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an ongoing description of my life, loves, thoughts, fears, work and lustings.

Monday, December 17, 2018

2019 To-Do List Extravaganza!

It's time again to check out the tasks I was able to complete over the past year, and which things on that to-do list came up short.  Let the praise and blame commence!  

Of course, let's start out with last year's list and how I stacked up.  Then we'll get into the nitty-gritty of 2019's vast mountain of tasks!

1) 8 (EIGHT) REVIEWS/ARTICLES for HORROR FREAK NEWS or TOM HOLLAND’S TERROR TIME (or any other potential outlets) per month.
Since there were a few months in 2017 where my 10-article self-imposed quota seemed to be too much, and based on the fact that I truly believe 2018 will be a very busy year for screenwriting, I’m going to keep my article/review quota in place for each month. But instead of a daunting 10 articles, I’m going to expect only 8 reviews/articles per month. It feels like something of a cop-out, but I’m willing to make the attempt to keep my sanity. Believe me when I say that having the 10 articles over my head every month, and then not making a couple of those months – I was beating myself up… and good. It’s not worth the neurotic flare-up.

How did it go in 2018?
Out of the 12 months of the year, I only made my quota in 7 of them.  However (as is the norm), allow me to make the usual excuses.  One, I retired from Horror Freak News (my outlet for the past 4+ years) in early December.  So that killed that month.  There were also some changes to the site in the summer, so I quit for a couple of months (and came back to almost finish the year), so I didn't write reviews in June or July.  In January, I had a screenwriting project which took all of my time.  However, there were the festival-heavy months of September and October, where I easily surpassed my 8-review quota.  Regardless of how much I rationalize -- I DID NOT complete this full task in 2018.  UNDONE.
2) Complete Christian Demons.
As always, this will require many, many steps to achieve. So before the end of 2018, I need a 1st draft, 2nd draft, 3rd draft, send to readers, 4th draft (with reader notes), 5th draft, reading prep, reading, 6th (post-reading) draft, 7th draft. And I’ll finish this one up with an 8th draft. Obviously, I’ll do more if necessary.

How did it go in 2018?
Other than an 8th draft listed above (it ended up not being necessary), I completed all of those steps.  #2 is DONE!

3) Christian Demons to festivals.
I’m up in the air about this. Perhaps a couple of select festivals. Since the film is heavily LGBT, I might try my hand at targeting those fests, in addition to some of the horror ones. I’m gonna leave this open about which specific festivals, but I’m gonna shoot for 5 total festivals – where Christian Demons can/should be submitted.

How did it go in 2018?
DONE.  No problem.  Placed in a couple of them, rejected by a few others.  But it's DONE.

4) First draft of any script.
Like last year, I’m gonna put out there for a (currently) unnamed feature spec script to find completion on (at least) a 1st draft. Several options on the table already, but I’ll be open to some random inspiration (like what happened with Christian Demons in 2017). If not some wonderful random idea – then I’d like to see a potential first draft for The French Toast Nine, Harsh Critic or Lindsay’s Locker – all of which are projects I’ve already begun.

How did it go in 2018?
The so-called "unnamed project" didn't require a first draft of a script, but I did it anyway (for my own sanity).  While it wasn't one of the scripts listed above, it's still DONE.

5) Work on the “unnamed” project which found me in July of 2017.
Again, no details can be divulged, but I’m hoping this will find completion (in the many multiple steps necessary). When making my “tab board”, I’m going to put down 8 total (vague) steps. A nice round number, as I actually have no idea how/when/where this may go. Obviously, there may be more than 8 steps. There may be less. Time will tell how this gig goes… For now, fingers crossed, yo!

How did it go in 2018?
While I only tackled 2 total steps, I did what was required of me (thus far).  I hope that there will be plenty more work on this project in 2019, but for 2018, I can firmly stamp this as DONE!

