Sodaro's Stories

January 30, 2011

I write to music

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 5:58 pm

Some people write to silence, and I am completely in awe of those people that can drown out the inner voices and be absorbed by the silence. Silence is too loud for me…it gives too much volume to the inner thoughts and story ideas and questions that are constantly bouncing around in my head like too many ping-pong balls. So I listen to music to keep the random sounds in line and be able to focus on the page in front of me.
What I listen to depends on my muse’s mood and what project we are playing with today. Somedays it is only the hard, angry music that gets the blood pumping and the pen moving across the page. Metallica’s Black Album is good for this.
Sometimes it is Tchaikovsky that gets my heart and ink flowing.
Sometimes it is the random feature on my mp3 player that keeps me dancing and writing along; the problem here is if I get the urge to sing along I start to pay more attention to the lyrics than to my own words.
Celtic music always works. Maybe I draw from the quarter of me that is Irish…regardless of where it comes from, the beauty and emotion of this genre always gets me going.
There are 2 CDs from Keith Ciani that are amazing. I consider it a personal challenge to keep my pen moving as quickly as his guitar notes. On the really good day, I can do it…and then luckily the songs after the really fast ones are a bit slower or else I am sure my hand would refuse to keep up.
There is a CD from a friend…I doubt he even remembers that he made it for me…just a compilation of odds and ends that have no rhyme or reason or even meaning, but we share a connection, and that connection fuels the muse. The music is not what I would have chosen, but it works and works well.
I need music to drown out the noise of the silence. You have to go with what works…and music works for me every time.

January 26, 2011

But I promised…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 8:42 pm

So recently a possibility for a job opened up and while every one around me was urging me to take it, there was a small voice inside my head that said, “no…you promised…” and at first it was hard to hear that small voice because of the cacophony of other voices…people that needed me to wanted me to take care of things…people that knew that whatever job I am in I will give 100% of myself to…and I would have, I don’t know how to do it any other way. And I would have had to put my doctorate on hold and I would have had to put my novels on hold, because despite my intentions for doing so, there are still only 24 hours in a day.
I talked to everyone that would stand still long enough to help me have some perspective on this. I am a Gemini despite what “new astrologies” may say, and to say that my twins were in disagreement on this issue is an understatement.
The logical twin saw the opportunity for what it would be…professional advancement, a substantial and steady income, responsibility out that wazooo that everyone speaks of. My control issues would have a field day and my OCD/perfectionist tendencies would have many places to play…
My emotional/creative twin sat quietly and listened to logical twin make the case. And then she quietly said, “but you promised” and she was right. I told myself when I stepped down from my last job that did for me all that this new opportunity could do for me that I was giving myself a year to see how far I could go with my doctorate and my novels. To give my muse full reign instead of asking her to please play nicely in the corner while I had my grown-up time. And since stepping down, people have told me that I am happier, that I am lighter, that I am more ME than I have been for a long long time. And I owe it to myself to see this year through. So far I have finished novel #3 and am halfway through novel #4. I am stronger in my doctorate writing as I am able to concentrate for longer stretches.
I promised to give myself this year…and it’s hard, and I’m struggling, but I owe it to myself to see this through. And so I will.

