Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Kangaroo, Kirk and now ME!

I just got my promotion to Captain in Halo 3 multiplayer. YEAH!! I know lots of you are probably a lot higher up on the ladder than that, but I had to fight tooth and nail for that last damn skill point and it feels GOOD. My team won the last match by 1 point and I can definitely say that was officially my final ranked match. I know my limits and there's no way in hell I'd be able to claw my way up any further than that. Sitting at 19 points when I needed 20 for a promotion was driving me insane and now it's all relaxation and Social Slayer for me.

Now back to GTA. . .oh and I suppose I should get some work done too.

Oh, and that writing stuff

There's been a lot of video game stuff on here lately, huh? That's mainly because I'm trying to distract myself for the next several months until SKINNERS #1 hits stores. It's a waiting period that fills a LOT of the professional writing process. Before I did this for a living, I seemed busier with the process because I was so far outside of it. My days were filled with stuffing envelopes, printing proposals, sending them out, getting rejected, picking myself up and sending more crap out. Now, I need to write the stuff. . .wait. . .edit. . .wait some more. . .edit again. . .wait. . .wait. . .pray the release goes well. . .you get the idea.

First, I tried keeping myself busy by griping to my wife and pacing. With the threat of a swift kick to my backside from said wife looming over my head, I needed to find a second option. There's work to do on other projects as well as the virtual bloodbath that inhabits my XBox. Games aren't cheap, but they're a lot cheaper than therapy and/or divorce proceedings.

Heh. Now, if only I could jack one of the bikes from Mario Kart and drive it to Honkers. There was an episode of Robot Chicken like that, only a lot funnier. Damn that show is great.

The Wrong Way Kid

Picked up GTA 4. Of course it's freaking awesome and anyone who owns a console needs to get it! As much as I naturally bristle when I hear so much uncontrolled gushing over a game, this one actually delivered. How refreshing. Honestly, though, I nearly wept when I saw the route all laid out for me on the map so I had some help when I inevitably got lost. Thanks, Rock Star Games. Now if there was only a way to fix me constantly flipping my car and plowing into pedestrians, backing up and plowing into them again. Oh wait...that part RULED!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Contrary by nature

I've been resisting the urge to get GTA 4, mainly because everyone is INSISTING that anyone with a game console HAS TO buy it. I played GTA 3 and found it was ok, but there were 2 main things to pull me away from it. First of all, as cool as it was to shoot and bludgeon folks, it was easier to just stay in the car and run them over. Second, I got lost way too often. I'm talking genuinely lost, where the clock's ticking on some mission and I get turned around because I can't find my way to the upper portion of a bridge instead of some access road at the base of it. Granted, that does happen to me a lot in real life so that may speak volumes for the accuracy of GTA in general. I resisted Vice City and San Andreas because it looked like it was still built on the same engine that hassled me before.

Now along comes GTA 4. Like Halo 3, it's hyped every damn place I look and I get sick of hearing about it. And, like Halo 3, the more I hear about the actual game instead of the hype surrounding it, it sounds pretty freaking cool. Now I've been seeing game play footage complete with a brand new shooting mechanic and cover system that addresses my big gripe with GTA 3. There was a lot of other stuff that just looked too cool to pass up, so I picked it up. I've got work to do today, so I'm holding off on playing until I get some time to stretch out and really roll around Liberty City. I'll probably still get lost once I get there, though.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Some random video game stuff

- I wanna rock! And since I can make more sense of Hieroglyphics than sheet music, my only recourse is to partake in games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. It clears my mind, limbers my fingers and gives me the illusion of having an audience roar for me. Yeahhhhh. This was a great week for both, since Judas Priest showed up as the first full album download for Rock Band and the Def Leppard pack hit today for GH3. Time for me to make weird faces and jam with a plastic toy (not in the gross way).

- I’ve been getting back into some Halo 3 multiplayer. Mostly, I like co-op stuff better and that’s mostly because I’m not that good at multiplayer. It’s fun to jump into Social Slayer where dying doesn’t matter. Still, I’m only one skill point away from becoming a Captain and that bugs me. I want to swear off ranked matches because I just get too frustrated when I lose and get docked the same point I just worked so hard to get. Again, I’m not that good, so I get docked a LOT. I got my Achievement for becoming an officer, so I should just kick back and drive a few Mongooses off those catapult things. But…just one more point and I’m a Captain. Mmmmm.

- I picked up the Superman Returns game for cheap, mostly because the demo was fun. Don’t get me started on the multiple reasons I HATED the movie, but the game is actually fun. Mostly, I like flying around between missions and randomly picking up cars and depositing them on top of buildings. It won't allow me to toss pedestrians to the moon shotput style, but I can sure clear them off of bridges using super breath. The fun escalates from there and my wife just shakes her head grumbling, “God help us all if you get super powers.” You’re damn right, honey. God help us.

- How many different ways can developers come up with to make “match the colored blocks” games? Even more puzzling (heh, see what I did there?) is the fact that they’re all fun.

