Inside The Forbidden Outside “Everyday Dreams”

…….This is an edited first chapter, but not the final edit. I have enough written to begin working with a content editor. All of the chapters so far can be found at: My Name is Jamie Also as the chapters progress the links for them is at the end. Please add your name and email for for the yet to be published first news letter I’m attempting to get off the ground. Your support would be wonderfully appreciated. That info is at the bottom of the post. All of you who have read what I’m writing and have given me your feedback along with editing suggestions has been great. If you have ever attempted to write a book you know how challenging it is.

My Name is Jamie. My Life in Prison


My life is pure agony.

     I really screwed things up for myself. I was sent to prison in 2006. This is not where I want to be, although I didn’t have any concrete plans for my life. I was happy that I wasn’t in juvenile detention anymore but I didn’t have a chance to make any plans and was living day to day. I didn’t know how to make plans. I was just a kid when they locked me up. In a way I was still a kid when they let me out when I was twenty one. When I met Morgan my only thought was to spend my life with her. For the first time I could remember, I was happy.

     The day I was in was as far ahead as I thought. Nobody ever taught me anything about planning for a future. Black kids…

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What Happened To The Word Thank You?

Our world is going to hell in a hand basket. As I write these words I wonder where they come from: hell in a hand basket. Maybe it’s because as we go down this slippery slope of not caring about each other we wrap it up in pretty paper and pretty words and add pretty flowers that smell oh so sweet! and it hides the rotten smell of what is inside.

It’s everywhere. People you think should love you, and they say they do, but delight in negative gossip because it makes them feel better about themselves because their life never amounted to a hill of beans. Maybe this is why so many older people are so bitter because they think they reached the point they are too old to do begin anything new. 

I’ve talked to quite a few people and asked them about their families – trying to find a family that isn’t dysfunctional. But I found there aren’t any. Whenever you get beyond a small family, where there are sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, etc., the nitpicking, and jealousy comes out. Family thinks they have the right to judge you and the right to gossip so much more than your friends do. Maybe we are more careful with our friends because they can leave us in a heartbeat, but we expect our family to try to understand us and love us because we are tied by blood. We think they are “supposed” to love us and then we’re hurt because they don’t. So we wait, thinking someday they’ll see the light, but they never do. Our bad, thinking that will happen.

I’m not very good at superficial relationships where the conversation never gets any deeper than the weather. In a large gathering of people the main topic of conversation revolves around each others jobs while we politely listen to each other is rapt attention. We don’t know each other. We rarely talk to each other holidays and getting together to actually get to know each other doesn’t happen because there is no time. But we say, “Of course, I’ll call you and we’ll get together real soon,” but it never ever happens.

And I’m expected to keep trying. They’re family!

The man Jamie I write about at My Name is Jamie. My Life in Prison also has a large family. He’s been locked up since he was 16. He’s 33 now. His own mother never answers his letters because it hurts HER too much because he’s in there. The rest of his family can’t even put a stamp on a birthday card. His hurt has been devastating. Then it made him numb. But I’d bet they’d all say they love him. Love him why? How do they show it?

Is there anyone out there that has a large family where everyone loves each other? How do they show it because I’m confused. I’d sure like to meet one, where there isn’t someone who gets talked about and lied about, behind their back and forth from one cell phone to another. Do you have family members who insist they are nice people, but they just can’t be nice to you,’right now’. Don’t pressure them and maybe they’ll be nice to you later, in a few years, if they think about it. Do you have family members who treat you with indifference and then say it’s your fault, because you had the audacity to actually expect them to do something they said they would do, but just can’t get around to it, and you had the nerve to ask them why? Do you have family that have lost the ability to say, “Thank you,” when you have done something special for them, a gift from your heart to theirs and you wait to perhaps hear what they thought about it, and they don’t even acknowledge you gave it to them? I’ll give it to you instead

Anyone who has read this blog knows I record improvised piano music. Except for my mother, no one has ever taken the time to listen to it. I’m 61 years old. No other family member has ever heard me play in my entire adult life. I’m assuming my sisters heard me practice as a kid. If you go to the Sound Cloud and scroll down a few pieces you’ll see “Graduation Day”. That was my gift. Something else . . . If you think I’m wrong or if you think I’m overreacting, let me know, because I am at a loss. This has made me very unhappy and out of a sense of self preservation all I can of is to just cut them out of my life like a hanging toe nail I keep banging on the end of my bed.

Revised First Chapter of “Inside The Forbidden Outside” – The Window

My Name is Jamie. My Life in Prison

This is the last edit I will do to chapters once I post them here, once they are read by a reader(s) from outside and hopefully give me good constructive criticism. ( Add your two cents worth if you want to. You can’t hurt my feelings (boo-hoo) Then I will publish it on the blog set up for the book. After that, when the book is completed, it will be edited and formatted professionally. A book cover will be designed. My goal for that is June. In seeing Jamie in March. There may be more he’d like added. Before the chapter, I am putting a letter that was sent to Jamie that I want to use as a preface to the beginning of the book.

