I, the Jury

How ironic is this?

In my quest for more writing time and my diligence in putting that time to good use, I've been chosen for jury duty.

In fact, if you're reading this on Monday morning, May 4, I'm not really here. I'm sitting in a courtroom with dozens of other people, all of us hoping for a rejection. Again, ironic for a writer or what?

If I'm chosen for a panel, do you think they'll pick me? I wouldn't want me for a juror if I were on trial. Can I tell them that?

Besides, I've served on a jury before. In a criminal case. It was interesting, but once was enough. I'm a quick learner. Been there. Done that. And they didn't even give us a t-shirt.

But what if no matter what I try to make them disinclined to select me, they choose me anyway? And the judge decides to sequester us for days? Weeks?! Without wine - yikes!

Even worse . . . what if it's some b-o-r-i-n-g trial all about numbers or legal tenets? And I fall asleep. And snore. Can I ask for CliffsNotes? By email? And vote from home?

Maybe I can blog from the courtroom? Should I ask? Probably not.

At least I can take my Kindle and get in a little extra reading time, unless I'm chosen for a panel right away.

With any luck, I'll be back here before you have time to miss me. But if I'm absent for a few days, you'll know why.

I'll be around to visit as soon as possible.



In other news . . . you may have noticed the big WIN button is missing from the top of the right sidebar. That's because my website contest is going on hiatus for a while. I'm not certain when it will be back - probably sometime after the first of the year.

If you have a book you'd like to give away, email me at tikihuttimeATgmailDOTcom and we'll talk about timing.



See you back here on Monday, May 18 - unless I'm Jury Jane :)




Comments

Liza said…
I have been on two juries. One was a murder trial, which was stressful, and sad, and something I still think of many years later. That said, use the time for observation...enforced research if you will. Think of all the neat stuff you'll be able to gain for your next book.
Jury duty sucks. Tell them you are a crime fiction writer and this will be a great way to get fodder for your next book. I'm sure they will dismiss you!
Melissa said…
Blog from the courtroom. LOL We writers would try, wouldn't we? xD

Good luck. Or maybe I should wish you bad luck...
Bish Denham said…
I've been called on many time but because of a chronic illness, I've never been selected for a jury.

A part of me is curious about being on one, another part of me knows it's a duty I should be honored to take part in, still another part is always relieved when I'm excused. :)
Jan Christensen said…
Yep,just when everrything is falling into place, the stars are in alighment, and our schedules are actually working, something comes along to knock it cockeyed. You can tell the idea of being on a jury, especially for a long trial, would not be my cut of tea because stress makes me sprout ciches. Since you've already been on a criminal jury, I'd feel the same way you do. Not again!! Hope to see you back here safe and sound. Oops, another cliche. But I mean it.
Delores said…
You did such a good job last time they want you back......just let on you are prejudiced about everything you can think of.
I've been on a jury once, and it was so much more boring than TV portrays it. Then again, when you spend a whole week having 20 people recount the same 5 minutes over and over, I don't think even the most vivid storyteller could make that interesting. Good luck getting the boot from the hot seat!
Robin said…
Yikes. This always seems so spectacular in the movies. The reality: boring. Mostly. Or stressful. Either way... I hope they eject you posthaste.
Robin said…
Yikes. This always seems so spectacular in the movies. The reality: boring. Mostly. Or stressful. Either way... I hope they eject you posthaste.
Gail said…
"Kill them all" might be a good response for the jury questions.

Can you take a note book and write while working? Pretend you're taking notes on the case...You could catch up on the trial during deliberation.
Carol Kilgore said…
I'm free! Will be around to chat later. Need to write for a bit.
I suspect asking if you can blog from the courtroom would ensure your exclusion.
I don't agree with myself often enough to have any chance of agreeing with eleven other people. Good luck.
Lynda R Young said…
Yep, that sounds about right. Jury Duty always seems to come up at the most inconvenient times. Hopefully they don't pick you.
Carol Kilgore said…
Liza - I'm thankful I wasn't picked for this one. It was Aggrevated Assault. The jury I was previously on was Sexual Assault of a Child. I know exactly what you mean.

