The book I’m writing about Jamie’s life finally starting looking like a book once I printed it out the mmanuscript.Now I can read one chapter after another to see how it reads. I’m sending it off to Jamie. He has the first 8 chapters. I’m sending 14 more. I still think I am about 60% done until it goes to the next step. This time in Pa I recorded more music and another music video. In between it is constant promoting and social media. All of this makes for a 12 hr day minimum, often 7 days a week. I am determined this is all for a reason and to be successful it has to be a priority.
How is Jamie doing? He has worked hard to keep his head on straight. Some days are harder than others. He was transferred to another prison to take part in a program that includes therapy with several other inmates but I don’t have the details yet of exactly what it is.
He comes up for parole again next April but if he were to get out right now he would unprepared to re enter society. It is like solders coming back after constantly being deployed in a war zone, dealing with death and trauma and then expected to walk back into the life they left. It’s not that easy. It is why the suicide rate and homelessness is so high for soldiers. So is lack of medical care. They receive 30 days of meds. Then what do they do? How does Jamie get his seizure meds in a timely manner?When an inmate has been locked in isolation for umpteen years, what is “normal” for them?
When he was moved to this prison they started feeding him the worst food – food loaf – mushed up garbage into a loaf that is sliced and fed to them. Under punishment the longest they can feed can it to them is 7 days so how do they get away with it?
This is why I’m selling T-shirts – pinned to the beginning of the blog. I’m on a fixed income. His yearly medical fee is coming up in Jan. It’s $100 I don’t have and buy food, too. I’m putting this out there in case anyone can help, even a little.
I think my train is getting closer to S. Fl. The leaves on the trees are green again. I’ll be here for 6 weeks then I’ll go home for a few weeks ( it will still be Jan!) And hop on another train. I have piano students in Florida so I can’t stay gone too long. It’s hard to get students these days. Nobody buys pianos. Kids are often not introduced to music in school. Parents buy electronic toys for their kids to learn on and they don’t sound or play the same. But I have to keep trying to make money.
This is my newest piano piece – You’ll find it later on one of the chapters to my book. One by one the chapters are rewritten, music is recorded and videos are made.
Read some of the chapters. They are easy to find. They have a picture of the book cover at the top. “Inside The Forbidden Outside.”
Leave feedback! I want to know what you think. Subscribe to my newsletter and most of all – share, as I build a following. This is to help Jamie when he is released from prison, which is getting closer and closer. Only a little over 4 years to go! Also, go to sonniquick.net to hear all of the music and videos done so far.
This is the most important projects of my life. Years of learning to play the piano, performing and writing. But most of all it is for someone else – to help his life. To be there for someone that most everyone has forgotten.
How we treat people shows us what kind of person wee are. The golden rule, no matter what your philosophy or religion is: treat people the way you want to be treated. If everyone kept that in mind, the crisis America – and the world – is going through would make or lives better. That is all I’m trying to do.
For those who follow me – or find me by accident – thank you very much. Come to my other social media and say hi.
Ever try spinning seven plates at one time without letting any of them smash into tiny pieces on the floor? That is my life today. The fact that things are moving fast is a good thing, but it also means working from the time I wake until the very latest wee hours of the morning (sun-up). Two blogs, three fb pages or groups, other social media and connections, studying, writing – my work and editing others, and my The ITFO Newsletter which I am late getting out this month. Did I say seven plates?
Because I haven’t been able to post as often as I’d like because of this I thought it would be a good idea to tell you what is up.
The rewrite of the book, “Inside the Forbidden Outside” I started two years ago is in full swing. When it comes to learning a craft, you can really only learn it by making every possible mistake there is so you know how not to make it again. I am far from learning all I need to know, but I have learned enough to realize that first draft is only usable as far as pulling out certain facts and scenes in it, but as a book that is publishable, if I had tried it would have been as big of a disaster as some of the free books self published books I download from Nook – just to study how badly most of them have been edited.
I took two writing classes this past year and worked closely with a story editor to get it on track. If you have ever thought about writing, the University of Iowa teaches free six week courses in all kinds of writing. – called The Power of The Pen. Through that I met many other writers – some new, some published and 22 of us have joined together in a separate writer’s group to continue to read and critique each other’s writing. Because I also write poetry I am starting another class this week on poetry and playwriting. There are also good resources atAll Writer Workshops
Most of you have heard at least one piece of piano music I have recorded. It is on quite a few blog posts and 37 pieces can be found at SoundCloud. I was contacted by the GM of London based SkunkRadioLive about submitting my music to be aired on their show. They play an hour of instrumental music between 1 and 2 – their time or 8 AM EST. The music submitted is called an “audition”. They play it for a week. If it gets good feedback – from people liking it then there is the possibility of it played on a regular basis and having a digital album cover done to be used for promotion.
