Sodaro's Stories

December 28, 2011

Thoughts of 2011

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 2:13 pm
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A fellow writer, Dennis Earl, did a reflection of the year and it made me realize three things; 1) A reflection seems like a pretty good idea, 2) I want to start a second blog called “Michelle’s Musings” about life in general…writers are very observant…and what you call staring, I call gathering details, and 3) I really need to pay more attention to the real world as I had no clue about most of the events that made Dennis’ list.
So here’s my Top Ten of 2011:
1. Publishing Whatever you Make of It — the rest of the list is not in order of importance, but since this has been a goal of mine since I could hold a crayon, it gets dibs on number 1;
2. Embracing Facebook and Twitter…Social networks used to be face-to-face…but the cyber community is far beyond anything, and you can socialize in your pajamas with your hair piled on top of your head, so I’m in;
3. Reawakening my passion for writing — seriously it feels like every one of my personalities wants to work on a different story at the same time…I’m not at all complaining about this as the alternative makes me so very sad;
4. Reawakening my passion for my PhD research — before the financial speed bump, I had simply been going through the motions for far too long;
5. People who support my dreams and have fallen in love with my characters;
6. Having more ideas than time — may this always be the case;
7. New friends coming from the most surprising of places;
8. Guys who tried to help me feel again …not completely there, but a heck of a lot closer than I was this time last year;
9. Family that is stronger than her cancer;
10. Becoming the person I am after kicking the elephant’s ass and allowing myself to FINALLY get healthier.

December 25, 2011

Good things in tiny packages

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 5:35 pm

Yesterday, three of my favorite people handed me three little bags. I was told by the nine-year old to not cry…and I didn’t…but it came close. What my sister had picked out for her three amazing children to hand me simultaneously, were three simple silver bands, each with one word inscribed on it. “Live,” “Dream,” and “Laugh” perfect in their simplicity…and getting to the heart of what we should all strive to do in this life. She told me there was another one that said “Love” but I’m glad she chose the three she did…as love is rarely simple, though it probably should be.
Live. Dream. Laugh. That is all I want to do in my lifetime. I want to live. I want to not be so bogged down by the details that I forget to simply enjoy the fact that I am alive and able to LIVE the life I choose to. I struggle with money, who doesn’t; I question my job, who doesn’t from time to time; I wish things were easier or less confusing…but these all mean that I am alive…I LIVE the life of an author and will do everything I need to in order to live that life.
Dream. Where would I be if not for my dreams. Where would I be without the power of my subconscious…my dreams take me places when I am awake and when I am sleeping. Any of you that has ever had multiple conversations with me or near me, knows that sometimes…I tune out of the immediate surroundings. I’m dreaming…thinking of some story or character or the perfect rhyme for a poem I’ve been working on…my dreams give my stories endings that allude my waking mind…my dreams give me characters names (I am sticking with Nicholas, for Arianna’s prince…she calls him Nicky when he is being especially pesky). Yes. I need to dream and dream big…and then I just need to keep up with my dreams.
Laugh. Yes…and often. I have had jobs where I never laughed…which is so odd for me, as I am one of those (sometimes annoying, I can own that) people who really likes to find the humor in situations…really likes to laugh and help people to laugh. If you can laugh at it…it can’t be that scary. Cassidy learned that recently if she laughed at her elephant…he lost his power.
Live. Dream. Laugh. Thank you. I will do just those things!

December 18, 2011

Broken Pause button

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:42 pm

I keep pushing the pause button on my remote…must be bad batteries or something because nothing is pausing, if anything it’s going in fast forward. Fast forwarding to 2012 and I can honestly say, I’m not ready…I like the new year…new fresh page on the calendar just full of promise, like the promise of a shiny new notebook. I am so excited to see what the new year brings, as I always am.
But…well, I really want to have a functioning pause button, because I am not quite ready to be done with 2011.
Financially, well, all I can say is pffft…between student loans and such things, I am not where I would like to be this close to a fresh new year, but I have made my peace with that, mostly.
Doctorate, the leave of absence I had to take due to aforementioned student loans has turned out to be the best thing that could have happened because it has revived my passion for my research. So YEAH!!! It no longer feels like I’m just going through the motions, which is so wonderful.
Novels, goodness…this year has been an eye-opener for me. Publishing Whatever you Make of It has awakened a passion for completing projects that is almost a frenzy. I want to finish ALL of my projects at the same time, but I am actually making myself focus on finishing Arianna…which is an amazing feat for me…those of you who know me best know that I tend to get distracted quite easily…damn shiny things. I made it my goal to finish Arianna’s first draft before 2011 was done, which sounded perfect until there were only 13 days left of the year…so I would REALLY like the pause button to work for that…but I will do my absolute best to get it done.

