Last night I finally finished Orange is the New Black, by Piper Kerman. I don’t typically read non fiction but the subject matter really interested me after I saw her appearance on the Today show. I downloaded the book right away to my Kindle app and have been slowly reading it.
For some reason, prison stories really interest and mesmerize me. I’m always fascinated by the odd feeling of ‘home’ that inmates admit to after awhile and how innovative they can be in their efforts to make daily life bearable. There was no shortage of such ingenuity in this book as Piper takes the reader through her journey as a drug smuggler, her return to a straight laced- life and then the day when the FBI showed up on her doorstep to arrest her for her part in a life she hadn’t lived in over ten years.
Piper is sent to Danbury Women’s prison, which seems like a hellhole but isn’t ‘really’ prison, according to the inmates. Navigating the experience with all of the knowledge of an infant child, Piper learns daily who to trust, who to make friends with, how to survive. By the book’s end, she had served 13 months- 345 days, approximately.
The book read more like a diary, which I enjoyed. No exposition or making up of things that weren’t happening from Piper’s point of view. Despite how long it took me to finish it, I did love the book.
On other fronts, I’m being taunted. Not really. But really.
Every month I get the Newsletter from Glimmer Train. And for a year I’ve been thinking I will write something to submit. And then I write something and think it’s stupid and I don’t submit it and it sits there. Or I dive back into my fanfiction and write so much of it that it’s hard to focus on regular fiction.
So I’ve decided. I’m going to take one of my recent stories, The Storm and try to get it critiqued by a few people to see if I can submit it before the end of the month for the Fiction Open. Stories just have to be 2,000 to 20,000 words long, be fiction, not be a novel excerpt and not be a children’s story. I think I can handle that. It’s the writing well enough to be recognized by a literary journal part that I don’t know about.
I’m not stopping there. I’ve had an idea for a nonfiction piece that’s been rolling around for a few weeks. I’d like to map it out some on paper to see how it flows. Maybe it’ll work and maybe it won’t. Won’t know until I try it.
I am determined to try.