Sodaro's Stories

April 29, 2012

Dance, Muse, Dance

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:44 pm
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There is a book called Writer’s Book of Days which actually has 2 editions out…and it is such a fantastic tool. It has a writing prompt for every one of the 365 days…since I have read both additions, I actually have 2 separate writing prompts for each day of the year. And this is why Judy Reeves is a hero of mine. Her books make my Muse dance and dance and dance.
Sometimes, I use the prompt to write about my current project…but far more often, I use it to keep my Muse dancing on other projects while I continue to work on my primary project. I have to do this because, well, she is as fickle as she is beautiful. And right now, I am editing Arianna’s Honor which is boring to my Muse because it is not creating…it is honing. I am also in the middle of the first draft of Hockey (which I think is going to be called Hoping for a Hat Trick)…and the middle of projects is where my beautiful dancing fairy also gets bored…which is why I have so many half-finished novels written.
So using Judy Reeves’ prompts works two-fold. First and most important to the whole process, it keeps her dancing…and since when she dances, I am the most productive (because she leaves me little choice), I will do whatever it takes to keep her dancing. Secondly, and only slightly less important, since it is all connected, using these prompts gives me future scenes for existing stories as well as thoughts that may become stories when there is more room on my story wall.
So thank you, Judy Reeves, for your 730 prompts. They provide a playground for my Muse that knows no bounds and has swings.

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April 27, 2012

Silly Superstitions…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:54 pm
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I write this to try to dispel some concerns that are brewing in my brain…
I am a superstitious sort…part of my OCD, I suppose…but I believe that certain things help with the process of creating my stories.
For example, I like coffee when I write. I like to make a pot of coffee and have my creamer and sugar with my pot of coffee…I am sure I could write without the tasty beverage, but why risk it…same with pancakes. There is something about those fluffy pieces of dream cake that make my muse dance…or so I tell myself. I am almost positive she would dance with carrots and celery…hmmm…maybe not.
Another part of the ritual…is my purple flannel shirt. I bought it back when I worked at KMart, which for those of you playing along at home has been a day or two ago…it’s extra big, extra soft, and sooooo much a part of the ritual that I am fearful now because, well…it’s falling apart. There is a huge rip in the side and the pockets are not even recognizable as pockets…I can’t sew. I can’t do much, actually, domestic…but right now, I wish I could fix my beloved flannel. I am sure I can write without it…it’s not magical…(logical twin declares this, as she does all things) but…(and this is emotional twin) what if it doesn’t?? What if it is part of the magic?
I have asked a friend to perform surgery. If that doesn’t work…I may have to *shudder* buy a new flannel.

April 22, 2012

Blue Plates

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:12 pm
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Yesterday I finished up 3 pens I had started using at various times. It is always a thrill for me to know I used up everything they had to offer…the fact that I am a little odd, should not be news to any of you.
I also finished the first draft of doctorate paper #4 (JUST ONE LEFT…and then that dissertation thing to write). I finished reading the 2nd (out of 6) book for the FINAL doctorate paper. I also finished up the carton of ice cream, which I am not quite as proud of…
So as I completed these two tasks, I got to see tiny bits of my plate — a plate that is usually packed so full and so high that bits of things hang over the edges and the color of my plate is completely obscured from view. I am happy to report that my metaphoric plate is as beautiful a blue as my actual plates.
Now, normally as soon as a spot opens up, I rush to fill it with something…anything, but I think, for the briefest of moments, I am just going to enjoy it. I’ll never have a completely empty plate (the thought actually totally frightens me) but I do like seeing little bits of blue that are showing through right now.

April 20, 2012

Stop that Rhyming now I mean it…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:17 pm
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So looking back over the last month and a half, I am a bit disconcerted that I have written exactly one poem since March 11th (the date is not significant past it was the last day I wrote a poem). I was averaging around 6 poems a month for the past few months, so perhaps you can see why my lone poem in that time frame would be a cause for concern.
It’s not that I haven’t been writing…”Hockey” is going strong with 120 pages so far of rough draft, next-to-last doc paper is within its final pages, notes and outlines for other papers and stories…so the writing (both creative and academic) is flowing — it’s just not flowing into rhyme.
Maybe it’s how much is currently on my plate — maybe sending Arianna’s Honor off in the next few weeks, as well as getting the draft of paper 4 in for feedback, maybe those two things will put a rhyme back in my heart.
Maybe it’s this time of the year, since the beginning of May still hurts like it was yesterday and not going on 2 years.
Maybe the aspects of my life that are downright uninspiring are affecting the rhyming (and other) parts of my brain.
Or maybe I just need to watch Princess Bride again and learn from the masters how to play with rhyme.

