Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dustin' off the Elder Scrolls

I've been getting back into Oblivion lately. I started in on this one when it came out, played for about 20 hours or so and never touched the main quest. I also found I was having trouble leveling up, but that's because I started out with the wrong character class. Well, I made the momentous decision to start over from scratch with a custom class and now I'm hooked once more. On paper, it seems like I'm not getting anywhere in that game, but I somehow spend entire nights playing it. Now that I've got the right kind of character that suits my style, I'm leveling up faster and getting even more addicted. When the hell am I supposed to get any work done, Bethesda?? HUH???

Friday, May 30, 2008

My wife is a saint

Just when I've settled down a bit and have come to grips with the fact that SKINNER won't be out until November, I get all worked up again. I just can't wait to see that sucker on the shelves. Right now, I'm also pumped about working on the second book, and putting together a few new projects. I've been writing professionally under pseudonyms and such for about 10 years now, so I'm not new to the process. Even so, I STILL get worked up when I send something out and wait to hear what happens. All of this, combined with things like the imminent arrival of The Dark Knight, Ninja Gaiden 2 for the XBox, the finale of Battlestar Galactica and me rarely leaving the house all adds up to a very trying time for my wife.

She also works at home, so she gets to hear every bit of my excited jabbering and paranoid doom saying where my writing is concerned. Also, she gets to listen to me ramble on about all the other dorky crap I get excited about. She even pretends to look interested when I come stomping down the stairs to inform her about the newest screenshots for some game or trailer for some other movie. When most people would tell me to please get the hell away from them, she nods and smiles. Sometimes, she joins in. I guess I'm still surprised that she puts up with me. Maybe she thinks this sort of stuff is cute.

Nahh...she's a saint, not brain damaged.

Monday, May 26, 2008


My wife is out of town over Memorial Day weekend, leaving me to my own devices for a few days. Should I hit a few strip bars? Maybe take on a road trip? Nothing so exciting for me. I couldn't go with her because I need to work on editing a ghostwriting project while also putting stuff together for a new series proposal. Of course, I'm sprinkling a healthy dose of gaming in between work stuff.

I've recently re-discovered Call of Duty 4. I got it when it first came out, played through some of the single player campaign and was blown away by it. I played some multiplayer, but was blown away pretty quickly there too. . .by snipers who had me scoped out the second I took more than two steps in any direction. Well, stuff happens and I got distracted and it fell to the wayside. I finally got back into it and now I can't stop. I'm not that great at it, but it's still fun to watch my many deaths on the Kill Cam. So far, my favorite is when I get caught in an air strike. Seeing that bomb drop with my name on it is always good for a laugh.

Also, Dr. Mario FINALLY came out on Wii Ware. Puzzle games are especially addictive for me and I've been waiting for this one since I first signed on to the the Wii Shopping channel. Say what you want about the Wii or casual gaming in general, but seeing my Mii doing stuff from dropping pills on dancing viruses to driving a go Kart against Luigi and some bubble dude is just cool. Ok, so maybe "cool" isn't the word I'm looking for, but it's fun. Seeing my little virtual guy perform a trampoline routine in Mario Olympics still cracks my wife up. I'm tellin' thrills. That's the key to happiness.

On the work front, I just sent off a proposal and sample pages to my agent for a new series. There's plenty of uncertainty in writing as a career, but sending new stuff off is exciting. It could snag me a million dollar contract. It could turn into nothing. Maybe it'll be a modest sale or maybe it'll set me up for life. Maybe it's an idea that I'll look back at and cringe in a year or two. I think it's a solid idea and the pages turned out really well, but that's only a part of the process. There's also timing, catching the right editor in the right mood as well as a little dumb luck. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Then again, maybe I should uncross them. I'd probably die a lot less in Call of Duty that way.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Aliens. Why'd it have to be aliens??

Just got back from Indiana Jones and....well....yeah.
If anyone's reading this that's worried about spoilers, don't go on. I'd warn you about your worst fears for this movie coming true, but I won't say my opinion carries over to everyone.

The science fiction stuff became pretty obvious pretty quickly. I've been purposely avoiding reading anything about it online, but it wouldn't have stopped me from going anyway. Maybe one of those 1-second time portals where I can look in on myself and say, "Just don't." And "Sit up straight in that chair." would have helped.

There were some really good moments. Some very cool nods to the other movies, Harrison Ford wasn't too old to play the part and Shia wasn't bad. There were even some moments that felt like an Indiana Jones movie. know.

Why, Steven Spielberg? Why Area 51, interdimensional beings and all this other crap when there's countless other legends and mythological sources to draw from? Have Indy go after something with the Greek gods or something from Incan legend or African folklore or God only knows how many other sources of cool monsters/powerful artifacts/temples there are.

