Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day before the end of time

Ok, so the Mayan calendar ends sometime in 2012 and that's supposed to mean the world finally comes to its grand finale. Every calendar in my house comes to an end TODAY!! So that means, in the immortal words of Apollo Creed, "There IS NO TOMORROW!!!!"

Heh. Couldn't resist that. Sorry. If the Mayans couldn't foresee the coming of the Spaniards, then I'll take their more far-reaching prophecies with a grain of salt. And for all of you Mayans out there reading this, no offense meant. I don't believe anyone else's prophecies either.

Like all the other holidays this year, New Year's sort of snuck up on me. I've never been a big party person, so this one never really registered for me anyway. At least I'm not alone. It seems there are two big groups where New Year's Rockin' Eve is concerned. There's the group that goes out to a bar, a fancy dinner or some other occasion that involves dressing up in something other than jeans and t-shirt so they can drink and have fun in a huge mass of like-minded revelers.

Then there's the other group (my group) who cranks it down several notches. In younger days when we had to explain it to people, we would say things like, "There are so many crazies out there. I'm just staying home and kickin' it low key." As you can tell, I haven't had to explain myself in such a manner since sometime in the late 80's or early nineties and even then it was with lame terminology. This group's "kickin'" Usually involves staying home, watching movies and eating snack foods all night long. There are copious amounts of pizza rolls, chips & dips, nachos and other appetizer-esque delights involved and usually a raised glass or two at midnight. For several years, I thought this was a brand of low-key lameness that my parents invented and I grew to appreciate. Then, as I ask around to friends and family, I've found lots of people share this same tradition. One big reason is, let's face it, that first group truly is a bunch of crazies. That's fine, though. Gives us some funny stuff to watch on live TV in between movies.

This year, Megan and I are watching Paranormal Activity. I said during my earlier review that this movie would be much scarier when seen at home. Tonight is Megan's first viewing, so it should be fun. For everyone in both groups, Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jessica owes me $2500

So this is weird. I was watching The Price is Right today and the first woman to get up to the stage played a game called "Half Off". I've never seen it before, but it involved picking the correct prices for smaller items to win some money. Imagine that, huh? Anyway, without describing the whole game, she made EVERY choice that I did when I was shouting out my answers to the screen. Come on, you all do that when watching Price is Right, don't you?

So she had to pick three different prices. I steered her wrong once, but she narrowed it down to four big prize boxes. One of them had $10,000 in it. I shouted, "Number 6! Pick Box Number 6!!" She did and the money was in there.

So, Jessica, since my powers with the Force guided you, I'm entitled to half, right? That's five grand. And since the name of the game was Half Off, that brings it down to $2,500. I'll be awaiting my payment. I also accept Burger King, Best Buy or Target gift certificates.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Xmas fun at Echo Base

When thinking about our decision to stay home this year instead of driving out to St. Louis for Christmas, I am reminded of the words of that knight from the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. "You chose...wisely."

After our rainy Wednesday, we got frozen, snowed on, dumped with more snow, frozen some more, more snow, frozen get it. Winter storm. The good thing is that I work at home and don't have to go anywhere for days if necessary. No digging out the car or risking my neck. None of that. The bad part is that I work from home and don't need to dig out my car. No reason to call in or take a snow day. Oh well. Skinners 4 is rolling along nicely and I'd rather keep it that way instead of put it on hold until a thaw.

Poor Abby still needs to trek outside to do her doggy thang. The snow was well over her head a while ago, so she must feel like a little white and black dot on big field of...white. That analogy started off better in my head.

Christmas was nice. We had a ham dinner and watched some very non-Christmassy movies. First up: Inglorious Basterds. Awesome Tarantino spectacle with a lot less Nahtzi killin' than I was expecting. Did the Brad Pitt accent come through there? I was thinking it was going to be a solid war-tacular violence fest along the lines of Kill Bill meets The Dirty Dozen. Not that that's a complaint. It was a great movie and when the violence did kick in, it was indeed glorious. I especially liked voice over work from Tarantino staples Samuel L Jackson and Harvey Keitel. Second on the film fest was District 9. This was one of the last summer movies that actually made me want to pay too much for a ticket to get into a crowded and noisy theater, pay way too much for popcorn and see it when it first came out. This has got to be one of the best science fiction movies in a long time. I liked the new Star Trek a lot and this is way up there as well. The effects were supposed to be done on the cheap, but they blended in so well that they didn't even look like effects! Most of you are probably in theaters more often than I am and already saw these, but there's my take.

