Sodaro's Stories

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 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.

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.

 

 

October 31, 2016

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 5, 2016

Ahhh…October…

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…

July 25, 2016

Doing better at this author thing

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 4:59 pm
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I have been doing a lot of thinking of where I was both physically and “authorily” a year ago compared to where I am now. (Without a doubt, I am in all ways measurable in a better place now).

The advancements I have made as an author are really the most tangible (and those steps I have taken are the direct result of all that has happened in the past year.)

I now have my 5th book out. Redeeming Trust  was originally promised out last September, but I had some people to meet and experiences to go through before she was truly ready for her close up to the world.

I have my three-book series, Lucky Charms, on deck (pun intended). The game plans is October for First Down, December for Stealing Second, and March for Hat Trick.

I now have a Post Office box. I have, for the first time in my life, some actual roots to a city. Baby steps, I know, but I finally feel at home somewhere.

I have started the initial planning for my 2nd book signing. Details to follow.

I am restocking the shelves of my various novels. Turns out, it is harder to sell them if I don’t have any on-hand.

As much as I have enjoyed my full-time teaching career, I am actually making some plans to be able to see an end in sight (525) to be an author full-time.

Yeah, I am in a much better place in every aspect of my life and looking forward to where I will be another year from now.

July 13, 2016

Pieces and Parts

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:24 pm
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So sometime in my younger time (younger time being any time before now) that was the joke about McDonald’s chicken McNuggets…that they were “pieces and parts” of chicken (it may be true, I have no knowledge one way or the other)…that is just what I thought of with my blog title.

I mentioned on Monday that I put too much on my to-do list and that it is easy for me to get overwhelmed. This is absolute truth. I was thinking last week of the things I want to get done this year (2 more books out, NaNo, blogs, etc.etc.etc.) and I started to feel like a better idea was to rock myself quietly in a corner somewhere.

So over the weekend, I took the HUGE things (getting two more novels out and NaNo) and broke them down into pieces and parts. I don’t have to get EVERYTHING done in July…but I do have to get SOME things done in July so that I can get SOME things done in August, etc. etc.etc.

So now I have a month-by-month list further broken down to week-by-week and this has made a world of difference in my anxiety level. What do ya know…Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott wins again.

Get things done, Sodaro.

 

 

 

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.

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