a young man ready to graduate from high school, but ends up in prison instead.
Angry and confused, he wants a better life.
must learn how to cope with prison while discovering that better life. With the
aid of his family and some unlikely relationships, he begins to find that
battles to avoid prison becoming a permanent part of his future.
adversity. As a young man recently graduated from high school, he was arrested
for crimes he committed in his youth. While his friends were making plans to
attend college, he was sent to prison for a year and a half.
completely changed the direction of his life. He is married, has three kids,
graduated from college with a 3.7 GPA, and has experienced success as a
professional. Change did not come without significant challenges.
entitled ‘Grace From The Fall,’ Michael
encourages people to be something better than the day before.
If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
My kids will stop fighting.
My kids will sleep at night.
ESPN will stop discussing politics.
Given unlimited resources, what would be your ideal work/writing environment?
Aspen, Colorado. The mountains are awesome and air is fresh.
Where do you actually work/write?
I am a Construction Project Manager. I wrote most of this book on several airplane rides from Dallas Texas to Providence Rhode Island.
Describe yourself in 50 words or less.
I am all about God, family, and sports. Christmas comes twice a year for me. Once on the actual day and when March Madness begins.
What inspired your book?
I have always wanted to serve in the military. It is a desire that burns in my bones to this day. I have attempted to get in near relentlessly over the past 7 years, but my criminal record always got in the way. January 2017 was the last ditch attempt. It seemed everything was going to work out. I went through MEPs, was placed in delayed entry, given a boot camp date, and was near being issued a waiver. At the last minute, that was ripped away from me. Devastated, a good friend of mine asked me an inspired question: “What have you not been doing because you have been chasing the military?” Writing my story is what immediately came to mind. So, I immediately set to writing my book.
How do you spend your free time?
Playing with the kids, laughing with my wife, reading, writing, and exercising.
What do you love most in the world?
What do you fear most?
12 year olds. They are just ruthless.
In the back of the large white van, we rode down the same street I had traversed through my high school years. The housing developments and apartment complexes stood unchanged, while trees hovered in their similar erect fashion. Very little had changed.
It might have been just another day, but one minor detail prevented such. The white van I rode in was a prison transportation vehicle, fashioned with a sizeable steel cage. The seats were bench style, one on either side of the van facing each other. And there were five other inmates riding with me.
We donned matching fashionable orange jump suits, with white shower sandals on our feet. Handcuffs clenched, irritating the skin on our wrists and ankles. A long steel chain connected the hand and ankle-cuffs.
A few of the guys talked, having served time together in RDC, where they became friends. Others of us just remained silent, staring out the window.
It was a beautiful clear day. The sky was blue, birds swirled through the air, and trees swayed back-and-forth from a light breeze. Had we not been situated in our current state, we may have been outside playing a game of basketball or simply enjoying the company of our friends under the bright sky.
‘Should be just another day,’ I thought.
In my gut crept an envious guilt. It was not just the handcuffs, the ride in the prison vehicle, or the beautiful day restricted from me. It was the future event that was about to transition into past experience.
As I sat there silently stone-faced, my high school appeared out the window. It took me aback as my head jerked to attention and my eyes widened. I do not know why its sudden appearance startled me so. I recognized the route the van was traveling well and knew it would cross paths with the building.
The van halted at a red light by the school. Outside I saw the stationary line of cars waiting, and I spotted several passengers in the cars that I recognized. They were fellow students that I recognized from shuffling through the hallways of the school. As they spoke and laughed, I recognized a few with which I had enjoyed lunch period.
I wondered about their conversation. I imagined them discussing the activities of the day, what so-and-so had done in such-and-such a class, and what they were going to be doing with the rest of the day, now that school was out.
Their faces beamed brightly, seemingly careless. Thumping bass from their cars was interspersed with laughter and conversation. None of my fellow riding mates took notice of them, as far as I could tell.
An eternity ensued before the light flashed green, and the students’ cars made the awaited turn. As they passed by the van, I swiveled my head around to watch them disappear into the distance. The van jolted into motion and we drove in the opposite direction. Off they went to evening activities, while I set a course for the new prison.