The Pen Pals Are Here (For Real This Time)

Just picked up the mail and I am reveling in the fun of it! My stationery horde is dwindling and I’m discovering people who like to savour The Pit as it was meant to be savoured. Hallelujah!

Today I opened this delightful missive which says, “I’m glad that we’re pen friends! You’re the only pen friend I have who sends murder mystery parties with your letters, and I can attend these parties in my PJs!! Woo hoo!”

She also sent some very fun ticket stickers which read: “Admit One”. I am actually trying to get rid of all my crazy stickers but when I saw hers on the back of her envelope I suddenly desired stickers like that. Then? Inside the envelope she had included eighteen of them for me! It was this way of expressing that my show ought to be sent with those tickets as that signifies the theater feeling The Pit brings. What a bloody JOY! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Another pal drives frequently so the CD version of The Pit episodes are perfect for her long hauls. It’s funny because I often anticipated truckers would enjoy The Pit but I’ve yet to hear from any of them. Hopefully this was never due to Maggie expressing a bit of distaste to Barnabas in Episode 10 with,

coffee shop

“Oh, Barnabas, you’ve obviously never encountered a collection of all-night truck drivers swapping suggestive tales over their greasy breakfast plates.”

But who knows?

There are a few listeners of The Pit who don’t quite pick up the knack of the discussion questions as being guidelines to expressing what they enjoy per scene. That’s okay, though. The method that we once had to express our delight and the fun in our entertainment is very much more the “dying art” than letter-writing ever was or has been.

While it became extremely trendy to Hate-On so much in our abundance, the enjoyment of discussing what we were entertained by took a serious nose-dive when we were offered the alternative thumbs-up buttons. There are now even pesky hearts on youtube and iTunes to degrade our faculties even further. If there was an app for making these happy-buttons disappear I would consider PAYING for it. Monthly! (I already enjoy advertisement blockers on my equipment so I have little idea what kind of scary billboard world a great deal of my online audience is being suffocated with. 😦  )

The other difficulty we currently face is having too much choice. I’m immune to that being difficult as I already pruned my needs in the last twenty years. Even before the internet I had far too much thrown in my direction that I could never understand why I just had to like. Another reason I live on Devo’s “Freedom of Choice” song; All around me are people who really do want “Freedom FROM Choice”. It’s not a matter of a good lead to something they would naturally be interested in, but just floating through life waiting for others to send them in whatever direction another wishes them to go.

That became the worse problem imaginable as my audio entertainment was finally noticed and suddenly I had to see the same style of Dark Shadows fanfiction I was tired of reading and trying to avoid. My work, articles, and podcasts made it extremely clear what my interests and goals were in that department. Then, rather than find the specific niche audience I was looking for, it was the bummer-city, cliché types coming forward with precisely what I spent five years finding and did not enjoy at all. It’s as if most the online world is so flabbergasted with too much information that listening to a person or a fictional character is well-nigh impossible for them to do.

This is why correspondence, and the skill of it, is so important. It slows us down to start digesting information at our own human pace. This works because human beings are what we are, regardless of how desperate we seem to be to become The Borg or The Cybermen instead. It’s also exactly why we attained creations such as The Borg and The Cybermen in our storytelling: It’s a warning of things that could very much happen to us in the future. (Or right now.)

Cybermen_formation_Doomsday
As for Episode 17 in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, whose current title is “A Bio-Exorcist Comes To Collinwood”, I am working on the audio, yes, but I am also taking my time with the pen pals and letter-writing to heal myself back to being a better person. I’m often thanking each and every individual that I write to for helping me with this, even when they are so grateful to me for giving them the gift of my episodes. For me it’s a shared process and precisely how I always wanted to do all of this. “Go Online” wasn’t the worst option for me, it was the obvious one. But the human touch of going online was losing ground and I didn’t know that. Nobody seemed to know it, but they definitely defended it, that’s for sure. (It’s much easier to be dismissive, isn’t it?)

The audio itself is grueling and my format from doing voice performances back and forth in one go has shifted toward doing each voice separately. Doing that slows down the creation time. But this is a technique that most audio dramas are created by, having each performer in separate cubicles with a script and a headset, so it makes sense to switch to get each character’s voice better. I’m also finding that using a more caricature performance is as important as the accuracy in their speech patterns. The caricature voice differentiates who is speaking more easily so that it’s less likely a listener will lose track of which character is saying what. However, our too-friendly bio-exorcist is pretty damned easy to spot. Ha ha ha!

its showtime
The romance is sparking for our three couples now, Barnabas & Maggie, Tony & Carolyn, and Julia & Eliot. I really love how Elizabeth and Barnabas were running things at this point in the original Dark Shadows, but with Elizabeth on her voyage to England for my show, I’ve had to move away from that and am irked for a solution as to who will invite Amy Jennings to stay at Collinwood, eventually. *sigh* I thought, “Well, I could find some hilarious, sarcastic way that Roger would be encountering her instead and deciding, ‘Why the hell not?’” But that didn’t give me much enthusiasm.

