Sodaro's Stories

October 31, 2016

It’s NaNoWriMo time again

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 8:15 am
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Tomorrow starts National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) again and I can hardly contain my excitement…it is so much fun and I totally geek out for it.

The challenge:

**50,000 words in 30 Days (50K in 30D) (this averages out to about 1667 words/day).

The challenge for me:

**Getting the 50K is challenging with a full-time teacher gig (thank goodness for vacation time and national holidays), but the more challenging part for me is having those 50K words be all about the same project as my self-diagnosed ADD which keeps me bouncing from project to project leaving a trail of half-finished projects in my wake.

What I have learned from previous NaNo’s:

**If I seriously only allow myself to work on only my current NaNo project — I will and have encountered something I’ve only ever heard scary stories about…Writer’s Block. My first NaNo I got blocked on Chapter 12 and wasted half my month.

**As a compromise — My NaNo project is what I work on FIRST each day. After I get my 1667 words, I can go play with other projects.

This will be my fifth year competing in NaNo. To my fellow NaNoers — let’s do this! To my non-NaNoers — see you in December.


First Down Update

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:15 am
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One of the hard parts of being a “grown up” (I figure it’s only fair I put that in quotes since I tend to put them there for the kiddos I teach) is the financial part where the I have to pay for this has to come before the I want to pay for this. I have been working on a balance of my have to’s vs. my want to’s (it’s very middle-child, ego –in the ID, ego, and superego trilogy, Gemini me) where there is an equal as possible a balance between the two parts in regards to resources (money) and schedule (time) since there is a finite amount of both money and time. I have pared down my budget and am working on paring down my schedule so there is more consistent, daily work on my novels.

The game plan was to have First Down out in October (of which tomorrow is the last day) and Stealing Second out in December. Money-wise and schedule-wise, this would have put me behind farther than i could handle. I do have bills and a full-time teaching job I need to take care of on a pretty regular basis. SO the schedule has shifted to get First Down out mid-Dec and Stealing Second out in February (which makes more sense with their respective sports as well as keeping a roof over my head and a job which keeps giving me paychecks) It also gives me time to get First Down right — not just out.

I have been feeling very rushed where First Down was concerned and as badly as I want this series started and out in the world — I also want it solid. I don’t believe in the perfect draft — I don’t really believe in a “perfect” anything, but I really want First Down to start off the Lucky Charms series on its best possible foot. I want my readers to love First Down because of the story and the characters, not just out of loyalty to me. So I slow down and get it right. You’ll thank me for it, patient reader.

And yes, I know there will come a time when the deadlines are not self-imposed and therefore not so bendy — but by then author will be my full-time job and someone else will be paying to click send.

October 24, 2016


Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:29 pm
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So after being dizzy for the last couple of weeks, I have really come to appreciate having balance (I have also enjoyed standing up without vertigo). Had my health screening and Blood Pressure is perfect as always, so that is not the reason for the dizzy…but I do know what caused it.

Teaching full-time is not a 40 hour and out kind of job. You grade until you are “done,” you explain until they get it, and you care…well you just end up caring all the damn time. I haven’t figured up how many of my Facebook friends are previous students, but I know it is a pretty high percentage. The care doesn’t stop just because they graduated or the class ended. And that’s fine. It’s been my whole existence for the last 19 years, my identity, my calling.

I am in a transition phase of my life, where the teacher me is not the be-all, end-all of my existence and the author me is coming in to the light. This has been and is an amazing journey where I am rediscovering Michelle (as opposed to Ms. Sodaro) and I am learning how to do both…which is where the balance comes in and where I have failed the last couple of months. I have tried to cram in a full-time author life into my weekends and have caused myself to not have any down time and to feel horribly guilty if I spend time with friends or binge watching on Netflix during the weekend. This is not healthy.

So, I am going to try (again) to have author time every evening, thus lessening the pressure on my weekends and allowing me to hang out and chill like “normal” people do…and one of these days, maybe I will even try dating again…but one step at a time, folks.

October 14, 2016

Art therapy…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 2:51 pm
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So, I am going to an art museum today. I have been pushing myself to the point of exhaustion with keeping up with my grading like a good little soldier and starting a part-time job and working to get First Down out in the next couple of weeks. The past two weeks I have been dizzy and confused. A sure sign I need to slow down a bit and breathe.

I have always been fascinated by art…by those who can create art. My gift lies in words. I have no gift in drawing (my previous high school students can attest to this. Sorry for the nightmares I caused). I haven’t tried painting or clay past a disastrous elementary school class, where my teacher was kind, but confirmed this was not my future.

I am heading out the art museum near my house…am going to stand and sit and just absorb some of the creative energy. I am going to re-find my center and my calm. I am going to surround myself with the beauty of others and feel whole again. The grading will get done. Hopefully some writing will get done as well.

October 7, 2016

Are you Happy?

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:09 pm

So there is a countdown going on and yesterday was 451…451 days…(for those of you who don’t feel up to counting this morning, that brings us to 12/31/17…and no…it’s not the end of the world as we know it…but it is the end of a world I know and have known far too well for far too long.)

With yesterday being 451, I thought about the wonderful book (Fahrenheit 451) by Ray Bradbury throughout the day…even going so far as to get out my well-worn, well-loved copy and flip through…catching a phrase here and there and smiling about this part of the book or that. Because I have taught this book and because I have loved this book, there are underlined passages throughout…and this one seemed to jump off the page at me…(not literally…I haven’t lost my last 3 marbles, thank you…but figuratively)


Well…that really is THE ultimate question, isn’t it…And wasn’t that what started the whole countdown business anyway…I have always been a believer of pursuing things that make you happy. If something is making you unhappy, either change the situation or change your feelings about the situation.One of my biggest pet peeves are those people who just complain and complain and complain and never change a single thing…so I am always watchful of my own actions. If there is something I am complaining about…what have I done, what am I doing to fix it.

Are you happy…no…but I’m working on it. Trust me.


October 5, 2016


For some reason, and I do it every year, but I start thinking, “well, time to put this year to bed and get ready for a more productive next year.” NOT this year. No way. No how. I still have lots to do before 2016 ends.

I have two more books to publish this year. First Down is due out this month. It is coming along nicely and I should have no problems meeting my deadline as long as I keep my eye on the prize. I have people helping me from getting too distracted by other projects, so I should be just fine. Stealing Second is due out in December and I have some work to do on that one, but will be fine. (Hat Trick  will be out in March…I give myself a little extra time in the winter months because I know Seasonal Affective will try to show up…

I have only read 10 books so far this year…my goal was 40…so…hmm…well, I will try to maybe double my current count.

I planned to get my blogs to 700…and now I am thinking 650 is a more reasonable goal.

I made myself the promise that I get a new tattoo for every 100 workouts I complete. I am at 57/100 as of today…so need to kick that up a notch as I would like another tatt before this year is out.

I have my project for National Novel Writing Month (NaNo) outlined out and ready for 1 November.Outlined it and let it sit.

I have some pretty monumental changes coming between now and the end of next year, so I definitely need to keep pushing forward and marking things off my list. No time to rest and figure out where my laurels are…

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