The Summer Of 2014 Is Finally Here!

Summer Sand

After enduring such a cold and rough winter, summer is finally here, and I truly hope you all enjoy this terrific time of the year.

I will be taking the summer off myself, since I have been working full throttle ever since being released from prison in June of 2004 – over 10 years now – and I just need to refuel and come back bigger and better than ever, in order to spread the message of recovery and help as many human beings as I can in general.

I still may pop up from time to time, should I have something to post.

But, for the most part, I look forward to connecting with all of you again in September.

Until then, have a great summer, and be good to yourself and others!

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Free And Honest As Ever!

Improve Your Life

This week marked ten years that I was released from prison on June 8, 2004, after serving nearly six years for robbery, which was based on my past addictions to alcohol, drugs and gambling.

Although I have done many good things over this time, such as writing my book, “Jew in Jail,” and delivering motivational & inspirational speeches to help other addicts in recovery or anyone not living up to their full potential, I am also very aware of the fact that I continue to make mistakes, and, therefore, will always be a work in progress.

But that is fine with me.

I realize that change doesn’t occur overnight, or even over a ten year span, and am prepared to work even harder than ever before in order to be the best possible person I can be.

Life definitely is a learning process, and by continuing to read, write, speak, and go to meetings to hear others share their messages, it will enable me to become what I strive for, which is a man people call genuine, helpful, humble, and someone to look up to.

I know there will always be bumps along the way, but with great friends, and readers like you at my side, we can help each other make it in this crazy worlds of ours!

I hope this summer is the best one you will ever experience, and look forward to the great feedback and comments you always provide, either here on my blog, in person, via email, or through my website, http://www.jewinjail.com/.

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Sharing Is Caring!

Me1 Speaking At The Brooklyn Public Library On Tuesday May 27 2014

I had a great time this past Tuesday night at the Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, as I spoke about my book, “Jew in Jail,” and recovery from addiction.

I appreciate everyone who came out to hear me discuss my past, hopes for the future, and how I do my very best each day to help others battling the disease of addiction.

The questions were right on the money, and the support and love I felt were tremendous.

Obviously, since I cannot change what took place in the past, the best I can do these days is share my experiences and provide insights on what it takes to remain clean and sober in order to live a fruitful life, filled with self-esteem and self-confidence.

I look forward to speaking again, either at the library, a school, drug treatment program, hospital detox, jail, or anywhere I can be of value to others.

Until next time, take care, and start to enjoy this beautiful weather that has been a long time coming!

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You Are What You Think!

Adversity Overcoming

I hope everyone is doing well.

Today’s post on my blog will simply be the audio link to my website, which contains some of my past radio interviews about not only my book, “Jew in Jail” and what it was like to serve nearly six years behind bars, but also what I do these days to motivate and inspire others through my speeches, so that everyone realizes how special they are and possess unlimited potential to be anything they desire in life.

http://www.jewinjail.com/audio.asp

I am especially proud of the radio interview I did with Host Coach Marla on her program, “Winning Life Through Pain” on 8/17/12, which is the first interview on the link I just posted above.

I hope you all get a chance to listen, and can relate to some of the things I went through in life, in order to understand that, no matter what took place in anyone’s past, change is possible, and with hard work and dedication, success and happiness can be achieved.

If you haven’t read my book, “Jew in Jail” yet, I hope you do.

It is chock full of insightful information on how I was able to recover from my past addictions to alcohol, drugs and gambling while incarcerated, and go on to lead a happy and healthful life myself.

http://www.jewinjail.com/

In addition, if you or anyone you know is in need of a motivational and inspirational speaker, I sure hope you tell them about me!

Finally, I also always welcome comments from you, my readers, about my blog, book or website, because receiving feedback from you is what drives me to be my best and help others.

Until next time, everyone, have a great day, and week ahead!

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Six & A Half Years Clean!

Extra Extra Addiction News

It seems like only yesterday I was celebrating two years free from alcohol and drugs, since time goes by so quickly for me when I am clean and sober!

I woke up this morning with six and a half years now clean, and to say it feels good would be a major understatement.

When I go to deliver a motivational & inspirational speech at drug treatment programs, jails, schools, and other venues, one of my favorite lines to demonstrate how far I have come in life is this: “I have been to hell and back so many times that the post office started forwarding my mail there without requiring a change of address form filled out first!”

While this, of course, is not literally true, it does represent how badly my life had become when I was actively drinking and taking drugs.

I destroyed my career in broadcast journalism, ruined relationships with family and friends, harmed my physical health, and managed to get locked up behind bars for nearly six long years, all because I was living with such low self-esteem and didn’t care enough about myself as a human being.

It wasn’t until October 31, 2007 that I finally decided to turn my life around, once and for all, and voluntarily walked into the Coney Island Hospital Chemical Dependency Program in my hometown of Brooklyn, New York, and asked for help.

