Thursday, December 22, 2016

Win 2017!! (and my mum's approval)

It will come as no surprise to those of you who read this blog that I am persnickety about things like pens, stamps, letterhead...and datebooks.

I have used the same kind of datebook for years. I love my At-A-Glance week per page a lot! (also, alot)

And I save my old datebooks, so I have a shelf of them at home, all pretty much the same. One year I was late to Staples and had to choose a color other than black. One year I lost my mind at the sale price and bought a New Yorker date book from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but mostly it's been black, spiral bound, week at a glance for lo, these many years.

In fact, I bought one for 2017, and being organized, I bought it in October.

But by the latter half of November it was clear I was going to need to organize myself quite differently in 2017 than I have in the past Shark+ years (the job at New Leaf!)  And for that I was going to need a different date book.

A day at a glance.


So, I bought that version.

Which leaves my week at a glance currently homeless. And feeling quite lonely.
The idea of just throwing it away is anathema.
Besides my good Scots mum would rise from her grave, fix me with a stern glare and remind me that wasting perfectly good items is not how I was raised (she would do this while folding lightly-used paper towels to be reused of course--and no I am not making that up.)

So it dawned on me, that perhaps someone in our merry band of commenters would have need of a perfectly lovely, free to a good home, 2017 datebook.

So, same rules as we've had this week.

Tell me why you want this in the comment column of this blog post.
50 words or less.

The new Colin Smith rule: ONE comment is your entry. You can comment more than once, but
only one will be considered your entry.

Everyone can enter, but only US addresses can win.

You've got 8 hours from now! (3pm EST)



Sorry! The contest is closed. Winner to be announced shortly.

PS This is the last contest of the year. Today's our last day at work, and I'm diving under my duvet with a 1000 page book right around 5pm!


Just Jan said...

Janet, I don't need a date book, but want to thank you for inserting some fun into a rather hectic week. I wish you and this community a very Merry Christmas!

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Me organized? The earth would spin off its axis and collide with Venus. Chaos is my natural state. I spent yesterday trying to "organize" my 583 page 1st draft. It involved 300 notecards all over the floor. My book now resembles a jigsaw puzzle. Me. Not organized. Give this gem to someone who will put it to use. If I got it, it would end up in the stack of calendars I never used under the books I already read but have no more bookshelf space for.

Gigi Kern said...

I know that if I had your calendar it would inspire me to stick to my writing goals. Deadlines are the little deaths that suck the life from me. But with your calendar, the light of snarky goodness overpower all that doom and gloom. Writing here I come!

Susan said...


*Trying my hand at brevity. ;)

Lisa Bodenheim said...

The church always gives an 18-month, month at a glance book and nowadays--it works for me.

EM: I remember doing that for my non-fiction book. I found it great fun as I laid pages of contemporary quotes next to a Scripture passage. So interesting to see how they informed each other. But my book is only 112 pages. 583 pages? holycow! Even if they are on index cards., maybe I should do that. More caffeine first!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

oh, and I forgot to say, Janet, thank you so much for these fun contests. And I'm so appreciative of the sense of community you build here. I may not always comment but I read your blog every day. First thing in the morning. It's a lifter-upper.

And now, O Sharkly One, what is the 1,000 page book you'll be reading? Curious hamster minds want to know.

kathy joyce said...

Merry Christmas, blessed Hanukkah, happy holidays of your choice to all! You're a fun and inspiring group and I'm glad I'm getting to know everyone. Thank you Janet for organizing the tribe.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Lisa I used to use note cards for my research papers back in college. It was a huge help, especially with my Master's thesis. It is incredibly useful and I imagine super useful for nonfiction.

My book is writtten in Scrivener- 43 chapters but a structural mess and I could not see how to fix it stating at computer screen. So I made notecards for each chapter, each pivotal event, each character, dates of historical events (I write fantasy but created an entire world history for my fantasy realm), each setting, and on and on - ran out of notecards at 300- but already I can see holes and structural problems and how to fix them.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

And have a wonderful holiday, your Majesty. Thank you so much for the Reef. This community - words simply don't do it justice. What a wonderful community you have fostered.

Susan said...

OK, now that that's out of the way (brevity feels gross, by the way, no matter what Shakespeare says), I appreciate this gift, but I would like to be excused from the running. Here's why:

For the last few years, I've spent NYE alone. It started out of necessity because I was too sick to leave the house, but now it's my favorite holiday tradition--I gather all my favorite things (a platter of sushi, White Christmas, a favorite book) and spend it in my pajamas among the Christmas lights with my dogs.