- Finished BioShock a little while ago. Damn, that game was freakin’ great. I mean…DAMN! Somehow, I couldn’t get myself to harvest any of those little sisters. Even just to see what happened or stretch my evil muscles, I couldn’t do it. Also, in Mass Effect, I basically made a shotgun-wielding, mass-throwin’ jerk who collected Renegade points like trading cards. I still couldn’t eradicate that alien race no matter how many points it got me. Then again, I was thinking ahead to if those guys would be of some use to me in the future. Every good maniacal ruler has to think along those lines, you know.

- As much as I love shooting things, tossing cars into the ocean and shooting more things, I am pumped for Mario Kart Wii.

- The new Mortal Kombat will be a crossover with DC Comics. No fatalities. That’s a bummer, but I can see where the developers were coming from on that. The only thing weirder than seeing Superman get his head ripped off is seeing Batman tearing someone’s heart out. Now that I think of it, that would be GREAT!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

(sigh) I wish I was big enough to roar convincingly

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Best Buy. That’s mostly due to a combo of getting hit in the gonads by taxes and there just not being much of anything by way of DVDs or games coming out. Well, Cloverfield came out on DVD so I got my Cloverbutt to the store (I don’t know. I just felt like saying Cloverbutt.) I loved Cloverfield in the theaters and I still love it now. It was just fun monster stuff and that’s all it was trying to be.

I’ve heard mixed reviews and lots of the bad stuff is of the “I didn’t feel for the characters” or “Wounded people can’t move that way” variety. Hey. This is a giant freaking MONSTER movie! Do you ever really feel anything for the people Godzilla grinds under his heel? No. Was the amount of bleeding after a bite or the mobility of limbs after being crushed medically accurate? I’m willing to let that slide, right along with the GIGANTIC, STRUCTURALLY IMPOSSIBLE MONSTER. I’m more aggravated by seeing CSIs on TV being the first ones to kick down a door with a gun in their hands. Shaky camera? I’ll give you that one, but I think it generally worked…this time. If there is a sequel, it should be a regular movie and not, “Hey, look what other footage we dug up”.

When I watch a movie, I go with certain hopes and expectations. Sometimes I want to laugh my ass off, sometimes I want to see stuff blow up. In Cloverfield, I wanted to see a giant monster knock stuff over and crush things. Mission accomplished. More than that, I thought it was one of the only giant monster movies where I was actually jumping and nervous for these people. Did I care about them as human beings? Did I have sympathy for their plight on this little blue-green world? Did I weep when they were crushed? No. Hell no. But their demises were fun to watch and that’s what this sort of movie is all about. Save the pathos for the crap in the drama section.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The red pencil of salvation

Ok, so maybe editing hasn't just perked me up. It's completely turned me back around. I've already mentioned how I've been feeling lately, but just keeping my nose against the proverbial (and sometimes very real) grindstone has done wonders. All you need to do is look back to some of the other editing posts on here to know it's a cruel mistress. And you only need to read the posts to know I cannot afford to put real books out there without editing. It's necessary, but sometimes an outright ball-buster. Some writers love the process. I'm not one of those. Of course my stuff needs just as much polish (if not more) than anyone else's, but editing can be a tedious, disheartening study of comma placement and how crappy your original ideas were.

SKINNER is the exception for me because just getting my hands on it is so nice after letting it drift around out there for months without hearing anything. Putting the little tweaks to a vicious werewolf attack just makes me feel all special inside. The weather is gloomy, cold and rainy, but I get to discuss the finer points of what makes a Nymar tick and how much punishment they can take. Sweeeeet.

The release of the book is still a ways off, but this makes it a lot easier to bear. Also, it won't be long before I start writing the second one. Yeah...writing the second months before the first hits the store. Publishing houses have their gears to grind too and that wait will be just as hard as this one. That gives me some more time to come up with new and creative ways to rip someone apart. Damn, I love my job.

On a different note, Cloverfield hits DVD soon. I can't wait! Actually, I think I'll get into that after I watch it again. Back to editing. YAY!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I needed this

I always love my job. Writing is always what I wanted to do and I've been doing it since waaaay before I ever got paid for it. Most of the times, it's great. Some of the times, it's not so great. Just like any job, no big news there. Unfortunately, when it's not so great I don't feel bored with doing certain reports or angry with some boss. It's just me and my craft. When I'm unhappy with it, I'm pissed at myself and angry that I can't do the one thing I'm sort of good at. On those days, it's hard to do much but grit my teeth and get through it.

