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Escaping Las Vegas

My wife and I came to Vegas with every intention of living the “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” lifestyle. Our intent was to put some of the sin back in Sin City. And so far, we’ve done a fairly decent job of it – and yes, there are some stories that won’t be told. However, I came here with many goals and I’m happy to say that I’m seeing almost all of them realized.

Vegas was more about having a good time, it’s also going to set the stage for a near future science fiction book I’m writing called Bounty. It’s the third and final book in my Wanted trilogy. Wanted and Ice Princess, incidentally, have probably been my most successful books to date (although my fantasy series, Voidhawk, is serious contender). I’ve been to Vegas before but I was looking for some inspiration on things to put in the book as well as some insight into nightclub life.

I’ve never been much for dancing. Two left feet and being tone deaf are only the beginnings of my problems. Add in the fact that I’m a large mammal and I get irritated quickly by people who do stupid things and you can see it’s not my scene. Or at least I always thought it wasn’t my scene, so I avoided it. Last night my wife and some friends we met in Vegas took me to a club and I got to find out firsthand that I was right.

Call me old or boring, but I don’t want to have to shout into somebody’s ear just so they can hear me. And the music that’s playing was fast and constantly being screwed with, on top of only sixty second snippets of the songs being “blended” together by the DJ. I’m not really giving the music part a thumb’s down, other than the fact that it’s just too damn loud. Even if I was foolish enough to dance the wall to wall people on the dance floor made it impossible without some stranger being way too close and likely to pick my pocket as easily as give me a communicable disease normally only transmittable via sexual contact. Yeah, it was that tight. And worse was some of the people on the floor. We counted (and later confirmed) two extremely nasty looking prostitutes that were trying to drum up some clients and another woman who my wife said looked like two pigs wrestling in a blanket. It was a vision that is burned into my memory and something I fear I just can’t purge out. Perhaps that’s why they recommend drinking heavily when going to such places – not so I can’t remember what I did but so I can’t remember what I saw!

But this was for research, and it was successful. I learned a lot and came up with some great ideas. We also stopped by another smaller club that was tasteful and had some exceptional entertainment going on. I have so many ideas I can’t wait for my characters to get to Vegas so I can have some fun with it! And that includes probably doing considerable damage to the fictional club I’ll be creating. I might also include the pigs-wrestling-in-a-blanket chick for ambiance.

We visited Fremont street last night too. Unbeknownst to us it was some bike weekend down there and the place was almost as packed as the night club would be later on. I came out of there feeling a little dirty, but I enjoyed it very much only because I had the experience and lived to tell the tale. The impression I came away with was that I had just been on the set of either Escape from New York or Escape from L.A. The only thing missing was Snake Pliskin!

So all in all, we’ve been having a great time out here. My wife even beat the odds and hit a decent jackpot on a slot machine yesterday. Believe it or not, she’s actually going to come out ahead on gambling this time around. We’ve also eaten at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill and I have to say the food was great. I’m not sure it was good enough to warrant the prices, but for a special occasion it was worth it. I will endorse a side dish they have there that consists of some sort of corn with a sauce. It’s incredible. I’m talking incredible like “I’m-having-a-no-strings-attached-affair-in-Vegas” incredible without the guilt. My wife and I shared a bowl of it, so I guess that makes it almost like a menage-a-troi…with corn. Okay, as weird as that just became trust me on it and give it a chance if you have the opportunity. You won’t regret it.

So between the days spent lounging at the pool, gambling, or just enjoying ourselves I’ve also managed to get some writing down on Bounty. Not a lot, unfortunately, but I’ve made it through one chapter so far and plan to keep on going. I read a book called Crystal Illusions, by J.E. Taylor, while lounging by the pool and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys mystery / crime thrillers with a little twist of the paranormal or supernatural.

All in all, a pretty successful vacation thus far! We’re headed to see a Cirque show tonight (Zumanity) and headed home tomorrow afternoon. I’ll be sure to ramble on about what that’s all about, as well as any more progress or dastardly plans I might have for Bounty! This just goes to prove how dangerous writers are – we’re like a mental pandemic, spreading things far and wide that should probably be confined to the borders of Vegas.

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

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