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! 😛 ]

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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.

The Promise of What Praise Can Do “Margaret Josette Dupres (A Novel)” [Note 9]

more b and w

All right, my readers. Back to this. I’ve been in such a creeped out, science-fiction mood by all the tech addictions, folks being programmed to stalk me (as well as each other,) and people wandering around putting “follows” on everything I do rather than just saying, “I liked this, this and this in your 14th Episode,” so we can move on to Episode 15, etc. I feel the need to try and focus on something positive.

Now where were we?

Ohhhhh, yeah. The Widows Hill love affair. That blew me away. I just thought, “Well, where else are you two up for making new memories to wipe out that bad stuff? A-ha! The big one!”

Chapter 18: A Warm Night On Widows Hill

This actually starts off with a sequence of Carolyn Stoddard and Tony Peterson making out with a glimpse of what our star couple is doing nearby. It’s always nice to gravitate to the first couple that I worried about on Dark Shadows. Of course they get distracted because Barnabas and Maggie (as Josette) are clearly having a trysting that is more intimate than Tony & Carolyn themselves. They decide to find another bench so all may enjoy the evening as privately as possible.

Let’s hit this old review from Osheen I love on the T-rated version:

Osheen Nevoy chapter __ Feb 4, 2014
Nice to see Carolyn and Tony Peterson together! I always feel that poor ol’ Tony deserves more attention than he gets … he does rather get sidelined once Jerry Lacy takes on the mantle of playing the repellent Trask family! Anyway, good to see him and Carolyn having a bit of fun, without angst, misunderstandings, and/or vampires and witches getting in the way. And cleansing Widow’s Hill is a great concept – extremely brave on the part of our hero and heroine, of course, so it just shows how, in this case, love really does conquer all. I wonder if this will make the Widows stop wailing and causing trouble!

That is just gold because it was exactly what I was shooting for. She knows the characters and she knows the score. I would say the Widows would go from wailing to having a good “Oh, my!” giggle for a change. ❤

myhrr chapter 18 . May 6, 2014

wonderful…as always!

Thank you!

Helena Clara Bouchet chapter 18 . May 6, 2014

Oh, what a brilliant idea for them. Widow’s Hill was that place of devastation for them. I believe that their lovemaking twenty feet from the cliff to be what they needed in their case in order to fade out what happened there almost 200 years before. It was also sweet to have Tony and Carolyn to be eyewitnesses to these “ravenous” lovers, and I found it interesting that Carolyn was glad that Josette/ Maggie entered the picture with reference to the weird relationship between her and Barnabas through vampirism (creepy as it is). I hope this is a healing factor for them. Very nice, Daryl 😉

And thank you again. Mostly what I’ve gotten is private discussion about this chapter, but yes, Helena says it straight. A healing factor indeed.

With Chapter 19: A Delicate Splendour, it was a race home to escape the previous tryst outdoors. Would there be more? Not as one might think. It’s more in the realm of “after-play” which I really hadn’t seen before in what romantic stories I delved into. Very often a couple may just go to sleep, or move away from each other as if the experience was a wipe out or needs to be discarded like finishing a film. I hear tell not a lot of folks know of this “after-play” experience in love. Gosh! No wonder the world of romance has dwindled! Then again people who do know about this are rather too busy engaging in it so we don’t hear from them much. 😉

As it happens there is discussion during this scene in Josette’s bedroom, about what Maggie’s existence with so many different memories is like for her. In my first draft I actually did get a critique I needed because originally Josette expressed the love would have been as wonderful if they had been married in 1795. My friend objected that she thought it wouldn’t, and it dawned on me she was very right. The reincarnation and conquering tragedies to reach each other almost two centuries later? That is what made it more spectacular. This was the kind of critique that was extremely helpful. Sadly many have drawn the conclusion about what constructive criticism is, believing it to be pointing out flaw after flaw to the result being that flaws are all the eye will search for. This really achieves nothing but the creator feeling her efforts are futile. However, when a good point is made regarding the depth of the characters? That is helpful. And so the change was made. 🙂

