For Newbies, Pen Pals and Old Hats

Hi, everyone!

I’m still here. I’m rusty at creating a radio drama episode but, like with any form of creative expression, the knack should return with practice.

I maintained Facebook abstinence for the full two-week stretch from the new pen pals and people I’m mailing CDs to. I love it! This is what I wanted and it’s the world that I know. My postman is also very happy with me. He says, “You tell them that I’m happy with what you’re doing and I look forward to getting a hug from you when I see you. You tell them that.”

There. Told. 🙂

The repeating cold/flu is still floating around. Clover and I got Version 2.0, Jonah didn’t, and my sweetheart is now on Version 3.0. I received tons of wonderful goodies for my birthday but I have to wait to have him to myself again.

So for my pen pals now getting the CDs of The Pit? Bless your hearts that you didn’t let the dead-weight of social media keep you from what you loved. And it’s fascinating to find out what you’ve been up to in the years we didn’t know each other as I struggled in the vicious Red Queen’s Race of anti-social networks. You also know it takes time to build something, so my own accomplishments might seem fantastic but not impossible to you.

And with my downgrading back to human? Other humans are doing it too. I hear from people more by email and private messages away from the social networks. Sadly some of these folks are still playing the “avoid-the-podcast-topic-game”, but not everyone. Some finally realized playing that game is dysfunctional and annoys me enough to get cranky on the podcasts! Good! I’d rather have fun on those shows, not feel the need to display rank bitterness. (Spraying metaphoric Lysol on my woes ends up making them worse. It messes up the voice-acting for the radio-drama too, just from the stress.)

In any case I’m very pleased to be spending my time getting rid of my horde of stationery. Like most forms of collecting things, too much comes when life is empty or there is a void one feels the need to fill. Now I’m releasing all the fun goodies I saved, and as I send them along? I keep finding new areas in which I’ve hoarded more! But it makes way for further space as I go. This is a good thing.

The pen pals who are interested are eager for more but in the manner they know better: The human paced postal system. However there are some trying to get links to work in a somewhat desperate sense. I always know when they do get the links to work because I tend to never hear from them again. I see the statistical growth, but the silence is a recurring problem and one I doubt I’ll ever really get used to.

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Is a Jonathan Frid character hanging out with a Tim Curry character just too sexy? Maybe!

With the lack of information I used to have, but now am being provided with, I’m discovering an important point we all forgot about. The poor and suffering are the most appreciative of good entertainment. They were often the people I was seeking, too. Still am. It’s the especially wealthy and comfortable that have been the worst problem. They’re watching a soap-opera because, for the most part, they have few troubles, desire drama and don’t empathise much with people outside of themselves. They can download the podcast easily and get angry at me for struggling and suffering. They’re greedy and want the silver-spoon version of The Pit. Catering to people like that is detrimental. Rewarding rudeness is nothing short of despicable.

Not all rich people are this way, though. There have been many well-to-do types of privilege. I am currently thinking of a fictional one though, and one fictional character many proclaim as empty-headed and bubbly:

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Josette du Pres

She is a rare wealthy character on Dark Shadows who cares about classes below hers. Her concern and desire for comradeship with Angelique is unusual for someone of her own designation in 1795. We see something quite similar with that of Barnabas Collins and Ben Stokes, too. And when we think about Barnabas and Josette both being as such? That is certainly a match made in Heaven. ❤

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We require wealthy people that empathise with those who suffer to make the difference, as we also need the suffering to appreciate each other. To me that’s what our stories show us.

Social media turned that story-telling, which changed our lives for the better, into mindless nostalgia of photos to thumb-up. It preys on the obsessive-compulsive-disorder which resounds in us to click happy-buttons and lose the heart of who we are. The happy-buttons, rewards of hearts and stars, regress us into kindergarteners. Kindergartners are easy to manipulate.

I didn’t know this was happening for so long because I had barely touched the social media. I was very involved in vision-therapy, librivox audio books, and creating The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows while watching and taking notes of all the shows that blend into it. I knew something of the smartphone phenomenon but we all joked about that long ago. The Blackberry phone came out with its whistles and bells and what did we call it?

The Crackberry.

A lady at church told me it was once a faux-pas to like-click posts on Facebook. She also recalls a friend asking her, “What’s with all these bumper stickers? I’m seeing them everywhere. All these images with quotations. What a waste!”

