The Pen Pals Are Here (For Real This Time)

Just picked up the mail and I am reveling in the fun of it! My stationery horde is dwindling and I’m discovering people who like to savour The Pit as it was meant to be savoured. Hallelujah!

Today I opened this delightful missive which says, “I’m glad that we’re pen friends! You’re the only pen friend I have who sends murder mystery parties with your letters, and I can attend these parties in my PJs!! Woo hoo!”

She also sent some very fun ticket stickers which read: “Admit One”. I am actually trying to get rid of all my crazy stickers but when I saw hers on the back of her envelope I suddenly desired stickers like that. Then? Inside the envelope she had included eighteen of them for me! It was this way of expressing that my show ought to be sent with those tickets as that signifies the theater feeling The Pit brings. What a bloody JOY! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Another pal drives frequently so the CD version of The Pit episodes are perfect for her long hauls. It’s funny because I often anticipated truckers would enjoy The Pit but I’ve yet to hear from any of them. Hopefully this was never due to Maggie expressing a bit of distaste to Barnabas in Episode 10 with,

coffee shop

“Oh, Barnabas, you’ve obviously never encountered a collection of all-night truck drivers swapping suggestive tales over their greasy breakfast plates.”

But who knows?

There are a few listeners of The Pit who don’t quite pick up the knack of the discussion questions as being guidelines to expressing what they enjoy per scene. That’s okay, though. The method that we once had to express our delight and the fun in our entertainment is very much more the “dying art” than letter-writing ever was or has been.

While it became extremely trendy to Hate-On so much in our abundance, the enjoyment of discussing what we were entertained by took a serious nose-dive when we were offered the alternative thumbs-up buttons. There are now even pesky hearts on youtube and iTunes to degrade our faculties even further. If there was an app for making these happy-buttons disappear I would consider PAYING for it. Monthly! (I already enjoy advertisement blockers on my equipment so I have little idea what kind of scary billboard world a great deal of my online audience is being suffocated with. 😦  )

The other difficulty we currently face is having too much choice. I’m immune to that being difficult as I already pruned my needs in the last twenty years. Even before the internet I had far too much thrown in my direction that I could never understand why I just had to like. Another reason I live on Devo’s “Freedom of Choice” song; All around me are people who really do want “Freedom FROM Choice”. It’s not a matter of a good lead to something they would naturally be interested in, but just floating through life waiting for others to send them in whatever direction another wishes them to go.

That became the worse problem imaginable as my audio entertainment was finally noticed and suddenly I had to see the same style of Dark Shadows fanfiction I was tired of reading and trying to avoid. My work, articles, and podcasts made it extremely clear what my interests and goals were in that department. Then, rather than find the specific niche audience I was looking for, it was the bummer-city, cliché types coming forward with precisely what I spent five years finding and did not enjoy at all. It’s as if most the online world is so flabbergasted with too much information that listening to a person or a fictional character is well-nigh impossible for them to do.

This is why correspondence, and the skill of it, is so important. It slows us down to start digesting information at our own human pace. This works because human beings are what we are, regardless of how desperate we seem to be to become The Borg or The Cybermen instead. It’s also exactly why we attained creations such as The Borg and The Cybermen in our storytelling: It’s a warning of things that could very much happen to us in the future. (Or right now.)

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As for Episode 17 in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, whose current title is “A Bio-Exorcist Comes To Collinwood”, I am working on the audio, yes, but I am also taking my time with the pen pals and letter-writing to heal myself back to being a better person. I’m often thanking each and every individual that I write to for helping me with this, even when they are so grateful to me for giving them the gift of my episodes. For me it’s a shared process and precisely how I always wanted to do all of this. “Go Online” wasn’t the worst option for me, it was the obvious one. But the human touch of going online was losing ground and I didn’t know that. Nobody seemed to know it, but they definitely defended it, that’s for sure. (It’s much easier to be dismissive, isn’t it?)

