"Giorraíonn beirt bóthar."
"Two people shorten a road."
~~Irish saying

Hi all,

Happy St. Patrick's Day a bit early!  Stay safe and have fun!

St. Patrick's Day has always been more than a bit special in Dyeland.  Not only is a large segment of their population at least partly Irish but March 17th, 2000 is also when Andrew first met the Dyelanders.  Since then, they've celebrated it as some combination of a group anniversary and Andrew's and JenniAnn's anniversary.  Well, this year it's going to become even more significant!  Kim has written two stories to explain exactly why that is!  :-)  So I'm going to turn it over to her now and then I'll be back to share my latest time-sucking obsession with you. 

God bless,


A Message from Kim

Hello all! As Jenni said, I'm excited to present "Never-Ending Road" which follows Kemara and Sean through their engagement, and "Here Is My Heart" which focuses on their St. Patrick's Day wedding.

Working on these stories has certainly been an education! I've researched pre-Cana classes, personality types, natural family planning, engagement/wedding rings, ski resorts, taking care of nearly-newborns, bridal stores in Tribeca, Middle Eastern restaurants in Woodstock, everything Celtic you can possibly think of; and I've planned a full nuptial Mass including Scripture readings and music....Oh, and the reception afterward!

As Dyeland's first engaged/married couple (in this generation!) I wanted to show romance between Kemara and Sean without going over the top. They do talk about previous romantic encounters, and Kemara charts her monthly cycle (that's part of NFP). Don't worry, it's all PG-rated at most. If you visit the Friends of Joshua forum, you'll see that our couple(s) discuss things a wee bit more frankly.

Chunks of this story were written in real-time. If weather is mentioned, I looked it up for that place/date. Lovely Bride, Laughing Man and Hunter's Mountain Ski Resort do exist. And yes, there's a restaurant in Woodstock, NY, called Joshua's Cafe that sells Middle Eastern cuisine. I've created a Pinterest board for the wedding where you can see Kemara's wedding dress, Sean's ring and other interesting stuff.

I hope you enjoy Kemara and Sean's journey to couple-hood and marriage as much as I've enjoyed writing it. Huge thanks to Jenni for her advice, critiques, prayers - written and otherwise, and especially for Father Mike's excellent wedding homily. It's a must-read! Thanks and much love to Joshua who keeps me going every day, and to my angel of inspiration who loves to feed me ideas when I'm at work, on deadline and totally unable to even jot down a note.


Fun with Tropes

Thanks, Kim!

So... over the past year, thank to one of you (you know who you are!) I got a lil bit addicted to this site: TV Tropes.  In short, it covers an abundance of themes and conventions that get repeated over and over on TV shows and in movies, books, myths, songs, etc.  As I glanced through the massive site, I couldn't help noting what tropes the Dyeland stories contain.  Thus, I'm sharing my by no means exhaustive list just because I figure I may as well make my time-sucking obsession work for something.  :-)  (Seriously, you go on there to just look up one thing and suddenly two hours have passed and you're reading about hair symbolism.)  Here goes...

Can't Have Sex Ever- Arthur and Monica... owing to the latter being an angel, of course.  Perhaps surprisingly, this actually doesn't apply to Andrew and JenniAnn since neither would have sex even if they could on account of their shared Asexuality.  (Jury is out... and will remain out... on whether this trope fits biblical era Maryam and Yosef or not.)  All three dyads mentioned here, in their current states, could also lay claim to Chastity Couple.

Childhood Friend Romance- Definitely Maryam and Yosef.  Due to their parents' friendships, the two grew up i
n consistently close contact and, in fact, have known each other since Maryam was fourteen or so days old.  In the years to come, this will also apply to Liam and Belle and potentially other children of the Friends of Joshua group.

Cry into Chest- We gather here to remember and celebrate the lives of several of Andrew's and Joshua's shirts who, sadly, suffered irreparable (not really) damage when being cried on by numerous characters although, to be fair, it was sometimes the shoulders that were cried on.  Still... this happens.  A lot. 

One Head Taller- The men of Dyeland are consistently one head taller than the women.  Why?  Because recent Dyeland stories are largely written by two short women who are writing what they know... well, at least in this respect.  :-)

The Four Loves-  Yay, agape!  I could be wrong but I don't think there's a single character who doesn't fall into one or more of these categories.  Some even fall into all four with Diana and Zeke currently getting the most attention.

Her Boyfriend's Jacket- It exists in a fairly legit form (Emma wears one of Peter's shirts at one point) but is also somewhat subverted in that Joshua's clothes get worn by several characters who are close to him and, naturally, none of them are his boyfriend/girlfriend.  Also, Andrew's shirts are continuously "borrowed" and not only by JenniAnn.  Of late, Violeta has snagged a couple and she certainly has no romantic attachment to Andrew.

Incompatible Orientation- Andrew spent several years being a bit unnerved by JenniAnn's attentions because he thought this was happening.  But then it turned out she was asexual, too, so... compatible!  A rather creepy incident of this really happens, however, when a woman takes a shine to Joshua during a visit to a ladies' Bible Study in "The Carpenter."  Doubly weird in that not only do they not have compatible sexualities (she's straight, he's asexual [although he was heterosexual during the Incarnation per "The King"]) but he's also, ya know, God.

Innocent Cohabitation- Andrew and JenniAnn, Arthur and Monica, and Emma and Peter all live together platonically.  Emma and Peter will eventually marry and cease being platonic.  The angels and humans will, of course, remain platonic.

Kissing Cousins- Belle and Liam.  Of course, they're not genetically related at all.  Joshua has a lot of this in his family tree...

Lap Pillow- JenniAnn resorts to this when Andrew's in a state.  It first happens after a PTSD incident in "Abide With Me" and then again after the revelation that Chava is a Holocaust survivor.