As part of my self-preservation, when I was at my sickest and couldn't see past the next hour, I began keeping a gratitude jar full of favorite lyrics, poetry, inspirational quotes, or just little reminders of how I survived the day. Three years of notes is in a jar above my kitchen cabinet.

This year, I bought a beautiful moleskin daily planner, intent on using it to help me through recovery (routine became necessary with neuro issues). But I ended up using it for poetry, quotes, and reflections of daily events. The act of sitting down with this intention every morning has been cathartic--and as it's been a hell of a year, completely necessary.

Next week as people gather with loved ones to ring in the new year, I'll be with my beloved muttfaces. I'll indulge in food and drink throughout the night and let Danny Kaye make me laugh, and then I'll take out my book and read back through my year, reflect on all that's happened, all I can be proud of, all that's changed, as I get ready for a new year to begin.

I can't wait.

Janet: Cheers to you. Your generosity is truly a gift itself in this world. Thank you for all you've done for and given us. And to all the Reiders: This is such a special community, and I'm indebted to all of you for the kindness and wit you display on a daily basis. Wishing all of you a very happy holiday however you celebrate.

Colin Smith said...

I've had these planners before at previous places of employment, and they are nice. However, I have a daily organizer, and as lovely as this one looks, she's much lovelier. :D Nevertheless, I'll have a go at an entry... but I'll need to think about it. No, this is not my entry. In accordance with my new rule, I'll indicate which comment is my entry.

Oh, and I love that Janet calls her female parent "mum"! I've noticed that she often uses Britishisms in her posts. That Scots blood must run pretty thick and close to the surface. :)

BTW, did you all see Amy "Paradise" Shaefer's comment at the end of yesterday's "winner" post? Eeeek!! I'm not sure what we can do to help her, but let's at least keep our beloved Amy in your thoughts and prayers, since I'm sure she's not in a happy place at the moment. :(

Lennon Faris said...

This is from MY outdated Week-at-a-Glance (Dad gave it to me in ‘91 after a 3-wk TDY), written at nine years old, in careful cursive:

“February 14, 1992
Today it was Valentine-
s Day. Jonny * said
whewtwhew to me today!
I think he likes me!
Happy Valentine’s Day!

*(my boyfriend)”

Kitty said...

This is not an entry. My life is too mundane; nothing to organize. However, I can relate to your dear mum “folding lightly-used paper towels to be reused.”

BCB, my maternal grandmother, was widowed in 1934 with my Uncle Henry in college, my mother preparing for Wellesley and Uncle Ed still in grade school. She had always been a thrifty woman, and those thrifty habits kept her family afloat. She cut leftover wall paper into stationery – because people still wrote letters back then – and dried out used tissues to use as toilet paper. She always hung the laundry out to dry. In fact she never had an electric dryer until she was 91. She recycled every scrap of material, every button and every zipper. She even carefully removed the thread in seams to be reused again. She had a garden and canned all their vegetables and fruits. Absolutely nothing went to waste in her home. And she put all three children through college.

As kind of a joke present for her 90th birthday, my uncles gave her a new garbage pail to replace the one that leaked. She said it was her favorite present and asked me to take her picture with it. She said she had had the old one for 45 years and thought it should have lasted longer.

Merry Christmas to Janet and all of her Reiders, and to all a good night!

Megan V said...

No planner necessary, I have no plans. 2017 will just have to do what every other year before it has done. Hit me with a bus.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

I buy the exact same planner... I have for years. It's where I log every horse arrival, horse death, hay delivery, vet/farrier appointment - every milestone and mishap. I save them all. And Mom reused paper plates/napkins and washed used tin foil. It's like we're twins.

Margaret Turkevich said...

"A contemporary cozy about interior design? That could be fun. But don't send me anything less than total perfection."

I'm an organizational mess. Your weekly planner, with its implied Shark stare on every page, would motivate me during a complete revision of my debut novel, Curtains for the Corpse.

S.P. Bowers said...

I have my own organization system but wish I didn't so I could enter.

On a personal note I want to say thanks for making 2016 bearable. This website, these people, have been a high point each day.

Happy year end to all and a prosperous new year.

Amanda K. said...

I need, need, need to get more organized in 2017. This would be a great start. Also, my first granddaughter is being born today. I'm not sure why that counts except that I want everyone in the world to know! p.s. although I live in Canada, my father lives in Delhi, N.Y (and was a New Yorker for many years. So was I, as a matter of fact), so I do have a U.S. address to send it to.

