Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Could've been worse

I finally got around to watching the Star Wars Spectacular panel from Comic Con. It was broadcast on G4 and moderated by Kevin and Olivia from Attack of the Show. I'm a big AotS fan, but I felt bad for the poor dudes trying to talk about their Star Wars projects while Olivia was flying around on a caffeine high. You had to see it, but she was playing with a wig and shoving it on top of a guy's head while he was attempting to talk about new content for The Force Unleashed. Normally, any man wouldn't mind having Olivia Munn that close to him, but she was a little overly-amped that day. Still, when I think about some of the other panels I've seen or been on, being molested by a hyperactive hottie isn't so bad.

Love you, Olivia. Next year, just rein it in a little.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

What a difference another draft makes

Just got finished with Draft 5 of Skinners 3. I think this bad boy is ready to be printed up and shipped out. Even though printed manuscripts are on their way out, there's something so very satisfying about seeing your work made into something as physically imposing as a four hundred- something stack of paper with your words on it.

Now the real editors get to have their way with it. Bring it on. This one's ready.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sequins are great, but....

For the last several weeks, there hasn't been much else to watch on TV besides Megan's dancing shows. I'm a cultured mofo, so I watch them too. Now there's FINALLY something else to watch! From the Brits, we've got new episodes of Doctor Who (which are few and far between, but still awesome) and the Torchwood miniseries. I've only watched the first episode of Torchwood, but I'm liking it! This weekend, there's another Who plus the premier of Being Human. All very promising. The Sci-Fi Channel (That's how I say it. Spelling Sy Fy just looks stupid) has new episodes of Eureka and Warehouse 13. I like Eureka. It's something different on the genre front. Warehouse 13 picked up a lot in the second episode so it felt more than an hour long version of the last shot in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

And then there's Hell's Kitchen. YES!!!!!!!!! My favorite reality show of all time has a summer season. Although I will admit this first episode feels more staged than usual. For example, you've got the dumb-ass diner cook who made biscuits n' gravy for his signature dish get kicked out during dinner service when his replacement is already in the other room for "a special surprise". Then you've got the gung-ho military dude who's either there specifically to fight with Ramsey and glare menacingly at the camera or as a cleverly placed advertisement for anti-psychotic meds. Of course there are the other must-haves like the cook who doesn't know how to turn the stove on, the cook who serves raw meat and (a new one) the cook who doesn't know the difference between a fridge and a freezer. I say this show felt staged, but I've been served by cooks from all of these categories in several different restaurants so perhaps they're 100% genuine. Either way, it's televised goodness.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Osfest Day 3

This one was short and sweet. It being Sunday, a good number of people had checked out, were in the process of checking out or recovering from late night room parties. I imagined an empty room at my single panel that day when Megan and I arrived to find a near-empty parking lot. Fortunately, there was a pretty full room for the "Worst Mistakes Made by Beginning Writers" panel. And that's good, because I brought a list. It was a great panel with some very interesting points. I even learned a few things, other than the fact that I'm guilty of making a lot of the same mistakes that were on my list. Having memorized the layout of the dealer's room and without anything else striking my fancy for that day, we left. Speaking of dealer's room, I did pick up a cool memento from my first "I'm a guest now" con. There's always someone selling swords and daggers at these things, but I've never found one that looks like it could be a Blood Blade. Well, my luck changed for the better. It's not exactly like the one on the cover, but it's the sort of thing I imagined when describing the weapon. Niiice.

It was a fun con and great one to get my feet wet as far as participating in panels and such. I won't be going to another one until Archon in St. Louis. For those of you that couldn't make it to Osfest, I hope to see you there!

Right now, it's back to work on Skinners #3. I'll wrap up the last big edit (before a real editor gets a hold of it) and send it in. After that, a whole new set of stressors will kick in. The writer's life for me.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Osfest Days 1 & 2

I'm in the midst of my first science fiction / fantasy convention as a writer. As with any con, my head is spinning and I have completely lost track of what day it is. You just sort of switch over to "con time" where the rest of the world goes about its regular schedule while you plan your days around other stuff. No longer do you gauge time and space by meals, work or TV shows. Instead, you're figuring out how to get to all the panels you want to see or judging when to eat based on when you're not watching out for cool costumes or trolling the dealer's room.

