Hi all,

Welcome to the first JABB of 2023!  I can't believe that we'll be reaching JABB's 25th anniversary later this year! 

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great time ringing in the new year... or got extra sleep which is what I did. 

God bless,

Plans for 2023

So just to give an update... I definitely plan on completing "The Advocate" within the first quarter of this year.  I'm on vacation this week and hope to spend some time writing.  That being said, I highly doubt I'll be finished by Valentine's Day when I traditionally release at least a couple vignettes.  So I would expect for those to either involve characters not featured in "The Advocate" OR be set in the past or well into the future.  I have some ideas but nothing I'm completely committed to yet.

In other news, I broke down and subscribed to Microsoft Office... which means I now have access to a PowerPoint account that is not linked to my work.  Therefore, I just may be tempted to do some web-based presentations for JABB.  Maybe one on its history... maybe something within the Dyeland stories universe... maybe something about TBAA.  I dunno.  But I feel like I should get my money's worth and use PowerPoint!

Due to some confusion... mainly in the form of me completely forgetting about Sy having a dog... I have put this together:

If you read the Dyeland stories and notice I've missed any active pets, please let me know.  I'm not going way back into the pre-canon stories, hence no Chiwawa, but I am looking to include all pets who belong to currently active characters.  I hope I caught them all but who knows. 

Beyond writing, doing some housework, and finishing with updating the web site; I'm hoping to relax and watch some TV this week which brings me to...

Ask a JABBer: The Somehow This Ended Up Being All About TV Edition

1.  What's the deal with Ed and Call the Midwife?

Firstly, any character being really into a TV show requires me to have a solid knowledge of said TV show.  And the only current TV shows I watch regularly are : Our Flag Means Death, Good Omens, Stranger Things, Abbott Elementary, Ghosts, Call the Midwife, and The Chosen.  And, of course, whatever Mike Flanagan series comes out.  So... that doesn't give me a whole lot to choose from.  I went with Call the Midwife because from what I've read, Māori birthing practices are more inclusive of men than some other traditions have been historically.  So it's very possible that in his role as a principality, Ed was involved in several births and the show makes him nostalgic.  He's also particularly fond of Shelagh Turner (formerly Sister Bernadette) and I don't think it takes much thinking to figure out why if you know the show.  Nun leaves convent to marry a man?  That might really speak to the lone angel who chose to become human to marry a man.  Also, generally speaking, the show handles queer characters quite well, IMO, and so I think Ed would like that. 

And speaking of The Chosen...

2.  Do you think the Friends watch The Chosen?

I think some of them may have seen it.  Some may even enjoy it.  But I think it would be complicated.  While I haven't finished "The Advocate," by the end of "The Shepherd" we know the Twelve and a few others are hanging around St. G's.  So that means the Friends will have met the real life counterparts of nearly all of the main characters on The Chosen.  Personally, I think if someone made a TV show about people I actually knew, I wouldn't be able to stop hyper-focusing on the parts of the depictions that were least like the person I knew and loved.  Like I think Mr. Roumie does a fantastic job as Jesus.  However, when he acts in a way that doesn't align with how I view Joshua, it's very jarring for me.  And that's not at all to say that depiction is wrong.  My own head canon could be wrong.  But without knowing, obviously I'm going to side with my depiction.  So now imagine you've actually spent considerable time with Jesus/Joshua.  Anything that doesn't align with what you know could be very off-putting and since you actually experienced it, you can't be like "Oh... well, I could be wrong." 

Like to cite another example, we haven't spent much time with Cephas yet but he's pretty unlike Simon Peter in The Chosen in some key ways.  I'll give you a lil peek behind the scenes at my character notes for him:

Shimeon aka Cephas was called when he was 22.  As the eldest in his family, he was used to being in charge and that belief carried over to his time with Yeshua.  He liked to think of himself as Yeshua's right hand man... and in many ways he was.  Brash and loud among men, Cephas displayed a different side with his wife, Rakhyl, and daughter, Khawa... both of whom he nearly lost during a difficult childbirth.    That experience only strengthened Cephas' protective nature.  It also left Khawa paralyzed from the waist down.  Thankfully, Yeshua cured the toddler right around the time he cured her maternal grandmother.  The fact that he owed the lives of two people he loved to Yeshua made Shimeon's later betrayal even harder for him to bear.  When he's in the mortal realms, he's sometimes still haunted by his cowardice even though he knows he was forgiven long ago. 

Meanwhile, Simon on the show is childless.  He was also a gambler.  I just don't think that fits the man I described above.  So if I really were JenniAnn, I think I would have a hard time watching The Chosen and seeing Simon gamble and hang out in a pub on the reg when I know the reality is that, at that same age, he was working himself to the bone and saving every shekel he could to support his special needs child. 

All this to say, I think the Friends would think The Chosen was a great show to have around because it does depict a very likable without being watered down Jesus.  It shows his love.  They would definitely never dissuade anyone from watching it.  Heck, they might even hand out DVDs or directions on how to download the app to people who they think would be helped by it but that they can't be like "Hey, you need to meet my friend, Joshua.  He's a member of the Trinity" with.  Some of them probably even watch each episode at least once so they can chat about it with friends and family.  I just don't think they're watching it a whole lot on repeat because it would just be too weird. 

Anyway, speaking as my actual self, I would definitely recommend watching The Chosen and, in fact, all the shows I listed in #1. 

3.  So what shows do you think they watch even if you don't?

I have a suspicion Rose and Max watch House of the Dragon based on their past love of a fantasy series that I no longer include in the Dyeland stories because of my anger at their creator...  Plus, Rose has an interest in history and so probably enjoys seeing the costumes and, in general, the medieval look of the show.  Max probably watches it as a mental exercise to keep his psychiatric skills sharp.  Like "If Viserys was my patient, how would I treat him?"  (And, yes, I had to Google that name because I didn't want to just refer to him as "really blonde guy with leprosy").  But because I don't watch it, it doesn't really come up.  I can totally imagine a scenario where JenniAnn is like "The costumes look so cool!  Maybe I should watch!" and Andrew gulping and being like "If you want to... I'll watch with you."  And then Max being like "Nope and nope.  As your son and a psychiatrist, I'm banning you both from watching any and all A Song of Ice and Fire projects."  And Andrew breathes a sigh of relief and Rose sends JenniAnn a link to a slideshow of costumes from the show since that's all she wanted anyway.

Takoda and Joccy likely watch Reservation Dogs which, unlike House of the Dragon, is a show I actually do want to watch at some point. 

Avi and Belle, and thus their parents, probably watch Bluey because everyone I know who has small children watches that.

I think the former vampires might have a "too soon" attitude towards all vampire media... with the exception of Logan likely loving What We Do in the Shadows.  Since he was a bit sheltered from the grimmer aspects of vampirism, I could see him and Zelda unwinding at night with an episode or two. 

I think Marty and Sandy would enjoy Ghosts and the former could definitely use some more laughter in his life!  While I watch the U.S. version, they might prefer the U.K. one.  Or maybe they watch both!  After all, Marty knows the history on both sides of the pond.

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for being part of a TV show that I spent many days off binging and enjoying.

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