The Promise of What Praise Can Do “Margaret Josette Dupres (A Novel)” [Note 11]

Yes, again I’d prefer this not say “Praise” anymore but maybe “discussion”, which isn’t as fantastic. I am getting into bad moods when things are much better than they have been in years, with a myriad of accomplishments in work productivity, friendship, helping others, creation and cleaning. But it only takes a few minutes of exposure to something bad to mess things up. So I am back to focusing on this.

 
Mind you, I still get head-scratching hits for the unhappy author’s note which I am waiting to rescind when enough for the later chapters is discussed again. When that happens I can replace the chapter and potentially share more of the darn thing rather than just tell friends over the telephone about what’s being created!

 
I’m starting to realize one reason why I didn’t continue to this chapter years ago for these notes. This chapter really didn’t get a whole lot of discussion. I think it made people feel too weird or something. I mean it’s Sam Evan/Andre duPres in first person which is likely to throw people for a loop who are used to Barnabas or Maggie narrating the chapters, with that one in particular via Wadsworth or the third person omniscient one with Tony and Carolyn.

 
When I realized how badly another return for Sarah would be desired, I started getting strong influences from Sam’s character, things he wanted to say and express. I wasn’t sure I could just be him in first person, but then I picked up an old non-fiction book I favoured and realized it was similar to how Sam tended to sound. Someone also pointed out that it sounded like Andre too, so that was in all of our favours!

 

Chapter 22: A Candle For Sarah

 

413 josettes been sad for such a long time

One of the things that I found very appropriate was taking verbatim lines from Dark Shadows episodes and blending them into the novel. The quotations for this chapter were from Episode 413, written by Gordon Russell, repeating the discussion Sarah and Naomi had about Barnabas supposedly leaving for England and a candle Sarah had made, with the help of Riggs, for Josette. The idea Riggs relayed to Sarah entailed a candle at a window bringing someone home. I asked for help to find the episode (thank you!) and then watched and wrote down the dialogue as precise as I could. (It took a bit of rewinding and listening repeatedly to get it correct, as it always does.)

 
After the quotations Sam begins his narrative. (Slight additives on “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” style of things are appropriate because in my work Sam is friends with Captain Gregg.) The long chapter begins with detailing Sam doing some artwork with the ghost of Sarah as well as spending time with her, helping her to create a new candle from wax, old crayons and a beer can. I, myself, have mainly done the same with soda cans, but I would envision Pop being the kind with more taste for beer than soda anyway, so a can as such might have been more readily available. It’s not the safest way to make a candle, but it was handy to my own experience.

 
For the sake of things not going on for as long as it takes wax to harden, the chapter proceeds with Sarah sitting outside with Sam who is putting a bit whiskey in his evening coffee. Sarah previously expressed she wanted a candle for herself to give Josette a second time, a token for Sarah, herself, to return one day. As they sit outside Sarah asks Mr. Evans what it is to be reincarnated, just to make sure she has the idea well enough in her mind. Sam gives her a fair idea then waxes poetic about the stars being our guides which Sarah doesn’t specifically understand, but feels she knows enough.

 
Later they take the candle and drive to The Old House. Sam explains it as, “…driving through the town of Collinsport to get to The Old House, where my daughter now lived with her excessively romantic husband…” This has got to be one my favourite lines. Pop just says it like it is, and to me it’s almost poking a little fun at Barnabas. It’s not a stand-alone segment since the rest of the sentence goes into why the drive itself wasn’t exactly a wise choice, but I still highlight that sentence fragment as being a hilariously fun one. (Thanks, Pop.)

 
What comes later… gosh, this is a complicated chapter… is their arrival and Sarah explaining why she’s offering a candle to Maggie (Josette) due to having given her one previously for the sake Barnabas might come home. In a moment alone with Maggie, Sam explains that this was only the final time they were seeing Sarah as a ghost. Maggie picks up on the understanding Sarah Collins will come back in the flesh, but completely uncertain who the lucky mother will be. Oops…

 
“Margaret Josette Dupres,” Sam gives her a grin, “why does it have to be somebody else?”

 
Of course, Maggie is flabbergasted, anticipating something sudden and also wondering if her and Barnabas are even capable of having children in their less-earthly state of being. She has every right to wonder, but Sam laughs at her concern that she might suddenly give birth the next day or some such silly idea. She and Barnabas would know and be ready when the time was right.

 
The farewell takes place in Josette’s bedroom, with the obviously sad Barnabas rather unsure of why these events are happening, and what Sarah even means by returning a different way. Admittedly the farewell is a tearful one, even beautiful in its ghostly allure.
However, Barnabas’ lack of understanding got on Sam’s nerves, and a little bit on mine, truth be told!

 

It wraps up splendidly with Sam thinking aloud things to Barnabas on the other side of the door as he leaves. Then Wadsworth steps from the shadows to assure Sam that he is very correct indeed. I love this just because from Episode One in The Pit, Wadsworth pretty much knows what requires attention for Barnabas Collins’ love life, so at this juncture of a possible child. Wadsworth is also just as aware as Sam is where Barnabas is not.

