Sodaro's Stories

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.

December 28, 2016

Restless…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:24 pm
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Some of the best advice I have ever heard about writing was to work on something new immediately after finishing something, and I have to be honest, this has never been a problem for me as I was always starting new projects (much to the dismay of my current projects and the prospect of actually finishing anything).

The past year and a half I have devoted to finishing projects I have had “done” for a while. Case in point…First Down was published this month and I had originally started the series on the first day of 2012. One one hand, I need things to percolate a bit…on the other hand, get it together, Michelle.

So I am in editing mode for the next two books of Lucky Charms and that is great. Stealing Second  will be out in March to kick off baseball season, and Hat Trick will be out in June and keep all things moving right along. After those two are edited, I will be editing Driven West, which was my National Novel Writing Month project for 2015. This is due out in September 2017.

I love having these projects in editing mode. I love having them closer and closer to ready to be out in the world. It is so exciting to know that at the end of 2017, I will have 10 books out (with Dear Teaching, my NaNo for this year, finishing out the set).

Having so many projects in edit mode though, has me a bit restless. The idea behind beginning a new project immediately upon clicking send is to keep the excitement up…like a new crush after a breakup…just reminds you that you are alive and you don’t spend all of your time worrying and wondering about what you just finished up. Being in editing mode is more work than writing…almost like breaking up with someone and starting up with someone new 6 months into a relationship…if I may continue the metaphor).

So I am just a little bit restless…but will brainstorm and freewrite about future projects to keep the energy alive.

December 26, 2016

First Down

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 2:33 pm
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first-down-final

On December 20, 2016 at 12:13AM, my 6th novel was born. I sent her off to the fabulous people at Bookbaby so they could check her over and format her and get all shiny for the world.

She is already out on Kindle.

She will be coming out on Nook in the coming weeks.

She will be on my doorstep, in paperback format, on January 5th.

As the first in the Lucky Charms series, she leads the way for the other two books, Stealing Second, due out in March 2017, and Hat Trick, due out in June 2017.

This entire series started at a hockey game on New Year’s Eve, 2011,  with one Missouri Maverick’s super fan who danced around in the stands to get the crowds riled up and cheering. One guy, who I’ll likely never meet, started the whole series. He became JD…and the rest of the crew introduced themselves from there.

 

 

December 13, 2016

Making Changes

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:52 pm

2017 is going to be a BIG year for me. I don’t mean in the “new year, new me” thing we all say every year, but in the…okay…it’s time to do this…wait, let me try this again…

IT’S TIME TO DO THIS!!!!!

That’s a little better.

I am cleaning out my closets, metaphorically and literally. I am letting go of things and people which no longer fit in with where my life is headed. I am not going to hold on to them just because I have for so long…Just this morning I went through my gmail and deleted every message I could get rid of. Tackling my hotmail mess will be next on the list.

I am letting go of things that weigh me down and people that hold me back. I will have a total of six books out by the end of this year. (I am clicking send on First Down on Monday December 19, 2016.) By this time next year, I will have be clicking send on my 10th book, which will be my first non-fiction book. 10 books. TEN. Books. With my name on the spine. A sight that never ever ever gets old.

I am ready. Did you hear me universe? I. AM. READY.

I am paring down my friends list to people who are really on my side. You don’t have to read my books or like them to stay in my circle…you just have to support me in the pursuit of my goals. If you don’t support me…then I’m doing us both a favor and cutting the ties. One of the hardest things I have to realize is that some people claim to be in your corner, but are really rooting for you to get KO’d…and that is horrible way to live life. Why can’t we all just support one another? I don’t get it…but I’m cutting ties with those people in my life who have shown their true colors. My books are going to pay my bills one day with or without you and my tolerance for drama has completely run dry.

I am going to stop doing things just because I’m good at it, or because I have always done them. If it doesn’t support my future, I’m done with it.

 

December 2, 2016

Christmas Songs

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelle sodaro @ 3:58 pm

Okay…It is December. NOW it is okay for there to be Christmas songs. Some of my favorites:

1. My Grown-up Christmas list

2. So, This is Christmas

3. Baby, it’s cold Outside

4. Grinch’s song

5. Where are you, Christmas?

6. Do you see what I see (for some reason I used to sing this one to my brother??)

7. I’ll be Home for Christmas

8. Please, Christmas, don’t be Late (Alvin and the Chipmunks song)

9. Last Christmas 

10. Anything by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

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