December 16, 2011

This one’s on me…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 2:45 am

“No one ever told me to become a writer; I blame myself.” Tom Grimes
Everyone is so supportive…it amazes me every single day…and I am grateful every single day as well…that being said, I must concur with Mr. Grimes. No one told me to be a writer…no one said, “you know what you should do, Michelle…you should become neurotic and frenzied when you are under the influence of inspiration; you should think about your characters and your plot every waking moment and most sleeping moments; you should have imaginary friends that talk and sing and tell you stories so that you can write them down. That would be a great, stable career choice for you.”
People have told me often that I should teach…that I should never stop teaching…that I was made to be a teacher. Now I don’t disagree with them. I enjoy teaching and I enjoy intelligent dialogue and the creative interchange that happens in the classroom. I hope to have quite a few good years left in me in one classroom or another. Love it. Love it. Love it.
But a love that is equal to my love in the classroom, a love that in the quiet hours when I put pen to paper and then fingers to keyboards…is my love of being a writer. To know that my first novel is out in the world…to know that people can purchase my first born and meet Jac and Jyn and Johnathon and Rebecca….to know that they hold in their hands the first tangible evidence that I am an author…and to know that I have so so so many more stories left to tell..that is a powerful drug indeed.
I love being an author…even when it makes me accept cereal for dinner so as not to interrupt the pen on paper, even when it makes my pretty hair all piled up on the top of my head in some unrecognizable nest…even when it makes me forget such details like paying bills on time and going grocery shopping (usually it’s when I run out of coffee, creamer, or cat food that I remember to buy food)…even when I have conversations with my characters and wake up at 2:30 in the morning for the perfect scene or bit of dialogue. I would be a writer even if no one ever bought or read a single work of mine…but I am also very grateful that people have bought my first born and told me of how they enjoyed it.
“Paperback writer” was playing when I played this…gotta love Pandora. And I’m only creeped out a litle bit, that 99% of the time it knows the perfect song to play.

December 11, 2011

No need to fear…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 7:04 pm

People always tell me they don’t know what to write about…that they have absolutely no ideas. The blank stare they get is genuine. What is that like? I wonder, horrified, that one day I will know — that one day the well will have run dry and I will be ‘GASP’ done as a writer. I honestly can’t think of anything more terrifying as an author than having no ideas…I mean, what would I do? How would I keep my balance? How would I stay just slightly on this side of sanity? Writing is my lifeline, my anchor (and ironically, my wings), and above all my salvation. I honestly think I have no need to fear though, because between the projects I have to publish, finish, continue, and start, I should be set for this lifetime and about 4 future lifetimes. Especially since every single book that I am working on has a sequel or series poking its head around the corner, saying “oooh…so I have an idea…”
Whatever you Make of it is going to be a series, thanks to my dear friend who read it and told me it was ready for publication…it’s going to be an interesting concept to play with the real world/book world as well as a unique commentary that perhaps we are all just characters in a novel.
Broken Trust already has a sequel started with it being Ali’s turn to find love. The title is going to be Redeeming Trust.
Arianna’s Honor is going to have a sequel, currently called Arianna’s Duty
And now, Crusin for Love is going to have a sequel, perhaps Still Crusin…that’s the newest thought and hasn’t really grown too much yet…but it will.
Not to mention Back on Track, my series has 2 first drafts done. Sweet eccentric Cassidy in the first one and Jo and Eddie in the second one. It has 2 more in the series (possibly a total of 7, we’ll see how it goes)
And those are just current projects…it’s not even taking into account the 13 novels I have postered on my wall that have been started, or the 5 nonfiction projects I have notes on…
yeah, I’m going to be at this game for quite a while…I have many things to fear in this world….running out of ideas is not one of them.

