Even before I retired 3.5 years ago co-workers, colleagues, former colleagues, but no one in my family, urged me to write a book. Like my late father, I have a deep bucket of war stories, “life” experiences, bad puns and assorted bullshit that I like to dip into–often to the chagrin of whomever is unlucky enough to be within earshot.
Some people think my stories are entertaining. Others accuse me of taking great license with the truth and there’s an element of skeptics who just can’t believe some of my wilder tales are based in fact. All of those individuals have been correct at one time or another.
Well…I never really fully retired. Since walking through the spinning turnstiles at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on July 29, 2016 I’ve held one actual part-time job where I was on staff. That lasted almost two years and now I’m juggling three freelance gigs. Even so, I have plenty of time to write a book.
But what the hell should it be about? Some have urged me to recount my 20 years at CNN based on anecdotes I’ve bored people with over the year. More than a few people have told me they’re entertaining, but I always shoot that idea down countering “most reporters have great war stories.”
Of course, I’ve had a long career in journalism and PR leading others to suggest I broaden the scope of my recollections. But honestly, I’m not exactly famous so who would buy such a book? I don’t wanna be that pathetic author sitting alone at a table in Barnes and Noble for a book signing where the only people who come up to me ask to be directed to the shelf containing guides to Pokemon Go! I’m not a snob. I’d autograph the book.
Oh, I could try fiction, which would be a new challenge. Although some rankled subjects of my news stories might contend I have deep experience in that genre. I am intrigued with delving into the untrue and attempted to outline a modern thriller set in the auto industry titled “Recall Revenge.” But I gave up when it became apparent the killer was just a bad ignition switch.
I despise self-help books that dictate “THE ONLY WAY YOU SHOULD DO SOMETHING.” But I don’t mind tomes that offer solid suggestions. That’s a possibility, but what do I know that would be helpful to someone? Well, maybe “101 Hints For Spiking the Office Coffee Pot.” I’ve already considered, and discarded reaching out to a Millennial audience with “You’re Right. You Don’t Have Enough Bandwidth.”
I’m still very open to the idea of writing a book but need to really buckle down, choose a direction and stay with it. If you have any ideas, just let me know. Right now I’m leaning on a semi-autobiographical recounting of my struggles resisting free food samples at Costco. Working title: “Grab, Go, Die.” Think it would sell? Your my focus group. Thanks in advance.
This is a photo of what I saw when I looked up from the book I was reading in the library today. That book was the latest silliness from Carl Hiaasen that opens with a woman who gets in a car accident because while she was driving she was shaving her, uh, girl area. Knowing Hiassen I’m convinced the book will evolve into something even more, um, entertaining, but looking at what was in front of me I felt a bit ashamed. A careful look at the selections of books on CD, and instead of enjoying my guilty pleasure, I could have chosen to learn to speak Hindi, French or Turkish or hear a reading of the life and times of Coco Chanel or step by step instructions to debug my laptop or whittle a likeness of Grover Cleveland. All worthy choices, but I’ll stick with Hiassen’s “Razor Girl,” because, well, honestly, I think more than enough people already know how to speak Hindi.