Sodaro's Stories

July 29, 2012

Finding out how far I can go…

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelle sodaro @ 12:14 pm
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“Only those that risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S. Eliot

I have had this quote as the signature on my email for years now and have always felt it not only nailed my personality, but also was the perfect description of a fully-lived life.

Last week I went to my 3rd Residency (only one left!!!!) for my PhD and subtmitted the very, very, very, very rough draft of the prospectus (outline) for my Dissertation. I as bombarded for 4 days with the steps I have left for completion of my Phd in Adult Education. There were no real surprises on the steps remaining, but still, I had a fair pounding of my poor brain…

I started thinking for the briefest of moments that perhaps I should put a pause on my creative endeavors to focus more fully on my PhD to-do list. Just having that thought pass through my mental processing center caused my Muse to pout and sit in the corner of my mind — her Tinkerbell-like wings very still as she crossed her arms and tapped her little foot.

Then, in a previously unheard of move, she fought back. Using all of her strength, she brought out this quote to the forefront of my mind. She pulled it out as if it were on blocks, using every bit of strength to get her point across and then just floated above T.S. Eliot’s words, arms crossed and a determined expression on her face.

And she’s right. I will never know how far I an go unless I attempt to go too far. I will never know what I am capable of, unless I push myself to every limit — this means physically, mentally, emotionally, academically, creatively, and any other “ly” I can think of…

So well played little Muse. Very well played indeed.

July 17, 2012

My lists have failed me today

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 2:24 pm
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So, many of you know that I am a chronic list-maker…I make lists about my lists…and then cross that off the list. Lists calm me when things get swirly and help me focus when my overly full plate starts to spin and make a mess (which almost never happens…or almost always happens…I forget which).
I have a list of things I need to get done today…a list of tasks that need to occupy my time until I can pretend to sleep tonight and hit the road tomorrow for four days away from work and life where I get totally PhD immersion and four nights of hotel comfort, writing and RELAXING. While this isn’t a vacation, per se…it is AWAY…and that is enough for now.
But before I get to then, I have to get through now…and I have very specific things I need to do now, to get to then…but, um…well…I don’t want to. I want to get past now, now….and get to then, now. As it will take longer to get to then, if I just sit around and wait for it, I will force myself to get my things done now…but my lists today bring me no joy because I keep flipping the list to tomorrow…
sigh…it’s going to be a long day.

July 15, 2012

An update on Arianna’s Honor

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:53 pm
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While no one has said this to me, I wanted to clarify in case it seemed to anyone (like, me…for instance) that I dropped the ball on Arianna’s Honor since she is still not in the hands of iUniverse. It has been a series of little things that, unfortunately, happened one right after another, each one pushing Arianna’s public outing back a bit. But I am going to make amends this next week.
As most of you are aware, I am nearing the end of my course/paper/residency requirement for my PhD and will soon be in full-dissertation mode. This is exciting to me for more reasons than I could possibly express…especially since this post is to be about Arianna and her crew, all of whom have shown remarkable (and frankly uncharacteristic) patience with this whole process.
Next week I go on residency #3 and though my days will be all PhD all the time, I also have 4 nights where it is just me, a pot of coffee, and a quiet hotel room that does not have the distractions of home…you can bet your socks I’m bringing Ari and her crew and am going to recharge my PhD-saturated brain by polishing this second novel of mine until she is ready for her debut. There is also an indoor pool at the hotel…so I may just stay there forever…most likely not, but think of how much work I would get done. Sigh…ah well.
I thank you for your patience. I thank you for your continued interest. I am looking forward to introducing you to Arianna and her friends and family. I believe you will love them as I do…and hopefully you will think, as I do, that Arianna’s Honor was worth the wait.
(And yes, someone is cat-sitting while I am away…and yes, I have started packing…well, to be more specific…I have packed my pens.)

July 8, 2012

Good morning!!

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:14 pm
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“I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me” Ray Bradbury
It is the best feeling in the world, waking up with a character or my Muse whispering (okay sometimes shouting) in my ear…”hey, how about we try…” or “you know, if we did this….” and though my bed is comfy and my sheets are perfectly cozy, I get up and get to work. It doesn’t happen as often as it has before or will again, given the chaos of my life lately, but when it does happen…it is amazing.
So this morning, I was awakened by such an occurrence…something that I wrote yesterday (got halfway done with Chapter 20 of hockey…I’m back baby!!!!) was the impetus for getting me up at 6:30 on a Sunday morning and though I had to take care of the furry critters that live here first, I am excited to do what was suggested to me as I slumbered. Excited that my characters and my Muse are talking to me again…it gets lonely in my mind all by myself. Plus, when they talk to me, when I get to really write, not just putz around with writing, a little paragraph here and there…that is when I have balance. And if ever there was a time that I needed balance in my life…it is now. So, good morning characters. Good morning muse…let me put on the coffee and let’s see where your idea takes us.

July 5, 2012

Hello my friends…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:45 pm
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So last weekend, I de-cluttered my life a bit…I realized that part of the reason for my funk of late was because of the clutter in my life and in my mind and heart. So I threw stuff out both literally and figuratively and Monday morning I sat at my desk before coming in to work and had the most beautiful welcome from my characters whom I have neglected these past few months…they said, “hey…remember us?” I sat down, pen in hand, and instantly the magic began to flow. Suddenly it was like no time at all had passed and it was just as if I had merely pushed pause, and now had pushed play.
There are many reasons why I prefer fictional people to real people (not all real people of course…I find many of you quite lovely). Monday taught me yet another reason…and that is that they, just like my cats, don’t hold grudges or make comments about how long it’s been since you’ve played with them…they are just happy to play…happy to still be in the game.
There was no guilt given, no tsking at me…just everybody jumping in and playing as if the game had never actually stopped.
I now have Chapter 19 done, Chapter 20 started, and a rough sketch outline for the next 5 chapters or so…My goal of having hockey’s first draft done by year’s end may still happen…
And all it took was taking out some literal and metaphoric trash.

July 1, 2012

The best of me…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 2:16 pm
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Foo Fighters, in their song “Best of you” posed the question, “Is someone getting the best of you” and this song is, by far, my favorite by this band. It haunts me and causes me to face the simple truth that the someone who truly gets the best of me, is my Muse. No lover; no friend, no family member, no student,no job has ever gotten the best of what it is to be me. My novels, my poems, my projects get the best (and to be fair, the worst) of me. My creativity is what I give my whole soul to…is what I show every scar to…is what I believe in more than anything. It is the one thing that I would sacrifice everything for and the one thing I could not exist without…perhaps this is why I’ve never married, perhaps this is why I can always walk away from things (relationships, friendships, jobs, etc.) when things get too stressful or too hard or too confusing. I have been teased about having nomadic instincts…and if you’ve ever been one to help me move, you are probably one of the ones who has said it, but really, I make changes in my life when my writing is getting negatively affected by people or things. When I can’t give the best of me to my Muse, I make changes as I deem necessary. “I’ve got another confession to make, I’m your fool.” Yes indeed, creativity…that is more honest than I am with most other things.

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