|"At times our own light goes out and
is rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of
those who have lighted the flame within us."
Well, at long last, I'm finished with "The
King" which was actually supposed to be part of "The
Carpenter"... all of which was supposed to be finished
by Easter Sunday. Andrew would be appalled at my
tardiness. ;-) However, there are many reasons I'm
glad for the delay. Those stories were still with me
through some trials and it helped to get home and delve back
into their world. I spose I've not quite adjusted back
so this newsletter is short and reflective but from the heart
(although sans easter egg). In two weeks, I'll probably
have the Dyelanders weigh in on what they're thankful for but,
for right now, I'll stick with my own viewpoint. This is
JABB's 17th Thanksgiving season and so it seems fitting to
Seventeen Things for Which I'm
Thankful Because JABB Wouldn't Be the Same Without
1. I'm thankful for my dog, Danika, who has been
exceedingly patient with a distracted mommy this year.
Barring a few instances of her setting her wet nose on my
keyboard, she's dealt extremely well with my late night
writing sessions and angst-induced jaunts through the house
which routinely disturbed her nap time. (Oops.)
2. Chai. This past year,
probably 80% of what's ended up on the web site was the
product of chai. 10% was coffee and the other 10%
was sugary cereal... yes, including Froot Loops.
3. Google. I'm not sure how I would have pulled
off those two stories without searches ranging from "Aramaic
names" to "baby eczema" to "how to become a Baptist minister"
and things I don't even want to mention!
4. I'm grateful that, if the site crashed at all this
year, I was blissfully unaware. And I hope I haven't
just jinxed it...
5. Colors! While I may slog through writing at
times, it's always way fun for me to pick color schemes and
graphics for these web pages. Relaxing, too!
6. Catholic guilt. No, seriously. That's
just a load of story fodder right there. I think "The
Carpenter" would be about 50% shorter without it.
7. Sleepy Hollow and Once Upon a Time.
Okay, so I love those shows but sometimes they annoy the heck
out of me. The former sometimes freaks me out so badly
that I end up writing Dyeland adorableness to combat it and
the latter can be so frustratingly forgetful that it keeps me
committed to continuity with Dyeland.
8. My job. Not only does it
pay the bills, offer a chance to converse with people
face-to-face, and allow me to do some good but I'm pretty
sure it's keeping me from getting carpal tunnel syndrome
because, without it, I can't be entirely sure that I
wouldn't be writing all the time. Not to mention, I'm
not entirely sure all Dyeland, all the time would be really
good for my mental health! Although it would be
9. My family. Either directly or indirectly,
they've inspired some of what ends up in JABB stories.
And gotta hand it to my parents for raising me to be able to
keep myself entertained. JABB is a lot owing to their
"How can you be bored? Go read a book!" parenting style.
10. All the actors, writers,
musicians, and other creatives who have inspired and touched
me. Obviously this includes the folks behind Touched,
Beauty and the Beast, and Moonlight whose
characters found their way to Dyeland. While it would
be impossible to name all my inspirations, I gotta give
kudos to C.S. Lewis, Rich Mullins, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim
Rice, and Fr. Joseph Girzone without whom "The Carpenter"
saga would likely not have happened or at least not played
out as it did.
11. All the people I asked random questions of without
them realizing why I was asking... Sometimes when Google
doesn't do the trick, I gotta do a lil personal investigating
to get the info I need for stories.
12. Jesuits and Servites. I
was educated in institutions run by each religious order for
four years apiece. While I can't say it was always
awesome (coulda done without learning about the virgin
martyrs), it definitely changed me and gave me a lot of
resources and research methods that I still use and sure
used a lot when it came to writing about Joshua and Co.
13. Call blocking! Towards the end of "The King,"
I was frustrated to the point of tears because every time I
got into writing, a political robocall would come
through. And then I got call blocking... Heavenly,
creativity-inducing silence reigned!
14. Sleep. I'm finally
catching up on it! JABB was going to get really
incoherent, really fast without it!
15. Sr. Florence. I met her in high school and she
was the one who introduced the concept of anam caras to
me. I had no idea how important that idea would become.
16. All of you who have weighed in
with your feedback, counsel, and creativity this year!
It has been so awesome to actually get to read Dyeland
stories that I didn't write! But, more than that, I'm
grateful for your friendship. Love ya!
17. Joshua/Yeshua/Jesus. Sometimes I wish that it
hadn't taken me so long to incorporate Him. But I think
He was waiting until He was most needed (He tends to do that)
and I'm grateful for that and for Him.
This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye
who I will forever be thankful for and to. While many
people, ideas, and things have gone into aspects of JABB;
there simply wouldn't be a JABB at all without him.
(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.)