Before my husband left for work he wished me a Happy Michaelmas. Trying to remember everything I had to do after I woke up and had my pumpkin spice coffee. Some of the new delights in this blog may have been inspired by all of those spices that stimulate this time of year. Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cloves… ahh… And the touch of rain that ignites warmer passions as the year grows colder.
I tried catching up with facebook and email. A stunning pair of messages reached me. One director at a college station got in touch with me to say he’d received the parcel and passed the postcard on to someone. He enjoyed the atmosphere and said all of my actors were good! Oh, dear, I had to confess, those are all me! And I consider that a huge compliment. Next I notice this response to a forward, perhaps via the first gentleman. This chap preferred mp3s to CDs being sent and also suggested a radio drama group on facebook. A-ha! So I got over to facebook with the link he’d left me. Wow! Over 800 members to this group! I put in a request to join, made a post about everything which gave delight to pals. Next I began an email to an old co-worker of my husband and about to provide the links to my show but a button got pressed wrong and the whole thing got eaten to my anger. I finally released that anger and decided it was just as well as I had to scoot out to the shops sooner than later.
As I arrived at the market I forgot what I’d gone for. My pal at the sample counter had redone her hair even more flamboyantly to my interest and then who was there sampling? My in-laws! Hey! Excellent. I finally got a chance to let my pal know the recent drama and the good news, the latter being far more exciting. Then I finished up my shopping and my in-laws gave me a ride home.
It was getting into the late afternoon so I looked over the recipes and got the oven going, cleaned out the sink, cleaned out the goose, put slices of garlic into the areas I’d opened, sprinkled it with a seasoning mix I just bought, found a cookie sheet, placed the pan on top with the goose and some water inside and set the timer. Now I’ve got hours to settle down and do more. This table desperately needs a change of cloth. The one on it now would have been preferable with the Autumn colours but it’s filthy. Let’s get the basic black.
Ah, yes, no tin for the pumpkin cornbread, get paper cups and muffin tins, that’s cleaner and easier. Now on to the pumpkin soup; the market had presented a recipe for that with chunks of baked potato and kale. I’m using apples instead for lower carbohydrates. So no pomme de terre but just pomme. Ah, a pie tin. That’ll work. The goose has been in the oven for two hours while I listened to recordings of my Aunt’s radio show for a change of pace. Oh, I love this episode in the coffee house and the old house mate suddenly being their waiter and offering them meals gratis. “Well, now I’ve gotta look back at the menu and see what the most expensive thing is,” one of the characters complained.
I spray the pie tin with olive oil, put on the apple chunks and kale and started a timer. My mum-in-law had suggested half an hour to bake them. Glad I ran into them so I could ask that! Then I got the pumpkin cornbread mixture into the papered muffin tins. The timing would be close to the baking time of the apples and kale and the goose would be in a bit longer because I couldn’t find the damn thermometer for it, so might as well bake it a while more, just in case.
I manage to throw up on facebook what I’m doing and attend to various notifications. Oh, great. ABC is running the 2012 Dark Shadows movie on Halloween. Here’s a thread that’s going to get negative attention. Well, I’m already half a sheet to the wind on cider. I’ll say again how glad I am people hate that movie that cleared my way, likely allowed those Barnabas/Maggie and Barnabas/Josette stories to start taking place all around the same time in the Summer of 2013 while the DS World was harping on the darn film ad nauseaum! I’m okay with that film ‘cause the bastard finally jumped for his bloody woman and TWICE. But what the Hell? We don’t have basic TV anymore and I’ll likely spin “The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”, or perhaps my VHS mixture which includes a bad ending for Raggedy Ann and Andy’s “The Pumpkin Who Couldn’t Smile.” (The one I taped ends right after it looks like the pumpkin splat on the ground, and then the credits roll.)
Daryl’s Husband arrives and helps out with the muffins, makes the green peas which I’d completely forgot about. Hmm… they’ve been in the freezer for months. We’ll see. And so we finally get it all squared away and take a few photos. Because there is a dragon theme in Michaelmas I also placed that wonderful Green Dragon story Michael Hutchence read in the film “Dogs In Space” to my facebook post. Hmm, I want to hear that song about contemplating suicide and not doing it. I’ve certainly done a lot of that in the last year. So with that, the “Dogs In Space” soundtrack becomes the music for Michaelmas. Kinda fits considering its main icon is Michael Hutchence. (R.I.P.)
Superb dining is to be had. So this is what it’s like to be a guest-judge on Iron Chef! It must be the best meal I’ve ever put together for Michaelmas. The goose is better than ever, the soup is to die for, the pumpkin cornbread is tasty as all-get-out and the peas are fine. Old, but fine. But, uh-oh, husband isn’t too keen on the soup. Did I throw too much Parmesan on top? How is it without? Oh, he’s not good with the kale. Damn! And the whole tureen is infected with kale now because I couldn’t find a place to separate the ingredients like they did at the sample table weeks ago.
And now for the traditional discussion: Because this is like an Anglican Thanksgiving but involves an Archangel that conquers a dragon, I’ve likened the discussion not for thankfulness solely, but for that which we’ve conquered both internally and externally. Or inner demons that we’ve managed to make friends with since last Michaelmas. And as usual, we have the celebration of not having committed suicide through everything. (This is not mentioned facetiously, but with a hint of chuckling awkwardness.)
