The Healthiest Sedative before Bed: Reading – Guest Post…

So, that’s why I’ve been sleeping better! If I keep reading before sleeping, maybe someday I can get off all my sleep-inducing meds & supps. 😉😌😘
Sherrie                                                                                                                                                         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:
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too. You can go to the Home page of her blog to watch it:
Or you can see it on YouTube: 😉 ❤ 😉

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Reading books is a wonderful hobby that introduces you to so many new things, places, cultures and ideas. It takes you to a whole new world and into the lives of different people in present, history and fiction. What’s more, it has amazing benefits such as improved memory, empathy and analytical skills, stress reduction and increased ability to concentrate and focus.

Reading books not only takes you to a different world, but also takes you to dreamland. Passionate readers can surely relate to this. When your long awaited book reaches the stalls, you grab a copy home after work to begin your new reading adventure and the next thing you know: its morning and you slept while reading! Reading before bed has a healthy impact on your sleep; which is why most people treat reading books as a sedative and have incorporated reading as part of their bedtime routine.


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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

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

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:
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:

Reading to Heal/Writing to Heal, by Sherrie Miranda

Any one of us who loves to read can testify to the healing powers of reading. Reading helps people deal with loss, illness and being victims of crime. I’ve been through some tough times in my life, times when I don’t know what I would have done without books. By the time I became a teacher, I realized that my traumas were mild compared to many of my students’.

Back then (many moons ago ;-)) I didn’t know about therapists or women’s groups, but I did love to read. At times I was almost healed from one trauma when another happened. Just so you know, of course, physical violence is a trauma, as well as witnessing violence (probably the most common trauma for young people). But the death of a loved one is also a trauma; so is divorce – many say it is equal to death as that person is no longer a part of your life. The spoken word can be, and often is, violent: yelling, insults, making a person feel like they are not worthy of love; these can all be very traumatic.

In my twenties, when I lived in New Orleans, just walking out of my home could be a traumatic experience. In fact, being INSIDE your home could be too. I remember one night getting up to write because I couldn’t sleep. I heard two men arguing over a woman, neither of which bothered to ask the woman who she wanted to be with. I wrote that my experiences in New Orleans prepared me for the violence I would later witness in El Salvador. In truth, it was worse in NOLA: a man getting shot dead for hitting the bumper of a an off-duty policeman, a woman, missing getting her face smashed in by inches. The latter was during Mardi Gras, which I grew to hate because of the violence and mean spiritedness of many of the people. Oh yeah, she was being hit by a policeman too. I also heard stories of police killing young black children (as young as eight or ten years old) and pulling out their “throw away” gun to place on the scene so they could claim self-defense.

Reading in the night

By that time, I was spending weeks, maybe months, going to work and coming home, then spending all the rest of the time reading or sleeping. I wasn’t sleeping much those days, which is unusual for me. I stayed up most of the night reading voraciously. I remember reading “Papillon” and Marge Piercy’s “Woman on the Edge of Time.” Piercy’s book had such an influence on me that, for years, my goal in life was to become a screenwriter so I could turn the story into a movie. (Sadly, I was not meant to be a screenwriter so if anyone reading this is, seriously consider making this into a movie!)

Reading, especially novels, helped me to see that we have many choices in this life; we don’t have to do what those around us are doing. And we certainly don’t have to be victims. Now that I am older, I have seen that some of the strongest people are survivors of extreme abuse, but at that time, I could only see that in fiction. And the occasional memoir.

Another book, “Drinking: A Love Story,” is a memoir written by a woman who was an alcoholic though it took her years to finally accept that fact. It is one of several books that helped me realize that many of us, women and men alike, struggle with the same issues. Whether we are male or female, black, white or brown, American, French or Salvadoran, reading helps us to understand ourselves and to let go of shame: someone else has been here before us and someone will be there after us. And we must survive.

P.S. For these reasons, writing is important too. Write your story and help the world heal.

P.P.S. My dream is to one day do workshops for seniors and troubled teens (& who among us wasn’t a troubled teen?), to help them write their stories and release their pain so they can become their best self. With the seniors, I have discovered that many, especially women, haven’t told their family of their life before they started a family.

P.P.P.S. I wrote my novel to help myself and others heal. My Salvadoran ex-in-laws are so proud that I wrote about their “Tom Thumb” country!

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:
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too: