Sodaro's Stories

May 25, 2011

This writer’s life…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:22 pm

In a book I picked up called The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen, there was a quote on page 9 that hooked me and had me buying the book…which of course I will read…after all, I must be productive…and I think that I do okay in that regard given the other things that I need to take care of right now, but there is always room for improvement.
On page nine, Ms. Cohen asked the simple question, “What do you want your writing life to look like?” I closed my eyes in the book store (I’m used to strange looks…especially when I go to where my name will go alphabetically and scoot books over just so…that way even with all the books that exist, there is still room for mine.) and this is what I pictured:
Eventually, I want a house on the beach (or a whole island) where friends and family are always welcomed…to stay for a day or a lifetime. I have told those closest to me that when I get there, they can do or not do as they wish…they can work if there is something they enjoy, but they can also just be there and enjoy life. I want to have a part of the house (or the island) that is all mine…that is my writing space,,,there is a bay window facing the water…and all the necessities for my writing are there where I can just write and create for 8 hours a day.
Before I get to the island of course, I can have most of this in my apartment. I might put a picture of the ocean in front of my desk so that I can pretend.
In my ideal writing life, I will still teach…but I will get to teach because I want to, not because I have to…and right now I really feel like I have to…which makes me sad. One of the professors in my education classes that I respected the most, said that he knew it was time to quit when he said “I have to go to work” instead of “I get to go teach”…the former is where I am now, and I really miss the latter.
For my writing life…I would love to be surrounded by the people that are closest to me…that I can bounce ideas off of and ask random questions of and the ones that take all of me in stride…not an easy task…but one that has granted them a golden ticket.
This is what I picture…now it’s time to write.

May 23, 2011

Cleared section of my plate

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:23 pm

Well, I turned in my final paper for my class…have a couple small assignments left for that class, but soon that section of my plate will be cleared off. Have almost completed my 3rd set of papers which would clear another section of the plate as well, except that I have already started researching the next set of papers, so really that section of the plate stays the same…have also almost finished the quarter of teaching where next quarter will have less classes and thus less plate space…
It is so exciting to see bits of clean plate. I don’t have the same reaction as the kittens…when they see any bit of the bottom of their bowl they are convinced that they have no food and are immediately starving. I see bits of plate and think about the many different possibilities for filling it back up with other things. (Those of you that know me, know without question that the worst thing that could exist in my world is a completely cleared plate…whatever would keep the crazy at bay then???)
There is of course the Whatever you make of It section of the plate that also will be moved soon…for next week I will get to give it the final read through it so patiently has been waiting for to send back to iUniverse for the Production phase to begin….and that is so exciting, I am tempted to shift my plate just so …so that my beautiful novel is right in front of me…but I can’t just yet…other things need my attention this week…
A friend asked me what I was doing for my birthday next week…I can think of nothing I would rather do than spend it reading through my story…we’ll see if that is what happens or not. I also need to read through Arianna. It has been too long since I have played with that story for it to have any kind of continuity.
There is also the 3rd book in the series that I want to flush out and see where that takes me…and there is a collaboration project that is begging for attention as well…with a friend that knows me better than most anyone…and accepts me for who I am…even the bits I usually hide from the world.
So many things to put on my plate…but I have to finish clearing of a few spaces first…

May 19, 2011

poor neglected blog

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:38 pm

Dear Blog….
I am sorry that I haven’t been as diligent about posting to you two times a week, which was what I put for my New Year’s Resoluton…and for a while there I was keeping up with it…religiously I would sit here on Wednesdays and Sundays and would update you about my life…and then…well, I overfilled my plate again…with creative and academic pursuits…and with teaching 5 writing-intensive (and therefore grading-intensive) classes…sorry.
I would tell you that it wouldn’t happen again, that would be more in control of my pursuits…but I don’t believe in those kinds of lies…I do know that my plate gets significantly less full in about 2 weeks…when my doctorate quarter is over. I can also tell you that next quarter, I am not taking a class, am teaching 3 classes instead of 5…and will have more time for things I want to focus on…like you…I enjoy sharing my thoughts on writing with you…and it’s always nice to know someone’s listening. I promise to visit more often, and get back to my twice a week habit…it kept me focused on things and I need focus.
I promise to play with you more. Thanks for waiting.

