Pit Update: August 2017 & Retrospective

2017 August F

 

Study encouragement for The Addams Family, lining things up for Pit Episode 18 in script, wonderful results from pen pals and confusing results from online bystanders. Suggestion of postage stamps if one desires to send a gift. The repercussions of our implicit trust in “Mommy Internet”.

 
Retrospective via Milligan and Hecubus, Sam and Barnabas, gift of lingerie joke for Helena, Dr. Hoffman and Prof. Stokes romance, Clue-like scene in Hoffman’s office, Barnabas and Maggie’s romance.

 
Deep consideration of Willie Loomis’ character overall and his personal challenges between Dark Shadows and The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows.

 
The reasons for variations of Dark Shadows soundtracks in the confrontation scene between Willie and Barnabas, the challenge of the scene and the shock in how it came into being.

 
My favourite scene, thus far, in the whole series: Roger and Elizabeth opening the mail and discussing their supernatural relations in a down-to-earth fashion.

 
All the key points of importance in the final scene of Episode 14 with Wadsworth and Willie, reflections of Dark Shadows, modern life, storytelling, and our interconnection to each other.

 
Where to go from here: pride in new pen friends, encouragement to youth, invitation for more personal contact, and the reflection of Willie Loomis’ heroism reaching to his refusal to remain a bystander.

Theme for this podcast: “Paranya” by Silenzium (2011)

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Downloadable from iTunes, as always…

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Pit Update March 2017

march-update-2017d

 

A “sickie” podcast for new pen pals and old listeners alike.

This is a very newsy and studious monologue. I’ll address what’s going on with the letter-writing method of listening to the series and knowing that many who want to hear this can’t always download or play it via having poor equipment.

Lots of discussions of people I’m talking with lately: Auntie, Jonah, etc.
Identifying interruption fan fiction and how it works with Osheen Nevoy and Lisa Weyenberg’s works as key examples.

Tons of spoilers for The Pit and later on a lot of spoilers for the marriage novel I’m creating in tandem. As per usual, this talk and explanation is quite cerebral, as well as moving back and forth discussion on various show characters being responsible for solutions in The Pit, including Endora and Uncle Arthur from “Bewitched”, as well as Wadsworth, Captain Gregg, Lily, and Morticia.

Plenty of goodies about Doctor Who coming into play for The Pit and exactly why he will.

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And yes, it is downloadable from iTunes, as always...

Working On Episode 16 (& other fun news)

Good Evening Collinsport, Schooner Bay, Mockingbird Heights, Cemetery Lane, Crabapple Cove, The Neitherworld, and our guests at Hill House.

I figured I hadn’t updated in a while and I know there are some out there that dig this web-log, and likely others who read it and lose much calcium and many fillings from their teeth. Well it’s a complicated world and this technology sure made it harder to pick and choose hasn’t it? 😉 I feel bad for all y’all who don’t have ad blockers. I used a machine that didn’t have any and good Lord! What a nightmare of obnoxious interruptions!

I have been working all week and all night on “Episode 16: A Death In The Family.” BOY! I worked so hard I forgot I’d seen the dawn and my husband rising to greet it. When I finally went to bed? I woke up around noon and I truly believed it was Saturday. I think that means I probably did a week’s worth of work in one night!

I remember Osheen was bothered by Caleb Collins ghostly laughter. At this point? I’m getting sick of his voice! There is a short scene with him, and then there is a long one with Maggie Evans that’s about twelve minutes in length. You can bet yourself a plug-nickel I threw in much, much music to deal with that. Then I think the music got too loud so I had to edit that over and over again throughout the test-listens. But still, some of the Maggie and Caleb banter is fun enough that it doesn’t get too strenuous. They have lot to talk about. It’s like, “Oh hey, you’re a ghost sometimes too, girl. I get to look at you and see some of my afterlife memories haunting me, Kitty Soames! Clever girl.” He doesn’t actually tell her that but, you know, that’s the gist of it.

Another thing that’s kept me busy is we finally went on a vacation last week. Then we discovered we had not taken a vacation in seven years. Ahhhhhhhh!!! Still, I’d had Anhedonia for so long and vacations couldn’t be much enjoyed back then. It’s truly nice that creating The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows helped to yank me out of The Pit of Ultimate Numbness From Any Emotional Thrill. Then? Margaret Josette Dupres happened and even more got healed! Still, I had that insomnia for ten months. I think it was probably getting through enough chapters of MJD and people responding to it that fixed the insomnia. I am so grateful to many of you for helping discuss it with me. That’s what finally got me back to sleeping again. (Technically I would pass out for an hour or two here or there but it was just not enough during those ten months.) And there is lots more to come, so no worries. I’m still struggling with Sarah’s toddler years and also making more Pit.

So hopefully some of you have written me letters or cards and I’m dying for some mail but I haven’t been able to go and check for goodies. I still have my goal of all the stationery I’ve been hoarding for decades getting used up. I’m not even close! And I’m sending people stationery if they need it, too. On the rare chance I get a response to a printed version of the discussion questions for The Pit, I love that so much. That’s one of the things that proves to me I am not an effing narcissist. Why on Earth would I be dying for fun responses and people’s insight if it was all about worshiping me?

Emails are great too. I want paper letters in between emails but there have been so many emails and I’m so emailed out. It’s no wonder I managed to send eight postcards, two cards, and one letter on our four day trip! I noticed another pen pal site called “Long-Letter Pen Pals”. No kidding, man! We gotta make it obvious we don’t just want junk or meme-mail. It’s super-gross to see the meme and share-file mentality hitting the pen pal universe. Ugh!

