Moral Dilemmas

Should I lie to people because the truth is too painful for them to digest? It would be a waste of time unveiling my clear, untainted perception of them?

Can I stay in bed just for twenty minutes more and finish just one more teensy weensy little chapter?


Should I accept that some days I will write like a pro and words will flow from a higher place, through me and onto the page and other days I can’t even be bothered to look at my book?

Should I have a shower today? Sure no one is going to smell my armpits and I can wear socks in bed?

Should I eat that last, snapped off, cast off chocolate wafer, never mind that last After Eight mint left over from Christmas?

Should I snarl back just to prove I’m right in an argument, just because?

Should I exercise my kids like puppies everyday, even when it’s a freezing snow day and I have only one more itsy bitsy chapter to read, all cozied up in bed still?

Should I love my life everyday and be grateful for my good fortune, and good health when there are so many women, kids, and men, who are too shattered to cry, too lonely to grieve, too torn and brutalized to smile again?

Should I be grateful that the sun has risen again and that I haven’t been squashed and maimed by an asteroid the size of Texas?

Should I Be?

Why should I Be?

What should I Be?

When should I Be?

How should I Be?

Where should I Be?

Plain and simple, should I?

Oh for God’s sake, stop your endless questions, settle down to Season five of Downton Abbey, quit your whining, and “Here have a stale cookie, and here’s a pair of fresh socks.”


About Jackie Cartwright

Jackie Cartwright spent her childhood in Northern Ireland, during the Troubles, in a farming town called Limavady, where “Northern Branches” takes place. She is a former English and Theatre Studies high-school teacher, who attended Leeds and Oxford University. She taught in London for five years, finishing as a Department Head. She has worked as an Assistant Director for successful British TV dramas such as “Daylight Robbery”, and dabbled as a radio presenter for an English hospital radio. This novelist ‘wanna be’ lives in New York with her husband, a hungry Guinea Pig, five goldfish and two small kids. She fell in love with the U.S.A while working at a Summer Camp in Maine and during a semester at Ripon College Wisconsin as part of her B.A. She is active in several local not-for-profit organizations, acting as a mentor at Women Care and as the leader of the Westchester Chapter of the Holistic Moms Network for four years. She adores volunteering for WNYC New York Public Radio and is an active PTA member. Jackie partners with the Sound Shore Writers Group in Rye, and has attended several writing courses at Sarah Lawrence and Gotham Writers Workshop. She teachers writing when she finds the time. On her Tumblr blog,, Jackie shares her Irish wit, a passion for writing, and holistic parenting. “Northern Branches” is her debut novel.
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