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Q & A with Author Sherrie Miranda and Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications

Guest blog Q & A with Sherrie Miranda, Author

by Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications

SJF Communications is thrilled to introduce our PR client, Author Sherrie Miranda. Sherrie recently released her novel Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans: Shelly’s Journey Begins which is the prequel to her 2015 debut novel Secrets and Lies in El Salvador: Shelly’s Journey.

Here is a bit of information about both books (along with a holiday discount on eBooks for both) followed by our Q & A.

Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans is author Sherrie Miranda’s prequel to her page-turner, debut thriller, Secrets and Lies in El Salvador.

Shelly Dalton Smith is a naïve, twenty-three-year-old from Upstate New York who moves to New Orleans in 1980 to prepare for a photo project in war-torn El Salvador.

Shelly arrives in New Orleans, broken and traumatized and therefore unable to trust her own instincts. New Orleans represents the fresh start Shelly needs, but she soon finds that almost everyone in New Orleans harbors a secret. She’s unprepared for life in “The Big Easy,” and her world is turned upside down as she navigates “the city that care forgot.”

With fast-paced chapters and beautifully detailed conversations and descriptions, we see New Orleans through Shelly’s innocent eyes as she realizes the sheltered life she had lived was a lie. She experiences sexism and witnesses racism, police brutality, FBI visits, death threats, and two people’s captivity by her former boss.

Through her misadventures and exciting plot twists, Shelly focuses on fighting injustice, ultimately finding her authentic voice as an empowered adult. When she finally leaves New Orleans, she is forever changed. The novel is a wild ride through the underbelly of 1980s New Orleans and is filled with quirky characters, sinister abusers, and thrilling secrets and revelations.

Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans (CIINO)

#CIINO Trailer!: https://youtu.be/7_NL-V9KEi4

Available on Amazon:

Paperback:https://www.amzn.com/dp/B08KMHNNDK

Kindle eBook: https://www.amzn.com/dp/B08K8MMCMJ
($0.99 Holiday Discount)!

Available on Barnes and Noble

Paperback: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/9781663580016

Nook:   https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940162963127

Secrets and Lies in El Salvador (2015 sequel to Sherrie Miranda’s Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans) is the story of an American woman in war-torn El Salvador. It exposes death and destruction at every turn, but also validates the power of love, and embodies the gift of hope.

In a conscious effort to heal from recent trauma and her mother’s lies about her closest relations, Shelly Dalton Smith travels to war-torn El Salvador. Unwittingly used by someone she trusts to implement a mission too dangerous for anyone to complete, she captures shots of her host family, and listens to their secrets and lies, which reveal her mother’s deception is not so different from that of others, including her own.

Witnessing the death of an American journalist and listening to harrowing accounts of refugees who watched the massacre of their families, tears Shelly apart. So she turns to an American fighting with the guerrillas. He teaches her a passion for living she has never known. When he dies in combat, Shelly can no longer bear the pain, and wonders whether it is possible to accomplish her mission.

Secrets and Lies in El Salvador (SLIES)

Available on Amazon:

Paperbackhttps://amzn.com/dp/1507837011

Kindle eBook: https://amzn.com/dp/B00T6EI1UW
($0.99 Holiday Discount)!

Available on Barnes and Noble:

Paperbackhttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/9781507837016

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940046559002

Q & A:

Sherrie Miranda, Author

and

Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications

Sherrie Miranda, Author and Susan J Farese, SJF Communications; Photo Credit: Angelo Miranda

SJF: Why/How did you decide to write Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans?

SM: I always knew I wanted to write this story, but I also knew it would be difficult because I lived in NOLA for 7 years. I could not put everything I wanted in it, but I knew it was an important and timely story. So, I got the support I needed to help me figure out what the story would look like.

SJF: Did you make any personal discoveries (or aha! moments) while researching the book? If so, please explain.

SM: I didn’t really research except for a training on police forensics that I never actually used.

SJF: How did you decide on the title #CIINO and decide to self-publish?? 

SM: I decided the title early on to help me focus on that part of the story.

Self-publishing was the only option for me. I sent out about 35 queries for my debut novel and I got one response. I realized that even if I got an agent, that did not guarantee a publisher & I was noticing that people were waiting years to get published if ever.

SJF: Tell us about your background that led to you writing the book.