As you may have guessed, I've been going through a not-so-great time lately and have needed something to lift my spirits. Desperately needed it. Oddly enough, editing has helped. Sometimes the bane of my existence, just getting my hands dirty and working on copy edits for SKINNER #1 has perked me up. Also, I saw the video below. Thanks, Attack of the Show. (note: This link has since been taken down, but it was a video of AOTS host Kevin P. jumping face-first onto a big red balloon, popping said balloon and landing face first onto the floor. You had to be there.)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Her journey is now complete

It has finally happened. I needed to work and my wife wanted to shoot some virtual dudes, so she asked, "What's a game I can play other than Army of Two where I can shoot stuff and blow stuff up?"
Knowing she likes 3rd person games (and since this was part of my evil plan all along), I innocently looked at her and replied, "Hmmm...there's Gears of War."
"Let's try it."
After her first chainsaw kill, she was hooked. It happened as I had foreseen. When she strikes me down in multiplayer, I will become more powerful than she could possibly imagine.

Friday, April 11, 2008

No image available

I was putzing around on and found a listing for Skinners #1. The release date looms waaay in the distance (Nov. 25), but it's cool to actually see a hint of it out there in the real world. With all the editing, fussing and general anticipation surrounding this first book (At least in my head, anyway) it feels good to get a peek of it as something that will actually happen. This isn't my first thing to be published, but I seriously cannot wait to get it out there. The spot on Amazon didn't have a pic of the cover, no real description, and nothing but the bare facts and STILL it made me smile.

Ok...I may have done a quick lap around my desk, but that's it. Believe me, that's an image you DON'T want.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Something that's actually worth the wait

Tonight is the season 4 premier of Battlestar Galactica. I already posted about it earlier, so I won't go on too long about it. Let's just say I'm pumped, anxious to see where they go, and eager to have all of my predictions proven wrong. I've been watching all the half-hour specials on Sci-Fi intended to work everyone up into a lather and it's great to see all the creators working hard to actually make the ending great. Whenever there's a special about the last days of a show and all they can talk about is how great it was to be on the set or how they made so many friends, I get worried. Hey! What about making the actual show?? Any fans of the Highlander TV series out there? Remember how seasons 1-5 were mostly great and season 6 went down the crapper? It was like they let everyone go home and then remembered they had to do the actual episodes. BSG hasn't disappointed yet and it looks like they've got their stuff together for the finale. YESSSS!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Not exactly nothing, but close

So, for all the 1 or possibly 3 people who read this, you may have noticed there’s not a lot of writing talk going on. No real news on that front at the moment. I’ve told other new writers that waiting is a huge part of the process and this is one of those times. That’s not a bad thing, but it just. . .is.

Let’s see. What’s happening? At the moment, I’m taking a few days off in between other projects. Just finished one and will start another tomorrow. My wife will be leaving town on business next week (ONE of us has a steady job at least. Heh. My little Sugar Mama). That will give me plenty of time to focus on my next project, which is a ghost writing gig that should be fun.

On the Skinner front, I received the cover copy not too long ago. That’s the description that goes on the back of the book for those who were wondering. There were parts of it I loved and parts I wasn’t crazy about, but I couldn’t really think of anything that was any better. Since I believe you shouldn’t bitch unless you’ve got something better up your sleeve, I let it be. Then, the more I looked at it, a few things popped into my head and I eventually wrote out a second draft and sent it to my editor, Peter. What followed was a frantic day or two of me wondering why the hell Peter wasn’t getting back to me when he was probably just in meetings, working with someone else or just taking the day off. I, of course, responded by sending a few increasingly panicked emails and followed up with a phone call. See what waiting does to some people? In my own defense, I wanted to make sure I was in time to change stuff before it got set in stone or whatever other medium they use. Along with the cover art (which is un-freaking-believably great), the cover copy is what prompts lots of people to buy a book in the first place. It’s important and I wanted to make sure the (hopefully) better version made it on there. Finally, Peter shot me a quick email telling me to take a breath and there was no problem changing it.

Drama, huh? Well, on my end anyway. Normally, working on my own is fine. Sometimes, though, I get a little stir crazy and these things happen. I’m sure I’m not the only one and Peter’s eyeballs must know just how to roll when he gets the occasional string of frantic emails from me about stupid crap that takes all of three minutes to fix.

This leads me to another topic that’s been driving me crazy. Since the whole copy thing blew over without incident, I’ve fixed upon something else to worry about. When Skinner comes out, will it be any good? Will ANYONE read it? It goes on from there, but you get the gist. More typical crap from someone with too much time on his hands. See, this is why I likes me video games so much. I can’t obsess about this kind of garbage when I’m lining up head shots or trying desperately to beat the Rock Band guitar career on Expert (I’m stuck on the last set and doubt I’ll ever beat the Outlaws song.)

So that’s it for now. Just a big verbal treadmill. A whole lot of running, sweating and wheezing without moving an inch. Except for the copy, because that really was important. And then…all right. I’m done now. Breathe.

That’s better.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

To d or not to d

I was watching Underworld the other night. Am I the only one who keeps adding an unnecessary d into Kate Beckisale's name? I hear people say it correctly. I see there's no d after the s, but I STILL keep saying Kate Beckinsdale. Maybe I'm just getting distracted by those tight black outfits or choked up by that last "face in the clouds" scene from Van Helsing. Or maybe I'm just a freaking idiot.

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, 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.