Helena Clara Bouchet chapter 19 . May 9, 2014

This was a beautifully-written chapter from Barnabas’ point of view. It’s nice to know that he could express his desire through the written word. Cool 🙂 (I wonder if Willie was getting complaints about the couple’s unavailability? 😉 )

Ah, yes. There is a little interruption on their way up the stairs by Willie who can’t get them to listen. He has good news, but realizes they’re at it again and it can wait. He’s got a gal of his own so he’s been quite understanding.

 katie chapter 19 . May 9, 2014

Beautifully written! You captured the passion of 200 years, while letting Barnabas remain the charming gentleman that is his true nature.

Thank you! It is very much what I saw when going over most of the program. Just finding a point to jump in and rearrange the variables for an upswing.

It used to puzzle, annoy and anger me to see stuff written about Barnabas Collins where supposed fans just don’t get him at all. It makes me feel as if I’m reading a Star Trek article that is gung-ho about Captain Jean-Luc Picard, only to discover the fan is intensely irritable about Picard’s love for Shakespeare or his playing Dixon Hill. Nowadays I find it sadly hilarious. Barnabas Collins pining for his lost-love? Okay, I’ve grown up on Edgar Allan Poe: “Boo-hoo, the lost Lenore…” I can dig it. In fact, I’ve been wanting to re-investigate some of Poe’s romantic work. It’s rather reminiscent of Barnabas and no wonder: Dark Shadows is based on the classics.

“Wretches, ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride,

And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her—that she died!

How shall the ritual, then, be read? the requiem how be sung

By you—by yours, the evil eye,—by yours, the slanderous tongue

That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?”

Hmm! Poe’s “Lenore”. Seems rather familiar here. Although many fans just hate Josette because she’s pretty.

Now back to the fun.

Chapter 20: Willie Toilet Papers Collinwood

Yes, you read that correctly! I had this sticky note clinging to our tea-cabinet that would remind me I really wanted to see Willie Loomis and Nurse Jackson TP The Great House. I wanted it for the radio drama but I had to hold-off for a long time to figure out why the audience was so blasted speechless. So the note kept looming for Mr. Loomis. And when this novel took over, I was still loving Willie and I thought, “Just write it like he’s remembering it and telling someone.” (Truth be told I needed a hard cider to get started. ha ha)

Nurse Jackson is about as close to a combo of original character and peripheral Dark Shadows character as I’ve had to ever flesh out. (Caleb Collins was easier as he has a lot of back-history and I understand ghosts and Victoriana.) I mainly recalled Nurse Jackson taking care of Willie Loomis when Barnabas and Dr. Hoffman go to retrieve him from Wyndcliff. It wasn’t much but I’m still working on her. No first name, so for a while I just called her “Jackie”, but then knowing Willie’s love of jewels I found it would be a delight to give her a gem stone name. Currently I’ve decided on Cora as shortened from Coral, which is a gem of the sea and not the most precious or expensive, but for Mr. Loomis? Perfect. (However I’ll manage her better in the third draft of this novel, I’m sure.)

Willie pretty

With Willie’s habits of making trouble to either get attention or from being so exposed to it socially in his past, the solution I see for him is a lady with the ability to appreciate his mischievous side and encourage more innocent versions of mischief. Would not a nurse understand him? I believe she would!

However, for a romantic novel? Toilet papering the roof led to other things. ❤

myhrr chapter 20 . May 14, 2014

Aww! Willie and his lady’s unbridled passion made me smile. Warmed the cockles of my heart it did!

Me too!

Ms. Karen Trask chapter 20 . May 14, 2014

I really enjoyed reading this. I was there with them as they enjoyed hurling the toilet paper over the side. They probably could hear me laughing along with them. I enjoyed hearing Willie describe his adventure with Josette/Maggie and really got the sense that they were friends and cared about each other. As to the lovemaking, it was great to hear Willie struggling to explain how it felt/he felt about being close to someone. As always at the end, I wanted to hear more about Willie’s adventure.

