In Retrospect, My New Year’s Resolutions May Have Been Too Ambitious

I’m not someone who apologises for thinking big. I don’t have failures—I have learning experiences. I believe that no dream ever ends—it just gets put on the backburner. But as the year draws to a close, I am forced to acknowledge that some of my resolutions were not as realistic as they could have been.

First and foremost, I was unable to realise my vision of adapting the classic Boxcar Children novels as a series of Hollywood blockbusters. It turns out that today’s kids aren’t big on the Boxcar Children, or boxcars in general. Also, I had no qualifications or movie industry experience. But I’ve written scripts for the first two movies, plotted outlines for the next five, and come up with some mock merchandise, so the project is all set to go once the right producer gets a look at it.

My attempt to adapt The Boxcar Children into a series of modern young adult novels for today’s urban youth ran into trouble as well. I hope the petty lawyer that killed Subway Kidz on the ridiculous grounds of copyright infringement can sleep at night knowing he denied children access to a series of scandalous murder mysteries, thrilling drug den busts, and sizzling arson investigations. Not to mention the relatable struggles the heroes will face, including Henry’s battle with alcoholism, Jessie’s sexual awakening, Violet coming to terms with the death of her beloved Watch, and a special entry in the series where Benny is molested by Uncle Andy. Because “The Man” has a problem with encouraging children to read, Subway Kidz will instead be made available through While this is a step down from the bespoke folios I originally envisioned, what’s important is that the stories will be told.

While I never like to write off a project entirely, the less said about my “Build Your Own Boxcar” kits the better. Apparently having a life-sized boxcar on your front lawn brings down property values. Which is bullshit, because having judgemental neighbours is what should really bring down property values. If everyone in a community did it there would be no problem. But that’s not realistic, at least not until CarKidCon 2014 rolls around and I host my Boxcar Fan Relocation Project Panel. At the very least, I’m optimistic that the kits can be salvaged and turned into novelty desktop figurines to be enjoyed for generations.

On that note, CarKidCon 2014 may be cancelled. But if you’re one of the smart investors who bought a weekend pass at the early bird price of just $279, consider it valid for 2015.

Let’s look at a few of my other resolutions. “Cat Navy.” I don’t know what that means. We’ll make this one a lower priority for now.

“Petition the White House to create a national Gertrude Chandler Warner Day.” Well, I made the petition. It’s not my fault only 17 people have signed it. I can’t solve voter apathy in America alone. But we’ll brainstorm ways to drum up interest during the next BoxKidCon.

“Finish writing Working Hardy, or Hardy Working? An Analysis of the Hardy Boys’ Mystery Solving Methods.” I didn’t finish, but only because I started working on The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of How They Solved Mysteries. But writing half of two books is basically the same as writing one complete book, so let’s call this a success.

“Publish Nancy Drew and the Secret of The Baby-sitters Clubs’ Sapphic Romance Parties.” Apparently prudish publishers consider this to be “unmarketable” and “immoral.” I don’t know what their problem is, I aged all the characters up to 18. I guess it’s too avant-garde, but someday the world will be ready.

Never let it be said that I consider myself above criticism. 2013 was full of disappointments, and it’s fair to point that out, but I’m not disappointed in myself for aiming high. Some might call me foolhardy for being equally ambitious in 2014—I say they’re the ones who’ll feel like fools when they read my forthcoming essay on the subliminal incestuous themes of The Dana Girls franchise.

2 thoughts on “In Retrospect, My New Year’s Resolutions May Have Been Too Ambitious

  1. Tim

    Come see the Boxcar IRL in putnam, ct. Where Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote her books and was a teacher for 50 years. I bet you could sell a kit or two. I enjoyed your post and will check in again. BW – Tim

  2. Kaitlyn

    So funny, I shouldn’t have read it at work. Which is a library. Which is twice is bad as laughing aloud at a normal workplace.