Cloudbanking, and Vegas, where hotel light shows count as culture

PlaneFlying

Oh, glorious vacation, how lovely you were! Went to Vegas with family and hit some other dots in the western states. It’d been awhile since I traveled, and it was just wonderful to see something new. And of course, to be up in the air above the clouds. I always try to get the window seat on a flight, just for the pleasure of looking down at the landscapes below. I have strangely evocative memories of waking up the middle of an overnight flight to Iceland to darkness and quiet and peeking out the airplane window below to see miles and miles and miles of dark Arctic tundra. So haunting and beautiful, and one of those moments where your soul kind of just races inside you with thrill and awe. And I love that sensation of racing over a map and seeing it come to life.

This time around, it was seeing the southwestern areas of the U.S., the cracked earth and mountains and canyons and mesas. They were strange and beautiful, as well.

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Vegas itself was a blur of restaurants, casinos, taking naps by the pool. It was HOT, and surreal, like someone took all the “cosmopolitan-ness” of the world and dropped in the middle of the desert. It was strange to see the names of “hot” bars from L.A. and NYC in Las Vegas, walking up and down the Strip at night. I didn’t win any money, but it was still a good time, though I felt I blew my wad of “going out energy” for the next three months. You can see a tiny bit of it here, as well as most of the nightly light show in front of the Bellagio hotel, which I guess counts as a cultural attraction. (We did go see a Vegas show. We were not into the idea of seeing a magician, or a psychic, or Celine Dion, so we went to see Jabbawockeez instead and it was actually pretty entertaining. Hip hop break dancers > Celine Dion, any day.)

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Lately I’ve been trying to put some distance between myself and the book, in attempts to make my eyes fresh towards it again. So I’ve been working on other things, some short stories and other stuff*, blogging more a bit, and of course, reading lots. Nothing like reading 5,000+ pages of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire to put some distance in there, right? I think things were getting a little insular there for a moment, just writing, writing, writing one big, demanding story. I’m hoping to get some breathing room around it, and then go back with a new perspective. It feels like writing a big, big story is like working up and down a spiral: you keep circling back to it, sometimes deeper, sometimes higher, in the same dark hole but never quite in the same place.

(Am loving GRRM’s stuff, btw. I had read A Game of Thrones way back in the late 90s and really liked it, but hadn’t kept up with it because of, you know, life. It’s so good! I’m dying to talk about it, so I may just have to be a complete nerd and find a good forum or something. I’m sure there is no lack of one out there.)

View from hotel room

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* By other things, I mean bits and pieces of a new novel!

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