“…everything has a
past. Everything – a person, an object, a word,
If you don’t know the past, you can’t understand the
present and plan properly for the future.”
~~ Chaim Potok, Davita's Harp
Well, you know what they say... God laughs when we make
plans. I'd planned to spend today calmly and contentedly
writing the newsletter... and then one of my mom's dogs ran
off. Thank God, she was found safe. But it was a bit
of a disruption and I lost control of my day after that.
So... since I was getting pretty good traction of my current
story before that happened, I'm going to get back to that.
In the meantime, here are more tropes I stockpiled for just such
I hope you have a good week ahead!
Completely random tropes with no unifying theme... commence!
Conga Line- Look, "Shadowlands" wasn't fun for
anybody. But I'd argue that Andrew experienced the truest
example of a Trauma Conga Line. First, his anam cara is shot
and no one's sure she's going to pull through. Then it turns
out the gunman is Max's birth father. So Andrew has to deal
with his own resulting emotions and Max falling apart over the
fact that his birth father may have killed the only mother he's
ever really had. Also, JenniAnn's parents aren't being very
nice. Shelby is regressing. Violeta is targeted by
demons. Belle has no idea what's going on. And, again,
Andrew is dealing with all of that and, oh yeah, JenniAnn is still
in a coma. Thank God she eventually wakes up but soon after
all of the Friends, Andrew included, are sent psychotic dreams by
the demons. So then Andrew decides to go confront the
demons... in Sheol. And he also finds out that this is all
happening because said demons have been angry and out of control
since their horrid sex cult thing got ended by the Great Flood...
which I'm sure was triggering in a number of ways for poor, ol'
Andrew. Thankfully, he triumphs over the demons and reunites
with JenniAnn and their children and the Friends and Joshua is
there but... I don't think any of us would blame Andrew if he
doesn't still have nightmares about that period.
Juxtaposition- Avi is born shortly before the elder Jacob
Wells (Father) dies. Father is able to hold his
great-grandson once, which sends him into a reverie about baby
Vincent, before he peacefully passes away.
All My Sins Remembered- Mick, Josef, and Vincent... aka the
characters who have actually killed people... struggle with
this. Especially with Josef, Joshua has his work cut out for
him in convincing them that they're forgiven and worthy of his
love. Thankfully, Joshua succeeds in getting through to
Josef (as if anyone doubted he would) in "Immortality."
The Atoner- While he's calmed down since accepting Joshua's
forgiveness, there will always be an element of this in
Josef. He blames himself for Sarah's death, for not finding
and rescuing Daisy sooner, and all the sketchy behavior that comes
with being a vampire. So he'll spend the rest of his life
fighting human trafficking.
Sexuality- This is pretty much JenniAnn when it comes to
Andrew. Granted, she's asexual so Single-Target Romantic Attraction is
likely more accurate. While she had a relationship with
Eliot, that was less about Eliot and more about following societal
and familial expectations. And they never even came close to
consummating their relationship. Granted, Andrew and
JenniAnn have also never consummated their relationship in the
usual way but... I think it's a done deal emotionally and
spiritually. In a similar vein, if you're reading Maryam's
and Yosef's relationship from a traditionally Catholic
perspective... that's fine. I've written it so that people
can fill in the blanks as they see fit. But I have trouble
considering their relationship unconsummated. Maybe it is
physically. But in every other manner... no. I don't
believe any two other people existed who more completely became
one. And one that note... they seem to fit this trope,
too. Maryam, at least, is described as only having eyes for
Yosef from toddlerhood on. Yosef was more hesitant about
romance and marriage in general but when he does come around,
there's no indication he had any intention of pursuing anyone
of Love- JenniAnn used to mix CDs for Andrew. This
seems to have stopped... having five kids kinda takes up one's
time. But they seem to have imported all those songs into
iTunes or something and routinely dance to them.
