Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Turning 38, Progress and Grief (And a Gig!)

The week before last, I sat in Blue State Coffee, in Providence, RI (on of my favorite venues) before my feature and did the online orientation for my student teaching this semester. It scared me to death. Don’t plan on doing anything at all else, it said. I have to be ready to assume full responsibility for the class by the end of October.

Well, assuming responsibility for a class was the general idea, wasn’t it? But I am still not feeling up to the task. Ever since I had to face the reality of what’s coming, I’ve felt lost, like I don’t have access to my inner resources. I still can’t seem to find them. I’m settling for trying to LOOK like I have inner resources—that always works on those makeover shows Amy hates, right?

For most of the past ten years, I’ve been a full time writer, and it’s brought me so much—including my big dream of having a full-length collection published. I had day jobs and part-time jobs, I got myself through my teacher certification courses, but I am so, so lucky and grateful to have had writing as the central focus of my life. I feel real grief for that part of my life being over, even sad for my classes to be coming to a close, even as I am very glad that I won’t be spending my days alone with a computer anymore.

I love my life as it has been for the past ten years, and I am very sorry to see it go. Right now, it feels like the end of my writing self, even though I know lots of people who successfully teach and write, they teach and write and do a million other things. I know that when I get there, I’ll be there, I’ll still find ways. I’m in the middle of a year-long writing project that may have enough of its own momentum to carry me through.

The rest of my life seems too transitiony and off-kilter as well. I feel like I’m not growing into things fast enough. We haven’t quite settled into the new apartment, and we aren’t feeling very settled into each other, either. I’m angry at the new apartment sometimes for not being the old apartment, and I really do miss our couch that we couldn’t get up the stairs.

The project of accepting my polyamorous self has come so far, but it feels like it’s hitting a wall as well. I had some good momentum going but then I fell for another monogamous guy who has since disappeared—so yep, I get it, poly guys only, but still, I liked him. I felt a deep guilt that I couldn’t give him what he wanted, that I’m someone who comes with an (adorable gingham) suitcase of (really fun sometimes) complications. Though I can try not to get close to anyone else who makes me feel that way, I still make myself feel that way. I hope it’s something I can grow beyond.

So it’s a tentative, unsettled birthday eve. I am proud of my book release this year and praying to the next book to keep me a writer. I’m proud of how much I’ve learned and experienced as a dater of men, but I’m mournful for the ones who aren’t around anymore. I love Amy, but our home doesn’t feel like a home right now. I am excited and curious about teaching, but I’m nervous about the possibility of wrecking little fourth-grade lives.

Student teaching doesn’t start until next week, but I’ve decided to start going in as of tomorrow. I’ll spend my birthday day in professional development with the other teachers and my birthday night doing a Skype feature with another favorite venue: the Ugly Mug in Orange, CA. It’ll be a good way to celebrate both the new and old lives, with my oldest, dearest friends and poems. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Awesome Gigs this Weekend! Philly and Rochester

Two chances to hug, drink wine, and read this weekend! come visit and share your poems!

Friday, Aug 3 at 7 pm: Open mic and Book Release Party at Big Blue Marble Bookstore!
551 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia, PA

For pals who didn't make the first one or just want to pal around 
some more!
My first full-length collection of poems, For the Comfort of 
Automated Phrases,came out this summer from 
Sibling Rivalry Press! http://siblingrivalrypress.com/for-the-comfort-

Bring your own poems--we'll start the night with an open reading.

Says my beloved editor, Bryan Borland:" For the Comfort of Automated Phrases is a bottle of wine on a 

blanket in the park. It’s a night on the couch with your girlfriend, your boyfriend… or both of them. It’s 
making soup for a friend with a sick child. It’s the beautiful unpretentious. At its heart, this is a book of love poems written starry-eyed to board games and geography, to pop culture and pop music, to nephews and cats and cities and singers. Cassady’s full-length debut is the poetic equivalent of a mix tape – one you’ll keep rewinding and replaying – one that could easily be the soundtrack to your life."

No admission cost for the event, but you can get a book (and probably a hug) for 15$.


And then! Saturday night in Rochester, NY, I get to read for Rachel McKibbens, one of my oldest and 

dearest sister/friends:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cut Up Pop Song: Call Me Maybe (Plus, On Being Circulatory)

You know I love a dumb song-of-the summer,  and I just finished making this ridiculousness with my awesome little tutoring student and her awesome mom. Sometimes this blog is more serotonin-y than other times...
And, last week while studying for a health exam, I found this. It was made for me, I think, because, as a friend of mine pointed out, I'm pretty circulatory myself. Later, I will write of dignified things...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Stars Are Taking a Break

I'm taking a month or so off from horoscopes--I need some time to refill my proverbial well. In the meantime, I'll accept your advice!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Before We Pack Up the Pretty Apartment

We've lived in our beloved apartment for four years, and it's time to move on. They're putting a club in right behind us, and we are, like, forty. I wanted to remember it in detail, so I took some pictures, mess and all.

Gig Added: This Friday at Allen's Lane Art Camp

Hi Philly dearies!

