Prison Pete

Monday, November 14, 2005
  And Yet Another Comment Response.
I have spent some time thinking about the lack of a central theme. I do understand that the blog jumps around. I sometimes consider myself to not have much of a life at all, yet the one comment says I lack a focus in my writing.

One solution might be to have separate blogs. This would certainly increase the work load of my editor.

I also thought one of the reasons for the comment might be a desire to see specific topics and not have to read through all the post to find the topics he is interested in. One problem I see with seeking news and information on a 'topical search' basis, such as using a search engine to find articles related to a specific topic, as opposed to scanning a daily paper, is that you miss things that might become an interest to you.

Even though I am not currently a follower of any particular sport, I spend some effort scanning the sports section. I might see something on the Alabama University football team that is the Alma Mata of one of the inmates here. I try to look after some of the sports that my editor is interested in: cycling (Lance Armstrong), baseball (NY Yankees), hockey (NY Rangers).

I have written about wanting to write a book and agree that such a project would certainly need to be more focused. I am hoping that my experience might end up feeding more than one book. I have already thought of covering my six plus years at Club Fed as a novel. This would enable me to avoid getting sued for anything I write about some of the more colorful characters that I dealt with.

This particular blog is constructed from two different sources and that can also lead to the lack of a central theme, other than "The Random Ramblings of an Incarcerated Individual."

There are posts that I type and are posted as received by the editor. Then there are my personal letters to the editor that he takes bits and pieces of and posts. I am never quite sure what information from my letters will show up on the blog. I only know about an item being posted on the blog when a reader comments on something that I know I only put in a letter.

As far as me appreciating comments, I do appreciate all of them. Since I would like to consider myself a writer, it is exciting to see how my writing affects others. Even the comment about "no talk of typewriters, drafts, ribbons or carbon paper."

Criticisms about me belaboring certain subjects are helpful. It is interesting to know how certain information is received. When I do write a novel, I now have plenty of 'research' on how to construct various characters. I certainly know how to construct an obsessive, dispensing way too much information of life's little problems. Hopefully there will be other characters that I will be able to develop!

One of my weaknesses, in the past, has been pursuing topics long past the point any normal human has interest. I would miss all the usual clues that interpersonal communication provides; yawns, wandering eye contact, and attempts to change the subject. Now that I have a better understanding of my own weaknesses, I do not have much of an opportunity to engage in face to face communication. I do not want to treat the readers of this blog as a captive audience and abuse the gift of your time. Dope slaps are appreciated when warranted.

While the whole subject of the typewriter and the various support issues might seem rather boring, it was these very issues that were both, the near death of the blog and its subsequent return from the brink.
It's all good, Pete. A central theme doesn't have to mean only having one theme. Like a river has many tributaries, there is one main one that runs in the one direction and many running into that one. But I do understand the eclectic nature of your writing, as you have many interests and are in the process of becoming very well read and knowledgable about many things with all the reading you do.

I think you've written on this before, you having trouble completing a thought. And maybe that's what I'm thinking of. The need to develop a topic fully, and yet not beat it to death. A difficult balance.

Comments really do help develop ideas, which is the real power of blogging.

I find the day-to-day prison stories interesting. I've never been to prison but came close, once. It's what led me here. We are all just one accusation and one judge's gavel away from experiencing what you are. I'd hope the facts would exonerate me. But one stupid decision and *poof*, that's it. Life is forever altered.

Do you ever share any of this stuff with other prisoners? Blogs, comments and such?

FWIW, the drama that came along with you being threatened and harrassed was one of those "glued-to-the-screen" situations for readers. Hopefully that is all over, and you can get back to the mundane routine. But drama is what pulls and keeps readers. Creating tension and drama from the mundane is a hallmark of a truly gifted writer, in my opinion.

Mystery helps, too. The Mysterious Editor adds a lot of that flavor, and my hat's off to him for a job well done. His invisible hand guides and directs the flow of mail and literary traffic. Sometimes it's tempting to forget he is there, but in the back of our collective minds, we are always aware of the silent but powerful hand that makes all this possible. Occasionally we get a glimpse of this fellow behind the controls, but mostly he is just there and it seems as natural as the moon that pulls the tide.

I'm still reading!

Post a Comment

View my profile
Contact Prison Pete
Contact the Editor
Blogroll Me!

December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010

December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009

December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008

December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007

December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006

December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005

December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004


Powered by Blogger


Emily Dickinson
Janet Evanovich
Ian Fleming
Jonathan Franzen
Robert Fulghum
Sue Grafton
Tami Hoag
Jean Shepherd

Johann Sebastian Bach
Virgil Fox
Benny Goodman
Vladimir Horowitz
Itzhak Perlman
David Russell
Lonnie Smith

Radio and TV Shows
All Things Considered
Capitol Steps
Fawlty Towers
Fresh Air
The Infinite Mind
Jazz After Hours
Jeeves and Wooster
Pipe Dreams

Media, Publishers, Networks
Augsberg Fortress Press
Hamilton Bookseller
NY Daily News
NY Newsday
NY Times
PC Magazine
WNED Buffalo, NY

Helpful Organizations

Federal Bureau of Prisons
NY State Court of Appeals
NY State Department of Corrections

Typing with a Dvorak keyboard
Fastback Book Binding System
Who links to me?