Pit Update: December 2017

2017 Dec 1d

 

My personal break away from drug-like social media sites; two in particular. My own upbringing in digesting fiction with the help of others. How people are looking for companionship to enjoy films and television shows with.

Thanking pen pals and explaining what happened to those of you that “ran away screaming”. Living a recorded-life. The detriment of the like-button on the human race.

Troubles in the bad behaviour toward myself as your entertainer (and the rare good). Unceremonious responses to the May 2016 podcast.

News on grassroots for Episode 17. Talk on future Pit episodes 18 and 19. “My Scrapbook Memories of Dark Shadows” by Kathryn Leigh Scott and how it can help all listeners whether or not they know Dark Shadows. Fun stuff!

Upcoming influences to The Pit with: Dark Shadows, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Diablos Café, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir personal marathon and the curiosity of Captain Gregg’s hair. The Addams Family and suggestion of “The Addams Family: An Evilution”, comparisons with The Munsters, as well as back history from that and Bewitched.

Included are the comparisons to various substance abuses, addictions and social media. Another discussion of social network schemes severely disturbing our lives and how the correspondence skills were drained by too much sheltering and the overuse of snark.

Wishing you Happy Holidays, why, and a Very Merry Solstice to Angelique Bouchard.


 

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Link to archive.org version


 

If you see this in the WP reader and enjoy it please leave a comment. (If you use the “like” I will have no idea who you are or what the deal is. Thanks.)

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200 Years Away/Margaret Josette Dupres (Update 2017)

This is an update I’m leaving for those interested in more of either version of this book-in-progress. I don’t want to post it to Facebook because I feel a lot better not using that network, nor enabling anyone interested in my work to believe I approve of using it to support me. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! 🙂

There have unfortunately been stalls in the continuation of this work.

I was using something the internet once managed in plenty known as “The Honour System”, that is: Unsupervised arrangement in which customers or users help themselves to goods or services and are relied upon to pay for what they take. In this case it would have been feedback and discussion rather than cash of any kind. (Or worse the new Monopoly money of “like-buttons” and stat hits.)

It is true that “Margaret Josette Dupres” was doing very well for that, but somewhere along the way the practice of book-club discussion eroded and most of what was gleaned became generalized positivity, similar to what all versions of the like-button enhances by so much exposure to the constant use of it.

One reason the novel grew into something better from the first draft was fans of this couple reached out to me and we discussed the character’s lives on the original program within the 1790’s, 1890’s and 1960’s time-periods. When that discussion began running low there wasn’t much more to go on. On top of that this work is also derived from an interruption series known as “The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows” which is nowhere near complete. Hence, the alterations in our beloved characters lives can only be understood as far as what that interruption series currently contains, as well as the original Dark Shadows, Clue: The Movie, and The Ghost & Mrs. Muir.

In the last year or so this natural and required discussion dwindled. So, all of these things are taking much longer than one would presume.

There will need to be some changes in tenses in the third draft of the novel so that all the details are combined evenly in chronology with the audio drama.

If all of this seems rather technical, it is. I resigned from a good job to take on all of this work fully and obtain the needed help and discussion from the right people who had a vested interest. Unfortunately most of what I got instead was invitations to waste time in Zuckerberg Land (Facebook) and its various carbon copies.

I am grateful to have found, and continue to find, the needed discussion for “The Pit…” project in the old-fashioned ways that still work, and work better: pen friends and letters. However, these friends I lovingly garnered have little to no interest in the novel, just the audio show.

In my July Update and Retrospective podcast of 2017 I offered a podcast about “Margaret Josette Dupres” if it was wanted, but I would need at least twelve readers of the novel to send me a message (preferably by email) for me to make that production. I have yet to receive a single request from any readers. I await those twelve requests. 🙂

I let Melissa and Lisa, close friends now in this endeavour, know that even as I’ve depleted the social network poison of Facebook from my system, I still care deeply about our shared group of members who came or were invited to the Barnabas & Maggie group on Facebook. I’ve created other avenues outside of Facebook for these fans to socialize, but that virtual playground can be an extremely difficult thing to stop using. (It took me a year of hard work and good help to do it. It is the worst addiction I have ever had, and no joke!)