Audrey Shaffer said...

I finally get here early enough to enter, and it's a prize I don't need. Figures!

I have a month-at-a-glance calendar, which I sync weekly with all 3 Outlook calendars. It's my bible. Without it, I would have no idea where I'm supposed to be. I sometimes have to pull over to the side of the road and check the book to see where I'm going.

One goal for the new sure to check Janet's blog every day, and start commenting again!

Amy Johnson said...

A datebook touched by her own fins
Would mean the world to me.
Every day, the whole year through,
I’d take a glance with glee.

Her sharkly inspiration
Would permeate each page.
At last I’d leap off this mousey wheel
And break out of this cage.

Kitty said...

Amanda K, we used to live in Stamford near Delhi. My brother went to college there. I recall that Bob Denver (Gilligan of Gilligan's Island) had a home there. My brother said they'd see him around town. Delhi is not a place you often hear about.

Cheryl said...

I have no need of a planner, nor am I eligible, but I, too, wanted to thank our esteemed hostess and everyone here for being one of the best communities of writers on the internet.

I've lurked in a few of the larger boards and in the end I couldn't take the drama. This community is the most welcoming and supportive I've ever seen, and, as someone who has no local writing group, I appreciate you all more than you can imagine.

Have a lovely holiday and an even better New Year.

Colin Smith said...

My Entry:

I won the first contest of 2016, so for a Shark with such a keen sense of order and structure, it's only fitting that I also win the last contest of 2016. That way, somehow, the world will seem balanced and a little less chaotic. At least, at a glance...

Steve Forti said...

O.T.T.D.O.C., my agent gave to me:
Twelve drafts of edits
Eleven query batches
Ten months of waiting
Nine rejection letters
Eight more submissions
Seven months of rewrites
Six fulls requested
Five new prompt words!
Four editors bidding
Three offers made
Two book deal
And John Frain’s manuscript under the tree

Colin Smith said...

Lennon: All I could think when I read your comment was, "She was 9 in 1991--the year I graduated college..." 8-O Some of you people as so young! Which is depressing because you're all so remarkably talented and wise, too.

CynthiaMc said...

This is not an entry as I run my planner (Day-timer spiral bound 2 page per day) July to July (my birthday is in June so I run my goal planning from June to June with tweaks over Christmas and New Year's). Otherwise I'd be restocking Janet's bar for sure! Wonderful prize indeed!

CynthiaMc said...

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Dena Pawling said...

Every E&O carrier I've ever dealt with, has been MAJORLY picky picky picky about the firm's procedure for calendaring. Describe your calendaring process. Describe your calendar. What software do you use? What are the job descriptions of the person/s doing the calendaring? How many people touch the calendar? Ad nauseum. This is because if the firm misses a court date or briefing deadline, invariably the E&O carrier will have to pay out.

At my firm, all calendaring is done by one person, verified by another, and triple-checked by a third. I'm the third. NOTHING gets by me. Our calendaring software can be displayed daily, weekly, monthly, and by attorney assigned.

At home, to teach my disabled son the concept of calendar and months etc, my husband created a calendar on his computer, which we then take to have printed. It's about twice the size of an average wall calendar and includes one month on each page, along with the names of the month, year, days and dates. It's hanging on the wall in our dining room, and everyone is responsible to write LEGIBLY what they are doing on it. All my kids' names begin with a different letter, so they write their letter, a dash, then the activity, place, and time. Every week on Sunday we go over what we're all doing the next week.

The saying at our house is – If it's not on the calender, you're not going.

At approximately age 14, my disabled son finally understood the calendar. Then he started writing what he WANTED to do on it [remember, this is the child who the doctors told me would never speak, and now he not only speaks, he reads and writes]. Entries like “Disneyland” would suddenly appear on random days of the week like Thursdays. It took about a year to get him to stop doing that lol. Now, if we do something during the day that isn't on the calendar, when we get home he will write an A [for all], a dash, a description of what we did, place, and time. If he doesn't know any of this, he will pester one or more of us unceasingly until we tell him.

Yes this is much more than 50 words, but unfortunately I don't need your week-at-a-glance. Please gift it to someone who will put it to good use. And congrats on your new job and your new day-at-a-glance.

Merry Christmas to Janet and all the Reiders here. Thank you for making my life a little more informed, and a lot more entertained. May 2017 be better for all of us.

Colin Smith said...

Janet: Are you taking a blog break until the New Year, or have you scheduled posts to tide us over?

