New Summer Project: Transformers Haiku!

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Last summer, I decided to watch the entire Original Series of Star Trek, one episode each day. On a whim, to keep my creative juices flowing, I decided to also take a screenshot for each ep, then write a haiku on it. I enjoyed the process so much, I continued on through the Animated Series as well.

This summer, I decided to continue the haiku project, but with a different franchise, one near and dear to my heart: The Transformers! I’m posting a new Transformers haiku each day here and @marcallie on Twitter. So far, I’m through my favorite portion, Season 1, and just beginning Season 2. Right now I’m planning to end after Season 2, and take it up from Season 3 next summer… but we’ll see.

I’ve done a bit of housekeeping here on the site to make it easier to find the haikus. There is a Geek Haiku tab at the top of the page, and from there you can select which you’d like to view. I’ve enjoyed watching these classic episodes from my childhood again, and hopefully you’ll enjoy experiencing them in haiku form, too!

The Tupacast Returns!

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Last week, I had the chance to sit down and chat with my podcasting buddies, Christopher Tupa and Kevin Zerbe! It had been way, way, WAY too long. Have a listen as we talk about a plentitude of topics. From the Tupacast site:

The gang finally gets back together after 6 months! We had a great time getting caught up with each other while discussing TV shows, Star Wars Rogue One, new web comics, art presentations, portraits, music and so much more! Join us on this episode of Tupacast!

Listen to Tupacast 18

Running Expedition to the Barrier Peaks

The Learning DM

Screen shot 2010-12-07 at 7.07.45 PMAfter a significant break last year, I’m back in the swing of Dungeons & Dragons again. I’m playing on an online campaign through Roll20.net, and DMing two different tabletop campaigns. One group is running Curse of Strahd. In the other, we just finished Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. I’ve wanted to run this module for years now, and finally I did! Here are some things I learned from the experience.

You Can’t Run It All

First of all, there’s just plain too much content in the crashed spaceship to get through in a reasonable time frame. Our group meets roughly once a month, for 3-4 hours each session. I knew I wanted to get through the adventure in three sessions, so I really had to prioritize things.

I read through the module, highlighting cool scenes and encounters as I went. I decided that the vegepygmies, police robots, both medical androids…

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The Thing from the Drive-in – Coming This Summer!

Marc_layout_2My latest book is nearing completion! The Thing from the Drive-in is almost finished. I’m aiming for a release on Kindle in late June or early July, with print versions available a few weeks later. Excited doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about releasing this, my third book.

This book has been a challenge. My first two books were both memoirs, and so I already “knew what was going to happen”, if you will. The Thing from the Drive-in has been totally different. Beyond coming up with interesting characters, a compelling storyline, and vivid descriptions, I’ve also had to do a considerable amount of research! After all, it wouldn’t do if my tale of a giant radioactive dinosaur stepping out of a drive-in theater screen was unrealistic in any way…

Christopher Tupa, artist extraordinaire and my podcasting buddy, has absolutely knocked it out of the park for this cover! He had a wonderful cover completed, and then got inspired to change up the color scheme. I already loved the cover, but the new look is stunning, don’t you agree?

I’ll be sure to post here when The Thing from the Drive-in is published. If you want to be the first to know, just click on the “Contact” tab above, and sign up for my mailing list.

Listen to Periphery, Narrated!

Post-place-holderI am a big fan of the Twilight Zone television series. I’m not sure when I first watched the show, but I have an early memory of reading a book with several short stories based on episodes of the show. I watched them off and on for years, and when I got a DVR I filled it up with episodes. I even used certain episodes in my social studies lessons when I taught fifth grade. I just love the show!

I’ve been a longtime listener to The Twilight Zone podcast, hosted by Tom Eliot. Last summer, Tom announced a contest, where a listener-submitted story would be narrated for the 100th episode. The contest is what inspired me to write “Periphery”. It was my attempt at writing a Twilight Zone episode of my own.

I’m happy to announce that “Periphery” is one of two stories that was selected for narration! Tom does an amazing job of narration, and hearing his wonderful voice tell my story was a fantastic experience. You can check out this episode at the link  below, and I’d encourage you to check out the rest of the episodes if you are a fan of the show.

Episode 100: Listener Stories

New Short Story Available on Kindle!

peripheryI know, I know… where’s the NaNoWriMo book, Marc? Well, I was making really great progress with the second revisions. Then I reached a spot where I had sort of written myself into a corner. It was a boring part to write, and I am certain it would have been boring to read, too. So, I decided to make a significant change to the middle third of the story. That meant a major rewrite of about 8,000 words or so. I was kinda bummed by this and it got very, very easy to put it off.

However, I just finished reading Stephen King’s “On Writing”, and one suggestion he has for getting stuck is to stop and work on something totally different. The Thing from the Drive-in is a funny, fast paced sci-fi adventure. What sort of writing would be  a good palette cleanser?

How about a tense, eerie story about a man who keeps seeing bugs in his peripheral vision?

“Periphery” was an absolute joy to write. I had to flex a totally different set of muscles, for sure. It’s just under 5,000 words, and is available for 99 cents on Amazon for Kindle and most reading devices. Check it out and let me know what you think!

2017: Not a Resolution, More a Plan

reportcardLast week, I posted a sort of 2016 report card for myself. You probably want to read that post first if you haven’t already. There were several takeaways from my navel gazing.

  • I want to play more board games
  • I want to read more books
  • I want to watch fewer movies
  • I want to reduce or eliminate time wasters (social media, silly mobile games)

That’s all well and good, but there is a big difference between wanting something to happen, and making it happen. If I want the first three items on that list to happen, I have to be vigilant about the last item on the list. I need to replace time wasted on Facebook with time spend reading. I need to leave the mobile games alone, and play a board game instead. The idea is to eliminate bad stuff, and replace it with good stuff.

unnamed-1We’ll see how I do. I’m looking at apps that limit my time on my tablet, as that is where 90% of my wasted time goes. I’m trying both BreakFree and Moment, though I will likely only stick with one in the long term. Ideally I need a way to control only certain apps, as I do most all of my reading on my tablet. I suppose I could just buy a Kindle for reading, though that seems like a waste…

I have other goals for myself this year that are not directly related to the items above. Here they are.

Publish my third book

Last November, I wrote 22,000 or so words on my latest story. That takes it to 26,000 total. I want to get that up over 30,000 before I publish. Right now, I’m in the middle of my first serious round of revision, rewriting, and fleshing things out. I have a set deadline for this, as I am appearing at the SBU Library Comic Con again this year, and it is the first weekend in March. Working back from there, that means the print version needs to be done and ordered by mid-February, and the Kindle version even earlier than that, say, the first week of February. That’s a tough deadline, but doable. The third book will be a significant milestone for me in 2017.

geekonfleek_009Write two Geek on Fleek scripts each week

I announced before that I’m partnering with my friend Brandon Pennington (who did the awesome cover art on my first two books) on a webcomic. We’ve now got a website, which you can check out at geekonfleekcomix.com if you like. I write the scripts, he does the art and layout. We mainly focus on geek culture, because that’s who we are, naturally. We started in December, and so far are keeping to our two strips a week release goal. My part is easy, really, compared to Brandon’s, but it can be hard to sit down and think of something funny. Mainly the ideas come when I am doing something else. Anyhow, I want to make sure I keep on top of this for all of 2017, making sure I have plenty of scripts in the queue for my artist buddy.

product_detail_3162030205001_4623757311001_automanFinally get started on a podcast of my own

Being involved with the Tupacast has been one of the highlights of the past couple years for me. I love talking about things with Chris and Kevin, and we always have such a fun time recording. We’ve even got some fans, which is nice. The only bad thing about the Tupacast is that it’s difficult to get all three of us together. I hope we can be better this year than we were last, but there’s certainly nothing stopping me from doing a podcast of my own.

So, I’m calling it now. This summer, when I have my six weeks off school, I will record and release the first three episodes of the Automan podcast. Yes, Automan, the cheesy Tron ripoff from 1983. Trust me, it’s awesome, and you will love hearing me talk about it. Probably.

There will be other projects, naturally. I’d like to paint more in 2017, as I have a huge backlog of unpainted miniatures. I also want to continue the Star Trek Haiku project in some way. But the big three goals are finishing book #3, writing Geek on Fleek, and getting the Automan podcast started. Hopefully I will be more productive in 2017 than I was in 2016!