March 21 – April 20: The leaves have fallen and are stuck together in the yard like baklava without the filo. You want to write a poem about their flavor. Tasting them is a sign of something awful. Too awful to say.


April 21 – May 20: Your Uncle is going to get plastered on the big day and there is nothing you can do about it without making matters worse. Ever heard of Creative Non-Fiction? Here’s an opportunity.


May 21 – June 20: Stop that vegan nonsense for one day. Just shut up and eat what fits your requirements. Otherwise, your mom’s feelings will be hurt and your dad will call you rude. And they are reasonable people. Write them a thank you note.


June 21 – July 20: You live in the City and all your buddies want to do something called Friendsgiving , since they are leaving town. That means you get to do it twice. Isn’t the fact that you tolerate their constant interruption of your work enough? No. They don’t think writing is really working.


July 21 – August 20: Who’s the real turkey? Your brother who majored in Classical Languages? Your sister who majored in History with a concentration in Pre-Colombian Studies? You? Let’s not bring the worthlessness of everyone’s education to the table this year, okay? Promise?


August 21 – September 20: You are going to get plastered on the big (holi)day and there’s nothing anyone can do without making matters worse. They will steer you to the sofa and watch football while you drool. They will be thankful that it happened a little more quickly this year. They won’t have to listen to you slur on about your sorry-ass editor.


September 21 – October 20: The train is delayed by five hours. You call home and they promise to l hold off on the celebration until you arrive. Waste time writing an “Ode to the Ones I Love,” about eagerly awaiting a glorious homecoming. They’ll find some way to keep you from reading it aloud, but do not be discouraged, your rhyme scheme was swell.


October 21 – November 20: Your Cornish hen is going to be so cute and delicious. You don’t need people to come over to be grateful. You are in the last few pages of your dissertation. Soon you will be sharing the joy of writing with young people in a classroom. Now say it again. Again. In front of the mirror.


November 21 – December 20: You dropped the turkey on the floor. No one knows except the dogs, and you were able to stop their licking just before they snatched off a leg, mostly. All writers are liars, but you don’t even have to say anything. Safe, for once.


December 21 – January 20: No, the card you sent with the moving sentiment was not enough. Neither was the bouquet with the moving sentiment. Neither was the Harry and David Fruit of the Month with the moving sentiment. Your sentiment is just not that moving.


January 21 – February 20: Oh, no. You are in a cafeteria. What is worse? The fourth rejection letter on the day before Thanksgiving? Yes, there is something worse: Pretending to read a book in a cafeteria.


February 21 – March 20: Ahhh. Your children are home. No one is hitting you up for money when alone with you in the kitchen. Your daughter-in-law prepared side dishes that do not interfere with your preparation. The grands are peacefully enjoying the parades. Your husband made incredible love to you last night. You’ve met all your deadlines. Wake up. Something is burning.