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.)

Cybermen_formation_Doomsday
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.

write a letter cover

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.

pop and magz
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. ❤

Pit Update March 2017

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

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

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

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

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

archive.org link

podomatic link

podbay link

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

Pit Update October 2016

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In between Victoria Winters and Caleb Collins studies we have a somewhat studious ramble to keep you company until the release of Episode 16. Also, why Episode 16 hasn’t been released yet. (Plenty of spooky background music is in this podcast…)

Finding where Dark Shadows characters Chris and Amy Jennings are coming into this radio drama and how they might be blended in via how they already are from the original Dark Shadows.

Bits of what’s already been assessed and written in scenes for future episodes. Comparisons of working on original material versus fanfiction material.

Going over old and new studies for Victoria Winters and Caleb Collins back history according to Dark Shadows canon and a few irritations involving those studies when it comes to bad variables in communication about it. Still, the studies are revealing and well worth a listen if one is concerned with those particular characters.

Some meandering discussion about what The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows is and also touching upon Mary Sue characters and Marilyn Ross novels. Knowledge in variables that are important for creating more audio drama episodes depending on all the television shows and characters involved so far, and who might be involved in the future.

Pointers of why profit can never be made from this series and how glorious that is. Encouragement to letter-writing and correspondence of enjoyment, whether it’s to this series or for the betterment of ourselves. Why online drama is truly of little relevance to our community.

Pit Update October 2016 (podomatic link)

Pit Update October 2016 (podbay link)

Pit Update October 2016 (archive.org link)

__________________________________

Background music for this podcast:

“Night in a Graveyard” – Haunted House Music Co (1985)

“Cristofori’s Dream” – David Lanz (1988)

“Magic” – Mick Smiley (Ghostbusters Soundtrack Album 1984)

“Lament” – Assemblage 23 (2004)

“Cathedral of Death” -Autopsia (1993)

“House of Silence” – Bad Boys Blue (1991)

__________________________________

and?

Happy Halloween!

Working On Episode 16 (& other fun news)

Good Evening Collinsport, Schooner Bay, Mockingbird Heights, Cemetery Lane, Crabapple Cove, The Neitherworld, and our guests at Hill House.

I figured I hadn’t updated in a while and I know there are some out there that dig this web-log, and likely others who read it and lose much calcium and many fillings from their teeth. Well it’s a complicated world and this technology sure made it harder to pick and choose hasn’t it? 😉 I feel bad for all y’all who don’t have ad blockers. I used a machine that didn’t have any and good Lord! What a nightmare of obnoxious interruptions!

I have been working all week and all night on “Episode 16: A Death In The Family.” BOY! I worked so hard I forgot I’d seen the dawn and my husband rising to greet it. When I finally went to bed? I woke up around noon and I truly believed it was Saturday. I think that means I probably did a week’s worth of work in one night!

I remember Osheen was bothered by Caleb Collins ghostly laughter. At this point? I’m getting sick of his voice! There is a short scene with him, and then there is a long one with Maggie Evans that’s about twelve minutes in length. You can bet yourself a plug-nickel I threw in much, much music to deal with that. Then I think the music got too loud so I had to edit that over and over again throughout the test-listens. But still, some of the Maggie and Caleb banter is fun enough that it doesn’t get too strenuous. They have lot to talk about. It’s like, “Oh hey, you’re a ghost sometimes too, girl. I get to look at you and see some of my afterlife memories haunting me, Kitty Soames! Clever girl.” He doesn’t actually tell her that but, you know, that’s the gist of it.

Another thing that’s kept me busy is we finally went on a vacation last week. Then we discovered we had not taken a vacation in seven years. Ahhhhhhhh!!! Still, I’d had Anhedonia for so long and vacations couldn’t be much enjoyed back then. It’s truly nice that creating The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows helped to yank me out of The Pit of Ultimate Numbness From Any Emotional Thrill. Then? Margaret Josette Dupres happened and even more got healed! Still, I had that insomnia for ten months. I think it was probably getting through enough chapters of MJD and people responding to it that fixed the insomnia. I am so grateful to many of you for helping discuss it with me. That’s what finally got me back to sleeping again. (Technically I would pass out for an hour or two here or there but it was just not enough during those ten months.) And there is lots more to come, so no worries. I’m still struggling with Sarah’s toddler years and also making more Pit.

So hopefully some of you have written me letters or cards and I’m dying for some mail but I haven’t been able to go and check for goodies. I still have my goal of all the stationery I’ve been hoarding for decades getting used up. I’m not even close! And I’m sending people stationery if they need it, too. On the rare chance I get a response to a printed version of the discussion questions for The Pit, I love that so much. That’s one of the things that proves to me I am not an effing narcissist. Why on Earth would I be dying for fun responses and people’s insight if it was all about worshiping me?

Emails are great too. I want paper letters in between emails but there have been so many emails and I’m so emailed out. It’s no wonder I managed to send eight postcards, two cards, and one letter on our four day trip! I noticed another pen pal site called “Long-Letter Pen Pals”. No kidding, man! We gotta make it obvious we don’t just want junk or meme-mail. It’s super-gross to see the meme and share-file mentality hitting the pen pal universe. Ugh!