 
Helena came through first, as she often does:

 
Helena Clara Bouchet chapter 22 . May 22, 2014

This chapter was so touching, Daryl 🙂 And I love arts and crafts, too! Maybe one day, I’ll make a candle like that (only mine will be yellow or pink). Looking forward to Sarah’s big return!

Oh good! Even some love for the candle. I can’t remember if I explained to her the technique I once used. I’m sure there are much better ones.

katieyoung1960 chapter 22 . May 25, 2014

I love this chapter. A voice for little Sarah, and a hope for her return. That would be a very happy occasion!

Nice and simple. I think back then folks were far more aware of the leaps that were being taken so that almost everyone of a good nature could heal together, including a lost loved one.

Cynthia Curran chapter 22 . Jun 3, 2014

That’s cool, Barnabas always seem more like her father anyways and maybe she being conceived an interesting way will make the story interesting.

Aye! It was interesting to say the least! But that’s another chapter. I love the pointer of Barnabas seemingly more like a father than brother to her anyway. (She’d need an alternate father when we think over Joshua in his earlier days.)

Of course these wonderful comments still left me in want for the details that might have been noticed otherwise. Osheen picked up the chapter upon my request:

Osheen Nevoy chapter 22 . Dec 16, 2014
So here I am consulting my notes from last night. I really like Sam/Andre’s comment about there being “no shame in the common.” That worked and totally made sense. It does a perfect job of linking plain, common-and-garden Sam Evans with the reality that Andre lived – the brother of a countess, very wealthy, seemingly of the aristocratic stratum of society, but still a very blunt, to-the-point, down-to-earth sort of man. (As we see from his awesomely blunt snide comments to Joshua and Rev. Trask in the show!)

Throughout the chapter I could completely hear the voices of the actors saying the lines that the characters are speaking here. From that I know that the depiction of their “voices” in the word choices and speech-patterns is precisely spot-on

The candle-making from melted crayons brought back a lot of happy childhood memories for me. Did you make candles from crayons in your childhood as well? I remember that very vividly, and reading about it summoned up a lot of those feelings of warmth and contentment that good childhood memories bring. The kind of warmth and contentment that you also conjure up in the scene of Sam and Sarah outside experiencing the night while waiting for the candle to cool. My childhood candles, of course, were made in frozen orange juice containers or that sort of thing, not in beer cans! But naturally, the beer can version is fitting for Sam! And of course Sarah picking purple – is that for some other, additional meaning, or is it a nod to the well-known affinity of little girls for purple?

Great little down-to-earth, matter-of-fact Sam details that appear throughout, like him managing not to slice himself on the beer can. I very much like the description of the sort of dream state that ghosts tend to think in and relate to reality through. Other great details throughout – the old cloths that Sam should have thrown away long ago.

I adore the description of the “golden, silvery silences.” Seems to be an oxymoron, since how can a silence have colors, and yet it’s right, totally right. I guess silences do have colors, and so does sound. The “vast stretch of the universe” portion of the conversation with Sam and Sarah fit perfectly with those high-flown turns of phrase and imagination that Sam reveals in the show – of course in the show, usually those are on darker topics, such as his repeated freakings-out about the Collinses and their haunted house on the hill during the first 200 or so episodes of the show.

I wasn’t particularly happy with Sam for drunk-driving – I would have hoped he would avoid that, given the experience witnessing the result of Roger, Burke & Laura’s drunk-driving accident! I guess he had Sarah along to help make sure he didn’t kill anybody, and he DID admit that it wasn’t a great idea, but still, I wish he hadn’t done it and had walked up to the Old House with Sarah, instead. Though Sam is not a character who is consistently known for making good choices, so I guess him choosing to drive at this point is consistent with his character. I just wish he hadn’t chosen that!

I love Maggie’s humor that you portray here – again, it is just exactly right for Maggie was we know her on the show, particularly in the early days, before things get so f-ed up for her. And I guess that’s why it fits so perfectly here, since in this reality, things are not f-ed up for her anymore. The description of her “chortling” is the example that I have written down for this – just great, and again, absolutely right.

Another fabulous, funny down-to-earth Sam detail – the brush filaments in the scenery. Loved it! Also loved Sarah’s “I thought so, but it’s impolite to boast, you know” – and loved Sam’s reply to that.

Now, the bit about the broo-ha with the unfortunate Jeremiah Collins – that led me to wonder. Have you, or do you plan to if you haven’t yet, had a sequence which includes healing for Jeremiah and reconciliation between him and Barnabas? If you have, and I haven’t found it, I’m sorry I haven’t, and please tell me where it is! If you haven’t, maybe that would be something that would work for you to explore at some point. He definitely is someone who needs healing and reconciliation, considering all the crap he was put through (and the rather messed up Ghost of Jeremiah stuff in the show), and presumably Barnabas also needs the reconciliation with him, since having a dear friend who then becomes, at least seemingly, your enemy, and then killing said friend/enemy, has got to put some pretty deep wounds in a person’s psyche. I guess maybe I’m rather protective of Jeremiah, since he’s become such a major character in my DS tale. Anyway – if that kind of sequence does exist in your work, I want to know where it is so I can listen to or read it. If it doesn’t, maybe it’s something for you to contemplate for the future.

