Monday, January 01, 2018

those 2018 what ifs

It's a new year, it's an new me!

Not really. I'm the same guy I was yesterday, but I am filled with aspirations. I do this from time to time -- start the year out with #Goals, and then never go back and check.  As a matter of fact, I just now re-read my January 2014 post entitled "The Great 48", with 48 things I wanted to do in the coming year.

And some of them I accomplished. I watched (14) plenty of movies. Started a book (20) on my 500 favorite films.  I learned how to spell "Itinerary" (but "occasionally" still throws me off)... I managed to (36) plan magic for a lot more people... I took care (39) of the pictures... (42) I take Campbell to the park frequently... (43) We paid off the car and (44) I wrote letters, continued to (47) podcast and (48) bought several lunches. Some of the 48 I almost got to, some I never even really tried, and others I knocked out of the park, albeit a year or three later.

So this year, I had another list of random things to do for 2018.  They aren't resolutions, because resolutions can be broken - and with that broken resolution can come guilt and a sense of failure. I have no time for either one of those.

So, what if I could make a list of things to do?  What if I could get them done?

This list is really in no particular order, but one of things is to (1) write more.  See, over the last several years, this whole "What is my word for the year" thing came into fashion.  You gotta pick a word.  And that is your word for that year.  Fancy, important words like "Thrive" and "Resolve" and "Intention" and "Joy" and "Antidisestablishmentarianism". Okay, so that last one isn't a Year Word for anyone I know, but it could be.

My word this year?  "Write".  I'm good at it. Not as good as many, but better than some. Its something I've been working on since I was in 2nd grade, when I tried to write a play for my classmates to perform, and got as far as the first page before I realized none of my 2nd grade peers wanted to rehearse ("The Prince & the Princess" would have been a show-stopper). 

This year, I'm going "write". I'm going "Write" in (2) the form of blogging.  No goal, no set number of blogs, no "100 posts this year!" declaration. Just more blogging.  More posts.  More writing. Even if I do 4 per month, that's at least 48 this year.  After 87 posts in 2015, I managed only 21 TOTAL from 2015 to 2017, and that includes my 1000th post.

I thought of retiring the blog, but I just couldn't do it.  And people keep checking it, because like the narcissist I am, I do check the page views. And you people are checking for new stuff. So, thank you for that.

The book in its first draft. The first of many, many
drafts to come.
Also with "Write" comes (3) finishing the book.  Did you know I was writing a book. A few weeks ago, I was 67,000 words in, though after a little editing, I'm back down to 63,000.  I'm shooting for about 80K, maybe a little more -- its a movie book.  It's entitled, simply enough, "This is a Movie Book" (thanks for that title, dear friend Clay Shaver).  And its about my 500 favorite films of all time. More information on that to come.

By the end of the year, I want that book finished and I want it (4) ready to be sent to an editor (either The Peacock Quill or Shayla Raquel, with that decision to be made later).  I won't be able to afford an editor this year, but in 2019, expect it to hit bookshelves.

In 2016, I had a goal of 160 "new to me", as in, I'd never seen them before. I ended up watching 171 movies, both new in theaters, year old films that had hit streaming services and even some classics I just somehow missed ("Bachelor Party", anyone?).  New goal? (5) To watch 170 "new to me" movies.

(Speaking of podcasts... Don't forget The Deucecast Movie Show Over 300 episodes and still going strong, filled with movie reviews, celeb discussion, pop culture stuff and much more)

I don't talk much about TV, but there are three series that I'm bound and determined to blow through... I've only fully seen season one of (6) Gilmore Girls and never seen any of (7) The Wire and plan on finally knocking out both, episode by episode.

Long book, interesting story
Likewise, in 2016, I had a goal of 45 books read--both first time reads and re-reads count, and both on paper and via audiobook.  I got my 45th read on December 28th ("Wonder" by RJ Palacio).  (8) New goal?  50 books, but there will be a handful of graphic novels and short plays I want to read as well. I've got a handful of Neil Labute, August Wilson & David Mamet scripts at the ready.  The first book of the year completed will likely be (9) "Sleeping Beauties" by Stephen King & Owen King.  Its a 25 hour audiobook, and coming into January 1, I was 11 hours in.

Don't worry... like usual, you'll get my (10) Top Ten Books of the Year in the coming week or so.  I'm actually not even sure which one is number 1.