I would use the same title and artwork and that will be created for the book to better create a sellable brand. The attitude of “Write a book, put it on amazon and buyers will come” is a pipedream. I haven’t spent all this time developing something using hope to sell it with. I’m spending the hours to learn how to market my self, book and music together. I might be getting close to being a dinosaur in music – but the decades, playing, teaching and composing brings out the best in a player.
To pull this all together means I will have to get back out in the public and play gigs again. I retired fifteen years ago. My last gig was at La Te Da’s in Key West. I later went through years of illness after illness never thinking I’d be able to play again. It will still be a struggle, but I had to decide if I was still alive or dead – and being alive won the battle. Living on a disability check clinched the deal for me. Broke is not fun.
So, hang in there with me. I need your support. Jamie needs your support – because he is on the cover for all of this. I’m hoping to get down to the prison to see him after the worst of the Tx summer is over. I also plan on being back in the Keys this Winter. My son is moving back in a couple weeks. I HATE WINTER!
Life is for the living – go live it instead of just thinking about it!
Stay current on prison issues and inmate writings. As I build followers for Jamie with the book I’m writing about Jamie Cummings life, Inside The Forbidden Outside, keeping people informed along the way is important. It gives him a purpose when he gets out that he can help other lives. Much of the information is not on this blog and it’s important we reach people everywhere. We have a government now even more gung-ho on locking up as many people as they can for even longer years – making crimes out of things that were never crimes before to placate the prison corporations. It is going to affect even more people who will get knocked sideways when they find themselves behind a steel door. Staying informed helps you protect yourself, because, yes, it can happen to you, too.
If you know an inmate who writes poetry or is an artist or has a story you’d like to tell you can email me at:firstname.lastname@example.org
Protect yourself by having an attorney on call with an app on your phone. Stopped and given a ticket? harassed? Get screwed by a landlord? Customer not refund your money? Need a FREE will done? (normally about $300) Click on the link below and see why you need this. A friend has a brand new problem with a landlord. She had just signed up for the service. She didn’t even think about Legal Shield until I reminded her. All for muchless than a trip through Kentucky Fried Chicken. Call me, email me, msg me here or at FB. It’s that easy.
I can’t make you do this. It is why you have car insurance even though you are a good driver – the other person who hit you, isn’t. Then you call your insurance company. That is why you NEED Legal Shield. If I didn’t think this was true I wouldn’t waste the space putting it here.
Things happen in our lives that have the potential to change everything. We have the opportunity to make these turns or we can ignore them. Either decision makes a different cause that has a different effect and can send our life down a road that has a great impact on us. Some people are afraid of change, afraid of where it will send them and choose to not move. But some people relish the change and leap into the abyss, confident that wherever it goes they will be glad they went.
That is my life and it definitely has been interesting. There is a motto I’ve lived my life by. “If you don’t like what I’m doing, don’t watch me do it.” I’ve made choices the average person wouldn’t because they care too much about what other people would think, even though most people don’t care what you do because they are too busy trying to live their own lives. It gives people a reason from taking risks. My greatest fear was waking up and finding out I was a dental assistant, or some other “job” for an hourly wage, living in a planned cookie cutter community. That type of security may work for some, but not for me.
WHEN DID YOU START WRITING?
I started writing songs and song lyrics when I was about 18, in the early 70’s. Lyrics flowed easy for me. I still write a lot of poetry that has music to play behind it, but not sung to the music. Being young has many good points, but if you are creative it gets better with age and experience.
I started keeping a journal when I was in my 20’s, long before there were computers for blogging. What turned out to be the greatest values in keeping those journals was being able to sit and read about myself decades later, reliving my life and watching myself grow up; wincing at immature decisions and reliving my children when they were young. It’s quite an experience. Decades from now when I’m gone, my life will still be there to read. Jamie’s blog and letters will also be there for his son to read and learn about his life in prison. Without a doubt he will know how much he was loved. A child with a father who is gone for any reason needs to know that. If the father is alive and coming back one day it is even more important.
I met Jamie before he went to prison, and writing to him happened more by chance than for the reason of writing to an inmate. I had never thought about writing to an inmate because I never knew anyone inside and nothing in my life put me anywhere near a prison. After years of writing these letters I saw Jamie’s life emerge through the words. I don’t think he ever had anyone who had shown much interest in what he thought, or how he felt. No one told him he could choose where his life could go instead of letting it slap him around. No one told him his life had value. He just went through each day as it came. His mother worked hard and raised her children by working two jobs. There was little guidance about having a future. He rarely has contact with her now. Her choice, not his. She makes no attempt to be there for him or help him with anything he might need. His family dumped him, as harsh as that sounds.
