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I’ve already done 21 years of a 43 year prison sentence. I’ve spent many nights laying in the dark, wondering WHY? HOW?
Why me? How did this happen? Why did I do the things I did? How did certain thoughts enter my mind? And why did I act on them?
The process of answering these questions was long and complicated. I’m still seeking answers.
To answer the questions WHY and HOW, I had to read many books. Books that offer absolute truth, love, spiritual understanding, and universal laws. Such as: The Power of Now, The Science of Mind, As A Man Thinketh, The Bible, The Purpose Driven Life, From Onions To Pearls, The Four Agreements, The One Year Love Language Minute Devotional, and The Receptivity Project (just to name a few).
First and foremost, I have a burning desire to change. Otherwise, influential books would have no effect.
These books, my desire to change, and the support from thousands of people, have given me new perspective and answers.
I recognized my thought atmosphere was polluted. I understand why it was polluted. Because I was born and raised in an unstructured environment riddled with abuse and violence.
By giving my attention to abuse and violence, I automatically embodied it. As a baby, kid, ad teenager, I was clueless that I attract the likeness of this embodiment. I was clueless that thoughts become a thing. I was clueless that my mental state takes on form, color, and temporary reality.
Had I known that from birth, my entire life would be completely different.
Well, I know it NOW! And it’s never too late to turn your life around.
By reading influential and powerful books, I have cleaned up my thought atmosphere. I now nurture my mind with positive material full of TRUTH, LOVE, and UNDERSTANDING.
These wonderful books help change lives if you truly embrace change. They have enabled me to experience a deeper level of consciousness that instantly heals.
We outwardly experience our state of consciousness. Our actions are a reflection of what’s within. These books have taught me so much! They have given me true understanding. Once I truly understood, I was then able to truly change.
My transformation started with the simple proposition of the creative power of thought. And from this recognition I discovered that circumstances and conditions are formed and held in place by the power of the mind.
What a wonderful discovery!
This law applies to all!
If I can do it from in here, then anyone can do it from out there.
“This book is a rare insight into a world most are not aware of except for the hollywood portrayal. This is a story about real events and real people who are sons, brothers, and fathers that have been put in situations that have caused them to make the wrong choice. People grow, people learn, and people change, they just need a chance.”
“This book had me reading from the start to finish, the context of this book gave me amazing pictures/images of the events and downfalls. I’ve known Steven for over 27 yrs, hearing the true words about his real-life story adventures captivated me to complete the book in less then 6 hrs and two readings. Moreover, I’m proud to say that I look forward to seeing the person who taught me how to ride a motor bike…my friend…Steven Jennings!”
“I couldn’t put the book down! It was very gripping and intense. My hat goes off to Steven for everything he’s been through and all of the positive changes he’s made.”
“A great true story about a mans personal transformation amongst an environment that is built to cause hate and anger. A rare look into an environment that is chaotic and cruel and an inspiration to see a man better himself in the face of adversity. A must read for all!”
“Talk about innovating yourself and the power of resilience! Talk about change from within and the force of Faith! Talk about triumph in the midst of Darkness! That darkness in which the author found himself from the tender age of 5 or so when he learned to fight. It matters not today who taught him, it matters not where that fighting led him, what matters is what he is now fighting for? He is fighting to be and stay a changed man right there in Prison where it is near impossible nor feasible. There you have to do all it takes to survive, and I have hung in there with the lots in my country for 6 months to understand some of what the author shares with us. Yet I was coming in daily from the outside, just coming in to visit like the US President did recently. He said admitted that what some of the guys did, he also did. He just didn’t land in Jail, just like I didn’t too although I did some pretty hard stuffs in my context. However, what is remarkable in this story is the author’s determination to not remain in the statusquo. He disciplines himself to channel that fierce energy and strength he has, to no more kick others asses, but to kick his ownself up to stay determined to his resolve. I like saying that ‘Do not be afraid of Your Breaking Point because that’s when the Turning Point occurs”, The author got that in Segregation for yet another merciless and senseless fight, but he did. As he says: ” When I was free, I took everyone I should have loved for granted”, and this definitely includes his ownself, but now he resolves after all these years and experiences which includes pet love with chirpy, that: “From within these dark walls, trapped in Stone City, I will defy all odds and come out a better man”. I couldn’t give such a hurtful, helpful, soulful and holistic book any less than a 5 star, and would recommend to all it with no hesitation.”
