Aye, I still feel weird calling the novel “Margaret Josette Dupres” by “MJD” because it makes Maggie sound like a rap-star, but it looks like the abbreviation has stuck.
Anyway! I was delighted to receive some questions about it by email so I’d like to relay the answers I sent the other day.
The questions were good, along the lines of:
How is it Maggie is a vampire and did Barnabas change Maggie into one?
How is it they are walking around in the day and don’t need coffins?
Answers: The marriage novel came to me in flashes back in 2013. Glad you were spared the first draft! It was a mess. This is the second draft and much better. I wasn’t sure why they ended up as vampires initially. The wedding night threw itself at me one very surprising morning that autumn.
Then I figured it out! The daylight-walking vampirism will be a wedding gift from Lily Munster. Her and Grandpa Munster, who are vampires, walk around in the day time and can see themselves in mirrors. I also think she’ll do this while still in her norm-disguise in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. So when the vampirism transfers over they won’t be all pale like Lily usually is. 😀
Then I realised that if Barnabas and Josette/Maggie have been separated for nearly 200 Years they need a bit of immortality to make up for the time lost. So I’m planning that Lily will put the bite on Maggie to start and she’ll give that same bite to Barnabas, who is more than willing to be always under Josette’s spell. ❤
That’ll give having a child difficult, but somehow Lily had a werewolf son, so I worked that out, too. The Dracula-Munster genes are just wacky. ^_^ Then, when Barnabas and Maggie do have a child that child will eventually be faced with the “Tuck Everlasting” question! (To be immortal or to not be immortal?)
I want to add that I have long expected to hear the complaint of Lily Munster being the giver of this type of vampirism to be too corny or cheesy but I have never gotten that complaint. If someone groused about it on social media it never reached me.
(And of course that’s what that stuff is designed for. To wail complaints into a wilderness no one hears but the tech wizards. If you’re shocked by what you see about me or anyone else there? That’s what it’s built for: Shock-value to promote advertisement sales. I prefer an outlandish Marilyn Manson album, myself.)
I’m so glad she asked the questions! Very few people do. It’s frustrating having seen that for years. Emails are pretty simple from where I’m sitting. There are bits of the novel that need be re-written but I’m pacing myself and not worrying about that until the (hopeful) third draft. (That Willie toilet papering chapter was a great idea but needs a major re-write.)
And while I’m posting I just want to offer an “oops” on my latest Hoffman/Stokes romance drabble. I think it needs a re-write, but that was nagging me to finish and post just to have something on the Hoffman/Stokes romance level out there. It’s some slim pickins for that couple!
So, yes. Ask questions if you would like. I might not always have the answers but I can track them down. I am very glad the entry “On The Subject of Victoria Winters” keeps getting read. I know human-downgrading and the fracturing of psyches will be a tough thing to heal from, but I think we can do it. With these long-long narratives it might even be fun! ^_^
And now, finally, back to the story… (I’ve been building this podcast since March 2019, so bare with me.) After mention of the dedication we get to what happens during Episode 15 in ‘The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows’, the annotated version, of course.
The hilarious gin-rummy game between Nicholas Blair and Vampire Angelique, continuing on to the scene with Roger Collins, V’Angelique and Lily Munster. Next, Grandmama Addams and Morticia’s foray into Victoria Winters’ memories of Reverend Trask. Later, we cut from Josette’s room to a Willie and Sarah scene to David’s surprise and back again as Wadsworth enters, which leads to The Great House, Elizabeth’s announcement(s), and Barnabas meeting Lily Munster. (Is Lily’s vampire side helping out too cheesy or corny? Late 20th Century: Yes. Early 21st Century: No.)
How the Willie and Wadsworth scene reveals why Willie Loomis has been affected by the nurturing touch of Professor Stokes and others.
Barnabas, at last, encounters the ghost of Caleb Collins. Why Barnabas IS “So Mr. Darcy” and other “Pride and Prejudice” influences. The importance of Maggie/Josette that Caleb understands, leading us to the ending in which Tom Jennings meets Vampire Angelique that night, and why the song fits.
My feelings about Heather O’Rourke and inviting her admirers to reach out and discuss her short time among us.
