A Relieving Return to Script-Writing

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

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

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


 

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

Samantha

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

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

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

 

Vic and Mor 1

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

 


 

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

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

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

Cat’s got your tongue, as they say.

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

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Pit Update: July 2017 And Retrospective

2017 July Retrospective

 

 

Why pen pals work and social media wastes time. Incorporating “Bewitched” into Episode 18. Social network history. Two books by Nicholas Carr.

Episode 12: Tons on regression therapy for Maggie Evans, music used. Healing Barnabas & Carolyn scene. Captain Gregg helping Sam Evans. Dr. Hoffman’s place in everything. Pivotal point with Lily Munster, Elizabeth and Tom Jennings. Milligan & Hecubus fun.

Episode 13: Purpose of dedication to Kathryn Leigh Scott and importance of her contributions and characters in Dark Shadows. My falling into the Julia/Barnabas trap and how a Julia/Barnabas fan, Helena Clara Bouchet, helped to pull me out of it. Incorporating much more “Clue” with Willie & Wadsworth, and the topic of Willie Loomis in general. Caleb Collins meeting with Lily and Elizabeth.

Why the Morticia scene with Victoria turned out the way that it did. Final scene with car race in construction between my occupations in vision therapy. (Osheen Nevoy’s response to the scene.) How music was chosen throughout podcast: Ennio Morricone, Verne Langdon, Stoa, Claudine Longet.

Better methods in communication, and how to make requests for potential MJD podcast, etc. All methods of which have been available since the 20th Century.

Theme song for this podcast: “All Night Long” by Peter Murphy (1988)

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Downloadable from iTunes, as always…


 

(Yes, this podcast is two hours long, which means very few people have time for it because Heaven knows our newsfeed scrolling and clicking is, by far, a superior activity of higher importance.)

Pit Update: May 2017 & Retrospective

2017 May Update 1f

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

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

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

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

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

archive.org link

podomatic link

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Downloadable from iTunes, as always...

Pit Update January 2017

2017-jan-update

 

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

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

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

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

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

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Also available on iTunes

Pit Update November 2016

nov-2016n

 

A calm, fireside chat update for fans of The Pit. Delving into The Munsters, there is some discussion about type-casting, both for Fred Gwynne and Jonathan Frid especially. Reasons to celebrate the allure of Barnabas Collins rather than being offended by his romantic choices. How fans of the Barnabas/Maggie pairing are preferable to me and to each other. Touches on the mythos of The Vampire through Barnabas and Josette’s romance.

The general vibe seen from fans of The Addams Family as well as The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. A welcoming to more fans of Wadsworth and the film “Clue” due to how The Pit operates in lines and actions. Discussion of game play for the boardgame of “Clue” as well as classic games in “The Pit”.

More expression of exactly why file-sharing and buck-passing didn’t work and why we all thought it would for discussion. Welcoming fans of M*A*S*H and Beetlejuice as well as relieving any concern over the romantic pairings for this program.

Explanation of the human need to break-free from what social-media does to many people, and how to tap back into focus for more healthy interaction. Dismissal of the idea computers are no longer being made. Rekindling old face-to-face friendships, however few.

Most importantly: the joy in our own lives as a blessing in return for providing an atmosphere of love to characters on the screen who didn’t have it before.

Pit Update November 2016 (podomatic link)

Pit Update November 2016 (podbay link)

Pit Update November 2016 (archive.org link)

Also available on iTunes


Background music for this podcast:

“November Spawned A Monster” – Morrissey (1990)

“Anabasis” – Dead Can Dance (2012)

“Sh-Boom” – The Crew-Cuts (1954)

“The Human Game” – Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke (1998)

 

How To Get Back On Track…

Before I get started I just want to address that there are a lot of podcast updates and plenty of entries on this web-log you might be interested in. If you want to search for specific items you can use the search engine here on the upper-left, just below the logo for The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows and above where it says, “Links To Episodes & Chapters”. Just type in the box what topics interest you.

I am explaining this because, as I’ve analyzed the devastation of social media on the human psyche, I am noticing that a major problem with us is we aren’t using our voluntary ability to seek out what we are looking for on our own. We’ve been programmed by social media algorithms as well as those algorithms which alter what you get first in a basic online search engine. Like spandex, this blend of programming tries to make your journey online “form-fitting” to your preferences. Unfortunately that means you will have less choice in the long-run and may have found yourself being led about by the nose until you feel your freedom-of-choice is seriously lacking. (Has anyone out there forgotten how to clean their room? Me too.)

