Sodaro's Stories

March 31, 2015

March reflection

So for those of you paying attention, I have a word count goal and a miles walked goal for each month (30,000 words and 50 miles respectively). This month I got to 21596 words and 34 miles. So still making progress and still have progress to be made. I am also proud to report, in the month of February, I had one pop and in the month of March, I had one pop. (For those of you who know me, you know this is kind of a big deal as I am absolutely a Coca-Cola addict).

Also this month, I have made progress on different projects, got my house a bit organized, and am reassessing my finances to make everything I want to happen a possibility. Also…and if you wouldn’t mind a bit of a drum roll…I am one final read-through away from letting Broken Trust out in to the world. A few more tweaks…a tiny change here and there…a tightening up of the timeline…and I am ready to click send on my fourth novel. (It feels surreal every time I say that…fourth novel…that’s kinda cool…).

I am positive about the future. It is becoming all that I have planned for it to be and I couldn’t have written its events better than they turn out on their own, though I really wish my life was a novel so I could “peek” ahead a few chapters as I have some questions how some events turn out.

Looking ahead…Redeeming Trust goes to editing pile. Ben and Sam had their story in Broken and now it is Ali’s turn in its sequel. So first and foremost, it will be to get Redeeming Trust  farther along the path to its publication. Also on the game plan is to work on the Lucky Charms series (First Down, Stealing Second, and Hat Trick). So hang tight gang…this year is just getting started for me. Glad you’re along for the ride.

March 29, 2015

My Roots are Showing

Don’t worry…my hair is fine. I still make sure to keep it blonde.

Recently, one of my closest friends, who is as amazing a writer as she is a person, recently, she followed her heart and moved to Texas. I couldn’t be happier for her finally embracing her true geographic destiny. She is living FEARLESS and I couldn’t be more excited or more proud of her.

Her move got me thinking about my geographic “home” and I was actually surprised at what I realized. I have always called Chicago home and have always just thought that Kansas City was just a place I was passing through. I have moved around the Kansas City area more times than I can count…those of you who have known me have probably given up trying to keep track of where I live.

I was looking at my novels, as I do with every major decision in my life, and I am happy to report the trend I noticed in the novels I have been working on currently…of the next seven novels I will publish, all of them are set in Kansas City. As I was looking at them, I realized I am very comfortable having my characters call Kansas City home, and if my characters are comfortable here, if this is where they work hard and play hard and fall in love and raise their families…if Kansas City is good enough for the fictional people who live in my head, then it is good enough for me too.

And for those of you who are curious…the novels that are set in Kansas City are: Broken Trust, Redeeming Trust, First Down, Stealing Second, Hat Trick. Driven West, and Seducing Cupid. 

March 27, 2015

The Trouble with Time

As I write this, I have seven drafts of novels that are “done” enough for me to move them from the “to be written” pile to the “To Be Revised” pile (and of course, makes room for more novel ideas to be put in the “To Be Written” pile, but before I do that — keep in mind friends, I have over 25 novels that are just in the “started” phase — just a chapter or two on each of them) so before I take an idea and give it some chapters to go into the “To Be Written” pile, I need to take some of those seven drafts and take them from the “To Be Revised” pile to the “To Be Published” pile, which is, of course the ultimate goal for all of them.

So the “trouble with time” if I can call it that (I know, hard to find sympathy for the poor author who has too many drafts of novels) is two-fold, and isn’t it fun when that works out? The first fold is literal time. Having a full-time teaching job, which I love, is a bit on the time-consuming side of things such as any full-time job would be. I have gotten better at letting go of the job once I log off, a task I could never accomplish as a younger teacher. Even still, revising takes time and concentration and for people like me with so many projects and perhaps some self-diagnosed ADD this can be problematic because I don’t want to lose momentum on the novels in my “To Be Written” pile because I have really learned that writing a cohesive draft of a novel should be done while the author is in the same “place” in her life.

Which leads to the second part of the “trouble” with time. Four of the seven drafts I have in the “To Be Revised” pile were written between 5-10 years ago and to quote Brandon Heath’s song again, “I’m not who I was.” Those of you who have known me can protest this and say I am still the same lovely person. I’ve always been and I will virtually hug you say “thank you.” But I’m not the same person I was and I am really not the same author I was. Life and the people who come in and out of it have shaped me both as an author and a person. I’m not who I was.

