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. ❤

One More Try…

Vic and Mor 1

I just don’t understand. Usually when someone makes a person laugh that person tells them what was laughed at, or when they are touched they express that. I want to give more, I want to do more, and I want to get through it.

If anyone tried to post comments on podomatic that didn’t go through please let me know. The only comments that I didn’t let through were double postings of the same comments.  (Helena and I are discussing email traffic so I can post her comments when she can’t get in.)

I’ve worked so hard, I’ve spent so much, I’ve given so much and I just want to go on. I remember a day last year when two writers were so excited to be posting their new chapters… I was happy for them.  They were looking forward to what their audience might say. Then I went to my kitchen to eat my lunch..  and I couldn’t.  I was in tears. “This isn’t fun for me anymore. This is a slow death because people can’t talk to me about what they enjoyed.” And I just kept crying.

I don’t understand. Most of the people enjoying this are writers and artists. Why is it so hard to type up a synopsis of what was enjoyed then copy and paste it into a review box? Of all that I’ve done, of all that I want to do, how is it people have become so inhuman?

In any case, here is the text link to it. Episodes unfold in various buttons and drop down menus. I doubt this will do anything but as many have said, “I have to try.”

Episodes One – Thirteen

Calling an Auntie and Sunday at Church

Yesterday I finally made the decision to call an out of town relative. She’s getting on in years but her faculties have always been similar to mine in terms of accuracy. I knew when my Mum and pen pal had listened to the episode demos for The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows their speech improved and over all expression of their own news had a vibrancy I’d never heard before. My husband’s Aunt could make good use of this show and she already adores my librivox work. Hmmm…. So I called her up and explained my plight.

Now so many people have argued with me in a round about and dismissive way to the general behaviour toward this radio drama, making excuses on why little to no dialogue happens, giving me some unconvincing reasons as to why this is acceptable. Well, me having the crazed curiousity that I do in motives and balance, I don’t buy most of these things. And… neither does our Aunt. ^_^ YES!

“Yeah, you have that many listeners and you’re asking for them to talk to you about the show you’re making? And barely anyone will? That certainly is creepy!”

So I have trepidation, will she know this spooky soap opera? She may have watched it, doubtful, but if she has there might be romantic pairings issues from the start.

“Have you ever seen the program Dark Shadows?”

“No,” she answers.

“Have you ever seen the movie?”

“No,” she repeats

“GOOD!”

I start ticking off the others, The Addams Family, Bewitched, The Munsters. The answer is affirmative but not strongly so.

Then comes the question, “Have you ever seen the television version of The Ghost & Mrs. Muir?”

“Oh, I loved that show! I used to watch it all the time with my friends growing up. It was great!”

b and w gregg and muir

SCORE!

“Perfect,” I tell her, “They’re in it too, and should be in it all the way through!”

“But I don’t have any of those computer things.”

“Doesn’t matter. I’ll send you the CDs just like with my librivox audio books. All I need is chatty letters about my episodes so I can keep going. And this is much higher production value than the books.”

But what happens in Sunday Service? I’m really digging the new minister we have. He’s very engaging and has a background in Buddhism. Last week he gave a marvelous sermon about having so much faith in one’s faith as well as having so much faith in one’s skepticism and how both can get one into trouble. Another week we discussed his sermon about personal needs being filled. When one is starving and homeless perhaps they get those needs met, but is that all there is to fulfillment? Hardly.

In fact, some have romantic needs and when they’re met one can become more giving and miraculous. Some have creative needs and when they’re met even more miracles can happen, which also retains that necessity to both share and be shared with. Yep. I am *down* with this guy. Plus we talk about this in terms of nourishment. If one eats junk food or fast food, the attachment to being fed is there but it’s hoodwinked by the fact that the nutrients required are barely in such sustenance, if one can call it that. Yes… and this is what I try to tell my audience. Not sure how many comprehend that when they listen to my intros.

Today’s sermon requested “Who are you?” and an exercise which pertains to that never-ending question, “Who am I?” …a question I would like to engage my audience with. We were meant to have a partner in the Sanctuary of The Fellowship, but I had none, so the minister called out to me,

“Who are you?!”

And Daryl split the various conversations in the room to silence for a single moment by belting out:

hypnotised

“I am a man POSSESSED BY MANY DEMONS!”