Still, search engines are the best way to get started and remember that you are in charge of making your own choices. Many suffered and fought for the right to vote and freedom of choice. Don’t get too complacent with that right or it will be taken away, believe you me. You’ll either find yourself beholden to what’s thrown at you or you’ll have no sense of direction due to being oblivious to this format. A lot of algorithms promoting a person’s perceived interests very much weakens our ability to voluntarily look for and choose what we want to do or discover.

I’ve studied the social media phenomenon and psychologists report all this will eventually self-correct. My concern is we all are feeling embarrassed having gotten addicted to it. People often don’t like to admit to “being had”. However, we are all in this silent-crisis together so I’m happy to chuckle at myself and downgrade back to “being human”.

Thankfully my previous mental and emotional dilemmas were relieved by what some call “fluff” or “slice of life” storytelling. 🙂 There is some contradiction of what that means in literature as compared to theatrical works. In theatrical parlance, the term “slice of life” refers to a naturalistic representation of real life, sometimes used as an adjective, as in “a play with ‘slice of life’ dialogue”. I prefer looking at it that way even though much of what I’ve taken comes from the literature format. For those who have a high level of stress throughout most of their life these tales, books and films promote a sense of how one may live from season to season in good health. Tragedies will come, but they are rarely earth-shattering. Hence, I may remark, if one needs excessive tension or stories containing massive amounts of abuse, “They must have a very comfortable life to require that much drama and excitement.” (With Dark Shadows I would fast-forward through certain lagging scenes with the words, “The suspense is boring me.”)

If one has listened to my librivox material it will be noticed my preferred reading material is “slice of life” or “fluff”. I have also repeatedly read almost every fictional work by L.M. Montgomery, then I found the Fairacre series by Miss Read. The protagonist is an excellent example of a lady who is proud and satisfied with being a spinster regardless of how many nosy neighbours feel she should be otherwise. (Yes, I figuratively shout from rooftops about being a happily married woman thanks to Barnabas Collins and Maggie “Josette” Evans, but I maintain those without any romantic-paring inclinations may feel absolutely free to be themselves too!) With my readings of Vladimir Nabokov I find the same steady but intricate components that one would have in this genre even if some of it is intense or dark, but with all of these authors the depth of vocabulary is especially stimulating for description and comprehension.

I was about to enter the worlds of Beverley Nicols and D.E. Stevenson but I fell into The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows and here we are. Still, I mention these authors and creations for the sake that my own previous anxieties and struggles were lifted by what I learned imbibing them. Having lived in a form of hyperspace for so long I now have to downgrade to a human pace again and re-learn how to function in it. I deduce many other people could benefit from doing the same.

Much in the way of “stuff” needs to be sorted and thrown away, and a great deal already has been. I got a good start when Melissa entered my life. (Thank you!) More telephone calls or voice calls help this. Technical troubles still loom but finding ways to take care of them will be at a human pace, plenty of time to reflect on the everyday while one is standing in line or sitting in waiting rooms for tech support. If I’m bored there I can read some Victorian non-fiction to pass the time. (I still plan to get to Dark Shadows 1897, right?)

Correspondence? OH, YES! A precious few people still write letters and email. I like to watch the shows and take notes on them while I respond to those letters. In fact you might enjoy my reflections of what’s happening on Bewitched, Dark Shadows, The Munsters or The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and have some of your own to send in return. Good fun. (The Addams Family is heavy note-taking, I’m afraid. That clan has way too many details I need to analyze.)

Exercise? Yes. In fact I keep telling myself I can listen to Pit episodes in order to build new ones while doing said exercise. Fitness routines need space and I’m still working on creating more space. Boy, I miss my fitness routines! Nutrition needs to be seen to; Getting back to a better diet, more leafy greens and fewer carbohydrates especially.

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For The Pit? Well, that’s what this web-log is supposed to be about rather than me grousing at you all of the time. Endora and Captain Gregg will be an interesting dilemma but I have my ideas. It will be better when I reach that part and they let me know what they would say after studying them again. Sam Evans is still around so his reactions to all that’s going on are wonderful. Willie Loomis is calming down some, but we know how his sense of panic and explosive responses can maintain while our trusty butler, Wadsworth, provides the guidance he and others need. I’m sure Willie’s bonding time with Sarah continues as well as Sarah’s playtime with David.

