Blog Fail! Worst Post of the Year #3

It’s the Blogiversary here on the Jacke Blog. One year of bringing you the hits. And the duds.

We’re counting all of them down. So far we’ve seen a pair of Objects grabbing spots five and four on the list of most popular posts.

On the list of duds, we’ve seen a hopeless pen review and a half-hearted commentary on a new name for ebooks.

(Really, those pen reviews are hard to beat. “The dream dies.” That was my dream? I’m tempted to write an Object about those two posts.)

I’m not sure what to make of the next one. I put a lot of effort into it. I thought I had something important to say about an important and timely topic (i.e., the changes to the publishing world). I linked to an article at The New York Review of Books. 

I even used the phrase “Skirt-Chasing Poobah.” Is Google not indexing my site? That must be a phrase that people are typing in.

I did all these things and more. This was a serious commentary on a serious review of a serious book! I spent half a cross-country flight putting it together!

And…you hated it. Your indifference was humbling.

Ah well. Perhaps we don’t need stories about the Kings of Publishing and how they’re dying out. Maybe we just need to look forward. Maybe we’re too busy creating our own new paths.

The Revolution Will Not Be Blogged!

Or rather – the Revolution will be blogged. But the ancien régime will not.

Or rather – the ancien régime will be blogged. But no one will care!

Failed Blog Post of the Year #3

The Kingdom of Publishing


Filed under Authors, Publishing, Writing

Winner! Top Post of the Year #4!

We’re counting down the top posts of the year here at the Jacke Blog. (As well as the worst.) It’s probably not a surprise for those of you following the Jacke Blog that so far the Objects are taking home the prizes. I’ve been very grateful at the response to these – the Blog really started to take off when I started posting them. And the comments and feedback have been so positive they have flooded my heart with joy. Thank you, Wonderful Readers!

What are the Objects? Stories. That’s it. Sometimes a little supernatural. Sometimes closely related to my own life. Sometimes not. Fiction, more or less.

Stories about being a boy in Wisconsin, and a college student in Chicago, and a vagabond, and a teacher, and a pursuer of literature, and an admirer of people who can do things, and an itinerant worker, and a wayward but ardent father, and a dutiful grandson.,,

All those things. And many more.

And of course, the popular post about the time I invented a quasi-religion through a simple act of refusal.

Top Post of 2013-2014 #4

A History of Jacke in 100 Objects #18 – The Monopoly Game Piece


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

The Countdown of Ugh Continues! Worst Post of the Year #4

It’s been a great year here on the Jacke Blog. We’re celebrating our twelve-month anniversary by posting the most and least popular posts of the year, as measured by your hits. Or lack thereof!

Today we’re at #4 of our countdown of ugh. I’m including a pair of posts, each of which could stand (sit?) in the bottom five on their own.  I think you need to see them together to see how wretched they truly were.

Words fail me. I don’t even now how to begin to describe these. What was I thinking?

Well, apparently I thought – hey, here’s a blog for people who like good stories, maybe a blog for writers, a blog for lovers of literature and philosophy, so maybe I should…review pens! A writing tool!

Except I didn’t really review them. I linked to a review of them. And then I added sort of a drifting promise that I would try one out.

People, you were right to give this one no attention whatsoever! I would not even say it’s a good Facebook post. I would not even say it’s a good tweet.

Here’s the post in its entirety.

Continue reading


Filed under Authors, Fiction, Publishing, Writing

Writers Laughing: J.R.R. Tolkien

Love this one…



Filed under Uncategorized

Blogiversary Week – The Ecstasy of an Object

Okay! It’s One-Year Anniversary Week here at the Jacke Blog, and we’re counting down the most and least popular posts of the year, as voted upon by you the readers (via your page views these past twelve months).

This morning we started things off with a wayward post about renaming the ebook.  I concluded that I should have renamed the post. Or not written the thing at all. A miserable little creature.

But this is more exciting! The countdown to the most popular! And here we are at number 5.

