Sodaro's Stories

April 2, 2018

It happens every time…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:24 pm
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So I just clicked send on my 10th novel last week, and as it has happened nine other times now…after my novel is done, I feel the tiniest bit lost. This novel has been my sole focus for a few months now (okay, when I say sole focus, it’s not “entirely” true that I didn’t work on any other project, but my MAIN project was this one). I used to not finish anything, which is why I have drafts all over the place and in various stages of “done.”

In 2011 when I held Whatever you Make of It for the very first time, I knew that I needed to finish each of  my projects and I needed to focus my poor “too many tabs open” brain on one project at a time (well, again, one MAIN project. If I seriously just work on one project, writer’s block becomes a thing, and that’s not okay…I learned my lesson NaNoWriMo 2013).

Each time I have clicked send, there is a patch of time, usually a week or two, where I feel unmotivated and almost listless. (This is not meaning I am without my lists, hahaha, I crack myself up). Where I want to start working on my next project, but I’m not quite “there” and I want to read books, but not quite “there” either.  Friends who have tiny humans relate it to post-partum…and that seems an accurate analogy as I usually feel “fine” again after I have my book in my hands. Maybe that it is it entirely…maybe I click send and then don’t get to see my child for a couple of weeks and I don’t really know what exactly to do.

 

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March 12, 2018

Limbo…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 5:28 pm
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So normally I hate limbo. I hate not knowing an answer or solution. I like to know what it going on so I know what I need to do to deal with things.

The ONE exception to this…and it is where I am right now.

I sent off my 10# novel to my wonderful reader. And now I am in the most blissful of limbos…She is reading it as she can…just as my life doesn’t get to have a pause button to write, hers doesn’t have one so she can read…but already my phone has received some texts about things…which I love.

The only time I can wait is when she’s reading my novel. I know she will guide me to any plot holes or problems and then I can do my final read-through, and then get my #10th book out into the world. I love having my book almost ready to go. I hope you all love Driven West as much as I do.

February 26, 2018

Pause Button

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 6:05 pm
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Okay, I know why I don’t get one…and that if I had one, everyone should get to have one, and then where would we be…in some constant state of pause either from our own button or someone else’s. Every horrible and not so horrible (though still mind-twisting) time travel novel and movie comes into mind and I know the end result would be horrible. Imagine you are in the middle of a conversation…or other activity…and they push pause. Um…hello?? I’ll just see myself out, then.

I also know why I don’t get one…with as little self control as I have with ice cream, I think we all know I would over use my pause button…didn’t get enough sleep…PAUSE…didn’t understand what someone said; need another minute to process…PAUSE…didn’t rehearse my food order (even though I always get the same thing)…PAUSE…and of course, right now, with work to do for both jobs and work to do for Driven West…PAUSE…PAUSE… PAUSE…

February 19, 2018

Names…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:11 pm
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So, I have never had tiny humans of my own, but I have had many many many fictional characters who I created (who all came into existence without any bodily fluids or screaming) and names are…well sometimes they are the hardest part of a novel. Just kidding, but it does come in close sometimes.

In Arianna’s Honor, the prince changed his name four times. Four. Arianna started off by introducing herself. “Hello, dear author. I am Arianna Collins. This is my sword…and this is Prince Whatshisname who you are going to make me keep alive.”

In my other books, Ali was always Ali, Sam was always Sam. Dillon for a while was something else for a while and her daughter, before announcing she was Lilly and telling me I was silly, was Jamie. The other characters have kept their names for the entirety of the series, for which I am extremely grateful because keeping track of that crew was chore enough.

The novel I am revising now was my NaNo in 2014, so three years ago. The names of the characters have been set in my mind for three and a half years…well, the female protagonist had to convince me her name was Madison, but I am pretty comfortable with it now. Ironically, one of the key character’s names is the name of a friend I made in May of last year (and her uncle’s name is the same as her fictional brother’s name…weird). My male protagonist’s name, I had no connection to one way or another, but it fit him…and now I know someone with his name and I can’t say I am a fan of this person at all…but I do like my fictional person quite well…so the name stays if I can make it through…

Naming people is tough business…I give parents kudos…well, the ones who think it through…the ones who don’t think it through, I hope they are setting aside money for their kid’s therapy sessions. After 20 years of teaching, there are some names I will never ever use. After however many years of dating, the same applies…or at least I will be very careful which novels those names appear in…both categories may come in handy when I write one of my serial killer novels.

February 6, 2018

DeJa Vu

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 4:11 pm
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So around this part of the last novel…and the one before that…and the one before that…etc. I get to a point where I hit a wall…sometimes I hit the wall at full speed and sometimes, like this time, I run into the wall in slow motion. It’s always there…this wall, and it stops me every time.

Next month I will have my 10th book out. (Even hitting the wall, that is still my goal). 10. Double digits. Wow…that’s pretty crazy. And this wall has happened every single time,(well, to be honest, even more than 10 times…I have 6 first drafts that are just sitting at the wall waiting for me to pick them up and finish them.) every time I get near the ending.