Author Sherrie Miranda; Photo credit: Tony Alcaraz

SM: Most of what happens in the story actually happened to me or to my friends. The book is about a time in this country and New Orleans, in particular, when we were trying to stop the slaughter of innocent people in El Salvador. But, our government had us labeled as the bad guys. They wanted to shut us up & shut us down. It is not unlike what’s been happening these last four years.

SJF: Did you take any writing classes or utilize other resources for writers?

SM: Marni Freedman was an amazing help to me. When I finally figured out she was local, I did a coaching session with her. I had been stuck for a long time, but she helped me figure out the shape of my story and what it needed to work. I took her memoir certification class and things finally started falling into place. I also got editing help from Tracy J Jones, Marni’s best friend and her editor and co-chair of her memoir course. Marni and Tracy are supportive in ways few instructors are. They are very careful not to break your spirit. They come from a place of pure love. If it weren’t for these two women, I believe I’d still be stuck!

SJF: Can you give us information on your background in teaching – Subjects? Creative writing/ESL etc.?

SM: Although I taught Art, Health, English Literature and even History, I loved teaching ESL. It was a privilege to have students from all over the world and to be their introduction to this country. I learned so much from these young people and they inspired me to tell my story.

SJF: Tell us about your upbringing, geographically, personally etc.

SM: I was born in Pennsylvania, in hunting & fishing territory. Fortunately my parents moved us to Upstate NY so I could start school there. The area I was from in PA was economically depressed & I am grateful we got out of there because it taught me to dare to go out in the world & try new things.

SJF: If you had to write the book(s) over again, would you change anything?

SM: No, I wouldn’t change much. It took me 5 years to write this 2nd novel & I got a lot of support & suggestions from fellow authors. The book is exactly what I want it to be.

SJF: If you had to interview your character Shelly in CIINO, what would you ask her?

SM: I would ask her: how did you change from before you went to New Orleans to when you left?

SJF: Please explain, in first person now, Sherrie…this is interesting!

SM: I didn’t realize how big an issue sexism is in this country & in the world. I didn’t know that 1 in 4 women get raped or molested in their lifetime. Also 1 in 5 males are raped or molested. New Orleans forced me to look at the hard reality – #MeToo

I didn’t know the depth of racism in this country. Nor did I realize how it permeates every part of the lives of people of color. Knowing the experiences of POC changed me forever. #BlackLivesMatter

SJF: A brief history of your education, positions/teaching appointments published articles, etc.

SM: I studied Art, then Photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), but I was on academic probation, mainly because I kept asking professors to let me do a photo project, but being on a trimester schedule did not allow me the time to go back & finish another class when I had a full load each semester.

In New Orleans, I finally got back in school, but it took another four years to finish because my transfer courses did not count the full 3 units. Also, again, I studied Art, then pre-nursing, then finally switched to Drama & Communications.

I was a much better student at University of New Orleans (UNO) so I was able to pull my GPA up to a 3.4. I was friends with professors at UNO, whereas at RIT, the professors were not friendly toward me.

I also received my teaching credential through SDSU and my MFA in Creative Writing from National University (with a 4.0 GPA)!

SJF: What are your personal pastimes/hobbies/interests/passions?

SM: I love to garden. It’s kind of addicting. Sometimes I lose several hours when I get out there & play in the dirt. Also, we have a historical home, so we love to shop for art & furniture from the 1930s when our home was built.

I love movies and good TV shows, and reading, of course. I love a good story that is well developed.

I also love to travel. Angelo and I mostly travel in the U.S., but I’ve been to several European countries and a few Latin Countries. I hope to figure out how to incorporate those trips into my writing eventually.

SJF: Anything you would like to mention about Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans (#CIINO) and Secrets and Lies in El Salvador (#SLIES)?

SM: There are stories that come from my heart. The people of New Orleans are very unique and memorable. Salvadorans are the most generous people as a group that I’ve ever met despite decades of the government & landowners fighting its own people. Also, my husband wrote the music for the trailers. Angelo is a musician in two local bands:: Local Upfront, 70-80 cover songs, and the South Bay Band, a jam band.

SJF: Where can we find you on the web? Website, social media etc.

SM: Oh, I’m all over the internet. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedInGoodreads and thanks to you, I finally figured out Instagram. I also have a WordPress blog and am hoping to have you design a website for me soon.

SJF: How have you been coping with life since Covid-19? Any stress management tools? 