Alex - I'm a total fodder gatherer :)

Melissa - I had the right kind of luck :)

Bish - Yeah, all that. You could stay in the courtroom each day for the trial and hear everything the jury hears, for the most part. But the insides of the jury room are where the work happens.

Jan - I got rejected!

Delores - I'm happy to say I'm here and not there :)

Beer - YES! It makes me crazy. They were doing it today in voir dire (or however that's spelled).

Robin - They got rid of me in the third round. I was totally happy about that :)

Gail - The woman next to me pulled out a notebook and they made her put it away. LOL about the response. I may have been tossed in the first round if I'd said that.

dolorah said…
Everyone should do their jury duty :) Hope its an easily decided case.
VR Barkowski said…
In California, they drag jury duty out for an entire week until you're selected, excused, or your week is up. In Georgia, at least in my county, they require you go in for only one day. If you don't end up on a jury, you're free and clear. Yay for Georgia!

VR Barkowski
Helena said…
I never thought I'd say this to a writer, but I hope you get rejected, Carol. Then with the threat of jury duty behind you, we can continue reading your fun blog and books.

BTW, I finished Secrets of Honor and really enjoyed it. I'm also very impressed with the research you must have done. And if I get my act together I'll write a review for Amazon very soon.
Carol Kilgore said…
EC - I'm thankful they gave me the boot. Even so, thoughts about the case still pop in my head today from time to time.

Lynda - I haven't been as productive yesterday and today as I have been. I'm hoping to be back in the groove tomorrow - I have a novel to finish!

dolorah - I agree. This would not have been an easy case. During the selection process, both attorneys indicated the jury would hear conflicting testimonies. So I think it would be he said/she said and using evidence and people reading skills and common sense to figure out what really happened. I'm happy not to be a part of that this time around.

VR - I've only ever been called for jury duty in Texas, although once was for a Federal court. All have been for one day - unless, of course, you're selected for a jury. I've heard of those week-long things.

Helena - Best rejection I've ever received! I'm glad you liked Secrets of Honor. I always do lots of research, although it's almost impossible to find out some things without having a good contact. All reviews gratefully accepted.
Are you free free or just for the day?
DMS said…
Glad to hear they gave you the boot! Sounds like you have your writing time back- which is fabulous! :) Happy writing!
~Jess
Medeia Sharif said…
I was selected twice. I remember a lot of waiting and sitting. I always brought something to read.
Jemi Fraser said…
I'm glad you escaped! Hope you're getting in lots of writing time now :)
Carol Kilgore said…
Southpaw - I am free free! It feels awesome!

DMS - It is. I've been writing away :)

Medeia - I took my Kindle and got in some reading time before they called us and some more on a break.

Jemi - It felt like I'd escaped when I walked out the door :)
Lexa Cain said…
I got called for jury duty once (in Queens, NYC), but they didn't even call me in to answer questions. They had enough people or too few cases, so after a week of sitting around waiting, I just got sent home. I hope you get sent home too. :)
Romance Reader said…
Hope you're getting in lots of writing time now. All the best!
Carol Kilgore said…
Lexa - That would be big-time boring to just sit for a week. Glad my time was short.
Carol Kilgore said…
Romance Reader - Thanks. Writing is good :)
oh, ew! good luck...I hope you come back soon. "Been there. Done that. And they didn't even give us a t-shirt." haha!
Since you left a comment on my blog today, I'm assuming you're off the hook? Actually, I've had jury duty several times... and I really enjoyed the experience. (Except for all the preliminary sitting around and waiting.)

Happy weekend!
Emily R. King said…
Man, jury duty is the worst. I hope you scooted your way out of it!
Carol Kilgore said…
Beth Ellyn - I'm back, I'm back :)

Susan - Totally off. I find being a jury member stressful and a big responsibility. Plus, I'm glad I didn't need to give up too much writing time. The judge thought the trial would last about four days.