Jamie has been studying Nichiren Buddhism for the last 6 years, which is hard when you have no support inside and you are in a place that only wants to keep you down. Nichiren Buddhism is not Zen or Tibetan or anything to do with the Dalai Lama which are the only things most people think of when they hear the word Buddhism.. This isn’t the time to go into a lengthy explanation of what Buddhism means. It is simply the law of cause and effect. It is the same as the phrase, you reap what you sow, except we take that phrase very seriously. We are where we are because of the causes we make. To make a difference we have to change the causes we make. That takes a deeper understanding of your nature than you have now.
It took years of conversations and study for him to begin to understand himself. It is a fascinating process when you realize it is you, not an outside source, that controls what happens to your life. It can also be a painful process when you realize what you are going through is entirely because of the things you have done and not something that has been done to you. It is always two steps forward and one, maybe two steps back as you take responsibility for your life. It takes perseverance to work through the obstacles that keep you down.
It was at this point that he began to leave the boy behind and the man began to emerge. Obstacles never stop, but he is learning to deal with them in a different way. It is a fight, with yourself, to not react to life the way you always have in the past. This will carry over when he gets out of prison. This is why so many people who get of prison end up back inside. They want to change. They want to do things in a different way but they don’t know how to do that consistently.
Being out will be harder, in a different way, than being inside because he’ll be walking into a different world he doesn’t know, needing products and services he has never heard of before. Because his family has had zero interest in how he is doing, I expect there will be little interest after he gets out. Besides, they have done enough damage.
In the beginning it took time to develop trust. He had been hurt by people he loved. Even now there are things that are very hard for him to talk about, such as his experience with epilepsy. He thought of himself as damaged. I had to learn this was very painful for him to write about. I didn’t understand it wasn’t just a medical condition. It affected how he was treated by others. He was lonely as a child which also caused fear and depression. Epilepsy is something you can’t fix, at least not yet.
It is easy for someone else to judge another person based on their own experiences. Sometimes I would write a letter and he would tell me what I wrote hurt him and at times made him cry because of the pain of having to live through it again in his mind. It made me feel bad for being insensitive.
He blames himself so thoroughly for not having the wisdom to make better choices in his life, but that would have taken wisdom he didn’t have. Everything happens for a reason, he has learned, and it is up to him now to put that wisdom to good use. Prison is teaching him something his life probably could not have taught him on it’s own on the outside. It’s up to him now to use that wisdom.
WHY DID YOU START THE BLOG, “MY NAME IS JAMIE. MY LIFE IN PRISON”
We started writing letters in 2006 but it wasn’t until much later that I started the blog, when I realized he had a story to tell others needed to hear. There are millions of people incarcerated and many who are in the same situation as he is – without his family. There are many millions of people; wives, mothers, husbands, partners and children whose lives are all affected. Losing a member of a family has long range affects, especially on the children who most often grow up in poor households run by mothers who don’t make enough to support a family and be both mother and father. Sadly, many of these people were targeted because they were black, not because they were guilty. If guilty, many were given sentences way out of proportion to whatever crime was committed. This made a lot of money for the prison industrial corporation in an up to date slavery system.
I started the blog My Name is Jamie. My Life in Prison in mid 2014. If you want to understand Jamie go to the pages at the top of the website and the earliest posts listed by the month under the bottom of the post.
He is my grandson’s father. We met six weeks before he was arrested when I went to Tx to visit my daughter. He wrote to me once before He was sentenced. But it was write awhile before I sent him a card. He was surprised to hear from me. That was the beginning of our letters. When I realized his family wasn’t there for him, I reached inside his head and grabbed hold. He wasn’t doing very well on his own. He needed someone to be there, and he needed someone to care about as well.
I researched and read everything I could find about prisons. I was horrified about what I read. I had no idea. I was like many of the people who read something I wrote and have a sarcastic comment about him deserving every rotten thing they do to inmates, yet they have no idea about what they are thinking beyond the propaganda put out by the media. Our prison system is a very ugly part of our civilization. Surely this country didn’t treat it’s citizens like this, some people think . The amount of innocent people the government locked up, predominantly black, had to be wrong. But it wasn’t. I was so naive.
I had been like everyone else. My knowledge came from TV and movies, not realizing I only knew what I was allowed to know. The underbelly of the prison system, the involvement of our government and prison corporations shocked me. How could I live all these years and not know this?
There are many people like Jamie. His case isn’t special. The fact it is ordinary is frightening. He could be anyone; a member of your own family. The response people have had to this blog helped him realize the picture the media puts out of black people he is just a poor, black, uneducated man who is going nowhere, who some believe was born with the genetic inclination to be a criminal; the false picture many people believe about the black race, was not the picture he had to believe of himself. He is his own individual person. Jamie became real to many people all over the world in the past couple years. Many people have written to me about their own experiences, or experiences of people they care about who were also stuck in the profit motivated circumstance of prison.
For the first time in his life Jamie realized he did have value. His family still has very little contact with him, but he has made a few friends through the blog who write to him and have been very supportive of him – and me, too.
His family really don’t know him anymore. Jamie the man is different from Jamie the boy. For so long he was not important to anyone and it crushed him. But he is important to me. I became his friend, his teacher and his mom; someonewho showed him love and caring. His family never noticed when he matured from a boy to a man – a man with a voice.
GOALS FOR THE BLOG
The first draft of the book on Jamie’s life is done, “Inside The Forbidden Outside.” There is still a lot of work to do. I found out there was a lot I didn’t know about writing a book, too. One of those things is I need a mailing list. Books that are listed at Amazon or Barnes and Noble and others don’t sell themselves. That is another skill set that needs to be learned if I want it to be successful. I started a monthly publication called ITFO Newsletter. There is an update on the book and snippets of chapters to gain interest. The newsletter has a variety of articles about the prison system. People who subscribe will have the opportunity to downloading the ebook version for free when it is published.
There is a Facebook page, Jamie Life In Prison, twitter and others. When the book is published my goal is to speak – at schools and communities to start, and when I get my feet wet I want to work as a paid speaker. It’s important to dream big. Reach for the stars. This way if you fall short you will at least land on the moon!
This book is only part one. Jamie will not be out of prison yet when I’m done. Groundwork must be laid for him to have a life. How does the book end? Part two will be awhile coming. It will be about what happens from here, the process of getting out and what happens when he does. A lot can happen in six years. He will not be going out into a welcoming society. In between I will write another book and am mulling over some different ideas. Possibly a book of short stories of actual inmates or break away to a different idea?
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR FIRST TIME AUTHOR’S?
Where do I begin to answer that since I am also a first time author? I can pass along the things I have learned up until now. A person says to himself, “I have a great idea for a book.” Not too many years ago it was almost impossible to publish a book unless you were already known or very lucky. But book publishing went the same way as music publishing. You don’t need a record contract to get your music out there anymore. There are ways through social media of gathering a following. There are many good musicians and many good authors that never had an alternative. Now there is.
A book publisher who offers you a contract owns your book and can change it, including the title, any way they see fit. It will then take another two years to see the light of day. You get less profit per book because the publisher needs their money, too. Also, they won’t touch a book without an agent, who also gets a cut of the sale. There is little or zero up front money unless you are a well known author and you are still expected to market your own book. Many good editors lost their jobs because the industry changed.
Self publishing companies began springing up all over the web and many ads also started appearing to teach people the ropes. If you ever click on one of these ads be prepared to have every book publishing business follow you around the internet forever. Be careful of these companies. They are like snake oil salesmen. If an author doesn’t do their homework they are going to pay through the noise and likely be disappointed with the product. They also realize they haven’t laid the groundwork to market their book and feel overwhelmed. They may not have the skills to learn the marketing that is required our they are tired and need a break. I’ve talked with people who at this point just took what sales they could get and crossed their fingers. The average self published book sells less than 100 copies
Many people who write a book get scammed by one of these companies who take your money, tell you how great your book is, then puts out a sub par product with lousy editing, charges you for things you don’t need, and when it’s done and you find problems, they won’t answer your calls. I talked to many of these salesmen and they are very convincing. There were several I wanted to go with because they sounded so good. I researched them and was glad my internal scam meter was going off at full tilt.
This is the best piece of advice I can offer: Pay an editor; one for content (story) and a copy editor for grammar, phrasing and much more.. You can not edit your own writing no matter how good you think you are with the English language. There are things we can’t see in our own writing but other people will. Sometimes we make the same mistake over and over. I read a lot of samples at Amazon from self published and well known authors. Study what works and what doesn’t work. Find out what feels wrong when you read and don’t repeat it. It is a free way to study writing. Poorly edited books will only sell to people who love you and the rest you’ll give away for free.
