1. Don’t die.
I didn't even come close to dying last month.
2. Lose 20 pounds.
I gained two pounds in October, so now I'm only down ten for the year. Ten more pounds in the next two months will be tough. Not impossible.
3. Do at least 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups five days a week.
4. Stop drinking soda from two-liter bottles.
I didn’t drink soda from a two-liter bottle in October. Soda consumption continues to fall dramatically.
5. Practice yoga at least five days a week.
I continue to practice yoga almost every morning. My shoulder and collarbone still hurt from last month's football game, which makes it difficult, and I must find some time for a refresher course, but I'm trying.
6. Learn to cook three good meals for my wife.
I have three recipes to plan for courtesy of a good friend. I have done nothing with them thus far, and I am running out of time.
7. Complete my sixth novel before the end of 2015.
Work continues. I have signed a new, two book contract with my publisher, and the due date for the next book is February 28, 2016. So my end of year target date has been moved back two months.
Also, in fairness, I've written more than a novel's worth of content this year, spread between three different books, but none are completely finished.
8. Complete my seventh novel.
This book remains more than half finished.
9. Sell one children’s book to a publisher.
My agent is submitting three of my children's books and a satire of a children's book to editors this month. Fingers crossed.
10. Sell a memoir to a publisher.
The memoir will be paired with my book of essays, and both will be pitched by my agent before the end of the year.
11. Sell a book of essays to a publisher.
The essays are revised and the proposal is complete. It will be pitched by my agent before the end of the year.
12. Complete a book proposal for a book on storytelling.
Progress continues. It's now fully outlined. I am currently polishing the two sample chapters.
13. Write a new screenplay.
Revisions of my first screenplay - based upon film agent’s notes - are nearly complete.
I have decided upon the story for the next screenplay and have the story fairly well outlined (thanks in part to a friend's excellent suggestion). I haven't made any progress on it. This is going to be a tough goal to accomplish given time constraints.
Then again, a rough draft satisfies the goal and would be a great start.
14. Write 50 pages of a new memoir about the years of 1991-1993.
The collection of essays that I am writing now encompasses this period of time. This book and the book of essays are now one and the same.
15. Write a musical for a summer camp.
Done! I was lucky enough to see it performed onstage in July.
The musical that we wrote for last year's summer camp (Caught in the Middle) will be produced in 2016 at schools and other venues in the Hartford area.
16. Publish at least one Op-Ed in a physical newspaper.
I've also written another Op-Ed for the Hartford Courant that will run sometime this month.
My dream is to land a weekly column at a newspaper like the Hartford Courant before they disappear forever, but this is probably a hard gig to get.
17. Submit one or more short stories to at least three publishing outlets.
I submitted one of my short stories to a student magazine in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and it was accepted.
18. Select three behaviors that I am opposed to and adopt them for one week, then write about my experiences on the blog.
I spent a week in July backing into parking spots, which was something I assumed was only done by lunatics of the highest order. I'm in the process of writing about my experience in for a blog post
I'm still on the hunt for my second behavior and running out of time.
19. Build an author mailing list.
Done! My latest newsletter will be sent today. My mailing list is close to 1,000 subscribers and growing.
If you're not signed up for my mailing list, you can do so here:
20. Build a new website for matthewdicks.com
21. Produce a total of eight Speak Up storytelling events.
Done! We produced our ninth and tenth shows in October at the Noah Webster House and the Connecticut Historical Society. We still have shows scheduled for November at the Farmington Library and December at Real Art Ways as well.
22. Deliver my fourth TED Talk.
Done! The recording was released in August. One of the cameras did not record my talk, and the other started recording about two minutes late. The recording is disappointing and useless. I have the worst TED luck ever.
I will be speaking at another TED conference in November. I am hoping for better luck.
23. Build a website for Speak Up.
Done! It’s a single page on my new author website, and it’s not nearly as robust as we want it to eventually be, but Speak Up finally has a webpage where you can find dates of events, ticket information, an opportunity to sign up for the mailing list, and more. You can find our webpage at speakupstorytelling.com.
24. Attend at least 10 Moth events with the intention of telling a story.
Done! I attended one Moth StorySLAM at The Bitter End in NYC in October. This brings my total number of Moth events attended in 2015 to 22.
25. Win at least two Moth StorySLAMs.
Done! I won another Moth StorySLAM in October at The Bitter End, bringing my total number of wins in 2015 to three.
I won a StorySLAM at The Bell House in Brooklyn in August.
I won a StorySLAM at Oberon in Cambridge back in April.
I would like to squeeze in one more before the year ends.
26. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.
Done twice over! I won the New York GrandSLAM at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in April and June.
I compete in another GrandSLAM in November.
27. Launch at least one podcast.
We recorded. We edited. We published to Sound Cloud. We submitted it to iTunes. They are reviewing it now. Any second now and we are launched.
28. Pitch at least three new projects to two smart people.
Done! I pitched a new writing project to a smart person in September, bringing my total to three new projects to three smart people.
Nothing has come from any of my pitches, but I'll keep trying.
29. Host at least one Shakespeare Circle.
Nothing scheduled yet. I'd better schedule something.
30. Enroll in the final class needed for certification as a high school English teacher.
No progress. This is not going to happen, but more importantly, I no longer want it to happen. Why the hell would I ever want to become a high school English teacher?
31. Set a new personal best in golf.
I tied my personal best of 47 through nine holes again. I'm not sure how many more chances I'll have this year to break it. I play this afternoon, but the days are getting shorter and colder, and my swing is not improving.
32. Post my progress in terms of these resolutions on this blog on the first day of every month.