One beautiful part of my week has been voice-call with a friend and she overheard the Barnabas chat with Beetlejuice. Audibly hearing her laughter was so marvelous I just let the track keep playing. And it is an amazing scene. I wasn’t sure how they would interact but it works! It’s them! Talking to each other! Almost teasing each other! I even keep turning it back to hear BJ snap, “Cut the questions, Fang-Boy!” So even if my Alan Alda sucks? At least my Michael Keaton is good. 🙂

I also finally made the cover image for Episode 16. Am I going to post it here? Nah. I won’t get any reaction from anyone. I’ll just get stats. Dull-city. (Maybe I’ll get some juicy like-clicks sharing it on Facebook. P’shhh, why bother? Hee hee hee!) So I shared the image with Melissa and got some actual talk and fun discussion. Then? She kept me company while I did the dishes. They got backed up working on this episode, I tell ya!

But what better joy in the world might be had? Being able to turn to one’s spouse and say, “Sweetie? I need a kiss for Doctor Hoffman and Professor Stokes.” and the spouse is wonderfully obliging. I wanted something more beefy, but hey, it’s their first so we can get beefier kisses later. ❤ I noticed I upped the bass on Professor Stokes voice for that scene. I think I was shooting for sexy with that, but then I noticed the love-song I put in seemed too loud. Hmm, it might be because my equalizer was set to “Dance” and not “Acoustic”. Gotta watch out for that.

I truly adore how Willie Loomis is coming out. Remember in my second intro I said it felt like “lost potential” with him. Now I’m seeing so much of that lost potential to be found in such a short time! In The Pit he’s never known Cassandra, but our trusty butler has updated him on Angelique. A Willie Loomis who is bonding with the ghost of a little girl? A Willie Loomis who is reminded of a more innocent time in his life around Wadsworth? He’s not going to take kindly at all to Angelique. And why? Because he sees the chain of dominoes that affected Barnabas, just as he’s had his own chain of dominoes that made him nasty, too. Now granted, Barnabas being harsh with him changed him on Dark Shadows, Willie Loomis became more empathetic, but so as life is littered with horrible things and bad people? We do not go out of our way to court the horrible things and bad people, at least not intentionally. (Well, okay, a few people do!) So Willie is making it clear Angelique is someone he wants out of the vicinity. (Being protective of Sarah also blends in with his godfather role to her in Margaret Josette Dupres.)

That leads me to a game we played last night. At a thrift store I found a fancy briefcase set for backgammon. We finally used it and didn’t have the greatest fun but the point was to give it a shot. And it makes me revel in the fun of Wadsworth’s chapter in Margaret Josette Dupres where he and Willie create this habit of going to play that game while Barnabas and Maggie are too vocally expressive in their love-nest. I like to think that their backgammon set looks like this one we got. Four dollars, too!

backgammon

That’s the wonderful part of having a fascination with old things and old games. My “adopted kids” can have a ball with that and it fits in perfectly. I’ve seen so many pissed-off fans of Dark Shadows grousing endlessly about Barnabas not loving Julia. What was I pissed about? They didn’t play cribbage, dammit! So? I fixed it that they did. Hee hee hee. Plus I remember reading that scene to my Mum. Anyone go and re-listen to Episode 6 of The Pit? That time at The Old House is seriously wacky! I’d forgotten how much I was able to stuff into that scene!

Wanna know something else crazy about us and cribbage? We didn’t learn it from someone older. We learned it from my cousin who is over ten years my junior. She learned it from her great-aunt, but still. It was a groovy way to discover it. So by the time we watched Dark Shadows and Barnabas jestingly suggests playing cribbage with Doctor Hoffman? You can bet I was angry that they didn’t play after all. Hence all the DS fix-its in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows aren’t necessarily massive. Life is a banquet of things that come in all sizes, shapes, colours and variety. That’s why I write these entries like letters to you. Take it from Robert Fulghum. (I’ve never written to him as he may not write back. But I will.)

With old books and old times, I finally finished Chapter 22 of Stand Fast And Damn The Devil by Osheen Nevoy. One part felt like a hilarious moment in an M.R. James book and I still am laughing at this dude who shows up for Bill’s jury selection:

One voluble old gentleman could scarcely wait to answer Hanley’s question gauging potential jurors’ views on witches. When it was finally his turn the old fellow hopped to his feet and started summarizing all the acts of witchcraft his neighbors had worked against him for the past 40 years. Bradford barely managed to squeeze a word in edgeways to request that this candidate be dismissed.

That is so hilarious and very likely, too! It’s like, “Oh good! Here’s my chance to rat on my neighbours and get ’em in trouble!” (The other guy that Rev. Trask dismissed was kinda hilarious too.)

I’m not sure why but it takes me back to the über-dry M.R. James story “Martin’s Close” in which there is a hearing when one of the witnesses starts rambling more details than is necessary:

…Thomas Snell was next called, who gave evidence to the same effect as Mrs Arscott, and added the following:

Att. Did anything pass between you and the prisoner during the time Mrs Arscott was out of the room?

