Sodaro's Stories

June 30, 2013

Reflecting Reflection

I was thinking about this month as I woke up this morning…it’s had a lot of writing packed in 30 little days. I am on chapter 17 of Arianna’s Destiny and that is moving along quite nicely. It has a strong edit/rewrite of Broken Trust which has been a long time coming. It has had notes made on existing projects as well as notes started on projects that do not yet exist. As per a friend’s invite to the 30 Days of Blog, it has had (almost) daily blogging (I think I missed 3 days throughout the course of the month) which has been a fantastic way to find new friends and writers to talk with.
I have enjoyed working on my full-time author gig and it is my absolute goal to enjoy this particular “job” for as long as it is possible for me to do so. I have been job searching, of course…I don’t know what the Universe’s entire plan for me is, but I know it involves me working on my novels, and I have a really strong feeling that while my role may change, my time spent with education is not over yet, which is good…because I am not ready to leave that area quite yet.
I need to read more. I need to have more balance in that aspect of my life. There are so many books that I want to read, so many I need to read…there are friends who have asked me for feedback/editing on their projects and I have just been so absorbed by having free time to write, that I have put things on the back burner. For this I do apologize…I also offer up the information with a smile that for the first time in far too long, I am making the progress as a full-time author that I have wanted to make all along. But it is good to have balance in all things…and my time needs to be spent in writing AND reading AND helping others.
I have also exercised more in this month than I have in previous months…and that will most definitely continue. I want it to become the daily habit that writing is…where I feel off if I haven’t exercised on a given day…it surely makes me twitchy when I go a day without putting pen to paper. It should get the same way when I haven’t read or exercised as well. It is a gradual process, but one I intend on improving.
For future months, I may or may not blog every day…some days I just don’t have a lot to say outside of my novels. I will write every day. I will promote my writing and make new friends and writer-connection. I will have the goal to read and exercise every day. So…I will continue, every day, to make progress on turning the life I want in to the life I have.

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June 29, 2013

Coming Alive

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:11 am
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“Don’t give up on me -I’m about to come alive.”
“About to come Alive” Train
My muse has been through every job that put writing on the back burner, every relationship that became a distraction, she has been with me through every thing…and she has never ceased to believe in my novels, my writing, my characters…or me.
Now I stand on the edge of my future. I feel more alive than I ever have before. I am writing and planning and making progress on a life I always wanted to live, and now I am about to come alive. I am standing on the edge of everything I have ever wanted…and my muse just dances and dances and dances.
People tell me I seem happier than I have in years, and they are right. I am ready for this. I am excited by my life…and I am ready for anything that comes my way.
Thank you,  muse, for standing by me, for not giving up me, and for being ready for me to come alive. 

June 26, 2013

FOCUS

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:38 pm
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“Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.” Ernest Hemingway
It is so easy to focus on what you do not have. You don’t have enough money, you don’t have a relationship. You don’t have the physical health you want. You don’t have this. You don’t have that. Before you know it, your mind has spiraled out of control and you forget why you even got out of bed this morning.
Then, that small voice whispers to you…”wait.” And you picture in your head the future you have dreamt of…you picture the steps that will lead you to that future. You picture yourself working every day, building every day, making progress toward your every goal…
I needed this reminder…I needed to remember to focus right now. I need to keep my end goal in sight. I need to work toward that goal every single day. I need to do this. My “gift of time” has no definite end date, and I need to make use of this blessing. I need to keep the negative thoughts at bay and I need to remind myself that everything I do now, is for the future I know will come.
Of course I could use more money. I don’t know a single person that couldn’t. And I am teaching my classes. I am searching for another source of income. I am praying for direction. Of course I would love to have a relationship, but where I am right now, it would be very close to a distraction, and I need to focus. Yes, I could be in better physical health, but I am working every day to get there.
What I need to do, is think, as Hemingway said, of all that I can do with what I have. I can write full time right now. I can improve ME in any way I need to. I can breathe.
Don’t lose faith now. Just hold on to that image that is in your head and work toward it.

