The Promise of What Praise Can Do “Margaret Josette Dupres (A Novel)” [Note 11]

Yes, again I’d prefer this not say “Praise” anymore but maybe “discussion”, which isn’t as fantastic. I am getting into bad moods when things are much better than they have been in years, with a myriad of accomplishments in work productivity, friendship, helping others, creation and cleaning. But it only takes a few minutes of exposure to something bad to mess things up. So I am back to focusing on this.

 
Mind you, I still get head-scratching hits for the unhappy author’s note which I am waiting to rescind when enough for the later chapters is discussed again. When that happens I can replace the chapter and potentially share more of the darn thing rather than just tell friends over the telephone about what’s being created!

 
I’m starting to realize one reason why I didn’t continue to this chapter years ago for these notes. This chapter really didn’t get a whole lot of discussion. I think it made people feel too weird or something. I mean it’s Sam Evan/Andre duPres in first person which is likely to throw people for a loop who are used to Barnabas or Maggie narrating the chapters, with that one in particular via Wadsworth or the third person omniscient one with Tony and Carolyn.

 
When I realized how badly another return for Sarah would be desired, I started getting strong influences from Sam’s character, things he wanted to say and express. I wasn’t sure I could just be him in first person, but then I picked up an old non-fiction book I favoured and realized it was similar to how Sam tended to sound. Someone also pointed out that it sounded like Andre too, so that was in all of our favours!

 

Chapter 22: A Candle For Sarah

 

413 josettes been sad for such a long time

One of the things that I found very appropriate was taking verbatim lines from Dark Shadows episodes and blending them into the novel. The quotations for this chapter were from Episode 413, written by Gordon Russell, repeating the discussion Sarah and Naomi had about Barnabas supposedly leaving for England and a candle Sarah had made, with the help of Riggs, for Josette. The idea Riggs relayed to Sarah entailed a candle at a window bringing someone home. I asked for help to find the episode (thank you!) and then watched and wrote down the dialogue as precise as I could. (It took a bit of rewinding and listening repeatedly to get it correct, as it always does.)

 
After the quotations Sam begins his narrative. (Slight additives on “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” style of things are appropriate because in my work Sam is friends with Captain Gregg.) The long chapter begins with detailing Sam doing some artwork with the ghost of Sarah as well as spending time with her, helping her to create a new candle from wax, old crayons and a beer can. I, myself, have mainly done the same with soda cans, but I would envision Pop being the kind with more taste for beer than soda anyway, so a can as such might have been more readily available. It’s not the safest way to make a candle, but it was handy to my own experience.

 
For the sake of things not going on for as long as it takes wax to harden, the chapter proceeds with Sarah sitting outside with Sam who is putting a bit whiskey in his evening coffee. Sarah previously expressed she wanted a candle for herself to give Josette a second time, a token for Sarah, herself, to return one day. As they sit outside Sarah asks Mr. Evans what it is to be reincarnated, just to make sure she has the idea well enough in her mind. Sam gives her a fair idea then waxes poetic about the stars being our guides which Sarah doesn’t specifically understand, but feels she knows enough.

 
Later they take the candle and drive to The Old House. Sam explains it as, “…driving through the town of Collinsport to get to The Old House, where my daughter now lived with her excessively romantic husband…” This has got to be one my favourite lines. Pop just says it like it is, and to me it’s almost poking a little fun at Barnabas. It’s not a stand-alone segment since the rest of the sentence goes into why the drive itself wasn’t exactly a wise choice, but I still highlight that sentence fragment as being a hilariously fun one. (Thanks, Pop.)

 
What comes later… gosh, this is a complicated chapter… is their arrival and Sarah explaining why she’s offering a candle to Maggie (Josette) due to having given her one previously for the sake Barnabas might come home. In a moment alone with Maggie, Sam explains that this was only the final time they were seeing Sarah as a ghost. Maggie picks up on the understanding Sarah Collins will come back in the flesh, but completely uncertain who the lucky mother will be. Oops…

 
“Margaret Josette Dupres,” Sam gives her a grin, “why does it have to be somebody else?”

 
Of course, Maggie is flabbergasted, anticipating something sudden and also wondering if her and Barnabas are even capable of having children in their less-earthly state of being. She has every right to wonder, but Sam laughs at her concern that she might suddenly give birth the next day or some such silly idea. She and Barnabas would know and be ready when the time was right.

 
The farewell takes place in Josette’s bedroom, with the obviously sad Barnabas rather unsure of why these events are happening, and what Sarah even means by returning a different way. Admittedly the farewell is a tearful one, even beautiful in its ghostly allure.
However, Barnabas’ lack of understanding got on Sam’s nerves, and a little bit on mine, truth be told!