One beautiful part of my week has been voice-call with a friend and she overheard the Barnabas chat with Beetlejuice. Audibly hearing her laughter was so marvelous I just let the track keep playing. And it is an amazing scene. I wasn’t sure how they would interact but it works! It’s them! Talking to each other! Almost teasing each other! I even keep turning it back to hear BJ snap, “Cut the questions, Fang-Boy!” So even if my Alan Alda sucks? At least my Michael Keaton is good. 🙂

I also finally made the cover image for Episode 16. Am I going to post it here? Nah. I won’t get any reaction from anyone. I’ll just get stats. Dull-city. (Maybe I’ll get some juicy like-clicks sharing it on Facebook. P’shhh, why bother? Hee hee hee!) So I shared the image with Melissa and got some actual talk and fun discussion. Then? She kept me company while I did the dishes. They got backed up working on this episode, I tell ya!

But what better joy in the world might be had? Being able to turn to one’s spouse and say, “Sweetie? I need a kiss for Doctor Hoffman and Professor Stokes.” and the spouse is wonderfully obliging. I wanted something more beefy, but hey, it’s their first so we can get beefier kisses later. ❤ I noticed I upped the bass on Professor Stokes voice for that scene. I think I was shooting for sexy with that, but then I noticed the love-song I put in seemed too loud. Hmm, it might be because my equalizer was set to “Dance” and not “Acoustic”. Gotta watch out for that.

I truly adore how Willie Loomis is coming out. Remember in my second intro I said it felt like “lost potential” with him. Now I’m seeing so much of that lost potential to be found in such a short time! In The Pit he’s never known Cassandra, but our trusty butler has updated him on Angelique. A Willie Loomis who is bonding with the ghost of a little girl? A Willie Loomis who is reminded of a more innocent time in his life around Wadsworth? He’s not going to take kindly at all to Angelique. And why? Because he sees the chain of dominoes that affected Barnabas, just as he’s had his own chain of dominoes that made him nasty, too. Now granted, Barnabas being harsh with him changed him on Dark Shadows, Willie Loomis became more empathetic, but so as life is littered with horrible things and bad people? We do not go out of our way to court the horrible things and bad people, at least not intentionally. (Well, okay, a few people do!) So Willie is making it clear Angelique is someone he wants out of the vicinity. (Being protective of Sarah also blends in with his godfather role to her in Margaret Josette Dupres.)

That leads me to a game we played last night. At a thrift store I found a fancy briefcase set for backgammon. We finally used it and didn’t have the greatest fun but the point was to give it a shot. And it makes me revel in the fun of Wadsworth’s chapter in Margaret Josette Dupres where he and Willie create this habit of going to play that game while Barnabas and Maggie are too vocally expressive in their love-nest. I like to think that their backgammon set looks like this one we got. Four dollars, too!

backgammon

That’s the wonderful part of having a fascination with old things and old games. My “adopted kids” can have a ball with that and it fits in perfectly. I’ve seen so many pissed-off fans of Dark Shadows grousing endlessly about Barnabas not loving Julia. What was I pissed about? They didn’t play cribbage, dammit! So? I fixed it that they did. Hee hee hee. Plus I remember reading that scene to my Mum. Anyone go and re-listen to Episode 6 of The Pit? That time at The Old House is seriously wacky! I’d forgotten how much I was able to stuff into that scene!

Wanna know something else crazy about us and cribbage? We didn’t learn it from someone older. We learned it from my cousin who is over ten years my junior. She learned it from her great-aunt, but still. It was a groovy way to discover it. So by the time we watched Dark Shadows and Barnabas jestingly suggests playing cribbage with Doctor Hoffman? You can bet I was angry that they didn’t play after all. Hence all the DS fix-its in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows aren’t necessarily massive. Life is a banquet of things that come in all sizes, shapes, colours and variety. That’s why I write these entries like letters to you. Take it from Robert Fulghum. (I’ve never written to him as he may not write back. But I will.)

With old books and old times, I finally finished Chapter 22 of Stand Fast And Damn The Devil by Osheen Nevoy. One part felt like a hilarious moment in an M.R. James book and I still am laughing at this dude who shows up for Bill’s jury selection:

One voluble old gentleman could scarcely wait to answer Hanley’s question gauging potential jurors’ views on witches. When it was finally his turn the old fellow hopped to his feet and started summarizing all the acts of witchcraft his neighbors had worked against him for the past 40 years. Bradford barely managed to squeeze a word in edgeways to request that this candidate be dismissed.

That is so hilarious and very likely, too! It’s like, “Oh good! Here’s my chance to rat on my neighbours and get ’em in trouble!” (The other guy that Rev. Trask dismissed was kinda hilarious too.)

I’m not sure why but it takes me back to the über-dry M.R. James story “Martin’s Close” in which there is a hearing when one of the witnesses starts rambling more details than is necessary:

…Thomas Snell was next called, who gave evidence to the same effect as Mrs Arscott, and added the following:

Att. Did anything pass between you and the prisoner during the time Mrs Arscott was out of the room?

Th. I had a piece of twist in my pocket.

Att. Twist of what?

Th. Twist of tobacco, sir, and I felt a disposition to take a pipe of tobacco. So I found a pipe on the chimney-piece, and being it was twist, and in regard of me having by an oversight left my knife at my house, and me not having over many teeth to pluck at it, as your lordship or anyone else may have a view by their own eyesight—

L.C.J. What is the man talking about? Come to the matter, fellow! Do you think we sit here to look at your teeth?