And my final note is about Barnabas kissing Sarah’s hand, and telling her that teaching them to grow has made her the finest of ladies in the world. Loved it. Perfect.

It completely works. It IS these characters, it is what they would say, and it is a beautiful depiction of love and hope and the little fragments of reality that weave together to create human happiness.

 


I do believe I remember a possible use of orange juice cans instead of soda cans and I’m glad she mentioned that one. I’m honoured that I was able to get the voices down so well. But it is the exposure of the right materials, the original show being the big one. I believe Sarah’s pick of purple was a combination of liking purple but also to give it a regal touch, as one might recall purple was used for royalty because it was such a pain to create that colour of dye. (I even remember a tale of snails being used to make the dye. Not sure if that’s true!) Even the details in the night sky and colours of sound.

 

Now let me relieve the idea Sam was actually drunk-driving. Definitely tipsy. I guess he could have been more intoxicated if I didn’t care, but I tried to word it where he said, “I wasn’t very sober when we left.” So there was enough sobriety, and he points out being aware of it. So it’s surely not really a case of, “As I stumbled my drunken ass into the truck.” But I can see where a quicker read might give that impression. Another reason to make a third-draft of this novel: I can meander a bit more instead trying to gesticulate a zillion descriptions into one sentence as Vladimir Nabokov tends to do. (Yes, he is an influence: All of his books, not just that one!)

 

For all the wondering over Jeremiah? I have apprised Osheen of the plans, all of which are for redemption and easily showing Jeremiah Collins (reincarnated as Burke Devlin in The Pit) to be a good guy after all is said and done. So grateful the farewell details were to her liking as well as Maggie being very much herself.

 

A newer reader to this novel left these lovely words:

D.S.Romance Fan chapter 22 . Dec 11, 2017

Aww the thoughts of Sam .. He is ready to be a Grand father… It’s time. Beautifully written. Sarah has always been a bright magical child. Lighting candles is such a great peace offering.

 

And I dig that because she made the fine observation of Sam becoming a grandfather someday in this scenario. I’ve been a bit worried readers didn’t understand what was being explained in this chapter. If Maggie is to give birth someday to Sarah as a reincarnation, Sam would undoubtedly be a grandfather then, and would no longer be able to call Sarah by the previous title of “daughter-in-law” as he did at the Evans Cottage. This works due to Barnabas being his son-in-law, therefore the sister of his son-in-law could theoretically receive a similar title. But Sarah as a granddaughter will be easily to say and to write down, not to mention far more precious still.

 
For this chapter being so filled with details and discussion, I must allow one log entry. The others will be more difficult because they aren’t so much chapters but basic summaries. So I might make the next note about those or skip ahead to chapter 25, etc.

 

Well, I hope this shows that I’m feeling a bit better from my tragic thoughts and social media temptations. The phrases of “never cured” and “one day at a time” springs to mind. Plus I do want to focus on this novel much more again so that we can continue that as we continue in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows audio series.

 

angel
As much as a struggle it can be to make sure Sarah Collins is as convincing as I can present her, she remains to me an honour and joy to be present in my endeavour. Joy seemed to leave our friends on Dark Shadows when Sarah did. Her return in The Pit and later this novel brings joy back to them over and over again. ❤

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(Watching Together) Dark Shadows Episode 19:

This is an old “note” from Facebook which didn’t amount to much discussion, of course. So from 2 September 2016 of it’s posting? I shall share it here where it’s more likely to be read with the enjoyment which it’s original sharing was intended.


 

As I’ve realized, much of the online drama in DS fandom can be relieved by viewing the show itself. So my husband and I enjoyed this episode the other night with much loving joviality. (This is where a lot of The Pit series I create comes from: Fun discussion while viewing with a loved one.)

19a

We wondered why on earth the chalkboard bit had the voice over guy very quietly announcing some toilet product right before the episode of DS. “Buy Vanish, the new disinfectant toilet-bowl cleaner…” It made our dread of the chalkboard a less bitter pill, that’s for sure!

background square
At the beginning of course, Liz was looking lovely, and Victoria’s voice-over said, “The tension seems endless. So much has happened since I first set foot in Collinwood and faced the woman who hadn’t left its grounds in eighteen years; a woman who has been shocked by an attempted murder; a woman who is torn with concern for the one person she loves most in this world.”

19b

My husband was startled into asking, “Who? Wait! What?” and we started guessing who the person Liz loves the most is:

“Bill Malloy?”

“Roger—no…”

“It’s gotta be Carolyn.”

“Maybe it isn’t!”

“The sheriff? Does she love him the most?”

“Joe Haskell?”

