Resolution update: August 2017


1. Don’t die.

Not even close to death in August.

2. Lose 20 pounds.

I remain stuck at six pounds lost. The summer is so full of good food. 

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


4. Practice yoga at least three days a week for at least 15 minutes each day.

I participated in a full week of yoga while teaching at Kripalu. I believe that yoga can do wonders for me. Improve my golf game and my quality of life.

It's just so boring.

Still, my friend has a routine for me. I'm going to learn it and do it. Maybe with headphones.  

5. Take the stairs whenever I am ascending or descending five flights or less.

This was a pain in the ass, by the way, because my room at Kripalu was on the fourth floor, which meant a lot of stairs many times during the day.  


6. Complete my sixth novel before the end of 2017.

Work continues in earnest. Due date in has been moved back to October. I'm closing in on the finish line.   

7. Complete my first middle grade/YA novel.

Work continues in earnest. Due date is December.  

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

I still working on a non-fiction picture book about the great Idaho beaver airlift of 1948.

I also pitched a series of picture books to my agent. She liked them. Eventually. They may be better as a series of graphic novels.    

9. Complete a book on storytelling.


10. Write a new screenplay.

No progress.

11. Write a musical.

I was not able to watch the debut performance of "Back in the Day," but I hear it went really well. 

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

I have submitted one piece to the Times so far in 2017.

No luck.  

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

Note-taking completed. My proposal will need to include some sample chapters, so that process has begun.  

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

No progress.

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

On the suggestion of a reader:

I spent April praying to God at least once a day. Quite often three or more times per day. As you may know, I'm a reluctant atheist, so I hadn't prayed in a very long time. 

I'll be writing about the experience on my blog this month. 

I'm currently looking for my next behavior. Ideas anyone?

16. Increase my author newsletter subscriber base to 1,600.

I grew my list by 43 subscribers in August (and 230 overall this year). Total subscribers now stands at 1514.  

If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter and receive writing and storytelling tips, Internet recommendations, recordings of new stories, and more, you can do so here:

17. Write at least six letters to my father.

I wrote one letter to my father in August. Three in all so far.      

18. Convert Greetings Little One into a book.

No progress. I am willing to hire someone to take the content of the blog and convert it to book format, but I have yet to find that person. 


19. Record one thing learned every day in 2017.


My favorite thing learned in August is this:

Amazon was originally named "cadabre" from abracadabra until it was mistaken as "cadaver." He also considered, which still redirects to Amazon.


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

We produced a show at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT, in August. We also produced showcases at the University of Connecticut Law School and Kripalu Institute for Yoga and Health as a part of our bootcamps. bringing our total number of Speak Up events in 2017 to 12. 

21. Deliver a TED Talk.

I spoke about the important things that teachers do at The Pomfret School in April.

Here is the recording. It's actually been used by principals in at least two schools as a part of their professional development. 

I've pitched talks to two other TED events. One has rejected my pitch. I await the other.  

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

I attended one Moth StorySLAM in August at The Bell House in Brooklyn in August, bringing my yearly total to 13. I did not get chosen to perform that night. 

23. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.

I won two Moth StorySLAMs in Boston and one in New York. My win total now stands at 31.

24. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

I am unavailable to compete in the Moth GrandSLAM in September, making it the third time that I am forced to pass on competing this year because of scheduling.

Hoping for one more shot before the end of the year.

25. Produce at least 50 episodes of my new podcast Live Better.

I pulled down my first episode after receiving feedback from a friend who works in radio. I'm currently re-recording with a slightly different format.

That same friend has agreed to build me a template for the show. Obviously 50 episodes will be impossible this year, but if I successfully launch the podcast, I will be satisfied. 

26. Perform stand up at least once in 2017. 

I attended the open mic at Sea Tea Comedy Theater in August, not realizing how many comics regularly perform during these open mic nights. Elysha and I arrived about an hour late, and there were 19 comics already on the list. I will need to return next month and perform to complete this goal. 

27. Write a one-person show.

The "writing" for this show is complete. I performed the show at Kripalu, altered slightly so I could teach lessons between stories. 

I'm going to begin the process of booking a theater for a formal performance now.  


28. Explore the option of teaching a college class.

I met with a professor from a local college and described my proposed class. She approved of my idea and promised to pass the information onto her department head.    

This isn't enough, of course. I need to speak to a department head or higher myself. 

29. Cook at least 12 good meals (averaging one per month) in 2016.

A friend has passed on ideas and recipes for meals that I plan to make. So far I have done nothing.

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

The search for a location continues.


31. I will stand in vocal opposition to every negative comment made about age disparities between male and female romantic couplings because I choose to respect a woman’s choices of romantic partner regardless of their age or the age of their partner.

I defended an attack on the Melania/Donald Trump marriage based upon their age difference. 

You can imagine how hard that was for me.

32. I will report on the content of speech during every locker room experience via social media in 2017.   

Over the course of the month, I heard no man bragging about sexually assaulting women in any locker rooms (or anywhere else for that matter). This included a locker room at the gym, a locker room at Kripalu, and two different locker rooms at golf clubs.  

33. I will stop presenting the heteronormative mother-and-father paradigm as the default parental paradigm when speaking to my children and my students.

Not as hard as I thought. I switched over to "parents" in January and haven't slipped yet.     

34. I will not comment, positively or negatively, about physical appearance of any person save my wife and children, in 2017 in an effort to reduce the focus on physical appearance in our culture overall. 

I tweeted a comment on the ugliness of Donald Trump. My reference was meant to describe his heart and soul, but it was misconstrued as a comment on physical appearance. 

I'll need to be more careful about my choice of words. 

I've also learned that at least seven other people have adopted this policy, which thrills me.    

35. Surprise Elysha at least six times in 2016.

I surprised Elysha with cards hidden around the house while I was away in August

Three surprises so far in 2017.  I currently have two surprises in the works for her. I'm so excited about one of them!

36. 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.

Our windows were cleaned yesterday, but this does not count. 

37. Optimize our television for a streaming service. 

We upgraded our cable television interface to a voice activated, much more intuitive system that may fit the requirements of a streaming service. This upgrade is tremendous. Credit Elysha for the upgrade as well as the reduction in our cable/Internet bill as well.  

One of my anniversary presents is her promise to get the Apple TV working, which would complete this goal.  

38. Set a new personal best in golf.

I shot a 47 for nine holes last Monday morning, but it was an executive course. I was 11 over for the round.

Later, I snuck onto a public course and played a par-3 three times AND BIRDIED THE HOLE EVERY TIME.  

I've got my swing back, thanks to my friend, Andrew, and his excellent coaching. I think I have a real shot at topping my best score this fall.

39. Play poker at least six times in 2016.

No progress. This annoys me so much. I love to play poker. How have I failed to get a game going? 

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

Four days spent working as DJ's at weddings in total.

I invited him to attend a Moth StorySLAM with me again.

He declined.   

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