Episode 16: Building a New Episode…

The download numbers continue to rise to the point it makes me almost batty with so much silence in response… Then among various people on social networks there is this idea that I have become many fans baby-sitter. Why? Basic online fandom bickering. If someone was blazoning my name in terms of being some amazing DS creator or something in response to someone else? That would be grounds for me to start baby-sitting fans. They’re not, though. They’re just making trouble for each other that has nothing to do with me or my work. My work is too scary to discuss minus maybe 4 people these days. Meh…

Personal counsel I like though, as well as need. In fact, I can’t figure out how all y’all reading these blogs and listening to the podcast aren’t starving for talk. I’d be starving for it, and have been… Things on a one-to-one basis, discussion about the characters involved here. Got some great help yesterday from a Munsters fan about Lily, Grandpa and if they can see themselves in mirrors…

Grandpa mirror

That would be a yes, folks! Thank ye, sir!

So Lily’s mention of a mirror has had to be altered but only slightly. The witticism in conversation still remains.

Now for the basics… this is pretty much a note to myself sometimes. I am trying so hard to keep it down to 6,000 words for the audio timing but it’s really tough.

The scenes are:

1) Milligan & Hecubus’ intro and opener.


2) Dr. Hoffman, Professor Stokes and… Dr. “Hawkeye Pierce”. (Which bleeds into a scene involving Tom Jennings and Caleb Collins.)


3) Vampire Angelique finally reaches The Old House to confront Barnabas and… “Crap, there are a lot of people here! This isn’t working out so well. Who is this new butler, again? What’s up with the blond guy? Uh-oh… there’s that little girl I messed with via voodoo when she was alive… Not good… “


4) Next we have Maggie and Sam wandering in to discuss what they overheard with Barnabas and Angelique. This will need more work, too. A wonderful new help-mate reminded me of scenes with Kitty Soames in 1897. As Josette’s reincarnation she did visit Jeremiah’s grave for a heart-to-heart and explanation of having been tricked into marriage with him. Which means I have to go through those again and ask Maggie what she knows as a reincarnation of both at this point. That’s the homework involved in this production.


*5) Lily & Elizabeth pack for England… very sweet, but I’d like to find a way to get them out the door before this scene ends. Or maybe something that would keep them out of the house by Episode 17. (Happy for a suggestion here. Passports are done. Customs? Luggage tags? Tickets? We’re in 1968 as far as I can figure out at this point.)


6) Maggie Evans goes to speak to the ghost of Caleb Collins in his house. She feels he’s likely the person to come up with a solution for the most recent problem. Caleb knows Maggie well, in fact he knows a lot about what’s been going on with her and confesses to his responsibility of a few things himself, past and present.


7) Back in Dr. Hoffman’s office a certain Professor Stokes has his own confessions to make, if a little impatiently. 😉


8) Barnabas is sitting near the fire contemplating the current woes with Vampire Angelique. All seems lost, until a small and grizzled voice begins speaking to him from parts unknown.


And here is my trouble. One more scene, a cliffhanger scene should fit in there to finalize Episode 16. I can type it up but that would be coming in sharply back to 7,000 words at this point. *sigh* Maybe I can’t escape that.

Again, the listening comes in. When I go over the drafts I see words characters wouldn’t say and have to alter that, whether it’s form of expression or mention of something. Then one last step before total alteration:

The demo…

I have not done a demo for The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows with my husband since Autumn of 2013. But I realize now it’s a key component in building episodes. The listening of the read shows anything good or anything that needs to be changed. Does it sound like everyone? Was there something in the text I didn’t notice because I was reading silently rather than listening? That’s where the tandem of text and audio brings a truer form. Many people listen to audio books now because their mind will wander when reading text. (For others it’s the opposite, hence I make both available.)

Still, I have no idea when this work will be publicly available. People seem to want it but they’re tongue tied about it. Looks like many are mentally capable enough to download an episode, hook it up to an mp3 player, listen and then? I don’t know… I’ve rarely ever known what happens. I don’t get told. I get like-clicked, I get random “friend requests” on Facebook (I feel that site has wounded the word friend.) I get hundreds of numbers a week even though I haven’t released a radio drama episode in six months… and?

I am told I should be happy.

How?

Why?

I’m entertaining gobs of people and I’m hearing virtually nothing about that.

I’m getting hated and harassed.

I’ve managed to garner neglect from people who enjoy my work.

I receive memes and share files as well as notifications in like-clicks that have no commentary to report.

