Pit Update: June 2017 And Retrospective

2017 June Update 1d

 

Talk about social media addiction with its ensuing paranoia. Continual gratitude to pen pals and describing their beautiful influence in my life. (I welcome more!)

Why and how constructive praise is important. The fun of watching First Year Dark Shadows. A little chat over 16 & 17 – Retrospective for episodes 8, 9, 10, and both parts of 11. Fair delving into characters from The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Addams Family, The Munsters, and Bewitched in The Pit; particularly Captain Gregg’s stormy weather – story building as well as technical aspects.

The fleshing out of Caleb Collins as based on evidence from the original Dark Shadows program and historical research in the Victorian time period.

Discussion on the marriage novel, “Margaret Josette Dupres” and delving into why the sharing of further chapters are (currently) suspended.

Welcome To The 21st Century – What A Disappointment.

https://thepitofultimatedarkshadows.wordpress.com/

archive.org link

podomatic link

podbay link

Downloadable from iTunes, as always…


 

Background music for this podcast:

“Neightbourhood” – Space (1996)

“Beds Are Burning” – Midnight Oil (1987)

“Warblings At Eve” – “A Victorian Parlour Evening” (written in 1858)

“Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others” – The Smiths (1986)

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!

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? 😉

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. ❤

Working on Episode 16 And A Ton of Other Stuff

Well, it’s been almost twenty days since I put together a blog post. That latest one about renewed fans and new fans seemed to help a lot of people. And really, it’s sad that we’ve boiled down so many troubles to the basic sibling-rivalry, but I’m often pleased when I finally figure out a problem. Sheesh! I was just writing to my cousin, “Man! This ain’t no Starfleet. DAYUM!”

Then my newest buddy and I were discussing some of the crappier writings out there just dissing on these characters. We’re just flabbergasted to the point it becomes hilarious. It’s like, “Do they enjoy this show, Dark Shadows? Dare we ask, do they watch this show? Why are they so damned confused by the characters all of the time? Probably need a good year doing something else, or paying attention to other things. All the conformity going on, you’d think they’d enjoy Donna Reed or Ozzie & Harriet much, much more! It’s a lot easier to digest.”

I can’t be the only person out there having this experience wherein people write to me and ask, “Um, what’s wrong with everyone who is into Dark Shadows? I went looking for stuff about the program and accidentally came across this mean stuff, and this fanfiction that was poorly written and didn’t contain the real characters at all.” Yeah, I gotta say… there’s a lot of embittered nostalgia going on with it. No wonder so many Ghost & Mrs. Muir fans are so quiet. I can merely deduce that they hear The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows and think, “Blast! This is good but those DS fans are so crazy! Thank God she’s got The Addams Family in there. They’ll have a gas.”

Then even nice fans of Dark Shadows are all tripped-out and scared, as if to say, “I’ll tune in, but you’re on your own. Good luck! ” Thanks a lot, people. Someone else told me, “This has got to be the most dysfunctional fandom I’ve ever encountered.”

To top it off? Watching Dark Shadows? It’s very soothing! It’s as if watching the show is the therapy you need for all the fandom bickering going on.

281 I couldn't let her go through that death again.

You go back and just get lost in Roger Collins having fun with how frightful the costume party séance was and all the enjoyably witty dialogue he has with everyone else, Elizabeth coming down on her brother for being so delighted by the whole thing, and even Victoria, who got possessed by Josette’s ghost, agrees that the party was a success. (DS 281)

Next Barnabas brings over a book for Victoria and Burke Devlin is having a cow over her obsession with the past or whatever, and Carolyn is kind of agreeing but doesn’t feel it’s exactly her place to say. Then Barnabas shows up to ask if she got the darn book, and Anthony George flubs his line, “Hickory—history kick.” We never find out what the hell book it is! (Which ticks me off, of course, as I’m the old-book person.) And then you just kind of decide all the fandom bickering is much like the stupid hullabaloo Burke is having over Victoria’s interest. This was why I didn’t see Burke winning Victoria, really. What did he want? June Cleaver? (He’d probably be unhappy with June too for speaking Jive on “Airplane.”)

As for myself, the pen pal world is actually thriving more than I thought. I knew of three sources in the zine world and now I’m finding more. That’s the deal. You gotta do the paper thing to get the paper thing, and this is likely why the pen pal zines help each other out by advertising each other in their own zine. Try going online these days for pen pals and it’s mostly an exciting novelty that fizzles from a would-be pen pal’s mind after the first exchange, likely brought on by several re-surges back to the five-second attention-span addictions. (I also found another age variable in this technological mess, but I’ll mention that later, or if somebody asks.)

And yep! If you still don’t believe in the powerful love of Barnabas & Josette? Guess whose marriage is still getting the perks from it?

more b and w

And it’s not like I don’t want other people to enjoy a relationship like this. I’m making a relief series for a soap opera. Come on! I obviously like to help people. That’s why I keep telling so many to really, really watch “What To Do On A Date”! It might be corny, but it really does make a good point. Plus with how messed up everyone is we all might need stuff as simplistic as Coronet Instructional Films. They were heckled on MST3K for that reason, but if so many people have regressed, the messages are likely useful once again.

So I’ve been watching the shows I’m incorporating. Getting some good inspiration for Margaret Josette Dupres, as well as appreciating the comments as so many are in it for the couple and are seeing the characters as they are, and able to picture them from their style of speaking. (This goes for The Pit of Ultimate… as well. Just two more Q & A’s done for Episode 14 and we can shimmy ahead.) Oh, and doing some bitty snipping for the audio of Episode 16. It’s not often, but the boys get me through some of it. If the lines they give me weren’t so darned hilarious it would be tough to sit there and work on.

Jonah (who we’ve mentioned on the podcast) called the other night, quite excited. A few others have been in touch too so it does look a bit like the break-away from zombie-mode is beginning. *knock on wood* A generous donation arrived which made me almost faint. (Thank you!) Glad I was sitting down.

Church is still bringing in needed morals for me and others. You can imagine what they say about all the haters I’ve had to put up with. I’m mainly grateful to be sane enough that I can have face-to-face discussions about all of this. I think about all the haters who are so angry at me, and how if they brought up why in conversation with someone in a church setting, they probably wouldn’t get much support; “You’re angry with who? About what? Wait, you like this show that I’ve never heard of, and you hate the characters on it? And this lady is making a new version of the show where things are being solved and getting better and… what? Okay, hold on, hold on. Um… well, why don’t you stop paying attention to her? … Hey, um, I have to… use the restroom… that’s it, yeah… I’ll get back to you, honey.”

_________________________________________________

For Episode 16 I’m considering giving my Hawkeye attempt just one more try. He is just so hard to sound out. The lines are great for him, but my impression leaves much to be desired. Then again, we are talking about Alan Alda who has one of the oddest voices you can think of. (Yes, the hardest voice to do is no longer Barnabas Collins!)

There is a spooky scene that I’m really having trouble deciding music for. The brooding sounds I’m imagining in my mind are closer to experimental music than anything simply Gothic. It’s also odd because the theme I’d usually complete an episode with is going to be in the middle rather than the end, so it kind of winds up being similar to certain Monty Python episodes in that regard. The actual episode will finish with a sound effect and Hecubus giggling.

Maggie will finally meet the ghost of Caleb in Episode 16, and the great thing about that is with her various reincarnations surfacing she shan’t be scared of him at all. She’s got some one-ups on the guy and he digs that. I’d like to start the writing for Episode 17, but 16 truly needs to be more or less finished before I can access the next steps. (My only bummer is it doesn’t look like Wadsworth, nor Willie, is going to fit in episode 17, but then again I’m trying to make the episodes shorter for time. It’s awkward having them the length of a Downton Abbey episode.)

What I would love is if I could find out more about the original writers rigmarole. They must have had a balancing act put together to make up for how continual the process was. I’ve got gobs of books about the show but I’m not sure where to look for that precisely.

That’s about it. Hope some people are reading this and digesting the information enough to square away some lifestyle choices. As Ferris Bueller is quoted to say, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” ❤

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

One More Try…

Vic and Mor 1

I just don’t understand. Usually when someone makes a person laugh that person tells them what was laughed at, or when they are touched they express that. I want to give more, I want to do more, and I want to get through it.

If anyone tried to post comments on podomatic that didn’t go through please let me know. The only comments that I didn’t let through were double postings of the same comments.  (Helena and I are discussing email traffic so I can post her comments when she can’t get in.)

I’ve worked so hard, I’ve spent so much, I’ve given so much and I just want to go on. I remember a day last year when two writers were so excited to be posting their new chapters… I was happy for them.  They were looking forward to what their audience might say. Then I went to my kitchen to eat my lunch..  and I couldn’t.  I was in tears. “This isn’t fun for me anymore. This is a slow death because people can’t talk to me about what they enjoyed.” And I just kept crying.

I don’t understand. Most of the people enjoying this are writers and artists. Why is it so hard to type up a synopsis of what was enjoyed then copy and paste it into a review box? Of all that I’ve done, of all that I want to do, how is it people have become so inhuman?

In any case, here is the text link to it. Episodes unfold in various buttons and drop down menus. I doubt this will do anything but as many have said, “I have to try.”

Episodes One – Thirteen