Dale at Mirror With Clouds posted his top ten stories of the year this morning, which reminded me I had planned to do another edition of my “Shorties” awards this year. So, without further ado…
Somehow I neglected to do the “Shorties” awards last year. But here are the 2013 and 2014 editions if you want to see the past winners. This year, for the Third “Annual” edition, we retain George R.R. Martin’s Tyrion Lannister, brilliantly brought to life by actor Peter Dinklage in the HBO Series, Game of Thrones, as our spokesman, taking to heart his quotation below. “A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge.” And… once again, as I did last year, I’ll stress that “shorties” is intended as a term of endearment not a politically incorrect disparaging remark about short people. 🙂 All the stories below may be found in the summary post for my 2016 Deal Me In Challenge.
- Favorite New (to me) Author:
a) Maurice Thompson
b) Edward Eggleston
c) Ernie Pyle
d) John Shivley
e) Nora Bonner
Really a toss up here, between Pyle and Thompson, but I’m going to have to go with Maurice Thompson. Both his stories in my Deal Me In deck were among my favorites of the year!
- Most Memorable Female Character
a) narrator (“Letter to the Man in Carnivorous Plants” by Lauren Ann Bolton)
b) Aunt Gingy (“It Came from Burr County” by Marian Allen)
c) Alice (“The Beautiful Lady” by Booth Tarkington)
d) Eleanor Garen (“Profiles in Survival” by John Shivley)
e) Katie Deane (“Autumn Full of Apples” by Dan Wakefield)
At the risk of heading toward an Academy Award-like sweep, I’ll go with the title character, Alice, in Booth Tarkington’s The Beautiful Lady. Such purity of heart is rare – and refreshing. I did notice that there was a lack of memorable female characters in my Deal Me In stories this year. Of course, with a lot of non-fiction in the mix, there were fewer opportunities, but I’m going to keep a better eye out for them in 2017.
- Most Memorable Male Character
a) Dan (“Autumn Full of Apples” by Dan Wakefield)
b) Harrison Bergeron (“Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut)
c) Willie (“Mr. Blake’s Walking Stick” by Edward Eggleston)
d) Zach (“The Legend of Potato Creek” by Maurice Thompson)
e) Uncle Midas (“The Boyhood of Christ” by General Lew Wallace)
I’m going to go with the GENERAL Lew Wallace’s character. His Uncle Midas was such a likable character, there is probably a likeness of him if you look up “avuncular” in the dictionary. 🙂
- Most Memorable writing
a) Booth Tarkington
b) Rocco Versaci
c) Ernie Pyle
d) Josh Green
e) Michael Martone
I enjoyed all of these writers very much, but the Shortie goes to Tarkington. The clinching quotation (from The Beautiful Lady): “To fall in love must one behold a face? Yes; at thirty. At twenty, when one is something of a poet No: it is sufficient to see a grey pongee skirt! At fifty, when one is a philosopher No: it is enough to perceive a soul! I had done both; I had seen the skirt; I had perceived the soul.” Winner.
- Favorite Story
a) The Pedagogue by Maurice Thompson
b) Schliemann in Indianapolis by Michael Martone
c) Autumn Full of Apples by Dan Wakefield
d) A Reward of Merit by Booth Tarkington
e) The Beautiful Lady by Booth Tarkington
So tough to decide, but since I’ve already “honored” Tarkington twice, I’m going to go with Maurice Thompson’s story, “The Pedagogue” – a classic Indiana “Frontier” story that sometimes reminded me of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Honorable mention to Martone, whose stories in the collection “Fort Wayne is Seventh on Hitler’s List” have all been enjoyable thus far.
Well, those are some of my favorite stories, characters, and authors from this year. Which were YOURS?