Last week I was stuck in jury duty, which for anyone who has served can attest, is really boring.  They take you to a very large room where you sit all day until your name is called.  If you’re lucky enough to be called, then you can break up your perpetual boredom by sitting in another room (with very hard, very uncomfortable benches) while two sets of lawyers stare at and talk about you.  If you are chosen then you get to (finally) sit in a comfy chair.  If not, then you go back to the sheep pen.

Observing all the jurors is an interesting process, although it doesn’t relieve any of the boredom.  You can get a real treat into the social psychology aspects – how cliques form, who becomes the “leaders” of a group (hint: it’s whoever is the loudest), who become the followers (hint: it’s people who aren’t loud), battles over rulings (hint: it’s the leaders battling over other loud people, and whoever has the loudest voice, wins), and other intriguing aspects of human relations.

This week I didn’t do any writing, although I probably had ample opportunity to sneak in several chapters.  The entire week wasn’t a total waste of time, however, because I ended up carrying things that were easy and lightweight, such as books.  Each day, I pulled a book from my stash of favorites and during periods of non-human contact, I read.

Let me just tell you that the old adage about writers is very much true: all writers are first, readers.  It was a refreshing change to be on the other side of the quill, as it were, as I got lost in the world of make believe.  This time, however, I paid attention to their style of writing and how they formulate sentences, plot and characters.  While I don’t advocate copying another author’s style (or ideas), I do encourage to let the masters inspire you.  I know that rereading has inspired me.


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