Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Time for a Little Jury Duty?

Yesterday was a very productive writing day. The weather helped me along. When thunderstorms move in and lightning gets uncomfortably close, I shut down my computer and go downstairs.

Those chapters I'm reworking from first person to third person were printed out and waiting on the kitchen table. I picked up the stack, grabbed a red pen, and went to work. Success. I stayed up a little later than usual last night to enter my changes on the first chapter into the Word document so I could easily meet my critique group submission deadline today.

Today is also the first day I'll call in to see if my jury summons will require me to report in person tomorrow. In the past, I've been released without a jury assignment many times. I served once in another state, years ago, for one day.

It's not that I'm feeling neglected, but it seems like I get passed over a lot. I'm just sayin'...

Waiting in a room with the jury pool could provide a serious block of time to work on my manuscript revisions. Forced time away from the Internet could increase my productivity. There will be opportunities to people-watch. Taking notes on the jury selection process and language could be useful for a future novel.

Assignment to a trial would change everything. There would be no spare time for people-watching or note-taking. But I would get a free pass on posting to my blog, tweeting, status updates, e-mail, grocery shopping, and fixing meals. Right?

So will I need to report in person? I'll let you know tomorrow.

17 comments:

Sylvia Dickey Smith said...

I've only been called to jury duty once in my life where I actually showed up and sat there through jury selection. I was not selected. However, I heard later that the guy was convicted within 15 minutes for beating his wife. I'd love to serve on a jury, but I'm never wanted either!


Sylvia Dickey Smith

A War of Her Own

Margot Kinberg said...

Patricia - I'm very glad that you got so much writing and reworking done. Aren't productive days the best?! I've often thought that jury duty would be such a terrific context to get writing ideas. One sees all sorts of different people, one gets that "courtroom aura," and so on. I have to admit, although I've been called for jury duty more than once, I've never been seated on a jury. I'll be interested to know if you get named to one.

Simon Hay Soul Healer said...

Jury duty is not something that people here talk about. How do we pick our juries? This is baffling. I hope you have time to write.

Clarissa Draper said...

I was asked once to be in a jury but I was out of the country so let me out of it. Other than that, never. I hope you get to use the time productively and we'll see you when you get back.

CD

The Old Silly said...

Hoo-boy. Well as my Daddy used to say, "Better you than me!" lol. I've done jury duty before. And it's just that ... a DUTY, payless, disruptive to your life, nearly thankless, but ... a civic and democratic duty nevertheless... somebody's gotta do it to keep fair trial alive, hmm?

Stephen Tremp said...

Bummer. Jury duty can be a seious time burner. Hope you are able to get out of it.

Stephen Tremp

Karen Walker said...

I've never been selected either, Patricia. Not sure I'd want to be. It's a huge responsibility, but I guess someone's got to do it. Glad you had a productive day.
karen

Ann Best said...

Jen got called once! The one time that she voted. We were in Salt Lake City at the time. Of course I had to fill out the forms to get her out of it. But I've never been called. I couldn't do it either, with Jen to take care of. But jury duty for you--a "free pass" not to have to do these other duties! One can be more productive AWAY FROM the computer. I barely looked at mine yesterday, and like you I got a lot done on revisions. Today is going to be even better, and I hope it's a productive day for you too!!
Ann

Patricia Stoltey said...

Good morning, everyone. I see we have mixed emotions about jury duty. It's a system we Americans wouldn't want to give up, but all of us kinda hope we don't get picked, especially for one of those cases where we'll hear unpleasant testimony or see awful photos.

The way I look at it, I escaped serving all those years I was working and had young kids, so I was spared most of the serious inconvenience. Officially, I'm retired. I'm young enough to have all my faculties, am pretty healthy, and serving on a jury would not be a hardship , even for the three days I would not be paid.

Not that it matters. If they want us, they got us.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Well, you certainly have a positive attitude toward the whole thing!

Hart Johnson said...

I've never been called. My husband has 4 times (though I think the 3rd was because he deferred the 2nd). Random is such a funny thing... I'm pretty sure if they called me, I'd never be selected. I am terribly sympathetic to criminals having their reasons, and terribly biased against business... blasted liberal... the other side would toss me.

Glad you've had great productivity!

Carol Kilgore said...

Out of the four or five times I've been called for jury duty, I've only served once. It was in criminal court for sexual assault of a child. Guilty. Hands down.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Just got jury duty notice last week too! Got excused! Hope you do too so you can keep on writing.

Eric W. Trant said...

Good point that the experience could provide a ton of writing fodder. That's mighty optimistic of you!

- Eric

Jemi Fraser said...

Sounds like the story is zooming right along! :)

Good luck on the jury duty :)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

It must be exciting to be called for Jury service, I recall my husband was on a jury when the children were small.

Lookforward to the outcome of whether you sit on the jury or not.
Yvonne.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I received a summons a few months ago, but didn’t have to appear. I haven’t ever served on an actual jury. I have a feeling that if it ever happens, it will be at the most inopportune time.