“This book held my interest from the first page and kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. It was also a insightful, rare perspective of our prison system that one cannot get anywhere else. The author’s personal journey was also very moving and emotional.”
“I’ve read a lot of books in this genre. Most books about prison life linger on the bad, but give no glimpse of anything else. Steven Jennings weaves a story that will grip you from the beginning to the end. What I enjoyed most about the book was I felt like I was in his head as he honestly recounts all of his life journey, including life committing criminal acts, how he survived as an enraged and addicted inmate, and finally how he changed his ways and proceeded positively forward while in prison. I think the book should’ve went into more detail about the events, and conclusions that made him change the course of his life while serving time. They were there, but I think the book could’ve benefited from delving deeper. I was left feeling like I got all the details before and after, but the actual epiphany was understated from what I think it actually was. Despite that, I think it was an enjoyable and insightful read. It’s not your typical “prison book.” I highly recommend it – you’ll be glad you read it.”
“This story blew my mind. I’ve heard about things like this going on and thought maybe it only happened in movies. I’m impressed by Jennings’ attitude and ability to remain positive in the prison environment. Reading about what really goes on leaves me speechless.”
By Steven Jennings
I’m always saying, “It’s a matter of time before the universe responds.”
If you’re being positive, productive, and treating people with love and respect, then you’ll get positive, productive results and people will treat you with love & respect.
It’s such a simple truth to life. Yet so many people can’t grasp the concept. Or perhaps they don’t know it exists.
That was the case with me. I was just living life. Unfocused. Reckless. Didn’t have a clue. Fighting. Drinking. Ignorant to the Universal Laws, such as The Law of Attraction.
Then it happened! At the age of 20, the universe responded to my lifetime of negativity. The bottom line: 43 years in prison!
Good or bad, the universe will respond.
So let me share the good with you.
I’m on a path that leads to peace, love, and harmony. I’m positive and productive. I treat everyone with dignity & respect. This positive lifestyle serves me extremely well. The universal response is incredible.
Just the other day the universe gave me another favorable response. I got a huge manilla envelope in the mail. It was from a man in Papillion, NE. His name is R.L. Pelshaw. AKA: Bob.
Bob was a successful Midwestern real estate broker, developer, and consultant. His 25 year career also included investments and consultation for a large variety of businesses.
Bob is responsible for more than $600 million in career transactions. His success was the result of positive, proper action.
But not everything he did was positive and proper.
He misused $135,000 of SBA loan proceeds. Do you think the universe will respond favorably to that?
He was charged with a felony and served a 10 month sentence at Leavenworth Federal Prison Camp.
Today, Bob is back on track and doing great things. He wants to help people stay out of prison. So he launched The National Hire Ex-Felons Campaign.
Bob also writes for the Truth About Prison – Network (TAP-X).
TAP-X is a great supporter of the cause, and wants to help the incarcerated, their families, and those about to be incarcerated.
Bob is also the author of several books. He sent me a copy of “Illegal To Legal: Business Success For (ex) Criminals.” This book is awesome! I recommend it for anyone wanting to start a business but has challenges to overcome…such as being a convicted felon. Check it out at: Illegal To Legal.
I share all of this with you because this is all great news!
Bob came into my life because of the good that I do. And now he is a wonderful blessing that I greatly appreciate. He bought and is reading my ebook, Stone City: Life In The Penitentiary. Once finished he will write a review and post it on his blog. He’ll also get TAP-X to put the review in their newsletter.
I know this type of support and generosity from him is just another way that the universe is responding to me. It validates my efforts and inspires me to keep on fighting the good fight with love, patience, and understanding.
