Most of you know that from July 2002 to March 2009, I lived in a cave, a grey and brown cave of razor wire, concrete and dust. Inmates in Arizona prisons have no access to computers or the internet. While the world was exploding with cell phones and websites, I was reading about it in TIME magazine and OPRAH.
As a free woman, the world of social media, websites, and computers both dazzles me and gives me a giant headache. I love it and yet, it overwhelms me. Today I felt both dazzled and overwhelmed. The culprit was a gentle giant named Max Sandoval. Don’t you love that name? It sounds like a secret agent or a gourmet chef or perhaps an haut couture fashion designer. Actually, he is the guardian angel who volunteered to design a web page for my book, The Slumber Party from Hell. He knew I was desperate and pathetically challenged. If I do it myself, it will be finished in 2020.
Max gave me a mountain of assignments. He has created the site. It’s actually up and you can visit, BUT there are a lot of holes. Max needs copy. That’s my job. On the site, there is a big black square for pictures. What kind of pictures? I lost all mine years ago when I lost everything else. I have a brainstorm. I’ll use the pictures that were part of my presentation at IGNITE Phoenix called “The Art of Creativity in a Prison Wasteland.” You can actually go to You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHGaZQAkn5g to watch it. I consider that magic. In it I compare art from the Great Masters to inmates’ art. Most people don’t realize how many talent people are behind bars. The art astounds them.
On my prison journey I met some very talented artists. Some of them are right there in that big black square. Not all of them are from Perryville; some are from other prisons. You can find some beautiful original inmate art on http://prisonsfoundation.org/art.html One inmate said, “Art stretches the imagination, jumpstarts creativity and focuses the mind.” It can be an integral part of rehabilitation.
Consider the great masters and the work they have inspired behind the wires. At the same time, consider my new website. There are hundred of hours of work in it already and many more to come. While you’re considering, be gentle. Remember I was in a cave for a long time and the Blogosphere is blinding. And while you’re at it, consider my book, The Slumber Party from Hell. It’s a bird’s eye view of what prison is really like. You know you’re curious.