Sunday, October 30, 2011


Dear readers, I want to inform you of two resolutions, because publicly committing to doing certain things increases our chances of actually achieving them.

First, I plan to finish a draft of "Go Off and Do Something Wonderful," a children's biography of my father, by mid-November. November is traditionally a frantic month for writing, because its officially NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Writers and aspiring writers all over the country and beyond commit to writing 50,000 unedited words of a new novel during the month. That comes to approximately 1,6667 words per day.

I won't have to write quite that much, because I'm already 3200 words into a book that I don't think will be more than 20,000 words. (For those who know my father's story, I'm at the pig episode.) To finish in time, I'll only have to do about 1000 words a day, which Steven King says is the minimum a person should be writing daily anyway.

The second resolution is to lose at least one pound a week until I've lost thirty pounds. I'm inspired by the fatty liver that showed up on my ultrasound last week. I've made a mutual commitment with a friend I'll call Dave. We have devised carrots and sticks to see us through the weeks. If one loses in a given week and the other doesn't, the non-loser has to come give the loser a head and shoulder rub while repeating exaggerated praise. There are other dire punishments as well. For me, one of them will be having to admit here that I didn't pull it off.

Really, to tackle both of these commitments together, it would be best if I went back to my treadmill desk.

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