Th. No, my lord, nor I would not you should do, God forbid! I know your honours have better employment, and better teeth, I would not wonder.

L.C.J. Good God, what a man is this! Yes, I have better teeth, and that you shall find if you keep not to the purpose.

Yes, one might think with this gem in the collection of M.R. James that his stories are fun and funny? Don’t be fooled! They are dry and spooky and I’d like a kid’s version. (((lol))) Whereas Osheen’s novel, though tragic, is pickled with Bill Malloy’s down to Earth observations and comic relief aplenty.

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Speaking of old books there was a delightful re-print we bought on the trip in one of the historical museum gift-shops:

language-of-flowers

Kate Greenaway “The Language of Flowers”. I believe it is one I was working with for Josette’s blossom fetish, but it’s nice to have a physical copy. Definitely fits in with the meanings in Chapter 41 of Margaret Josette Dupres. (Which meant I had to go and check and read it and get all hot’n’bothered by the couple again.)

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Ohhh, what else? Well, the test-listen is still running. I need more from the grass-roots before Episode 16 is released. The grass-roots team aren’t through half of the scenes yet. (And I’m always up for more in the grass-roots team. They find one scene at a time fits in with their schedules easier.) So far? Episode 16 is over an hour! Ah! I’m hoping for shorter future episodes, and with Episode 17 we shall, hopefully, be “back on the road” as I keep expressing. I remember the old formula was X# of words versus X# of pages. With Episode 17 it’s mostly ideas and a list. I noticed The Pit expanded exponentially in 2013 with the listens to previous episodes and growing from that. (Plus Helena showed up and she was a Godsend. Still is!) That’s why I definitely enjoy the chat about this show. It gets me motivated and keeps me focused. Random distractions take up too much time.

Also all my whistle-blowing has not been in vain. More and more often I’m seeing articles about this new tech-addiction. True, we had old ones, but what’s changed in the last five to ten years is not healthy for us at all. We’ve tried to compensate and get stuck back into the addiction. I’ve set myself out as an example. I don’t think I fell off the wagon last night. Still, I’ll share this with Facebook, likely without fully logging on. That’s another scary thing about social networks. You can share things to them without pulling up the application or site fully. But it’s preferable to share it in places that people are stalk—I mean, “following” me.

Otherwise, if you’re hungry for the next episode? You can always run through the previous one and let me know what all you enjoyed. That should keep you entertained, right? 😉

At Last! Working On Episode 16

(((deep breath)))

 

Yes… last night I opened a bottle of wine and got cracking. I have the bland version of Episode 16 melded together with all the voices. Since I started doing all the voices separately it’s taken a whole lot longer to splice together a proper episode of The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. I’m really pleased with the opening, even though I think a misty, weepy Hecubus is kind of doofus, but the point is that our boys are disappointed in not getting a polite Angelique yet.

Feels good though to get back to work. I’ve been in a lot of pain for the last week from an injury and audio work was out of the question. I didn’t have the title announced for the episode so I did that first and I did it loudly and very determined sounding. The actual episode title kind of came out a little British or a little Barnabas, I’m not sure which, ha ha!

Fighting the Facebook addiction is hard. I’m sure I did some dumb-ass crap last night, but hopefully everyone over there knows I drink, I get stressed out, I get wildly-creative in bizarre ways, and Facebook gives me the jitters anyway.

Oh, guess what, everyone! My husband and I watched… a MOVIE! I haven’t watched a film other than “Clue” for years. (And oddly, I miss watching “Clue”, which is great considering it’s part of my job. Yay!) However, I did have to take breaks because my focus is poor for something not intensely Pit related. But I did it! And I think I was able to do it because there is a *sliver* of the previous movie in The Pit. You know in Episode 8: A Long Awaited Trip To The Passion-Pit, where I dedicate it to Tony & Carolyn, “’Cause they’re so hawt right now!”? That is so obviously quoting Mugatu from “Zoolander”. So, we watched “Zoolander 2”. Got all the way through it. Busted our guts over Neil deGrasse Tyson being in there and his lines!

Zoolander 2

So I went to youtube and found where someone had taken his clips. Sooooo damn funny! I remember throwing it all over the place on Facebook last night. Ah… weird network, weird stress, weird joke. But so hilarious. But I swear some really idiotic people are online these days. There was this long, stupid argument under the youtube video that had nothing to do with the clip. None of the other commentators seemed at all aware the clip was from “Zoolander 2” either. I’m starting to re-learn how to ignore stuff like that, but it’s so prevalent now. I find it disturbing.

I’ve also come to accept that a lot of the fans of my work are fairly empty-headed. The lack of conversational skills is just remarkably ludicrous. I’m not sure these people were always that way, either. I think the new technology sets people into a regressive state of intelligence. It’s too easy for almost anyone to use, so people get lazier and lazier until they practically become illiterate. (Makes one wonder why fan-fiction is so popular now. It’s reading, you know?) So I’ve decided to just call the dopey people poking me with like-clicks and saying incomprehensible things my groupies. Sets my mind to rest to look at it in that light.

SO! Ya-da-ya-da-ya-da. Life sucks with the tech addictions and losing peeps, but here we are in a relatively nice place, and relatively nice life. It’s so nice shutting off Facebook and just sitting outside, smelling the nature, listening to the birds and crickets. And music!

Actually I had to add a crickets sound effect to the first scene of Episode 16. The boys went on so long I ran out of “My Name Is Victoria Winters” music! Plus I think it was the old version I had rather than the cleaner one from the Dark Shadows music collection. I just said, “Oh, who cares? So a record pop is in there. Big deal.”

