"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.
Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."
~~Helen Keller

Hi all,

Before I get to the newsletter, just a bit of a "programming note."

The next issue will come out on February 3rd and will be dedicated to the anniversary of John Dye's birth.  I'd like to send something on the actual day, January 31st, but I don't think that's going to be possible since I've ended up with an unplanned but necessary home improvement job that I need to take care of.  So that means the annual Valentine's stories will be sent on February 17th.  So we'll just be a few days off for a bit!

Anyway, I hope you're all doing well and if you're impacted by the winter storms: stay safe and warm!

God bless,

So as we start 2019, I've been thinking about what I'd like to get accomplished this year with JABB.  Since I could use some help with some of it, I thought I'd share.

Hopes and Plans for JABB in 2019

1.  This year, I'm going to attempt to avoid writing any lengthy, big issue stories in favor of writing more but shorter character focused pieces including...

2.  I'd love to finally get around to writing the story about how Joshua and Kellie made amends following Jesse's death.  It's hinted at in other stories and I think Marty figures in somehow.  But I'd really like to delve into how that went and how Kellie went from who we saw at the end of "As It Is in Heaven" to the largely earthbound caseworker who we see in the Dyeland stories.

3.  Andrew hated Halloween.  That's well established.  But JenniAnn loves it.  So they've managed to find a way of celebrating in a more cute, colorful, harvest-themed sort of way.  But people can only keep aspects of themselves in check for so long...  When Violeta comes home with a copy of Stephen King's Pet Semetary that a classmate lent her, JenniAnn finds herself remembering the King-reading, horror-movie-watching teenager that she once was.  Andrew has to reconsider some of his viewpoints or risk suppressing what could be a very important aspect of his anam cara's psyche.

4.  So this one has some very heavy topics but I still think it'll be quicker to write than, say, "Broken Hallelujahs."  The Friends discover in ways both heartbreaking and encouraging that things aren't always as they seem.  When one of their own attempts suicide, the group is left confused, shaken, and distraught.  Meanwhile, Andrew's shocked when an old friend resurfaces, seeking aid for his protege who was among the victims of a hate crime against indigenous peoples.  Little do any of them know that the troubled Friend and broken angel are linked.

5.  Beyond stories, I'd really like to get the Dyeland Character Birthdates list completely updated.  Right now it's pretty hit or miss and I need to get to a point where that's updated every time a new character is introduced.  Which brings me to...

6.  I need to standardize how I create new characters.  As it is now, I come up with a character and immediately thrust them into a plot and then three stories later I want to, say, reference their age or hair color and have no idea if I've already established either.  So I think I'll start filling out a form like the following and will ask others to do the same if they introduce anyone.

Full name:
Date of birth:
Physical description:
Family situation:

That will, hopefully, cut down on discrepancies and confusion on my part.  As best as possible, I'll go back and fill that in for existing characters, too, in case anyone else wants to take a stab at writing.  Meanwhile, if anyone is reading past stories and comes across physical descriptions of characters, please let me know.  While some are very well established in my head, others are a blur.  I'm very clear on all characters from TBAA, of course!  :-)

7.  Just for fun, I'm also working on a list of characters' names, their meanings, and origins.  I hope to release that soon but if anyone wants to peruse it first, please let me know.  Again, it's probably hit and miss with some folks' left off accidentally.

8.  On a non-story note, I really, really hope this is the year I can finish getting the Hallmark snaps off the TBAA Photo Gallery and replaced with ones from the official DVDs.  It really put a damper on things when I discovered my screenshot program doesn't work on this computer.  I'd also really like to redo the snaps from Seasons 2-4 which, for reasons unknown to me now, I made really small.  So... if anyone knows of a good, reasonably priced screenshot program that works on Windows 10, please let me know!

9.  I plan to release a short story next Sunday, January 27th, in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  I wrote most of it following my visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C. this past autumn.  It mostly involves Joshua and JenniAnn but Andrew is featured.  I'll post a link on the Updates page next Sunday.

10.  Finally... I'd just really like to get the Encyclopedia, Timeline, etc. updated with information from "Broken Hallelujahs" on.  I feel really, really behind!

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for contributing to the show that, along with Friends, got me into drinking coffee... something that's been very nice during my city's recent cold snap.

JABB Portal
JABB 536

(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.)