Nice story!

Yay! I actually got lucky with this one. There was a group page in which pornography was being discussed and the lady who wrote this review had asked, “What’s wrong with porn?” So I jumped in as I’d just posted this chapter and asked, “Hey! Wanna review my Willie Loomis porn?” Sometimes we just gotta be blatant, right?

Helena Clara Bouchet chapter 20 . May 14, 2014

I’m waiting for Elizabeth to find out and rant against Roger for allowing the toliet papering party to happen now 🙂 Willie has a companion to finally be with him. Although he called her Josette, I’m wondering if it was the Maggie part that was really enjoying his escapade. But then again, Josette was loosening up with port. This was a good Willie chapter, and I’m looking forward to more on the new couple 🙂

Me too. I’ve been working on Barnabas/Josette so long it really would be nice to get back to the other couples. And I must laugh with this idea Helena waits for. Elizabeth getting home and possibly seeing the toilet paper and declaring, “Roger Collins! I can see you’ve let the winds of indulgence overrule any common sense!”

Veritas chapter 20 . May 14, 2014

Aww Willie loves! I so looked forward to this chapter and now that I’ve read it I’m looking for more! This was so beautiful.

This girl is gonna be so good for him! I knew that if he got the right girl things would start looking up for him, and here she is!

I love that he finally called her Josette. After Barnabas and all his shenanigans what with the kidnapping and frantic obsession, you’d think Willie would either want to throttle someone or jump from Widow’s Hill if and when he heard it again.

So so soooo much love for this! Keep going!

I do aim to. It’s so wonderful to see kindred spirits coming out. I know these reviews are two years old and I am receiving some new ones which I love, but as I say I needed to focus on something positive today.

My husband and I are celebrating 23 years as a couple together this weekend. And no, it doesn’t make me feel old, it makes me feel good to see, after all our own struggles, here we are still, and so much better thanks to this creation and all the loving support for it.

Darkest blessings to all here.

leaning in over banister new

Peace.

 

Episode 15: Intro With Automne Archer

Intro to 15

 

Lurch’s harpsichord entreats our venture toward a new avenue of this radio drama. The troubles collide and the gratitude extends in name and detail. So much celebration to be had between our faithful listeners who speak, and then? Our Addams Family prodigy reveals why she adores The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, as well as the golden age of cinema.

Discussion in the appreciation of canon, romance, fandom interests, emotional fortitude, our deeper meaning, exploration, friendship, Facebook disconnect, character study, and who we are.

Four alternatives to Facebook and its “Instant God”. Why correspondence is important and the donation account details:

https://www.patreon.com/darylwor

Explanations about knee-jerk reactions from people who can’t see past fanfiction in “text” and never understand this project equates to major effort and money for bills to the post office, podomatic, archive donations, DVD extras, research books, moral support, and the drive for a higher purpose of being.

(By the way, Lurch’s harpsichord is actually from a piece that Emilie Autumn performed to celebrate “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life” from Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian” film. Also the ending clip song is by Nada Surf’s “I Remembered What I Was Going To Say”, which metaphorically works better than I could imagine since I believe many are wanting to tell me what they like but forgot how. So that’s my nod to where I’m lifting goodies. i.e. if you like them go and BUY THEM! ^_^ )

I realize some of you who aren’t downloading my show from iTunes need different links so you can choose what is easier. Here they are for this podcast. (Some people call it a broadcast which I love because I am essentially doing a radio show. Good, good!)

Ep. 15 Intro archive dot org link

Ep. 15 Intro podbay link

Ep 15. Intro podomatic link

Any other help you need? Please send me a message: xoiscythe@hotmail.com Thanks and take care!

_____________________________________

For listeners who prefer iTunes please go here.