………….A Message From Someone who Cares………..

Dear Jamie,

My Name is Maesha. I’m a Canadian and I live in Toronto, Ontario. I’ve just recently ‘met’…

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Jamie Really Needs Your Help – Please

I reblogged this from my other blog. I know some of you read both. It’s hard to understand sometimes what is like in prison, especially when you been put in ad sg – solitary confinement. This is Jamie’s third time there which has now totaled over 1600 days. If you read the story about Kalief Browder, he did over 400 days The human mind can only take so much and I’m worried about him. He is very depressed. This is why I wrote this post. I have already received several emails at the address I provided. I will paste them all into one jpay email which is the prison email system. Please have compassion for inmates and send an email to Jamie Cummings and help me give him hope. Hope that when this is over he will be reunited with son and be able to have a life once more.

My Name is Jamie. My Life in Prison

Credit source: Credit source:

I’ve been worried about him since he told me what the guards did to him. My gut feeling was telling me that mentally he was in trouble. This 3rd time of being put in solitary about 4 months ago was so discouraging for him, feeling as though he’s losing the fight. He lost all the progress he made. I don’t know how this will affect his parole hearing in 2016 because he can’t complete any programs in solitary.

I contacted a man I met a year or so ago, Melvin, who sometimes goes to see him and encourage him. He could easily be his father’s age. Finally, Jamie had a visitor. Melvin changed his plans today and drove to this prison. He called me after and told me how down he was. He is going next weekend, too, and I’m trying to get my daughter to let…

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Writing a Book is Harder Than it Looks!

book writing

I want to be a writer.  “Inside the Forbidden Outside”  is my chosen title.  There are chapter excerpts at that will give you some idea of what I’m writing. At first it has was only going to be about Jamie Cummings and his life experiences, but I started having a problem with continuity because why was “I” writing it?  It was then that I realized the missing part of the book was me. I am part of his story.  I was able to see him in a way that no one else was able to, which is why I believe he was 99% abandoned by family once he went inside.

There was actually two prisons.  Mine and his.  He helped me through mine as I help him through his.  It was the relationship that developed as we both went through life altering events that shaped our lives.  It was my failing health and liver transplant with years of illness and recuperation and the letters back and forth between the two of us while he sat alone in a prison cell, each being concerned about the other, is the place where our relationship grew.

It has been a challenge, writing a book about this.  I learned more about our prison system in the US than I wish I needed to know.  But it is there.  It’s real and it needs to change.  Ignoring it doesn’t help the 2.3 million people needlessly suffering inside an institution that brings out the dark side of the guards that control it. Looking away and pretending it doesn’t exist is what most people do about most of the things wrong with our country.  Too few people take a stand and often those who do get punished for doing it.

Lack of material for this book isn’t the issue.  But as a new author it’s all the other “stuff” you have to learn how to do.  I’ve been talking to other authors, new ones and published ones to learn how they did it.  It’s been quite fascinating.  I learned when you’re done writing a book it just don’t magically appear for sale. Since I am definitely not a known author, going the route of getting the interest of publisher is pretty much out of the question…

So . . . self-publishing is the way to go.  The process of learning the five million things you need to do while you write the darn thing that is now eating, sleeping and breathing inside me, having taken up complete residence in my brain – now that is a challenge!  And . . . I have to keep writing while I create the audience to sell it to. You need quite a lot of determination to put out such a labor of love.  Although I don’t pooh pooh fiction writing one bit, finding the right way to write about something that involves living breathing people takes a lot of care and thought about how much to reveal without them wanting to kill you when they read it.  Maybe I should take out an extra life insurance policy on myself?

If you have been to my other blog My Name Is Jamie. My Life in Prison you know it takes place in a prison. So I decided I needed credibility to show I am an “expert in my field” and that meant getting down and dirty with an actual prison. Later next month I am going to start working with an organization that goes into prisons near me and has workshops with inmates, like anger control and  others. Later when I am done and want to talk to people and organizations, I want them to understand I know what I am talking about.  It would be great if through this experience there is something Jamie can do when he gets out, something that can help other inmates, especially those who also have family they have been separated from.  It’s just a thought for now – something to explore – a way to create value and turn a negative into a positive, and also give him something positive to think about now.  If you read my latest post on that blog you’ll know he is having a rough time right now.  A Story About Extreme Prison Guard Brutality

With so much in the news about our prison population our up and coming US Prez candidates are already jumping on the bandwagon with each party blaming the other for our #1 position for locking people up, especially black people, I think the timing for this book is right on the mark.

waiting on the outside, Sharron Grodzinsky

One more thing, if you haven’t gotten this new book yet that has just been released by Sharron Grodzinsky, who is a blogger here, you are missing out on a good read I have trouble putting down. Her son is in Federal prison. It’s called “Waiting on the Outside”. If you read this post today you can still get it free on Amazon. If you are a parent and ever had problems with a child determined to ruin his life, you will understand every pain she has had to endure trying to feel hope while feeling like a failure as a parent. Don’t miss out on getting it!

