How To Get Back On Track…

Before I get started I just want to address that there are a lot of podcast updates and plenty of entries on this web-log you might be interested in. If you want to search for specific items you can use the search engine here on the upper-left, just below the logo for The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows and above where it says, “Links To Episodes & Chapters”. Just type in the box what topics interest you.

I am explaining this because, as I’ve analyzed the devastation of social media on the human psyche, I am noticing that a major problem with us is we aren’t using our voluntary ability to seek out what we are looking for on our own. We’ve been programmed by social media algorithms as well as those algorithms which alter what you get first in a basic online search engine. Like spandex, this blend of programming tries to make your journey online “form-fitting” to your preferences. Unfortunately that means you will have less choice in the long-run and may have found yourself being led about by the nose until you feel your freedom-of-choice is seriously lacking. (Has anyone out there forgotten how to clean their room? Me too.)

Still, search engines are the best way to get started and remember that you are in charge of making your own choices. Many suffered and fought for the right to vote and freedom of choice. Don’t get too complacent with that right or it will be taken away, believe you me. You’ll either find yourself beholden to what’s thrown at you or you’ll have no sense of direction due to being oblivious to this format. A lot of algorithms promoting a person’s perceived interests very much weakens our ability to voluntarily look for and choose what we want to do or discover.

I’ve studied the social media phenomenon and psychologists report all this will eventually self-correct. My concern is we all are feeling embarrassed having gotten addicted to it. People often don’t like to admit to “being had”. However, we are all in this silent-crisis together so I’m happy to chuckle at myself and downgrade back to “being human”.

Thankfully my previous mental and emotional dilemmas were relieved by what some call “fluff” or “slice of life” storytelling.🙂 There is some contradiction of what that means in literature as compared to theatrical works. In theatrical parlance, the term “slice of life” refers to a naturalistic representation of real life, sometimes used as an adjective, as in “a play with ‘slice of life’ dialogue”. I prefer looking at it that way even though much of what I’ve taken comes from the literature format. For those who have a high level of stress throughout most of their life these tales, books and films promote a sense of how one may live from season to season in good health. Tragedies will come, but they are rarely earth-shattering. Hence, I may remark, if one needs excessive tension or stories containing massive amounts of abuse, “They must have a very comfortable life to require that much drama and excitement.” (With Dark Shadows I would fast-forward through certain lagging scenes with the words, “The suspense is boring me.”)

If one has listened to my librivox material it will be noticed my preferred reading material is “slice of life” or “fluff”. I have also repeatedly read almost every fictional work by L.M. Montgomery, then I found the Fairacre series by Miss Read. The protagonist is an excellent example of a lady who is proud and satisfied with being a spinster regardless of how many nosy neighbours feel she should be otherwise. (Yes, I figuratively shout from rooftops about being a happily married woman thanks to Barnabas Collins and Maggie “Josette” Evans, but I maintain those without any romantic-paring inclinations may feel absolutely free to be themselves too!) With my readings of Vladimir Nabokov I find the same steady but intricate components that one would have in this genre even if some of it is intense or dark, but with all of these authors the depth of vocabulary is especially stimulating for description and comprehension.

I was about to enter the worlds of Beverley Nicols and D.E. Stevenson but I fell into The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows and here we are. Still, I mention these authors and creations for the sake that my own previous anxieties and struggles were lifted by what I learned imbibing them. Having lived in a form of hyperspace for so long I now have to downgrade to a human pace again and re-learn how to function in it. I deduce many other people could benefit from doing the same.

Much in the way of “stuff” needs to be sorted and thrown away, and a great deal already has been. I got a good start when Melissa entered my life. (Thank you!) More telephone calls or voice calls help this. Technical troubles still loom but finding ways to take care of them will be at a human pace, plenty of time to reflect on the everyday while one is standing in line or sitting in waiting rooms for tech support. If I’m bored there I can read some Victorian non-fiction to pass the time. (I still plan to get to Dark Shadows 1897, right?)

Correspondence? OH, YES! A precious few people still write letters and email. I like to watch the shows and take notes on them while I respond to those letters. In fact you might enjoy my reflections of what’s happening on Bewitched, Dark Shadows, The Munsters or The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and have some of your own to send in return. Good fun. (The Addams Family is heavy note-taking, I’m afraid. That clan has way too many details I need to analyze.)

Exercise? Yes. In fact I keep telling myself I can listen to Pit episodes in order to build new ones while doing said exercise. Fitness routines need space and I’m still working on creating more space. Boy, I miss my fitness routines! Nutrition needs to be seen to; Getting back to a better diet, more leafy greens and fewer carbohydrates especially.


For The Pit? Well, that’s what this web-log is supposed to be about rather than me grousing at you all of the time. Endora and Captain Gregg will be an interesting dilemma but I have my ideas. It will be better when I reach that part and they let me know what they would say after studying them again. Sam Evans is still around so his reactions to all that’s going on are wonderful. Willie Loomis is calming down some, but we know how his sense of panic and explosive responses can maintain while our trusty butler, Wadsworth, provides the guidance he and others need. I’m sure Willie’s bonding time with Sarah continues as well as Sarah’s playtime with David.

