Featured

An Interview with me about my novel “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans. The interview is titled “A Closer Look at New Orleans”

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.

Advertisement
Featured

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!

Thanks for stopping by!

Feel free to subscribe, like, comment & share!

Like this post?

Contact SJF Communications for your PR/Marketing/Writing

Social Media/Photography, or Coaching Needs!

SJF Communications –

‘Creative Ideas | Dynamic Results’!

Featured

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:

A Thank You To All Writers and Creative People!

Passion it on!
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.

charles french words reading and writing

I simply wanted to offer a thank you to all the writers and creative people out there for your work! Your creations speak to the hopes, dreams, fears, lives, experiences, and imagination of humanity. You make the world a much better place, and I, for one, appreciate what you do.

hand-226358_960_720

(www.pixabay.com

View original post

7 Ways How Writing by Hand Improves Brain Power

I always write my first drafts by hand. When looking at a blank screen, my mind goes blank. I have read several articles about this phenomena but this one seems to explain it best. ~Sherrie

Shaun DMello

Written by Shaun DMello, B.A.
Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team on Dec 07, 2022

Writing by Hand Boosts Brain Power

In today’s tech-dependent world of smartphones and laptops, it is not surprising that most kids are more comfortable using a keyboard than a pen. Many states in the US have dropped cursive writing from their curriculum as students use laptops to type and organize their notes. In many ways, it is easier to use a laptop to take down notes in class as this method allows for quick note-taking and students can easily share notes or look up information if required.

However, recent studies show that there are several reasons why writing by hand is a better option. Here are seven reasons why writing by hand is important:

Benefits of Handwriting

Boosts Cognitive Skills

Writing by hand is an essential tool in the development of cognitive skills in children. Several studies show that children who learn to write letters and shapes by hand fare better than those who use mechanized methods. Unlike typing, writing by hand requires a combination of visual, motor and cognitive skills which is an integral part of the learning process, despite the age of the student. Writing practice not only allows a child to learn the required shapes or letters but it can also help improve the expression and composition of ideas. This benefit is not limited to children but even among adults, improved writing skills help enhance cognitive skills.

Writing by Hand Enhances Cognition

Increases Focus

When writing by hand, a certain part of the brain called the reticular activating system (RAS) is stimulated. This system acts as a filter for the inputs of all the sensory information and “decides” the bits of information to be retained or ignored. Since writing by hand aids in stimulating RAS it allows the individual in focusing the hand task with minimal scope for distraction.

Improves Memory

In a series of experiments conducted by psychological scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), students were divided into two groups where one group used laptops to take notes while the others used traditional notebooks. The experiments proved that the students who took notes using laptops were more likely to take verbatim notes with little or no mental processing of the information. Students who used notebooks memorized the information better and were able to understand and retain the knowledge better. The results of the experiment showed that handwriting information leads to better factual learning as well as conceptual learning and is a superior method of memorizing information. Handwriting information helps in improving memory among both young students and aging individuals which is why seniors are often advised to keep a journal or a diary to sharpen their mental acumen as well as improve their memory.

Sharpens Aging Minds

As we age, we start to notice diminished physical and mental capabilities. This is a natural part of the aging process and while it cannot be completely reversed, there are ways to slow down the effects. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh studied the effects of intellectual stimulation on memory and comprehension. It was found that older people who undertook regular intellectually stimulating tasks had better reasoning, judgment and cognitive abilities. Learning to write in cursive and practicing it regularly is considered to be a good mental exercise for seniors as it helps to keep the mind sharp and increases focus and attention.

Improves Creativity

Creativity requires analysis, comprehension, memorization and insight. Writing by hand is not merely a style; it also promotes a deeper understanding of the subject matter along with an organized approach to communication. In recent years, cognitive science research and neuroscience have presented evidence that shows a definite connection between creativity and the process of writing by hand. Psychologists at the University of Washington tested students to observe and understand the differences between the effects of handwriting and using a keyboard.

The researchers noted that children who used notebooks to compose text consistently produced more words within a shorter period than the children who used keyboards. In older children, brain imaging tests showed that the connection between handwriting and idea generation was much stronger than researchers had realized as writing activates a unique neural circuit. During the analysis of handwriting, it was observed that children with better handwriting had better neural activation in the areas of the brain that are associated with creativity.

