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.

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More Addams Family: A Call To Chat

First off I need to vent my spleen about something that is making this whole universe ill:

Bash-Culture.

I am sick to death of this phenomenon. I can’t get any chat about almost anything out of anyone because the first thing that comes up is how much one form of whatever is hated. Why? What is the point?

 
Is it because we’ve crossed so many boundaries already and the final thing left to hate-on is entertainment?

Is it because these social networks have engendered the entire population back into a school playground where every individual feels the need to vocalize louder than the rest?

Is there some inherent need to put on some swagger to feel superior to each other?

Has the Information Age made information itself so convenient that no one wants to bother learning a damn thing anymore?

All of the above?

All I know is I can’t get a dialogue going about The Addams Family with almost anyone because something always comes up to interrupt it; Some version of The Addams Family that was disapproved of. There is barely any practice in conversation that doesn’t adhere to despising some little piece of it to death.

 
This doesn’t help get any new work done. There appears to be no knowledgeable fan with conversation skills within easy reach of me. It’s the same damn problem as it’s been with lovers of the Dark Shadows romantic pairings I’ve put together all over again: Nothing but photos and little friggin’ happy stickers…

 
What I understand of The Addams Family is it was begun as a scene of panels by Charles Addams. Addams’ first drawing, a sketch of a window washer, ran in The New Yorker on February 6, 1932, and his cartoons ran regularly in the magazine from 1938, when he drew the first in the series that came to be called The Addams Family, until his death. He was a freelancer throughout that time.

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The Addams Family television series began after David Levy, a television producer, approached Addams with an offer to create it with a little help from the humorist. All Addams had to do was give his characters names and more characteristics for the actors to use in portrayals. The series ran on ABC for two seasons, from 1964 to 1966.

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Those old drawings were more macabre than the 1960’s television show of The Addams Family I am currently watching and taking notes on. There was more comic hilarity in the television show and very likely because of what that television audience in those years were allowed to view. A sign of the times.

 
Later on, the films of The Addams Family in the 1990’s incorporated this darker infusion of The Addams Family, and even began with a direct take from the comic of old, pouring boiling oil on a party of Christmas carolers. These films were not my introduction to The Addams Family but they were the strong pull I had as new releases in my teens when I was already attracted to the spooky and bizarre as a whole.

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For that am I supposed to suffer? Am I supposed to have to wallow in a cave for what I saw due to my age and environment? Do I continue to have to avoid this topic because anyone who enjoys those films, which are over twenty years old by now, are also going to be yelled at for enjoying them rather than the television show which was inspired by a series of one panel comics in The New Yorker of the 1930’s?

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Perhaps no one is left who might have preferred the New Yorker panel comics to the damn 1960’s television show! (If you are, I’m ready to hear your complaints! And only yours!)

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I’ve yet to hear any troubles with what came after the 1990’s Addams Family films due to their success, which is “The Addams Family: The Animated Series” (1992–1993), without which I may not have had the pleasure of Automne Archer’s company and help! She watched those cartoons, then the films, THEN the television show of the 1960’s in that order. Did I ever harp on her about that?

No.

Why?

Because I am NOT interested in what is hated, I’m interested in what is loved. And what you love about it!

What purpose does any of this holier-than-thou posturing serve? Just seems like a bunch of apes beating their chests to show off. I will admit I did quite a bit of that from my junior-high school to college years. And you know what I did after that?

I moved on!

I distinctly looked at the wealth of books, movies, audio shows and anything else that I liked in particular and I stuck to those. I became very aware that I had a ton of choices to pick from. So? I picked what I wanted to pick!

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And what happened after that? I became very open to what other people were choosing for themselves, not because I wanted to imbibe what they were enjoying but because I liked listening to what they had good to say about it. I turn down offers to watch or read things. I’m more interested in what that friend or individual got out of what they enjoyed.

 
Unfortunately, nowadays it’s a massive secret where the heck people are hiding out to dare discuss what they enjoy. The internet has become a battleground of hate and constant dismissal. Anything those pesky advertisers can do to grab your attention at some scandal or idiotic griping over nothing. It’s all programming, you know. It’s all just to soak your attention and get you to purchase more that you don’t need. And the upshot is always reverting back to that sense of irritation with something that has an off-switch within easy reach.

 
Hence? This log entry. I implore any lovers of The Addams Family to reach me and discuss any and all facets that you love about it. Maybe you’re rusty, yes, but I’m fed up with the hate. The Addams Family is not about that. They symbolize the most diverse and loving aspects in each of us, and they do it in a spooky way, which I love. Whatever Addams Family you like most? I want to hear all about it! I don’t want stickers, I don’t want bravos.

 I want CHAT!

Thank you.

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. ❤

Barnabas and Josette

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. ❤

(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!

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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.”

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

Building Further Episodes (17, 18, etc.)

All right! I found where Chris Jennings shows up! DS Episode 627. You can imagine my delight at seeing the latest change in Collinsport I’ve been looking forward to reaching for three years. Ah… Donnie.

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Blending him in will be a treat and perhaps he’ll encounter Maggie first in The Pit. If this becomes the case there won’t be as much worry about her misunderstanding anything or jumping to the conclusion that Chris is Tom risen from the grave. With various lifetimes in tow Maggie Evans is coming into discovery of her identity.

