“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.” ~~Celia Thaxter

Hi all,

So I was today years old when I realized "the dog days of summer" were actually a set period of days with some disagreement on when those days are.  So, depending on what system you go with, we may technically no longer be in the dog days of summer.  However, it's very hot and humid here so... the dog days are still going on for me.  It's been hard to stay motivated.  Thankfully, I've at least been in the mood to write today.  Thus, I'm just copying and pasting some tropes I've been saving so I can get back to Andrew, JenniAnn, and their household during the early days of the quarantine.

I hope everyone is doing well!  And staying cool!

God bless,

Random Tropes Thrown Together Because It's Too Hot to Do Anything Else

All stories can be found here

Creepy Good- Marty was this, originally, to some of the Friends.  As one of the very oldest angels and one who mostly keeps to himself, his edges aren't nearly as smoothed over as, say, Andrew's.  He also has a rather stern demeanor until he feels comfortable around people.  Also... he's in charge of Records.  Which means he knows a lot... about everyone. 

A God I Am Not- For the most part, the angels fall into this category as far as how they interact with their human friends.  They never "pull rank."  They don't consider themselves infallible and will admit when their human counterparts are right.  They acknowledge that they're immortal... because they are.  But at least two of them have put aside one of the main perks of being immortal: not aging.  In more recent years, Andrew has learned how to be vulnerable around the humans, JenniAnn especially.  They run their family as equals.  During a very low moment in "Broken Hallelujahs," JenniAnn asks Andrew to tell her what she should do about leaving or staying in the Catholic Church.  He's rather horrified that she's asking him to make a decision for her and refuses.

It Is Not Your Time- In "Chava," we learn via flashback that David drowned as a young boy.  He met with Andrew at the shore of some heavenly body of water.  Andrew gave David some advice and then he was sent back to the world of the living because it wasn't his time.  In "Shadowlands," JenniAnn finds herself on Joshua's Island which is a sort of limbo.  She has to decide whether to continue onto Heaven or go back to the mortal realms.  Joshua leaves it up to her but I suspect he stacked the deck so she'd realize it wasn't her time. 

Ripped from the Headlines- I'm no Law and Order but this happens quite a lot.  I wrote "Safe" after we had a serial rapist alluding capture in my city.  "The Butterfly" and "Broken Hallelujahs" were written during two different phases of the ongoing abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.  "Chrysalis" was written after I saw a number of articles about human trafficking, both local and national, in my news feed.  "Abide With Me" was inspired by the Afghan War and, very loosely, by the Bowe Bergdahl case... essentially just that we had a POW missing.  Obviously neither Andrew nor Max shared much in common with the man beyond that.

Defector from Decadence- This applies to Josef in two different waves.  Following Sarah's death, he set aside the more hedonistic elements of his vampire life and started campaigning against human trafficking.  Once he met up with Daisy and Amber-Marie, he also gave up many of the perks that came with his wealth.  So long glitzy apartments, hello house in the suburbs.  It's possible this also applies to Behnam although he never really bought into the lifestyle he was raised in.  Still, he was the nephew of the group's leader which, I assume, represented some sort of power.  But he seems to have done the bare minimum to get by in his uncle's group and fled it, with Isra, at his earlier opportunity.    All that being said, there's no indication that Uncle's lifestyle was "decadent."  But he seems to have been better off than a lot of people around him, hence being able to force Isra into a marriage.  And, of course, there's Joshua who left the glory of Heaven to live on Earth as a poor man.  But that wasn't so much defecting as a shared plan.

Memento MacGuffin- So maybe it's not vital to the plot but Joshua's Henley fits this trope in a lot of ways.  He's wearing it in "The Carpenter" when he and JenniAnn are at Cora's house doing his make-up test for JCS.  And it's during that session that JenniAnn realizes that Joshua is Jesus/Yeshua.  So, obviously, the sweater has important significance to her.  But it's not until after she's shot in "Shadowlands" that readers... and Andrew... realize how attached to the sweater she is.  When Andrew at last leaves the hospital to get some rest, he finds the sweater under JenniAnn's pillow.  The insinuation is she's probably been sleeping with it ever since Joshua left at the end of TC.  Andrew clutches it and is able to nap for a little bit and have a nice dream.

Character Aged with the Actor
-  This was sadly subverted.  As you may be able to tell from the abandoned Dyeland finale, it had long been my plan that Andrew would start aging.  The decisions and circumstances that led up to that changed pretty significantly over time.  With the expansion of Joshua's character, the idea of incarnation started working its way into several plot lines eventually leading to Andrew's decision to age because of Belle and JenniAnn, chiefly.  And Joshua's role was expanded as my means of coping with John Dye's death.  So it still ties back to him in some way.  But, originally, I planned to have Andrew age in the hopes that John would get another TV show and I could use screen shots from that, making it appear as if Andrew was, indeed, aging. 

Freakiness Shame
- Vincent definitely had this... brought over from Beauty and the Beast.  Not my doing!  Based on flash forwards, Avi seems to grow up relatively free of this.  He confidently asks Evie out and they get married at a pretty young age.  That implies some pretty solid confidence to me!

Parental Abandonment
- Max's mother walked out on him and, to date, has yet to re-surface.  I think I might keep it that way.  But at least two characters were truly abandoned: Belle and Jemima.  Belle was left by her mother in an alley on a very cold night.  Jemima was abandoned by her father on the side of the road after her mother died in childbirth.  This example is, sadly, realistic in that there are historical accounts of Romans abandoning baby girls and deformed children to death.  Jemima was both.  Thankfully for both Belle and Jemima, they were found and happily adopted by doting parents. 

Acceptable Targets
- In a flashback, Shimeon is very hostile towards Romans.  While some of the other apostles try to quiet him, none seem particularly interested in encouraging him to be more open-minded.  To some extent, this is fair, IMO.  The Jewish people were being heavily taxed and their rights impinged upon by the Romans.  Heck, the Romans could easily put them to death.  But it was still pretty distasteful to go on a verbal tirade when the only Roman present was a tiny, abandoned baby.  It's even worse if Shimeon knew that Mary was engaged to a Roman prior to his heroic death.  I think one can safely assume that Shimeon eventually mended his ways. 

Category Traitor- I think it can be assumed that, had he lived, Lucius would have been viewed as one of these.  Possibly he already raised some suspicions given the person closest to him was an old Jewish woman.  But then getting engaged to another Jewish woman and planning to convert...  Maybe not the best look for a Roman centurion.

Doomed by Canon- I already covered this one but now there's an addition.  Much like Yosef, Lucius had to die based on the fact that he's no where in the Bible.  Mary Magdalene having a Roman convert husband surely would have been something that Luke at least would have mentioned.  Having Lucius die before he could wed Mary and before she joined up with Yeshua's ministry takes care of that potential omission.

Narnia Time- This is largely absent from the Dyeland stories.  Barring normal time zone issues, if you leave Dyeland at 2:00 PM on March 1st to go to Manhattan, you arrive in Manhattan at 2:01 PM on March 1st.  An exception would be Andrew's experiences in "Shadowlands" when he was with the demons.  To him, a lot of time seemed to pass and, at one point, they made it seem like he'd gone into Dyeland's distant future.  But one can also sometimes experience that just with a dream. 

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for giving us a character who is comforting to think of in times or craziness and uncertainty.

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(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.)