6) The 53 Zombie Moods: A book for your coffee table.
Putting it on here again. Again, let it organically happen and all will be right with the world. Is this the year we make it to the finish line? Frankly, any push toward making this work will be welcome.

How did it go in 2018?
Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  A big fat UNDONE.  I'm resigned to the idea that this will happen when it happens.  But it WILL happen.

7) The House up the Street.
I’ve got four bursting at the seams folders of old handwritten stories, poems, etc. From as far back as 1984. I’ve had on the agenda for some time, plans to put all of these into a book and get it self-published. Kind of a progression as a writer from the very beginning. First and foremost, I have to get these old pieces typed up and saved into a computer, before I begin to put it all together. It’s a big project, so tackling ONE folder seems a reasonable way to move forward.

How did it go in 2018?
Believe it not, it saw some work.  Organization, a few typed stories and other administration on the project.  But sadly, I have to stamp this with a giant UNDONE.  Shooting for more work on this in 2019!

8) Valet.
I think this will be an easier production than my other short, A Great Yard. So I’m putting this on the list. 12 months to make this happen. Update the script. Pre-production. Production. Post-production. C’mon, let’s do it.

How did it go in 2018?
I think I discussed this with my buddy Monte -- about possibly directing it.  Other than that, no action of any kind on this property.  A big ugly UNDONE.

9) Valet to festivals.
If this finds completion before year’s end, I’d love to get it out to festivals for the following season. Let’s shoot for 5 of them (for starters). Festivals to be determined...

How did it go in 2018?
Well, see above.  Nothing completed, thus nothing to send to festival.  UNDONE.

10) Passport renewals.
Didn’t make this happen in 2017. But I think there may be opportunity (wink, wink) for world travel in 2018, so obviously, this is a must. And it should be (and should have been in 2017) an easy one to mark off the list.

How did it go in 2018?
UNDONE.  It's as simple as that.  Adding this again to my 2019 list.

11) Move Penelope’s site.
Several years ago, I befriended actress Penelope Sudrow of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. I built her personal website. But as is, I am the only one who has access to updating it – as it’s connected to the same site building platform as my own personal websites. Bottom line, I need to open her own account and rebuild the site – eventually passing off complete control to her. I unfortunately no longer have the time to manage it for her. I don’t think this is a major undertaking – but time will be required nonetheless.

How did it go in 2018?
UNDONE.  Putting on my 2019 task list.

12) Lose 20 pounds in 2018.
With the loss of 20 pounds in 2017 – I know this is totally do-able. And with that extra 20 smackers off of my gut – I will be at a more ideal weight. Make it so.

How did it go in 2018?
DONE.  With a new workout regimen (begun at the year's mid-point) as well as some new meds to help control my diabetes, I made this a reality.  Currently under the 190 lbs. mark.  Yay!

13) 40k words on Scratcher (novel).
Trying for this again. 40,000 words on my first novel. Not anything to be “completed”, but this would be a huge push in that direction. C’mon, Klug – do it!

How did it go in 2018?
UNDONE.  Not so much as a look.  Putting it back on the list for 2019!

14) Tonight I Shall Lease Your Soul (update).
With interest from a producer, this script will require a little updating, development and stream-lining. Gonna put this one down for THREE steps – potentially THREE new drafts before it moves into exciting new steps.

How did it go in 2018?
Nothing happened here.  I was expecting a possible option agreement for this property, but didn't come to fruition.  Not putting this on 2019's list, as it seems a bit of a stretch.  Holding out hope for future work on this, but for 2018 -- UNDONE.

15) The Costume People (update).
Same thing here. THREE updated drafts of this – to appease potential development by interested producers.

How did it go in 2018?
This was a rousing success.  The script was optioned and I began to develop it with the producers.  I finished 3 rewrites of the piece, streamlining and bettering the overall concept.  We also held a reading with a new gaggle of readers (the second reading for this property).  So this is an easy DONE.

