Sodaro's Stories

May 3, 2017


Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:05 pm
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Walking away from teaching is very much like walking away from a 20-year marriage. I say that as someone who has not ever been married…but who has sacrificed and has been loyal and has devoted my whole life (at the cost of my writing and any kind of a personal life) to teaching.

A lot of people are telling me I am “so brave” to walk away from my full-time teaching career to more fully pursue my author career.

To me, it’s not about being brave, nor did it really require any kind of courage, per se. (Of course it is still very new and shiny, so maybe when it sinks in — you know, in a couple of weeks when I don’t get that teacher paycheck). I didn’t do it to be brave; it was just something I felt like I had to do.

I have lived very deliberately to not have any regrets and with the possible exception of some guys I have dated- I can honestly say I have no regrets.  (Let’s just call those fellas research, shall we?)

I have taught countless students (many of whom have become treasured friends). I have written curriculum and lesson plans to help challenge students and accomplish their goals. I have made friends at every school I have been at — friends I cannot imagine my life without knowing.

My life has been shaped (for better or worse) by every class, every student I have taught. And I have given my all to that profession. And now, I am giving my all to my writing, which has been on the back burner for far too long. So to me, it’s not about being brave at all. It’s about doing what I had to, to be true to who I am now. Something I think we should all do. What makes you feel alive? Do that. Pursue that.


November 3, 2016

Grateful for: Friends and Family

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:59 pm
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“Thank you for being my friend.” Golden Girls theme song

Where would any of us be without our friends and family (whether that family is blood or the family we choose). Those people who stand by us at our darkest moments — lift us up when we are down at our lowest — and fly with us when we are at our highest. Those people who are our anchors and our wings simultaneously. (*hey, spelled that word right for maybe the 5th time in my whole life*)

I have some truly amazing people in my life. I would not be where I am without them. I am standing on the edge of making some pretty major life changes and I know, without a doubt, the wings that will help me fly as I take my leap of faith, are these people.

Thank you for being a part of my life. I promise there is a beach chair with your name on it…when I get my island.

November 4, 2015

30 Days of Author Gratitude: Students

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:32 pm
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Okay, so technically this one is more about the teacher side of me than the author side of me, but my students are some of my strongest supporters, so it still fits…and it’s my blog, so I do what I want.

I have taught for 19 years. I have taught 6th grade (yes, I know…it was frightening for me too) to college. I have gone to countless graduations and too many funerals (even one would be too many).

I remember when I still taught for Winnetonka and Mom and I were at Metro North Mall (yes, it was THAT long ago) and a student, Amy Holman, came running up to me. Mom was so amazed that my students would acknowledge me IN PUBLIC. It happened and has happened so often in my teaching career that I am constantly amazed and humbled by it. I never want to take for granted that I played a role in their lives, just as surely as they have played a role in mine.

I would say more than half of my friends on Facebook are former students. (No, I didn’t actually do that math…if you know me at all, you should have assumed that). I get to celebrate their joys and successes and get to virtually hug them with their sorrows and am again amazed and humbled that they choose to keep connected with me.

My students have always been what has kept me teaching, even through the bad days. Some have become friends who I absolutely could not imagine my life with out. All have left a mark on my heart and have made my world a far, far better place.

November 3, 2015

30 Days of Author Gratitude: Friends and Family

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:38 pm
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(So to balance out the blog from yesterday, because I would not be who I am without my friends and family…)

I think every author has to express loudly and often just absolute gratitude for friends and family. In general, it has to be, if not awkward, at least less than ideal sometimes to be friends with or be related to an author.

For every time we were talking and I got out a notebook or my phone to make a note of something for one of my projects…Thank you. From the bottom of my distracted heart; I am so grateful that you understand (or pretend to) that ideas don’t keep and they need to be recorded.

For every time we had plans and I cancelled because I was in a writing zone…thank you for continuing to invite me out. I am so grateful that you understand (or, again, pretend to) that the writing zones can’t always be flipped on and off like a switch. Believe it or not, I DO try to cancel as rarely as possible…because I DO love you dearly — I just also love my writing zones, which then turn in to pretty novels, which I also love.

For every time I talk about my characters as if they are real people or my plot points as if they are actual events, thank you for humoring me (and not calling the crazy bus) and for even trying to keep straight which character is in what story. I am so grateful for your efforts.

No person is an island…and I would not have gotten where I am without those of you who support me and tolerate my eccentric behaviors.

September 1, 2015

September Goals

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 6:02 pm
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Well, obviously, my first and most important goal for September, 2015, is to publish the sequel to Broken TrustRedeeming Trust will have a publication date of September 2015.

Connected to that, there will be a short story that gives an alternate version to the 1st meeting of Sam and Ali. (I will also include this short story in the beginning of Redeeming Trust). The story is called “Chance Meeting” and has Ali and Sam running into each other at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival where Sam is drawing characteriture portraits.

I will also be taking care of my physical health. Knee problems and some slight blood pressure issues caused me to wake up and stop being passive about my health.

I will be working on my spiritual health as well. I have taken far too many things for granted and need to get back in touch with the core of me.

I also need to work on and write through some issues that popped up from the summer months. My Master’s thesis was about using writing to heal, understand, or deal with the things life hands us. Time to put it to the test once again.

Also want to hang out with friends, have writing dates, (I wouldn’t say no to a date-date as well, but baby steps).

Here’s to a great September. Full steam ahead!

