Pit Update: May 2017 & Retrospective

2017 May Update 1f

Thanking pen pals for helping me to heal, explaining why that is important and discussing how the happy buttons ruined upbeat discourse in people over the years.

Plenty of lively assertions in why beating around the bush about having “no time” to chit-chat is ridiculous, particularly in regards to over-use of social media. Lackadaisical listings of informational resources that have been important in creating the series which might help listeners.

Presentation of where and how The Pit discussion questions are displayed, and why they are important for this fairly cerebral programming.

Starting retrospective from Episode 1: “Parapsychology” and on through Episode 7: “The Blair Warlock Projected”, with whatever nuances I felt were fun to point out at the time of this recording, including a few perspectives via reviews, different TV show and movie introductions per episode, technical aspects and inspirations. When the Barnabas and Maggie couple suddenly mattered so much and how performing the role of Barnabas Collins changed things irrevocably.

Finally, description about this experience for you and I, along with the details of why what’s happened with misinterpretation of myself, this project, and the expectations of what the internet is, has been detrimental to all involved, and how to break free from those ideas. For listeners using social media who disavow having an addiction? Too late: You’ve got one.

archive.org link

podomatic link

podbay link

Downloadable from iTunes, as always...

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Working On Episode 16 (& other fun news)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

backgammon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Att. Twist of what?

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

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

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

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

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

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

language-of-flowers

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

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

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

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