Barnabas is sittin’ pretty with the odd return of Josette as Maggie Evans. They aren’t married yet in The Pit but that doesn’t mean they’re going to keep their hands off of each other. Plus Barnabas is ever the affectionate soul to friends, family and his lover alike. I used to tease him more but getting into his persona expresses the richness in romance and tenderness for that one-true-love and in doing so opens one’s heart to the complexity of love and our need to attain that which is thought to be unattainable.

With Maggie Evans there is a duality to work through. How much is her journey? How much is her as Josette once more?  The core of a person has variables. Memories unlocked provide her with answers she was striving to find, and as she remembers each detail slowly she has to decide what of her lover’s future she is allowed to reveal and what to keep secret from Barnabas so he can prove himself enough to ensure her trust again as a partner in wedlock someday. Still, she knows, there are plenty of bases that can be covered before one reaches home plate.  ;)

Victoria Winters is coming into an understanding of her own powers as well as the past she couldn’t find and how it links with Collinwood. Morticia and Grandmama know Victoria has those answers within herself and wish to offer a way for Victoria to uncover them. Meanwhile I believe Peter Bradford is learning about Gomez Addams’ fixation with toy trains. I’m sure both guests are getting used to the hearty meals on Cemetery Lane. (Actual hearts likely included, of course.)

Lily Munster (passport alias Lily Drake) is looking more like Yvonne DeCarlo as Cousin Elizabeth Stoddard smiles with approval, but still there is all that pesky luggage to store and seasickness cures to consider before the wonders of their Atlantic voyage allows them more to unveil on their journey.

One thing I’m feeling strange about is where Roger Collins will be put in all of this. I really love that area of Dark Shadows in which Elizabeth and Barnabas are holding down the fort. How this will turn out with Elizabeth gone and Roger remaining is anyone’s guess! (Wait… I’m getting ideas… uh-oh…)

Tony Peterson and Carolyn Stoddard? I’m all for more of them. There is another date coming, another sunrise, another chance to go for walks, make out, and complain about paperwork and law-crap. Very possibly more Schooner Bay and Carolyn Muir in the works. Maybe Martha, too! That would be hip. (Please don’t ask for Claymore. He scares me. Ha ha.)

Dr. Hoffman and Professor Stokes? I need to watch more Dark Shadows because I know they have a chemistry I can tap into, plus they’ve worked well as a team. But Julia is likely feeling overwhelmed with her new suitor and Eliot has to pace himself before he woos her without feeling a little awkward, of course.

I have to find a way to bring Amy and Chris Jennings into the picture. Amy will be fascinating as I have to get to know her again and discover if there is any need for her to be aware of Sarah Collins ghost, or would Sarah want to shy away? It’s a good question. As for Chris, I believe our Mr. Wells will be pleased as punch he has a guest at The Inn who wants to be secluded for his own noisy activity! After Nicholas Blair in room # 13? I have a feeling Mr. Wells shan’t be arsed to investigate Chris Jennings room! He was warned and has had enough stress dealing with whatever demonic noises come out of Blair’s quarters.

Bill Malloy… how does he enter the picture, how does his ghost feel about Elizabeth Stoddard out in the open? How far has he come and how much farther will he go now that his hometown residents are regaining good sense, easy-going humour, and more acceptances of their spooks which would include himself?

Angelique Bouchard is a tough case. Somewhere in the Dark Shadows series she is missing until her return in 1897. In The Pit I see her returning with an encounter of Endora and Samantha somehow in tow, whether they decide to confront her in 1897 or more modern day. Diablos is a presence neither Endora, Samantha or even Serena nor Uncle Arthur have any use for. What they might think of Nicholas Blair is another story.

Sir Simon Milligan and Manservant Hecubus continue to vie for Angelique’s affections, but in the meantime the two of them are likely getting “Girl-Drink Drunk”.


As for Daryl Wor, I will try to take my own advice. Live day to day, chat with friends verbally, go out into the fresh air and accomplish routine tasks, throw out unneeded items to thrift stores, recycling or garbage piles. Eat well, write letters, mind the nutrients, create more episodes via the original shows and the guidance of their characters in this new journey we’re on. There is nothing I can do about the lost friendships but to mourn them in confusion and keep going. The social landscape has changed irrevocably. Presume those people will never come back. (It’s hard for an optimist to be pleasantly surprised.)

Remove oneself from the hyperspace of social media.

Downgrade to “being human” again.

Pit Update October 2016


In between Victoria Winters and Caleb Collins studies we have a somewhat studious ramble to keep you company until the release of Episode 16. Also, why Episode 16 hasn’t been released yet. (Plenty of spooky background music is in this podcast…)

Finding where Dark Shadows characters Chris and Amy Jennings are coming into this radio drama and how they might be blended in via how they already are from the original Dark Shadows.

