Sodaro's Stories

March 30, 2011

Busy busy me…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 5:03 pm

So I talked to my doctorate advisor yesterday and we came up with a game plan that will get me done with everything except my dissertation by the end of 2011. It’s do-able…but it is a really good thing that I am single, have no children (other than the kittens), and have no plans of having much of a social life between now and then. This quarter I am working on a class and a set of papers…next quarter I will have a set of papers and a residency (where I write the prospectus for my dissertation!!!! )…September quarter I will have my last class and will start my last set of papers…December quarter final residency and finish up papers. GOODNESS!!!!!
This is in addition to my creative endeavors…Whatever you Make of It will be published within the next couple of months, my 4th novel is about 3 or 4 chapters from first-draft completion…I am working on my poetry to get it ready for publication as well as finding out what I can do with my songs…and my next novel to finish, I believe, will be Arianna…as it is past time for her to be out and about in the world as well.
And the 3rd and 4th books of my current series are whispering in my head as well…”what if we do this” and “how about this for a place to play”
So my friends and family…I pray for your continued support…I ask for your patience with me in this next year. I may not have time to do as much as we would like…but I promise to do as much as I can…in between naps.

March 29, 2011

Whatever you Make of it…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:51 pm

So enough people have asked me…what is your book about, that I thought it would be good to blog about…
Picture Johnathon, a young lawyer wanting to make partner at the expense of everything and everyone in his life. He doesn’t have time for life lessons or family…or even his girlfriend, Rebecca. In fact he thinks most things that are not job-related are, in general, a waste of time.
He is given a book by his late grandmother who tells him this is all he needs to fix his life. He starts to read the book and he expresses all of his thoughts out loud. The characters in the book, the fabulous Jac and Jyn, hear his spoken thoughts and respond back to him. To me this is every book I have ever really felt connected to…I have wanted to talk to the characters, I feel like I know them that well. And Johnathon gets to talk to them!!!! He learns a valuable lesson about life and people in general and as a last-ditch attempt to get his girlfriend to not leave him, he gives her the book.
Rebecca reads the book and gets to interact with Jac and Jyn, but she gets a completely different story as she has a different lesson to learn. The book ends with Rebecca handing off the book to a new person in need…which of course leaves it open for a sequel.
There it is …a very brief synopsis of my first-born, if you will…let me know what you think…

March 28, 2011

So close…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 8:22 pm

“Have you heard the news?
I’m doing what I said I would.
So now you say…
I always knew you could”
“You did your best to keep me down
Tried to make my soul give in
But now I’m here to make a big, big sound
It’s your turn to lose and it’s my time to win”
Richard Marx, “Nothing you can do about it”
I always like quotes, as you know…and I was listening to my mp3 player this morning and this song came on and it made me realize that I am so close now to what I always said I was going to do…am so close to my dreams coming true…and it made me think of the people that have waited for me to do this…and have cheered me on all the way…and it made me think of the people that have been untrue to me…waiting for me to fall on my face so that they could say they knew I would fail…those same fair-weathered friends that will wait until I have made it to say “they always knew I would” when nothing in their words to me has been in the least bit supportive.
Fair-weathered friends are people I don’t understand. Why would I want you to stand by me when everything is going well when you didn’t stand by me when things were tough? Why would you get the privilege of being counted amongst my friends when I am on top of the world when it was you holding me down when the elephant almost won and I was almost destroyed. I have faced my demons and I have fought with everything in me to make my dreams come true. No one can say that I have been handed anything…my life has been full of fair-weather friends…and while they will try to say they always believed in me…I will not be able to hear them over the cheers of my truest fans and friends.
So thank you, to those that love me now and loved me then…and those who will celebrate this next step with me, honestly and faithfully.

March 24, 2011

And so it begins!!!

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:59 pm

I called iUniverse today and talked to people who are very much in love with books…and they were excited to have me join them…and they were excited about my book…and they were excited and caring and warm and friendly and I just knew I had made the perfect decision for my books…that this would be a place where they would be safe and loved!!!!
The person who started me out was kind and fun and wanted to make sure I understood the different options for my book. I put down a small payment (OH MY GODDDDDD!!!! I am doing this…I am really doing this…no more “somedays” and “maybes” and “I’m going to’s”) to hold the sale price of 50% off the package and the rest will be paid when the student loan comes in and we will be good to go. I get a phone call on Monday to walk me through the next steps and did I have any more questions right now (oh…thousands…but I’m trying to breathe) and can he help me in any other way?
I have always been a ‘gut-truster’…have always known upon a first conversation whether or not it would be someone I would want to talk to again or trust…and this is a good feeling. A safe feeling.
I described it earlier that it felt like Jac and Jyn were getting on the school bus for the first time…this is a safe driver!
I’ll keep everyone posted. Thank you a million times over for the hugs and support. I’ve felt each one and have had the courage to do this because of you!!!

