"You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime,
and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing
and grace before I dip the pen in the ink." ~~G.K. Chesterton

Hi all!

Happy anniversary!  Technically, JABB's anniversary was yesterday but I decided to turn it into a weekend celebration.  :-)  So pour some orange juice and ginger ale and enjoy!

God bless,


So I did this last year and decided it would be a rather nice annual exercise.  Therefore, I present...

My Sixteen Favorite Memories of JABB's Sixteenth Year
(more or less in chronological order)

1.  Seasons 8 and 9 of TBAA getting released on DVD!!!  I just feel so much better knowing all of TBAA is saved for posterity and without commercials or cut scenes or funky station logos!  Yay!!!

2.  Definitely writing "Ivy."  Not only did I get to create a lovely new character but it made me really nostalgic in a good way.  Between revisiting the geography of my alma mater as I mentally walked through the halls of Our Lady of Hope and honoring a favorite teacher via Mr. Spelman, it made last summer rather magical.  Also, bullying was an issue I really wish TBAA coulda explored more so now, in a way, I feel like they did.

3.  Not gonna lie... rediscovering the yumminess that is cake dip, especially red velvet cake dip, was definitely a highlight.  Later this week, I'll be making the orange creamsicle flavor.  Yum!

Writing "Once More."  It seems like a simple, not particularly important story but that's when I really had to buckle down and commit to some ideas I've had in the works for years and years.

5.  "The Coffee Summit."  Definitely.  Now, I can't say I'll ever be able to watch "Netherlands" without wanting to throw things at the TV or puter but...  at least now I can write for Monica without wanting to throw things at myself.  ;-)  And, seriously, Arthur is a goldmine of potential stories.  It's just too bad I can't read that story without craving Panera's Sierra Turkey sandwich with a chai.  Also... yay, Jack!!!

6.  I can't remember exactly when I did this but I got all of JABB's web files moved to a more secure place.  Not terribly exciting but it just feels good to have that done.  It was also cool cause looking at those files made me realize 1. how many there are! and 2. how much the site has evolved.

7.  For the first time in a very long time, adding someone else's work to the Author's Cut!  Kim's "Shelter from the Storm" did what I'm increasingly wanting our stories to do (highlight real life issues) and also gave us our first real glimpse of Arthur and Monica together.

8.  And then came "The Truth."  I don't even really know why but I was just really into that story which is kinda weird since my favorite characters (Andrew and Joshua) aren't even in it that much.  Maybe I just liked the challenge of working with a relatively new dyad.  Whatever the reason, it was just a really neat writing experience for me.

9.  Reaching the totally unforeseen and, IMO, pretty staggering milestone of 400 JABB newsletters.  I also love that it ended up coinciding with "The Christmas Rose."  Which brings me to...

10.  That gray car pulling up to the apartment and three very special people getting out...

11.  Reading Kim's "To Love Another Person" with the prerequisite re-viewing of Les Miserables.  Violeta, totally getting ya with the Hugh Jackman thing.  ;-)  But, seriously, I enjoyed reading something and having no idea what Andrew, LJA, Violeta, Max, etc. were gonna do or say.

12.  Belle is born!!!  "Promises of Someday" was, in some ways, rather sobering to write and research but... new baby!!!  And Andrew with new baby!!!  Now... how long do you think it'll take before Facebook stops showing me new parent ads?  Ha!

13.  This past year with JABB has also been a lot of fun musically.  The "Ivy" play list is one of my favorites and the "Promises" one sent me hunting for an old record I used to love as a kid.  Found it!  And then there was listening to Jesus Christ Superstar over and over and over...

14.  Actually, I had a lot of fun with those questionnaires I've had Andrew, Adam, Arthur, Monica, LJA, and Violeta fill out in the last couples newsletters (that haven't been permanently linked up yet hence no links here).  I always get a kick out of how, even though I'm writing them, things will pop out that surprise me!

15.  "Meeting" Emma, Peter, Kylie, Clay, Edward, Caleb, Diana, Zeke, Sy, Hailey, Kendra, Shane, Yoktan, Randall, Dot, Doug, Lucy, Toby, Mrs. Everly, Maddy, Olivia, Shannon, Dusty, Samson, Sean, Moishe, Betty, "Yoel," and a slew of other people as well as getting to know other characters more especially Maryam, Yosef, Yohannan, and... Joshua.

16.  Finishing "The Carpenter."


So that was JABB's 16th year in a nutshell.  Now you just get me rambling some more!  Rather than a brief lil one or two liner, I think this "in honor of John" section needs a bit more attention today.  So here goes...

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for all of the following 16 reasons:

1.  Being so cute/dreamy/adorable/hot/whatever the "in" word was in 1998 that my shy little self decided to get on board with running an online fan group thing dedicated to him.

2.  Helping me and so many of us through life's assorted traumas and dramas, many of which I'm sure were unimaginable to us when TBAA first began.  However, its message still encourages and comforts us.

3.  Reminding us, over and over, that God loves us... no matter what and doing it in such a way that I couldn't resist jumping on the bandwagon.

4.  Setting me on a path that began with goofy top tens and stories that make me cringe now but led to writing stories and reading stories from others that have actual substance and message.

5.  Being the inspiration behind this community where I've made friends and, hopefully, been a good friend.

6.  Nudging me back into learning.  I was pretty burnt out when I left college but all this writing has helped me rediscover how worthwhile research and reading can be.

7.  Giving me some of the very few periods of time this year when I just sat and watched TV and vegged.  I can't wait to get back to my weekly TBAA episode reviews!

8.  Bringing to life a character so inspiring and kind and intriguing that here I am sixteen years after this JABB gig started and I still don't feel ready to bid Andrew adieu!

9.  Getting me back into so many hobbies I abandoned over the years.  Through trying to memorialize John via acts of kindness, I rediscovered a lot of my old crafting loves: knitting, plastic canvas, thread angels, modge podge, etc. 

0.  Being the impetus for me reclaiming my Theology nerd status which at least somewhat justifies the expense of four years of Jesuit college.  ;-)

 11.  Inspiring me to visit new places (a labyrinth, the South) and try new things (grits, collard greens)!

12.  Somehow always pulling me back to his work, TBAA in particular, even when life got so hectic.  Without that, I know JABB wouldn't still be here.

13.  Helping me to become a stronger person.  I have so loved these sixteen years but there have definitely been rough patches.  I've learned how to stick to my guns and do what I think is right even if it's not particularly popular.

14.  Giving me and I hope lots of others an opportunity to grow in our faith.  Through watching TBAA but even more through writing, I've learned so much more about the Bible and Judeo-Christian thought than I even knew leaving 17 years of Catholic school.

15.  Enabling me to accomplish one of my life goals: doing something no one else has ever done.  I'm pretty sure no one else is spending 16 years running a website in part devoted to the continued adventures of a bunch of angels, their human friends, and a member of the Trinity in NYC, L.A., NE, and, of course, Dyeland.  So there's that.  :-)

16.  Making sixteen years seem like not enough time.  So on JABB goes!


JABB 416

(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 profit.)