The audio itself is grueling and my format from doing voice performances back and forth in one go has shifted toward doing each voice separately. Doing that slows down the creation time. But this is a technique that most audio dramas are created by, having each performer in separate cubicles with a script and a headset, so it makes sense to switch to get each character’s voice better. I’m also finding that using a more caricature performance is as important as the accuracy in their speech patterns. The caricature voice differentiates who is speaking more easily so that it’s less likely a listener will lose track of which character is saying what. However, our too-friendly bio-exorcist is pretty damned easy to spot. Ha ha ha!

its showtime
The romance is sparking for our three couples now, Barnabas & Maggie, Tony & Carolyn, and Julia & Eliot. I really love how Elizabeth and Barnabas were running things at this point in the original Dark Shadows, but with Elizabeth on her voyage to England for my show, I’ve had to move away from that and am irked for a solution as to who will invite Amy Jennings to stay at Collinwood, eventually. *sigh* I thought, “Well, I could find some hilarious, sarcastic way that Roger would be encountering her instead and deciding, ‘Why the hell not?’” But that didn’t give me much enthusiasm.

Carolyn and Tony
The great answer came last night… Carolyn & Tony! Or it could just be Carolyn, or heck, Carolyn AND Carolyn, Stoddard & Muir. Who knows? But in any case I finally hit on how to keep Tony Peterson and Carolyn Stoddard’s romance alive: Do exactly what was done before. Have them solve problems together! In The Pit that is what reignited their romance, which is similar in many couples both fictional and real. (That kissing you hear in The Pit for these couples is obviously not me smooching my arm! That is me and my own sweetie. He’s been shy about it, but hey, he’s getting kissed! He’s not going to say no to me for that offer. 😉 )

So, for those who aren’t writing to me on paper or via email, there is a big reason my online activity has dwindled. I have returned to pen pals and am enjoying it immensely.

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No happy-buttons or flinging of links is going to get any of us more of the work and it never did before. Correspondence and discussion about the show(s) is what makes that happen and always did. When I receive insight and feedback from a listener I get to their responses a whole lot faster because this is my passion and my calling. But there are some pen pals who have no interest and that is also fine by me. They keep me company with other interactive details about life in general. That’s healthy and very healing all around. (People writing to me by email, private message, or even postal mail, who love the work but avoid the topic keeps me more at bay with them. This should be a surprise to no one. And really, why would it be?)

I do have a potential “Pit Update April 2017” started but I’m hoping I won’t have to create and release it. I prefer getting to the actual work. And strangely enough it is the quiet discussions of the characters on the demo and in the “editing room” that rivets me more than that fight scene everyone is waiting for! Maggie and Sam with their awesome percolator, Tony and Carolyn going for a drive, Dr. Hoffman and Professor Stokes having a quiet, studious discussion with romance interlaced, while Lily and Elizabeth enjoy the delights of mingling on board the RMS Queen Elizabeth ship. Those happier scenes are what keep me going.

I’m also working on the script for Episode # 18, “Braving The Waters” but that will take more Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Bewitched studying, of course. Chris Jennings may make his first appearance and there is fun already planned for that, similar to on the original Dark Shadows but much more humourous. Hee hee hee! Bill Malloy’s ghost should encounter Lily and Elizabeth. Lily can have tons of fun with Bill. I really like Lily as this cousin to dissuade Elizabeth needing to fear ghosts and the like, and Melissa has told me how wonderful it is for Elizabeth to finally have a girlfriend to pal around with, “She just never had that on the original show. This is really good for her!”

Liz and Lily

When we discussed it over the phone neither of us could quite figure out which of the two of them is “the straight man” in the relationship as that role sort of bounces back and forth between Elizabeth Stoddard and Lily Munster. Elizabeth shrugs at any clues that Lily is a daylight-walking vampire with even odder family members, and Lily doesn’t seem to notice Elizabeth being far more mundane than Munster, since to her Munster is mundane.

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Another great thing is keeping Sam Evans alive and stretching out his weird psychic trips from his DS: First Year characteristics into being a reincarnation of Andre du Pres. This helps in the extreme with Maggie Evans processing her own reincarnation experiences.

If they had aimed to pull it off on Dark Shadows, which is what I saw them reaching toward, I’m not sure how Maggie could have handled that on her own. Her father, Sam, is the perfect bolster for that, especially if he’s already going through it himself. So in sorting out the main reason I started all of this, it ends up being a wonderful help in solving a lot of other dilemmas I might have faced if that wasn’t the reason I began.

