Sodaro's Stories

August 31, 2015

August Refelction

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 6:02 pm
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And the 8th month of this year comes to a close. I am making progress on multiple projects, have (mostly) eliminated the drama in my life, and have started to come up with a game plan to rebuild my life. I am asking for help and am re-forming relationships I have taken for granted for too long.

I am back on a writing schedule and am getting better at ignoring my phone when it is my designated writing time. (It helps that my phone case covers the front of my phone and when the phone is on silent, it doesn’t let me know about any notifications — fewer distractions = more focused project time.

I am focusing more on finishing projects — turns out that is the only way to get projects off my plate, the only way my projects will get out into the world (and consequently they only way they can put any coins in my pocket). So finishing things is important.

I am also getting more organized. Getting things ready for a strong finish to 2015 and an even stronger, more productive 2016.

I am grateful for where I am in my various projects and will keep on trucking along to get things done in a timely manner. Don’t slow down, Sodaro. Don’t you dare. Not again.

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August 26, 2015

Accountabilty

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 11:18 pm
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In the 40 years I have been on this planet, I have learned a thing or two about myself and one of the most definitive lessons I have learned is that I need to be held accountable and not by just me. (When I am the only one holding me accountable, I will swindle a deal, change my mind, make a bargain, change the terms of my agreement, and flat out lie to me). Deadlines get altered…habits go unbroken.. “one more time won’t do any harm” gets believed. I am incredibly talented at presenting an argument to myself that will make me think it is in my best interests to go along with this new, better, *ahem* more convenient plan.

Since I know this about myself, I will, for things that are most important to me, make my plans public. Then it is not just me to whom I am accountable. Now there,  are others, who are not me — and therefore not to be let down or lied to or involved and I better be able to follow through with what I said. (Yes, I am looking into why I think it is acceptable to let myself down and lie to me –but that likely requires more therapy than I currently have time for)

So I mentioned in my last blog two days ago that my sequel, Redeeming Trust, would be out in September 2015. I published that in the copy of Broken Trust for all my readers to see. I have also told everyone who has asked and a little over a week ago, at my boss’s request, I told an entire room full of my coworkers that Redeeming Trust would be out in September 2015.

Accountability.

People have read Broken Trust and told me they can’t wait to read Redeeming Trust  and they have September 2015 marked on their calendar.

Accountability.

I have my work cut out for me, but will I have Redeeming Trust out in September 2015? Bet your ass I will. Come hell or high water.

Accountability.

I know how to manipulate myself (and I am the only one I would ever manipulate — which also will be a topic for my therapy sessions)

Accountability.

August 24, 2015

Redeeming Trust

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 11:13 pm
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So when I published Broken Trust in May of this year, I included the first chapter of Redeeming Trust as a teaser and included a note about how the sequel would be out in September of 2015.

On 22 May 2015, this seemed like an absolutely BRILLIANT idea. The first draft of Redeeming Trust was typed and printed and all ready for me to jump in and start the editing process. Seems, perfect, right? I thought so too…on 22 May.

Now I am sitting here 3 months and 2 days later and September is peeking around the corner and I keep checking and rechecking not only my calendar but also other, random calendars as well, because I am sure there is no way that it will be September next week, and I am equally sure I just misplaced July somewhere  (So far EVERY calendar has shown the same thing, so, of course, I am sure it is a conspiracy).

Whenever a novel comes out (for me — other authors may not have this issue) I feel what I can only compare to a sort of post-partum depression (Yes…I am aware I have never had any children, but I have talked to a lot of people who have, and the feelings seem to be comparable).

There is such a joy when the novel is out. Look what I made. Isn’t she beautiful. Etc. etc. etc. Joyous celebration and it’s exciting and new and beautiful…but it’s also exhausting, emotionally draining, and causes a bit of an emptiness that it takes a minutes to recover from. All the books I have read about publishing say the same thing — when you finish something have another project (or two or three) that are in the exciting creation phase so that you stay productive. This of course was not a problem for me as I always have multiple projects in the creation phase and multiple in the editing phase.

Okay Sodaro, so what’s the problem?

So Broken Trust is Sam and Ben’s story. Well Sam and Ben as the love couple, but also it’s kind of Sam and Ali’s story — and the story of their friendship (to me) is just as essential as the story of Sam and Ben and when I went to work on Redeeming Trust, which is Ali’s chance for love and the continuation of her friendship with Sam, I was too close to them and working on the sequel so soon after Broken Trust came out felt disloyal — like Ben and Sam existed only to get to Ali’s story. So I needed some distance…and now I need some calendar days added back into my month, please. Take them from January — no one will notice, promise.

August 21, 2015

Friday Mornings at a coffee shop

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:08 pm
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Mornings are the best time for me to write. Monday through Wednesday this is not possible as I am expected in Lenexa for my teaching gig, so I write in the evenings. Thursday I work from home and always try to do some writing before I log in. (To my students, I would like to say ‘you’re welcome’ as writing keeps me balanced)…Friday mornings I also do some writing. More than I did on Thursday, usually not as much as I will do on a Saturday and/or Sunday.