 

It wraps up splendidly with Sam thinking aloud things to Barnabas on the other side of the door as he leaves. Then Wadsworth steps from the shadows to assure Sam that he is very correct indeed. I love this just because from Episode One in The Pit, Wadsworth pretty much knows what requires attention for Barnabas Collins’ love life, so at this juncture of a possible child. Wadsworth is also just as aware as Sam is where Barnabas is not.

 
Helena came through first, as she often does:

 
Helena Clara Bouchet chapter 22 . May 22, 2014

This chapter was so touching, Daryl 🙂 And I love arts and crafts, too! Maybe one day, I’ll make a candle like that (only mine will be yellow or pink). Looking forward to Sarah’s big return!

Oh good! Even some love for the candle. I can’t remember if I explained to her the technique I once used. I’m sure there are much better ones.

katieyoung1960 chapter 22 . May 25, 2014

I love this chapter. A voice for little Sarah, and a hope for her return. That would be a very happy occasion!

Nice and simple. I think back then folks were far more aware of the leaps that were being taken so that almost everyone of a good nature could heal together, including a lost loved one.

Cynthia Curran chapter 22 . Jun 3, 2014

That’s cool, Barnabas always seem more like her father anyways and maybe she being conceived an interesting way will make the story interesting.

Aye! It was interesting to say the least! But that’s another chapter. I love the pointer of Barnabas seemingly more like a father than brother to her anyway. (She’d need an alternate father when we think over Joshua in his earlier days.)

Of course these wonderful comments still left me in want for the details that might have been noticed otherwise. Osheen picked up the chapter upon my request:

Osheen Nevoy chapter 22 . Dec 16, 2014
So here I am consulting my notes from last night. I really like Sam/Andre’s comment about there being “no shame in the common.” That worked and totally made sense. It does a perfect job of linking plain, common-and-garden Sam Evans with the reality that Andre lived – the brother of a countess, very wealthy, seemingly of the aristocratic stratum of society, but still a very blunt, to-the-point, down-to-earth sort of man. (As we see from his awesomely blunt snide comments to Joshua and Rev. Trask in the show!)

Throughout the chapter I could completely hear the voices of the actors saying the lines that the characters are speaking here. From that I know that the depiction of their “voices” in the word choices and speech-patterns is precisely spot-on

The candle-making from melted crayons brought back a lot of happy childhood memories for me. Did you make candles from crayons in your childhood as well? I remember that very vividly, and reading about it summoned up a lot of those feelings of warmth and contentment that good childhood memories bring. The kind of warmth and contentment that you also conjure up in the scene of Sam and Sarah outside experiencing the night while waiting for the candle to cool. My childhood candles, of course, were made in frozen orange juice containers or that sort of thing, not in beer cans! But naturally, the beer can version is fitting for Sam! And of course Sarah picking purple – is that for some other, additional meaning, or is it a nod to the well-known affinity of little girls for purple?

Great little down-to-earth, matter-of-fact Sam details that appear throughout, like him managing not to slice himself on the beer can. I very much like the description of the sort of dream state that ghosts tend to think in and relate to reality through. Other great details throughout – the old cloths that Sam should have thrown away long ago.

I adore the description of the “golden, silvery silences.” Seems to be an oxymoron, since how can a silence have colors, and yet it’s right, totally right. I guess silences do have colors, and so does sound. The “vast stretch of the universe” portion of the conversation with Sam and Sarah fit perfectly with those high-flown turns of phrase and imagination that Sam reveals in the show – of course in the show, usually those are on darker topics, such as his repeated freakings-out about the Collinses and their haunted house on the hill during the first 200 or so episodes of the show.

I wasn’t particularly happy with Sam for drunk-driving – I would have hoped he would avoid that, given the experience witnessing the result of Roger, Burke & Laura’s drunk-driving accident! I guess he had Sarah along to help make sure he didn’t kill anybody, and he DID admit that it wasn’t a great idea, but still, I wish he hadn’t done it and had walked up to the Old House with Sarah, instead. Though Sam is not a character who is consistently known for making good choices, so I guess him choosing to drive at this point is consistent with his character. I just wish he hadn’t chosen that!

I love Maggie’s humor that you portray here – again, it is just exactly right for Maggie was we know her on the show, particularly in the early days, before things get so f-ed up for her. And I guess that’s why it fits so perfectly here, since in this reality, things are not f-ed up for her anymore. The description of her “chortling” is the example that I have written down for this – just great, and again, absolutely right.