Author Sherrie Miranda and Angelo Miranda; Photo credit: Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications

SM: Mostly, it’s been good for me. I had an excuse to stay home & finish CIINO. Angelo had a few outside music gigs so that helped ease the loneliness. Plus, I have a couple of friends who have been mostly isolated so we were able to do a few get togethers with them.

But, I have to admit it’s starting to get to me now. Plus, I’ve been staying up too late & sleeping late. If I ever get back to subbing, I’m going to be in trouble trying to get up at 6 a.m.

SJF: How has the Covid-19 affected you personally/professionally?

SM: I’ve come to realize that I’m an introvert so it’s been easier on me than most people. Also, since I haven’t been around a lot of people (esp. teens), I’ve managed to stay healthy for more than a year. 

Professionally, though, I would have gone to the La Jolla Writer’s Conference & probably done some events at several bookstores so that’s been difficult. But people have more time to read so I’ve seen a lot more interest in this book because of having an online presence.

SJF: Role models or persons that inspire you in your life?

SM: First, my dad, was always an inspiration because he believed in me. The rest of my family doesn’t feel the same about him. I guess I was a Daddy’s girl like my mom always said.

There have been women who have inspired me most of my life. Some I knew, like my Spanish professor who is now writing books too. And some I didn’t know, like Susan Meiselas whose photography in Central America inspired me to be an anti-war activist, and Carolina Forché, who showed me the power of writer as witness to atrocities and injustice. 

SJF: What are you working on next? Another sequel?

SM: Yes, When Shelly comes back from El Salvador with her husband (and pregnant)! She’s going to have a blond haired, blue-eyed baby that is obviously not Juan Jr.’s! I’m not really working on it right now. Just in my head. I need to work with Marni before I start writing. She believes in having a firm plan before starting to write. Otherwise you risk getting stuck in the middle & maybe never finishing. Since this happened to me both times, I’m going to follow her advice.

SJF: Favorite quotes?

SM: “I don’t like to write; I love having written.” Dorothy Parker

“You simply sit down to a typewriter, open your veins and bleed.” Ernest Hemingway

“The lesson will be repeated until it is learned.” Buddha

SJF: Who (celebrity)  would you like to have lunch or dinner with to discuss your book?

SM: Martin Sheen. I sent him a copy of SLIES and he sent me a thank you card. I wish I had heard from him after he read it. I’m going to send CIINO to him too.

SJF:  Life hurdles? Successes?

SM: I was always going two steps forward, one step back. I was a country girl trying to be a city girl. I was never prepared for what I was trying to do. In the end though, that has made me a better writer so it all happened for a reason.

SJF: Three significant/pivotal moments in your life?

Divorcing my first husband and starting college.

Traveling around Europe (several times)

Moving to LA – that was hard too, but I learned a lot there. It’s where I became spiritual, after 9/11.

SJF: Fears?

SM: Oh, I’m filled with fears. But I just decide to go ahead & try it anyway.

SJF: Recurring dreams/ Usual dreams?

SM: When I was a kid, I dreamed my family and I traveled to other planets. I often dream I’ve got an out of control classroom of students. 

SJF:  Strongest asset? What would you like to work on/improve?

SM: I think my openess has allowed me to have experiences that most Americans don’t ever get to have. I need to work on being fearless and I really need to stop procrastinating. I also need to stop spending so much time on the internet. It’s the worst addiction there is. 

SJF: Where/How do you ‘give back’ to your community/communities?

SM: Teaching has been very rewarding in that respect. Before I became a teacher, I was an antiwar activist and I continue to try to raise awareness on political issues that are important to me.

I also worked with the homeless when I first moved to San Diego.

SJF: Any regrets in life?

SM: I don’t really believe in regrets. I never had a child, but I have had many loving people in my life. I believe “Everything happens for a reason.” If I had had a child, I wouldn’t have been able to travel and wouldn’t have ended up in a place where I could marry my husband.

I put myself through a lot of unnecessary difficulties with men mostly, but I finally know who I am and what I want so it all worked out in the end.

SJF: What qualities should the younger generations aspire to that you think are important in this day and age?

SM: Young people are more aware of the dire issues that face us. I trust that they will make the world a better place, a more fair & equal place.

SJF: Funny/humorous (appropriate) stories?