January 23, 2011

Better than pancakes

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:11 pm

So my fickle muse has found a new play thing…and she likes this one much better than pancakes. Last month with my regular intake of pancakes from the nearby pancake haven, I was averaging about one chapter a month for my current novel and about 3 pages a week in my doctoral studies. This weekend alone, I have written four chapters and 10 pages respectively. All thanks to my muse’s new “pancake.”
It has been amazing and absolutely all that I could ever dream of, and since this particular pancake is only in my dreams, there is no harm, no foul in my day-to-day life. These dreams of this man, my new “pancake” has far fewer calories than previous monthly inspirations. I don’t have to worry about gaining weight or spending money unnecessarily…I have only to close my eyes and I am instantly transported to the place of my inspiration. Feelings stronger than a memory, my pancake of the month knows exactly what to do to keep the words streaming across the page. It has been writing session after writing session where I can just barely keep up. The pens I have chosen for their smoothness have been up to the task and have reaffirmed themselves as my favorites. Page after page was written and it has been absolutely breathtaking. This new inspiration far surpasses the actual pancakes of previous months and I look forward to falling asleep as much as I look forward to waking up. My sleep is sound; my waking time is productive and amazing. I am a HUGE fan of my new pancake and since this is a no-harm, no-foul innocent enjoyment of fantasy pancakes…I see no end in sight to the remarkable productivity and mind-blowing inspiration. And to my “pancake” all I can say is thank you.

January 19, 2011

“I tell a story the way some people eat an Oreo cookie.” B.E. Zalman

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 9:27 pm

Last night I was watching French Kiss with Kevin Kline and Meg Ryan…and the last kiss of the movie did the same thing to me it did every single time…that kiss, that have to have you, right here, right now kind of kiss that the audience can actually feel. I have gotten into fights with boyfriends about that kiss. I have dreamt of that kiss. I have wanted that kiss.
Last night as I was watching that kiss, I had another thought…this from the writer side of my brain, and not necessarily the female side of my brain. I want to be able to write that kiss. I want to be able to write that much passion, that much feeling. I want my readers to feel the words that I write. I want them to react to my words the way I react to that kiss every single time. I don’t want to cause fights between lovers, of course…but I do want people to be able to feel the things that are in my novels.
It happened recently, with the novel I just finished. A section that had made me cry when I was writing it, made my reader cry when it was read. This gave me a tiny, tiny glimpse of what that feels like. To be able to capture an emotion, whether that be joy or passion or pain or love or whatever it is that you are trying to convey, and put it on a piece of paper in a way that has someone else feeling it too. It’s amazing.
This quote is what I want to do. I want people to be completely absorbed by my words, as most of us are with the Oreo cookie. I want the whole world to go away while the story (or cookie) is enjoyed. This is my goal.

January 17, 2011

Most private of all thoughts…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 5:08 am

So I am reading a book called Creative Journal Writing by Stephanie Dowrick and I’m only about a third of the way through, but so far it has been reflective of all the reasons that I have kept a journal since I was about 13 years old. In it I can be myself, I can say the things that I don’t have the courage to actually say; I can ask the questions I don’t have it in me to verbalize; I can express the deepest, innermost dreams and parts of me without fear of ridicule or chastisement. I don’t have to worry about who might be offended or hurt; I don’t have to worry about what might be misconstrued or misunderstood. I can just write to myself in 100% honesty.
People I have cared for, people I have lusted after, people that have angered me or hurt me, all of this is kept safely in my journals…all of this is kept for my eyes only. No one else needs to know of the worries, the crushes, the disappointments, the anger, the loss, the desires that are kept in those pages. I put enough of myself into my teaching, my writing, my outer life…my journals I keep for me.
I reread them from time to time to see how I’ve grown — to see how I’ve changed or how the people around me have changed. I cry at my pains and laugh at my joys. I still feel everything I ever felt and can relive anything I have ever wrote about with the mere turning of a page. My journals are my ultimate freewrite. There is no edit, no second guessing…there is just me, raw and real.
Those people that are closest to me, I ask of you this one request…if something should happen to me and I can’t do this myself…please promise that you will destroy my journals…for they are not meant to be read by any but me.

January 12, 2011

Well, this is NEW!!!