Another fabulous, funny down-to-earth Sam detail – the brush filaments in the scenery. Loved it! Also loved Sarah’s “I thought so, but it’s impolite to boast, you know” – and loved Sam’s reply to that.

Now, the bit about the broo-ha with the unfortunate Jeremiah Collins – that led me to wonder. Have you, or do you plan to if you haven’t yet, had a sequence which includes healing for Jeremiah and reconciliation between him and Barnabas? If you have, and I haven’t found it, I’m sorry I haven’t, and please tell me where it is! If you haven’t, maybe that would be something that would work for you to explore at some point. He definitely is someone who needs healing and reconciliation, considering all the crap he was put through (and the rather messed up Ghost of Jeremiah stuff in the show), and presumably Barnabas also needs the reconciliation with him, since having a dear friend who then becomes, at least seemingly, your enemy, and then killing said friend/enemy, has got to put some pretty deep wounds in a person’s psyche. I guess maybe I’m rather protective of Jeremiah, since he’s become such a major character in my DS tale. Anyway – if that kind of sequence does exist in your work, I want to know where it is so I can listen to or read it. If it doesn’t, maybe it’s something for you to contemplate for the future.

And my final note is about Barnabas kissing Sarah’s hand, and telling her that teaching them to grow has made her the finest of ladies in the world. Loved it. Perfect.

It completely works. It IS these characters, it is what they would say, and it is a beautiful depiction of love and hope and the little fragments of reality that weave together to create human happiness.

 


I do believe I remember a possible use of orange juice cans instead of soda cans and I’m glad she mentioned that one. I’m honoured that I was able to get the voices down so well. But it is the exposure of the right materials, the original show being the big one. I believe Sarah’s pick of purple was a combination of liking purple but also to give it a regal touch, as one might recall purple was used for royalty because it was such a pain to create that colour of dye. (I even remember a tale of snails being used to make the dye. Not sure if that’s true!) Even the details in the night sky and colours of sound.

 

Now let me relieve the idea Sam was actually drunk-driving. Definitely tipsy. I guess he could have been more intoxicated if I didn’t care, but I tried to word it where he said, “I wasn’t very sober when we left.” So there was enough sobriety, and he points out being aware of it. So it’s surely not really a case of, “As I stumbled my drunken ass into the truck.” But I can see where a quicker read might give that impression. Another reason to make a third-draft of this novel: I can meander a bit more instead trying to gesticulate a zillion descriptions into one sentence as Vladimir Nabokov tends to do. (Yes, he is an influence: All of his books, not just that one!)

 

For all the wondering over Jeremiah? I have apprised Osheen of the plans, all of which are for redemption and easily showing Jeremiah Collins (reincarnated as Burke Devlin in The Pit) to be a good guy after all is said and done. So grateful the farewell details were to her liking as well as Maggie being very much herself.

 

A newer reader to this novel left these lovely words:

D.S.Romance Fan chapter 22 . Dec 11, 2017

Aww the thoughts of Sam .. He is ready to be a Grand father… It’s time. Beautifully written. Sarah has always been a bright magical child. Lighting candles is such a great peace offering.

 

And I dig that because she made the fine observation of Sam becoming a grandfather someday in this scenario. I’ve been a bit worried readers didn’t understand what was being explained in this chapter. If Maggie is to give birth someday to Sarah as a reincarnation, Sam would undoubtedly be a grandfather then, and would no longer be able to call Sarah by the previous title of “daughter-in-law” as he did at the Evans Cottage. This works due to Barnabas being his son-in-law, therefore the sister of his son-in-law could theoretically receive a similar title. But Sarah as a granddaughter will be easily to say and to write down, not to mention far more precious still.

 
For this chapter being so filled with details and discussion, I must allow one log entry. The others will be more difficult because they aren’t so much chapters but basic summaries. So I might make the next note about those or skip ahead to chapter 25, etc.

 

Well, I hope this shows that I’m feeling a bit better from my tragic thoughts and social media temptations. The phrases of “never cured” and “one day at a time” springs to mind. Plus I do want to focus on this novel much more again so that we can continue that as we continue in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows audio series.

 

angel
As much as a struggle it can be to make sure Sarah Collins is as convincing as I can present her, she remains to me an honour and joy to be present in my endeavour. Joy seemed to leave our friends on Dark Shadows when Sarah did. Her return in The Pit and later this novel brings joy back to them over and over again. ❤

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Interview with New Fan: Melissa (podcast)

new fan212c

 

(Autumn 2018/Spring 2016)

This podcast focuses on a new fan to Dark Shadows and why it makes sense that would-be good fans to this 1960’s television show don’t speak up. Melissa discusses her enjoyment of my fanwork, Dark Shadows and Jonathan Frid as well as Barnabas Collins. Our continual friendship flows through this podcast which is much attributed to Lisa Weyenberg connecting us. (Love you, Lisa!!!)

