Pit Update November 2016

nov-2016n

 

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

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

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

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

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

Pit Update November 2016 (podomatic link)

Pit Update November 2016 (podbay link)

Pit Update November 2016 (archive.org link)

Also available on iTunes


Background music for this podcast:

“November Spawned A Monster” – Morrissey (1990)

“Anabasis” – Dead Can Dance (2012)

“Sh-Boom” – The Crew-Cuts (1954)

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

 

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.)

____________________________

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? 😉

Other News… (A Method to The Madness)

Mash goes to Maine

Gary sent a little boost my way.

I also realize I’m going to have to hit any M*A*S*H sites for information of what might be going on with Hawkeye after the Korean war… which means I should double check stuff on “After M*A*S*H” especially, though I don’t believe he was ever on that spin-off. There may have been possible mentions.


Next up… a Dark Shadows timeline? Anything on the order of that? Well, story lines, which of course are a massive jangle in the space-time-continuum. I went through the DS Almanacs sent to me as gifts. Wonderful lists. Then a great admin of my first DS group, which I sought out as protection to only go to, in the beginning, posted the list for me from the DS Wiki (the site I used frequently years ago).

1 Victoria Winters 1 to 127 125 109; 110
2 The Murder of Bill Malloy 46 to 126 79 109; 110
3 Laura the Phoenix 123 to 192 69 131
4 Jason McGuire 193 to 275 82 226
5 Barnabas the Vampire 205 to 209 85 226
6 The Search for Barnabas’ Cure 291 to 365 75
7 1795 365 to 466 100 369; 391
8 Adam and Eve 466 to 636 169 533; 634
9 The Dream Curse 477 to 536 59 533
10 The Werewolf 627 to 700 73 634; 653
11 Quentin’s Ghost 639 to 700 61 653
12 Return to 1796 657 to 667 11
13 1897 700 to 885 184 802; 824
14 The Hand of Count Petofi 778 to 883 104 802; 824
15 The Leviathans 886 to 980 91 895; 914; 920; 921
16 1970 in Parallel Time 969 to 1060 92
17 1995 1061 to 1070 10
18 Gerard Stiles 1071 to 1109 39
19 1840 1110 to 1198 85 1135; 1155; 1175; 1180
20 1841 in Parallel Time 1186 to 1245 59 1208

All right! So, what have I done that I cannot undo or re-do? I interrupted at about #5 in this list, but continued in a weave-through and into story line #9. I didn’t have the full set, so I did most of this from memory alone. Steps in the thick of it are somewhat out of place but, hey… I’m only one person here. I’m still suprised I got it all this accurate. I asked a beautiful new friend for help to recount where Tom Jennings came in. (I remember in a podcast I mentioned losing track of what was going on because of the rental company missing various disks, so I was balking where I’d brought Tom in.) She resplendently found DS. ep 554. Thank you!

Regardless, I’ll be watching most of the series over again, someway, somehow. *knock on wood* Among various other series and movies. Ah!


The question remains… am I going all the way through #20 in this list? Not bloody likely. As the ghost of Caleb explains to Barnabas in my 15th Episode, “And my connections swear there will be none of that parallel time nonsense.” (Which, of course, requires that he has to tiredly explain what the hell that even means. In The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, at least for what I can recall via the weave-in, there was no going back and messing with Lt. Forbes in order to help Victoria Winters and Peter Bradford because? They didn’t fall back into the 1790’s but instead took a road-trip and went to these places instead:

TwinPeaks_openingshotcredits

BatesMotel

Addams_house

All right. It doesn’t exactly look like a corner brew pub from The British Isles. Victoria Winters and I were a little tired from the long drive. So sue us. (Oh, whoops! I’m broke from this project! There’s nothing left to sue!)

With these factors in tow, it isn’t likely Barnabas Collins is going to understand Parallel Time until he returns from the dreaded Kitty=Josette retcon. (Retroactive continuity, or retcon for short, is the alteration of previously established facts in the continuity of a fictional work.) But how will this work? Heck, how the hell does Maggie Evans already remember being both Kitty Soames as Josette Dupres and the original Josette Dupres?

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You think Barnabas & Josette have wild memories? Try being John Sullivan. (Thank you, Toby Emmerich.)


the-ghost-and-mrs-muir-logo

Meanwhile in Schooner Bay, there really isn’t much of the music score to find for the television version of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir beyond the theme song. Going back to my old influences when I had less music for Dark Shadows I bent in the direction of familiar composers or music the same composers might use. (Similar to adding Santo & Johnny to be heard on the radio or at The Blue Whale.) For what I found on who composed the music for our Captain Gregg and Carolyn Muir?

Series Music by
George Greeley … (19 episodes, 1969-1970)
Dave Grusin … (7 episodes, 1968)
Warren Barker … (5 episodes, 1968-1969)
Harry Geller … (2 episodes, 1970)
Fred Steiner … (1 episode, 1968)
Artie Kane … (1 episode, 1969)

Not sure why my sources place these chaps in this order, but at least the information was there, so I can take a look around at what they might have done on the side. Again, I won’t worry too much about adding anything as I don’t see Captain Gregg coming back until Episode 18 in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, but it’s good to get the ideas flowing for creation again. It’s been a long time since my adopted set sail for newer adventures together (December 2013, to be precise).


