Sodaro's Stories

February 25, 2013

It works for me.

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelle sodaro @ 7:58 pm
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Many people have made comment on the ways I do things…and yes, perhaps there are other ways that things could be done…but any athlete who doesn’t wash a pair of socks or shave or get a haircut for an entire season would understand perfectly. Maybe it’s a bunch of superstitious hogwash, maybe my writing would be the same regardless, but maybe, just maybe, the system works…and it should be respected and not messed with…at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to me if it is the system or my faith in the system…all I know is that for me, it works.
I hand write every single thing. I hand write my 90-page papers for my PhD. I handwrite every poem. I handwrite every blog. I handwrite every novel. I handwrite every lesson plan and letter of recommendation. Yes, I have heard of computers. I am using a really cute pink one right now. Yes, I do know that, in theory, I could just sit down to my shiny pink eeepc and create my stories…but when I try this…I sit and stare at the cursor waiting for the blinking to form a pattern. As of yet, no pattern has emerged. For me, the pen is a natural extension of my hand. The ideas dance around in my brain, flow down my arm, and are nicely put on paper with the shiny pen that is in my right hand. Why the ideas can’t come out of all fingers as I sit and stare at the non-patterned, blinking cursor…I don’t know. And really…I don’t care. As long as the ideas still come out, I don’t mind that I have to use a pen. There is a sense of accomplishment when I use up all the ink in a pen…that most people will never understand.
I also know that there is a chance that if I worked on only one project at a time, that I would make more progress on that one project and it would be finished at a more timely rate…this too makes sense to me in an objective way, but is not how my mind works. I currently have 4 main novels that I am working on; one is in chapter 3, one is in chapter 6, one is in chapter 8, and one is in chapter 16. Call it ADD or whatever makes your world go around, but if I am stuck on story 1, I can work on 2 to get unstuck. Or if story 4 has gotten me in a bit of a pickle, I can flip to story 3 to keep the writing going. The only thing that matters to me is keeping the writing going. (Isn’t there a science thingie about objects in motion tend to stay in motion and such jazz…)
This works for me. That is all I need to know.


February 18, 2013

this is my life

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:03 pm
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“This is my life…it’s not what it was before,
All these feelings I’ve shared.
These are my dreams — that I’ve never lived before
Some one shake me because I must be dreaming.
I’m not ashamed to be the person I am today.”
So far Away — Staind
It’s always a good day when I wake up with a Staind song in my head (and Aaron Lewis is COMPLETELY on my list of people I’d like to meet…along with Brian Urlacher and Stephen King, of course).
The universe has made it that I get to write full-time. I still teach part time…that hasn’t changed, and won’t for the foreseeable future. I have found my niche in the classroom and am teaching at a place that likes me as much as I like them. So that’s lovely.
I teach at night…and my days are full of time to write. Write on my PhD (because that WILL be finished as soon as it is conceivably possible)…write on my four primary novels (yes, you read that correctly…no, I can’t just play with one toy at a time. My muse, is beautiful and brilliant, but fickle). Write my poetry. Edit the first drafts that currently exist…
basically, I get to be the author I have wanted to be…I have a roof over my head, a family that I love and that loves me, friends that keep me strong and motivated, and an entire cast of characters from random stories who are constantly dancing and chattering in my head. This is my life. It’s not what it was before…it’s more than I could have imagined.

February 13, 2013

2012 in review

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelle sodaro @ 7:47 pm

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Party in my head

Recently my stress level has taken a much-needed and mostly permanent vacation. This happened with a simple move that probably should have happened long ago but, as with everything else, happened right when it was most beneficial to all involved.
The result of this move has been a party in my head. All of my characters are celebrating the fact that this move guarantees that I have more time to write for the foreseeable future, and what better reason to celebrate than to be able to continue to teach at a place that still feels like home, and to be able to write in a place that most definitely feels like home.
At any given time, I have a multitude of characters vying for my attention…it’s actually amazing that I can have “normal” conversations at all for all the activity in my head. With the excitement of Whatever you Make of It and Arianna’s Honor both being published and available for purchase…and the nervous energy about the upcoming book signing, all the characters want to be NEXT…what is the NEXT one to get a cover designed and edited and added to…what is the NEXT one to get ready to send out in the world. They all simultaneously want to be next and want all of their fellow characters to be next. In fact, they think it would just be fabulous if ALL of the stories could be NEXT. As the one solely responsible for putting their stories from pen to paper, I must interject that while I can keep them all in my head, writing on every story I have started (including sequels for the two that are out) would be a true and impossible challenge. Patience has never been my forte…and I have inadvertently passed this on to the fictional people in my head.
The nice thing is that it will never be lonely in my head…And I am eternally grateful for those people outside my head who tolerate the party in my head and even ask after their favorite characters. And if you ever have a conversation with me and I am not paying attention as much as I should be…I do apologize, but you’re competing with a party in my head.

February 10, 2013

The Name Game

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 6:58 pm

Those of you who know me or who have read my blog for a while, know that I struggle with names. I struggle in the real world and in the fictional worlds that I create. Part of it is I have taught for 16 years, so doing some very simple math (as if there was another kind of math I could do) let’s say I have 100 students a year…that alone is 1600 names to keep straight…not to mention co-workers, bosses, family, and the like. You add in the fact that I have about 25 novels that I have started and let’s again (for the sake of my math skills) say there are only 4 characters per novel (not possible in actuality, but this much math is hurting my brain)…that would be 100 fictional people to keep straight. So…I struggle with keeping the right name on the right person, real and fictional.
I also struggle with finding the right name, when it is in my power to do so…I, of course, don’t always rename people I meet in real life (though sometimes I do…even if it is never vocalized). My characterss names are in my control (or so my muse lets me pretend) and I like their names to mean something and to show parts of their character.
I have a cheat sheet with all of my stories and their respective character names on it so that I can remember that Mackenzie is with Ty and not with his best friend, Josh, because what a bit of a mess that would be…on the sheet, I have some names that I know I need to change, either because I have used it before too many times or because it doesn’t quite fit, but I need to call the character something. This cheat sheet helps me keep things straight. I can keep the separate plots all tidy and distinct in my head, and it is not a reflection on my characters being at all similar that I get the wrong name sometimes…every parent I know at some point has to go through the entire household list of names including the pets both past and present, before they list the name of the child they are meaning…it works the same for me and my motley crue of fictional folks.

February 5, 2013

Book Signing!!!

On March 16, 2013 from 2-4, I am having my first book signing. To say I am excited, would be a bit of an understatement. I am ordering my books and preparing for snacks and just getting everything ready. And it is surreal, but amazing all at the same time.
I know there will come a day where this is a yearly (or more) event…that I will have people who have met and fallen in love with my characters and are excited to meet my next set of characters. It is amazing and humbling to me that this already happens. When people talk to me about Jac and Jyn (or Rebecca and Johnathon) from Whatever you Make of It or Arianna and Nick from Arianna’s Honor it is an amazing feeling.
Before my book signing, I am going to do a bit of a presentation called “Birthing a Book” where I compare the book writing process to having children as there are many similarities. And though I have no direct experience with one, I do have experience with the other and from the people I have talked to…the feelings and fears and thousand of other emotions are very similar.
I am going to have a thing that I can sign for my e-book readers. I am going to have some copies of my books available for purchase. I am going to advertise the stuffing out of it…and I am going to keep faith that I am on the right path.
I am also going to get through March 16th without having an anxiety attack…I’ll let you all know how that goes.

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