Resolution update: April 2012

1. Don’t die. Another month of avoiding death complete.

2. Lose ten pounds.

Things were looking so good until I attended back-to-back literary festivals over the last two weekends and ate a thousand cheeseburgers.

I’m about 15 pounds away from my goal now and annoyed.

3. Do at least 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups five days a day.  Also complete at least two two-minute planks five days per week.


4. Practice the flute for at least an hour a week.

Last month my flute broke. This month I moved my flute from the house to the car in an effort to have it repaired. So that’s technically progress in terms of getting it fixed. Right?

5. Complete my fifth novel before the Ides of March the birth of my next child.

Not complete and looking more and more like I will miss this readjusted deadline as well. I may be finishing the novel while rocking a newborn, which does not sound appealing.

6. Complete my sixth novel.

Though I am not currently working on my sixth novel yet, I have about 12,000 words already written for one of them, and several thousand words written for two more. Plus about 3,000 words of a memoir.

Perhaps this is why I am failing so miserably with the previous goal.

7. Sell one children’s book to a publisher.

I did not work much on this goal in April, focusing all my effort on my adult novel. But I did come up with two new picture book ideas, so when I finally get back to this project, I will have more options, and therefore more opportunities, to publish.

8. Complete the book proposal for my non-fiction, photographic  collaborative project.

This project will be tackled during the summer.

9. Complete three chapters of my memoir.

I did not write much this month, but I had a long discussion with my agent via email on the topic. Unaware that I was working on a memoir or that people at my publisher had asked me if I ever considered writing one, Taryn brought up the subject after learning about all of my recent success at The Moth. After much discussion, it was decided that I will write a book proposal for this project over the summer, which will require the three chapters that my goal specifies.

10. Complete at least twelve blog posts on my brother and sister blog.

More promises from my sister, but no posts. I’ve realized that when you reply heavily upon another person to complete a goal, things are much more difficult. Maybe she’ll read this and feel guilty.

11. Become certified to teach high school English by completing two required classes.

Still no luck in finding these classes. I made two phone calls in April to colleges that I have previously attended, and neither person called me back.

This is getting annoying.

12. Publish at least one Op-Ed in a newspaper.

I published a piece in Beyond the Margins in April, which is not exactly a newspaper but is a great place (and maybe even a better place) for an author to publish.

I still have two pieces currently in the pipeline with hopes of both finding their way into print soon.

13. Attend at least five Moth events with the intention of telling a story.

On April 19th I attended my second StorySlam of 2012 at Housing Works in Manhattan. I placed second, scoring very well but losing to former StorySlam champion Diana Spechler, who told a story that was simply unforgettable.

Ironically, both Diana and I already had earned spots in the next GrandSlam Championship, which is to take place sometime over the summer. We were both at Housing Works that night because we love to take the stage and tell stories. But in winning, we only manage to push back the GrandSlam, since ten StorySlam winners are needed to compete in the next championship.

But I can’t help myself. I love the Moth and love to take that stage.

I will be attending my third StorySlam of 2012 in Brooklyn next Monday. The topic is MOTHERS.

14. Complete the necessary revisions of our rock opera (The Clowns) so that it can be staged as a full production in 2013.

With a theater committed to producing The Clowns next year, this remainder of 2012 will be spent getting the script into shape. My co-writer actually sent a rather long email last night that I have yet to read, but I am fairly certain that it is a reminder to get off my ass at some point and begin writing.

Just as soon as the novel is finished, of course…

15. Rid Elysha and myself of all education debt before the end of the year.

Incremental progress has been made on this front in April.

16. Give yoga an honest try.

I signed up for yoga classes being taught after school by a colleague who also happens to be a yoga instructor, but it would appear that these classes are not going to happen. I may have to find another means of completing this goal.

17. Meditate for at least five minutes every day.

I mediated for five minutes a day for 20 of the 30 days of April. I am putting in the time, attempting to clear my mind and trying my very best, but so far, I do not feel like I have received much in return. But I remain undeterred.

18. Agree to try at least one new dish per month, even if it contains ingredients that I wouldn’t normally consider palatable.

In April, I tried oyster stew and found it mildly palatable.

19. Conduct the ninth No-Longer-Annual A-Mattzing Race in 2012.

The race is planned for the fall.

20. Post my progress in terms of these resolutions on this blog on the first day of every month.

Three days late but done.