Bits of what’s already been assessed and written in scenes for future episodes. Comparisons of working on original material versus fanfiction material.

Going over old and new studies for Victoria Winters and Caleb Collins back history according to Dark Shadows canon and a few irritations involving those studies when it comes to bad variables in communication about it. Still, the studies are revealing and well worth a listen if one is concerned with those particular characters.

Some meandering discussion about what The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows is and also touching upon Mary Sue characters and Marilyn Ross novels. Knowledge in variables that are important for creating more audio drama episodes depending on all the television shows and characters involved so far, and who might be involved in the future.

Pointers of why profit can never be made from this series and how glorious that is. Encouragement to letter-writing and correspondence of enjoyment, whether it’s to this series or for the betterment of ourselves. Why online drama is truly of little relevance to our community.

Pit Update October 2016 (podomatic link)

Pit Update October 2016 (podbay link)

Pit Update October 2016 ( link)


Background music for this podcast:

“Night in a Graveyard” – Haunted House Music Co (1985)

“Cristofori’s Dream” – David Lanz (1988)

“Magic” – Mick Smiley (Ghostbusters Soundtrack Album 1984)

“Lament” – Assemblage 23 (2004)

“Cathedral of Death” -Autopsia (1993)

“House of Silence” – Bad Boys Blue (1991)



Happy Halloween!

Building Further Episodes (17, 18, etc.)

All right! I found where Chris Jennings shows up! DS Episode 627. You can imagine my delight at seeing the latest change in Collinsport I’ve been looking forward to reaching for three years. Ah… Donnie.


Blending him in will be a treat and perhaps he’ll encounter Maggie first in The Pit. If this becomes the case there won’t be as much worry about her misunderstanding anything or jumping to the conclusion that Chris is Tom risen from the grave. With various lifetimes in tow Maggie Evans is coming into discovery of her identity.

Something she tends to get wistful about on Dark Shadows is being uncertain of who she is. In The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows this is being addressed and she still has her father to counsel with on that score since Sam Evans is not dead and he is also a reincarnation of Andre du Pres for this radio drama. Spooky is always in the air, but healing continues for our beloved characters.

However I have a very unique experience in (re)watching Dark Shadows now. If I’ve altered it or fixed something? I get to z-o-o-m through a scene. There are things that are essential to The Pit going on in Dark Shadows via these 620’s and 630’s episodes, like Victoria’s wedding. In The Pit that wedding happened ages ago, but whatever there is in uplifting material? Sure! That can have happened before. One thing Victoria says in her wedding gown to Elizabeth strikes a cord, “Collinwood will always mean home to me.”❤ Absolutely,  girl!

And Victoria’s potential in these Dark Shadows episodes pleases me a great deal. Stand-In actress or no, Victoria  remains determined in her belief Maggie should never marry Nicholas Blair and even goes so far as to confront him that she’ll stop it from happening. “Go, Victoria!” I cheer.

Having discussed these episodes over the phone with friends this week, we’re all in some agreement that how long the Adam & Eve story line stretched out and what random things thrown into it weren’t too much to any of our likings. However, I had one little joy in Vampire Angelique going down for a tattle on Nicholas Blair to Diablos.


Diablos Cafe. Choose your beverage quickly, Angelique. For it may be your last!

Truly. I watch this and I’m thinking, again, he looks like he’s running a café and you must order NOW! Diablos might refuse to discuss the situation until a latte with blackened froth is shared between them. The other idea I have, considering the wrought iron design in the background is that perhaps this is Diablos’ Café and Chinese Restaurant. In fact, I think I might have gone to this place once in a seaside town. Perhaps even Milligan and Hecubus will get a kick out of this one. Who has the better digs? Them or Diablos?

In any case, we are now in…*drumroll*… Autumn of 1968. And that means there are two other shows I need to follow closely: The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and Bewitched. Did I mess up anything in their time lines?

So far, no! Hurrah! Yes, there is mention to The Ghost & Mrs. Muir episode 11 “Captain Gregg’s Whiz-Bang”. It was released near the end of 1968 so it works out fine. Captain Gregg inserts racy material into a new story they wrote together for a magazine. This gets Mrs. Muir into trouble as it alters her reputation in the eyes of lonely men everywhere and Mrs. Muir expresses in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, Episode 10:


“I’m still trying to shuck off that odd publicity I got when you took that little liberty of yours in re-writing one of my stories.”

So working in a manner of semi-vague time placement with where in a season of the year we are per program? I’m doing pretty well. Until I reach parts of Dark Shadows that happen in 1969, I’m alright adding back-history from The Ghost & Mrs. Muir via their episodes 1-14.

Bewitched is another story entirely. They’ve been on since 1964. In the Fall of 1968 Bewitched is having its fifth season. My catch up with The Stephens and Endora is a ton of study and I’m very thankful that the stories are so bright and upbeat.


So for Bewitched I need to verse myself through the first four seasons and can use their back-history up into the thirteenth episode of its fifth season, which is called “Instant Courtesy.” By this time Darrin and Samantha’s daughter, Tabitha, is already born but not Adam Stephens yet. Serena and Uncle Arthur are in the show on occasion so this adds to whatever I need to pick up and store in the general air of The Stephens home.

