• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

Rejoice – Third Sunday of Advent

2023-12-17-3rd-Sunday-AdventToday is the Third Sunday of Advent. Tonight we light the pink candle (though the pastor of our parish insists that it is “rose”—he is NOT wearing “pink” vestments!)— the one usually labeled as “Joy.” In Latin, this Sunday is called “Gaudete” (“Rejoice!”) Sunday’

We’re happy that Christmas is coming—in spite of Target’s obstructive online ordering system, rapacious shipping companies, the dubiousness of entrusting anything whatever to the US Postal Service, and the difficulty of choosing the right “heat” from the Jerky of the Month Club—we’re STILL happy, do you hear me?


Just personally, I find it helpful to sit down for a few minutes at night (before going to work), rosary in hand (this is optional…) and say a decade (this is a series of prayers, one “Our Father,” ten “Hail Mary’s,” and a “Glory Be,”), while thinking on each bead of a particular person in whose existence I rejoice, whether for a lifetime or a moment.

(By custom, I like to post Michael McGlynn’s wonderful arrangement of “Gaudeteā€” on the Third Sunday—so here it is, and I hope you’ll all enjoy it!) It will open in a new browser window so you can come back to this post:


[Excerpt from Book Ten (Untitled), Copyright © 2023 Diana Gabaldon]

“What are you thinking?” I asked. “I know it’s about William.”

“Oh, aye?” Jamie glanced at me, mouth curled up at one side. “And what do I look like if I’m thinking of William?”

“Like someone’s handed you a wrapped package and you’re not sure whether it’s something wonderful, or a bomb.”

That made him laugh, and he put an arm around me and pulled me in close, kissing my temple. He smelled of day-old linen, ink and hay, and the dribble of honey that had dried down the front of his shirt like tiny amber beads.

“Aye, well, one look at the lad and ye ken he’ll explode before too long,” he said. “I only hope he doesna damage himself doing it.”

“Or you.”

He shrugged comfortably.

“I’m no very breakable, Sassenach.”

“Says the man with four—no, five bullet holes in his hide, to say nothing of enough surgical stitching to make a whole crazy quilt. And if we start counting the bones you’ve cracked or broken…”

“Ach, away—I’ve never broken anything important; just the odd finger. Maybe a rib, here or there.”

And your sternum and your left kneecap.”

He made a dismissive Scottish noise, but didn’t argue.

We stood for a bit, arms about each other, listening to the sounds outside. The younger children had fallen asleep under bushes or in their parents’ wagons, their happy screeching replaced by music and the laughter of the dancers, the clapping and calls of those watching.

“He came to me,” Jamie said quietly. He was trying to sound matter-of-fact, but he’d stopped trying to hide what he was feeling.

“He did,” I said softly, and squeezed his arm.

Click to visit my Book Ten webpage for information on this book, and to read more excerpts from it.

This excerpt was also posted on my official Facebook page on Sunday, December 17, 2023.