“Imagination is everything. It is the
preview of life's coming attractions.”
After a year's delay due to COVID, my brother and
sister-in-law had their wedding reception last night.
Despite only drinking water and iced tea, I'm very tired and
bleary-minded and nearly forgot about this newsletter being
due. So... this is truly scraped together! On
the plus side, the reception was lovely and I'm glad we were
able to celebrate them.
I hope you're all well and happy!
I keep a
running Google doc of story scenes that I want to eventually
use. Sometimes something will pop into my head that's
two, three, or possibly even twenty stories into the
future. But I want to capture it while it's fresh.
So... below are some scenes taken from that document.
While it's very probably tweaks will continue to be made, the
essence of these scenes will come to pass. So enjoy this
glimpse into the future of Dyeland stories...
Bits and Pieces of Dyeland's Future
From an unknown date in the future:
“Can I do anything for you, Joshua?” Candice asked once the
trio were back at Joshua’s room.
JenniAnn’s body went rigid.
Joshua glanced over at her then back at the nurse and shook
“No, no. Thank you, Candice. I’m feeling much
better. I’m sure JenniAnn can help me get settled down.”
JenniAnn relaxed and nodded.
“I will. Yes, of course.”
Candice smiled back.
“It’s so nice to see someone with so much family support!” she
chirped. “So many kids…”
Joshua and JenniAnn exchanged a quick, amused look.
“Well, ring if you need anything!” Candice repeated before
leaving the two. “Rest up!”
“Will do,” Joshua called after her.
Once she was out of sight, JenniAnn closed the door then
turned to Joshua.
“Would you like to explain what happened?” she inquired.
“Ama, is that you?” he teased.
JenniAnn rolled her eyes but smiled.
“I just get a little concerned when I get a call saying my
‘Father’ passed out at the lunch table.”
Joshua hugged her.
“I know. But, really, it wasn’t that bad. I got a
little dizzy. That’s all. I never lost
consciousness. Low blood sugar. Got carried away.”
“Carried away how?” JenniAnn blushed. “I
mean… I know you don’t have to explain yourself to me
“But you care. And I love that about you. I
created you that way, hmm?” Joshua cupped JenniAnn’s
chin and raised it so she met his eyes.
“Could you please brush my hair?” Joshua requested. He
knew she’d feel better if she was actively doing something.
“Of course. Will you eat this? Please?” JenniAnn
asked as she handed Joshua a sack lunch.
Joshua handed JenniAnn his brush then the two settled onto a
couch where she began to brush out his unruly hair and he dug
into his lunch.
“It was just a busy morning,” Joshua began. “Margaret
was having a bad morning so I skipped breakfast to try to
console her. And then Patrick… that’s the groundskeeper…
his riding mower broke down. And he was already having a
bad day… family drama… so I thought I could at least take care
JenniAnn pulled a bit of dried leaf from Joshua’s hair.
“Something tells me this wasn’t a touch the mower,
everything’s fine scenario…”
Joshua chuckled and shook his head.
“I just popped under it. Adjusted a couple things.”
“It was fun. And it was nice to chat with him. He
never takes time to chat when he’s working.”
“And then there was Bingo. And I wasn’t gonna miss
“Aren’t there snacks at Bingo?”
“I mean I ate a little. But Barney’s shakes were really
bad so I was helping him cover his cards and Twyla was in a
very chatty mood so I was keeping up with her and, well, the
popcorn just wasn’t as interesting.”
“I see…” JenniAnn removed another leaf. “I just… I
know it’s not the point… but I wish you’d come home. To
Willowveil, I mean.”
Joshua squeezed her right hand.
“I know, little bird. But this is where I need to be
right now. Maybe you could invite me over for Sunday
“Of course. What would you like to have?”
“Hmm… I really liked that beet and goat cheese pizza
that you and Andrew made last time I was around.”
“Then that’s what we’ll have. With garlic bread and
“Froot Loops cupcakes?”
“Sure. Anything else?”
“That’ll do it.”
“Okay. We’ll look forward to it.”
“Me too. Very much. Did you tell the others about the
call?” Joshua asked.
“No. Not yet. But I’m not meant to hide it, am I?”
Joshua shook his head.
