|"You say grace
before meals. All right. But I say grace before the
concert and the opera, and grace before the play and
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.
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!
So I did this last year and decided it
would be a rather nice annual exercise. Therefore, I
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!
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.
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,
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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,
10. Being the impetus
for me reclaiming my Theology nerd status which at least
somewhat justifies the expense of four years of Jesuit
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
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!
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.)