In the event this is the last post of the year, don't forget you can always visit Reider blogs by checking the List of Blog Readers and Their Blogs. I plan to post some articles over the next week or so, and I'm sure others will too. If you're not on the list, or your social media info has changed since you were added, email me and let me know (my address is on my Blogger profile).

Colin Smith said...

Elise: I thought Scrivener had an index card feature so you can do exactly that kind of scene organization kind of thing but without having to use physical cards?

Amanda: Congratulations!! :D

Colin Smith said...

Steve: I think that's now the new blog Christmas song. Excellent! :)

Janet Reid said...

I would die without y'all.
There will be content here during the hiatus.

Also, Dena Pawling, I think my cold heart grew two sizes this day.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Colin scrivener does have a card feature but I needed to get away from the computer screen. Something about using the physical cards really helps me create. I also have a sketch pad full of poorly drawn maps to help. It's messy but chaos has always been my muse.

Donnaeve said...

Me! Please? With cherries on top?

“Why?” the Shark asks?

I always give hubby this exact thing as a stocking stuffer. The stuffing part is questionable - but I do give him one. This is like karma, because THIS year, I waited too long, and NOW I can't find one.


Sunday Reflections or Stumbling Towards Happiness by Bill Holland said...

Mr. Organized (that's me) doesn't need this prize, but man alive, does my wife ever need it. No joke, but as I write that, I wonder if she would remember to put entries into it? Well, we never know until we try. So, for my wife, PLEEEEEEEEEZE!!!!!! Yes, I know, I misspelled please. :)

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

At work, swamped, typing on my Kindle rear view mirror screen. In tears. Haven't written a decent sentence in ages. I need the date book because if anything can get me back behind the wheel its Christmas gone and something from you to put the key in the ignition.

Lennon Faris said...

Colin - If you simply change your residency to another planet, you can be whatever age you damn well please.

At least, that's my plan. Currently I think I'm a Martian teenager. Or if I switch to Jupiter, maybe I'll be younger than my kids.

OK, time to turn on a normal facade again. Sorry folks.

Donnaeve said...

Now that's done, a HUGE THANK YOU to every single soul out here. You all have made me laugh, think, and most of all appreciate "knowing" each and every one of you.

An even BIGGER THANK YOU to QOTKU, simply for being who you are. You have the gift of bringing people together - and it is a gift.

I wanted to specifically thank those who read DIXIE, and left a review. That too, is a gift.

And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Love you all to the moon and back.

Colin Smith said...

*Attempts to give Janet a hug*
*Backs away from the sharkly glare*

Dena: You're such a good Mum. If you're like any other Mum (my wife included), I know you don't always feel as if you are, but any parent who is willing to have that kind of faith and belief in their children and their ability to overcome obstacles is a great parent. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

Claire Bobrow said...


*Your brevity made me laugh :-)

I'd nominate Steve, but he won yesterday (!!!). The song is excellent.
And me? I use Google Calendar and hope for the best. I abandoned the hand-written calendar a few years ago, when eraser shavings began drifting around my ankles.

As said throughout the comments today, a huge Thank You to Janet for creating this wonderful community, and to all of the Reiders. Wishing you guys a wonderful holiday season and a very bright new year!!

Timothy Lowe said...

This week has been a testament to a shark's generosity. If anything stranger has happened in 2016, I'll be a monkey's uncle.

(Frain - quit writing your flash fiction about my extended family!)

Thanks Janet - I will echo others when I say this is not a bid for your prize. This blog is the prize.

Happy New Year all!

John Davis Frain said...

Lowe, I question your use of "extended," but I'll continue to keep quiet about what I know. Nice carton of cigs from your brother last Sunday, by the way. Hint, hint.

No, your other brother.

Amy Johnson said...

Of course I'm not sure if my little poem is anywhere close to being in contention, but after reading about Donna's icky, sticky pickle, I'd say no thanks in hopes that Donna's husband gets the datebook he's been used to getting each year. I imagine many of us have been in a similar situation of "the store's all out of them" when we want to get a particular something for someone we love. The agony.

I'll add my measure of mushiness to what others have been saying. Thank you so much to Janet for this blog and to everyone who makes this such a welcoming place. I'm a relative newcomer here--seems some of y'all have been pals for years--which makes it all the nicer that you welcome new folk. Merry Christmas.

Steve Forti said...

I've never been able to keep up with a manual scheduler. I'm an Outlook calendar person. I'll never remember to look at a physical planner, but my phone will always pop up the reminder. I'm sure there's an attention span joke in the somewhere.