Yes, I shit you not, I did this… in church. ^_^

But this is the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. They are inclusive and do things differently. A young lady came to my aid and we kept trying the exercise but it was better as a conversation. By the end I still didn’t know her name.

“Maggie”.

Why do I keep running into Maggie’s in this journey? (There is another one at the sewing meet-ups.)

After service I found the minister and told him about the demons being polite and what I was really trying to say in “Who am I.” He was intrigued. I let him know I was in need of help and how doing stuff online was just not the best place to find a vocal audience. Plus what I am doing is so difficult, expensive and so inclusive I really do need a responsive audience and considering how inclusive the U.U. Fellowship is, it would likely be a helpful venture.

So, I had a postcard on me and he said, “All right. We’ll hook you up.”

I pray so. *knocking on wood*

 big-chalice_small

One Scene A Day: Ep. # 13, Lily, Tom, Elizabeth and Caleb Collins

More CalebAunt Elizabeth

I had a wee bit of fun today with this one. However, most of it was interlacing bits of silence to get the pauses in dialogue accurate as how conversation actually sounds, for easy flow of listening and comprehension, as well as how people discuss things and in what manner. Doing that is so labour intensive. But the main thing was Elizabeth’s lines had to be re-performed. Whip out an episode of Dark Shadows to hear her speak some more, as much of the original performance was done quickly after a day at work. Then the microphone crackles over some of her best lines and I had to do them yet again.

Still, what I love about the scene is the ghost of Caleb Collins tries to appease Tom Jennings. Then Tom wanders off to deal with some nasty old cans that have the lead soldering he expressed Tom should be careful with at The Seaview Property in Episode 11. Immediately Lily is delighted to see a presence in league with what she’s more familiar with, so Lily is the first to address him, and as “Mr. Collins”, the way Tom does.

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After Caleb has his vent-off giving Lily Munster a hard time, he begins to address, “My little mistress of the estate.”

Does our Aunt Elizabeth get the shakes? HA! No way, “Oh? Uncle Caleb… Were you speaking to me?” she responds as stalwart and matronly as ever. After fainting at the sight of Cousin Lily who doesn’t look as she remembered her back in the lovely vacation they shared, as well as her own back history believing she murdered her own husband, finding out she actually didn’t so she didn’t have to be a recluse like Caleb was anymore, and the slew of other crap she’s had to deal with in Collinwood, Elizabeth Stoddard isn’t about to be petrified by some old Collins spook!

Go, Elizabeth!

aunt Elizabeth bad azz

Bad-Azz Mofo

And the ghost of Caleb Collins is pleased as bloody punch that she is! “You’re still as wondrous as ever, little Lizzie Collins.”

Our Caleb Collins is one feisty ghost now that he’s had to sit around for so long. Almost completely exiled in his lonely abode surrounded by old food cans, Schwepps bottles, aged books, decades of cobwebby filth, old newspaper articles with advertisements about trusses, the miracles of opium and cocaine, new discoveries in photography, and piles of other junk he folded into his collection. Maybe one day someone would want them, maybe someday there would be a girl in the clan who liked all of that stuff, eh? ^_^ (i.e. Victoria Winters, who is currently a guest resident in the home of The Addams Family.)

So listening to my audio tracks and then creating new ones, almost none of the old lines remain from my performance last October (2013). Tom’s lines are the same but lowered in pitch, Lily’s are the same but heightened in volume, some of Caleb’s are also the same but all of Elizabeth’s had to be re-done today. The conversation sounds more like Joan Bennett than it once did and the dialogue between them is marvelous, as well as heartfelt.

Caleb has his fun with the girls, points out Lily should alter her attire like she had done when she last went on a trip with Elizabeth, in so many words, and which passport with which last name she should use. It’s a little different but somewhat based on an episode of The Munsters I watched in which Lily gets fed up and goes looking for a job. She prefers her maiden name when applying for the position, Lily Dracula. For The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows there is further back history. Since Lily was miffed at all the men in the house back in the 1940s, even her maiden name wasn’t going on the passport she decided to use, and Caleb knows this. He’s a little like Wadsworth that way.