Th. I had a piece of twist in my pocket.

Att. Twist of what?

Th. Twist of tobacco, sir, and I felt a disposition to take a pipe of tobacco. So I found a pipe on the chimney-piece, and being it was twist, and in regard of me having by an oversight left my knife at my house, and me not having over many teeth to pluck at it, as your lordship or anyone else may have a view by their own eyesight—

L.C.J. What is the man talking about? Come to the matter, fellow! Do you think we sit here to look at your teeth?

Th. No, my lord, nor I would not you should do, God forbid! I know your honours have better employment, and better teeth, I would not wonder.

L.C.J. Good God, what a man is this! Yes, I have better teeth, and that you shall find if you keep not to the purpose.

Yes, one might think with this gem in the collection of M.R. James that his stories are fun and funny? Don’t be fooled! They are dry and spooky and I’d like a kid’s version. (((lol))) Whereas Osheen’s novel, though tragic, is pickled with Bill Malloy’s down to Earth observations and comic relief aplenty.

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Speaking of old books there was a delightful re-print we bought on the trip in one of the historical museum gift-shops:

language-of-flowers

Kate Greenaway “The Language of Flowers”. I believe it is one I was working with for Josette’s blossom fetish, but it’s nice to have a physical copy. Definitely fits in with the meanings in Chapter 41 of Margaret Josette Dupres. (Which meant I had to go and check and read it and get all hot’n’bothered by the couple again.)

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Ohhh, what else? Well, the test-listen is still running. I need more from the grass-roots before Episode 16 is released. The grass-roots team aren’t through half of the scenes yet. (And I’m always up for more in the grass-roots team. They find one scene at a time fits in with their schedules easier.) So far? Episode 16 is over an hour! Ah! I’m hoping for shorter future episodes, and with Episode 17 we shall, hopefully, be “back on the road” as I keep expressing. I remember the old formula was X# of words versus X# of pages. With Episode 17 it’s mostly ideas and a list. I noticed The Pit expanded exponentially in 2013 with the listens to previous episodes and growing from that. (Plus Helena showed up and she was a Godsend. Still is!) That’s why I definitely enjoy the chat about this show. It gets me motivated and keeps me focused. Random distractions take up too much time.

Also all my whistle-blowing has not been in vain. More and more often I’m seeing articles about this new tech-addiction. True, we had old ones, but what’s changed in the last five to ten years is not healthy for us at all. We’ve tried to compensate and get stuck back into the addiction. I’ve set myself out as an example. I don’t think I fell off the wagon last night. Still, I’ll share this with Facebook, likely without fully logging on. That’s another scary thing about social networks. You can share things to them without pulling up the application or site fully. But it’s preferable to share it in places that people are stalk—I mean, “following” me.

Otherwise, if you’re hungry for the next episode? You can always run through the previous one and let me know what all you enjoyed. That should keep you entertained, right? 😉

“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:

Worf2

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. 🙂

The Letters Are Coming In!!!

United_States_Postal_Service_(emblem)

YES! I was right! Working in tandem with all the different forms of communication can make this thing work. It started with pen pals anyway, at least one. Writing for writing: correspondence. Just got to the P.O. Box today and after rifling through the previous owners junk mail, I got two big whoppers and more to come!

A beautifully hand-written letter with a raven on it. She is extremely grateful to be included in going over the work and becoming pen friends. YES! It was a shaky start being unfamiliar with the characters but the more she listened the more everything grew on her and grew easily. “Constructive-praise” appealed greatly and got her thinking deep on the level of creative pursuits.  Excellent! She’s also very intrigued and delighted by the idea of what happily ever after looks like rather than simply ending a story with a curtain fall.

I must give some gratitude to one of my favourite authors here:

booklucymaudmontgomerythegiftofwings

This lady knew what it was to write about living, and common life certainly wasn’t boring!

So this pen pal is excitedly getting immersed, sent me a piece of her own fandom artwork and plans to write more in the future. Just wanted to send me something quick to make sure I knew she was on it. Also a couple photos. Wonderful.


And the next letter…

Oh, dear. I heard my voice was sexy but I guess the coffee shop scene in episode 5 with Barnabas and Maggie turned someone on… Whoah! Well, entertainment is often about pleasure, right? (I must try to ascertain this in a similar fashion with the erotica I never intended to create.) The scene with Stokes and Barnabas wasn’t so much to his liking but there were elements that were enjoyed. Ah, well, no big deal. It was a little goofy, I shall admit. Two gentlemen staggering to read Willie’s letter together can’t be all that much of a speedy show mover. (lol)

W-o-w… all the scenes have great feedback here, from Tony and Carolyn chatting in the car to Victoria and Peter arriving at The Bates Motel. Apparently he figured it out, but that might be due to my last letter including an image of Victoria against Norman Bates’ house with his silhouette as well.

victoria vs norman bates

My gentle readers, as you can see, these pen pals are getting the information slowly, are enjoying it slowly, and to the full. I hope someday we can make this online world equally as valid.

Lucy Maud writing_0

Peace.