Hi, my name is Cheryl Beer. My friends call me Chez and so can you, if you like. I am literally, The Sleeping Storyteller. I write stories in my sleep.
One day, I picked up my mobile phone in the morning to look for my alarm but instead, my phone was on voice recorder. How curious?When I scrolled through, there were over 100 stories and poems that I had recorded in my sleep without knowing. I published a little book of 100 of the poetics called Soul Ink for the Morning and it had such a good response, that I decided to dedicate myself to writing up all my sleeping stories and making them into teeny tiny books for children. I became The Sleeping Storyteller.
Lot's of people ask me if there is a physical reason why I write stories in my sleep? The answer is, yes. Since suddenly waking up with hearing loss two years ago, my deafness has left me with two conditions known as tinnitus and hyperacusis.
These conditions are different in everyone but for me, it means that there are loud ringing and whizzing noises in my head, all the time.
During the day, it is easier to live with the noises because I have my hearing aids and I am busy doing things, but at bedtime, I have to take out my hearing aids. I also have a condition called hyperacusis and this dostorts sound, making random noises 10 times louder than they would be for you. This makes my tinnitus, very loud; it is just as if someone is playing an ambulance siren inside my head.
As you can imagine, getting off to sleep is quite a challenge for me and once I am asleep, my tinnitus and hyperacusis keep waking me up.
When I wake up throughout the night, I am very drowsy, sort of not asleep but not awake either, a twilight zone, and at these times, although I have no recollection of it, I pick up my mobile phone from my bedside table and start recording little stories, poems and sometimes songs. They are always hopeful and healing. I now spend my time helping others by sharing these lovely little stories through my telly program at Showboat TV, my teeny tiny books, audio books and by appearing at Events &/or running storytelling sessions/workshops.
I think that the most important thing about my story is that, even though a terrible thing happened to me, something very beautiful has grown from it that has not only given me joy in my life but enables me to help others find joy , too. This can teach us that however bad the storm seems, there is always sunshine, just around the corner.
Sending you lots and lots of love, dear ones,
Chez, The Sleeping Storyteller.