If you can't make it to my book release party, (http://www.facebook.com/events/402385439813116/there's another chance to celebrate with me: This Friday night at 5 pm, at Allen's Lane Art Camp,  601 West Allens Lane  Philadelphia, PA 19119

I'll be performing alongside dancers, singers,and other talented camp teaching artists. It should be a hoot! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Poetic License Horoscope for July 13-19

Cancer (June 22-July 23): “All I ever knew is like a little mouse living in a tiny hole in a palace I have become.” (Hafiz) While you’re busy being expansive, take time to celebrate the way you used to be, which was also amazing. Bake a birthday cake for your former self, with big blue icing flowers.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): You never really know how much you’re loved, how precious you are to the people in your life. Look for signs of it—the special groceries, the firefly walks, the silly love-music that gets stuck in your head.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): “Before you came into my life, I missed you so bad.” (Carly Rae Jepsen) You have always contained at least as much longing as a song-of-the-summer, probably more. But today, take stock of all the many people you have wished for who subsequently arrived. The other missing magic puzzle pieces are on their way—just open your arms and let them come to you.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): “I feel so grateful for every challenge I've encountered, as it's now clear that they were all stepping stones leading to the present moment, which is so full of joy and beauty that I feel I could do ANYTHING with the rest of my life & feel satisfied that my time on this planet was worthwhile. Dear G-d, I sincerely hope that, at some point, each and every person I know experiences the happiness that I am experiencing right now.” (Sam Richman, after gender-affirming surgery.) Be like Sam.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): The stars miss you every time we see junky special effects in old movies; it’s such a comforting thing to see. Hope all of your quests are being fulfilled, and your life is warm and full of sun.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): To the Sagittarius who says she wishes she could just like one or the other, men or women. Erroneous binary aside, there’s so little space in this world for us, few heroes or role models. We have to make up our own way to do this. Don’t accept the arbitrary limitations that are placed on us by those with limited imaginations.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): I recently started rewatching Angel. I don’t think that I even knew before that my favorite vampire-with-soul started his detective agency in order to connect more deeply to humans and be therefore less likely to want to eat them. It isn’t quite so dire for you, but do find some new ways to genuinely reach out.

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): To the Aquarius planning a ladies’ weekend—may there be feather boas and dancing on banquettes, delirious running-into-the-surf, maybe a Gilmore Girls marathon. Have all the fun in the world and find your inner Lorelais.

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20):  To the Pisces who listened to me when I was lost—I’m still lost, but thank you for taking care of me, hearing my side of things, wanting my real happiness. You’re a good ear and a magic friendship, and your life will be full of glittery adventure.

Aries (March 21-April 18): Buy two sheets of stickers, one unicorns, one rainbows. Give them to yourself whenever you take a heart-risk, whenever you live in the delightful prism-y spectrums of life, whenever you move this way or that along the Kinsey scale. It’s important to reward yourself for being so brave.

Taurus (April 19-May 18): I heard Die Antword’s “Baby’s On Fire” and had trouble not emailing it to you. Whatever’s not working for you, it’s time to burn it or dance it off. Stop struggling, unless you like that sort of thing. Not everything needs to be changed. Lay back and float on the surface of life like you do sometimes at the swimming poll. Look at the clouds.

Gemini (May 19-June 21): “Apparently I like ripping the Band-Aid off slowly and repeatedly.” (My brother, Ed Wiedmann) Yep, it’s hard to let things go, especially people, who tend to have a lot of adhesive. But it’s okay, keep trying.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Poetic License Horoscopes for July 6-12

Cancer (June 22-July 23): Think of how many letters you can send: Strongly worded letters of complaint, love letters, thank you notes that go into lots of detail, letters of apology and amends. Pick five and write them out on paper. Remember stamps?

Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): To the Leo who is apartment hunting—you will have ample closets, a big, clean kitchen, built-in bookshelves, hardwood floors, and a big windows. You’ll live in a quiet neighborhood with lots of trees. You’ll have everything including cheap rent, I promise.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23):  See Leo. Also, the tests you’ve been preparing for will be a piece of cake. Spend time in coffee shops going over practice tests. Alternate learning with good, long bouts of swimming. Fill up your brain and treat yourself kindly. You can do this.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): Today, all of your wishes are coming true, and you are groggily joyful. Sleep as many hours as you want, you’ve earned it. Spend lots of time with paints and books and movies. The stars recommend rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer from a bondage perspective, but that could just be the stars.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): “Who laughs the most, knows the most, if that laughter is sincere.” (Hafiz) This week, focus even more than usual on the funny. Take Calvin and Hobbes collections to the beach with you. Meditate on the wise teachings of Demetri Martin, who is just as adorable in person. Go only to movie theatres that let you heckle the screen.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): Look at the summer schedule and map out your visits. Be sure to spend the most time with the people who make you the most delighted, and the least on obligation.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Soon, I’m coming to visit you! We’ll write jillions of stanzas in our notebooks, putting stickers on the best parts. We’ll eat pie and snuggle children. I really can’t wait.

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): This week, stand up for yourself, even if it is painful, even if it leads to some loss. Look at the people, the rumors, the dramas that hold you back and give them the what-for. Yes, we know, the stars should do this, too. Don’t let anyone take anything away from you. You are worth all the happiness and freedom in the world.

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): To the Pisces in a long distance relationship: May her visits be long. May her texts be chock full of effusiveness and affection and glitter. May you have the place in her life that you’ve always wanted. A happy home. Open arms. Providence.

Aries (March 21-April 18): This week in your life as a video game, you are Mario Kart. If you feel like you’re careening, bouncing over mushrooms, skidding past barky chain-link dogs, occasionally being pulled from the drink by a helpful cloud guy with a fishing pole, don’t worry, things will calm down a bit next week. Next week’ll be Tetris.

Taurus (April 19-May 18): I’ve got writer’s block for Taurus, so please send your requests. Thanks!

Gemini (May 19-June 21):  Take a trip to your local produce market, a farmers’ market if you have one nearby. Fruit has always symbolized well-being to the stars, and this week will be like strawberry-blueberry shortcake for you, Gemini!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hooray! Tour Dates!

Hey pals! Pretty soon, I'll be going to places and doing things! Stay tuned for info as the dates near. 

