Today is Launch Day. My next collection of stories set in my current hometown of Carmel, Indiana is available. It contains five more episodes chronicling the lives of characters like Mayor Teddy Wiggins, Officer Lupinsky, and the boys from Lakewood Estates.

There will be one more collection of these stories and then a full-length novel set in Carmel with many of the characters you’ve come to know in the past year or so. Thus far, I haven’t been run out of town, but I did have someone leave a bag of poop on the fire hydrant outside my house. I’m not sure if that was a review or a warning. My wife thinks it was just a random coincidence, but she doesn’t have the vivid paranoid imagination that I do.

I’m thinking of celebrating Launch Day with either ice cream or booze. Maybe both. It depends on how well the launch goes. Hemingway used to drink all night and then write in the morning. That’s why I’m not as good as Hemingway. If I drank all night, I would sleep through the next morning and into the afternoon. I’ve been to writer’s workshops, and they never have classes on how to drink and write. They’re always on things like setting, dialog, and point of view. I feel this is a huge oversite, but when I bring it up to the conference organizers, they ask me not to sign up for next year’s event. Maybe I should organize my own conference…

But back to today. Launch Day is like giving birth, but with much less blood and paperwork. Just like a child, you’re sending this new creation out into the world and you’re hoping it does you proud and doesn’t get you sued.

On the other hand, it can take way more than 9 months to create (or just a few weeks) and there are no breathing exercises or gender reveal parties. So, maybe it’s not like giving birth. How would I know anyway, right? I’m a guy.

So, let’s say it’s more like a handmade Mother’s Day gift. I’m like a kid who finger-painted a couple of squirrels on a Slip N’ Slide wearing sombreros and you’re the proud mother who has to pat me on the head and say, “Wow, those really do look like squirrels” and then figure out how long before you can take it off the refrigerator.

Or maybe this is the piece of literature that will change your life, inspire you to go out and make a difference in the world, and have statues in your honor after you die? It could happen! Well, maybe not. More likely this is a pile of literature that makes you forget the misery of the news cycle for a little while and you share with your friends who need a laugh. I’ll settle for that.

Carry on, Citizens!

PS: If you do read it and decide it’s a fine pile of literature, please leave a review on Amazon. And if you include the phrase “Wow, those really do look like squirrels!” in the review, it would absolutely make my day.