The Journey Continues… for the characters and myself…

Looking at how long I’ve struggled with this project, from 2010-now, but mainly 2012 to 2015, I’ve had to recognize things I had no knowledge of, however much I hunted and gathered all the information and needed help. When I found that traffic graph in 2013, figuring out what it meant I looked over months of silent readers and was completely stunned. That’s when the grief cycle began. I use the old model for the five stages even though many of us are aware that those stages are not absolute. Some patterns are added or two will be weaved in. So, all of that hard work and laughter and I’m hearing nothing for ages from a silent audience?

“Denial is the first of the five stages of grief. It helps us to survive the loss. In this stage, the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense. We are in a state of shock and denial. We go numb. We wonder how we can go on, if we can go on, why we should go on. We try to find a way to simply get through each day. Denial and shock help us to cope and make survival possible. Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief.”

I’ve held on to this denial for some time now. It doesn’t make sense to me nor any of my newest supporters that so damned many people could enjoy my work and not want to express that with more than being a number, a like-clicker, or just a lurker. People share they’re work, in most cases, for communication on it, unless they’re out to make money. Fanwork usually makes no profit whatsoever. It can’t. The only gain is the knowledge of what was enjoyed.

People who enjoy anything in the arts and entertainment like to discuss what they enjoy with someone else. Pen pals express their hobbies and favourites in streams, as well as who they are. Why? Because they’re looking for those of like-mind they will get along with and enjoy the discourse of letter-writing with. (Some people are happy with the idea of “friendship” and that solely, which is why social networks provide the lazy-style of comfort they need for approval. They can simply assume who cares and who that person is. The rest of us don’t work that way.)

With this my stage of denial still lingers even now. How could you not want to discuss what I’m creating with me? As my newest friend has stated, “It’s natural to want to talk to someone or express what was enjoyed. What is wrong with these people?”


“Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal. There are many other emotions under the anger and you will get to them in time, but anger is the emotion we are most used to managing. The truth is that anger has no limits. It can extend not only to your friends, the doctors, your family, yourself and your loved one who died, but also to God. You may ask, “Where is God in this? Underneath anger is pain, your pain. It is natural to feel deserted and abandoned, but we live in a society that fears anger. Anger is strength and it can be an anchor, giving temporary structure to the nothingness of loss. At first grief feels like being lost at sea: no connection to anything… The anger becomes a bridge over the open sea, a connection from you to them. It is something to hold onto; and a connection made from the strength of anger feels better than nothing.We usually know more about suppressing anger than feeling it. The anger is just another indication of the intensity of your love.”

I think my rants and aggravation has been seen many times by my readers and listeners. What choice was I left to? No one was helping. No one was showing they cared minus Helena but she stepped in 19 months after that silence happened and we maintain our friendship to this day. She went looking for stories to enjoy and expressed herself naturally. Why bother with something for that long if it doesn’t mean anything to you?

I went to investigate why this happened to me and I found a ton of dirty laundry out there from Dark Shadows fans. It ain’t hidden either. Type in a search engine for pairings of Barnabas/Julia or Barnabas/Angelique and you’ll find plenty of stories that aren’t often true to the characters with many people upset at Barnabas for not being in love with either of these women, or having done them wrong. For Barnabas and Maggie or Josette fans looking and then finding that kind of thing? They’ll have doubt cast on themselves and they’ll also feel badgered and hurt. They won’t want to reach out. They won’t even want to look anymore. In fact, they have to hear this crap from people who approach them. Was finding that out going to piss me off? It sure was! I didn’t pick who Barnabas loved. I looked for a relief series and couldn’t find one. Did I care about who loved who? Only in as much that they weren’t reaching each other on the program. My first hurt was Tony & Carolyn.

carolyn and tony

As far as I am concerned now? They’re fine.

What the hell do I care to throw insults at a miserable vampire for not loving some broad? What mattered to me is he loved Josette, and she him, and I saw Maggie constantly struggling with feeling lost about herself, among other signs. I care about the characters and requited-loves finding harmony in reaching each other. I’m the same with real people.

sam painting gregg

Again, I started all this because of Sam Evans, that was the final straw, but in for a penny in for a pound.