One network I will, for the time being, still use is Google Plus. This online zone can be difficult to use and I believe this is on purpose to be a set of tools better employed by people who are either more tech savvy or can take on the challenge and enjoyment of learning. This makes it less addictive and therefore less attractive to the spoon-fed masses. If email is somehow “too scary” then I offer that online location. I created a Barnabas and Maggie group on Google Plus which is currently public but we can privatize it if the need arises.

I do all of this for the sake that I realized the chat wasn’t coming years ago due to the overwhelming show of non-canon pairings in Dark Shadows fandom online, and that would easily mean that the fans who wanted relief for the people we watched on the screen would be a longing that had turned into a rather big “No-no” somehow. The fans of Maggie and Barnabas had been ostracized and ridiculed.

I guess I’m a fan because to me, and my husband, the reincarnation and reciprocation was blatantly obvious to the point of hilarity. But fans, such as yourselves, are the people who were denied access to each other from intimidation and scare tactics by others. Absurdly silly, but sadly true. There are a few who aren’t grateful that I went through so much hell to help provide them a way to find each other, but for me it’s been the principle of the thing anyway. And a fair number are grateful, which helps. (For Lisa, though, I and Melissa have quite a bit of “hero worship” in a sense, to which Lisa often responds, “Oh stop that!” Hee hee hee.)

So that is about it as far as the progress of this work is going. I knew the internet in its earlier stages, before mobile phones were a thing almost everyone had. To me email was about as hygienic a communications tool as one could get. All the rest seems less necessary, but as far as what I can use Google Plus is “okay” for the time being, if we must use any such equipment to chat.

Take care,

Daryl


‘People say “A picture is worth a thousand words.” That is true in some cases. In other cases a word is worth a thousand pictures.’ – -Douglas Adams

 

Julia and Barnabas: An Inquiry (November 2017)

huh

 

 

This podcast is meant to open a dialogue with fans of this non-canon romantic pairing.

We’ve already been dealing with people who felt hurt and harmed by fans of it, but this is to give some insight into the possibilities of why it continues to get wished for and discussed so heavily.

I go through a few bits of personal news, including a grief I am enduring, before I dive into the topics.

My own desire of Willie and Maggie as a romance long ago, but stronger a difficulty I had with films and books written by Louisa May Alcott. Discussion about one character that confused me for a very long time and how I got over the confusion of not getting the romantic pairing I felt made more sense once upon a time.

I don’t want to hear about your thoughts over “People” and how they feel.

I would like to hear about your needs on this topic.

Meanwhile I am very much enjoying building romance with Doctor Hoffman and Professor Stokes.

I hope this podcast helps you.


podomatic link

podbay link

archive.org link

And available through iTunes as always…


And a happy little thought here: ❤

julia and eliot forever

Pit Update: October 2017

October 2017 Update b

 

For all the pen pals, of course, and chat about why I admire Jonathan Frid, geeking out about Canadian culture. Getting Pit burn-out but how it keeps me going anyway. Social media topics and the reasons it erodes us, especially the younger generation without similar life experiences prior to this technology.

 
How bash-culture took over from other more light-hearted heckling entertainment, as well as how criticizing became more important than deep-thought or enjoyment.

Continuing on new episode creation throughout this year of healing. Why letter-writing is healthier for us, and why the web-log I created became so extensive.

 
Discussion about pairings, particularly Angelique Bouchard and Quentin Collins, and with The Pit series how it can come into being. Focus on Angelique’s needs, how she is a much different villain than Jason McGuire.

 
Information of requirements for further chapters of the marriage novel (Margaret Josette Dupres) and how it previously received what it needed to grow: Josette’s complexity, writing influences and how the chapter process altered with the reincarnation of Sarah, and the “impossibly” happy Barnabas Collins. (More is discussed in the March 2017 podcast for the book.)

 
Finding pen friends who have healthy relationships. How choosing from personal interest is healthier than becoming a “critic”, not everyone needs a ton of conflict or villains. “The Enemy Is Us” this Halloween. I wrap up with one, hopefully harmless, heckling to “The Creation of Eve” episodes on Dark Shadows.