Invitations for group pages flood me with distractions galore and makes simply using networks to really talk to people a nuisance. I’m trying to create something substantial here and even the people who love it make it even harder to create, however easy I’ve made that communication and let myself be available. Why is all of this supposed to make me a happy person? Why?


Why do people become suicidal?

Because very often they feel battered, unloved, and uncared for.

Because, theoretically, it’s only after one is dead that their ghost will finally hear how people felt.

Telling people what you like about them, what you enjoy about their company, the details of good things? That is, for some cursed reason, only something people do after someone dies. Look at what comes from celebrity deaths: That’s when the words spring out. For some reason death becomes the purpose in which the living finally speak.

With that knowledge? Who wouldn’t want to die?

Just to find out, after ages of wondering, what you truly meant to someone…

cemetery_by_satibalzane-d5950v5

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Other News… (A Method to The Madness)

Mash goes to Maine

Gary sent a little boost my way.

I also realize I’m going to have to hit any M*A*S*H* sites for information of what might be going on with Hawkeye after the Korean war… which means I should double check stuff on “After M*A*S*H*” especially, though I don’t believe he was ever on that spin-off. There may have been possible mentions.


Next up… a Dark Shadows timeline? Anything on the order of that? Well, story lines, which of course are a massive jangle in the space-time-continuum. I went through the DS Almanacs sent to me as gifts. Wonderful lists. Then a great admin of my first DS group, which I sought out as protection to only go to, in the beginning, posted the list for me from the DS Wiki (the site I used frequently years ago).

1 Victoria Winters 1 to 127 125 109; 110
2 The Murder of Bill Malloy 46 to 126 79 109; 110
3 Laura the Phoenix 123 to 192 69 131
4 Jason McGuire 193 to 275 82 226
5 Barnabas the Vampire 205 to 209 85 226
6 The Search for Barnabas’ Cure 291 to 365 75
7 1795 365 to 466 100 369; 391
8 Adam and Eve 466 to 636 169 533; 634
9 The Dream Curse 477 to 536 59 533
10 The Werewolf 627 to 700 73 634; 653
11 Quentin’s Ghost 639 to 700 61 653
12 Return to 1796 657 to 667 11
13 1897 700 to 885 184 802; 824
14 The Hand of Count Petofi 778 to 883 104 802; 824
15 The Leviathans 886 to 980 91 895; 914; 920; 921
16 1970 in Parallel Time 969 to 1060 92
17 1995 1061 to 1070 10
18 Gerard Stiles 1071 to 1109 39
19 1840 1110 to 1198 85 1135; 1155; 1175; 1180
20 1841 in Parallel Time 1186 to 1245 59 1208

All right! So, what have I done that I cannot undo or re-do? I interrupted at about #5 in this list, but continued in a weave-through and into story line #9. I didn’t have the full set, so I did most of this from memory alone. Steps in the thick of it are somewhat out of place but, hey… I’m only one person here. I’m still suprised I got it all this accurate. I asked a beautiful new friend for help to recount where Tom Jennings came in. (I remember in a podcast I mentioned losing track of what was going on because of the rental company missing various disks, so I was balking where I’d brought Tom in.) She resplendently found DS. ep 554. Thank you!

Regardless, I’ll be watching most of the series over again, someway, somehow. *knock on wood* Among various other series and movies. Ah!


The question remains… am I going all the way through #20 in this list? Not bloody likely. As the ghost of Caleb explains to Barnabas in my 15th Episode, “And my connections swear there will be none of that parallel time nonsense.” (Which, of course, requires that he has to tiredly explain what the hell that even means. In The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, at least for what I can recall via the weave-in, there was no going back and messing with Lt. Forbes in order to help Victoria Winters and Peter Bradford because? They didn’t fall back into the 1790’s but instead took a road-trip and went to these places instead:

TwinPeaks_openingshotcredits

BatesMotel

Addams_house

All right. It doesn’t exactly look like a corner brew pub from The British Isles. Victoria Winters and I were a little tired from the long drive. So sue us. (Oh, whoops! I’m broke from this project! There’s nothing left to sue!)

With these factors in tow, it isn’t likely Barnabas Collins is going to understand Parallel Time until he returns from the dreaded Kitty=Josette retcon. (Retroactive continuity, or retcon for short, is the alteration of previously established facts in the continuity of a fictional work.) But how will this work? Heck, how the hell does Maggie Evans already remember being both Kitty Soames as Josette Dupres and the original Josette Dupres?

frequency_______1

You think Barnabas & Josette have wild memories? Try being John Sullivan. (Thank you, Toby Emmerich.)


the-ghost-and-mrs-muir-logo

Meanwhile in Schooner Bay, there really isn’t much of the music score to find for the television version of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir beyond the theme song. Going back to my old influences when I had less music for Dark Shadows I bent in the direction of familiar composers or music the same composers might use. (Similar to adding Santo & Johnny to be heard on the radio or at The Blue Whale.) For what I found on who composed the music for our Captain Gregg and Carolyn Muir?

