Pit Update October 2016

oct-update

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pit Update October 2016 (podomatic link)

Pit Update October 2016 (podbay link)

Pit Update October 2016 (archive.org link)

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Background music for this podcast:

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

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

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

“Lament” – Assemblage 23 (2004)

“Cathedral of Death” -Autopsia (1993)

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

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and?

Happy Halloween!

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Working On Episode 16 (& other fun news)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

backgammon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Att. Twist of what?

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

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

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

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

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

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

language-of-flowers

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

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

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

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

Pit Update August 2016

update august 2016

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

podomatic link here

podbay link here

archive dot org link here

Also available on iTunes

Is The Nightmare Over Yet?

Not sure…

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

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

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

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

logo-collage-five

You matter.

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

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

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

did IQs just drop sharply while I was away ALIENS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No. We don’t.

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

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

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

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

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

Dear dad who the hell is Julia Hoffman.gif

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

Melissas first Pit review.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

I know which way I’m choosing. 🙂

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. ❤

As The World Falls Down and I Fall In Love With Willie Loomis

As 2005 crept out of existence, I worked on my book, and some disturbing things happened that prevented the electricity in my room from working if I turned on my computer. I had just started a new therapy job in order to try and understand anything about humanity I might have been missing for my writing.

As it turned out this job taught me many things about my life that were ineffably wrong with it. And unfortunately, I couldn’t continue the work on my book. It had diabolically been taken from me. I tried to make due, but a sadness crept into my life and I discovered a type of depression I don’t see expressed very often: Anhedonia. Anhedonia encompasses a troubling problem that can express certain emotions but not actually feel them. So in order to make due I went the Roger and Naomi Collins route and drank… very heavily. It was the only way to cope. Black Velvet Whiskey bottles stayed in my closet and went into recycling at regular intervals, and what with the awful Jason McGuire style parent I was living with, sometimes this drinking was needed just to stay warm in the winter, as much of the heat was turned off for billing purposes.

I had to find a way out. Meanwhile I kept watching Dark Shadows, and couldn’t figure out why this Barnabas bastard was so loved. He was doing terrible things, but I maintained in my mind the coffee shop sequence between him and Maggie Evans that was one of the sweetest parts I’d ever witnessed. (And also mentioned in Kathryn Leigh Scott’s writings.) A nice quiet moment away from so much of the troubles.

coffee shop

“Why didn’t he just ask her?” I kept questioning. Why didn’t he explain what he was feeling? Why not just tell her, “Maybe, it’s you…”? And, as my logical mind kept reeling at me:

“BECAUSE IT’S A SOAP OPERA, YOU FOOL!” 

And as my Anhedonia got worse and the drinking madness ensued, I eventually found my way into a better life, though it took over a year, and felt like five. I looked for housing on Craigslist, where I’d found my job, and discovered a place that no one likely would look for due to the expense. And I found it, and I live there now. It was different, it was what we needed. And though this Anhedonia has ruined my enjoyment of life I was hoping someday things would improve.

After the year had elapsed that my significant other wanted before we might marry, I took hold of this possible happiness and created the means to make it occur. Because of my Anhedonia, I barely enjoyed my wedding day at all. I can vicariously enjoy it through memory, now that I have the emotions back to achieve it. And…

We kept watching Dark Shadows…

I had switched to brandy as my means of support, since Dr. Watson always seemed to call for it on the 1980’s Thames version of “Sherlock Holmes”.  As it turns out any alcohol made from a fruit has better effects on me than any made from a grain, so I’ve held on to that knowledge in this life. Eventually I learned to deviate from hard liquor, to Jaegermeister, then to port and finally to wine and cider. When we had enough friends we devised a party plan on a monthly basis called “Ghost Story Night” in which everyone invited would try and tell a ghost story as the lights were dim, candles burned, and we all chuckled riotously. Of course this didn’t last, but it was sometimes very beautiful while it did. Art Bell’s Halloween version of Coast To Coast, “Ghost To Ghost” made this much more interesting.

If anyone is wondering this was about the time I wrote “Bloody Mary’s Delight”.

And still… we kept watching Dark Shadows…

The “Ghost Story Night” fizzled as friends moved away and relationships soured, so our social life dwindled.

As we kept watching Dark Shadows, I kept taking notes in a possible effort solve all their problems and an old idea I had as a wee one came to me. What if, since all these story lines are lifted from old gothic stories, we could introduce new gothic characters into the mix, with all their lightheartedness? It would make sense, right? Especially since there were so many spooky shows in the 1960’s later on in the evening that had kind hearts and easier problems to solve.

I loved the film “Clue” dearly and wanted to see Wadsworth, the butler (not in the original board game) make a comeback and be a good guy, and I didn’t believe that whole “This is what REALLY happened” ending. In the theatrical release the different endings were viewed in different theaters, so only on the video release of “Clue” was Wadsworth placed as the “bad guy”.

