Samantha’s Diary… ***Some DS Fan Fiction I’m playing with***

As a little girl, I remained in a Boston private school for girls, thanks to the generosity of Roger Collins and Elizabeth Stoddard.  They have been like surrogate parents to me in my absence from Collinsport for years. Roger always said that I wasn’t facing reality by avoiding going “home”.  But which place was or is home? Is it the house where my mother, Claudette tortured me for the first seven years of my existence, or Collinwood, which was my shelter from many of her storms?

Then there was that place in the mausoleum.  Willie doesn’t even know of it, I think.  I would sneak into there and dream I had a guardian angel watching over me there.  At least I knew my mother would never set foot in the cemetery.  I remember dreaming about that faceless dark angel with a calming voice.  He’d carry me through the woods, teaching me about the birds and trees and such and the sun always shone there. In short, this entity was the phantom father I created in my mind, I suppose.  At least the shrink says as much to me.   I’ve written many songs about filling that gaping hole in my memories as well as my chest.

I somehow learned to write with penmanship from a time gone by. I won awards for it and I still prefer my quill to a fountain pen. I mastered math in my head long before I had access to a calculator.  A large part of me wants to return, and another side of me totally dreads this.  I keep having dreams of a duel, people dying, voices calling my name, and for what purpose? The worst ones are of me drowning in another time and place when I was still quite young, a long dress weighing me down as if it were a ship’s anchor, and something cracking my skull and knocking me out after struggling to come back to the surface.  I always manage to wake up shaking and sweating after those. I fear water so much! Why me? Did my mother damage me so much that I cannot tell what is reality from fantasy any longer?  I’m wondering if the dreams are symbolic.  Whatever. It doesn’t matter at this point.

I know it is time to return to Collinsport.  Elizabeth and Maggie have begged me for months.  I suppose it is time to revisit the grave of the child I once was, and can never be again.  Sometimes an infected wound must be thoroughly drained and cleaned before it can heal.  Hopefully it will not leave a scar that is too noticeable.  At least it is what the one familiar male voice says to me in those damned dreams I have every night as of late.

Only now the dreams are getting stronger, and the voices more clear.  No matter how many psych meds the doctors put me on or how many gigs I do just so I can pass out and sleep after the ambien, they are there…They are waiting for me…It’s only the voice of that dark angel that doesn’t torment me.  All he says to me lately is, “Perhaps you should reconsider this endless journey you are on and come visit your family.  You are every bit a Collins now even if not by blood.” he says.   Funny how Roger and Elizabeth keep reminding me that they do  consider me thus.  There I go–talking like he does.  Dammit I am truly done for the night–until those dreams start-up again…

—S.R.T.  April 3, 1990

The blah blah blah of Writing…Characterization and random thoughts…

Have you ever reached a point to where you just want to kill off every character you put in your own story, much like they did in the “Black Adder” series once?  Well I have…I have heard it all this week…”Send the character over the cataract or make them a bloody messiah!”, “Give your main character a tragic flaw”, etc…etc…etc…

When breathing life into or smothering my characters to death, I do not see the logic in having   “A” tragic flaw rather than several.  I also see no logic for NOT having at least one sardonic bitch in my story be it male or female. I have met men who make better bitches than some of the other females that I encounter anyway.  I also like putting dark wit wherever possible.  Also my “villain”  might be someone people can actually empathize with–much to my mentor’s dismay…She likes villains to be pure a-holes–clearly defined as EVIL.  Why?  In reality you can say Charles Manson is an ultimate villain of sorts. But in reality, was Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton or even Obama?  OR is it a matter of perception only?  It’s just a thought I felt that I should toss about because anyone who has ever been pissed at a politician of either side of the coin can relate to it.  Better yet, are WE our own worst enemies in labeling people as such?  Hmmm…What a question to pose given the political climate of the past 35 years or so…The “villains” I had most empathy for in my lifetime were Barnabas Collins of  “Dark Shadows” (the 1992 version with Ben Cross–it seemed more plausible and realistic) and  Bruce Dern‘s portrayal of  astronaut Freeman Lowell in “Silent Running” (1972).   Quite frankly, I’d really LOVE  to see Mr. Cross and Mr. Dern work together…I know it probably will not happen, but they are both freaking brilliant in their portrayals of any character thrown at them.

I also had a tremendous empathy for Jonathan Frid‘s version of Barnabas…I felt that he was “bullied” by Angelique.  If I had met Lara Parker as a child, I am 100% certain that I would have kicked her in the shins and ran for my dear life! I was a kindergartener that ran home every day to watch the original version!

For those who have never seen “Silent Running” I strongly urge you to watch it.  Here is a damned good clip with Mr. Dern here:

And for those of you who really admire how Ben Cross played Barnabas, here is a clip–which he played pretty damned well, I might add…I used a clip showing the bad side of him too–and after watching it, I certainly wouldn’t want to be on that actor’s shit list! Not that he’d be like this, but that voice alone would definitely command some freaking respect, don’t you think? :

Anyway there are times I write purely for my amusement and my version of Dark Shadows is one of those projects…One can tell when they read it, it is much inspired not just by my love of the show, but from movies such as “Spirit of the Beehive”, “Frankenstein”, “Paperhouse”, which is a strange movie but deals with the perspective of child emotions rather well, and I also deal with the perspective of a severely abused child–my main character, who thinks that while Barnabas guided her from his crypt, was only an imaginary friend. Barnabas, however, was meant to guide her in the present time.  Much of their encounters took place prior to her departure from Collinsport at age 8 to attend private school in Boston, per Elizabeth and Roger after they get guardianship of her.

In my version, the child is going to grow up to be the catalyst for resolving all things past and present.  I was really pissed off that Barnabas “declared” his love for Angelique in the end of the ’72 series when in fact, any psychotic bitch that did to a man what she did to him would never have been loved, but rather LOATHED.  To me that was unrealistic and done in haste.

While I am not giving my whole story away, I am going to point out there that I only wrote it because I get pissed off at all the crap that people toss  about with regard to characterization.  To resolve it and answer questions as to HOW Barnabas  knows about certain aspects of technology and historical information in the present, an outside character really has to be used for this. The characters of Willy, Maggie and others are “boxed” in due to the original adaptations of it, so I dug my own “good little girl” in the form of my character from the deepest recesses of the pit of my imagination.  Believe me, given what she has endured at the hands of her crazy bitch mother, the fact that she is actually “good” is amazing–but there are flaws she has…She trusts nobody-really…She keeps to herself even as a celebrity, and she feels that all she experienced was in her imagination.  She fears things that she remembers from time to time.  Her best friend up until she returns to Collinsport (outside of her band) is her dog…Can you fans of the ’92 series guess what I named him?    😀

I will reveal one thing…If anyone plays the part of the ghost of my new character’s dad someday (if I ever get this out there), I hope to hell it’s  Matthew McConaughey because he’d be perfect for that part.  As for the part of younger Barnabas there would have to be two younger people playing him as a boy and a young man, and then an older man to play him at age 50-55 (the namesake) in the present time.  Don’t ask…I won’t tell how that works, but it’s in there 🙂 !  I dug deeper than hell to explain things in a logical light…That time-space continuum that my character has to fix is a bitch to deal with but I finally worked it out…

Now for the big decision…Do I make my characters “messianic” and admirable, make them grey or send them all over the bloody cataract?  Stay tuned…Same bat time! Same bat channel!