Trying to revise something I wrote then, as the person and author I am now, takes some doing, takes some time…and sometimes it seems as if I just need to scrap it and start over — but I don’t, not completely…because the foundation is still strong and the characters are still waiting for their story to make it to the “To Be Published” pile…all it takes is time.

*For those of you who are curious — the novels in the “To Be Revised” pile are Crusin for Love10X10, Back on Track #1, Back on Track #2, Redeeming Trust, First Down, and Hat Trick. (Broken Trust is now in the To be Published pile)

March 25, 2015

Holcruxes

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 4:00 am
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Okay — I’m going to Harry Potter-geek out for a minute, but after watching the set of movies again this past weekend (let’s not concern ourselves with how many times I have watched the series).

So Voldemort (look at me, so bravely saying his name) discovered he could stretch his soul and put parts of his soul in various objects with the idea that he could then never be killed. (Spoiler alert — he was wrong.)

Now He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named (let’s not tempt fate) had to kill people to stretch his soul. I have never killed anyone (well…fictionally I have, but that is an occupational hazard), but I still feel that I have holcruxes…I feel that every novel I have published, every draft I have written, ever story idea I have started, ever non-fiction project I have planned — I feel that there is a bit of me in every one of these.

And when I’m gone from this world…my holcruxes — my novels and projects, will live on forever. (Just no one stab any of my books…I do think that would kill me).

March 23, 2015

Ah…Spring…fickle fickle girl

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 8:38 pm
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So Friday was the first day of Spring for 2015 and I have to say, it was the perfect example of what the first day of Spring should always be…the kind of day I would put in any novel that had its setting during Spring. It was in the 50s, sunny, windy, and just all-around yummy.

It should be a rule that the first day of Spring is not only a National holiday, but also has to be sunny and spring-like. think about how great that would be — we all had a day to just pause from our busy lives and just enjoy the sunshine. More than likely, I would fill my day off with writing just as others would, no doubt, fill it with laundry or chores or all of those things we never seem to have enough time to get done…more than likely kids would take to their bicycles just as adults would take to their motorcycles — all of them needing to feel the the sunshine and warm breeze on their faces — to feel alive again after the dreariness and grayness of the winter.

What if wars could pause, greed could be forgotten, and all the idiotic reasons people are cruel to each other could just take a break on the first day of Spring and the whole world could get what Goldilocks wanted — a day that was not too hot and not too cold and was just right…just the perfect day.

Okay, is there any question I spend a LOT of my time writing fiction???

March 15, 2015

small victories…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 11:54 pm
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Sometimes I get so anxious I can hardly take a full, deep breath. Writing always helps me with this. Some people also help…they bring out a calm that I want to just bottle it up (which seems a better alternative than kidnapping them). Today and yesterday, I have had so much productivity and each day I have written over 2500 words each day…I have gotten up early and stayed up late, organizing and writing, planning and reading and it has been amazing.

Today’s anxiety was from getting over stimulated with all of my projects. It’s usually pretty chaotic in my mind, but there is normally some organization in my chaos. This weekend with all of the progress I made all over the place, it was like that fake peanut brittle can…and you take the lid off and fake snakes jump out all over the place.

I went for a walk at Happy Rock park today to ease the anxiety. Breathing in the fresh air and listening to Pandora really helped me to get the anxiety down. So to celebrate my small victory over my anxiety, I took myself to Starbucks where I wrote for 3 hours and felt focused and calm.

I feel I have made a small victory over my pop addiction. I’ve only had one pop from the time I gave them up, which is over a month and a half now…and the pop I had was at the airport when I was told they had no pilot to get me back to Kansas City (we did end up having a pilot, obviously…).

I hope writing always helps me. I hope the friends who help me stay calm don’t get tired of me needing a hand every now and then. I hope the weather stays nice enough for me to walk as often as I can.