I’m hoping to get Captain Gregg, Sam Evans and possibly Maggie out there by Episode 18 in The Pit. (We’ll have to coax Captain Gregg to go, I’m sure. I can already tell he is not looking forward to it.)




Happy Michaelmas! (Still Healing And Relearning “The Old Magic”)

Archangel Micheal

Michaelmas, a day of harvest and looking over ones previous year to give tribute to accomplishments, dragons befriended and demons conquered. At least that’s what we do. My demon conquered? Maybe not being so hung up on cooking this bird precisely on Michaelmas (September 29th). The other was actually getting the darn goose. I’m really wiped out from the journey. Walking, bus, more walking, fun market, good luncheon. (I called it elevenses as it was in the hour of 11 A.M.) Then the goose was found. PRICEY! FROZEN! HEAVY! I brought a backpack Tito loaned us.

Another bus. More walking, picked up a book Auntie suggested from the library, “How to Talk To Anyone”. I used to know this stuff but I’m healing from the devastation of the last three years and I need some help to cope with adjusting to contentment. The drama and the social networks ruining our social skills, mine included, has led me to feel that a sense of panic is the usual, and that is horrible!

Also stopped by the post office. One letter! Oooo! Thank you, friend in Utah! Also more stamps for new pen pals getting CDs of The Pit. One lady is super great. Very enthusiastic. Sounds too good to be true. At the end of Episode One, listening to “Shake, Rattle & Roll” she said she envisioned The Ghostbusters rattling down the road and Slimer coming toward the viewers seeing it on screen! I loved that. I let her know these old episodes have been slightly revised for the CD versions with separate tracks. (Example: Episode Three on CD has the Twin Peaks theme at the end rather than me making something up to say what music would be there.) I joked to Helena, “Yes, The Pit… Special Edition, or whatever.”

The trip home with the ten and a half pound goose to carry was pretty ludicrous. My shoulders and back have done their time today. Now it’s thawing in the sink. The tentative plan is to cook the neck and giblets I often and shamefully neglect if they are thawed enough. I’m sure I tried a soup before. I’m hoping to get some help on that score.

I was just grateful this morning that I turned off the computer before going to bed. GOOD! That’s what I want to do. I don’t want to be hooked up to this stuff 24-7! No, no, no. That’s the problem. 1990’s internet was less stressful because it was just computers, and you had to boot them up and turn them off. Hibernating them constantly wasn’t often in the realm of probability. So if anyone caught my semi-random Doctor Who & Barnabas youtube conversation-video, I hope it was enjoyable because I’m dying to get creative again! That was me scratching an itch. I found some dialogue I’d written with them a year or two ago, somewhat existential stuff. I couldn’t find that draft for ages and then I did. So I made another video. (The Dov’e L’amore was one I’d meant to do for years, though.)

I probably should have worked on Margaret Josette Dupres because we had a lovely evening and the couple were giving me some wonderful views in all that candle-light and romance at The Old House. Hopefully the images will bug me until they get on paper.

I’m still awaiting grassroots commentary on Episode #16 in The Pit as it’s pretty much done but until I have the back-up in comments it’s not healthy for me, psychologically, to release it. Which means I need to work on Episode 17. This is troubling because? I have no script!!! Arg!


Came all this way and I don’t a have a script for Episode 17! I have bits, I have a list, but now I’m trying to figure out the motions of what I did three years ago to get so speedy. Helena supporting my efforts was a big catapult. One pen pal saying she’d pay for them all on CD if she could was another major boost. The demos on walks to work did even more. So that last bit is what’s missing. I’m not listening to demos anymore. I’m listening to bona-fide paragons of radio drama. But demos are important. I just don’t have one now! Not for 17.

I feel like Episode 17 in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows is Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In the 1970’s the Trek folks talked about not having a script and Harlan Ellison mentioned, “Maybe they’ll all get up and whistle. Who knows?” Then DeForest Kelley piped in that he’d heard from Gene Roddenberry that they had a starting date but no script, “But what the Hell?” he laughed, relaying the information,  “A lot of people have a script that don’t have a starting date!”

Me? I’ve got neither. The freedom of not getting paid means it happens when it happens. But, if any of you are hungry for more in this radio drama? All I can say is: ME TOO! I’m sure The Old Magic is there I just have to coax it out. No pushing. Spoils the creativity. (You’ve heard that already with my Barnabas voice going downhill around Episodes 11 & 12.)

Roger at his desk

I definitely have Roger Collins lines! So no worries there. And the joy of performing Roger Collins is for some reason I get him better when I’m sober. I’m continually stunned by that fact. I get the lush better accomplished without booze? Okay! (Is performing Quentin Collins going to be the same way???)

