This is what happens without editors

I'm Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the SKINNERS series. Here you'll find various ramblings about movies, video games, TV, and...oh yeah...those books I write. If there's anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know. I try to update whenever the mood strikes me, so feel free to leave comments. There may be some occasional foul language, but anyone who's too easily offended probably doesn't read my stuff anyway.

Free Stuff

Here's how it goes. As usual, I've got my truckload of promo covers from EOS Books. I'll be going to some conventions, so I hope to see you there and I'll gladly sign your books. If you can't make it to a con, just email me your name, address and any inscription so I can send you a signed cover.


BONUS ---> If you would be so kind as to write up a review for any or all Skinners books and publish it on a site like Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other major review site, I can send you something extra. I made up some bookmarks (which I'll sign) and I've even put together some Shimmy's VIP passes (which I'll also sign). Can't guarantee the passes will get you into a real strip club, but I think they look pretty cool. Send me a link to your review along with your name, address and inscription, and I'll get these out to you as well.



Friday, February 29, 2008

The music's back!!


There are several reasons why I wait for the mailman and UPS guy (yes, they both happen to be male in my neighborhood) the way a dog anxiously awaits the Snausages Delivery Truck. Is that how you spell Snausages? Eh, who cares. Anyway, being a writer, everything work related comes to me this way. Usually it’s good. And, as a fan of online shopping, the UPS guy is my version of Santa Claus.

Yesterday, my new MP3 player arrived. Here it is! Now, it may not be the snazziest or most up to date thing out there, but I like it. . .a LOT. The only problem is that I now have to re-download all my cds onto the thing. I also now realize why I should have ripped my music onto my computer when I downloaded it all on my fist brick…I mean, my previous model. At the time, I thought, “Why waste all that hard drive space on my computer when I just want it on my MP3 player?” Once my old player died, I learned the answer to that question. I also felt like a complete idiot when I saw I’ve got over 80 gigs of free space on my computer anyway and my music would have taken up about a quarter of that.

Oh well. Live and learn. Now I just need to figure out how to walk and watch little videos without smacking into anything.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Even a man who is pure at heart...

Ok, Wolf Man update. Now I've heard that Benicio del Toro is going to play the lead and Anthony Hopkins will play his father. Sounds to me like this could be pretty good. Also, it sounds like they'll try to stay faithful to the original, which bodes very well for the project. I'm willing to cut the movie some slack since, let's face it, I'm GOING to see it sooner or later.

More often than not, I'm fully prepared to like a movie going into it. Why get all skeptical and complain and then go see it so you can complain about specific scenes? It's entertainment, so let yourself be entertained. Even crappy movies are fun on some level. That said, if they don't have that awesome, silver-tipped cane in the remake, I'll send some scathing emails!! Just kidding.

Or am I?? (DUN-Dun-duhhhhhh)

Monday, February 25, 2008

The day the music died


I like tech stuff, but I know I can’t keep up with all of it. I’m also just old enough to start getting set in my ways and cranky when the new fangled contraptions make things more difficult than they should be. This is a picture of my MP3 player. Ain’t it nice and simple? No video. No expanded memory. No FM tuner. Just one device to hold every CD I own in something the size of a deck of cards. Well, in no time at all, this became a freaking brick.

I don’t have any problems with the player, itself. It was great. When I go to the gym, however, it looks like I’m carrying around a gramophone on the back of a turtle. You know, the kind of turtle that shrugs and says, “It’s a living.” Flintstones reference anybody?

Well, my player froze up and no amount of cursing, tinkering or slamming it with coconuts could unfreeze it. I went to the website and the manufacturer told me the thing is out of date. Doh! Of course, now I’ve got a good excuse to order a new model. It’s got video, expanded memory, AND an FM tuner! Sweet! I still won’t impress anyone at the gym, though. They’re too distracted by the rivers of sweat rolling off my forehead and my constant wheezing.

