are times when we stop, we sit still.
We listen and breezes from a
whole other world begin to whisper."
I hope you're all staying well and that you're finding
silver linings during this strange time!
If anyone's interested, I added three more jigsaw
puzzles. You can find all of them here:
If there's a particular image from the Photo
Gallery that you'd like turned into a puzzle, please
let me know.
So clicking around tvtropes.org was what struck me as
calming today. So this is what you get.
:-) Stories referenced below can be found on the Story Index
which I finally got updated.
Tropes for Earth Day
Since we've got Earth Day coming up, I thought some
nature-related tropes would be nice to reflect on. So
Birds- Inherited from TBAA, the Holy Spirit still
makes appearances in stories in the form of a dove. In
"Chrysalis," Joshua briefly appears in the form of an
to All Living Things- If JenniAnn and Violeta had
their way, they'd be living in an ethical, expansive zoo
surrounded by countless members of the animal kingdom.
And Andrew would just have to kinda go along with it.
Obviously, they don't have the means to make that possible
so they've settled on living with numerous sheep and goats,
a donkey, a horse, a rabbit, two dogs (three if you count
Ivy's Leo who lives with her and Violeta), mice, and if the
bat in "Cupid and Psyche" is any indication then they're
probably also leaving food out for an assortment of wild
critters. Part of the appeal of getting goats was so
Andrew didn't have to mow much and risk hurting
wildlife. Joshua is, of course, this since he created
all those living things. In fact, I keep meaning to do
a story where Joshua creates a stir at the zoo because all
the animals come up to the glass/fence/etc. just to be as
near to him as possible.
Herb- The cure for vampirism turns out to be a rare
flower that grows in France. That much I took from Moonlight.
But I invented the backstory on the flower itelf: it was
created when Joshua's blood splattered onto the Earth and
was watered by Marty's tears.
Absent Animal Companion- Dawg/Widget! Really,
what did happen to Tess' dog?! But I'm hardly
better. The pets of the Chandler-Darcy household never
outright disappear. But entirely too much goes on
without mention of them. I have two dogs. Trust
me: Andrew and JenniAnn, if they were real, would not be
able to have so many romantic interludes without a dog
pushing himself or herself between them or whining to be let
outside or helping themselves to that romantic dinner.
Of course, it's possible that Fawn and Ichabod spend most of
their time with Belle and Avi. But still... in real
life, the dogs would be much more present.
Adoring the Pests- Well... Since I live this
trope in real life, it was bound to make its way into the
Dyeland stories. At JenniAnn's request, Andrew built a
mouse village to house the mice who invaded their
barn. While bats shouldn't be classified as pests,
they are regarded as such by some. That didn't stop
JenniAnn from loving them and as her first experience with
bats was when Vincent would take her to watch them, I think
it's fair to assume that Vincent is fond of bats, as
well. In "We Trust to Thee," Adam takes in a baby rat
who ends up staying with the group while they work an
assignment with Andrew. The rat, Terrence, ends up
being gifted to a little boy named Robbie who adores him.
Stray to Pet- Reuel's fennec fox, Val Jean, was a
stray who was discovered after he stole food during a picnic
in El-Chanan. He might have been able to live in the
wild except he'd broken his leg and, by the time it healed,
he was too used to being a pet.
Theme Naming- Basil Thornton married Azalea and they
named their daughter Lily.
Cover- Andrew and JenniAnn have been known to hide
among the branches of the willow tree on Willowveil's lawn
for some alone time.
