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Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

I am so sorry for my long absence.  It’s not you, it’s me.  Or it’s February, which has turned into March, which since they are months require capital letters, but if they didn’t, I’d have used them, because even though there hasn’t actually been a winter, it’s been Winter, you know? 

I saw the year’s first snowdrops today, though, so perhaps pathetic fallacy will out and I will soon sprout new posts.

I just want you to know that I do think about you often, even if I have not made it to the pile of posts waiting to be written. 



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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

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Happy Bloomsday

He can find no trace of hell in ancient Irish myth, Haines said, amid the cheerful cups.  The moral idea seems lacking, the sense of destiny, of retribution.


Here is a piece from Salon.com about Ulysses as tweets.

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I can read in red.

I can read in blue.

I can read in pickle color too.

Mississippi, Indianapolis and Halleluja, too!I can read them with my eyes shut!

That is VERY HARD to do!

But it’s bad for my hat and makes my eyebrows get red hot.

SO … reading with my eyes shut I don’t do an awful lot.

And when I keep them open

I can read with much more speed.

You have to be a speedy reader

’cause there’s so, so much to read!

from I Can Read with My Eyes Shut

Dr. Suess

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image credit

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  May the bottles you upend and the books you read give you a wonderful new perspective on things.

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I don’t know if you are guilty of the p-word, but I was thrilled to discover that humans are not the only ones to do it:

Behaviorists developed an animal model of procrastination with implications for human work habits.  When they trained a pigeon to press a lever for food and required it to press a high, fixed number of times before getting the food, it pecked slowly at the beginning of each series as if it were putting off the hard work it had to do.  The scientists found that they could get rid of this slowdown by making the rewards more frequent, or by spacing them randomly. (115)

Mo Willems’s Pigeon

Even better, there may be an evolutionary advantage:

Procrastination has a long evolutionary history—even pigeons do it.  Why should that be?  Part of the reason is that procrastination is sometimes advantageous.  Ancient Egyptians had two hieroglyphs that have been translated as “procrastinate.”  One meant harmful laziness in completing an important task, such as tilling the fields at the appropriate time in the Nile flood cycle.  The other hieroglyph denoted the useful habit of avoiding unnecessary work and impulsive effort. (117)

from Alice Flaherty’s The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Brain

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So, how long does it take you to decide if you are done with a book, calling it quits?  Me, I’m a very reluctant quitter.  This is not any kind of a hard work ethic, I am simply all too prone to the belief that others know better than I.  I must not be getting it, I think, then soldier on.  After a disaster with a Dorothy Sayers mystery that involved intricate timetables for trains that I slogged through while on holiday last summer (On holiday!  Think of all the other books I could have curled up with!  I carted a box of books to the east coast and they languished while I plodded on and on and on with this awful thing.), I swore that I would never, ever waste time on a book that was not working.

I lied.  I still find it very hard to give up on a book.

Well, Nancy Pearl, the only librarian to have her own action figure, has dictated from on high that I can quit after 50 pages.  Check out her article in The Globe today.

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