Writers, Meet the “Car Talk of Scribes” in new podcast by authors Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter

Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter are the "Car Talk of Scribes" in their new podcast A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment.

Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter are the “Car Talk of Scribes” in their new podcast A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment.

As the universe would have it, I discovered the six-month old podcast, “A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment,” hosted by Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter. Like their Car Talk counterparts (the popular NPR radio show featuring two brothers who humorously answer questions about cars and life), Sherman and Jess do the same in the context of writing.

Why I like this show:

It’s funny.
Sherman and Jess are really friends, and it comes across in their on-air banter. In responding to a reader question about progress, Jess offered that when he was 27 like the listener, he hadn’t had any successes yet, and Sherman followed up with that he was a New York Times bestseller.
“Sure, make him feel bad,” Jess said. “Sherman’s an outlier.”

In another episode, they reminisce on their first word processors. Sherman recalls his Brother word processor (that was mine too!) and Jess details carrying around a 27-pound briefcase that transformed into one. “Boy,” Sherman said. “You really were a white boy with a war pony.”

They keep it real.
Though they are both writers who have had mainstream success, they are open about their day-to-day hurdles with writing – including fearing that one might have reached his zenith and there’s nothing left but 20 to 30 years of unfinished manuscripts.

They share their new work.
In one episode, Sherman reads a story that he’d been working on for several years about a homeless woman and her dog that needs surgery. I had to listen with half an ear because I already felt myself tearing up after the first 30 seconds. Sherman had been working on that story for several years which is encouraging for the rest of us. Even writers who will be inducted into the Academy of Arts and Letters (Sherman will be in May) cannot evade the “glacial pace” that is writing and submitting and publishing. Edits are finally done on his latest contracted work. The publication date? 14 months from now.

I’m officially (or unofficially, depending on who you ask) declaring A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment, the companion podcast to Behind the Prose.

Listen to both. Learn. Write.