Resolution update: March 2014

1. Don’t die. Still kicking.

2. Lose ten pounds.

Seven pounds down, thanks mostly to the most vicious stomach bug of all time.

3. Do at least 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups five days a week.

I missed two weeks thanks to the stomach bug, but I’m back on the horse again.

4. Launch at least one new podcast.

Author Out Loud, my first podcast, is still yet to launch (and therefore still not my first). Once we have that podcast running smoothly, we can think about adding a second podcast.

If you’re keeping score, this means that I’m actually failing at last year’s goal of launching my first podcast and this year’s goal of launching my second  podcast.

5. Complete my sixth novel before the Ides of March.

Revisions on the next novel have stalled progress on the new one. I will set a new goal when revisions on next book are complete.

6. Complete my seventh novel.

I sent the first half of this manuscript onto my agent to see if I should continue work on it. I await word.

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

Still working on revisions for The Little Bad Wolf and two other manuscripts.

8. Complete a book proposal for my memoir.

I made a decision to reduce the scope of my memoir and focus primarily on the two years that encompassed my arrest and trial for a crime I did not commit. These two years also include an armed robbery, the onset of my post traumatic stress disorder, my period of homelessness and the time I spent living with a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

There’s plenty of material for for a memoir in those two years, I think.

I also think a reduced scope will make for a better memoir and open the door to future memoirs from  other periods of my life.

Work has begun on this project.

On the advice of a Moth producer, I have also transcribed five of my Moth stories and sent them to my agent with the thought that we may consider publishing them as well. I await word on that as well.

9. Host at least one Shakespeare Circle.

Nothing scheduled yet.

10. Write a screenplay.

In an interesting turn of events, a filmmaker has contacted me about writing a script for her. We have a conversation scheduled for later this week. This experimental project may turn out to be something much more interesting.

11. Write at least three short stories.

No progress.

12. Write a collection of poetry using existing and newly written poems.

April is National Poetry Month, and I have begun to assemble, revise and even write one new poem for my book. I don’t know if anyone else will like my poetry, but I kind of love it. I know that’s a rather self-congratulatory thing to say, but it’s true. I enjoyed re-reading some of my older poems. I hope to have the book ready in a month or two.

13. Become certified to teach high school English by completing one required class.

One class and $50 away from completion. Hopefully a class that I can find and complete over the summer.

14. Publish at least one Op-Ed in a physical newspaper.

I've been hired as a the columnist for Seasons magazine, a Connecticut-based magazine with a readership of more than 60,000 people. I’ll be writing four humor columns each year at the onset of each new season.

I’m not sure if this counts in terms of completing this goal. Seasons isn’t a newspaper, but it’s a physical publication.

I’m still working on getting an Op-Ed in a newspaper, so I probably won’t count this new writing gig toward the goal unless I need to.

15. Attend at least 10 Moth events with the intention of telling a story.

I attended a Moth GrandSLAM in March, bringing my total events to five. I finished in second place, which is apparently the only place available to me in GrandSLAM competitions.

16. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

As stated above, I finished in second place, which marks my fifth second place finish in a Moth GrandSLAM (including three by a tenth of a point).

17. Give yoga an honest try.

No progress.

18. De-clutter the basement.

I’ve begun the process of throwing things out again. It’s a smidgen of progress, but slow and steady wins the race.

19. De-clutter the shed

No progress.

20. Conduct the ninth No-Longer-Annual A-Mattzing Race in 2013.

No progress.

21. Produce a total of 6 Speak Up storytelling events.

Our Speak Up storytelling event on March 29 was a huge success. A sold-out, standing-room-only show with one of our finest collection of storytellers ever. That brings our yearly total to two, with events scheduled for May 17 and 31 and a July date in the works.

22. Deliver a TED Talk.

I delivered a TED Talk last month at Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville, MA. It was an outstanding conference that I will probably write about soon.

image image

23. Set a new personal best in golf.

No progress until the spring arrives.

24. Find a way to keep my wife home for one more year with our children.

Still looking doubtful.

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

Two days late.