16) Acting – THREE gigs.
I hoped for FIVE total acting gigs last year, and did one. So I think downsizing this on my to-do list is reasonable. Three short film or feature film acting gigs. And with all of the lovely connections I’ve made at my new weekly acting class/workshop, this feels promising.

How did it go in 2018?
I only acted in one piece -- a feature film written/directed by my buddy Monte.  And it was a remarkable experience.  High hopes for the completed film.  But while I did this project, I only did the one -- not the three.  So happy w/ my progress in the acting world, but did not make my 3 gig quota.  UNDONE.

17) House.
Gonna throw this wish up here again. I’m so totally ready to leave communal living behind and move into a single family home. Why not? And I’m DYING for some new decorating/re-organizing projects in my life. I find them supremely relaxing. What better way to feed that need, than to have a brand new home/canvas in/on which to create!

How did it go in 2018?
UNDONE.  We're still in our communal living/apartment situation.  Not that it's a terrible, awful thing and of course, we have a roof over our heads, but I'm ready to spread out.  Putting this back on the 2019 wish list.

18) Update my personal website.
That’s kind of a vague title, but whatevs. There are lots of piddly little things (all of which add up to plenty of work) which need to be fixed/updated over at One of the glaringly obvious ones is to properly link up all of my reviews to their actual location on the interwebs. Not a tough job, but certainly time-consuming. This could potentially be an easy one to mark off of the list.

How did it go in 2018?
DONE.  Lots of updates done over the past year.  Easy-peasy.

19) Keep current on horror film releases throughout 2018.
This is a weird one. It’ll certainly be hard to qualify success or not. But over the past two years, as I get ready to write my “Best of Horror” end of year list, I find there are major gaps in my horror education as I come into December. And right now (as at this time last year), I’m scrambling to get in a dozen or so horror films under my belt (whether I’m reviewing them or not) in order to make the most educated decisions on which pieces end up in my top 15. Obviously I can’t see everything, but I want to feel like I’ve done my best. So rather than kill myself in the last weeks of the year, I want to watch them as they come up (even if I’m not reviewing them). Make sense? I guess a good way to determine success, is if I have – let’s say – 6 or less films to take in at year’s end. Totally reasonable.

How did it go in 2018?
UNDONE.  But with the changes at Horror Freak News and my two-time resignation, this was bound to come up short.  And since I'm not doing my year-end, "Best of Horror", this turned out to be an unnecessary task.

20) Produce a stage-play starring me! :)
This might be a high-falutin’ pipe-dream, but I’m gonna see how it goes. I’ve been itching (as last year) to get back on stage again. I want to produce some sort of stage show where I can highlight myself as an actor. Something small. A few plays come to mind – or perhaps I can write something myself. Do a show that runs like two or three weekends and that’s it. I like this idea. Hmmm...

How did it go in 2018?
UNDONE.  Not so much as a brainstorm. 

Only 7 DONES from 2018.  I've had better years and worse years.  At least something got done, right?  Right?

Ha!  But as is the norm, I'll catalog some of the other accomplishments of the past year, which weren't on my original to-do list -- just to make me feel better about the sea of "Undones".

Worked on a potential journalism gig for several months.  The project's ultimate destiny is currently up in the air, but plenty of time was spent working toward that goal.

I started two feature spec scripts -- both now at varying levels, somewhere in first-draft land.  But they are both on the list for this year's tasks.  One is called Mom Died and the other, Rest Area (based on a short story I penned in high school).

I spent a good amount of time with the folks in my acting class.  It's been a remarkable time with these artists, and it frankly feeds my soul.  Can't wait to get back in there in 2019 to continue to grow, experiment and have fun!  :)

I also spent a chunk of time on a short film script, a potential collaboration, but unfortunately, that fell through.