WHAT PART DOES MUSIC PLAY IN MY LIFE?
I am first a piano player. Not a pianist, because I equate that with classical. My dream from very early childhood was to compose the most beautiful music in the world. A childish dream but I one I have never forgotten. I didn’t play well at the age of 7, but I could hear it inside me. I didn’t know how to get it out. Even as an adult, through years of playing professionally and practicing every day it still wasn’t there yet. I have stacks of songs I’ve written with lyrics and piano arrangements but it still wasn’t what I heard inside.
Then I lost it all. I thought I was done. I ruined my vocal cords. My ego wouldn’t let me be someone’s side man. If I wasn’t gigging I had no reason to write music. I had nowhere to play it. No one to hear it. My piano gathered dust for 12 years except for a few students. I lost my identity. At least I thought I did. I didn’t know who I was. I had always known, “I am a musician.” If anyone asked what I did I felt I had lost the right to call myself a musician. A part of me had been amputated and it was a painful blow to my life.
Then Jamie entered my life – the man in prison I write about at My Name is Jamie.My Life in prison. Through years of knowing him, his pain struck a deep nerve inside me. In 2012 I nearly died in need of a liver transplant. That pain was like none I’d ever felt before. The recovery was very long and some of the damage done is repairable. Pain and I are good friends. It lets me know every morning I didn’t die in my sleep.
Something changed inside me. I needed a way to express the pain. I feel emotions deeply. Not only what I was feeling about me, but the pain I carried for Jamie – his pain and his loss. It was palpable. No one who should have been there for him treated him like a human being, recognizing his pain. It is a horrible pain when you realize the people who should be caring about you – don’t, and you are left to rot.
Without any love at all you begin to die inside. Family told him, “I don’t write to you because it hurts ME so much that you are in there.” That doesn’t make any more sense today than it did the first time I heard it. He and I understood each other. Even through the hell he lived in, he worried more about me than about himself. Where does a friend like that come from? How could I let him down, no matter what people thought?
It made me want to play music again. I can’t it explain, but instead of creating music from the outside by developing a chord structure and building a melody around it, I crawled inside the music and let it play itself. My fingers know what to do like a typist knows a keyboard. I knew what I was feeling so I mentally get out of the way and let my fingers express what I felt. Because what I feel is pain, physically and emotionally, there is pain in the music. I don’t listen while I play. I just play. I hear it in the background like it comes from somewhere else. I record everything. I sometimes don’t listen back for days so I can hear it as a stranger. I can never replay anything because it is all free style – I improvise. After that it is gone.
When I listen to music I recorded two years ago and those recorded recently, I can hear a change and it is getting closer to what is inside. I’m know I’m not done yet. Where is it going? I don’t know. The process and progress is exciting. There ARE advantages to aging – experience and wisdom. The more I immerse myself in the emotion I want to convey, the more that feeling emerges. Yes, there is, technically, an occasional wrong note – but are they really wrong notes or part of the process?
I enjoy sharing my music. You can find all of it at Sound Cloud. There are a couple hours of recorded music. Leave a comment. Add a like. Stats are the name of the game for anything online. Who says a 62 year old woman is too old to keep creating something new? I’ve had about 10,000 pieces listened to. If it went no farther I’d be happy, but I don’t think I’m done.
My favorite way to play is in a completely dark room or even blindfolded. When you listen, dim the lights and close your eyes. Put your head back. This is dream music. What does it make you feel? Play it again. Where does it take you? What do you hear? I have asked people these questions. Strangely, I often get the same answers. What do you hear? These two pieces are two of my favorites and completely different. Picking up Broken Pieces Brings Tears to my eyes. A newer piece is K’lee written for a man whose words affected my Life. On my other blog watchandwhirl.com is a post, “Talking to my Younger Self.” It was written because of him.
ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE MYSELF
I thought about this question and saved it for last. That one word for me is “passionate.” I do everything intensely. I often push myself through a wall of pain that is there every day. I could give in to it, but no one could ever understand what it means anyway. But it helps me see and understand the pain in others and it allows me to be there for them. That requires passion.
Some people want to leave a legacy when they are gone so they aren’t forgotten. They want to do something great or pass on a lot of money. But a true legacy is how you have affected other lives. Because of you, did you change someone’s life in a positive way, and then they, too, have affected other lives? This is how you live on. This is the only way we can truly change the world. If people can’t manage that on a small scale we will never see great change.
“The change in a single human being can change the world”
There is no way I could add all the promo pictures and bands I worked with over the years. I also taught piano through most of these years as well. If I stay lucky and have at least another 20 years to compose, knowing the older the you get the more experience you have. As long as arthritis leaves my hands alone I’m going to be kicking butt somewhere. I won’t go down easy.
