#Pete30Before30 Wrap Up: Part 1

It's almost here... I turn 30 years old in 2 weeks! It's been an incredible year and I think that a lot of that will come out as I wrap up my 30 Before 30: 30 things I wanted to accomplish, watch, even buy, in the year before I turned 30. This is just Part 1, I'll do a couple now and a couple more until I've covered all 30.

So here we go!

My original post will be in italics, then I'll type up my summary in good ole' normal type.

1)    Save Face
I was born with a cleft lip, I donate money to Operation Smile to help kids less fortunate than me get the life changing surgery that I was blessed enough to get when I needed it.  Over the course of this year I’ll donate enough for one surgery ($240), please join me in donating if you so desire.  I set up a OneSmile page where you can donate along with me here:
http://tinyurl.com/PetesOneSmile

I have indeed donated my $240 for one surgery (which I'll do every year by the way). I set another goal to raise donations for another $240 for another surgery and a bunch of awesome people donated and we raised an additional $300!! I'm going to try to push for another $180 on my birthday so that all in all 3 kids will have had their lives changed, but even what we did already is pretty cool. Thank you to anyone who donated.

 

2)    Don’t Run in Place, Run at a Place
I’m going to run a 5k!  Hopefully a fun one that involves beer or inflatable obstacles or mud or something.  This will be probably pretty tough for me and I’ll have to do some training for it.  I’ll keep you posted on which one I do so you can come along.  Maybe I’ll run for Operation Smile and raise some more money!

Man, this one was pretty cool. First of all I was able to raise money for Operation Smile through running the 5K. I ran the LA Harvest Festival Pumpkin Run and at the end I got a pumpkin! Another cool part about this goal was that I hated running but through training for the 5K I kind of got into running and now I run a couple days a week, so this was a life changer.

 

3)    Let Me Upgrade Me
I use my laptop computer every day at work, I write scripts and things on it, I’m writing this on it currently, right this second.  I got my MacBook before Facebook was invented…  It’s old.  I need a new one.  I’m going to do the damn thing and invest in a new laptop.

All I have to say about this one is... bling blinggg (and see picture below).

 

4)    A Novel Idea
Here’s a big announcement…  I have a deal with a publishing company to publish a novella I wrote.  This is beyond a dream come true, it’s a dream that I never knew I had in me really, I didn’t think it was possible.  I will write about this in length as the different steps happen.  So excited!!

In June of 2015 my first novel The Happenstances at the Yellow County Community Swim and Racquet Club the Summer Before Last was published by Koehler Books, it has been such a cool experience! I've been working hard to try to get the word out about the book. I've bought ads, been a guest on some of my favorite podcasts, and really hit the social media hard. In fact, if you still haven't bought the book you should go here: www.tinyurl.com/TheHappenstances and get the paperback or kindle version, what are you waiting for!?

AND, I'm working on a follow up novel to The Happenstances... where we'll pick back up with the Yellow County crew a couple of years later. Look out for that in probably 2017.

Here's a picture of me when I first got to hold a hard copy of my book:

 

5)    Be a Sport
I like sports, I like to play sports, but I hardly watch sporting events.  I’m going to make up for my total lack of sporting knowledge by watching the ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries.

OK, this will be the last one for today, and we'll end this group on a failure... I only watched 8 of these (list below) but every one I saw was excellent and I learned a ton that I didn't know before. I am definitely going to continue to incorporate these and of course other docs into my life. There's nothing better than a well-done documentary.

So those were my first five 30 Before 30 goals and how they turned out. Stay tuned for the rest of the list...

 

The Summer Before Last... This Summer!

This summer I will have my first novel published.  I mean, it's actually a novella (I like to euphemistically call it a "quick read") but still, the fact that I just wrote that first sentence of this blog and it's true is currently blowing my mind.

You know what's not short though?  The title, The Happenstances at the Yellow County Community Swim and Racquet Club the Summer Before Last.  It's a mouthful, I know, but ever since I first started writing the story in college, that has always been the title.

A quick synopsis: The Happenstances at the Yellow County Community Swim and Racquet Club the Summer Before Last is a bittersweet, nostalgic, but comic novella about a team of misfits, including a loser who secretly lives in the guard house of the club, a struggling artist with webbed toes, a timid teen with a concave chest, and the beautiful heiress of the Comfort Inn fortune.  They have to win the impending Tri-County Relay Race and save the club from being run by a management company that only cares about money.  The management company hires an opposing relay team of ringers including a girl with a prosthetic dorsal fin and a man named Carmichael Schmelps who looks suspiciously like a certain Olympic gold medalist.