Janice Grinyer said...

Dena, you nailed the spirit of Christmas in a nutshell (well, in WORDS, not an actual nut) all through the use of a calendar. Make time for those important and not so important but just as important items in life. Thank you for the reminder, and DISNEYLAND. He's right you know. Every day really should be Disneyland.

"Disneyland" starts today at our house, so I wish her holy Sharkiness JR & Reiders all, a very Merry Christmas!

BJ Muntain said...

Well, for today's contest, it's just as well I'm out of the running. My week-at-a-glance could very well be a 'month-at-a-glance'. Maybe a 'year-at-a-glance'.

At one time, my mum would give me a day planner every Christmas and I would use it and relied on it mightily. These days, I'm just not that busy. I wish it were otherwise, but life has other plans.

Congrats to Steve for the winning of yesterday's prize, and to Colin for the winning (???) of a new rule named after him.

Oh, and Colin? A lot of us are older than you, too.

Wishing everyone the best Christmas they've ever had, and a better year ahead than any they've ever known!

Nate Wilson said...

I have no need for such a planner.
I don't plan; I scheme.

Also, although I rarely join in the discussions here, I want to give my heartfelt thanks to Janet & the Reiders for keeping me informed and entertained year round. Happy holidays, everyone!

John Davis Frain said...

Planner? I'm still coming to grips with this concept.

Around my house, we hang the butt end of a pair of Levi's on the wall as a constant reminder. (I've never been entirely sure what it's supposed to remind you of.)

I don't suppose you've got an extra pair of Levi's in inventory?

If Forti and his True Love can't win back-to-back titles with his 12 Days of Christmas entry, I'll go with Lowe. I still owe his brother-in-law a little something something. And how bad can a planner damage a kneecap, really?

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

I think what I would do with this is choose someone who is planning on finishing a book in 2017. Not necessarily me.

My favorite line to start off with, (it may be from John Truby but I'm not sure) is,
"Will writing this book change your life?"

I like the way the line does not say "Will selling this book change your life?" The focus is on the writing of it.
Then I would scatter some inspirations and goals through the book and end in December 2017 with

"Query widely."

RosannaM said...

So this is not an entry--I have my own organizational methods, usually involving copious amounts of quartered, recycled (here I feel a warm glow from Janet's mum) paper with To-Do written at the top. Unless it's a shopping list and then it says (of course) To Buy. That lovely planner would be totally wasted on me, but I do gaze at them longingly like you would a ball gown when you have no invitation to a ball. If only…sigh.

Lovely story, Dena and I think your son has a better perspective on life than most of us who scurry around doing all sorts of have-to's. Living a want-to kind of life sounds more joyful.

Kitty I fell in love with your grandmother today. Thrift is such a lost trait. I had lunch with a friend who said her mother only turned her hot water heater on once a week so she could take a bath. Now, that is carrying frugality wayyyy too far. And I couldn't stop worrying about 'how did she get her dishes and laundry clean?'

Steve*-actually sang your song out loud, thanks for the pick-me-up.
Colin*-I do love the symmetry of you being the bookends to 2016.

*Tired of doing the bolding-sorry.

Kate Larkindale said...

I have always been a paper diary/planner type, but in my new job, we are all slaves to the Outlook calendar, so my paper diaries have fallen by the wayside. If I get a new job, I may go back to the old ways - when booking events, a paper diary is handier because you can scribble the details down on the page as you speak to the client.

Anyway… I'm not eligible to win anyway.

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone. Even if I don't comment often, I'm here every day and I enjoy your daily company.

Hermina Boyle said...

Too much time, not enough days
to course a line through sterile oblivion.

Too many days, not enough time
to pen those ink-boned faces, those lives, those fears.

Libera me, Domine!
from straight paths and black boundaries
from gray,
from hell.

Dimitte me,
before my ink flows red.

Scott G said...

In 2016, I was late for a procrastinator's convention. The very one I helped organize the year before. We'll have a convention in 2017, I'm sure. We'll use the same theme we had scheduled for this year: "Procrastinators Unite Tomorrow!" Which has been our theme for the past few years, but we've never been able to use it. In fact, it's been our theme since we started thinking about organizing a convention, which we've never had, but I'm sure we'll have one next year, if we start organizing now, which we'll start doing tomorrow, if I could only mark it in my planner, which I don't have.

Rayna Reveur said...

I need this to track down the elusive beast known as writing time.

Or, you know, organize my procrastination better.