Posted in Jobe Workshop Review

Step by Step Writing Class with Jobe: Reflection!

What a fantastic night with a fantastic group of people. Sci-Fi George, Romance Kim, and Poet Karen joined yours truly, Memoir Jobe! The conversation generated was so insightful and helpful, the writing written was so sparked and energetic and inspired! This was the most fun I’ve had in a minute.

I opened with introductions, as I always do, and then started with a super lame prompt because I was nervous and couldn’t find my notes. “I remember” was the awkward jump prompt in, but it went to great places from there. I told a little bit about Intention Inspired (I’ll do a blog post about just this later, but check it out, it’s cool). We discussed our strengths and weaknesses as writers. As always I had to also mention Nanowrimo.

From Writer’s Digest we took “Create a character with personality traits of someone you love, but the physical characteristics of someone you don’t care for” and opened it up to any combination of personality/appearance of person you love/hate.

For future use: I loved the idea from Write to Done of the 7x7x7 exercise. I made sure to mention Writing Exercises from the UK, which has a TON of prompts. And Karen told us about a random generator, Watchout 4 Snakes. I forgot to mention Poets & Writers.

In a similar spirit as The Write Practice, we used random words and phrases I collected from spam emails to generate lists of options.

We started with sprints, just some really short timed writings to get us going:
Computers can beat humans at chess
my collection of photos & posters from   Israel.
Amorphous Distribution Transformer Core

I was so inspired by how open and positive the group was I felt we had to do writing exercises based on each person’s favorite genre! I daresay there were some unexpected and impressive results!

SCI FI prompts
prestressed spiral rib
for the widening of
is intended for
feel a little uneasy about
Here please find
for railway sleeper , electric

ROMANCE prompts
at war, with
More than 15 years
Family Promise
you know that we’ve saved you
View an example of a Premium listing
ice cream machine.

POETRY prompts
Afternoon of Magic
we have two types
reaching the people with
dots mosaic bathroom
The payment after satisfaction
pumps and parts

I ended with some creative non-fiction (my genre) prompts, which are less common online than you might think. My favorite is David RM, who has a number of different kinds of non-fic/prose prompts. We started with a light subject, “Opinion Prompt – Do convenience items better our daily lives or shortchange our life experience?” Then we continued to a heavy subject, “Opinion Prompt – Do you think that people have the right to decide when to end their life?” I mentioned And Then I Came Back, which I can’t wait to read after hearing Estelle Laura speak at LitFest.

We end on a personal and emotional prompt, and I was was so impressed by everyone there being so authentic:

“Write about an event or time that you made a deliberate change for yourself. Write about what motivated you to make the change, and how you think that change has affected your life.”

Thank you so much for this opportunity. I was so blessed by these passionate, open-spirited writers. ❤


Posted in Jobe Workshop Review

More on the topic of Teen Poetry


Back in April, as part of the excitement surrounded the annual Literary Festival, Karen Hayes and I taught a handful of teen poetry classes at various library branches. It was a lot of fun, and there was a lot of talent in those rooms. Once the celebration took place, I didn’t think too much more about it. Well just the other night I was scrolling through the pics on my phone trying to see what I could delete to make more space when I chanced back upon the pics I’d snapped of our teen poetry workshop at the Main Library, in Lvl 4 (an entire floor of the library dedicated to just teens). Some of the stuff people wrote was silly, which is to be expected. We’re asking people to stretch writing muscles they seldom used. But more than a little bit of what they came up with was interesting, thought-provoking. So I wanted to share some of the highlights.

If I were a bird, I would know how the world looked from the top.

This cartoon world is taking over mine.

Blood runs deep.