Carolyn and Tony
The great answer came last night… Carolyn & Tony! Or it could just be Carolyn, or heck, Carolyn AND Carolyn, Stoddard & Muir. Who knows? But in any case I finally hit on how to keep Tony Peterson and Carolyn Stoddard’s romance alive: Do exactly what was done before. Have them solve problems together! In The Pit that is what reignited their romance, which is similar in many couples both fictional and real. (That kissing you hear in The Pit for these couples is obviously not me smooching my arm! That is me and my own sweetie. He’s been shy about it, but hey, he’s getting kissed! He’s not going to say no to me for that offer. 😉 )

So, for those who aren’t writing to me on paper or via email, there is a big reason my online activity has dwindled. I have returned to pen pals and am enjoying it immensely.

write a letter cover

No happy-buttons or flinging of links is going to get any of us more of the work and it never did before. Correspondence and discussion about the show(s) is what makes that happen and always did. When I receive insight and feedback from a listener I get to their responses a whole lot faster because this is my passion and my calling. But there are some pen pals who have no interest and that is also fine by me. They keep me company with other interactive details about life in general. That’s healthy and very healing all around. (People writing to me by email, private message, or even postal mail, who love the work but avoid the topic keeps me more at bay with them. This should be a surprise to no one. And really, why would it be?)

I do have a potential “Pit Update April 2017” started but I’m hoping I won’t have to create and release it. I prefer getting to the actual work. And strangely enough it is the quiet discussions of the characters on the demo and in the “editing room” that rivets me more than that fight scene everyone is waiting for! Maggie and Sam with their awesome percolator, Tony and Carolyn going for a drive, Dr. Hoffman and Professor Stokes having a quiet, studious discussion with romance interlaced, while Lily and Elizabeth enjoy the delights of mingling on board the RMS Queen Elizabeth ship. Those happier scenes are what keep me going.

I’m also working on the script for Episode # 18, “Braving The Waters” but that will take more Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Bewitched studying, of course. Chris Jennings may make his first appearance and there is fun already planned for that, similar to on the original Dark Shadows but much more humourous. Hee hee hee! Bill Malloy’s ghost should encounter Lily and Elizabeth. Lily can have tons of fun with Bill. I really like Lily as this cousin to dissuade Elizabeth needing to fear ghosts and the like, and Melissa has told me how wonderful it is for Elizabeth to finally have a girlfriend to pal around with, “She just never had that on the original show. This is really good for her!”

Liz and Lily

When we discussed it over the phone neither of us could quite figure out which of the two of them is “the straight man” in the relationship as that role sort of bounces back and forth between Elizabeth Stoddard and Lily Munster. Elizabeth shrugs at any clues that Lily is a daylight-walking vampire with even odder family members, and Lily doesn’t seem to notice Elizabeth being far more mundane than Munster, since to her Munster is mundane.

pop and magz
Another great thing is keeping Sam Evans alive and stretching out his weird psychic trips from his DS: First Year characteristics into being a reincarnation of Andre du Pres. This helps in the extreme with Maggie Evans processing her own reincarnation experiences.

If they had aimed to pull it off on Dark Shadows, which is what I saw them reaching toward, I’m not sure how Maggie could have handled that on her own. Her father, Sam, is the perfect bolster for that, especially if he’s already going through it himself. So in sorting out the main reason I started all of this, it ends up being a wonderful help in solving a lot of other dilemmas I might have faced if that wasn’t the reason I began.

Willie pensive Wadsworth looking down
My struggles with Willie Loomis have reached that safer harbour with him now as Wadsworth’s presence has helped to calm him down and I am very much looking forward to healing right along with him. His history is a mystery and should mostly remain so as it did on Dark Shadows. The main point with him is growth and learning better battles to pick, even if some are merely with his pen. Now that I have pen pals by snail mail I can practice my own calligraphy a bit more. ❤

As for the marriage novel, I’m still working on the next chapter which will be quite romantic. (And *cough* “adult”.) Their exploration of old memories will drift through, and I might add a card game in it rather than ending it with them planning to play one. It takes a lot out of me to go into Barnabas-mode, but it’s rewarding. As Sam himself mentions the couple in Chapter 22 of the novel, “…driving through the town of Collinsport to get to The Old House, where my daughter now lived with her excessively romantic husband…” He sure is!

I’ve complained he won’t let me write scenery, but the main thing I’ve had to admit to myself is that Barnabas, on his own terms, would hardly write scenery. The scenery he is forever looking at is his loving bride, Maggie, who is Kitty and Josette and herself. There is a lot to look at in a gal like that! (Even Cousin Lily can see the affection there. 😉 )

lily maggie and barnabas
Hopefully that’s updated everyone enough as to the state of things with me. I’m still determined and passionate, but I’m also healing from three years of shock, devastation in friendship loss, watching this science-fiction nightmare made of our lives happen unabated, and all of it being defended by masses of people who can’t bear to blame themselves for being misguided.

Now I get to editing, my letters, corresponding with new friends, and racing to the door when my sweetheart comes home. Then I look at my wine bottle and, after three years, I am finally able to say, “I don’t need that tonight. I’ll finish it tomorrow.”

love,

                                                                                           Daryl

P.S. If some of you out there, as several pen pals have expressed, mainly know Dark Shadows from the 2012 film of it and therefore believe I must automatically “hate” you? No. I don’t. It just got trendy to hate that film like a whole lot else got trendy to hate.

Hate became a disease online as it garnered attention. It’s a junior-high and high-school condition, and can also happen with spoiled louts in college. Whatever occurs to cause that; it’s a phase and a fad. I love the 2012 film, actually. I love a lot things that get a lot of hate. I always have, so I don’t worry about it. ❤

Abstinence: How To Do It And Why

I had my Facebook day yesterday. It started well. Then the drama came, the gossip, the signs work was in progress only to fall asunder to the overblown insecurities of mankind.

Still, I do my best to stick to what I created as a two-week abstinence plan. This plan only works if I mark it on a physical calendar. It didn’t work if I just tried to count the days and remember. Two-weeks seems to be the key to become more grounded again even as I struggle to face what has happened to us with this world of bumper-sticker images, like-clicks for both approval and conforming to masses, and the deluge of inflaming unimportant things.