SM: Oh, when I went to RIT in my mid-twenties, I had a really hard time with this one professor’s class. When I asked him for help, he said I didn’t belong in his class. But when I tried to drop the class, he insisted I see the school psychologist first. The psychologist thought it was the professor who had a problem, not me. But, I just told the professor that yes, I had seen the psychologist. He finally signed off on me dropping his class.

SJF: How do you handle loss?

SM: Better than I thought I would. My mom’s death was heartbreaking. I felt I could have been a better daughter (though she insisted I was a perfect child!). I cried for weeks when she died. But I got messages from her.

My dad was the guy I worried about dying since I was 13 years old. I think I must have sensed that something was wrong. So many times I cried about him dying someday, but when the day finally came, I just felt relief that he was out of the miserable situation he ended up in.

SJF: Where have you traveled and where would you like to travel once Covid-19 is OVER??? 

SM: I’ve traveled a lot. First Europe, then El Salvador, Cuba, Brazil. Then West coast, including Canada & Mexico. Then East coast, including Montreal.

But I want to visit Pittsburgh and Philly and the New England states. I also want to see more of Europe, especially Ireland, Wales & Scotland.

I would travel more, but Angelo (my husband) doesn’t like to be away from his pianos.

SJF: Thank you very much Sherrie, and best wishes with your writing and looking forward to reading more of your upcoming books!

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A Letter Explaining the Reason Behind the Choice of Writing “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” as Historically-Based, Rather than Historical Fiction

romero-267x300
Mr. Lamperti,
I very much appreciate your message and am glad that you care so much about El Salvador’s recent history.
When I first began writing “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador,” I wanted it to be historical fiction, but I had t w o very knowledgable people tell me not to write it that way. The first person (who recently passed away with cancer) told me that the story would be better told by moving events around in order to build tension. Karen Aschenbach had written screenplays and lived in Hollywood the last few years of her life. I am well aware that Hollywood doesn’t often tell the complete truth, but I am also hoping that this story will be made into a movie.
The other person who recommended I not call it (or make it) historical fiction is an author of historical fiction herself. She said historical fiction doesn’t sell except to a small group of people who care immensely about history. A few months after she gave me this advice, she pulled her books off the shelf to edit and make changes as some readers had found some errors in the work.
That was a wake-up call for me as I knew I wasn’t being meticulous about the history and especially the time-line.
For these reasons, I call the novel historically-based, rather than historical fiction.
I will make sure my publicist is aware of this so that we do not label this story inaccurately.
My sincere thanks for your compassion toward the Salvadoran cause. My Salvadoran friends and family are very grateful to you and all those who remind the world of this unjust US-funded war.
Sherrie Miranda
sherriemiranda1@aol.com

A Mourner Remembers Archbishop Romero
A Mourner Remembers Archbishop Romero

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador: http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:

12 More Reasons Not to Give Up on Your Writing Dreams

There we go! Never give up! Take a class! Start a critique group, but don’t quit because you don’t know what to do next!

A Writer's Path

by Meg Dowell

1. There are a lot of stories already out there, but there can never be too many of YOUR stories out there.

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From Oprah: 5 Strategies for Breaking a Negative Thought Loop

It’s almost as if Oprah can read my mind!

The author of The Anxiety Toolkit explains how we get caught in negative, fear-based ideas—and how to break free.By Dr. Alice Boyes

Photo: Maiwolf Photography/Cultura/Getty Images   Believe it or not, psychologists have a term to describe people who like to think a lot. The trait is called need for cognition. It refers to people who enjoy effortful thinking and feel motivated to attempt to understand and make sense of things. For the most part, this is associated with positive traits, like openness, higher self-esteem and lower social anxiety. On the flip side, some types of intensive thinking—notably rumination and worry—tend to be associated with being closed to new ideas and poor mental health. Anxiety and rumination form a feedback loop where one causes the other. Here, you’ll learn to recognize when you’re ruminating so you can disrupt the loop. 

1. Identify When You’re Ruminating

To reduce your rumination, you’re first going to need to identify it. Rumination can be about minor issues (“Why did I pay $4.20 for gas at the first gas station off the highway when I could’ve driven a half-mile down the road and paid $3.60? I shouldn’t have been so stupid…etc.”). Rumination can also be more heavy-duty self-criticism (“What’s wrong with me? I have these dreams but I don’t make them happen. Am I just full of hot air? Maybe I don’t want them badly enough? Am I a just a big fraud?”) Ruminating can sometimes be a bit like daydreaming, in that people often get lost in rumination without realizing they’re doing it. 

