Sodaro's Stories

May 31, 2016

Saying bye to May 2016

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 10:53 am
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Well this was a rainy rainy month…I could definitely use some sunshine…please, and thank you.

I worked out 23 of the 31 days, which considering I had a weekend in Chicago and then a weekend of the sick, is a pretty damn good ratio…especially given how my knee feels about rain. I used  to laugh a bit when people would say their knees knew when it was going to rain. Not laughing anymore…because wow…that is a unique kind of pain.

I started the edit of First Down and have the entire Lucky Charms series printed out and ready to edit and make even stronger (though I have to say…it’s pretty strong right out of the gate.

I ended my part-time job this month…am looking for something else to bring in some extra cash, but am limited by my knee and my unwillingness to sacrifice too much of my precious writing time…so we will see what the universe has up its vast sleeves. Everything happens for a reason.

I have read 8 books so far this year…which is a deplorable average, but I am cutting myself a bit of slack given everything else that is going on.

I have slipped a few days on my goal to write every single day, so June that gets put back on the front burner.

I am making progress on multiple projects to keep myself and my muse from getting bored.

I have queried 6 agents so far and have the next ones ready in case the ones I am currently waiting to hear from are not my future home.

I have figured up my budget for the duration of 2016 and have figured that I can publish Redeeming Trust and Lucky Charms this year (though two of the 3 for LC may be more realistic, time wise).

I am being kind yet strict to myself in accomplishing my goals, knowing that nothing in my life will change if I don’t get things done.

Doing pretty good!

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May 30, 2016

Happy Birthday, Author

41 years ago I was born. In my time on this planet, I have had more blessings than scars, more smiles than tears, and more friends than enemies. Seems like I am doing something right after all.

I have taught for 19 years. The class that just ended for the part-time gig, reminded me that I still have a passion for the career, which has helped the full-time gig. It’s easy to get lost in the bureaucracy of the education world, especially when, like me, you are a purist when it comes to education and learning. I think school should be all about learning, the student, and getting an education that is worth a damn. We will see what the future holds for me as Ms. Sodaro, teacher…but I know I will continue to do what I do, the way I do it…

In 2011, I published my first book, Whatever you Make of It. Holding that first book…everything changed for me. All my novels collectively sighed in my head and then screamed, “ME NEXT!!!!! PICK ME!!!”

In 2012, I published Arianna’s Honor and seeing my girl, Ari, in print was exhilarating because I was so proud of all she had done.

In 2013, I didn’t have anything ready to publish, and this gap is going to pointlessly bother my OCD forever.

In 2014, Ari cut in line and I published Arianna’s Destiny and I am happy to say there is a 3rd one whispering around in my mind, but she will wait her turn this time…or at least she is waiting her turn for now. Once she starts practicing with her sword, my other characters tend to give her space.

In 2015, I published Broken Trust and the world got to meet Sam and Ben and, of course, Ali.

In 2016, after getting my life right side up again, I will be publishing Redeeming Trust, which is Broken‘s sequel and Ali’s chance at love.

I am working on my Lucky Charms series and as of right now have budgetary plans to publish at least 2 of the 3 books in the series in 2016.

With all of this…have to say…year 41 is looking damn good.

May 29, 2016

Looking back on year 40

Last year I was reflecting on my third decade on this planet, and I commented on the fact that my 30’s had bouts of anger and passion, moments of absolute joy and soul-crushing sorrow. Two of the greatest extremes of human emotion with the loss of Trav and the publishing of my first novel…talk about hitting a bottom (not rock bottom…that was still waiting for me) and having the most natural high imaginable (which is the only kind I know :D).

It was the decade that showed me about love and truly started my author career.

So far my 40’s have been really odd and extreme. I have been growing as an author and letting go as a teacher. A transition is happening in my life. (I also learned what true rock bottom felt like)

I have looked at the relationships in my life and have let got of those who were not what I needed them to be, could never be what I wanted them to be. I have lost contact with people I never would have thought I could lose and have met people I would never have met if things had gone differently. And now that I have ended some relationships, I feel lighter and healthier and more focused on myself and my goals. The people I have met through all of this, I know cannot imagine my life without.

Love continues to allude me, but with a full-time teaching job and a full-time author life, I am not exactly giving lover an actual chance. But my heart is healing and I am rediscovering my belief in love, so it’s a start. Since things tend to happen when they are supposed to, I have no doubt that love is on its way.