Friday mornings, I try to have only a few hours of work left to catch up on. I try to stay focused long enough on Thursday to make Friday an easy breezy ‘catch up/clean up’ day so I can get to my writing. (trying very hard to keep balanced between my two passions. I am truly blessed to love teaching and writing both).

My ideal Friday morning, is coffee in my cup, Pandora in my ears, pen and paper playing nicely together. Peace and harmony in my soul. Music in my ears and coffee in my cup and all is right with this world and at this moment, I am calm and focused. I am amazed at the beauty and blessings that surround me.

Writing on Friday mornings is a guilty pleasure of mine, because it reminds me to be grateful for my flexible job. It reminds me to say thank you that I am not “at work”  today and am able to grade assignments and discussions at my leisure rather than at a set time. It reminds me to count my teaching job among my blessings and to always take advantage of the opportunity for writing time on a Friday morning.

I like to do my writing time on Friday mornings at a coffee shop where I can observe the busy pace of people coming and going to their offices and such. While I am relaxing with music in my ears and coffee in my cup. I don’t say this as a ‘haha you have to go to work and I don’t’ but as a “I really like to observe the hustle and bustle of life” so I can put that in my books…because as we all know…absolutely everything a writer experiences is potential fodder for a book.

August 20, 2015

Writing Schedule

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:44 pm
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So my summer was not like a lot of my fellow teachers. My school goes year-round and has starts for classes almost every week, so there is no “summer vacation” other than what time off each of us takes here and there. On one hand this is nice because I always know what to expect every single week…on the other hand, I really wouldn’t cry about having solid weeks of time for writing.

I started this year with a set writing schedule and was productive and getting things done. This summer, I relaxed my schedule a bit. I was still writing every day, let’s not get crazy…but it was just “write something” and there were no real times listed or expectations to meet. It wasn’t really my best decision as I have not made as much progress on projects as I think I would have, had I stayed structured in my writing time. As I have no time machine (if I did, there would be a lot of changes I made to choices, not just this summer…)

So now it is time to get back down to business. it is time to put myself back on a writing schedule. It is time to respect my writing time (and my budget) and treat my author profession as the second job that it truly is. I need to get back to business, so to speak.

I need to have time set aside every day…time where I am not on my phone or allowing other distractions to occupy my time. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday…I may only get an hour because those are my ‘drive to Lenexa’ days and have 10-hour days to work around…but I will still get that hour. The rest of the week, I will have more than one hour scheduled, and will adjust my schedule as needed. It’s time to get back to productivity and progress. Let’s go, Sodaro.

August 17, 2015

Fight Song

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 7:42 pm
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“This is my fight song — Take back my life song

Prove I’m alright song. My power’s turned on.

Starting right now — I’ll be strong

I’ll play my fight song.

And I don’t really care if nobody else believes,

Cuz’ I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.” “Fight Song” Rachel Platten

Okay — disregard my pet peeve of when words are rhymed with themselves. It’s annoying and yet catchy enough in this song to not bother.

Lately, I have been struggling..finances, feeling alone, teaching at a job I love but still struggling to get enough writing done to make progress on projects, letting go of some parts of me and holding tight to other parts, wanting to be more active, limited by pain…just struggling as we humans tend to do. Just struggling. And of course I will be victorious, I have been every other time, and really, what otehr option is there? So I know it’s temporary, and that it will all work out, but today, I am struggling.

Every time I hear this song, I do a little bit of a Rocky-esque victory dance. If I liked ringtones, I would make this mine for right now. (as my phone is always on vibrate or silent, this would, of course, be silly)

I love the balance and power that writing gives me. I have gotten distracted this past two months and my writing has been rather sporadic and all over the place. My life has gotten off track — I took my eyes off the goal and allowed other people’s lives to come before my goals. As it happened any other time I have put writing on a back burner, I lost a bit of my sense of self and fell down.

Now I am fighting my way back to utmost productivity and proving to myself that I still have a lot of fight left in me. Proving to myself that I can get back to where I was and then go farther than I ever thought I could.

August 11, 2015

Volition

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:45 pm
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Volition: the act of willing, choosing, or resolving (Dictionary.com)

Lately this word has popped up in two completely unconnected places and the second one was really just to make sure I heard it…and was paying attention.

This past weekend, I attended a graduation for the school I am grateful to teach at and the speaker talked about the power of choice…he talked about what a powerful thing it is to have volition in our lives.

The second source was a book called Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard. I have just barely started chapter one, and low and behold, on same day as graduation, there was that word again…Volition. The power of choice.

I choose my life. I choose my teaching life and I choose my author life. I am blessed to have the former that helps to support the latter in time and money. I choose to love my jobs.

I choose positive over negative. I choose to be around positive, uplifting, honest people. I choose this, because every time I choose the opposite, it does damage to me.

Every day I choose what I get accomplished. Some things get put higher on the to do list (those things that pay the bills come first, as they need to).

I choose to forgive myself for mistakes and errors in judgment.

I choose to be open to love and friendship despite past hurts.

I choose to believe in the Universe and follow its plan (having gotten smacked upside the head with a 2×4 when I don’t do this.)

