Sodaro's Stories

December 31, 2010

Reflections on 2010

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 9:59 pm

As 2010 comes to a close, I am doing what so many like-minded folks are doing…I’m reflecting on the year that was and planning for the year that will be. This year started with a job that I did well but was not my passion. I had a friend that helped me to get back to my writer’s soul, and lost that friend to a battle he could no longer fight. His inspiration filled me with the hope I needed to embrace my writer’s true life. I stepped away from my job after I lost him and I became the writer, teacher, and student that brought my spirit peace. I so wish he could have seen the ME that I became…the ME that he helped me to re-discover. I know he’s keeping an eye on me…I know he’s there because whenever I have that bit of anxiety…that “can I do this???” I feel his gentle presence.
After stepping down, I faced this world with my hopes and dreams on my sleeve. I have so many projects that have just been waiting…waiting…waiting for it to be “their turn” to be in my limelight. I have a game plan now for those projects. I have a focus unlike anything I have known. I have support at every step and the friends that I currently have proudly listed on my fridge have seen me and supported me at my worst and my best. I am more than I ever could be without that list.
I have made choices in the past that shaped who I am. I have hidden behind countless things to not show the world parts of myself that I worried would disappoint. I am not hiding anymore.
Upon completion of the first draft of novel #3, I discovered freedom that I have never known before. I wrote my Master’s thesis on the healing power of writing, and with this novel, I proved my theory to be true. The elephant that I tried to ignore in the middle of the room is now destroyed. I am free of him forever. And the me that is now showing to the world…will be even more extraordinary than I dreamed.

December 28, 2010

What’s in a name…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 7:51 pm

No offense to the Bard, here, but there is quite a bit involved in a name. The characters’ names have to be just right…have to fit their personalities…have to roll off the tongues of other characters…have to be the RIGHT name. I was 100 pages into Arianna’s story before I realized that the Prince’s name was William, and not in fact Zachary…so names are tricky…but the knowledge that Arianna gets to call William ‘Billy’ and the further knowledge of what that does to the prince…makes it all worth it…and of course the “find and replace” option in Word makes it less trouble.
What puzzles me right now is the name of the book I am almost done with…have only 4 chapters left to create, as a matter of fact. It’s going to be part of a series when it grows up…but it has no title, which is pesky. Up to this point, we have been calling it Cassidy, as that is the protagonist’s name…and the 2nd book in the series has been referred to as Jo and Eddie as they are the protagonists in that one. I want it to be something revealing about the series without being so revealing as to make people not need to read it to find out the twist. I can’t imagine having a mystery that was titled “The Butler did It” would do very well.
So I am struggling. Last night I couldn’t sleep because I was bound and determined to come up with the title. I came up with the ending to another book, which included the beginning to its sequel…I thought of magical, beautiful things that make me smile like a 12-year old…I thought of everything and anything…except for the title for this series. And yes, I kept telling myself to give it a rest…that the subconscious would work on it and the more I tried to think about it, the more I prevented my subconscious from doing its job. But just like Cassidy is unable to avoid her elephant, I was unable to get my title-less-ness out of my mind. What’s in a name, sweet Shakespeare…EVERYTHING.

December 18, 2010

If You Build it…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 8:01 pm

What is amazing to me is this past month, I have been surrounded by creative energy. I have been introduced to people that have projects and books they want to work on with me. I have people that have been wanting to work on things for a while now…and I’m helping inspire them to do that…I’m full of creative energy for my own projects, have someone helping me with pictures and may have someone helping me with cover art for my “children”…can’t very well have them go out into the world without clothing, now can I.
It really feels a bit like Field of Dreams right now. I feel that I have built the ball park and that people are being drawn to it with their own creative hopes and dreams stowed safely in their pockets as they come to me and say, “what do you think about this???” and I say, “I think that would be a lot of fun to play with…let’s dive in!!!”
And the best thing about all of this creative energy is that is not in any way taking anything from my own projects. I am not having to neglect my stories (once again) in order to help others accomplish their projects. My stories are growing like the beautiful dandelions they are (this comes from my very favorite card my best friend once got me that said “Dandelions are my favorite flower because they refuse to give up”). This ball field that I have built is full of dandelions…and they are all doing quite well. My projects are revitalized by other’s ideas and the creative energy surrounding me is almost explosive…but in a nice, beautiful explosion, not a destructive and scary one. So here’s to my ball field of dandelions, both mine and others…and here’s to the creative energy surrounding my life right now.

December 14, 2010

Closer than I’ve ever been…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:54 pm

So, sometimes everything comes together. The universe has laid a path out for you and the sun is shining and even the bad doesn’t seem so bad. You know it won’t last…you know there are gray skies lurking about…it is, after all, what they do. But some days nothing else matters. Some days the world is so shiny. I am about 20 pages from having my 2nd (out of 5) set of doctoral papers done. I am about 5 chapters away from the first draft of book number 3. I have ideas for the other three sets of papers…I have research ready and notes taken for #3. I know where 2 more of my novels are going. I tell ya…2011 is going to be a big year for me. And it’s about time. After countless setbacks (caused both by me and by forces outside of me) and wrong turns, I have finally found my path. There are days when it is all I can do to have the pen keep up with the thoughts. I know there will be days when the only movement of the pen is me tapping it on the paper…but I am loving every minute of these days where I just have to keep up with the words.
I have always been a firm believer of the powers that be helping people to find where they belong in the universe. I have found it. I can’t wait to get my books out there for people to read. I can’t wait to see where this next leg takes me.
People keep commenting on how much more I smile now than I did before…well, you would too if you got to write academically and creatively and you got to do a job that you were meant to do. I am closer than I have ever been to everything I have ever wanted. I should be scared…but I’m just too shiny to care.

December 4, 2010

Want to hide away from the world

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 6:32 pm

Right now, I am full of inspiration and love for the written word. My muse is happily chattering in my ear, my pens are shiny in their box, and my notebooks sit at attention and cry “ooh ooh pick me!!” And tonight and tomorrow…there is very little that I HAVE to do so that I can play with what I WANT to do. For today, the quarter where I am teaching closes to start a new quarter filled with promises and excitement on Monday. My doctorate quarter closed last week and starts anew on Monday as well. But tonight and tomorrow…are all mine. I don’t have an assignment to grade or do, I don’t have a place to see or go…I have only my couch, my desk, my bed (wherever I happen to be at any given time) and my writing.
I am going to try to add a chapter to my current project…which is oh so close to completion of the first draft. I can’t wait to read it. And then comes the editing…where the critic I keep locked away in the closet during the creation process, gets to come out and be heard. I don’t know if it is because I keep her locked in the closet or if this is just her nature, but she’s mean. She goes after that first draft like a lioness with a gazelle. But the second draft is stronger because of it. And though I’m not quite there yet, I can’t wait to read this novel’s second draft.
Tonight, I may light some candles, I may play some music, I may even have a tasty beverage or two…but I will write. For tonight, I get to hide away from the world. I get to be the recluse that my writer side needs to create. If you call on me this evening, you will probably have to leave a message.

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