Resolution update: May 2014

In an effort to hold myself accountable, I post a list my New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of each month, along with their progress (or lack thereof).

1. Don’t die.

Didn’t even come close to dying in May.

2. Lose ten pounds.

I gained two more pounds in May, leaving me down three with seven to go.

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


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.

BUT… summer vacation is almost here.

5. Complete my sixth novel before the end of the summer.

Revisions on the next novel have continued to stall progress on the new one. It remains more than half finished.

6. Complete my seventh novel.

Progress continues on this one as well.

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

Work continues on The Little Bad Wolf and two other manuscripts.

8. Complete a book proposal for my memoir.

The proposal for a memoir comprised of the 3o or so stories that I have told on stage for The Moth, Speak Up, The Mouth, The Story Collider and other storytelling organizations is complete. I await news of its sale.

Work also continues on a memoir that focuses 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.

It was a memorable two years.

I haven’t decided whether I should write this entire book or a proposal for the book yet.

I’m also secretly writing another golf memoir that I do not expect to sell. Last summer, I wrote one almost by accident, and I think it’s some of the best writing I’ve ever done. How could I not take another foolish stab at it again?

9. Host at least one Shakespeare Circle.

Nothing scheduled yet.

10. Write a screenplay.

Writing has commenced. I have also formed a screenwriters group, consisting of an actual screenwriter and a writer who wants to try his hand at screenwriting.

11. Write at least three short stories.

I am nearly finished with one short story and had an idea for a second last month.

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

Done! The collection is complete and in the hands of my literary agent.

Happily, I didn’t establish the goal of actually selling a collection of poetry, so if she hates it, it is irrelevant in terms of this goal.

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

Still one class and $50 away from completion.

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

My first column for Seasons magazine will publish in June.

I also published a piece in The Cook’s Cook, a magazine for aspiring food writers and recipe testers. You can read the April-May issue here.


Neither of these are Op-Eds. Please ignore that fact in the event I need to use these in order to claim that I have completed my goal.

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

I competed in a Moth StorySLAM in May at Housing Works in NYC. This brings the total number of events in 2014 to eight.

16. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

Two GrandSLAMs in 2014 and no victories. My next chance will be in July.

17. Give yoga an honest try.

No progress, though the co-writer of another book that I am attempting to write has offered to introduce me to this… sport?

18. De-clutter the basement.

Small, insignificant progress made.

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.

With two events in May, our total now stands at four with our next show scheduled for July 19 and shows planned in September and November/December.

We have also been contacted by outside venues about the prospect of bringing Speak Up on the road. We are extremely excited about this possibility.

22. Deliver a TED Talk.

I delivered a TED Talk in March at Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville, MA. I will be posting video from that talk next week.

I have also been contacted about speaking at two other conferences in the fall.

23. Set a new personal best in golf.

I played my four rounds of golf in May, failing to break 50.

I’m putting exceptionally well, though, and am threatening to become a person who can hit a driver, so perhaps hope is on the horizon.

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

We may still not know how this will actually happen, but we made the decision to keep Elysha at home for one more year with our son. I told her last Sunday. She was very excited.

I would be, too.

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