Chapter Excerpt – Walking While Black

…..I started a new blog that for excerpts of chapters of the book I’m writing. None are complete chapters and there are more to come. For those who have been to you know that i write about a man in prison and post many of his letters written to me over the years. He had already spent a number of years in solitary confinement which were brutal. They threw him back in 3 months go and wanted to ship him to a prison far away whenit was time to let him out but they said the had NO OPEN BUNKS! He had to cause more intentional trouble. He threatened a guard, took him to ICC, an internal court to force them to keep him there in solitary I instead of moving him and making it impossible for anyone to visit him.

This is one of the chapter excerpts. If you want to know why they locked him up in the first place read “Fantasy Crime” . Leave your email address at if you would like to be on the book mailing list. Many thanks.

"Inside the Forbidden Outside" by Sonni Quick with Jamie Cummings

Chapter excerpt

Walking While Black

. . . .He had a dream. A late middle-aged white woman was walking down the street and a black teenager, wearing a hoodie, with it pulled up over his head, is walking toward her coming the opposite way. This woman, would never have called herself a racist. Even so, the first thought shooting through her head is fear. She can’t help herself. She was raised to be afraid of black people. They are scary. They are more apt to hurt you than white people and she’s afraid of what he is going to do to her.

“Is he going to try to rob me?” she thought. “Maybe try to grab my purse and run?”

Throughout her whole life, the media, and movies, has mostly shown her that black people aren’t as intelligent as white people. They’re lazy. They don’t want to get an education…

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Ever Bite Off More Than You Can Chew?

Sonni Quick, Sonni quick author , Sonni quick. inside the forbidden outside
Sonni Quick

I’m usually working at my computer until late at night, never even getting close to finishing, and I’m trying hard to push back the usual 4 Am or later bedtime so I can get up earlier than 10:30 or so rising. I work in bed on my Nook as soon as I wake with a cup of coffee and wait for the day to kick in and gravitate to my desk…

There are all the things I want to do and all the pesky things I procrastinate doing: pay bills, laundry, clean the toilet type of stuff. Now I also have to fit in digging in the dirt and plant things – my soul therapy as I commune with nature. I LOOOOVE Spring. I’m coming out of hibernation.

I’m at my computer at least 12 hours a day. This is where I’m doing all that chewing. If there were actual calories involved I’d weigh 500 lbs. There’s all the stats to go through and replies to make, blogs to go back and visit and support to give.  Read and learn new things that feed the soul and visit with wonderful people from all over the world. Then there is research to do and ideas to explore, learning how to have a good blog and social media to learn and they are all different. Webinars to watch that teach you things and open your eyes, other author’s to learn from and new blog posts to write – on two blogs. I never write anything in 100 words if I can say it in 1500! And then editing and media to add.
Grand piano animated gif

There is music to play and record. 2 pieces found on this blog if you scroll down, but most is found at My Name is Jamie. My Life in Prison (yeah! I’m finally getting the code down to make hyper-links the right way!) The last music I posted there is called Butterfly Hearts I have spent decades honing my craft to play this music I play that I can call my own, and doesn’t sound like anyone else.  Being able to have it heard on the web by so many people is better than any piano bar I ever played in. I couldn’t do this – this style of composing when I was younger. I didn’t have as many life experiences.  One of the best pieces I’ve recorded is called  “Sadness”.  Scroll down until you see a picture of my pregnant daughter and son  Ill fix the link tomorrow. I am going to start another blog, just for the music files to make them easy to play.

There are letters to write to my men in prison , Jamie Cummings and Armando Macias (in San Quentin death row), He wrote the post Life’s Cleaning Rag and three others on Jamie’s blog at the top through the menu called ” The Inhumane Welcoming Society”

But to tie my overburdened day together is finding time to write my book “Inside the Forbidden Outside” about Jamie’s life in the prison system. That’s the most important thing. That is what all this researching and learning how to write is all about. To save a life and then how this life can save others. I don’t let a single day go by that I don’t dedicate it to a cause greater than myself. This is why I cross advertise with myself with the hope you will go over over there, follow that blog, share it with your readers to get word of the book to more people.  Fill out the contact form and join the book email list for any other chapters I post ( 4 are posted during Jamie’s time in solitary confinement ) and to know when it’s done. At this point in my life, being alive when I shouldn’t be, and having the chance to do something I really believe in- let me just say, the hours I am awake have to count for something real and have a lasting effect.

Oh! and go to his facebook page and “like” it. Not only do the numbers count if if try to get an agent, I post more than just his blog posts there. There is a lot of other good content there.   Same wit*

I will reciprocate if I haven’t already.  If you do these things I’ll put you on the top of my Christmas card list !!!

I’ve never written a book and tried to publish it for real. People do it but I’ve had to learn every from scratch with only a burning desire that keeps me fired up all day. And in between all of this I have to promote ways to make money. So thanks for reading. Let me know how I’m doing and if there is anything I could do better. You’re my family!