Sodaro's Stories

May 31, 2015

40 years of Fabulous

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 9:24 pm
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Yesterday was my 40th birthday and from beginning of day until day’s end, I had an amazing day. I started my day with writing and ended it with drinking with friends. So Happy 4th decade to me!!

I am so excited about this new chapter of my life. I have learned so much about so many things in the time I have spent teaching, writing, living…and I am POSITIVE the lessons of all my yesterdays will continue to shape and play a role in my present and future.

I am not who I was 10 years ago…I’m not who I was 5 years ago…not even one year ago. I have a clearer view of what I want in my life as well as what I can and will do without.

With the exception of what I write in my novels, I am drama free as much as I possibly can be and still be around people. As much as it is humanly possibly to do so, I avoid overly dramatic people. This goes for negative people as well.

I am actively pursuing my author life, which IS my future. People can support me (which so many do, and I thank you from my toes to my forehead) or they don’t have to support me, but my future plan is set.

I am on the tail-end of my full-time teaching career. I love where I teach and they respect me and the job that i do, while also supporting my goals.

I have absolutely no problem walking away from something or someone unhealthy for me. Life is too short.

I will continue to get myself healthier physically, emotional, and financially. There is also a game plan for this. Just like my first novel, life is “Whatever I Make of It,” and I am going to make this decade even more amazing than my 30’s were.

May 29, 2015

And back at it…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:35 pm
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Wherever my “laurels” are, you won’t catch me resting on them for long. I could get too used to weekends of video games and movies far too easily (I miss World of Warcraft so much…LAN parties and crap food and all my guys in one place…sigh) Yeah, I could go back to that world too easily. But as odd as it sounds, there is no future for me in video games (trust me, I have checked this a LOT to make sure it’s true)…there IS however, a future for me in my novels, so it’s back to “work” (I have to put it in quotes…I enjoy every painful and fun part of it too much to really think of it as work — there are others who would say it can’t be called work because I don’t get a paycheck…just wait for it…my paycheck is coming. I know this).

So now it is time to get to work on Redeeming Trust, which is one of few first drafts I have done (I don’t say that to sound vain or like I am trying for the ‘oh poor me, look at my first drafts’). For years, i just wrote…not stopping to edit or polish or FINISH anything. (It turns out, and I was my own case study on this, if you don’t finish a novel or project, you have absolutely ZERO chance of being a best-selling author.) I have years of data to back up my statement.

Then I published Jac and Jyn’s story in Whatever you Make of It…and I knew…I want EVERY single novel of mine to have a pretty cover and filled pages. SO it’s back to work.

Now I get to “work” on getting Redeeming Trust finished so that Ali and Officer Biceps can sit next to Sam and Ben on the shelf.

In Broken Trust I said the sequel would be out in September 2015.

Get to work, Sodaro.

May 28, 2015

Ahhhhh….

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:35 pm
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There’s always a breath of relaxation after I have clicked send. After the novel is released into the world and I know, finally, I can’t change another damn thing or find ONE more excuse.

BOOM — Broken Trust is getting printed and bound and eformatted and all of it is blissfully, beautifully, ABSOLUTELY out of my hands. (It’s interesting…one of the rare moments my control issues are quiet is this one. This one perfect moment of peace)

Broken Trust is done. I can take this one off of my “to be published” pile and per her on my (significantly smaller) DONE pile…I can’t add a scene or delete a scene or fix an error. I can’t change her beginning for a 7th time…any changes now would cost time and money…so Broken Trust exists as she is — her perfect imperfections making her unique and beautiful (as our imperfections make us as well).

Any day now, I will have a box or two of Broken Trust delivered to my doorstep. The UPS man will not know he holds my fourth “child,” will not be aware that he holds my future as he tosses *GASP* my boxes outside my front door (I remember when Arianna’s Destiny was delivered and the UPS man almost dropped one of my boxes and I wanted to lunge at him to protect it, like an amazing volleyball player diving to get the ball…we all know how that would turn out for me…so I stood there calmly and tried to not look like a crazy person (a challenge on my best days).

DONE. What an amazingly powerful word. I should get more things DONE…

May 27, 2015

“Birth” announcement

Name: Broken Trust

Date22 May 2015

Page length: 382

Word count: 104,040

I would like to announce the publication of my 4th novel, Broken Trust. This novel joins its siblings, Whatever you Make of It (2011), Arianna’s Honor (2012), and Arianna’s Destiny (2014).

