Resolution update: July 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).

1. Don’t die.


2. Lose ten pounds.

Six down and four 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: I found a much easier way to podcast that eliminates the need for much of the equipment and a producer. I would really like to start this month if I can get this website ready to receive.

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

Some progress. It’s more than half finished.

6. Complete my seventh novel.

Progress continues on this one as well. It’s possible that I’ll finish my seventh novel before I finish my sixth, which makes no sense. 

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

Work continues on five manuscripts now. My writing camp generated many new ideas. Quite a few are good, I think. Sending at least one manuscript to my agent by the end of the month.

8. Complete a book proposal for my memoir.

The proposal for a memoir comprised of the 35 or so of my Moth stories is complete. I await news of its sale.

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.

I’m also writing another golf memoir about this season of golf. Since I haven’t played enough golf this summer, I may stretch it to encompass the entire year rather than just the summer.  

9. Host at least one Shakespeare Circle.

Nothing scheduled yet.   

10. Write a screenplay.

More than half finished. Still going well. I met with my screenwriter’s group last week. They approve of my progress so far. I’m over-writing, but I knew I would. Better to have too much than too little.   

11. Write at least three short stories.

I am still nearly finished with one short story.

I still hate this goal.

12. Write a collection of poetry using existing and newly written poems.

Done! The collection is complete and in the hands of my literary agent. I still await her response. She probably hates it.   

13. Become certified to teach high school English by completing one required class.

Still one class and $50 away from completion. My wife is actively looking for a place online where I can complete this relatively obscure requirement.

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

My first column in Seasons magazine published this month.


I also pitched a column idea to a major online magazine that is seriously being considered.  

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.


None of these are Op-Eds. Please ignore that fact in the event I need to use these publishing credits in order to claim that I have completed my goal.

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

I competed in a Moth GrandSLAM in Brooklyn last month, bringing my total number of Moth events to 10 and completing this goal.

I have plans for two more Moth events in August.

16. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

I competed in the aforementioned GrandSLAM in July. Unfortunately, I had to tell my story first, which made it impossible for me to win, even if I could have won. But given my record of second place finishes, I probably wouldn’t have won.  

I have another GrandSLAM this month in Boston, and that might be my last chance at a championship for 2014. There may be one more GrandSLAM in New York before the end of the year, and if so, I will be entered based upon my previous StorySLAM victories.

But my chances for winning are becoming limited.  

17. Give yoga an honest try.

No progress.

18. De-clutter the basement.

Small progress made.

19. De-clutter the shed

No progress.

20. Conduct the ninth No-Longer-Annual A-Mattzing Race in 2014.

No progress.

21. Produce a total of 6 Speak Up storytelling events.

Our total stands at five after our most recent July show with additional shows planned for September and December at Real Art Ways and October at The Mount in Lennox, MA.

22. Deliver a TED Talk.

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

I have also been contacted about speaking at two other TED conferences in the fall and am still awaiting word on my pitches.

23. Set a new personal best in golf.

I shot a 47 last week, which was one off my personal best. I have made enormous improvements in my game this month despite only having a limited amount of time to play.

I have a chance at this goal in August.  

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.