 

archive.org link

podomatic link

podbay link

Downloadable from iTunes, as always…

 

Pit Update: September 2017

2017 September Update

 

Genuine appreciation for pen friends overall, and in a sense that this gratitude may be endless considering the alternative online “prison-camps” we’ve all felt trapped in.

Nothing fancy. Just basic news and me hanging out in my room. Talking about Carolyn and Tony as well as Dr. Hoffman and Prof. Stokes, both on Dark Shadows and in The Pit.

Technical updates on Episode 17, inquiries for chat and correspondence.

Much love for a non fandom related pointer K.L.S. mentioned in an interview. Explanations on the three-year roller coaster of social media versus the calming effect pen, paper and email discussions managed to make in only six months.

Over all some fun rambling, which I know appeals to some new pals.

archive.org link

podomatic link

podbay link

Downloadable from iTunes, as always…

 

A Relieving Return to Script-Writing

That title looks grand doesn’t it? Wouldn’t it be nice to believe that all our troubles were over? Alas, there are wounds. I have photo albums filled with once marvellous friends and relations that I may never hear from again due to them having sold their souls to device technology and social media. Wounds as such cannot fade. Time can heal but this grief is an entirely new phenomenon. The uncertainty of repair is staggering and loud. The change in human behaviour to something so close to the docile Eloi of “The Time Machine” is horrific.

Good people come forward, though. They are new friends and companions, people fed-up with what’s happened. We share this bond with each other. My woes are their woes. There is still that little denial of, “It’s not so bad,” but that denial has receded greatly in this year, 2017. We know it is all very, very bad, indeed.

And yet… shades of delightful 20th Century habits come back to us. Selecting real books to enjoy, real albums to play, true conversation in person and on paper. Recipes to cook, scrubbing to be done. Dishes to be washed. Clothing to be picked out for the weather of the week to come. The seasons remind us that we are of The Earth and of The Heavens.


 

As I sit at my desk and stare into Morning Glory Circle on Bewitched, with two characters from Maine about to knock upon The Stephens door, a wonderful thing finally occurs: The characters let me know what they likely would say to each other. Samantha Stephens is being introduced to Sam Evans of Collinsport and Captain Daniel Gregg of Schooner Bay, at long last.

Samantha

It isn’t coming out as I expected either! I predicted it would get very silly, and Endora’s arrival might have Captain Gregg hiding behind Sam in fear. The thing is Captain Gregg doesn’t really behave that way when set in motion to face a potential adversary, even if that adversary has put him through dire straits as Endora did previously in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. And so far Samantha hasn’t scolded Endora for what she did, but I feel that ought to be in there somewhere, really. (Besides, I am itching to do an Elizabeth Montgomery impression of, “Mother!”)

A book on sea-faring language, that Osheen once suggested, has come in quite handy. I had a little trouble with what Gregg would say until I opened that up. I still have to determine where Tabitha might be, but I notice they don’t always worry about that on Bewitched so maybe it doesn’t matter. (This is a rough-draft, afterall.)

Looking at the word count now I still have plenty of room. Scenes are already mapped out for Chris Jennings, Amy Jennings, Hoffman, Stokes, and later on it appears that bypassing Mr. Wells death and allowing him to live will be easier than I thought. In fact, I found him barricading the door for Chris rather than simply locking it from the outside. After The Blairs staying in Room 13? Mr. Wells is done with being curious about noise. He just wants there not to be any.

 

Vic and Mor 1

That leaves us in wondering what to do with The Addams Family, Victoria Winters and Peter Bradford. Some ideas are there. I’ve made a list of pastimes The Addams Family engage in and I must say, it’s longer than the list of odd recipes they’ve mentioned.

I know that for Victoria there will be further exercises in her powers, but that doesn’t mean she can’t just enjoy herself in a new home she’s almost gotten used to. An interest in history is even there if Wednesday’s dolls have anything to do with it. I smell a rapport happening between those two.

