I have jury duty the entire month of January (yes, it’s a whole month here on the sparsely populated Oregon Coast…). I was originally called for jury duty in August of last year, but as I wasn’t yet cleared to drive at the time I had to respond to the summons (less than three months after my brain surgery), I had to defer. I chose January because I figured it had the lightest trial schedule within my deferment window.

So far, I’ve been right. I’ve been called one day so far. I was there from 8:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. before I was released. Two hours of it was waiting outside the courtroom with 59 of my fellow citizens until the judge was ready for us. Other than the hour or so for lunch, the rest was sitting through voir dire.

I knew I wouldn’t be seated on the jury. I was in the last numbered seat for the pool and the case wasn’t one that would get a lot of people kicked off for conflicts or an inability to be impartial (only so riled up one can get about a civil case involving a broken storm drain).

I could have gotten out of jury duty altogether, I suppose. Brain surgery is a pretty good excuse. But I believe in honoring my civic duty, and if I’m well enough to work and drive and such, I’m well enough to abide by my constitutional obligations.

And I made the best of it by walking to a favorite Irish pub for lunch. (I love Irish soda bread.) The weather was even interesting. Graupel (an icy snow mix like soft hail) and sun. A cold but lovely walk.

Plus, I had lots of reading material to entertain me while I waited outside the courtroom (no reading in the courtroom itself, of course) thanks to our newest ebook release from Dean Wesley Smith.

As we mentioned in our year-end wrap-up, last January, Dean launched into a Kickstarter campaign with his Make 100 challenge. For that challenge he is publishing one hundred paperback books. That’s a new paperback book every 3.65 days.

Well, the first project related to this challenge published last week, with the paperback and hardcover editions coming soon.

The First Thirty-Three: Stories in the Make 100 Challenge contains stories from many of Dean’s most popular series, including Poker Boy, Cold Poker Gang, Pilgrim Hugh, Seeders Universe and Thunder Mountain, along with a number of standalone stories.

Here’s the synopsis:

USA Today bestselling writer, Dean Wesley Smith presents thirty-three different short stories ranging across most of his different series.

Sixty-seven more stories follow in the next two volumes.

Hours of reading from one of the greatest short story writers working today. Make sure you get all three volumes.

Click here for more information.

The next volume will be released in February and the final one in March, so stay tuned!

We are launching a new Make 100 Kickstarter later this month. So, stay tuned for that news, as well!

Meanwhile, I’ve got plenty to entertain me for the rest of January, when I must inevitably make another trip or few to the courthouse.

Wish me luck!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.