“I just didn’t want them worrying now that I’m in perfectly
good hands. But you can tell them tonight. Tell
them sometimes even the Alpha and the Omega loses track of
JenniAnn laughed and shook her head.
“It’s not the losing track of time that baffles me. It’s
the not realizing you’re hungry.”
“I mean it’s not like it was forty days of fasting worth of
From next month-ish?:
Andrew and Crowley settled into the back of the van with their
The angel of death smiled when he saw Crowley’s elaborate
lunch, no doubt chosen by Aziraphale. As tasty as the
items looked, he was quite fond of the PB&J sandwiches
that Belle had messily prepared for him.
Andrew allowed the former-demon a few moments of peace before
he broached the topic that had been nagging at him.
“Can I ask you something?”
Crowley nodded as he nibbled on his croissant.
“Are demons still scared of me?”
“I just don’t understand it…”
Crowley gazed off into the distance.
“I mean you did set off a chain of events that ended with the
most famous sinner in Hell moving onto Heaven. Then you
got Eben. Then, well, I think I’m a bit of a catch,
“Got me talking to Joshua again.”
“Sure. But I was told that long before any of that.”
“I think you remind him of everything he did wrong. All
the poor choices he made. He rebelled because he felt
replaced by the humans. You, well, you share a life with
“I’m not the first angel to have a human anam cara,
Crowley. Not even close.”
“No. And I have wondered why he seemed more bothered by
you than ol’ Reuel. Though he gets anxious about
Reuel… But you’ve gone and built a whole community
around you and JenniAnn… a community that Joshua then
transplanted himself into. You’re like… a
whirlpool. You just… you suck all these people… angels,
humans, even some vampires… formerly… into your
community. And it gets bigger and stronger. Yehuda
is freed, Eben is freed, vampirism is cured. And the
serpent knelt before the Son of God.” Crowley smiled at
the memory. “All of it traces back to you. And he
sees that. And if your boss is scared of someone… you’ll
be scared of them, too. So, yeah, demons are scared of
“You were scared of me,” Andrew recalled.
“Yeah. And then I realized JenniAnn was the real brains
of the operation. Then I was just scared of her,”
Andrew laughed, nearly choking on his sandwich before Crowley
clapped him on the back.
“You and Aziraphale scare them, too, right?”
“Uh huh. So… probably wouldn’t ever come near us when
we’re together. Though I’m sure you wouldn’t like to be
joined at the hip. I doubt our significant others would
like that much, either.”
“No… Space is good, even among friends.” Andrew
patted Crowley on the back then bowed his head. “It does
make me think, though…”
“Well, if they’re scared of both of us… you’re right.
They wouldn’t come at us together. So if… I mean if they
ever caused trouble with me again… It’s unlikely that
would happen when you were near. You’d be in the clear…
safe So you could maybe… help JenniAnn if… if I
Crowley glared at Andrew.
“Don’t talk like that.”
“Crowley, it’s not impossible.”
“Don’t like it.”
Crowley stuffed a cookie in his mouth.
“I don’t either. But it would help me to know that
someone could step in and help. I handle the
finances. I know JenniAnn could. But she’d already
have a lot on her plate. I don’t want to put more on
her. And, of course, I’d be happy to reciprocate if, God
forbid, Aziraphale ever needed help and you… were
unavailable,” Andrew murmured.
Crowley rubbed at his temples. It wasn’t as if the
terrible thought hadn’t ever crossed his mind. And it
would be nice to know Aziraphale would still have help with
the little things he never did very well with.
Crowley looked into the angel’s eyes and immediately looked
away. There was such intensity there.
“Why are you bringing this up now?”
“I don’t know. Just… feels like I need to.”
“Don’t like it,” Crowley repeated.
Andrew said nothing.
“Yeah. I mean… of course. I hope it never comes to
it but… of course I would do what I could to help JenniAnn and
the kids,” he promised. “We’ll set up a time to go
Andrew smiled, his relief evident.
“Thank you. And we can go through whatever you think
Aziraphale would need, too.”
Crowley stuck his hand out and Andrew readily shook it.
“Deal,” Crowley declared.
“Deal,” Andrew echoed.