Love at First Sight- Max claims to have loved Rose from the moment he saw her.  JenniAnn was more "crush at first sight" with Andrew as I really don't think a four year old could truly fall in love.  Maryam apparently backs me up because she refers to her own connection to Yosef at that age as a crush and I highly doubt LJA would pull off a more mature connection than the Mother of God.

Loving a Shadow- Andrew and JenniAnn have an odd variant on this.  As mentioned above, LJA had a crush on Andrew starting at age four.  However, she didn't even know his name and dubbed him "Cupid" because he resembled the character in her "Cupid and Psyche" picture book.  So the reality was likely that she had a crush on the idea of Andrew/Cupid.  Then came a murky period of her meeting Andrew and having a crush on him but not having the clearest idea of who Andrew really was.  Then things got even murkier when she started dating Eliot and they both eventually realized they'd only gotten together because they were both in love with the idea of being in love given their friends were pairing off.  Finally, JenniAnn fell properly and irrevocably in love with the real Andrew and he was a shadow no more.

Marry for Love- Maryam and Yosef are very clear on this being the reason they got married.  It's further explained that their own parents married for love and, thus, wished the same for them even though it was very much the era and culture of arranged marriages.

Mayfly-December Romance- Alas, Eli and Josef know the pain of this.  Beth and Mick fear it.  Andrew and Monica will eventually face it with JenniAnn and Arthur.

Romance on the Set- Joshua seems to have used St. Genesius' Community Theatre as same sort of dating service for his kids.  In a very good way, I might add!  Emma and Peter are the main example but the Superstar production also brought Clay and Kylie together and got Andrew and JenniAnn to an even more stable stage (pun intended).  Ivy and Sy also became a couple because of the production albeit indirectly.

Opposites Attract- Kemara and Sean!  See the stories linked above for proof.

Second Love- Several characters only found "the one" after previous failed relationships.  Kylie was married to horrid Jett before meeting and falling in love with Clay.  Diana had a serious but detrimental relationship before meeting Zeke.  Eliot dated JenniAnn before romancing Brittony who he has since happily married.

Shipper on Deck- Though he's not a loud mouth about it, Joshua is this with pretty much every couple.  That being said, he also firmly believes not everyone is supposed to be part of a romantic dyad.  And he would know.

Even Evil Has Standards- While I hesitate to label Yehuda as evil, he definitely did something evil (betraying Yeshua/Joshua).  However, he tries to intervene when Emma is being sexually harassed.   

Divine Race Lift- Sadly, Joshua being Middle Eastern almost qualifies for this since Jesus is often depicted as a white man despite being of Middle Eastern descent.  Emma is even initially opposed to Joshua playing Jesus because he doesn't fit the modern Jesus look: light skinned with gorgeous hair and handsome features.

God Before Dogma- Joshua is a proponent of this and many of the Friends have taken this to heart with Fr. Mike and Rabbi Yakov becoming increasingly outspoken despite the fact that it unnerves some of their congregants and could, for Fr. Mike, lead to major problems from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

Hot God-  Subverted.  No one thinks Joshua is hot.  He's more than okay with that.

Save Your Diety- While Joshua is never in actual peril in any of the stories, several of the Friends tried to finesse situations in order to spare him from hurt feelings.  Andrew left JenniAnn home alone with him (and Belle) in hopes she'd finally clue into the fact that he's Jesus.  Ivy followed Emma into the restroom to have a few private moments to talk Joshua up.  Zeke and Co. convened a secret meeting behind Joshua's back to try to deal with the Emma situation.  And so on.

Parental Substitute- Andrew and JenniAnn to Max and Shelby and, to some extent, also with Violeta.

Honorary Uncle- The Friends have their children refer to all their friends as "Aunt X" and "Uncle Y" which is what leads to Belle's and Liam's Kissing Cousins status. 

Family of Choice- This has long been true in Dyeland and the Tunnels but now also
applies to the whole of the Friends of Joshua group. 

Grow Old With Me
- The reason Andrew and Monica decide to age.  They don't want to remain young looking while JenniAnn and Arthur age.  It also serves a practical purpose, too, since they have children who would be negatively impacted by parents who never age.

Doomed by Canon- I loved Lor.  A lot.  But Beauty and the Beast had Vincent abandoned as a baby and while I could come up with a reason why one parent might have inadvertently lost him, I couldn't figure out how both parents could still be living and present at his birth and yet somehow he ends up in a trash heap behind St. Vincent's Hospital (canon).  So poor Lor died...  This is also why Yosef died before Yeshua's public ministry.  While the Bible doesn't explicitly state when Joseph died, his absence pretty much implies he was no longer living when Jesus set out from Nazareth. 

Actually, I Am Him- When she was young and before she'd ever set foot on Earth, Violeta read and heard loads about a man named Jesus.  So she asked her beloved Joshua to let her meet this Jesus fellow.  And then this trope happened.

All-Loving Hero- Joshua.  But they're all aspiring to be this.

Heroic BSOD- Andrew has a couple of these.  He has a breakdown after losing an assignment in a very disturbing way and attempts to cope with that by withdrawing from his friends.  He's less culpable when it happens again in "Abide With Me" when he starts believing JenniAnn is a figment of his imagination and he can't hear God.  In that case, he was suffering from PTSD and TBI so was genuinely psychologically compromised.

And I'm going to stop there because my computer is beginning to protest my rapid fire clicking from trope to trope.  ;-)


This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye who, through Andrew, has totally fed into the myth-loving, fairy tale fancing aspect of my Irish heritage.  Without the Dyeland stories, I'm not sure I'd spend quite so much time debating the meaning of "anam cara" or listening to Celtic music for inspiration.  And that would be sad, indeed!

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