Day 1 was nerve-jangling. I started right off doing a panel at 3pm. As I figured, there weren't many people at that one because most of them have jobs and other "real world" concerns. Business picked up halfway through and it turned out to be pretty good. Right after that was my reading. My biggest fear here was that nobody would show up and I'd have to leave the room with my tail tucked between my legs. Well, people did show and it turned out to be a good time. After that, it was time to relax and just be a fan. There was a great group therapy session about life after MST3K that made for some good conversation.

Day 2 was me going to even more panels. Kevin J Anderson did a few that I attended, which were pretty cool. Turns out he's as confused by lots of the Star Wars prequel stuff as most anyone else. It's always refreshing to know it's NOT just you. The signing was held, but there wasn't a bookseller on hand. Didn't really effect the folks selling their own works, but didn't suit me too well. Good thing I brought those covers for Howling Legion. I signed a few of those and talked to some good folks. Hello Shira!!

Tomorrow is my last panel. I'll check in to let you know how it went. Right now, I want to kick my feet up and wait for my brains to stop rattling. Feeling very old and tired. Ugh.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Almost con time

Tomorrow is Osfest. This is actually my very first convention I'll be attending as a writer. Well, I've been to a few for my westerns, but was never on any panels or anything like that. Just showed up to shoot the breeze and sign some books. And it's not like I turned my nose up to any western panels. Nobody asked me to be on one! Anyway, I'm pumped and nervous at the same time. Since my last post on the subject, I've done a practice run for my reading and it should be relatively painless. I've got a nice scene picked out from Blood Blade, but if enough people show up who've already read that book, I thought I'd give them a little treat and read a previously unreleased scene from Howling Legion. Either way, it should be a good time. My reading is at 4pm on Friday, so I just hope enough people are off of work to pay me a visit. The other panels shouldn't be so stressful because there will be other people up at the front of the room with me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I just got finished doing an interview for the NightWatch Radio show. This one was a LOT of fun. I'll post a link for you to hear it when I can, but I hope the host did some editing. As with any other time when I get my gums flapping, I eventually made a few moronic statements. We talked at length about werewolf movies, cool vampires vs. "Harlequin vamps", creativity in media and folklore just to name a few subjects. When it finally came time for me to describe Blood Blade, I went on about Cole and the weapons before describing Paige. I love Paige. She's one of my favorite characters and actually reflects a lot of me. On Nightwatch, I said something to the effect of, "Then there's Paige. She's a woman." I don't remember how I tried to cover after that bit of dumb-assitude, but it was probably just as slick. Oh well. The rest of the interview was great and I really hope to be on NightWatch again.

UPDATE -- Here's the link to download the show. Go to "Archives" and then click to the radio station site.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Osfest schedule

This weekend is the Osfest convention. Here's a link to their web page. If any of you are in the Omaha area and would like to attend, I’ll be there with all the appropriate bells on. If you need any more temptation than that, Kevin J. Anderson will also be there. He’s written a plethora of truly great Star Wars books, plus the new Dune series and tons more than I don’t have space to list. Here’s what my official schedule at the con looks like:

Friday the 17th: 3pm – Publishing panel: Big Boys to Vanity
4pm – I’ll be doing a reading. This is the one I’m really nervous about. I don’t do a lot of readings, so I hope to do some Q & A or anything else to spare folks the ordeal of listening to my public reading voice.

Saturday the 18th: 4pm – 2 hour mass autograph session. I’m hoping to snag a few people who get bored while waiting to get their Star Wars and Dune books signed.

Sunday the 19th: 1pm – A panel called, “Worst Mistakes by Beginning Writers”.

That’s the panel and event schedule as far as my involvement is concerned. I plan on hanging around a lot so if you attend, feel free to say hello. I’ll be the guy with the glasses and black t-shirt. Wait a minute. I’ll also wear a name tag to narrow that field down a bit. Hope to see some of you there!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Rounding third

No, I'm not talking about THAT third base. I finished draft 3 of Skinners 3 earlier this morning and am taking a few days off. Feels like I was just talking about this in regards to draft 2, doesn't it? To YOU, maybe! It feels like I've been doing this draft for about 3.8 months. What separates this draft from the others is that Megan will read it. I've found that she's a great editor, but not so objective when I'm talking to her about one cool part I wrote or some other fight scene that worked really well or a twist that I hope will land. With me blabbing on like that, she can't really read it as a true reader. She already knows what's coming, so of course it all flows. When I keep my mouth shut, she can read it with fresh eyes. Of course, the drawback to that is I can't share my proud work moments with her as I'm writing them. Considering my caliber of writing, those moments are few and far between.It's kinda nice to talk about them to SOMEbody. But it all pays off when she reads it and genuinely enjoys doing so.

