Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Marking Time

I was shopping (well, browsing) and I saw the signs for a 2012 calendar. I'm usually figuring out budgets and when I can afford to get my 2012 calendar, usually some time in January when they go on sale. This year, even with the lapse in paychecks (fired and then hired and then waited for a month to get a check), I bought my 2012 desk calendar two months ago.

For most people, a desk calendar is a way of marking days. For me, it's mini version of my journal with birthdays, anniversaries, and notable moments along the year's path. It's also the place where I keep a record of paying bills and buying food and appointments. A glance through any desk calendar will give you a quick view of what I did that year.

Yes, I keep them to refer back to for details, as a goad to memory when I know I did something at a certain time but just cannot remember when, and as a way of reminding myself how full -- or usually empty -- my days were of writing. Book launch days, personal appearances, the road to publication and the marketing and struggle to get people interested enough to buy and review my books, it's all there on the page, and I don't have to read through hundreds of pages of writing to find it. It's quick. It's simple. It's there.

I did get smart, though, about the time I found Levenger's metal page markers. Little pointed arrow-like metal clips that fit over the page to mark a passage. I began using them in books I was reviewing when highlighting text I would use in the review and then decided it was a good idea to use them in my journals to mark the spots when I was writing through problems with a book or fleshing out characters or themes or whatever in books I have yet to write. Again, it's better than having to read hundreds of pages to find one little moment when I had a brainstorm. My journals have a glint of gold about the pages in various spots, pages I marked with the little metal arrow-like thingies. Now I need to find a way to note what book the passages mark, so I don't have to read all the pages with markers on them.

There are paper arrows with space enough to write on, but that's not going to work. Paper gets torn and crunched up when they sit on the shelf, and the glue gets old and the arrow drop off if I don't get around to it for a while. The metal thingies work perfectly. I guess I'll have to work with what I've got and take those trips down memory lane more often until I memorize which journal, which year, and which months (a journal lasts me about 2-3 months) to look in. I have hundreds of journals written day by day over more than twenty years. If only I could turn them into books or, better yet, they would turn into books. Alas, that's not likely.

Maybe I could make a notation on the desk calendar about that, too. Some pages are awfully blank. Then again, some are pretty full, just like life. Some days, nothing, and then days when there aren't enough hours to get it all done. And so it goes.

I'll figure it out, but suggestions are welcome.

How do you use your desk calendar -- if you have one. If you don't have one, why not?

By the way, the little picture up on the right is of the page nibs (arrow-like thingies) and they're available from Levenger's. They make good bookmarks and great gifts for the writers and readers on your list.

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