MOONLIGHTING can be immensely lucrative. So much so that one entrepreneurial plumber decided the topic deserved a book to itself, and then went ahead and wrote it. Roger Woodson - plumber, landlord, photographer, direct marketer, business consultant and now author - has produced a handy compendium of ideas in Modern Moonlighting: How to Earn Thousands Extra Without Leaving Your Day Job (Contemporary Books, US$14.95). 'Moonlighting has changed,' he writes in the introduction. 'There was a time when working a second job made a person look or feel inadequate as a provider. This is no longer the case. Today's modern moonlighters are turning their time off into hefty bank accounts, new careers and new businesses.' Naturally, for wage slaves who return home with all energy beaten out of them, this might not be the most useful purchase. But for those who hold cushy, slow-moving jobs (or no jobs at all, given the much-discussed unfolding of the SAR economy), the book might set off potentially profitable brain waves. Hong Kong probably is as good a place as any to moonlight - although the word's etymology might not exactly fit here, since there is rarely a moon to be seen in these foggy, polluted skies. Never mind. The opportunities are plenty, and if this book is to be believed, all it takes is the will, a modicum of organisation and a good idea. Anyone can do it, Mr Woodson writes in his cheery, friendly manner. You don't have to be a rocket scientist, or even a college graduate. Figure out what you naturally like to do. Are you a doctor by day who likes to paint? Are you hysterically funny and someone who should consider becoming a stand-up comic? Are you good with computers? The point is, you can package and sell absolutely anything under the sun - a concept Interwood Marketing has embraced to the extreme. Moonlighters are most likely to work from home, which has its advantages - such as stopping to watch TV, walk the dog, look after kids. It also has its disadvantages. These include stopping to watch TV, walk the dog or look after kids when you should be working. Mr Woodson has some ideas that would work well in the labour-starved West but not so well here, where thousands of hands are ready, willing and able to do the washing, take care of the kids, deliver the groceries and drive the car. Some of his other ideas might work quite well in this entrepreneurial city, however. Try painting classes, leading your own bird-watching tour, hiring out a darkroom, teaching writing skills, loaning out your horse for riding lessons - if you have a horse, of course. The classic notion of buy low and sell high is high on Mr Woodson's list. Unfortunately, the antique market is pretty much cornered here, unless you have time to truck into Shenzhen warehouses and ship carefully aged closets to unsuspecting culture vultures overseas for 10 times the cost. And not many can grow vegetables for sale in this mostly gardenless city; that market, too, is cornered by little ladies in fringed hats who live in the New Territories. But Mr Woodson's point is clear. Be a little bit creative, and you can transform basic skills into money-spinners on your own time. You might even like it enough to leave that day job and start a new business. And that, as everyone knows, is something at which Hong Kong excels.