Once in a while, the Gods smile on you and you are reminded that life is full of goodness and love.
And once in a while the Gods turn around and give you a face full of their asses blowing a wind so mighty that it burns your eyes and wilts your hair.
The latter was one of those days today.
I read a piece by blogger Chloe Jeffreys and I admit, I was unprepared. I was simply not ready for the utterly mesmerizing vomitus mass of cringe-worthy arrogance that invaded my peaceful, vomit-free space. Apparently it was written in 2011 but keeps resurfacing and gaining new comments now and then. Blog posts: the recurring spicy burrito burp of the Internet. I assume the blog is still active, but after you read it, it may seem the equivalent of a CSI crime scene, where there's only a half-eaten sandwich and spilled coffee left in the kitchen after a person is reported missing...in other words, the aftermath of something very wrong .
In trying to assume a posture of defense for the woman/author/gravely-voiced-goddess-of-kilts n’ gingers, whose words have delighted and enriched my life and the lives of millions, I soon realized that only by offering a paragraph by paragraph rebuttal would I be able to:
1) Allow the reader to meet Chloe one-on-one with her own words
2) Offer a thoughtful and respectful response (pffft! Just kidding!)
3) Save myself a lot of writing.
*I will reply in (bold) and in parenthesis
So please, grab some nose plugs and dive right in:
AN OPEN LETTER TO DIANA GABALDON
by Chloe Jeffreys
(*NOTE: This is not a picture of Stonehenge. It is a close-up of the knife handles sticking out of Diana’s back.)
(*NOTE: This is not a picture of Stonehenge. It is a close-up of the knife handles sticking out of Diana’s back.)
WARNING: This post contains Spoilers for Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series
(The warning should read ‘This post will make your eyes bleed and kill more brain cells that you can afford to lose.’)
I admit it, you had me at Sassenach.
(Ah! The calm before the storm! How about a bit more grease on that pig before squeezing it into the slaughterhouse…)
In Outlander, you’ve given us one of the greatest romantic heroes in the history of all romantic heroes: Jamie Fraser. And for him I shall always be grateful to you. Any woman with blood flowing in her veins cannot resist the charms of our dearest Jamie. I can’t count the times I’ve been at a party where all it took was for Jamie’s name to be mentioned and the entire conversation devolve into breathless sighs and knowing nods.
(Don’t worry, this eternal gratitude has a surprisingly short shelf life. And seriously, conversations made up of nods and sighs? Can we all say Hogwarts Love Potion? *Ron Weasley is my addition)
What woman doesn’t fancy herself as Jamie’s Claire? After reading the story of their wedding-night, you made me seriously wonder for a moment, “Where can I get myself a 23-year old, red-headed, Scottish virgin?”
(Was that a male or female Scottish virgin you lusted after, Chloe? You mustn't leave that detail hanging and hope it's 'understood' by merit of the previous sentence. One may think your Freudian Slip is showing. *Oooops...I am getting ahead of myself. Sorry.)
I think aging Jamie and Claire was a stroke of genius. As your readers grow older they want to see older characters still getting it up and getting it on. I love that Jamie and Claire are still as hot for each other now as they were when they were in their 20’s. It is inspirational
(ummm…you meant to say SOME characters, right Chloe? You really don’t believe every character, aging or otherwise, is entitled to get it up and get it on, correct?)
So, Diana, thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this epic story of these two people truly in love with one another throughout all time and history. You’ve made my life happier.
(Happier? Really? My God woman! How do you treat people who make you miserable? ‘Bottom of the heart’ indeed: rock bottom. *ooops, got ahead of myself again…sorry, read on...)
That said, please hear me. I’m a fan. A real fan. I might not be your #1 Fan, or even your #2 Fan, and I might not own any Outlander jewelry, but I’m a real fan nonetheless. And as a real fan, I feel it is my obligation to tell you the truth. I’ve followed the tale of Claire and Jamie down all your many twisty-turny, timey-wimey paths, but now you’re trying my patience and, I must warn you, you are getting close to my very last nerve.