Willie pensive Wadsworth looking down
My struggles with Willie Loomis have reached that safer harbour with him now as Wadsworth’s presence has helped to calm him down and I am very much looking forward to healing right along with him. His history is a mystery and should mostly remain so as it did on Dark Shadows. The main point with him is growth and learning better battles to pick, even if some are merely with his pen. Now that I have pen pals by snail mail I can practice my own calligraphy a bit more. ❤

As for the marriage novel, I’m still working on the next chapter which will be quite romantic. (And *cough* “adult”.) Their exploration of old memories will drift through, and I might add a card game in it rather than ending it with them planning to play one. It takes a lot out of me to go into Barnabas-mode, but it’s rewarding. As Sam himself mentions the couple in Chapter 22 of the novel, “…driving through the town of Collinsport to get to The Old House, where my daughter now lived with her excessively romantic husband…” He sure is!

I’ve complained he won’t let me write scenery, but the main thing I’ve had to admit to myself is that Barnabas, on his own terms, would hardly write scenery. The scenery he is forever looking at is his loving bride, Maggie, who is Kitty and Josette and herself. There is a lot to look at in a gal like that! (Even Cousin Lily can see the affection there. 😉 )

lily maggie and barnabas
Hopefully that’s updated everyone enough as to the state of things with me. I’m still determined and passionate, but I’m also healing from three years of shock, devastation in friendship loss, watching this science-fiction nightmare made of our lives happen unabated, and all of it being defended by masses of people who can’t bear to blame themselves for being misguided.

Now I get to editing, my letters, corresponding with new friends, and racing to the door when my sweetheart comes home. Then I look at my wine bottle and, after three years, I am finally able to say, “I don’t need that tonight. I’ll finish it tomorrow.”

love,

                                                                                           Daryl

P.S. If some of you out there, as several pen pals have expressed, mainly know Dark Shadows from the 2012 film of it and therefore believe I must automatically “hate” you? No. I don’t. It just got trendy to hate that film like a whole lot else got trendy to hate.

Hate became a disease online as it garnered attention. It’s a junior-high and high-school condition, and can also happen with spoiled louts in college. Whatever occurs to cause that; it’s a phase and a fad. I love the 2012 film, actually. I love a lot things that get a lot of hate. I always have, so I don’t worry about it. ❤

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.

barn and wads

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. ❤

Working on Lisa’s Interview and Episodes on CD

Hello everyone from various corners from the world! Well, I’m still here. I’m editing Lisa’s interview and that is super cozy and enjoyable, although cutting the superfluous sentence fragments, the “ums”, the “y’knows”, extra “ands, buts, and sos” that we don’t need should have always been the height of my problems. I enjoy the work but unfortunately there is always that dreadful reminder of the garbage labels that have been tossed at me; “writer” and that’s it, “podcaster” and that’s it. My pal Lynn picked up a better term when she heard me use “entertainer” and as a nut-shell sum-up of me that is likely best.

I got in touch with another podcaster I’d asked for help from back in 2013 via email. Leaving the carbon copy of previous emails she remembered who I was,  nodded approvingly at one of the pointers she gave in her podcast that I appreciated, which was doing things you enjoy or believe in with other people, and let me know how busy she presently is with her podcast as well as librivox books she does readings for. Wow! Didn’t know she was on the team, so to speak. Glad to hear it.

I dread returning to Facebook. It’s just so much hopelessness and a sea of confusion. I know there are many out there who use it sparingly and wisely but that’s never been what I’ve seen over all. Then there is Google Plus in which I get notifications of image after image after image being posted to the point I wonder if any of the posters or visitors remember why they even are interested in what those images represent.

One of my pen friends, that I’m still in touch with, got back into Facebook, caved-in, really and wrote this:

“Would love to hear about your 2-week abstinence plan for Facebook. So far it’s been pretty boring. I text anyone who I want to talk to.  ______ has coined the phrase ‘facebook religion’ after a day of discussing how everyone posts these religious sayings but you know [they] aren’t even slightly religious. I sometimes wonder how people have so much time to re-post stuff. Let alone, why they re-post so much. It’s as if they have ceased to have original thoughts. Which is sad because they are highly intelligent people in person.”