March 12, 2015

Cautiously Optimistic

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:05 pm
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Sometimes things make sense and you have a good overall feeling about them. Maybe it’s sending a novel to my reader and my editor…and maybe it’s having a beer with a friend…maybe it’s having a job that you appreciate that reciprocates that appreciation…maybe it’s deciding you’re not afraid to take that next step and knowing that you are headed in the right direction because it all makes sense.

I turn 40 in a couple of months and in my time on this planet I have learned that some times things are going in the right direction and you have to just ride it out and trust in things and people. It’s hard to do…sometimes it’s hard to do with the fictional characters I created in my head for my novels…sometimes they don’t do what they are supposed to do, but sometimes their ideas are even better than my game plan. Sometimes this happens with real people too…sometimes they surprise you…sometimes it’s even in good ways. (haha)

I have discovered the benefits of being cautiously optimistic. Not looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, those have long since been stripped away, but being hopeful about a future I am working hard to make a reality. Not trusting every person I come across, but still having enough trust for those who haven’t yet broken it. My eyes are wide open, and I am very cautiously optimistic about my life right now.

March 11, 2015

Taking a breather

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelle sodaro @ 12:15 am
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So…I sent Broken Trust to my reader and to my editor this afternoon and I was so excited to send it off…on one hand it means the novels gets one step closer to being out into the world. On the other hand…I get a breather for a few days.
I have been so focused on editing this novel and getting Ben to be stronger as a character and the plot overall to be stronger. I have written a tiny bit on future projects, but it had been minimal to get Broken Trust ready to go.
I won’t give myself much down time…too many other projects to rest for long. I can’t afford to lose any momentum. But tonight…I will sit back and read another author’s creation. Ahhhhhh….

March 9, 2015

doing something right…

Robert Frost said, “No tears in the author; no tears in the reader. No surprise in the author; no surprise in the reader.”

I think this is absolutely true…I have always said that I write novels I would l like to read with characters I would like to meet. And so far…I have.

It’s always a mystery to me…the process that I go through…there are times when I am writing the first draft and I am not even aware of the words I am putting on the page. My characters act out the scene in my mind and I just work to keep up…These are the scenes that I very seldom have to change much on in the revising/editing phase…and I love these scenes!!!! (There are also scenes where it is a fight to put one word down after another, where I am very aware of the characters staring at me as if it was my first day…these are the scenes that take A LOT of polishing, changing, deleting and starting over).

So far in my novels, there have been a few scenes in each one where I am cheering along with or crying along with my characters…where I am yelling out YES!!!!! YES!!! WAHOOOOOO!!!! There are also scenes where I am screaming NOOOOOO!!!!!! And these scenes let me know I am doing things right. If the scenes can still affect my emotions even when I wrote them and know what is coming next…know how it all works out…then hopefully, they will affect my readers in the same way (from the people who have read and talked to me about Whatever you Make of It, Arianna’s Honor, and  Arianna’s Destiny their reactions have been similar to mine, so again, I must be doing something right.

Broken Trust Update

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:04 am
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So I have been working hard to type the edits of Broken Trust that I made. The changes I made were to have a stronger male character…Ben. I liked Ben as I like all of my characters, but he left me wondering if he was good enough for Sam. She was strong and really deserved a love that would inspire her art. He wasn’t there…he wasn’t strong enough, he wasn’t brave enough…he just wasn’t “enough” for her. Sam was strong. Ali is so strong she barely stays on the page, and I can’t wait to take her story on in Redeeming Trust, which is my next revision project, after I get Broken Trust out into the world.

I have typed through chapter 33 so far…there are (of course) 40 chapters. I am going to type tonight as far as I can and hope to be able to send them off to my reader and my editor. I have had so many people volunteer to be my reader…and I love it…but there is always the danger of too many cooks in the kitchen…too much advice before it’s published. My reader is one who doesn’t pull any punches and tells me about any plot holes I have. She makes my final revision so much easier, as does my reader who is focusing on grammar.

Tomorrow, I will work on the set up I need to do with BookBaby and look at the cover and things I need to do. I am making progress…and continuing to streamline the process.

Broken Trust  is getting closer and closer…I can’t wait to share it with all of you. I can’t wait for you to meet Ben, Sam and Ali.

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