May 15, 2011

“Won’t you stay…just a little bit longer…”

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 11:37 pm

So, in two weeks my doctorate quarter ends, and in a week after that, my teaching quarter ends, and right now it is all I can do to keep up with the demands of both of those…it is so hard for me to not pick up my beautiful beautiful novel and get it ready for the final stage…PRODUCTION…iUniverse has evaluated it…some of their suggestions I agree with and will change…some of them I don’t and will keep…which is of course the beauty of self-publishing…at the end of the day, what I want for the novel is what ends up happening.
I keep being reminded by my wonderful friends…that it is better for me to wait until my HAVE TO’s are cleared up a bit…until my final paper is turned in for my class…until my 3rd set of papers is completed and submitted…until my grades are done for my students…and then, when my attention can be completely and totally on Whatever you Make of It that then I should give it the final read through and send it back for the PRODUCTION stage…and I know they are right.
I don’t want to send it back not having been able to look at as in-depth as it deserves…but…so many people are asking about it…so many people are excited about it…and I don’t want that to die down…I don’t want that to lessen…I don’t want people to forget about Jac and Jyn and Johnathon and Rebecca…sigh.
It is so hard when the HAVE TO’s win out over the WANT TO’s…but Jac and Jyn and the whole crew deserve the best entrance to the world that they can have…and that means that first I finish the doctorate quarter…and then I finish my teaching quarter…and THEN…I make my first born shiny and ready to send off…all that I ask is that you all stay with me until then…

May 11, 2011

Author? Writer?

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 7:03 pm

I was reading a book recently that asked the question of what and author was compared to what a writer was…my understanding is this…
The author side…is the public side. This is the person that talks about the stories, that will approach strangers and discuss the books. There is a sales-mentality here. Myself as an author…I give free license to talk to strangers (my first experience at this was the waitress I had at Outback one day…we started talking about books and the next thing I knew I was telling her about my book…felt really weird…but really good). This is the author part of me. She likes people and she wants to tell every single person about my books. She talks about the characters, not as if she has had lunch with them, but as they exist on the written page. She wants people to buy the book. She wants people to enjoy the story enough that they buy the next book and the next one. She is the one everyone sees. She is always smiling and at peace with the universe…she is very much who I am with my teacher hat on as well. Very public and very friendly.
The writer is the one that very very few people actually get to see. She does not really like people…well not three-dimensional people. She likes the people that she has created…the ones that exist on the paper. She would rather not talk to people, thank you very much…it interrupts the flow of words on paper. She sees the world differently…any person she meets is very likely to become a character in the story…she gets frenzied and frantic and doesn’t do well with social expectations….which is why so few truly get to see this part of my personality…
It’s not what the author of the book designated between the two words, but it is most definitely what I see.

May 6, 2011

Had to laugh…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 7:35 pm

I am reading a fantastic book called Take Joy: A Writer’s guide to loving the craft, by Jane Yolen and she has some amazing insights into writing and how much fun it can be while at the same time being challenging and different than any other occupation. And I am enjoying reading about someone else that truly loves writing and would write even if she didn’t get paid for it…but isn’t it nice that she does as that is a goal of mine as well. But it is nice to hear from another writer that writes because she would feel like something was missing in her life if she didn’t sit down to write every day.
There was a part in her book, and I am only about halfway through, but I had to share this. She describes the muse in the following manner: She works hard and never complains, though she is rarely thanked for her part in the story, never acknowledged or given a book dedication. Her back aches and her fingers are arthritic, and she’d love a bit of chocolate, but is loathe to ask.
I laughed so hard at her account of the Muse that I scared the kittens who were napping nearby. Wow…her Muse and my Muse are not at ALL the same person…mine works hard, of course…but she complains. If I have done too much doctorate work she complains; if I have spent too much time on grading, she complains; if there is not enough sunshine, she complains. And the part about wanting chocolate but not asking??? Yeah, my Muse asks for what she wants…and pouts if she doesn’t get it. And while Mrs. Yolen’s Muse sounds lovely, I think I will stick with my pancake obsessed, flighty dancing Muse…she and I get a long just fine.

May 1, 2011

Back on Track…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 6:51 pm

Ironically…the name of the series for which book 1 and book 2 practically wrote themselves is Back on Track…and with this being the beginning of a new month, I felt an overwhelming urge to get things in my writing life back on track as well as my doctorate life and my actual life. All of the these things tend to fall by the wayside as other things take priority or as emotionally I fall down once again.
One year ago this weekend, I watched one of the best people I have ever known pass on to the other side of life…and I know he is watching over me. I feel his presence in every thing that I do. He is the one that pushed me to be the writer that I always claimed to be and I will be forever grateful for his gentle guidance and support. It is because of his push that I now have 4 books written, that I have my 3rd doctorate paper almost completed, that I had the strength to step down from the job where I took care of everyone else to a job where I take care of myself.
The third book of the series will be my friend’s story. I need to write it. I need to heal…and I need to do this now. That doesn’t mean that I am putting Arianna off again…I am going to work on both novels. Arianna is on chapter 15 and is solid in the premise of the novel. The characters are set and the story line is strong. #3 in the series is just starting, but the novel needs to be written. Starting in June, I will have only my 4th doctorate paper (I am not taking a class in addition to the paper) to work on…which will free up some focus. I can do this. The stories are different enough that I will keep them separate. Arianna will still be the primary, but I will write my friend’s story when Arianna has me blocked.
Thank you, my friend. For knowing what needed to be done so that I could live the life I was meant to live. I only wish I could have shared more of it with you. Thank you for watching out for me.

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