Here is an excerpt from my ebook:
Suddenly I had fifteen guys surrounding me as I stood in the middle of the kitchen. I would have stabbed anyone who tried to make a move on me, and they all knew it. Most of these guys were just acquaintances; none were good friends. I felt like an outsider among a well-established hostile group. I snapped into warrior mode and was ready to take on anyone who might get within striking distance. I didn’t take into consideration, or care for one second, how bad I might hurt someone. And it really never occurred to me that I could get hurt.
What I really needed at that moment was someone I trusted to come in and tell me, “Okay, Steven, that’s enough. C’mon. Let’s go.” Like Ryan had done the night before at Jackson’s house, and so many other times at previous parties. But on this night, Ryan was at a bar, and I was alone. I had no one to calm me down and soothe my anger. It manifested and spread inside me to the point that I was ready to kill.
As I stood surrounded by a mob of people, someone opened the back door. The circle of people broke and created a path to the door, like I was a rabid raccoon. I was persuaded to leave without further incident—at least for the moment.
I arrived at my apartment ten minutes later. I was too mad to unlock the door, so I kicked it open. Inside was just as cold and dark as the outside. I hadn’t paid my electric bill in four months, so they finally turned off the electricity. The only power I had was coming from my neighbor’s apartment through an orange extension cord plugged into a six way outlet. This powered a lamp, TV, VCR, and stereo.
As I walked in, I turned on the lamp and sat in the dimly-lit room. My mind reflected the darkness of the room; evil thoughts ripped my soul. I hated myself and hated that my life was headed nowhere.
I was constantly fighting with friends and family. My own brother wasn’t talking to me after, while in a drunken rage, I had kicked him in the face and smashed his guitar. I spent all my money on alcohol and weed. Rent was past due and I had no idea how it would get paid.
No one really understood how my mind was thinking then, not even myself. All I knew for sure was that I drank every day and I was losing control. I was becoming more aggressive and more violent. I needed help and I knew it. I didn’t like the person I was, and the more I grew into that person, the more I disliked myself. And if I didn’t even like myself, I naturally hated those around me. I was sick.
I knew I was failing life. That hurt. I had too much pride to accept reality. I didn’t have the skill or the maturity to change my reckless lifestyle, even though, in the brief moments I was sober, I constantly thought about how I had to change. I’d numb the pain by drinking, which only made things worse. I’d sober up and realize I had just sunk a little lower, remembering I had just beaten up another friend, or punched my brother, or trashed another party.
I would even trash my own mother’s house. When I lived with my mother, all she wanted was for me to respect the rules she implemented for her house, but of course I didn’t. I was constantly drinking in her home and bringing my friends over to drink with me. My drinking was out of control. I was out of control.
I was a ticking time bomb.
The more I fought, the bolder I got. I had no fear of dying, nor did I care if I killed someone.
Ask any addict or alcoholic who’s on a path to rock bottom, and most will tell you that they don’t care about life. They don’t care if they live or die. They don’t care who they hurt.
I loved to fight. It was like a drug. I was addicted to the chemicals my brain would release, the adrenaline rush fighting would give me. Alcohol just gave me the liquid courage to act out against the slightest provocation. Once I was sober, I would realize what I had done, and I would regret it.
I hated myself. I hated my life. I hated making my mother cry. I had pushed my brother away. Most of my friends weren’t really friends; they were only nice to me so I would leave them alone. They were afraid of me. I was a loser. I had no future. I felt helpless.
All these revelations hit me hard on that night in1994, sitting in my dimly-lit apartment after yet another piss-poor showing. But instead of resolving to change my ways, I decided I didn’t want to live anymore. And I couldn’t simply kill myself—I had too much anger and hate to spread around. I wanted to take out the people at the party who I thought had done me wrong.
My phone rang, snapping me out of my trance.
It was my friend Jeremy. I had never had any problems with Jeremy because he knew how to stroke my ego. He never argued with me or did things to piss me off. Instead, he would agree with me, laugh at my jokes, make sure I always had a full beer, and come find me when it was time to smoke a bowl.
That was the type of person I got along with: people who were nice to me because they feared me. If they didn’t fear me, I could sense it, and more times than not, I’d try and give them good reason to fear me.
Jeremy was calling to see what I was doing, because I usually had parties at my apartment. But with the power cut off, it was not exactly a place to host parties.