Volition is a powerful thing…I can’t think of a worse feeling than to feel as if you are stuck…as if you have no choice. But, then, even that is a choice, if you choose to stay stuck.

I choose to believe in my novels and my characters. Every day, I make this conscious choice to believe in my future as an author (and probably still as a teacher…graduation always proves how deep it is in my blood).

I choose to edit my novel.

I choose to write.

I choose to free myself of negative energy.

I choose to be healthy.

I choose. There is power in that sentence, my friends. I choose.

August 7, 2015

Tax-free school supplies!!!!

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:43 pm
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Image result for pens and notebooks

So I don’t know if your calendar is marked like mine is, but in bold purple letters, I have scrawled over this weekend TAX FREE SCHOOL SUPPLIES!!!!!! It’s written bigger than anything else I have going on this month.

For people like me, this is better than Christmas.

I love to go to the pen aisle.

“Have it.”

“Have it.”

“Ugh. Hate it.”

“Ooooh Need it.”

“Have it.”

“Have it.”

“Well this says NEW on it — need that…maybe in blue AND black, just to be thorough.”

“Have this, but may run out mid-page; better grab some more of those.”

“Ugh. Hate that ENTIRE brand.”

Then it’s over to the notebooks. I like to look at my different options and lean in to hear if they have a story idea already (yes, I get funny looks when I do this. No, I don’t care)

Some I buy for future projects without knowing exactly what they are going to grow into…it’s always good to have spares around because you never know when you are going to think of the perfect idea for a purple 3-subject college rule notebook (always college rule — my handwriting looks like a kindergartner when I use wide rule)

I look at binders and dividers and office supplies to see if anything screams out TAKE ME HOME!!!!!! HEY, SODARO, YOU NEED THIS!!! (I’ve talked to other people about this, and evidently there are people who school supplies do not talk to, which makes me very sad for them.)

As I take my treasures to the check out, there is a bounce in my step and my pony tail swings from side to side. Almost every time the cashier will ask me if I got everything on my kids’ lists. I always smile and say, ‘Oh, I don’t have any kids. These are all for me.” And then I take my treasures home and add to my collection…

My favorite weekend

**Public Service Announcement…there are so many kids who can’t afford school supplies and there are usually boxes at every store where you can donate supplies to kids. Help them get a good start to their school year!!! Donate extra new school supplies every chance you get!!! ***

August 4, 2015

Flying

“Now her heart’s a mess — praying she’ll find a way to make it.

So keep on climbing, though the ground might shake

Just keep on reaching though the limb might break.

We’ve come this far, don’t you be scared now.

Cause you can learn to fly on the way down.”  “Fly” by Maddie and Tae

I came upon this song accidentally on Pandora who had connected it to something I liked (or however the magic works). After hearing it, I was so moved by the lyrics, I had to listen to it again. It brought to mind the quite by Kurt Vonnegut (other authors have their own variation of it as well) “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”

One of the things I have fought to have more in my life is the power to be more fearless, to face my fears and do the things I fear the most. To fully live the life I am meant to live and to not let fears keep me from the things I need and want to do. I need to be flying and finding my wings on the way down.

I need to be fearless with meeting new people. Evidently, I will never find another chance at love if I don’t go out and meet people. I have tested this theory. Plus, think of all the potential future characters for novels.

I need to be fearless about sending my novels out into the cruel, cruel world. I hesitated sending my first novels out to agents. Whatever you Make of It and Arianna’s Honor/Destiny were not as easy to put into a specific genre other than fiction (though there are elements of magical realism in all of them). Broken Trust and Redeeming Trust are most definitely romance and so will be the entire Lucky Charms series. I need to create and send out query letters for them. No more excuses, Sodaro. Face this fear.

I need to be more fearless about my author life. I need to be protective of my writing time and my resources. I need to embrace my author life as fully as I am able to do so and increase this as I can, given my other responsibilities.

I need to be absolutely fearless with my budget and my health.

Everything I have ever wanted in my life, I have had to take a leap of faith and be fearless. I have always found my wings on the way down. Time to fly again, Sodaro. Watch me go!

August 2, 2015

August Goals

My biggest goal for August, is of course, to get the 2nd draft of Redeeming Trust done. I have some chapters to add and some details to flush out. Need to give it an ending worthy of Ali and the others. And since this set definitely only has the 2 books (Broken Trust and Redeeming Trust) the ending really has to stick the landing (and that completes the entirety of my gymnastics knowledge). So getting this sequel to a solid 2nd draft is goal number one.

My second goal is to get Stealing Second (of the Lucky Charms series) to Chapter 25. (I have just barely started Chapter 20, as a point of reference).

I am going to start water aerobics and go back to no (or very very little) pop.

Finances need some help as well. Fell off my budget a bit and need to fix some things.

I am going to start sending Broken Trust off to some agents, because if I don’t ask, the answer will always be no.

I wrote a short story about Sam and Ali that I will polish up and send out to magazines.

I have two nonfiction projects I want to make some progress on for publication later on this year.

I want to live more fearless and put myself out into the world more…but don’t worry. I will leave a trail of gummy bears to find my way back and not get lost.

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