“Mary Magdalene deserves better!” the man shouted.
Joshua looked above and took a deep breath before responding.
“So she’s voiced her opinion on the matter to you?” he asked,
his tone calm.
Peter, Emma, Andrew, and JenniAnn saw the fire in his eyes.
“Well… No… But… obviously… It’s just…
You all do fine work… God-honoring work. So I don’t
understand why you’ve decided to betray Him by casting that…
“What the he…” Peter moved towards the visitor but
Joshua’s arm flew up, blocking him.
“How dare you refer to a beloved creation of God as ‘that
thing,’” Joshua chastised. “Shame on you!”
The man stepped closer, his face beet red.
“You listen to me… Just because you play God doesn’t
mean you are God. How dare you use His story to push
your liberal nonsense!”
Emma shivered. It was not a pleasant laugh.
“‘Liberal nonsense’?” he mimicked. “‘Judge lest not ye
be judged.’ Is that the ‘liberal nonsense’ you speak
of? I’m not liberal. I’m not conservative.
I’m a servant of God the Father. And now… I ask that you
leave us so we can return to…”
“Disgusting… All of it is disgusting!
Traitors! I’ll tell everyone I know not to ever set foot
in this theatre again because you’d rather honor a sick
pervert than God. The Lord didn’t stretch out His arms
and die on that cross so you could mock Him!”
“He knows better than you what we’re doing here,” Joshua
responded. “Much better. He died for her the same
”Her!” The man scoffed then glared at Emma and
JenniAnn. “Don’t come crying to him when that man rapes
you in your dressing room! ‘Jesus’ here doesn’t care!”
“Enough! Get out!” Joshua bellowed. “Get out
The abrupt change in volume caused everyone to jump.
Joshua pointed towards the lobby door.
He moved towards the man who jolted out of his shock and
hurried towards the door, slamming it behind him.
Also during this coming Spring:
That evening, with the family gathered in the ballroom to
spend some time focusing on their own interests while being
together, Andrew kept looking up from his book and studying
Crowley. More often than not, he caught him staring at
JenniAnn as she helped Belle with a craft project, gave Shelby
feedback on her writing, styled Violeta’s hair, or snuggled
Avi, Evie, Landon, and Amelia.
There was something… hungry?... in the former-demon’s eyes.
If it were anyone else, Andrew might have been alarmed.
Or even jealous. He liked to believe he was above the
latter but JenniAnn’s brief relationship with Eliot had taught
But Andrew wasn’t jealous of Crowley. At all.
Instead, he felt sad for him. Clearly, in spite of all
the progres he’d made… truly sharing his life with Aziraphale,
reconciling with Joshua, making friends… something was
And in JenniAnn, Crowley no doubt saw a pale echo of it.
Andrew had always experienced the First Person as a loving
Father. He, of course, knew that God the Father wasn’t
actually male. Nor was He female. He simply
was. But Father felt right to Andrew. However,
he’d long been aware that other angels experienced God
differently. To some, He was the Eternal Mother.
To others, God was simply and grandly the One.
Crowley seemed to be in the Eternal Mother camp.
And despite his healed relationship with Joshua, Andrew wasn’t
sure that he had truly made peace with God the Mother.
Andrew saw it a lot with humans, Christians in
particular. Many of them felt much better going to
Joshua with their concerns, hopes, and fears. And Andrew
understood that. Joshua was human. A perfect
human… but a human nonetheless. The Father was much more
difficult for them to wrap their minds around. And the
Spirit? Yet more difficult. Joshua was
approachable. And yet they often sensed that this wasn’t
quite right… that they should have a deeper relationship with
the Father and the Spirit.
And that sense of missing something was probably not unlike
what Crowley was feeling now.
He missed his Mother. But sometimes She still felt very
But JenniAnn was close. He could watch her interact so
lovingly with her children. He could imagine her
treating him the same. And then… then he could imagine
his Mother loving him, caring for him.
And now clear to the 2040s:
“And welcome back to Good Morning, Brooklyn! We’re here
with one of New York’s own! Shelby Whelan, author of The
Anam Cara Chronicles. Shelby, welcome back to the show,”
the host greeted.
“Thank you, Grayson, for having me back,” she replied.
