Posted in Special Announcement

Tonight is the night! GENRE WARS: Romance vs. Erotica!

Tonight is the night you’ve all been waiting for, GENRE WARS: Romance vs. Erotica! This workshop will be co-hosted by yours truly J. Jobe and Kassandra Klay and you won’t want to miss a moment of it!

Here’s a snippet from the press release:
logoRomance vs. Erotica Writing Workshop
CALS Main Library, 100 Rock St., Little Rock
Thursday, September 28, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Instructors J. Jobe and Kassandra Klay lead this conversation on how the genres differ, surprising traits they have in common, and offer tips on how to construct scenes that will thrill.

And here’s a snippet from the website:
Romance vs. Erotica Writing Workshoplogo
Thursday, September 28 • 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. • Main Library
Find out how the genres differ, what surprising traits they have in common, and how to construct scenes that thrill. Instructors Jobe and Kassandra Klay tell us what’s hot and what’s not. Audience: Adults Only!

Posted in Special Announcement

Banned Books Week is coming up!

In only a month Banned Books Week will be here! There’s a WRITING CONTEST, a BAKING CONTEST, and a workshop co-hosted by yours truly J. Jobe and Kassandra Klay. You won’t want to miss a moment of it! Check it out!!!!!

For our part, K and I will be co-hosting a writing workshop including discussion and prompts. Here’s a snippet from the press release:
logoRomance vs. Erotica Writing Workshop
CALS Main Library, 100 Rock St., Little Rock
Thursday, September 28, 5:30 p.m.
Instructors Jobe and Kassandra Klay lead this conversation on how the genres differ, surprising traits they have in common, and offer tips on how to construct scenes that will thrill.

And here’s a snippet from the website:
Romance vs. Erotica Writing Workshoplogo
Thursday, September 28 • 5:30 p.m. • Main Library
Find out how the genres differ, what surprising traits they have in common, and how to construct scenes that thrill. Instructors Jobe and Kassandra Klay tell us what’s hot and what’s not. Audience: Adults

 

Posted in Reading Challenge, Reviews

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff by Christopher Moore

Well, it’s really frustrating to have to re-write a post you already wrote once, but I love you guys, so, here. I read Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore and I was pleasantly surprised by the rich authenticity of the time period, place setting, and religious customs depicted in Moore’s cheeky fiction. While the text is undeniably sacrilegious, as well as rife with cursing and bestiality jokes, I’d like to think that a Christian with a sense of humor might grudgingly acknowledge how respectfully Moore treats the actual character of Jesus, in his book called Joshua. Here is a sinless being who yet somehow maintains being a mostly normal kid. And then in the teen years, Josh remains a sinless teen, his lifestyle portrayed in sharp relief against Biff the sinner, who I’d go so far as to say represents most of us.

1361182242_gabrielThe book opens with an angel of God raising Biff (or Levi, who is called Biff) from the dead, with the holy mission of writing out the story of Joshua’s first thirty years. Those familiar with the more traditional Biblical text will recognize Josh’s time with the temple priests around age 12, discussion of the three wise men present at his birth, and the depiction of the end of Joshua’s life, the focus of the opening four books or so of the New Testament. But we readers here get to encounter a sweet, guileless Joshua and his lying pal Biff who mostly keeps them out of trouble, and some of Josh’s earliest miracles (think regular miracles, but with training wheels) as he tries to figure things out. We encounter his baptism-obsessed cousin John. There’s even an endearing Roman solider character who befriends Josh and Biff and looks out for them. Our pair of good Jewish boys is rounded into a trio with the addition of a little kid Maggie, short for Mary of the Magdalene.

sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssWhat makes up the bulk of the novel, however, is Moore’s invented adventures of Joshua and Biff travelling East in pursuit of wisdom and how to be a Messiah, picking up knowledge about everything from Bodhisattvas to yoga to Kali along the way. Joshua learns philosophies from Buddhism, Taoism, Confuscianism. Moore even includes a number of moments where Joshua says something to the effect of, “Oh, that’s good, I’m gonna remember that,” as little origin stories for some of his most familiar sentiments, like the “do unto others” adage. Joshua and his loyal sidekick Biff pursue each of the three wise men in turn, studying in luxury here, ascetically there. Then, equipped with the knowledge of the East as well as the West, Josh and Biff make it back home just in time to pick up the more familiar stories of disciples, preaching on the mountain, water to wine, loaves and fishes. For anyone not offended by some pretty cheeky banter, Moore’s comedic depiction is a fun one.

20155658_10155591840405452_6760688062514265129_nThis is the first time I’d read a book for a book club, so that was an interesting aspect of the reading experience, too. Let me just say, there is no book that is not made better by Vino’s pizza! Word Virus is the club, sponsored through the library, and it was neat to meet new and different people with just this one book in common. I am told that readers familiar with Moore’s work will recognize an angel named Raziel and a demon named Catch from previous works. Reading this novel definitely made me curious to revisit the original texts of my Pentecostal upbringing, as well as the much more serious but just as loving novel, Christ the Lord by Anne Rice.

