|Photo courtesy of Wikipedia|
I grew up in an active neighborhood in Sunnyslope back when Phoenix had only one freeway. Our televisions had monitors about the size of my laptop screen. The channels were limited to 3,5,8,10 and 12. About the only time I watched TV was when Star Trek or Gilligan's Island was on. There was too much going on outside to be glued to the television. We climbed mountains, built go-karts from scratch, invented our own games, and rarely went inside our homes except to eat and sleep.
My love for war games inspired me to get newspaper delivery jobs at an early age so I could add to my collection of G.I. Joe's and hundreds of plastic army men, tanks, and canons. We often made rubber band guns with clothes pins to shoot at our armies and each other. Everyone in the neighborhood participated. Newcomers to the neighborhood started as privates and advanced all the way to five-star generals. I wish you could have seen our home-made forts. They were architectural wonders made from other people's scraps. Thanks, Mrs. Dugan, for allowing us a chance to build these monstrosities in your back yard.
When I was fifteen, I paid cash for my first car, a yellow 1971 VW Superbeetle my dad sold me so he could raise capital to start Mulligans, a bar in North Phoenix on Cave Creek Rd. My dad loved promoting. He had a passion for serving others. He opened the bar at 6:00AM every day and came home late. He converted the place from a biker bar to a fun hangout place. My two brothers and I worked at Mulligans on the weekends, scrubbing toilets and cleaning the place.
A new landlord came in with a dream to convert my dad's bar into six apartments. Dad went to court three times to fight unfair changes in the lease agreement and lost on the third civil action. His rent tripled. Throughout my high school years I watched my parents struggle to feed six kids on a diminishing income. Dad was a proud man. When my parents declared bankruptcy and divorced, dad moved away. We saw dad less and less over the next twenty-five years. It was a big step for him to come to my wedding. Later, he told me it was hard to look into his children's eyes because every time he did, it reminded him of his past.
When dad came home, it was the best thirty-five days of my life. I wrote a memoir about it, God's Black Sheep Squadron. His return home was life-changing for me. All my life I tried to be different from my dad. I pursued money and rose to the top of my profession. My motivation was to be rich so I could take care of my family. Dad was a dreamer. I was a realist. I believed work was something you did to make money, not to chase silly passions. When dad self-published, I thought it was a huge waste of money. I tried to talk him into selling real estate. He preferred writing.
Someday I will probably write another memoir about my experiences in the business world. It's been one heck of a roller coaster ride. I could also write a book about my amazing wife and my three children, however, they wish to keep their lives sheltered from public view and I do my best to protect their privacy. My five siblings each have powerful stories to tell should they ever desire to share. Like my family, their lives are off-limits at the bistro.
One morning nearly a thousand days ago, I woke up with this incredible urge to start blogging. There was this strange feeling deep inside me. The desire to write has probably always been there, however, I suppressed it and focused on building a big investment portfolio instead. That morning, I followed the urge and turned on my laptop to learn what blogging was all about. I typed "how to start a free blog" into the Google search bar and blogger was the top result. Five minutes later, I wrote my first message on Socalmulligan808. I can't turn back now. This is my passion. Every night, I get messages about all sorts of topics while I'm dreaming. I start each day at 5:00AM writing. I'm working on my second book, The Caveman in the Mirror, a novel about a couple of crazy people who discover the meaning of life. Warning: it's a Christian theme, however, not in your face, I want to vomit, Christian. It's just a story about two people who share an amazing experience.
You're in the kitchen with me today because I wanted to create a place where I can interact with you. I wanted a place to bring in my mentors so you can learn how to pursue your own passions. The Cyber-bistro is mainly for writers, but it's also for people who want to be around passionate people. My friends are those people. They are from all walks of life.
Besides this blog, Caveman Reflections Cyber-bistro, and my original blog, Socalmulligan808, I also created a third blog where people from all over the world can share their own story about overcoming challenges. Free Lemonade Stories will eventually become some type of free e-book for Cyber-bistro V.I.P.'s. You will be able to download it from right here at the Cyber-bistro. It's my way of saying thank you for visiting me. New stories will be posted at Lemonade stories about once a month and the top stories will become part of the e-book.
You are welcome to step into the kitchen any time. I promise to answer your emails and interact with you in video hangouts once this place has enough patrons to support group video "Happy Hours." Thanks for allowing me to give you a tour of the kitchen today. There's plenty more to see here, however, the kitchen is the best place to start. If the food isn't to your taste, there's no reason to tour the rest of this blog. And if you like it, I hope you will invite your friends to visit.
Another writing mentor will be here tomorrow for guest-post Friday. Byron Mettler is a published author who also teaches other writers about self-publishing options. He taught me how to format my first book for self-publishing. You won't want to miss this interview. Several more guest posters will be sharing in the coming weeks.
You may direct any comments, criticisms or suggestions to me, "Chef Spoons." And don't forget to stop by every Friday to interact with experts who will be guest posting here at the bistro. What are your thoughts?