Road Grime (and a Wedding)

So yeah! I got married this past weekend. Lots of regular readers that I wish could have attended, but we only had so much room. I think the “guilty” parties know who they are. We had a great wedding, though! Awesome turnout, good friends, and a nice break. I found out that I love my new wife’s family (which is a damned good thing), and I gained even more of an appreciation for travel. I’m not a big photo guy, so this is the only one you’re getting:

Anyway, yeah. Vegas. I wrote about it in the first incarnation of Corridors of the Dead, and while it would have served its purpose well enough, having now seen the place, I’m glad I waited to write my Vegas story. It would have been wasted as a back drop. The place belongs as a character in its own right, much as The Hangover uses the place as a supporting character. For lack of a better word, there’s just too much…character to the place to push it into the background. One of the larger elements that came across to me was the obsession with roles that I saw everyone taking up. Even those people that were clearly in town for the first time had no problem slipping into their expected roles. You know the ones, the “high roller”, the “frat boy looking to get blasted”, the “slut”, the “clueless tourist”, etc. etc.

I’m not sure that calling them stereotypes would be doing them justice, as the people filling those roles did at least bring some personal flair (and in some cases a whole lot of skin) to those roles, but they’re at the very least archetypes of the Vegas experience. I don’t even talk about these roles in some sort of judgmental way, as we all play various roles during our lives, or hell, even during a day. The reason I discuss it here is because I’m fascinated by the proximity to one location and the legends associated with that location. Put that way, doesn’t it sound similar to themes that I’ve explored in my own writing, given a modern context?

Once I got past the “get off my damn lawn” feeling of the whole thing, I sat back and watched and found it utterly fascinating. Isn’t that what we writers do, after all? Sit back and observe those around us, so that we better know humanity and can more accurately reproduce it? Well, I was in full-on observation mode during those times that I wasn’t sucking down too many Guinness Bombs and hard cider. Now, obviously, all characters come from this sort of observation, but in this case, I also came up with a story idea. Or at least the germ of one, one which I will continue to evolve as time goes on. In the meantime, I can start to use some of these archetypes and the shifting roles that people employ in new ways in my writing. I hope to talk about archetypes in the near future, hopefully sometime this week, but my schedule is going to be a little crazy for the next few weeks…stay tuned.

Oh, and a reminder – The Station is still available! Expect a sample very soon.

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  1. Congratulations to you and your new wife! That picture is lovely–you look really happy!

    Vegas is a trip, right? I actually kinda hate it in reality, but love it as a story backdrop, and as a story character. I’ve been super hung up on Los Angeles stories recently, though.

    • Jonathan D Allen

      Thanks Grace! Vegas is…uhm… an “experience”. I’m intrigued, what’s prompting the LA stories thing? I’ve never been to LA, but keep meaning to head out there. One day…

    • Having lived just about two hours from Las Vegas for a large portion of my life, I have to agree, Grace. I remember the two rules of Las Vegas:

      1- The only thing that’s illegal is getting caught.
      2- Don’t wake up in Las Vegas (at least depending on what you did the night before. It can be a pretty bleak place in the early hours of the morning).

      I have friends who live down there, but they are about a half hour east of the Strip, and most of the times I’ve been down in the past years I haven’t even gone down there.

      But yes, Jonathan, it makes for great setting. If you recall, I have David wake up there in The Imaginings. And how appropriate that Randall Flagg set up shop there in The Stand.

      Paul D. Dail A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog

  2. Congratulations, Jonathan. Very happy for you both. Thanks for sharing that one picture! I’m glad to see that you survived the traveling.
    Enjoy that new life together, you two!


  3. Congratulations! So pleased for the both of you. Just make sure marriage doesn’t get in the way of your writing 😉 only kidding. May you both have long days and pleasant nights.

  4. Love the photo of you two!!! The dress is beautiful, and I really think it’s groovy you went for a green tie. Congratulations!

    My sister lived in Vegas for a couple of years. She loved it there. She’s a desert girl at heart and an extrovert, so Vegas was just about her perfect place. I spent one weekend there, and can see how both you and she could become enthralled with the locale.

    Have fun writing that story idea – and I’ll look forward to reading it.

    • Jonathan D Allen

      Thanks 🙂 I have to admit, Mary had her doubts about the green tie/vest combo, but once she saw them together, she loved it. Hey, writers are artists, right? Needed a little flair.

      Wow, I can’t even imagine living in Vegas. I know that the parts outside of the Strip betray that weird illusion that they project, but it would seem so surreal to see that sort of thing on a daily basis. Could never live there, but I enjoy visiting.

  5. If you write the story, you can write off your trip to Vegas! Tax break on your wedding! Woot!

    Seriously, congratulations and I’m glad you had such a great time.

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