Series Music by
George Greeley … (19 episodes, 1969-1970)
Dave Grusin … (7 episodes, 1968)
Warren Barker … (5 episodes, 1968-1969)
Harry Geller … (2 episodes, 1970)
Fred Steiner … (1 episode, 1968)
Artie Kane … (1 episode, 1969)

Not sure why my sources place these chaps in this order, but at least the information was there, so I can take a look around at what they might have done on the side. Again, I won’t worry too much about adding anything as I don’t see Captain Gregg coming back until Episode 18 in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, but it’s good to get the ideas flowing for creation again. It’s been a long time since my adopted set sail for newer adventures together (December 2013, to be precise).


Oddly enough when I poked around the DS Wiki I noticed a link that said, “Here’s What Really Happened to Barnabas & Co.” Well, I guess that’s what the TV Guide wrap-up decided to title what at the end is written as, “No audience will see these stories playing out. But for those for whom the characters were real, these are merely signposts pointing the direction the characters might have gone.”

There is vaguely more Willie Loomis salted in than I recall… but in either case? I am persuaded to believe that wrap-up just as much as I believe this one:

clue-but-heres-what-really-happened

Are listeners floored by the radio drama because they don’t believe this either? Very likely.

In all of these things, as we stagger onward into the telling of this multi-fandom fiction, based on another multi-fandom fiction, the pieces keep falling into place. The odds are against us struggling away from what we’ve been programmed to do: Say happy things only in cliche’s and pronounce negativity with an amazing detail of description and adjectives.

But the supernatural tempts us to question our existence. As my husband enjoys proclaiming, “Ghosts? Sure… Werewolves? No problem. Vampires? Great… Reincarnation??? That’s ridiculous!” Ah, my sweet love, perhaps our listeners feel it’s too close to the bone. All life works in stages, and if reincarnation be true? It also is a form of existence that works in stages from one life time to the next, rather than mortally stepping through infancy, childhood, adolescence, the teenage years, and then the longest stretch: adulthood.

We, all of us, are part of a collective more complex and profound than any other animal life on this planet. But complexity frightens us…

Josettes Ghost

Josette Dupres’ complexity frightens us. So? We simplify her.

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Barnabas Collins’ complexity overwhelms us with it’s alienation, shame, self-doubt, love and aspirations. So we invalidate him and augment his character into various forms.

The heart of the matter is that changeability means being human. It is the ultimate darkness from which we can’t escape, but try to, in so many trivial distractions. The reason that Barnabas Collins irritates us so much, why we try to push him into corners where he refuses to fit? That is a reflection. Something we have a hard time looking at. That’s why I must ask:

Who is Barnabas Collins?

mirror

He’s you.

Episode 15 Is Complete

Well… Episode 14 took about four to five months to create. Looks like Episode 15 (now done) took about three months to create… When will it be uploaded for availability? Who knows? I will never understand how the hardest and most expensive work of my life ended up deserving so many like clicks, so many haters, and so little discussion. (Because it’s audience sees no price tag?) It gets downloaded like crazy, I get praised at times, but I am only allowed to go on the journey with a very precious few. It’s a shame. It’s really a shame…

Episode 2: Chamber Pots & Coffee Cups, Q &A

Yep! We are continuing on with the comprehension questions. Now if I only wanted to test your comprehension skills I would have done like I did at the high-school: give you inquiries with multiple choices to circle. Please forgive me if I would appreciate your thoughts on these episodes. For many a fic-writer I have unfortunately learned it is, “my story, my glory”.

Oh? Then? Write your own original material and be done with it if that is how you feel? I certainly have about my own original material, but even then? Why bother sharing it if there is to be no discussion whatsoever?

cheese shop

“Well, I’m sorry… but I’m going to have to shoot you.”

As Cleese expresses when he shoots Palin’s character in the audio version of Monty Python’s Cheese Shop sketch: “What a senseless waste of human life!”


And now? Onto the questions for The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, episode 2: Chamber Pots & Coffee Cups:

Episode 2

The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, Episode Two: Chamber Pots & Coffee Cups

(Just if you would like to have some practice, you know. Complete sentences, please.)