And Lily had altered her appearance before meeting with her cousin Elizabeth:

Behind The Camera

Even in all of Caleb’s blustering, Elizabeth is stolid enough to face him up the stairs with the same determination they both inherited in this mess of a family. Almost equal footing those two. Of course, Caleb must relate how damned amused he was while listening to Barnabas and Burke Devlin sparring words in his house like they were rival brothers over Victoria Winters. It was hilarious for him because Barnabas’ bizarre existence tickles him, and Burke is someone he knows as the reincarnation of… Jeremiah Collins.

So for the ghost of Caleb Collins this is all rather a crack-up. Although, it didn’t used to be for him, he was so stressed out when he was alive, but in approximately 96 years of being a spirit, he’s had it with the violence, had it with quantum mechanics, and had it with everyone shaking so much when they could just relax and joke about it all. Really, in such a crazy place? What else is there that can be done?

Hmm… a new green ghost spewing ectoplasm just showed up to mess with David. An odd butler came around who knows too much. This butler is steering Barnabas back to the coffee shop to try one more time with the reincarnation of his long lost love that he was so crazed and out-of-it he managed to kidnap and abuse her because he couldn’t see who she really was, and not remembering much about Josette Dupres in general for that matter.

With so much turning out and possibly for the better? Hmm… the ghost of Caleb Collins perks up and thinks, “Maybe… just maybe… it’s finally safe to come out now.”

ghost

One Scene A Day: Willie Meets Wadsworth, and creating episodes…

I’ve gotten the basic scene done without music or sound effects. I hadn’t gotten it done because that new chapter of “Margaret Josette Dupres” was coming out and I figured, “Okay, that’s enough work, so let’s go back to that editing one scene a day on Monday.” I had to go through several changes in pitch, speed, and repeats of Willie’s lines to pick the best ones.

That’s the deal. It all takes so much work so the least I could expect is one joke per episode that makes someone laugh. There was some discussion about waiting for the feedback before uploading more. I realized people just don’t understand how difficult the episodes are to produce. They hear something that sounds simple enough, I guess, but in reality it takes loads of time to go over all the dialogue, research, listening, re-listening, editing, picking out which are the best inflected lines from three to five attempts, sometimes more, then finding the sound effects, finding the music, altering everything, mixing the tracks. I’d told one of my helpers, “After all I said in my fourth intro about losing weight and sleep? Plus asking if people wanted ‘The Time Warp’ song to get Barnabas to 1897?! You’d think I’d have people berserk trying to reach me!”

Damn, just checked podomatic again for comments. ZILCH… but! Two more followers, and one is a guy I found on a Horror Classics facebook page. He seemed like someone who didn’t touch fanfiction either. I’ve never seen him on the DS fanpages. That’s truly what I’m looking for. As this other comment states: “Normally, I avoid anything smelling even remotely like fan fiction,” Yes, that is who this is really for, so I have to find those people. That’s the problem with all of these Dark Shadows fanpages. They all know the standard realms of it. Mad Margaret is the only person I’ve ever heard say the 2012 film was fanfiction. With how people discuss that film, I’m sure no one else considers it that from what I’ve seen. And that’s why if I get more college air play, The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows falls into question. Plus, with all the gothic books Dark Shadows uses? It, in itself, is fanfiction too, as many things are.

In any case, I’ve opened so many avenues for people to discuss the show… it’s just silly that they don’t. I mean, if a celebrity entertainer, Tim Curry for example, asked people to write to him or her, that person would be expected to get gobs of fan mail already. I listen to that crying from Josette in the regression therapy, with the music and the over lace of Sam and Dr. Hoffman’s voices and I just think, “I’ve proven myself that far and I’m still getting barely anything? That was incredibly hard.” And I was trying to discern if I even should blow my nose in some of it to clear up other voices. Sam sounds like he was in tears, too.

I hate it when I’ve heard, “Oh, you’re having fun!” Since October 2013 creating this radio series? Bullsh*t! I’ve been in agony with so many too timid to talk to me about the radio drama . The best fun I have is in chatting with my helpers over the work. And then there is “Margaret Josette Dupres”. That’s a little fun, but passionate and deeply touching. Definitely worth all my channeling now. More people respond and comment on that so I push myself in that direction, of course.