Improve your Creativity

Promotes Sequencing and Estimation

Sequencing and estimation are fundamental abilities without which we would have trouble with even the simplest of tasks. For instance, an individual with sequencing problems would not be able to follow the logical sequence of a story – starting with the beginning and ending at the conclusion but instead, the person would present the story as a jumble of sentences which would make the story unintelligible. Since each written letter of the alphabet needs to be executed in a specific sequence, handwriting helps to develop and sustain this skill. It also helps with spatial skills as it requires consistent letter sizing as well as spacing before and afterwords.

Creates a Calming Effect

Each letter of a word and each word of a sentence requires skill and a certain amount of coordination, especially with cursive writing. The number of complex motor and visual functions required for handwriting is quite surprising and many people find that it is a calming and cathartic activity. Some people even choose creative calligraphy as a means of self-expression.

Published on Mar 16, 2015
Last Updated on Dec 07, 2022

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.

E.B. White

My English Learners loved this story! It’s funny because I was teaching in another teacher’s classroom & she said “Why are they making you teach that?”
I responded: “I chose this. They love this story.”
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.

A Teacher's Reflections

E.B. White’s thoughts always go through me like a Fourth of July sparkler.  He has a way with words, and he ‘knows’.  His wisdom is as remarkable as his writing.  He was the observer, the one who paid attention and noticed everything.  He never wanted to be in the limelight.  When I heard his voice recording of Charlotte’s Web, I was shocked.  I said to his grandniece, “I don’t read the book that way at all.”  She smiled and understood, then she told me a story:

“Uncle Andy (that was E.B.’s nickname) adored his wife.  She was a strong woman,” said Lindsay.  “She was older than he was, eleven years older.  He adored her.  His mother was a strong woman, too.  She was much older when Andy was born.”

“Do you know it took him seventeen takes to read the final chapter, The Last Day?  Seventeen.  He couldn’t stop crying…

View original post 149 more words

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – January 2023 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Margaritas and Regrets

So many laughs here! Check it out!
Sherrie

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Firstly, some funnies from Debby Gies who has been doing some excellent foraging for us.

D.G. Writes is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.

My thanks to Debby  for expert foraging…

D. G. Kaye – Buy:Amazon US And:Amazon UKBlog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster

Debby’s latest post in her series Spiritual Awareness. Learning to trust your intuition

Now something from Sally’s Joke book archives….

In the dock

Clerk: Prisoner at the bar, how do you plead, guilty or not guilty?
Accused: How can I tell till I’ve heard the evidence?

Accused: As the Lord is my judge, I am not guilty.
Judge: He’s not, I am, you are, six months.

Judge: you have been found not guilty of robbery and…

View original post 117 more words

Blue Horses: Saying the Unsayable – The Writing & Creative Life

SherrieMiranda1

What is it about art? About writing? It’s trying to find that elusive “something.” That bit of the divine. The trick is to grasp onto that essence, capture it, before it flits away.

Source: Blue Horses: Saying the Unsayable – The Writing & Creative Life

View original post

Blue Horses: Saying the Unsayable – The Writing & Creative Life

What is it about art? About writing? It’s trying to find that elusive “something.” That bit of the divine. The trick is to grasp onto that essence, capture it, before it flits away.

Source: Blue Horses: Saying the Unsayable – The Writing & Creative Life

It’s Been One Year Since I Won 3rd Place for “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans.”

May be an image of book

I hope you will check out the book to see if you think you would enjoy reading it.

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.

Journal Give-away & Writing to Heal Discussion

Writing to heal

 Maria Galleher is such an amazing teacher that I only subbed for her the last few years I subbed. She always dealt with any problems & the kids would apologize & be really respectful after that.

She teaches Food Justice & Peer Counseling & she does Conflict Resolution at the school. 

I had these journals & pens because I was going to do Life Writing workshops with women in this home for women with mental health issues. But since I wasn’t able to do it because of covid, I brought them in to give to her students. 

It was a really good presentation that just came together naturally. 

