Best Case Name Ever (A Jacke Wilson Objectino)

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

A JACKE WILSON OBJECTINO

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…

A JACKE WILSON OBJECTINO

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!*

A JACKE WILSON 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!

A JACKE WILSON OBJECTINO

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.]

MOTHER: Sh…

[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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New Office Technology (A Jacke Wilson Objectino)

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

A JACKE WILSON OBJECTINO

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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The Glamorous Colleague (A Jacke Wilson Objectino)

Introducing…the Objectino!*

Overheard at an office meeting:

WOMAN 1: I’ve always had this thing for the days of real glamour. You know, like the Fifties and Sixties, when women had style. I was born at the wrong time! I could see myself as an Audrey Hepburn…or a Jackie O…

WOMAN 2: There’s a potato chip on your boob.


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Thanksgiving Week 4: The Readers!

We’ve spent Thanksgiving week giving thanks to the Kids, the Elders, and Life’s Sweet Partners. That covers most ground (sorry friends, coworkers, and facebook people I’m pretending to recall better than I actually do – maybe next year!). Or at least it covers most ground personally.

Professionally, I still owe someone special. My enormous debt of gratitude, and my undying thanks, go to a larger community. Continue reading

The Indie Spirit: Martin Short and Harry Shearer

My name is Jacke Wilson, and I’m an indie author.

Yes, there’s a stigma attached to this. All those people saying: “Who do you think you are, Jacke Wilson?” and “There is no check on quality anymore! You can’t just SAY you’re a writer.” and “The self-publishing world is like an agent’s slushpile times a zillion!”

I’ve gotten over it. Mainly for the same reasons I gave in my support of NaNoWriMo. What’s the harm to you, Madame Slushpile? Who are you to stop me from writing and publishing what I want?

And also…I do have eyes, people. I’ve been to Barnes & Noble. I’ve seen what the gatekeepers have let through. If anyone think they provide a check on quality, as opposed to marketability…well, I don’t know what to say.

When I first cranked up this blog I posted several tributes to what I called the indie spirit. These were links to people – famous people, celebrated authors or artists – who took things into their own hands. Ezra PoundDr. JohnsonStéphane MallarméMarcel Proust. I had others as well – ten or twelve, I would guess. Some were people who adapted to technology before the rest of the field. Or who wrote a book that was claimed to be “unsellable” or “unpublishable,” but who found a way to sidestep the naysayers and get their voice heard somehow.

I posted a lot of these because I was trying to talk myself into why self-publishing was a good idea. Every success story heartened me; I drank them in, in the way someone afraid of flying might stop off at the airport bar for “shots of courage.”

Now that I’m on the other side (two books, a podcast, a blog, and lots more on the way), I consider my efforts a success. Success on a tiny scale, sure. But tens of thousands of readers and listeners is far more than I ever expected. Frankly, it’s more than most of my friends who have published with traditional publishers have. That’s the dirty little secret of literary fiction: A few Mobys. Lots of minnows.

And my experience has been better than theirs! Most of them hate their publisher: hate the contract, hate the lack of support they received, hate the cover of their book, hate the changes they were forced to make.

I am responsible to no one. I rise and fall with my own decisions. It’s liberating. It feels creative. It feels artistic.

Everywhere else in my life I’m governed by forces out of my control. But in this realm, where freedom is everything, I have it.

My friends have been told that their lack of success on the first book means that publishers won’t want to see their second. Does this have anything to do with quality? Is this how we encourage artists and writers in today’s world? It’s a ridiculous premise.

Most of my friends are so dispirited they’re ready to give up. I’m just getting started!

But set aside all that highfalutin’ puffery. Save that for the intellekshuls, as my beloved Flannery might say.

The main difference between the old way and the new way is this: I was getting nowhere the old way.

I had an idea for a novella-length piece of work. Ready to go! Fresh paper in front of me! Blue pen all revved up! Just a quick run to the agent websites to see where I’ll be aiming this when I’m finished…

Wait, what? A novella? About a hundred pages? You’re telling me not to bother? Nobody wants them? Publishers won’t look at them? Agents laugh behind your back for being so naive?

But…I like reading them. Don’t others like short novels? People are busy, no one has time for a novel…Wait, why the hell are you getting in our way?

Writers! Readers! The decision to connect or not should be their decision, not yours.

Because, Jacke. Just…because.

So then what? Set down my pen? Or decide to bring it out myself?

I brought it out myself.

And whatever you think about its quality, I think you would have to agree that it’s a better outcome than setting down my blue pen altogether. (If you can’t even meet me that far, if you’re going to tell me that I should not even bother writing anything if it’s a length that traditional publishers don’t want to sell, then we’re just not going to agree. Thanks for stopping by. You can go work out your daddy issues or whatever is forcing you into the comfortable thought that People In Charge Know What’s Best For Us. I’ll side with the artists, and the people, and the barbaric desire to create, every time.)

Here’s where Martin Short and Harry Shearer come in. Remember the Men’s Synchronized Swimming sketch? It struck the young me like a hurricane. I did not think I had ever seen anything this funny before.

I hope you’ve seen it. If you’re over forty, you probably have. If you’re a comedy fan, you probably have too. It makes it onto a lot of lists. In any case, it’s here if you want to take a look.

Here’s Martin Short describing his first year of SNL and the short films in particular:

I remember after we shot synchronized swimming, I said to Harry, What do you think we have here? Do you think these pieces are any good? And he said, “I don’t know, but all I know is that in L.A. I would have had two potential meetings about an idea and here at least we’re shooting stuff.” So he was thrilled about that, I remember.

Yes! Yes! And to that I can say, “Stigma? All I know is that in the past I’d have spent a hundred hours writing synopses and cover letters to agents and this way at least I have actual readers.”

So who cares if Grandma’s memoirs go online? Let’s let freedom ring! Let’s let creativity rule! Let’s seize the power! And the day! And the reins! Let’s seize whatever we can get our grubby little artistic hands on!

You’re telling me that books can’t make it in the world without the stamp of someone official? That the author’s imprimatur is insufficient? I refute it thus, Madame Slushpile!

   

Onward and upward, people!