All Because She Wrote a Book

Diana Gabaldon’s adventure began over 20 years ago when she decided to write a novel. My adventure began soon after in the mid 90’s when I bought a book titled Outlander. I had no idea what to expect from the book, no one had recommended it and I honestly can’t remember how I came across it. Maybe I was just attracted to the cover art consisting of a clock, tartan and string of pearls. Within hours of bringing it home, I began reading and finished it a few days later, but even before I finished it, I went to our small local bookstore and ordered Diana’s second book, Dragonfly in Amber which led to the next and so on and so on. Was it luck or fate or both that I began reading Diana’s books, who’s to say? But, I do believe that in this life, all things happen for a reason. Whether you are new to this journey or you have been on this journey for years, I think you will have to agree that the ride has been one of surprises. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried and we’ve bonded with so many special people along the way. We’ve helped each other through the good and the bad times. We’ve come from all corners of the world and from many diverse backgrounds, bound by a common thread, woven into our lives.

As we all wait patiently, ok impatiently, for the premiere of Outlander the series on our screens, I wanted to take the time to create this special blog so that we can post our stories. Some may be joyous, some may be sad but whatever your story, feel free to post it here. It’s a way that we can all say thank you to Diana for doing what she did; so that she can know how many lives have been touched. All Because She Wrote a Book.

Please keep them as brief as you can. Maximum 1000 words. All stories will be moderated before posting. Leave your name and let me know if you would like to include it in the Public post. Also, Leave an e mail address, Facebook or Twitter handle so that we can get in touch with you if need be, these will not be included in the public post. You will post your stories as comments that will be transferred to the blog. Stories will also be collected from our Facebook group as well and posted to this blog and visa versa.

I would like to say a special thank you to Kat Blattman for her support in this project and giving me the freedom to use the tagline All Because Diana Wrote a Book. I would also like to thank Lori Renfro. It was during a conversation over the miles that we came up with this idea and she has kindly agreed to moderate this blog with me.

So, here we go… Enjoy!

Luanne Uttley and Lori Renfro


Our Story

When you have children, you hope and pray that they will be born healthy and in the same breath you hope and pray that you will be able to shelter them from harm and fix all that life throws at them with a kiss and a cuddle. But what if things don’t always go to plan? What if the harm comes from within and there isn’t anything you can do as a parent to “fix it”? You are caught up in a whirlwind and handed a diagnosis that leaves you searching for answers, anything in order to help your child cope with their invisible disability.

Approximately Sixteen years ago, two little girls were born. They were no different to any other babies but as they grew their parents became aware that something wasn’t right. Soon, the testing began, psychologists became involved and words like Bi Polar, ADHD, Schizoaffecive disorder and Autism were used explain why they couldn’t cope with their educational settings, social settings, making and keeping friendships and life in general. But these are just words and do not even begin to describe the physical and emotional struggles that followed. For Lori and I, our reality changed forever. We gave up careers, began fighting the educational system and doing everything we could to help our daughters cope in this alien world they faced

I can’t remember who messaged who first, but Lori Renfro and I began chatting on Twitter back in November 2013 through our shared interest in Outlander. It wasn’t long before we discovered that we faced similar challenges with our daughters H and E. If I was feeling low about issues with my daughter H, I knew that Lori would be the one person who would understand and she with me. In the midst of our conversations it became apparent that just as we shared an interest in Outlander, our daughters had shared interests as well. Recently, we arranged a virtual meeting for them on Facebook and they chatted for over an hour while Lori and I typed on our tablets with tears of joy at hearing the giggling, squeeing and OMG’s coming from our girls. After they said goodbye, they couldn’t stop talking about each other. They began Skyping together as well, sharing their artwork, games and books.

We’ve joked that we gave birth to twins daughters from different mothers. I can’t tell you the feeling of joy that I have experienced at seeing my daughter so happy in finding her new friend E and I know Lori feels the same. Life takes us in so many directions and looking back, I can now see why things happened the way they did. Lori and I live on different sides of the earth but because of our love for a book that was written over 20 years ago, today we were able to connect and share our lives, although just virtually for now, and our daughters have found friendship as well. All because Diana wrote a book.

Luanne Uttley with Lori Renfro