I know the endings. I know the chapter that comes right before THE END. I have known it for a while now…and the story leading up to that chapter is solid…with the exception of about 5-8 chapters…those 5-8 chapters are the problem each and every time, each and every novel. With this novel being my first mystery, those 5-8 chapters are even more crucial because I have to make sure I am leading people down a path for the whodunit, and then I have to make sure the actual whodunit makes sense when it’s all said and done.  My goal…every mystery’s goal, I would imagine, is to have the reader so sure they have it figured out and then when it’s revealed, for them to go back and read the novel to see what they missed.

I know I what I need to do. I need to do the same thing I’ve done to finish my other novels. I need to focus on other things for a bit…play with other projects, and let these 5-8 chapters work themselves out in my subconscious. It has worked every time. It will work this time. This deja vu is all part of the process…albeit not my favorite part.

January 22, 2018

PPWC: Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 4:53 pm
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https://www.pikespeakwriters.com/ppwc/

Three years ago, I went to the Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference for the first time (as opposed to the two years prior when I had registered and chickened out…after all, who was I to go to a writer’s conference).

And then I went in April of 2016…and it was amazing, and as it turned out…I had every right to be at a writer’s conference, because I am, and have been…a writer. And for 3 days, I wasn’t a teacher…I wasn’t a hyphen (a teacher-author)…I was just…amazingly, an author. I was among my people. MY PEOPLE. People who understand the highs and lows of this calling and who wouldn’t choose any other path. (This is not in any way downplaying the role of my amazing support system. You guys are my rock and I couldn’t do this day after day without you.)

April 2017. I went for my second time and I no longer felt like I was lost. I felt like I belonged for the first time in my life…me, Michelle Sodaro. It was like coming home. I got to be among writers, eating with writers, talking writing with writers, absorbing everything I possibly could from everyone I possibly could.

So this year, I go back for my 3rd conference. I go back to be around my people. To totally dive in to the author world, and for a few days, forget reality, forget jobs, forget bills, forget responsibilities, and just breathe.

January 12, 2018

Finally…they are all together

CreatespaceSo, back in November, when I moved, I had a blog about how I felt better when all my stuff was in the same place. Well finally, all of my books are in the same place.

I started out with iUniverse and self-published Whatever you Make of It and Arianna’s Honor there.

Then I went to BookBaby, where I self-published Arianna’s Destiny Broken Trust, Redeeming Trust, and First Down.

Then I learned about Createspace. After I got past the unproductive self-lashing for money wasted, I researched what it would take to bring all my babies home.

I edited the ridiculous amounts of grammatical errors in Whatever you Make of It.

I made Arianna’s Honor the same size as all the other books (something which had bothered me every single time I looked at her beautiful cover.

And now…all my babies are home. Shades of Blue  is my upcoming poetry book…not out yet, but the cover is uploaded…a good reminder for me to get to editing those poems.

And there is peace. All 9 of my babies in one home.

January 9, 2018

Online dating

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:48 pm
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So, in a made up statistic, I love being single about 93.7% of the time. I don’t have to explain why I’m still “not done writing” (is there such a thing??) or why, “yes, I do need that package of pens, can’t you see it says the word NEW on it?” I don’t have to explain why school supply season is my favorite season. I love being single…most of the time. For that 6.3% of the time (look at me, doing math…) when I don’t love being single, I think online dating is a good idea, because really, where do people even meet people anymore??

Things that bug me about online dating:

Profile pics which are too close up, taken in the bathroom, taken at an odd angle so you get a lot of forehead or you get the joy of looking up someone’s nose. Profile pictures that could also double as a mug shot…maybe you should, I don’t know, smile…you know, meeting the love of your life and all that…it is supposed to be a happy time…so why do you look pissed off at the whole world?

Separated. Okay…if you are separated and you happen to meet someone and that person helps get you motivated to make that separated a more legally-single thing, that is one thing, but to be proactively looking for someone new when you are not entirely sure you want to be divorced yet? Talk about checking out the grass on the other side of the fence…Maybe it’s just me, but nothing makes me click on the no faster than seeing Separated as a status, though smoking is a close second. I do appreciate the honesty though, so one kudo point to you for that.

I don’t know…maybe online dating is not for me…except for fodder for books, though I would think I have enough stories about actual dating to fill my books…like I said, most of the time, I love being single…it’s just that darn 6.3% of the time which is so loud sometimes.

January 8, 2018

Keep it short…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:13 pm
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One of my resolutions this year was to continually break out of my comfort zone…I want to do this in as many ways as I can as an author and a person.

Short stories has always been an elusive thing for me. I admire people who can do it well. Mine always never get off the ground or turn into a larger project.

Ourwritingtherapy.com has a list of 52 short story prompts. So I am trying it.

Last week’s short story tied directly into Dear Teaching…but this week, I am going to definitely try to get this to be a stand alone short story. I hope.

Wish me luck. I’m going in.

January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!!

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:30 pm
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There is something magical about a new year. New fresh calendars, new journals, new goals. Like we get a fresh start, a clean slate, a tabula rasa.

This year I am going to get 4 books out. Last year the goal was 4, but the before, during, and after of a move had me changing plans to maintain some semblance of sanity.

I also plan to conquer my trepidations about making audio books and have my novels having that third format to join the paperback and kindle formats.

I plan to read, review, and promote more of my author friends.

I plan to let go of all crushes I held on to…fresh slate. Distraction free.

I plan to have more fun…as soon as I figure out what they means.

Make this year amazing. Climb your personal mountain. Fight your personal demon.

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