So yes, I’ve been very angry. I’ve been angry at the silence and I’ve been angry at what caused that silence and I’ve been angry at the people perpetuating that behaviour to continue. It took years to find out that fans of this pairing for Barnabas were being kept away from each other in almost the same way as the couple itself. They don’t want to “take-over” or whatever the idea is with so many of the other fans. They want their own small corner of the world to enjoy each others company and heal their hurts together. And that’s been treated like a crime or some world-domination idea. Barnabas and Josette were planning to run away to Boston together. As far as I’m concerned I’d be happy to meet all the fans of this pairing right there! Perhaps a nice little coffee shop out of the way somewhere. (Not a massive crowd of supposed Dark Shadows fans. In the majority for them? I have not been impressed.)


“Before a loss, it seems like you will do anything if only your loved one would be spared. “Please God, ” you bargain, “I will never be angry at my wife again if you’ll just let her live.” After a loss, bargaining may take the form of a temporary truce. “What if I devote the rest of my life to helping others. Then can I wake up and realize this has all been a bad dream?” We become lost in a maze of “If only…” or “What if…” statements. We want life returned to what is was; we want our loved one restored. We want to go back in time: find the tumor sooner, recognize the illness more quickly, stop the accident from happening…if only, if only, if only. Guilt is often bargaining’s companion. The “if onlys” cause us to find fault in ourselves and what we “think” we could have done differently. We may even bargain with the pain. We will do anything not to feel the pain of this loss. We remain in the past, trying to negotiate our way out of the hurt. People often think of the stages as lasting weeks or months. They forget that the stages are responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as we flip in and out of one and then another. We do not enter and leave each individual stage in a linear fashion. We may feel one, then another and back again to the first one.”

Bargaining, if I haven’t gone through this one back and forth? I have no idea what else happened. I have bargained like crazy. I went from rants to apologies to “What will work best for these people?” I care about them and I care about myself. Maybe they only have phones. Well, suggest a smile-face or something. Hmm, well maybe they’re disabled, try other avenues. Maybe I could reach out to fans in the other fandoms. That actually worked quite well! Try other fan work sites. Hmm… okay, well, let’s make the show in audio and make it the best I can, that’ll get people talking. Not really… Care package plan? Better. Let’s try tumblr… whoops! Wow, there’s a WHOLE lotta arse-holes there…

darkness loves us

until I found The Addams Family crowd, weeeeeee!

Well, the people listening like-click as if there is no tomorrow. Maybe I can just find book club types, or college radio geeks, or just radio geeks and they can do the talking? Oh boy… even hundreds and hundreds MORE numbers. But discussion? No dice! (Actually, over the years I’ve had a few people step up to the plate mainly to say, “I didn’t really listen to it, but this and this and this was wrong and here’s some more advice even though I didn’t pay attention.” Ummmmm…. okay…. 😛 )

I believe the list of bargaining for me is too long to relate here.


These last two stages rather melded together. What happened is about three people came forth recently and said strait up how good the work was, how much they were enjoying it, one even said she felt guilty she wasn’t paying and could I please open a donations account. (There is a plan in the works for that.) Another got all thirteen episodes reviewed and commented on in less than a month! For Episode 10 “The Kids Are All Right” he added,

Your adopted people are growing well and their numbers are as well. So is channeling like having multiple personalities? Just asking if we all need to warn your husband… You have done a remarkable job in this and your hard work is liked. People as you have said seem to not want to either do more then “like” or just be a number. I think social networks and such have done a great injustice to all. Before we would say we enjoyed or thank you. Now press like or share! This, I think, is the greatest wall with your followers. We have yet again been further removed from reaching out to others. Well I, for one, stand with you.

May they see that “like” does not say enough. It is robotic. A non committal response.


Another new friend has been completely livid at the treatment I’ve received since we found each other. How could someone with this much skill in writing, talent in acting, and versatility in creating the audio and being so giving with so much get treated like dirt?

