Resolution update: November 2018


1. Don’t die.

My left ear has been filled with fluid since a plane flight two weeks ago. My doc says it should clear in another week of so, and it’s not life threatening.

2. Lose 20 pounds.

I gained another pound in November, so now I’m 10 pounds down and 10 pounds from the goal.  

3. Eat at least three servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day. 

I had three servings of fruits and/or vegetables on 20 of 30 days in November.

4. Do at least 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and 3 one-minute planks for five days a week.


5. Identify a yoga routine that I can commit to practicing at least three days a week.

I spent a full week at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. I did not take a single yoga class. Maybe I should’ve done yoga dancing with Jeni Bonaldo, but it looked too dumb to try.

I’ll spend another weekend at Kripalu in December. Maybe I’ll take a class in between my workshops?

6. Stop using the snooze button.

Done and still highly recommended. Science is right. Snoozing is a terrible practice that you must end immediately. Get the hell out of bed once you are awake. You will feel a lot better.     


7. Complete my seventh novel before the end of 2018.

The first half (or two-thirds) of the novel is in the hands of my agent now. Hopefully she loves it and my publisher loves it and they pay me ONE BILLION DOLLRS for it.

8. Complete my second middle grade/YA novel.

I've begun revising my first middle grade novel, and it’s going to take some time. Things were slowed down significantly because my editor left the company and my new editor needed time to get up to speed. Finishing a second middle grade novel is looking highly unlikely this year because of these unforeseen delays.  

9. Write at least three new picture books, including one with a female, non-white protagonist. 

I've begun work on a nonfiction picture book on a famous beaver drop in the 1950's.

I’ve also begun work on a picture book based upon a famous lullaby.

I’ve also begun work on a picture book on the gerund -ing.

I also have plans to consult with a well established picture book writer next week (after cancelling twice).  

10. Write a proposal for a memoir.

My agent and I have decided upon the memoir, and the writing has begun. In lieu of a proposal, I’m just going to write the damn thing, which could take as much as a year.

11. Write a new screenplay.

Writing has commenced. Completion is possible.

12. Write a musical.

Writing has commenced. Completion by the end of 2018 is impossible.

13. Submit at least five Op-Ed pieces to The New York Times for consideration.

One submission submitted (and rejected) in November. Four submitted so far.

14. Write a proposal for a nonfiction book related to education.

No progress.

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

No progress.

16. Select three behaviors that I am opposed to and adopt them for one week, then write about my experiences on the blog.

I spent October dipping into pop culture by reading the front page of the TMZ website every morning in an attempt to understand the cravings for the Kardashians and reality television.

I will be writing about it soon.

I need a second behavior to begin ASAP. Any suggestions?

17. Increase my author newsletter subscriber base to 2,000.


I added 156 subscribers in November and a total of 564 added in 2018. My total number of subscribers is now 2,113.

If you'd like to subscribe to my newsletter and receive tips on writing and storytelling, as well as links to the occasional amusing Internet miscellany and more, please subscribe here:

18. Write at least six letters to my father.

No letters written in November. Three letters written thus far.

19. Write 100 letters in 2018.

Zero letters written and mailed in November. My total remains at 50 letters in 2018.

I need to get my ass in gear.

20. Convert Greetings Little One into a book.

I have begun researching the companies that convert blogs to books. I have not found any that I like.


21. Record one thing learned every week in 2018.

Done! My favorite from November:

In the early 20th century, goldfish (which were incredibly cheap) were treated like fresh cut flowers:

Beautiful things placed in bowls on tables and never fed.

When they died, they were simply discarded and replaced, just like flowers.

Terrible. Right?


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


One show produced in November at Space Ballroom in Hamden, CT.

Our total number of shows now stands at 12. One more to go. Tonight! 

23. Deliver a TEDx Talk.

Done! I spoke at a TEDxNatick salon event in May. 

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

Two Moth StorySLAMs in November bringing the total number of Moth events to 14 in 2018. 

25. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.

A second place finish in November leaves me with a total of two wins so far in 2018.

Running out of time… one or two more chances.

26. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

Done twice over! I won my fifth GrandSLAM in February and my sixth GrandSLAM in April.

I also placed third in September’s GrandSLAM at The Music Hall of Brooklyn, and I’ll be competing in one more NYC GrandSLAM in December.

27. Produce at least 25 episodes of our new podcast Speak Up Storytelling. 

Done! Episodes #26 dropped this week and is now available wherever you get podcasts. Listen to a terrific story from storyteller Linda Storms. The reception to the podcast has been excellent, and our audience is growing fast. In fact, we more than quintupled our audience in the last week and expanded our reach to 60 different countries!

Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and please leave us a rating on Apple Podcasts.

28. Perform stand up at least four times in 2018. 


I’ve performed stand up six times in 2018 so far, including my first paid gig.

29. Pitch my solo show to at least one professional theater.

Done! I’ve performed my solo show at The Tank as part of the Speak Up, Rise Up Storytelling Festival in NYC.

30. Pitch a new Moth Mainstage story to the artistic director of The Moth. 

I’ll pitch it this month.


31. Write a syllabus for a college course on teaching. 

No progress.

32. Cook at least 12 good meals (averaging one per month) in 2018.

No progress. 

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

No progress. 


34. Pay allowance weekly.

Done! Kids are all paid up.

35. Ride my bike with my kids at least 25 times in 2018.

Done! Two more rides in November, bringing the total for the year to 27. Charlie loves riding his bike, and Clara is getting a lot more comfortable on her big girl bike. 

36. I will report on the content of speech during every locker room experience via social media in 2018. 

Done. I spent 23 days in a locker room in November, and I did not hear a single comment related to sexually assaulting women.  

37. I will not comment, positively or negatively, about physical appearance of any person save my wife and children (except in service of a story while appearance is relevant), in 2018 in an effort to reduce the focus on physical appearance in our culture overall. 

In November, I asked a parent about a clothing item worn by his daughter, partially out of curiosity (I wanted to know what it was) and partly out of jest. This was the second time that I commented on the physical appearance of another person.

38. Surprise Elysha at least six times in 2018.

Done! I've surprised Elysha a total of nine times in 2018.

39. 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.

I've received some more reasonable estimates for this project. It might actually be doable. Especially if I had more money.

40. Clean the basement. 

More than halfway done this job, but I’m going to need to invest a solid chunk of time completing this project.

41. Set a new personal best in golf.

I played half a dozen rounds of golf in November, but I did not come close to my personal best. 

Back in August, I played one round that was only four holes long due to green aeration. I had three pars and a bogie for a total of 14. Technically my best score ever, but perhaps it should not count. 

42. Play poker at least six times in 2018.

Zero games played in November. Five in all so far.

43. Spend at least six days with my best friend of more than 25 years.

No get-togethers in November. My number stands at four.

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