Some pieces have being eliminated because of sound quality. I have a much better way of recording. I can sit and play like this for hours and never play the same thing twice. Everything is improvised. I’m considering gigging again. I gave up playing in piano bars 12 years ago. I started in 1974 and moved on to fronting bands in 1981 and later, in the 90’s began to only teach. In 2000, in Key West I began playing as a solo artist again but later became to sick to play. Through all these I continued to teach and compose and had other “careers” in between. I regret I never had a chance to play with my son Robo who is one hell of a keyboard player – the fastest left hand I’ve ever seen.
Now at the ripe old age of . . . older than my grandchildren, my desire to write and perform burns a hole inside me. I have always believed if a dream comes to life inside it is there for a reason, so follow it. It is why I have done everything I’ve done in my life that has taken me to many different places ( and gave my kids a very unstable childhood, but they learned not to except the status quo or care about what other people think about they decided to do.) Go for it. We only remember one life.
So when my book is published – it is in the first round of editing – then I think I need to find a way to fit in one gig a week – find a nice restaurant that appreciates beautiful music playing while people socialize. Years ago I swore I’d never play another piano bar. They bored me. This is another time in my life. I’ve played many piano bars, from the Hyatt Regency in Houston to the Bahia Mar on Padre Island to La Te Da’s in Key West.
Soundcloud allows easier access for people who don’t follow the blog, but see it advertised in other places. I’ve taken off most of the duplicate music but left ones that are still found on earlier blog posts. Soundcloud also allows me better access to to stats to see what is being listened to and which ones are liked better. Older blog posts will still direct you here but new posts will only play soundcloud tracks.
Scattered through out the blog you will find many of these music pieces. These are all original
improvisations. “Inside the Forbidden Outside” Is the title of the book I’m writing about Jamie Cummings. I’ve been working on it for 1 1/2 years. Writing this while keeping up my 2 blogs has been work than I thought it would be. Marketing it takes another bundle of time. I would like to be able to offer this music in some way with the book when it is ready. It is the heart – the emotion that came from writing. The sadness of understanding what life is like for someone on the inside when the people you love don’t take the time to show they remember you are there. Find out what real loneliness feels like. This music is my sadness for him.
You can get on the mailing list for the new ITFO Newsletter – the initials for the name of the book – by going here http://eepurl.com/bZ8e71 (You may have to put the link in the browser until I figure out why it won’t link) It is a newsletter about the prison industry and the inmates inside. It is a part of this country that needs to change. You can reach me directly at: email@example.com. For the first three days after publication I will give out free ebooks through Kindle at Amazon, only asking that you please leave a review. You will know ahead of time when that happens. Reviews sell books. Money earned through this will help me help Jamie. If I already have your address and want to write a review just send a msg. The notice will be in the monthly newsletter I’ve started. I’ve been promoting early go grow an email list. I hoping to have it for sale before the end of the year.
This page has been being changed over to http://soundcloud.com/sonni-quick All new pieces are there, not here.. But still, this is part of my history and every piece was written for a reason.
This music is copyrighted. Please do not use it for ANY reason other than for your own listening. You may only share it with proper credit and a link back to the original site. Thank you.
Second Time Around – by Sonni Quick. Copyright 2015
The Fallen – by Sonni Quick copyright. 2015
Lost Love – by Sonni Quick. Copyright 2015
Yester Days – by Sonni Quick copyright 2015
Taking Back What They Took Away – by Sonni Quick copyright 2015
And The Rain Begins – by Sonni Quick copyright 2015
For those that might have missed it, this is the section of his radio show that is just his interview with me. Please share this with your own people to help me get what I am doing off the ground and also help David with enhancing his ratings with his show. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for my newly launched monthly newsletter, which will cover many other aspects of our justice system. Most of all – Thank you for listening!
One of the most fascinating interviews we have ever done on the show, Sonni Quick tells a story about Jamie Cummings who has epilepsy and his harsh treatment in prison. We also discuss about what is wrong with the US prison system and how it affects everyone, even when they use guards in schools. The interview ends with one powerful message on what needs to be changed in the prison system and who, possible, can help bring those changes.
“Sending All My Love to You” is the latest piece I’ve written and recorded”
How are you? Fine and in the best of heath I hope. As for me, things are crazy here as always. On Friday Dec 11 I had to go to the hospital. I had a seizure while I was asleep. I’m okay, I just hurt my left shoulder. It hurts here and there. They took x-rays and said I’ll be fine. I’m still not getting the medication for my heart. Nothing new with these people.