Barnabas is sittin’ pretty with the odd return of Josette as Maggie Evans. They aren’t married yet in The Pit but that doesn’t mean they’re going to keep their hands off of each other. Plus Barnabas is ever the affectionate soul to friends, family and his lover alike. I used to tease him more but getting into his persona expresses the richness in romance and tenderness for that one-true-love and in doing so opens one’s heart to the complexity of love and our need to attain that which is thought to be unattainable.

With Maggie Evans there is a duality to work through. How much is her journey? How much is her as Josette once more?  The core of a person has variables. Memories unlocked provide her with answers she was striving to find, and as she remembers each detail slowly she has to decide what of her lover’s future she is allowed to reveal and what to keep secret from Barnabas so he can prove himself enough to ensure her trust again as a partner in wedlock someday. Still, she knows, there are plenty of bases that can be covered before one reaches home plate.  😉

Victoria Winters is coming into an understanding of her own powers as well as the past she couldn’t find and how it links with Collinwood. Morticia and Grandmama know Victoria has those answers within herself and wish to offer a way for Victoria to uncover them. Meanwhile I believe Peter Bradford is learning about Gomez Addams’ fixation with toy trains. I’m sure both guests are getting used to the hearty meals on Cemetery Lane. (Actual hearts likely included, of course.)

Lily Munster (passport alias Lily Drake) is looking more like Yvonne DeCarlo as Cousin Elizabeth Stoddard smiles with approval, but still there is all that pesky luggage to store and seasickness cures to consider before the wonders of their Atlantic voyage allows them more to unveil on their journey.

One thing I’m feeling strange about is where Roger Collins will be put in all of this. I really love that area of Dark Shadows in which Elizabeth and Barnabas are holding down the fort. How this will turn out with Elizabeth gone and Roger remaining is anyone’s guess! (Wait… I’m getting ideas… uh-oh…)

Tony Peterson and Carolyn Stoddard? I’m all for more of them. There is another date coming, another sunrise, another chance to go for walks, make out, and complain about paperwork and law-crap. Very possibly more Schooner Bay and Carolyn Muir in the works. Maybe Martha, too! That would be hip. (Please don’t ask for Claymore. He scares me. Ha ha.)

Dr. Hoffman and Professor Stokes? I need to watch more Dark Shadows because I know they have a chemistry I can tap into, plus they’ve worked well as a team. But Julia is likely feeling overwhelmed with her new suitor and Eliot has to pace himself before he woos her without feeling a little awkward, of course.

I have to find a way to bring Amy and Chris Jennings into the picture. Amy will be fascinating as I have to get to know her again and discover if there is any need for her to be aware of Sarah Collins ghost, or would Sarah want to shy away? It’s a good question. As for Chris, I believe our Mr. Wells will be pleased as punch he has a guest at The Inn who wants to be secluded for his own noisy activity! After Nicholas Blair in room # 13? I have a feeling Mr. Wells shan’t be arsed to investigate Chris Jennings room! He was warned and has had enough stress dealing with whatever demonic noises come out of Blair’s quarters.

Bill Malloy… how does he enter the picture, how does his ghost feel about Elizabeth Stoddard out in the open? How far has he come and how much farther will he go now that his hometown residents are regaining good sense, easy-going humour, and more acceptances of their spooks which would include himself?

Angelique Bouchard is a tough case. Somewhere in the Dark Shadows series she is missing until her return in 1897. In The Pit I see her returning with an encounter of Endora and Samantha somehow in tow, whether they decide to confront her in 1897 or more modern day. Diablos is a presence neither Endora, Samantha or even Serena nor Uncle Arthur have any use for. What they might think of Nicholas Blair is another story.

Sir Simon Milligan and Manservant Hecubus continue to vie for Angelique’s affections, but in the meantime the two of them are likely getting “Girl-Drink Drunk”.

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As for Daryl Wor, I will try to take my own advice. Live day to day, chat with friends verbally, go out into the fresh air and accomplish routine tasks, throw out unneeded items to thrift stores, recycling or garbage piles. Eat well, write letters, mind the nutrients, create more episodes via the original shows and the guidance of their characters in this new journey we’re on. There is nothing I can do about the lost friendships but to mourn them in confusion and keep going. The social landscape has changed irrevocably. Presume those people will never come back. (It’s hard for an optimist to be pleasantly surprised.)

Remove oneself from the hyperspace of social media.

Downgrade to “being human” again.