The Restless Mind Show 5 – Gar Discovers a Lost Recording of Walt Whitman!


Gar finds a lost recording of Walt Whitman reading his own poetry! Plus: Author Jacke Wilson gives an update on the Greatest First Lines contest.


Good Luck NaNoWriMoers!

It’s National Novel Writing Month! And once again, I’m astounded by people who hate this project. (Has Laura Miller written her annual screed yet? I can’t wait.) Here’s a post from a while back:

NaNoWriMo: A Full-Throated Defense

What better way to tune up than to pull your favorite book off the shelf, study the first line or two, and enter our contest?

Onward and upward, everyone! Good luck with the writing!

Best Case Name Ever (A Jacke Wilson Objectino)

Another day, another Objectino.* This one straight from the courthouse…


Overheard at a legal proceeding:

LAWYER 1: What’s the best case name you ever cited in a brief? For me, I figure it’s gotta be Lone Star Ladies v. Schlotzsky’s Deli. Or here’s one for you: Fattman v. Bear. New Jersey case.

LAWYER 2: Fattman v. Bear? [chuckling] That’s pretty vivid.

LAWYER 1: No kidding. [shudders] Kind of makes me feel ill, just picturing it.

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A Marriage at Odds (A Jacke Wilson Objectino)

Time for another Objectino!* This one comes straight from the underbelly of a marriage…


WIFE: [looking out the window] Oh great. It’s raining out. What are the odds that today is Saturday?
HUSBAND: One in seven.
WIFE: [exasperated] You know what I mean. It was sunny all week when I was stuck in that stupid office. What are the chances that the one day of rain we get this whole week happens to be on the weekend?
HUSBAND: Two in seven.

WIFE: I hate you sometimes.

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The Shirt Pocket Avatar (A Jacke Wilson Objectino)

Back to the workplace for another Objectino!*


Overheard in an office meeting:

MAN: I realized the other day that my shirt pockets are so thin you can see my photo ID through them. For years there’s been this little me riding around in my shirt, right on my chest, where everyone could see it. I had this idea that maybe I should use that little guy, like there’d be this little man who would say all the things I wanted to say but couldn’t. The real me would be saying, “Okay, I’ll get that to you right away, no problem.” And the little me on my chest would say, [makes tiny voice ] “Up yours, jackass.” I don’t know…am I working too hard?

WOMAN: I think you answered that question about five sentences ago.

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Great Moments in Parenting (A Jacke Wilson Objectino)

Today’s Objectino* includes a video!


Two young parents are admiring their sleeping six-month-old boy.

FATHER: He’s getting so big—pretty soon he’ll be learning how to read, and we’ll be watching all those great educational shows, like Sesame Street and Electric Company

MOTHER: Oh yeah! Electric Company. Those two silhouettes talking to each other.

[MOTHER holds up hands like two puppets facing each other]

MOTHER [opening one hand]: Sh…

[Long pause. MOTHER stares at the other hand.]


[Long pause. MOTHER does not open the other hand.]

MOTHER [dropping her hands to her sides]: The only thing I could think of was shit!!!

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Small-Press Shoutout: Checking in on Little Pickle Press

A perfect little gift for anyone who loves to write…

Readers! Writers! Book lovers! It’s time for another small-press shoutout! These are the posts that remind us all that even in a faceless, sterile, bottom-line industry like publishing, there are people out there doing some great work envisioning their dreams and making sure good books get to good people.

We ran a ton of these last year around the holidays, and my hope was to do that again. Unfortunately I’ve haven’t gotten to as many as I’d like. But I did want to check in on one small press…

That’s right. Little Pickle Press! Continue reading

New Office Technology (A Jacke Wilson Objectino)

Today’s Objectino* goes back to the land of the Blood Cake


After the New York office criticized us for having old equipment, our bosses splurged on a new videoconference room with state-of-the-art technology. At our next weekly luncheon with New York, we were excited to demonstrate how the camera swiveled automatically to focus on whoever was speaking.

We were taking turns talking, inwardly congratulating ourselves for finally beating New York at something, when suddenly the camera zoomed in on Beth, who had just taken an especially large bite of her sandwich.

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Price Drop! Books Priced Cheap for Holiday Shoppers!

I know, I know. Holiday shopping is a pain. If you’re like me, you don’t want to set foot in a mall unless it’s to watch a movie. (Speaking of which, I saw Big Hero 6 other day, and it was not bad. My younger son choked up when he saw the part [spoiler alert] where the hero watches the video of his older brother, who earlier in the movie was killed in an explosion. It was so sweet! My little one’s love for his older brother is a powerful force. He denied it all, of course, claiming afterward that the only thing that made him sad was that not enough of the main characters died. Well, somewhere under that bravado is a soft sensibility. He’ll be like me someday! The big softie. I wanted so badly to see The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. I was outvoted.)

Cyber Monday is kind of a pain. It starts out fun, clicking away, shopping, shopping, adding to cart, adding to cart, and purchase! Christmas joy is on its way! And then it gets to be kind of a drag. American Giant, I love you man, but your emails are starting to overwhelm me. And Jen Bekman…we may have a problem. Don’t make me unsubscribe you. Please. We did some beautiful transacting together, once upon a time. I don’t want this ugliness to color the past.

Anyway! If you’re like me, you are tired of people selling things at you all the time. How much advertising? How many logos? How many requests? How many shiny emails? And yet…it’s inevitable! Because this is the season for giving. And, let’s be honest, getting. It’s just no fun to deal with crowds and payments and choices. When you don’t know what to buy someone, it feels bad. We love these people! Why can we not find one thing we think will make them happy?

Well, your troubles are over. Continue reading

The Wayward Joke (A Jacke Wilson Objectino)

Yesterday was fun! Let’s try another Objectino!*

Dinnertime. An earnest seven-year-old is attempting to tell a joke:

BOY: Okay. Two cannibals are eating a clown. What does one cannibal say to the other?
BOY’S MOTHER: I don’t know, what?
BOY: “Does this taste funny?”
BOY’S MOTHER: Why are two cannonballs eating a clown?

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