”For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and
next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
~~T.S. Eliot

Hi all,

Welcome to the first JABB of 2019!  I hope you all had fun ringing in the New Year!

God bless,

Today marks 23 years since "The One That Got Away" first aired and Andrew made his introduction both to Monica and viewers.  Of course, as many devoted TBAA viewers have noted, later TBAA episodes contradicted TOTGA and had Monica and Andrew working together prior to the mid-1990s.  One wonders what scenarios the TBAA writers for those episodes had in their heads about how the two first met.  We'll never know but thinking about it prompted me to remember character introductions I once considered and later abandoned.  Here are just a few...

Note: I didn't link up the stories mentioned but you can find all the links here: http://www.miscjabb.onthisside.net/storyindex.html

1.  While writing "The Carpenter," I briefly toyed with having John/Yohannan appear as a mysterious stranger who kept popping up at opportune times.  Sort of like how he just happens to be around to help Emma when Derek accosts her.  But I decided I liked him better as a known presence who could hang around with Joshua.  Plus, with Yehuda, I ended up with a different mysterious stranger.

2.  I believe I've mentioned this before but Max, using a different name that I don't recall, was supposed to be introduced as an assignment who Andrew chose to take on human form for while in Afghanistan... only for Andrew to have to watch his beloved assignment be killed.  Then it was going to be up to JenniAnn and Co. to bring Andrew out of the resulting depression and PTSD.  But... then I recalled that Rose was supposed to eventually marry a military man and I just couldn't resist the coolness of Andrew sacrificing his well-being for someone who, unbeknownst to him, was one of his friend's happily ever after.  So Max lived.  Yay!

3.  Peter was supposed to be a sort of mix between existing Peter and early Eric.  Among other things, he was going to be an alcoholic.  He wouldn't have been as toxic as early Eric but also not exactly the gentleman we see in TC.  But then I decided I wanted him to wind up with Emma and, thus, he needed to be more pulled together.  He was also supposed to be white but I decided he was mixed race because... well, I'm just gonna admit that I didn't want to put yet another White Jesus out there.  It ended up being a really good decision, though, because I really like the scene where he and Joshua talk about the racism they've experienced.

4.  If you read the very early instances of Violeta, you can tell that my original concept of her character was quite different than what we have now.  I love the current Violeta so much that I struggle to remember what I was planning originally.  I think I meant for her to be a foil for JenniAnn and even for them to have a bit of a rivalry over Andrew.  Not that Violeta had feelings for Andrew.  It would have been more like a kid getting jealous of the attention their dad pays to their step-mom.  But by the time I wrote "Ivy," I really liked the idea of Violeta almost seeming to prefer JenniAnn over Andrew.  Which, for the record, I don't think she actually does love JenniAnn more than Andrew.  I think it's more that, as a female who spent the bulk of her life in Paradise, Violeta is more reliant on JenniAnn to show her how to navigate through the world.

5.  I didn't originally intend for Daisy to be related to any of the Friends although I did plan for one of them to adopt her.  She was just going to be a very young trafficking victim who the Friends took into their fold.  But then it occurred to me that it would be really cool if this mission that Josef chose to take on to honor his beloved Sarah also ended up leading him to the last remaining branch of his family tree.  

6.  In terms of "Chrysalis," I also never thought Isra's sister, Salma, would be anything but dead.  But I was drawn to the idea of the Friends' mission being very, very personal for one of them and, when I looked back, I realized that Salma's death was only related as hearsay.  So I decided she would be among the people who FS and the Friends rescued.

And now for characters I opted not to introduce but originally intended to...

7.  Max's mother.  At points, I've considered having Max's mom resurface.  However, following "Shadowlands" and all the awful stuff Rex, Max's father, did... I decided Max had enough family trauma. So while I'll never say never, I don't foresee her re-entering his life.

8.  Monica's competition.  I actually really liked the idea of introducing another female, human character who Arthur had sparks with.  And then him having to reckon with whether he wanted to stay with Monica or try to make it work with this woman who he could have children with and live a "normal" human life with.  He would have ended up choosing Monica but it would have been a real test of their relationship.  But then little Liam popped into my head.  And he was, obviously, cuter than some grown woman.  :-)  So I kept him.  I did still think that, maybe in the future, Arthur's devotion could be tested but, as time goes on, I find the idea less and less appealing.  With Liam in the mix, I just don't like the idea of Arthur considering blowing up his family over a woman.

9.  Cephas aka St. Peter.  While writing "Broken Hallelujahs" and having decided that Fr. Mike would split from the Catholic Church, I considered having the First Pope appear in the scene where Fr. Mike and Kyle are welcomed into the El-Chananite Church.  But the more I thought about it, it just felt kind of mean.  It just wasn't coming from a good place.  I wanted to bring Peter in because I was angry and it was going to be like "Ha!  I'm using your First Pope as the head of *my* Church."  Don't get me wrong.  I'm sure Cephas cares very much for the El-Chananite Church as he does the real life Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, etc., etc. churches.  But it just felt weird to put him in a robe and fancy hat and make a big deal out of it.  That's not to say Cephas won't eventually make a modern day appearance.  But, when he does, he's more likely to be sitting in a lawn chair fishing and sipping a brewsky than holding court over a bunch of bishops.

10.  JenniAnn's guardian angel.  I didn't even name this character but did intend for him to be male.  Just imagine this guy...  He would have had a front row seat to all of the Andrew/JenniAnn drama.  And now he'd have a front row seat to the Andrew/JenniAnn happily ever after.  The levels of awkwardness...  I ended up deciding that Joshua probably told him that he was free to leave and do whatever he pleased when Andrew was around JenniAnn.  Who knows.  Maybe he'll show up in an April Fool's story or something.

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for bring us twenty three years of Andrew!  While he may have only played him for 7.5 years, the legacy continues!

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