Finding out I had arthritis in my right knee (haven’t examined the left one yet…) has me more determined to lose weight and get healthy. I push myself, but also let myself rest to not do more damage.

So far the pros far outweigh the cons and I really think this is going to be the best decade yet.

May 23, 2016

Progress

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:55 pm
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So today I paid off one bill. One tiny step closer to financial freedom.

Today I also did workout 23. I was even able to breathe through my nose for part of it (over the weekend I had some sort of sick going on…I took naps…NAPS…as in plural…)

This weekend (in between naps and Dayquil) I wrote a chapter, got the next agents information to send my novels to (I am going to send them out as soon as I hear back from the current agents I have queried or June 6th, whichever comes first).

This weekend I also wore a skirt…in public…by choice. And it was not as uncomfortable as it has been in the past…yeah workouts…this is motivating as the number on the scale is not as low as I think it should be with as much as I have been doing…

I also made notes on 3 different projects, did some very profound reflecting on my teaching career, and read half a book (I have been on a self-improvement book kick lately, but really am craving some good old fiction).

I made plans for my blogs and made cuts in my daily routine so that I could have more balance between my work life and my author life.

Slowly but surely…step by step. I am making progress. GO ME! Yeah Sodaro!

May 18, 2016

Getting Closer

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:18 pm
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So I used to do things for all the wrong reasons, and it wasn’t until I lost everything that I even realized why I did the things I did.

SO much of my life has been me making decisions based on what other people would think or approve of (acknowledging how much I needed others approval, often at the cost of my own was a hard truth to face). I became the teacher my students needed me to be, the family member others needed me to be, the friend people needed me to be, the lover men needed me to be, even (and this is perhaps hardest to say) the writer others needed me to be….and it’s my doing. I trained people that I would bend for them, losing myself in the process…little bits at a time.

I used to hide behind my weight. I used to wear it like a badge…if they can’t accept me as I am then who needs them. I would reject them before they got the chance to know me or reject me. This gave me a semblance of control. It also left me lonely and vulnerable to men who tried to change me. I am now working on losing weight, on getting healthier…but I’m doing it for me. I’m doing it so when I go on book tours, I fit in an airplane seat and don’t get winded when I walk to my seat at my book signings.

I used to hide behind being a teacher. I was sure I didn’t have time to date or be in any kind of relationship because I needed to be the best teacher I could be. As a result of this, my students were the only people I talked to. This has caused me problems in my personal life on multiple levels.

I used to hide as an author…writing what was safe and acceptable. I used to have people’s voices in my head as I would write and while I was never disloyal to the story, I would change things if I thought someone might not approve.

It’s an amazing feeling to be free. To not worry about anyone’s approval but my own, and what I have found…is that it has brought and kept the most amazing people in my life. It has made me a stronger woman, a more balanced teacher, and a more authentic writer. And I love it.

May 17, 2016

Too Comfortable…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:34 pm
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So, it happens every time…I get too comfortable with things, am not proactively working on things I should, and putting off other things I should not put off. All the while being impatient with my lack of progress.

Life likes to wait for moments like this to throw curve balls in to middle of plans. Every. Single. Time.

Most recently has been about my working out…that’s going too easy, so let’s make it cold and rainy in May…um, thanks. Now the arthritis is acting up and it is harder for me to push past the pain.

My schedule has often been cramped from full-time teaching, part-time teaching, and trying to get as much writing and editing done as possible. I kept lamenting about the lack of writing time I have…and now I may not have the part-time job anymore, so poof…there is some more writing time for me. (Consequently, I have been passive about my budget and financial responsibilities because I had that part-time income to give me a cushion…and since I didn’t take care of things as proactively as I should have, the universe was more than happy to make it so I had no choice but to make and stick to a budget.

So now I have more time to write and less money to waste…and while I will look for another part-time job…for the moment, I am fine and not at all sad with the time I can fill with writing and editing. I have books to get out, after all, which is also something I have been slacking on. Tighten that belt, Sodaro. There’s work to get done.

 

May 11, 2016

Nauseated…or is it Nauseous

In Never Been Kissed Drew Barrymore does an excellent job of discerning the difference between the two and while I loved that movie (me relating to someone that awkward when it comes to social things and dating, who knew?) I can’t for the life of me remember if I am currently nauseated or nauseous.

Yesterday, a simple question from a very good friend hit the very core of me and when I realized the truth of the answer, I immediately took action to fix it.

Her question: Are you afraid to send out query letters?

Um…No.

NO….