December 7, 2011

Avoiding Envy

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 11:26 pm

All of the writing books I have read, talk about not allowing envy or jealousy of other writers’ success deter you from your own goals– these authors are not your competition…and I have read this in enough books and quotes about writing, that I wonder if perhaps, there is not something wrong with me (and, yes, I know how loaded that statement is).
The truth of it is, that I have never been jealous of another author’s success, have never bemoaned that it is unfair they have published books, or my books are better than theirs, or any other aspects that would be a comparison between myself and them.
I am envious of: people who can eat whatever they want and not have the cushioning I have; people who have hit the jackpot on another slot machine– they are just a regular jo…just like me, so why can’t I hit it; people that have perfect vision, or hearing out of both ears, or healthy teeth…
But I am not envious of other authors. I am actually happy for them. I also the publishing world is big enough for me and them…that is why when I go to the bookstore and move the books over, where my books would go alphabetically…I don’t take others’ books off the shelf…I just make room for my books to be there too.
So thanks for the advice — fellow writers and writing books — I will keep it all in mind should my envy start to appear at the success of other authors…but I know the struggles they have worked through; I know the demons they have battled; I know the journeys they have travelled. I don’t need to be better than them — it is an honor enough to be counted among them.

December 4, 2011

Productivity Ponderments

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:31 pm

Okay…I know I posted that I was going to coast for the rest of the year…and I am not completely letting go of that vision…I see myself in a nice (clean) river, floating along toward whichever goal the wind and current happen to be travelling…and that is still my goal..but I thought I might, on occasion, dip my hand in the nice clean, fish-free water and steer just the tiniest bit…once in a while…while still relaxing (as much as I ever really relax).
I started reading a book called Art of War for Writers and James Scott Bell takes the principles of Sun Tzu and applies them to writers. I’m only on page 38, but so far, have gleaned the following bits of wisdom:
1. He mentioned that publishers are in a business and as such, are interested in finding novelists, not novels…which started me thinking…Hey, I have 4 (almost almost almost 5) drafts done…I could start querying publishers to see if there is a nibble of interest (there are no fish in my river, but there can be publishers…it’s my river after all). I can now show that I am an investment and therefore perhaps worth checking out.
2. He mentioned that I (not that he was talking to me, personally, as that would be creepy) should start seeing myself as a professional author and then I will become one. Interesting…can’t quite show up to my jobs in my author gear (pajamas) but I see his point. It is the same principle in a thousand other concepts…visualize yourself healthy, financially stable, loveable, etc…and you will become that…it’s the positive side of the self-fulfilling prophecy.
3. Have a word count quota every week. Now, this involves numbers…but stay with me, here. (and for those of you who know me and worry about me interacting with such things, rest assured I left a trail of gummy bears to find my way back). I looked at a productive day for creative writing and doctoral writing. On a good day, I can write 1000 words creative (about 5 pages) and about 250 words doctoral (about 1 page). So I am trying word count goals of 5000 and 1000 respectively. This will add about 25 pages to a novel and 5 pages to a doctorate paper. This week and next will be a trial run…I will see how I do and adjust accordingly.

December 2, 2011

Coasting in Circles

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:36 pm

So…somehow it is already the last month of the year…not sure how that happened…I’d ask for a recount…but all of the calendars I see say the same thing. I have had a fairly productive year; I would have to say…have made great strides on the doctorate and have broken the seal on the publishing world…my personal life is still a mess…but one of these days I am thinking that will make more sense too…
I think I am going to let myself coast a bit…I have some excellent plans for 2012…and am looking forward to making more PhD progess, more publication progress, more job contentment, more progress on my personal life (who am I kidding, that will stay a mess more than likely)…but I think for the next 28 days, I will coast…
Course the problem with being pulled in so many directions means I can’t really coast as you can’t coast in multiple directions at one time…
Stephen King quit teaching full time to focus on writing…I can’t quit teaching…because I do love it…and I can’t quit my doctorate, because I am so close to completion, and I really want to finish it to see what opportunities it presents to me, and I can’t quit writing, because…well…that would be the death of me…and I can’t quit my personal life, because…where’s the fun in that..
so it’s coasting…but it’s coasting Sodaro style…which is pretty much how I do everything…my own way.

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