April 15, 2012

Speed Bumps…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 2:13 pm
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“I don’t know…but I’ve been told; you never slow down, you never grow old.” Tom Petty — Last Dance with Mary Jane
So last week I helped two students with math, not my forte as I am strictly an English person, but I helped…pulling the information from the farthest reaches of my mental closet. A bit of science came to the surface — stuck, I believe, to the math with the cobwebs that come from lack of use.
There is some law of motion that states something along the lines of an object in motion tends to stay in motion…maybe this was the inspiration for that line in Tom Petty’s song…maybe (probably) I’m just making things up…I’m an author; it’s what we do.
Regardless of whether I go with science or music on this one, the outcome is the same. Forward progression, speeding over life’s speed bumps so they do not stop your motion, is the way to get things done. (Hopefully, metaphoric speed bumps can’t damage my actual undercarriage as that might just be the inertia-stopping action to halt my movement.)
People ask me how I plan to get everything done. How do I plan to finish my PhD while publishing and writing my novels and teaching 2 part-time jobs. My first answer is “I have no idea…but I’m in the midst of all of these tasks, so I need to get them done.” Then I think of Tom Petty’s lines…if I never slow down, then I never grow old, and if I never grow old, then I can accomplish all of the items on my to-do list. And it’s even okay that for every one thing I cross off the list, two more things appear…This is a good, happy, non-killing Hydra — and I do enjoy crossing things off lists.
So I’m not afraid of speed bumps. I’ve got inertia and Tom Petty on my side…and the unquenchable desire of OCD to finish things.

April 9, 2012

Future me…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 6:12 pm
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So I was eating my Chipolte (or what I like to call heaven in a bowl…with a side of chips) and I was working on the final 5 pages of my current Doc paper. I was munching happily away when the four people at the table next to me caught my ear…(they were seated to my left…lol). They were talking quite animatedly about mowing their grass and the things they needed to do around the house and lawn. I searched into the deepest bits of me and found…I didn’t care; not one iota of concern can be found in me about such things as home and lawn care.
I thought to a conversation I had with a good friend, about a time in the future when my author gig was the way I made my living. Through our chat, I imagined my office…it had windows on all three sides, hardwood floors and a fantastic view. There was a small kitchen, a bath, and a bedroom, but those I didn’t picture; I simply knew they were there…but the selling point of the apartment was the office. All that open space and windows…my muse dancing in sunshine rays across the hardwood floors…ahhhh…sweet perfection in a domicile…there was of course a pool downstairs, what would perfection be without chlorine…best of all, there was no lawn care as there was no lawn…and any home repairs were taken care of with a simple phone call.

April 6, 2012

One thing…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 8:00 pm
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“If I traded it all, if I gave it all away for one thing…just for one thing.” “One Thing” Finger Eleven
This song has struck a chord in me (pun intended) since I first heard it…and while they never say what “one thing” they refer to…to me, this adds to its appeal, because then it can be whatever it needs to be for each person…that one thing for which you would forsake all other things…the one thing that matters more than anything else.
For me, the one thing is my writing. Nonfiction or fiction; it doesn’t matter…the pen-to-paper to create my stories or my papers, my poems or my reflections. To me, this is the one thing. I would and have forsaken relationships (both friend and romantic) that were not supportive of my one thing, that were jealous of the time and energy I put forth for it, that didn’t understand that by rejecting that one thing, they rejected the core of me. How could I stay around a person that didn’t get the core of me…that didn’t understand that this one thing…is the only thing I would sacrifice anything and everything for…
If you haven’t heard this song, I highly recommend you listen to it…and find your One Thing.

April 4, 2012

Why I shouldn’t sail…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:03 pm
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“Holding the mind to a subject is like holding a ship to its course; it implies constant change of place combined with unity of direction.”
Taking notes for my FINAL KAM (paper…yes, i do like the look of that word final in front of the letters K-A-M…marking things off the list one-by-one), one of the books I am reading is How we Think by John Dewey.
This quote struck me both as information for my paper, but also on a personal level…which makes sense as part of the reason my ship is currently trying to go in about 912 directions at one time is the personal and academic to-do lists that keep wrestling and grabbing the wheel and adjusting the sails so that my poor boat gets aimed in whichever direction is currently winning.
I have the constant change of pace — yes, indeed I have that…but I’m not entirely sure my multiple mental locations for every single project I have…was entirely what Dewey meant. Probably it was to use many different ways to get to one single point; my way works too, well, works for me.
Maybe once my PhD is completed, I will have better ability to focus on one subject — travel in one direction at a time. Yeah, maybe not….have you seen my story wall? How am I supposed to reach the destinations of each of my stories AND have any kind of unity of direction?
Well, my boat may be going in every which way at the same time, but it’s bound to be one hell of an amazing ride.

April 1, 2012

April Fool’s Day

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:01 pm
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I wondered what to blog about today — wondered if any of you would believe what I said as it is the day reserved for pranks and false information. The day where anyone can say anything and have instant takebacks by adding an “April Fool”
“I’m buying a goat farm. APRIL FOOL”
“We won a lifetime supply of refrigerator magnets. APRIL FOOL”
“You’re going to grow an extra head out of your armpit that only speaks in Irish limericks. APRIL FOOL”
“We’re not really your parents. We are aliens from planet 42 ZYX. Give us all your Reece’s Peanut Butter cups. APRIL FOOL”
Okay, I should stop before my examples get really out there; once the muse gets to dancing, she really goes all out…those of you who have spoken with me — I actually DO edit my examples…just imagine what they would be if I didn’t edit (for a small idea…take all of the aforementioned examples and kick it up a notch or 12 — don’t forget the balloons, rubber duckies, and bingo daubers…the rhinocerous gets growly).
Happy April to us all. Here’s to a prosperous and productive Spring…no APRIL FOOL.

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