How many calendars do you have? Which ones are most useful to you as a writer?
 
I have at least five.  One is “myfreecalendarmaker.com”  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?
 


ELEANORA E. TATE is a children’s book author who has won numerous awards, including a CBC/NCSS Notable Children’s Trade Book in the field of social studies for Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.! and a Parent’s Choice Gold Seal Award for The Secret of Gumbo Grove.

Eleanora is retired from Hamline’s faculty.