"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."
~~Albert Schweitzer

Hi all,

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 present...

Seventeen Things for Which I'm Thankful Because JABB Wouldn't Be the Same Without 'Em!

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 fun...  ;-)

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.


JABB 424

(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.)