Resolution update: May 2016


1. Don’t die.

Still alive as I write these words. 

2. Lose 20 pounds.

Still just 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.

My school year ends in ten days. Then my yoga retraining will be scheduled. I've been assured that increased flexibility will improve my golf game.

There's no greater incentive. 


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.

Progress has commenced. 

8. Write at least three new picture books. 

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

I've also received feedback on my three other picture books from a children's book editor and have been told which ones to focus on in terms of revision.

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. Chapter one is complete. Work on chapter two has begun. I'll need three or four to complete the proposal. 

10. Write a new screenplay

No progress yet.

11. Write a musical for a summer camp

Outline complete. Partner is working on songs. I will finish the actual script this month. 

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

I submitted an Op-Ed to the New York Times in May. It was rejected. I submitted the same piece to the Washington Post and The Boston Globe and was rejected in both places as well. 

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 17 subscribers in May and 62 since the beginning of the year. My total stands at 974. 

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'd like to subscribe to this blog (and receive daily posts in your inbox, you can do so here:


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 (sold out!) at Infinity Hall in May, bringing our total number of Speak Up events in 2016 to six.  

We have eight more events on the calendar in 2016 (with one or two more possible shows), 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." Here is the recording:

I've also pitched talks to two other TEDx events in 2016. I await word on acceptance.

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

In May I attended a Moth StorySLAM at The Bell House but did not have my name drawn from the bag. Luck has not been on my side in 2016. I have attended several StorySLAMs but only taken the stage once, and that time I was chosen to perform first. 

I also performed in The Moth Ball at Capitale in New York and told a one-minute version of one of my two GrandSLAM winning stories from 2015.  

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

21. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.

I attended a StorySLAM in May at The Bell House but did not compete. So far I have attended four StorySLAMs in 2016 and only performed in one (and had to go first).

I plan to attend multiple slams in June and July. 

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.) continues.    

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 has begun 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 several rounds of golf in May, including a 48 and a 61. 

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 back in April. I canceled the game I scheduled for May. I will be scheduling at least one game in June. 

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

Done. This remains an easy goal to accomplish once you've committed to it. I highly recommend it to everyone. 

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