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
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.
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. ❤