‘Memoirs From A Prison Cell’ a troubling tale | Bookends

The sub-title for book one in the “Memoirs From A Prison Cell” trilogy is “The Missteps Of A Southern Boy,” and that really tells the story of this book.

Many books that are labeled as “memoirs” tell stories of a person’s life and reveals difficulties along the way. And this book is a really good example of how events outside of your control can shape your life.

Terry Hill started writing this memoir while incarcerated in Seattle. He had the fortune to meet up with a good counselor that thought writing memoirs was a good way for inmates to face their situations and maybe come to grips with why they were in prison.

Terry’s story starts in rural Louisiana in 1962. It was a very squalid life he was born into. His mother tried her best to raise and feed her eight children; the father of these children contributed nothing, preferring to spend his paycheck on drinking and women.

The first big event in Terry’s life was when his mother decided to give the children away (yes, I said give the children away), and move back to Seattle to live with her mother.

The children were separated and sent to live with neighbors who were known to the children but were not related in any way. Terry was 4 and doesn’t remember any explanation from his mother about why this was happening. It just happened.

He then began a life of trying to understand the world, his survival of the spankings and other abuses that the new family used to “keep him on the straight and narrow.”

This book follows Terry from childhood to petty crimes to addiction, to when he finally realized that he had become exactly like his father and he needed to stop his present path, get straight, and start being the man he really knew he could be.

This is a story that is both enlightening and troubling. You can find this book on Amazon.com, as a Kindle book and in paperback.

Let me tell you about the KLAW — Kitsap Literary Artists and Writers Group. This group is led by Marshall Miller and Peter Stockwell and I asked them to describe what they do. This is the answer I got:

“It’s all about helping local artists and writers. We help them market their works and become known to the public. We also want to show writers that if they feel like writing, do it.”

The group meets at the Family Pancake House, 4115 Wheaton Way, Bremerton. Meetings take place on the first and third Wednesdays at 7 p.m. On the second Tuesday of each month, a related Kitsap Filmmakers group meets at the same place and time. The writers’ group will meet next on Nov. 15.

Miller said participants brainstorm at the meetings, share ideas and experiences in writing, marketing, publishing, etc. They also organize events to promote each other’s books.

KLAW also has a television show, he said.

“We usually film our interviews the last Tuesday of the month at the BKAT studios,” Miller said. “Our show is broadcast at 6 p.m, on Saturday, on Channel 3 Wave Cable and Channel 12 on Comcast.”

If you are an author of a published book, contact them on their Facebook page or attend one of the meetings. These guys are super friendly and can be a great resource for a writer whose book is published and needs to get in the hands of readers.

Quote for today: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C.S. Lewis

Donna Lee Anderson writes a weekly literary column for Kitsap Weekly. Email her at welltoldtales@aol.com.