Yes, I’m alive. I have not been writing here for three reasons. The last in the list is that I’ve been sick for a few days, and sleeping in.
The next reason is that when I wasn’t sick and sleeping in, I’ve been working on book #3. The first draft of the first third is done, and I’ve been going over that on paper while I’ve been pushing around the outline of the next third. It’s going well, and that’s all I’ll say at this point. Once I am over this bug, I will get back on my schedule of waking up at 6:30, taking a shower, and then writing until 9:30. It works well, except that it would be a lot easier if I didn’t go to work and kept writing past 9:30.
And I went to Vegas. I actually was in Henderson, at Sunset Station, for Sarah’s family reunion. We did get to the strip once, to shop at Caesars. (Oddly enough, we saw Pete Rose there, signing autographs.) But the base of operations was just out of town, and that worked out fine. We spent a lot of time with a lot of family, watched the superbowl, gambled a bit, ate a lot, and had a good time. Sunset Station is also in this strip mall suburbia, with a big mall and a bunch of big-box stores scattered everywhere. I forgot to bring my full-spectrum light, and found that when I didn’t use it and spent all day in a casino, I crashed horribly. So I spent an hour or two each morning walking through parking lots and in laps around the casino, getting lots of sun and a little exercise.
Another thing we did that was fun was go to the Valley of Fire. It’s a huge park about 50 miles from Vegas, and a lot of it looks like the surface of Mars. There are red sandstone formations everywhere, and a lot of desert scrub land. I got a lot of neat pictures there, and we also saw them shooting a commercial for the new Porsche; when we were entering, six of the new cars came out, in formation. Also, when we left, we stopped at this truck stop that was also a fireworks warehouse and sold cheap cigs and other trucker necessities. It was hilarious to read all of the manly and jingoistic names on the giant explosives, like “RED WHITE AND BLUE GLORY” or “THE DEADLY PUMA” or “SHAKE AND BAKE” or whatever. (Okay, not the last one.)
Oh, and on the drive back, I saw a B-2 stealth bomber for the first time. It was heading toward Nellis and totally looked like a UFO.
(Pictures of everything [but not the bomber] are here. No captions – I have no time.)
BTW, John Sheppard’s book Small Town Punk has been released and is out. I got my copy while I was gone, and I’m re-reading it. The new version has been edited a ton, and is missing the old ending, but still, go check it out.