July 21- Book Release Party, Philadelphia, Cake and the Bean Stalk http://www.facebook.com/events/402385439813116/
August 3: Philadelphia, Big Blue Marble Bookstore http://www.bigbluemarblebooks.com/
August 4: Rochester, NY Poetry & Pie http://www.facebook.com/PoetryPieNight
August 20: Worcester, MA Dirty Gerund Poetry Show http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Dirty-Gerund-Poetry-Show/112935222060874
August 21: Providence, RI: Got Poetry Live http://www.facebook.com/pages/Got-Poetry-Live/206360227142
August 30: Manchester, NH: Slam Free or Die http://www.facebook.com/slamfreeordie

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Fun Poetry Class: Week Three

This week, we got to enjoy cut up pop songs and sparklers, and also find out just how few words "Call Me Maybe" has! And, my lovely wife wrote a zombie poem out of the lyrics to "Such Great Heights" which takes a certain amount of twistedness!

For a how-to on cut up pop songs, visit Radius.org: http://www.radiuslit.org/2011/03/11/invented-forms-the-cut-up-pop-song/

To join in the classes, go here: http://www.facebook.com/events/365909786810351/

Poetic License Horoscopes for June 29-July 5

Cancer (June 22-July 23): Dear birthday friend—this year, please believe all the nice things that your friends say about you, on your wall, in back-of-the-book blurbs, in vivid dreams. And while you’re at it, let accidental slights and mishaps float away like bubbles.

Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): I just Googled “collective nouns for hummingbirds.” Not only would that make a good name for something, but it also yielded the following results: charm, chattering, drum, troubling. (Who comes up with “a troubling of hummingbirds”? Clearly someone very disturbed.) Anyway, hummingbirds are like your quick, sweet luck and you’ll see a lot of them this summer.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23):  “Send me an angel, right now.” (Real Life) Your angels are your friends, invest everything in them. Everything shared at diner tables, sewing circles, and workshops will add up to everything you’ve ever looked for.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): See Virgo. You’ll have not just one angel, but dozens, everyone whose heart you’ve ever fluttered just a little bit is standing next to you as you reach this next important fruition.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22):Every time you ask nicely for something you want, you get a gold star, even when the answer is “no.” It’s time to start pushing past the boundaries of what you think you deserve. Your mantra is “more, more, more.”

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): You are your own foundation, the basis from which everything you create grows. This week, spend some time on structural integrity: Fix leaks, strengthen walls, make sure you have good ventilation and are not subject to flooding.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): A friend of mine recently hosted a summit of nearly every smart woman she knows—it must have been one heck of a sleepover. Create this for yourself, on whatever scale you can, even if it’s just inviting the sharpest lady you know over for coffee.

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19) The stars have forgotten to send heart updates lately, but we wonder how you are doing—are you still twitterpated? Have your found new love and let go of the old? Is your family burgeoning, thriving, hurting? Be sure to let us know.

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): Take a long walk past pretty fences and flowers, preferably when the lightning bugs are out. Make a good detailed wish on each firefly, each hydrangea petal. Then sit down with some nice friends and talk about books. Bonus points if there’s wine.

Aries (March 21-April 18): In Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, our hero gets shiny coins whenever enemies are defeated. This week will be like that, but with less actual combat. Every item crossed off on your to do list, no matter how small or large, will give you what you need to level up, sparkly and solid.

Taurus (April 19-May 18): Someone somewhere is writing a lot of paragraphs about you—you never know how deep of an impression you’ve made, how you’ve changed someone’s trajectory. I’m sure if they could, they’d send you the paragraphs, but for now, you can only imagine.

Gemini (May 19-June 21):  “I can love whoever I want.” (Charlie’s brother in Adaptation) This week the stars are having a Charlie Kaufman movie marathon, and we suggest you do the same—get lost in the layers of it, the hot existential love scenes, the ponderousness of everything. When you watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, be glad of everyone you haven’t erased.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Poetic License Horoscope for June 22-28

Cancer (June 22-July 23): Find yourself some grown-up coloring pages and go to town on them. Do this in front of the TV if you want. Embellish your pages with stickers and stamp-pads and hang them up someplace where you need to be reminded to trust your creativity.

Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): My wife recently wrote a Zombie Apocalypse Horoscope and may well be a guest horoscopist come Halloween time. I don’t know much about zombies, but I know you should never box yourself in in a basement, and don’t board up the windows. What’s coming for you is coming for you, turn and face it.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Even if today none of the libraries were open, and you ran into your old nemesis, and you ate a shameful amount of cookies, no matter. Tomorrow you’ll get a good playlist in your inbox, you’ll go on a firefly walk with your love, you’ll watch a dumb movie. Life is always mostly awesome.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): The stars never grew out of drawing hearts in the corners of notebook pages, and neither should you. You can even indulge in the creepy-cute eighth-grade-girl thing of writing your crush’s name over and over. Go ahead, be ridiculous and smitten.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): Every day this week, find a poem—it could be anywhere, like magic. Collect them and build something nice.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): It’s almost time to go to summer camp, and you are a counselor. Remember your sunscreen and water jug. Remember, children can be a bit chaotic, so leave some of your Order-Muppet side at home; more Animal, less Kermit.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Yours is a religion of board games—read your future in Scrabble tiles, nothing as confusing as Upwords. I can’t master the strategy of chess (or even, some days, Bejeweled) but you can—you know where you’ll be three moves from now, so relax.

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): Whatever imprisons you, accept it for a bit. Then watch I Love You, Phillip Morris, watch the clouds scoot by, and plan your escape or even your series of escapes. Whatever you do, don’t think about Camus’ The Stranger. Actually, that’s good advice for every week.

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20):  Ignore any and all nay-sayers at the table—you can follow any goals you’ve set out for yourself. The breath and health and love you want are within reach, just take a good walk to them. Then rest in your cool and wonderful cave. Repeat.

Aries (March 21-April 18): You are as adorable and strange as a little kids’ summer camp production of Wicked, only everyone hits the high notes and no one misses their lines. You are the mini-Elphaba to my Glinda heart, and vice versa.

