This Is It! The Top Post of the Year!

This is it! We’ve come to the end of the Blogiversary Extravaganza, in which I’ve counted down the top posts of the year. Object, object, object, object. Ho-hum. I even had to throw in a few honorable mentions just to keep things interesting. (Hello, Soho Press, John Lennon’s Writing Wisdom, and the irrepressible Charlotte Brontë, dumping her hopeless suitor!)

This countdown has been fun, people! I’ve indulged myself by smothering myself in glory. And you were right there with me! Although you haven’t enjoyed it nearly as much as you have the countdown to the absolute worst posts of the year. Ah, people. I don’t know what to say. What is it about humans that love disaster so much? Must it be that way? Does it have to be the case that recalling the posts that blew up in my face has been more popular than traipsing back through the hits? Something wrong about that. Twisted. Perverse. (And I would do the exact same thing, of course.)

But now it’s time. The top post of the year. I hinted that it might be The Burger Car (still one of the most popular endings), or The Monster (which prompted perhaps the best comment of the year), or maybe The Spitwad (underappreciated but well loved in a sneaky way). The Sweater caught fire for a while and made a late run. The Mugs did their slice-of-life thing. Fell short anyway. Of course. They are The Mugs. That is their nature.

Only one Object could be at the top. And this one earned its way there. That’s right… the story about the time I shared an office with Jerry Seinfeld… the real Jerry Seinfeld… and if you remember the story you’ll know what that means…

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Filed under Authors, Fiction, Publishing, The History of Jacke, Writing

Writers Laughing: Norman Mailer and Truman Capote

Another curious one. Knowing these two, my guess is that they despised each other 99.99 percent of the time.

But in that other .01 percent …

mailer-capote-laughing

…big laughs for everyone!

Image credit: Popaganda.gr

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Best Posts of the Year: The Honorable Mentions

Image Credit: Astrid Kircherr, courtesy of Vanity Fair

Blogiversary Week is about to conclude with the top post of the year. (In case you missed it, the worst posts of the year have already been spotlighted. Check out The Case for Something I Don’t Care About, “Pen Reviews”, The Skirt-Chasing PoobahHaiku Nothingness, and Company Does Not Love Misery. Or don’t!)

I’ve hinted that the top post will be one of my Object stories, as were numbers five, four, three, and two. And guess what? It is! I’ll be revealing it soon.

It’s not a surprise that the Objects dominated the field this year. Nothing else really came close.

But today I wanted to highlight the few posts that almost cracked into Object territory. We do more than just crank out Objects here at the Jacke blog! And here were some of the most well-received Non-Objects of the year:

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Writers Laughing: Sherman Alexie

So excellent…

Sherman_Alexie_laughing

Image Credit: Rob Casey via Blue Mesa Review

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Here It Is! The Worst Post of the Year

Ah yes, the Blogiversary. One year of bringing you the hits. And the catastrophic failures. Our Countdown of Ugh concludes with the worst post of the year, as measured by your complete indifference. Nothing on this site received less love than this one. It came to you, hat in hand, a humble post seeking attention. And the Internet looked elsewhere. The Internet yawned.

What was it? Continue reading

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Writers Laughing: Lorrie Moore

Lorrie Moore laughing? I doubt it! She makes other people laugh, with her caustic observations and acid puns. I doubt you’d ever see much more from her than a bitter half-smile, a knowing eyebrow lift, maybe an amused and slightly sinister glint in her eyes…

Lorrie-Moore-Signing

Oh no. Oh no no no no no. What are you doing, guy in plaid jacket? Approaching her while she’s signing books? Leaning over to say something? Back off, Mr. Plaid! Haven’t you read her work? Don’t you know who you’re dealing with? She eats guys like you for breakfast… so wait… what are you… Continue reading

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Review of The Race: “Absolutely Fascinating”

People! It’s another great day here at the Jacke Blog. We’ve had a few of those lately – I have truly been fortunate to receive such positive reviews and feedback. I’m simply overwhelmed by it all.  Thank you, readers!

All right. Enough, enough. The good news for those of you who enjoy the more miserable Jacke, is that I have to force myself to announce my worst post of the year. That’s right. Number one is around the corner (or should I say just over the cliff’s edge?).

Also the best. I’m counting those down too as part of the Blogiversary celebration. Number one is on the way!

I do notice that my countdown of the worst blog posts of the year are much more popular than my links to the best. Ha ha! Misery loves company. And Jacke. Especially when he’s flaming out with his attempt to write pen reviews. Or stirring up the Haiku mafia.

But today’s not miserable, because I received a very flattering review of my book The Race from the excellent Jennifer Sahmoun over at her site A Line From a Book. If you haven’t checked her out, you should head over there soon.

I’ve talked before about all my failure, my years of zero audience, my ups and downs, all the agony and doom. I won’t rehearse that little speech again. But I do want to frame my gratitude: it is such a wonderful feeling to have connected with a reviewer like Jennifer. Storytelling is magic!

And The Race is a story about failure! The failure of a human, the failure of a politician, the failure of the system that creates people like him, and the failure of an observer who cannot help and cannot stop watching. Jennifer gets at this in her review. Let’s take a look:

I found this book absolutely fascinating. There was no crime to investigate, no thrills, no action scenes, no romantic scenes just a compelling story that is a journey through what motivates a man to do what he does.

Amazing! I love this. The power of story!

The story is told by a lawyer who is asked by a disgraced politician to help him organize his biography. Then the politician decides he wants to run for office again. He has no support from the media, no support from his party and especially no support from his family. Why? Because while serving as the governor of the state of Wisconsin he had an affair and disappeared for a few days to be with his mistress.

Concise summaries are hard to pull off. This really nails it. A side note: I think it’s especially difficult for an author to summarize his or her own work. We should all adopt the exchange that my wife and I worked out long ago: I update her resume, and she updates mine. It’s a much easier task when someone has some built-in distance. Back to the review!

Only in this story, his wife does not stand by her husband on stage or anywhere else and neither do his children. People turn away when he walks down the street. And yet he continues until the last moment to be optimistic that the voters will come through for him. Our storyteller is with the candidate through every step of his campaign because he has no manager and no staff.

Yes! The perfect summary continues. And it makes me feel that pull all over again. The Governor is such a pathetic creature. But don’t feel sorry for him, reader. He’s too elliptical for that. His personal will deflect your pity!

I couldn’t help but feel that there is a lot of truth in the author’s portrayal of the candidate that confirms my personal opinion that some of them seem to live in a bit of a fantasy world.

Exactly!

I also found the author’s writing style to be very approachable, like a friend relating a story.

I love this. Just love it. EXACTLY the style I was trying to achieve.

Bottom line, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to everyone. And since it’s a novella and doesn’t require a huge commitment of time, those of you that might not typically pick up a book in this genre should really give it a try. I hope to read more from Jacke Wilson in the near future.

And I would be honored to have you as a reader. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


You can read the review in its natural home at A Line From A Book. Or buy the book at Amazon or other bookstores. My thanks again to Jennifer for really nailing this review. If you’re interested in a free review copy of one of my books, let me know! Onward and upward!

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Filed under Authors, Fiction, Novellas, Publishing, The Race, Writing