Sodaro's Stories

April 16, 2017

At last…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 8:40 pm
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So Easter is hard for me…too many thoughts of my favorite Easter and breaking confetti-filled eggs over heads…and too many thoughts of what came next…so while all of my coworkers and friends discussed Easter plans and food and gatherings, I knew, the best way to celebrate was to finish my novel. Those were our plans, after all…and now they are all mine…and that thought used to terrify me, but right now, with the end of my teaching career a mere 10 days away, I find myself exhilarated to see happening, the plans you put into place.

“You have wanted to be a writer since I have known you, Mich. So do it. Be a writer.” And I did. And I am. And it all started with you. Wonderful, beautiful you. So, how I celebrated Easter was to get Stealing Second to my reader. To get me one step closer to the author life we planned.

I have been all over the place lately…tying up an amazing teaching career, making sure my students finish their course strong as I finish up my time as a teacher, as strong as I can. Getting things ready for my writer’s conference. Getting things ready for my new life. Getting myself ready to let go…I’m ready to let go of teaching…as hard as it is, it’s time to let go.

I can think of no better way to do that than to get my 7th novel ready to get published. The cover is done, saved and waiting at Bookbaby.com

The book is done…now safely in the hands of my reader…then it’s final read through and send.

Happy Easter, Babe…I hope there are plenty of confetti-filled eggs up there.

April 3, 2017

Plot Twist…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:11 pm
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So the game plan 7 years ago (wow…7 years…) was to quit teaching and work at a job where I could focus on my writing…the other part of the game plan was to get married and see if he could turn the “Maybe” of having kids, to a “yes” (if there was ever a man that could get me to a yes on having tiny humans, it was Trav). Then everything changed, and in one moment, the wind was knocked out of me, and I was alone with all of our plans…and no idea how to make those plans still happen…so I put them on the back burner for awhile and I found a new teaching job and just told myself “some day.”

I tried to do both, because I couldn’t figure out how to do the game plan of not teaching…not without him…what was the point…so I played at being an author, stealing bits of time between grading and meetings. My list of projects just kept getting longer, as did the  list of author things I was not getting done…website, networking, writer’s conferences, promoting, getting more than one project out a year, audio books, my nonfiction projects, my poetry, and the list goes on and on. All things I would get to “some day.”

23 days.

The end of my teaching career. Forever? Maybe…I know right now I need a clean break. No subbing, no adjunct teaching, no connection to education. That may change. The love of teaching is still there, but the teacher in me has been kicked so many times and my projects have just been patiently waiting. For some day.

23 days.

7 years ago we had a plan…but it wasn’t the right plan. There were people I had yet to meet…project ideas I had yet to meet as well…and I needed the various teaching jobs to get  to meet those people and those ideas. So the plans I had turned in to “some day” plans.

And now that “some day” is happening this month. THIS MONTH. And I know Trav is watching me and I know he is proud of me for making it happen.

March 7, 2017

Letting go…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:32 pm
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So…I may have one or two control issues (Okay, that “one or two” is a bit of an understatement…)

One thing that being an author has taught me, is to let go of some of my control issues…for example…what a project should look like in the end. There have been many things I have tried to force into what I wanted them to be…and it worked as well as the square peg, round hole conundrum.

Another thing I have learned is that projects will get finished when they are supposed to…this is a hard one for me because I have A SCHEDULE. I have a GAME PLAN. I want these ducks lined up at this time…and oh crap…where did all the ducks go.

So what happens when I try to force plot points or formats…or try to line the ducks up at a given time to get done by my self-imposed deadline…is NOTHING. Not like…haha, nothing happens and life continues as it should…I mean NOTHING happens. Like Nada. ZILCH. Zero things happening. Which then causes me stress as I stare at the calendar and maybe, if I just stare hard enough, I can go back a few weeks and not stress and then not be staring and fretting. (Side note, where did February go????)

I trust the process. I do. It has successfully brought me to finishing and publishing 6 novels and I am about to publish #7…the process works…but it works on its own time and in its own way…and me staring at the calendar…and swearing…and pleading with the process…and putting more and more pressure on things…yeah, that is not how the process works. Who could work under those conditions.