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 7:24 pm

So, I had a new idea for a story on Saturday…and hurried home to find the perfect notebook for it. I held tightly to the idea so that the quest in my notebook tub didn’t lead me astray. And I found the perfect notebook and wonder of wonders…I got a few pages written down for my new story…so yeah on that as all too often the “I won’t forget this” is quickly forgotten…but that usually happens at 2:00 in the morning when my beautiful muse tells me about this great story idea and I don’t write it down, sure that I could never forget something so amazing…only to awaken the next morning remembering only that I had something to remember…until a few nights later when the muse not-so-gently yells in my ear, wakes me up and forces me to grab the pen and paper that are on my bed for just such things. And then I write it down, and of course I remember it clearly the next morning…ah what fun.
So I was very pleased that I remembered the idea throughout the entire notebook selection process. It deals with a friend of mine that had been treated badly by her mother-in-law. What people should learn is that you should not be mean to a writer or to a person a writer cares about…it won’t end well for you, novel-speaking.
So the idea is captured. I don’t know the main character’s name yet…but that will come to me…it always does…but I found myself not wanting to delve too deeply into the new story yet…I found myself wanting to edit my three novels that are done and get them ready to send out into the cold, cold world. My last blog was about me being too fickle…but perhaps, just perhaps, there is a bit of me that also can stay to the end and see a project through to the finish.

January 10, 2011

One story at a time

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:34 am

Sigh…so it happened again…I swear, I really try to be faithful to one story at a time. I really try. I mean, I owe it to my characters to be able to finish stories and I can’t do that if I am bouncing all over from one plot to another like some hussy….I need to be monogamous as much as any writer is able to…to just really be able to stay with one project from start to finish without my usual side dabbling of other stories and other projects.
Just once I would like to say to my current project, “I am faithful to you. I am completely here. This is what I want. Here and now. One hundred percent here for you.” But that would be another lie. The truth is my muse is fickle. She tries to be loyal, she really does. But her attention span is easily distracted by this aspect of this story or this quirk of this character.
As I finished my last project…I had a serious conversation with myself. “Self,” I said. “It is time for you to be more professional about this whole writing business.” “But,” I replied to myself, “I like writing to be fun.” “It can be fun, but you also need to finish things.” Then I realized I was actually having a conversation with myself so I stopped.
I’m going to try…really hard…but there is this new story idea that would be soooo much fun to write…sigh.

January 5, 2011

Hear my cry!!

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 7:53 pm

So it is too easy, far far too easy, to let the voice of doubt or the voice of “others” sway me from my writing. I have done it for years…instead of listening to my inner voice, the voice of my truest heart, I listen to the voice of the world…it is the voice of the world, surely it knows what it is talking about, right? But the voice of the world is about job stability and making money and it doesn’t matter if you love what you do as long as you get it done and don’t waste your time on silly pipe dreams that may or may not get you where you want to be. Live in the here and now. Make money. Work more! Writing is a dream, a wisp, a waste of time. Focus on the money makers.
But..a tiny voice inside me…but what if writing is my passion…my reason d’être, my true path? What if putting pen to paper is what I want for ME? What if that is more important to me than a fat bank account? What if that is more important to me than job security? What if I choose this life instead of that life. I have seen what that life can do…and I like this life for me. I like to smile and feel at peace with my role in this world, and that only happens when I’m writing. When I write, I am a better teacher, a more focused student, a better person, to be sure. The growliness that comes with being a member of the rat race, where all too often people are out for themselves and it doesn’t matter who they step on as long as they get what they want…it goes away when I am writing. I have so many quotes from other writers and they all said that the way that they stayed sane in this world was to write. The way that they lived among the people that are ruled by the almighty dollar, the ex-lovers that did them wrong or were just a bad match, the lost and broken who don’t know how to find their own way, the angry people that just want to be angry…the way to keep their footing amongst all of these, is to write. This is how it is for me.
I told myself I would give me a year…to focus on writing, to focus on my doctorate. To work uninterrupted toward that goal. To get my novels to begin to be published and to make it conceivable that there will indeed be a finishing point to my doctorate. I owe myself this chance. This voice that has been inside me forever and has tried to make the best of it while I listened to the voice of the world…this voice is now standing up and yelling…”It’s MY turn.” And so it is.

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