I didn’t set out to be a writer.

My folks were part of The Greatest Generation. We lived in Detroit, where Dad owned an advertising agency and Mom was a housewife. Despite the occasional “duck and cover” nuclear bomb drill in school, my brother and I led a pretty typical 1950’s “Ozzie and Harriet” life.

In college, I majored in anti-war protests, rock music, and drug experimentation. It was the Sixties. After that, I married, went to law school, and headed for golden California–San Francisco to be exact–and the promise of boutique wineries, hot tubs, and personal freedom.

Out west, my son Christopher was born, and I joined the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. As the years stretched on, I got divorced, opened my own law firm, and began thinking there might be more to life than the courtroom and the office.

In my spare time, I taught middle school and lectured at Cal State University. Drawn to politics, I became president of San Francisco’s City Democratic Club. On the physical side of things, I earned a black belt, opened a martial arts academy, and promoted self-defense seminars.

My beautiful new bride Cheri and I then started exploring warmer climates. With Jimmy Buffett lyrics floating through our heads, we traveled to the Gulf Coast, Hawaii, Key West, New Orleans, the Caribbean Islands, Belize, and different parts of Mexico. We fell in love with the tropics.

Eventually, in a fit of middle-aged madness, we moved four thousand miles to Playa del Carmen, Mexico.  We bought a run-down hostel near the Caribbean Sea and transformed it into a popular hotel. We also built a little open-air bar that served our own version of the world’s best margarita. For ten years, we inhabited the wonderfully strange expat world of beaches, booze, and bikinis. However, nothing lasts forever.

A big whompin’ heart attack put an end to our hectic days as hotel and bar owners. It was almost my end, as well, but a great doctor and a lot of luck pulled me through. After a few successful heart operations, I was ready for the next great adventure.

We sold the hotel and returned to Northern California, bringing with us our collection of Mexican rescue pets–four dogs and six cats. Yes, we live in a zoo. We settled the whole pack just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

It didn’t take long to figure out what to do next. I wanted to tell stories of the places and people I had seen and loved. Before long, I was scribbling a few notes here and there. Soon, a whole book emerged. I call it Driftwood: Tales from the Margarita Road. That’s just the beginning. There are more stories being written and more books to come.

I guess I’m a writer now.