At least I hope she enjoys it. If my own wife tells me something sucks, that's a stinger. On the other hand, I want her to tell me if it sucks so I can fix it. She's responsible for some major changes in Blood Blade. Because of her, I removed the entire prologue and wrote a completely different one. It worked out a LOT better. She knows her stuff.

This weekend, I plan on digging into some comics, catching up on my other reading and getting into some Fallout 3. It's been too long since I've wandered the post-apocalyptic landscape, blowing mutants' heads off and listening to The Ink Spots.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I like the Dark...go figure.

So my comic book addiction is back in full swing. And just in time for Marvel's big summer event: Dark Reign. You name it, there's a Dark title. Dark Hawkeye, Dark Wolverine, Dark Darkhawk. Maybe that last one cancels itself out. I normally don't go for these big event crossovers because they're built to suck the money right out of geeks like me. The completionists. I read Dark Avengers because I'm an Avengers fan already. Holy MOLEY! It's superheroes actually using their powers without any checks or balances. Sure, Hawkeye is really Bullseye and Spider-Man is really Venom, but they are whipping ASS and they're being led by ex-Green Goblin Normon Osborne! You got someone causing trouble in a major way? Send in the fast / strong guy to rip their damn head off. Someone else giving you grief? Let Hawkeye shoot them through the eyeball. What makes this great is that they're working it into the proper Marvel Universe instead of it being one gigantic "What if?" thing. And I truly, sincerely hope it doesn't turn into a big "What if?" thing.

As of a few minutes ago, I finished reading Dark X-Men #1. Since my comic reawakening, I've been steering clear of the X titles simply because there's SO much going on that I've missed. I want to try to get into it, but X books are like Lays potato chips. You can't eat (read) just one. I made an exception for Dark X-Men and I'm glad I did. Normie is putting together a team to police mutants and he's using Namor to spearhead it. As soon as I read the part with Dark Beast, I was in love. Between all the kick-ass darkness and last week's Captain America Reborn, I am one happy Marvelite.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The 7th of July

So I'm a little late with my patriotic tidings, but happy 4th everyone! Mine wasn't too spectacular just because I was working. It was pretty much like any other weekend except with more explosions. Since our grill was confiscated by the porch police (one guy sets his mini fence on fire in our complex so we ALL have to start obeying fire safety laws), Megan cooked up some burgers. Actually, they were better than what I would have grilled since she cooks 'em with the cheese on the inside!! It's the little things that make life so grand. Also, we learned that the dog is a little skittish when it comes to fireworks. Watching the pup scramble at the sound of every bottle rocket in between editing Skinners 3 made for an interesting weekend. And, by "interesting", I mean "only slightly better than the 3rd of July".

No complaints, though. Draft 3 is almost done and then it's off to Draft 4. Should I come up with cooler names for those? How about "Draft ALPHA, BETA and OMEGA". That makes it sound like a military campaign or one of those Andy Sidaris movies. Yeah!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Thanks Epic Games!

It's been a little while since I've played Gears of War 2. When I jumped into some Horde mode over the weekend, I was treated to a title update. It also turns out that it was Double XP Weekend and since they added experience points to Horde, I was in luck. What WASN'T lucky was when all of my Achievement progress was wiped clean.

Now, my Achievements are still there, but progress on the ones I was still working on was set to zero. This includes the "Seriously 2.0" big one that awards you for getting 100,000 kills. Granted, I wasn't close to getting this one yet but I was several thousand into it and now I'm at about 25. I went to Epic's website and read that this was a bug that happens if you sign in during a load screen. I've never heard of this until it happened to me AFTER it was supposedly fixed.

Will I stop playing Gears in some sort of rage-induced boycott? Nah.

Was I about to get the Seriously Achievement anytime within the next few years? Probably not.

Will I ever see my cool running total of carnage for that game again? NO!!

So thank you Epic.That'll learn me for signing on during a load screen.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

AnOTHER American Werewolf??

It seems that gears are turning for a remake of American Werewolf in London. Now, as a fan of all things werewolf, I will freely admit that AWiL is right up there with The Wolf Man in the pantheon of movie monster legends. Later this year, a remake of Wolf Man will be coming and it looks like it has the potential to be pretty good. But messing with London?? I don't know. It's still early in the process and has plenty of time to fizzle out before they find a director or actors, but John Landis made a true classic with the first one and they'd better be damn sure before they start messing with it.

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.