Experiment: Fill in the following blanks to create a list of topics you ruminate on: Replaying conversations with people in power positions in your life. For example, replaying conversations, including email conversations, with ______ [insert names of people] ______. 

Replaying memories of experiences of failure from the past, for example ______. 

Thinking about ways in which you’re not as perfect as you’d like to be. For example, thinking you’re not as good at ______ as you’d like. 

Thinking about things you should be doing to be more successful, such as ______.

Photo: CommerceandCultureAgency/Getty Images   Become Aware of Memory BiasWhen people are anxious they often have biased recall for events. For example, Brian talks himself into believing he screwed up an interview for a promotion because he thinks over and over about things he could’ve said. However, he doesn’t as easily recall the good answers he gave. He endlessly mentally rehashes ambiguous cues the interviewers gave off, such as appearing to rush through questions, but doesn’t as easily recall when the interviewers responded positively. 

Experiment: Do you have any current rumination topics where memory bias might be playing a role? Answer the following questions: 

1. What’s your ruminating mind telling you? 

2. What are the objective data telling you about whether your ruminative thoughts are likely to be correct? 

3. Are you recalling feedback as harsher than it was or recalling blips in your performance as worse than they were?

Photo: Peopleimages.com/Digital Vision/Getty Images   Distinguish Between Worry/Rumination and Helpful Problem-SolvingPeople who are heavy worriers tend to believe that worrying helps them make good decisions. However, rather than helping you problem-solve, rumination and worry usually just make it difficult to see the forest for the trees. Do you think people who worry a lot about getting cancer are more likely to do self-exams, have their moles mapped or eat a healthy diet? According to research, the opposite is probably true. For example, one study showed that women who were prone to rumination took an average of 39 days longer to seek help after noticing a breast lump. 

Experiment: To check for yourself whether ruminating and worrying lead to useful actions, try tracking the time you spend ruminating or worrying for a week. If a week is too much of a commitment, you could try two days—one weekday and one weekend day. When you notice yourself ruminating or worrying, write down the approximate number of minutes you spend doing it. The following day, note any times when ruminating/worrying led to useful solutions. Calculate your ratio: How many minutes did you spend overthinking for each useful solution it generated?

Photo: Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Getty Images   Reduce Self-CriticismReducing self-criticism is a critical part of reducing rumination. People who are in a pattern of trying to use self-criticism as motivation often fear that reducing it will make them lazy. It won’t. In fact, giving yourself a compassionate rather than critical message will often lead to working harder. For example, one study showed that people who did a hard test and got a compassionate message afterward were willing to study longer for future similar tests, compared to a group of people who took the same test but didn’t get a compassionate message. 

Experiment: To practice using self-compassion as an alternative to self-criticism, try the following three-minute writing exercise. Identify a mistake or weakness that you want to focus on and then write for three minutes using the following instructions: “Imagine that you are talking to yourself about this weakness (or mistake) from a compassionate and understanding perspective. What would you say?”

Photo: Jamie Grill/Iconica/Getty Images   Recognize When You’re Criticizing Yourself Just for Feeling AnxiousShould/shouldn’t thinking traps are a common problem for anxiety-prone people. These can come in several varieties, virtually all of which can prolong and intensify rumination—for example, “I shouldn’t ever let anyone down,” which is an example of excessive responsibility taking. 

Try to notice when you get caught in should/shouldn’t thinking traps in which you criticize yourself just for feeling anxious. For example, “I should be able to handle life much better” or “I shouldn’t get anxious about such little issues.” If this happens, give yourself compassion for the fact that you feel anxious, regardless of whether the anxiety is logical or not. Think of it this way: If a kid was scared of monsters, you wouldn’t withhold compassion and empathy just because the monsters aren’t real. Treat yourself with the same caring. A common mistake people make is to think they need to give themselves excessive encouragement, praise or pep talks while they’re feeling anxious—you don’t. Taking a patient and compassionate attitude about the fact you’re experiencing anxiety is an overlooked strategy that helps anxious feelings pass quickly. 

Experiment: Try this: Switch out any shoulds hidden in your self-talk and replace them with prefer. For example, instead of saying “I should have achieved more by now” try “I would prefer to have achieved more by now.” 

