Sugar Milk Tastes Good to Me

What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.

If the old adage is true, no wonder author Ron Mattocks doubles as Superman on his popular blog, Clark Kent’s Lunchbox. Because after losing a wife to a divorce, his sons to a custody battle, and his high-paying job to the economy, Mattocks has somehow become stronger than ever. He chronicles his amazing story of change in Sugar Milk–What One Father Drinks When He Can’t Afford Vodka.

Three things become evident about Mattocks within the first few pages.

Number one: In a world filled with phonies, Ron Mattocks is the real deal. He hides behind nothing as he details insecure feelings of fatherly failure which overtook him while he watched his family ship sink thanks to his painful divorce.

Number two: Ron’s writing is next level, powerful enough to actually bring his readers aboard that ship with him, leaving them lost and forlorn as they go down alongside the captain, himself.

Number three: Ron is uncommonly funny and the possessor of a razor-sharp wit–able to seamlessly blend humility and humor, as evidenced by his sinking ship metaphor, which he turns on a dime:

I didn’t view myself as a ship captain, but rather, something closer to a shift manager at a Long John Silvers.

Each of the next fifteen chapters tells a tale–the end result, a beautiful collage which was destined to rise from the wreckage, every picture painted by the author’s evolving perspective. Mattocks’s versatility is on full display, both as a writer, and as a man, as he transforms from newly divorced dad, to dot-com dater, to single-mom suitor, to stepdad, and finally, to stay at home dad. Readers will devour every word as they go on this wild ride with him, pausing only to laugh.

But between the laughs, Mattocks will also make his readers think by deftly turning hysterical accounts of mundane fatherly experiences into something else entirely. On the one hand, the chapter “This Isn’t Kindergarten Anymore,” is about his older stepdaughter preparing her younger sister for kindergarten, while simultaneously developing an aversion to the comparatively difficult first grade. But on the other, it’s about transitions in general, Mattocks’s own in specific.

The reality of first grade had hardened in her mind like concrete: the whimsy of last year was now paved over by new challenges that replaced those golden papers asking happy questions about her day. It was her sister’s turn for all that now. But that’s how the cycle works–we take what we know to the next level, leaving behind past memories as we go on to face those yet to be lived. I could have said something to that effect, But Allie didn’t need any reminders that she wasn’t in kindergarten anymore.

At that instant we drove by the office building of the company that had laid me off six months ago. I knew how she felt.

Me personally? I’m glad Ron lost his corporate job. Because this hilarious collection of well written stories define him far better than any six figure job ever could. Sugar Milk can be purchased on Amazon, as well as in select bookstores across the country. It comes with my highest recommendation.

Oh, and if you’re on the fence for the upcoming M3 Summit in Atlanta, perhaps this will sway you. Ron will be on a panel alongside other authors / bloggers, and will be sharing his experiences on topics ranging from social media to fatherhood.

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