I'm sure there are some other milestones I reached over the year, but nothing more is coming to mind.  But don't let that fool you -- in amongst the nice amount of busy times, I had plenty of time to be a lazy sloth and plenty of time to travel (including a 9-day trip to DisneyWorld).  Rest assured, I got to relax.

And here we are at the list for 2019.  Gonna shoot again for 20 items (most of them involving multiple steps -- as they always do).  Update:  I've added a couple of adt'l items (perhaps a bit more wishy-washy in their conception), but 23 items it will be.

1) "Sid's Apple Rewrite (s)" -- In anticipation of completion of my 10th feature spec script in 2019, I have been toying with the idea of marking that milestone, by returning to my very first screenwriting experiment, the feature spec "Sid's Apple".  It's near and dear to my heart, but I've not revisited it in a long time.  Which means, I've developed significantly as a writer since I first started on that project about 15 years ago.  So I've no doubt it's gonna be rough as hell!  But I do still believe in the story itself.  And I loved the characters.  I'm putting this on my list -- to include on the "tabs board", the usual.  But since it's already past the multiple drafts arena, I'll reckon it needs 3 drafts to bring it up to speed.  This includes one new rewrite, out to readers for notes, one adt'l rewrite (post notes) and then a reading (as well as the planning stages) and then a final rewrite before submissions to festivals.

2) "Sid's Apple" to Festivals -- I submitted the script way back when, to one lone festival (it got nowhere).  This will be a fun experiment.  Looking forward to it -- anticipating 5 festival entries for this property.

  3) Unnamed Project -- This was heavy on my list in 2018, and will hopefully continue to receive attention in the new year.  I've no confirmation on that, and certainly can't discuss details -- but I'm putting it on the "tabs board" for an adt'l 5 vague steps -- listed simply as "Unnamed Project Step 1" and so on, as I obviously don't know exactly how many incarnations (if any) may materialize.  Hopefully this exciting write-for-hire gig will come to full fruition in 2019.

  4) Passports Renewed -- As in previous years, this has been on the back burner.  This year, it must get done (hopefully because it has to -- see #3 on the to-do list).

  5) Produce "The Chair" -- This is a short story/monologue I wrote and performed in high school.  I've often looked back on it with great pride.  And I think, with some reworking, it could make a helluva short film.  So with multiple steps (including rewrites, pre-production, production and post -- as well as potential festival entries), this will be a big project in 2019.  I plan to produce and act in the one-man piece (I've a director in mind and have already reached out -- there is interest).  Fingers crossed.  This could be an interesting process.  And goodness knows I need the experience and the reel fodder.

  6) The Costume People -- As this was optioned in 2018, and 3 adt'l rewrites completed (as well as a second table read), I'm hoping this will come to fruition in 2019.  And since there will be dozens and dozens of steps involved, I'll have to figure a smart way to put it up on the "tabs board".  Perhaps several vague "Step 1", and so on.  We'll see.  But I have a feeling The Costume People will be a high priority in the new year!

  7) New Feature Spec Completed -- As is my new smart way to tackle this, I'll not suggest any particular property to be done.  Whatever strikes my fancy... that's the way to go.  And so on the "tabs board", we'll have the usual multiple drafts, out to readers for notes, prep for reading, reading, etc.

8) New Feature Spec Script to Festivals -- Whichever script this turns out to be, planning for 5 festival entries.

  9) 2nd New Feature Spec Completed -- Since I'm taking journalism and film criticism off of my plate, there's absolutely no reason that I can't complete 2 (that's TWO) feature scripts within the one year.  And so #9 here, is an exact replica of #7 above. 

10) 2nd New Feature Spec Script to Festivals -- Whichever SECOND script this turns out to be, planning for 5 festival entries. 

  11) Lose another 20 lbs. -- I've done quite well in 2018, including a steady stream of workouts beginning at the year's mid-point.  Of course, travel, sickness and schedules have not allowed me to be perfect all of this half year, but I've done quite well.  At press, I'm down to just below 190, and I think I could use a few more off of the old gut.  If I can get back to my semi-ingrained regiment, I would love to lose those last pounds, and then start building back up with some muscle.  I've so got this.