Hasta la vista...ehh forget it


Has anyone been watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles? I was pumped about it from the start, since most anything Terminator-related is bound to be at least fairly cool. Terminator 1 is a classic and I still proclaim that T2 is one of the granddaddies of all action movies ever. I even thought T3 was all right.

Sarah Connor Chronicles started off pretty cool. There’s some good action and the effects are easy on the eyes. I think the actors who play John and Sarah are really good. What bugs me is the little Terminator girl. In the first episode, she tricked John into being a friend because she was sweet and friendly to him. She seemed like a real girl to fool his character and to fool the audience. Once she’s revealed as the friendly Terminator, all her personality goes bye-bye.

What the hell??? Is everyone supposed to forget she could emote? Are we all just supposed to drop the fact that she had inflection in her voice ONE EPISODE AGO??

I’m more than willing to give slack to genre shows, but this just grates on me. Every time I see her stare blankly and fumble through "human phrases", I wonder what the hell I missed. Was that particular chip in her head shot up in the first episode? I’d gladly accept that as an explanation. Was she ordered to stop acting human so as not to toy with John’s fragile teenage libido? That works for me. Just give me SOMEthing. ANYTHING. I want to like this show. I really do, but this bugs me.

Any fictional piece that taxes reality needs to make up their own rules and stick to them. Otherwise, the whole thing suffers. Are there armor wearing unicorns in your universe because of some lab experiment gone wrong that mixed up glowing goo and a My Little Pony comic book? Fine. That explains it. Whatever you come up with can work. Just don’t change gears in the middle and expect everyone to go along for no good reason.

Sure, this show came in the middle of the writer’s strike, but that doesn’t mean the viewers need to just swallow it when there are perfectly good American Gladiators beating the snot out of folks. I’ll probably stick around for another episode or two, but I’m just waiting for the movie every Terminator fan has wanted to see since that flashback in T1 and especially the beginning of T2. I WANT MY FUTURE WAR!!! Bring on the HKs!!! Bring on the squads of endoskeleton infantry!! YEAH!!!

Till then, I’ll hold my breath and wait for new episodes of Heroes.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A rare weather post...the moon doesn't count


I know it's winter. I know winter is supposed to be cold. This is something else, though. This is worthy of mention on a journal that I would never want to devolve into a discussion about the weather. This is the kind of snot-freezing cold that freezes the pee in the pee tubes (I'm not a doctor, all right?). This is the type of cold that effects my work. Fortunately, I'm a writer so it's a good effect. I get to wear my jammies at my desk and sip hot tea or coffee or whatever while nodding appreciatively at the sounds of people trying to start their cars outside. It's the sort of cold that makes me love my job. Writing isn't easy and it can tax the fortitude of the strongest of souls, but it does have its perks. I may not get health benefits or annual raises, but I do get to skip the morning commute through this demonic kind of winter day specifically designed to shrink certain male parts into raisins. Just let me have this, ok? Everyone else gets things like "retirement benefits" and "job security". I get to flagrantly throw up air quotes instead of scraping my windshield at 7AM. Wait...I guess those were real quotes. Ah, screw it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bark at the moon



There was a lunar eclipse last night and I don’t mean that in any way that could be taken as dirty. It was a real eclipse, but it wasn’t quite the Blood Moon I had been hoping for. As something of a werewolf buff, I always hope for a real good, rusty colored moon during an eclipse (again…nothing gross) ((damn, my mind must just be in the gutter today)). Kind of like this…

I’m not an astronomer, but I suppose these things may look different depending on where you’re at. When I lived in St. Louis, the eclipses were all nicely colored. Here in Omaha, it looked more like this.

Either way, it's pretty cool.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Legendary...hopefully lives up to its name


Have any of you seen ads for this new game called Legendary: The Box? It’s for the 360 and PS3 and it’s about someone in modern times opening Pandora’s Box to unleash a bunch of legendary (not just a catchy name) creatures onto urban streets. Sounds freaking awesome! Also, it may sound a little familiar to anyone who reads SKINNER (or will read when it comes out).