Still, getting The Old Magic back means living again. Not starving for discussion and losing sleep that the world went to pot. I have residual effects of that panic which eke out more often than I like. A lady at church assured me that, yes, people hardly talk to each other like they used to these days, and yes, we all have addictions. “Me? I’m addicted to meditation,” she confessed. Then she explained all the ways she added more meditation time into her routine. “But at least it’s a healthy addiction.”

I was super stressed out earlier this week and gave it a try. Attempting to watch the thoughts passing by without being a participant was almost impossible, but wow. There were a lot of thoughts! More than I expected. Then I started nodding off. That’s when I reasoned I need to meditate at bedtime. That way I can get to sleep easier and get some meditation accomplished.

So that’s the deal right now: Healing from the last three years, living again, allowing the new scenes for the show to come as naturally as they once did, maintaining correspondence in email and paper mail to regulate social skills, re-learning social skills, relaxation techniques, and keeping in touch with Doctor Julia Hoffman, as well as Sidney Freedman to help analyse all situations. A visit to Miss Read in Fairacre would also be very nice, maybe even Anne Shirley Blythe here and there.

Happy Michaelmas, everyone!❤


Working On Episode 16 (& other fun news)

Good Evening Collinsport, Schooner Bay, Mockingbird Heights, Cemetery Lane, Crabapple Cove, The Neitherworld, and our guests at Hill House.

I figured I hadn’t updated in a while and I know there are some out there that dig this web-log, and likely others who read it and lose much calcium and many fillings from their teeth. Well it’s a complicated world and this technology sure made it harder to pick and choose hasn’t it?😉 I feel bad for all y’all who don’t have ad blockers. I used a machine that didn’t have any and good Lord! What a nightmare of obnoxious interruptions!

I have been working all week and all night on “Episode 16: A Death In The Family.” BOY! I worked so hard I forgot I’d seen the dawn and my husband rising to greet it. When I finally went to bed? I woke up around noon and I truly believed it was Saturday. I think that means I probably did a week’s worth of work in one night!

I remember Osheen was bothered by Caleb Collins ghostly laughter. At this point? I’m getting sick of his voice! There is a short scene with him, and then there is a long one with Maggie Evans that’s about twelve minutes in length. You can bet yourself a plug-nickel I threw in much, much music to deal with that. Then I think the music got too loud so I had to edit that over and over again throughout the test-listens. But still, some of the Maggie and Caleb banter is fun enough that it doesn’t get too strenuous. They have lot to talk about. It’s like, “Oh hey, you’re a ghost sometimes too, girl. I get to look at you and see some of my afterlife memories haunting me, Kitty Soames! Clever girl.” He doesn’t actually tell her that but, you know, that’s the gist of it.

Another thing that’s kept me busy is we finally went on a vacation last week. Then we discovered we had not taken a vacation in seven years. Ahhhhhhhh!!! Still, I’d had Anhedonia for so long and vacations couldn’t be much enjoyed back then. It’s truly nice that creating The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows helped to yank me out of The Pit of Ultimate Numbness From Any Emotional Thrill. Then? Margaret Josette Dupres happened and even more got healed! Still, I had that insomnia for ten months. I think it was probably getting through enough chapters of MJD and people responding to it that fixed the insomnia. I am so grateful to many of you for helping discuss it with me. That’s what finally got me back to sleeping again. (Technically I would pass out for an hour or two here or there but it was just not enough during those ten months.) And there is lots more to come, so no worries. I’m still struggling with Sarah’s toddler years and also making more Pit.

So hopefully some of you have written me letters or cards and I’m dying for some mail but I haven’t been able to go and check for goodies. I still have my goal of all the stationery I’ve been hoarding for decades getting used up. I’m not even close! And I’m sending people stationery if they need it, too. On the rare chance I get a response to a printed version of the discussion questions for The Pit, I love that so much. That’s one of the things that proves to me I am not an effing narcissist. Why on Earth would I be dying for fun responses and people’s insight if it was all about worshiping me?

Emails are great too. I want paper letters in between emails but there have been so many emails and I’m so emailed out. It’s no wonder I managed to send eight postcards, two cards, and one letter on our four day trip! I noticed another pen pal site called “Long-Letter Pen Pals”. No kidding, man! We gotta make it obvious we don’t just want junk or meme-mail. It’s super-gross to see the meme and share-file mentality hitting the pen pal universe. Ugh!

One beautiful part of my week has been voice-call with a friend and she overheard the Barnabas chat with Beetlejuice. Audibly hearing her laughter was so marvelous I just let the track keep playing. And it is an amazing scene. I wasn’t sure how they would interact but it works! It’s them! Talking to each other! Almost teasing each other! I even keep turning it back to hear BJ snap, “Cut the questions, Fang-Boy!” So even if my Alan Alda sucks? At least my Michael Keaton is good.🙂

I also finally made the cover image for Episode 16. Am I going to post it here? Nah. I won’t get any reaction from anyone. I’ll just get stats. Dull-city. (Maybe I’ll get some juicy like-clicks sharing it on Facebook. P’shhh, why bother? Hee hee hee!) So I shared the image with Melissa and got some actual talk and fun discussion. Then? She kept me company while I did the dishes. They got backed up working on this episode, I tell ya!

But what better joy in the world might be had? Being able to turn to one’s spouse and say, “Sweetie? I need a kiss for Doctor Hoffman and Professor Stokes.” and the spouse is wonderfully obliging. I wanted something more beefy, but hey, it’s their first so we can get beefier kisses later.❤ I noticed I upped the bass on Professor Stokes voice for that scene. I think I was shooting for sexy with that, but then I noticed the love-song I put in seemed too loud. Hmm, it might be because my equalizer was set to “Dance” and not “Acoustic”. Gotta watch out for that.

I truly adore how Willie Loomis is coming out. Remember in my second intro I said it felt like “lost potential” with him. Now I’m seeing so much of that lost potential to be found in such a short time! In The Pit he’s never known Cassandra, but our trusty butler has updated him on Angelique. A Willie Loomis who is bonding with the ghost of a little girl? A Willie Loomis who is reminded of a more innocent time in his life around Wadsworth? He’s not going to take kindly at all to Angelique. And why? Because he sees the chain of dominoes that affected Barnabas, just as he’s had his own chain of dominoes that made him nasty, too. Now granted, Barnabas being harsh with him changed him on Dark Shadows, Willie Loomis became more empathetic, but so as life is littered with horrible things and bad people? We do not go out of our way to court the horrible things and bad people, at least not intentionally. (Well, okay, a few people do!) So Willie is making it clear Angelique is someone he wants out of the vicinity. (Being protective of Sarah also blends in with his godfather role to her in Margaret Josette Dupres.)

That leads me to a game we played last night. At a thrift store I found a fancy briefcase set for backgammon. We finally used it and didn’t have the greatest fun but the point was to give it a shot. And it makes me revel in the fun of Wadsworth’s chapter in Margaret Josette Dupres where he and Willie create this habit of going to play that game while Barnabas and Maggie are too vocally expressive in their love-nest. I like to think that their backgammon set looks like this one we got. Four dollars, too!


That’s the wonderful part of having a fascination with old things and old games. My “adopted kids” can have a ball with that and it fits in perfectly. I’ve seen so many pissed-off fans of Dark Shadows grousing endlessly about Barnabas not loving Julia. What was I pissed about? They didn’t play cribbage, dammit! So? I fixed it that they did. Hee hee hee. Plus I remember reading that scene to my Mum. Anyone go and re-listen to Episode 6 of The Pit? That time at The Old House is seriously wacky! I’d forgotten how much I was able to stuff into that scene!

Wanna know something else crazy about us and cribbage? We didn’t learn it from someone older. We learned it from my cousin who is over ten years my junior. She learned it from her great-aunt, but still. It was a groovy way to discover it. So by the time we watched Dark Shadows and Barnabas jestingly suggests playing cribbage with Doctor Hoffman? You can bet I was angry that they didn’t play after all. Hence all the DS fix-its in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows aren’t necessarily massive. Life is a banquet of things that come in all sizes, shapes, colours and variety. That’s why I write these entries like letters to you. Take it from Robert Fulghum. (I’ve never written to him as he may not write back. But I will.)

With old books and old times, I finally finished Chapter 22 of Stand Fast And Damn The Devil by Osheen Nevoy. One part felt like a hilarious moment in an M.R. James book and I still am laughing at this dude who shows up for Bill’s jury selection:

One voluble old gentleman could scarcely wait to answer Hanley’s question gauging potential jurors’ views on witches. When it was finally his turn the old fellow hopped to his feet and started summarizing all the acts of witchcraft his neighbors had worked against him for the past 40 years. Bradford barely managed to squeeze a word in edgeways to request that this candidate be dismissed.

That is so hilarious and very likely, too! It’s like, “Oh good! Here’s my chance to rat on my neighbours and get ’em in trouble!” (The other guy that Rev. Trask dismissed was kinda hilarious too.)

I’m not sure why but it takes me back to the über-dry M.R. James story “Martin’s Close” in which there is a hearing when one of the witnesses starts rambling more details than is necessary:

…Thomas Snell was next called, who gave evidence to the same effect as Mrs Arscott, and added the following:

Att. Did anything pass between you and the prisoner during the time Mrs Arscott was out of the room?

Th. I had a piece of twist in my pocket.

Att. Twist of what?

Th. Twist of tobacco, sir, and I felt a disposition to take a pipe of tobacco. So I found a pipe on the chimney-piece, and being it was twist, and in regard of me having by an oversight left my knife at my house, and me not having over many teeth to pluck at it, as your lordship or anyone else may have a view by their own eyesight—

L.C.J. What is the man talking about? Come to the matter, fellow! Do you think we sit here to look at your teeth?

Th. No, my lord, nor I would not you should do, God forbid! I know your honours have better employment, and better teeth, I would not wonder.

L.C.J. Good God, what a man is this! Yes, I have better teeth, and that you shall find if you keep not to the purpose.