(BINGO! Was I right or was I right? The winds are now blowing and set to rise full gale. This is where my Cape Ruby haze lifted abruptly and I, most unfortunately, understood what I was reading: a) Chloe may not fall for that materialistic, fan-girly jewelry crap but hey, here’s a link to it; b) I didn’t know it was a REAL fan’s obligation to tell Diana how they feel. Seems I have been woefully negligent in my obligations for over 20 years; c) I can never un-read the term ‘timey-wimey path’ and it hurts.; d) this blogger seems to have actually mixed Diana Gabaldon up with her new high-strung pet poodle who cannot be paper trained and screeches hysterically whenever the phone rings. Tried patience, last nerve and all. *I am sure DG will passionately heed the ‘warning’ and has probably developed an eye twitch from the stress of it.)
Risking the vengeful wrath of the powerful Ladies of Lallybroch I’m going to say it out loud, “Echo in the Bone was a frustrating disappointment.
(Again, linking something one dislikes for ease of access seems rather odd. Ridiculous even. Well, I'm just glad she didn’t mention those troll dolls I hate so much and would never, ever buy!)
My best guess is that you’ve gotten a little too big for your breeches and your editors aren’t as quick to rein you in, but rein you in they should have done. There was simply too much William. And William is boring. He’s flat and one-dimensional and I find myself wondering if he even has any Jamie in him at all. What is up with that?
(Okay. I am just going to go take a walk outside…get some fresh air and have a smoke. I don’t actually smoke, but I think I need one right now. *15 minutes pass* Hi *cough cough* I’m back. Forget the new poodle. I think Chloe has mistaken Diana for her 4 year old nephew Joey (if she had one) who just told her to go stuff a bowling ball up her ass, which would indicate that he was, indeed, getting too big for his breeches and needed ‘reining in’ by anyone close at hand, even a group of editors. And then there is too much of that boring-William who is horribly Jamie-deficient. I agree with this part 100%: every son should be a LOT like their fathers regardless of whether they have officially met or not, or were raised in remarkably different lifestyles and worlds so opposing as to almost be alien. In fact, I think Ned, Ulysses, Roger and the guy who nailed the kid’s ear to the Thieves’ Block should ALL have been more Jamie-like too. Adso and Donas as well.)
I have one suggestion that might help: William needs to get laid. At the very least he needs to act like he’d like to get laid. By a girl, if possible. Please. Diana, give him a girlfriend, because, Dear Lord, please don’t give Jamie’s son a boyfriend.
(I concur. A good fuck adds personality to anyone. It's like the Mrs. Dash of Life. I am not sure how Diana wrote her books without Chloe’s help before but dammit, she had better not write another word without her input! But wait…what? The Lord is being prayed upon now? For what? Oh right. No more gays. *puts on yellow slicker, ducky rain boots and goggles* Now…you go put on your galoshes. It’s gonna get kinda mucky from here on in…)
And while we’re on the topic of boyfriends. I can’t speak for the rest of your readers, who apparently are ponying up the bucks and buying Lord John books, but I don’t want to read gay romance. Even if it is the saintly Lord John. I’m just not into that.
(Since ‘ponying up’ is a gambling term, I assume that this activity, unlike reading gay romance, is more acceptable to Chloe and the Good Lord she evoked earlier. Fair enough. To each their own. But ridiculing LJG by sneeringly calling him saint seems more than just patronizing, and ups the level of homophobic hostility that seeped in earlier…)
Yes, he’s a nice enough fellow; I don’t begrudge him his love life. BUT I absolutely do not want to read about it. Haven’t you made enough amends now to all the homosexuals of the world when you created a nice gay character after that evil sadomasochistic pervert, Black Jack Randall? Can you please stop now and focus on the main thing–finishing this story right? Because even if all Lord John does is get a twinkle in his eye for the guy across the room, I’m not going to pay good money to read about it. I’m afraid that I’m just a simple straight woman who isn’t into gay sex. Sue me. That’s just the way it is.
(This sign is mine, not on Chloe’s blog, but I think it's only becuse I saw it first)
(Alas! I cannot sue you Chloe. Only mentally stable people can stand up in court and that leaves you, most decidedly, in a sitting position. And although I am a bit curious as to what you think ‘finishing the story right’ may include or how gay characters could somehow make it not right, it's rather like me wondering how much it would hurt to stick my entire tongue on a frozen stop sign: the thought makes me shiver in anticipatory horror but I see the complete stupidity of it all and will never think of it again. But the threat of you not buying another DG book if there is any more of that gay eye-twinkling going on is inspired, because it is common knowledge that Diana needs the money. Those hormone treatments to keep her voice Jessica Rabbit, deep-dish sexy ain’t cheap honey. I think you have her against the boards. She’ll buckle. Just stick to your guns. In fact, if you threaten to go on a hunger strike if she keeps writing Homo-Romos, you may be guaranteed satisfaction! Just a suggestion… )
And, in the name of everything that is good and holy, I am afraid that you might have jumped the shark by having Claire and Lord John have sex with each other. That stretched me almost to my limit of incredulity.
