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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday Treasure: Guest Post by Linda W Yezak

Good Morning Friends,

It is my pleasure and privilege to bring you this Tuesday Treasure by my friend and fellow author, Linda W Yezak.


You never know what you're going to find at an auction, or where it'll take your imagination.

The Bremond Fall Festival and Church Bazaar always features an auction, and we try never to miss it. True, we usually come home afterward having paid too much for silly things, mostly foodstuffs that would've cost far less at a grocery store, but occasionally we come across some treasures.

What I found this year is a true gem.

This wooden jewelry box with inlays was handmade by an inmate in Louisiana State Penitentiary, better known as Angola Prison--aka The Farm, the largest maximum security prison in America.

This is a beautiful piece of work regardless of who created it, but when we discovered an inmate made it, we had to have it. A piece with a history is always appealing because it's interesting, different. Because Angola is a maximum security prison, I wonder about the man who made this, what he did to land himself at The Farm, and how someone with such patience and talent could do anything awful enough to be sentenced there. Perhaps if he'd exhibited that amount of patience and talent long ago, he wouldn't be there now.

After MSB won the bid, the lady who donated it for the auction told us she'd bought it for $60 at the Angola Prison Rodeo, which is also an annual event. Every year, the warden challenges inmate artists to design a poster to advertise the event. The posters are terrific works of art themselves. This one is my favorite, from 2007:

The artistry and craftsmanship of the inmates' works bring out a series of "what if" questions and turn this writer's brain toward the plot of a new story. My mind wanders, plans, designs. Who would my main character be? A guilty man, like in Dead Man Walking, or an innocent, as in The Shawshank Redemption? Would I want a story where the prison is reformed, like Brubaker, or would I aim for an inmate-hero story instead, like The Hurricane?

What I know, since I'm a Christian and write Christian novels, is that my MC would come to the Lord--probably through his art, since I find it so fascinating. But from the salvation scene, where would I go? Prison release? A depiction of life in prison? Death row?

I also know that I wouldn't want to glamorize or romanticize prison life or the crime that landed my MC there. But what would my MC be guilty of? Can I depict some of the awful things that happen in real life, or would I prefer a soft-soap white-collar crime? So much to consider . . .

And to think, all this daydreaming and speculation came from a handcrafted jewelry box....

Definitely some things to treasure!

Linda W. Yezak lives with her husband and three cats in a forest in east Texas, where tall tales abound  and exaggeration is an art form. She holds a BA in English and a graduate certificate in Paralegal Studies. Thirty years later, she’s finally putting her degree in English to good use, combining it with her natural inclination toward story-telling to create fun, unique novels. Follow her on Twitter @LindaYezak and connect with her on Facebook: Author Linda W. Yezak 

Emily Taylor loves to help people, loves to ease their burdens and make their dreams come true. But when a conman ruins her reputation, she discovers that helping others is safer and easier from behind the scenes. 
When one of Emily’s gifts captures the attention of an avid journalist, her identity as the town’s anonymous benefactor—and her renewed relationship with her high school sweetheart—are threatened.
As her private life begins to unravel, she realizes the one hope for regaining control lies behind prison walls.
The Cat Lady's Secret is available now in Ebook and Print!

Well Friends, hope you enjoyed this week's Tuesday Treasure. Beginning June 24th I'll be participating and posting books from Authors Helping Authors "Rocking Summer Romance" blog hop so check back every week for great Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and of course, Saturday Spotlights!

Until next time....take care & God Bless!


Linda Yezak said...

Thanks for posting this, Pam. I love this jewelry box. Beautifully made and smooth as silk to the touch.

LoRee Peery said...

Linda, I enjoyed your thoughts. My mind went to picturing prisoners as cowboys... and then to a real-life case of a couple pastors serving time in Mexico right now, accused of crimes they didn't commit. But the Lord is at work in many lives.

Linda Yezak said...

It's heart-rending about the pastors in Mexico, and elsewhere in the world. I pray God blesses them, though--like Paul in prison, perhaps they are reaching more for the Lord, even during their trials.

Thanks for the comment, LoRee!

Pegg Thomas said...

Gorgeous box, Linda! Have you read Jerry Jenkins' book Riven? Much of it is set inside a maximum security prison. Stark. But a very good read.

Linda Yezak said...

Pegg--I did read Riven. Loved it. Loved the characterization of the bad boy. That was masterful work!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Linda and Pam,

A very interesting blog! One of my favorite TV programs is Antiques Roadshow. I love seeing and hearing about unusual, unique objects such as yours. As to prisons and jails,
my older son Andrew is a criminal defense attorney. Needles to say he spends a good deal of time dealing with and visiting prisoners. It's definitely not glamorous. My son was also a great help in providing authentic details and description for my latest mystery THE BAD WIFE which has scenes of incarceration.

Linda Yezak said...

Wow--nothing like first hand information! Best of luck with your new book, Jacqueline!

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Thank you ALL for stopping by!