If the idea of writing poetry sparks something in you, be sure to check out: Power Poetry

Posted in Reviews

Jobe Reads Nick Flynn ABNISS

Howdy y’all. I’m sorry I haven’t been more active but now that I’m done with my thesis I should be able to be.
It took a long ass time but I finished reading my first book of the year. I blame thesis writing and reading sections of books and shit tons of articles that didn’t amount to a full book. I changed my 50 Book Pledge to a 25 Book Pledge in light of the year already being more than 1/8 over. (You don’t want to know all the weird math I just did.)
Recommended by my independent study prof Dr. Jennie Case, I read “Another Bullshit Night in Suck City” by Nick Flynn. Depressing with bright moments. VERY well written. Creative non fic, it centers around an estranged father-son relationship. Chapters are super short, a page to three pages at a go. One main focus of the book is treatment of the homeless. After you read the book you should read this follow-up in Brevity. And don’t forget to follow him on Twitter if you go in for that sort of thing.
I forgot my own categories, (it’s been a rough couple months), so if anyone else has too, no worries. Here’s the link.

I’m going with #30 “A book about a character who is different from you.” Nick Flynn’s life involved a fair amount of drug and alcohol use, as well as some other stuff I have not experienced (no spoilers). It was interesting to read about someone on a life path so removed from my own. I’m definitely thinking about things in new ways after this, and it’s sparked some new activist interests.


In case you didn’t know, Nick Flynn is a huge big deal. He’s a memoirist and poet, and he’s done a lot of cool shit. The book of his that I read has even been turned into a movie. You can find out more about him here:

Until next time, My Lovelies.
Posted in Reviews

Jobe’s March Reads

Howdy Folks!
This month I read three books for my reading challenge. The first of three I read was Bodies, of the Holocene by Christopher Cokinos, a book of poetry which I categorized as “a book you can finish in a day.” I was fortunate enough to review this short but poignant work for the upcoming spring issue of the Arkansas Review (which you can also learn more about through the Encyclopedia of Arkansas).

The second book I read was Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen. This book did a really good job of putting into words what it is like to feel a deep need that can’t be satisfied by fleeting, loveless experiences. I categorized it as “a book by a female author” but it is many other things, besides.

The third book I read this month was Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. This graphic novel is surprisingly literary, and explores the complicated relationship between a daughter and a father who are both gay. I categorized this one as “a memoir.” This was one of the assigned texts for my Illustrated Narrative course. Bechdel first became well-known for her online comic Dykes to Watch Out For, but I first heard of the Bechdel Test from feminist blogger Anita Sarkeesian.

I hope you had a great reading month of March and keep going strong in your reading and your writing! With good weather, try plying your crafts out of doors!

Until Next Time,


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Posted in Jobe Update

Jobe’s Adventures in Grad School

As y’all may or may not know, this Jobe is enrolled in the UCA MFA creative writing program. I’m in my third year, in fact, and while I’m on the slow track, with any luck, I may actually graduate after another several semesters or so. ;D This semester I’m taking poetry and nonfiction, and I’m hoping to generate content in both classes that I can use in my thesis, which will be a memoir. (I’m older than I look, folks.)

Since classes are getting into gear, I thought I’d share some hodge-podge knowledge I’ve gleaned so far.


POMOPO (Post Modern Poetry) with Mark Spitzer:

  • Takes risks in your poetry! (Mark Spitzer)
  • Don’t use end rhyme. That’s so last century. (Mark Spitzer)
  • Go on your nerve. If you got it, flaunt it! (Frank O’Hara)
  • It’s all about tension. (Barbara Guest)
  • Collaborative work can actually turn out kind of awesome. (classroom exercises)




CNF (Creative Nonfiction) with Garry Craig Powell:

  • Ask an interesting question. (Eileen Pollack)
  • Take the picture bigger than yourself to communicate a more universal relevance. (George Orwell demonstrates this)
  • E. B. White is really funny.
  • Truth in nonfiction matters! Be as honest as you can, and let the reader know when you’re fabricating, filling in the gaps, or unsure. The reader will trust you more and appreciate you for it. (multiple class readings and discussions)



Until Next Time!