Ways to Use the JumpStart Jar

Random Word Poetry

Dump out contents of jar, mix well, set oven timer for 10 minutes, and quickly rearrange words and phrases into poetic harmony. Copy poem onto paper; serve with cappuccino, read aloud with friends.

JumpStart Jar Oracle

Solve your problems using your JumpStart Jar. Dim the lights. Light a candle or two for effect. Wrap head in colorful scarf (heavy makeup and gaudy jewelry optional). State your question or problem with a loud, dramatic voice, or write it down and seal it in an envelope. On another sheet of paper, hum or chant to enter a trance-like state, and list the characteristics associated with your question. Ring a bell or small gong, and draw a ticket from the JumpStart Jar. Lift your hands slowly from the table and read the words on the ticket. Ring bell or gong again and list characteristics or words associations that the ticket evokes from beyond.

Jot down questions that the ticket and problem evoke when paired. For example:

  • What characteristics do the problem and ticket have in common?
  • How are they different?
  • How could the ticket help me solve my problem?

Next, set a timer, relax your writing hand and allow your spirit guides to answer these questions. Your guides will force connections between the ticket and question. When the time is up, thank the spirits of beyond for their insight, and extinguish the candles.

Psychedelic Sentences

Like take random word poerty to the next level, man. Dig this… take a blue ticket (noun) a red ticket (verb), another blue ticket and a yellow one (modifier) and construct a groovy sentence. Put them together and you have cool beat-like lines, man. Here’s a couple of mine, totally random: Box vomiting cunning routines; Sleek facts of life circling the globe’s forehead. Keep writing until you get a far out result.

Mad Libs

Almost everyone has played this game before. Simply take a passage of your writing and strip out some key nouns, verbs and modifiers, and then draw new words from the jar. Replace the existing words with the nouns, verbs and modifiers on the tickets (making tense and agreement changes where necessary) and read the passage again aloud.

This game can also be played using a famous passage or speech. Remove the most memorable words and substitute them with the random replacements out of the JumpStart Jar. Do you even recognize the passage afterwards? Try it!

Story Circle

This group activity takes the Native American storytelling tradition and adds an element of improvisation to it. First select a totem to use for the story (typically this is a stick, but any object can be used). One person draws a ticket out of the JumpStart Jar and begins the story using that word somewhere within the story or telling the story beginning with that word, or about that word. He/She improvises the story until it reaches a natural breaking-point, then passes the totem to the person immediately to the left. That person draws a new ticket from the jar and incorporates that word, line or topic into the story, and passes the totem to the left, and so on. A great game to play around a campfire.

Prompt Pull

Pull a ticket out of the JumpStart Jar and set your timer for 5 minutes, write until time’s up, and pull another ticket, set the timer again, then continue the story that you started in the pervious session, incorporating the new word, line or topic into the story. When time’s up, repeat the process again. You should do this 4 to 8 times for the best result.

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