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This morning I looked over what I had before me. Yes… it’s true. I do love The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. Creating it could be fun again one day. I like it. It’s my favourite show right now, and “Margaret Josette Dupres” is my current favourite book, however unfinished. I read and re-read the chapters continually. I adore thinking about my adopted love-bats spending time together, holding each other, finally finding each other and being so happy, like Gomez & Morticia are so happy. And now I’ve got material of them in bed together hearing their cooing infant, the re-born Sarah, in a crib nearby. All is coming right for them. They’re still so in love and with all the struggle, they’re thankful, as many of us could and might be. I know when I’m laying with my own spouse, I certainly am.

But what I hate? What I can’t stand? Spending the money, uploading the episodes, getting hundreds of dowloads, and hearing virtually nothing. That’s what I hate.

Not a compliment

With so little communication, this number is not a compliment. 701? This is confusing as hell.

And that’s why I don’t plan to do that part of it anymore until things improve. And I believe they can. The fellows Goths and Spooky kind I went in search for have their own pains. They understand. They recognize being different. They have art that gets little attention. They visit graveyards with a kind of wonder and inner beauty to the mysteries of what is and what could be. Some poke fun at their own hurts. They’re like The Addams Family in real life. And they haven’t said too much, but they’ve said, in so many words, “I love this show!”

Wicked… ^_^

So I still produce and make the show the best that I can. But what for? Now? College radio air play. I used to think it had to be the best so people got something good. But for the most part people only care so much. The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows is as repeatably listenable as all those shows and films are re-watchable. This is for people who gave up, gave up on Dark Shadows getting better, or gave up on fanfiction, or gave up on all the films and TV shows they keep whining have awful stories. I have a good series and I know it.

And I respect myself enough to wait until others can let me know what they liked. No more contemplation of going to the hardware store to get razor blades or poison because I feel so alone, used-up and neglected in this. That’s the truth of it. Let episodes 13 & 14 out of the bag again without enough feedback for the rest? I’d kill myself or try to. That’s the truth. I promised myself and I promised Willie Loomis, we’re not going down that road again like last October (2013). He and I can wait.

I’ve often heard this song when I’m out and about, as if it’s another sign for this show, as many signs as there has been. But the words, “Home… home… Where I wanted to go… Home… home… Where I wanted to go… Home… home… Where I wanted to go…”

As Barnabas proffers to Mr. Loomis in Episode 14 of The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows:

“Would you like to come home, Willie? To Collinwood?”

“Ya, ya… ya really want me back?” Willie asks.

“If you want to come,” Maggie answers, “I know what you were trying to do for me. And things are different now.”

“Well,” Willie affirms, “all this I gotta see.”


Meanwhile, a small voice at my shoulder says, “When you create those episodes and don’t give them away… everything will get better. I promise… I promise, Daryl. I promise you… they will.”

Michaelmas 29 September 2014

Archangel Micheal

Before my husband left for work he wished me a Happy Michaelmas. Trying to remember everything I had to do after I woke up and had my pumpkin spice coffee. Some of the new delights in this blog may have been inspired by all of those spices that stimulate this time of year. Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cloves… ahh… And the touch of rain that ignites warmer passions as the year grows colder.

I tried catching up with facebook and email. A stunning pair of messages reached me. One director at a college station got in touch with me to say he’d received the parcel and passed the postcard on to someone. He enjoyed the atmosphere and said all of my actors were good! Oh, dear, I had to confess, those are all me! And I consider that a huge compliment. Next I notice this response to a forward, perhaps via the first gentleman. This chap preferred mp3s to CDs being sent and also suggested a radio drama group on facebook. A-ha! So I got over to facebook with the link he’d left me. Wow! Over 800 members to this group! I put in a request to join, made a post about everything which gave delight to pals. Next I began an email to an old co-worker of my husband and about to provide the links to my show but a button got pressed wrong and the whole thing got eaten to my anger. I finally released that anger and decided it was just as well as I had to scoot out to the shops sooner than later.

As I arrived at the market I forgot what I’d gone for. My pal at the sample counter had redone her hair even more flamboyantly to my interest and then who was there sampling? My in-laws! Hey! Excellent. I finally got a chance to let my pal know the recent drama and the good news, the latter being far more exciting. Then I finished up my shopping and my in-laws gave me a ride home.

It was getting into the late afternoon so I looked over the recipes and got the oven going, cleaned out the sink, cleaned out the goose, put slices of garlic into the areas I’d opened, sprinkled it with a seasoning mix I just bought, found a cookie sheet, placed the pan on top with the goose and some water inside and set the timer.  Now I’ve got hours to settle down and do more.  This table desperately needs a change of cloth. The one on it now would have been preferable with the Autumn colours but it’s filthy. Let’s get the basic black.