(But the whole Time Travel by Rock Cleavage, Educated-Gorgeous-Horny 23 Year Old Perfect Virgin, and Nipples The Size of Nectarines were well within the realm of your admittedly limited i̶m̶a̶g̶i̶n̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ incredulity? *and the phenomenal sales of DG's series after ECHO's release kind of makes a guppie of your shark.)
I take that back. I just thought you’d jumped the shark when you married the very gay Lord John to Claire, AND HAD THEM HAVE SEX WITH EACH OTHER, leading to one of the world’s greatest WTF?s in literary history. But as if that wasn’t bad enough, then you came out with The Exile.
(VERY gay? As opposed to SORTA gay or JUST ON FRIDAYS gay? I would like clarification. And you needn’t SHOUT that Claire and LJG had sex…with each other. I can hear you just fine. It seems to bother you a lot that they had sex ‘WITH EACH OTHER’. Would you have preferred they got married and had sex with themselves? Masturbation, I believe, according to that Good Lord you summoned a while back, is a sin and I don’t know about others, but you are starting to confuse me. However, it could be my near empty bottle of Cape Ruby and not you at all, so I do apologize. Carry on…you mentioned the DG book The Exile?)
A comic book? Really? You, Diana Gabaldon, who can make words dance off a page and into a woman’s heart, wasted your time and talents on putting out a comic book? Er, forgive me, “Graphic Novel.” Which is just a fancy name for a COMIC BOOK
(Dr. Gabaldon freelanced as a comic book writer for Walt Disney for a year or two back in the 70’s. And thank the Gods she did! That Scrooge McDuck is a sexy old feather banger of Scottish ancestry who loves power and money more than his nephews or love itself! An obvious precursor to the sexy old feather banger Dougal McKenzie himself! I found it sweet that you think that the simple title of Graphic Novel is a fancy term. I personally think that something like ‘comici libro’ deserves that distinction more so, but hey, that’s just semantics. Listen, I am not telling you this to make you look like a blithering idiot. You have managed that quite well on your own.)
Diana, STOP! Put down the Lord John, stop writing comic books, quit traveling aroundthe world doing book signings, or reviewing musicals based on Outlander. (I’m sorry, your story is wonderful, but I just get all sick to my stomach and squeegy inside even thinking about being trapped in a theatre audience and forced to listen to Jamie and Black Jack singing to each other in Wentworth Prison. BLECH!)
(THE Lord John? Is that like The Donald? He has been elevated to mogul-esque heights I see. And more Hate Links? *sigh* Okay, so yes, Diana, just STOP writing characters you love, STOP promoting your books and meeting/thrilling fans around the world and for the love Tea and Biscuits, STOP reviewing squeegy-tummy inducing musicals! If we want to see gay eye-twinkling set to music, we’ll watch the new musical ‘50 Shades of Gay: Naked Tap Dancing to Liberace Favorites’ that I just made up in a shameless attempt to gain Andrew Lloyd Webber’s attention.)
So this is my plaintive plea:
Diana, please finish the Outlander Series and finish it well. I’m not exactly sure how you’re going to be able to do that now with the mess you’ve created in Echo, but somehow you have to do it. Redeem it all. End it as it should, with Jamie standing as the ghost under Claire’s window in Inverness in 1945 and all will be forgiven.
(Come on...don’t be shy, I am sure you know exactly how to ‘do it’, how to redeem that Echoy mess. And Diana, you can rest easy now that your last line has been written for you, “In Inverness in 1945, the Ghost of Jamie looked up at the window and saw Claire brush her hair.” Exquisite! Chloe, I can’t speak for Diana, but your insights and your capacity for forgiveness, quite simply, make me feel all ‘squeegy’ inside.)
(If that signature was a Rorschach Test, I would say it looks like Nessie humping a rowboat. On a tuba.)