June 25, 2013

My Day Job

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 5:43 pm
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Right now, I have an amazing day job. I enjoy the job I work in the evenings as well, I enjoy teaching. I would also enjoy working with students in a more advisory role, which is something I am looking into.
But right now, I am writing from 6 to 10 hours a day, making progress on my novels and projects. I am writing and researching and reading and it is amazing. I have wanted this for a day job for some time now, have dreamed of it, have prayed for it, have wanted it with everything in me. I have wanted to be a full-time author and I plan to have this full-time job for as long as I possibly can (I of course would love for this to be permanent, but that remains to be seen. I don’t pretend to know all of the universe’s plans for me. I do know that I am supposed to write and edit and move as many projects over to the Done pile as I can. That much I know I am supposed to do…and I am loving every minute of it. I am loving each day I get to put pen to paper and with word I write, I feel more free and am able to breathe more and more easily than I ever have in my life.
My muse is loving this as well. The good days, when the day job is no effort at all…when the writing flows out of me lie water from a faucet turned on full…my muse dances and twirls and this day job is all that she and I ever hoped for…even the bad days, when the writing is more like the trickle drip of a faucet not turned completely off, it is an amazing journey.
Yes, I love my day job right now…and I don’t mind having a second job…as long as my primary job is being an author.

June 24, 2013

Switching Channels

Right now I am editing Broken Trust and I am writing Arianna’s Destiny and even though the editing of the former has turned into a rewrite/blend, I am unwilling to lose any momentum with Ari’s sequel (unwilling…afraid…whatever…Ari is VERY talented with a blade).
Making daily progress on both of these novels is a very unique experience as they are COMPLETELY different from setting to characters (though they are best of friends in my head). IT really feels like I am watching two TV programs and keep switching back and forth between the two because I love them equally (it’s hard to imagine this happening with two TV programs that currently exist).
I have a strong chapter one to Broken Trust now and will type that up and see what my reader thinks. I am strong into chapter 15 of Arianna’s Destiny and things are really speeding up there. It is a fun place in my head…and as long as I make progress scene by scene and chapter by chapter, there is peace among the chaos.
I know that the next book I want to publish is Broken Trust. It is high time the world meets Ali, Sam, and Ben. Then I think I may publish Arianna’s Destiny and then Redeeming Trust (which is the sequel to Broken…).
It is so fun to have Arianna and her team working with Ali, Sam, and Ben and of course the rest of the characters in my head wanting progress for both. It is not divided in my mind…there is no “Team Arianna” and “Team Sam” they are all on board as long as progress is being made, because the more projects I finish, the closer the next project is to being on the channel in my head.

June 23, 2013

Squares into Circles

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 4:26 pm
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“If I’m not blind why can’t I see
That a circle can’t fit where a square should be.”
“Hole Hearted” Extreme
This song lyric could be used to describe a relationship that seems forced or a job that doesn’t quite fit a person’s character naturally (both aspects would be true enough in my life at one time or another).
I started Broken Trust when I was still teaching high school. This was when I was still playing at being an author. I made safer choices. I looked before I leaped. I kept words like “someday” and “if” and “maybe” when I discussed publishing my novels. I also remember wondering if Broken Trust had enough of a story to tell…the answer is no, not as it currently exists. Though the characters certainly have a story to tell.
My goal this month was to edit Broken Trust and get it ready for publication — then to do the same with its sequel, Redeeming Trust. A do-able goal, to be sure as I have the editing skill and know-how to do so.
I knew I wanted the first three chapters to really pop — really grab the reader by the back of the head and make it so they had no choice but to finish the novel. 3 is a good number for my OCD, but it was also based on that being what many publishers use to determine their interest in a novel as well as most readers deciding whether or not to keep reading.
The three chapters as they existed were fine…they would suffice. But they didn’t really make Ali, Ben, or Sam all that they could be…all that they exist as in my head.
I though maybe I could just move some chapters around…get the beginning to where I wanted it…then this song lyric popped in my head, and I realized I was trying to force the beginning so that it would be less work.
A friend asked me if I had fears of publishing my 3rd book. He may see this starting Broken Trust over as a sign that I am afraid and therefore postponing…quite the contrary. I want Broken Trust to be as shiny on paper as it is in my head. I don’t want to force squares into circles. I want to create the circle that fits naturally and perfectly.