Back in July, I randomly started a fitness quest -- to run a mile in under 9 minutes or less.  So, every day I started running one mile on the treadmill at our local Planet Fitness.  And save for a few Sundays or so, I did just that for almost three months. My first mile clocked in at under 13 minutes, which for me was major, because I hadn't actually run a consecutive mile in many, many years.  In fact, the chick at Planet Fitness let me know that it had been over 3 years since I'd been back.  As I was on the cusp of turning 42, that means I legit hadn't worked out ever since I had turned 40.

The mile whittled down to around 9:30ish, and then, at the nearby indoor playground, I jumped on a trampoline with Campbell the Kid that was way too low and *BAM* landed (and bounced up) on the bum on the hard floor.  Leg injury.  And in usual d$ fashion, after the leg was okay, I didn't go back. So I will.  At some point sooner than later.  The goal is still (11) a mile in under 9 minutes.  That'll help in (12) losing that 20 pounds I've been trying to shed for years.

So many people to see again -- my friends (13) Clay Shaver and (14) Rick Theule are in Michigan, and I need to say hey, and I had so much fun talking to my friend (15) Amy Campbell while in Tulsa, I want to buy her a drink and just sit and chat.  When I make it to Nashville, I'd like to buy my friend (17) Anna Floit a drink. My friend (18) Bill Seybolt is in Atlanta, so buying he and (19) Bill Weeks a beer is easier.  Also in Atlanta is (20) Six Flags, which I do want to return to. Don't read anything into this... there are many names that I can name of people I want to see again, and hopefully will.  I need to find my buddy (21) Writer Chris Holmes and spend an hour making fun of Hillary.

The podcast, on iTunes, on Google Play, on Stitcher and
various places online. Go get it. 
Most likely, it would happen at the annual (22) Launch Out Conference I attend.  Last year was in Tulsa, and this year is in Nashville.  Last year I spoke what I considered to be a mediocre speech.  This year, (23) I want to give the speech of my life.  Already been working on it since this past August. That is if I am chosen to speak... it's never a guarantee they'll want to hear me.

Then there is the business stuff.  Magic on a Dollar Travel Planning is going well, and I'm somewhere around 350 vacations planned over the years.  For 2018 to be a big year, I'll need at least 150 trips planned... which means I will (24) plan my 500th vacation some time this year.  On the Facebook page, I'm close to 5600 LIKEs, so what if I could get to 6000?  Maybe even 7000?

I also started a new podcast, the Magic on a Dollar Podcast, and as of right now, its 13 episodes in.  It started super strong, and has leveled off dramatically. So the goal there? (25) A 250% increase in downloads this year.  The ultimate would be to make the (26) "New & Noteworthy" on iTunes, but that is a huge goal that may or may not be attainable.

In order for the show to get better, I've got to learn a few new skills... (27) editing, for one... and (28) being able to allow guests on the show for another.

Along with that is (29) getting my website finally finished.  Mostly, I just need content, which leads us back to... you guessed it, "Write".

Plus a handful of other things from my previous list that would be good to do this year... or do more of... (30) send out more birthday and anniversary cards... (31) pray more... (32) say hello to every person who ever rings up my purchases at a counter... (33) give grace before it's asked and (34) ask for grace before it's required... (35) clean out that garage... (36) do something extraordinary. What you ask? I have no idea. I'll know it when it happens.  

Can you believe it's been out for three months, and I still don't own (37) Taylor Swift's new album, nor the new live album by (38) The Dixie Chicks.  Will remedy that in the next week or so.

Haaaay Tay...
Finally, in the back closet of our home sits my extensive comic book collection. One of my long term goals is to collect every issue of the (39) Uncanny X-Men from #200 to #544, which is the the end of its original run, and then the (40) Fantastic Four, issues #300 to #645, which is it's original run's ending.  I'm probably less than 200 issues combined from completing both desired runs. But you can't buy issues on sale if you don't know which ones you are missing.  So its likely time to (41) sort through the comics, sell some, give some out and pare it down.

Okay. There's a list of things to do this year. What if I could get these things done?  What if I could get half of these things done?

What if I buckled down and had victory after victory.

What if?

We already started the "WRITE" way.  See what I did there? Okay, okay, I'm rusty, but I'll get my groove back soon enough.

Follow d$'s personal stuff on Instagram at @davedollar, and keep up with the movies, music, TV and books on @TheDaveofPop, and follow the magic of Disney @Magiconadollar. 

Then Go Subscribe and download the Magic on a Dollar Podcast, and The Deucecast Movie Show Podcast.