I listened to a lot of the rest of it today while I was walking to get me and my sweetie some sandwiches. That’s when I noticed that although the episode is currently about 55 minutes, there are soooooo many long silences between all the characters lines that I’m going to have to shave a lot of seconds off in between. And that shall make it shorter. Hurray!

I feel so bad for Maggie, though. She’s really pissed off. As Josette, but not with all the goodies in memory yet, she is also acclimating to two or three previous life-times? She gets to be reminded what Angelique did to her as regards to Jeremiah. NOT a happy girl. So not happy. I was worried the angry growling wouldn’t sound enough like her, but it does.

When I got home and listened to more on the porch, I noticed almost all the voice work is great (Hawkeye is always a tender point, mind you.) , but I’m not happy with Wadsworth’s lines. He’s repeating a lot of things from “Clue” as far as what he says in his lines, but it doesn’t sound like how he says it in the film. I think I’m going to have to do some of his voice-work over again. However I sure got a big smile on my face when he brings himself to quoting, from hearing it via Elizabeth Stoddard, the words of Bill Malloy. Really made me smile, and also Sam Evans stepping in to say it was good to hear Bill quoted. Very heart-warming.

Willie meets sarah again

Willie’s lines are deeply remarkable to me. I’m glad I worked on this episode in the writing so long. I really had time to research everyone quite thoroughly to make sure it all blended well with their known pasts. I might have to raise the pitch on Sarah’s voice, but overall it’s quite nice.

Another thing I noticed was that I seem to give Julia a very, very slight English leaning. This is good because when she is opposite Hawkeye the pitch is so similar to his that her having that vague English lilt separates them more evenly.

Of course, I’ve got the irritation that a large percentage of my struggles have been due to this Julia/Barnabas nonsense. As I’ve said before, it never occurred to me to put them together as a romantic pair. She had a crush, but a strong woman like that could obviously get over it, whether she’s doing great acts of heroism or not. Plus it’s nice to find out that much of that was Grayson Hall being bored and adding her longing looks at Barnabas as something interesting to add to her character.

troi riker

Hell, Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis did that to each other for Riker and Troi! The difference is there was a romantic relationship between Riker and Troi. The two actors, as Sirtis has explained on Mission Log, wouldn’t allow the relationship to die. It was a mutual consideration Frakes and Sirtis put together. And as it happens, Riker & Troi came back into being a romantic couple with “Star Trek: Insurrection.” (One of my favourites.) Whereas with Grayson Hall it was one-sided.

I didn’t know there was so very much Julia/Barnabas stuff going on, nor that it was such a big barrier between me and my fans; them being afraid to speak up for Maggie/Barnabas for fear of getting attacked. (((rolls eyes))) We’re all behind keyboards and screens. Say whatever the Hell you want to, drunk or sober. All the a—holes do it! Why let them get away with it? Say something about what you enjoy, people. Gonna make me quote Auntie Mame in a minute…

But as I watched Dark Shadows, along with dozens of other shows, to create The Pit, I could see a relationship for Dr. Hoffman with a lot of potential: Her and Professor Stokes. And you can tell in The Pit that it’s going down that direction. Mrs. Johnson has already told her buddy, Sophia Petrillo, that the guy is a dreamboat. And frankly, he is! ❤

julia and eliot forever

I’m very much looking forward to working with them as a couple, and I’ve been dying to do it for years. Barnabas makes Maggie laugh. Eliot can get Julia to laugh, and happily. Never saw that with her and Barnabas. She often seemed to laugh with a sneer at Barnabas, or scoff, just irritable with the guy. Plus I’ve been in Barnabas/Maggie Land so long it would be hellza nice to concentrate on another couple, as well as Tony & Carolyn for Episode 17!

Carolyn and Tony

It’s stuff I’d like to talk about in a podcast, too. Gosh, Carolyn & Tony? Even the demo of their drive-in movie date would propel me on walks to work. I was so excited for them. I just felt like, “Yes! This is working and they’re so awesome!” It really started to lift my Anhedonia. I was starting to feel again. And they were the first couple I was worried about. (The Anhedonia truly lifted with the song for Sarah in Episode 10, though. The thrill of listening to music came back, thank God! And Sarah Collins. ❤ )

Victoria picked Peter and that made sense so I just ran with it. Maggie as the reincarnation of Josette was obvious and I was sick of Barnabas whining and Maggie not settling with anyone. I used to lean toward Willie/Maggie but I watched her more and saw she wasn’t digging Willie in that way either. It was a little disappointing but I respected her take on the situation. (Especially after seeing James Hall as Willie… Keeeeeeee—riste! Sleeeeeeeeeeeaze-buckets, man! Ugh! Talk about nayyyyyyy-stayyyyy! Boy did I want Burke to wail on him. Sadly, by the time he did, it was John Karlen as Willie. Poopycakes!)

So Willie? Who would suit him? Well there IS this peripheral character, very peripheral, but he’s staying at Wyndcliff so damn long. A nurse could handle him and love it. I noticed her on DS Annotations when Dr. Hoffman said, “Thank you, Miss Jackson…” and the word bubble came up, “That’s Janet… unless you’re nasty!” Inspiration time! And I definitely picture her as that actress and not the previous one for Nurse Jackson. (Though it was kinda neat because the previous actress was briefly in “Ghostbusters”.)