“I made it through this year of a roller-coaster ride with you and your project and your own emotional roller-coaster.”
“Yes, I was speculating how all that stuff came out last year and thinking, ‘What the Hell is going on with me? This fricken erotica?’ Spewing out here and there and the old version was all over the place and I would switch chapters, move them around as I called out to friends, ‘What’s happening?!’ Asking friends who don’t really know the characters, ‘What the Hell is going on? What is this?’ And they’re just like, ‘This is the best fricken smut I’ve ever read!’ And I say, ‘Well, that’s great! But who the Hell wants this???’
“Then to finally have the people be able to come to me and they did want it, it’s an inner demon I’ve made friends with; to be okay with writing erotica for characters that were very suppressed and hadn’t reached each other yet and my being overtaken by these characters… Then we have encouragement not to leave the reader hanging. I was waiting for it to collapse on me again completely. Then ‘The Wedding Day’ came out and I was amazed. All the stuff to figure out how to reach those who did want it after wondering so long why I was pressed to pursue the erotica at all. Then the encouragement increases the vibrancy of each chapter, creates new ones and the entire novel starts blending together into an actual story. The experience is like an inner demon that I made friends with from last November when it was all coming out randomly. I’m happy about that. “
Another dragon conquered for Daryl’s Husband, “Your emotional roller-coaster; the valleys on that were certainly a struggle, more so for you than for me, but they were a struggle for me as well.”
“Then,” I said, “you joined me in the podcast intros.”
He nodded, and blushed, “Certainly been appreciative of the romance that has been re-ignited.”
“Yeah,” I responded, smiling, “that’s kind of an accomplishment, too, to take what was given and be able to use that channeling for ourselves. In a way that fits… right now… a thankfulness in receiving something that we weren’t sure about as you read the chapters with me. And there were moments when you were surprised by something that went down on paper and wondered if there was a boundary that we were crossing that we hadn’t crossed before… because of them. I think that’s the best way to say it.”
He agreed, then added, “And getting a job for me, to be able to finally pay the bills. At times all of this included has been pretty overwhelming.”
He was switching gears, but I went back to the previous topic after assenting to his feelings about that one, “And I’ve gone with this to the point of stretching beyond the call, and seeing if there was anything I could make up for that I’d done wrong in all of my angst. As it turns out… not really, but knowing that I tried my best to extend myself and offer olive-branches to anyone whose feelings I might have hurt. Knowing that I did my best with various people, and knowing that in the long-run there are people who won’t listen or understand. But having done my best to make that attempt to bring understanding to those who are so negative… there’s nothing more to be done. There’s nothing you can do but do your best. If it doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work talking to some people.”
We continue the meal, wondering what to do with the additions on the goose in order to make a soup and not waste anything. Putting all of the goodies away as we finish up. I think this is one of the rare times we have major Michaelmas leftovers. I’d almost added fried zucchini and was glad I didn’t. A glass covering for the pumpkin cornbread… and then we rifled around for something to put the goose in. What the heck is going to fit? Remove things from the fridge and, ack, that’s not working, it’s not big enough, where is that long Pyrex dish we got from Rick as a wedding gift? Scrambling through cupboards we finally find it, clean it, and it’s a perfect fit. THANK YOU, RICK! (I wonder if he’ll ever even see this journal.)
The green peas made it in so the soup pot could go on top of that, but my husband suggested turning the pot lid upside-down to make sure the handle didn’t jam for space. It worked!
There was a wind-up of one more struggle to note on this day. I had made friends who ended up making the work much harder and more stressful, and as it turned out they weren’t friends, but trying to control what I was doing, being so obsessed with the original program to the point I had to wonder what stake they had in all of this. Obsession is understandable in the Dark Shadows fandom but I had more reason to be obsessed as they are spectators to what I’m doing and I’m the one creating it with so much more. The hope now is to find the people who want it.
If I could do this in a way that didn’t find the people who either enjoyed it and despised me, or didn’t appreciate the direction it’s heading, I would love to find that way. So far there are several complainers. All they seem to be doing is making more noise which brings me to receive more numbers and downloads as lurkers wonder what the Hades these complainers are even talking about. It’s a little like what happened with Monty Python’s film, “The Life of Brian”. That movie was more publicized by haters who didn’t understand it than any advertising Monty Python could have achieved if they tried. I remember the troupe suggested sending gifts of fruit-baskets to the picketers of it.
Who is watching, I wonder, when these haters rise and I speak or shrug? How much can this creator take? Do they wonder that? Well, now I’ve been pushed so hard by silence to reach all the fandoms involved, email every college radio station in the United States, plunk down links to any Barnabas/Josette video on youtube when I discovered what specific fans I needed to look for, yearned to be with my fellow creative Goths again, pursued podcasting sites, and now a place that embraces radio dramas specifically.
How big shall The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows become? I don’t know. But I do know I have goals. Five perspectives per episode would be sufficient. Will I hear more? Will people finally de-program from this internet laziness The Powers That Be may have been incorporating into our lifestyles? Could this radio series bring the kind of change Barnabas Collins sees in the bride he desired for so long? Her gregarious nature finally bringing the crux into his home and estate and the people there?
Many a groaning woman wonders, “Why do you love me?” to their mates. One so romantic as Barnabas Collins has given his answer in my series, “I love you, because you love everyone, my Maggie, my Josette.”
I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita.