Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm Still Alive!

...And I have some great pictures from Carleen Brice's very fun book launch party that I'll post later.

I've been woefully absent from Eudaemonia and from all of my favorite blogs these last two weeks -- business travel, lots of work, blah blah blah -- and I confess I've also been spending a little time at my other blog too.

At the risk of cross-pollinating these two very different forums, I'm going to link to the first of a series of 8 posts I put up at Compassion in Juvenile Sentencing today. The posts are a fairly lengthy Q&A that I did through the mail with Jacob Ind, one of the 46 juveniles serving Life Without the Possibility of Parole in Colorado. He was incarcerated at 15 and is 30 now. Of his time in prison, over half of those years have been spent in Supermax, where he is today.

The focus of the Q&A is on Jacob's experiences entering prison as a juvenile, the phases he's gone through and what prison culture is like. I found his answers to be fascinating. As most of you visiting are writers and some are sociologists and psychologists, I thought this rare glimpse into the world and the thoughts of someone who has literally grown up in prison might be of interest.

Part 1 is here.

Chapter 10 of the Dickens Challenge should be up by Sunday and my somewhat normal, bordering on obsessive visits should resume soon.

18 comments:

kristenspina said...

Welcome back! Missed you!

debra said...

Welcome back, Lisa. I'm going to check Jacob's important words, now.
Thanks

steve said...

Lisa--I've missed you, too. I suspect the Dickens Challenge would fall apart without all your encouragement. I'll be looking forward to Chapter 10. Right now, I'm stuck in Bloomington this "weekend" due to lake-effect snow in northern Indiana. So it's on with Chapter 12 of TD&LU, and life in the last week of August, 1968.

Shauna Roberts said...

Glad you're back, and I'm looking forward to your pictures of Carleen's party.

Missy Keenan said...

While the forums are different, I'm sure they must feed each other -- You're able to so skillfully tell the fascinating and heartbreaking stories of these young people because you're a writer; and I imagine your exposure to these people and stories helps fuel your writing as well.

Charles Gramlich said...

Glad everything is OK for you. Good to see you post again. But we all need some time away on occassion.

CindyLV said...

Hi Lisa, Good to see you back at the keyboard (the NEW and functional keyboard, I hope)! I couldn't help but notice how dramatically the "hits" on my own blog decrease when you're not posting regularly. Coincidence? Hmmmmm.......

Just happy to "hear" your voice again.

Patti said...

i do loves pictures! and, yes, i have missed your hits...

Sustenance Scout said...

You're so loved, Lisa! Looking forward to reading the Jacob interview... K.

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Quite a few bloggers seem to be taking breaks at the mo. I picked up on one of the meta blogs the other day that a lot of bloggers are moving towards more relaxed posting schedules - guess people pace each other to some extent with this.

All the best as you work out a pattern of balancing the various commitments.

Shauna Roberts said...

I've been amazed, Julie at VV, that you can post every day and sometimes more. Other people are just as prolific. Finding time to do one blog a week is hard enough for me!

Ello said...

I've missed you! Can't wait to read chapter 10 and will definitely swing by your other blog!

Lisa said...

Kristen,

I've missed you too!

Debra,

Thanks so much for reading at Compassion in Juvenile Sentencing. I hope things are still going well and the Blue Santa is still going strong. Mine is perched on my bookshelf, watching over the writing process :)

Steve,

I am behind reading your chapter and several others -- I need to get back to reading and writing for Dickens AND I still haven't posted about Larissa -- our newest writer yet. I have to get this time management thing figured out!

Shauna,

I'm glad YOU'RE back. Karen just did a wonderful post on Carleen's launch party and on Orange Mint and Honey, so if you haven't gotten over to Beyond Understanding (Karen = Sustenance Scout), head on over -- it's a great post.

Missy,

At first I wondered if the exposure to these stories would feed my fiction, but it seems to be nudging me toward writing about it in strictly non-fiction form. To be honest, despite the fact that I am focused on some of the issues related to juveniles in adult prisons, I am deeply disturbed by the crimes and the victims and had my first nightmares about it recently. I honestly don't know how defense attorneys, therapists and full time advocates do it.

Charles,

Yes, I guess we all do need a break now and then. I seem to have an "all or nothing" approach to all of my endeavors that makes it tough to multi-task!

Cindy,

I've missed Bridie and I need to read your latest Chapter -- probably I'll head there tonight. Thanks for not forgetting me :)

Patti,

There was a lot of picture taking last night! It was like old home week with Carleen, Karen, Kim, my friend Sarah from the retreat in July, my teacher Jenny from workshop -- and all kinds of other people from other Lighthouse events -- And Carleen was just LUMINOUS!

Julie,

I feel like I've been away for months, but I've noticed that when I get a moment to check in at some of my regular stops that you're right -- a lot of people have slowed down too -- But not you! You've always got new and exciting pictures and information!

Ello,

I've missed you too -- I haven't read a story about Angus or any of the girls in a week! I've made up my mind that I'll get Chapter 10 up this weekend -- hopefully people will remember where we left off :)

Usman said...

I had a feeling you would be busy at the other blog.
You have compassion and passion for whatever you do.

Melissa Marsh said...

Glad to see you back, Lisa! I've missed your posts. :-)

Lana Gramlich said...

Welcome back! I think that prison survey sounds pretty depressing, but I'll have a gander at it (when I get up the nerve.)

Lisa said...

Melissa,

I've missed yours too! I hope to get back here a little more regularly soon.

Lana,

They're actually not as depressing as you might think. He's pretty pragmatic about it and I think it the posts really accomplish two things. I think they provide a first hand view inside a maximum security and super maximum security prison and they also provide an insight into the culture, the adversarial relationship between inmates and inmates and inmates versus prison staff. Because Jacob has literally grown up inside prison, it also gives a view into the type of person, even the most articulate and intelligent person that prison culture manufactures. It really is a lot of food for thought. What concerns me most is that unlike Jacob, most inmates will eventually get out and I'm very uncomfortable knowing that there really is no transition or decompression period and nothing to really re-educate a person about how to live in the real world.

Carleen Brice said...

Can't wait to see the photos! I only ended up with a few on my camera...which I posted tonight.

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Literary Quote

It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.


Virginia Woolf