During the 30 years I worked for newspapers, I twice had the opportunity to spend time inside one of the institutions reporters cover from the outside looking in.

In 2001, I took a year leave of absence from the Sacramento Bee and was allowed to be a fly on the wall inside the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office and wrote a book about it. It was a fascinating and rewarding experience.

The next time was in 2006, when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked me to be his chief speech writer. I knew if I took the job my newspaper career was probably over, but the opportunity was too interesting to pass up.

Sactown magazine asked me a few times to write about the experience and I resisted for a number of different reasons. But after enough time had passed, I finally took a stab at it and the link below will take you to my piece. It was fun to write in my own voice again and tell a story about some of the things I didn’t see when I was a reporter covering the Governor’s Office.