Ah, yes, no tin for the pumpkin cornbread, get paper cups and muffin tins, that’s cleaner and easier. Now on to the pumpkin soup; the market had presented a recipe for that with chunks of baked potato and kale. I’m using apples instead for lower carbohydrates. So no pomme de terre but just pomme. Ah, a pie tin. That’ll work. The goose has been in the oven for two hours while I listened to recordings of my Aunt’s radio show for a change of pace. Oh, I love this episode in the coffee house and the old house mate suddenly being their waiter and offering them meals gratis. “Well, now I’ve gotta look back at the menu and see what the most expensive thing is,” one of the characters complained.

I spray the pie tin with olive oil, put on the apple chunks and kale and started a timer. My mum-in-law had suggested half an hour to bake them. Glad I ran into them so I could ask that! Then I got the pumpkin cornbread mixture into the papered muffin tins. The timing would be close to the baking time of the apples and kale and the goose would be in a bit longer because I couldn’t find the damn thermometer for it, so might as well bake it a while more, just in case.

I manage to throw up on facebook what I’m doing and attend to various notifications. Oh, great. ABC is running the 2012 Dark Shadows movie on Halloween. Here’s a thread that’s going to get negative attention. Well, I’m already half a sheet to the wind on cider. I’ll say again how glad I am people hate that movie that cleared my way, likely allowed those Barnabas/Maggie and Barnabas/Josette stories to start taking place all around the same time in the Summer of 2013 while the DS World was harping on the darn film ad nauseaum! I’m okay with that film ‘cause the bastard finally jumped for his bloody woman and TWICE. But what the Hell? We don’t have basic TV anymore and I’ll likely spin “The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”, or perhaps my VHS mixture which includes a bad ending for Raggedy Ann and Andy’s “The Pumpkin Who Couldn’t Smile.” (The one I taped ends right after it looks like the pumpkin splat on the ground, and then the credits roll.)

Rootbeer Brothers Halloween A&W 5

                Daryl’s Husband arrives and helps out with the muffins, makes the green peas which I’d completely forgot about. Hmm… they’ve been in the freezer for months. We’ll see. And so we finally get it all squared away and take a few photos. Because there is a dragon theme in Michaelmas I also placed that wonderful Green Dragon story Michael Hutchence read in the film “Dogs In Space” to my facebook post. Hmm, I want to hear that song about contemplating suicide and not doing it. I’ve certainly done a lot of that in the last year. So with that, the “Dogs In Space” soundtrack becomes the music for Michaelmas. Kinda fits considering its main icon is Michael Hutchence. (R.I.P.)

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Superb dining is to be had. So this is what it’s like to be a guest-judge on Iron Chef! It must be the best meal I’ve ever put together for Michaelmas. The goose is better than ever, the soup is to die for, the pumpkin cornbread is tasty as all-get-out and the peas are fine. Old, but fine. But, uh-oh, husband isn’t too keen on the soup. Did I throw too much Parmesan on top? How is it without? Oh, he’s not good with the kale. Damn! And the whole tureen is infected with kale now because I couldn’t find a place to separate the ingredients like they did at the sample table weeks ago.

Michaelmas 1

Michaelmas 2

And now for the traditional discussion: Because this is like an Anglican Thanksgiving but involves an Archangel that conquers a dragon, I’ve likened the discussion not for thankfulness solely, but for that which we’ve conquered both internally and externally. Or inner demons that we’ve managed to make friends with since last Michaelmas. And as usual, we have the celebration of not having committed suicide through everything. (This is not mentioned facetiously, but with a hint of chuckling awkwardness.)

“I made it through this year of a roller-coaster ride with you and your project and your own emotional roller-coaster.”

“Yes, I was speculating how all that stuff came out last year and thinking, ‘What the Hell is going on with me? This fricken erotica?’ Spewing out here and there and the old version was all over the place and I would switch chapters, move them around as I called out to friends, ‘What’s happening?!’ Asking friends who don’t really know the characters, ‘What the Hell is going on? What is this?’ And they’re just like, ‘This is the best fricken smut I’ve ever read!’ And I say, ‘Well, that’s great! But who the Hell wants this???’