Jacke Wilson’s Blogiversary Celebration

Most Popular Posts of 2013-2014 #5

A History of Jacke in 100 Objects #15 – The Coffepot

This is the story of a young man who was an excellent speller. He won seven spelling bees in a row, dominating the competition year after year after year. And then, in the eighth grade, with a trip to regionals (and state! and nationals!) on the line, this champion lost for the first time in his life, shocking the town.

How could this happen? How did he stumble?

Readers, I have some tough news to deliver. A difficult set of truths.

The Eighth Grade Spelling Bee of Cadbridge, Wisconsin, in the Year of Our Lord 1984, was fixed. Completely rigged. The boy, the potential champion, lost on purpose. For reasons that remained murky for years, he threw the bee.

I know because I was that boy.

It was the worst thing I ever did. But not for the reasons you might expect. Keep reading…

Ah yes. The story of attempting to throw a spelling bee, with a couple of surprise twists. A tough one to write. An easy one (hopefully) to read. Enjoy my misery, people!

I’m not surprised to see this one here. People remember those spelling bees, and they remember the feeling of  being an adolescent longing to fit in, and they remember teachers like the one in the story.

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on this one, including an email from an eighth grade classmate, who himself is now the principal of a school. “I could still kick your ass for doing that,” he said.  If only I’d known that at the time! I was in a strange place called Puberty, where chemicals race through your body and your brain is hyperaware, hyperfocused, and often hypermisguided.

But I’m glad the story came through and resonated with readers. At least there’s that.

Congratulations, Coffepot! You’re the fifth most popular post of the year!

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

Blogiversary Week – The Agony of A Bad Headline

It’s anniversary week here on the Jacke blog! That’s right, one whole year of bringing you writers laughing, objects, small-press shoutouts, and whatever the heck else I’ve been up to in these 300 or so posts.

So how to celebrate? I thought I’d run through the archives and feature the five most popular posts of the year. And the five least popular. (I’m going by straight hit counts here, not counting likes or comments or emails or reblogs or anything like that.)

Without further ado:

Jacke Wilson’s Anniversary Celebration

Least Popular Posts of 2013-2014


The Case for CodeX


Ed Finn and Joey Eschrich argue for the need to replace the word “ebook”:

We need to embrace digital reading as its own medium, not just a book under glass. That means imagining a new language for reading as an experience, starting with a new word to use instead of book.

Their solution comes from “a crack team of novelists, journalists, and publishers conducting a gonzo experiment in the future of publishing”…

You hated this one. You really hated it. Or at least ignored it.

At first I was surprised to see this one here. It has a nice picture? But then I realized the problem with the headline. Who the heck knows what CodeX is? In fact, it’s a name made up by guys who want to rename the ebook. And in the end, I basically say I think it’s an “interesting” idea (my recollection is that I never figured out why “ebook” isn’t far superior). So I used in the headline a made-up word that a) nobody knows, and b) I myself think is probably unnecessary.

“Renaming the Ebook” probably would have gotten more attention. But alas, the post had the headline it did and got the attention it deserved. Poor little post! Drifting out there all on its own.

I had a lot of posts like this in the early days. I think I was so immersed in ebooks then, as I was putting my own out, that the world of publishing and formatting and handcrafting and DIYing and all of that was endlessly fascinating to me. But not to you!

Congratulations, The Case for CodeX! You made it onto this year’s list of least-popular posts at #5. That’s your last hurrah. No go get back in your dark little corner until I call for you again (which might be never)!


Filed under Authors, Publishing, Writing

Writers Laughing: Leo Tolstoy

Okay, so it’s not the barbaric yawp of a Seamus Heaney, or the dazzling beauty of Zora Neale Hurston, or the transformative shot of Flannery O’Connor taking in the Amana Colonies. But this is Leo Tolstoy! Born in 1828! We’re lucky to have what we have.

And it is mesmerizing. The laughter – you’ll need to look carefully – is around five and a half minutes in. I’d recommend starting at the beginning, but if you’re pressed for time, start there and watch for a minute or so. You’ll get the spirit of the man.

Did you see the part where he drinks the little glass of water? I love that part.

This short video from the BBC is another must-watch:

What a great man. I could watch these all day. Happy Birthday, Big Fella.


Filed under Authors, Fiction, Writing