Resolution update: August 2018


1. Don’t die.

Still alive and amazing.

2. Lose 20 pounds.

I gained a pound in August. I'm now 11 pounds down and 9 from the goal.  

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

I had three servings of fruits and/or vegetables on 20 of 31 days in August.

Worst month so far.

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


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

I spent a full week at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. I did not take a single yoga class. 

6. Stop using the snooze button.

Done and still highly recommended. Science is right. Snoozing is a terrible practice that you must end immediately. Get the hell out of bed once you are awake. You will feel a lot better.     


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

My agent and I have settled on the next novel. Progress continues.   

8. Complete my second middle grade/YA novel.

I've submitted my first middle grade novel to my editor. I have a phone call with her next week. I can't choose or start the next book until the first is complete. 

This one is looking very unlikely. 

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

I've begun work on a nonfiction picture book on a famous beaver drop in the 1950's. 

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.

Writing has commenced.

12. Write a musical.

Writing has commenced. 

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

Nothing submitted in July. Three submitted so far.

14. 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.

I added 23 subscribers added in July, and a total of 321 added in 2018. I'm 131 away from my goal. 

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.

No letters written in August. Three letters written thus far.

19. Write 100 letters in 2018.

Four letters written and mailed in August, bringing my total to 48 in 2018.

20. Convert Greetings Little One into a book.

No progress.  

21. Record one thing learned every week in 2018.

Done! My favorite from August, from the Numlock Newsletter: 

An analysis of the front pockets in 80 pairs of blue jeans found that the pockets in women’s jeans are 48 percent shorter and 6.5 percent narrower than men’s jeans pockets. The average women’s jean pocket is 5.6 inches deep and 6 inches across, which on a temperate day could conceivably hold a pen that has a little flexibility, while the average men’s jean pocket is 9.1 inches down and 6.4 inches wide, which is literally large enough to comfortably hold an iPad mini.


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

Three shows produced in August: a showcase at the CT Historical Society, a showcase at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and a solo show (with a guest appearance by Jeni Bonaldo) at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. 

Our total number of shows stands at 9. 

23. Deliver a TEDx Talk.

Done! I spoke at a TEDxNatick salon event in May. 

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

Two Moth StorySLAMs in August, bringing the total to 7 in 2018. 

25. Win at least three Moth StorySLAMs.

A second and a third place finished in August. One victory back in February. 


26. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.

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

I'll be competing in another GrandSLAM in NYC in September. 

27. Produce at least 25 episodes of our new podcast Speak Up Storytelling. 

Episodes 1-15 are now now available wherever you get podcasts. The reception to the podcast has been excellent, and our audience is growing fast.

Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and please leave us a rating on Apple Podcasts.

C'mon, people.  

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


I performed in three open-mic events while in Grand Rapids, Michigan, including one night when I was asked to perform a second set. This brings my total number of stand up performances in 2018 to 6, including one paid gig.   

29. Pitch my solo show to at least one professional theater.

Done! I performed my solo show at The Tank as part of the Speak Up, Rise Up Storytelling Festival in NYC.

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

No progress.


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

No progress.

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. 


34. Pay allowance weekly.


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

Only six more rides in August , bringing the total to 11. 

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

Done. I spent 22 days at two different gyms in August, plus a locker room at a golf course, 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 (except in service of a story while appearance is relevant), in 2018 in an effort to reduce the focus on physical appearance in our culture overall. 

I did not speak of physical appearance with the exception of my wife and kids in August. 

38. Surprise Elysha at least six times in 2018.

Done! I've surprised Elysha a total of nine times in 2018.

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. 

More than halfway done this job.

41. Set a new personal best in golf.

I played many rounds of golf in August, and I came within 4 strokes of my personal best. 

I also played one round that was only four holes long due to aeration. I had three pars and a bogie for a total of 14. Technically my best score ever, but perhaps it should not count. 

42. Play poker at least six times in 2018.

No poker in August. Just two games all year. 

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

A spent an evening working as a DJ with Bengi in August, bringing my total to three. 

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