As it turns out there are others like me who didn’t see this happening either. We still used the internet to educate ourselves and keep in touch with loved ones. We had to hear less and less from those loved ones to begin recognizing we’d suddenly been left in the lurch. That led to many walks of life without similar interests reaching out to at least support each other in that one obvious fact. We were alone, very alone. A guy on a Gothic forum told me, “Some of the most artistic and rebellious people I have ever known have been siphoned by this conformity.” No kidding! I’ve seen it too.

In any event, those of similar interests are finding each other again, however slowly and I am very grateful. Several pen pals don’t fear discussing The Pit episodes. They enjoy it. They didn’t know it even existed. Now they look forward to more and express:

“Please keep up with this – you will be glad you followed your muse when she called you. But please don’t burn out on it—it would change the tone. You have such a happy enjoyable tone of joy with it. Yeah, that’s it—it’s JOYFUL! Ride this mule, baby!”

Now that’s more like it! And it’s what I like to do for others.

So for all the newbies:

I bid you welcome to The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows!

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And for the old-hats? I welcomed you a long time ago, and I still do. But we must keep something in mind. We have flaws. That is human. You’ve felt guilty and uncertain because you fed into the bystander-effect, got caught up in only paying attention to the drama, lost the ability to talk about what you enjoyed. Is this all your fault? I don’t think so. But you still feel guilty and uncertain about me and the fact you played the “avoid-the-podcast-topic-game”. You really should stop playing that game. It’s not a fun game and no one wins it. (I prefer Kill Doctor Lucky and Tabloid Teasers, myself.)

But… what if you admitted to your flaws? What if you felt sorry and explained? In what light would you be seen if you owned up to a mistake or even several? Who would you be very akin to if you exhibited some remorse or apologetic forms of expression?

That would show you to be similar to one of our most beloved characters in the world:

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Barnabas Collins. ❤

Pit Update March 2017

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A “sickie” podcast for new pen pals and old listeners alike.

This is a very newsy and studious monologue. I’ll address what’s going on with the letter-writing method of listening to the series and knowing that many who want to hear this can’t always download or play it via having poor equipment.

Lots of discussions of people I’m talking with lately: Auntie, Jonah, etc.
Identifying interruption fan fiction and how it works with Osheen Nevoy and Lisa Weyenberg’s works as key examples.

Tons of spoilers for The Pit and later on a lot of spoilers for the marriage novel I’m creating in tandem. As per usual, this talk and explanation is quite cerebral, as well as moving back and forth discussion on various show characters being responsible for solutions in The Pit, including Endora and Uncle Arthur from “Bewitched”, as well as Wadsworth, Captain Gregg, Lily, and Morticia.

Plenty of goodies about Doctor Who coming into play for The Pit and exactly why he will.

archive.org link

podomatic link

podbay link

And yes, it is downloadable from iTunes, as always...

(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.)

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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!

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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.”

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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?”

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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.”

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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!”

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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!

 

Margaret Josette Dupres: Chapter 42

-LINK TO CHAPTER 42-

Here is the installment I talked about during the January Update 2017 podcast. It involves getting little Sarah’s schooling started as well as child Caleb really meeting her for the first time. Characters included are the parents, Barnabas and Maggie, Roger Collins, David Collins, Angelique, Quentin and Wadsworth. I hope you enjoy and I’d love to know what you liked.

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Please hit the link above if you would like to read it.

Pit Update January 2017

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Explaining the long wait for Episode 17. In this you can hear my laryngitis.  In between rambles we have various details of events planned for Episode 17 and how channeling Beetlejuice affects me.

Studying with friends; Osheen and Lisa mentioned the most. Personal reflections and sad apologies to “Everyone”: fans, cast members, social network users. Possible reasons why the new technology is driving us all koo-koo. (Also some comparisons to Star Trek.)

Lots of fun insights about various characters and the deeper lesson Barnabas Collins teaches us from his own personal behaviour: Accountability.

Further updates with the marriage novel side-project, as well as the supernatural elements, including reincarnation.

Various interruptions were left in the update to allow a more human feeling.

podomatic link here

podbay link here

archive dot org link here

Also available on iTunes

Building Further Episodes (January 2017)

I’ve been taking a little break from channeling Beetlejuice. As some of you know, or maybe you don’t, my online insanity rather bursts into regions unknown with that character. Our bio-exorcist is the type who can do good things while giving you the illusion he is rotten to the core. When I empathize with him, which has actually been very easy, his manner of lashing out for not getting his strong abilities recognized speaks to me deeply and in a way that resounds with that constant dismissal I’ve been handed throughout the years. He screams the words:

“You buncha LOSERS! You’re workin’ with a PROFESSIONAL HERE!!!

