Sodaro's Stories

May 29, 2013

Halfway to Hermit

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 7:10 pm
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So, it always happens when finals come around and grades and projects are due…that I look around at my students and fellow teachers, where I collect final exams and final papers, and I fully embrace…everything about hermit-hood (poetic license). Yes, of course I love teaching. Yes, I love the bright and shining faces of my adult learners as they mathematically figure out what they need on the final exam…and the deluge of late papers and current papers is a breath of fresh air…YES, this is why I teach…er….well…perhaps I should move on to the point of my blog today.
It always happens around this time in the quarter, where I want to take a bit of a break from the day-to-day routine of teaching and being around people, and I want to just grab my pen and whatever blank, lined paper I can find and completely hermit-out for a bit. I want to write. I want to play with my fictional characters in their fictional worlds and leave real people and real worlds for a little while…and I always know, that no matter how much I hermit-out, that I will still stay in contact with friends and family and people who support my goals and my novels…people who have met and cared for my fictional characters as more and more of my novels become finished. I will always stay in contact with the real world…but as it always happens at this time in the quarter, I prefer for my contact to be virtual rather than actual for a bit.
Everything lately, from divination crystals to tarot card readings to my horoscope to my gut feeling, even to IHOP waitresses I meet for the first time…everything is pointing in the same direction at current…and it is all pointing toward writing being my primary focus. I am listening Universe…I am listening…and what’s more…I am ready.
I have finals to grade from today through Saturday, and then…you might not see the real me (you can of course always find the virtual me) for a little bit. There are no wounds to heal…no hiding from the world…there is just absolute peace in the knowledge that for the next little bit…I am supposed to be writing as much as I possibly can. And so I will be doing just that…hermit-like, yet still social.

May 15, 2013

Segues of a Sequel

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 6:25 pm
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Okay…so I did think a bit for this post title as I enjoy alliteration and segue is my favorite word…but it is also apropos (yes, another favorite) to what I am currently working on…so perhaps you’ll forgive me.
When a friend and fellow writer finished Arianna’s Honor and told me I needed to get working on her sequel because I left everything with one hell of a cliffhanger, I agreed with him wholeheartedly. My muse clapped and danced because more people loved Arianna. I wanted to work on Ari — of course — I mean I have known and loved her for many years longer than anyone else possibly could have, but I wanted to finish the first draft of Redeeming Trust first — clear that off my plate. I wanted to get through the grading-intensive part of what may very well be my last busy teaching quarter (if I am reading the signs of the universe correctly). I wanted to blah, blah, blah…
So one day I was grading, and of course, my Muse was bored and pouting loudly, and she did the one thing that always gets me writing…she whispered, “how about we try…” and suddenly I had an opening line for Arianna’s Destiny.
One of the best parts of a sequel, is that the characters are already established. Consequently, one of the challenges of a sequel is that the characters are already established. The writing comes smoothly because you take characters that are already set in the author’s mind as well as in the readers’ minds. You don’t have to introduce the characters or have that awkward first-date, getting to know you on a superficial level, beginning of any relationship. You know the characters — you have loved them, laughed and celebrated with them, cried and raged with them. If you, as an author, have done your job, the readers have done these thing with your characters as well.
The problem with this is that you can’t decide a character in the first novel, doesn’t fit his personality in the sequel. You can’t decided that someone has a different personality or a different name because it fits with they plot you are creating now. You can have a character grow, of course, and really should if he or she is to be believable…(can you imagine how short Arianna’s Honor would have been in Nicholas showed no growth? Ari can only tolerate so much nonsense)…So yes, growth can occur — but not such a personality overhaul as to make the character unrecognizable. There has to be a segue to explain the change and it has to appear a natural progression from what was to what is.
Another segue of sequels is filling in the blanks of the passing of time (if any) that has occurred since the ending of the previous book. In the case of Arianna, the time lapsed has to be expressed in terms of what Ari has been doing, what Nicholas, Peter, and David have been doing in that same time frame. This is easiest done with a voice over “Since we last left our heroes…”but in a novel for, it is a bit more difficult.
So happy to be playing with Arianna again.

May 13, 2013

a bit…hermit

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:20 pm
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For the past couple of years, when it gets to this part of my teaching quarter and the make-up work begins to rush in, I always find myself wanting, more than a little, to be a hermit…I want a bit to hide away from the world and everyone in it, and just write.
Knowing that the next quarter (at least, maybe longer) my work responsibilities are lessened, knowing that I will get so so so much time to write and work on projects, my desire to hide away from the world is even stronger…because it is so close and it is going to be so amazing…and I am not the most patient on my best day (and goodness knows the end of the quarter is never my best day).
I want to write. I want to get Broken Trust published. I want to get Ten by Ten going. I want the draft of Arianna’s Destiny written. I want to work on my poetry and I want to work on my research. So excited about this gift of time…but not just yet…as badly as I want to hermit, I need to hold on to my people skills a bit longer. Sigh…

