|"Many of my
cartoons are not a belly laugh.
I go for nostalgia, the lump in the throat,
the tear in the eye, the tug in the heart." ~~Bil
Happy anniversary! Seventeen years! Wow!
So glad to be here writing this even though it remains a
lil shocking. I wonder what my fifteen year old self
As for my nearly 33 year old self, I'm happy and glad to
be starting my two-week vacation! What a way to
celebrate! I hope you all can celebrate a bit, too,
today! Thanks for being a part of JABB!
I'm sticking with tradition again for this one so I
My Seventeen Favorite Memories of
JABB's Seventeenth Year
(more or less in
chronological order... and with story spoilers if
you're not caught up)
1. Finally getting around to starting to phase out the
Hallmark Channel-derived Season 9 screen shots. While
it's been slow going, I'm at least making progress and
getting a new computer wasn't quite the catastrophe I
thought it might be. I finally found a decent program
that works on Willowveil (which is what I named this
puter). All this did lead to an amusing moment when I
had to call Dell tech support for help in adjusting my
monitor's color and, to demonstrate the problem, used two
screen shots of Andrew from "Feather on the Breath of
God." The tech guy used a clip from Batman v. Superman. I liked
my test better. :-)
2. Getting to read Dyeland stories that I didn't
author! JABB's 17th year included stories by Heather,
Kim, and Pia and so I've been quite happy reading and not
knowing *exactly* what's coming along.
3. As for my own writing... Finally finishing "The
King"! It wasn't even supposed to exist.
It's just that "The
Carpenter" took soooo long for me to write that I
finally found a stopping place, ended it, and put the rest
into a second "book." As much as I loved writing them,
it was intense and I'm still making up for all the housework
that got ignored so completing that particular story was
definitely a good memory!
4. Creating Liam! I'd had him in mind for months
and, in November, I was able to bring him to fictional
life. I think Arthur and Monica are pretty happy about
5. Writing "The
Family Tree," in particular the opening. As a
Catholic, St. Joseph looms large and yet we know so little
about him. While I know it's all pretend, I really
enjoyed getting to know the young Yosef in those first two
scenes. The story as a whole was also good for me
because I was kind of nervous about how to prominently
feature Joshua in stories post "The King." I feel more
assured about that now and it started with "Tree."
6. Completing the not so fun task of putting "The
Carpenter" and "The King" information on the Timeline
and the Encyclopedia.
Rereading stories is fun. Rereading them and stopping
every few seconds to add something to a page or two... not
so much fun. So finally finishing that? Awesome!
7. Designing the JABB Portal.
I just think it makes more sense and I've found it
handy. I hope others have, too. Plus, it was fun
to use different software than I'm used to.
8. Adding the Friends
of Joshua Forum. I wish this summer hadn't been
such a bust with it but between "Shadowlands" and real
life busyness, I haven't had much time. Nonetheless, I
look forward to returning to it soon. It's nice to
have a place to explore conversation between characters that
don't fit neatly into stories.
9. Clay's and
Kylie's dual proposals in "A
Cord of Three Strands." I loved all of the big
relationship moments in that story but, for whatever reason,
that one really got to me.
10. Okay, I'll admit that I really enjoyed writing the
opening to "Friend
of My Soul" aka "Fifty Shades of Flannel." I
liked thinking that maybe, even if just for a few moments,
readers might have thought I'd completely lost my mind and
gotten pulled into the whole Fifty Shades
craze. On a more serious note, it was also pretty
therapeutic. Those TV ads were driving me bonkers and
writing that was a nice way to refocus.
11. Creating/updating various pages so that they were
actually useful like... Vital
Stats, the JABB
for Writing Dyeland Stories, and Biblical
12. The first Friends wedding! Kim's "Here
is My Heart" brought us the first of what's sure to be
a flurry of weddings. I really do think they should
all start buying ribbon, balloons, tulle, etc. in bulk.
13. Looping another flash forward! With "Shadowlands,"
I finally got back around to putting the ending of "Possibilities"
into its proper context. I always feel relieved when I
do that and don't have to retcon too much.
14. Meeting Reuel and the people of El-Chanan.
For a while now, I've wondered if Joshua might have other
lands beyond Earth and Asteriana/Dyeland. It was cool
to finally visit one of those places. And Dyeland got
its first principality character!
