|“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
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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.
(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.)