So I let go. I stopped swearing at my calendar. I stopped frowning at my to-do lists…and I just focused on other things…and then a duck showed up…and another and another…and now, my ducks are as much in a row as they ever are…and I will finish #7 and all will be right with the world once more

February 17, 2017

Lucky Charms Series

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 2:06 pm
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fd-paperbackSo First Down met it’s publication date of 2016…it was mid-December, but it still says 2016 on it, so it counts. So far, people have seemed to like to my crew of characters, which is always the best compliment.

Some people have told me that my book kept them up past their bedtimes…I do believe that is the ultimate “sorry, not sorry” (at least for an author).

Stealing Second is well on its way to its March publication date. It may be closer to the end of March, but it will be out next month (wow…if saying NEXT month doesn’t light a fire, I don’t know what would). I am putting some final touches on the story for the fictional Kansas City Royals…then it is off to my fabulous reader…then final read through and cover (by my fabulous artist, Amanda Fugate).

Hat Trick was the first one in the series that got written. I have talked to other authors about this, how I knew the end of the series before I knew the beginning and some of them think it makes sense to know where I am going to know how to get there…to others I am a crazy person, and why wouldn’t I start at the beginning? It wasn’t actually a conscious plan. I was watching the hockey game, saw the super fan…and JD was born…Then Ty skated up to him, Chris came with his baseball glove, and Josh with his football. I love it when my characters introduce themselves to me right from the start…makes it so much easier than when they play hard to get.

January 20, 2017

End of a road…

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelle sodaro @ 6:04 pm
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I find myself standing at the end of a road…I decided in May of last year that my teaching career needed to come to a close. I had been questioned about my integrity one too many times because my percentage of adults who didn’t pass my course was too high…the implication being that I am a “bad teacher” when the truth is in fact I am a very good one…one who feels the sting of every single “F” I have ever given out…did I not do enough? Could I have pushed harder? Did I push too hard?

I have cried at every graduation I have been to…every graduation except the one I attended last year…last year I just felt numb. My 20 years in the field have put me through every emotion possible…every emotion except numb. I have never been numb…and to feel it at one of the greatest days of the year in the education world…I knew there was a problem.

The world of education is changing. It has changed over my 2 decades in the field, of course, but the changes I see now are not ones I can bend toward, as I have done for countless other changes.

12/31/17 will be my last day as Ms. Sodaro, my last day as a “teacher,” my last day in this role I have played for twenty years of my life.

Last month I self-published my 6th novel. I am going to self-publish 4 more this year. Clearing projects off my plate. Making room for new ones.

I don’t know yet how I will pay my bills in 2018…I know I will have a job. I know that it will be 40hours a week. Clock in. Do my job. Clock out. Go home and work on what makes me feel alive. One day I will pay my bills with my books…and until then I will do whatever I have to do.

January 16, 2017

Dreams and goals

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:24 pm

Trust me, Dr. Martin Luther King, jr…I know the power of a dream. I know what it is to picture something that others might not see…or might think “That sounds nice, but it’s not very realistic now is it” and while my dream is not as universal as yours…it’s still all-encompassing and what keeps me going.

I am making solid plans for my dreams. I am making those dreams into goals. I am taking steps every day in the direction of my dreams. I believe in everything I am working toward…some people believe right along side me. Some people want to, but can’t quite see it, and they believe in me if they don’t necessarily believe in my dream. Some people can’t wait to see me fail because they are unhappy in their own lives and who am I to get what I want. I just keep working toward my dream…keep putting one foot in front of the other even though I am beyond exhausted…I am just going to keep taking one more step and one more step and we will see where I am in a year.

Maybe my dream comes true and maybe I accomplish every goal I have. Maybe my goals change and I alter my path…I don’t know…all I do know is that this is my life…and I’m going to live it the best way I know how…I don’t want any “I wish I would have’s” later on..I have a dream!

January 9, 2017

Quizzical Queries

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 2:24 pm
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So I love the process of self-publishing, and I will continue to self-publish regardless of anything else that happens. I am also querying agents to check out the traditional publishing route. Anything that puts my books in more reader’s hands, I am a fan of and am going to try. Count on it.

The querying process is dizzying. Why can’t there be one standard thing that agents are looking for. Query letter should have this, this, and this. Synopsis includes this, this, this and not this. Never do this. Always do this. AND….send.