Taurus (April 19-May 18): “I don't know when to start or when to stop
My luck's like a button/ I can't stop pushing it/ My head feels light
But I'm still in the dark/ Seems like without tenderness there's something missing.” (General Public)

Gemini (May 19-June 21): To the Gemini who finally found her McDreamy (Several years after Grey’s Anatomy became irrelevant, but still.) –it’s okay to agonize over what to say in your emails, miss him like crazy until he gets back to town, go ahead and believe in things a little bit!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Poetic License Horoscope for June 15-21: Cuddle Party Rules Edition

Happy birthday to my mom, brother, and sister, who were all born on the same day! And! Happy 9-year anniversary to the wonderful Leo who inspires me the most, Amy Lawson. Our family’s full of celebration!

Gemini (May 19-June 21): “You are encouraged to change your mind,” maybe even sort through all of the things you’ve said “no” to and try a “yes” here and there. Overturn all of your old thought structures like tilling the soil.

Cancer (June 22-July 23): “Tears and laughter are both welcome,” so feel free to emote up a storm this week. Recreational crying is underrated and forced laughter is overused. Be authentic above all else.

Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): “If you’re a YES, say YES. If you’re a NO, say NO.” If you’re a “give me a little quiet when I get home from work” or a “make out with me emphatically and at length,” then say those things too.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): “You must ask permission and get a verbal YES before you touch anyone. (Be as specific with your request as you can.)” Make a list of VERY specific bodily requests and check them off as you ask for them. Whether you get a YES or a NO, you get a big, fat gold star just for asking.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): “Pajamas stay on the whole time.” The day, the weekend, the week, as long as you possibly can, stay in bed with your loves, your pets, your books. Don’t get up until you are absolutely, unequivocally rested.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): “You don’t have to cuddle anyone at a cuddle party, EVER,” or anyplace else for that matter, whether you run to the world with open arms or cordon yourself off with caution tape, make sure it is your happy choice.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): “Keep the cuddle space tidy.” Take some time to clear out your physical and emotional clutter—yammer it out to a sweetheart or get it all down on the page—you’ll feel better and so much clearer.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): “Respect people’s privacy.” Take a break from sharing and tagging and “liking” and sit face to face with a stranger, even if you have to come up with a clever nickname for them when you write about it later.
Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): “WHAT TO WEAR: pajamas.” Pajamas are practically a religion in my household. Make altars to your soft pants, sing hosannas to the ribbon drawstrings, kneel down and thank your fuzzy slippers.

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): “If you’re a maybe, say NO.” This week, find at least a little bit of time to do EXACTLY what you want, without any compromising. It’s difficult, but it can be done.

Aries (March 21-April 18): “Respect your relationship agreements and communicate with your partner.” That includes frequently telling your partner(s) how adorable he/she/they are. And you are adorable too!

Taurus (April 19-May 18): “Get your Cuddle Party Facilitator or the Cuddle Assistant if you have a question or concern or need assistance.” Asking for help can be tricky, but give it a whirl. What worries can you delegate, what weights could you live without?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer Fun Poetry Class: Week Two

Last night, we started out our class with coloring--this is my favorite page of Lynda Barry's What It Is, which I never shut up about recommending. I told everyone to put their coloring page somewhere where they need to be reminded to trust their creativity. Mine is right by my writing chair.

Then we all gave horoscope writing a whirl. Last year, Radius published my step-by-step of how to write a made up horoscope, you can find it here: http://www.radiuslit.org/2011/04/01/invented-forms-horoscope-poem/

I had a stack of books and Tarot cards out in case anyone needed a little extra inspiration, but my poet-pals were bubbling over with their own ideas--I was ready to steal them all for the Friday horoscopes. When Halloween comes around, remind me to use my wife's Zombie Apocalypse Horoscope--part of the reason I fell in love with her is that her writing is creepy as fuck sometimes.

Summer Fun Poetry Class: Week One

I'm a little bit behind in posting about my summer classes, (http://www.facebook.com/events/365909786810351/) but here we go! For week one, I decided to try Apples to Apples as a writing prompt, and guess what, it worked. How it worked was, for each round of Apples to Apples, we wrote a poem based on the words everyone had played. As with most of my workshops, we wrote until someone went "Ding!" at a random interval, then read them in a circle, generously lavishing each other with motivational stickers and butterfly stamps. This resulted in such wonders as a series of letters to J.J. Abrams and my wife' s current poetic obsession with the Zombie apocalypse.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Poetic License Horoscope for June 8-14

Gemini (May 19-June 21): It’s time to plan birthday parties, complete with elaborate fireworks and superhero-themed cake. Make a list of all of your presents, tangible and not. Send real paper thank-yous for all.

Cancer (June 22-July 23): Listen to the music of everything your loved ones say. Compose it into melodies and hum along wholeheartedly, as if you’re out on the open road, out on the world’s best road trip.

Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): Take your summer bonus money and buy a vacation, even if it’s a little one-get time to gaze into your sweetie’s eyes, write gratuitously in glitter-emblazoned notebooks, or catch up on your Firefly episodes.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Do what you need to do and don’t worry about who presses “like.” Okay, worry a little, that’s okay, but for the most part, give yourself to real and present things, like dancing, or walking, or cuddle parties. If you DO try a cuddle party, I promise you this: you will be closer to your inner Reid Mihalko by the end.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): To the Libra who recently enjoyed a good first date: So much can be accomplished while only sort of watching a movie. So what if you don’t remember the plot of Marie Antoinette and I’ve only seen glimpses and heard synth-mantras of Liquid Sky—say “Let them eat cake!” to you inhibitions and look forward to what comes next.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): To the Scorpio who keeps having a little tree stolen out of the pot on the front stoop: don’t give up. Keep planting. Yes, over and over. I think maybe that’s what some of life is.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): The stars wonder how you have been doing lately—how are your poems? Are you still writing them every day? Are you still a Tasmanian Devil flurry of paragraphs? Do you still note and collect motivational quotes? If so, please send the stars some. We can always use more.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Throw yourself a party like the ones they used to have in grade school, before sugar was outlawed. Find a cute someone to help pour the punch. Deal out cookies of celebration onto plates. Have the loudest and most cheerful game of Apples to Apples you’ve ever known.