The main thing is finding the discussion between Victoria, Peter and The Addams Family. There is a slice-of-life element to The Addams Family that I didn’t notice before, but it was the more Gothic type I’d been rather wanting for so long. Having a problem to solve needn’t be necessary at all. It’s a staple of television shows but The Addams Family always operate so differently. A great deal of the show itself is often hanging out or goofing off. Whatever problems that come usually take a long time to be solved as they are so busy with all of their hobbies, pets, and basic housekeeping.

So far The Pit scenes I have for The Addams Family have been quite reflective. There was the great cliff-hanger in Episode 13 with, “We need you, Grandmama. It’s Victoria! …She has the gift!” And that got identified in Episode 15 with spell work, as Grandmama stared aghast at Reverend Trask’s stark image via Victoria’s memories projected on vapour. It mayn’t have been due to Grandmama having any aversion to a widow’s peak hairstyle, but the severity of Trask’s widow’s peak can rather blow all of our minds, can’t it?

For Episode 18 I am doubtful any new spell work with Victoria will take place. Perhaps some chat of doing more whilst playing a game of some kind. I still haven’t gotten a spot where Peter is enjoying the delights of Gomez and his trains. There is also Peter Bradford being Peter Bradford in official documents. With either man having practised law, however antiquated like Peter, or out-of-step like Gomez, I’m sure they could devise some method in which they fulfil that requirement neatly enough.

But will Victoria take the name of Bradford? Not yet. I wager she will eventually after discovering enough about her own history and her parents. But she started this life as a Winters and shall continue being one for sometime, married or not.


 

Still, I remain puzzled at what happened with Dark Shadows fans for so many decades that they wanted more horror, twisted troubles, and bizarre romantic pairings in the fanfiction all this time. Were libraries with bummer books and ghastly stories always out of reach? Did the wealth of horror movies not suffice? Perhaps it was a lack of having the program to enjoy that made them want to write down what happened so they could enjoy it that way, and then got caught up in altering it in random directions? Did Roger Corman’s films have anything to do with it?

I’m fine with creativity,  or getting wacky, heck, after I watched “200 Motels” a la Frank Zappa? It was pretty clear anything goes in some areas of entertainment. But Dark Shadows is huge on its own. So huge I’m not sure I’d want to repeat the entire thing over and over again. So with the fanwork I have to wonder if something happened to these fans. Too many drugs in the 1970’s? Sadness that the show ended and re-runs were unheard of at the time? Bafflement at Sam Hall’s wrap-up? (I just listened to Roger Davis read it and shrugged, myself.) I can’t imagine that life was so comfortable that they were in want of more drama. The puzzle remains for me.

 


 

As time goes on, I do want to do more for our Old House couple and family in the pages of “Margaret Josette Dupres”. But discussion of it is necessary and the practice of discussion itself is low. There is only so much I can do for Barnabas and Maggie’s marriage details as it’s based on Dark Shadows which is finished, and The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows which is not.

When a waitress is on holiday might Maggie fill in at The Coffee Shop just for kicks? Sarah and Caleb as children shan’t be a thorn-free bed of roses. Caleb has become a witch’s son after all. Will Barnabas finally get comfortable with being a vampire who is less affected by sunlight? (I have my doubts.) The only surety is the love never fades. What to do on a daily basis with that love? That’s the question. ❤

Of course, as has been very usual, people will listen to me asking for the discussion on the novel during the podcasts, or read this log entry where I explain the practicality of discussion, and rather than send an email or telephone me about it? They will blink and wonder why no one else is doing so. Time has become less of a worry with this new technology. What has really been lost with it is the art of conversation.

Cat’s got your tongue, as they say.

Looks like this time, she’s kept it, too. 😉

Why Bashing Doesn’t Work

Now that much of the online hokum due to bizarro fans I never wanted to deal with has been relieved by pen pals who give a darn, I’m finding simple reflections in things I dearly missed. A breeze, a delightful flower, the simple odour of pines, the feel of paper and a cosy outfit.

And I have to giggle at statistical weirdness. I swear to Zeus, people straggle through, find The Pit script, skip the lot, go straight to the last episode and likely are as baffled as when they started. We’re on 16, it’s a cliffhanger, there is NO wrap up currently to this show! Doi!

I’ve lived through a lotta weird decades, but this one has to be the stupidest I’ve encountered. I’ve heard the 1950’s were pretty dumb from people who lived during it, baring a few beatniks, I guess. I’m trying to imagine it in comparison to these 2010’s. There was sure a ton of products to dazzle, wanting people to lavishly spend like crazy after WWII and keep the money flowing which would maintain our removal from what happened during The Great Depression (hence we have planned obsolescence and stuff that breaks more often so we have to re buy it). But the depth of dopiness doesn’t feel like it was quite so rampant as it is now.

Maybe it was the Establishment vibe that made the 1950’s run differently. This 2010’s decade is flopping all over the place. It dares to be different except you are only allowed to be different through the New Establishment of constantly being connected online. Rather than being shunned for not upholding the status-quo of online connection? You just go unseen and more or less wiped from people’s own memories. It’s a bit like the disappearance of Tony Peterson on Dark Shadows. Things with him and Carolyn were fine, he just kinda didn’t show up anymore.

I have had some good chats with fed-up companions who only briefly tried Facebook. Sudden contact with so many people they hadn’t heard from in decades, and weren’t really that close to at all, “Now they’re all up in my business! Wanting me to look at crap, wanting me to click things that don’t pertain to either of us. After three months? I was done! Bleh!”

Another nice lady was good enough to express a two-day yuck of even trying to understand the point of the social network. “I kept looking and I just had to get as far away as I could!” she explained, in a physical gesture of removing herself from the table where we were having our dinner.

I really do remember when television did some crappy things to people. They’d get all into a favourite movie airing after a hard day at work and someone would need a lift by car. The joy sank out of their grasp as they went to deal with it. We know it’s the honourable thing to do to help a person in need, but that needy person is now tainted with the association of missing out on the company of fictional characters that warm the heart more than living people do. That was the old world.

This new world is scattered with indecision, distraction, and abundance of overwhelming choices far worse than cable or satellite television could provide. It’s also indoctrinated with a TV-screen version of friendship, hygienic connection to people we once knew or have never met in person. It is so hygienic and sporadic that it stifles the flow of natural mood, aggravates the senses, removes facial recognition and tone of voice, all while the eyes are constantly staring at artificial light. “Relaxing” reading is done by tablet, again we’re staring at artificial light. (My own preference is for the paper-screen e reader, by the way.)

Rather than seeing a person you know and starting up a conversation, lights and boxes pop out. Jingles and alarming noises zing in the air. What could be gleaned easier in person is covered entirely with gadgetry.  Then? Paranoia sets in, “How honest is this person being with me?”

How are you to know, eh?

The wealth of human details are cut away from the conversation. Even a personal thing like handwriting doesn’t show in prefabricated textual lettering. Tech wizards always claim that these things will improve with more tinkering. Really? After social media do you think we’re going to trust what tech wizards tell us?

Reminds me of a favourite line in The Golden Girls when Rose confesses they didn’t have a television set in her household because someone felt, “It hadn’t been perfected yet.”

I used to believe my childhood and teen years were so horrendous, and in light of the severe ostracising and constant discouragement to do anything productive, while also being picked-on for not being productive (?????) it is true. However, I’m reconsidering some of the basics like yelling matches and getting fisticuffs with other kids, sometimes out of anger, sometimes from self-defence. I’m not sure this current generation has that much of that. And all that energy and loneliness just wells up inside them so there is this need to bash and be insulting to get it out because it is the only option that’s left! I used to wonder why outdoor sports and competition was considered “healthy”. I think I know now.

But then why get all bent out of shape about Dark Shadows? I’m concerned some of these younger fans don’t understand the format. (And honestly? I’m not too sure the elder fans understand it either.)

I knew other soap-operas. I was very aware of the format going in. Eastenders was probably my favourite. It just got nice and dull, and sometimes I couldn’t understand what the people were even saying anyway. (It confused my sister when she walked in. She knew more British comedy. She was waiting for Eastenders to get funny and… it wasn’t really getting funny. Very perplexing!)