But no…there isn’t agreement in what should be in a query letter..what should be included in a synopsis (chapter by chapter? Overall? 3 pages? One page?) Send the first 30 pages. Send the first 3 chapters. Send a picture of a goat enjoying your novel. Now put a tiara on the goat. And send…but only on the second Tuesday of the month when the moon is a full moon, not a new moon…that is no good.

It is maddening when I just want to scream out READ MY BOOK AND LOVE ME!!!!!! And if that book doesn’t work for you, tell me what you need…I bet I have one started. Have you seen my project quilt? It has something for everyone.

Like I said, I will continue to self-publish regardless of if I get an agent or not. I would love the networking opportunities that would come along with that, but more than anything else, I want to get my books out there for people to read. There are characters I can’t wait for everyone to meet!!!

January 4, 2017

And then there were six…

fd-paperbackSo yesterday my 6th paperback came in the mail. To say I was distracted while at work, is an understatement, but I still did my job to the best of my ability, so my present and my future are getting along currently.

I am excited about this novel…as I am for all of my ‘babies’ but this one is the first in a 3-part series, which means I get to play with my characters for two more novels…even better, those novels are written, so now it is just editing and polishing things up so that they can join their first one in the PUBLISHED category (moving up from the EDITING category, which then makes room for some new projects to join the WRITING category)…the assembly line in my head is as chaotic as you are probably imagining. ..but it’s fun. Just watch out for the unicorns.

All Josh Matthews ever wanted to do was hang out with his friends and be the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs. He didn’t put any faith in the superstitions of his teammates and really played for the love of the game. When he sees a fan holding up a sign during the first regular season game, he decides to put the team’s superstitions to the test. Upon meeting Dillon Winters, and her daughter Lilly, everything changes, including his belief in Lucky Charms. Could this star quarterback find something even more important to him than football?

Dillon is a single mom who knows all too well the high price of fame. Her ex-husband taught her to avoid stars that were only shiny from a distance. She has been raising her daughter and working at her bar and doing just fine on her own. Can she get past
her fears and experiences to believe in love again?

First Down is available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook format. Nook updates to be coming soon.

January 1, 2017

Hello, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelle sodaro @ 8:58 pm

This year is going to be my best one yet. I said that last year, and it was true…it will also be true this year, because I will work my ass off to make it true…as I did in 2016. 

I am going to get 4 books published in 2017. They are all done as first drafts and are in editing mode. Well, three of the four are in edit mode. The last of the four needs to be finished in its first draft, but there is time. 

I want to be braver in 2017. I dabbled in this in 2016…I tried three new foods. I want to try new foods. I want to try new experiences. I want to date new people and meet new people. I want to stop being afraid and stop hiding from things. 

This is going to be the year that changes everything. 

December 31, 2016

Saying goodbye to 2016

Wow. What to say about this year…in some ways, it feels like I had just said hello to it…and in other ways it feels like it lasted about 17 centuries.

We lost a lot of people in the entertainment industry…which I imagine happened when our parents were our age as well. Of course there wasn’t Facebook to give us minute by minute and post after post…and it’s sad. It’s always sad to lose positive energy and bits of our childhood. But as with any loss, the memory remains and that is ours to keep forever.

I published two books this year. That is a first for me. I now have Whatever you Make of It 2011, Arianna’s Honor 2012, Arianna’s Destiny 2013, Broken Trust 2015, and Redeemng Trust and First Down 2016. I was cutting it a bit close with  First Down having a 2016 birthdate, but I got it done, and that is what counts. I was a bit stalled in November on…well just about everything. Exhaustion and looking at how far I had yet to go had me shutting down…until one random wrong phone call and an email from a stranger changed it all and kept me going.

I didn’t read enough…but I tried. I didn’t exercise enough, but I did more this year than I have in years past, so I am still counting it progress.

I achieved clarity for my future. I may not know exactly what I am going to be doing, but I know what I won’t be doing, and that that is a step in the right direction. I trust the Universe.

I have let go of people I never thought I would let go of. I have become friends with people I never thought I would come to care about. (I am learning to end sentences with prepositions, like normal people do).

All in all, it was a great year. And I know, beyond any question or doubt or hesitation, that 2017 is going to unbelievably busy…unbelievably exhausting…and mostly…unbelievably freeing.

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