Deal Me In 2017 – January Summary


So, yes, my best-laid plans of producing a weekly wrap-up post (as I did in 2015) have fallen by the wayside.  The simple fact is that there are just too many participants this year to make that practical given the limited time I have to spend on this blog. BUT what I have been trying to do – and what I urge YOU to do as well – is sharing posts that I see and read on Twitter using the hashtag #DealMeIn2017. If you are a twitter user as well you can use the hashtag and help provide a sort of one-stop shopping for those of us who want to see what everyone else in the challenge has recently read and what their thoughts about it were. Check this link to see what’s been shared on Twitter thus far. See how easy that was?

By my back-of-the-envelope-math, there will be over 1,300 stories/essays/poems/plays read this year for Deal Me In 2017. That’s a big number, and one we should be proud of!

I also love the fact that we have a lot of new participants this year, some of whom seem quite gung-ho about the challenge.  New blood is always good!

What other tips or advice do I have for Deal Me In participants?

  1. Be supportive of the others doing the challenge.  Read their posts, comment on their posts, share their posts, or just “like” their posts to let them know you’ve been there. The Deal Me In “community” (does that sound pretentious?) has become for me a great place to learn of new authors and stories that I will read in the future.
  2. Don’t feel obligated to post about every single story. Some do, but the challenge is to READ the stories.  Posting is the gravy. The pressure to write a post every week can become a burden and lead to the challenge becoming stale or tedious
  3. If you are posting about the stories, use the special characters for the suits in a deck of cards. They can help spice up your posts. You can “type” the suit symbols by using the shortcuts Alt+3 (♥♥Hearts♥♥) Alt+4 (♦♦Diamonds♦♦), Alt+5 (♣♣Clubs♣♣), Alt+6 (♠♠Spades♠♠)
  4. Another way to “add value” is to share playing card pictures with your posts.  Several of us do it already, but you may be amazed to see all the playing card images available out there if you Google your card. I’ve mentioned to several participants that Deal Me In challenge has actually made me a collector of decks of playing cards. I have a box full of them at home now. 🙂

Time allowing, I will try to do some kind of monthly post to the DMI participants this year but no promises.  And if I do, I’ll end them with a question like this one:

♥ ♦What is the favorite story/essay/poem/play you’ve read thus far in the early going, and more importantly WHY is it your favorite?♣ ♠

See you next month – and keep up the good work!


  1. January 31, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Just this morning I’ve was thinking to myself, “Man, I’ve been *so* bad about hashtagging lately.” I will try to do better.

    Favorite thus far? Zen Cho’s “The House of Aunts.” I like stories that play with tropes (in this case, young-love vampires) and give them gently relatable aspects. Cho is two for two with me, so I’m going to try her debut novel soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jay said,

    February 1, 2017 at 9:15 am

    I guess I should answer my own question, too – though it’s tough since I’ve enjoyed all the stories I’ve posted about so far. I guess I’ll go with Jess Walter’s “Mr. Voice” because of its resilient young character and its surprisingly steadfast title character.

    I already have a leading contender for February, as I’ve read and am working on a post about Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” from my Best American Essays… book.


  3. vidyatiru said,

    February 2, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    thanks for the summary post Jay..all great tips! I need to start working on tweeting more regularly too 🙂 And I have been looking for playing cards I can use to display as well and planning to order them.. might end up with a few decks few years down the road..
    I did a wrapup post as well –

    And regarding this past month, I think I have two favorite reads –
    one was the essay ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ by Chimamanda Adichie – it was, simply put, honest and powerful
    the other was Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’ – rereading it did not in anyway reduce the feelings it stirred in me the first time I read it..


  4. Brona said,

    February 4, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Here’s my catch up post for the 6 short stories I read in January –

    Liked by 1 person

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