Some Tropes About Joshua Because He's Nice
to Think About Right Now
Sinking- So I don't think anyone who reads the
Dyeland stories is likely to be a huge fan of The
DaVinci Code but... If one ever did feel the
need to ship Jesus and Mary Magdalene, one would have to
abandon the ship pretty quickly or be majorly squicked
out. Why? Because they're not even peers in
the Dyeland stories. Mary is a late-in-life baby in
her family and, after her parents' deaths, raised by her
siblings: Lazar and Martha. Lazar and Martha are the
same age as Yeshua. Which means Yeshua is old enough
to be Mary's dad. As it is, he's more of a surrogate
older brother and the only person who thinks a Yeshua/Mary
pairing is a good idea is a very drunken Lazar who is just
upset that his baby sister has married a man who turns out
to be awful. When sober, I'm sure even Lazar
realized that would be gross. But then we find out
that Mary was dumped by her husband and fell in love with
a Roman soldier who is, admittedly, significantly older
than her. But he didn't watch her grow up (like a
certain carpenter who made her baby toys) so it's way less
creepy. Sadly, the Roman (Lucius) doesn't make it
but Mary does reunite with Yeshua... as a disciple,
eventually becoming the Apostle to the Apostles. At
no point is there a romance and there's good indication
that even at that point, Yeshua sees Mary as a strong,
independent woman... but also the little girl he used to
make toys for. Which is definitely not
romantic. So if anyone did come into the stories
thinking Yeshua/Mary seemed like a good idea... Boy,
I hope I brought about some serious Abandon
Mistaken for Romance- It happens to Joshua... a
lot. Because he appears to be about the same age as
many of the Friends, to by-standers interactions with him
can look romantic. The exact same activity if he
were to look, say, seventy five would be appropriately
read as parent-child bonding. For example, it's not
uncommon for JenniAnn to kiss Vincent on the cheek and no
one thinks anything of it. But when Arthur saw
JenniAnn kiss Joshua in the exact same way, he began to
fret that she was stepping out on Andrew... He
obviously re-evaluated that assumption when he learned
that Joshua was the Everlasting Father. In a more
dramatic example, Owen's family assumed Joshua was his
boyfriend when Joshua accompanied him to a family
event. They didn't realize until later that Joshua
was there to support his son... and preach a bit.
is Racist- JenniAnn briefly slides into this during
"Remembrance." After she and Joshua tour the U.S.
Holocaust Museum, he suggests they stay in town.
While he gets them a room, JenniAnn is understandably
weepy and is approached by a hotel employee who checks to
make sure she's there willingly. JenniAnn assumes
that the employee saw a white girl with a brown guy and
jumped to conclusions. Joshua later explains that
his race had nothing to do with it... it was just because
JenniAnn appeared to be in distress. Oops. In
fairness, JenniAnn had seen Joshua be targeted by
anti-Semitic and anti-Middle Eastern hatemongers.
But that was a step too far.
Royalty- Joshua is definitely this. He usually
just wears jeans or khakis and sweater or button-down
shirts. The couple of times he's worn a crown, he
ended up letting a kid wear it. When he shows up at
Willowveil, he does chores and babysits.
Accents Aren't Hereditary- Maryam and Yosef speak
with accents... Joshua and John do not. I decided
Joshua would not have an accent because of the idea that
he re-incarnates (not the same as reincarnates) every time
he comes to Earth and blends in. So when he's with
the Friends, he has an American accent (which American
accent he has probably depends on which American accent
the reader is most used to, I assume). I would
assume that if he would go to Israel and speak English, he
would speak it with an Israeli accent. In Germany,
he would speak German like a native German-speaker and so
on. And John, despite being fond of reminding Joshua
that he was born six months earlier, really does look up
to his cousin and so mimics him in this regard.
Not-Love Interest- Joshua sometimes falls into this
role. In "Remembrance," he literally takes Andrew's
place and goes on a trip to D.C. with JenniAnn. To
some extent, Emma's and Joshua's narrative in "The
Carpenter" plays out a lot like a romance without any
actual romance: boy cares about girl, girl neglects boy,
boy pursues girl, girl outright rejects boy, boy saves
girl, girl realizes boy was who she needed all along...
and boy is also God. I also believe Joshua maintains
this role with Salma... which is probably a big part of
why she became a nun.
