A good day starts with “what if…?”

A story starts with an idea. An idea that usually comes in the form of a question:

“What if…?”

  • What if misfits here on Earth turned out to be beings from other planets, all trying to figure out how to fit in?
  • What if alien CEO’s were just as incompetent as many Earth bosses?
  • What if dogs really are from Mars?

These ideas gave shape to An Alien’s Guide to World Domination; the book release party we threw in Ellensburg last weekend gave shape to even more.

  • What if no one shows up?
  • What if everyone shows up?
  • What if we don’t have enough cookies?

Well, over one hundred people did show up for the party, and while we didn’t run out of cookies, all the other food was pretty much decimated. There’s some leftover bottled water and white grape juice in my refrigerator, and a small pile of tote bags that survived the give-away frenzy.

It was a good day.

Of those one-hundred-plus people, a sizeable number were friends and family. So many pitched in to make the event special: they brought food, organized tables, set up equipment for the live bands, made sure there were enough chairs, but not too many, so folks would dance and circulate. When the music kicked in, only about half an hour after our scheduled start time, everyone was ready to celebrate.

Especially me. My fella and his crew made sure all I really had to do that day was a) avoid losing my mind while waiting for the event to begin and then b) show up, greet people, and read. Here’s what else I got to do:

  • See my big brother and my fella and their band, the Panindias Brothers, play their best performance ever;
  • Dance while my friends in Avolition sang and played and (I think) kinda rolled their eyes but I didn’t care;
  • Embarrass my cousin’s grown son by making him dance with me;
  • Witness families reunite, friends reconnect, and strangers warm to a smile;
  • Tell a hundred people that the most important theme in this book is simply this: “But, you tried anyway.”

That’s what we do, isn’t it? We try anyway; knowing that most of life is filled with the completely absurd and nearly impossible, we try anyway, like the characters in this book do. Whatever our color, even if it’s the color of lime Jell-O ™ gone horribly wrong, we just try anyway.

And every once in a while, we swing for the bleachers in left field, and hit one out of the park.

Like the book party day. So remember: never stop asking.

“What if… ?”

Thank you to: Running Bear Productions, the Panindias Brothers, Avolition, Pat Dybvig, Sadie Thayer, the Board of the Kittitas County Historical Museum, Dan Pellegrini, Mark Fountain, Deanna Edinger, Jorge Rivera, Jay Naugel, Mike Nelson, Mike Hougardy, Dan Leavitt, Andy Cleman, Rob Fraser, Curtis Bull, Guillermo DeHollander, Rocky Hively, Robin Fischer, Bluebird Song, Running Cloud, Mr & Mrs Pellegrini, Nancy Jones, Lori & Sean Peterson, Jimmy & Sue Boyd, Dino, Kyle, & Karalyn Pellegrini & her Jimmy & Kara, the entire Rivera clan, the little girl with Converse high tops with rainbow shoelaces, Sandy & her dad Bob, Mike & Deb Andring & kids, Brian (Sporkalicious) Fischer, Mari & the Gangalanka Boys, Mitch Cook & the Dakota Café, Theresa & Tim, Mitch & Deb Perry, Bob & Molly Pieters, Mary & Tom Mara, Jeannette & Craig Simonton,  several people whose names I don’t know, everyone at Champagne Book Group; and, finally, to Charlie, the original Blind Mini-Schnauzer from Mars who inspired the “what if…?” that began this joy ride.

PS. If I left you out of the thank-you list, yell at me in a comment on this post and I’ll add you right in.

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