No kidding!

Another pen pal I chatted with had some sage things to say in regards to my quandaries, but I will stress he isn’t one for censoring himself. I told him:

“I do not understand the attraction of spending all day posting and sharing memes one doesn’t believe in. Is it like a video game for people who hate video games?”

He replied:

“It’s a c**k hobby. I prefer to actually DO things… Some people aren’t used to bold honesty.  I say it like it is. There just isn’t any other way to be for me. I think the things I watched/listened to the past several years gave me the push to be honest and not two-faced. Plus noticing how p***ified my surrounding people are just makes me want to oust them by doing better things… Better to be proactive and do instead of talk. That’s why a lot of channels/projects START and don’t PICK UP. Because there’s a lot of talk about videos they wanna do and not actually doing it.”

A third pen pal had this to express when I proposed it was the deeper thoughts I have that people can’t handle:

“I think that’s exactly why people are afraid of you, and really tend to pass people who require them to think outside the box, more deeply and have conversations of real substance as crazy. Most people can’t comprehend much anymore than sharing things on Facebook, memes that they agree with but in reality would never live up to. I think there are people who post things that have meaning to them and positive things.  That’s one thing I can understand. But what I find annoying is how girls will put up relationships quotes, and such. It’s like they base that meme of a relationship for what a relationship should be like… or they are trying to send a message to their mate to be more like the quote. (lol) Either way it’s a lack of communication.

I do think they would rather annihilate what you say than face it. It’s much easier and gives them time to save face and go back to their bubble. Requiring them to think is literally like stomping on their dreams and creating a nightmare in their minds that what they are thinking isn’t really true at all, and of course they can’t have that. (Lol)”

Well said and very true.

Pen pals have made the biggest impact for improving my life and the lives of others. I’m happy I returned to engaging in that realm further. So many were pushing more internet and more social media. Now we all have to admit the gains were low and foibles were high for promoting this project in such a fashion. Of course those that encouraged the social media are often the types who can’t stand admitting to errors. How one’s life is to improve without making mistakes is a strange concept to me. Many of the things I learned happened through watching the blunders of others both in real-life and in fiction. Nagging someone just prolongs a problem rather than solving it.

The good news is that with the enthusiasm of pen pals I am in the process of revising older episodes in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows for the CD mailings. Episodes 1 through 5 have more sound effects and added music that was missing. Also the compact disk version of the episodes provides a format that is completely disengaged from the internet and all its impending interruptions. Listeners can focus on the audio drama without having to worry about pinging notifications coming from elsewhere, or getting it to their mp3 player, etc. A couple do confess to listening on boring road trips. Traffic jams become almost non-existent as the adventures of what the characters are doing soaks in. Also the new CD’s have separate tracks per scene which makes it much easier for people to find their place if they left off somewhere.

I’ve also tweaked with some of the voice performances. Maybe somewhere along the way Carolyn Stoddard shan’t sound so much like she is on helium!

So if any of my readers have gotten the CD versions that have massive tracks? I offer an exchange. I can replace your old CD episodes for these better, newer ones and I know just what to do with the old copies. I shan’t divulge that here, though.  😉

Lisa’s interview should be done soon. The talk is wonderful and she has long-term study and Dark Shadows goodies she’s been ordering and collecting for decades. It should be a wondrous earful and infused with plenty of nostalgia for old fans.  Then I have to prepare and perform the additions to a podcast for that.

Episode 17 in The Pit is still before me wanting one more scene for the sake of its current brevity. If listeners have my email address I’d love to workshop something new. I keep thinking we need more Willie… but then again, who doesn’t need more Willie? ❤

As for Facebook, again, I’m not looking forward to returning. If I could remove the damn notifications of those pesky like-clicks it would be better. I actually miss response comments because the programming there is more about wasting time with like-clicks or what someone else “liked” somewhere else that had nothing to do with you. Bleh…

Then one meme falls in your face…. And then another one… And before you know it your perception of what a simple colour is changes, and your mental processes loop into oblivion as you vaguely wonder why the dishes have piled up so high and still aren’t cleaned yet. “Ahhh, another day is shot,” you think, “and I didn’t do diddly-squat.” But something in the human spirit needs a regular dose of going nowhere fast.