This is a simple, specific, repeatable example of how you can talk to yourself in a kinder, more patient way. These tiny self-interventions may seem ridiculously simple, but they work. They may not seem like they shift your anxiety to a huge degree; however, they can help you disrupt your rumination just enough to give you a small window of clear mental space. This allows you to start doing something useful rather than keep ruminating. 

The Anxiety Toolbox

This adapted excerpt was taken from The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points by Dr. Alice Boyes. Dr. Boyes is an emotions expert forWomen’s Health magazine (AU), and a popular blogger for PsychologyToday.com. You can get the first chapter of her book for free by subscribing to her blog updates here. She’s on Twitter @DrAliceBoyes.Published 05/14/2015

Read more: https://www.oprah.com/inspiration/strategies-for-getting-unstuck/all#ixzz74nVcgGG3

Check out Book 1, then 2. Book 3 will be out in a year or so.

Sherrie Miranda’s “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans” follows the dramatic story of naive, sheltered Shelly going to “The Big Easy” to prepare for El Salvador, but has no idea she will encounter sexism and witness racism as well as illegal activities by government agents.
https://www.amzn.com/dp/B08KMHNNDK
Author, Sherrie Miranda’s husband made the trailer for “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans.” He wrote the music too. 
https://youtu.be/7_NL-V9KEi4
Review: Shelly’s journey in “the city that care forgot.”Sherrie Miranda’s new novel “Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans” puts the reader into a whirlwind of political protests, abusive police, sexist attitudes towards women, and “good old boys” racism in 1980’s New Orleans. Miranda’s second novel follows Shelly, the young northerner, as she quickly finds out that she “isn’t in Kansas anymore” while encountering a slew of picturesque, colorful characters. Reading her book makes you wonder if justice and respect for blacks, immigrants, and women can be reality in America.

The trilogy I didn’t intend to write.

I know how that goes. I’m working on book 3 & already know what books 4 & 5 are going to be about. Book 6 is tarting to settle in too.
All I wanted was to get that El Salvador story out. ❤

Rebecca Bryn

The Chainmakers Trilogy – NEW COVER REVEAL

It all began when I saw a TV report about the Black Country Living Museum and the women chainmaker’s strike of 1910, when they fought the chain masters for a living wage and paved the way for a National Minimum Wage – the phrase The White Slaves of England piqued my interest. That children from the age of about four worked in backyard chain workshops alongside their mothers, sometimes for twelve hours a day for a pittance, appalled me. That a family all worked these hours and still couldn’t afford to put food on the table was scandalous. Men grew fat and built huge mansions on the blacks of white slaves as well as black ones. That troops shot railway strikers in South Wales was startling.

Social history fascinates me, even down to the everyday words and phrases we use without thinking about…

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Pride and Shame.

Afghanistan from a Brit’s perspective! Or should I say Welch?

The BUTHIDARS

Many times in my life I’ve been proud of my country. Proud to say I’m from the UK A few times I’ve felt great shame. Today is one of those days where if asked where I’m from, I shall say Wales and hope many people don’t know where that is. For the last few days amid the turmoil that is Kabul, following the departure of the President and the melting away of Afghanistan’s army, I have been watching scenes of Afghanis employed by the various occupying armies trying to get aboard aircraft and head for safety before the Taliban arrived.

President Trump agreed a handover to the Taliban though it’s fallen to Joe Biden to achieve it as peacefully as possible. It’s also been the responsibility of each of the occupying forces to evacuate their men and civilians who have been usdeful to them. The Taliban arrived early and panic…

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6 Tips to Follow Your Heart & Make Your Dreams a Reality

I am unable to find the woman who wrote this, but this is too important not to share. Let me know if you find her. ~ Sherrie

