As I explained to him, government ethics rules prohibit civil servants from earning a second income stream from the job we’re paid to do by the tax-payer — which takes these topics off the table: space, communications, or public service.
Then it hit me what I could write about — human nature.
That’s broad enough not to sic NASA’s ethics lawyers on me, don’t you think? After all, I started learning these lessons way back in high school when I locked horns with our band director. (Yes, that’s me with the whistle in my mouth out front. I still have those white boots and purple baton! I may even have the whistle….)
My book concept: short and not so sweet.
Here’s the deal. I’m envisioning a tiny board book, the kind you can buy at the counter in Barnes and Noble. I’m serious. Really. Think the itsy-est bitsy-est book you’ll ever imagine – the CliffsNotes version of my life experiences both inside and outside my career in the federal government (back off lawyers.)
Would you pay for my Top Ten Rules on how to stay in constant trouble?
Name your price. $5.00? $10.00…if I throw in Rule #11? Anyone? Ok. Fine. I’ll share them with you here. No purchase necessary.
Let’s be honest: I doubt you would choose to pay for trouble-in-book-form, no matter how small the book or price at the check-out counter.
Feel free, though, to correct my assumptions. I’m happy to take your money. (‘Kidding, ethics lawyers! KIDDing.)
So, what to do about the title? Since my grandmother always told me I’d be the first female President of the United States, I’m thinking about a book title that goes something like this:
Why I’ll NEVER be Elected President of the United States.
Or, if that doesn’t work for you, how ’bout this:
How to Win a few Friends and Make MANY Enemies.
Now that you’re on pins and needles, here ya’ go. My rules for a life worth living:
- Make a decision.
- Don’t waver from the decision (from principle, not stubborness).
- Take a stand.
- Stand tall, head high (eyes open and ever ready to duck flying objects).
- Pick a side.
- Stay on that side (but, not the slippery, slimy side. Please!)
- Speak out against injustice.
- Keep voice steady and clear (even in deafening silence).
- Stick up for the little guy.
- Give him hope for tomorrow. (Please don’t rob him of tomorrow. I didn’t say ‘stick up’ the little guy.)
Yep, that about says it all. Unless I come up with Rule #11. I’ll let you know if I do. (Ok, Mike, are you happy now? There. I’ve written my book. I’ll let you judge whether it’s real or significant enough.)
And, sorry Grandma. I don’t see national-scale politics in my future. I’ve barely survived office politics through the years.
My hat’s off to you, fictional Mr. Smith. They made a movie about you. I don’t think my little book will garner the same attention — except from the few friends I win and many enemies I rile up.
But just in case someone rushes in with a movie deal, do you think I can request Angelina Jolie to play the part of me? (No resemblance, I assure you. But what the heck? I’m the creator. Don’t I have a say?)