I had to swallow my pride and admit that my addiction was more powerful than I am, but I can say today that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

However, although I have now been clean and sober for these six and a half years, I am also well aware of the fact that true recovery is more than just abstaining from the use of alcohol, drugs, or any other mind-altering substance.

Recovery includes repairing one’s negative character defects, which, in my particular case, means refraining from having a temper, thinking that I am better than everyone else, being selfish and only out for myself, isolating, instead of spending time with others, cursing, littering, and just not acting in a professional manner in general.

In this respect, my recovery is a lifelong process, and helps keep me grounded on a daily basis.

Furthermore, by sharing my story and helping spread the message of recovery, it provides unlimited amounts of positive self-esteem, both for myself and others, which is a win-win situation for everyone involved.

I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I do know several things.

Firstly, I am definitely not the same person I was for many years of my life, which I am very proud to say.

Secondly, I refuse to dwell on the past, on what my life could have been, had I not become an alcoholic and drug addict, since that is not only water under the bridge, but would serve no useful purpose either.

Finally, I feel good knowing that I am waking up each and every morning clean and sober, ONE DAY AT A TIME, and have people in my life who trust me and value my opinion on things.

It’s all about self-esteem and feeling worthy of another human’s love that fuels my desire to be the best person I can possibly be.

We only go through life once, and for this former alcoholic and drug addict, doing it right is what it’s all about!

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Enjoy Yourself In A Responsible Way!

People Helping People

Now that the warmer weather has finally arrived and we all survived such a harsh winter, the tendency is for us as human beings to think we need to hurry up and cram good times into as many days as possible, before the temperatures dip back down again.

I, for one, love the summer, but forever need to remember that it was always my favorite time of the year to drink and do drugs.

There is just something about being able to leave my house and walk outside without a shirt on and just wear shorts to go to the beach, play ball, or simply hang out with friends.

I felt liberated – after a long winter – to be able to enjoy myself knowing that the days were longer and I could lay in the sun to get a tan.

However, my addiction would always turn what I thought was going to be fun into something worse.

Fights, arrests, gambling problems, and other negative consequences were the result of thinking I “deserved” to have fun during these warm months of the year without any regard of the outcome.

Nowadays, fun takes on a whole new meaning, since I am clean nearly six and a half years.

Responsibility, dependability, reliability, and trustworthiness are just some of the positive characteristics that I take pride in, and combined with my desire to help other recovering addicts, or anyone not living up to their full potential, is what motivates me each and every single day, rain or shine!

I don’t begrudge anyone who drinks socially, and just hope it doesn’t interfere with their normal, everyday life.

Nor do I have a problem with any person who works hard for a living, pays his or her taxes, and is a positive role model in the community.

In a perfect world, men and women who are successful would have sense enough to help those who are less fortunate than they are.

For when they do, we all feel better about ourselves!

Enjoy this great weather everyone, and if you ever feel the need to talk about something that is on your mind, know that I am just a click away!

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My Blog Interview On IV League

BLOG Typewriter Keys

Author Interview: Gary Goldstein

By Keri B.

In June of 1998, Gary Goldstein was arrested after robbing a series of dry cleaners to pay back bookies and feed his addiction. After serving 6 years in the New York State Department of Correction and Community Supervision, Goldstein was released and penned a memoir entitled Jew in Jail. Today, Goldstein is clean and sober, working as a motivational speaker, and promoting his book.

1. What prompted you to write this? I mean, there are lots of people who do prison time; what prompted you to write a book about it?JewInJail_Cover

I have always wanted to write a book, although, obviously, not under these conditions of becoming incarcerated. However, once I knew that my fate was going to be serving time in prison, I decided to write Jew in Jail, and was inspired to do so once my beloved late father, Irving Goldstein, passed away from the effects of lung cancer and emphysema on January 23, 1999, which was only 15 days after I had been sentenced, and still on Rikers Island waiting to be transported north to a correctional facility. My father had always encouraged me to be my best, and offered unending support my entire life, so I wanted to honor my father by dedicating Jew in Jail to how special my father was to me.

In addition, the other reason why I wrote Jew in Jail was to show anyone that whatever obstacles appear in one’s life – and in my case it was the disease of addiction – it is possible to overcome them and go on to lead a positive and fruitful life. These days, aside from being a published author, I am also a motivational and inspirational speaker on the topic of recovery from addiction, and get so much out of helping others.

2. What was your writing process like for this? Did you write most of it as it happened or did you later decide to put pen to paper?

I wrote Jew in Jail as I was serving my time, and it turned about to be extremely therapeutic to do so! It allowed me to not only document my life behind bars on a daily basis, but also helped me keep my sanity under the worst possible conditions, as well as plan my strategy for my eventual release.

3. Did you consider traditional publishing routes before deciding to go for indie publishing?

Yes, I did, and I sent many query letters out. Unfortunately, though, as a first-time author, I received a lot of rejection letters, so eventually simply decided to self-publish Jew in Jail.