That was when those last two stages arrived for me:

After bargaining, our attention moves squarely into the present. Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. This depressive stage feels as though it will last forever. It’s important to understand that this depression is not a sign of mental illness. It is the appropriate response to a great loss. We withdraw from life, left in a fog of intense sadness, wondering, perhaps, if there is any point in going on alone? Why go on at all? Depression after a loss is too often seen as unnatural: a state to be fixed, something to snap out of. The first question to ask yourself is whether or not the situation you’re in is actually depressing. The loss of a loved one is a very depressing situation, and depression is a normal and appropriate response. To not experience depression after a loved one dies would be unusual. When a loss fully settles in your soul, the realization that your loved one didn’t get better this time and is not coming back is understandably depressing. If grief is a process of healing, then depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way.

It’s true. It happened. I have been treated very badly as well as harassed and insulted by those I was never looking for.

Acceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel OK or all right about the loss of a loved one. This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality. We will never like this reality or make it OK, but eventually we accept it. We learn to live with it. It is the new norm with which we must learn to live. We must try to live now in a world where our loved one is missing. In resisting this new norm, at first many people want to maintain life as it was before a loved one died. In time, through bits and pieces of acceptance, however, we see that we cannot maintain the past intact. It has been forever changed and we must re-adjust. We must learn to reorganize roles, re-assign them to others or take them on ourselves. Finding acceptance may be just having more good days than bad ones. As we begin to live again and enjoy our life, we often feel that in doing so, we are betraying our loved one. We can never replace what has been lost, but we can make new connections, new meaningful relationships, new inter-dependencies. Instead of denying our feelings, we listen to our needs; we move, we change, we grow, we evolve. We may start to reach out to others and become involved in their lives. We invest in our friendships and in our relationship with ourselves. We begin to live again, but we cannot do so until we have given grief its time.

For I? It is the loss of potential, what could have gone faster, been better. Not an actual person, but an entity of creation and the creativity to go along with it. Being misled, as well as misunderstood in a wild array of patterns I’d already seen before in my family life, institutions, and so-called friendships that came before.

I’ve been told things I knew were either untrue or wrong and told persistently as a way of others covering up their own guilt or personal-shortcomings. So what? You spent just as much time defending ill-actions by one’s self and others when that time could have been better spent in simply looking over the work and getting to the task of discussion. It took one man 20 days to get through all thirteen episodes and answer the discussion questions. It’s not like he wasn’t “busy” too. But others are still saying, “I’ll get to it.” after over a year. Do you feel guilty about that? Stop. Solving a problem takes less time and gives you more in return. We all know this. Condescending me about it just makes the wound even bigger, for you and for me. And then when the people who make that effort come forward? Who do you feel better for? Me or you?


In The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows problems are solved with the help of outside communities. What happens when that takes place?

Further opportunity to achieve, solve more, enjoy your time being alive & well, or at least content. The people of Collinsport are better off because others pointed things out they could use to improve their circumstances, or simply stepped in to keep harm from being done to the point the Collins clan began doing it too.

As I move through the original series once more to find what problems are coming up? Well, Adam is no longer in my series. His troubles were sorted with long ago. Victoria and Peter have less to worry about being with Gomez, Morticia and the rest in their home. The tides turned and there is still loads to solve, but the same people are finding their strengths and moving forward, even Willie Loomis who is wrestling with giving himself more credit as others are showing him how.

Willie pensive Wadsworth looking down

So even with my stages of grief, which will never eliminate what has happened to me, I still look for solutions to continue. I know I’ve been treated quite horribly, even by family and friends from before, some of who swore they would try to help, and a few very slowly do. There is no form of gas-lighting or dissuading me that this isn’t true. I’ve been through all the tricks and I know better. On top of that I look for people who hurt to try and help them in whatever way I can. If others would like to mock that aspect of me we shall wonder at them and what purpose in life they could have.