“Matthew Morgan?”

“Her secret daughter?”

“Caleb Collins?”

“The prop director?”

“Me?”

19c

Later we had the fun of more Bill & Sam. Yay! It was so funny because early on Bill & Sam were having booze at The Blue Whale. After various Joe/Carolyn scenes, Bill & Sam sat down together for coffee at the Inn! I cheered, “Hey… we get to see them in both places at a table having different beverages.”

19d

Finally we got to the credits (that actually had a few credits), and my sweetie announced, “Where the action is where the fun is wherever that is we don’t know so watch The Newlywed Game!”

19e

Then the voice over started in on that old chestnut. We laughed and my husband stepped to the computer and said, “Darn it! I’m gonna find out what the heck they’re talking about!”

“Where The Action Is”

(Basically another version of “American Bandstand”.)

Finally! That is sort of squared away, but we still don’t know why the darn announcer proposes this show is “where the fun is” in this way that the words “Where The Fun Is” might perhaps be the song title each featured group, or artist, is performing on the show called “Where The Action Is.”

Not much of the episode’s content, I realize, but the point of this fun note is to remember that the pleasure of quality programming is to spend time enjoying it with a dear friend or two. 🙂


 

Want more crazy? Check out the archives. We’re all about the crazy over here!

 

Episode 16: Intro With Osheen Nevoy

what if 02

The Brady Bunch sings us into a major list of thank yous.

From Dark Shadows to The Addams Family to fandom politics to real friendship to who this series was put online for, and the people who listen damn well ought to figure that out!

Bits of thanks yous to cast members and bare shred mentions about The 50th DS Festival… Social Network warnings, etc. Adventures from tumblr… New friends, Old friends…

Osheen’s interview comes and a whole lot from that! (Of course!)Bill, Gerard, Dark Shadows and then? The WORLD!

How we dined after the interview.

Upcoming scenes in Episode 16 of The Pit.

Messages for listeners of what to do to get back in touch with their entertainers, but more importantly how to get back in touch with ourselves again after the horrid addiction to this new technology.

Download links:

archive.org link to Episode 16 Intro

podbay.fm link to Episode 16 Intro

podomatic link to Episode 16 Intro

(New) google-play link to Episode 16 Intro

Also available at iTunes.

 

The Journey Continues… for the characters and myself…

Looking at how long I’ve struggled with this project, from 2010-now, but mainly 2012 to 2015, I’ve had to recognize things I had no knowledge of, however much I hunted and gathered all the information and needed help. When I found that traffic graph in 2013, figuring out what it meant I looked over months of silent readers and was completely stunned. That’s when the grief cycle began. I use the old model for the five stages even though many of us are aware that those stages are not absolute. Some patterns are added or two will be weaved in. So, all of that hard work and laughter and I’m hearing nothing for ages from a silent audience?

“Denial is the first of the five stages of grief. It helps us to survive the loss. In this stage, the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense. We are in a state of shock and denial. We go numb. We wonder how we can go on, if we can go on, why we should go on. We try to find a way to simply get through each day. Denial and shock help us to cope and make survival possible. Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief.”

I’ve held on to this denial for some time now. It doesn’t make sense to me nor any of my newest supporters that so damned many people could enjoy my work and not want to express that with more than being a number, a like-clicker, or just a lurker. People share they’re work, in most cases, for communication on it, unless they’re out to make money. Fanwork usually makes no profit whatsoever. It can’t. The only gain is the knowledge of what was enjoyed.

People who enjoy anything in the arts and entertainment like to discuss what they enjoy with someone else. Pen pals express their hobbies and favourites in streams, as well as who they are. Why? Because they’re looking for those of like-mind they will get along with and enjoy the discourse of letter-writing with. (Some people are happy with the idea of “friendship” and that solely, which is why social networks provide the lazy-style of comfort they need for approval. They can simply assume who cares and who that person is. The rest of us don’t work that way.)

With this my stage of denial still lingers even now. How could you not want to discuss what I’m creating with me? As my newest friend has stated, “It’s natural to want to talk to someone or express what was enjoyed. What is wrong with these people?”


“Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal. There are many other emotions under the anger and you will get to them in time, but anger is the emotion we are most used to managing. The truth is that anger has no limits. It can extend not only to your friends, the doctors, your family, yourself and your loved one who died, but also to God. You may ask, “Where is God in this? Underneath anger is pain, your pain. It is natural to feel deserted and abandoned, but we live in a society that fears anger. Anger is strength and it can be an anchor, giving temporary structure to the nothingness of loss. At first grief feels like being lost at sea: no connection to anything… The anger becomes a bridge over the open sea, a connection from you to them. It is something to hold onto; and a connection made from the strength of anger feels better than nothing.We usually know more about suppressing anger than feeling it. The anger is just another indication of the intensity of your love.”

I think my rants and aggravation has been seen many times by my readers and listeners. What choice was I left to? No one was helping. No one was showing they cared minus Helena but she stepped in 19 months after that silence happened and we maintain our friendship to this day. She went looking for stories to enjoy and expressed herself naturally. Why bother with something for that long if it doesn’t mean anything to you?