Reading Challenges
Here we go for reading challenge updates:

  • PopSugar 2017 reading challenge No. 31 A book with a main character who is a different ethnicity than you. This Christian writer states, “Jesus of Nazareth likely had a darker complexion than we imagine, not unlike the olive skin common among Middle Easterners today. ” And Wiki reports that “Most scholars believe that Jesus would have been similar in appearance to the modern inhabitants of the Middle East, due to the Bible (and other historical accounts) referring to him as a Galilean Israelite.” #blackjesus y’all. And while I’m at it #blacksanta too.
  • Book Dragon’s Lair Audiobook challenge Nope.
  • Book Dragon’s Lair Pages Read challenge This 464 pgs brings me to 7,737 pgs for the year so far.
  • Read It Again, Sam Nope.
  • My Reader’s Block Mount To Be Read (TBR) and Rock My TBR challenge Nope.
  • For the Diverse Reads challenge (here and here) Nope, but I’m reading that one now.
  • The Book Date Full House challenge Dang. This is the first title I wasn’t able to fit easily into a category.  I knew it would happen eventually but I was surprised how upset it made me feel: somehow I thought everything would just naturally fall into place until the challenge was completed! And only then would I happen to read books that didn’t fit these categories! But then I remembered that everybody gets one free space, so I’m using this for that. Yay!
  • The Book Date Read the Books You Buy challenge Yes, and this puts me at 10 read of 25 bought, or 40%, which is likely the closest to the next category, “Moderately Successful” (which starts at 41%) as I’ll get. I just can’t turn up a chance to buy books! They’re too wonderful! What if the apocalypse happens and the books we own in our homes are all that’s left of the world’s literature!
  • The Worm Hole’s What’s In A Name challenge Nope.

Hashtags for the challenges that had them:
#popsugarreadingchallenge
#rockmytbr
#diversereads2017
#whatsinaname2017

Got any fun plans for the upcoming weekend?
Love,

Jobe

Posted in Thursday Writers

Thursday Writers w Jobe

I’ve been pretty excited by all the reading challenges lately but I haven’t forgotten about writing, I promise. I have a local group that exchanges work every other week and meets every other week to critique each other’s work, which I’ve dubbed Second Set, because it’s always good to have a second set of eyes on your work.

I have also had the good fortune lately to be spending time with Karen Hayes, who is the indomitable spearhead of the Laman Scribble — a monthly gathering at Laman Library for practice writing on the spot! — and Dogtown Poetry on Demand. She is a force to be reckoned with, a presence in the community, and a kindred spirit. We have lately been asked to co-teach some CALS poetry programs for teens in preparation for the upcoming teen poetry contests! (You may have seen my over-eager pre-post a few days ago.) So I’ve been percolating on that, too.

If you have kids or younger siblings that fit the bill, please tell them to check it out. Here’s the link for the one at Main, and below are all the dates and times at various branches:

16831878_10154144913816891_350472519431772921_n
Source The Master Shift

Thursday, March 9
4:00 p.m.
Rooker Library
“If You’re a Poet…”
Karen & Jobe

Thursday, March 23
4:30 p.m.
Williams Library
“Poetry Out Loud”
Jobe (solo)

Thursday, March 30
4:00 p.m.
Main Library, Level 4
“Poetry for All”
Karen & Jobe

Friday, March 31
4:00 p.m.
Nixon Library
“Words with Teens”
Karen (solo)

 

Thinking about teens and poetry reminded me that sometimes you’ve got to go all the way back to the beginning, and Analytical Grammar had this fun post the class might enjoy:

16831878_10154144913816891_350472519431772921_n

I could give them my own beginner’s rhyme invention, my frustration, in limeric:

The problem in writing a poem
Is not knowing how to begin
Followed succintly
With how to continue
And finally writing the end.

But more than anything, I think young people will respond to the genuineness and fervor of slam poetry, so I sort of just want to inundate them with favorites!

Posted in Random Round Up, Reviews, Wednesday Readers

Best of 2016 from NPR

I adore looking at book covers, which is one of many reasons I prefer 50 Book Pledge to its mainstream counterpart Goodreads (but of course I have accounts with both). NPR put out a “best of” list of books from 2016, and it does not disappoint. You’ll find a multitude of represented genres here, from romance to kid lit. You’ll likely recognize many famous names. Maybe you have even had the pleasure of reading some of these gems.

Included below is my review of Colson Whitehead’s genius work The Underground Railroad: A Novel, first featured on CALS Bibliocommons (a great site, but one which you have to have a library card with Central Arkansas Library System to use):

57a101e3c724f-imageThe Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead uses a premise we’ve likely all imagined: that the underground railroad consists of real trains, deep in the earth, helping slaves to escape their bondage and forge ahead to better lives in the free states. While this elegant metaphor is sustained throughout the novel with a light hand and to poignant affect, there is nothing else fanciful about this book. Whitehead doesn’t turn away from the ugly evils of southern history. We see the cruelty of white slave-owners, the hatred and fear of lynch mobs, the insidious racism of whites who pity blacks for perceived deficiencies. But we are able to bear all this because of the courage and determination of our main character, Cora, who never gives up. We find in her the best of human goodness and a heroine we can be proud to believe in. Woven into and throughout our protagonist’s tale, we spy glimpses of generational narratives in family lines, grandmother to mother to daughter and father to son. In a time when people are treated like things, do we apologize to our children for bringing them into this awful world, or do we continue our lines in defiance of that wickedness, and toil toward, even give our lives, for a better tomorrow? In light of recent violence against people of color, too often resulting in fatalities, this book is extremely well-timed. Whitehead is master writer, and this book should be required reading in high schools nationwide.
J. Jobe (Central Arkansas Library System, Encyclopedia of Arkansas)

Posted in Sunday Funnies

Sunday Funnies w Jobe

Watching the Deadpool movie made me want to read some Deadpool comics, so I tried Deadpool vs SHIELD from the library. Below are a few of my favorite jokes from within these pages. CALS has about a million more Deadpool comics and comics of all kinds, so you should seriously check out their comics section.