1) Milligan & Hecubus explain everything that happens in Dark Shadows as we skip along, so this episode, as with #3, are a weave-in to the original show. Did you find all the catch-up material adequate?


2) Then we relive Victoria’s return from 1795, with the household cracking more jokes. And suddenly Julia Hoffman IS a doctor! (Rather than a historian.) Thoughts on that?


3) Ah yes, the chamber pot issue. Later Victoria recalls seeing George from “The Time Machine” as she came back. Hopefully that music cue was familiar. How’d ya dig it?


4) Oh dear, Wadsworth and Dr. Hoffman aren’t getting along. She likely sees him as competition to healing Barnabas’ troubles. (And considering Dr. Lang, I don’t blame her!) How did you enjoy this scene? (Especially with Peter Bradford’s cameo? LOL)


5) Now the coffee cups part. Maggie & Sam? They seem to be somewhat aloof as to caffeine and what it does. How did you enjoy this scene?


6) Ah, and now we blend the darkness back in as Barnabas reaches his “staring window”. Wadsworth pointing out changes Barnabas could make to how he treats people. What did you pick up there?


7) Carolyn and Julia, now we’re getting some healing done. Pretty good scene with some humour. How did you take to it?


8) Sam and Maggie reach The Old House. There is actually some geographical teaching involved in this scene. Can you tell where? Also we have Wadsworth giving Maggie Evans the earrings now (rather than Willie doing it.)


9) Last but not least, yes… Roger answers the phone and Miss Cleo is on it. Enjoyment on that? Also the Annette Hanshaw song. I felt it was pretty obvious by this point who Barnabas was shooting for.


And here is where it is best to relay your responses (in complete sentences, por favor).

Episode 2 in text…

But honestly? After all of this time? I have actually held this product in my hands…

miss cleo tarot deck

If you cannot at least review with, “WTF?! MISS CLEO?” Something is seriously wrong. 😛

Peace.

Episode 15: Tech and Scenes

I have the latest creation of Episode 15 in progress. I remember one reviewer, who’s been M.I.A. lately, requested that he was looking forward to more original Dark Shadows music. This let me know what he was hoping and looking forward to so I went all out and started to purchase some more goodies. I’m with him that it enhances the mood. In this discussion, however hilarious with Nicholas Blair and Vampire Angelique, present certain additives that are beneficial. I’m finding this one gem called “Wailing Theremin (Angelique)”. I think it really could set the tone for her discussions on death and what that was like. Things of this nature bring back my intrigue for production and quality. (Definitely beats some of the rudeness I’ve been gleaning off to the side via areas I’ve been asking for help, and then getting quick-to-judge types throwing harsh words out for no particular reason. People? The world is filled with a wild richness of entertainment. Go find something you like and quit bothering me. Thanks.)

On the other hand some of the review-swaps and workshops are bringing in a trickle of hope. I’ve had some messages letting me know, “I love your rants! It shows you’re human. If people can’t understand your obvious need for feedback with such hard work? Just rant some more!” LOL! Well, I don’t know about that. I’d rather get more constructive stuff done, but, oh, my gosh! That is certainly encouragement right there! I’m also wondering if something is up in new applications but a couple people have been pointing out the otr effect: “Old Time Radio”. I’d say my project has that. I’ve looked into the other productions where they bring back the same actors to either perform new roles or old ones. I remember one had a ghost of Caleb Collins and I thought, “Ohhh, if only I could afford that.” Then I pulled back and realized if I was basing everything on The Coffin Box DVD set (along with the other shows and movies) to the best of my ability, no. Don’t get the new radio dramas other than for listening to voice structure. And the music is similar but it’s too slick for me. I prefer more of an old-time sound and with the Dark Shadows original music I feel it’s more appropriate. I would love more music from other shows if I can find them. I am absolutely thrilled with the effect the Clue soundtrack has on Willie and Wadsworth scene in “A Balancing of The Humours”. It was the perfect touch! 🙂

Meh… arg… well the wailing theremin did sound good in the mix… but I can hardly tell with… the leaf blower outside… ugh… :/

Now this is good. Someone told me recently I got Angelique’s voice as perfect as I could. That was from an earlier episode, but as for this one… Gosh, that breathy maneuver of hers is pretty fun. Oh, I can’t wait to do more voice-acting. I really miss it. Also this episode with the newer attempts at Lily are also good. I remember a super long cold where I double checked as much of her screen-time as I could. For The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows I look back and felt maybe she was too cheerful. At the same time… Herman, and even Grandpa, could seriously irk her at home. I think she was so thrilled to go on a trip she brightened even more. But now I’ll try and get my adoptee into more of her motherly aspect. I think she feels very at home in Collinwood but with that sense of wonder why everyone is so uptight about things of the spooky nature. It’s the more modern and mundane foibles that get on her nerves.

