Readers on this website have complained that my ‘About Me’ is really an ‘About Him, ‘ beginning as it did with the prison. Those who read my book outline will realize that I too, worked behind bars for a term. However, the influence of my husband’s tenure with the prison changed my life forever. Anything ‘about me, has to begin with that.
Everything I’ve published over the years has been essentially, ‘about me.’ The latest short bio, which writers are constantly asked to provide, reads: ‘I am a mid-life woman, recently discovered to be Metis, making my heritage; Metis, Jewish, Appalachian and possible Dane. All of this makes me sing.’
The REAL about me runs 405 pages and is outlined in 36 chapters on this site.
Finally, I have kept the much-objected to, ‘About Me,’ which first graced this site and remains relevant. You can read that at the conclusion of this writing.
But help me get Salterton in print and you can read the whole hilarious, heartbreaking tale, soon, with any luck, to be at a major book purveyor near you.
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With beatings, stabbings, hangings and beheadings, the life of the prison will change you and your family forever, even though you vow not to bring the job home.
You will not like these changes, even though you will come to crave their legacy of high adrenalin. However, nothing can ever make it okay to be less than fair to a person locked up in your charge.
And so begins the struggle, working behind bars, to keep your humanity in the face of long hours of boredom, interspersed with short pops of assault often followed by brutal, senseless death. There will never be any regard for what you want or don’t want to do or witness. And no real preparation.
Outside all this, ‘prison guard’ can be a rewarding career.
Some of those inside will eventually get tired of the cycle and stop coming back. A tiny minority will actually change, maybe even because of something you did or said. The rest will grow older, greyer and more accomplished in crime, battered and wearing the scars of a thousand shivs as they watch for their chance to get ahead.
You could say they are more honest than the outside world of academe. Here the knives are real and their torture of colleagues, cut short by death. Still, while the rules inside are clearer, the ability to avoid breaking them is often nil.
Who’d want to be a prison guard?
My doctoral candidate husband did. Our lives, heavily weighted by the dictates of school and church, wouldn’t have seemed to have room for one more institution – prison. Yet here we were.
It all started when we emigrated from the states to Canada during the Vietnam war, following what seemed the traditional path of school, work, church and family.