Jul 23 09 8:15pm

Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 4)

I’m sat in a fast-food lounge at London’s Euston Railway Station. I’m facing a row of vendors staffed with fresh-faced minimum wagers: Burger King, Harry Ramsden’s, Delice de France Pattisserie Boulangerie… There are no empty tables. Most of the occupants – an international crowd – are chatting amongst themselves or into cell phones. The rest are staring up at small departures and arrivals screens hanging from the ceiling. I am inhaling the smells of French fries, tomato ketchup, coffee and milk shakes, but I am not hungry because I had a mountain of rice and veggie curry before I set off over an hour ago.
“At Platform 2 the 20:33 service to Wolverhampton is now boarding.” A female BBC-quality voice keeps making such announcements.

Outside of the lounge is the main waiting area, about the size of a warehouse with over a thousand people stood facing a row of massive timetable screens, and an almost-movie-theatre-sized screen playing Sky News complete with an electronic ticker tape.
Over hamburgers and fries, the conversation between the two businessmen on the table next to me is heating up. They are gesticulating with their hands, flailing their pinstripes, hurling Cockney twang as if on the verge of fisticuffs. Their table is the only one the homeless young lad selling The Big Issue is skipping.

Today is the last day of the English school year. I have only done one talk on drugs and prison so far. And I only got that due to a cancellation. The lack of work is due to my talk only being advertised so close to the end of the school year. The feedback on the one talk I did was good, and I’m pleased to report that I’ve already got two bookings for the next term. Let’s hope my calendar fills up before September comes around.

My agent and I are in the final stages of fine-tuning my jail memoir. He intends to begin shopping it to publishers in September. So after years of perseverance – including emotional ups and downs ranging from delusions of grandeur to utter disbelief that I’d ever make it – it looks as if I’m finally near the finishing line.
The English version is going to be titled Green Baloney and Pink Boxers: Surviving America’s Toughest Jail, and the American version, Green Bologna and Pink Boxers: Surviving Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Jail.
When I get a publishing deal, the publisher’s editor will probably want to tweak the manuscript a final time before it hits the bookstores.
As the jail memoir only covers my 26 months in Arpaio’s pokey, my agent has suggested I write about the periods before my arrest and after my sentencing hearing as separate volumes.

Flap-flap-flap… The wings of a pigeon just rustled by my right ear. In here! This place has a roof, so it must have snuck in through one of the doors. It’s homing in on some fries abandoned by a Chinese family.
“At Platform 7 the 21:07 service to Liverpool is now boarding.” That’s my train to Runcorn, so I must get going. I’m en route to my parents’ house for a month, to be joined by Kathi from Germany who’s flying in next Tuesday.

I’ll endeavour to locate the Max-Zucchini series while I’m there. I suspect it’s been hidden from me in the attic as my parents don’t approve of the content. I’ll post the next instalment of Central Unit soon, and I must say how impressed I am with Warrior’s writing development – we have a star in the making right there. I’m also going to try something new by way of posting the story of Smiling John in back to back instalments. Smiling John is Xena’s friend who was on America’s Most Wanted and Arizona’s death row.

Click here for Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 3)

Post comments or questions below or email them to
writeinside@hotmail.com To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

8 comments:

Kat said...

I can not wait more...

Sue O. (aka Joannie, SS) said...

You guys have a wonderful time and let's get that book flying off the shelves...good work, my friend, best wishes for a great new year in the making! Please give my regards to mum and dad and a big hug for Kathi.

Chris Phoenix said...

I don't think you ever finished the story of Xena's self-surgery, either. How did "the system" handle her medical emergency?

Chris

Jon said...

Chris,

Xena barely wrote anything after what I posted. It's my hope that Xena will give us an update at some point.

Shaun

dirtos said...

Shaun,
fingers crossed on the book mate. Looking forward to reading it.

Anonymous said...

> Shaun:
>
> First I have to admonish you for actually having a life and taking 2 days to post something new to your blog. Shame in you! ;)
>
> I stumbled across your blog purely by accident one night. Surfing the web in the middle of the night when sleep is elusive (using a cell phone to surf, no less) provides for some interesting discoveries. I find myself a "Jon's Jail Journal Junkie", checking back daily to see how you are doing and to follow along with your story and the stories of your friends.
>
> I enjoy your writing style and am really proud of you for pursuing this art and fighting to find your true potential. Don't allow yourself to fall into feelings of frustration and inadequacy (too lazy to spell check, ha ha!) when your goal seems too far to reach. It's not, it's right ahead of you and it will always be within your grasp. Life is not about instant gratification, but rather, it's about using your inner strength to persevere so you can achieve your full potential. Growth does not happen overnight, it happens when we consistently push ourselves toward improving our lives and our environment. Many times our progress can only be recognized by use of hindsight. We may feel there has been no change, or that the change has been painfully slow; however, when we take a moment to reflect and look back on where we were a few years ago and where we are now we are often afforded the benefit of truly understanding our successes.
>
> Hang in there, continue to follow the right path. The path that leads to healthy decisions and allows you to achieve your goals. Yes, that path is at times difficult, sometimes full of brambles and rocks. There may be times when the journey on that path seems impossible and difficult. Trust me, it is a battle well worth fighting and a journey well worth the sacrifice you may need to make from time to time. You are far to important and gifted to live your life in a cage again. Embrace this 2nd chance and run with it. If you stumble, all is not lost; pick yourself up and brush yourself off and resume your journey on the right path.
>
In a nutshell: keep up the good fight, or I will come to the UK and kick your arse :). (I know Brits don't have asses, they have arses).
>
> My best to you,
>
> Kathy
>
> PS: you really need to post Warrior's story installments more expeditiously. He's an excellent writer and I am finding myself spellbound by his stories. Get on it! ;)

Jon said...

Kathy,

Thanks for such an encouraging message and for your kind words about my blog. I will persevere come what may. I enjoy building things up from scratch.

Regarding Warrior's story, I'm at the mercy of when he sends me the next installment, so please bear with me.

Appreciatively yours,

Shaun

Anonymous said...

Shaun,

Hi there, it was nice to hear from you. I'm glad you found my letter encouraging, and you are very welcome.

It's good to hear that you enjoy the challenge of building things up from scratch. I have no doubts as to your intelligence and your ability to meet this challenge head on and bring it to fruition. This will actually be the ultimate challenge for you, as life is not static, but a constant fluid and changing thing. Each success you find in life is not the end of the "building it up from scratch" mission, those successes are merely a building block you are adding to your foundation. In essence, it's a never ending journey and I trust you will find it to be not only challenging, but exciting and rewarding at the same time.

With regard to Warrior's story installments; I do understand you are at the mercy of waiting to receive his next installment. I shall be patient as I wait to read more of his story :)

Take care and keep up the good work,

Kathy