Monday, August 12, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons (or jury duty) Make Lemonade

photo credit: kara brugman via photopin cc
As I mentioned last week I was summoned to jury duty. In the past I usually spent the entire day sitting in the jury assembly room bored out of my mind. I always brought things to do: books, laptop, work, etc., but there is only so much you can get done sitting in a chair that's not meant to be sat in all day. Nevertheless, I came prepared to sit and get as much work done as I could but to my surprise I was called up to serve. I thought they had made a mistake and almost told them so, but decided to keep my mouth shut and see where this new adventure lead.

Unfortunately, I discovered that moving to the courtroom only meant a different type of waiting in even less comfortable chairs where laptops, cellphones and reading material weren't allowed. Initially I was at a lost as how to pass the time, until the proceedings started. It was then that I realized I was in a writer's paradise; a room full of living breathing characters waiting to be transcribed. There was the aging actor who looked like a homeless Santa and answered every question like he was auditioning for a part, the excited divorcee who rambled on and on about her first, second, and third ex-husbands, and the sharp public defender who was probably the key reason the case was settled after only one day of jury selection. Fortunately, I had my trusty journal and used every break, sidebar, and free moment to scribble down as much as I could remember about my fellow jurors.

Although I didn't get as much work done as I had planned, I did manage to finish a book, gather several characters for future use and sit in a real jury box. I also got to use a Borg reference on Facebook when I became juror eleven of twelve. In my opinion anything that allows you to reference the Star Trek or the Borg isn't all bad.

How are things going for you? Have you made any lemonade with the lemons life has giving you? Were you able to work a Star Trek reference into your everyday conversation?


S.P. Bowers said...

lol on the Borg comment! I remember writing a short story when I was on Jury duty. It was a very interesting experience. I was glad I got to be a part of the justice system of our country but I'm glad I don't have to do it all the time.

Jo said...

Never done jury duty. I was a witness once many years ago.

Guess I am out of touch - don't understand the Borg reference.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Referencing Star Trek is always a plus!
Sorry you didn't get as much work done as hoped, but you got in some quality people-watching time.

Angela Verges said...

It was good that you were able to turn your lemons into lemonade. It sounds like you came up with good characterizations.

I was able to turn lemons into lemonade when my son had to have his appendix out last week. While I spent the night with him at the hospital, my laptop came too. I got some work done on a picture book first draft.

Johanna Garth said...

LOL! Why are those chairs so darn uncomfortable? I'm always looking around for character inspiration.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've only been called for jury duty once in my life and was happy they didn't pick me. There were some interesting characters around the courthouse though.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

S.P., I agree with you completely. Once a year is plenty. I remind myself that it is my duty as a U.S. citizen. It's not so bad when you actually get out of the jury assembly room.

No worries, Jo, it's from Star Trek and not everyone is a fan :D

Thanks, Alex. I did get in some great people watching time!

Way to go Angela! Life always gives us time to make lemonade.

Johanna, I wish I knew. I'm sure in California it's because we are broke!

L. Diane, that was my path until this week. I've discovered that being a part of the process was much more fun than sitting around all day.

Rosalind Adam said...

I've never been called for jury duty, nor have I met anyone who has. I wonder what kind of people do it in our local Courts. It sounds like a fascinating experience ... when you finally got in there!

Mark Koopmans said...

Wow, I have never thought about jury duty *that* way, but I will from now on :)

Lynda R Young said...

When I was called for jury duty, I wasn't called to serve. I was so disappointed, lol. It truly is a writer's paradise, hehehe.

Empty Nest Insider said...

It's great that you made the most out of your jury duty. It's so easy to get frustrated during such a long and drawn out process. Hopefully, we will be hearing more from these interesting characters.


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