I told Jeremy I was about to crash because I intended to get up early and go target shooting in the morning. I asked if he had any 12 gauge shotgun shells. He said he had a few lying around and that I was welcome to come get them. I grabbed my 12 gauge, and off I went to Jeremy’s house.
He managed to scrounge up six shotgun shells by the time I got there. Once I closed my hand around them, I knew nothing was going to stop me. I handed him $70 in cash.
“What’s this for?” Jeremy asked as he followed me out.
“It’s for you. I won’t be needing it,” I said as I got into my car, setting the handful of shells on the passenger seat.
Jeremy’s voice grew concerned as he sensed something was wrong. “Steve, what are you about to do?”
“Nothing,” I said as I put the keys in the ignition. Jeremy stood in the way of the door, clearly nervous now. He asked again, more forcefully, “Where are you going?”
I replied, “You’ll read about me in the paper tomorrow.”
I wanted to convince these people they had messed with the wrong person. In my sick mind, everyone needed to acknowledge my superiority and treat me with respect. If they didn’t, it would cost them their lives.
Before I was stuffed into the cop car, I took my last breath of free air.
I was 21 years old and new to prison. I guess I was supposed to be at least a little scared. I wasn’t. I was new to prison, but I wasn’t new to violence. My sermon on the mount included the lesson that the violent shall inherit the earth. Inside my mind and body was a raging storm that I knew not many people could match.
I couldn’t wait to get into my first prison fight.
In prison, there’s no ref to stop the bout, and no ref to stop me from choking, biting, and gouging eyes out. Nor did my morals or ethics prevent me from using these tools. Alongside my high school coach’s wrestling techniques, I mixed in head-butting, hard-biting, elbows below the belt, eye-gouging, nut-grabbing, and anything else available. When you fought me, you were gonna get bit and have flesh torn off your body—preferably out of your face.
It was June of 1995 when I walked into the chow hall for the very first time. I looked around at all the people and I asked myself, “Alright motherfuckers, who’s first? Which one of you assholes am I going to have to make an example of?”
I just finished reading “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. My wife had been telling me for several months about this amazing book. The prison library didn’t have it, so she bought it for me. What an awesome book! It has had an immediate impact on my life.
For years I would try to apply new principles and philosophies to my life. And time after time I would fail to honor them. My polluted thought atmosphere and compulsive thinking was too much for me to simply overcome.
First I had to clean up my thought atmosphere by nurturing my mind with positive influential material. Such as “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Toll, “As A Man Thinketh” by James Allen, “The Science of Mind” by Earnest Holmes, and of course, The Holy Bible.
Just those books alone was enough to turn my mind into fertile soil, ready to bear the fruits of any seed I choose to plant. Today, those seeds are many. But the ones I want to share with you are as follows:
1. BE IMPECABLE WITH YOUR WORD
I absolutely love this agreement. Every morning before I even get out of bed, I meditate on this. I act as if I only have 100 words that I can speak in a single day. Yeah! So I better make ‘em count…right?
That means no more unnecessary frivolous chitter chatter. No arguing. No wasted words. Every word must be spoken with integrity, love, and understanding. Every word must be used to build people up, make them feel good, and to spread the powerful spirit of love. Easier said than done…I know. Especially here in prison. But I’m proof that it’s possible.
2. DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
I’m starting to realize that I can’t make anyone act in a way that isn’t within their personal nature. If someone lashed out with hate, it isn’t because of me, or what I’ve done. It’s because that’s who THEY are. What others say and do is a projection of their own inner being.
The more I understand this, the more I become immune to the negative opinions and actions of others. I ignore anything that doesn’t serve me well. Again, easier said than done. So to ensure success on my part, there are entire groups of men that I avoid. You won’t find me out in the prison yard with a group of skinheads, shooting the breeze.
But you might see me one on one with a like fella, who I feel is searching for that deeper meaning, like I am. I am always looking for opportunities to mentor and to spread the message of love.
3. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
Think about this third agreement for a minute. I’ve been making assumptions my entire life. And they never serve me well. When I assume, all I’m doing is taking a wild guess as to WHY? Doesn’t it seem more logical to ask questions and to express concerns? Why not just communicate in a clear concise manner? Wouldn’t that clear up misunderstandings? With this agreement, I can avoid sooo much confusion, sadness, and drama.
For example: My dear wife recently asked me a list of important questions. By her clearly addressing these specific things, it helped me to understand and to see the whole picture. Her courage to do this helped strengthen our bond. If her questions had been left unspoken, there would be room for a lot of misunderstandings between us today.
4. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
If you really put forth the effort to do your best, then you WILL see results. Believe it or not, your best is good enough.
Condition your mind properly and you’ll be amazed at the things you can accomplish. I’ve been committing to these four agreements, and I already see aspects of my life getting better.
In order to see how far someone has come, you must first realize where they started.
My dear readers, I warn you, my book “Stone City: Life In The Penitentiary” is violent, graphic, and raw. The content will be disturbing to many. To this day, I am very disturbed by it. However, I feel it’s necessary to share. I held nothing back while writing this book. And at times, it was hard for me to speak the truth. The truth hurts.
In order for me to heal & forgive myself, I had to confront the ugly truth head on. Stone City is the result of that confrontation. As I wrote the pages of this book from my prison cell, it taught me a lot about myself. It mainly taught me how I was and how I don’t want to be.
Today, I continue to work hard on redemption and on changing my ways.
Here’s a little glimpse of my book, Stone City: Life In The Penitentiary.
“…Please understand I love you all, but when people f**k with me, kill ‘em all.” Those were the last words I wrote in my journal before I did a crime that got me 43 years in prison…” (chapter 1)
“…I wanted to convince these people they had f**ked with the wrong person. In my sick mind, everyone must acknowledge my superiority and treat me with respect. If they didn’t, it could cost them their lives…” (chapter 1)
“…everyone else was huddled together, backed into a corner…the screams got loud as I pointed the gun toward them and pulled back the hammer…” (chapter 1)
“…As I walked into the chow hall for the very first time, I looked around at all the people and I asked myself, “Alright mother-f**kers, who’s first? Which one of you a**holes am I going to make an example of…” (chapter 2)
“…As I let him up, he was a mess. Blood mixed with tears rolled down his face from both his bright red eyes, both sides of his upper face were already starting to swell, and he had two gashes on his left cheek, one from my top set and one from my bottom set of teeth…” (chapter 2)
“…Even in prison, life consists largely of choices. When will I start making the right decisions? Will prison make me worse, or will I find a motivation, or inspiration, or strength, and genuinely change?…” (chapter 2)
My wife got me a new book. It’s called, “The Science of Mind” by Ernest Holmes. Wow! What a gift! I am loving it. We read sections together, and then share our perspectives. She even made me a couple of personalized bookmarks to use. A small thing such as that is both meaningful and useful. Her sweet, thoughtful, & creative nature is unlike anything I’ve ever been on the receiving end of.
This book is a MUST read for those seeking self-discovery and understanding. There is so much knowledge within these pages. As I read, it offers food for thought that enables me to find answers. And to my surprise, all the answers come from within me.
I’ve spent many nights laying awake in the dark…wondering how I ended up in prison for a huge portion of my one and only precious life. My tears absorb into dingy linen that smells of bacteria killing chemicals. These are tears I’ve always kept to myself. Until now. The sad reality is, I put myself in prison.
Chapter 18 is called: The Law of Attraction. It says in part:
“Thought can attract to us that which we first mentally embody, that which had become a part of our mental makeup, a part of our inner understanding. Every person is surrounded by a thought atmosphere. This mental atmosphere is the direct result of his conscious and unconscious thought, which, in its turn, becomes the direct reason for, and cause of, that which comes into his life.”
My earliest memories are full of conflict, fighting, and violence. By age six, these things were already mentally embodied within me. I had no choice. I was born into it. So guess what type of thoughts were attracted to me? I wasn’t attracted to those thoughts…they were attracted to me. And as a child, I had no way to combat it. My thoughts were polluted by my inner understanding of conflict.