So scroll while you can, and use the passing rare real update about that rare real friend as ink-blot tests of your recovering sanity, and may all your social media goals be blissfully pointless.

Pit Update August 2016

update august 2016

 

Just me, no music. Discussion about things, hopefully, getting better, and how to keep that going. The importance of correspondence especially.

Clear reasons why I, and many others, lose their tempers. (Gets a bit loud while this is explained. Not really a rant, more an exclamation of disbelief in contradictory behaviour.) Deep appreciation for the nice people and tools for how to avoid the bummer types, too!

“Spoilers” over scenes one through five, in Episode 16, that are being worked on, as well as the intricate technical aspects that make the idea of critiquing them severely unwanted and unwarranted. (Audio Dramatists? Listen up. You’ll probably enjoy this bit.) Plenty of talk about “Hawkeye” finally being included and what’s happening in scene four with him. I’m not concerned about spoilers when it comes to this radio drama. People can barely remember what they enjoyed in all the other episodes, so why worry? winking

My old internet days, Sailor Moon, chat rooms, etc. Why fans identify with Angelique and some may not even know it.

A reading from me of Osheen’s review for Episode 7 about one year before this podcast, and my hearty enjoyment of that!

Understanding of the idea of “independence” and how much of an illusion that is.

Not included in this podcast is my suggestion here: If you are wealthy and dissatisfied with your life? Please enjoy the film “The Amazing Adventure” with Cary Grant. Thanks. You’re welcome.

podomatic link here

podbay link here

archive dot org link here

Also available on iTunes

Is The Nightmare Over Yet?

Not sure…

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

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

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

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

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You matter.

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

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

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

did IQs just drop sharply while I was away ALIENS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No. We don’t.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I know which way I’m choosing. 🙂

“I Just Don’t Understand Her…”

No, many people do not understand Daryl Wor. I’ll try and explain with high doubts it will serve any purpose but allowing me the feeling I made the effort.

I often enjoy a balance of social stimuli with people of like-mind, not a huge party type, but more a small gathering person, definitely one-to-one contact.  Then when enough of that socializing comes I will enjoy my alone time. Since 2013 there has been an imbalance of too much alone time with the coupling of many gearing towards social networks.

Like many who enjoy a particular entertainment, if you can’t find neighbours or friends to enjoy that entertainment with you? You look for people online. Unfortunately for me the online community has shifted from many with computers and keyboards, who knew how to correspond, to a wild array of mobile phone users, device owners, and those of low or fragmented intelligence polluting the conversation with pointless time-wasting, empty emoticons, and nary a deep thought. With these types over-populating the internet and given the encouragement to speak less, post more photos, throw around memes, and do nothing but robotically click votes, this became the status quo, and I despise it.

I make my entertainment so readily available because I am looking for a niche audience. The platforms of conversation are there in easy reach for this niche audience, but by this time (2013-2016) the ability to converse and express enjoyment has degenerated. There is also the fandom politics issue where anyone speaking out for the pairing for Barnabas Collins that I saw, and still see, as simply obvious were anticipating verbal assault from fans of either a non-canon pairing or a nonsensical one.

For the latter I’ve had to empathize and even deal with cads who thought attacking me would make me stop. Nope. It just made me annoyed, angry, and ready to retaliate. The other silliness of this behaviour is they have, and perhaps still do, posted these comments where I cannot see them. Well, that either allows others who like to waste their time hating me and fictional characters to see it perhaps, but it also allows for free advertising of me to others who wonder what I did that was so terrible. The other option is to attack me, or the canon pairing, cryptically which is also uncommunicative and another waste of time and megabyte space. Either way, it’s useless, cowardly and we all know it.

I’ve also had people writing to my blog to argue points with me about pairings, about how the human heart works, about what I’m doing or just to be insulting. I think I’ve been way TOO patient with people like that! Considering I likely have had far more romantic relationships than these people, as well as one that has been successful to reach us over two decades, I can’t take these arguments about love and relationships very seriously at all. If you want personal counsel? Go get some! If you want to convert Dark Shadows fans into believing Dr. Hoffman is the only woman for Barnabas Collins? There are tons of converts. See how you fare making friends with them. I know sane Julia/Barnabas fans and I prefer them. I don’t care for proselytizers of a non-canon romantic pairing. It’s an empty virtue and it is in my way.

Get OUT of my way.

 

The other major annoyance has been the horrid catchphrase of “Do it for you”. If I am sharing this online why on Earth would it be solely doing it for me?

I do plenty of things solely for myself. Feeding, clothing, exercising, and making sure I have enough to keep me occupied are all things I do for myself. But we are interconnected whether we like to admit this or not. None of what I feed and clothe myself with was created by me. It all came from other people with other resources.

Dreams of storytelling might be solely for the individual but the human race has storytelling because it is in relationship with everything surrounding and involved with it. Productions of storytelling are created by many, many individuals. Sit through the end of a film and try to read all the names in the list of credits. You will never come close to remembering each one.

Franz Kafka requested that his unpublished manuscripts be destroyed and only a few of his works were published during his lifetime. His wishes were not granted and his work was published posthumously. Now he is regarded by many to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. He “did it for him” but we reap the benefits and have the discussions. Does that sound fair?

I know life often is not fair but that’s what we shoot for, isn’t it?

The narcissism that currently taints our individual lives is abhorrent. If I were a narcissist you would have heard about me a lot sooner. Why do you know Daryl Wor at all? There is a show or movie you love so much and she is breathing new life into it. She’s entertained you but you don’t know how to approach her except in demeaning ways more often than not. That’s why I return to pen pals.

I went to Facebook, and other social networks, as I was advised to do with my work. Of the thousands of fandom types there, only a handful of friends have been made. The loss of previous friendships prior to social networks, or prior to my own work, is devastating and still haunts me. It is an epidemic and reminds me of The 1918 Flu that was killing off 3 to 5 percent of the population almost one hundred years ago. (Currently we are in the 100 year anniversary of World War One.) Smartphones and social networks do something more insidious. The “victim”, or “addict”, is still alive for all intents and purposes, but their friendships alter drastically. Their communication skills dwindle. They become unaware of keeping in touch with phone calls, email, or paper letters. The social network chat box and the text message becomes all that is possible and the only format they will use, if they even use that. Mostly they just scroll a cluttered news-feed and click their lives away. This programming, scrolling and like-clicking, has spread like a virus throughout many social websites, even WordPress more is the pity.

I got yet another request from a potential pen pal, less than 24 hours ago, to interact with him on Facebook. It is that pervasive. I said no, obviously.

I cannot make money from The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. I am sharing it and continue to share it to find those of like-mind, for friendship, fun, as well as insightful discussion, and for help in the research as well. School-Marm critiquing is not helpful, nor desired. Critics are not known for being part of a creation. Employees or passionate fans very much are. I nit-pick myself enough. I don’t need anyone else doing it.

The other obnoxious suggestion is to drown myself in Dark Shadows fanfiction. I did that for five years hunting for a relief-series. I didn’t find one so I started to build one. When I’ve enjoyed a piece of fanwork, Dark Shadows or otherwise, you definitely hear about it. I didn’t get into this to read everything any stranger throws at me. Being with people of like-mind and sharing discussion over each other’s work is precisely what I want. Listen to my interview with Automne Archer and that is exactly what you will hear that rivets us both.

I’ve said in a podcast intro, quoting a fan-letter to a Dark Shadows cast-member, that most of what I’ve seen of Dark Shadows fanfiction is, “So much drugstore, paperback trash the likes of which V.C. Andrews never dreamed possible”. And it’s true. Page turner books are important: They engage us and get us to be involved with the story and read-read-read. The eyes are practicing left to right movement and the mind is imbibing the action-packed drama. Some people don’t move on from this kind of story-telling format. Some do move on, and I am one of those people. My life has been hell enough that I don’t need any more hell. Why would I love the characters of Dark Shadows enough to create a relief-series only to spend my time watching them assaulted and getting hurt in unconvincing stories I don’t want to read anyway? (I picked watching the damn show because it was dry, had some humour and good dialogue, and it’s old! And spooky! S-L-O-W SPOOKY!) Bummers in literature are all over gutenberg.org. Go for it. Horror and Tarantino extreme-crazy scenarios on film are in plenty. Have at it!

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Contentment, love, happiness. If attaining these is our goal and having them is so possible then why not glory in it, even study it?

Barnabas and Josette

As Margaret Josette Dupres asks, “All you had desired centuries ago, weren’t you? What would happiness be like? It isn’t simple, is it, Barnabas?”

That is the myth of happiness: It’s simple, it’s boring. Glad those who say so are the ones missing out and not me! The pursuit of happiness? Let’s talk about winning the pursuit and what happens when you do. Pursuing it is only half of the story.

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Barnabas answers her, “No. Not simple, Josette. Never a goal to have conquered. A mystery to sweetly drift through. A journey that might never end…”

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Or as my last podcasters meeting taught, “Dismiss the people who keep asking why you want to do something, or pooh-pooh your ideas. That doesn’t get you anywhere. The better question to ask is: Why not?”

As I tell myself and others, “A Dark Shadows relief-series had to be in audio. Most fans I’ve encountered of Dark Shadows do not listen to the characters other than to argue with them. They aren’t invested in the town of Collinsport or the Collinwood Estate. Those fans are invested in themselves, they listen only to themselves. They don’t want to listen to the love Barnabas has to express to Josette, or her reincarnations, or her protective spirit. People who listen to dialogue, who know how to listen to others: That’s the kind of Dark Shadows fans who can understand a relief-series.

“Obsessive Dark Shadows fans try The Pit and give up. They argue with me about pairings. They claim it’s all based on my decisions. They completely ignore that The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows is also about The Addams Family, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, The Munsters, Bewitched and Clue, as well as a slew of others. Not only do those shows help the daytime-drama, the fans of those shows tend to delight in The Pit rather than railing against it. They get it and they’re far more helpful than the droves of Dark Shadows ‘fans’ I’ve encountered.”

The main sorrow is there are those who do love The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows but don’t know how to express it. They can’t remember how to say what made them laugh aloud or get misty, what Captain Gregg or Morticia scenes held their intrigue.

“No one writes letters anymore.” I’m going to go out on a limb for profanity in declaring that this statement is complete bullshit.

I began writing letters and really got into doing so in the late 1980’s. People were already saying that BS statement when I began corresponding with pen pals all over the continent, as well as overseas. It was said throughout the 1990’s, 2000’s and now in our current 2010’s. People write letters still. It’s a human pace that is important to imbibing information properly. Contemplative discussion. This is the best way to learn.

And like anything else? If you are having a hard time getting started? Find a children’s version. I could never have French braided my own hair for my wedding day if I didn’t do that.

There are also videos on youtube! We couldn’t have fixed our toilet if it wasn’t for that!

“I’m busy.” The only people I believe who say that are those who tell me what they are busy doing. Using social networks doesn’t count. That’s not busy. That’s being addicted. I’ve discovered plenty of articles online about this addiction and many commentators thanking the writers of these articles with their own confessions. All admit the same thing, “I stopped using it and suddenly I had a ton of time on my hands!”

Me too.

The last excuse is, “I’m lazy…” Hmm… That’s not likely a good habit to get into. Example: Would you repeat this to a potential employer? Even someone whose kids you’re babysitting?

As for me… it’s a hot day! I feel useless but I’m not. Got through a few email messages, dishwasher got filled up, preparing lists for things to get done, including commenting on fanwork I do find pleasing, gatherings to attend in future, missive to a lonely friend like me, and getting my hair done at some point. (The lightening is finished and I’m starting to resemble a very freshly bleached David J. or Nick Rhodes right now. I’m not sure which…)

As for married life? Yes, the love keeps going and the passion is thriving! I must continue to thank this couple for blessing us with such a marvelous change. ❤

2016 Program Smooch

And if you don’t like that or want to argue with me about it? Argue with this Klingon about his sense of Honour first:

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If you wear him down, I’ll contemplate another useless discussion about how Barnabas & Maggie “don’t work”. They healed our marriage. That’s proof enough to me that they work extremely well and with her father’s blessing. 🙂

Now It’s May 2016…

… and my series is over four years old.

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

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

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

How did I do that?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a nice lady.