The Pit Update For November 2016 podcast reveals a much calmer person in me. This was created by the consistent use of that two-week abstinence plan from Facebook. One Friday every two-weeks and with errands to run, so that I’m not using it all day either.

I feel there is hope. This log was not invented for the creation of glorious photos, though I’m sure most who look through it are seeking solely those. It was created for studious observances and also to keep myself sane.

Have any of you noticed becoming too excited and your temper riled much more often than it once was and on almost any whim? This is created by a lack of true engagement with people. The version you see more often than not in this day and age is a video-game creation of socializing. It doesn’t give you vocal inflections, tactile pats on the back, handshakes, hugs, or the visual expression of another human. What you see of other humans are fragments, mostly still photos of them smiling. The truth in human expressions is that they move and flow. In real life smiles form in motion, they don’t hold their shape constantly. We are receiving echos and tiny portions of each other in the belief we are having hearty human relationships, when in essence we are only getting crumbs.

Living on junk-food or fast-food gives the impression that you are fed because your stomach feels full. If the food is not giving you the nutrients you need you are still hungry, but unable to put the nutrients anywhere as you just filled yourself with junk. Human relationships work in the same way. If you aren’t getting proper human interaction, as is healthy for living, but are tricked into believing that you are? You are starved and begin behaving just as crazy as one going through famine. The only difference is famine sufferers are aware food is lacking, whereas with junk-food and social media we are given the false notion that our human needs are being met when they are not. It is living a contradiction and that creates insanity.

Social media makes it too easy to show pleasure due to happy buttons such as like-clicks, up-votes, +1’s, little hearts on tumblr and cute stickers. Your ability to express insight and what gives you joy is eliminated by these easy-to-use buttons and choices. Your emotional understanding in the positive atrophies by this use. Life isn’t so much of a joy anymore, it’s merely a click, or an excess of clicks from other people. It makes me wonder what would happen if we only had thumbs-down buttons. I don’t desire that, but I wonder about it. Would the ability to hate shrink, the way the ability to love has with happy-buttons, by the use of only having down-votes and -1’s? Who’s to say?

The main thing I know is in the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s there were “bad vibes” online but they didn’t show up so very frequently. Not that many people were using the internet anyway, and it was never on an expanded version of a portable telephone. We looked for newsgroups and pen friends and told of our particular interests to find who we may be akin to. And also we had to sit in chairs to use it. At the end of the day?

You turned it off.

What happens when we are constantly hooked up to the internet and carry it around with us everywhere? When we never have a solitary moment except to be interrupted with a beep or a notification popping at you?

Well, as the old joke goes:

“You’re soaking in it!”

Did that make you laugh? Maybe just a little. Humour is recognizing the awful truth with a little blurb attached at times.

 


If anyone is asking if I got into the online-entertainment racket just to observe the waste and trouble going on in the world? The answer is no, I didn’t. I got into it to get the reflective responses of what the characters were doing and learning along the way. What I got instead was social media, the advice to use it, and having to engage with an audience that avoided discussion of my creation, as well as ego-driven types who could spend all their time telling me what I was all about and should do in negative ways when I’d never met them before in my life, as well as watching how people were spending their time in gossiping, ranting, posting repeats, throwing links and images around like candy spewing from a pinata, and that was what was left to me.

Occasionally, and very occasionally, someone would post commentary on Episode One in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows and EVERYONE would celebrate as if the problem was solved or would be solved, “You see there, Daryl! Look! It’s finally happening.”

Do you have any idea how damned many times that false alarm flashed before all of us? Fifty times? One hundred times? Have we lost count? I have.

But the claims of “being busy” kept coming in. Yeah. I spent a few years mostly on Facebook. I could see pretty easily what all y’all were so “busy” doing. Wasting-time for the most part, but with the periodic crisis, or rare revelation, or the visit to a restaurant in which we get to view what was on your plate. Gosh, pretty busy all right. Busy with nothing for the most part. Gotcha. How long did it take to keep creating all that “busy” news and posting it? How long did it take to write out paragraphs of excuses about why “people” weren’t doing what they naturally used to do?

Tingler got through fourteen episodes in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, reported his enjoyment of it, and had fun doing it in twenty days. He was busy with things in his own life, yes. Being on Facebook was not one of them.

The intense reaction of “I am not addicted!” has been screamed at me many times. It’s one of the first signs that someone is addicted. Now? It’s being admitted more and more often that social media is addictive and people are admitting to being addicted to it. It is not a joyful admittance either like, “I love watching movies. I’m addicted to them!” Nope, it’s being said as a sad fact one wishes they could change. (Even some of my relatives are saying it, a few of which I am not fond of. Wow.)


“What can I do?” one may ask. Well you can write to me about how I accomplished the two-week abstinence plan if you would like to, if you’re not too terrified to write to me or can remember how to write an email or letter. I got into this to help fictional characters. Helping people, real or fictional, is obviously something ingrained in who I am, but it does come at a cost: good behaviour, gratitude and trust.

The other thing you can do? Learn to observe carefully. I did and that is what has made me who I am today. And if you want a fun way to learn how to observe?

Sherlock Holmes.

Not the new versions of him, not the flashy ones, the old versions of him:

the-complete-sherlock-holmes-sherlock-holmes-books

The books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Or the wonderful rendition as closely based on the books as possible:

holmes-with-magnifying-glass

 as performed by Jeremy Brett

And that is where you start.

The Shock Has Finally Arrived

I wanted to make this blog post for my readers who care and are concerned.

