Video: Martha's prison progress

updated 10/21/2004 12:26:31 PM ET 2004-10-21T16:26:31

Martha Stewart is using her prison time to learn "innovative ways to do microwave cooking" and is being treated with respect by fellow inmates and prison staff, her lawyer said Thursday.

"She's making the best of what's necessarily a difficult situation," lawyer Walter Dellinger said on NBC's "Today" program.

Stewart is in the first month of a five-month sentence at the minimum-security federal women's prison in Alderson, W.Va. She asked a federal appeals court late Wednesday to overturn her conviction.

Because inmates can only use a microwave to do their own cooking, Stewart is working with fellow prisoners to "come up with some creative recipes" based on ingredients available at the prison commissary.

Other inmates have been quoted in newspaper reports as saying Stewart has also picked crabapples from trees on the prison grounds.

"What she likes best about it, I think, is how much she likes the fellow inmates and the people who run the prison facility at Alderson, and the respect that they all seem to have for each other," Dellinger said.

Dellinger also said Stewart spends up to three hours a night writing on a prison typewriter. She must purchase her own ribbons at a prison store.

The lawyer said he did not know what she is writing, but Stewart has suggested since her conviction that she might write a book about her recent experience with the legal system.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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