Then we get to Hoffman/Stokes. It’s so exciting and fun. Plus I’ve met more people who absolutely adore Thayer David, possibly even more than I do! Really something. (People calling him “ugly” are shallow. Never heard so much grade-school nonsense in my life.) I didn’t think pairing them up would be such a massive production, but they deserve it, as well as each other. Two intellectuals staying up nights together having a drink and musing over occult tomes and treatment protocols, along with dashing delights at each other. What bliss! Definitely my cup of tea. Really looking forward to that.

And the other couples, too. Willie & Cora (the first name I came up with for Nurse Jackson). A lot of Willie lovers can just pretend they are her. I do myself sometimes. (Yes, I rather Mary Sue myself with Willie Loomis, ha ha!) Then Elizabeth and her long-lost love. That brings so much intrigue. B-u-t… Angelique/Quentin. It’s a long, long, long way off but it scares me. It truly scares me. They’re so vicious! I’ve pictured it easily enough. It gets rather violent! (Okay, there goes the ice-cream man. His music lightens my mood.) I keep picturing Roger as a bachelor, I’m afraid. Kinda like Sam and Wadsworth remaining widowers who are faithful to their late wives memories. I used to dream of redeeming Laura somehow for Roger, but I think that’s a lost cause. Now that I get to know her better she seems hopeless. (I adore the 2012 movie Laura, though.)

Ah, couples, couples, couples, and we’re nowhere near Valentine’s Day.

Oh, good. I did put in the echoes for Caleb’s laughter. Really good scene between him and Maggie. There is a lot of supernatural commonality, as well as a release from shyness. Maggie could be shy, but not often now. She knows too much. And Caleb was a recluse that finally snapped.

As for me, I keep praying the world comes back into one of more reason. When I look over some websites it appears as though there are a lot of people who are fed-up with being recluses themselves, or just sick of creating gatherings where no one shows up because members are aloofly clicking buttons and being thoughtless. The timidity is quite ridiculous and all that does is allow the loonies and haters to run the show. Just ridiculous. Much like the waste of human life because people are too busy looking at their screens while they drive. (((shudder)))

But for those who are my silent listeners, either feeling bad or feeling defensive that I’ve pointed out how obnoxious the behavior is… well, I’m a fairly forgiving sort of person, you know. I get tempers like most people, but as Automne Archer related in her interview, sometimes you shake the bottle too much and then it’s going to burst. You have to let the person calm down on their own. You can’t force them to calm down.

And I’m loving the letters, and emails. I really am. So for all who correspond with me, and don’t hide that they’re reading or listening, it makes such a big difference. I still drink, but these last few weeks it’s been a great deal less than I got used to in the last three years. Always remember when you keep in touch you make a big difference. Really. You do. ❤

Margaret Josette Dupres, Chapter 40

MJD Chapter 40 image

 

-LINK TO CHAPTER FORTY-

Chapter 40 of “Margaret Josette Dupres (A Novel)”. Little Sarah, just over two years old, is growing and her parents do their best to take care of her in all the love they can provide. However, Sarah is about to re-live a time in her previous life (during 1795) that is very emotional, as her acting it out will be for Barnabas & Maggie. Please hit the link above if you would like to read it.

(Author’s notes are in bold before and after.)

As The World Falls Down and I Fall In Love With Willie Loomis

As 2005 crept out of existence, I worked on my book, and some disturbing things happened that prevented the electricity in my room from working if I turned on my computer. I had just started a new therapy job in order to try and understand anything about humanity I might have been missing for my writing.

As it turned out this job taught me many things about my life that were ineffably wrong with it. And unfortunately, I couldn’t continue the work on my book. It had diabolically been taken from me. I tried to make due, but a sadness crept into my life and I discovered a type of depression I don’t see expressed very often: Anhedonia. Anhedonia encompasses a troubling problem that can express certain emotions but not actually feel them. So in order to make due I went the Roger and Naomi Collins route and drank… very heavily. It was the only way to cope. Black Velvet Whiskey bottles stayed in my closet and went into recycling at regular intervals, and what with the awful Jason McGuire style parent I was living with, sometimes this drinking was needed just to stay warm in the winter, as much of the heat was turned off for billing purposes.

I had to find a way out. Meanwhile I kept watching Dark Shadows, and couldn’t figure out why this Barnabas bastard was so loved. He was doing terrible things, but I maintained in my mind the coffee shop sequence between him and Maggie Evans that was one of the sweetest parts I’d ever witnessed. (And also mentioned in Kathryn Leigh Scott’s writings.) A nice quiet moment away from so much of the troubles.

coffee shop

“Why didn’t he just ask her?” I kept questioning. Why didn’t he explain what he was feeling? Why not just tell her, “Maybe, it’s you…”? And, as my logical mind kept reeling at me:

“BECAUSE IT’S A SOAP OPERA, YOU FOOL!” 

And as my Anhedonia got worse and the drinking madness ensued, I eventually found my way into a better life, though it took over a year, and felt like five. I looked for housing on Craigslist, where I’d found my job, and discovered a place that no one likely would look for due to the expense. And I found it, and I live there now. It was different, it was what we needed. And though this Anhedonia has ruined my enjoyment of life I was hoping someday things would improve.

After the year had elapsed that my significant other wanted before we might marry, I took hold of this possible happiness and created the means to make it occur. Because of my Anhedonia, I barely enjoyed my wedding day at all. I can vicariously enjoy it through memory, now that I have the emotions back to achieve it. And…

We kept watching Dark Shadows…

I had switched to brandy as my means of support, since Dr. Watson always seemed to call for it on the 1980’s Thames version of “Sherlock Holmes”.  As it turns out any alcohol made from a fruit has better effects on me than any made from a grain, so I’ve held on to that knowledge in this life. Eventually I learned to deviate from hard liquor, to Jaegermeister, then to port and finally to wine and cider. When we had enough friends we devised a party plan on a monthly basis called “Ghost Story Night” in which everyone invited would try and tell a ghost story as the lights were dim, candles burned, and we all chuckled riotously. Of course this didn’t last, but it was sometimes very beautiful while it did. Art Bell’s Halloween version of Coast To Coast, “Ghost To Ghost” made this much more interesting.