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I know how you feel, my dear. Modern foibles certainly have made my life more difficult these days.

Uh-oh… Well it does make me less bored but I’m hitting the sauce again. And that means… *sigh* my mind has slowed to the point that a lot of this audio dialogue sounds faster. So I think what I’ll focus on is eliminating flubs rather than worrying about silence timing. (Yes, when I become intoxicated I am well aware of the changes it makes in my focusing skills. I use this as a tool in many regards, not simply as a way of loosening up.) I think it’s time to get the coffee on the perk here…

Ep 21 CAROLYN Think itll perk faster if you stare at it

(DS ep. 21) CAROLYN: Think it’ll perk faster if you stare at it?

Nah… I just like to listen to the burbling in the background, but this is likely how I feel when I’m staring at an audio file. Maybe the episode will just be created faster if I stare at it… or when I look at my stat numbers for downloads and reads… maybe if I just stare at them I’ll get the discussion faster. Meh… hasn’t worked in over three years…

Okay, ladies: Morticia, Victoria, Grandmama? I am not going over this scene again. I altered the volume in voices to the best of my ability, saved the file as-is and am done with it. However it comes out, it comes out. Now onto the next scene…

A discussion between Maggie and Barnabas in Josette’s room. This needs attention. There are a lot of words that are two low in volume and, even in my current state, I can tell many of these silences are far too long. The occurrence itself is unique. I was telling a friend about this. Maggie as Josette and in her old room behaves more like Josette than elsewhere. She’s more contemplative, serene, which represents her ghostly persona as well as her original one. I’d written the text and done the demo in 2013 and didn’t quite notice that difference. This was the journey I was looking forward to with her, not having realized how far we’d moved into it. That quietude of reflection in understanding herself as well as her own place among those living, dead, and undead.

Josettes Ghostat her grave

There he is mourning her loss, over and over…

happy bride

And here she awakes to say, “Barnabas? It’s me.”

I felt it was both a moving and uplifting culmination of what was obvious. Didn’t think there was going to be so much hullabaloo over the damn thing. Then again, I didn’t expect it to heal my love-life either, so there ya go. Guess it’s a stronger romance than I anticipated! ❤


Ahhh… the Willie and Sarah scene. All the way back in November of 2013 during my first intro, “If anyone has some rustling in the leaves sound effects? I need some.” Nope. That bequest was never answered… Oh… thank the Lord. Found a bit… took a while, though, longer than my writing this. (I tend to go back in forth between the work and the blog typing, btw.)

Willie meets sarah again

Helena? I think I’d like to go over the text version of this with you. I remember you agreed the old draft was awkward, and it’s not like I’m going to make any major changes now that it’s altered and the audio performances are done, I dunno, I just feel like it. (You know me, I like to chat and workshop. 🙂 )

Now… the music I planned for this. I’m worried it might be too sweet and not quite fitting enough for that spooky element. Although, Heaven knows the tune I’ve picked tends to give a lot of people the creeps via where it comes from. The problem is it’s a music box version. Currently I’m playing with all the oddities in sound change and variance. Mmm, little discoveries of, “Oh, hey! That sounds better” and others of, “Wow! REALLY bad idea! Undo...” *chuckling* I believe bringing this in as quietly as humanly possible for the human ear to notice will be best.

All right. Banging your head against the brick wall enough here, Daryl. Don’t add the music or sound effects. I remember Willie Loomis had a ton of performed, then re-performed, lines and inflections I wasn’t sure about. I was shooting for easier-going Willie and was able to find some audio clips that sounded good to feel the swing of it. But there are variations and I have to pick the right ones. I think I have to do that with the Willie and Wadsworth scene a few cuts down the road here. And that one was less laid back and more with Willie revealing an internal struggle of understanding how he was treated by Professor Stokes during his calligraphy sessions. Of course, he was treated well, not something in Willie’s usual experience. More about that to come.

I think that wraps up my blog entry on where I am now. Happy to get more enthusiasm and discussion on the episodes. Just experiencing this journey on the path to recovery. Much praise, but again I’d like to hear more of that for the characters and less for myself. This is for them, not just me, and this is for sharing how that experience proceeds with each other. I keep hoping more listeners will understand that.

Peace.