The trouble with time

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 4:17 am
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So, the trouble with time is that it changes things. I have 5 first drafts done and sitting in a crate. Recent conversations with friends has reminded me that those novels sitting in crates need to be finished….
One of the novels, Broken Trust, was started about 10 years ago, and is going to be the next one I publish. The trouble is that in the decade since I started this novel,  some things have changed.
I have learned more about its characters,  Ben, Sam, and Ali.
I have learned more about writing and am free to be more courageous with my writing.
I am more mature (in some areas, sort of…once in a while).
My life has changed and with every experience,  my novels have more things to choose from.
I am more willing to take chances and not needing to hide as much.
I know where I want the first three chapters of Broken Trust to get to…and I was going to try to rearrange and shape the existing novel from what I had….dinner at Perkins tonight showed me that what I need to do is start over and the add in the story later. 
I firmly believe that every story gets told EXACTLY  when it is meant to…and things needed to happen the way they did to get my novel where it needed to be…I’ve got some work ahead of me.

June 21, 2013

The hard part

Writing is the easy part…when the words just dance across the page and there is very little thinking involved. I always feel like my characters act out the scenes in front of me and it is my job to just get the actions and the dialogue down on the paper. This is not the hard part…even on bad writing days, this is the easy part.
The hard part is the editing. When you have to make sure that the novel on the pages in front of you is as shiny as it exists in your head. When you put the characters under the microscope. Are they described well enough? Are their character traits specific? Do they appear as real in the minds of the reader as they do in the mind of the author. It’s nerve-wracking and stressful. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by this task. But I will persevere. I will get my book edited and make it one step closer to get published. This will happen. I have done this before and the end result was more than worth it.
I edited Whatever you Make of It and Arianna’s Honor and they were both stronger for the doing of it. Broken Trust is now on the editing table, and it will not only make the story of Ben and Sam stronger, it will also set a more compelling story for Ali and Vince in Redeeming Trust, which will next on the editing table. All the while I will be continuing to write the first draft of Arianna’s Destiny and how fun is it to be in my head right now 😀

June 20, 2013

Now

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 9:52 pm
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“There is no perfect time to write. There is only now.” Barbara Kingsolver
I think this would pertain to just about everything in life…some people waste opportunities by waiting for the perfect time for it to occur. On the other hand, things happen right when they are meant to and not a moment before.
Right now, I have the closest thing possible to the perfect time for writing. I am making the most of it every single day,  and for the most part, I am doing well on makong progress. I still need to kick it up a notch though and make better use of  my blessing of time. After all, I never know when I will happen to have less time to use as I see fit. I need to make use of my NOW. And so I will. I am very excited for the things that are happening in my  life and the direction and I will enjoy every possibility and opportunity that comes my way…

June 19, 2013

WHEN…not if

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:43 pm
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Amazing things would be accomplished with a tiny vocabulary switch.
“When” I graduate, not “if” I graduate.
“When I buy an emu, not “if” I buy an emu.
“When” I eat 145 Butterfingers, not “if” I eat them (not recommended)…
I used to say “if I become a best-selling author”…but why, would I, as my most enthusiastic and devoted promoter, leave room for doubt in one of the most important statements about my goals???
Why would I, as a person who both loves and respects the power of words, allow for there to be an “if” in the equation at all??? “If means maybe, which also then by association,  means maybe not.
I now say “when I become a best-selling author” and doesn’t that have a nicer ring to it? Like it’s a certainty. ..it’s just a matter of time. Much better.
“If” implies there are obstacles that could run me off my path. “When” declares the goal is accomplished in spite of the obstacles. 
WHEN I become a best-selling author…yup.  I like the sound of that just fine.

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