8:30 AM I was all snug in my seat waiting. So far the day had been good. Easy highway traffic, great weather and an excellent seat. Before Diana came on stage, the audience got a special treat with a performance by Ian Bruce from Scotland. He was funny and sang beautifully. Of course he could have just stood up there reciting the phone book because the moment he said "Hi there. How ya doing?" with that awesome Scottish burr, I was a fan.
And then Herself came on stage right on time. The Fergus festival president awarded Diana and her husband Doug their own special set of "McOscars" and it was a great beginning to a humourous speech & an angsty book reading by Diana. Yeah, I said angsty my Roger loving friends. She read 2 excerpts from Book 8. The first I had heard/read before was of Jamie & Lord John regarding the "carnal knowledge" scene and the other excerpt was a sneak peak into what happens when Roger goes through the stones looking for Jemmy. I had not heard that one before and all I can say is wow!
She did a Q & A but they were mostly the same questions I've heard before "When is book 8 out?", "How did you come up with Jamie and Claire's characters?", "Is there going to be an Outlander movie or mini series?" I was just waiting for the "Jamie's ghost" question to come up but we were spared.
After the lovely discussion with Diana, the audience moved like cattle and slowly shuffled out of the tent. I slipped off to the bathroom and came back to a massive autograph lineup. I was pretty much dead last but there was no way my morning coffees and waters would have allowed me to wait without the pit stop.
I only ended up moving forward about 20 feet between 10:30 AM and 11:45 AM. That was not looking promising for me to meet Diana and get my books, T-shirt and /CD autographed.
When Diana had to leave to participate in the opening ceremonies everyone in line was told she wasn't coming back until after 3:00 PM. Most people left but a few of us just took that as an opportunity and jumped to the head of the line and basically made camp.
I met some awesome ladies in line. We took turns holding our places in line for each other while we would each slip away to eat, drink or look around the event grounds. I could not have managed the 5 hours of waiting in line without Pat, Jennifer and Gloria. You rock ladies!
Meanwhile my son and his friend were out having the time of their lives without me tailgating them. We texted back and forth constantly and he kept coming back to
check on me get more money from me.
It started to lightly rain and then the book Gods took mercy on us because the sun came out again. It drew closer and closer to 3:00 PM and the lines were starting to build up again. The end of the line was waaaay back there. At least in the morning the trees had provided shade. By the afternoon, the sun had moved and we were all out in the open. Our umbrellas ended up working dual purposes. So all in all, about 5 hrs in line and this girl is NOT complaining.
And now, the moment I have been waiting for all day!!! By this time my tummy is in knots. I still haven't worked out a memorable line to introduce myself. I'm worried my mascara has turned me into a raccoon face and I'm dying to make sure I've got nothing stuck in my teeth. I'm next in line. I watched my new bff's go in first. I see Diana smile at everyone. I feel dizzy. My hands are sweaty. I'm nervous. I'm sure I'm going to screw up or spit on her or something. I'm next and I say...wait for it....I totally can't remember what I said! Look at me in the picture! I'm trying so hard not to be a 12 yr old fan girl and I 100% believe, I came out sounding like a 12 yr old fan girl.
I take solace in the fact that my picture proves she smiled at me and that perhaps I was amusing. I am sure my opening comment came out
paused for a breath and possibly moved forward making a further fool of myself with,
So I think I may have said that or something like that?? Not sure.
I do recollect time stopping for me and fireworks going off somewhere in the distance when she said,
quote - "You did a really good job on the interviews." - unquote
I think I stopped breathing then too. I love that she takes time with the fans and allows for pictures. Here is my new screensaver.
Yes, my cheeks still hurt from smiling.
The day continued to be awesome! Over behind the scenes minding his own business I found Diana's husband. Would I just let the poor man sit in peace? Are you kidding me? This is the man who helped deliver the legendary ending line of Fiery Cross. Beside the fact that he is tall and handsome, he was wearing a kilt. So no way I was just going to leave when opportunity knocked. I asked my new bff Pat to take our picture if Doug would accept. He did! and I sure hope he doesn't mind me plastering his picture on my blog but look at that smile! oh and his smile too.
I told him about the blog My Outlander Purgatory having a recent post "Our Best Friend Doug". He knew all about their site and gave me a blazing smile. I'm not sure what he thinks about us crazy fans but what a trooper for putting up with the lot of us.
After all this smiling and talking and adrenaline rush I really needed some lemonade and to find my son & his friend. They were out having a blast running around the events. We caught up together and took in a few events and sights together.
So here's what a Scotsman wears under his kilt. Not what I was hoping for. *giggles*
Here is my ode to medieval times. That helmet must have weighed 3 kg or 6-7 lbs for non metric converters.
So there was my day. I couldn't have asked for better really. Yeah I had to wait a long time in line but it was worth it to here her speak, joke, read, meet and get a picture with her. I got my Outlander 20th Anniversary Edition signed, I got my The Exile Graphic Novel signed, Outlander the Musical CD signed and my Blog T-shirt signed. All are very special to me. Great day!
Have you met any of your idols? How did you handle yourself? Were you calm and cool or did you act like a 12 yr old fan girl like I did?