Thursday, July 29, 2010

Begin with a Character

I sooo believe everybody has a story -- that lives seemingly ordinary on the surface turn interesting deeper in. Consider these juror/alternate juror bios* -- some are immediately novel-worthy; others have real potential; still others seem such impossibilities that I’m frankly intrigued by the challenge:

103, a quiet-spoken white woman in her 20s who works as a full-time legal assistant

105, an African-American woman who teaches math to sixth- and seventh-graders in public school; her husband is a state probation officer

106, a white, female retired director for state public health department who has served on two juries before

115, a blond woman in her 30s or 40s who has worked in retail for the past 15 years; a fan of boating and gardening, she reads news "only for the weather"

119, a mother in her late 20s or early 30s who works in investment accounting and is an avid runner

121, a white, female accounting student at Western Illinois University with an interest in law; her father is a police officer

123, a white, male human resources manager in his 30s who volunteers for a family shelter and has done volunteer work for political candidates

127, a woman in 50s or 60s who likes reading and crafts like knitting and cross-stitch

128, a white community college student and former Best Buy salesman who likes sports, videogames and hanging out with his friends

133, a former Marine of 18 years who served in various places, including Beirut, where he suffered an injury; he has had a hip replacement and was concerned about sitting for long periods of time

135, a retired man in his mid-60s who said he was born in a Japanese internment camp in California; a former Marine, he has served on a jury

137, a retired Navyman who works full-time

148, an African-American, church-going man who worked as a letter carrier for 30 years; has served on two juries in the past, one of which did not reach a verdict

151, a mechanical engineer with a graduate degree who supervises a crew of 30 at a steel company

153, a female secretary and paralegal in the real estate department of a law firm

155, a secretary at Northwestern Memorial Hospital who volunteers at her church and used to be an event planner for a dating service; said it was hard to avoid the news, but believed she could be fair

156, young women who works in direct mail marketing and likes spending time with her boyfriend and her dog

166, a female, African-American social worker for a nursing home with a college degree

* From the Chicago Sun-Times coverage of the corruption trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fun with a Purpose

I was drawn to the Tom and Lorenzo/Project Rungay blog for its infotaining posts about Lost and Mad Men*. And now there's another layer to my visits: the blog’s Mad Style category of posts -- deep dissections of fashion as characterization -- are a virtual writing workshop!

* Season 4 premieres Sunday, July 25