4. What have you done for marketing? You seem to have a lot more blog and online interviews than many of the indie authors; you’ve really gotten your name out there. How did you do it?

Thank you for noticing that, Keri!

First of all, it is very, very important for any author – especially an indie one – to come up with a “hook,” which is a way to get readers, and the public in general to notice you.

In my case, the most successful marketing technique I have used thus far – and continue to use – is dressing up in my prison costume to get attention for Jew in Jail, which I first did in May of 2011 at the Jacob K. Javits Center for BookExpo America 2011 (BEA 2011). I paraded around the entire center handing out my business cards and bookmarks, took photos with attendees, and also autographed copies of my book wearing that outfit. Now, wherever I go, I am known as the Jew in jail, or at least, that Jew who was in jail, and wrote about it! It certainly was a smart marketing strategy, and one that has definitely gotten me noticed.

Aside from blog, online and radio interviews, I also remain involved in social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Goodreads as well.

I also speak at drug treatment programs, hospital detoxes, jails, schools, or anywhere else I can help make a difference in someone’s life, whether they are an addict in recovery, a current or former prisoner, or just a person not living up to their full potential.

5. How many copies have you sold so far?

Honestly, I really don’t know, since my royalty payments are deposited directly into my bank account.

I can tell you that, as mentioned earlier, I actually didn’t write Jew in Jail to make money, but only as a way to honor and pay tribute to my late father, as well as help others in a similar situation in life.

Now, though, with the 10 year “anniversary” of my release from prison quickly approaching, coupled with the fact that I have invested a lot of money to get the word out, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I would like to see Jew in Jail sell millions of copies, in addition to myself becoming a highly successful motivational & inspirational speaker!

6. I see that you do some public speaking – how did you get into that?

Becoming a motivational & inspirational speaker has only been possible by remaining clean and sober, and then from going out into the world to meet people and promote myself, Jew in Jail, and, of course, tirelessly doing my best to help others.

In other words, good things happen when one works hard, is selfless, and listens to others and takes suggestions.

I have found that doors have opened up for me by simply being honest about myself and my past, remaining humble, and choosing to give, rather than take.

In one particular instance, I met a man who runs a drug treatment center in Virginia when he appeared as a guest and listened to me speak at a meeting in New York City.

I handed him a copy of my book, he liked what he read, and then invited me down to his program to speak – not only there, but at two local jails in the area as well.

Here is the video of that speech, which, although admittedly new at doing back then, I am still very proud of the message of hope I gave to those in attendance

7. Your bio says that you worked in journalism before your arrest but in construction after (until you turned to public speaking). As a journalist, I’m curious why you didn’t return to journalism? Did it have negative associations for you? Did a felony make getting a job at that level – you had been working for big names like CBS and NBC – not feasible?

That is such a great question, Keri!

I started working at CBS TV as an unpaid intern while a senior at Long Island University way back in 1982 and loved it.

Upon graduation, I was given a full-time paying job and thought I would work there forever!

However, not long after I started, I injured my back on the job and discovered I was living with many physical problems that I didn’t know about until I aggravated it in the accident.

Long story short was that I quickly developed an addiction to pain medication and then gambling, until I became too big for my britches and a liability for the company, which eventually caused them to terminate my employment.

I did return many years later on a per diem basis, although I was forced to start back at the bottom, as opposed to where I had ascended to previously, and was just not comfortable with that situation.

But I have nobody else to blame except for myself – notwithstanding the fact that addiction is a disease – because I also did have “many bites of the apple” elsewhere, having also worked at NBC TV, NBA Entertainment, Major League Baseball Productions, The New York Post, and other prominent organizations in the media field.

8. Somewhat randomly, what was your prison name? I was called Harry Potter the entire time I was in prison – what were you called? Or were you lucky enough to escape without a prison name?

Fat chance! I was called many names, both by my fellow prisoners, the correction officers and staff alike!

Just think for a moment. I am a Jewish man from Brooklyn, who was incarcerated with hundreds of men who were mostly black and Hispanic, not to mention a majority of the officers and other staff members who were white and looked down on me for being locked up in the first place.

I am sure you can get where this is going, but if not, you and your readers are definitely invited to check out Jew in Jail to find out!

9. Do you have any plans for future books?

I have been taking notes for another book for several years now, but decided to hold off and pursue a career in motivational and inspirational speaking instead.

I can always write when I have free time, and definitely enjoy putting pen to paper.

However, for now, this “Jew in Jail” feels the need to tell his story, so that others can be helped and prevented from making the same mistakes in life.

If you’d like to buy Jew in Jail, it’s available on Amazon HERE. To check out Gary’s blog, go HERE.

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About Keri B.

I’m a freelance writer currently in the process of writing and publishing my first book, a memoir called IV League. View all posts by Keri B.
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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 27th, 2014 at 10:22 pm and tagged with author interviews, Gary Goldstein, Jew in Jail, Memoir, New York prisons, prison books, Rikers Island and posted in Interviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed

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