Sodaro's Stories

August 26, 2012

Work in Progress

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:34 pm
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“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” John Christian
Anyone who has ever witnessed my attempts at drawing may find it interesting for me to use a quote that gives an art metaphor to explain life, but I think it works quite efficiently.
Each of us, each of our lives, is indeed a work in progress. Every experience we have, good or bad, leaves its permanent mark on our canvases. Our lives are not white boards where we can meticulously erase every random speck and have our canvas be shiny and clean (and those of you who have been with me in a room with a white board know the significance of this).
Just like my classrooms, sometimes I get so obsessed with the mistakes on my canvas, I can’t even see the whole beautiful picture. Every speck and line, whether intentional or accidental, has made me into the person I am today, and without meaning to sound vain, the person I am today is pretty amazing. The friend I have become, the woman I have become, the lover I have become, the teacher I have become, the author I have become…all of those things have come from the picture and random marks on my canvas…and I wouldn’t trade the person I’ve become for anything. (Though on the less metaphoric white board, I will still continue to erase the random specks…just saying)
I want to thank every artist who has added to my canvas…every person who has added beauty or sadness, who has added color or darkness, every one who has added to the picture or left the random speck, whether intentional or not…thank you.
I’m a work in progress and always will be…but the picture is turning out even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

August 22, 2012

Feeling like a taffy pull…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 10:57 am
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Okay, so continuing the circus theme from my last blog…if you have ever seen a taffy pull, it is pretty impressive to watch. The taffy, in order to get to the smooth tasty treat we enjoy, has to be pulled this way and that, seemingly pulled in all directions at one time. And lately this is how I have felt…not fun…and what makes it even more “not fun” (forgive the grammar) is that no one put me in this taffy pull…I did it all by myself and just kept adding more and more to keep the multi-directional pulling thing to keep happening.
Now God knows, as most people who have met me quickly learn, that I am not the best listener when people are trying to tell me what to do. I am pretty good at “hah! I’ll show you…” and even better at “Nah…I can handle it.” It’s not so much as I’m stubborn (okay that is part of it) as it is that I just want to do as much as I can.
So…here was what I had planned for September through December: 1) Take my final PhD course,
2) Write my final PhD 90-page paper,
3) Go on my final PhD residency,
4) Begin work on my PhD dissertation,
5) Work my full-time job,
6) Teach at my part-time job,
7) Self-publish Arianna’s Honor,
8) Finish first draft of Hoping for a Hat Trick,
9) Edit 2 other novels whose first drafts are done and ready,
10) Have a book signing
I was completely convinced that all of that could happen…I was evidently incorrect in my assessment. And because I didn’t listen…God (as he usually has to do with me) kicked up the volume a little bit.
I ran out of student loan…and have pursued every possible avenue I can think of, but despite this, I am going to be place on Financial Suspension for my PhD until my account is settled. I can make payments as I am able to do so and am really planning on having it so that I am re-instated at the start of 2013. What this does is take 2 or 3 huge things off my plate (on the aforementioned list it would be items 1-4 off my plate…though I will still work on #2 and #4 but it will be on the side) for a bit. This will allow me to work my 2 jobs, self-publish beautiful Arianna, finish the first draft of Hockey, edit existing first drafts, and have a book signing. Then in January I will have more focus as some things will be taken out of the taffy pull.
It really hurt my ego to hear that I would be Suspended as I have never had any kind of suspension in my life…but God knows I didn’t listen to any other sign I was given.

August 19, 2012

The circus inside my head

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:45 pm
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Okay…so on any given day, there is a plethora of chaos in my head. Anyone who has had tried to carry a conversation with me knows this…and part of the chaos is the joy of being a writer. On my wall, you may have seen the picture, are 20 or so stories with their own characters and plot lines and they are in a constant state of intermingling in my head. It is like a perpetual family reunion, except this is a family where I love everyone and there is not a random weird relative that everyone worries about.
So, as it happens when projects come to an ending of a stage, the chaos becomes, well…chaotic. Everyone wants to be next…and who wouldn’t want to be next…next to be written or next to be edited…
I am at an interesting position right now in that Arianna’ Honor is almost ready to click “send” to publication…and so I have other novels I started before that are yelling “PICK ME!!!” “EDIT ME!!!!” “CREATE MY COVER!!!” “OOOH. MY TURN”
On the other side of things…”Hockey” is almost done with its first draft. So I have all my new story ideas screaming as well. “WRITE ME!” “I’ll be fun” “I’ll practically write myself” “PICK ME”
It is a fun place to be in my head right now…it is a circus where every story is trying to out do the other stories, a feat made even more spectacular because they are all supportive of each other, even in their competition because they know as long as I keep working on one of them, each of them will eventually get its chance.
Right now I am leaning toward finishing Broken Trust next and writing “Football” but we will see what the circus in my head comes up with

August 12, 2012

Still Counting

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:53 pm
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“Look deep into yourself before you blame all others for betrayal” Still Counting — Volbeat
A friend whom I have come to value more and more, in a conversation that started because of a song that got stuck in her head, challenged me to write about this song by Volbeat so that she wouldn’t mind as much if the song got stuck in her head. Challenge accepted, my friend.
Many of the words in the song are actually very fitting in my life right now, but in an effort to keep some modicum of privacy in this very public forum, I will write about this line in particular.
I lie to myself and betray myself all the time (otherwise the people who work in my gym would know me by name). Lying to myself opens the door for others to do the same. The outcome of this internal (and corresponding external) betrayal is a definitive lack of trust for the words that come out of my mouth. Case in point: “I will get Arianna’s Honor ready to publish by the end of May…nope June…nope July.” In this I have betrayed not only myself, but my characters and my friends who are waiting to meet those characters. The hesitation of publishing my 2nd novel is, of course, the ultimate betrayal because all I talk about is getting my novels out there and letting people meet my characters.
Every time I betray myself on this, every time I push back my date, my beautiful Muse (whom I have lied to far too often but somehow she still stands …well, flies by me) looks at me with hope that maybe this time I mean it.
I have been on that side of things. I know what it is to live in the “maybe this time I won’t be disappointed” world, and I hate that I have caused people (both real and imaginary) to feel this way. This stops now.
So thank you, my friend, for choosing this song to get stuck in your head, for it provided the much appreciated impetus for some much needed introspection and a promise to myself to stop lying and just get shit done.

August 11, 2012

Right Here, Right Now

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:38 pm
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“Right here, right now, there is no other place I’d rather be.” Right here, right now — Jesus Jones

Okay, so that song lyric is not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me God…but it’s a goal, and I think it’s a relatively good one to have.
I spend a lot of time looking forward. It is, on one hand, the way I get and keep my momentum to accomplish my aspirations. On the other hand, it can (and has been) be argued that I spend so much time in the “then” that I completely disregard the “now.”
I picture myself on a beach, writing 8-10 hours a day, loving the knowledge that my novels are out in the world, that my characters are out there for people to love or hate or disregard compleltey…but they exist outside of my head. My educational writings are used as reference material or paperweights, but again, exist in tangible form. This is the “then” that I dream of…will I get there? While there are no certainties in life, I wouldn’t bet against me.
But my “now” is not my “then.” No where near in fact…and that has been what I have been focused on…how much better my “then” will be compared to my “now.” I’ll be happier, I’ll exercise more, I’ll find another love I can’t walk away from, I’ll have more money…I’ll just have a better life.
Now I’m sure some of those could very well turn out to be true…but now without my changing my mind frame. It’s not an “us vs. them” situation…or more to the point, a “now vs. then” situation. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing..or perhaps better expressed, I don’t have to pine toward the all of “then” and bemoan the nothing of “now.”
Can I write 8-10 hours a day now? No, of course not. I work two jobs, am finishing my PhD, and like occasional sleep…but can I write every day, even for 2-3 hours, thus establishing the habit now…for then? Yes, this I can do. Will I be happier if this happens? Of course.
Can I exercise more “now” thus making it less work to do “then?” OF course…will I? Hmmm….
Will I find another love I can’t walk away from? It seems likely if I put myself out there that this could happen.
Will I have more money? Hopefully…or at least less debt. Just as with exercise, every pound I lose or bill I pay now leads to a healthier then.
Will I be happier? Not unless I let of the negative energy NOW.

August 4, 2012

64 much needed kicks in the ass

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelle sodaro @ 1:08 pm
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So, my life has been under a fair amount of stress lately…and it is safe to say that the stress has been winning…and thenĀ a question last night caused me to look into something I had been avoiding…A student asked how many books I had sold. How many copies of Whatever you Make of It had been sold. Well, I told him 40 because I suddenly found it very, very odd that I didn’t know…hadn’t been paying attention…had honestly been a little scared to look. This morning…I looked. And the numbers are only current through March so far, but as of March, there are 64 copies of my book in this world. How shiny is that!!!! 64 people (or more, if they shared their copy with a friend as Rebecca does in the book) have met Jac and Jyn and Johnathon and Rebecca. 64 people have met some of my favorite fictional people. They may have loved them, they may have hated them, but the point is that they have met my characters.

I feel motivated. I feel energized. I am so close to everything I have wanted…and I have been letting stress win for far too long. This is ridiculous. I need to do my jobs, yes, to the best of my ability. I need to take care of things as I am able. I need to work on my doc. Yes, yes, yes. Of course I need to do these things. They are a part of life…but I need to make sure that EVERY DAY I am making moves toward my goal of getting my other characters out there in the world for people to know. So let’s go, Mich. Do this. You can’t fix everything in your life right now. You can however get your books finished and out in the world.

Lately it has felt that I have been kicked in the teeth everytime I turn around…learning that 64 people (at least) have met my fictional friends…yeah, that’s a much needed kick in the ass.

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