 

The interview displays what a new fan must contend with: Hate for Barnabas Collins, bizarre worship for Julia Hoffman. which has nothing to do with her strengths, feeling embraced on fan groups *at first* and then feeling like one must “stop talking”. Why Barnabas Collins is “the family guardian” and why Jonathan Frid is a class-act.

 

Melissa’s personal experiences with previous entertainers, such as David Warner and Sharon Lentz, and Melissa being able to talk to both of these wonderful people. Fun time with Melissa and I watching “Dark Shadows” as well as dealing with the new technology ruining all of our lives, and why. How social media destroys our relationships. Our watching an episode of “Dark Shadows” together, finally, and how fun it was.

 

Wrapping up with how Melissa ended-up unknowingly buying a bootleg copy of “Dark Shadows” and how she dealt with that after purchasing a true copy of the coffin box. Also providing a comparison of our making fun of Victoria Winters always saying “I don’t understand” into many fans becoming that very cliché.

 

At the end, I share a celebration of Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes, which is a show that is also provided by MPI Home Video. And a loving quotation for Melissa via all this.


(podomatic link)

(podbay link)

(archive.org link)


 

“I will not make any deals with you. I’ve resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own!”

– The Prisoner

Instructional Manual (April/May 2018)

aprile 2018 update 2c

 

Basic information for various sites for this series and how to use them to comment on episodes; this is mainly in the direction of the url      https://thepitofultimatedarkshadows.wordpress.com/

Plenty of guidance in how to use these sites. Welcoming if a listener only wants to focus on a single character, fandom or cameo.

Old internet rules for The Pit Crew. What makes me happiest: Commentary. Examples: My reading of Tito’s commentary for “Episode 5: Saving Pop” and Lisa’s commentary for “Episode 15: A Blundering Succubus”. Some examination of Willie and Sarah’s interactions, as well as Maggie merging her memories together.

Discussion of the “Dark Shadows” movie and Lisa’s wonderful reaction to that, and how I altered my offering to introducing more people to the series when it became more easily available. Social media, where it comes from, and how complaining about the people in areas that it comes from is paradoxical to our current social behaviour. (If one hates people on the West Coast, how is it applicable to use the addictive social tools they build to complain about them?)

How critiquing once had socially redeeming value and then degenerated into “bash-culture”, which is, ultimately, bad for your health. Pen pal information for L.W.A. and how Hidden Object and I maintained our friendship. The importance of correspondence. Our natural reactions to light and movement.

My struggle against social media addiction and the rewarding results. Helping a new fan of Dark Shadows and sending DVDs to her of the original series while comparing what she already knew. Consideration of villains and how they blend in to the storytelling. The importance of villains in stories, basic and complicated concepts. News about Auntie, too. How, oddly in this age, letter-writing is managing better than solely using the internet.


podomatic link here

podbay link here

archive dot org link here

Also available on iTunes


 

Lyrics for our pen friends in this project:

Celebrate the pale dawn, celebrate the birdsong,
Celebrate, this is your time,
Although we live in the wreckage and on the faultlines.

And everything we own is not everything we are,
With every word we breathe, we live, we live again.

Celebrate, there is no fear now,
There is no fear now for us to feel.
Celebrate, there is no fear now,
There is no fear now for us to feel,
For us to feel.

 

(The London) Suede “Faultlines”

(Watching Together) Dark Shadows Episode 19:

This is an old “note” from Facebook which didn’t amount to much discussion, of course. So from 2 September 2016 of it’s posting? I shall share it here where it’s more likely to be read with the enjoyment which it’s original sharing was intended.


 

As I’ve realized, much of the online drama in DS fandom can be relieved by viewing the show itself. So my husband and I enjoyed this episode the other night with much loving joviality. (This is where a lot of The Pit series I create comes from: Fun discussion while viewing with a loved one.)

19a

We wondered why on earth the chalkboard bit had the voice over guy very quietly announcing some toilet product right before the episode of DS. “Buy Vanish, the new disinfectant toilet-bowl cleaner…” It made our dread of the chalkboard a less bitter pill, that’s for sure!

background square
At the beginning of course, Liz was looking lovely, and Victoria’s voice-over said, “The tension seems endless. So much has happened since I first set foot in Collinwood and faced the woman who hadn’t left its grounds in eighteen years; a woman who has been shocked by an attempted murder; a woman who is torn with concern for the one person she loves most in this world.”