Then we wrap up with one of my lectures about better manners to which many listeners will likely fall asleep.
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)
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,
“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 TheCybermen instead. It’s also exactly why we attained creations such as The Borg and TheCybermen in our storytelling: It’s a warning of things that could very much happen to us in the future. (Or right now.)
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!
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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. 😉 )
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.”
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. ❤
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.
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.
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”.
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.
Personal updates, understanding of what new technology has done to many of us in such a short time (which is very much like “Invasion of The Body Snatchers”). Discussion of how the convenience tricked us into believing we were more connected when we’ve actually become even more disconnected.
How new friendships along with new fans are picking up the pieces and how it’s come about.(Further help is very appreciated!)
News about previous and upcoming elements to “The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows”, as well as “Margaret Josette Dupres”: character studies and analysis and why that’s important.
Hopes for getting out another interview/workshop with the wonderfully helpful and well grounded author: Osheen Nevoy. Characters and events coming up for Episodes 15 & 16.(And some irritability at the technical problems we’re facing.)
Suggestions of where to go if one’s personal preference is to live in a “bummer world” rather than engaging in change for the better.
For said “bummer world” here are a few links to the downer tomes of old:
The download numbers continue to rise to the point it makes me almost batty with so much silence in response… Then among various people on social networks there is this idea that I have become many fans baby-sitter. Why? Basic online fandom bickering. If someone was blazoning my name in terms of being some amazing DS creator or something in response to someone else? That would be grounds for me to start baby-sitting fans. They’re not, though. They’re just making trouble for each other that has nothing to do with me or my work. My work is too scary to discuss minus maybe 4 people these days. Meh…
Personal counsel I like though, as well as need. In fact, I can’t figure out how all y’all reading these blogs and listening to the podcast aren’t starving for talk. I’d be starving for it, and have been… Things on a one-to-one basis, discussion about the characters involved here. Got some great help yesterday from a Munsters fan about Lily, Grandpa and if they can see themselves in mirrors…
That would be a yes, folks! Thank ye, sir!
So Lily’s mention of a mirror has had to be altered but only slightly. The witticism in conversation still remains.
Now for the basics… this is pretty much a note to myself sometimes. I am trying so hard to keep it down to 6,000 words for the audio timing but it’s really tough.
The scenes are:
1) Milligan & Hecubus’ intro and opener.
2) Dr. Hoffman, Professor Stokes and… Dr. “Hawkeye Pierce”. (Which bleeds into a scene involving Tom Jennings and Caleb Collins.)
3) Vampire Angelique finally reaches The Old House to confront Barnabas and… “Crap, there are a lot of people here! This isn’t working out so well. Who is this new butler, again? What’s up with the blond guy? Uh-oh… there’s that little girl I messed with via voodoo when she was alive… Not good… “
4) Next we have Maggie and Sam wandering in to discuss what they overheard with Barnabas and Angelique. This will need more work, too. A wonderful new help-mate reminded me of scenes with Kitty Soames in 1897. As Josette’s reincarnation she did visit Jeremiah’s grave for a heart-to-heart and explanation of having been tricked into marriage with him. Which means I have to go through those again and ask Maggie what she knows as a reincarnation of both at this point. That’s the homework involved in this production.
*5) Lily & Elizabeth pack for England… very sweet, but I’d like to find a way to get them out the door before this scene ends. Or maybe something that would keep them out of the house by Episode 17. (Happy for a suggestion here. Passports are done. Customs? Luggage tags? Tickets? We’re in 1968 as far as I can figure out at this point.)
6) Maggie Evans goes to speak to the ghost of Caleb Collins in his house. She feels he’s likely the person to come up with a solution for the most recent problem. Caleb knows Maggie well, in fact he knows a lot about what’s been going on with her and confesses to his responsibility of a few things himself, past and present.
7) Back in Dr. Hoffman’s office a certain Professor Stokes has his own confessions to make, if a little impatiently. 😉
8) Barnabas is sitting near the fire contemplating the current woes with Vampire Angelique. All seems lost, until a small and grizzled voice begins speaking to him from parts unknown.