It just hit me this morning. Came out of almost nowhere but there was a trigger. I was telling a new person I’ve met for the second time about how much things have changed due to the new technology.

My companion told me it’s gotten so bad people are being lured into unsafe situations with a virtual game they will play on their phones, a hide and seek type game. They hunt virtual objects in the physical world.

Once upon a time, and it sure wasn’t that long ago, we were all so angry about people shouting their cel phone conversations in public. And now, gradually, but still feeling as if it was over night, most people are locked into their little smartphone screens, so much so they do this while walking, while driving and I’ve even seen someone do this on a skateboard. (Thankfully not so much with bicycle riders. *knock on wood* ) They don’t often use those phones to talk to people verbally.

Then I expressed how this epidemic was like a flood; it altered the social-landscape so drastically that a flood is a wonderful metaphor for what’s happened to almost all of us.

All of a sudden I worried about things I’d done the night before that perhaps I hadn’t remembered. Something out of my control that I had already assured myself by doing some back pedaling after I woke up. Then a feeling of anxiety hit me. It felt like an anxiety attack. I wasn’t sure.

I was working on editing Osheen’s interview for the Intro To Episode 16 last night. I thought of calling others and tried but she was the first person I reached. We only had about ten minutes but it was important to talk to her and thank her for being a friend, a real one, a human one.

Then I got in touch with another friend and we talked for hours. I finally figured out what was happening.

I am in shock.

Of all the stages of grief; I’ve ranted, raved, cried, felt angry, bargained, and now I’m deleting contacts from my mobile phone. I give them one or two weeks but if my voice mails aren’t answered I come to realize, for all intents and purposes, these friendships are gone. Gone from the new addictions in technology, gone from my social life but never from my heart. The people themselves are all alive and likely fair in health, but other wise the friendships are dead.

New ones have happened, thank Heavens, thank everything good. And this post is also to thank those people again if they see this.

I will hopefully express this more in the coming podcast and how we can help to heal, as I’m very aware I’m not the only person suffering through this loss. It’s a world wide epidemic. It’s not just me going through it, and as you probably know I care about a lot of people. I care deeply about their health and well-being, however different they are from me I always try to find what will best suit that individual for their needs.

This is likely why the fandom politics got as bad as it got for my arrival in the Dark Shadows world. There are so many people who are lonely and feel neglected, but somehow believing this state of affairs and disconnect is natural for us. Of course they’re going to be argumentative and bashing if that’s most of what they’re exposed to, sadly. I sure wouldn’t have barked back if I didn’t feel so hurt too.

One thing that is very important, and terrifyingly so, is many people are communicating inefficiently most of the time, especially now, but we’re doing it because we all have a very vital human need: each other. We need those of like-mind, we need companionship, we need social stimulus. Some people need it so bad they will attend restaurants just to chew out and swear at the staff. They’ll get it in unhealthy ways if they can’t get it in healthy ways. I’ve done that too. I was so desperate to get any discussion I even dealt with people I would never talk to or trust otherwise. Thankfully things are better enough that that has changed, but that’s how bad it got and I knew it.

I had shock for not getting the discussion, for the troubles that my work got so much silence.

I hadn’t had the shock for the friendship loss, for losing so many people so quickly, people I knew for decades, people who hated mobile phones when they came into prominence.

Even my mother told me, “You know I remember when we got answering machines and it made us crabby. We wanted to talk to a real person. Not too soon after we only wanted to talk to the machine. We didn’t want a live person anymore.” Boy! I sure remember that! (Currently I’m a little of column A and a little of column B.)

Still, it’s here. It’s real. In fact I’ve even made new friends solely because of this epidemic that’s plaguing us as a race. The name Morlock (Rising) that I use is a metaphor, not just for The Time Machine’s future by H. G. Wells, but what would happen to us. It was tongue-in-cheek. Now it’s ironically, vividly, and physically taking place.

I am hoping for change for the better. But this is part of my grief cycle. I hope it isn’t going to go on too long. It’s very painful and I feel like I want to throw-up.

Please be well, everyone. Take care of yourselves, tell your loved ones how much you love them. That’s what I’m likely doing as you read this.

And thank you, Written In Blood. You’re there for me and you were there for me when almost no one else was. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. (Hope you read this!)

“I Just Don’t Understand Her…”

No, many people do not understand Daryl Wor. I’ll try and explain with high doubts it will serve any purpose but allowing me the feeling I made the effort.

I often enjoy a balance of social stimuli with people of like-mind, not a huge party type, but more a small gathering person, definitely one-to-one contact.  Then when enough of that socializing comes I will enjoy my alone time. Since 2013 there has been an imbalance of too much alone time with the coupling of many gearing towards social networks.

Like many who enjoy a particular entertainment, if you can’t find neighbours or friends to enjoy that entertainment with you? You look for people online. Unfortunately for me the online community has shifted from many with computers and keyboards, who knew how to correspond, to a wild array of mobile phone users, device owners, and those of low or fragmented intelligence polluting the conversation with pointless time-wasting, empty emoticons, and nary a deep thought. With these types over-populating the internet and given the encouragement to speak less, post more photos, throw around memes, and do nothing but robotically click votes, this became the status quo, and I despise it.

I make my entertainment so readily available because I am looking for a niche audience. The platforms of conversation are there in easy reach for this niche audience, but by this time (2013-2016) the ability to converse and express enjoyment has degenerated. There is also the fandom politics issue where anyone speaking out for the pairing for Barnabas Collins that I saw, and still see, as simply obvious were anticipating verbal assault from fans of either a non-canon pairing or a nonsensical one.