If anyone is wondering this was about the time I wrote “Bloody Mary’s Delight”.

And still… we kept watching Dark Shadows…

The “Ghost Story Night” fizzled as friends moved away and relationships soured, so our social life dwindled.

As we kept watching Dark Shadows, I kept taking notes in a possible effort solve all their problems and an old idea I had as a wee one came to me. What if, since all these story lines are lifted from old gothic stories, we could introduce new gothic characters into the mix, with all their lightheartedness? It would make sense, right? Especially since there were so many spooky shows in the 1960’s later on in the evening that had kind hearts and easier problems to solve.

I loved the film “Clue” dearly and wanted to see Wadsworth, the butler (not in the original board game) make a comeback and be a good guy, and I didn’t believe that whole “This is what REALLY happened” ending. In the theatrical release the different endings were viewed in different theaters, so only on the video release of “Clue” was Wadsworth placed as the “bad guy”.

No, I said, he’s not bad. All he said about blackmail and trying to help everyone was likely true. And “Clue” happened in 1954, so reaching him to 1968/1969 won’t be too much of a stretch. As the Clue script expresses, “He is a butler. He is dressed like a butler. He has the manner of a butler. Even when he opens the gates all alone he does so with the demeanour of a butler. His name is WADSWORTH.” Yes, this is the man for our ever stolid and woeful vampire.

barn and wads

By the end of 2011 I had the beginning of the series, but not sure where to put it. Still, I kept on writing. I added Slimer and the parapsychologists from Poltergeist, who I wanted to see again. I found fanfiction.net and finally figured out how to post things, but didn’t know much about the site or how to use it or what the etiquette issues might be, try as I might to find them. I worried that changing anything, including the summary would alter the date posting of when I started. So I left them alone.

2012

Then the Dark Shadows movie came out, and as much as I knew it was happening and was excited at what we might see, after the fact I viewed much hostility from both pro and con fans. Many complained about all the fish-out-of-water scenarios and I thought to myself, “WHAT? I could have taken MORE of those!” It always irritated me how quickly Barnabas adapted to 1967 from the vantage point of 1795. There OUGHT to have been more.

But what I really hated, in the original program was. however many times Josette fell off of Widows Hill, Barnabas would pull back with this “Oh dear” stupidity. “You’re a VAMPIRE, you jack-ass, and you love her! JUMP!” I’d scream.

And in the film… what happened? Did he jump? YES! He jumped… TWICE!

Something in this fandom was finally changing. Though online you could hardly guess. The hostility in this First World problem sought brutality with any disagreement. So? I signed into the forum on the website: “Willie Loomis Saves Collinsport” and at LAST I got some decent people to discuss it with who knew their onions.

willie loomis saves collinsport

They discussed it civilly and knowledgeably. But then, of course, online changes made my discussion in this forum impossible so I couldn’t re-join for their help. “I suppose I’m on my own now,” I reasoned.

I kept taking notes while watching and worked on my series. I’d written 3 episodes and then watched another spooky show with a very sweet heart and understood who I could use to alter the death of Sam Evans and why. (The Ghost & Mrs. Muir.)

 In 2013 the story grew, and grew with an ignited passion. Everything WAS changing along the story-line. It was what I’d meant to do. Still, I got no reviews but I was more worried about making those changes. However, my social world kept dwindling to a bare fizzle and the balance in my life began sucking this project into the only purpose I had left. My pen pal encouraged me to stay strong. I got one reviewer and I went from writing an episode a month to writing four in the month of October.

Then I got the hang of the traffic graph and did a double take… Wait… THIS many people have been reading my story for months and MONTHS? And they didn’t speak UP? Umm… something is REALLY wrong here. So I began looking over what other people were doing. There was dialogue in the reviews, but for some reason not with my story, which I can’t boast but simply observe is DAMN funny and GOOD work. What the hell was going on with these people? And I knew it couldn’t be some Ugly American problem as it was across the globe, too. What the hell? They could have been helping me feed this thing? But what the heck? They didn’t share their laughter as I saw in so many other humourous stories on that site? What’s with THIS B.S.? 

Soon enough I worked out the Willie Loomis issue in episode 13 I’d been waiting on because I was discovering that He and I, along with many other characters, shared too much in common. In my lack of sleep, the Muse gave me the solution that Willie and Wadsworth knew each other already, considering Willie’s empty past. At five in the morning this Muse forced me from trying to sleep more and made me write their first scene together. Along with a lot of other problems I was solving, I was very pleased with how it turned out.

Then I got to episode 14, thinking, okay, I’ve worked out that Willie problem, I’ve tried very hard to get his character down. I’ve even filled in the plot-hole about the bullet wounds no one else has done that I saw. And the cane scene about it was scary to come to terms with and write. Now? I have to hear SOMETHING from these takers.

No… I didn’t.

I waited a week. Nothing. I waited longer. Still nothing.

Young Willie

No… I thought, passionately… I love Willie Loomis now… I’ve made him at least understand what was happening in Collinsport. I struggled with him so hard, and all you empty dots on the traffic graph want is to see him crazy, and hurt and injured and suffering… No I said to myself. I don’t understand what’s going on in the world now. I went to the market and saw so many people zombie-like buying their groceries in an uncaring, busy way.

What can I do to keep this man I fell in love with? What can I do to keep my dates and stats at fanfiction.net? The proof I’d been there and tried so hard to make all these people better? So I replaced my story with chunks of it and explained why I was doing it. Ever since that time there was no response, except from Helena Clara Bouchet who does way too much reviewing and helps almost everyone and has enough on her own plate to even bother with that. No, this is not fair.

It IS better than what I saw happen there between 2004-2007, but still it’s not right. As my pen pals have said, no, this IS wrong.

So, I did the deed, turned on the song I gave Willie Loomis at the end of my 14th episode (“Sunshine Superman” by Donovan) and was liberated. And that morning… in all my visualizing skill… that man… and I… danced! ^_^

Sunshine Superman = Willie Loomis

And, though you may have seen this episode elsewhere, I shall share it on this blog for the first time, now that the story of my love-affair beginning with Willie Loomis has been told.

Episode 14

Episode 14 (podomatic link)

Episode 14 (podbay link)

Episode 14 (archive.org link)

Episode 14 (textual script link)

Welcome back, Willie. Hope I did you some justice.

The Promise of What Praise Can Do “Margaret Josette Dupres (A Novel)” [Note 9]

more b and w

All right, my readers. Back to this. I’ve been in such a creeped out, science-fiction mood by all the tech addictions, folks being programmed to stalk me (as well as each other,) and people wandering around putting “follows” on everything I do rather than just saying, “I liked this, this and this in your 14th Episode,” so we can move on to Episode 15, etc. I feel the need to try and focus on something positive.

Now where were we?

Ohhhhh, yeah. The Widows Hill love affair. That blew me away. I just thought, “Well, where else are you two up for making new memories to wipe out that bad stuff? A-ha! The big one!”

Chapter 18: A Warm Night On Widows Hill

This actually starts off with a sequence of Carolyn Stoddard and Tony Peterson making out with a glimpse of what our star couple is doing nearby. It’s always nice to gravitate to the first couple that I worried about on Dark Shadows. Of course they get distracted because Barnabas and Maggie (as Josette) are clearly having a trysting that is more intimate than Tony & Carolyn themselves. They decide to find another bench so all may enjoy the evening as privately as possible.

Let’s hit this old review from Osheen I love on the T-rated version:

Osheen Nevoy chapter __ Feb 4, 2014
Nice to see Carolyn and Tony Peterson together! I always feel that poor ol’ Tony deserves more attention than he gets … he does rather get sidelined once Jerry Lacy takes on the mantle of playing the repellent Trask family! Anyway, good to see him and Carolyn having a bit of fun, without angst, misunderstandings, and/or vampires and witches getting in the way. And cleansing Widow’s Hill is a great concept – extremely brave on the part of our hero and heroine, of course, so it just shows how, in this case, love really does conquer all. I wonder if this will make the Widows stop wailing and causing trouble!

That is just gold because it was exactly what I was shooting for. She knows the characters and she knows the score. I would say the Widows would go from wailing to having a good “Oh, my!” giggle for a change. ❤

myhrr chapter 18 . May 6, 2014

wonderful…as always!

Thank you!

Helena Clara Bouchet chapter 18 . May 6, 2014

Oh, what a brilliant idea for them. Widow’s Hill was that place of devastation for them. I believe that their lovemaking twenty feet from the cliff to be what they needed in their case in order to fade out what happened there almost 200 years before. It was also sweet to have Tony and Carolyn to be eyewitnesses to these “ravenous” lovers, and I found it interesting that Carolyn was glad that Josette/ Maggie entered the picture with reference to the weird relationship between her and Barnabas through vampirism (creepy as it is). I hope this is a healing factor for them. Very nice, Daryl 😉

And thank you again. Mostly what I’ve gotten is private discussion about this chapter, but yes, Helena says it strait. A healing factor indeed.

With Chapter 19: A Delicate Splendour, it was a race home to escape the previous tryst outdoors. Would there be more? Not as one might think. It’s more in the realm of “after-play” which I really hadn’t seen before in what romantic stories I delved into. Very often a couple may just go to sleep, or move away from each other as if the experience was a wipe out or needs to be discarded like finishing a film. I hear tell not a lot of folks know of this “after-play” experience in love. Gosh! No wonder the world of romance has dwindled! Then again people who do know about this are rather too busy engaging in it so we don’t hear from them much. 😉

As it happens there is discussion during this scene in Josette’s bedroom, about what Maggie’s existence with so many different memories is like for her. In my first draft I actually did get a critique I needed because originally Josette expressed the love would have been as wonderful if they had been married in 1795. My friend objected that she thought it wouldn’t, and it dawned on me she was very right. The reincarnation and conquering tragedies to reach each other almost two centuries later? That is what made it more spectacular. This was the kind of critique that was extremely helpful. Sadly many have drawn the conclusion about what constructive criticism is, believing it to be pointing out flaw after flaw to the result being that flaws are all the eye will search for. This really achieves nothing but the creator feeling her efforts are futile. However, when a good point is made regarding the depth of the characters? That is helpful. And so the change was made. 🙂

Helena Clara Bouchet chapter 19 . May 9, 2014

This was a beautifully-written chapter from Barnabas’ point of view. It’s nice to know that he could express his desire through the written word. Cool 🙂 (I wonder if Willie was getting complaints about the couple’s unavailability? 😉 )

Ah, yes. There is a little interruption on their way up the stairs by Willie who can’t get them to listen. He has good news, but realizes they’re at it again and it can wait. He’s got a gal of his own so he’s been quite understanding.

 katie chapter 19 . May 9, 2014

Beautifully written! You captured the passion of 200 years, while letting Barnabas remain the charming gentleman that is his true nature.

