Resolution update: August 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.

There’s a good chance that we all exist in a computer simulation, and if so, we are not actually alive. But if that’s not the case, I’m still going strong.

2. Lose ten pounds.

Still six down and four 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.

Progress so far: I have completed the redesign of my website, which would allow me to post podcast online. By “completed the redesign,” I mean that I have finished sketching the architecture on paper. Now I have to actually do the work, which I only kind of know how to do.

I’ve also begun saving segment topics for both Author Out Loud and my unnamed podcast.

5. Complete my sixth novel before the end of the summer 2014.

So much of the summer was consumed with completing the revisions of my next novel that I was unable to apply myself to the next book. It remains more than half finished, and I have adjusted my timeline to extend until the end of 2014. 

6. Complete my seventh novel.

A great deal of progress was made on this book in August, mostly because of the non-traditional way that it’s being written. It’s still possible that I’ll finish my seventh novel before I finish my sixth, which obviously makes no sense. 

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

Three manuscripts are in the hands of my agent. I await word on their fate.

8. Complete a book proposal for my memoir.

The proposal for a memoir comprised of the about three dozen of my Moth stories is complete. It will be sent to editors for their consideration soon.

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’m also writing another memoir about this current season of golf. Since I haven’t played enough golf this summer, I plan to stretch it so that it encompasses the entire year rather than just the summer.  

9. Host at least one Shakespeare Circle.

Nothing scheduled yet.   

10. Write a screenplay.

Nearly complete. And I have my idea for the next screenplay, too.    

11. Write at least three short stories.

Nothing. I still hate this goal.

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

My agent has spoken. Not only does poetry in general not earn any money, but she doesn’t think my poetry is worth my time in terms of time and money. She encouraged me to send some of my better poems to journals and contests, which I may do at some point.

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

Still one class and $50 away from completion. My wife is actively looking for a place online where I can complete this relatively obscure requirement.

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

My first column in Seasons magazine published in June. My next column publishes in September.


I also pitched a column idea to a major online magazine that is seriously being considered.  

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.


None of these are Op-Eds in a physical paper. Please ignore that fact in the event I need to use these publishing credits 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 GrandSLAM and a StorySLAM, both in Boston, bringing the total number of Moth events to 12 and exceeding this goal. I won the StorySLAM and placed second in the GrandSLAM.

I have plans to attend another Moth StorySLAM in New York in September.

16. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

I competed in the aforementioned GrandSLAM in August and placed second. I have completed in eight GrandSLAMs in the past three years and placed second six times.

It’s annoying.  

I have another GrandSLAM in New York in November, and that may be my last chance at a championship for 2014.   

17. Give yoga an honest try.

No progress.

18. De-clutter the basement.

Progress continues at a constant, albeit glacial, pace.

19. De-clutter the shed

Done! I dislodged a mouse family, filled the back of my truck with junk, and now I have an empty, organized shed.  

20. Conduct the ninth No-Longer-Annual A-Mattzing Race in 2014.

No progress.

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

Our total stands at five after our July show with additional shows planned for September and December at Real Art Ways and October at The Mount in Lennox, MA.

22. Deliver a TED Talk.

I delivered a TED Talk in March at Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville, MA.

I have also been contacted about speaking at two other TED conferences in the fall and am still awaiting word on my pitches.

23. Set a new personal best in golf.

I shot a 42 last week, but that was at an executive course (par 32). Not a personal best, and I don’t feel like setting my personal best at an executive course would be a real victory anyway.  

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

We still don’t know how we will afford this, but we made the decision to keep Elysha at home for one more year with our son.

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