Resolution update: October 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). With two months to go, it’s looking like I will complete 15 of my 25 goals for sure, with an outside chance of completing as many as 5 more.

1. Don’t die.

Still kicking.

2. Lose ten pounds.

Stuck on seven down and three 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: The redesign of my website has begun, which will allow me to actually post future podcasts.

I’ve also secured a commitment from a cohost for that second podcast.

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

Work on this book began last month and continues.

6. Complete my seventh novel.

Work continues.

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

Three manuscripts remain in the hands of my agent. She is deciding upon which one to forward to editors and will do so in November.

8. Complete a book proposal for my memoir.

The proposal for a memoir comprised of 30-40 of my Moth stories is complete. The process of sending the book to editors has begun.

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.

Work also began on a new book which is part memoir and part how-to.

9. Host at least one Shakespeare Circle.

Nothing scheduled yet, but I’m hoping to schedule something over Christmas break.

10. Write a screenplay.

Done! In the hands of my agent.

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 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.

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

Done! Last Sunday I published an Op-Ed in the Hartford Courant about communicating with students in the digital world.

My second column in Seasons magazine also published this month.


I still await word from a major online magazine about a pitch that I made in August.

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.


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

I attended a Moth StorySLAM in New York on October 8 at The Bell House in Brooklyn and finished in first place. It brings my total number of events for the year to 14.

16. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

I have competed in five GrandSLAMs in 2014 in New York City and Boston, finishing second three times. When I didn’t finish in second place, I was  forced to tell my story from first position (the kiss of death).

It’s all terribly 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.

My friend, who is a yoga guru, has agreed to give me a lesson. I will schedule that this month.

18. De-clutter the basement.

Progress continues at a constant, slightly less than 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.

Done! We produced a sold out show at The Mount in Lenox, MA last month, bringing our total number of shows to seven. We have one more show planned for this year on December 6 at Real Art Ways

22. Deliver a TED Talk.

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

23. Set a new personal best in golf.

Nothing close to a personal best last month, and I missed two golfing opportunities because of Patriots games. The season is sadly drawing to a close.

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.