Resolution Update: November 2015

One month to go, so I decided to take a measure of my progress so far in terms of percentage of goals completed.

Of the 32 goals set for the year:

  • 19 have already been accomplished.  
  • 3 will not be accomplished regardless of my efforts. 
  • 19 may or may not be completed with varying degrees of difficulty. 

It appears as if 2015 has a chance to be a record year in terms of my yearly goals.
Or not.

Here are the specifics:


1. Don’t die.

I spit in death's face last month. 

2. Lose 20 pounds.

I gained one more pound in November (thank you, Thanksgiving), so now I'm only down nine for the year. Eleven more pounds in the next month is probably not going to happen.  

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


4. Stop drinking soda from two-liter bottles.

My friend brought a two-liter bottle of Diet Coke to brunch for me, even though water and juice were perfectly fine for me. I drank about one-third of the bottle. This was the first soda from a two-liter bottle that I drank so far in 2015.   

5. Practice yoga at least five days a week.

My shoulder and collarbone pain has only increased since last month, but I am still attempting - albeit poorly - to practice yoga almost daily, including a sunrise yoga class while teaching at Kripalu in November.  

6. Learn to cook three good meals for my wife.

No progress. It is going to be terrible if I fail to achieve this goal. 


7. Complete my sixth novel before February 28, 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, which explains the change in target date.

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.

Three books are currently being considered by publishers, as well as a satire of a children's book. Fingers remain crossed. 

10. Sell a memoir to a publisher.

The memoir is in the hands of my agent. It goes on submission this month. More finger crossing. 

11. Sell a book of essays to a publisher.

The book of essays is in the hands of my agent. It also goes on submission this month. I am running out of fingers to cross.  

12. Complete a book proposal for a book on storytelling.

Progress continues. Completion of the proposal is still possible but will be challenging. 

13. Write a new screenplay.

Revisions of my first screenplay - based upon film agent’s notes - are nearly complete.  

I fully intend on writing a rough and fast first draft this month and will polish in 2016. 

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.

Done! I published an Op-Ed in the Hartford Courant in July on why I choose to write in McDonald's restaurants.

Done again! I published an Op-Ed in the Hartford Courant in November about my high school girlfriend, Laura, and a promise I failed to keep. 

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



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

Done! We produced our eleventh show in November at the Farmington Library. It was our first time at this venue, and it was a great success. We still have a show scheduled for December at Real Art Ways as well. The theme of the show is Nightlife. Tickets available here.

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 also spoke at my fifth TED event in November at TEDxBerkshires. I am hoping that this recording turns out better. 

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

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

Done! I attended one Moth StorySLAM at Flushing Town Hall and one GrandSLAM at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in November and told stories in both shows (placing second both times. This brings my total number of Moth events attended in 2015 to 24. 

25. Win at least two Moth StorySLAMs.

Done! My total number of wins in 2015 is three.   

I won a StorySLAM at The Bitter End in October.  
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 or two 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.       

27. Launch at least one podcast.

Done! Boy Vs. Girl is releasing its fourth episode today! Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, or listen to the episodes on our Soundcloud page:


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.


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 played golf three times in November, which is a miracle considering there was snow on the ground last year throughout much of November. 

My scores were less than miraculous.  

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