May 8, 2013


I had lunch with an amazing friend who reminded me that since she has known me, my adjective of choice, has been “shiny”…so I thought I would take a moment to recognize how very shiny certain aspects of my life are, at current.
**I am writing every day. This is my present and will most certainly be my future…and I can think of nothing shinier than when it is my “Job” to get up and write every day. I can handle that 40+ hours a week without any problem what-so-ever
**I have two novels published and 5 first drafts waiting to be edited, covered, and published.
**I have someone who is crazy talented working on 2 of the aforementioned covers.
**I am talking to people about my writing every day.
**Every time I get blue or start feeling lonely, I pick up either Whatever You Make of It or Arianna’s Honor and somehow I don’t feel lonely any more.
**I have an amazing support system of friends and family and any time I question my path, they are there to ask me about a character or a book.
**I have let go of people who are not truly on my side and my life is more peaceful for the releasing of them.
**The Universe has indicated in signs obvious enough for me to be able to see them without question, that my teaching chapter is coming to a close and my author chapter is staring to come into full focus.
**The next three months (minimum) I have time to write and read and complete projects.
**I am getting new tattoos soon.
**I have met people who I may not want to date per se, but that at least give me faith in the gender.
**I have a strong start to Arianna’s Destiny and it is going to be fantastic.
**As I continue writing and talking about writing, I have met the most amazing and creative people who just keeps motivation and creativity up to standards.
**I love my life. So Shiny.

May 5, 2013

Puzzle Pieces

It is always an amazing feeling when the puzzles pieces start to go from a pile of random, unrelated, bits of an image to a collective, beautiful picture, where even if you can’t see how every single piece is going to fit…you at least get enough of the image to know that you are on the right track and the picture you are creating will be worth the work you are putting in to building it.
I have made mention before of the landmarks which have solidified my goal of being an author. Holding my first copy of Whatever you Make of It was epic in that I knew there would be no more back burner for my books. The cacophony in my head of my other stories wanting it to be their turn made sure any thoughts of not publishing future books were never heard…in all honesty no such thoughts ever even formed. Holding my first copy of Arianna’s Honor let me know what it was for a parent to love two separate children equal amounts, and unique ways and to do so simultaneously. My first book signing gave me a glimpse at the image being created by my puzzle pieces.
Every quarter I have aimed for the idea of writing more, promoting more, doing more work on my author’s life puzzle. It has been my goal for many quarters now to get more pieces of the puzzle together…and I have made great strides in that direction, but time is not always my friend, or at least it hasn’t always been my friend.
In the amazing way the universe works, I have been given an incredible gift…a trial, if you will, where I get to be an author full-time and a teacher part-time. I don’t know if this gift has a time limit or if this next quarter is truly the beginning of the completion of the puzzle, but I plan to make use of every single day and acknowledge it for the gift that it is.
I am going to get more of the puzzle put together. I am going to work on the writing part (of course), I am going to work on the promotion part of the puzzle with a website and my blog and Facebook and Twitter. I am going to work on my poetry puzzle pieces. I am going to begin writing articles about writing and education for that part of the puzzle. I am going to talk about writing, I am going to talk about my books, I am going to get Broken Trust polished and shiny and ready for publication to add to that part of the puzzle.
There are people who can’t visualize my puzzle and there are people who see the picture so clearly that they help me put a piece in place when I am needing that extra hand or hug. The people who can’t see the whole picture; maybe someday they will…maybe they never will, but regardless, my puzzle will get closer to whole during this gift of time. Thank you, Universe…for helping some of the tricky puzzle pieces fall into place so that I could focus more on the picture and keep it in my sights at all times.

May 2, 2013

Getting what I Wanted all Along

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 2:51 pm
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So I have been wanting to focus more on writing…I have wanted to really embrace life as an author and just write. I have wanted to finish more projects, publish more novels, just BE an author. I have taught for 16 years now, and I still love it, mostly, but writing has finally become my true passion, and that which I want to pursue more than anything else. I have been praying for, wishing for, hoping for…more time to pursue my author life. I am getting what I wanted all along.
For the June quarter, I will only be teaching 2 classes. I won’t (as of now) be working anywhere else, though I will still be applying for other jobs as needed. Two classes, and they are both ones I have taught before…so no new prep-work…wow…my muse has not stopped dancing since we found out. She has already made plans of how my days and nights will be spent. I will be working on getting more novels ready to publish. I will be writing articles. I will be working on building up my number of readers. I will get to a full-time author and part-time teacher. Yup…it’s what I have wanted all along.
It is really amazing when the universe is exactly in line with what you want for yourself. I’m not only on the right path…I’m making the right moves on the right path. I wanted to be able to write 8 hours a day every day…and there will, of course, be days when I don’t get in 8 full hours…there will also be days when I am reading (which is just as vital…to stay current with the flow of words), there will be days when I am hanging out with friends and family and interacting with people or simply observing people (studying dialogue and body movements), there will be days when I am working on my PhD (slowly…I’m giving myself some time to come back to this). Basically, I will be doing what I have been asking for the opportunity to do…and I will be loving every minute of it.
I am getting what I have always wanted…and I plan on making use of every minute of it…I’m stocking up on shiny pens and blank paper, and I’m getting ready to live life as a full-time author. This is going to be so much fun!!!!

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