Resolution update: March 2018

PERSONAL HEALTH

1. Don’t die.

Not even a near-death experience in March, which for me is saying something. 

2. Lose 20 pounds.

Two more pounds lost in March, bringing my total fo six. 

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

I had three servings of fruits and/or vegetables on 22 of 31 days in March. I also ate cabbage for the first time since I was a child (still tastes terrible) and quinoa (not a fruit or vegetable in some people's mind, but anything growing out of the ground is an accomplishment for me and should be counted).    

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

Done. 

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

No progress.

6. Stop using the snooze button.

Done. And I must tell you, I feel so much better when I climb out of bed when that first alarm sounds or I simply wake up.

Science is right. Snoozing is a terrible practice that you must end immediately.   

WRITING CAREER

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

My agent and I have yet to settle on the next novel. The decision should be made soon. 

8. Complete my second middle grade/YA novel.

I've submitted my first middle grade novel to my editor and am awaiting word. I can't choose or start the next book until the first is complete. 

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

No progress. 

10. Write a proposal for a memoir.

My agent and I have yet to decide upon which memoir to write. That decision should be made shortly. 

11. Write a new screenplay.

No progress.

12. Write a musical.

Initial talks for the plot, characters, number of songs, and deadlines have begun.

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

I've submitted one piece for consideration so far. It was rejected.

4. 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.

No progress. I'm still looking for possible behaviors to adopt. Suggestions welcomed. 

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

Twenty-two subscribers added in March. A total of 89 added since January 1. At this pace, I will come close to hitting my goal by December.  

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

18. Write at least six letters to my father.

One letter written in March, bringing my total to one. 

19. Write 100 letters in 2018.

Three letters written and mailed in March. Fifteen in total so far. 

20. Convert Greetings Little One into a book.

No progress.  

21. Record one thing learned every week in 2018.

Done! My favorite from March:

In July 1973 John Paul Getty III, grandson of wealthy tycoon John Paul Getty, was kidnapped. The whole story is fascinating, but here is one of the most fascinating parts:

In November 1973, an envelope containing a lock of red hair, a human ear, and a note was delivered to a daily newspaper with a threat of further mutilation of Paul unless $3.2 million was paid. The letter read, "This is Paul's first ear. If within ten days the family still believes that this is a joke mounted by him, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits."

At this point, the reluctant tycoon Getty Sr. negotiated a deal to get his grandson back for about $2.9 million. Getty Sr. paid $2.2 million—the maximum amount that was tax deductible—and he loaned the remainder to his son, who was responsible for repaying the sum at 4% interest. 

STORYTELLING

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

We produced one show in March - a showcase featuring storytellers from Voices of Hope - bringing our 2018 total to two. 

23. Deliver a TEDx Talk.

Both of my TEDx Talks - at Wesleyan University and The Birch Wathen Lenox School in New York City - have been cancelled.

Annoying.

I've applied for two more TEDx conferences and await word. Suddenly this goal became a lot more challenging.    

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

I did not attend a Moth event in March. My work with other organizations in a storytelling capacity sucked away all my time. My total stands at two. 

25. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.

I won my 35th StorySLAM in NYC in February. One down. Two to go. 

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26. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

Done! I won my fifth GrandSLAM in Boston in February. I compete in another in April. 

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27. Produce at least 25 episodes of our new podcast Storyworthy. 

Logo created.
Format decided.
Music is being chosen now.
I have every intention of recording in April.

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

No progress. I had to cancel my paid standup performance in March due to a snowstorm. That has been rescheduled to May, and I plan on doing an open-mic in April.

29. Pitch my one-person show to at least one professional theater.

No progress.  

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

No progress.  

NEW PROJECTS

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

No progress, but I am frustrated, annoyed, and disappointed by developments with a local college in terms their curriculum for student teachers, so I'm doing a lot of thinking on this issue. 

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. 

MISCELLANEOUS

34. Pay allowance weekly.

Done! 

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

No progress. 

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

Done. I spent 20 days at the gym (including the locker room) in March, 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, in 2017 in an effort to reduce the focus on physical appearance in our culture overall. 

Done. Once you stop commenting on physical appearance, you quickly realize how pervasive it is in our culture. I don't think it's a good thing at all.    

38. Surprise Elysha at least six times in 2018.

One down. Five to go.

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.     

40. Clean the basement. 

I threw away another handful of items in March in preparation for a full cleaning later this year.  

41. Set a new personal best in golf.

I played my first round of golf yesterday morning. I scored bogies on the first two holes and played fairly well until the last two holes. No where close to a personal best.  

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42. Play poker at least six times in 2018.

I was forced to cancel my March game because a lack of players. An April game is scheduled.   

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

No progress.   

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

Done.