The Thing from the Drive-in is Now Available!

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My third book is finally here! The Thing from the Drive-in is now available at the Kindle Store.

My life’s a giant monster movie.

And it’s all my fault.

Before I found the marble, I was just a typical twelve-year-old nerd. My only problems were beating my buddy’s arcade scores and hiding my secret crush. Now I’m trying to stop an atomic dinosaur from destroying the whole town.

Not exactly your typical Friday night.

You can purchase your Kindle copy using this link. PRE-ORDERS for the paperback version can be made using the link below. Save $3 and get FREE SHIPPING in the US!

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Transformers Haiku Returns! HEAD ON!

hm19Last summer, I wrote a haiku for each episode of the original Generation One Transformers series that aired in the United States. (Plus five based on the ’86 movie.) I had a great time with this little project. There were many episodes I had never seen, though I’ve owned the series for years. As a big Transformers guy, I needed to see them all.

After the release of my third book, I rewarded myself by picking up the complete Japanese Transformers collection on DVD. This set includes three Transformers shows that never aired on American shores: The Headmasters, Masterforce, and Victory. Never having watched a single episode, I’ve really been having fun with the first show, The Headmasters, and bringing back the haikus seemed like a no-brainer.

A few thoughts on The Headmasters 2/3 of the way in:

The quality of these DVDs isn’t as good as that of the G1 show. It looks like Shout Factory didn’t restore it in any way. Fuzz and scratches are apparent throughout, and the colors seem washed out and bland. The quality of the screenshots for the haikus has taken a hit, as a result. It’s certainly watchable, but hard to ignore.

hm01I’m happy that Titans Return was so heavily based on characters featured in The Headmasters. I’m more of an early G1 fan, and don’t have much interest in the often-weird(wolf) toys from 1987 and beyond. Watching this show has changed that for me, just as it must have done for Japanese kids in the late 1980s. Thankfully, I’ve got many of these characters in their inexpensive Titans Return forms. Hopefully, they’ll remake the Horrorcons and Autobot Targetmasters in Power of the Primes!

The American G1 show was tame, due to the standards imposed on kids’ TV at the time. The Headmasters is brutal in contrast. Characters die horribly – often. The Decepticons blow up entire planets. They straight up murder human-like aliens onscreen. One particular episode stands out. A civilian Transformer gets whipped (not beat up, WHIPPED), mind-controlled, and implanted with a bomb. He’s sent on a suicide run and one of the Autobots, who was the poor guy’s friend, has to kill him to save everyone else. It was really shocking to see this in a cartoon intended for kids! Maybe not as shocking as seeing Optimus Prime die (glad I never saw that as a kid), but still shocking.

The Headmasters has been a fun series to watch. There are some cheesy slapstick moments, and Daniel and Wheelie are still around, but the good outweighs the bad for the most part. I’m not as excited for Masterforce, as I’ve heard it’s not as good. But Victory will surely be better. Follow me on Twitter for a daily dose of Japanese G1 in haiku form, and see the whole collection here!

 

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

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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