I’m off my game — had a bad writing day. 486 words.

So here’s the deal. 

I have jury duty coming up next Monday. Have never done it before, but I didn’t try to get out of it. I’m a citizen. This is part of what being a citizen means.

So if there’s an upcoming trial scheduled during my period of service, (which I won’t know until Sunday night), I will not be here next week.

If there is a trial, I’m going to go in to the courthouse, and I will take a notebook with me, and write in longhand in between whatever the process is that includes picking jurors, and do my best to work on the story, or if not the story, then on collateral worldbuilding.

Today, though, I’ve had a helluva time focusing.

I managed in spite of the upcoming potential chaos to my schedule to start out by reading through yesterday’s words, deleting junk and getting new stuff — my daily process…

And I came out with a net gain of 486 words, which is better than nothing.

But my focus is off. I’m tired, I’m grumpy, I’m frazzled, and every once in a while, you have to look a the fact that you’ve been struggling and flailing and not getting anything you actually like, and you have to say, “Okay. I’ve had my ass in the chair since before 8 AM, and I have had nothing even resembling a breakthrough.”

“Time to walk away.”

If there is a trial and if I am chosen as a juror, I am anticipating NO WORDS next week.

AND if I am chosen, and the trial is big, there might one or several more weeks in which I won’t be here, other than to let you know that I’m doing my civic duty, and to let you know when I hope to be back — and then to tell you when I am back.

I’ll miss you while I’m gone.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.


2 comments… add one
  • Mike Lucas Mar 26, 2021 @ 17:55

    Is it possible a courthouse setting or trial could come up in later in the Ohio series? If so your time next week could be divided three ways: doing your civic duty, hasty words in your notebook, and on-site research!

    • Holly Mar 29, 2021 @ 8:39

      Well, I might use any PROCESS I pull out of being a juror into the books. I’m for damn sure gonna use the courthouse, because it was built in 1818, it’s freakin’ gorgeous (link leads to picture), and that, the library, the mainstreet here (named Broadway), and other local landmarks are a part of my childhood.

      My notebook will be filled with as much process and as many cherished landmarks as I can grab.

      Any trials, however, and any similarities to anything I actually participate in, however, are nondisclosure. I wrote a novel under an NDA agreement once… and that is literally all I can say about that, except that it sold very well, and I didn’t make a dime of those very good sales. Which is why I never did another one.

      So: Process — totally gonna get into the novels.

      Product (any trial, any case, any people, anything tangible that might make connections at all to real people — from gender or appearance or actions of judges to similarities to bailiffs or fellow jurors… to… ) Nope. Can’t do. Same reason none of my real neighbors in town will be in the books in any context whatsoever.

      My ass does not wish to get itself removed by litigation.

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