Vegas, Baby!

In case people have been wondering where I am, I thought I’d put together a quick update so no one would worry (probably not much danger…I don’t think my Mom reads my blog).

Currently, I am in Las Vegas. It is my wife’s profession which brought me here; she is a burlesque performer and this weekend is the annual Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend. I know, tough life, right? Not only am I in Vegas on ‘vacation’, but I’m surrounded by beautiful women all the time (it’s slow right now, but where I’m sitting in the cafe, I see no fewer than 5 drop dead gorgeous ladies. I think I’ll go to the pool next). Last night was opening night: “Movers, Shakers and Innovators”. It may have been the best night of burlesque I’ve ever seen with stunning costumes, fabulous props, show-stopping choreography and incredibly beautiful people (yes, ladies, there were a few boylesque acts, including a heroic fireman and a prancing unicorn).

The wife (Miss Rosie Bitts) and I during our last Vegas trip

While I’m on vacation, I remain working, but only on what I want, not that job I have to do to pay the bills. I’ve been writing a couple of hours each day as well as doing some promo and planning. I’m profiled today (June 1) over at Bunnys Review, will have an interview featured at Alan Dale’s Summer 150 Tour on June 5, and I’m also part of a virtual blog tour later in the month (watch this space for details). I’ll be sending the second Icarus Fell novel (“All Who Wander Are Lost”) off to the editor when I get home with the first two books in my “Khirro’s Journey” epic fantasy not far behind.

Enough about me; let’s talk burlesque for a minute, but not about the beauty of the performers and the form. One thing that strikes me most about every performer I’ve met is the absolute passion  they have for what they do. For many people, the idea of getting on stage in front of a group of people is terrifying by itself. Now add in performing and stripping and you can understand how much each of those performers has to love what they do to put themselves so completely out there. It’s not so different from writing.

As writers, we are also laying ourselves bare for strangers to view and judge, to enjoy or criticize. The reaction isn’t as immediate, but it can be more brutal. There is a certain anonymity that a reader has in comparison to the member of an audience. In the audience, amongst others appreciative of what they are watching and the effort that went into it, a critic is probably less likely to voice their opinion. A reader, however, is hidden behind the mask of their computer when they post a review or send an email; this kind of criticism can feel like a victimless crime.  Between that and the early morning writing sessions, long days and months of creating with little or no outside encouragement, and the sheer terror of releasing a novel into the world for everyone to see it, warts and all, it is only our passion that keeps us going.

Hold it close and know that it makes you special. It makes you beautiful.

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