19b

My husband was startled into asking, “Who? Wait! What?” and we started guessing who the person Liz loves the most is:

“Bill Malloy?”

“Roger—no…”

“It’s gotta be Carolyn.”

“Maybe it isn’t!”

“The sheriff? Does she love him the most?”

“Joe Haskell?”

“Matthew Morgan?”

“Her secret daughter?”

“Caleb Collins?”

“The prop director?”

“Me?”

19c

Later we had the fun of more Bill & Sam. Yay! It was so funny because early on Bill & Sam were having booze at The Blue Whale. After various Joe/Carolyn scenes, Bill & Sam sat down together for coffee at the Inn! I cheered, “Hey… we get to see them in both places at a table having different beverages.”

19d

Finally we got to the credits (that actually had a few credits), and my sweetie announced, “Where the action is where the fun is wherever that is we don’t know so watch The Newlywed Game!”

19e

Then the voice over started in on that old chestnut. We laughed and my husband stepped to the computer and said, “Darn it! I’m gonna find out what the heck they’re talking about!”

“Where The Action Is”

(Basically another version of “American Bandstand”.)

Finally! That is sort of squared away, but we still don’t know why the darn announcer proposes this show is “where the fun is” in this way that the words “Where The Fun Is” might perhaps be the song title each featured group, or artist, is performing on the show called “Where The Action Is.”

Not much of the episode’s content, I realize, but the point of this fun note is to remember that the pleasure of quality programming is to spend time enjoying it with a dear friend or two. 🙂


 

Want more crazy? Check out the archives. We’re all about the crazy over here!

 

The Promise of What Praise Can Do “Margaret Josette Dupres (A Novel)” [Note 10]

Yes, I wanted to go back to wonderful commentary on such a day like this. I’m feeling so rested by my time off of Facebook and successfully hitting my 2-week spans away from it. Plus I know people want further chapters of this novel and in order to maintain my focus for it means going through the joy of previous chapters. Hard study in passion is such a delight, don’t you think?

What I’m working on now is Chapters 42 & 43 in tandem. For some reason looking at more romance after a re-born Sarah chapter seems to help the prior chapter that is more focused on Sarah’s development to come forward. Having read and written about vampires before helps, but my original babies were far more jubilant in their long life-spans than Barnabas and Josette. (Plus my original vampires were total night-time, whereas Barnabas and Josette get some sunlight; awakening usually at midday. This allows for the more human sixteen-hours of wakefulness they deserve.)  These adoptees of mine have a spell-binding captivation from the previous traumas as witnessed on the original Dark Shadows.


However, Chapter 21 isn’t about our star-couple at all. It’s about the proposal of Tony Peterson to Carolyn Stoddard. I was sure it would come in the radio drama someday but it helped to write it out as a memory Carolyn Stoddard is sharing with our Schooner Bay writer, Carolyn Muir. The confusion of sharing the same name and working together is touched on with amusement.

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Once, when my spirits weren’t dragged into turmoil by the knowledge of silence by so many for The Pit, I was rapt in the plan of Carolyn & Carolyn eventually opening a publishing firm together. Muir has the expertise and Stoddard has the collateral. Can you imagine my amazement watching First Year Dark Shadows and Carolyn musing to Victoria about writing a book someday? I screamed!

Then with the laid-back approach to ghosts between these two in The Pit? Who might help them with a short work of fiction? The ghost of Bill Malloy and the ghost of Captain Gregg. Would they get along? I can see it happening. That part in the chapter is brief and happily inserted with Osheen Nevoy’s interest.

The chapter unfolds with Tony taking Carolyn to the beach and proposing with an engagement ring. To Tony’s approval she is not dressed-up, but dressed-down for helping to wallpaper a room in The Great House.

Somehow Carolyn Stoddard in olive overalls, a long sleeved white shirt and a bandana scarf to cover the top of her head was endearing enough for him to think: Yes, perfect.

Rather than kneel in the sand he encourages her idea to remove her shoes on the beach, then picks her up and places her on a large rock so that she is standing above him. As Carolyn realizes that Tony is about to propose to her she feels embarrassed not to be dressed-up for the occasion.

Osheen had also helped me a great deal in trying to determine why I was getting Carolyn Stoddard’s answer to Tony Peterson. I knew it was accurate for Carolyn Stoddard but I couldn’t understand how exactly.

Carolyn and Tony

Osheen reasoned wonderfully when I explained my troubles about Carolyn’s decision, telling her, “I can’t figure out why this is. I wish I did.” Osheen’s response was, “Well, I think the example of her mother’s less-than-successful marriage (not to mention how Liz almost tied the knot with the vile McGuire) would be more than enough reason for Carolyn to decide that she and Tony can be together in a perfectly satisfactory way without having to say ‘I do.’ (!)” We talked further on this but that was the right answer.

