Friday, February 1, 2013

Staying on Track?

      How many calendars do you have? Which ones are most useful to you as a writer?
      I have at least five.  One is “”  calendar,  a month-to-month, year-at a glance  calendar   on my laptop that  lets me  see what an exact date is, say, five weeks or six months from now.
     It saves me from getting up to look at the humongous calendar on the wall in the other room.  This thing has a 20x15-inch sheet  for each month where I  can write notes on individual dates -- i.e. “ Feb. 1 -- FINAL NOTICE! Pay this bill today!”
     A third is the colorful Perma-Bound  “2013 Author & Illustrator Birthday Calendar”  that announces the birthdays  of  folks,  from  J. R. R. Tolkien, Floyd Cooper, and Julius Lester (January), Chris Crutcher,  E. B. White and John Gardner (July),  Joan Carris, Paula Danziger and Karen Hesse (August), to Jan Brett, Stephenie Myer,  and Jerry Pinkney (December). I'm in there, too, but I won't say which month.
     The world contains a gazillion more writers and illustrators than that, but it’s a good start. It’s also a reminder to visit -- or re-visit some of these worthy wordsmiths’ and artsmiths' work.
     Number  four is the annual “Handsome Hunk” calendar. This one gives me all kinds of ideas! Last year’s  Mr. July was … inspiring. Well, so was September... .
     Number five is a medical calendar, with obvious info for obvious reasons, tucked away in a room where I try not to look at it too often. 
     This list doesn’t include calendars on my bank register books, business card sized calendars that  insurance agents, morticians  and plumbers  distribute, the one on my watch that I can't set correctly, and my cell phone calendar,  which I rarely look at, either.
     The main purposes of my calendars  include keeping me abreast of  dates that give manuscript and bill deadlines,  awards ceremony  RSVPs (hopefully mine again one day), certain hard-to-get-along-with editors’  birthdays, and, of course, the next Hamline residency!
   Which calendars  are in your writers’ toolboxes? How do they keep you on track?


  1. Oh, a calendar is def in my novelist's toolbox, Eleanora. A crucial part of revising for me is making a calendar for each month covered by the action and marking down the events of the story. Recently when I did this I discovered that Easter came smack dab in the middle of the action, and because my protag is a church-going girl (even if living on the street) I had to factor this in.

    But a hunk calendar! That would probably take my writing in a certain and most certainly new direction.


  2. Those of you who are electronics geniuses probably have a gazillion uses for calendars. Planners are eligible, too. What say you?
    Marsha, welcome back. I think you would have a response to a hunk calendar and it would take your writing in a most certainly new direction -- if your Significant Other approved. :-)