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Hee hee hee, YEAH! I hear ya, old friend! I sure as Hell hear ya!

SO! Remembering that the radio drama originally came in layers, and patterns of blending those layers, I am currently repeating Dark Shadows Disk # 67, or for those with the different sets it’s Collection 11 Disk 3. This is when our lovely Chris Jennings arrives and I must say it’s a treat to watch him!

❤ ❤ ❤

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(Yes, I can write romantic Barnabas in first person with his fancy-woman, but it’s not him I’m in love with. I simply learned how to do that because I understand Barnabas. It’s Don Briscoe I really swoon over. Ha ha!)

And now that I look over these episodes I think I’ve found another reason Tony Peterson was inexplicably neglected for this daytime-drama. Adam is also about to randomly disappear, so they can switch Carolyn’s love interest yet again! I mean, who hasn’t Carolyn gone through? She starts in the series with Joe Haskell (not bad!), then gets very, very distracted by Burke Devlin.  Eventually we glory in her wild romance with Buzz Hackett for the sake of retaliation at the ridiculousness of her mother, Elizabeth, being engaged to Jason McGuire (HURL!). Buzz was a fun one, for sure! I approve of Carolyn & Buzz and not as a long-term romance by any means. Just as the marvelous joy-ride that it is. (I dare say if all y’all haven’t experienced one of those flings? Ye haven’t lived!)

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Then we have Tony Peterson. Out of all the paramours Carolyn Stoddard had, this one struck me as that final pinnacle she was reaching for. Her romance with Tony was interrupted by Adam (among other troubles) and then eventually just left unwritten about. As Tony and Adam are subtly missing, let’s stretch over to Carolyn and… Chris Jennings? Well, okay. That makes sense for a soap-opera. But knowing their family ties, as some of us fans do, watching them kiss is disturbingly close to seeing Princess Leia romantically kiss (her brother) Luke Skywalker in “The Empire Strikes Back”. Ewllllll…

So with Chris Jennings coming into Dark Shadows we can get a feeling of why Tony Peterson was dropped from Carolyn Stoddard’s flesh-market. Will this happen in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows? Not bloody likely.

Q: What about Jeb Hawkes or the idea of Ned Stuart for Carolyn?

A: Forget it!

Besides which, Chris Jennings love for Sabrina Stuart always remains in the picture. One fan-writer delights me with further adventures of this couple. They are simple, but very fun, goodies.

This set of Dark Shadows episodes (635-644) displays an awful lot of crying and screaming. There are also Adam bits I skip, but plenty of Victoria and Peter (I don’t call him Jeff) that is wonderfully revealing and very usable for their Pit escapades in The Addams Family home. Betsy Durkin’s portrayal of Victoria Winters helps in that her voice is very close to the original Victoria. When I look away I can easily envision Alexandra Moltke. (Well done, Ms. Durkin!) The details to themselves and their love in these parts are very rewarding.

Amy Jennings is extremely pivotal and what ensues in her adventures with David shouldn’t be a tight squeeze for The Pit. We’ve got Sarah Collins’ ghost but she has other friendships and will likely understand that what David encounters with Amy is more important than her being neglected by David Collins. Sarah may also have The Ghost of Captain Daniel Gregg (from The Ghost & Mrs. Muir) to consult, as well as Sam Evans who knows him.

The only pains of discarding a component is Elizabeth not being there. In this segment of Dark Shadows I always loved that it was Elizabeth & Barnabas holding down the fort together, working as a team. (This is something I adored in the 2012 film, as well; Elizabeth & Barnabas running the estate together. It just felt right.) Now? I get the challenge of trying to figure out how Barnabas and ROGER will do this! Ah—h-h-h-! It is possible though. One thing at a time.

Mainly what is good is getting back to true friendships and interactions. (The shock of such a frightful loss in old friends is still severe. Knowing I’m not the only one suffering this loss definitely helps.) The mail is adding up so I have company on paper to exchange while the shows play repeatedly before me. And with pen pals it’s wonderful to find renewed vigor for The Pit. These listeners are hearing old episodes as if they are brand new and the enthusiasm comes. Yes, that old habit in newbies of wanting to advise tweaking things also comes but I do my best to shake it off. (One might as well request that The Smiths reform and re-record the album “Meat Is Murder”. It’s simply not going to happen.)