The other wild thing about this chapter is I knew so little of The First Year but somehow I’d gleaned these things about Carolyn Stoddard’s personality without previously studying that back-history. It was even more fascinating to see, on Dark Shadows, Joe Haskell, drunkenly aggrieved, come to Mrs. Stoddard about Carolyn and blaming her for causing Carolyn to fear marriage in general. (Joe and Carolyn had become engaged at the beginning of the program.)

Perhaps this is a similar condition to Eternal Sunshine On A Spotless Mind (2004) in which, even with memories eradicated, the people involved end up making the same decisions in any case. Picking up on the personality of a character in-depth can show the trepidation they have even though we’ve rarely seen the proof of it. I trusted my intuition about Carolyn Stoddard. I wanted her to say yes to Tony, I couldn’t imagine her not saying yes to Tony, but when the story started to process in my psyche, Carolyn was saying no, yet also saying she wanted to be with Tony Peterson. How to have both? I certainly wasn’t against it on moral grounds by any means! My husband and I “shacked-up” for 15 years before finally tying-the-knot. How would Collinwood approve of such a relationship? Then again, this is a laid-back Collinwood. (And it helped to recall the love-life of H.G. Wells in the late Victorian age. Some of this stuff is old-hat.)

Music inspired me, as it so often does, and I’d just been enjoying the Vanessa Carlton song, “I Don’t Want To Be A Bride”. It was set to a wedding-march rhythm and sounding so much like a song for a bridal walk down the aisle, but the lyrics expressed not getting married and living happily ever after, or at least happily with bits of the usual-life troubles. It helped so incredibly I put it into the chapter. Not likely to make it for the print publishing, but very likely to make it to the radio-drama.

Carolyn Stoddard stared carefully at him, “How about I wear this ring to my dying day… how about I’m yours forever without all that paperwork nonsense? … how about us being engaged and that’s as far as it goes?”

Tony Peterson smiled widely and kissed her passionately, then said, “Engaged? Forever? … I’ll take it.

Much approval was gleaned for this chapter, both in 200 Years Away and Margaret Josette Dupres


Osheen Nevoy chapter __ . Feb 26, 2014
Lovely! I think you’ve worked it out perfectly. It makes absolute, total sense for Carolyn to make that decision. I love the descriptions of Tony; it’s so nice to see him portrayed as someone to be passionate about (which he is, of course, the dear man!), when he is so often more-or-less ignored in the Dark Shadows universes. The descriptions in general, in fact, are excellently done – loved the one about their boulder & how it could be the top of the world. And excellent little details such as Tony not wanting to get his trouser-cuffs all salty and sandy! And, of course, add in the ghost of Bill Malloy, and I’m happy as a clam! Nice to see him & Capt. Gregg enjoying themselves! Of course, Bill didn’t drink much (usually) when he was alive, but I can see that after death he might well let his hair down a bit – not so many work responsibilities, etc.! – and certainly with the captain around as an influence on him, that makes sense! I would love to read the two Carolyns’ books! Maine really does have to be haunted to the gills, if Collinwood is anything to base that judgement on!

Ayup! Osheen had to wait for the finished product eventually to really know what went down but I dedicated the chapter to her for helping me so much and I added Bill in the best I could with what little I knew about him.


Magical Irish Dolphin chapter __ . Mar 6, 2014
I love it! It’s the perfect agreement for Tony and Carolyn, and you explained Carolyn’s reason for not wanting to get married beautifully. And it’s also pretty fluffy in the most awesome way. I think this is my favorite story you ever wrote!

To this I respond-reviewed (which I tend not to do anymore because we’re a little less shy about email):

Daryl Wor chapter __ . Mar 7, 2014
Oh, thank you! It means a lot. I had my husband read it to me and then we played the song. Osheen really helped me crack the nut on why I wanted what I was channeling from them. I could not figure it out until then. I had a number of ciders throughout the weekend while I was writing it and it’s one of my favourites, too. It’s one of my proudest achievements and I’d love it if more Tony & Carolyn fans appreciated that. I felt like, okay, no matter what, she HAS the ring, and right there on the beach, in this beautiful way, they *are* married. As Tony’s says to himself, “This is what I want, this is what I have, and this is what always will be.”

Plus, I know where they’re coming from as my chap and I were together 15 years before we finally did get married. So between Tony & Carolyn, along with Maggie & Barnabas… we know… 🙂 It’s wonderful.