( Sonni’s note: That makes me so angry that they are allowed to do this. Why is that even the rights the inmates are supposed to have, the prisons don’t have to follow, People in our government know they aren’t being followed, and people get hurt or die because of their negligence. I don’t get it.)
The medication for my seizures was changed. They can’t stop giving me that one. They can’t screw with that diagnoses and say I don’t that medication. With the change in this medication, I’ll see if it helps. the other medication was giving me bad headaches. I was taken off it. So far so good.
Oh, just so you know I received all the books you sent me except for one. Something with the subject matter they didn’t like. It’s okay. There’s a lot of good books here.
( Sonni’s note: I sent him 30 books from an website that sends books to inmates. http://imailtoprisons.com. You can send new books and used books and its already approved by the prisons. Who cares if they are used? It will keep him reading for quite awhile and then he’ll read them all again. He asked if I could send him some Westerns. He had never said he was interested in that. Why not? Fortunately there were some Westerns in the lot. He said he was going to save them for last. I guess it is like eating dessert last. Save the best until last. I got a laugh out of that.)
I also got the big envelope with the book chapters you wrote for Inside The Forbidden Outside. I’m waiting to get some stamps so I can answer your questions. I also received a few letters from people who read the blog. It was really good to hear from other people. It makes me feel as though there are people who care and I didn’t feel so alone. I got a couple letters from a woman named Leah. She said she talks to you a lot online. Another lady is Kelly Sherrell. I’m waiting to get stamps so I can write back to them.
I really enjoy everything you sent in the big envelope. That is some strong stuff you are writing. You know, it always good to hear when you are doing good. But remember some things can be fixed and some things can’t. Just like with these guards with the way they treat me me and the shit I give them back. It’s wrong on both our ends. Someone has to be the bigger person and I see it’s going to have to be me, because the system doesn’t care nor do the people who works for them. I’ve been through a lot and I’m tired, so I want you to know something. This might upset you a bit, however I think this is the best thing for me, okay? I’ve been placed back in ad seg (another term for solitary confinement) As of right now I’m waiting to be sent to another unit because they don’t have ad seg here – only G5 (that is really no different either. It’s a classification, but you are still in lock down 23 hours a day and get served your meals through a slot in the door and have no communication with anyone. ) So I’m waiting to leave. Please don’t be mad. I could still make parole in ad seg, but I have to get my line class back and that will take a year. Also inmates that go to ad seg get a lot help as far as programs and school when we get out. I feel this will be a new start and I will get a lot out of this, mom, really.
I’ve sat here and read your letter over and over about how to keep my mouth shut, however it was already too late. I did this to myself and it hurts me to tell you I’m going back to ad seg. because I know it is something you don’t want. I understand if you want to stop writing to me. (fat chance of that happening!) Just know that I will try and I’ll keep trying, okay? I won’t give up.
Please give me a little time. I will beat this. I’m going to overcome myself. I feel that this would help me more. They offer a lot to us when we get out of the seg program. I know I can do it. I’ve done it before.
One of the officers broke my ID so I can’t go to commissary and it will take me three weeks to get another one. One of the dudes in here got some stuff for me that I needed, and I will be able to get it back to him when I get my new ID.
I won’t give up. Like you always said, it’s two steps forward and 1 1/2 steps back. Everything happens for a reason. It is what I learn about myself that counts. Sometimes when something looks like a bad thing, there is something good inside it to learn. I have to learn how to overcome my anger. I know I get angry fast and if I don’t learn why it happens and how to control it, it will get me into trouble when I get out. I want to have a good life when I get out, so I have to work on these things now. There is a reason for this. I can’t blame nobody else but myself. Like you said many times, to be happy I need to understand cause and effect. I need to make better causes to get better effects.
I need to get this in the mail. I love you, mom. I love you always
Jamie Merry Christmas
(Sonni’s note: my response to this will be in another post)
About SoundCloud – Click on my face to bring up all 12 music pieces. Use headphones to listen in you can or you lose the richness of the piano tones. Otherwise it sounds tinny. My Newest piece is titled “Sending All My Love To You” It should be at the top of the list. I am using Soundcloud now instead of inserting a music player. I only ask that if you like it, let me know. I only know by the stats, just like blogging. Share it or like it or leave a comment if you want. Getting feedback helps me a lot and when someone is a newbie at a site like this it encourages others to listen as well. There are 12 music pieces there. I put them on my first CD for my mother to play and share with friends. When you aren’t a computer person it doesn’t help to tell someone to go to a computer to listen to it! I enjoy creating music. I hope you enjoy listening to it.