And here is my trouble. One more scene, a cliffhanger scene should fit in there to finalize Episode 16. I can type it up but that would be coming in sharply back to 7,000 words at this point. *sigh* Maybe I can’t escape that.
Again, the listening comes in. When I go over the drafts I see words characters wouldn’t say and have to alter that, whether it’s form of expression or mention of something. Then one last step before total alteration:
I have not done a demo for The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows with my husband since Autumn of 2013. But I realize now it’s a key component in building episodes. The listening of the read shows anything good or anything that needs to be changed. Does it sound like everyone? Was there something in the text I didn’t notice because I was reading silently rather than listening? That’s where the tandem of text and audio brings a truer form. Many people listen to audio books now because their mind will wander when reading text. (For others it’s the opposite, hence I make both available.)
Still, I have no idea when this work will be publicly available. People seem to want it but they’re tongue tied about it. Looks like many are mentally capable enough to download an episode, hook it up to an mp3 player, listen and then? I don’t know… I’ve rarely ever known what happens. I don’t get told. I get like-clicked, I get random “friend requests” on Facebook (I feel that site has wounded the word friend.) I get hundreds of numbers a week even though I haven’t released a radio drama episode in six months… and?
I am told I should be happy.
I’m entertaining gobs of people and I’m hearing virtually nothing about that.
I’m getting hated and harassed.
I’ve managed to garner neglect from people who enjoy my work.
I receive memes and share files as well as notifications in like-clicks that have no commentary to report.
Invitations for group pages flood me with distractions galore and makes simply using networks to reallytalk to people a nuisance. I’m trying to create something substantial here and even the people who love it make it even harder to create, however easy I’ve made that communication and let myself be available. Why is all of this supposed to make me a happy person? Why?
Why do people become suicidal?
Because very often they feel battered, unloved, and uncared for.
Because, theoretically, it’s only after one is dead that their ghost will finally hear how people felt.
Telling people what you like about them, what you enjoy about their company, the details of good things? That is, for some cursed reason, only something people do after someone dies. Look at what comes from celebrity deaths: That’s when the words spring out. For some reason death becomes the purpose in which the living finally speak.
With that knowledge? Who wouldn’t want to die?
Just to find out, after ages of wondering, what you truly meant to someone…
I have the latest creation of Episode 15 in progress. I remember one reviewer, who’s been M.I.A. lately, requested that he was looking forward to more original Dark Shadows music. This let me know what he was hoping and looking forward to so I went all out and started to purchase some more goodies. I’m with him that it enhances the mood. In this discussion, however hilarious with Nicholas Blair and Vampire Angelique, present certain additives that are beneficial. I’m finding this one gem called “Wailing Theremin (Angelique)”. I think it really could set the tone for her discussions on death and what that was like. Things of this nature bring back my intrigue for production and quality. (Definitely beats some of the rudeness I’ve been gleaning off to the side via areas I’ve been asking for help, and then getting quick-to-judge types throwing harsh words out for no particular reason. People? The world is filled with a wild richness of entertainment. Go find something you like and quit bothering me. Thanks.)
On the other hand some of the review-swaps and workshops are bringing in a trickle of hope. I’ve had some messages letting me know, “I love your rants! It shows you’re human. If people can’t understand your obvious need for feedback with such hard work? Just rant some more!” LOL! Well, I don’t know about that. I’d rather get more constructive stuff done, but, oh, my gosh! That is certainly encouragement right there! I’m also wondering if something is up in new applications but a couple people have been pointing out the otr effect: “Old Time Radio”. I’d say my project has that. I’ve looked into the other productions where they bring back the same actors to either perform new roles or old ones. I remember one had a ghost of Caleb Collins and I thought, “Ohhh, if only I could afford that.” Then I pulled back and realized if I was basing everything on The Coffin Box DVD set (along with the other shows and movies) to the best of my ability, no. Don’t get the new radio dramas other than for listening to voice structure. And the music is similar but it’s too slick for me. I prefer more of an old-time sound and with the Dark Shadows original music I feel it’s more appropriate. I would love more music from other shows if I can find them. I am absolutely thrilled with the effect the Clue soundtrack has on Willie and Wadsworth scene in “A Balancing of The Humours”. It was the perfect touch! 🙂
Meh… arg… well the wailing theremin did sound good in the mix… but I can hardly tell with… the leaf blower outside… ugh…
Now this is good. Someone told me recently I got Angelique’s voice as perfect as I could. That was from an earlier episode, but as for this one… Gosh, that breathy maneuver of hers is pretty fun. Oh, I can’t wait to do more voice-acting. I really miss it. Also this episode with the newer attempts at Lily are also good. I remember a super long cold where I double checked as much of her screen-time as I could. For The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows I look back and felt maybe she was too cheerful. At the same time… Herman, and even Grandpa, could seriously irk her at home. I think she was so thrilled to go on a trip she brightened even more. But now I’ll try and get my adoptee into more of her motherly aspect. I think she feels very at home in Collinwood but with that sense of wonder why everyone is so uptight about things of the spooky nature. It’s the more modern and mundane foibles that get on her nerves.
