Sodaro's Stories

September 30, 2015

September — looking back…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 5:25 pm
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“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different.” CS Lewis

This month has been the end of a change that started a while back and so many things changed in my life this past 30 days…it has made my head spin a bit and made it hard to keep my head above water all the time, but I did it…and am now gaining some footing and am able to look around and I am amazed at how much has changed…the final picture coming into view after the domino design of this chapter has finally fallen into place.

I am in a transition phase…redefining myself as a teacher, a profession I still am in love with but have become complacent in and now want to recharge to not lose that passion. Redefining myself as an author and what that means to me, what I need to do…what I need to continue doing…what I need to stop doing. Redefining myself as an adult…why my picture doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s and that it’s okay to be different (really, I had to learn this?? I have been rather different my whole life). Redefining what a relationship needs to be for me. I don’t need what everyone else needs, and this too, is okay.

It is amazing how we can just go along in life, trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations except for our own, when really shouldn’t we define life for ourselves? Shouldn’t we stand up and say, “I DON’T BELONG HERE” or “THIS ISN’T ME” or “WHAT I REALLY WANT IS THIS ____________________”

Everywhere I look there are signs pointing at me about freedom…freedom from other people’s expectations, freedom from other people’s rules, freedom from what society expects of me, freedom from ties that existed (maybe only in my own mind), and signs about embracing my true self…the teacher in me…that it is not only okay to love my job, but it is needed…the author in me…that it is okay if some others don’t see the value or reality of this, I see it…and it will happen…that it is okay to be ME!!! That I don’t have to want what everyone else wants…in a home, in society, in love.

So the challenge has been presented to me…to embrace these changes and run with them…okay, not run (Doctor told me not to, after all, and I would hate to go against his orders) but to follow where this path is taking me…so I will.

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September 28, 2015

Redeeming Trust update

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 6:19 pm
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Sigh…so I must finally allow the calendar to claim defeat over my goals. Redeeming Trust  will not be finished within the next two days…there has just been too much real world to deal with and I haven’t even gotten the draft to my reader yet.

When I was getting Arianna’s Destiny ready for publication, I kept thinking she was ready and wanting her to be ready and thinking she was ready, etc.etc.etc. And then I met someone who helped me to understand the true meaning of a reluctant hero and I knew I had to add that to my Ari…who is every bit of a reluctant hero as the one I became friends with. Had I published her when I was first ready to do so, I would have missed out on this bit, which I think is a major part of her personality.

I don’t know if I need to learn something or meet someone for Ali’s story to be complete. I don’t know if it is just a matter of needing my life to calm down a teeny, tiny bit so I can focus and get it done…I do know that I keep getting ideas for this scene and that, so there is obviously more story to tell. I also know that Redeeming Trust will be out exactly when she is supposed to…this has happened with my other 4 novels…as it has happened with countless other events in my life.

I trust the system. I know some people are frustrated and impatient. Trust me, I want to hold book #5 as much as I have wanted to hold my other ‘children’ but I don’t rush the process…I trust in the process. As soon as she is available, I will let the world know.

September 18, 2015

Growing Pains

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 6:37 pm
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So last week I spoke to a group of about a thousand 1st graders (really about 100) and a class of about 20 5th graders. Talked about writing…and where I get my ideas…and why I love writing. Showed them my pretty books and let them pass around my books. It was amazing! Tremendous! Fantastic! Exciting! And more than a little terrifying. I have wanted to grow as a writer…and grow I did!

So some of you, those who have met me, know that I have taught every where from 6th grade to adults, with high school and college being where I have spent 18 of my 19 years teaching…and then here I was, standing in front of a bigger group of tiny humans than I have ever seen in my whole life…and it was so much fun!!!!! It was so amazing to see them, full of questions and trying so hard to sit still and hold onto their questions. We had super heroes of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and we took the villain and turned Shredder into a Pirate ballerina. If I get to go back, I will have some kind of activity for us to do.

Talking to the 5th graders was also amazing. A few of them were writers and it made me want to pull up a chair and grab a notebook so we could all just write together. Keep that energy high and that passion alive!

There were a few of my friends that, when I told them about this opportunity, they said “you?” and when I answered them at first, I was like, “I’m talking about writing, what could go wrong??” While in my mind was clearly everything that could go wrong. Turns out…the qualities that make me a good teacher, are universal across the ages…and the day far surpassed my thoughts on how it was going to go.