For the latter I’ve had to empathize and even deal with cads who thought attacking me would make me stop. Nope. It just made me annoyed, angry, and ready to retaliate. The other silliness of this behaviour is they have, and perhaps still do, posted these comments where I cannot see them. Well, that either allows others who like to waste their time hating me and fictional characters to see it perhaps, but it also allows for free advertising of me to others who wonder what I did that was so terrible. The other option is to attack me, or the canon pairing, cryptically which is also uncommunicative and another waste of time and megabyte space. Either way, it’s useless, cowardly and we all know it.

I’ve also had people writing to my blog to argue points with me about pairings, about how the human heart works, about what I’m doing or just to be insulting. I think I’ve been way TOO patient with people like that! Considering I likely have had far more romantic relationships than these people, as well as one that has been successful to reach us over two decades, I can’t take these arguments about love and relationships very seriously at all. If you want personal counsel? Go get some! If you want to convert Dark Shadows fans into believing Dr. Hoffman is the only woman for Barnabas Collins? There are tons of converts. See how you fare making friends with them. I know sane Julia/Barnabas fans and I prefer them. I don’t care for proselytizers of a non-canon romantic pairing. It’s an empty virtue and it is in my way.

Get OUT of my way.

 

The other major annoyance has been the horrid catchphrase of “Do it for you”. If I am sharing this online why on Earth would it be solely doing it for me?

I do plenty of things solely for myself. Feeding, clothing, exercising, and making sure I have enough to keep me occupied are all things I do for myself. But we are interconnected whether we like to admit this or not. None of what I feed and clothe myself with was created by me. It all came from other people with other resources.

Dreams of storytelling might be solely for the individual but the human race has storytelling because it is in relationship with everything surrounding and involved with it. Productions of storytelling are created by many, many individuals. Sit through the end of a film and try to read all the names in the list of credits. You will never come close to remembering each one.

Franz Kafka requested that his unpublished manuscripts be destroyed and only a few of his works were published during his lifetime. His wishes were not granted and his work was published posthumously. Now he is regarded by many to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. He “did it for him” but we reap the benefits and have the discussions. Does that sound fair?

I know life often is not fair but that’s what we shoot for, isn’t it?

The narcissism that currently taints our individual lives is abhorrent. If I were a narcissist you would have heard about me a lot sooner. Why do you know Daryl Wor at all? There is a show or movie you love so much and she is breathing new life into it. She’s entertained you but you don’t know how to approach her except in demeaning ways more often than not. That’s why I return to pen pals.

I went to Facebook, and other social networks, as I was advised to do with my work. Of the thousands of fandom types there, only a handful of friends have been made. The loss of previous friendships prior to social networks, or prior to my own work, is devastating and still haunts me. It is an epidemic and reminds me of The 1918 Flu that was killing off 3 to 5 percent of the population almost one hundred years ago. (Currently we are in the 100 year anniversary of World War One.) Smartphones and social networks do something more insidious. The “victim”, or “addict”, is still alive for all intents and purposes, but their friendships alter drastically. Their communication skills dwindle. They become unaware of keeping in touch with phone calls, email, or paper letters. The social network chat box and the text message becomes all that is possible and the only format they will use, if they even use that. Mostly they just scroll a cluttered news-feed and click their lives away. This programming, scrolling and like-clicking, has spread like a virus throughout many social websites, even WordPress more is the pity.

I got yet another request from a potential pen pal, less than 24 hours ago, to interact with him on Facebook. It is that pervasive. I said no, obviously.

I cannot make money from The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. I am sharing it and continue to share it to find those of like-mind, for friendship, fun, as well as insightful discussion, and for help in the research as well. School-Marm critiquing is not helpful, nor desired. Critics are not known for being part of a creation. Employees or passionate fans very much are. I nit-pick myself enough. I don’t need anyone else doing it.

The other obnoxious suggestion is to drown myself in Dark Shadows fanfiction. I did that for five years hunting for a relief-series. I didn’t find one so I started to build one. When I’ve enjoyed a piece of fanwork, Dark Shadows or otherwise, you definitely hear about it. I didn’t get into this to read everything any stranger throws at me. Being with people of like-mind and sharing discussion over each other’s work is precisely what I want. Listen to my interview with Automne Archer and that is exactly what you will hear that rivets us both.

I’ve said in a podcast intro, quoting a fan-letter to a Dark Shadows cast-member, that most of what I’ve seen of Dark Shadows fanfiction is, “So much drugstore, paperback trash the likes of which V.C. Andrews never dreamed possible”. And it’s true. Page turner books are important: They engage us and get us to be involved with the story and read-read-read. The eyes are practicing left to right movement and the mind is imbibing the action-packed drama. Some people don’t move on from this kind of story-telling format. Some do move on, and I am one of those people. My life has been hell enough that I don’t need any more hell. Why would I love the characters of Dark Shadows enough to create a relief-series only to spend my time watching them assaulted and getting hurt in unconvincing stories I don’t want to read anyway? (I picked watching the damn show because it was dry, had some humour and good dialogue, and it’s old! And spooky! S-L-O-W SPOOKY!) Bummers in literature are all over gutenberg.org. Go for it. Horror and Tarantino extreme-crazy scenarios on film are in plenty. Have at it!

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Contentment, love, happiness. If attaining these is our goal and having them is so possible then why not glory in it, even study it?

Barnabas and Josette

As Margaret Josette Dupres asks, “All you had desired centuries ago, weren’t you? What would happiness be like? It isn’t simple, is it, Barnabas?”

That is the myth of happiness: It’s simple, it’s boring. Glad those who say so are the ones missing out and not me! The pursuit of happiness? Let’s talk about winning the pursuit and what happens when you do. Pursuing it is only half of the story.

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Barnabas answers her, “No. Not simple, Josette. Never a goal to have conquered. A mystery to sweetly drift through. A journey that might never end…”

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Or as my last podcasters meeting taught, “Dismiss the people who keep asking why you want to do something, or pooh-pooh your ideas. That doesn’t get you anywhere. The better question to ask is: Why not?”

As I tell myself and others, “A Dark Shadows relief-series had to be in audio. Most fans I’ve encountered of Dark Shadows do not listen to the characters other than to argue with them. They aren’t invested in the town of Collinsport or the Collinwood Estate. Those fans are invested in themselves, they listen only to themselves. They don’t want to listen to the love Barnabas has to express to Josette, or her reincarnations, or her protective spirit. People who listen to dialogue, who know how to listen to others: That’s the kind of Dark Shadows fans who can understand a relief-series.

“Obsessive Dark Shadows fans try The Pit and give up. They argue with me about pairings. They claim it’s all based on my decisions. They completely ignore that The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows is also about The Addams Family, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, The Munsters, Bewitched and Clue, as well as a slew of others. Not only do those shows help the daytime-drama, the fans of those shows tend to delight in The Pit rather than railing against it. They get it and they’re far more helpful than the droves of Dark Shadows ‘fans’ I’ve encountered.”

The main sorrow is there are those who do love The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows but don’t know how to express it. They can’t remember how to say what made them laugh aloud or get misty, what Captain Gregg or Morticia scenes held their intrigue.

“No one writes letters anymore.” I’m going to go out on a limb for profanity in declaring that this statement is complete bullshit.

I began writing letters and really got into doing so in the late 1980’s. People were already saying that BS statement when I began corresponding with pen pals all over the continent, as well as overseas. It was said throughout the 1990’s, 2000’s and now in our current 2010’s. People write letters still. It’s a human pace that is important to imbibing information properly. Contemplative discussion. This is the best way to learn.

And like anything else? If you are having a hard time getting started? Find a children’s version. I could never have French braided my own hair for my wedding day if I didn’t do that.

There are also videos on youtube! We couldn’t have fixed our toilet if it wasn’t for that!

“I’m busy.” The only people I believe who say that are those who tell me what they are busy doing. Using social networks doesn’t count. That’s not busy. That’s being addicted. I’ve discovered plenty of articles online about this addiction and many commentators thanking the writers of these articles with their own confessions. All admit the same thing, “I stopped using it and suddenly I had a ton of time on my hands!”

Me too.

The last excuse is, “I’m lazy…” Hmm… That’s not likely a good habit to get into. Example: Would you repeat this to a potential employer? Even someone whose kids you’re babysitting?

As for me… it’s a hot day! I feel useless but I’m not. Got through a few email messages, dishwasher got filled up, preparing lists for things to get done, including commenting on fanwork I do find pleasing, gatherings to attend in future, missive to a lonely friend like me, and getting my hair done at some point. (The lightening is finished and I’m starting to resemble a very freshly bleached David J. or Nick Rhodes right now. I’m not sure which…)

As for married life? Yes, the love keeps going and the passion is thriving! I must continue to thank this couple for blessing us with such a marvelous change. ❤

2016 Program Smooch

And if you don’t like that or want to argue with me about it? Argue with this Klingon about his sense of Honour first:

Worf2

If you wear him down, I’ll contemplate another useless discussion about how Barnabas & Maggie “don’t work”. They healed our marriage. That’s proof enough to me that they work extremely well and with her father’s blessing. 🙂

At Last! Working On Episode 16

(((deep breath)))

 

Yes… last night I opened a bottle of wine and got cracking. I have the bland version of Episode 16 melded together with all the voices. Since I started doing all the voices separately it’s taken a whole lot longer to splice together a proper episode of The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. I’m really pleased with the opening, even though I think a misty, weepy Hecubus is kind of doofus, but the point is that our boys are disappointed in not getting a polite Angelique yet.

Feels good though to get back to work. I’ve been in a lot of pain for the last week from an injury and audio work was out of the question. I didn’t have the title announced for the episode so I did that first and I did it loudly and very determined sounding. The actual episode title kind of came out a little British or a little Barnabas, I’m not sure which, ha ha!

Fighting the Facebook addiction is hard. I’m sure I did some dumb-ass crap last night, but hopefully everyone over there knows I drink, I get stressed out, I get wildly-creative in bizarre ways, and Facebook gives me the jitters anyway.

Oh, guess what, everyone! My husband and I watched… a MOVIE! I haven’t watched a film other than “Clue” for years. (And oddly, I miss watching “Clue”, which is great considering it’s part of my job. Yay!) However, I did have to take breaks because my focus is poor for something not intensely Pit related. But I did it! And I think I was able to do it because there is a *sliver* of the previous movie in The Pit. You know in Episode 8: A Long Awaited Trip To The Passion-Pit, where I dedicate it to Tony & Carolyn, “’Cause they’re so hawt right now!”? That is so obviously quoting Mugatu from “Zoolander”. So, we watched “Zoolander 2”. Got all the way through it. Busted our guts over Neil deGrasse Tyson being in there and his lines!

Zoolander 2

So I went to youtube and found where someone had taken his clips. Sooooo damn funny! I remember throwing it all over the place on Facebook last night. Ah… weird network, weird stress, weird joke. But so hilarious. But I swear some really idiotic people are online these days. There was this long, stupid argument under the youtube video that had nothing to do with the clip. None of the other commentators seemed at all aware the clip was from “Zoolander 2” either. I’m starting to re-learn how to ignore stuff like that, but it’s so prevalent now. I find it disturbing.

I’ve also come to accept that a lot of the fans of my work are fairly empty-headed. The lack of conversational skills is just remarkably ludicrous. I’m not sure these people were always that way, either. I think the new technology sets people into a regressive state of intelligence. It’s too easy for almost anyone to use, so people get lazier and lazier until they practically become illiterate. (Makes one wonder why fan-fiction is so popular now. It’s reading, you know?) So I’ve decided to just call the dopey people poking me with like-clicks and saying incomprehensible things my groupies. Sets my mind to rest to look at it in that light.

SO! Ya-da-ya-da-ya-da. Life sucks with the tech addictions and losing peeps, but here we are in a relatively nice place, and relatively nice life. It’s so nice shutting off Facebook and just sitting outside, smelling the nature, listening to the birds and crickets. And music!

Actually I had to add a crickets sound effect to the first scene of Episode 16. The boys went on so long I ran out of “My Name Is Victoria Winters” music! Plus I think it was the old version I had rather than the cleaner one from the Dark Shadows music collection. I just said, “Oh, who cares? So a record pop is in there. Big deal.”

I listened to a lot of the rest of it today while I was walking to get me and my sweetie some sandwiches. That’s when I noticed that although the episode is currently about 55 minutes, there are soooooo many long silences between all the characters lines that I’m going to have to shave a lot of seconds off in between. And that shall make it shorter. Hurray!

I feel so bad for Maggie, though. She’s really pissed off. As Josette, but not with all the goodies in memory yet, she is also acclimating to two or three previous life-times? She gets to be reminded what Angelique did to her as regards to Jeremiah. NOT a happy girl. So not happy. I was worried the angry growling wouldn’t sound enough like her, but it does.

When I got home and listened to more on the porch, I noticed almost all the voice work is great (Hawkeye is always a tender point, mind you.) , but I’m not happy with Wadsworth’s lines. He’s repeating a lot of things from “Clue” as far as what he says in his lines, but it doesn’t sound like how he says it in the film. I think I’m going to have to do some of his voice-work over again. However I sure got a big smile on my face when he brings himself to quoting, from hearing it via Elizabeth Stoddard, the words of Bill Malloy. Really made me smile, and also Sam Evans stepping in to say it was good to hear Bill quoted. Very heart-warming.

Willie meets sarah again

Willie’s lines are deeply remarkable to me. I’m glad I worked on this episode in the writing so long. I really had time to research everyone quite thoroughly to make sure it all blended well with their known pasts. I might have to raise the pitch on Sarah’s voice, but overall it’s quite nice.

Another thing I noticed was that I seem to give Julia a very, very slight English leaning. This is good because when she is opposite Hawkeye the pitch is so similar to his that her having that vague English lilt separates them more evenly.

Of course, I’ve got the irritation that a large percentage of my struggles have been due to this Julia/Barnabas nonsense. As I’ve said before, it never occurred to me to put them together as a romantic pair. She had a crush, but a strong woman like that could obviously get over it, whether she’s doing great acts of heroism or not. Plus it’s nice to find out that much of that was Grayson Hall being bored and adding her longing looks at Barnabas as something interesting to add to her character.

troi riker

Hell, Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis did that to each other for Riker and Troi! The difference is there was a romantic relationship between Riker and Troi. The two actors, as Sirtis has explained on Mission Log, wouldn’t allow the relationship to die. It was a mutual consideration Frakes and Sirtis put together. And as it happens, Riker & Troi came back into being a romantic couple with “Star Trek: Insurrection.” (One of my favourites.) Whereas with Grayson Hall it was one-sided.

I didn’t know there was so very much Julia/Barnabas stuff going on, nor that it was such a big barrier between me and my fans; them being afraid to speak up for Maggie/Barnabas for fear of getting attacked. (((rolls eyes))) We’re all behind keyboards and screens. Say whatever the Hell you want to, drunk or sober. All the a—holes do it! Why let them get away with it? Say something about what you enjoy, people. Gonna make me quote Auntie Mame in a minute…

But as I watched Dark Shadows, along with dozens of other shows, to create The Pit, I could see a relationship for Dr. Hoffman with a lot of potential: Her and Professor Stokes. And you can tell in The Pit that it’s going down that direction. Mrs. Johnson has already told her buddy, Sophia Petrillo, that the guy is a dreamboat. And frankly, he is! ❤

julia and eliot forever

I’m very much looking forward to working with them as a couple, and I’ve been dying to do it for years. Barnabas makes Maggie laugh. Eliot can get Julia to laugh, and happily. Never saw that with her and Barnabas. She often seemed to laugh with a sneer at Barnabas, or scoff, just irritable with the guy. Plus I’ve been in Barnabas/Maggie Land so long it would be hellza nice to concentrate on another couple, as well as Tony & Carolyn for Episode 17!

Carolyn and Tony

It’s stuff I’d like to talk about in a podcast, too. Gosh, Carolyn & Tony? Even the demo of their drive-in movie date would propel me on walks to work. I was so excited for them. I just felt like, “Yes! This is working and they’re so awesome!” It really started to lift my Anhedonia. I was starting to feel again. And they were the first couple I was worried about. (The Anhedonia truly lifted with the song for Sarah in Episode 10, though. The thrill of listening to music came back, thank God! And Sarah Collins. ❤ )

Victoria picked Peter and that made sense so I just ran with it. Maggie as the reincarnation of Josette was obvious and I was sick of Barnabas whining and Maggie not settling with anyone. I used to lean toward Willie/Maggie but I watched her more and saw she wasn’t digging Willie in that way either. It was a little disappointing but I respected her take on the situation. (Especially after seeing James Hall as Willie… Keeeeeeee—riste! Sleeeeeeeeeeeaze-buckets, man! Ugh! Talk about nayyyyyyy-stayyyyy! Boy did I want Burke to wail on him. Sadly, by the time he did, it was John Karlen as Willie. Poopycakes!)