And Tropes Featuring Andrew Because He's
Dreamy and Also Nice to Think About Right Now
Kiss- Andrew's and JenniAnn's kiss on the porch in
"Shadowlands" has elements of this and First
Kiss. It is, in fact, the first time they kiss
on the lips... albeit it's not actually JenniAnn's first
kiss. But it's also on the eve of Andrew going to
face the demons in Sheol... something that could go very,
Owen is the only witness to the aftermath of said kiss
(except, of course, God) and later claimed they were both
glowing. It is, in fact, one of the few scenes that
still makes my stomach go a lil wobbly when I re-read it.
Fashion-Based Relationship Cue- JenniAnn does this
with the claddagh that Catherine and Vincent gave
her. For some time, she wears it to indicate she's
single. Eventually, when things progress with
Andrew, she moves it to show she's "in a
relationship." After she was shot, Andrew
accidentally slipped it back on her finger in the
"married" position. She decided to leave it that
Suitable Suitor- This happens in a couple of
different ways with Andrew and JenniAnn. While it
was by no means the end of their drama, Andrew did begin
to warm to the idea of JenniAnn being with him after she
came out as asexual. For one, it made them much more
compatible since he is also, like all angels,
asexual. For another, Andrew knew there was always a
risk that if she dated someone else, presumably a
heterosexual male, then he might either purposefully or
otherwise pressure her into having sex... something she
definitely wouldn't face with him. Years later, once
Joshua had appeared and given his blessing, the two felt
even more comfortable pursuing a relationship and are
committed to making it work.
Pairing- In today's climate, I actually sometimes
find myself worrying that, at one point, I'm going to get
an email from someone who finds the Dyeland stories and
dubs Andrew's and JenniAnn's relationship
"problematic." And, on paper, I guess that's
fair. Seventeen-year-old girl meets eons old angel
of death and they end up with five kids... yeah, maybe
that's a little dicey. And, to be honest, if I'd had
this planned out from the beginning, I might have upped
JenniAnn's age to at least twenty when she met
Andrew. But I had exactly 0% of this planned out
before, say, 2005. I mean just consider that
whenever I started writing the abandoned Dyeland finale, I
fully intended for JenniAnn to marry Eliot. That's
the level of "not planned" I'm talking about! But I
actually sometimes worry that I've written Andrew's and
JenniAnn's relationship as unequal in the opposite
direction. Because Andrew is older, an angel, and
male, I think he hardly ever pushes back on anything
JenniAnn says or does for fear he'll inadvertently
manipulate her. As a result, he has to put up with
behavior from her that I don't think he would if they were
a couple of human thirtysomethings.
the Muggles- Well, now it's kinda baked into the
stories that Andrew's human friends and family are often
involved in his assignments. But the trend started
with "Nor Iron Bars a Cage" and "We Trust to Thee" and
"Safe" are among my favorites because they still felt
TBAA-esque to me. I love "The Carpenter" but, from
there on out, the stories feel less like a TBAA spin-off
and more their own thing which isn't bad. I wouldn't
write them if I thought they were bad. It's just
with Bad Publicity- Andrew's definitely not a
superhero... something he sometimes has to be reminded
of... but he's the hero of the stories and this trope
fits. He's perfectly lovely but so many people hear
"angel of death" and assume the worst. This likely
applies to Adam, Henry, and Eli but Andrew seems to have
taken it to heart the most.
I Should Have Been Better- While he's definitely
gotten better, this has been Andrew at several points in
his life. We see it in "Beautiful Dreamer" and "Til
Death Do Us Part" and later this attitude leads to a
temporary estrangement from his friends in Dyeland.
Now Andrew has a better grasp on dealing with his
emotions. It's okay to be sad about how an
assignment unfolded but he knows it doesn't always mean he
did something wrong.
This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for inspiring
something that's keeping me grounded right now. When
so much in life is weird, pretty much everything surrounding
JABB is business as usual which is nice.
(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.)