To me soap-operas and their characters were very disposable. I expected Dark Shadows to be nothing more than that. It’s spooky and spooky is my thing. It’s based on old-books which are also my thing. So it’ll be somewhat higher grade but we’ll get some cheesiness from it being so old. We even giggled a ton upon Dr. Woodard’s death with Sam finding him, and his deep and meaningful close-up, staring straight into the camera lens, “Those eyes… what were the last thing they saw to be looking like that?” We kept laughing. We played it again and again and again, “Those eyes… what were the last thing they saw to be looking like that?” Woo! Going for an award, Mr. Ford!

Then there was humour, real humour coming right from Roger Collins about the séance, Carolyn & Buzz making fun of Jason, The Caretaker just on his own with his comical Edward Gorey woefulness. My goodness! This is incredibly entertaining! I didn’t expect that! I can’t binge on this however much I want to. I gotta re-watch that disk! Made for TV movies like “The Beast” (1996)? That was disposable. But this soap-opera isn’t. How the heck did that happen?

So in that light I can see the appeal. But we, as humans, have the need for closure. Loose ends bug us. A good story degrading irritates us. If we get a tear in our sleeve we want to fix it, or replace the whole shirt. That’s why I went searching five years for a relief-series before starting my own. Someone must have created a relief-series by the 21st Century, right?

Sadly most people go for the band-aid manoeuvre. And considering the bumper-sticker length of attention spans these days? That’s about all most people can do at all. It’s applicable to listeners who get angry at my podcast intros. They don’t want the whole picture. They want it in bite sizes. Molly-coddled and babied for years now? What is the result?

“Waaaaaaa!!! Mommy Internet isn’t giving me what I want! Waaaaaaaaaaa!!! This person is trying to make me think! Waaaaaaaa!!! I don’t like thinking! I just want to make fun of Barnabas Collins being sad! Waaaaaaaa!!!”

They want something to scoff at because they’re mostly trained to do nothing but scoff. Rushing around in a hurry for no reason while they long for these olden days and “simpler times”. (You’ll find it in old books, my dears. It isn’t necessarily online.)

I’m speculating the creation of a stigma for this stupidity. We actually had that with the hipper crowds in the 1990’s. Too much television = moron. Books were approved of, but be wary of the author. If it was an easy read or a very popular author you might as well be watching television. The more obscure it was the cooler you looked. Hoopy froods got uppity if someone read things to them, “What? You think I’m too ignorant not to be able to read it myself?!”

This should explain to you why I don’t care about popularity and I have retaliated against online rudeness with some of my own. Growing up we were made to feel the pain of being an idiot. It was the days of Sophia Petrillo Unbound, my friends. But as she likes to say, “It wasn’t pretty,” which means I’ve also got a ton of patience for better people who really do want to learn and be educated.

Curiously, I see some of that stigma might have morphed into this need to be very randomly insulting and rude. Once upon a time that snootiness truly was meant to encourage self-improvement in a twisted way. Like Sophia would tell Rose, “Quit bein’ an idiot!”

I’m not sure how this mutated into the encouragement to be dim-witted and nasty, as this decade is showing, but that appears to be what’s happened. Cruel=Funny=Cool. A sense of “belonging” by shared hates? Doesn’t work. We tried it with the third “Anne of Green Gables” mini-series Kevin Sullivan put out in 2000. We rallied around online to bitch and moan over how non-canon it was. I made a few friends via email. The friendships themselves were short-lived. Why didn’t those friendships last?

We never discussed what we enjoyed about the original book series.

We were angry at Sullivan for taking our beloved characters through disasters that didn’t occur in the books and not giving us the old joys his production crews had managed closely enough to the books with the first two installments. We wanted enjoyment but as one irritated fan said, “This was more like Lara Croft of Green Gables.”

I still chuckle heartily at her hilarious description. But… those friendships didn’t last.

We didn’t share with each other what we did love. We were too fixated on what we hated. No seeds were planted, we cited nothing to grow from, there were no blossoms we were bringing to life. There was nothing to nurture towards each other.

We had only banded together to frown at the dirt.