All I wanted was 25 people and 5 perspectives per episode, that was all. I’ve looked everywhere, because of the people who can’t talk, to find those 5 and so far I’ve only found about 3 for the whole after all of this time and struggle looking. And the downloads continue daily, have been since Episode 13 was released last Christmas. I can’t do much more than wait and keep going now. Promotion and advertising has seldom done much for this. The talkers usually approach me first.

As for myself, I like the small band of chatty types I’ve found. The people who love Barnabas flaws and all, who love his happiness in “Margaret Josette Dupres” after watching his hurt, the people who saw Maggie as the reincarnation of Josette but couldn’t put it into words. We have a lot of healing to do together, and lot of things we need to talk about, both in horror and in love. So it’s starting and I pray that continues. Maybe that old quote I found at a bus stop will finally ring true again someday.

a small group

By the way, I snapped this picture with an old camera in Seattle. I’ve seen my view stats and Sea-Tac is hitting me big time looking for more. So, guys? I’ve been up there. I know for absolute certain you have the chat in you. You live in gloomy weather with shining smiles for it. Stop lurking, Washington. Start talkin’. 😉

Baby Sarah’s First Word: Margaret Josette Dupres continues…

Sam painting Barnabas and Maggie

Lots of delight as well as intrigue went into this one. Looks like I haven’t managed to get a new chapter of “Margaret Josette Dupres” up since March. However, as any of the podcast listeners know, in my own original fiction I don’t do babies. (Okay, I did them once: triplets. I did that because of a crazy dream I had, and I didn’t put a ton of effort into it as I was about 14 at the time.)

It surprised me how many people joined in. Willie is there, a cousin is mentioned but not named since that would make this book four fandoms and I’d like to stick to three, as well as Sam (who is also Andre). Sam expresses some deeper meaning to everything and I was especially pleased when he summed up the reincarnation aspect and what sets Barnabas Collins apart from so many others like himself and Maggie. The Evans’ (Dupres’) are given much to digest and reflect during their journey together in this.

Ezra Braithwaite is also mentioned. I decided to save him too and realized I wouldn’t require an added fandom to keep Ezra, I’d just need him to wear the correct pair of glasses. 😉 I was jovially told once that since the actor who played him (Abe Vigoda) has been with us so long and vitally, why shouldn’t Ezra Braithwaite enjoy the same?

Having not been up for this couple having children, I realized with so much reincarnation I wouldn’t need to invent anyone new. No. What would they want? Sarah as a living, breathing girl and given the life that was taken from her so many years ago. Yes, this does technically make Sarah her own auntie, but when I recognized the age difference between Barnabas and Sarah, as well as their own father being the piece-of-work that he is, Barnabas likely was more a father figure than Joshua in the 1790’s anyway. Plus, since Caleb’s 100 year contract-to-haunt means he would be gone by 1972, this way we get to have him back, and a possible brother-type for Sarah as well.

Anytime I’m out, which isn’t often, I will definitely take good stock of peoples’ babies these days. I’ve also been studying the gradual change with the growth of infants. For me the experience has to be as accurate as possible to be believable, supernatural broo-ha and all. So each successive chapter (minus further time our couple enjoys more private marital bliss) shall be put forth with Sarah’s development. If Barnabas and Maggie are wed in 1969, we may presume now this is 1976. I hope you enjoy what comes from Maggie’s pen and of course reflections of that enjoyment are most welcome. Here is the link to read the chapter:

Chapter 38: My Life, Myself, My Child


It came out to be over 4,500 words, which I tried to avoid. When chapters are that long I find anything I might be excited hearing about won’t be referred to and that’s half the excitement of sharing the work, that hope for reflection. Well, I’ve been brought this far. Perhaps change will come. ❤

Peace.

Episode 16: Building a New Episode…

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

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

Grandpa mirror

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

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

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

The scenes are:

1) Milligan & Hecubus’ intro and opener.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

The demo…

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

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

I am told I should be happy.

How?

Why?

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

I’m getting hated and harassed.

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

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

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


Why do people become suicidal?

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

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

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

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

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

cemetery_by_satibalzane-d5950v5