More was reviewed for the renewed MJD posting:

Magical Irish Dolphin chapter 21 . May 27, 2014
I really love this. I think this is the cutest thing you ever wrote. I love Tony and Carolyn on the beach. It’s perfect. I’m glad more of your readers are giving this pairing another glimpse and seeing them in a new way. You certainly made me see them in a new prism. And I know what you mean about developing couples that harbor potential but were never fully realized on the show… Thanks for adding this chapter in your novel.

Thanks for enjoying it so effusively as I do! 🙂


Oddly enough I noticed, after Cassandra’s wily ways, Tony & Carolyn getting back together, however briefly, on Dark Shadows. I’m starting to wonder if the relationship fizzled due to Tony Peterson losing favour with the story-lines. I’m getting the feeling it’s actually that. Tony’s final appearance on DS is episode 578 after an attack by Adam who is jealous and wants Carolyn’s affections. Beyond a few bruises, Tony’s relationship with Carolyn is apparently intact. Go figure. This is why I like to remind audiences everywhere that Dark Shadows is a daytime-drama and when the potential for happiness arrives it’s often thwarted in that style of storytelling to keep the viewer on-the-edge. (Luke & Laura’s longevity on General Hospital is anyone’s guess! Princess Diana even sent champagne for their fictional wedding.)

I already know the dwindling of attention-span in book-reading. I fear the general population has also lost the ability to discerningly watch television. It’s often based on the availability of the actors. Was Jason McGuire removed from Dark Shadows because the production team wanted him to leave? Nope. The actor, Dennis Patrick, bless his heart, wanted to leave in the strongest terms. Real lives alter the story-telling of a television program. But for soap-opera material Jason McGuire was a villain to be reckoned with and who kept you tuned-in with major hate for him. Tony Peterson and Carolyn Stoddard didn’t have an edge-of-your seat romance going without trouble. Their romance was likely dropped due to running out of trouble for them with which to wrestle.

Mainly I remember feeling like Hell that Tony & Carolyn were being parted via Cassandra and her mind-control on Tony that by the time the show may randomly have healed their love and then drifted-off from the relationship, I was already invested in the relief-series idea and wanted to see those two, not only happy but, having plenty of fun adventures. And I still do!


 Ms. Karen Trask chapter 21 . May 21, 2014
I enjoyed reading this though with my own thoughts about it, as you might imagine 🙂 but it was a very nice telling of a story line many fans wanted to see happen. Great read!

Thank you! We do like to see lovers succeed. I believe it’s very natural when they are mutually attracted.

katieyoung1960 chapter 21 . May 25, 2014
Perfect!

I was relieved when my husband and I read the chapter together to believe so. I happily sighed with astonishment, “I couldn’t have asked for anything better.” 🙂

Helena Clara Bouchet chapter 21 . May 21, 2014
That was a romantic chapter although I was as confused as Tony at first. But we get it now 🙂 I am happy for the couple. So when is their engagement celebration or party?

I’m guessing it will be during the radio drama someday. As for this log entry I think one chapter is more than enough to dwell on considering all the studying and consultation that was required to make it happen. As a soap-opera relationship? It ran it’s course. For a humour-mystery audio serial? I shall always be on the edge of my seat for Carolyn & Tony. ❤


Before the lyrics the chapter ends wonderfully with Tony Peterson’s understanding of his relationship with Carolyn Stoddard.

Tony held her up about her middle, her knees around his, and swung her around on the beach, kissing her intently. It doesn’t make any difference now, he thought, this is what I want, and this is what I have, and this is what always will be.

kissing

Is The Nightmare Over Yet?

Not sure…

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

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

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

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

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You matter.

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

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

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

did IQs just drop sharply while I was away ALIENS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No. We don’t.

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

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

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

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

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

Dear dad who the hell is Julia Hoffman.gif

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

Melissas first Pit review.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

I know which way I’m choosing. 🙂

Now It’s May 2016…

… and my series is over four years old.

If anyone has perused the other blog (the only difference in the URL is the word “the” at the beginning) you likely recognize how long I’ve been working on this project. I managed to find almost all of the dates to both the scripts and the audio uploads.

Meanwhile I am continually haunted by what we’ve become as people. I have fans that love the work but are afraid to discuss what they like or even admit to having listened or read. I suppose I find that bizarre because I’ve already learned what I needed to know about likes, dislikes and personal choice.

We all have been very corroded by the pretense of either a critical attitude or a biting wit. Too often we see this as how to live. The same problem can happen when we consume too much media entertainment that either shows such behaviour or shows constant conflict and riled emotions. That exposure creates a feeling that it’s how life is meant to be lived. I got caught up in that long ago and I learned to change.

How did I do that?