I'm willing to cut Indy plenty of slack in the reality/believability department, but the nuclear blast thing? That's pushing it. Even after that, fine. I'll go along with some good chases, but I found myself sitting in the theater mumbling, "Please don't let those alien things come to life. Please don't...damn." Then it was, "Please don't let that be a ship. Please don't let that be a SHIT!!"

I really wanted to like this movie. I REALLY did. I had faith...just like I had faith in Star Wars Episode 1. At least this time they didn't cut the best character in half at the end of the movie.

Trust me

Indiana hero.
He's cool, but has his moments of fumbling stupidity.
He knows his stuff, but still needs a heaping portion of dumb luck.
He can whip stuff.
He can carry a pistol with him wherever he goes.
He's THE MAN!!
I'm going to see Crystal Skull in an hour or so and it looks really good. The previews look great and Harrison Ford looks like he can still don the fedora convincingly. The pictures of the actual crystal skull look like an alien skull, and Spielberg is at the helm, so there's the possibility of some sort of science fiction angle. I could be wrong. If I'm not, maybe it can be pulled off. I'll find out real soon.
Please, don't let this suck. Please don't let this suck. Please, PLEASE don't let this suck!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Online aggravation

And if someone says I've just got a "bad case of the Mondays", I will tear off their face and feed it to them. It's just one of those days where anything vaguely connected to the internet is giving me grief. Computer connection is slow. Console connections are slow. Downloads aren't happening. You name it. To make it worse, my wife is online in the same house and she's doing just fine.

Yeah. It's just me. Thank you, internet gods. Thank you so bloody much!

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Grand Scheme

I'm gearing up to start in on SKINNERS #2 and it's gotten me thinking about series writing in general. I've written a couple other series in other genres and I've always had a pretty good idea of where the whole thing was headed. You need to have some sort of plan to sell the thing, anyway, so that's no surprise. However, the whole writing process should be very fluid and little things should be allowed to change the course of larger events. I used to know someone who despised water analogies, but the whole "ripple in a pond" seems to fit here. Sorry about that.

The thing that I'm wondering is if it's good or bad to have a whole timeline, story arc, flow chart and plot points drawn onto a diagram of some sort or if it's better to fly by the seat of your pants and go where the story takes you. The author needs to be in control of the world they created, but I've had plenty of things evolve into something that turns out to be a lot better than what I'd originally thought up. As with anything, it's probably a middle ground somewhere, but I'm leaning more toward the fluid process as opposed to multiple outlines and all that mess. Isn't that what creativity is? If a series could just be diagrammed, then a computer could be programmed to write it.

I believe it all boils down to the characters that are created. They're the ones that need to be thought out and strictly recorded as they go along. If characters are good enough, a writer can let them go and record what happens. That's my approach to a lot of it. By the time I get to know a character, I know they would never do what I had originally planned for them and forcing them to do it wouldn't seem right. Of course, this approach makes it a little scary going into a new project. Those outlines and diagrams are very comforting. Then again, a big recliner is comforting, but skydiving is a hell of a lot more fun than sitting and enjoying all the padding framed around your ass.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Iron Man, etc.

Went and saw Iron Man this weekend. Actually, I went to see it twice. It was that good. In fact, it was one of those movies that got me all pumped and excited for spectacular summer films in general. Before the movie, there were previews for Hulk, Batman, Indiana Jones. . .whew. That's a whole lot for one geek to ingest. Somehow I managed, but the seats were a little sticky when I left. Heh.

Iron Man kicked ass and the whole thing was just spot-on from start to finish. All the little geek details were in place. There was humor without it becoming goofy. There was action that wasn't too concerned with realism, but they still somehow made Iron Man feel real. Well, real enough anyway. There's not a lot to say other than that (there is, but I don't want to get all worked up into a nerd froth). Having read The Ultimates (the updated Avengers for those who don't know), seeing the little bit after the credits was beyond cool.

Indiana Jones has been one of my heroes since I was 10 years old and this new one actually looks great. We'll wait and see, but I heard that Harrison Ford threatened to walk off the set if they followed through on their idea of CGing the whip. There is hope. The new Hulk trailer looks like a lot of smashing and roaring, which I obviously condone. Then there was the Dark Knight trailer. I've always been a fan of the Joker, but never felt any movie did the psycho any justice. This looks like someone finally gets the fact that Joker is a scary, murdering SOB and not just a snappy dresser. This movie looks unbelievable. The only Batman villain I like better than Joker is Two Face and I hear he's showing up in this as well. YOWZA!!!

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.