I know how you feel, my dear. Modern foibles certainly have made my life more difficult these days.
Uh-oh… Well it does make me less bored but I’m hitting the sauce again. And that means… *sigh* my mind has slowed to the point that a lot of this audio dialogue sounds faster. So I think what I’ll focus on is eliminating flubs rather than worrying about silence timing. (Yes, when I become intoxicated I am well aware of the changes it makes in my focusing skills. I use this as a tool in many regards, not simply as a way of loosening up.) I think it’s time to get the coffee on the perk here…
(DS ep. 21) CAROLYN: Think it’ll perk faster if you stare at it?
Nah… I just like to listen to the burbling in the background, but this is likely how I feel when I’m staring at an audio file. Maybe the episode will just be created faster if I stare at it… or when I look at my stat numbers for downloads and reads… maybe if I just stare at them I’ll get the discussion faster. Meh… hasn’t worked in over three years…
Okay, ladies: Morticia, Victoria, Grandmama? I am not going over this scene again. I altered the volume in voices to the best of my ability, saved the file as-is and am done with it. However it comes out, it comes out. Now onto the next scene…
A discussion between Maggie and Barnabas in Josette’s room. This needs attention. There are a lot of words that are two low in volume and, even in my current state, I can tell many of these silences are far too long. The occurrence itself is unique. I was telling a friend about this. Maggie as Josette and in her old room behaves more like Josette than elsewhere. She’s more contemplative, serene, which represents her ghostly persona as well as her original one. I’d written the text and done the demo in 2013 and didn’t quite notice that difference. This was the journey I was looking forward to with her, not having realized how far we’d moved into it. That quietude of reflection in understanding herself as well as her own place among those living, dead, and undead.
There he is mourning her loss, over and over…
And here she awakes to say, “Barnabas? It’s me.”
I felt it was both a moving and uplifting culmination of what was obvious. Didn’t think there was going to be so much hullabaloo over the damn thing. Then again, I didn’t expect it to heal my love-life either, so there ya go. Guess it’s a stronger romance than I anticipated! ❤
Ahhh… the Willie and Sarah scene. All the way back in November of 2013 during my first intro, “If anyone has some rustling in the leaves sound effects? I need some.” Nope. That bequest was never answered… Oh… thank the Lord. Found a bit… took a while, though, longer than my writing this. (I tend to go back in forth between the work and the blog typing, btw.)
Helena? I think I’d like to go over the text version of this with you. I remember you agreed the old draft was awkward, and it’s not like I’m going to make any major changes now that it’s altered and the audio performances are done, I dunno, I just feel like it. (You know me, I like to chat and workshop. 🙂 )
Now… the music I planned for this. I’m worried it might be too sweet and not quite fitting enough for that spooky element. Although, Heaven knows the tune I’ve picked tends to give a lot of people the creeps via where it comes from. The problem is it’s a music box version. Currently I’m playing with all the oddities in sound change and variance. Mmm, little discoveries of, “Oh, hey! That sounds better” and others of, “Wow! REALLY bad idea! Undo...” *chuckling* I believe bringing this in as quietly as humanly possible for the human ear to notice will be best.