Back to work. We've got plenty of leftovers to eat and movies to watch. Still haven't really scratched the surface with Dragon Age: Origins or a few other games so I've got those. There's also my pile of comics to catch up on. We rent, so people come around to shovel for us. LET IT SNOW!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


We canceled our Christmas trip to St. Louis due to all the nasty weather headed our way. It has started, but at the moment it's all rain and the temps are just above freezing. While that means it'll get really nasty once this wetness freezes over and a bunch of snow is dumped onto it, I spotted a window of opportunity.

Today is New Comics Day. The roads aren't too bad yet, so I headed out to pick up the fresh batch. I actually feel proud of myself for darting there and back in that stretch of wet calm before the freezing storm. Also picked up some milk and bread so it seemed like I was actually taking the risk for something worthwhile. Now, I've earned the right to laugh heartily at those who were too nervous to drive in the soon-to-be-frozen rain. Sure you may be warm, safe and dry, but do you have the new issue of Thor? Didn't think so.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gotta know when to fold 'em

Megan and I had plans to drive down to St. Louis again for Christmas, but just decided to pack it in. Weather reports are fluctuating as they tend to do, but it all points to some sort of snow / sleet / freezing rain combo that isn't fun to drive through. If we hadn't been there two weeks ago already, we'd probably risk it. Since there's still some St. Louisian dirt on my tires, though, we'll play it safe. Megan bought a ham and we'll have a quiet night in the Big O.

In other news, I've been watching weather reports on my NEW PHONE! If you heard Rod Roddy's voice and the old Price is Right music accompanying that announcement, you're my kind of TV geek! It's a Droid Eris and it's also the first time I've ever gotten a phone that wasn't the bare-bones piece of equipment needed to communicate with people too far away to scream at. It's got a touch screen, weather reports, planners, internet, a marketplace, and plenty of other crap that will take a whole lot of time for me to figure out. So far, I'm really impressed with the alarm and email notification because that's about all I've mastered. If I hadn't gotten an amazing coupon from Best Buy to get this for free, I wouldn't have bothered. But it was free, it's a cool gizmo and we weren't going to cancel our contract for another couple of years anyway.

Now, if only I could figure out how to touch this screen without accidentally calling my grandma, things would be great. That woman must think she's going insane after all the times her phone's rang once and stopped.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Speedy Delivery

I didn't even realize these were on the way! The UPS guy drops off a late delivery and this is what I find:

I think it's kind of funny how Twilight is mentioned on one of my covers, but such is today's market. Love the picture. Love the copy. Love this book. See ya on April 27th!!

Arkham 2

Watched the Spike TV Video Game Awards. Well, watched the trailers, a few of the awards and Jack Black, but fast-forwarded through the rest. What really caught my eye was the trailer for the next Batman game. It's by the same folks who did Arkham Asylum which is great. I'm purposely taking my time with that game so it lasts longer. It's that good. Here's a link for the site to the new trailer if you missed the awards or don't have patience for all those strobe lights:

The J Man doesn't look good. Could this be a video game version of the Last Laugh storyline? I like how Marvel re-told their Civil War in Ultimate Alliance 2, so that may not be such a bad thing. After the Arkham game, my hopes are high!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The long and winding (and slippery) road

Back from St. Louis! Star Wars in Concert was great, although VERY crowded. I was expecting as much, but it's been a long time since I've been around that many people at once. I'm more used to the comforting coziness of a Pelegrimas-level signing event as opposed to something people actually want to go to. BAZINGA!! The concert was held at a stadium normally reserved for hockey games and such and the crowds filled the place pretty well. Once we finally got to our seats, we enjoyed the show very much. Anthony Daniels truly seemed to have fun with it and the HD screens looked impressive even from the next-to-top row. If you get a chance and you're a Star Wars fan, check this out. There are no bad seats, the music is awesome and the whole presentation just rocked.

I kidded before about my signings, but the one in St. Louis before my birthday was great. Thanks again to everyone who stopped by. I need to get back to work on more Skinners, so this will probably be the last signing for a while. It was great to leave off on such a high note. Fear not, however. I'll be arranging more later but if you can't make it to one of those and you've got a book you'd like signed, drop me an email and I'm sure we can work something out.

The drive home from St. Louis was much better than I'd expected. There were some storms that took a big dump on the Midwest (How's that for imagery? Take THAT, Poetry!!) and I was worried we might hit some rough patches along the way. The roads were clear right until I got to my own street. About a day after we settled in, we got some more snow. Driving around running errands got me back into the winter mindset. One disturbing thing, however. While I was still tentative and unsure as to how far I could go without the danger of spinning out, I still made the trek across town to my comic book store to get the stuff I'd missed while away. I made it there and back without incident, but I never once thought about NOT going. Are those roads cleared off? Will I get stuck somewhere off the main streets? Should I park somewhere clear and walk to the comic book store? All of these questions drifted through my head without being weighed down by the obvious one. Should I wait a little while until the plows roll through again? Such is the bane of my addiction. Then again, some pretty cool stuff came out so it was worth it.

