Saturday, August 9, 2008

Judgment

My word of the week is Judgment. As in, I had jury duty.
First time I get a notice in the mail to show up for jury duty, and I end up sitting in the box.

The long awaited day started. I headed to the courthouse on public transportation on a beautiful, sunny, breezy day and thought that this was great. I'm providing a service to the community. I should be proud. During the long wait to see if we'd be needed, instead of staying in the sparse room with folding chairs and tables, I was directed up a few floors in the courthouse highrise to find vending machines that worked. Milling around in the lobby were young people in different groups, obviously awaiting word from inside the courtrooms. Big mistake to go to that floor, but I had no idea that's where the courtrooms were. I couldn't help but overhear one young man explaining to the woman with him how his friend had done dumb things because he was young. Yeah, I think a lot of us did. No, I don't think I sat in the jury on that one.

Later, I'm selected, and I get to hear a case. Drunk driving. Don't need the particulars here except that nothing but his car got hurt. Thank goodness. And though I voted guilty, which he clearly was, and he should NOT have been behind a wheel of a car, I felt horrible. Duty is not fun. The woman who happened to be juror number one by luck of the computer draw nearly cried and couldn't say the verdict out loud. She was shaking like a leaf the whole time.

This brought a lot home to me in terms of judgment. As a normal, everyday citizen, the law is pretty abstract, even if I understand the law itself. Something we don't see outside of Law and Order reruns. You have to look at a young man sitting behind that table and know that his life is changed forever for a mistake that could have been avoided. "Thank goodness no one got hurt" might been my first reaction. But someone did. He got hurt because now he's got a record. Juror number One got hurt because it wrecked her to announce that verdict. I got hurt, because I didn't want to say "guilty", and it made me doubt the ability to judge impartially. It's harder than you could realize.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Passionate Ink Contest Results

NOVELLA
Stroke of Midnight
First Place - Scenting Cinnamon, by Ella Drake
Second Place - Reaction Time, by Alannah Lynne
Third Place - From Afar, by Ava March
HM - Full Moon, by Tiffany Kenzie
HM - Him, Memoir of My Second Marriage to the Egyptian God of Fertility, by Constance Denson-Hamilton

Passionate Plume
First Place - Male Call, by Denise A. Agnew
Second Place - Rescue Me, by Anna Leigh Keaton
Third Place - Hot Down Under, by Susan Lyons
HM - Second Chance Christmas, by Mackenzie McKade
HM - Desert Heat, by Leigh Wyndfield

CONTEMPORARY
Stroke of Midnight
First Place - Liberating Lacey, by Anne Calhoun
Second Place - Laws Of Attraction, by Crystal Kauffman
Third Place - Nice and Naughty, by Jayne Rylon
HM - Love, Lust and Lies, by Cathleen Ross
HM - Trading Favors, by Reece Butler

Passionate Plume
First Place - Wicked Ties, by Shayla Black
Second Place - Roped, by Ann Jacobs
Third Place - Suite Seventeen, by Portia Da Costa
HM - Twin Fantasies, by Opal Carew
HM - Nothing To Lose, by Mechele Armstrong

HISTORICAL
Stroke of Midnight
First Place - Plantation Rule, by Noelle Henderson and Barbra Moser
Second Place - Show Me-The Spartan Chronicles, by Nadia Aidan
Third Place - Seeking Truth, by Francesca Hawley
HM - A Gentleman For Her, by Ava March
HM - Wild At Heart, by Crystal Kauffman

Passionate Plume
First Place - At Love's Command, by Samantha Kane
Second Place - Mirage, by Monica Burns
Third Place - Nicholas, by Elizabeth Amber
HM - One Bashful Lady, by Brenda Williamson
HM - Anchor and Storm, by Kate Poole

FUTURISTIC/FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION
Stroke of Midnight
First Place - Wings Of Desire, by Sindee Sexton
Second Place - Fairy Prince, by Leanne Karella
Third Place - Almost Darke, by P.M. Black
HM - Soul Bound, by Barbara Morgan
HM - Goddess in Trouble, by Maggie Nash

Passionate Plume
First Place - Tailspin, by Denise Rossetti
Second Place - Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind, by Karen Kelley
Third Place - Seducer, by Aubrey Ross
HM - Settler's Mine 2: The Lovers, by Mechele Armstrong
HM - Born Again, by Rena Marks

PARANORMAL / TIME TRAVEL
Stroke of Midnight
First Place - The Tiger's Tale, by Nara Malone
Second Place - Saving Jenna, by Violet Summers
Third Place - Bluebeard's Hunger, by Ella Drake
HM - Minotaur, by Hortense Powdermaker
HM - Believing Is Seeing, by Corinne Davies

Passionate Plume
First Place - Mona Lisa Blossoming, by Sunny Chen
Second Place - Blood Rose, by Sharon Page
Third Place - Mystic's Run, by Jory Strong
HM - Ethereal Foes: The Dragon's Demon, by Marie Harte
HM - Blood Red, by Sharon Page