  12) New Headshots -- Self-explanatory.  Old ones are now over 2 years old.  Make it so.

  13) Read 10 Books -- Shouldn't have to put this here, as it should be a given.  But I want to hold myself to it.  And with stress levels high this year (and my inability to handle it properly), I need some way to keep my blood pressure down.  And reading is an obvious escape.  So it finds its way onto this massive to-do list.

  14) 3 Acting Gigs -- While I only did one of the three acting gigs I wanted to -- in 2018, it was a feature film role and it was a blast.  So not gonna be too pissy about that.  :)  Three tabs on the board, three acting gigs in 2019 -- feature films, short films or stage plays.  It's all good.

  15) Watch All Best Picture Winners -- As I won't be reviewing films this year, I'd like to get back to watching movies for the simple pleasure of it.  I've going to attempt to watch every Best Picture Oscar winner (those I've not seen, of course) and fill in those gaps in my movie education.  Goodness knows HOW I'll work out these tasks on my patented tab board.  

  16) 40k Words on "Scratcher" -- Putting this back on the list.  Would love to really push forward on this first novel.  Perhaps with no journalism on the to-do list, this might be more plausible.

  17) Book of Movie Reviews -- Depending on legalities/technicalities, I'd like to put together a physical book of my 400 or so reviews from the past 4 years.  It'd be relatively simple (he says now), since they're all written.  We'll see how this goes.  Not sure how I'd make my tabs for the board, as I don't have any idea of how many actual steps it might take.  And with my retirement from film criticism, this would be a good way to "bookend" this experience.  Ahem.

  18) Apartment Updates -- We've been in our current apartment for close to a decade.  And there are things we can do to gussy it up a bit.  We're thinking about new tile in the kitchen and bathroom and perhaps some new carpet in the bedroom.  There are plenty of other things we want to do, so this task's presence on the "tabs board" might be wishy-washy.  We'll see how it develops.  Putting up 5 total tabs on my board -- for this arena.

  19) "House Up the Street" Update -- While there was some legit work done on this project in 2018, not near as much as I would have liked.  Putting this back on the list... will determine (down the road) how to handle the tabs.  It's all of my short stories and poetry, etc. from writings dating back to 1984.  I wanna put them all in one place!

  20) Move Penelope's Site -- Didn't get to this in 2018, but must still work toward its completion.  I built and manage a website for actress Penelope Sudrow.  But I need to find a way to get it into her control, as I don't feel I have the time to give it the attention it requires.

  21) Home / House -- Still holding out hope that we'll be able to leave behind communal living and move into our own single family home.  Perhaps 2019 will be the year this happens.

22) International Travel -- Of course, I need to get the passport in order (see above).  I've never been anywhere, and my other half is a seasoned world traveler.  It's time to expand my world horizons.  Why not make it happen in 2019?

23) De-stress -- This is a bit enigmatic.  But it's become clear that I no longer handle stress well.  So I need to find a way to keep my blood pressure and neurotic worrying to a minimum.  Find a new way to meditate perhaps?  Or a new exercise regiment to include more calming yoga?  This remains to be seen, and certainly will be difficult to quantify come year's end -- whether success was reached or not -- but it's a necessary thing for me to take on in 2019.

And there we have it folks!  23 total items to be tackled/handled/ENJOYED in 2019.  I realize I'm posting this with two adt'l weeks still to go in 2018, but maybe I can get a head-start on next year's to-do list, while still finishing up this year!

Below is a photograph of the aftermath of my 2018 tab board.  The empty pins show off the completed tasks for the year, while the filled ones -- the sadly undone items.  Still, looks pretty impressive.  :)

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a little bit 'bout klugula...

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Hollywood, California, United States
I like zombies...A LOT.

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