I went to investigate why this happened to me and I found a ton of dirty laundry out there from Dark Shadows fans. It ain’t hidden either. Type in a search engine for pairings of Barnabas/Julia or Barnabas/Angelique and you’ll find plenty of stories that aren’t often true to the characters with many people upset at Barnabas for not being in love with either of these women, or having done them wrong. For Barnabas and Maggie or Josette fans looking and then finding that kind of thing? They’ll have doubt cast on themselves and they’ll also feel badgered and hurt. They won’t want to reach out. They won’t even want to look anymore. In fact, they have to hear this crap from people who approach them. Was finding that out going to piss me off? It sure was! I didn’t pick who Barnabas loved. I looked for a relief series and couldn’t find one. Did I care about who loved who? Only in as much that they weren’t reaching each other on the program. My first hurt was Tony & Carolyn.

carolyn and tony

As far as I am concerned now? They’re fine.

What the hell do I care to throw insults at a miserable vampire for not loving some broad? What mattered to me is he loved Josette, and she him, and I saw Maggie constantly struggling with feeling lost about herself, among other signs. I care about the characters and requited-loves finding harmony in reaching each other. I’m the same with real people.

sam painting gregg

Again, I started all this because of Sam Evans, that was the final straw, but in for a penny in for a pound.

So yes, I’ve been very angry. I’ve been angry at the silence and I’ve been angry at what caused that silence and I’ve been angry at the people perpetuating that behaviour to continue. It took years to find out that fans of this pairing for Barnabas were being kept away from each other in almost the same way as the couple itself. They don’t want to “take-over” or whatever the idea is with so many of the other fans. They want their own small corner of the world to enjoy each others company and heal their hurts together. And that’s been treated like a crime or some world-domination idea. Barnabas and Josette were planning to run away to Boston together. As far as I’m concerned I’d be happy to meet all the fans of this pairing right there! Perhaps a nice little coffee shop out of the way somewhere. (Not a massive crowd of supposed Dark Shadows fans. In the majority for them? I have not been impressed.)


“Before a loss, it seems like you will do anything if only your loved one would be spared. “Please God, ” you bargain, “I will never be angry at my wife again if you’ll just let her live.” After a loss, bargaining may take the form of a temporary truce. “What if I devote the rest of my life to helping others. Then can I wake up and realize this has all been a bad dream?” We become lost in a maze of “If only…” or “What if…” statements. We want life returned to what is was; we want our loved one restored. We want to go back in time: find the tumor sooner, recognize the illness more quickly, stop the accident from happening…if only, if only, if only. Guilt is often bargaining’s companion. The “if onlys” cause us to find fault in ourselves and what we “think” we could have done differently. We may even bargain with the pain. We will do anything not to feel the pain of this loss. We remain in the past, trying to negotiate our way out of the hurt. People often think of the stages as lasting weeks or months. They forget that the stages are responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as we flip in and out of one and then another. We do not enter and leave each individual stage in a linear fashion. We may feel one, then another and back again to the first one.”

Bargaining, if I haven’t gone through this one back and forth? I have no idea what else happened. I have bargained like crazy. I went from rants to apologies to “What will work best for these people?” I care about them and I care about myself. Maybe they only have phones. Well, suggest a smile-face or something. Hmm, well maybe they’re disabled, try other avenues. Maybe I could reach out to fans in the other fandoms. That actually worked quite well! Try other fan work sites. Hmm… okay, well, let’s make the show in audio and make it the best I can, that’ll get people talking. Not really… Care package plan? Better. Let’s try tumblr… whoops! Wow, there’s a WHOLE lotta arse-holes there…

darkness loves us

until I found The Addams Family crowd, weeeeeee!

Well, the people listening like-click as if there is no tomorrow. Maybe I can just find book club types, or college radio geeks, or just radio geeks and they can do the talking? Oh boy… even hundreds and hundreds MORE numbers. But discussion? No dice! (Actually, over the years I’ve had a few people step up to the plate mainly to say, “I didn’t really listen to it, but this and this and this was wrong and here’s some more advice even though I didn’t pay attention.” Ummmmm…. okay…. 😛 )

I believe the list of bargaining for me is too long to relate here.


These last two stages rather melded together. What happened is about three people came forth recently and said strait up how good the work was, how much they were enjoying it, one even said she felt guilty she wasn’t paying and could I please open a donations account. (There is a plan in the works for that.) Another got all thirteen episodes reviewed and commented on in less than a month! For Episode 10 “The Kids Are All Right” he added,

Your adopted people are growing well and their numbers are as well. So is channeling like having multiple personalities? Just asking if we all need to warn your husband… You have done a remarkable job in this and your hard work is liked. People as you have said seem to not want to either do more then “like” or just be a number. I think social networks and such have done a great injustice to all. Before we would say we enjoyed or thank you. Now press like or share! This, I think, is the greatest wall with your followers. We have yet again been further removed from reaching out to others. Well I, for one, stand with you.

