Resolution update: August 2012

In an effort to hold myself accountable to my yearly goals, I post the progress made at the end of each month. 

1. Don’t die.

I nearly ended up in a fist fight with a biker last week outside of Best Buy, but even if I had fought him, I think I would’ve won.

2. Lose ten pounds.

I lost 2 pounds in the month of August. Still 13 pounds from my target weight.   

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.

Flute still broken. Broken flute still in car. I still suck in regards to this goal. 

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

Still not complete. August admittedly contained extenuating circumstances when it came to completing the book, but that is not excuse. I feel like a failure, though every time I say this, my wife wants to smack me.  

6. Complete my sixth novel.

Though I can’t wait to dig into one of my many new ideas, the possibility of finishing a second novel before the end of the year seems grim.

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

I am still struggling to find a clever end to my first picture book. Once I do, it will be sent to the publisher for review. I will be sharing the book with my students in a week or two. My hope is that they may propose an ending that works. Kids are smart like that. 

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

The novel and the memoir are simply taking precedence at time.

9. Complete three chapters of my memoir.

Parts of three chapters have been written in preparation for stories that I have told at Moth StorySLAMs, but nothing formal or comprehensive has been written yet. The unfinished novel looms large over everything else at this point.  

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

No posts in August. We remain stuck on three, and I have yet to get a laptop into my sister’s hands.

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

My first class begins on Tuesday. I wonder where the hell it is.

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

Like previous months, 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 now have three pieces in the pipeline (including one I sent to my editor less than five minutes ago) with hopes that at least one will find its way into print soon.

So there’s plenty of potential.

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

I competed in my fourth and fifth Moth events in August, finishing an agonizing second in both StorySLAMs, losing by a combined total of three-tenths of a point.

Though my goal of 5 events has been achieved (the first of the year), I have no intention of quitting. I’ll be attending the SstorySLAM on September 24 at The Bitter End in New York City. The theme of the night is Grudge. I had many stories from which to choose.  

If you would like to attend this upcoming StorySLAM with me, please let me know. I’m always looking for company.

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

Done! Revisions are in the hands of the director. Our production is slated for the first week of January. I will pass on all the details as they become available.     

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

Incremental progress has been made in July.

16. Give yoga an honest try.

I have a friend with some free classes who has offered to bring me to a lesson. I have yet to take her up on her offer. 

17. Meditate for at least five minutes every day.

I mediated on 18 of the 31 days of August. Extenuating circumstances interfered with several days. In truth, I missed meditating on the days that I was not able to get it done. 

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

Brace yourselves. In August, I tried arugula, a leafy green vegetable, despite my wife’s vehement protestations, and I think I liked it.  

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

The race has been cancelled for 2012. My plans for a race in the fall have been derailed by five out-of-state book events, a host of in-state appearances and an unfinished novel that hangs on my neck like an albatross. 

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