A Writer’s Thanksgiving in Twenty Easy-to-Follow Steps

by Joni Abilene

1. Coffee.

2. Write blog entry about how stressed you are that actual people are coming over. Delete blog entry just in case.

3. More coffee (repeat throughout).

4. Take bath and get dressed.

5. Put turkey in oven.

6. Vacuum.

7. Sit down and read a chapter of favorite book. Check twitter, email, and anything else until you’ve run out of internet.

8. Dust.

9. Check turkey. Is oven working??

10. Skip lunch. Wish you still smoked.

11. Read label of uncracked liquor meant for guests.

12. Look out window for first arrivals.

13. Reapply lipstick or arrange body parts so things look respectable.

14. Tell yourself you can write tomorrow. Berate yourself for not writing down good lines that came to you while vacuuming.

15. Guests arrive. Your mother asks if you’re getting gray hair. See dust bunnies in plain sight and say ‘Fuck it’ to yourself and start conversation to veer attention from poor cleaning skills. And hair. Pour wine. Think of your characters longingly, like lovers, and wish they were real and sitting on the couch next to you. Ponder Submittable list and hope an entry will say ‘in-progress’ soon. Put on a movie or music. Exit living room and dig fingernails into your palms . . .

16. Check turkey. Sweat.

17. Serve. Eat. Smile.

18. Watch everyone leave and experience a sudden gratefulness that you were able to come together for at least one more year. Kiss your mother goodbye. Ignore the sorrow you feel at her slight hobble. Close door.

19. Grab book. Watch tv. Finish wine.

20. Sleep.