Sodaro's Stories

April 29, 2016

A-Z Blog: Yolen

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 11:55 am

“Write every day. You don’t have to write about anything specific, but you should exercise your writing muscle constantly.” Jane Yolen

How do people train to run a marathon? Okay, obviously, I have no practical knowledge of this as I don’t run (which was funny…when the doc told me I have osteo-arthritis in my right knee, he said, totally straight-faced “you should not run as exercise” and I said, “well, I haven’t done so for 40 years now, so…”) but I imagine that people train for a marathon by running…a lot…like daily…and build up their endurance. Right?

It’s amazing how many times I read, hear, get the same advice when it comes to writing. Write every day. Not when you feel like it. Not when you are inspired. Not when you *gasp* have nothing better to do or nothing is on TV…Write every day. For whatever time you have available that day…use it…take your notebook or your laptop with you and write every day.


April 28, 2016

A-Z blog: Xinran

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 11:55 am

“Writing can be a source of strength.” Xinran (And a thank you to Goodreads for having author quotes by letter of the alphabet…)

Writing is my ultimate source of strength. It is how I recharge and how I deal with disappointment, joy, confusion, excitement…it is my go-to for everything and I need to remember that.

I need to recharge every day, because being an adult is exhausting. Did you know you have to pay bills Every month? I mean, seriously…EVERY month??? Exhausting. And evidently it takes more than one day of exercising and eating right to lose weight? Exhausting.

Writing is a source of strength for me. It keeps me focused and balanced and more than anything, it renews my faith that I can do this. I want this badly enough. I have more to write, more stories to tell, more characters to meet and introduce to the world.

Writing gives me strength.

April 27, 2016

A-Z blog: Vonnegut

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:29 pm

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” Kurt Vonnegut

I love this quote. I love this author. (I am also glad his last name starts with a V — for this challenge)

I have to remind myself to be brave. To put myself out there. To put my writing out there. To get rejected (personally and professionally) because if I don’t try, I will never get where I want to go. I can complain about being single…I can worry about it…I can have fits of rage about it…but unless I put myself out there…it won’t change.

I have to put my writing out in the world. I have to quit being afraid of rejection…of success (that sounds strange, I know…but getting the reward of your hard work is a rather intimidating and wonderful prospect). I have to put my books out into the world, have to make myself known as an author…I have to jump off those cliffs of safety and comfort and build my wings on the way down…because once those wings are built…man, am I going to fly!!! So jump and build, Sodaro. No more hiding.

April 26, 2016

A-Z Blog: Ueland

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 11:47 am

“No writing is a waste of time — no creative work where the feelings, the imagination, the intelligence must work. With every sentence you write, you have learned something. It has done you good.” Barbara Ueland

I do a lot of brainstorming and freewriting…journalling and reflecting. And some people ask me why I don’t just write on my current project because isn’t all that other “stuff” just a waste of time.

No. No, it’s not. Thanks for asking.

The more I play with words, the more I use them and shape them and manipulate them (I wish that word didn’t have such a negative connotation, but there it is), the more I work with them, the more they work FOR me. Maybe in my journal I am recording a feeling and that emotion comes into play a week from now, a year from now…maybe I catch a snippet of conversation and that is the exact turn of phrase I need to capture a moment in a story…maybe through my freewriting, I can discover what is really bothering me, scaring me, worrying me, stopping me…and maybe, through that discovery, I am healed. (Master’s Thesis…for the win, folks).

Writing is like any other profession (except there is more acceptance to have voices in your head…I’m not crazy, they’re my characters…sounds completely legit, right)…and in order to excel in it, you have to do it every day. EVERY DAY.

In order to get healthy, you have to exercise your body and your mind. Word play is amazing exercise and the best way I know how to do that is to pick up a pen and write.

April 25, 2016

A-Z blog: Thoreau

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:58 pm

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” Henry David Thoreau

So it is interesting that I picked this one (a favorite of mine) and that it landed on this day…after the conference and at the beginning of a difficult week for me. 6 years is a long time and simultaneously an instant in the grand scheme of the universe. It is also, as luck would have it, on a Monday…and who wouldn’t want to wake up to the life they have imagined on a Monday.

I am working on it, Mr. Thoreau…I am working very hard to go confidently in the direction of my dreams. Working very hard to live the life I have imagined. I now have a list of agents to query (and a shorter way to get that list created, thanks to my roommate…)

Some days the life I’ve imagined seems so very far away…and sometimes it seems so close I jump and wonder if I truly am as ready as I claim to be. This morning is one where it seems almost unreachable it is so far away, but I blame that on having the Mondays, and missing a friend who truly is too far away, and my pretty curls being frizzy from just enough rain to cause frizz…but I am still making and keeping plans in the direction of my dreams. “Fake it till you make it” has gotten me through the entirety of my teaching career as well.


April 24, 2016

A-Z Blog: Salvatore

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 11:59 am

“If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, you’re a writer.” RA Salvatore

Recently, a writer friend of mine stated he had written his last book. Part of my soul cried, but the rest of me just nodded. “He’ll be back…” and I was right.

I talked about this on the P day of the challenge. I used to think about quitting writing a lot more than I do now. 6 years ago things changed and I still hear his voice in my head “You’ve said you wanted to be an author for as long as I’ve known you, so do it. Be an author.” And then the next year I published my first novel, Whatever you Make of It. When I held that green cover in my hand for the first time, I knew everything had changed. I could feel all of my projects go “Oooooh….when is it our turn.” And I thought, when indeed…best get to work.

Around the same time, I quit playing World of Warcraft. Quit cold turkey. I still miss it. Quite a few friends of mine are gamers, and I’ll listen in to their game chatter and just soak it up…I am not allowed to play until I have 10 books published…but I can listen…and then get back to writing.

There is no quitting. There is no going back now. My novels each deserve to have a shiny cover and be represented in ink as tattoos. I can’t quit, Mr. Salvatore…I’m a writer!

April 23, 2016

A-Z blog: Rosten

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 11:52 am

“Every writer is a narcissist. This does not mean he is vain; it only means he is hopelessly self-absorbed.” Leo Rosten

Last weekend I got to hang around with so many writers. All writers. All the time. And while I certainly agreed with this quote before I met everyone I met in Colorado, I certainly can attest to this quote’s truth. We all wanted it to be our turn to talk about our projects, our stories…us.

If you have ever had lunch with me…you know that I will get my phone out to put something in to Color Notes, some little snippet for a story that if I don’t capture, it will disappear.

I love talking about my stories and my characters and what I am working on…and sometimes I forget that everyone might not need to hear about them every day.  (I have some friends who are just as enthusiastic about my novels as I am, so I completely become a babbling fount of excitement around them, which helps me to calm it down a bit around people who are not quite as excited about my novels…but sometimes I forget and when someone asks how I am, I start talking about my books…and they look at me sideways, making me pause to think…wait, what did they actually ask me? Oh…I’m good. Thanks.

April 22, 2016

A-Z blog: Quindlen

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 11:50 am

“Give up on being perfect and begin the work on becoming yourself.” Anna Quindlen

I love the person I have become through the experiences that have shaped me. I love this strong, independent woman I am now, who hasn’t let the crap in this world make her too hard to love, too jaded to believe, too frustrated to keep trying. I love how every class I teach shapes me, how every story I write shapes me, how every person I interact with shapes me as well.

I am no where near perfect…but I am perfectly happy with the person I have become. The lessons I have learned were painful, the loss I have experienced is absolute, but they too, have made me who I am today…and I am grateful for the lessons that came through the pain.

My game plan 6 years ago was completely different. I, too, was completely different…but here I am, an imperfect mess, still working toward the dream he put in motion…and I know he would not only be proud of me, but love the person I have become. I can finally say I am proud of me and also love the person I have become. It’s about damn time!

Embracing my author life changed everything. It got me no closer to the myth of perfection, but it helped me to learn and show the world my truest self. And it is just going to keep getting better as I get closer to my full-time author life…which will also not be perfect…will have its ups and downs, but will be amazing.

April 21, 2016

A-Z blog: Peale

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:03 pm

“It’s always too early to quit.” Norman Vincent Peale

So I have a confession to make. Sometimes…I contemplate quitting writing. I think about people who are not authors, who work their M-F jobs and have weekends off and I think about all the things they can do that I don’t have time to do because I am writing this chapter or editing and revising this chunk…But then when I think about their activities and free time, it doesn’t seem anywhere near as interesting to me as what is going on in this or that story. SO I pick up my pen, laugh at my silly idea of quitting, and get back to “work”

How could I possibly quit? I didn’t quit when it was much much harder…how in the world could I quit now, when I am so much closer to the next chapter of my life…what if tomorrow everything changed but I quit today and missed it all?

One tid bit I will share from the conference (more’s coming), is the bit that was hit home most often and by the most people….if you can walk away from it…do. If  you can’t…then you’re a writer and welcome to the world. Once you are in this world…you are in it for the duration. Just as there is no crying in baseball, that is no quitting in writing.

April 20, 2016

A-Z Blog: Oates

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 11:55 am

“I have forced myself to begin writing when I’ve been utterly exhausted, when I’ve felt my soul as thin as a playing card…and somehow the activity of writing changes everything.” Joyce Carol Oates

There is nothing in my life that writing can’t fix.

Upset about how people treat me in specific or just how people treat others in general? I write about it or I write about one of my fictional worlds where people are more decent to one another (or can be killed off without legal repercussions).

Sad about missing a lost love? He stays alive in my pages.

Exhausted from lack of balance between teacher life and author life…write until I feel balanced again.

Too tired to function? Pen to paper and get it done.

The days when I forget this…when I say I’m “too busy” to write…are few and far between and after one or two of them, I get a little twitchy and I remind myself that writing has never let me down…so as tired as I am…pick up that pen, Sodaro. Those novels are not going to write themselves, and nothing rejuvenates my spirit in quite the same way.

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