not enough to be busy; so are the ants.
The question is: what are we busy about?"
~~Henry David Thoreau
Just been massively busy so... this newsletter is actually
being thrown together on the very day I'm sending it.
Fun! Due to the rush, this newsletter is entirely Q and
A. It's like the cereal for dinner take on JABB: quick
and easy and does the job!
Ask a JABB Co-Founder
(aka ask me since I'm the only co-founder left...)
I am going through some major Dyeland withdrawals.
Just haven't been able to figure in enough time lately to
work on the next big story about Andrew being in
Afghanistan. But I also can't write any short
stories because, well, Andrew's in Afghanistan which means
he can't also be in Dyeland. Therefore, I selected a
couple Dyeland-related questions for this edition of "Ask
a JABB Co-Founder" to try to cope. ;-)
Question: What are the origins behind
some of the nicknames Andrew and other characters have
Answer: Most often they were just spur of the moment
writing decisions. I also like using them cause I
think it's kinda a nice carryover from Tess' pet names on
TBAA. Many nicknames are no longer used much ("Skin
Horse" for Andrew, for example) but of the ones that still
are, here's the story:
"Luscious" for Adam- I'm pretty sure this started when we
used to email in character on the JABB YG. At one
point JenniAnn said Adam looked luscious (I think he was
wearing a beige sweater and jeans so... duh!) and it
stuck. I haven't used it in a while given they
haven't had a whole lot of scenes together and when they
have the scenes have been too serious to throw that in.
"Laja" and "Psyche" for JenniAnn- "Laja" is used only and
extensively by Andrew and is simply how he pronounces the
initials LJA. Ya know things are rocky when he calls
her JenniAnn! Psyche isn't so much a nickname as an
alternate name. When Vincent and Catherine first
found her as a child, she didn't tell them her name so
Vincent dubbed her "Psyche" after the mythological
character. More on that below...
"Andrewkins," "Amish Boy," and "dearest and loveliest" for
Andrew- I think all three of these started with the
Dyeland emails. "Andrewkins" comes courtesy of
Yvette's Yva. "Amish Boy" comes from Nicole's Rose
and has a bit of a backstory. Several years back,
Andrew was on assignment. He'd been gone for a while
and had still not returned for JenniAnn's birthday (July
24). It would have been the first birthday of hers
he'd missed since they re-met. Turns out Andrew was
on an assignment among the Amish and didn't get to leave
until very nearly midnight on July 25th Dyeland
time. LJA took to email to commiserate with her
friends as midnight drew near. In the remaining
moments of the 24th, she reported that there was a strange
man all in black at her door. And he had a
beard. And she didn't recognize him.
Nonetheless, she answered the door. It was
Andrew! And in his mad dash to beat the clock, he
hadn't changed so was still in full Amish garb. He
ended up keeping the beard for a while and when Rose heard
about it all (and no doubt saw a photo with him still
wearing the Amish clothing), she took to calling him
"Amish Boy" cause he was so darn cute like that.
It's stuck even though Andrew has not been living among
the Amish since. "Dearest and loveliest Andrew" is
how LJA often opens her letters to Andrew. It's a
reference to a Mr. Darcy line from Pride and Prejudice
although I can't right now recall if it's in the book or
solely in the Colin Firth version.
Why are all the cultural references so important to
you and pop up so often?
Answer: Honestly, I think it's part of the TV show Beauty
and the Beast's legacy with me. I just
always felt so smart whenever they'd reference a great
novel and I could be like "I know what you're talking
about!!!" I felt the same way whenever TBAA would
make a reference to Henry V or John Donne.
So I'm hoping maybe, on occasion, I can give people that
same confidence boost. Also, I'm not one of those
people who gets snobbish if I find out someone's never
read Dickens or Shakespeare but I do think it makes
one's experience of life so much richer to just have
some basic knowledge about the Classics. So if I
can get someone to go read just one Christina Rossetti
And then there's
the actual tale of Beauty and the Beast...
It's my favorite story and I don't think I could write
anything without it seeping in. So other than the
Great Story (God's), it's probably the one most
represented in the Dyeland stories. For starters,
Vincent and Catherine are actually characters in Dyeland
and, as with the TV show, no one in Dyeland ever
insinuates that they are the Beast and Beauty but we all
get that there's a connection. Vincent named
JenniAnn "Psyche" because she was drawn to a storybook
version of the myth of "Cupid and Psyche" which many
view as the oldest version of the "tale as old as
time." The musical version of Disney's film also
provided a nifty element with Belle's song "Home" which
got some play in the story "In the House of the Lord"
which was itself a story about finding home... whether
it be a house, Heaven, or in the love shared between
friends and family. Whew!
And... it's not entirely improbable that Beauty and
the Beast and the Great Story track together in
Dyeland. I believe in a theory posited by C.S.
