Alice Munro wins the Nobel.  “A Small Sotry about the Sky” by Alberto Rios, in Poetry Pairing. Leah Umansky’s LIT: On Dealing With Rejection In Writing, in Luna Luna.

When hip deep in alligators it is important to take a moment to straighten yout hat, to sip the last dregs of your excellent cup of coffee, even though it’s gone cold.

Since I couldn’t face the urgent matters before me on several simultaneous fronts, I concluded that the most desirable procrastination was to read submissions. I found another gem, and wrote the author. The pile is too big, still, but it feels good to pare it down if even by a small amount.

I’m looking forward to seeing 12 Years A Slave. I’ve seen some mediocre movies lately. No, I didn’t like the new Woody Allen film, and frankly, Gravity (including the much-hoopla’d 3-D effects) was a big fat overadrenalized yawn. In reading about the McQueen movie I wound up on a US history website with a good discussion of slave narratives in general, and Northup’s (12 Years) in particular.

Enrico Gnaulati has an interesting take in Salon on the ongoing debate about autism, and whether or not it’s overdiagnosed. He makes some good points about introverted boys and the sometimes woozy diagnostic criteria that can get them mislabled, especially when very young. This argument is always heated. Some day when the world is perfect we won’t necessarily need diagnostic labels at all, we’ll just assess the specific, individual weaknesses and strengths of each kid and support as needed, for best development.

I started a new Sherman Alexie book. Bel Canto is waiting for me but it’s not the right time. I read so much poetry at work, sometimes I can’t pick up a poetry book on my own time. I crave fiction, journalism, anything else. And sometimes, as a friend said a couple weeks back, my eyes just can’t do text anymore at the end of the day. He told me he’s working his way through the X-Files, one of my all time favorite TV series. I may have to go into Mad Men that way (no, I have not seen it), now that new episodes of my favorite Swedish TV offerings, Wallander, and Anika Bengston, have stopped flowing across PBS.

Sometimes I am made particularly aware of my thirst for story. It’s this very deep, basic human need, but it affects people in different ways. I’m always hungry for the stories of people I know. I crave them like oxygen. Apparently not everyone feels that way.

My absolute favorite comic writer right now is Mathew Inman. I’m talking about comics, not humorous prose. The more I read around his site, The Oatmeal, the more I love his sense of humor and his storytelling. I so admire the writer who can convey pathos with laughter.

We’ve had a poltergeist-level run of tech issues here in recent weeks but we keep on trucking, adjusting machine and method to make it work (thank you, Tim Gunn). I have other people’s bills to pay, and production runs to tend. Time to cease and desist my blog-procrastination and address my alligators.

with love,