Broken Trust  will be available in paperback or ebook formats and can be purchased from me or from amazon.com (ebooks will be available on all ebook formats). I will update as they become printed and e-formatted.

Please join me in welcoming her to my other published novels. Broken Trust Final 

May 19, 2015

Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo 2015

Yes, I know it’s May, and I also know that NaNoWriMo isn’t until November, but my calendar seems to be in fast forward mode. This year my NaNo project will be called Don’t Let Go and was inspired by the simple image of two young girls holding hands and jumping into a pool (this was when I went to visit my parents in Florida this past February).

Last year three things contributed to my first successful NaNo:

One was having multiple scheduled writing times with Lisa Mandina, where we kept each other accountable.

Two was having an “outline”for Driven West so I knew at least the general direction of where I was going.

Three was the random prompts I had written before hand for Driven West. (Monica Wood has to editions of The Pocket Muse which have prompts for every day of the year and are amazing tools.)

I didn’t end up using all of the prompts I had written for Driven West, but they helped me with character development and progression of the story. Anything that keeps me thinking about the story is a good good thing. What better way to get to know the people I am writing about than to put them in random scenarios and write them through it.

“You’re packing a suitcase.” Ooh…where are they going? Who is doing the packing? Is it the one leaving or is someone packing for them? Is it their choice to leave? Are they leaving or coming home? Is this a happy packing? A tear-filled one? Bittersweet? So much can be learned from just this one little 4-word prompt.

So in order to have NaNoWriMo 2015 be at least as successful as NaNo 2014, I need to schedule writing dates. I need to work on an “outline” and I need to work on some random prompts (my goal is 30 by the time November gets here…so far, I have two…). The prompts I write to only end up being maybe a page or two, but they are making plot lines happen and getting me to know my characters without distracting me from Broken or Redeeming Trust or Lucky Charms series or my blog…or my teaching job…or my other projects.

See why I need to start this now??? 😀

May 14, 2015

In my Head…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:52 pm
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So it is officially 8 days until I click SEND on Broken Trust, and give the world the chance to meet Sam, my beautiful mess of an artist, Ben, my detail-oriented architect, and Ali, my eclectic music store owner (who gets even more attention in the sequel, Redeeming Trust, due out this fall).

My head right now reminds me of a high school student right before the musical or play was about to be performed. Like I am going through my work day and getting my to-do list tasks done, but mentally I am going over the things I need to do before it’s curtain time.

My characters are all over the place in my head. There is, of course the nervous energy of Ben, Sam and Ali…checking to make sure they “are ready for their closeup” and are ready to meet the world. Sam is nervous because she’s covered in paint splotches, Ben is making sure every detail is in place, and Ali is deciding what color to make her hair for opening night. their supporting cast is also milling around making sure they play their roles the best they can. (Officer Biceps is flexing…which is really just a little distracting).

In addition to the cast of Broken Trust having buckets of nervous energy there is, as always, the characters in my other novels anxiously awaiting the publication of Broken Trust because that creates some room on my always over-filled plate. (I apologize for the convoluted metaphor).

Even though I know the next project after Broken Trust will be Redeeming Trust and then the Lucky Charms series (First Down, Stealing Second, and Hat Trick), there is still the hovering anxiety of what will come NEXT. Because all of my projects know that while I am editing and revising, I need a project to be my writing project so that I can keep the cycle going.

So there is the feel of the characters in my other projects, all wanting to ask, but not wanting to distract me, but also exuding nervous energy to try to catch a glimpse of what will be revealed as next.
So much fun chaos in my head right now.

May 10, 2015

Timing is everything

It always AMAZES me how things happen right when they are supposed to. I was thinking about this with multiple aspects of my life, but for the sake of consistency, I will stick to my writing for my examples.

I started writing Crusin for Love over a decade ago. My beautiful and insightful Brenda who has a dating service on a cruise ship. She has an intuition about people what they are truly looking for in love, but is too focused on everyone else to recognize when Nick (whose name is now Gavin, I believe) walks into her life as EXACTLY what she is looking for in love.

