Resolution update: April 2018

PERSONAL HEALTH

1. Don’t die.

Healthy as could be. 

2. Lose 20 pounds.

Two more pounds lost in April, bringing my total to eight. 

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

I had three servings of fruits and/or vegetables on 24 of 30 days in April. 

A lot of these servings were admittedly fruit, and specifically bananas, apples, and grapes. Still, a fruit is a fruit. 

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 highly recommended. 
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 settled on the next novel. Progress has begun. 

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 decided upon the memoir, and progress has begun. 

11. Write a new screenplay.

No progress.

12. Write a musical.

The musical originally planned for a summer camp is no longer needed. I have an adult musical in mind that my writing partner has been asking me to write for a long, long time, so perhaps this is the time.

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

I've submitted one piece for consideration in April, for a total of two. Both were rejected.

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

No progress, though Elysha has told me what this book should be. 

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-one subscribers added in March. A total of 110 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 April, bringing my total to two. 

19. Write 100 letters in 2018.

Eight letters written and mailed in April. Twenty-three 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 April:

Rouketopolemos is the name of a local traditional event held annually at Easter in the town of Vrontados on the Greek island of Chios. As a variation of the Greek custom of throwing fireworks during the celebration of the service at midnight before Easter Sunday, two rival church congregations in the town perform a "rocket war" by firing tens of thousands of home-made rockets across town, with the objective of hitting the bell tower of the church of the other side. 

It's insane. 

STORYTELLING

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

No shows produced in April. Our 2018 total stands at 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 attended a Moth GrandSLAM in Boston in April, bringing my total Moth events in 2018 to three. I'll make up ground this summer.  

25. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.

I won my 35th StorySLAM in NYC in February. I have not competed in a StorySLAM since.
One down. Two to go. 

storyslam.jpg

26. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

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

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

Logo created.
Format decided.
Music chosen.
Stories chosen. 
We are ready to record.

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

I performed in at an open-mic night at a local comedy club in April, bringing my total stand up performances in 2018 to one. 

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. But the weather is finally ripe for bike riding. 

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

Done. I spent 24 days at the gym (including the locker room) in April, 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. Also not hard. Once you stop commenting on physical appearance, you quickly realize how pervasive it is in our culture.

I've also noticed that when you stop commenting about physical appearance, you stop noticing it as much. While there are occasional comments that I think but don't say (a very large man on a very small motorcycle comes to mind), those moments are fewer and farther between.  

38. Surprise Elysha at least six times in 2018.

I surprised Elysha once in April with a brand new blow dryer with some mystical qualities. She found it waiting for her on the bathroom sink when she awoke. 

Two down. Four 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 April in preparation for a full cleaning later this year.

The actual cleaning might take less than an hour at this rate.  

41. Set a new personal best in golf.

I played several rounds of golf in April, including in the rain on Sunday morning. 

None of my rounds have come close to eclipsing my personal best. 

42. Play poker at least six times in 2018.

For the fourth time this year, a poker game was cancelled, this time in the home of a friend when he became ill. A May poker night is planned. 

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

No progress. I invited him to a Patriots-Green Bay football game in November, a Def Leppard-Journey concert in May, and standup in April. All declined.    

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

Done.