Sodaro's Stories

November 30, 2010

Quiet whisperings

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:08 pm

So I have mentioned that my beautiful muse turns and runs when there is too much chaos in my mind, and it doesn’t matter if the chaos is self-induced or just a natural by-product of living a life with other people. My current chaos is mostly self-induced…I took on too much without giving myself a break between when my life was too busy and when my life relaxed; I wanted to make up for lost time so I piled it all on my own plate…and my sweet muse was tolerant for a bit…though I knew she was laughing and shaking her head at me.
So when it got to be the closing time for my doctorate quarter which always perfectly coincides with the closing of my teaching quarter, added to this time of the year (which is always tricky for me) and some personal things that have my heart and my mind befuddled, my muse silently and gracefully took a step back, knowing that with everything else I could and would put her on the back burner, for I had no other choice. I had to finish my class by its deadline; I had to finish my grades by their deadline. These things are not choices or options and are not in my control.
I worried…as I always do, when I have to tell my muse…”just give me a minute, here…let me get some things done and then I promise…” that she would say “no. I can’t do this anymore. You are either a writer or you’re not. I can’t keep waiting for you to decide that this is a priority…that this IS your life.” I worried that she tired of my plate piling and left for good. I worry this often as I have promised her often that this time would be the last time I let life get in the way…but sometimes life just gets in the way.
I drove to work this morning…feeling good that my doctorate class was done, that my grades were mostly done, that my portion of my paper was turned in…and while I drove, I heard the quiet whisperings of a voice I know by heart. She whispered about my current novel, and simply said “how about we do this…” and I knew it was going to be all right.

November 23, 2010

Beautiful, fickle muse

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 8:29 pm

I was reading the new edition of Writer’s book of Days by Judy Reeves (this book has a writing prompt for every day of the year and is fantastic for filler days when writing projects are not flowing!!!!) and she said this about the muse…”Though she has the patience of a saint, the Muse doesn’t like to be ignored. If you don’t pay attention, she may stop paying calls” (2010, p. 109). Truer words were never spoken. I went through too many weeks, months, yes…I’m ashamed to admit, years where I kept telling her to hold on one second…just one more second and I’d get back with her. And she went away as would anyone that has been ignored for so long. I would have feared that she was gone for good except that every so often I would get the inspiration for a poem or story idea that was so intense it could not have come from me alone, and I would be reassured that she was there, just off stage, waiting for me to get my life back under control. She never gave up completely…but I had to have worn her patience clear through to the breaking point at times.
Judy Reeves went on to say “the muse doesn’t keep a time schedule. She may ignore your requests for her presence and then show up when you least expect her and when it’s most inconvenient. She does not honor demands” (p. 110). Again…truer words were never spoken about the beauty and the unbending way of the Muse. But I don’t mind at all…she keeps the words flowing across the page and I keep her sweet tooth satiated. It’s not a bad deal after all.

November 15, 2010

Game Plan

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 8:03 pm

The nice thing about having actual readers is that they can help me with the tricky parts of writing. They can get me through the tough parts that are hard to write and require ice cream. They can let me know if my characters are acting out of character…and they knows this because the figments of my imagination have become real to them as well.
My readers let me know if my plot is moving too fast or too slowly — if dialogue sounds the way that people actually speak or my English-geek side has reared its head with too many words that only fellow word lovers would know.
My readers also keep me focused. At any given time, I could dabble on any of the umpteen projects that I have already started or I could start something new from the notebook where I keep such undeveloped treasures. My readers gently remind me that I need to do the next chapter. “No, let’s not work on this other thing just yet, let’s work on this. As I struggled with undiagnosed ADD, their focus brings me back from the shiny new projects to the project that is almost done. Endings have always been hard for me, thus why I have so many unfinished projects.
My readers also get to voice their opinions on my next project after one is completed. Always before, I have allowed my beautiful, yet horribly horribly fickle muse to play with whatever caught her fancy at any particular time.
So now I have a game plan — and it feels really good. And my muse will be fine as long as she gets her IHOP and Starbucks.

November 8, 2010

Time Change…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 2:42 pm

So the increasingly unnecessary time change affects us all; for most of us we look forward to the fall back more so than the spring ahead…that extra hour is immediately filled with more sleep, more partying, more…life. Unfortunately, children and pets have the same time schedule…just as they have no snooze button, they have no concept of “it’s not 6:30…it’s actually 5:30.”
So yesterday and today, my kittens were adamant about my being up at my normal time, which is 6:30…unfortunately every clock in my house, including my body clock agreed with the sun that it was only 5:30…but if you can explain that to two cats, then please…tell me your secrets.
So I was up at 5:30 which yesterday brought me to swimming and then writing for about 5 hours (both Doctorate and my current novel got their share of attention). Today, I feel the urge to write just as strongly as I did yesterday (already got a bit of a start at my favorite coffee and pancake place). It will be a good day…I just wish it could have started when the sun actually came up…but if it means I get to write, then I will get up whatever time I need to.

November 4, 2010

Ah sweet habits

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 7:13 pm

It is amazing how quickly a behavior can become a habit…and how quickly that habit can be the basis of your mental state.
Less than two months ago I was busy with a job that I was really good at, but that was not my passion. Since then, in that short of time, I have reawakened my passion for writing and have become a better teacher. My muse has gotten accustomed to having time to play every week, and has responded in kind with words that literally dance through my mind and out of my pen so that all I have to do is keep up. It has been amazing and therapeutic and healing and all that I had hoped it would be.
Last week and this week have added things into my task list and my writing time (though still substantially more than it was such a short time ago) is not what my muse and I have since become accustomed to…and I can tell. It used to be that if I hadn’t gotten a chance to write at least once a month, that I would get twitchy and irritable…now it seems that happens if I don’t get to write at least once a week. I like the change…I also like that I get to finally write tomorrow. There has been a build up and I dare say my pen will not be able to keep up when I finally am able to put it to paper.

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