I was re-reading a book on how writing ✍️ heals. Most of what was in the book was much too high level for a high school group, but at least it got me thinking about how important writing is to healing. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about how we let our emotions run wild & how they can ruin relationships. 

The emotions are from unresolved trauma. I talked about how journaling had gotten me through many difficult times in my life. Then Maria asked for examples from them. I was pleased to see that several of them already knew about the healing power of writing.

“If we can write ✍️ about it, we may be able to come to an understanding that allows us to have a better life.” 

There are lots of books on this but this author researched authors who say writing healed them. Isabel Allende was one of her examples & she is one of my favorite authors. Her daughter was in a hospital room dying & she started writing to her while in that room. The book is called Paula

There are many authors who talk about how they healed from their pain by writing. 

“When you get your masters, maybe you can explore this subject.”

When I first started teaching, I encountered an excerpt of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” along with an assignment to write an Autobiographical Incident. After that, I gave that assignment to every class I taught. I also showed the movie.

“They also did stories similar to those in House on Mango Street. My students would make a book & illustrate it.” 

My students loved reading each other’s booklets. It was really powerful. 

With Maria’s help, we had some great discussion. I wanted to share all the slides she made while I was doing the presentation, but I can only get them to come up at the top of the page.

Please feel free to share my ideas & add to them for any group you might want to help write. Journaling can take you anywhere. It’s the best therapy out there In My Humble Opinion.

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.

Sharing this amazing photographer!

AnaElisa

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”― Aldous Huxley

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall.

Think of it–always.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

View from the law library at Civi Center, San Francisco

View original post

Are you Stuck? How to Start Your Next Great Novel

Brainstorming

Some of us brainstorm in our head but best results are usually achieved by writing ✍️ or typing your ideas first. Or better yet, making a visual.

If you just start writing to see where it takes you, you will likely get lost & waste a lot of time. Many get frustrated & quit. 

I have a coach who I share my ideas with. She often throws some ideas out to see what sticks for me. This is very helpful. 

Some writers brainstorm in groups. If you have a small group you trust, go for it. I personally have too much of my own vision to trust my ideas to a group. But to each his/her own. 

  1. Begin with a circle ⭕️ with the main idea in the middle & spider 🕷 legs out for more specific ideas: plot, characters, protagonist, etc. You might want to find some appropriate music to play. Preferably music without lyrics. 
  2. You can then break down the spider 🕷 graph to more specific ideas: setting, main conflict, important characters. 
  3. Don’t ignore an idea because it doesn’t fit your vision. Your vision could change if something hits you as important or urgent. Write ✍️ it all down. 
  4. How do these ideas fit together? Can some of these ideas be thrown out now? Can others be joined together?
  5. What’s missing? Can you start plotting this out? Or do you need more brainstorming?
  6. What connects these ideas together? What are the characters’ motives? How do they bounce off each other? How do they support each other?
  7. Ask “What if” questions. What if the antagonist used to be a friend? What if the friend really isn’t a friend?
  8. Once you’re happy with what you have, you can make an outline. Or use index cards to figure out the plot sequence. That way you can move them around for better dramatic effect. Good luck on this exciting writing journey!

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. 

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.

Seasons As My Teacher

Truth Written In The Wind

Story Empire

Exploring the World of Fiction

A Teacher's Reflections

Thirty Years of Wonder

Bonjour From Brittany

Celebrating what makes Brittany unique

Writer Shed Press

Independent Publishing

E-Author Resources

A great author and reader site

veereads

It's About Story

Rebecca Bryn

Author and artist

CollTales

Writings, pics, music, arts and difficult conversations

saania2806.wordpress.com/

Philosophy is all about being curious, asking basic questions. And it can be fun!

The Light Behind the Story

Seeking the magic and light in life's journeys

SJF Communications- 'Creative Ideas | Dynamic Results'

PR - Publicist - Marketing - Virtual Assistant - Social Media - Websites - MSN-RN, LNC - Photography - Veteran - Actor - Writer - Mentor/Coach

The Author's Mission

Writing to Discover Me

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

anntogether

AM Roselli's art & writing site

%d bloggers like this: