Sodaro's Stories

May 27, 2012

Permission to chill…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 11:43 am
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So, my already busy schedule is going to be made busier starting next week. Picking up more hours to pay for the last two quarters of my doctorate has created a definite shift in my “free time.” I haven’t yet told the kittens about the schedule shift as they will hate it as much as my Muse…of course the Muse I can appease by sneaking in writing on the breaks in my day…and the kittens can be mollified by cookies.

I had all kinds of things on my to do list this weekend…I was going to accomplish gobs of things and mark them off the list with my bright yellow highlighter…and I do have to get certain things done, but I also, gave myself permission to chill. This is sometimes a difficult concept for me as doing nothing is a quandary in and of itself…if you do nothing, how do you know when you are done…and more importantly (to the likes of me) what do you get to cross off the list??

I watched NCIS yesterday; got through most of season 4. Usually when I watch my favorite series season after season, I am working on something else while I watch. I am typing or grading or editing or something else ending in ‘ing’ to keep it parallel…but yesterday, I just watched…and relaxed. I gave myself permission to chill. I liked it enough to give myself some chill time today and will factor it in tomorrow as well. My poor to-do list may never recover, but I will face the new work week more relaxed and that is better for all involved.

So…to all my list maker friends out there…give yourself permission to chill. Add it to your to-do list, so you have to follow through.

May 20, 2012

And the weird thing is…

I did this all to myself…Oh, sorry…I’ll back up as I started mid-chat.
In “My Own Way” by the Rembrandts, there is a line that says “Wonder how many piles of things it takes, to bury me alive.” I love that song because it really epitomizes how I live my life. I do things my way regardless of other’s approval or agreement on how I should live my life. Lately I have been getting a lot of slack from people because I don’t want to have kids. It’s not really anyone’s business, but I am seen as a freak because of my conscious choice…I am first to claim that I am a bit of a freak, but I don’t think it is entirely based on my decision to not reproduce…but back on point.
So I was thinking about the next six months…I have for my PhD, a June quarter which will include turning in Paper #4, finishing and turning in paper #5, my 3rd residency, working on my Prospectus and Literature Review for my Dissertation, and then in the September quarter, I have my final course and my final residency as well as continuing to work on Literature Review, find my committee for my Dissertation and anything else related to the Dissertation that I might have currently forgotten or not learned about yet.
I also have during this time frame, the upcoming self-publication of my 2nd novel, Arianna’s Honor, through iUniverse as well as having part of my play Ten by Ten possibly performed this summer, which would be an opportune time to have a book signing.
Oh yeah, and both jobs have given me the exact number of classes (even though there are so many changes at both places that my head is spinning) I need to pay for the things I need to do in this time frame, so thank you Universe for allowing that to happen…and I’m not in any way complaining, because the blessings in my life amaze me constantly…but GOODNESS am I going to be a busy one the rest of this year.
I do wonder how many piles of things it would take to bury me alive. I also know that I am stubborn and determined enough to fight through all the piles and emerge with some semblance of sanity intact. The weird thing is …I did all the piling of things on me, so I have no one else to blame but myself…which is best…after all, would you want the likes of me, blaming you????

May 16, 2012

Scylla and Charbdis…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:49 pm
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So when I taught The Odyssey I would demonstrate my artistic skill by giving a visual representation of Scylla and Charbdis…and my students were kind to me in that they were truthful but now cruel in their understanding that unless it deals with words, I have no artistic skill…but I was thinking about those two aspects this morning because I really do feel as if I am being pulled between a multi-headed beast and a whirlpool…and trust me I hear the Sirens up ahead trying to distract me from my path. Unlike Odysseus, I praise the powers that have got me here. I absolutely know that the light on my path is there to help me, and I express constant gratitude for it.
As it normally happens, when life gets all chaotic and whirly (poetic license)…I want to hide in a hole with my pen and my notebook and wait for the storm to pass…I want to write…I need to write…but because of the chaos and whirly-ness I cannot hide away…I have to actually help with this storm…but tonight…I will write a tiny bit, which will get me through tomorrow…and then my seas should be relatively calm again…
I really want to write…putting pen to paper and letting magic come out…is my way to keep my balance…and right now I am WAY off balance…but have no fear…I will not be eaten by a multi-headed monster; I will not be flushed into a whirlpool with sharp teeth; I will not crash into the rocks lured by a song. I am stronger than them. Plus my Muse would KILL me if I got lost again.