No?

Um, yes.

Yes…so very afraid.

But then to prove to myself I wanted my author life more than I was afraid of it…I sent off a query letter for each of my novels that is done…one for Arianna’s Honor/Destiny, one for Whatever you Make of It, one for Broken/Redeeming Trust, and one for Lucky Charms (though I’m stretching the word “Done” a bit here).

And then I felt nauseated…or nauseous…or both…it definitely felt like both.

May 9, 2016

Push-Me Pull-You

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:00 pm
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So…the original Dr. Doolittle had a 2-headed llama-type creature called a push-me pull-you and I am feeling a bit like one today…I got caught up on some reflections, have started the editing of First Down and have written more on Don’t Let Go, but then fell “behind” on my blog and other projects I have been working on as well…but I think I am okay with this…in fact, given how many things I am trying to juggle along with a full-time and part-time teaching gig, I think it is the only way for me to even be able to stay quasi-sane.

I like making progress. I like to mark things off my to-do lists, of course…my teeny tiny bit of OCD…but I also like to make progress because I know it is for a future that is so close, I can see it. I can FEEL it. And the only way to get there is daily progress. And yes, people have told me I would make more progress if I focused on playing with just one toy at a time, but that is not how my Gemini-ADD mind works…in fact that would make it more likely that the dreaded soul-sucking WRITER’S BLOCK would show up and I would end up binging on Who’s the Boss reruns and making no progress at all (and don’t get me wrong, it was a great show…but holy hair spray Angela…)

So I am good with being a push-me pull-you. I am okay with the ebb and flow of “caught up” and “behind” (and since the deadlines are all self-imposed, I have only myself to face if I miss one, and I can be bribed with ice cream.)

Step by step, project by project, I will get where I am going…soon.

May 2, 2016

Making Plans

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:41 pm
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So as this fifth month of 2016 gets kicked off, I first have to say that it’s a bit chilly, but so far this year, the seasons have been pretty random. Since I am pretty random myself, and I try really hard to not complain about things I have no control over, I am okay with Mother Nature being indecisive.

So my reader is done with Redeeming Trust and my list from her on what to fix is significantly shorter than previous novels. Maybe I am getting better at this author gig after all. So a goal for May is final out loud read-through. I know it has seemed to take forever, and I do apologize for that…my life turned upside down when the novel was supposed to be finished and I feel that I have finally, mostly gotten it turned back-side up…either that or I adjusted and upside down is the new right sight up.

Lucky Charms is printed and the edit/revision of First Down was supposed to start yesterday, but grading and journalling had to be done. The nice thing is that I knew more about first drafts when I wrote this series, so the hope is that the revision will not be as lengthy because (at least as far as the plots exist at current) I do not need to write half of each book, just add bits here and there and make sure that the series as a whole is a solid as each novel.

I am starting to think about my 2nd book signing…details to follow.

I am sending my novels out via query letters…going fishing for an agent. Sent out one letter last week and got the kindest, most hopeful rejection letter in the history of rejection. She really made me feel it was not me, but her. (haha…it really does feel like a job interview or first date, where both parties are seeing if they could imagine this as a good fit).

Get things done, Sodaro. You got this.

May 1, 2016

Whitman

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelle sodaro @ 2:50 pm
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“These are the days that must happen to you.” Walt Whitman
So, looking back over my A-Z blog challenge, I realized I skipped W…and maybe subconsciously I wanted to write about Whitman today…after all, Whitman was his favorite poet…and today being what it is…6 years ago today was the last time I heard his voice out loud.
It was hard to choose a Whitman quote. Of the transcendentalists, he was my least favorite…but since he was the favorite of one of my all-time favorite people, I will honor the poet today.
Everything happens for a reason. Every person we meet, leaves a mark on our lives. And there are days that we must experience, must endure. Must have as part of our lives…to learn something, to grow, to change, to leave an unhealthy situation…to get to the next stage of our life. Some days have to happen. Some events have to run their course.
I know that everything in my life has shaped me into the teacher and writer I am today. And while I haven’t loved every experience along the way, I do love the person I am because of everything I have experienced.
Tomorrow is never promised. Love fully. Dance in the rain. Follow your dreams. Give up on those people and things that don’t support you. Believe in yourself at least as much as your true friends do. Fully embrace the days that must happen to you. Learn more. Do more. Grow more. Don’t let fear win. Experience what you need to experience. Mourn those you have lost, but celebrate the time you got to be a part of their life.

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