Resolution update: April 2016


1. Don’t die.

Killing it. Not literally. 

2. Lose 20 pounds.

I'm up two pounds in April, primarily due to a book deadline that kept me out of the gym and eating poorly. Only down five pounds now. 15 to go.  

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


4. Practice yoga at least three days a week.

Two rounds of golf and my shoulder feels excellent. I'm going to schedule my yoga retraining in June once school is finished so I can apply myself more fully.  


5. Complete my fifth novel before the end of February.


6. Complete my sixth novel.

I have two novels that are more than halfway finished and one that is finished but requires a complete re-write. However, it doesn't look like any of these will be my next novel. We decide upon the next book this month.  

7. Write a middle grade novel.

I meet with the editor in May to discuss.

8. Write at least three new picture books. 

I've begun writing a new picture book with one of my students.

I'm also in the process of receiving feedback on my first three picture books, which will help me as I choose my next books to write.  

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

The book is outlined, and most of the proposal is written. Sample chapters are being written in earnest. 
I accidentally deleted about 4,000 words last week. Kill me. Also not literally. 

10. Write a new screenplay

No progress yet.

11. Write a musical for a summer camp

I'm in the process of outlining the musical so my partner can begin work on the songs, 

12. Publish at least one Op-Ed in The New York Times.

I submitted two Op-Eds to the New York Times in April. Both were rejected.

13. Publish an article in an educational journal.

No progress yet. 

14. Submit one or more short stories to at least three publishing outlets.

No progress yet.

15. 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 backing my car into parking spots (which initially struck me as insane). I am still writing about my experience. 

16. Increase my author newsletter subscriber base to 1,000.

I gained 3 subscribers in April and 45 since the beginning of the year. My total stands at 957. 

If you'd like to subscribe and receive my monthly writing and storytelling tip, as well as my recommendations and other miscellany, you can do so here:

If you're interested, you can also subscribe to the newsletter that delivers my blog posts to your inbox daily:

17. Collaborate with a former colleague on an educational book.

This project has been cancelled. After meeting with my collaborator, we determined that I am not best suited for this project.    


18. Produce a total of 12 Speak Up storytelling events.

We produced one show at Real Art Ways and one show at the Unitarian Universalist Society, bringing our total number of Speak Up events in 2016 to five.  

We have nine more events on the calendar in 2016 (with one or two more possible show), which will bring our total to at least 14. 

19. Deliver a TED Talk.

Done twice over! 

I spoke at TEDxNatick in January. The title of the talk was "Live Your Life Like Your 100 Year-Old Self."
Here's the recording: 

I also spoke at the TEDx conference at The Country School in Madison, CT in April. The title of the talk was "Speak Less. Expect More." 

I'll post the recording when it's available. 

I've also been asked to pitch talks to two other TEDx events in 2016.

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

In April, I performed in a Moth Mainstage show at Boston University.

I also attended a Moth StorySLAM at Housing Works but did not have my name drawn from the bag. 

I also competed in a Moth GrandSLAM at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NYC.

This brings my total number of Moth events in 2016 to seven.   

21. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.

I attended but did not compete in a StorySLAM in April. So far I have attended three StorySLAMs in 2016 and only performed in one (and had to go first in the one). 

22. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

Done! I won the Moth GrandSLAM in Somerville in March. 

I placed second in the most recent NYC GrandSLAM in April. I've had to perform from second position in the last three GrandSLAMs, which sucks.

23. Launch at least one new podcast.

Background work (podcast logo, hosting service, website, etc.) has begun.   

24. Launch a storytelling project that I will otherwise remain vague about here but will become a primary focus of 2016. 

Work on this project will begin in earnest. 


25. Host at least one Shakespeare Circle.

No progress.

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

No progress.

27. Plan a 25 year reunion of the Heavy Metal Playhouse.

No progress.


28. Replace the 12 ancient, energy-inefficient windows in our home with new windows that will keep the cold out and actually open in the warmer months.

No progress. 

29. Optimize our television for a streaming service. 

Likely a summer project. 

30. Set a new personal best in golf.

I played two rounds of golf in April and shot a 51 and a 55 for nine holes. My nine hole best is 45.

I'm actually playing well despite my scores. I plan to work closely with a friend this year to significantly improve my game.  

I also applied for a targeted practice experiment through a popular podcast with a specific focus on hitting my driver farther. If accepted, I will receive a professional trainer and my progress will be charted via the podcast.  

31. Play poker at least six times in 2016.

I played one game in April. I've scheduled a second game in May. 

32. Do not speak negatively about another person's physical appearance except when done in jest with my closest friends. 

Done. I wanted to tell Elysha about an enormous man on a tiny moped who I saw driving past our home but did not. This was the first moment when I was seriously tempted to violate this resolution. 

Honestly, it's not a difficult goal. Everyone should adopt it.  

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