Travis Runnels, a man living on death row in Texas, recently sent me a copy of a book he authored, How To Survive In Prison.
I was hoping for the best when I opened it, but didn’t know what I would find. I post Mr. Runnel’s work, but had never seen anything of this length from him.
Thank you, Travis, for coming through. The book is a quick read, but packed full of practical information, and written with Travis’ no-nonsense, positive outlook. Runnel’s writing is clear, easy to read and to the point. He covers the things he can cover and also leaves the reader with pages of valuable resources and their contact information. Everything from where to turn for penpals, to immigration resources.
I give Travis Runnels five stars for How To Survive In Prison.
“This book provides an inside view of what it is like to enter prison and survive. It guides you through the day to day activities, expectations and the mentality on how to survive. Travis shares from personal experience and provides insight into what prison life is really like.”
Prison shouldn’t only be a place that causes enough discomfort and pain to make people pay for their wrongs. The system should be built from the bottom up with the mindset and goal of ‘change’. Redemption. New beginnings. A system that is built to grow hopelessness and anger and solitude is destined for failure.
Somebody recently asked me if I wanted to see everybody set free from prison. That is such a shallow question and was asked to be argumentative. I didn’t let the individual pull me into a conversation that was clearly not going anywhere.
No. I don’t think prison doors should be opened wide. Absolutely not. There are some scary people everywhere, and a lot of them need to be contained or monitored for others and their own safety. But, that reality can’t be used to overshadow all the others. Innocent people are sitting on death row. That is a fact. The guilt and threat of some can’t be used to overshadow all the injustice happening to the others. It often is. One serial killer or rapist or child abuser will be held up as a reason to be ‘tough on crime’. To those people using that argument I say – no kidding. Sensible and fair and human justice does not include recklessness, so don’t use that as an argument to treat ten percent of our population like garbage.
People are incarcerated who will never threaten society and are there because our system is in a shambles. One such person is Robert Booker. In spite of over twenty years in prison, he has remained positive and has been working for a brighter future. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing him for urbanfiction.org, and I was moved by his positive outlook on his new beginning.
Mr. Booker will one day have it, in spite of an overly harsh sentence for a nonviolent crime. At one point he was serving life, but after nearly 25 years, President Obama commuted his sentence from 38 years to 30, and he hopes to be free soon. The time he spends now serves no purpose, but he is not wasting it. Talking with him has been a pleasure, and I am excited to see where he goes with rest of his life and his new beginning. You can follow Robert and his future writing accomplishments at Robert Booker, Sr. – The Author.
You can cast me in the darkest pit
and turn from it while seething.
And erase me from this very world,
but baby, I’m still breathing.
Does it really make me worthless
and deserving of no love?
‘Cause the strength to overcome your madness
courses through my blood.
Just like town halls and chow calls
your antics are meant to weaken.
Just like fish under mountains of troubled waters,
still, I’m breathing.
Did you think that I would take it
now you want to unleash your wrath,
‘Cause I’m angry, black, and dysfunctional
the product of your bloodbath.
Do you really mean to demean
my legacy to a lie?
‘Cause I take your punches in the gut
while holding my head high.
You can dub me a gangster, thug, or crook
a hoodlum, or a heathen
and strip from me everything I love
but still, like wine, I’m breathing.
Do you really think that I deserved
the lashings on my back.
‘Cause I made it through your troubled storm
with my soul still intact.
Til the ashes of Mother Earth yields up the voices of my people,
Til the day when materialism no longer determines my equal,
Til chains, chairs, and chambers are no longer justices’ end and my fellow American can call me brother, regardless of my skin,
I’m still breathing.
When my past sins reinvent themselves as my present day regrets,
When the weight of the entire world is riding on my chest,
When reason enough for the war to be won
is just knowing that I’m somebody’s son
and I’m breathing,
I’m still breathing
*This poem was written as an homage to Maya Angelou’s – “Still I Rise”
On October 13 and 14 Robert Booker, will be running a two day promotion for his book Tales From The Yard: Volume One. This is his fifth novel, and Robert Booker’s work is urban fiction at it’s finest. From prison – authors can’t promote their work. So, he is offering these free kindle editions in the hope of getting some Reviews. Get a free copy, and if you like what you read – leave him a review! All of his books are available through Amazon. Times running out – get it quick!
Click HERE for your copy!
Robert Booker has been in prison for over twenty years, and yet he still has the drive and ambition to write, and not only write – but get his work published. And now you can have a chance to read The Janitor for free! Urban fiction fans – here is your chance to win a FREE e-book! Simply click below for your chance to win!
I’ve been meaning to write about the incredible amount of talent contained within prison walls, because I encounter it all the time. I haven’t yet had the time to cover it all in words though, but I am adding the following links to the Make A Difference page. Once again, Robert Booker has written two more novels from prison. He has a total of four books now that are available through Amazon, in print and in e-book form.
You can purchase Booker’s books by clicking on their titles, Push, Tony Jones, The Janitor, and Who Is Karma?
He continues to write, and he will have another novel coming soon.