May 14, 2012

Okay…break’s over…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 8:01 pm
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So some of you might not have realized that I was actually on a break from my Doctorate since December…and I realize your confusion. While I was on my “break” I finished paper #5 and have all of the research done for paper #6. I also completed my research (as far as I know…to this point…until something changes) for the majority of the Literature Review for my Dissertation. I have also edited and gotten ready for self-publication, my second novel (details on that in my next blog…I’m trying to stay on one topic for a minute, which is a challenge for me as you know).
So, my Leave of Absence from Walden University is over in the next week or so…I had to take a break because I ran out of student loan money and have been desperately trying to find ways to be able to pay for the 6 months that I have left to get to dissertation. I have found a way…thanks to things working out exactly as they were meant to and happening just in the nick of time. Thank you for once again letting me know I am not only not alone on this path, but also headed in the right direction.
So I was reflecting on my 6-month “break” and I realized that while I didn’t really take a “break” from Doctorate work, I did take a break from some fundamental aspects of my life. My apartment is more of a mess than usual. I have not gone to the gym except for maybe once or twice during my break (which was brought to point by a 3-yr old whom I love dearly who told me, Aunt Michelle, you’re too big…). I also have taken a break on my skin care. I have small blotches on my cheeks which according to my highly skilled research and self-diagnosis is mild rosacea…I am very pale and any color on my cheeks at all is highly noticeable. The same 3-yr old who pointed out that I was too big…also asked me about the “boo-boo’s on my cheeks” thus pointing out that I need to get back to going to the gym and taking care of my skin. Nothing like having your flaws pointed out by a 3-yr old (she did kiss the ‘boo-boos’ on my cheeks, which helped).
SO…Break’s over…get back to work.

May 10, 2012

A little flip

In the movie, The Cutting Edge, the beautiful and talented Miora Kelly and the absolutely gorgeous D.B. Sweeney are chatting and she makes the analogy of magnets where you try to push things together, but it doesn’t work and you get frustrated, when all you needed was “a little flip” and suddenly everything fits together. Now, before I get side tracked with thinking about fitting together with the likes of D.B. Sweeney (Drool), let me stay on point.
I have been trying so hard to figure out the Universe’s plan to find a way to afford my FINAL two quarters before my PhD Dissertation. It has affected my sleep; it has affected my health, and it has affected my writing (which as you know is the true issue — nobody puts my Muse in a corner). I was at my wits’ end. In fact I had borrowed someone else’s wits and had used up all of those as well.
And then the Universe stepped in, as it does, and made a little flip, and everything lined up exactly as it needed to. You’d think there was a plan or something…
So now, my Muse is no longer pouting, which is always a good thing, but because of the stress of the last two months, she now wants to catch up on EVERY creative and academic project I have at the same time.
Picture a child’s room with toys put away and organized. Now picture the child pulling out every single toy to play with simultaneously while I try to put a few things back so as to still attempt to have some semblance of sanity…yup, all I needed was a little flip.
Now I will spend some time thinking about D.B. Sweeney…:)

May 6, 2012

Separate Voices in my Head

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:35 pm
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So, people look at me really funny when I tell them that I hear my characters’ voices in my head…but I don’t know why they think that is odd…I hear other voices in my head too and no one seems to mind, though they do often take away my scissors.
I have to hear the voices of my characters…I have to see them at the picnic in my head (one day, I want that as a mural…each story at its own picnic table, my beautiful muse flitting from table to table)…that is how I make them real, and more than that, that is how I make them unique from each other. I have read stories by authors that basically the only changes from book to book are the character’s names. And I hate that, but I won’t mention the authors’ names who did this as I believe in playing nicely in the sandbox.
I was watching NCIS recently and it was the Extras of Season One. The creator person mentioned the fact that each character was so unique, so fantastically diverse, that no character could read another character’s lines and have it sound right. The dynamic of the show, among other things, was how unique each character was and how they fit together as a whole…and here I thought it was just because Mark Harmon was hot.
That is what I want for my characters. I want my readers to read my books (please) and have a personal invitation to the picnic in my head. I want my characters to be unique enough to stand on their own and not have anyone think, “haven’t I already read this book?”
Now, please…give me back my scissors.

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