Woman Seeks Good Man- Honestly, this just seems like common
sense. All of the female characters, except for those who
are too young or do not want a romantic relationship, are seeking
good guys. No one's out there hunting for a "bad boy."
Granted, Emma had a string of "bad boy" relationships but it
wasn't because she wanted a bad guy. She'd just been so
emotionally beaten down that she didn't think she could do
better. Thankfully, Peter came along. The women in
relationships can all easily list off what attracted them to their
partners: Andrew's compassion for JenniAnn, Zeke's gentleness for
Diana, Arthur's generosity for Monica, Kyle's Christlike empathy
for Ana-Maria and so on.
as Courtship- Andrew and JenniAnn, in a manner.
Because JenniAnn had a crush on Andrew and because he had feelings
for her that he largely kept to himself, a romantic streak runs
through all but the first year or two of their friendship.
And then it becomes pretty difficult to tell when exactly their
friendship became something more. Once Joshua arrives on
scene to formally give his blessing, they just sort of slide into
domestic bliss without much fanfare.
Marriage- Any of the anam cara ceremonies would be this...
at least at this point. There is no actual legal contract
between Andrew and JenniAnn or Arthur and Monica. Catherine
and Vincent do refer to themselves as married but, again, there's
no legal element since Vincent is not a legal entity.
Isolde's and Marco's first wedding counts as this since their vows
were exchanged just between the two of them with no officiant to
make it, well, official. They've since been remarried,
legally, by Fr. Mike. To some extent, Isra's and Behnam's
second wedding is this. Because they were already legally
married, there was no need to sign any paperwork. They just
wanted the joyful, celebratory wedding that they'd previously
missed out on. It's worth noting that Joshua views all such
arrangements as moral.
Hug- JenniAnn successfully attempts this when Andrew is
having a nightmare about Afghanistan in "Abide With Me."
Unfortunately, it terrifies Andrew who realizes he could have
seriously hurt her if he hadn't snapped out of it.
Bug- Belle is so much this that her parents even sometimes
call her Cuddlebug. There's an argument to be made that
Joshua has elements of this... albeit better controlled than it is
for Belle. He's very physically affectionate, even touching
people who his society tells him are unclean.
and Cover- In "Chava," David tucks Esther against him and
covers them both with his overcoat to guard against the
cold. Later in the same story, Andrew does the same with
Healing- When Andrew is so distraught after Chava finishes
telling her story, JenniAnn leads him to her bed, takes off his
shoes, and then gets into bed with him. It's all very chaste
but considering how prim they'd been in the past, it's kind of a
big deal for them. Big enough that I actually consider it to
be their version of a consummation. The tradition continues
in "The Carpenter" when they cuddle together while Andrew tells
the story of Joshua's death. In "Broken Hallelujahs," things
get a touch more risque (but still nonsexual) when JenniAnn seeks
a troubled Andrew out and they spend the night in his
workshop. Elsewhere, Isra invites Behnam into her bed after
he has a nightmare about his sister, Badriya. They
consummated their marriage the following night.
Bachelor- Josef. Twice. A playboy, Josef turned
a corner when he met Sarah and decided he wanted to build a life
with her. Unfortunately, after a failed attempt to turn her
into a vampire, Josef returned to his old ways. After
Sarah's death, Josef's social life became a lot tamer.
However, he still never intended to marry. And then along
came Daisy and Amber-Marie... After co-parenting Daisy and
living together, Josef and Amber-Marie fell in love and are now
happily married. We know from the flash forward in
"Immorality" that they remain married until Josef passes away.
Love Interest- Andrew and JenniAnn passed this one around,
back and forth, ad nauseum, for waaay too long. Andrew
thought JenniAnn would be giving up too much in a relationship
with him (sex [keeping in mind he didn't know she was asexual for
several years], marriage, having children) and couldn't see what
he could offer that would counterbalance those sacrifices.