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): Go past what you see at first glimpse this week. Tell your assumptions to take a vacation and get as in-depth as you can.

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): “Strive for what you deserve. Don’t go for second best, baby!” (My pal Joseph Prisco, sensibly quoting Madonna) Write out and follow all the best advice you give and get. Make whatever changes you need to. Also: put your love to the test.

Aries (March 21-April 18): Well, Sally Draper is a woman now. You’re ready for rites of passage as well—go ahead, go forward, someone will be there to help you settle in.

Taurus (April 19-May 18): Yesterday at my afterschool program job, we had the most amazing talent show ever. This week’ll be like that for you—imagine children singing acapella versions of uplifting radio hits, making spontaneous collaborative art, playing the piano, and reading poetry. It gets really raucous toward the end. Don’t be afraid to clap along!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mid-Year Heart Updates

  1. Holy cow! The other day, my ACTUAL book came in the mail. I got overflowing with joy and brought punch and cookies and Caramel Creams and Hershey’s Hugs over to the library and had a celebration with the afterschool kids. We played a very sugared-up game of Apples to Apples. A cute grown-up friend of mine showed up to help pour the punch and sat there reading the book almost the whole time—I got to watch him laugh at the funny parts. It was truly one of the happiest days of my life, and I’m so glad that I got to share it with my beloved students.

The editing process was a joy and a breeze. I’m seriously lucky to have found a perfect match in my editor and pal Bryan Borland. I look forward to doing a book launch party or two, and a tour date here and there—it looks like there may be time after all.

  1. This Friday is my last day the library. I am so very sad that it is over. When I arrived there, I was broken from my AmeriCorps service, unsure if I was fit to work with children, and the library gave me a chance to start fresh in such a nice, easygoing way. I am so proud and excited about the relationships I’ve built at the library in the past two years, both with the kids and with the library staff. The amount of art and poetry we’ve created is staggering. I could not be prouder of the way this job turned out—I will miss it very much.

  1. Yesterday I was notified that this fall, my student teaching will take place at Wister Elementary, my school of choice, right down the street. It’s been my dream to work in one of my neighborhood’s public schools, and this is one step closer to that dream. I’ve been doing classroom observations at Wister since last summer, and it is, for the most part, a warm and welcoming place with kids who really need me. It’s covered with beautiful murals on the outside—I’ll be glad to see those every morning.

  1. I’ve finally found a good therapist. She is on maternity leave at the moment and the interim girl is doing okay, but Dr. Alicia is kind of a miracle. She trusts me to get where I’m going—I’m sure she has an agenda for me, but her guidance is minimal and it is WORKING. As a result, I’ve made a whole bunch of progress, unloading a lot of misconceptions and thought-structures that have been holding me down over the years.

 The other day at the Trans Health Conference, one of the speakers was talking about activist work as tilling the soil—it might be difficult, it might bring up unpleasant things, but tilling is necessary if you want to plant anything. I feel like that’s what therapy is for me. I’ve still got a lot of hard-packed soil that needs tilling. Sometimes it’s frustrating and really dark, but I think if I just let the momentum I’ve created carry me forward, I’ll get to that liking-myself dream that seems so important, especially for an almost-teacher.

  1. I’ve become a prolific writer of smut in the last six months. My pseudonymous blog has given me a chance to really push my writerly/bodily boundaries, and I’m so proud of that. I’m proud of how absolutely FILTHY I can be. Finding a language for sex has been part of finding out what I really want, and how to say what I really want. Now if I could only find one more person to give it to me.

  1. Siiiiigh, love. As I write this, I’m in a place of deep ambivalence about relationships, even my relationship with Amy. When I wrote my year-end heart update last year, I was in a pretty good place about Amy, guys, and polyamory, but it has been a rough six months. I sent myself on a year of body adventures, and some of the experiences have been incredible (I’m talking to you, fire massage…) but they’ve also been fraught with triggers and sadness and betrayal. Lately, I am having a really hard time believing that there is a guy out in the world for me—I worry that the universe forgot to make me one. Looking back at last December’s heart updates is painful, because I felt so close to having what I wanted, and then all of a sudden, it/he was gone.

My friends, I sometimes feel like a crazy person, because I am still in love with one of the guys from last December. After six months! He was mean and scary in some ways, but in other ways he was exactly what I’d been fantasizing about all those guyless years. He pushed me past so much, he was an unstoppable force, he was one of the top three kissers I’ve known, and the chemistry between us was as irresistible as a crash. Between us, we exchanged about 250 songs.  I do my best to move on, so much has happened since then, he’s been gone for so long, but other guys just end up feeling like a ghost of him.

I know I’m just lonely, and it won’t last forever. I’m going to do my best to keep on with my adventures and hope that the invisible ribbons that tie me to him will someday soon untie and blow away.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Poetic License Horoscope for June 1-7

Dear Readers,

I am very pleased and excited to announce that my biggest dream is in the process of coming true: my first full-length collection of poems, "For the Comfort of Automated Phrases," is now available for pre-order from Sibling Rivalry Press!  http://siblingrivalrypress.com/for-the-comfort-of-automated-phrases/ 

I'll also be planning some launch events and a few tour dates. Check here for details!

Many, many thanks,
Jane Cassady (a.k.a. the stars)

Gemini (May 19-June 21): Even more than usual, listen to song lyric for messages. Shuffle, the radio, the dreamy music over the credits, they’ve got something important to tell you.

Cancer (June 22-July 23): To the Cancer who just got into an MFA program: CONGRATULATIONS! You are worth every writing minute. fill your notebook with answers and forms and formulae. You’ll be even more yourself.

Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): to the Leo  who’s moving when the lease is up: Your new place may or may not have a garden, its own washer-dryer, or a tall-person’s shower, but I promise you this: quiet, a fresh start, more windows that open. You and your love and your cats will be happy and safe.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): You’ve been taking a break and now you’re frustrated, but I promise you—time to heal and read novels, to finish your homework, to take up half-assed yoga again, all the time you are taking for yourself will pay off in snuggly, sweaty, musky dividends, sooner than you think.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): Buy yourself a T-shirt that says “I want to cuddle you so hard.” Wear it someplace where snuggles are likely, which, for someone like you, is everywhere.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): Be naked wherever you can, even if you’re just doing the dishes or sitting around watching TV. Feel everything against your beautiful skin, the sun on your shoulders, the breeze on your knees.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): When my book was accepted last fall, I was warned many times about how difficult the editing process would be, what a nightmare. Actually, it was an ease and a pleasure—sometimes things actually work out to be easier than you thought. Things match up sometimes, notice miracles like that.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): The other day at my after school program job, when I launched into one of my many rousing speeches, a favorite student made me a sign that said “Teachable moment!!!” This week, put your two cents on whenever you see fit, maybe even a little more often than usual.

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): Think of all the things you loved but stopped doing, and pick a few of them up again. Let me know what you find—discarded games, old rituals, new geysers of inspiration.

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): To the Pisces celebrating a book release this week: The stars are there with you, of course, blazing with pride, cheering you on. May the night be every sweet thing you ever wished for, your book’s spine strong, your loving friends elated.

Aries (March 21-April 18): Last week on Mad Men, Peggy Olson realized her worth. She took a raise and moved on to an agency where she could shine. Give notice to something that’s already expired and get what you deserve.

Taurus (April 19-May 18): No matter what you do, some connections stay with you, invisible ribbons looping their way across the city or across the world. Love them until they fade or never do. Learn what you can from them.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Poetic License Horoscope for May 25-31

Gemini (May 19-June 21): After having four kids, my sister had her tubes tied. She always said she wouldn’t be surprised if her operation was one of the .5 percent that didn’t work. Turns out, she was still pretty surprised (but overjoyed). Get ready for blessing as lavish and shocking as hers.

Cancer (June 22-July 23): On last week’s Girls, Hannah took a trip home and caught a glimpse of what life in her hometown would’ve been like if she’d stayed. For one thing, guys there don’t talk dirty enough. Take a moment to appreciate the many and varied benefits of how far you’ve traveled.

Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): Whatever new hobby you’re working on, you’re about to be moved up from the beginner class to the intermediate level. Give yourself a hug, a gold star, a butterscotch sundae and a backrub. You deserve every reward.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): You keep dreaming of people you’ve lost, reuniting, taking their hands, visiting for Christmas. Whatever is missing is drifting towards you like a misty ex in a dream. Take his hand and go forward.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): (Kind of a meta-scope) Looking at the horoscopes from last year is kind of melancholy—I was in love with a Libra who’s long gone. I’m glad that at least there’s art to preserve temporary love, make it a little bit permanent.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): My therapist says it is possible to learn not to cry for hours about the everyday insensitivities that are part of life. If I learn this, I will have all kinds of extra time. I think I will use it for snuggling.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): Break up with “Whatever You Like” by T.I. and start going out with “So Good” by B.O.B. Always choose the song in when the Shorty gets more choices.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): In the classroom I am observing, students are trying to show that they are “ready for second grade.” If they prove they are, they get a badge to wear around all day. You’ve earned your “Ready for whatever comes next” badge. Wear it proudly.

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): Sometimes you have to hunker down and be a grown up. Other times (like this week) you should do the opposite. Throw a tantrum, play hooky, stay home and read a novel under the covers. You’ve earned it by being so good the rest of the time.

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): To the Pisces turning her guest room into a studio: good for you. I’ll gladly take the air mattress so that you can have space to make bird-print pillows, write poems, or stare dreamily out the window. Can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with.

Aries (March 21-April 18):  My favorite episodes of Mad Med are the ones where Don hangs out with women as friends. Put on your old-timey hat and go get drunk with a gorgeous Joan-esque buddy. But unlike don, take a cab home.

Taurus (April 19-May 18): I had a dream about you. We were visiting you for Christmas. I took your hand and introduced you to every single person in my whole family. You were waiting by the computer to hear back about a very special opportunity. Good luck! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Summer Fun Poetry Class!


It's almost summer, and that means it's time to join your pals for poetry fun! We'll be doing lots of playful activities that'll help you end up with at least 6 new poems by the end! The classes are open to all skill levels.

When: 6 Wednesdays beginning June 6. (skipping Independence Day) 7:30-9:30pm.

Where: Our lovely apartment in Germantown. (Hope you aren't allergic to cats...)

How Much: 90$ for all 6 sessions (includes snacks) Walk-ins, 15$ (If you are unable to pay, we should be able to work things out, just ask!)

Give me a call if you have any questions: (215) 432-4036.


Jane Cassady probably wants to hug you. She writes “Poetic License Horoscopes” for Sibling Rivalry Press, The Legendary, and Critical Mass, the Philadelphia City Paper’s arts and culture blog. Her poems “In 1992,” “Almost Immediately,” “It Got Better” and “For the Comfort of Automated Phrases” can be heard on Indiefeed: Performance Poetry. She has been featured indecomP, The Ballard Street Poetry Journal, Lavender Review, and other journals. She has performed at such venues as LouderArts in New York City, Valley Contemporary Poets in Los Angeles, and The Encyclopedia Show in Chicago. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Poetic License Horoscope for May 17-24

Taurus (April 19-May 18): If there’s someplace you can go where everybody’s pretty and special and fun, go to there. You’ll fit right in and find exactly what you need!

Gemini (May 19-June 21): Last weekend, we spent a fair number of hours playing Wii Jeopardy with my family, and here’s what I think: It’s much more enjoyable on the easy setting. Alex Trebek is less fun without the mustache. My Mii is due for a makeover. The answers are less like questions every day. (Confidential to K.C:YAAAAAAAY!)

