Hello, and welcome to the site.

Frog Gravy (online version) is a serialized true story, reconstructed from my notes. Names have been changed.

Frog Gravy depicts daily life during incarceration, in Kentucky, during 2008 and 2009.

Frog Gravy contains graphic language.

I am currently working with the manuscript for Frog Gravy. If you are looking for an essay, go to the tag list (tag cloud) at the left-hand side of any page, and click on the large tag “Frog Gravy.” You can also search the site using the search box.

I will be posting other articles as well, and am interested in topics concerning wrongful conviction, the plight or path of the incarcerated upon release, and myths and facts about the criminal justice system. I also enjoy humor, the arts, and just about anything related to science, nature, birds and the environment. I am also a huge, unapologetic soccer fan. I am married to Masoninblue, a writer, astrologer and former death penalty lawyer and law professor. I sometimes post his full-text articles at this site. His new web site is FrederickLeatherman.wordpress.com, and his essays present various legal issues in an entertaining, thorough and easy-to-read fashion.

I cross-post most often at Firedoglake.com. I also sometimes post at SmirkingChimp.com, and occasionally at Salon.com.

I am placing all recycle, scrapping and dumpster articles on this site now, and I only visit and maintain this site currently.

If you wish to follow me on Twitter, my name there is CraneStation.

If you wish to follow Masoninblue on Twitter, his name there is Masoninblue.

CraneStation is a name derived from my love of birds, and one of my favorite hobbies, which is folding Origami cranes. We have an African Grey parrot named Nikko.

I would like to thank you for visiting this site, and I hope you enjoyed it.

If you wish to contact me privately, please email me at RachelLeatherman@gmail.com.

However, please do not contact me if you are a convicted felon, as I am on parole, thank you.

  1. howard wait says:


    I posted the note below today on Smirking Chimp.

    It is refreshing and interesting to read your take on incarceration, scavenging and American life generally. You have a passing resemblance to Joe Bageant’s no-bullshit, empathetic style. You actually appreciate real people and their real lives, something that is sadly missing even from many of the best progressive writers.

    I can say that even 12 years since my last conviction, and many years of productive work behind me society regards me no differently than the day I exited the correctional system. We have a long hard road ahead. You’re making the most of it the best way you can find. No one can ask for more.




    A fine mess we’re in…

    But this is a fine series about the reality of prison life.

    Incarceration is a long episode of interminable boredom punctuated by sudden outbreaks of violence, and endless assaults on basic dignity by a capricious and trivial application of inane and petty rules. I know.

    So few non-incarcerated citizens bother to educate themselves to the reality of incarceration, instead uncritically accepting media-fed myths about coddled inmates with free health care and cable TeeVee or salacious sex.

    I think you are making a record of our own Gulag Archipelago, the first in human history to completely merge and dissolve the distinction between political and criminal prisoners. All prisoners in this country can now be counted as politicals, given the irrational scale and scope of laws that criminalize everything. Even the small percentage guilty of, you know, actual crimes in the common law sense are there because of their social/class status more than their crime.

    I hate to quote Ayn Rand on anything, but in this instance she is right: “When there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws.

    Poverty itself has been de-facto criminalized.

    I’ll make sure to read the rest of your series @froggravy.wordpress.com.

    There is a fine line between a business success and a prison sentence. – H.L. Mencken

  2. Richard says:

    You’ve a gift for story telling. You’re empathy and humanity come through as well. You’ve pulled me in and I believe I’m hooked. I can’t wait for the next installment. I feel a bit guilty for enjoying the read, knowing how you and others have suffered, but I genuinly feel affected and won’t likely forget the images you’ve painted in my head. I ache inside for the people you’ve included. Thank you for the personal courage this is clearly taking.

    This is a subject that screams for more discussion and an elevated place in our collective brain.

  3. hey there Crane-Station

    Nice site. Perfect choice for your site theme–torn paper.
    You already know how much I admire your stories.

    I posted a link to your stories at http://iflizwerequeen.com
    go there i and you’ll see. It’s in the right column under ‘FREE EDUCATION”
    I thought that was an appropriate place to put the link. 🙂


    • Liz! You are the Queen. I am going to find your Twitter handle and follow you! Thank you so much, this really means a lot. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you, your research, your spirit and your writing. I hope that Amazon is just jammed with pre-orders!!

  4. Nandi Crosby says:


    Perhaps you will remember me from Soul.Journer Press. You contacted me a few months back about including one or two of your essays in my anthology. I thought I would drop you a line to see if you were still interested. If not, no problem. Just let me know.


    • My goodness, thank you, and I am still interested. I am also sorry for not contacting you sooner. My gmail was a bit of a mess, because I signed up for too many automatic notifications early on, so our conversation was lost. I will be contacting you by email today, and thank you so much for stopping by the Frog Gravy site.

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