15. The "parade of dead people." So there's the
truth... Originally, Lor, Cora, Sophia, and several
other deceased characters were supposed to return for the
Christmas 2010 story. In talking to a friend about my
idea, I jokingly referred to it as "the parade of dead
people." However, I ended up going a different route
Be With You" and it just didn't work out. So I
put it off for a bit. And then John passed
away... It didn't seem right to have a bunch of
spirits around and no John. And I absolutely was not
going to write John into the story. So nothing came of
it. Finally, this summer, I was able to bring Lor,
Cora, and Sophia back into play and, to make it even more
special, Chava, David, Badriya, and Jamey joined them.
16. The Kiss. I never really intended for it to
happen but whilst writing "Shadowlands,"
it just seemed right that Andrew and JenniAnn would
then. If having a near death experience and leaving to
battle demons isn't a good enough reason to kiss (briefly
and sweetly... don't panic, non-Dyeland readers!), I really
don't know what is.
17. Downloading a newer version of one of the very
first graphics programs I used for JABB. Look what I
can do again!!! Andrew surrounded by fireflies and
stars! Because who doesn't want that?!?
This newsletter is dedicated to John
for the following seventeen reasons:
1. Having lovely shaggy hair and (briefly) a goatee
in Season 9. Those two things make facing the
monotony of screen capping S9 (again) worthwhile.
2. How to say this... His quiet political
stances? With so much going on in the world and so
many people hopping on their soap boxes over every little
thing, I miss John quietly but without embarrassment
taking up causes and working for them without turning it
into a "look at me doing good!" sideshow.
3. Portraying a gentleman in Andrew. That's
not to say I don't respect him for playing Manion.
But Manion was never presented as anything other than
loathsome. In the age of Mr. Grey and his abundance
of mixed messages, I'm glad I spent my teen years crushing
on a fictional hero who was adamantly opposed to violence
against women and who thought exploitation was best met
with a baseball bat.
4. Giving me several more reasons to have a special
dessert: JABB's Anniversary, John's birthday, Andrew's
birthday, TOTGA Day, and so many more!
5. Providing me, however inadvertently, with a
platform for dealing with often disheartening news.
The Dyeland stories and, in particular, Andrew's role in
them has often been the way I process devastating news
6. Inspiring a return to my childhood love of Chuck
Taylor Converses My ankles thank him.
7. Producing not one but two very layered
characters. After repeated viewings, I'm still not
always sure what to make of Doc Hock and Andrew.
While I wish the writers of both shows, but especially
TBAA, had given John more dialogue to express his
characters' inner-workings, his silent moments seemed to
hint at so much more going on under the surface of those
characters. I think that's the reason I never really
tire of them.
8. Keeping me interested long enough that what I
write here could move away from strictly goofy top tens
and such to some of the lumps, tears, and tugs that Mr.
Keane references above.
9. Helping me to become a bit more
self-sufficient. Because of John, I've traveled
alone, made those arrangements alone, met people alone
(not unsafely), and more.
10. Pretty much ensuring I'm never bored.
Except for brief lulls at work, I've basically forgotten
that boredom exists. Even if I can think of nothing
else to do, there's John-starring TV and movies to watch
and John-inspired stories to read and write and this
honking site to keep up.
11. Enabling me to write about Joshua. While
I'd like to think I woulda eventually started writing
about Him even without TBAA and Andrew, I can't say that
with any confidence. I think starting from that
comfort zone really allowed me to launch into "and now...
12. Making my transition to an e-reader so much
nicer. As some of you know, I was very resistant to
the whole e-book thing but... it is awfully nice to
revisit Dyeland stories from the cozy comfort of my bed.
13. Helping me
to grow more confident. Years ago, the idea of
putting something out there for anyone in the world to
read woulda seemed terribly scary. Now I do it often
without even thinking! At least two times a month
14. Keeping me amused during mundane and boring
tasks like dusting, washing dishes, filing, etc. I
can't even tell ya how many ideas for Andrew-centric story
plotlines come to me when I do those things.
15. I know I've said it before but I am truly, truly
grateful to John for bringing so many great friends into
my life! While some of us may never meet beyond the
screen, I value your friendship.
16. For just plain inspiring 17 really fun,
sometimes funny, and always enriching years with
JABB. From the mundane (how to save as a gif) to the
profound (what is the nature of God's relationship to
humankind?), JABB has pushed me to seek out answers and I
hope it does the same for all of you, too.
17. Giving us endless opportunities to impart that
all important truth: God loves you!
on this page are
by an Angel and
owned by CBS
are not being used
to seek profit.)