Find your life gather up the pieces Heal a broken life forget the pain slowly time erases Put it back together – again in a way that shows the world now who you are learn to be a friend to those who know your worth is so much more than you were outside that locked door Take the time to think before you act Reach and hold the hand of those that reach their hand toward you Don’t let your old ways decide how you react Use anger in a better way to teach the chosen few
Life dealt a crushing blow to the soul of one so young No one to protect you from the time your life began It’s not easy to be a different man It takes more courage than simply wanting life to change don’t find a single reason or try to place the blame or the effects of all your causes will come full circle back to you if you react the way you learned that action will undo and scatter all the pieces you’ll be lost again Remember No matter what life gives you you’re stronger than before using all your past mistakes to learn and grow a little more Did you know the man inside deserves a better life and when you finally get to walk out through the open door don’t look back that’s in the past this new life that you’ve found is the second time around
Hello Beautiful, I got your letter. I love the photo of you. Still looking good (smile) What did you do for your special day? I hope Mike took you out. Before I go on I want to say Happy Birthday! (LOL) I hope you don’t think I forgot about your birthday on July 28th. I would never do that. Again Happy Birthday.
YESTER DAYS. by Sonni Quick. copyright 2015
I got your letter from the 23rd. I also got a postcard from Jamie. What is going on that life is so crazy? I got the money you sent. Thank you. Sorry it took so long to write back. Is been crazy here as well. It is so damn hot! Sometimes I lay naked. The officers come through and tell me to put my underwear on. I tell them to hold on I’m not done cooking yet! (LOL) It is so hot I don’t want to move. It’s 96 degrees but it feels a lot hotter. I love the summer but this heat I can’t stand. Inmates die in this Texas heat
(Sonni’s note: I got two letters back to back so I combined this into one so you would know he has found some relief)
I just bought what they call a “chill towel”. It’s a sponge material that holds water and chills the air while it evaporates. It somewhat works. It’s half the length of my arm, maybe a little longer. It’s thick and light green. It cost $6.50. I wet it and let the fan blow on me. I’m not as hot as I used to be and that’s all that counts. It helps a lot.
I used to lay and sleep on the floor, but now I can’t. There are roaches everywhere. These little suckers move like they have jet fuel up their ass. They move really fast. This cell is just temporary. I can’t wait until I move out of it to a different ad seg unit.
I got a letter from my little brother Lionel a few weeks ago. It’s been years since I heard from him. I wrote him back. He said he was going to send pictures of the family. I made it clear to him not to say he was going to do something and then not do it. It was really good to hear from him and see how he was holding up after his dad died.
So how are the veggies doing in your garden? Everything going well with your piano students? How is your mom? Tell her I said hello, okay? It sure would be good to get out of the house and move around. Going to see an old friend just might be a good thing thing for you.
I can’t wait until you come down to visit. You could bring Jamie. I haven’t seen my son in two years. Be sure to ask for a special visit. Because of the miles you would be traveling we can have a visit Saturday and Sunday like last time. If I don’t have a case on me then prison visits could be for four hours instead of the normal two.
Well, it’s six minutes to 8:00. It’s cooled down. It’s supposed to rain a little. I sure hope so. A program I like is fixin’ to come on the radio. I might catch a little rap music. Till next time.
LOVE YOU ALWAYS, SON
(Sonni’s note: It was good to hear him in a better mood, just chatting. Things have been rough lately)
AFTER THE RAIN BEGINS by Sonni Quick copyright 2015
copyright 2002 by Sonni Quick
Under a Quicksilver Moon
Keeper of my thoughts
Protector of the secrets
that are very deep inside the part
of me that makes me who I am.
Lover of my dreams,
keeping safe my weakest thoughts
when I am down and need the heart
to help me grow and understand
the who,the what,the where and why
we do the things we choose to do.
We fall, we run, we make mistakes.
We learn there’s much we can’t undo
Keep the hurtful things inside
protected places in my mind.
Throw away the lock and key.
Protect, pretend that’s how we see
ourselves, and hope that others, too,
believe and understand this need
to guard this part from even you.
Afraid of hurt from loving me
(Sonni’s note: I wrote this long before I met Jamie Cummings in 2006. Reading these words again today it reminded me of him and how hard it is to survive in a place that wants to crush any life in your heart. Sometimes, when we find ourselves in a place we can’t escape, as time passes, even those you were sure loved you, go away. The need to protect yourself is overwhelming because it is all you have left so you don’t get lost.)