"No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere."
~~Sheryl Crow

Hi all,

I hope you're enjoying some nice weather!  Spring has... hopefully... settled in where I am but last Thursday's burst of snow does make me wonder! 

This newsletter is a bit of a mix-matched piece because I've actually been devoting most of my "JABB time" to organizing Dyeland info.  So, for the first time ever, the JABB Calendar is actually pretty complete and the current character database is getting there!  My hope is these efforts will guard against continuity errors but we'll see!  Those of you who read stories may notice a bit of tweaking on older ones.  I'm not doing anything to change the overall tone of a story but the thing with flash forwards is, when I wrote them, I didn't really know how the characters/stories would evolve.  I do note these alterations at the bottom of impacted stories.

I think that's it.  On with the newsletter!

God bless,

Top Ten Signs I Need to Get Back to Watching TBAA

So, as many of you know, the surge in writing/organizing activity has prevented me from doing my weekly TBAA episode reviews which means I never finished going through Season 9.  And, actually, I haven't watched TBAA at all in months.  Not because I don't want to!  It's just every time I think I have parceled out some time for it, something happens or inspiration strikes and I end up writing instead.  But certain things have made me realize I *really* need to get back to it like...

10.  My memory is growing very fuzzy on what's TBAA canon and what's JABB "fanon."  For example, I can't remember if Andrew getting twangy when emotional is something I decided to go with or if John Dye's accent really did sneak out more during emotional scenes.

9.  I did just see Monica and Tess on a TV show last night... but it was iZombie and they were call girls.  So... not "our" Monica and Tess!  And, weirdly, there was even a red convertible that may have been a Cadillac.  (I'm car stupid so have no idea.)  But when you're watching a show about zombies and get kinda sappy about a couple one-shot characters and a car... maybe time to watch some TBAA.

8.  I would really like to, at some point, do a short story about how Joshua helped Kelly recover after Jesse's death.  That period is briefly described in "The Carpenter" but it would be nice to explore it in more detail and that's a lil hard to do when my memories of "As It Is in Heaven" are several years old.

7.  I still get irritated whenever I see a TBAA screenshot with one of those awful Hallmark Channel logos on it...  I've got to rid the Photo Gallery of those!

6.  Andrew's facial hair.  Need to see it!

5.  I really do consider the Dyeland stories to be a continuation of the story we saw on Touched.  So it's fun to go back and watch the show and, even during really sad parts, think "I know what's coming for you... and it's awesome!"  I miss that!  It just makes watching the show so much more fun and also reminds me of things I forgot but can integrate into the characters' current stories.  Honestly, it's healthier for me to do that then just leave the characters as that dubious finale did.

4.  Along those lines, I miss watching a show where I know where the characters are going.  I have shows I watch now but it's hard to connect to characters since, for all I know, they'll morph into evil, despicable people.  I may have had my issues with Monica, in particular, but I know she'll never turn evil!

3.  Ya'll sometimes allude to stuff in emails that I have no memory of and I know I've seen every episode!  Clearly I need a refresher!

2.  I miss the music...  I miss the idealism...  Okay, so I'm in all-out nostalgic mode.

1.  Adam with long hair!!!  Yes, I will forever be an Andrew fan chiefly.  But that hair...

Ask a JABB Co-Founder

Every so often I get asked questions about JABB and Dyeland so I thought I'd address a few of those for everyone to read as opposed to just via personal email.  Here goes!

Question: When you create new characters, do you imagine them as particular actors?

Answer:  For the most part, no.  Or sometimes I'll initially think of them as a certain actor but as the character evolves, they cease looking like that.  However, sometimes the actor/character match sticks.  A few examples:

Eli- From the beginning, I imagined him as resembling Jesse L. Martin and that association remains.  I loved Mr. Martin in RENT and since Eli can sing... why not have him share that awesome voice, too?

Robert Chandler- Ron Perlman sans make-up.  I always envisioned Robert as being kinda gruff but also with a sense of humor and gentleness.  Mr. Perlman has brought those facets to various roles and, plus, it's just fun for me to imagine LJA having two father figures both "played" by the same man.

Zeke Wilson- When I started "The Carpenter," I didn't want the fellow playing Judas to be African American just because I know it has bothered some people to have "the traitor" be black.  But... I soon realized that no matter how I described Zeke in the story, any time he sang I would envision Carl Anderson who played Judas in the 1973 film version of Jesus Christ Superstar.  So I decided to just embrace that which ended up being a good thing because it also opened up other aspects of the Wilson family's story line, in particular Ivy's and Sy's relationship, which in turn allowed me to show how far Doreen Lee has come.  Of course, it was bittersweet since Mr. Anderson has passed away but, in a way, I think that makes my depiction of Zeke a lil deeper than it might have been otherwise. 

Doug and Toby (Tobias) Harmon- Admittedly, it was going to be very hard for me to imagine someone other than Ted Neeley playing Jesus in JCS.  However, the entire plot of "The Carpenter" revolved around Joshua taking on his own portrayal and he has a very distinctive look of his own.  And then add to it, too, that as much as I adore the 1973 depiction, I even more loved the more mature version of Jesus that Mr. Neeley brought to life in later stage productions.  (Keeping in mind that 33 then is NOT the same as 33 now so a modern fifty or even sixtysomething person playing Jesus may actually be more accurate.)  So I decided that Doug would actually be "played" by Ted Neeley.  I ended up really loving that idea because the 1973 version is what started the whole JCS craze for me so it made sense to imagine the same fellow playing the Jesus that started the JCS craze at St. Genesius'.  But that's not all!  ;-)  Since Toby is supposed to strongly resemble his father, I imagine him as 1970s era Ted Neeley.  So there's another "double role."

Question: Would it be possible for someone to stumble on Dyeland accidentally like through the alley portal?*

Answer: Accidentally for them, yes.  ;-)  Mick actually did this but it was because God wanted him in Dyeland.  At this point, I don't think anyone could, say, brush against the alley wall and end up in Dyeland.  While I didn't really delve too much into it, my suspicion is Joshua locked down all the Dyeland portals and made them all accessible only by key once he was able to dole out the keys.  But it still remains possible for God to send someone to Dyeland as it pleases Him, key or no key.

Question: I'm assuming it's a closed system - they're not going to find a lost tribe (Lord of the Flies!) on one of the islands or hiding out the amusement park, right? Nothing like Paracelsus' group in the Tunnels....*

Answer: Yes, the citizens of Roanoke are actually there.  ;-)  Just kidding.  Actually, at one point a member did want to go that route and since I didn't have any story lines in mind at the time (this was possibly as long as a decade ago), I agreed.  There was even a mystery island on the Dyeland map where this drama was supposed to start.  However, that member left before the plot really went anywhere and it didn't interest me enough to pursue on my own so I literally wiped the island from the map.  There is a "lost tribe," so to speak, in Fr. Mike's family, also known as the Asterians.  However, they're harmless and quite friendly with the Dyelanders.  Their numbers have significantly diminished with most of their children immigrating to Earth.  Therefore, they were very happy when the Dyelanders showed up because it was much nicer to think of people keeping the place up than it all just falling into disrepair once the last of the Asterians dies off.  And maybe they won't!  Fr. Mike has siblings so possibly some of his nieces and nephews will move back to Asteri/Dyeland and the two communities will live together in harmony, likely intermarrying at some point.

*Big thanks to Kim for supplying these questions!

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for helping to create such a compelling character that, almost two decades after Andrew arrived on scene, I'm still in touch with what interested me as a teenager.  Sometimes it's very nice to go back to simpler times and realize just how great one's teenaged interests really are.

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