I looked for material that would make me feel better, more relaxed, calm stories that dealt with a structured life like Miss Read’s Fairacre Series or L.M. Montgomery’s many books. And then I went to libraries, bookstores, gutenberg.org and? I found more, and more, and more. The lives are gentle and fun is had. The characters feel very real and they move in the old-fashioned ways we keep missing. There is conflict, usually the weather or something in nature giving the characters trouble. Sometimes it gets risky, a wagon wheel collapses, a bad illness or a death comes. But these things are rather likely in real life. Nothing constant in conflict as some of the stuff advertised to me like “Berkelley Square” or “Downton Abbey”. You see clothing that often portrays a time period where things are more simple and then have the stress roller-coaster from Hell, but like a train wreck you don’t look away. Ugh! Glad I learned how to shut off the machine and return to Fairacre again and again. Reading and listening and sewing. Very meditative and soothing.

I never complained much about entertainment when I got that far. And here I am surrounded by people who do nothing but complain about entertainment. Jonah told me about a video in which a pop star did a tribute to the late David Bowie and underneath were gobs of angry people mouthing off about how terrible it was. Then he told me, “They turned it on of their own volition and sit there complaining about it! Why don’t they go and listen to their f***ing Bowie records if they don’t like this tribute? Or take a guitar to the street corner and play some Bowie song they like?!”

I guess it goes back to that school mentality, being the cool-kid in school means you have to behave like some big-shot who disses on almost everything. I used to watch “friends” swear up a storm about “that stupid band” after a month of complete adoration with their music. It’s so messy. Me? I like The Spice Girls, I went to see them, all five, in concert. I also went to see Robyn Hitchcock perform.  I don’t mind admitting to loving something “un-cool” or “unpopular”. Who do I have to please in personal interests? Myself.

I like a lot of music, and I have a lot of moods and ranges. If I don’t like it I either turn it off or turn to something else.

Facebook doesn’t allow us that choice, does it? We want to keep up with friends but now it’s just link sharing and going through everyone’s clutter of it in a scroll. The personal news has diminished greatly. That’s a horrible thing to do to your friends, you know? Peer pressure of a network, and then peer-pressure of how to feel about entertainment, or anything else. And… you say… you’re busy??? You don’t have time to type out some commentary on what you enjoy but you’re sitting there doing that all day and night? (Anyone remember all those emails we used to forward to each other? I got real sick of that too!)

So yeah, bickering about entertainment. How spoiled can we get? I do believe I have the right to complain about my plight in lacking commentary of enjoyment. From several it’s either, “I’ll get to it,” or being harassed by envious jerks, or the very scary stats showing enjoyment or a thumbs up, which is meaningless for reaction most of the time. And? People lying completely that they haven’t really gotten to the work. They write to me and avoid the subject of the entire reason they know me at all: My entertainment. The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows that they want more of but do everything in their power to keep me from giving to them. (You guys do understand you’ve been making life Hell over here with that, right? And you’ve been driving our mothers crazy, too.)

Anyway, I keep reviewing the work of new friends, or just something I like. Helena’s stories in the world of “Night Court” are excellent. That show is so ingrained I’ve been able to pay attention but only as long as I’m writing my commentary and interacting with it. I guess that comes from social starvation, too. It’s why I offer review-swaps. If I can’t get what I need then the exchange is good to just find something I can focus on and interact with.

You know much of this radio drama’s fun came from us talking to the characters on TV? We’d make a joke and I’d write it down in my notes. Not all of the notes get used but I sure found some delights. Delights you’ve laughed at and never told me.

The silence is haunting, the lying about being a fan of this new show is creepy, the meme and photo sharing in PM’s or on my wall is rather disturbing, the claims over time that this online and tech-addiction is “great” or “fine” is especially horrifying. The need to do nothing but complain about entertainment is devastating.

I love “Dark Shadows” 2012, actually. It gave me the courage to keep going with The Pit, which did come first, lest we forget. As much as you hate that movie (and I really don’t believe you hate it that much,) it helped to inspire The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, but then again, a lot of things did.

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Don’t let the worthless mockers, who are just miserable people, bully you into silence. And don’t let advertisers sway you if it’s not your cup of tea. (And for God’s sake, don’t let my temper flaring be the reason you don’t talk to me about it. It’s the silence, confusion, and avoidance that causes the foul temper.)

Choose your entertainment, choose wisely, choose freely, quit being scared to appreciate things and talk about why, and don’t forget to let your entertainer know what you enjoyed. They love to find out.

Even Lara Parker will tell you, when she discovers you’ve gotten a book that she wrote, “Let me know what you liked.” 🙂

What a nice lady.