Thank you! It is very much what I saw when going over most of the program. Just finding a point to jump in and rearrange the variables for an upswing.

It used to puzzle, annoy and anger me to see stuff written about Barnabas Collins where supposed fans just don’t get him at all. It makes me feel as if I’m reading a Star Trek article that is gung-ho about Captain Jean-Luc Picard, only to discover the fan is intensely irritable about Picard’s love for Shakespeare or his playing Dixon Hill. Nowadays I find it sadly hilarious. Barnabas Collins pining for his lost-love? Okay, I’ve grown up on Edgar Allan Poe: “Boo-hoo, the lost Lenore…” I can dig it. In fact, I’ve been wanting to re-investigate some of Poe’s romantic work. It’s rather reminiscent of Barnabas and no wonder: Dark Shadows is based on the classics.

“Wretches, ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride,

And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her—that she died!

How shall the ritual, then, be read? the requiem how be sung

By you—by yours, the evil eye,—by yours, the slanderous tongue

That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?”

Hmm! Poe’s “Lenore”. Seems rather familiar here. Although many fans just hate Josette because she’s pretty.

Now back to the fun.

Chapter 20: Willie Toilet Papers Collinwood

Yes, you read that correctly! I had this sticky note clinging to our tea-cabinet that would remind me I really wanted to see Willie Loomis and Nurse Jackson TP The Great House. I wanted it for the radio drama but I had to hold-off for a long time to figure out why the audience was so blasted speechless. So the note kept looming for Mr. Loomis. And when this novel took over, I was still loving Willie and I thought, “Just write it like he’s remembering it and telling someone.” (Truth be told I needed a hard cider to get started. ha ha)

Nurse Jackson is about as close to a combo of original character and peripheral Dark Shadows character as I’ve had to ever flesh out. (Caleb Collins was easier as he has a lot of back-history and I understand ghosts and Victoriana.) I mainly recalled Nurse Jackson taking care of Willie Loomis when Barnabas and Dr. Hoffman go to retrieve him from Wyndcliff. It wasn’t much but I’m still working on her. No first name, so for a while I just called her “Jackie”, but then knowing Willie’s love of jewels I found it would be a delight to give her a gem stone name. Currently I’ve decided on Cora as shortened from Coral, which is a gem of the sea and not the most precious or expensive, but for Mr. Loomis? Perfect. (However I’ll manage her better in the third draft of this novel, I’m sure.)

Willie pretty

With Willie’s habits of making trouble to either get attention or from being so exposed to it socially in his past, the solution I see for him is a lady with the ability to appreciate his mischievous side and encourage more innocent versions of mischief. Would not a nurse understand him? I believe she would!

However, for a romantic novel? Toilet papering the roof led to other things. ❤

myhrr chapter 20 . May 14, 2014

Aww! Willie and his lady’s unbridled passion made me smile. Warmed the cockles of my heart it did!

Me too!

Ms. Karen Trask chapter 20 . May 14, 2014

I really enjoyed reading this. I was there with them as they enjoyed hurling the toilet paper over the side. They probably could hear me laughing along with them. I enjoyed hearing Willie describe his adventure with Josette/Maggie and really got the sense that they were friends and cared about each other. As to the lovemaking, it was great to hear Willie struggling to explain how it felt/he felt about being close to someone. As always at the end, I wanted to hear more about Willie’s adventure.

Nice story!

Yay! I actually got lucky with this one. There was a group page in which pornography was being discussed and the lady who wrote this review had asked, “What’s wrong with porn?” So I jumped in as I’d just posted this chapter and asked, “Hey! Wanna review my Willie Loomis porn?” Sometimes we just gotta be blatant, right?

Helena Clara Bouchet chapter 20 . May 14, 2014

I’m waiting for Elizabeth to find out and rant against Roger for allowing the toliet papering party to happen now 🙂 Willie has a companion to finally be with him. Although he called her Josette, I’m wondering if it was the Maggie part that was really enjoying his escapade. But then again, Josette was loosening up with port. This was a good Willie chapter, and I’m looking forward to more on the new couple 🙂

Me too. I’ve been working on Barnabas/Josette so long it really would be nice to get back to the other couples. And I must laugh with this idea Helena waits for. Elizabeth getting home and possibly seeing the toilet paper and declaring, “Roger Collins! I can see you’ve let the winds of indulgence overrule any common sense!”

Veritas chapter 20 . May 14, 2014

Aww Willie loves! I so looked forward to this chapter and now that I’ve read it I’m looking for more! This was so beautiful.

This girl is gonna be so good for him! I knew that if he got the right girl things would start looking up for him, and here she is!

I love that he finally called her Josette. After Barnabas and all his shenanigans what with the kidnapping and frantic obsession, you’d think Willie would either want to throttle someone or jump from Widow’s Hill if and when he heard it again.

So so soooo much love for this! Keep going!

I do aim to. It’s so wonderful to see kindred spirits coming out. I know these reviews are two years old and I am receiving some new ones which I love, but as I say I needed to focus on something positive today.

My husband and I are celebrating 23 years as a couple together this weekend. And no, it doesn’t make me feel old, it makes me feel good to see, after all our own struggles, here we are still, and so much better thanks to this creation and all the loving support for it.

Darkest blessings to all here.

leaning in over banister new

Peace.