Also I get a little information here and there of, “Daryl! Such-and-such happens to so-and-so in later episodes!” as if it’s going to have some devastating effect on The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. I have to explain, more than once, that things have irrevocably changed for our beloved characters in this radio drama already. Remember the laws of Cause & Effect. There are multiple beauties I’ve had to discard from the original run of Dark Shadows because The Pit runs in differing lines.

The research is still important to understand the characters, yes. Why? Because of what we learn in the story of “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind”.

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If you’ve watched this movie you see that even when memories are erased the people involved make the same decisions regardless. Change doesn’t happen in personality with the erasure of memories. It happens with growth. How do I know this to really be true?

I’ve audio recorded thousands of conversations with friends and family. When I played the tapes on occasion some of the same people recorded are present. They will hear a friend who isn’t there express something on the recording and then whoever is currently present will make the exact same responses in conversation that they made on that past recording. I’ve watched this happen several times. And then the person who says that present thing? They hear themselves saying it in the recording and laughter strikes them; they didn’t expect to hear themselves respond the same way as they did months or years previously. But they do. Personality maintains, as well as their humour. It’s almost magical.

And so, in the same way, fictional characters can be put into different situations but still be identifiable as the people we know and love. That’s when you know you’ve got a convincing piece of work. When it stretches into decisions the classic characters would not make? That confuses and fragments the audience, and so we have seen done with a plethora of fan-work. It’s also why many of us grab our heads and cry out together, “WATCH THE SHOW!” Or even better, “LISTEN!” (It’s the sadness in a lot of fan-work. So much was written without the show on hand, just people staring at pictures and reading other fanfiction.)


In between times of pen palling and watching all the shows? I have a little interest in an actual book:

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I’m not very far but I don’t mind. What Nicholas Carr has managed to tap into is precisely what I’ve been ranting and raving about all of this time. Being able to pay attention to the information in this book is difficult at times, but I can feel myself being drawn back into better focus and know that the answers to this madness are slowly being presented to me in a human pace. That pace itself is extremely helpful, as well as the answers. (I’ve ordered his sequel, “The Glass Cage” which may show solutions, I’m pleased to say.)


Meanwhile, with copies of The Addams Family, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, The Munsters, Bewitched and all else well in hand? My husband asked me what I would like for my rental queue. I answered, “You know… It’s going to take forever anyway. What do they have for Tom Baker’s Doctor Who?”

You can bet he was excited by that! It’s a long way to defeating The Leviathans in Dark Shadows but while all of this gets worked on? We have another show to enjoy and research together.

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His beginning flashed before our eyes. Our beloved Doctor tried out a lot of outfits; a comedic effect to him always altering his look when he regenerates.

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Then he came out of the TARDIS with the classic Fourth Doctor attire we knew and adored.

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I screamed, “WOOOOOO HOOOO!!!”

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With that being said, I must ask my audience,

“What have you devoted your life to lately?”

Episode 17: Intro With Lisa Weyenberg

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 Pink Floyd and The Bee Gees sing us into a major list of thank yous.

Lisa’s Interview: Her watching Dark Shadows since the age of five and beyond throughout the years. Kathleen Resch’s Concordances for Dark Shadows, and fanzines: “Inside The Old House”, “World of Dark Shadows”, “Wyndcliff Watch”, “The Music Box”, “Shadows of The Night” and how they were obtained.


When the fanwork shifted away from the original Dark Shadows program. Discussion of Lisa’s Dark Shadows fanwork, which is also relief for the characters. Reincarnation for Josette and fans of that romance with Barnabas being tongue-tied. Sharing our creation techniques. Important relevance for Kitty Soames. Reasons why Lisa’s work is not readily available online.


Other fandoms in The Pit and more. Personal reflections on the Harry Potter series, and the peer pressure to enjoy that entertainment as well as others. The fun of Lisa’s visit with us. Going through “Teen Screen” magazines. (Sorry, I keep calling it “Teen Scene”. The magazine is really called “Teen Screen”.)


All the things Lisa and I have in common in both creation and entertainment.


Summary of upcoming Episode 17 in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows.


At the tail end of this podcast there is a lecture. It’s not a rant, it is a lecture. It’s not for the haters, it’s for “nice guys” who have actually done far more harm than good. For those of you who either hate me or love me, feel free to turn the podcast off when I say the word “Farewell”.


And for all involved: understand that you have no obligation to listen to this or anything I’ve created. You have freedom of choice, and that is, and what has always been, precisely what the Internet is all about. Period.

archive.org link to Episode 17 Intro

podbay.fm link to Episode 17 Intro

podomatic link to Episode 17 Intro