By Chloe Park

Are you seeking meaning, purpose or significance in your life, career, or both? Or maybe looking to make a change and find something that brings you closer to your true self? Here are six tips to get you started:
1. Ask yourself, what do you LOVE? What do you love doing? What comes naturally and easy for you? What traits do people compliment you on? What did you love doing when you were a child? When are you the happiest?
2. Get ready to say good bye to a lot of people and a lot of things. When you start living in alignment with your heart, in the beginning there will be an initial “falling away” of all those that are not in harmony with your heart’s resonance. It’s like this — if for 21 years you lived without an epicenter and one day you realized your heart is now that — imagine what that (at)tracts and (de)tracts.
3. Make space for yourself. Make space to explore what it is you truly love and want to do. Whether that be in relationships, a profession, any aspect of life — start with YOU and everything else will fall into place.
4. Nurture your heart’s desires. Make time throughout your day to do something nice for yourself, to feel good, do something pleasurable, eat something nurturing, take a bath. Do something at least once a day that makes your heart feel happy. The more you tend to your heart, the louder and more vibrant it will be.
5. Know the difference between your heart and your mind. These are two completely different centers within the body that with practice — will become one as a harmonious voice. In Sanskrit, heart and mind are one in the same — the word for it is manas. With the evolution of Western culture, we have now formed it into two separate words. Get to know yourself in the mind and in the heart. You’ll be surprised at what each is saying with each other and against each other.
6. And most importantly, throughout this process — DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF! That’s the #1 rule underlying all of this. Be honest with yourself of where you are at, without judgment, without criticism, without ignorance and without arrogance. Good for you for acknowledging the existence of your heart — now it’s time to listen to it. Don’t be sad that you’ve been setting your heart to the side, be happy that you’ve remembered and awoken to this pulse! Have fun exploring your heart — it’s an infinite abyss, I’ll tell you that much.
Published December 2, 2011 at 3:30 PM

About Chloe Park
Chloe Park is an artist, healer and teacher. She is currently traveling the world to share her message: love and healing. She uses the medium of writing, craniosacral therapy, yoga and meditation to help all those along the path to find harmony between mind, body and spirit. Her intention with her writing is to offer Q and A for all those who are engaged in the dialogue. May we all wake up together.Website: chloeparkhealing.com
Facebook: chlodactle

Sherrie Miranda’s “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans” follows the dramatic story of naive, sheltered Shelly going to “The Big Easy” to prepare for El Salvador, but has no idea she will encounter sexism and witness racism as well as illegal activities by government agents.
https://www.amzn.com/dp/B08KMHNNDK
Author, Sherrie Miranda’s husband made the trailer for “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans.” He wrote the music too. 
https://youtu.be/7_NL-V9KEi4
Review: Shelly’s journey in “the city that care forgot.”
Sherrie Miranda’s new novel “Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans” puts the reader into a whirlwind of political protests, abusive police, sexist attitudes towards women, and “good old boys” racism in 1980’s New Orleans. Miranda’s second novel follows Shelly, the young northerner, as she quickly finds out that she “isn’t in Kansas anymore” while encountering a slew of picturesque, colorful characters. Reading her book makes you wonder if justice and respect for blacks, immigrants, and women can be reality in America. 

8 Elements That Get Readers Invested in Your Story – by Stefan Emunds…

I don’t usually post writing ✍️ advice but this is good.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Live Write Thrive:

Readers don’t just invest money but also time and effort. They suspend their disbelief and invest trust—meaning, they give you, the writer, the benefit of the doubt that you will deliver on your story promise.

They invest intellectually by figuring out clues and blinds, twists and turns, and they foresee climaxes. Last but not least, they invest emotionally by rooting for story characters and weathering conflicts and tension.

Reader investment is your goal. Reader investment means success.

You want to get total strangers to read the first chapter of your book and hook them enough to read the second. And the third. And the fourth. And so on. Reader investment means reader engagement.

These are the chief engagers:

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SCAM ALERT: TRANSMEDIA AGENCY – Written By Victoria Strauss

One of these days, I’ll tell you about the scams I’ve run into. Some I backed out before sending any money. Others, I wasn’t so fortunate.

Writer's Treasure Chest

Posted byVictoria StraussforWriter Beware®
A quick warning about a new impersonation scam.
I’m getting reports from writers who’ve received email solicitations from what appear to be real film companies. Here are a couple of examples:

Note the identical language. 
Roth/Kirshenbaum and Bluegrass Films are real enterprises, with real track records. So if the writer–who may be a bit dubious because of the out-of-the-blue contact and the poorly-written text–does a websearch, they’ll learn that these companies actually do exist. There are some odd discrepancies: there’s no “&” in Roth/Kirshenbaum, and Scott Stuber left Bluegrass for Netflix in 2017. Still, the realness of the companies themselves makes it easier for hopeful writers to dismiss any niggling doubts.

CONTINUE READING HERE

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