No, I said, he’s not bad. All he said about blackmail and trying to help everyone was likely true. And “Clue” happened in 1954, so reaching him to 1968/1969 won’t be too much of a stretch. As the Clue script expresses, “He is a butler. He is dressed like a butler. He has the manner of a butler. Even when he opens the gates all alone he does so with the demeanour of a butler. His name is WADSWORTH.” Yes, this is the man for our ever stolid and woeful vampire.

barn and wads

By the end of 2011 I had the beginning of the series, but not sure where to put it. Still, I kept on writing. I added Slimer and the parapsychologists from Poltergeist, who I wanted to see again. I found fanfiction.net and finally figured out how to post things, but didn’t know much about the site or how to use it or what the etiquette issues might be, try as I might to find them. I worried that changing anything, including the summary would alter the date posting of when I started. So I left them alone.

2012

Then the Dark Shadows movie came out, and as much as I knew it was happening and was excited at what we might see, after the fact I viewed much hostility from both pro and con fans. Many complained about all the fish-out-of-water scenarios and I thought to myself, “WHAT? I could have taken MORE of those!” It always irritated me how quickly Barnabas adapted to 1967 from the vantage point of 1795. There OUGHT to have been more.

But what I really hated, in the original program was. however many times Josette fell off of Widows Hill, Barnabas would pull back with this “Oh dear” stupidity. “You’re a VAMPIRE, you jack-ass, and you love her! JUMP!” I’d scream.

And in the film… what happened? Did he jump? YES! He jumped… TWICE!

Something in this fandom was finally changing. Though online you could hardly guess. The hostility in this First World problem sought brutality with any disagreement. So? I signed into the forum on the website: “Willie Loomis Saves Collinsport” and at LAST I got some decent people to discuss it with who knew their onions.

willie loomis saves collinsport

They discussed it civilly and knowledgeably. But then, of course, online changes made my discussion in this forum impossible so I couldn’t re-join for their help. “I suppose I’m on my own now,” I reasoned.

I kept taking notes while watching and worked on my series. I’d written 3 episodes and then watched another spooky show with a very sweet heart and understood who I could use to alter the death of Sam Evans and why. (The Ghost & Mrs. Muir.)

 In 2013 the story grew, and grew with an ignited passion. Everything WAS changing along the story-line. It was what I’d meant to do. Still, I got no reviews but I was more worried about making those changes. However, my social world kept dwindling to a bare fizzle and the balance in my life began sucking this project into the only purpose I had left. My pen pal encouraged me to stay strong. I got one reviewer and I went from writing an episode a month to writing four in the month of October.

Then I got the hang of the traffic graph and did a double take… Wait… THIS many people have been reading my story for months and MONTHS? And they didn’t speak UP? Umm… something is REALLY wrong here. So I began looking over what other people were doing. There was dialogue in the reviews, but for some reason not with my story, which I can’t boast but simply observe is DAMN funny and GOOD work. What the hell was going on with these people? And I knew it couldn’t be some Ugly American problem as it was across the globe, too. What the hell? They could have been helping me feed this thing? But what the heck? They didn’t share their laughter as I saw in so many other humourous stories on that site? What’s with THIS B.S.? 

Soon enough I worked out the Willie Loomis issue in episode 13 I’d been waiting on because I was discovering that He and I, along with many other characters, shared too much in common. In my lack of sleep, the Muse gave me the solution that Willie and Wadsworth knew each other already, considering Willie’s empty past. At five in the morning this Muse forced me from trying to sleep more and made me write their first scene together. Along with a lot of other problems I was solving, I was very pleased with how it turned out.

Then I got to episode 14, thinking, okay, I’ve worked out that Willie problem, I’ve tried very hard to get his character down. I’ve even filled in the plot-hole about the bullet wounds no one else has done that I saw. And the cane scene about it was scary to come to terms with and write. Now? I have to hear SOMETHING from these takers.

No… I didn’t.

I waited a week. Nothing. I waited longer. Still nothing.

Young Willie

No… I thought, passionately… I love Willie Loomis now… I’ve made him at least understand what was happening in Collinsport. I struggled with him so hard, and all you empty dots on the traffic graph want is to see him crazy, and hurt and injured and suffering… No I said to myself. I don’t understand what’s going on in the world now. I went to the market and saw so many people zombie-like buying their groceries in an uncaring, busy way.

What can I do to keep this man I fell in love with? What can I do to keep my dates and stats at fanfiction.net? The proof I’d been there and tried so hard to make all these people better? So I replaced my story with chunks of it and explained why I was doing it. Ever since that time there was no response, except from Helena Clara Bouchet who does way too much reviewing and helps almost everyone and has enough on her own plate to even bother with that. No, this is not fair.

It IS better than what I saw happen there between 2004-2007, but still it’s not right. As my pen pals have said, no, this IS wrong.

So, I did the deed, turned on the song I gave Willie Loomis at the end of my 14th episode (“Sunshine Superman” by Donovan) and was liberated. And that morning… in all my visualizing skill… that man… and I… danced! ^_^

Sunshine Superman = Willie Loomis

And, though you may have seen this episode elsewhere, I shall share it on this blog for the first time, now that the story of my love-affair beginning with Willie Loomis has been told.

Episode 14

Episode 14 (podomatic link)

Episode 14 (podbay link)

Episode 14 (archive.org link)

Episode 14 (textual script link)

Welcome back, Willie. Hope I did you some justice.

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