So basically it's the 'let's get the team together and win the big (fill in the blank, in this case it's a swim meet) so we can keep this place we love' story, but it's a new take on that type of story and it's also so much more than that.  

I've been writing this story in different iterations since college.  It started as a feature length screenplay, once I moved to LA I got several rounds of notes on it from my writer's group and others that I asked to read it.  The screenplay was even a finalist in the Beverly Hills Film Festival Screenplay Competition one year.  And I still ultimately see it as a movie too, and I'm hoping this book will be a step in that direction.

#Pete30Before30

I turn 29 years old today, which means next year I turn 30.  Damn, that’s intense right?  I mean as much as you want to say age is just a number or 30 is the new 20 or Orange is the new Black, and so forth, it’s still a milestone.  
And as I thought of what kind of 30 year old I’m going to be, on the one hand I’m feeling good: married, a child, a good job in a cool city, etc etc, but on the other hand I thought, how could I be better?  Or what haven’t I done so far that I should have?  What do I not know that I should?  
So I put together a list of 30 ‘things’ that I am going to try to do/eat/watch/learn before I turn 30.  I thought this was a pretty original concept, it’s not, I Googled it and many 29ers have embarked on similar journeys.  And I’m another one!
Here’s my list, in no particular order, I’ll be tracking it on social media as #Pete30Before30

