Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Fan Girl Heart Went 'Splodey - I met Diana Gabaldon

My name is MichelleKCanada (well not really but go with me on this) and I met Diana Gabaldon. 

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?


Jennifer said...

My friend met Diana at a signing - she went up to her and said, "You stole my idea!" Fortunately Diana has a good sense of humour.

Laurie said...

You met who again? I don't think you ever told me. ;>) I'm so happy you had the opportunity. We all know how big of a sta ... I mean fan you are. You really earned your celery status that day. In person I've never really met anyone but have I told you the story of talking to Scott Patterson? I may have called him dude. *giggles*

Julie said...

You met Diana Gabaldon?! Get out! ;) I absolutely loved reading this recap! I could feel every bit of your excitement! What a magical day that must have been. And I have no doubt in my mind that you made a wonderful impression on her. It would be impossible for you not to.

I was a 12 yr-old fan girl when I met Mickey and Minnie Mouse in the spring, so I can completely relate. lol.

Margaret said...

I've met you, so my life is complete.

Now I will sit her quietly seething with jealousy. Not that you got to meet Diana, because you know I am happy for you. Really, I am. Kinda.

It's just that I must forever live with the knowledge that I cajoled you into reading Outlander. In doing so not only was I bumped from the top spot on the Fan Girl Object of Adoration dias, but I lost my place as screensaver of choice.

Hoited on my own petard. And here I was hoping to be hoisted on Jamie's petard. *wink-wink*

Good thing I just like to see you happy, because apparently my jealous seething isn't so quiet.

You look so happy and so beautiful. How lucky was Diana to get to meet you???

Kate said...

I met Kate Mulgrew, Captain Janeway, a few years ago after idolizing her for most of my childhood. I was super excited, it was after I saw her perform in Equus on their closing night, and I told her how great it was to finally meet her. She sort of didn't even give me the time of day and had no interest in talking to fans.... But such is life, she was probably sad the show was ending.

I would love to meet Diana Gabaldon! I'm so glad you go to meet her though, and that she is such a gracious event guest :)

Connie said...

I understand the fan-girl sqeee Michelle! I met Diana at a talk/booksigning in Dayton, Ohio. There was a line out the door, but she was so sweet to everyone. Many of us wore name-tags from our various forums and groups, and she graciously signed, posed for pictures, and smiled 'till her face about fell off.

Enjoyed your blog-post very much. Glad you had so much fun.


Christine said...

I'm so excited for you. If she ever comes to a Highland Games near me, I'm there.

Loved your recap and the pictures.

I was pretty excited when I got to meet Lauren a few years ago after Guys and Dolls. I was able to get her to sign my playbill and get a picture with her. I look like a dork, but she looks great. I don't think I was as nervous as I thought I would be, but it went so fast I hardly remember.

Unknown said...

haha Jennifer that is funny. At least is was a memorable line. Or better yet, you can remember what you said LOL

Julie/Laurie and Margaret - you guys are superstars. Thank you for listening to me on twitter, chat, email and text that I met Diana.

Kate I feel so bad that when you meet an idol she didnt measure up.

Connie yes! I love you understand my SQEEEEE!

Christine - my fingers are crossed she gets your way one of these days.

Thank you all for taking a moment to comment. It means the world to me.

deaven said...

I had my first fan girl moment recently when Jennifer Armintrout replied to me on twitter. I know it isn't much, but at least she is really and talks about. I have messaged several writers I love on there and received no responses. Now maybe I'll get to meet her.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

- your newest follower

Marybeth said...

You are unbelievably lucky! I thought getting her to give me an author interview is difficult, but actually meeting her!! If I met her and died an hour later I would be a very happy dead girl!

I have read the series but actually stopped at the last one just because I've been on OUTLANDER mood for the last six months and didn't want to lose my love for the story so I thought it'd be better if I just put it down and rest my brain.