“Of course! You’ve come a long way since your last
appearance when your first book was being published. And
now here you are with the third book in your series coming out
tomorrow! Congratulations! What can you tell us
about what we can expect?”
“Thank you. What I can say is that book three, The
Carpenter, is really, for me, a major turning point in my…
saga, if I can call it that.”
“After selling over thirty million copies, I think you can
call it whatever you like,” Grayson replied.
Shelby laughed shyly.
“Maybe so… Anyway, I spent the first couple of books
mostly introducing my characters and their families.
Book one, Cupid and Psyche, delved into the history and lives
of Penelope and Jonathan and their family and friends.
In book two, via a series of vignettes, I introduced a number
of other characters and families. And now, finally, in
The Carpenter, all those people come together. And I’m
really excited to see what readers think about it. Of
the three so far, this is my personal favorite.” Shelby
beamed. “And not just because of the title character…
although he’s a big part of it.”
“Understandably! You occupy a very interesting place in
the book world… your books are unequivocally Christian in
their worldview. But… There’s also been some
pushback from some corners of the Christian market.
What’s that been like for you?”
Shelby let out a sigh before answering.
“I mean… It’s not surprising. The Christianity
espoused in my books is the Christianity I grew up with, the
Christianity I practice. And so I know not everyone
agrees with it because even before I started writing, I’d
occasionally come into contact with people who said my family
and friends and I were heretics. And to be honest… I
really don’t care. People called Jesus a
blasphemer. People said He was aligned with Satan.
So if I don’t get some criticism for following Him… well, I’m
probably not doing something right. What’s upsetting to
me is the criticism that comes not for how I handle a subject
in my books but the fact that I chose to explore it at
all. If your Christian faith requires you to hide away
from the realities of the world, from people suffering…
I think it’s your faith that needs work.”
“Well said. And speaking of difficult issues… you took a
break from promoting your second book although you were very
honest about why,” Grayson cautiously brought up.
“I was,” Shelby agreed. “I was raped during a press tour
and became pregnant. When it became obvious that the
story was going to come out in some form, I wanted to own
it. For my sake, for my family’s sake, and for the sake
of others who have been raped or assaulted. I wanted
people to know that they weren’t alone. And I also
wanted people who like to blame the victim… I wanted them to
have to grapple with how one day they could, against my will,
hold me up as some sort of example of sexual purity and then
realize that being a Christian, being a virgin, traveling with
my sister… it didn’t save me from being raped. Because
rape is the fault of the rapist… not something that happens
when the victim isn’t careful enough.”
“I strongly agree. And you won a lot of praise for that
stance… and for keeping your baby.”
“Yes. And that was difficult in some ways. I
mean… The support meant a lot to me. But people
also need to understand that I had an absolutely incredible
support system. My family was there for me every time I
turned around and let me know they’d love and support me no
matter what decisions I made. I was also financially
stable. I had access to excellent health care. And
even after my little girl was born, my family reminded me of
my options. I had siblings and friends who were willing
to adopt and, if I decided that was too difficult, I had folks
willing to help me with a closed adoption. And, yes, I
kept my baby and every day I thank God for her. I would
die for her. But simply knowing I had those
options… They made it so much easier for me to not
abort. So that’s why I find it so hard when I see people
say stuff like ‘We don’t need rape exceptions. Look at
Shelby Whelan.’ Not every pregnant person has financial
stability, unfailing familial support, good healthcare, mental
health resources, etc. If I had had to do without any
one of those things, who is to say that I would have given
birth? Again, I love my little girl more than I love
anyone else and I am so, so glad she was born. But that
doesn’t mean it’s the same for everyone and, as Christians, we
need to listen to those people and work to create a society
that doesn’t place them in such difficult situations… not pass
harsh laws or stand outside abortion clinics waving signs and
“Well said! You’ve also gotten a lot of attention for
your handling of LGBTQ+ characters. In fact, earlier
this year you were recognized by GLAAD for…”
As she listened, preparing to respond, Shelby relaxed.
She had discussed it all, live, for the first time. And
she felt okay. No, she felt good!
She could do this.
This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye
for inspiring so many Dyeland stories that I need several
different types of documents to keep it all straight!
(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