March 15, 2015

small victories…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 11:54 pm
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Sometimes I get so anxious I can hardly take a full, deep breath. Writing always helps me with this. Some people also help…they bring out a calm that I want to just bottle it up (which seems a better alternative than kidnapping them). Today and yesterday, I have had so much productivity and each day I have written over 2500 words each day…I have gotten up early and stayed up late, organizing and writing, planning and reading and it has been amazing.

Today’s anxiety was from getting over stimulated with all of my projects. It’s usually pretty chaotic in my mind, but there is normally some organization in my chaos. This weekend with all of the progress I made all over the place, it was like that fake peanut brittle can…and you take the lid off and fake snakes jump out all over the place.

I went for a walk at Happy Rock park today to ease the anxiety. Breathing in the fresh air and listening to Pandora really helped me to get the anxiety down. So to celebrate my small victory over my anxiety, I took myself to Starbucks where I wrote for 3 hours and felt focused and calm.

I feel I have made a small victory over my pop addiction. I’ve only had one pop from the time I gave them up, which is over a month and a half now…and the pop I had was at the airport when I was told they had no pilot to get me back to Kansas City (we did end up having a pilot, obviously…).

I hope writing always helps me. I hope the friends who help me stay calm don’t get tired of me needing a hand every now and then. I hope the weather stays nice enough for me to walk as often as I can.

March 12, 2015

Cautiously Optimistic

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 1:05 pm
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Sometimes things make sense and you have a good overall feeling about them. Maybe it’s sending a novel to my reader and my editor…and maybe it’s having a beer with a friend…maybe it’s having a job that you appreciate that reciprocates that appreciation…maybe it’s deciding you’re not afraid to take that next step and knowing that you are headed in the right direction because it all makes sense.

I turn 40 in a couple of months and in my time on this planet I have learned that some times things are going in the right direction and you have to just ride it out and trust in things and people. It’s hard to do…sometimes it’s hard to do with the fictional characters I created in my head for my novels…sometimes they don’t do what they are supposed to do, but sometimes their ideas are even better than my game plan. Sometimes this happens with real people too…sometimes they surprise you…sometimes it’s even in good ways. (haha)

I have discovered the benefits of being cautiously optimistic. Not looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, those have long since been stripped away, but being hopeful about a future I am working hard to make a reality. Not trusting every person I come across, but still having enough trust for those who haven’t yet broken it. My eyes are wide open, and I am very cautiously optimistic about my life right now.

June 30, 2013

Reflecting Reflection

I was thinking about this month as I woke up this morning…it’s had a lot of writing packed in 30 little days. I am on chapter 17 of Arianna’s Destiny and that is moving along quite nicely. It has a strong edit/rewrite of Broken Trust which has been a long time coming. It has had notes made on existing projects as well as notes started on projects that do not yet exist. As per a friend’s invite to the 30 Days of Blog, it has had (almost) daily blogging (I think I missed 3 days throughout the course of the month) which has been a fantastic way to find new friends and writers to talk with.
I have enjoyed working on my full-time author gig and it is my absolute goal to enjoy this particular “job” for as long as it is possible for me to do so. I have been job searching, of course…I don’t know what the Universe’s entire plan for me is, but I know it involves me working on my novels, and I have a really strong feeling that while my role may change, my time spent with education is not over yet, which is good…because I am not ready to leave that area quite yet.
I need to read more. I need to have more balance in that aspect of my life. There are so many books that I want to read, so many I need to read…there are friends who have asked me for feedback/editing on their projects and I have just been so absorbed by having free time to write, that I have put things on the back burner. For this I do apologize…I also offer up the information with a smile that for the first time in far too long, I am making the progress as a full-time author that I have wanted to make all along. But it is good to have balance in all things…and my time needs to be spent in writing AND reading AND helping others.
I have also exercised more in this month than I have in previous months…and that will most definitely continue. I want it to become the daily habit that writing is…where I feel off if I haven’t exercised on a given day…it surely makes me twitchy when I go a day without putting pen to paper. It should get the same way when I haven’t read or exercised as well. It is a gradual process, but one I intend on improving.
For future months, I may or may not blog every day…some days I just don’t have a lot to say outside of my novels. I will write every day. I will promote my writing and make new friends and writer-connection. I will have the goal to read and exercise every day. So…I will continue, every day, to make progress on turning the life I want in to the life I have.

March 25, 2012

So…I realize

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 3:59 pm
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I realize I am not always the best company…yesterday was a perfect example…I was out with 3 of my friends and we were trying on Bridesmaid dresses for the upcoming wedding. I found myself wandering around, looking for the types of dresses my characters would wear…thinking about what they would like; what their weddings would be like; who their bridesmaids would be; where their ceremonies would be…etc. After shopping for the dresses, my friends and I went to Joe’s Crab Shack and I tried really hard to stay active in the conversation…but as it often happens, I failed at this attempt to be a normal friend. There were patrons nearby that were not the best parents, which upset me and made me want to mentally escape, added to the fact that I discovered one more in a long list of people I can not trust… I mentally left the table and the conversations and went back to play with my Hockey story…Ty and Mac are so amazing…and chapter 15 wrote itself yesterday. My wrist didn’t even ache, which is why I really feel like I was not even involved…much like I realized (and my friends realized) that I was not all that involved in the real life activities.
I also realize that I am on the right path. I have an amazing support system in this path I have chosen. My friends believe in my stories and my being an author, and I am grateful to them every single day. So, if we’re ever out in public, and I mentally drift away some place, please know that I love you and will return shortly. If you would be so kind as to keep the conversation going until I mentally check back in, that would be much appreciated.

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