Archive for December, 2012

Only Five

Only Five

Whoops, It’s only the Five Days of Christmas

In this week before Christmas, I’ll be giving away a different book each day. Here’s the schedule:

Tuesday, December 18          Prisoners of the Williwaw

A novel. Three hundred hardened convicts finish their sentences on a remote island with their cover2families.

159 in all of Amazon, #1 in political and #4 in suspense

Wednesday, December 19          Once A Priest


Once a Priest is:

  • About Martin Luther King’s march from Selma to Montgomery
  • About a thirty-two year old man, a virgin, beginning to date
  • About running for political office – and winning
  • About getting married and having a family
  • About starting a business without knowing anything about the business
  • About moving to a new country
  • About teaching writing in prison
  • About living with cancer.

It broke the 1000 barrier in the Kindle store, ending up as 507

Thursday, December 20    Dystopia

non-fiction. The story of Prison. Dystopia takes readers through some of North America’s worst prisons. The story folDystopialows two men on different paths. One man (Ed) wants to go inside to change the system, the other (Mike) wants to get out with his life.

Friday, December 21        Veto

a novel. Pilar Marti, the first female Secretary-General of the United Nations, starts her day on the 38th floor of the lavish New York building. Across the globe, a Somali woman struggles to prevent her two children from dying of thirst.

Veto Veto is the story of how Pilar fights for this family’s survival. In the process she discovers that the US ambassador uses his veto power to block her efforts and to further his own oil interests. Pilar responds by calling for a Constitutional Convention to reform the UN and help the underdeveloped countries.

Saturday, December 22              Beyond the Vows

a novel. A story of romance and spirituality. A young priest sets out to save the world, but soon discovers that he’s the one Beyond the Vowswho needs saving. He tries to have his church confront modern problems, but he finds that money rules. On his journey to the light he meets a greedy bishop, a philosopher-theologian janitor, a courageous young woman and a wild ex-nun. He tries to replace the fierce God of his childhood with a God of love. Even though he pours himself into parish work, a deep void still eats at his heart. He is alone.

Each book – free for one day only.

If you don’t have an E-reader, you can read books on your computer. Here’s an app for that.

Kindle for PC: Read eBooks on Your Computer – No Kindle Device Required

The Kindle for PC app lets you read eBooks and e-textbooks on your PC. Download the app today to start reading.

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seasons greetings1


Posted: December 12, 2012 by Ed Griffin in Prison, Reform
Tags: , ,


Sorry I haven’t posted a new “prison uncensored” this week. I’m participating in a trial for a new cancer drug and they have tested the ______ out of me in the past week. Medical trials do tons of tests in order to establish the effectiveness or not of their drug. The drug I’m testing is for prostate cancer, which I have fought for almost 18 years now.

But next week a Christmas Surprise called “The Five Days of Christmas,”

Remember people in prison at this time of year. It’s very hard for them. This is a time for family and our society, which says it’s for the family, denies this basic unit of our society to most inmates.



Call her Gertrude. She’s from a European country and even though she’s been in Canada for thirty years, she still has a slight accent. Gertrude is—make that – was – the perfect CSC volunteer. She treated the men and the staff with respect. Everyone who met her knew that she cared about them. Inmates knew that and staff knew that.

She was formally trained as a volunteer and gave up an evening to attend the necessary course. Her husband and high school children agreed with her effort to help prisoners. In the 2011 she paid about $3,000 of her own money to produce a book of the inmate’s writing

Volunteers are a big part of CSC’s mission, to connect the prisons with the community.Community

A year ago at this time, Gertrude attended one of my creative writing classes. She didn’t say much in class, but people could tell by her looks and her clapping that she appreciated what the men were reading.

When she got home after the class, she dropped a note to two of the men who read that day in class. It was part Christmas Card and part support letter.

In January she returned to the prison to attend another class. Her badge was taken away and she was ‘fired’ as a volunteer. The only explanation given was that she had broken a rule by writing to the two inmates.

I polled all our volunteers. No one had heard of such a rule. On reflection, one volunteer said she understood, nothing in/nothing out must mean letters, too.

Note that Gertrude was not warned, “Don’t do that again,” she was just fired.

I couldn’t believe it. She asked for a hearing and if I had been smart, I would have gone with her. She’s one of those gentle, kind people who agree with everything you say. She figures out what you want her to say and she says it.

“Did you know it was wrong to mail a letter to an inmate?” she was asked. She paused and looked at the person across the desk from her. “Oh yes, I knew it was wrong.”

Nonsense. Not one volunteer I talked to knew this. I know Gertrude and I’m sure she never gave it a thought that it was wrong to mail a supportive note/Christmas card to an inmate.

Of course, her statement confirmed her suspension. I suggested we appeal to the regional office and I said I would go with her. A date was set for us and then Gertrude backed out. She said, “I’m happy in my life. I have many interests and I don’t need this controversy. Just forget the hearing.”

Of course it’s occurred to me that this rule of NO mail to inmates isn’t a very good one. It contradicts the key tenets of CSC.

I grieve for Gertrude, and like so many things with CSC, you just have to swallow it. Inmates swallow a lot more than I do, if that’s any consolation to me.

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