May they see that “like” does not say enough. It is robotic. A non committal response.


Another new friend has been completely livid at the treatment I’ve received since we found each other. How could someone with this much skill in writing, talent in acting, and versatility in creating the audio and being so giving with so much get treated like dirt?

That was when those last two stages arrived for me:

After bargaining, our attention moves squarely into the present. Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. This depressive stage feels as though it will last forever. It’s important to understand that this depression is not a sign of mental illness. It is the appropriate response to a great loss. We withdraw from life, left in a fog of intense sadness, wondering, perhaps, if there is any point in going on alone? Why go on at all? Depression after a loss is too often seen as unnatural: a state to be fixed, something to snap out of. The first question to ask yourself is whether or not the situation you’re in is actually depressing. The loss of a loved one is a very depressing situation, and depression is a normal and appropriate response. To not experience depression after a loved one dies would be unusual. When a loss fully settles in your soul, the realization that your loved one didn’t get better this time and is not coming back is understandably depressing. If grief is a process of healing, then depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way.

It’s true. It happened. I have been treated very badly as well as harassed and insulted by those I was never looking for.

Acceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel OK or all right about the loss of a loved one. This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality. We will never like this reality or make it OK, but eventually we accept it. We learn to live with it. It is the new norm with which we must learn to live. We must try to live now in a world where our loved one is missing. In resisting this new norm, at first many people want to maintain life as it was before a loved one died. In time, through bits and pieces of acceptance, however, we see that we cannot maintain the past intact. It has been forever changed and we must re-adjust. We must learn to reorganize roles, re-assign them to others or take them on ourselves. Finding acceptance may be just having more good days than bad ones. As we begin to live again and enjoy our life, we often feel that in doing so, we are betraying our loved one. We can never replace what has been lost, but we can make new connections, new meaningful relationships, new inter-dependencies. Instead of denying our feelings, we listen to our needs; we move, we change, we grow, we evolve. We may start to reach out to others and become involved in their lives. We invest in our friendships and in our relationship with ourselves. We begin to live again, but we cannot do so until we have given grief its time.

For I? It is the loss of potential, what could have gone faster, been better. Not an actual person, but an entity of creation and the creativity to go along with it. Being misled, as well as misunderstood in a wild array of patterns I’d already seen before in my family life, institutions, and so-called friendships that came before.

I’ve been told things I knew were either untrue or wrong and told persistently as a way of others covering up their own guilt or personal-shortcomings. So what? You spent just as much time defending ill-actions by one’s self and others when that time could have been better spent in simply looking over the work and getting to the task of discussion. It took one man 20 days to get through all thirteen episodes and answer the discussion questions. It’s not like he wasn’t “busy” too. But others are still saying, “I’ll get to it.” after over a year. Do you feel guilty about that? Stop. Solving a problem takes less time and gives you more in return. We all know this. Condescending me about it just makes the wound even bigger, for you and for me. And then when the people who make that effort come forward? Who do you feel better for? Me or you?


In The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows problems are solved with the help of outside communities. What happens when that takes place?

Further opportunity to achieve, solve more, enjoy your time being alive & well, or at least content. The people of Collinsport are better off because others pointed things out they could use to improve their circumstances, or simply stepped in to keep harm from being done to the point the Collins clan began doing it too.

As I move through the original series once more to find what problems are coming up? Well, Adam is no longer in my series. His troubles were sorted with long ago. Victoria and Peter have less to worry about being with Gomez, Morticia and the rest in their home. The tides turned and there is still loads to solve, but the same people are finding their strengths and moving forward, even Willie Loomis who is wrestling with giving himself more credit as others are showing him how.

Willie pensive Wadsworth looking down

So even with my stages of grief, which will never eliminate what has happened to me, I still look for solutions to continue. I know I’ve been treated quite horribly, even by family and friends from before, some of who swore they would try to help, and a few very slowly do. There is no form of gas-lighting or dissuading me that this isn’t true. I’ve been through all the tricks and I know better. On top of that I look for people who hurt to try and help them in whatever way I can. If others would like to mock that aspect of me we shall wonder at them and what purpose in life they could have.

All I wanted was 25 people and 5 perspectives per episode, that was all. I’ve looked everywhere, because of the people who can’t talk, to find those 5 and so far I’ve only found about 3 for the whole after all of this time and struggle looking. And the downloads continue daily, have been since Episode 13 was released last Christmas. I can’t do much more than wait and keep going now. Promotion and advertising has seldom done much for this. The talkers usually approach me first.