Oddly enough when I poked around the DS Wiki I noticed a link that said, “Here’s What Really Happened to Barnabas & Co.” Well, I guess that’s what the TV Guide wrap-up decided to title what at the end is written as, “No audience will see these stories playing out. But for those for whom the characters were real, these are merely signposts pointing the direction the characters might have gone.”

There is vaguely more Willie Loomis salted in than I recall… but in either case? I am persuaded to believe that wrap-up just as much as I believe this one:

clue-but-heres-what-really-happened

Are listeners floored by the radio drama because they don’t believe this either? Very likely.

In all of these things, as we stagger onward into the telling of this multi-fandom fiction, based on another multi-fandom fiction, the pieces keep falling into place. The odds are against us struggling away from what we’ve been programmed to do: Say happy things only in cliche’s and pronounce negativity with an amazing detail of description and adjectives.

But the supernatural tempts us to question our existence. As my husband enjoys proclaiming, “Ghosts? Sure… Werewolves? No problem. Vampires? Great… Reincarnation??? That’s ridiculous!” Ah, my sweet love, perhaps our listeners feel it’s too close to the bone. All life works in stages, and if reincarnation be true? It also is a form of existence that works in stages from one life time to the next, rather than mortally stepping through infancy, childhood, adolescence, the teenage years, and then the longest stretch: adulthood.

We, all of us, are part of a collective more complex and profound than any other animal life on this planet. But complexity frightens us…

Josettes Ghost

Josette Dupres’ complexity frightens us. So? We simplify her.

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Barnabas Collins’ complexity overwhelms us with it’s alienation, shame, self-doubt, love and aspirations. So we invalidate him and augment his character into various forms.

The heart of the matter is that changeability means being human. It is the ultimate darkness from which we can’t escape, but try to, in so many trivial distractions. The reason that Barnabas Collins irritates us so much, why we try to push him into corners where he refuses to fit? That is a reflection. Something we have a hard time looking at. That’s why I must ask:

Who is Barnabas Collins?

mirror

He’s you.

Why “The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows” project will take years to complete:

I was recently asked why “The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows” project was going to take years to accomplish. Considering it’s a creation interrupting and condensing the original story line while adding bonus elements from several different fandoms both Dark Shadows and those characters and storylines require careful analysis. Currently only 15 episodes are written, 9 are performed and finished. 16 & 17 are mapped out and 18 came to me in a flash after my previous podcast of trouble was “aired”.

By Episode 18 of “The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows” The Jennings time period is necessary to focus on bringing the 1897 time period of Dark Shadows forward after their Turn of The Screw storyline completes. This is the part we have little knowledge of due to the fact Netflix’s available chronology was fragmented and youtube could only give us so much.

The hope with this project is to reach The Leviathans time frame during Kitty Soames retcon existence as Josette Dupres. (Maggie Evans will retain both memories in the same way John Sullivan retains his various life memories as shown in the film “Frequency”.) Then working in Dr. Who to wipe them off with his unique abilities which are *obviously* up to the task considering THOSE GOONS! ^_^

Meanwhile all the other characters problems will have to be dealt with accordingly: Elizabeth and Victoria, Quentin and company in 1897 (Heaven HELP US!) as well as how to find redemption for Angelique and get her mind off of Mister B. By the time of the Kitty/Josette retcon the plan is the mould the story back to the 1960’s wherein everything will begin to calm down and we can see these people in a renewed splendour never before known but glimpsed at in “Margaret Josette Dupres (a novel)” or “200 Years Away” (T-rated version of Margaret Josette Dupres).

In order to accomplish this many, many, many episodes will have to be devised and mapped out in the same manner as the original 15, similar aspects and problems in Dark Shadows, but explored and solved with the help of the new band of Shadows they have acquired and what they’ve learned in the interruption from their guidance.

In order for this to really take off I will need the power source by which much creative inspiration stems: enthusiasm from the audience. This is not only for my own personal needs but from what I’ve seen has happened to deform our humanity in the last decade from interpersonal communication: this is something many people need to learn or re-learn so it could help others step back and take control of their own abilities.

I would not consider myself a conscientious human being if I let this fold under the option of “Just the way things are”. The mere ideology of that motto has never improved life on this planet and just the opposite is in many cases the reason we enjoy the conveniences we take for granted in this day and age. I also believe that if this change in complacency is not dealt with we as a species will continue to allow ourselves to be distracted and distractible with what’s already been put in place for us to absorb in a rather automatic fashion, as if we have no will of our own to shut off what we don’t like and tune in to what we do or what helps us.

The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows is about solving problems, after all. 😉

 I’ve already been told by the few fans of my work that have been willing to speak that workshop intros will be a good idea along with updates on the story and plugs for other stories and insights. I trust my audience & am pleased they like the idea of these workshops and appreciate the intros.

The other troubling aspect is how much podcast space costs. It can be increased but for 100 or more episodes of “The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows” I’m not sure how much that will be or how much the site can hold. Back up options are already considered but not necessary right now.

Meanwhile, I’ll be in the works of completing, “Margaret Josette Dupres” & “200 Years Away” for publication which may also spread the word via book buyers and what not or perhaps any opposition I might face in that endeavour could also spread the word. I’d rather it be the success rather than any opposition.

So for the question: Why would it take years to complete “The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows” project?

Well… how long did the original “Dark Shadows” daytime drama take anyway?Image