Meanwhile, JenniAnn still sometimes feels like Andrew is far
better looking than she is. It's the rare bit of cynicism in
the Dyeland stories. Sometimes I feel like all the media
messaging directed at women can't be quelled even by someone as
wonderful as Andrew. Long before them, Vincent struggled
with his own poor self image and couldn't imagine Catherine
wanting to share a life with him. And long before him, Lor
faced the same with Cora.
Martyr- There are aspects of this in early Behnam.
Unlike in the usual examples, all the ugliness exists outside of
Isra. Isra's a perfectly nice person. However, Behnam
still has to put up with an awful lot of strife. Their
arranged marriage put the kibosh on Behnam's plans to flee his
evil uncle. It left him tied to a woman who, through no
fault of her own, distrusted him. Traumatized as he was by
his sister's forced marriage and resulting rape, Behnam then found
himself stuck with Isra who initially thought he was
the same sort of monster as Badriya's husband and Uncle.
That had to hurt. A lot. Even after Isra came to
recognize that Behnam wasn't a threat, she still didn't love him
even as he started to develop feelings for her. At the
threat of death, he taught her how to read and planned their
escape after which he planned to release Isra from their
marriage. During all of this, he still had to work with his
despised uncle every single day. Thankfully... Isra came to
realize what a wonderful person Behnam was and fell in love with
him. If not for that, Behnam probably would have been the
most tragic male character in the stories. Well, maybe after
Before Romance- While they started to develop feeling for
each other before this, Isra and Behnam were married for six
months before they became lovers.
in the Future- I really like this one! So far, we know that
Liam and Belle, Daisy and Jacob, and Avi and Evie are married in
Gay Best Friend- Unfortunately, Owen existed solely for this
purpose for JenniAnn up until "The Carpenter" when he got a proper
story line and then in "The King" when he got a boyfriend.
And, eventually, Owen and Graham will get a wedding... just as
soon as I can get back to writing and figure out which of the four
planned stories it best fits into. Nevermind...
Figured it out. It's happening soon. :-)
Gays Love Theatre- But so do virtually all straight people
and all asexual people in the stories. I do think Owen and
Shane have a love for the theatre that pre-dates "The
Carpenter." But so does JenniAnn. And Vincent.
And a slew of other characters. Because theatre is
She Is All Grown Up- This sentiment befalls Liam.
Although he'd started to crush on Belle earlier, he put it behind
him... until she went on a cruise with her grandparents and
returned more mature and grounded. Then Liam falls so hard
that not only his parents but also Belle's brother Avi grow
concerned for him.
Clothes- Andrew likes this one. That being said...
it's coordinated clothes, not matching ones. When he
and JenniAnn are out and about, he likes to coordinate their
clothes. If she wears a blue dress, he'll try to match the
shade with his tie and similar. This is not a case of them
being matchy-matchy where they both wear jeans and red and blue
flannel shirts. That's too much...
Grand Romantic Gesture- For an angel of death, Andrew is
darn good at these. A personal favorite is when, for their
anniversary, he decorated the greenhouse for JenniAnn and set up a
bed... with a symbolic, hand-carved headboard... so they could
sleep beneath the stars.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy- Andrew keeps his feelings to
himself while JenniAnn is dating Eliot for this reason. He
would rather she be happy and apart from him than with him and
unhappy. Thankfully, she's happiest with him... and Eliot's
happiest with Brittony, for that matter. Behnam felt this
way about Isra. His original plan was to get her to the
United States, release her from their arranged marriage, and let
her live her life however she chose, despite his having already
fallen in love with her. But, as it turned out, Isra loved
him back and so once they reached the U.S., it was as man and wife
with their two children.
And I think that'll do it for today!
This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for
just plain being so dreamy in TBAA. :-)
JABB Portal JABB
551 (Photo Credits: The photograph used on this page is
from Touched by an Angel and owned by CBS Productions,
Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. It is
not being used to seek profit.)