The simple fact is that every story has, in some form or another, already been told. Every genre from horror to legal drama is filled with stories that, when boiled down to their basic premise, has already been written, put on film or probably scribbled on parchment a long time ago. The difference is in what each different telling brings to the mix. Just because there are other vampire books out there, should there be no more vampire books in the future? Just because some game sounds like some books, does that take anything away from either one? Not at all! Does similarity mean someone is ripping off someone else? If it did, the lawsuits would have kept most pouplar fiction from seeing the light of day.

The only reason I get into this is because stuff like this inevitably comes up when discussing different properties within a genre. Also, it just popped into my head while writing this. Modern werewolves? Just like SKINNER!! Modern vampires?? Just like Anne Rice or any of the rest! Eh, forget that crap. My advice is to try not to compare everything to everything else. It’ll only distract you from some good entertainment.

Back to this game…I can’t wait to play it. I hope it’s good, because there haven’t been a lot of games like this that really deliver. I don’t see why, either. There are billions of zombie games and trillions of military shooters out there. Why not more vampire and werewolf stuff? And don’t bring up games like Vampire Rain! I’ll keep my fingers crossed because this looks freaking COOL!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Watch your step, Brett


I've just heard that Brett Ratner is in the front running to direct the Wolf Man remake. Actually, I just found out there was going to be a Wolf Man remake. I don't know if I'm liking the sound of this one. On one hand, the new effects could make the new Wolf Man look really cool. On the other hand, the best werewolf of all time was done with real-world physical effects. Of course I'm talking about American Werewolf in London.
Now, AWiL is a COMPLETELY different sort of movie than Wolf Man. I know this. Even for when Wolf Man was made, it still looks pretty cool. It's got an otherworldly quality that all those old Universal monster movies had. Plus, those old flicks have a special place in my heart anyway.
Ok, so it seems I'm pretty much against the idea of a remake.
Now, as far as Ratner is concerned, I don't hate the guy. Get ready to pelt me, but I didn't mind X3. I didn't say I loved it, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I thought Beast looked cool and there were some cool actions scenes. Was it accuarate to the comics? No. HELL NO. It was a fun popcorn movie and I like those. Do I want to see Wolf Man turned into a fun popcorn movie? It already is. Wolf Man doesn't need better effects and will actually lose something by being modernized. I honestly don't think Ratner has the savvy to make this project anything but a waste of time.
So, I guess I'm against Ratner directing.
You wanna know the kicker? Even if this movie is made and Ratner is at the helm decked out in full Ratnericity, I'll still go see it. Actually I'll rent it. How's that? I'm weak, ok?

Friday, February 1, 2008

5 Stages of Editing

I know this whole editing thing is getting stale, but I came up with this and it seemed fitting. It was also funny because I go through this EVERY TIME I edit something. Even when I know it's coming and what will happen, I still go through every step:

Stage 1 ) Anticipation - “I can barely wait to see what my editor thought about that manuscript! It’ll really be great to get back to work on it and move this project along. YAAAYYYY!!!”

Stage 2 ) Denial - “What are all these marks doing on my manuscript? I guess the editor needs to earn their pay somehow, but it should make them happy if I work in a few of their
suggestions.”

Stage 3 ) Anger - “What the HELL?? Whoever scribbled all over my goddamn work must be ON SOMETHING!! What is this GARBAGE? If THEY’RE so smart, why don’t
THEY WRITE THE F’ING THING???”

Stage 4 ) Depression - “Oh my God. These suggestions are right. They’re all right, which means I was all wrong. This editor was right all over the place and I just suck! Why am I doing
this? How do I get paid for this? I suck!”

Stage 5 ) Acceptance - “You know what? Most of these suggestions are good, so I’ll use them. The ones that aren’t so great, I’ll just STET and move on. This is why there are buildings full of editors in New York. I come up with my part, they do theirs and
a book is born. What was I going on about before? Jeez! I sure won’t go through all this next time.”

Yeah, right

---Right now, I'm drifting back and forth between stages 4 and 5. If any other writers out there are pulling their hair out, know you're not alone. And if you already knew that. . .well, good for you.