So Willie? Who would suit him? Well there IS this peripheral character, very peripheral, but he’s staying at Wyndcliff so damn long. A nurse could handle him and love it. I noticed her on DS Annotations when Dr. Hoffman said, “Thank you, Miss Jackson…” and the word bubble came up, “That’s Janet… unless you’re nasty!” Inspiration time! And I definitely picture her as that actress and not the previous one for Nurse Jackson. (Though it was kinda neat because the previous actress was briefly in “Ghostbusters”.)

Then we get to Hoffman/Stokes. It’s so exciting and fun. Plus I’ve met more people who absolutely adore Thayer David, possibly even more than I do! Really something. (People calling him “ugly” are shallow. Never heard so much grade-school nonsense in my life.) I didn’t think pairing them up would be such a massive production, but they deserve it, as well as each other. Two intellectuals staying up nights together having a drink and musing over occult tomes and treatment protocols, along with dashing delights at each other. What bliss! Definitely my cup of tea. Really looking forward to that.

And the other couples, too. Willie & Cora (the first name I came up with for Nurse Jackson). A lot of Willie lovers can just pretend they are her. I do myself sometimes. (Yes, I rather Mary Sue myself with Willie Loomis, ha ha!) Then Elizabeth and her long-lost love. That brings so much intrigue. B-u-t… Angelique/Quentin. It’s a long, long, long way off but it scares me. It truly scares me. They’re so vicious! I’ve pictured it easily enough. It gets rather violent! (Okay, there goes the ice-cream man. His music lightens my mood.) I keep picturing Roger as a bachelor, I’m afraid. Kinda like Sam and Wadsworth remaining widowers who are faithful to their late wives memories. I used to dream of redeeming Laura somehow for Roger, but I think that’s a lost cause. Now that I get to know her better she seems hopeless. (I adore the 2012 movie Laura, though.)

Ah, couples, couples, couples, and we’re nowhere near Valentine’s Day.

Oh, good. I did put in the echoes for Caleb’s laughter. Really good scene between him and Maggie. There is a lot of supernatural commonality, as well as a release from shyness. Maggie could be shy, but not often now. She knows too much. And Caleb was a recluse that finally snapped.

As for me, I keep praying the world comes back into one of more reason. When I look over some websites it appears as though there are a lot of people who are fed-up with being recluses themselves, or just sick of creating gatherings where no one shows up because members are aloofly clicking buttons and being thoughtless. The timidity is quite ridiculous and all that does is allow the loonies and haters to run the show. Just ridiculous. Much like the waste of human life because people are too busy looking at their screens while they drive. (((shudder)))

But for those who are my silent listeners, either feeling bad or feeling defensive that I’ve pointed out how obnoxious the behavior is… well, I’m a fairly forgiving sort of person, you know. I get tempers like most people, but as Automne Archer related in her interview, sometimes you shake the bottle too much and then it’s going to burst. You have to let the person calm down on their own. You can’t force them to calm down.

And I’m loving the letters, and emails. I really am. So for all who correspond with me, and don’t hide that they’re reading or listening, it makes such a big difference. I still drink, but these last few weeks it’s been a great deal less than I got used to in the last three years. Always remember when you keep in touch you make a big difference. Really. You do. ❤

Pit Update June 2016

June Update Cover 03

 

Most of this was created Monday 6 June 2016. I felt the need to address a lot of the high stress going on. As well as some healing, personally.

There is also a short rant or two for those who enjoy my rants. (I know there are some who do!) Discussion of why sharing files everywhere and buck-passing didn’t work.

More in-depth explanations of how the attention-spans have diminished over the years in so many people, as well as the problems with social media and how I am combating those and have done.

Updates on Pit construction as well as the marriage novel, including some past observations. Solid addressing of why the output for both have diminished, which may not be for the reasons one would think.

Fun stuff about how I and others create more authentic fanwork by dismissing poor advice and following our intuition about it. I go into a little of what I did with the Sailor Moon fanfiction that I wrote in the late 1990’s.

*Most Important*: How my audience can develop a healthy relationship with me for the good of us both. Too much that has happened promotes paranoia on either side and it would be much better if you follow the advice I give in this podcast about it. (i.e. If you listen to this podcast and write to me please address that you listened. I don’t have time for any more random and inane babbling from listening and trying to address these issues while denying you listened. Thank you!)

And, of course, some consideration for two 50th Anniversaries coming up: Dark Shadows and… The Monkees! Enjoy. ^_^

the-monkees-good-times-cover-art-final-1200x1200

Pit Update 2016 (podomatic link)

Pit Update June 2016 (podbay link)

Pit Update June 1016 (archive.org link)

[And yes, there are tracks behind my voice by Oasis from the album “Standing On The Shoulders of Giants”, which I believe is very fitting! 😛 ]

Pit Update May 2016

 

blue whale with green border

 

For the people out there who want to talk, who want more, who love The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows: This is for you.

Don’t listen thinking, “This will get people moving.” No. It’s for you the listener: The fan, the one who wants to be engaged and interactive. I hope it helps. Good luck.

 

audio links below:

podomatic link

podbay link

archive.org link Continue reading