It has been a fast and furious and wonderful few weeks to end the old year and begin the new. My partner, Herman, and I were treated to a week in Las Vegas by two dear friends who own a timeshare condo just a half block off the Strip, very close to the MGM.
None of us gamble but we had a splendid time eating at the myriad of fine restaurants, shopping in the casino malls, and people watching. And because the sun made an appearance every day, we also managed to get in several sets of tennis in the sub-fifty-degree weather.
It amazes me how fast Vegas is growing, not only on the Strip but also in the outlying areas. Those beautiful deserts and mountains are being populated with track homes and malls. And on the Strip, across the street from Bellaggio, they are building a massive new complex, The City Center, that boasts of five skyscrapers. I counted twenty five cranes rising above the construction site. One condo high-rise, The Oriental, won’t be completed for another year but the million-dollar-plus condos are 97% sold already! With the housing market whooshing down the toilet, at least someone has some money to spend….
THE BEST PART came after I returned home on January second. Waiting in my inbox was an email from my publisher, Zumaya Publications, telling me that they want to publish my second novel, Changi, a gay, interracial, men-in-uniform story that takes place in a Japanese POW camp during WWII.
What a fabulous way to start the new year. The story took me three years from concept to acceptance letter, and I was beginning to think it would never be read by more than a handful of close friends. Zumaya has not given me a publication date as yet (in fact we haven’t even signed the contracts), but I know they are booked through most of 2009, so I’m hoping for a late ’09 or early ’10 release. That sounds like ten lifetimes away, but one thing I’ve learned is that nothing moves fast in the book publishing world. Patience is as essential as talent in this business.
My first novel, Island Song, a gay interracial romance that takes place on the big island of Hawaii, was accepted for publication in late ’04, and after Zumaya pushed out the release date twice (6 months each time), it is scheduled to hit the shelves this July. All my fingers and toes are crossed....
Anyway, to sum it all up, my old year went out with a colorful bang and the new year is looking more promising than I’d dared hoped for. I feel like some of those gamblers I saw at the crap tables in Vegas, riding a winning streak and wondering how long it can last.
I sincerely hope that you, that everyone, are having as wonderful a new year as mine. And if so, I’d love to hear your good news.