Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bylines Calendar, and A.A. Milne's Birthday

Thanks to my friend Becky Povich, I learned of a fantastic resource for writers called the Bylines Calendar which, as stated on its website, is "by, for, and about writers."

After Becky posted about this great calendar on her blog, I ordered my copy, and was thrilled to receive it last week. In addition to features such as tools for developing monthly and yearly goals, a submission tracker, and a listing of great writing-related books and websites, the calendar also lists "literary" holidays and famous writers' birthdays. The writers' birthdays feature has turned out to be one of my favorite things about the calendar, and I thought I would try focusing on one or two of the authors listed each week here on the blog.

Today is the birthday of A.A. Milne, who was born on January 18, 1882. As Winnie The Pooh was one of my favorite childhood friends, and I love the Pooh stories to this day, I couldn't resist selecting Mr. Milne as my first birthday celebration post.

I was quite an Anglophile as a child, as my favorite books were Winnie The Pooh, Paddington Bear, and the Beatrice Potter stories, such as Peter Rabbit. I adored them all, but none as much as Winnie The Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. One of my most cherished possessions was a stuffed Pooh Bear that I still have wrapped gingerly in my storage closet, and I was also thrilled to have his friends Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore in my collection.

I so admire Mr. Milne for creating a world that was so enchanting to children all over the world. When reading the Pooh books, children everywhere could feel as if they too were in England's Ashdown Forest, where Milne used to take his son Christopher Robin to play, and which was the inspiration for the Hundred Acre Wood.

Milne wrote about Ashdown, "In that enchanted place on the top of the forest a little boy and his bear will always be playing."

I was delighted to discover that Christopher Robin Milne donated his original stuffed animals to the New York Public Library before his death in 1996. I love this photo of the inspirations for Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga, and little Roo on display:

Finally, as anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows, I love quotes. While preparing for this post, I came upon this quote from Mr. Milne that I found so touching and bittersweet I couldn't resist sharing.

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." ~ A.A. Milne

I was lucky that my childhood was enhanced by the charming world of Mr. Milne's Hundred Acre Wood. So it's my pleasure to have the opportunity to celebrate how much this author's work brought to children everywhere. Even now, 56 years after his death, children and their bears are still playing in his enchanted forest, just as he predicted.

If you haven't already heard of the Bylines Calendar, I can't recommend it enough. This will be an annual purchase for me from now on, and I look forward to years of writing inspiration. Thanks again to Becky for the recommendation!


  1. I hadn't heard of this calendar but I want it! Thanks for the link. (Becky Povich is awesome, I love her blog.)

  2. I love Winnie the Pooh! I had a giant Pooh Bear stuffed animal that I used to sleep with every night. Happy birthday to A.A. Milne!

  3. Awww, thanks Julie. You're too kind! And thank you, too, Karen! I loved Winnie the Pooh and all his friends, too. There are many quotes from the books that are so emotional, like you said, Julie.

  4. @Karen, I totally agree! I hope you will enjoy the calendar too, I think you will. :)

    @Samantha, I used to sleep with my Pooh too, I just loved him.

    @Becky, you're welcome, and thanks again for the recommendation. Writing this post made me want to read the Pooh books again for a trip down memory lane. :)

  5. I love Winnie the Pooh! This is one character I make sure my children read about. I even have an old book copy, my father's copy when he was a child, of the stories. I love me some Pooh!

  6. I still love Winnie the Pooh. I read the stories and also A A Milne's poems even now. I am glad it isn't just us Brits who like him :)

  7. I want this calender too! And I love Winnie the Pooh!

    Yes I made a rhyme but it wasn't on purpose, I swear. :P

  8. @Emily, oh, that's so cool you have such an old copy of the book. I love old books like that! If I had kids I would definitely give them the Pooh books as well. :)

    @Carolyn, oh, definitely not just you Brits. :) I actually never liked the Americanized Disney versions of Pooh as much as the original Milne books, those were the best to me.

    @LG, great rhyme LOL. I hope you like the calendar if you decide to get it, I think you will.

  9. Becky's great :)
    Milne's quote made me tear up.

  10. @Carol, it made me tear up as well! I thought it was so touching.

  11. I love a good calendar. Thanks for letting us know!

  12. An excellent calendar Julie, thanks for sharing.


  13. @Tasha, you're welcome. I love calendars too! :)

    @Yvonne, you're welcome, I hope you like it if you decide to get one. :)

  14. Oh, that is the sweetest quote. What a perfect post for me to read - I don't have any paper 2012 calendars whatsoever, and this one sounds lovely. Thanks for the link - and thanks for signing up for the Tumble 4 Ya blogfest -- we're gonna have fun. :D

  15. Never heard of Byline Calendar but I checked it out and ordered one. Thank you for the heads up.

  16. I think I need more than the calendar to keep on track! There are so many enticing distractions...sigh...It's lovely to see the original Winnie the Pooh characters rather than the ghastly Disney ones, thanks!

  17. My kids love this picture! I saw a special on this very topic on TV a few years ago. I wonder how much they are worth today?

    And thanks for downloading a copy of OPENING ... enjoy!

  18. I also loved Winnie The Pooh! I had forgotten that Christopher Robin was based on Milne's son. You selected a very touching quote. Enjoy your new calendar! Julie

  19. @Nicki, thanks for hosting the fest, I know it will be a great time! I'm a total 80s girl. :D I hope you will like the calendar if you decide to get it!

    @Mary, you're welcome, I think you will like it too!

    @Sue, LOL, that sounds like me as well. I'm hoping the calendar will help. I agree, I love the original Pooh characters, those were always my favorites.

    @Stephe, oh, how interesting, I wish I had seen that special. I can't even imagine how much these toys must be worth now. Congrats again on Opening, I'm definitely looking forward to reading it!

    @Julie, I agree, I just love the quote. Thanks!

  20. What a great post! The Calendar sounds great.

  21. Milne was a genius whose heart still oozes out of his every creation.

  22. @Lisa, thanks! I do love the calendar.

    @Robyn, I agree 100%! <3

  23. Hi Julie .. Ashdown Forest is very near here .. I often go through it on my way to the north of the county or London ... Like you I loved Pooh Bear .. and all his quotes and philosophical thoughts ..

    We've got a story telling week up at the Nursing Centre - I thik I'll take the Pooh books up .. oh! and I've just found Kipling's the Just So Stories ..

    Thanks for the prompt .. the calendars sound interesting .. next year perhaps .. cheers Hilary

  24. @Hilary, oh, I'd love to be able to walk through Ashdown Forest. I've been to England once, only briefly, and have always wanted to go back and do more exploring. Some day!

    Sounds like those kids will have some great stories to come at the Nursing Centre. Thanks and hope you're having a great weekend.


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