“Then to finally have the people be able to come to me and they did want it, it’s an inner demon I’ve made friends with; to be okay with writing erotica for characters that were very suppressed and hadn’t reached each other yet and my being overtaken by these characters… Then we have encouragement not to leave the reader hanging. I was waiting for it to collapse on me again completely. Then ‘The Wedding Day’ came out and I was amazed. All the stuff to figure out how to reach those who did want it after wondering so long why I was pressed to pursue the erotica at all. Then the encouragement increases the vibrancy of each chapter, creates new ones and the entire novel starts blending together into an actual story. The experience is like an inner demon that I made friends with from last November when it was all coming out randomly. I’m happy about that. “

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Another dragon conquered for Daryl’s Husband, “Your emotional roller-coaster; the valleys on that were certainly a struggle, more so for you than for me, but they were a struggle for me as well.”

“Then,” I said, “you joined me in the podcast intros.”

He nodded, and blushed, “Certainly been appreciative of the romance that has been re-ignited.”

Yeah,” I responded, smiling, “that’s kind of an accomplishment, too, to take what was given and be able to use that channeling for ourselves. In a way that fits… right now… a thankfulness in receiving something that we weren’t sure about as you read the chapters with me. And there were moments when you were surprised by something that went down on paper and wondered if there was a boundary that we were crossing that we hadn’t crossed before… because of them. I think that’s the best way to say it.”

He agreed, then added, “And getting a job for me, to be able to finally pay the bills. At times all of this included has been pretty overwhelming.”

He was switching gears, but I went back to the previous topic after assenting to his feelings about that one, “And I’ve gone with this to the point of stretching beyond the call, and seeing if there was anything I could make up for that I’d done wrong in all of my angst. As it turns out… not really, but knowing that I tried my best to extend myself and offer olive-branches to anyone whose feelings I might have hurt. Knowing that I did my best with various people, and knowing that in the long-run there are people who won’t listen or understand. But having done my best to make that attempt to bring understanding to those who are so negative… there’s nothing more to be done. There’s nothing you can do but do your best. If it doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work talking to some people.”

We continue the meal, wondering what to do with the additions on the goose in order to make a soup and not waste anything. Putting all of the goodies away as we finish up. I think this is one of the rare times we have major Michaelmas leftovers. I’d almost added fried zucchini and was glad I didn’t. A glass covering for the pumpkin cornbread… and then we rifled around for something to put the goose in. What the heck is going to fit? Remove things from the fridge and, ack, that’s not working, it’s not big enough, where is that long Pyrex dish we got from Rick as a wedding gift? Scrambling through cupboards we finally find it, clean it, and it’s a perfect fit. THANK YOU, RICK! (I wonder if he’ll ever even see this journal.)

The green peas made it in so the soup pot could go on top of that, but my husband suggested turning the pot lid upside-down to make sure the handle didn’t jam for space. It worked!

There was a wind-up of one more struggle to note on this day. I had made friends who ended up making the work much harder and more stressful, and as it turned out they weren’t friends, but trying to control what I was doing, being so obsessed with the original program to the point I had to wonder what stake they had in all of this. Obsession is understandable in the Dark Shadows fandom but I had more reason to be obsessed as they are spectators to what I’m doing and I’m the one creating it with so much more. The hope now is to find the people who want it.

If I could do this in a way that didn’t find the people who either enjoyed it and despised me, or didn’t appreciate the direction it’s heading, I would love to find that way. So far there are several complainers. All they seem to be doing is making more noise which brings me to receive more numbers and downloads as lurkers wonder what the Hades these complainers are even talking about. It’s a little like what happened with Monty Python’s film, “The Life of Brian”. That movie was more publicized by haters who didn’t understand it than any advertising Monty Python could have achieved if they tried. I remember the troupe suggested sending gifts of fruit-baskets to the picketers of it.

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BrianTitle

                Who is watching, I wonder, when these haters rise and I speak or shrug? How much can this creator take? Do they wonder that? Well, now I’ve been pushed so hard by silence to reach all the fandoms involved, email every college radio station in the United States, plunk down links to any Barnabas/Josette video on youtube when I discovered what specific fans I needed to look for, yearned to be with my fellow creative Goths again, pursued podcasting sites, and now a place that embraces radio dramas specifically.