1)    Save Face
I was born with a cleft lip, I donate money to Operation Smile to help kids less fortunate than me get the life changing surgery that I was blessed enough to get when I needed it.  Over the course of this year I’ll donate enough for one surgery ($240), please join me in donating if you so desire.  I set up a OneSmile page where you can donate along with me here: 
http://tinyurl.com/PetesOneSmile
2)    Don’t Run in Place, Run at a Place
I’m going to run a 5k!  Hopefully a fun one that involves beer or inflatable obstacles or mud or something.  This will be probably pretty tough for me and I’ll have to do some training for it.  I’ll keep you posted on which one I do so you can come along.  Maybe I’ll run for Operation Smile and raise some more money!
3)    Let Me Upgrade Me
I use my laptop computer every day at work, I write scripts and things on it, I’m writing this on it currently, right this second.  I got my MacBook before Facebook was invented…  It’s old.  I need a new one.  I’m going to do the damn thing and invest in a new laptop.
4)    A Novel Idea
Here’s a big announcement…  I have a deal with a publishing company to publish a novella I wrote.  This is beyond a dream come true, it’s a dream that I never knew I had in me really, I didn’t think it was possible.  I will write about this in length as the different steps happen.  So excited!!
5)    Be a Sport
I like sports, I like to play sports, but I hardly watch sporting events.  I’m going to make up for my total lack of sporting knowledge by watching the ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries.
6)    Play it for the first time, Sam
I went through a bunch of ’30 movies to see before you turn 30’ lists and put together a set of movies that I should have seen already.  Classics that not only as a former film student I am ashamed that I haven’t seen, but I’m ashamed as a human (cough, The Godfather, cough), so uh, yeah, I’m going to watch those, so I don’t have to smile and nod when people are discussing horse heads in beds and offers people can’t refuse or whatever.
7)    Kiss the Cook…
I love to cook, but I return to the same things over and over.  I need to add some new dishes into my life and maybe try some baking.  Plus, who doesn’t love pictures of food on instagram!?
8)    And Food for Thought
And in the same vein, eat better!  I eat fairly healthfully now, but I can do better.  No soda, no artificial sweeteners, etc, so that I’ll see the next 30 years, or 300, who knows with technology advancing the way it is these days.
9)    Adventure Time!
I’m going to take my family on 30 adventures this year.  The beach, a new museum… San Francisco maybe?  Christian loves to learn, Ash loves to travel, and I love to walk around new places drinking caffeinated and/or alcoholic beverages, so let’s combine that into some amazing trips and new experiences.
10)    Investing in Myself
I’m going to start saving for my retirement.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to work, to a certain extent, but some day I’d like to not work, so I gotta get on that, I’m almost 30 for goodness sakes.
11)    Let Them See You Sweat
Exercise for (at least) 30 minutes a day, (at least) 4 times a week.  Straight up.
12)    Take a Stand
Yep, I’m going to be ‘that guy’ at work with the standing desk.  I haven’t done too much research into the whole ‘sitting down for however many hours a day is going to kill you’ thing, but I know people who have looked into it, and I trust them.
13)    Worth a Thousand Words, But What’s That in Dollars These Days?
I’m going to take and post a picture on instagram every day, #Pete30Before30, because there’s beauty all around, even in the mundane, and I need to take more time to stop and recognize all the wonderful… just kidding, I need more social media followers so that I can sell more books, haha!  The other stuff is true too though!!
14)    Have Some Class
I’m going to take a class in something I don’t know about: parkour, basket weaving, candlemaking?!  No, but something cool.
15)    It’s Time for the Percolator 
I don’t know how to make coffee.  That, paired with not knowing how to work a multi-line phone is what made me a terrible production assistant, glad I’m (fingers crossed) past that stage in my career.  But I’m still going to learn how to make coffee.  Maybe I can take a coffee making class and kill two birds with one stone.
16)    En-capsule-lating Our Lives
I can’t remember if I’ve ever done a time capsule, which means it wasn’t memorable if I have, but I know Christian hasn’t done one.  So we’re going to do one, or maybe a couple so we can bury them at his grandparents’ houses and dig them up in the future and laugh at how we used to have cell phones instead of the brain implants we’re all assigned at birth.
17)    Guilding the Petey
I’m going to join the Producer’s Guild solely for the end of the year screeners.  I mean, health care options, awesome panels, and such will be an added bonus, but yeah, just for the screeners.
18)    Be Preachy
I was asked to potentially officiate the wedding of a friend, I’m going to get ordained!  I’m not sure what this entails, I even had to Google ‘the guy at the wedding who says the stuff’ to even see that the correct word was officiate, so this is going to be a long process.
19)    Fading In and Out
Going back to a similar theme as the seeing the classic movies goal, I’m a screenwriter and I seldom read screenplays, so I’m going to read (at least) 30 of them.  I’m in love with writing so I should check out what my peers and heroes are doing on their pages as well.
20)    Cyberspace-lift
My website, www.PeterLHarmon.com (#Pete30Before30) needs to be redone (and it already sort of has, still some tweaks though.)
21)    Lose Weight
No, not like that!  Every time I travel with the fam we’re in the airport stressed, our bags are too heavy, it’s a whole ordeal that makes me hate traveling.  So I’m going to practice traveling light.  Maybe I can go on a trip with just a backpack full of essential clothing, we’ll see.
22)    Get Jumped
Thankfully I’ve never had to know how to jump start a car, but I’m going to learn now, it’s important probably.
23)    Smile Like I Mean It
Because I had a cleft lip I’ve had difficult teeth that have required a lot of maintenance, and I kept up with it pretty well.  But over the past couple of years I stopped going to the dentist regularly because I work so much that I didn’t want to take off to go, and then I finally went earlier in the year and I had some work to do.  So, from now on I’m going to take care of this group of friends in my mouth that I call a smile.
24)    Media Multitask
In the past I’ve not watched a show or read a book because I was already involved with another show, book, etc.  But I want to multitask with my media.  Maybe I’ll be reading 3 books at a time, or I’ll toggle between “Breaking Bad” and “House of Cards”.  I think it’ll be good for me because sometimes I’m not feeling the particular single book I’m reading at the moment and then I won’t read for weeks, so now I’ll have a couple options to jump around to.
25)    Throw Out the First Pitch
They say to love what loves you back, and Reality TV has been good to me.  I would love to be a full time television or feature film screenwriter, but until then, I should develop some reality TV pitches, so I’m going to do one.
26)    Man of a House
We already moved into our first single family home, so I kind of already crushed this one, BUT with a great house comes great responsibility, so I’m going to be on my house-game and get in some good practice for when Ash and I can buy our own house in the future.
27)    Fresh Ink
I’m going to get a half-sleeve of tattoos before I turn 30, then I can always say it was something dumb I did in my twenties.  I won’t have that excuse next year, so I gotta get it done.
28)    Have a Spec-tacular year
I’m going to write a new TV spec script, which for those who don’t know, is one of the ways you get hired for a TV writing job.  I wrote one for “Up All Night” (you can read it here: http://tinyurl.com/UpAllNightSpec) a year or so ago, but that show was canceled, so even though it’s a good sample, it’s not a great sample.  I need a fresh one of an airing show.
29)    Paint the Town, Or At Least a Wall, Red… Or Some Other Color 
I’ve never painted a wall either, so I’m going to do that.  Probably an accent wall in the aforementioned awesome house that we live in.
30)    Keep doing ME!
And also, hey, I’m not doing so bad being my damn self.  Remember the things I mentioned at the top: married, child, job, etc?  I’m doing a lot of things right and I’m super blessed.  I’m going to stay true to my work ethic and creativity and what makes me me and continue living live 100%.