Yes, one might think with this gem in the collection of M.R. James that his stories are fun and funny? Don’t be fooled! They are dry and spooky and I’d like a kid’s version. (((lol))) Whereas Osheen’s novel, though tragic, is pickled with Bill Malloy’s down to Earth observations and comic relief aplenty.


Speaking of old books there was a delightful re-print we bought on the trip in one of the historical museum gift-shops:


Kate Greenaway “The Language of Flowers”. I believe it is one I was working with for Josette’s blossom fetish, but it’s nice to have a physical copy. Definitely fits in with the meanings in Chapter 41 of Margaret Josette Dupres. (Which meant I had to go and check and read it and get all hot’n’bothered by the couple again.)


Ohhh, what else? Well, the test-listen is still running. I need more from the grass-roots before Episode 16 is released. The grass-roots team aren’t through half of the scenes yet. (And I’m always up for more in the grass-roots team. They find one scene at a time fits in with their schedules easier.) So far? Episode 16 is over an hour! Ah! I’m hoping for shorter future episodes, and with Episode 17 we shall, hopefully, be “back on the road” as I keep expressing. I remember the old formula was X# of words versus X# of pages. With Episode 17 it’s mostly ideas and a list. I noticed The Pit expanded exponentially in 2013 with the listens to previous episodes and growing from that. (Plus Helena showed up and she was a Godsend. Still is!) That’s why I definitely enjoy the chat about this show. It gets me motivated and keeps me focused. Random distractions take up too much time.

Also all my whistle-blowing has not been in vain. More and more often I’m seeing articles about this new tech-addiction. True, we had old ones, but what’s changed in the last five to ten years is not healthy for us at all. We’ve tried to compensate and get stuck back into the addiction. I’ve set myself out as an example. I don’t think I fell off the wagon last night. Still, I’ll share this with Facebook, likely without fully logging on. That’s another scary thing about social networks. You can share things to them without pulling up the application or site fully. But it’s preferable to share it in places that people are stalk—I mean, “following” me.

Otherwise, if you’re hungry for the next episode? You can always run through the previous one and let me know what all you enjoyed. That should keep you entertained, right?😉

Pit Update August 2016

update august 2016

Just me, no music. Discussion about things, hopefully, getting better, and how to keep that going. The importance of correspondence especially.

Clear reasons why I, and many others, lose their tempers. (Gets a bit loud while this is explained. Not really a rant, more an exclamation of disbelief in contradictory behaviour.) Deep appreciation for the nice people and tools for how to avoid the bummer types, too!

“Spoilers” over scenes one through five, in Episode 16, that are being worked on, as well as the intricate technical aspects that make the idea of critiquing them severely unwanted and unwarranted. (Audio Dramatists? Listen up. You’ll probably enjoy this bit.) Plenty of talk about “Hawkeye” finally being included and what’s happening in scene four with him. I’m not concerned about spoilers when it comes to this radio drama. People can barely remember what they enjoyed in all the other episodes, so why worry? winking

My old internet days, Sailor Moon, chat rooms, etc. Why fans identify with Angelique and some may not even know it.

A reading from me of Osheen’s review for Episode 7 about one year before this podcast, and my hearty enjoyment of that!

Understanding of the idea of “independence” and how much of an illusion that is.

Not included in this podcast is my suggestion here: If you are wealthy and dissatisfied with your life? Please enjoy the film “The Amazing Adventure” with Cary Grant. Thanks. You’re welcome.

podomatic link here

podbay link here

archive dot org link here

Also available on iTunes

Is The Nightmare Over Yet?

Not sure…

However, scroll down this blog for the latest interview with Osheen Nevoy if you want the new podcast. Very good and worth time for Dark Shadows fans.

Right now I’m going over the four performances I’ve done in the last two years for Dr. “Hawkeye” Pierce. Splicing them together has been grueling and continues to be, just to try and get a single scene as close to the best I can get.

Going forward in this scary life, that I have often related to be a “Science-Fiction Nightmare Made Real” as Jonah and others agree with me, the friends have finally come. And, like my adopted children, I love every single one of you and I have no desire to ever give any of you up.

Each one of you managed to approach me or reciprocate my approach to you individually. If I can manage more than the amount of characters I adore who are in this collage, I believe my heart is just as full to encompass my feelings for you.


You matter.

 Human beings rely on each other. Human babies, in all of their helplessness, undoubtedly prove that.  (It’s one of the many, many, many reasons my husband and I decided, responsibly, never to procreate. We don’t drive. How are we going to take care of our children if we aren’t capable of driving?)

I want to assure all of my new friends that I care about you deeply beyond this project. When I listen to my thank you to Lisa in my latest podcast it drives home the point of exactly why I did all of this: I had no one to share it with. The answer? Go online. Unfortunately, by this time, going online meant becoming a narcissist. HUH? I ADORE these characters and knew with their varied communities they could help each other. I wanted to celebrate the characters, not me.

