My 2016 Deal Me “IN” Roster

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Since December 2010, I have spent some time near year end by coming up with a list of fifty-two short stories to read during the new year. I assign each story I plan to read to a playing card in a standard deck. Each week I draw one card and that is the story I read for that week. By the end of the year’s fifty-two weeks, I’m out of my fifty-two cards and out of stories. The second year that I did the “Deal Me In” challenge here at Bibliophilopolis, my reading colleague Dale (blogging at “Mirror With Clouds“) joined me. The third year, a few more bloggers did – including Katherine at “The Writerly Reader” who has also become a mainstay in the DMI crowd – and the year after that even more, including the “Behold the Stars” blog, which added the wrinkle of reading essays, poetry, and plays in addition to short tories. So, though it’s hard for me to believe, the Deal Me In Challenge is now entering its sixth year! If you’d like to try this challenge (or any of its shorter variations) the explanation of how it works and the sign up post may be found here. Won’t you join me in 2016?

Since 2016 is the year of (my home state) Indiana’s Bicentennial, I wanted to theme my short story reading challenge this year related to the ongoing celebration of our 200th birthday.  So… I am reading exclusively “Indiana stories” (stories written by an Indiana author, or having some Indiana connection) this year, and even throwing some short non-fiction into the mix for the first time.  I’ve also dubbed this year’s challenge Deal Me “IN” since IN is the postal abbreviation for Indiana. 🙂  Is there any end to my cleverness? Ha ha ha. Not yet, because I’ve also located an Indiana deck of cards which I’ll be using as my short story deck.  It features 14 unique pictures (see below) with, for example, the “2” of each suit having the same picture on its face.

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Below I share my roster for 2016. Take a look and let me know what you think. I’ve included four wild cards, as has become my habit, so I am open to suggestions to help fill those slots.  I’ve separated my selections into suits with a common theme: Magazines & Literary Journals, Contemporary Writers, Non-Fiction, and Indiana “Legends.”

♥♥♥ Hearts (from Indiana-related Magazines and Literary Journals) ♥♥♥

♥A♥Letter to the Man in Carnivorous Plants – Lauren Ann Bolton (week 20)

♥2♥– *wild card* Siddhartha – Abe Aamidor (week 19)

♥3♥Everything Strange and Unknown – Joe Meno (week 33)

♥4♥A Conversation with Tim O’Brien – James J. Hanna (week 31)

♥5♥I Can Hear the Clicking at Night – Ann Gamble (week 7)

♥6♥Ransom Place – Corey Dalton (week 24)

♥7♥The Gods of Indianapolis – Jason de Koff (week 3)

♥8♥The Devil and James Whitcomb Riley – Jason Roscoe (week 30)

♥9♥The Passeur – E.E. Lyons (week 18)

♥10♥Come Go With Me – Nora Bonner (week 9)

♥J♥A Hundred Ways to Do it Wrong – Emily Temple (week 40)

♥Q♥  – Drills – Laura Citino (week 5)

♥K♥Not in Kansas Anymore – Rocco Versaci (week 39)

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♠♠♠  Spades (Indiana-related short non-fiction works) ♠♠♠

♠A♠ – Poet, Prophet and Philosopher (Max Ehrmann) – Fred Cavinder (week 34)

♠2♠ – *wild card* Working a Jigsaw (Barb Shoup) (week 52)

♠3♠ – God Bless You Mr. Vonnegut: And Farewell – David Hoppe (week 17)

♠4♠ – Men From Mars – Ernie Pyle (week 27)

♠5♠ – Profiles in Survival: Eleanor M. Garen – John Shivley (week 44)

♠6♠ – The Gentleman of the Press in Skirts (Janet Flanner) – Fred Cavinder (week 15)

♠7♠ – Educational Testing: Just Another Job – David Hoppe (week 50)

♠8♠ – The B-29s – Ernie Pyle (week 32)

♠9♠ – Profiles in Survival: James Duckworth – John Shivley (week 46)

♠10♠ – Politics and Poetry (John Milton Hay) – Fred Cavinder (week 21)

♠J♠ – Peyton Manning – Champion: This Doesn’t Happen Very Often – David Hoppe (week 29)

♠Q♠ – Life on a Flat Top – Ernie Pyle (week 4)

♠K♠ – Songs of Experience: Bob Dylan at the Egyptian Room – David Hoppe (week 41)

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♦♦♦  Diamonds (contemporary writers with an Indiana connection)  ♦♦♦

♦A♦Fort Wayne is Seventh on Hitler’s List – Michael Martone (week 49)

♦2♦ – *wild card*(& guest post!) Play Like I’m Sheriff – Jack Cady  (week 12)

♦3♦The Penance of Scoot McCutcheon – Frank Bill (week 22)

♦4♦Missing Athena – Josh Green (week 14)

♦5♦It Came From Burr County – Marian Allen (week 16)

♦6♦The Circle Effect – Diana Catt (week 35)

♦7♦What Happens in Hell Stays in Hell – Clint Smith (week 11)

♦8♦Shadowed – Christine Johnson (week 10)

♦9♦And One for the Road – Joanna Parypinski (week 2)

♦10♦Schliemann in Indianapolis – Michael Martone (week 28)

♦J♦Murder on Indiana Avenue – Andrea Smith (week 51)

♦Q♦Uncle Sack – Murphy Edwards (week 43)

♦K♦The Table of the Elements – J T Whitehead (week 37)

♣♣♣  Clubs (“Legendary” Indiana authors)  ♣♣♣

♣A♣ – A Reward of Merit – Booth Tarkington (week 13)

♣2♣ – *wild card* The Boyhood of Christ – Lew Wallace (week 25)