Lewis that God put bits of Himself and His plan in the
myths of our ancestors. If you think about it, Beauty
and the Beast is a story of incarnation.
Belle (in an act of sacrifice) leaves her home and
dwells with the Beast. Because of her love for
him, he reclaims his original, glorified state.
It's this element that I think is most important to the
Dyeland plot. Andrew serves a function very much
like Beauty in that he leaves his Home to dwell among
the humans and reminds them of their true identity as
God's children then, in time, delivers them Home to
exist eternally and perfectly. On the flip side,
Andrew also recognizes that his friends, time and again,
have cast aside the easy and comfortable life to be with
him during his times of tribulation and
self-doubt. So that's why, in "Tale as Old as
Time," Andrew and JenniAnn can't come to any agreement
about whether he's the Beast and the humans are Beauty
or vice versa. The beauty (pardon the pun)
of those relationships is that they're both at different
times as needed. I think, with time, it will begin
to dawn on them that there's a very good reason remnants
of this tale keeps popping up in their lives.
I could say more about this but I think I've gone on long
enough and, anyway, if I continue I run the distinct risk
of posting a spoiler about the color-changing rose God
left in Andrew's house. Yes, it does mean
Now to Dyeland's resident advice
Dear Annie Dru,
I have a bit of a dilemma. Ya see, I have this
friend... and I do literally mean a friend... who is
going out with this guy. He's the lead singer
in a heavy metal band. Not a famous one or
anything. Garage band sorta thing. She
really likes him and he seems like a nice
sort. She's asked me to go to one of his
concerts and I feel like I should to show
support. But I'm intimidated by the
crowd. It's not really my scene. I
mentioned this to an AOD friend and he offered to go
with me. I'd love that but I'm not sure it'd
be fair to him to expose him to a bunch of angry
ranting music. I've listened to one of the
band's CDs and some of the lyrics are definitely not
very angelic! Should I go alone? Should
I take my AOD friend even if it might upset
him? Please let me know what you think.
Rock n Roll Bestie
It is important to support our friends.
Unless there is something morally repugnant about
the music (i.e. it promotes violence and/or
bigotry) or the locale is truly unsafe, I think
you should go to the concert. And, yes, I
think you should bring your AOD friend. I
know we always want to take care of them but not a
one is a shrinking violet. I truly doubt
they'll hear anything at that concert that they
haven't heard a million times before from angry,
jaded assignments. We all know they've had
plenty of those! And who knows? Maybe
there's someone there who needs to have a brush
with an angel. If nothing else it might
afford you both the opportunity to purchase
concert T-shirts and I know I'd love to see Tess'
expression upon glimpsing one of her angel boys
running around with a skull and crossbones or
whatever the kids are wearing these days!
Dear Annie Dru,
So I know this angel who is on assignment as a
lawyer. Would it be totally classless to get
free legal advice and help from him? I know I
could wait until after the assignment is over but
what if it's a "need to know basis" thing and once
he's done with the assignment he'll lose all
knowledge of the law?
Needs Advice... Twice
Any idea if any of the angels are
going to have dermatology-related assignments
soon? Because I have this mole on my back...
Your answer is
yes, it would be off-base for you to use your
friendship with an angel to get free legal
services. Even if this friend wasn't an
angel, it would be wrong to assume any friend will give
you something for free that they usually charge
for. We all lead busy lives, angels
included, and when we get time away from work the
last thing we want to do is the same work we just
If, however, your real intention is merely to
swing by the angel's temporary office and admire
him in full lawyerly suit and tie... you have my
permission to ask them some goofy legal question
so long as you don't interfere with their
Follow up: Letter writer has reported that she was,
indeed, only seeking legal advice in order to have a
little face time with one of our beloved AODs.
I've been asked to report that Adam looks fantastic
in a gray pinstripe suit with lavender tie and that,
yes, it is illegal to go whale fishing in the state
of Nebraska... and also impossible.
this newsletter to John's part in helping me find
the beauty in autumn again. Fall used to be
my favorite season. The colors! The
smells! The increasing darkness!
(Yeah, I know that makes me sound like a Batman
villain. But I'm not. I love the Light
but when we're talking literal day versus night...
I do prefer the quiet beauty of the night.)
However, for a while there I associated the autumn
with some sad things so, in effect, lost my
favorite season. But for a few years there
having TBAA return every September gave me a bit
of brightness during that difficult season.
The prospect of seeing John as Andrew took some of
the sting out of autumn. You'd think that
now, without John playing a part in the return of
the TV season, I might go back to my sad
autumns. But I've not because now those
colors, smells, and the increasing darkness remind
me of those giddy September evenings when John
would appear on screen and all would be
well. In spite of all that has happened, I
still find happiness there. Have a blessed
(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page
are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS
Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water
Productions. They are not being used to seek