Go me!

September 16, 2015

Getting more

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten” Tony Robbins

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about what I want in this next chapter of my life…what I envision as the start of the first year of my 4th decade on this planet…what changes I need to make…what factors I want to maintain…just basically what I want my life to be.

This quote by Tony Robbins resonates with what I want in my life and also keeps in mind the definition of insanity which is ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’

I have some areas of my life I want to change…I want to do more with my author life especially, and for that to happen, I need to change what I have always done. I need to focus and finish projects. With the four novels I have self-published (Whatever You Make of ItArianna’s HonorArianna’s Destiny, and Broken Trust) I have experienced the joy of tangible proof of a dream becoming reality. SO I need to continue to publish novels. The change I need to make is finishing more than I start.

I want to do more with my social life. I can’t complain about being alone if I never do anything to change the fact that I’m alone. I need to change what I look for in a relationship so I change what I find.

I need to change how I look at my financial and physical health. I need to stop making excuses and make the changes necessary to accomplish what I need. Not what others need…what I need. It is my life, after all.

Change starts now.

September 10, 2015

My heart

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 6:17 pm
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“A big heart is both a clunky and a delicate thing; it doesn’t protect itself and it doesn’t hide.” Anne Lamott Bird by Bird.

I have always thought my kind heart has made me a better teacher and a better author…and I stand by this thought. It has helped me to have empathy for my students and to cry after 19 years of graduation. My heart in my classroom allows me to celebrate every one of my students’ victories and feel the pain of every one of their sorrows.

Having a big heart also helps me write more believable and three-dimensional characters. I can feel their joys and their hopes as if they were really in front of me instead of inside my head. I think it makes my stories more real because I feel for all of my characters their happiness and sadness are all real to me (and hopefully my readers).

While it makes me a more compassionate teacher and a more authentic author, having a big heart does tend to cause me problems in my personal life. I tend to see people’s potential rather than their realities. This had gotten me into trouble more times than I care to admit, but even with the mess I am currently cleaning up, I am still working to keep my big heart whole and open.

I know my life might be easier if I was more sheltered with my hart, but I just got the thing back out of hiding. After the loss of a love in 2010, I put my heart away — never wanting to hurt or feel that much again.

But this affected my relationships with people and it affected my writing — and those are both unacceptable to me, so I brought my heart back out again and I got it banged up — again.

More material to write about.

September 7, 2015

School supplies

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 6:09 pm
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My name is Michelle Sodaro and I have a problem.

I simply cannot walk through a store that sells school supplies and not walk up and down each of the aisles, looking very longingly at every thing on both sides.

I tell myself I have enough pens and notebooks waiting for me. (Of course if anyone else were to say this to me, there would be a fight, and it would get ugly).

I tell myself to keep my hands in my pockets. Look with your eyes, not your hands, Sodaro. You can do this.

Behave Sodaro.

Just go and look at the pretty things. Do not put anything in your cart. No. Don’t you do it…ok well, maybe just ONE pen…okay and one notebook. Just to keep things fresh.

Oh who am I kidding. I’ll add to my collection every chance I get. I have a problem…

September 1, 2015

September Goals

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 6:02 pm
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Well, obviously, my first and most important goal for September, 2015, is to publish the sequel to Broken TrustRedeeming Trust will have a publication date of September 2015.

Connected to that, there will be a short story that gives an alternate version to the 1st meeting of Sam and Ali. (I will also include this short story in the beginning of Redeeming Trust). The story is called “Chance Meeting” and has Ali and Sam running into each other at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival where Sam is drawing characteriture portraits.

I will also be taking care of my physical health. Knee problems and some slight blood pressure issues caused me to wake up and stop being passive about my health.

I will be working on my spiritual health as well. I have taken far too many things for granted and need to get back in touch with the core of me.

I also need to work on and write through some issues that popped up from the summer months. My Master’s thesis was about using writing to heal, understand, or deal with the things life hands us. Time to put it to the test once again.

Also want to hang out with friends, have writing dates, (I wouldn’t say no to a date-date as well, but baby steps).

Here’s to a great September. Full steam ahead!

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