♣3♣ – The Boarded Window – Ambrose Bierce (week 45)

♣4♣ – Harrison Bergeron – Kurt Vonnegut (week 36)

♣5♣ – The Old Soldier’s Story – James Whitcomb Riley (week 38)

♣6♣ – Autumn Full of Apples – Dan Wakefield (week 26)

♣7♣ – The Pedagogue – Maurice Thompson (week 47)

♣8♣ – Mr Blake’s Walking Stick – Edward Eggleston (week 1)

♣9♣ – The Beautiful Lady – Booth Tarkington (week 48)

♣10♣ – The Legend of Potato Creek – Maurice Thompson (week 8)

♣J♣ – Next Door – Kurt Vonnegut (week 23)

♣Q♣ – Bobby and the Keyhole: A Hoosier Fairy Tale – Edward Eggleston (week 6)

♣K♣ – The Haunted Valley – Ambrose Bierce (week 42)


MY SOURCES:

Hearts: “Booth” – the literary journal of Butler University (Indianapolis); “Punchnel’s” – an online journal here in Indianapolis; most of the stories from this source will also be part of the “Mythic Indy” anthology; “Midwestern Gothic” –a Midwestern literary journal (a couple with an Indiana connection from this one);  “Indiana Review” – a literary journal managed by Indiana University. I had to buy a couple issues to fill these spots.  They won’t arrive until mid -January, so I hope I don’t draw these cards first!

Diamonds: Story collections: “Fort Wayne is Seventh on Hitler’s List: Indiana Stories” by Michael Martone, “Crimes in Southern Indiana” stories by Frank Bill; “Dirtyville Rhapsodies” stories by Josh Green (I learned of Green via his former professor at an author event at Bookmama’s bookstore*); “The Worst Book in the Universe” stories by the “Southern Indiana Writers Group,” “Decades of Dirt” stories from the ‘Speed City’ chapter of “Sisters of Crime”; “Ghouljaw” stories by Clint Smith; “Terror Train 2” a horror story anthology produced by a Hoosier small press, James Ward Kirk Fiction; “Defy the Dark” anthology of short stories; “Mistresses of the Macabre” short story anthology; “The Periodic Table of Elements” – a poetry collection.

Spades: “Forgotten Hoosiers: Profiles from Indiana’s Hidden History” by Fred Cavinder, “Personal Indianapolis” mostly humor and satire writing on Indianapolis-related themes; “Last Chapter” by Ernie Pyle; “Profiles in Survival” by John Shivley

Clubs: “Welcome to the Monkey House” short story collection of Kurt Vonnegut; “The Best American Short Stories of 1966” (contains the Dan Wakefield story); “The Collected Works of James Whitcomb Riley”; public domain for the Ambrose Bierce stories; “Collected Short Stories” Booth Tarkington; “Queer Stories for Boys and Girls” Edward Eggleston; “Hoosier Mosaics” stories by Maurice Thompson.

I hope to include some mention of how I chose the stories I did when I post about them individually, and maybe explain their Indiana “credentials”, especially if I’ve had to stretch the requirement a bit (Bierce, for example, though not from Indiana, did serve in the Indiana 9th Infantry Division for three years of the U.S. Civil War)

*Special thanks to Kathleen at Bookmama’s bookstore also, as she helped me round out my roster on a spending spree at her store last Saturday. J

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12 Comments

  1. Paula Cappa said,

    December 24, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Very exciting list! I admire your ambiton, Jay.

    Like

    • Jay said,

      December 24, 2015 at 10:04 am

      Thanks, Paula. I will say this is – by far – the most time I’ve ever taken just coming up with a list. Hopefully the payoff is worth it. 🙂 Happy Holidays!

      Like

  2. Paula Cappa said,

    December 24, 2015 at 10:03 am

    correction: “ambition”

    Like

  3. December 24, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Definitely bonus points for a IN deck of cards too. 🙂 Is it 2016 yet?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. tracybham said,

    December 24, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    That is an impressive list, Jay. I love that deck of cards. What a find!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. December 24, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    I grew up in Michigan so we’re neighbour’s but I now live in Tasmania, Australia. Just recently found your blog and have subscribed. A friend of mine in California has been doing the Deal Me In for awhile now and I always enjoy his posts.I have a big deck of cards and ready to go with a large book of translated short stories of the world. Looking forward to it. Now need to decide at what level my commotment Wil be. Enjoy and loom forward to following tales of Indiana.

    Like

    • Jay said,

      December 26, 2015 at 8:36 am

      Welcome, Travellin’ Penguin! Excited to hear that you are dealing yourself in. I have subscribed to your blog and look forward to following your progress.

      I’ve enjoyed “your California friend’s” twist on Deal Me In of reading two at a time and trying to link them. A very enjoyable part of this challenge has been seeing how participants often put their own stamp on it and come up with various wrinkles.
      -Jay

      Like

  6. Dale said,

    December 27, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Great list, Jay! I can’t wait to read about your stories. There are a lot of “new to me” authors on your list and only one story that I’ve already read. I’m particularly interested in “Songs of Experience: Bob Dylan at the Egyptian Room” by David Hoppe. His “Personal Indianapolis” collection sounds interesting.

    Like

    • Jay said,

      December 27, 2015 at 8:36 am

      Thanks, Dale. A lot of the authors are new to me too. I’m excited about my non-fiction suit, which is the first time I’ve done that. I’m also excited to read the rest of the stories/ essays (that didn’t make the DMI cut) in the books I’m using. 2016 should be a great year!

      Like

  7. kentuckygal50 said,

    December 28, 2015 at 4:37 am

    Where did you get the little ‘suit graphics’ for your lists?

    Like


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