Have you ever visited If you type OUTLANDER you will see awesome stuff. I got two t-shirts from there. One saying "I just want to go to Scotland..." and another one that says, "Jamie and Claire makes Edward and Bella..."

You should check it out. I love meeting OUTLANDER fans. Every time I speak to someone about the book they just say, "why would I want to read a book about an adulteress?"

So yeah, keep on the look out for the next few books to be reviewed.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful day! I'm going to meet Diana at Surrey in October, and I couldn't be more excited about it!

Thanks for the recap - it's always nice to hear that the people you admire are nice in real life too!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I found your post from the link on Diana's blog. Sounds like a great day! I met my teen idols Donny & Marie Osmond. I've met Donny twice, but too tongue tied to say much. I have met Marie at numerous doll signings and even had my picture with her published in Doll Reader. We have shared a few stories about our kids & crafts, and I can assure you she is a sweet, kind and funny lady. I am a new Outlander fan (am only on Voyager), but I definately want to meet Diana at a signing. Thanks for sharing your day. CherylT

Julie said...

What a beautiful photo of you and Diana! I am so happy you got to see her. Great post!

Unknown said...

Thank you Deaven I dont know who Jennifer Armintrout is but what a wonderful feeling to get an @ reply on Twitter!

Hi Marybeth. I have been on Cafepress before and I liked the "you can call me Sassenach (I don't mind) Tshirt. Fun stuff there!

The Romantic Scientist - Cool name BTW lol Thank you for taking the time to post. It was a fun blog post to recap!

Cheryl - thank you for popping from Diana's blog. I am simply tickled she included the link!

Julie - As always thank you for the comment and stopping by. My hubby said he's never seen me smile so much as I did in that picture LOL

kimcatus said...

What a wonderful post....I felt like I was there with you!!! :D So glad you had a fantastic time.....and I'm the same way...I've a few musicians that I adore and I usually just freeze up or babble Oh and you are so gorgeous!!!

Unknown said...

wow Kimcatus thank you!

Why do we freeze up or babble? LOL Funny when we meet the people we adore or look up to we get like that.

Thank you for taking the time to post a comment. I appreciate it. Take care, MichelleKCanada

Moilatar said...


It was nice to read about your day and what a magical moment it must've been to meet Diana! I am happy for you! :) Here in Finland, I wish we could have similar events, my sisters and dad are fans of Diana's books and also recently I discovered, that one of my old friends had fallen in to the same "madness"!;)
I will follow your blogs from now on! :) Cheers!

Anonymous said...

You look so happy and the photos are awesome... you must so excited:)

Unknown said...

Moilatar - Hello Finland and thank you for leaving a comment! It was a magical moment. I love to hear from fellow Outlander fans.

TFwalsh - thank you for stopping by. I was very excited and I am still am more than a week later LOL


Keri Stevens said...

I am stewing with jealousy. I got to see Herself from afar at RWA nationals this year, but I got nothing signed. And no good pictures.

What a lovely, fun poflatst Michelle!

Keri Stevens said...

That was supposed to be "post". I have no idea what a "potflatst" is. Though it does sound kind of fun.

Anonymous said...

What a great blog. I met Diana last year at a book signing and I was as excited as you were. They all thought I was crazy where I work. She is just amazing and she couldn't have been nicer. And I also was on line with great people. You made those great memories all come back again.


C.J Duggan said...

Oh wow! This is awesome! Good for you! It's so exciting meeting an idol, book signings are the best and you had such a nice experience and the photo's are ace. Something to cherish and remember always. Lucky you. I have a few authors I would love to meet so I will have to keep stalking them for when the come to Oz.
So happy for you, brilliant post!

MaryFaithPeace said...

Found your link from my gal pals at My Outlander Purgatory and I'm glad I checked it out! Thank you so much for the blow-by-blow: I'll just imagine having met Herself - through you! And looking at your bookshelf, it seems we share a few faves. Love your blog!

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