As for myself, I like the small band of chatty types I’ve found. The people who love Barnabas flaws and all, who love his happiness in “Margaret Josette Dupres” after watching his hurt, the people who saw Maggie as the reincarnation of Josette but couldn’t put it into words. We have a lot of healing to do together, and lot of things we need to talk about, both in horror and in love. So it’s starting and I pray that continues. Maybe that old quote I found at a bus stop will finally ring true again someday.

a small group

By the way, I snapped this picture with an old camera in Seattle. I’ve seen my view stats and Sea-Tac is hitting me big time looking for more. So, guys? I’ve been up there. I know for absolute certain you have the chat in you. You live in gloomy weather with shining smiles for it. Stop lurking, Washington. Start talkin’. 😉

Baby Sarah’s First Word: Margaret Josette Dupres continues…

Sam painting Barnabas and Maggie

Lots of delight as well as intrigue went into this one. Looks like I haven’t managed to get a new chapter of “Margaret Josette Dupres” up since March. However, as any of the podcast listeners know, in my own original fiction I don’t do babies. (Okay, I did them once: triplets. I did that because of a crazy dream I had, and I didn’t put a ton of effort into it as I was about 14 at the time.)

It surprised me how many people joined in. Willie is there, a cousin is mentioned but not named since that would make this book four fandoms and I’d like to stick to three, as well as Sam (who is also Andre). Sam expresses some deeper meaning to everything and I was especially pleased when he summed up the reincarnation aspect and what sets Barnabas Collins apart from so many others like himself and Maggie. The Evans’ (Dupres’) are given much to digest and reflect during their journey together in this.

Ezra Braithwaite is also mentioned. I decided to save him too and realized I wouldn’t require an added fandom to keep Ezra, I’d just need him to wear the correct pair of glasses. 😉 I was jovially told once that since the actor who played him (Abe Vigoda) has been with us so long and vitally, why shouldn’t Ezra Braithwaite enjoy the same?

Having not been up for this couple having children, I realized with so much reincarnation I wouldn’t need to invent anyone new. No. What would they want? Sarah as a living, breathing girl and given the life that was taken from her so many years ago. Yes, this does technically make Sarah her own auntie, but when I recognized the age difference between Barnabas and Sarah, as well as their own father being the piece-of-work that he is, Barnabas likely was more a father figure than Joshua in the 1790’s anyway. Plus, since Caleb’s 100 year contract-to-haunt means he would be gone by 1972, this way we get to have him back, and a possible brother-type for Sarah as well.

Anytime I’m out, which isn’t often, I will definitely take good stock of peoples’ babies these days. I’ve also been studying the gradual change with the growth of infants. For me the experience has to be as accurate as possible to be believable, supernatural broo-ha and all. So each successive chapter (minus further time our couple enjoys more private marital bliss) shall be put forth with Sarah’s development. If Barnabas and Maggie are wed in 1969, we may presume now this is 1976. I hope you enjoy what comes from Maggie’s pen and of course reflections of that enjoyment are most welcome. Here is the link to read the chapter:

Chapter 38: My Life, Myself, My Child


It came out to be over 4,500 words, which I tried to avoid. When chapters are that long I find anything I might be excited hearing about won’t be referred to and that’s half the excitement of sharing the work, that hope for reflection. Well, I’ve been brought this far. Perhaps change will come. ❤

Peace.

Slow week, CD mailings, postcards, and kicking back after a hard year…

Let’s face it. Last year was a ginormous whirlwind of ups and downs. As soon as things were looking up they’d plummet into a cascade of bizarre tragedies and the only thing that saved us was our sense of humour. I want this roller-coaster of a radio drama to be fun again. People put humour out there to get the reaction. And what have I gotten? Massive amounts of numbers, people coming in and giving me Hell, true warriors reaching out to say, “Yes! I want what you have… I just don’t know how to tell you.” And so we go back to the old reliable… The Post Office:

United_States_Postal_Service_(emblem)

Don’t knock it.

antique-mail-box

What do you think gets all those bloody online orders to your door? (It ain’t just crazy UPS truck drivers.)

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Mind sending your radio hosts a little valentine? The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows will officially be three years old this year.

Yes, I had no idea Josette=Maggie/Barnabas was such a fricken taboo! I just saw Sam Evans get foiled, had had enough and wanted a relief series, couldn’t find it and got started taking notes for YEARS! Sometimes even the fans of this pairing get a little too much for me. I chunked the text, rewrote as much as I could, went from demo version to proper podcast version, worked my arse off to find a way to get it to iTunes, spent gobs of money, drank myself into the pickling practices ensued by various members of The Rolling Stones… And…. well you’ve watched me go even crazier from getting high numbers, free advertising by haters having shit-fits, should-love romantic voting polls, assumptions made that I lust after various characters…

Does no one watch actor interviews or writer interviews or comedian interviews in which they detail what they have to go through? Just because this involves Dark Shadows doesn’t mean the same rules don’t apply. It only means they rarely get used for such fan-work.

Guess what? There are a new gaggle of people who have worked in other fandoms, as well as their own original material, and they know those particular rules of how this game is played. It’s not all about “I want this…” It’s about, “They, the characters, want this.”