All right. Banging your head against the brick wall enough here, Daryl. Don’t add the music or sound effects. I remember Willie Loomis had a ton of performed, then re-performed, lines and inflections I wasn’t sure about. I was shooting for easier-going Willie and was able to find some audio clips that sounded good to feel the swing of it. But there are variations and I have to pick the right ones. I think I have to do that with the Willie and Wadsworth scene a few cuts down the road here. And that one was less laid back and more with Willie revealing an internal struggle of understanding how he was treated by Professor Stokes during his calligraphy sessions. Of course, he was treated well, not something in Willie’s usual experience. More about that to come.
I think that wraps up my blog entry on where I am now. Happy to get more enthusiasm and discussion on the episodes. Just experiencing this journey on the path to recovery. Much praise, but again I’d like to hear more of that for the characters and less for myself. This is for them, not just me, and this is for sharing how that experience proceeds with each other. I keep hoping more listeners will understand that.
Might as well make another blog entry about how time consuming this creation is for people who probably listen with total aloofness. (I can only speculate on this since barely anyone will talk to me about it.) Why am I so cranky? Well I tend to only get to talk to people who let me down or say cruel things. When I get the rare feedback I’m often told I’ve been doing “professional” work as far as sound-quality, acting, writing, etc. But I’m not getting paid. So for me to mostly deal with invalidation while doing what is often quoted as professional work? Yep! You’re going to get someone who is major peeved most of the time.
My husband left off at episode 11 part two a number of weeks ago so this last weekend we listened to Episode 12, “Dark Therapy” together. He kept pinching bits and fragments of refuse off of the carpet to put into the garbage with a nit-picky nervousness. I just thought, “Hell… if this is what people do when they listen to the audio? Get out a note book and stare at it while you listen, and then write down some comments to send me. Better than getting all antsy.” I thought of this especially when he got up during the episode to peruse the kitchen and then calling out heckles at Tom Jennings. Dude! Save the heckles for Tom Jennings to put in the comment boxes!
Moving around all of that crap in Caleb’s House? Tom Jennings would enjoy receiving your heckles.
So today and yesterday, between fits of temper, I managed to enjoy the hilarious antics of Nicholas Blair and Vampire Angelique playing gin-rummy. I said we wanted to find a redemption for her we could digest, yes? Well, it’s slow going but right now she’s whipping Blair’s butt at gin-rummy and has just won seven games of it in a row. She’s also trying to remember who the hell was talking to her (,it was the ghost of Jeremiah,) when she was dead and what the point of it was. Good Girl!
If this didn’t bust me up so much it would be much harder to edit and get done. I remember doing a performance of this scene for my husband and we pretty much “wet-’em”. Then I’m splicing in lines for Barnabas which are at a higher pitch in performance to try and get Jonathan Frid’s voice more accurate. I really like this change. The Roger lines I’m cringing to pick. Yes, Louis Edmonds would more likely inflect this word in this manner but it’s sooooo hard to let go of the old demo version!
“Cassandra? Really? Seriously? BLONDE?“
It was quite husky in the demo which is funnier but not how Roger would say it, so I had to accept the alteration.
I also re-performed Lily Munster’s lines to make them less high-pitched and more accurate to Yvonne DeCarlo’s performance of her. It seems the most difficult thing to decide on when multiple female characters are in the same scene and making sure they’re different enough. I am a woman. My voice is a variance of androgyny, and it really is the female voices that are harder for me. But I hopefully did well on this scene between Lily Dracula Munster and Vampire Angelique.
Lily thought she sensed a kindred vampire around… nope. Vampire Angelique is a bit different, so she’s having a little “chat” with her. 😉
Thank God! The sound effects for this scene are already placed in there from earlier. Oh goodie! Now time to splice in some Roger lines. I remember asking Osheen if she knew enough about Roger and Elizabeth’s parents to get this scene authentic. Osheen expressed her knowledge of their parents and said this scene would work for authenticity. Yay! So here is what Roger Collins deduces about their cousin Lily…
“Hmmnnn… Mother really should have told us more about her side of the family… but then… she did always say that it was complicated. And if it’s more complicated than our lives have been, I don’t blame her for not trying to explain it.”
Not sure if I’ll keep going today. Wish I had some correspondence to attend to, but that’s the update for Episode 15, “A Blundering Succubus”.