I worked hard to get all the correct and expensive equipment that I felt most people were also obtaining. Whoops. No, they were downgrading themselves to going online with only a smartphone or an iPad and that was that. I had no idea. So in my Intro To Episode 12 ? I wondered, as Ripley wondered in the film Aliens:

did IQs just drop sharply while I was away ALIENS

Sadly, the answer is… yes. Yes they did. And these people did it of their own volition. They allowed themselves to believe it was “every man for himself” and the internet was just a place to get porn or some other low-level entertainment, or to come to the internet to feel they finally had a say in how upset they were about their own lives by getting familiar with strangers and attacking them.

Is this the kind of thing most of us want to deal with when we fire up our machines and go online? I doubt it.

Long ago I was in a creative home movie. The camera faded out of black and there we all were eating dinner. My uncle turned to the camera and said:

“Oh, hi. You know, it’s nice when the family gets together on Sunday for dinner… and… enjoys their company with each other. And in this country? It’s one of the many rights that we have…”

Good so far, then he turns to my mum and says, “Oh, by the way, mother, will you pass me the gun?”

She nods, passes him the prop-gun, that just happens to be laying on our dinner table, and he says, “Thank you.”

Next my uncle looks down on it and turns to the camera, saying, “But you know? There is another right we enjoy in this country: It’s called THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY! And I don’t know why you’re coming into my home– I don’t even KNOW YOU! It really pisses me off, man!”

Then he pulls the trigger of the prop-gun and shoots the camera.

It was funny at the time, but I think I am finding a whole new meaning in that skit we did when I was less than ten years old.😉 We got hoodwinked into believing we had to post it all online.

No. We don’t.

That’s why I am letting you know now that what many of you have been doing by emailing each other, calling each other on the telephone and writing paper letters to each other is time much better spent. The block function on a lot of websites is very important. It means you refuse to deal with someone you would rather not hear about for whatever reason. You have preferred ways of spending your time. I have even encouraged people who dislike me and what I am doing to block me. I don’t want to deal with them. If they don’t want to see what I’m doing? Great! I said in the beginning and I still say, “25 people are all I was looking for.”

Community is what I want, what my series is about, and what I feel many of you want. We’re getting close. Don’t let complaining people deter you from your goals. Also: never believe that if you hear about me discussing another beloved friend that you don’t matter. You DO matter. I talk about you with them, too! Why? Because I care about all of you. It’s the natural course of discussion. You don’t sit there worshiping the friend you’re speaking with. You shoot the breeze, and the breeze happens to encompass all the other friends you have; Easy peasy.

Facebook was originally created for college students to: 1) shoot the breeze together and 2) help each other study. I have severe doubts it will ever be remotely close to that kind of human expression ever again. This is why new versions of it don’t work either. However, it’s still usable for little things, all the while the previous forms of communication are still extremely important: letter writing, phone calls, emails, text messages, as long as it’s all personal and personable. The nightmare can be over, it can be, but not for everyone, only to those of us who stick to our guns and make sure we mainly pay attention to what is important to us. I am part of that importance but I recognize I’m not the main importance.

The loss is upon us. I was on the phone with Jonah again last night and he agreed that he’s suffered friendship losses, and that the creative source is what he needs to focus on and our understanding of maintaining that focus is the most important consideration. The new “flood” has come, many have drowned, they may never come back, but we have each other. Perhaps this was all a Providential test to see which of us is, internally, the strongest. I let him know I had this same discussion with a cashier the last time my husband and I went music shopping. The cashier also confessed to major friendship loss via social networks. The cycle is never ending in this discussion.

As for me? I want to keep going. I’ve got the next scene of Episode 16 with Hawkeye to complete, come Hell or High-water. When I get past that I’m hoping all the editing runs for more scenes go much faster and more smoothly than this one has for years.

Dear dad who the hell is Julia Hoffman.gif

I was often so lost in the confusion of why no one was speaking with me until Melissa came along and posted her commentary to the first episode in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows.

Melissas first Pit review.jpg

I reached out and asked Melissa, “How did you do that?”

She said, casually, “There was a comment box. I expressed what I enjoyed, naturally.”

And that’s when I knew I had every right to be completely baffled by the behaviour of discussion-avoidance all of these years. Melissa did the discussion automatically and expressed, “It’s natural.” I always knew it was, it always was to me about entertainment, but I was argued with about that for three years. (Might you have been one of the many people arguing with me about that? I’ve told you to stop feeling guilty about it. Do I have to tell you again?)

Is the Nightmare over yet? Only if we allow ourselves to withdraw from it. Other forms of communication are not only possible, they’ve been with us much longer. Paper letters, email, phone calls. Social networks are secondary. Maybe a lot of great things happened due to them, but when one starts relying on them solely? You’re lost.

I’ve always looked at podcasting the same as broadcasting except with a Tivo function: you can rewind and replay it whenever you like. Once upon a time it was only magnetic strips in cassette cartridges we recorded that allowed that. It’s not that way anymore.

So what is there to choose? Really communicating on a one-to-one basis, or scrolling through a newsfeed and like-clicking your life away?

I know which way I’m choosing.🙂