This is why people in the Addams Family set are so vocal. They know that program could have gone on much longer than it did, and they know Gomez and Morticia. They will take no substitutes for how those two feel about each other nor how they behave. This is why seeking out the Dark Shadows purists was the wrong move for me all along.The purists want endless repeats of the original show. Okay, they can have that. They aren’t who I’m looking for anyway. I’m looking for people who want this:

Two Postcard no address

That’s the new postcard and twice as many as last year.

But why? Because I listened to my demos for years and I finally realized I had something good. Something as good as all the shows involved. The same humour came to me that “Clue” was providing with the hook in to Dark Shadows. Something amazingly huge could happen if only the talent could be nurtured with discussion to what was enjoyed. Why do I need that?

I’m human.

And so far most of what I’ve heard has been the kind of BS I’ve heard most of my life and fought against when I gathered the data to life. Human beings do not exist as islands. We marry, we give birth, we live in a sea of other humans. Just because robotic maneuvers via the internet is fooling you into believing you are communicating? It doesn’t mean you are.

I am more than happy to let the postal service thrive further on my endeavours. There are people who are happier with letter-writing than facebook flippancy. I’d rather this be something that is pursued via the postal service. It’s slower in focus and more concentrated. If I were given the chance to make this a postal service only venture? I would have done it quicker than you could get a fine for spitting on the sidewalk in the olden days.

And as for the olden days, anyone remember when I chunked the story and left a note of this from Lady Catherine de Bourgh?

lady catherine displeased

Ah… doesn’t that take ya back? 😉

Yeah, I was pretty pissed.

Took me quite some time to figure out what the problem was. And why wouldn’t it take so long? I was studying all the characters, all the fandoms, all the technical details, all the research to try and make things better and better. It’s not just writing, it’s audio editing, acting, inflections, listening, vocal training, and then? Getting harassed while everyone else is enjoying the work, meanwhile the creator doesn’t matter but to talk to the more vocal people who mostly just invalidate everything, including your hard working actor/writer/comedienne who can only get paid in commentary?

This is not healthy.

And I shall never believe that it is.

If you put it out there for the reaction? You would know it’s not an island venture.

This argument/claim was created so people could be lazy. However, I do not believe that comprehension skills are so low.

And why?

How would you comprehend my radio series to begin with?

You’re human, too.

Don’t behave as if you aren’t. 🙂

write a letter cover


But with my reincarnation studying and what they came up with here:

2012

They were too tight-lipped about what they were doing… really… how could I have known what they decided? So many months earlier. How?

pit 2012

Episode 13 is released, and Happy Christmas

I finally decided that with all of the trouble and people being worried about me, I’d return the favour and release Episode 13 to The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, which was completed in audio two months ago: 30 October 2014. I did paste this to Kathryn Leigh Scott’s facebook page because over a year ago the original text was dedicated to her, as well as this audio episode. I am thankful she has not deleted the link. I felt with all I had absorbed from the fandom in her anecdotal reveries and how Barnabas feels about the characters she played, it was fitting.

I realized the thing that made me so upset is I felt I was being neglected and “used” after so much hard work and research by Episode 14. I’ve now come to understand that most of the people who prefer my work are the shy people who have been afraid to speak. I want to show you how and open up to you how important you are. We are the misfits, the un-sheltered, the abused, and we need to learn how to speak again. The internet was designed for a different purpose than to let trolls and vultures rule it all, and also not for us to robotic-ally share memes and files all the live-long day.

Dark Shadows is a design of being different. There is very little reason the contemporary types should hold its reigns. Or in some more fitting words by Pat Benatar:

maggie and barnabas (2)

We are young
(Heartache to heartache)
Heartache to heartache
(We stand)
We stand

No promises
(No demands)
No demands
(Love is a battlefield)
Love is a battlefield
Whoooo-oh-oh….

We are strong
No one can tell us we’re wrong
Searching our hearts for so long
Both of us knowing
Love is a battlefield

You’re begging me to go
Then making me stay
Why do you hurt me so bad
It would help me to know
Do I stand in your way
Or am I the best thing you’ve had

Believe me
Believe me
I can’t tell you why
But I’m trapped by your love
And I’m chained to your side

We are young
Heartache to heartache we stand
No promises
No demands
Love is a battlefield

We are strong
No one can tell us we’re wrong
Searching our hearts for so long
Both of us knowing
Love is a battlefield

When I’m losing control
Will you turn me away
Or touch me deep inside
And when all this gets old
Will it still feel the same
There’s no way this will die
But if we get much closer
I could lose control
And if your heart surrenders
You’ll need me to hold

We are young
Heartache to heartache we stand
No promises
No demands
Love is a battlefield

We are strong
No one can tell us we’re wrong
Searching our hearts for so long
Both of us knowing
Love is a battlefield


So here it is, The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, Episode 13: “A Balancing of The Humours”; because The humours are considered part of the medical practice in Barnabas’ time. And also, Wadsworth has been teaching his employer, throughout all of this series, that grim things happen, but the way to get through it, as Barnabas’ sweet-love knows, is… with humour. Peace.

Episode 13: A Balancing of The Humours

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