Back to work!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Brownies & Jedi

Last night was the signing in St. Louis. Thanks to everyone who showed up! There was an excellent turnout and even a few old friends that I haven't seen in a long time. Mainly, I was worried there was going to be a reading. The event was described as "Reading & Signing", but those usually just wind up being signings. That's fine with me, since readings often turn out to be me sitting in front of a bunch of chairs that are all empty except for Megan's. When I arrived, there was a bunch of chairs, but most of them filled up so the reading commenced. I'm not much of an orator, but I think I did pretty well. After that, most of the books stacked around me were sold and all was right with the world of that particular Borders.

This was very welcome, since it was the day before my birthday. That means TODAY is my birthday! I'm at an age where there are no real numerical landmarks left, apart from the ones that might freak me out for whatever reason. I'm not freaked out and the only landmark is that I needed to get a new driver's license. No biggie. Tomorrow, Megan, my mom and step-dad and I will go to see Star Wars in Concert. That should be awesome to hear the Star Wars theme performed by an orchestra with movie scenes playing on humongoid high def screens all over the place. I'm particularly looking forward to hearing "Duel of the Fates" (I think that's the name of it). It's the piece that was played during Obi-Wan's and Qui-Gon's duel with Darth Maul. Sa-weeeet!!!!

Time for cake. Actually, Mom made mint/chocolate brownies instead of a cake. How great is it to have a mom that pays attention? BROWNIES RULE!!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

In the field

I'm writing this post from my laptop. Exciting, huh? I was worried about being away from my little workspace bubble during this trip, but it seems to be working out pretty well. It's not the first time I've gotten work done this way, but usually I'm editing on the unfamiliar keyboard instead of writing. Seems that things are going pretty well. We'll wait and see if I hit any "What the hell was I thinking when I wrote THAT garbage?" moments when I look over the stuff I came up with. Then again, I'm sure I would have hit plenty of those moments anyway. Bazinga.

Megan's corporate Christmas party was fun. Since I don't get into the office world too often, it was strange to be around such peculiar things as work related inside jokes, professional references, and other people. Still, the food was great so why complain?

The signing at the St. Louis Borders is tomorrow. I'm hoping for a good turnout, but you can never tell with these things. Well, some writers can, but they're in a much higher tax bracket than me. If anyone reading this is in the area tomorrow (Dec. 8th) I hope you'll stop by.

It's back to work now. The one big plus with working on the laptop in St. Louis? Lunchtime at Jack in the Box. Fried mystery-meat tacos, here I come!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

And I'm off...again

We're getting everything together for another road trip. This one is just to St. Louis for the signing, some family stuff, my birthday, a Christmas party with Megan's corporate office, plus I'll be taking in the Star Wars concert where all the theme music is played by a full orchestra. That last one should be a lot of fun. Hopefully, the signing will turn out ok as well. The last time I did one in St. Louis, my very first western had come out and I was tacked on to a signing with two other people. When I arrived, there was no mention I was there and 1 copy of my book on the table. Yes. One copy. That actually served me much better future-expectation-wise than some freak accident where my first signing would have been great.

Despite all the fun stuff going on, I'll still be working my tail feathers off writing the fourth Skinners. There's a lot going on in this one, as there was with the third. I'd hate for the series to just become "who do we kill this time around?" sort of stuff. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of killing. I also want to keep panning out to show more of the Skinners world. Today I finally arrived on a name for a major group that will come in to play throughout the rest of the series. Even though I've had them in mind for some time (and hinted at them several times in all the other books) they never seemed completely "real" to me until I settled on a name. The only name I'm worried about right now, though, is Michelin. After my tire blew out outside of Kansas City last week, I'm skittish about running the new ones into the ground. In the immortal words of Han Solo to the Millennium Falcon, "Hear me, baby? Hold together."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A slice of my day

The new tattoo is healing nicely. Sometimes it feels like my skin is one size too small below my knee, but that's all a part of the fun.

Putting together the sneak peek scene of Skinners 4 that goes in the back of Skinners 3. Usually, it's a little preview along the lines of a Coming Attraction sort of thing. This time around, I'm considering it to be one of those cool little scenes you see if you stick around in the theater after the credits are done rolling in a movie. Short, but tasty. (Insert gross joke here)

Getting ready for another road trip to St. Louis for the signing next week. When that's done, you guessed it, ANOTHER road trip for Christmas. Ugh.

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.