But I have put this novel on the back burner for quite some time now, never forgetting about Brenda and her cruise ship…never forgetting about her struggle or Nick/Gavin’s struggle (I named him before Nicholas’ final name change in Arianna’s Honor). But when I had started the novel, I loved a musician and got to learn about that part of it. Now one of my closest friends has the intuition I wrote about for Brenda, but didn’t really understand. I need to see what she does and add realistic depth to Brenda’s gift. I also had to experience true loss to understand more of Nick/Gavin’s personality and destructive choices before he meets Brenda.

It always amazes me how things work out. Before I had published Arianna’s Destiny, I had to learn first about reluctant heroes to truly be able to portray Ari. The school I teach at is predominately military and I have learned volumes about reluctant heroes who just do what they have to, to get the job done. I had to meet people who needed to stay in relationships for financial security (something I have never had the strength to do) in order to understand Ben in Broken Trust. (I also had to work at a certain school that had armed police officers, to get the idea solidified for Officer Biceps).

It’s an awe-inspiring thing to see. I go through moments when I get upset — feeling behind because I have these finished drafts just sitting around, but then I know they will get finished EXACTLY on time…and if I can’t work on them right now, there’s likely someone key I haven’t met yet…or something I have yet to experience. So I wait.

May 7, 2015

Letting Go when the novel is DONE

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelle sodaro @ 12:24 pm

Before I clicked send on my first novel, Whatever you Make of It, I held onto it, probably for an extra month or two, fretting and changing a word here and a sentence there – I was so scared to let go. And then a dear friend of mine (who keeps pushing me to make it a series) told me “She’s ready. It’s time.” And her words sunk  in, and in a sense, gave me permission to send my first novel out into the world.

The process hasn’t gotten all that much easier and I still get myself into quite  a frenzy when it gets close to time to send a novel off, which in all honesty, is ALL that I want to do. At the core of me, I want people to meet my characters and read my stories. It creates a dissonance inside me — the turmoil of wanting my novel published and the anxiety of letting go.

I have changed the beginning to Broken Trust no fewer than 6 times. In part these changes were to add depth to Ben’s character — to make him worthy of trying to win Sam’s love. The other re-starts have come from Ali and Sam who are everything best friends should be. The beginning I have now, is THE beginning. I am not changing it again. It’s making me even more neurotic than I already am because, of course, every time I change the beginning, I have to read through and make sure everything now fits with the new beginning. The trickle down of changes may be minor, but it’s enough to drive a person crazy (or crazier, I will let you be the judge) because my mind needs to hold on to the current version, not any previous versions or any combination therein.

The Beginning is set. I am not changing it again. Broken Trust WILL have the publication date of May, 2015.

I am ready to let go. And I need to do it before I get another idea for the opening chapters…

22 May 2015. I click SEND. She’s ready.

May 2, 2015

Making him proud…

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelle sodaro @ 4:36 pm
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So today marks the 5th year he’s been gone…one of my best friends, who I loved enough to say “maybe” when he mentioned is having kids. (those of you who know me, understand how huge that is).
He was the one who made me take action on the claim I have made for as long as I can remember. “I want to be an author.” And he said, “So do it.” And it was EXACTLY the green light of  permission I needed. So many people have said the same thing to me…but maybe 5 years ago, it was the right time to hear it or maybe it was the exact tone of voice, HIS voice…Whatever it was, it finally clicked.
Stop talking about how someday you want to and just do it. FINISH your novels. BE an author. And so I am.
Whatever you Make of It was published in 2011, Arianna’s Honor was published in 2012, Arianna’s Destiny was published in 2014, and Broken Trust will be published in 2015 as will it sequel, Redeeming Trust.
I know he’s watching. I know he’s proud of the teacher I am and the author I am. I know he wants me to find love…and I keep trying and getting closer every time.
It is always amazing to me…the plan that makes people’s paths cross at the EXACT moment they are meant to and it changes EVERYTHING.
Trav…I’m working to get my ducks in a row. Getting closer to that horizon with every step I take.

May 1, 2015

May Goals

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:13 pm
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1. Click send on Broken Trust

2. Change around my place to make to make it feel more like home.

3. Go for a walk every day it is possible.

4. Begin work on 2nd draft of Redeeming Trust, the sequel to Broken Trust.

5. Continue to make progress on Lucky Charms series.

6. Continue to work on becoming healthier in all aspects of my life.

7. Make progress on nonfiction projects.

8. Continue to work on being a better teacher.

9. Read more books.

And because I had to have 10, Hit 40 years old with a smile on my face (and a drink in my hand).

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