Cancer (June 22-July 23):  Next time it rains, play hooky and catch up on your pleasure reading. Take one or several naps—you need to catch up on your dreaming to defragment your subconscious and start anew.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): “Take my love, take my land/ Take me where I cannot stand/ I don't care, I'm still free/ You can't take the sky from me.” (Firefly theme song) It’s a good time for a rewatch, isn’t it, dear?

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Give gifts to your inner teenager. Write her letters to tell her she is worthy and pretty. Indulge in the power-ballads of the Nineties. To paraphrase Motley Crue, you’re on your way, you’re on your wa-aa-ay, home sweet home.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): I like when I ask for request and people write entire predictions for me! Guest Libra Sam Richman says: "Your primal urges are pulling you into the forest and onto the dance floor. Keep listening to your body - there is ancient, inherited wisdom in it. Libras are all about heart, and the heart is often associated with sweetness & sensitivity, but it is also a muscular organ, and yours grows stronger every day."

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): It’s okay to crowd-source inspiration of you’re all out—ask your friends, both virtual and IRL, to send you love songs, attention, strength. They are sure to send exactly what you need.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): The answer to “Should I just go to sleep?” is usually “yes.” Go head, go to bed at 7:30 if you want to, you’ll wake up feeling like it’s a holiday.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Try someplace new. Take your book and a notebook. Write something or nothing. Read the bulletin board or stare into space. Strike up a conversation with a stranger and find out all of his or her adventures.

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): Your keyword for the week is “open.” Open your heart. Open the window and smell the rain. Open a book and don’t close it again til morning. Open your plans up for something new.

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): “We are not what they think we are, we are golden, we are golden.” (MIKA) This week, MIKA is your spirit animal—be more like him, a silly, happy, lollipop dream.

Aries (March 21-April 18): “At some point one’s prayers will become/ so powerful that they ca shake a full tree/ in an orchard in heaven and fruit will roll/ through the streets in this world.” (Hafiz)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Poetic License Horoscope for May 11-17

Taurus (April 19-May 18): It’s okay to keep consoling yourself for what you’ve lost. It still aches, that’s okay, because it’s important. You are going to get exponential goodwill in return, runaway growth.

Gemini (May 19-June 21): Rewrite your past so that you have everything you’ve ever needed, so that you were always treated like a precious jewel every minute, no one ever let you be unsafe. I think you’ll find yourself missing what you’ve learned from all the crimps and deficiencies—these are their own weird luxury.

Cancer (June 22-July 23): “I wanna thank you, for letting me, be myself again.” (Sly and the Family Stone) the encouragement you give out will have such a huge effect, you may never know. Write letters to buoy up your friends’ spirit--it will always work.

Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): My wife watches Sherlock, so I asked her what we could learn from Benedict Cumberbatch. She said “Everything you need to know is almost right in front of you.” Okay—open your eyes to the clues.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): On last week’s Mad Men, Megan left the agency to follow her dream of being an actress; It’s the same for you, except you don’t have to quit anything. Just follow the path you’re on now, glide along your trajectory—it’s that easy.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): If you take a nice walk with a friend and see a bird you’ve never seen before, (say, for instance, a hermit thrush) take that as a sign that there are so many new, pretty little things ready to hop into your life, to show you their plumage. It’s okay to let them.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): Make time for yourself, and make it special. Take yourself on dates to the fanciest restaurants, the grandest museums. Buy yourself flowers and chocolate pianos. Make yourself a mixtape as only you know how. Be the great love of your life, and you are sure to get lucky.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): Should you find yourself laughing or in tears or ecstatic at an inopportune moment, settle into it. Go ahead and be inappropriate—sometimes emotion trumps everything.  

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): I’ve been married almost nine years and I recently found out that my wife has a talent for rope bondage. Life is magical like that—everyone’s full of riches and secrets and mischief. Enjoy.

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): Don’t get Pretty Friend Syndrome. It isn’t always your friend’s job to be the belle of the ball—sometimes it’s you. Take your newfound confidence and use it to make genuine connections, to make a new life for yourself.

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): Be like Leslie Knope going after her doofus opponent in the city council debate. Let your passions speak for you, there is absolutely no reason to hold them back.

Aries (March 21-April 18):  To the Aries in a long-distance love affair—it’s worth it, isn’t it? How much love can be contained in a text? What kind of hot strange sex can you have over Skype? Right now you are both buzzing with potential, let it be so much.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Poetic License Horoscope for May 4-10

Taurus (April 19-May 18): To the Taurus waking up in a transformed body: good morning and congratulations. I’ve always said you are a genius at creating yourself, this is just more evidence. So much love, so many wishes, and millions of gentle hugs.

Gemini (May 19-June 21): To my brother, who wants to try rock climbing and maybe skydiving someday: I can’t wait to not do that, but if you do, listen closely to the safety lectures. get hold of the right kinds of carabiners. Hold on tight and do not break yourself.

Cancer (June 22-July 23): A few weeks ago at the Momentum conference, I went to a talk called “Spread Your Legs and Open Your Heart.” The leader prescribed drawing a hot bath for nine nights in a row and running a leaf or stone over your whole body. At first I balked at the first-world-adviceness of all those baths, but go ahead and try it.

Leo (July 24- Aug. 23): No matter how long you’ve known someone, they always still have more secret skills and new surprises. Let someone expand for you, you’ll be gratified for what you get.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23):  Take whatever chance you can to shout down old bulies, old heartbreaks, or both. Write as many strongly worded  letters as it takes. Just when you think you might dissolve from anger, your heart will give in and open up.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): Whenever you’re around, people are smiling. You don’t have to try to be pleasing or work very hard at all, just stand there next to them. And sometimes, let them give something back.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): “It’s good if something gnaws at your innards until you come to terms with your real potential.” (Hafiz) It also helps if you gnaw back.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec 22): In last week’s Mad Men episode, Don tried to make Sally stay innocent by making her take off her makeup and go-go boots, but she learned a whole bunch about the world anyway. Don’t try to protect yourself so much, it’s okay.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): The world is kind of a harsh place sometimes, it’s okay to fight it. Put on blankets, a blindfold, earplugs, and build yourself someplace safe. Cocoon there until you feel better.

Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb. 19): Make a list of all of your wishes again. I know I make you do this all the time, but it’s important. Each time you make your list, the wishes are clearer and brighter, and so are you!

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): Should you find yourself in the Duchamp room at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, take a little time to think about the body as a creativity machine that runs on sex, or something like that.

Aries (March 21-April 18): Every so often I have to say, I miss you and I wish you’d call. We were novices together and now we are a little less so. I still need you to send me merit badges for progress, still need to cheer on your every step.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Also! It! Has! A! Cover!

Designed by Amy Lawson:

My! Book! Has! A! Spine!

For the past ten years, I have been dreaming of having a book with a spine. Sibling Rivalry Press made that dream come true today. For the Comfort of Automated Phrases comes out this summer, July 17. Stay tuned for events and more gushing!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Poetic License Horoscope for April 27-May 3

Poetic License Horoscope for April  27-May 3

Taurus (April 19-May 18): Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely places—people you may have underestimated, recurring fortune cookie slips, episodes of sitcoms. Go ahead and let it all help you, it’s okay.

Gemini (May 19-June 21): When you are Sally Draper, you’ll accept advice from just about anyone, even your creepy pill-popping step-grandmother. Lucky for you, you are not Sally Draper. Feel free to rely only on reliable voices.

Cancer (June 22-July 23): “I don’t know why/ there is an ocean/ in my chest or how/ I am supposed to/ carry it/ without spilling it out/ all over the place.” (Daniel McGinn) Dear friend, I think there’s some advice here about tides.

Leo (July 24- Aug. 23): When you are owed an apology, learn not to comfort the apologizer. Likewise, learn to accept (not argue with) compliments. There’s nothing you need to do to improve yourself right now. No steps need to be taken.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23):  "So take what you can from your experiences of heartbreak, yes. But be careful not to take too much, or you’ll wind up letting it define you. Don’t create new generalized fears that make it hard to hear your intuition—and hard to find the love you want and deserve.” (Jaclyn Friedman, What You Really, Really Want)

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): You are so kind that you’ll comfort a friend even when your troubles are much deeper. You’re a generous angel like that, thanks!

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): It’s time to think about clothing optional beaches! Even if you’re not as much of an exhibitionist as the stars are, think of other sunny ways to safely bare yourself. And don’t forget the sunscreen!

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec 22): Find someone you love and turn off the television with him or her. Don’t worry, the stars still looooove the television, we just think maybe you should see what else you might use that couch for.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Yesterday I was watching a rerun of How I Met Your Mother wherein Ted saves a man’s life by being an “I love you” slut. He says it to a man who’d been about to commit suicide, and it turns the guy’s life around. You may not achieve such dramatic results, but be an “I love you” slut anyway.

Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb. 19): Everyone you touch has a million layers. You’ve long since given up the idea that a human being can be a simple distraction, a vacation from your own life. Settle into the layers and make a mess.

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): Find someone to be a beginner with, it’s such a comfort. Get yourself some good awkward, some nice fumbling, and settle into it like blankets.

Aries (March 21-April 18): The Zone of Proximal Development is an educational concept that means the space between something being too easy to be challenging and being too frustrating to learn. Find your own Zone of Proximal Development. Go ahead, open your eyes and soak up knowledge.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Poetic License Horoscope for April 20-26

Taurus (April 19-May 18): Stop. Take note of everything you’ve learned so far. Take a deep breath and a few days to let it all sink in. You’ve come so far.

Gemini (May 19-June 21): “Be vulnerable and ask for your desires. There are only two ways it can go…and never asking ensures only one.” (Aiden Fyre) Sometimes, though, you don’t know what to ask for until it feels too late. That’s okay, you’ll know what to ask for next time!

Cancer (June 22-July 23): May your National Poetry Month continue to be prolific—mine your inner wishes, your big leaky mansion of a heart, your pesky childhood. Use everything that isn’t nailed down, then pry up that stuff too.

Leo (July 24- Aug. 23):  As much as you might like to avoid logical fallacies, sometimes they are too tempting. Likewise for hyperbole and over-generalizations. Just let ‘em go this week. Indulge.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23):  “My heart is a worthy vessel. It carries riches from my living adventures. It carries room enough for other riches to be gathered.” (Julia Cameron) You may be tempted to curl up into a ball, wrap yourself in a blanket, and hide, but there are so many more treasures to be had. Go get them.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): I’m still sending you visions of rest: pillow mountains floating with dreamy feathers. Soundproof rooms made of flannel and chocolate. Meadows of sugar butterflies, a sweet and hopeful peace.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): You are such a good sport, keep it up. Your loyalty, open-mindedness, and flexibility will keep paying off in unexpected ways.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec 22): Make the world a safe place. You can do this by consistently honoring your boundaries, treating people kindly but not at your own expense, and finding out just exactly what it is you want.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): There’s such a thing as too many vitamins. This week, minimize the number of ways in which you try to be virtuous for its own sake—that’s a total waste of energy.

Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb. 19): To the Aquarius who ended up being my crash course: Thank you. It’s unfortunate that painful lessons often come by way of people I adore. Thank you for making that sacrifice. You are more than kind. (Confidential to H and H: a job, a home, and every other wish are on the way. Just keep trying. XO, The Stars)

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): Believe all of the best stories about yourself. Take the best possible interpretation of any given comment. That’s probably what they really meant!

Aries (March 21-April 18): You have so much to look forward to: lilacs, wisteria, long walks in the spring woods. You’re like the smell of the air when the leaves come in.