Emily - I did!
klahanie said…
Hey Carol,

Order in the court, or some semblance of order, perhaps. I was once selected for jury duty until they realised I was nuts. Then again, it might of be a prerequisite :)

Speaking of boring, did the trial have anything to do with that weird alphabet challenge? :)

I'd better go now before I get arrested by the blogger police.....

Gary
klahanie said…
Hey Carol,

Order in the court, or some semblance of order, perhaps. I was once selected for jury duty until they realised I was nuts. Then again, it might of be a prerequisite :)

Speaking of boring, did the trial have anything to do with that weird alphabet challenge? :)

I'd better go now before I get arrested by the blogger police.....

Gary
Carol Kilgore said…
Hi, Gary - No, the trial had nothing to do with the challenge. The charge on the defendant was Aggravated Assault. I'm glad I wasn't chosen for the jury.
Nas said…
I like when they portray juries on TV and movies. So it was fun reading the comments, learned something!
Carol Kilgore said…
Nas - I just left a comment here, but it vanished. Strange. So what I said was that I think TV and movies only show the good parts of being on a jury.
LD Masterson said…
Actually, the one time I served on a jury, it was a pretty interesting case. But I have no burning desire to do it again. Glad you got a pass.
TBM said…
I don't envy you. I had jury duty several years ago and I was selected to hear a juvenile case. It only lasted a couple of days, but I was traumatized by it since it turned out I was an alternate. In my opinion the prosecutor didn't prove her case, but they found the boy guilty. From what I overheard after the verdict he was convicted because he was black. The other alternate also thought the prosecutor didn't prove the case. Those in the room making the decision, there was one woman who was browbeaten until she rendered a guilty verdict. Only if she had support in the room. So sad.
cleemckenzie said…
Ah yes. The joys of the juror. One year I was called three time! I couldn't believe it. Never chosen, I began to feel like that bridesmaid.
Carol Kilgore said…
LD - The one I served on was interesting because I learned a lot. I have no burning desire for another go at it, either.

TBM - I totally understand that.
Carol Kilgore said…
Lee - Oops! We crossed. That's crazy! One place we lived, I was called four times in nine years. That's where I served one of those four times. I've been called twice since, but never selected.
Crystal Collier said…
Maybe you've got a Jury fairy hanging out around you. I've never been called for Jury duty. Not once. I wonder if maybe it's the cheese--I wouldn't be able to haul around a cooler of the stuff with me and they know it. ;)
Carol Kilgore said…
Crystal - Yeah, cheese wouldn't go over that big. Plus it would have to go through the x-ray equipment :)
Christine Rains said…
Glad to read you aren't still there! I have a Law Administration degree and so I can't be called in for jury duty. I've always been curious about it, but most people say it's tremendously boring!
J.L. Campbell said…
Hi, Carol,

I hope you got out of that. They called me up last March and after going and sweating it out for two days *whispers - I didn't go back* Clearly, they didn't miss me, but then our system is a lot looser than your and I did go. Twice. That's enough of my time wasted.
Carol Kilgore said…
Christine - Most people are right :)

Joy - I just looked up the penalty for not showing up for jury duty in Texas. It depends on the type of court - but here is the penalty for the type of court I was called for (altho it's not always enforced): If you blow off a county or district court summons though, state law provides for a potential fine starting at $100 on up to $1,000, and you can be jailed for contempt. Unlike the three-day stay for delinquent citizens under the federal rules, in Texas you can be jailed up to six months for contempt.
Mark Noce said…
Best of luck with those 12 angry men;)
Carol Kilgore said…
Mark - Thankfully, it didn't come to that showdown for me :)
I served jury duty on the 13th. 300 of us sat around all day until the deputy finally released us. Got a lot of editing done!
Carol Kilgore said…
Milo - Good for you! I took my Kindle and got maybe ten pages read before I was called in.
Slamdunk said…
Yikes, you are getting the real-world version of law and order. I hope things are going well for you, Carol. I can't wait to stick my feet in the sand and water out your way in a few months! Yea summer!
Carol Kilgore said…
Slamdunk - Karma, LOL! All's well here. Hope the same for you. Enjoy your Padre Summer!