How big shall The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows become? I don’t know. But I do know I have goals. Five perspectives per episode would be sufficient. Will I hear more? Will people finally de-program from this internet laziness The Powers That Be may have been incorporating into our lifestyles? Could this radio series bring the kind of change Barnabas Collins sees in the bride he desired for so long? Her gregarious nature finally bringing the crux into his home and estate and the people there?

Many a groaning woman wonders, “Why do you love me?” to their mates. One so romantic as Barnabas Collins has given his answer in my series, “I love you, because you love everyone, my Maggie, my Josette.”

I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita.

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Maybe I’ve Been Looking In The Wrong Places

Just got a little feedback from a group called “Gothic Creations”. It took me a while to realize that many Gothic types, such as myself, are looking for people to talk to about what they’re doing. Well, I’ve done my bat embroidery, and then there is this BIG one… spooky, Gothic… audio and thought provoking… Hmm… I wonder where they are? I think I’ll start looking.

One thing is certain… a person who really loves my work gave up on DS… I think it was that desire for an upswing that just never happened… And so… here I am.

I was perusing Gothic photos and found one of those photos with a slogan. It said, “Happy Goth… Less Conformist Than Normal Goth.” I had to burst out laughing, “That’s me!”

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I adore that cheery bloke in the background!

So, what I have here is a project and one I’m hoping you will enjoy. However, having internet woes, transportation woes, and loneliness woes, I started to become very frazzled as I continued. I just had so little help in creating this and I want to create so much more, but without dialogue over enjoyment, coupled with some severe haters and manipulative types, it’s just tough to keep trying. But it’s a labour of love, involves a ton of recognizable characters and has had thousands of dollars spent on it. With almost no help I managed to reach this podcast and radio drama to iTunes.

http://xoiscythe.podomatic.com/entry/2014-01-28T11_03_58-08_00

It is a huge mixture of old spooky shows and movies. All the characters help each other out and there are currently 12 episodes of it. I’ve worked over 2 years in creating it and it’s heavily downloaded. I discovered one of my problems is the romantic pairings in one of the fandoms. That fandom, Dark Shadows, is better now but has been an absolute nightmare for the shy fans of it for forty-years. The internet decay in communication that began about 2007 made that even worse. Now I have to encourage them to speak. I know they can, they’re just afraid. (Someone in across the Atlantic contacted me today. Very shy fellow.)

So, here it is, Wadsworth from Clue steps in first to help, Slimer shows up briefly, The Addams Family is included, Lily Munster also, Norman Bates has a cameo, Freddy Krueger is mentioned but not by name, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir are very involved, and it’s all hosted by two spooky characters from The Kids In The Hall: Sir Simon Milligan & Manservant Hecubus.

Please have mercy. I have been through Hell… truly

http://xoiscythe.podomatic.com/

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goths39_20070401_1227556692 Peter-Murphy

  349

Gimme the ring, kissed and told
Gimme something that I missed (Gimme the ring)
A hand to hold, wild and what it seems (Gimme the ring)
Kill the king when love is the law
And the wheel turn round… (Gimme the ring)
Gimme dream child
And do you hear me call? (Gimme the ring)
On the loan and on the level
…Still on the floor (Gimme the ring)
Sing dream child
And do you hear at all?

(Sing)
(Sing)
Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me
Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me
Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me
Hey now, hey now now, sing…

Gimme siren, child and do you hear me?
Gimme siren, child, and do you hear me call?
Sing, child, of right and wrong
Gimme things that don’t last long
Gimme siren, child, and do you hear me call?

(Sing)
(Sing)
Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me
Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me
Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me
Hey now, hey now now, sing…

On days like this
In times like these
I feel an animal deep inside
Heel to haunch on bended knees
Living on if and if I tried
Somebody send me… please…
Dream wars and a ticket to seem
Giving out and in
Selling the don’t belong
Well, what do you say
D’you have a word for Giving Away?
Got a song for me?

(Sing)
(Sing)
Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me
Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me
Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me
Hey now, hey now now, sing…

I got nothing to say I ain’t said before
I bled all I can, I won’t bleed no more
I don’t need no one to understand
Why the blood run hold
The hired hand
On heart
Hand of God
Floodland and Driven Apart
Run cold
Turn
Cold
Burn
Like a healing hand
Like a healing hand
Like a healing hand
Like a healing hand

Gimme the ring:

gimme the ring