“…that which has become a part of our mental make-up, a part of our inner understanding.”
As I grew & developed, fighting and violence became a part of my mental make-up. It was a part of my mental understanding. It made up the actual “thought atmosphere” that surrounded me. This atmosphere was the direct result of all my thoughts. Which is the direct reason for, and cause of, the events that came into my life. The worst being 43 years in prison!
Today, while in prison, I seek help. But due to my lengthy time structure, I am denied. So I have taken it upon myself to read potent and influential books that lays out the blueprint for the remaking of my mind.
Perhaps the denial of self-help courses is as it should be. For if they were granted to me as requested, I might not be on this exact path. Perhaps those courses would’ve limited me from finding such influential masterpieces, such as “The Power of Now” and “The Science of Mind”.
We can bring into our life anything we desire, if we think correctly and become a living embodiment of our positive thoughts. I know this because I’m actively doing it. Harmony, happiness, prosperity, peace, good morals, are the things I think about and desire. I have willed these positive attributes into my life.
Today I am an adult. Unlike when I was a child, I now have the ability to choose for myself. First and foremost, I seek understanding, knowledge, and truth.
The lessons of my past validate the basic laws of the Universe. As I gain understanding, I realize I can do anything I set my mind to. The things I am learning resonate so strongly with me. I recognize the principals of these Universal laws. And through them, I have been getting in touch with my innermost Being.
I love this journey I’m on.
As my wife and I continue to read this book together, we’ll share our views and our experiences. Please read Suzie’s blog called, The Science of Mind, and follow along on our journey through life.
What is compulsive thought? It is uncontrolled thinking and it is a result of mindless thinking. Most people suffer from it. When a situation occurs, the mind reacts compulsively.
If the situation is negative, the thoughts will be negative. When the thoughts are negative, it produces negative actions. A lot of people will think negatively when they have nothing else to think of. Negative thoughts come naturally to them.
The remedy: STOP THINKING!!!
Crazy right? But it’s true.
Once you are able to stop a thought, you are then able to control your mind. Master this concept, and you will eliminate compulsive thoughts.
Use your mind. Don’t let it use you.
Learn how to turn off your mind. Learn how to explore your inner being. Meditate on spiritual teachings. LEARN HOW TO USE YOUR MIND. A higher level of consciousness awaits you. Awaken your spirit and seek that realm of intelligence that exists beyond the horizon of compulsive thoughts.
Do not allow your mind to ruin you for one more day.
Do not allow your mind to wonder aimlessly.
Do not allow your mind to continuously cast shadows of fear and suffering.
If you desire beauty, love, joy, harmony, peace, and happiness…then go get it! It’s there for the taking. It can all be found beyond the boundaries of compulsive thought.
To learn how to execute the concepts I just mentioned, I recommend you read, “THE POWER OF NOW” by Eckhart Tolle.
I’m in prison serving a 43 year sentence. I’ve already served over 20 years. During that time I have learned to transform my thinking. The results: more joy, love and happiness in a world that’s supposed to be dark, cold, and miserable.
If I can do it from in here…you can do it out there.
Back in 2008 I smuggled a cellphone into prison. After having it for 6 months, I finally got caught. That cost me 7 months in the hole…AKA: 24-7 LOCKDOWN!!! Before I got caught, I was able to document prison life by taking over 300 pictures. The images are raw and uncensored. They give a real glimpse into this hidden society.
As I sat in the hole, I wrote an ebook called, “Stone City: Life In The Penitentiary”. It is full of the pictures I took. It also shares the first 18 years of my life in prison. So far it’s gotten great reviews on Amazon.
For the month of December, the price of my ebook has been reduced to $0.99.
BUY IT TODAY AT:
“Stone City: Life In The Penitentiary” is the first of several ebooks I plan to publish. In order to see how far one has come, you must realize where they started. My start to life was rough. My youth was a path to prison. I’m now 41 years old. I’m still in prison. I refuse to take my incarceration in vain. The love of my family inspires me to be the best I can be. Every day I strive for redemption.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to these charities.
Thank you for all the love and support.
PS- You may read these two chapters for free: