“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others.
Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”
~~ Bob Hope

Hi all,

So first... a special announcement!  I felt like this was too early to start the annual Christmas story but if I waited until the next newsletter then it would fall after Christmas Day.  Thus, I've decided to send a newsletter next Sunday, too, which will start the story.  I haven't quite decided if I'll stretch the story out until January 6th but it will be a "chapter a day" sort of thing until it's finished.  So once you get the link next Sunday, keep checking. 

Also, I finally "finished" my most recent story, "The Messiah."  If you'd like to read it, you can do so here:

If you're wondering why I put finished in quotes, it's because I don't consider a story truly finished until I do a final read-through while adding it to the Encyclopedia.  So if you read it and notice anything amiss, please let me know.  During my last proofing, I realized a character's age changed.  Oops.  Fixed that!

Speaking of "The Messiah," if you're inclined to read it, please do so *before* reading the updates below because they contain significant spoilers.  And it would also be a good idea to read it before the Christmas story because that picks up right where "The Messiah" ends. 

And... I think that's it!

God bless,

Year-End Dyeland Character Updates for 2019

Andrew, JenniAnn, Belle, and Avi- 2019 started off kind of rocky for Andrew and JenniAnn.  There weren't any fights or major dramas or anything like that.  But with five kids and one grandchild and meaningful but time and energy-consuming jobs, quality time together didn't always happen.  Then, during the events of "The Messiah," JenniAnn got so clingy towards Joshua that she started to wish that she'd gone onto Heaven after being shot instead of returning to Earth, Dyeland, and Andrew.  Thankfully, Andrew and JenniAnn reconnected and, with the help of the world's best babysitter aka Joshua, they've been enjoying date nights.

As for Belle and Avi, now almost six years and sixteen months old, respectively, they're living their best lives!  Joshua has been staying with them at Willowveil since April and they've loved having him around so often.

Ivy and Sy (and Violeta)- On May 18th, Ivy and Violeta graduated from Fordham University with their B.A.s in Theology.  At their party that evening, Sy proposed to his longtime girlfriend and she giddily accepted.  The wedding is planned for this summer, once Sy has also graduated.  Violeta will, of course, be the maid of honor.  This past autumn, Ivy re-enrolled at Fordham to pursue a Ph.D. in Theology and M.A. in Ethics and Society.  While Violeta will be forgoing the former, she will be pursuing the M.A. with her bestie since, let's face it, she's not exactly ready for prime time yet with the angel thing.

Max, Rose, and Landon- Max is nearly finished with his training to become a psychiatrist specializing in wartime and violent trauma.  By the summer, he should be able to strike out on his own.  In the meantime, he continues to receive guidance from Dr. Talson.  Max has unofficially taken on a patient, Ibrahim Khalid, who he is helping recover from a hate crime and troubled childhood. 

Rose has returned to teaching Below, having taken over the History classes from Vincent.  She loves being able to take Landon to work with her where he's able to hang out with his two-weeks-younger "Uncle" Avi and see his Gamma JenniAnn.  Rose has also started up a Quidditch team among the older students in the Tunnels. 

Unlike Max's parents, the younger couple never ceased enjoying weekly date nights.  They've begun to consider trying for a little brother or sister for Landon.

Peter, Emma, and Sawyer- St. Genesius' Community Theatre continues to be a wild success.  Among other productions, this past season featured The Fantasticks, Fiddler on the Roof, and, of course, Jesus Christ Superstar.  The events of "The Messiah" also brought the theatre's community outreach efforts more into the public eye. 

On a personal level, the Garcia-Campbells are having a bittersweet year.  The trio traveled to Texas for Thanksgiving which ended up being the last time they saw Peter's abuela, Renata, who passed away in her sleep during the first week of December.  On a much happier note, Peter's brother got transferred to New Jersey recently which prompted Peter's parents, Rosario and Gordon, to also make the movie.  Thus, little Sawyer will be able to grow up with his cousins, aunt, uncle, and grandparents close by. 

Clay, Kylie, Ada-Marie, Felix, and Adam- The biggest news for the Stanford family is that Kylie is, once again, pregnant and due in very early January.  Ada-Marie is now almost three and Felix is sixteen months old.  With Clay enjoying considerable success with the Romano Family Farm and as a basketball coach at a local school, Kylie is able to stay home full-time to tend to the little ones.  Uncle Adam is also a regular presence, lending a hand around the house. He's already indoctrinated Ada-Marie into his mission to save turkeys! 

Adam's work helping to rehabilitate troubled angels has also increased.  This past year, he helped Takoda heal after losing two assignments to a heinous hate crime. 

Mick, Beth, and Joe- At long last, Mick St. John became a father on August 21st.  Joe St. John, named after Josef, was warmly welcomed by his parents.  While Beth returned to work as a TV reporter after maternity leave, Mick has opted to stay home with Joe for a while yet.

Josef, Amber-Marie, and Daisy- Now nine years old, Daisy is excelling in her classes in the Tunnels.  She still spends a great deal of time with Aiyla, her best friend, and Daffy, her therapy dog.  Her nightmares are becoming less and less frequent with months passing between them. 

Since Daisy no longer needs them quite as intensely, Josef and Amber-Marie have been making more time for themselves as a couple and even taken a few weekend trips.  While they briefly considered trying for a baby, they ultimately decided to focus on Daisy and their jobs.  Amber-Marie continues to spend most of her days at the Chrysalis Court while Josef runs Freedom's Sanctuary. 

Catherine, Vincent, and Jacob- The tragedy at the center of "The Messiah" was the first real trial to hit the Tunnels since the death of the elder Jacob aka Father.  Vincent, in particular, struggled with managing his own emotions while also supporting and counseling the entire community.  Thankfully, he found respite in the encouragement of his granddaughters and, later, Joshua.  While it can sometimes be a struggle, he does his best to balance his Tunnel commitments with making time for just his family.

Catherine continues to manage the Phoenix Inn but is now training Crystal and Cira, two of her earliest guests, to take over once she does, eventually, retire to help Vincent with the Tunnel community.

Soon to turn twelve, Jacob is focusing on his studies and his art.  He continues to fill the role of an older brother to Liam and now, also, to Iz who is introduced in "The Messiah."  He's also a good sport about Daisy's little crush on him.

Logan and Zelda- The couple continue to live with Beverly, Logan's mother.  On November 21st, Zelda delivered a healthy baby girl named Nova.  She and Logan are over-the-moon about their daughter. 

The Al-Mitras and Salma- Behnam, Isra, and Salma have been wonderful resources for Liyana Azizi and the Khalid family who recently converted from Islam to Christianity. 

Now nine, seven, and three respectively, Aiyla, Omar, and Aurora continue to enjoy their classes Below and getting to spend time with their cousins and friends there.

Edward and Zadie- On February 17th, Edward and Zadie welcomed little Etta into their family... the day after the couple celebrated Caleb's and Lacey's wedding.

Caleb and Lacey- Married on February 16th, Caleb and Lacey are blissful newlyweds currently trying for a baby.

Isolde and Marco- On November 15th, Isolde went into labor.  With Marco at her side the whole time, she labored for nearly twenty hours.  Early on the morning of the 16th, Isolde delivered a baby boy who she wanted to name Bram.  While Marco initially scoffed at the idea of former vampires christening their firstborn Bram, he had to admit the name suited the bald, scrunchy-faced infant.  Thus, Bram Patrick Crocetti was welcomed into the world.

The Wilsons- Zeke and Diana are ecstatic about Ivy's and Sy's engagement.  While they're looking forward to potentially becoming grandparents, they hope the two wait a little while, at least until they're a bit more established, before having a baby.  Zeke continues to work at True Light while Diana remains a teacher.

Now twenty three, the Wilsons' eldest daughter, Hailey, has begun teaching at the same school as her mom.  Her younger sister, Kendra, is still in college and hasn't yet decided on a major.  The baby of the bunch, Manny, is five years old and attending pre-school in the Tunnels. 

Jocelyn and Zoe- Jocelyn is attending a community college in New York City and living in the Tunnels where she helps out with classes when she's not studying.  When Takoda was sent to Dyeland, Joccy became fast friends with the troubled angel and lassoed him into several of her lessons for the children's Bible study.  Though their friendship remains strong, it has suffered some strain since Joccy met a boy in one of her classes and started spending more time with him.

Zoe, now seventeen, continues to live with her mom in Connecticut but regularly visits Joccy, Emma, and the other Friends.  However, she's graduating from high school in May and hopes to attend college in New York so she can be nearer to them all.

And I'm gonna stop right there because some things I'd like to leave as a surprise for the Christmas story!  :-)

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for inspiring so much creativity through the years.  As you may know, YahooGroups is streamlining its product and many of the features are going away.  So I spent part of yesterday morning backing up old collages and graphics past JABB members had created.  It was bittersweet but really made me appreciate the impact John made on so many lives.

JABB Portal
JABB 559

(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.)