Something she tends to get wistful about on Dark Shadows is being uncertain of who she is. In The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows this is being addressed and she still has her father to counsel with on that score since Sam Evans is not dead and he is also a reincarnation of Andre du Pres for this radio drama. Spooky is always in the air, but healing continues for our beloved characters.

However I have a very unique experience in (re)watching Dark Shadows now. If I’ve altered it or fixed something? I get to z-o-o-m through a scene. There are things that are essential to The Pit going on in Dark Shadows via these 620’s and 630’s episodes, like Victoria’s wedding. In The Pit that wedding happened ages ago, but whatever there is in uplifting material? Sure! That can have happened before. One thing Victoria says in her wedding gown to Elizabeth strikes a cord, “Collinwood will always mean home to me.” ❤ Absolutely,  girl!

And Victoria’s potential in these Dark Shadows episodes pleases me a great deal. Stand-In actress or no, Victoria  remains determined in her belief Maggie should never marry Nicholas Blair and even goes so far as to confront him that she’ll stop it from happening. “Go, Victoria!” I cheer.

Having discussed these episodes over the phone with friends this week, we’re all in some agreement that how long the Adam & Eve story line stretched out and what random things thrown into it weren’t too much to any of our likings. However, I had one little joy in Vampire Angelique going down for a tattle on Nicholas Blair to Diablos.

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Diablos Cafe. Choose your beverage quickly, Angelique. For it may be your last!

Truly. I watch this and I’m thinking, again, he looks like he’s running a café and you must order NOW! Diablos might refuse to discuss the situation until a latte with blackened froth is shared between them. The other idea I have, considering the wrought iron design in the background is that perhaps this is Diablos’ Café and Chinese Restaurant. In fact, I think I might have gone to this place once in a seaside town. Perhaps even Milligan and Hecubus will get a kick out of this one. Who has the better digs? Them or Diablos?

In any case, we are now in…*drumroll*… Autumn of 1968. And that means there are two other shows I need to follow closely: The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and Bewitched. Did I mess up anything in their time lines?

So far, no! Hurrah! Yes, there is mention to The Ghost & Mrs. Muir episode 11 “Captain Gregg’s Whiz-Bang”. It was released near the end of 1968 so it works out fine. Captain Gregg inserts racy material into a new story they wrote together for a magazine. This gets Mrs. Muir into trouble as it alters her reputation in the eyes of lonely men everywhere and Mrs. Muir expresses in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, Episode 10:

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“I’m still trying to shuck off that odd publicity I got when you took that little liberty of yours in re-writing one of my stories.”

So working in a manner of semi-vague time placement with where in a season of the year we are per program? I’m doing pretty well. Until I reach parts of Dark Shadows that happen in 1969, I’m alright adding back-history from The Ghost & Mrs. Muir via their episodes 1-14.

Bewitched is another story entirely. They’ve been on since 1964. In the Fall of 1968 Bewitched is having its fifth season. My catch up with The Stephens and Endora is a ton of study and I’m very thankful that the stories are so bright and upbeat.

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So for Bewitched I need to verse myself through the first four seasons and can use their back-history up into the thirteenth episode of its fifth season, which is called “Instant Courtesy.” By this time Darrin and Samantha’s daughter, Tabitha, is already born but not Adam Stephens yet. Serena and Uncle Arthur are in the show on occasion so this adds to whatever I need to pick up and store in the general air of The Stephens home.

I’m hoping to get Captain Gregg, Sam Evans and possibly Maggie out there by Episode 18 in The Pit. (We’ll have to coax Captain Gregg to go, I’m sure. I can already tell he is not looking forward to it.)

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Pit Update June 2016

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Most of this was created Monday 6 June 2016. I felt the need to address a lot of the high stress going on. As well as some healing, personally.

There is also a short rant or two for those who enjoy my rants. (I know there are some who do!) Discussion of why sharing files everywhere and buck-passing didn’t work.

More in-depth explanations of how the attention-spans have diminished over the years in so many people, as well as the problems with social media and how I am combating those and have done.

Updates on Pit construction as well as the marriage novel, including some past observations. Solid addressing of why the output for both have diminished, which may not be for the reasons one would think.

Fun stuff about how I and others create more authentic fanwork by dismissing poor advice and following our intuition about it. I go into a little of what I did with the Sailor Moon fanfiction that I wrote in the late 1990’s.

*Most Important*: How my audience can develop a healthy relationship with me for the good of us both. Too much that has happened promotes paranoia on either side and it would be much better if you follow the advice I give in this podcast about it. (i.e. If you listen to this podcast and write to me please address that you listened. I don’t have time for any more random and inane babbling from listening and trying to address these issues while denying you listened. Thank you!)

And, of course, some consideration for two 50th Anniversaries coming up: Dark Shadows and… The Monkees! Enjoy. ^_^

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Pit Update 2016 (podomatic link)

Pit Update June 2016 (podbay link)

Pit Update June 1016 (archive.org link)

[And yes, there are tracks behind my voice by Oasis from the album “Standing On The Shoulders of Giants”, which I believe is very fitting! 😛 ]