March 23, 2011

Did she just say goats???

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 2:51 pm

So recently, I was in a room full of my colleagues…fellow teachers that know me in a wide variety of levels…some of them know me in passing…they talk to me at school but might not recognize me in public…all the way to people that I consider as closest and dearest to me in my life. We had had to pair up and then share about what the other person did to keep students interested…I went on and on about how my friend was enthusiastic and made Comp seem like something amazing…she simply uttered one sentence to describe me: She talks about goats.
Did she say goats?
Why would Michelle Sodaro talk about goats?
What?
Goats? Really?
Taken out of context…it sounds really odd…even taken in context…it is not exactly normal…but at the core of it…it is all me.
After I have taught a class more than one time…the creative side of me likes to spice things up to keep things fresh. I know that one of the best things I have to offer my classrooms is letting my creativity keep people’s interest…so I don’t write out my lectures…don’t want people to feel as if I am just going through the motions and they are getting the same old same old information…so I spice it up by going with whatever comes to mind first as an example…and it usually involves goats.
I am not sure why…in reality I am not a fan of goats…they smell. But in fantasy…they are universal for examples. I’ve declared their demand for equal rights…have had them defend both sides of capital punishment…and they are aware of more socials issues than most humans…they are perfect.
Eventutally there will be a goat in my novels…but so far they have only come to play in my classrooms…

March 20, 2011

Ready or not…here I come.

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 8:14 pm

For several days after my first book was published, I carried it about in my pocket, and took surreptitious peeks at it to make sure the ink had not faded.” James Barrie
I am certain that after I receive the first finished copy of Whatever you Make of It, I will do exactly what James Barrie spoke of in this quote. How could I not? I have dreamt of this and talked about this and hoped for this and planned for this…I have wanted this more than I have wanted anyone or anything…and once I hold that book in my hands for the first time…not as a draft…not as pages printed off my computer…or the flash drive that I carry with me everywhere I go…but as an actual book…complete with cover and ISBN and blurb and photo…when I hold that…I am pretty sure I will check it in my OCD manner to make sure it hasn’t disappeared, hasn’t been this amazing dream that is only a disappointment in reality, hasn’t been some cruel myth…but that it is in fact a reality. I will hold it gingerly, supporting its spine as one would a newborn’s neck…and I will smile more beautifully than I have ever smiled before and I will hold it up to the world and say, “look…look what I did…Look what I made!!!!!”
It is so amazing to be on the edge of this part of the journey. Am I excited…beyond words. Am I nervous…farther beyond words….Am I dreaming…I certainly hope not for I don’t know how I would face reality after this. Am I ready…yes. NO. Maybe? Mostly? Definitely? Yup! Nope! But as we all said when we were children…ready or not, here I come!

March 16, 2011

And I am in awe of the universe…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 4:05 pm

Sometimes it all comes together…sometimes, you just let go and the universe breathes a sigh of relief and says “finally…you’re going to let me drive” and it takes all of your plans and all of your things, and it puts things in the right places. And things come together in more beautiful and wonderful ways than you could ever have imagined.
I decided to publish Whatever you make of It at the end of this month…will be calling iUniverse tomorrow to know what I need to do next, how long it will take from my clicking send to them saying “here is your book,” How much my books will cost on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc., and such things that I need to know. The day after I made this public via my blog and facebook, iUniverse announced that if I started the publication process by March 31st, I would get 50% off my package price. NEATO!!!!
The director of my school asked me if I wanted to do the book signing here…and after I embraced that idea, things fell into place with that as well. I have a friend that is a photographer…and she is amazing!!! She is going to take pictures for me. I have another friend that is more organized and logical than I could ever ever even try to be…she is going to take care of book sales and a contact list…I have a friend that is amazing on the computer…and his eyes lit up like a kid in a candy store when I came to him and said, this is what I was thinking for the cover…what do you think? He started coming up with ideas that I didn’t understand, but that I trust in without question.
My doctorate paper came back with a score of a 4 on a 5-point scale. Once I let go of where I thought I wanted the paper to be, and I just let it become what the research supported, it practically wrote itself. I have a strong understanding of my current class and have a strong sense of direction for my 3rd paper.
My support system has absolutely blown me out of the water. My friends have been so very positive and supportive and I thank God for them every single day. It is amazing and humbling to have so many people believe in me…but it gives me strength and determination even as it leaves me speechless. And just when I think my support system is solid…that it has all the cushion and support that I could possibly need…the universe spins just the tiniest bit and I meet a new friend…and this friend is so shiny….and the conversation is so free…and the connection is so new and yet solid…just friendship to its nth degree. And it amazes me to just happen upon a friend and feel that you have known that person for a lifetime and that person has always been your friend.
I am in complete awe of how things work out. Universe…I promise to try to let you drive more often…(well, I said I promised to try…)

March 14, 2011

Hmm…a book signing…how fancy!!!

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 2:32 pm

When I told the director at the school where I teach about my upcoming publishing plans for Whatever you Make of It, his initial and immediate response was “you should have the book signing here” and I laughed. A book signing…how fancy…that’s something that Stephen King or Nora Roberts or someone that is already completely “there”…someone who has “made it”…someone where people already know what he/she does and doesn’t ask…”a writer, hey? So what do you do for work?” That isn’t for the likes of me…is it?
Or is it? I mean….why not. Have a book signing for my first book here in Kansas City…where I have lived and loved for the past 2 decades…I’ve made friends…I have a fan base, as it were…there have been and are many people that are excited about my book coming out…So it could be a bit of a party…surrounded by the people I love that love me. And if I have it at the school I also love…and maybe get some free publicity for this school…there is no harm in that at all!!!
And if only 3 people show up, then I will understand…I’ve continued reading the book mentioned in my previous blog…and I know that low turn out comes with the territory. It also…is a rite of passage…so, a book signing….I think I like the idea just fine…probably need to publish the book first.

March 9, 2011

Oh my….

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 2:25 pm

So I am reading this book called Mortification by Robin Robertson and it is a collection of authors sharing times in their careers where they were, as the title might indicate, mortified. As I read through the stories, I A) can’t wait to be among their number, B) am learning some vital tidbits (don’t get drunk before a reading, for example), and C) am now aware that book tours are horrible, horrible events. Yes, yes they are necessary and I will count my lucky stars when I get to go on one…but seriously…Murphey’s Law has a special kind of fun with authors and that fun is called a book tour…weird storms that keeps everyone in their homes and away from the stores, a printing error that tells readers the wrong day (or the wrong author…how humiliating that would be if they were expecting someone entirely different), or…the printing being perfect, the weather being lovely, and still no one showing up except some homeless person that came in for the free coffee.
Many authors I have read have commented on what separates those who make it as writers and those who don’t…is quite simply how badly they want it. If that is the case…then I’m golden. I want this. Let me say that again. I WANT THIS. I want to go into a bookstore and see Michelle Sodaro on the shelves. I want my characters alive and well and living in people’s homes and hearts. And if no one comes to my book tours, then I will go out and talk to every person I come across and tell them about my characters. “Jyn is great…she’s loyal and funny and strong, and sometimes it’s all Jac can do to just keep up with her…” “Jo is tough on the outside, but really just wants to believe in love…” “There is going to be no stopping Cassidy now that she has defeated that elephant…” “Arianna has had a hard life, but her loyalty is fierce, and the prince should consider himself lucky to be able to count her among his allies…”
The road ahead of me is a long one….but I’ve got good shoes and a strong gait. And I WANT THIS.

March 7, 2011

Feeling at home

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 6:01 pm

This weekend I moved again. (I have to stay one step ahead of the stalkers…) and I watched the kittens wander around and explore this new place…checking out the rooms and the windows…it is very important to know where you will be napping in life. As the kittens went from room to room, I could feel my muse do the same. My muse has been hiding here for the past couple of weeks…with the ending of the Doc quarter and things at school getting hectic…plus I was restless as were the kittens in my old place with boxes all about…I wasn’t worried she was gone for good this time though…I could tell she was there, peeking in from time to time, seeing that things were still crazy and chaotic and backing out of my mind. When everything was in the new place, I felt her, like the kittens, go room to room and looking out the windows and checking out the patio and open spaces. All three of them were seeing if this new place that I had picked out was up to their exacting standards. The kittens, of course, needing places to jump and sun-nap…the muse needing the feeling of peace and home.
The consensus is in…this place feels like home — a feeling I have sought forever, but have always found myself coming up short in both people and places. My muse is dancing in the corner — waiting more patiently than is her norm — waiting for the boxes to be unpacked and play time to begin…oh the stories we will create in this new home.

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