Sodaro's Stories

June 24, 2016

30 Days of Blogs: Author things — Inspiration

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:25 pm
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So, if you have read my blogs for any time now, you know that I find inspiration just about anywhere and by talking to anyone. I found a single rose in a parking lot and had about 50 potential ideas on how it got there (including it walking there and falling down in exhaustion).

There are people I have met that are a one-hit wonder…they inspire one idea…one scene…one bit of conversation…one secondary character.

There are some people who inspire many ideas and many stories. Who become a primary character… a recurring theme…a constant source of inspiration.

I am always amazed when I meet new people and they instantly become old friends…as if we have known each other in previous lifetimes…as if our souls can finally relax and say, “oh thank goodness…I found you again.” These are the people who teach me about friendship and love and all of the best parts of life. They give me hope and help me to write.

I am so grateful for the people in my life who are fodder for the bad things that can happen…after all what is a story without conflict? What is a protagonist without an antagonist?

I’m also grateful for the people who remind me of what I want to believe in and all the reasons to write a happy ever after.

I am grateful for the people who inspire me…



June 5, 2016

30 days of blog: Author things — Morning Inspiration

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 11:39 am
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“I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me” Ray Bradbury

*If memory serves, there is another type of morning inspiration that also works wonders, but we’ll stick to ideas for this bloggy-blog.*

So one of the best feelings in the world is when a new idea for a novel or project wakes me up with a gentle whisper…”hey, wouldn’t it be awesome if we wrote about this?”

And sleepy me replies, “Mmmmm…yes that would be a great story. We should write about that.”

And then my muse waits a minute for me to either get up or put it in ColorNotes on my phone. “Ahem….”

“No, I got it. It’s a great idea.” Pat pat to the little fairy that lives in my head. “I won’t forget.”

And then she proceeds to list off every other time I have had an idea that was “too good to forget” and then I wake up a little later and have forgotten everything other than I HAD a good idea. (AH past tense…sometimes you make me so sad.)

So I blindly reach for my phone, open one eye enough to sort of see and type it into ColorNotes so it is not lost. Then I snuggle back into my covers.

“You know…it would be awesome if the opening line was this…”

I’m up…let’s get to work.

November 10, 2015

30 Days of Gratitude: Teaching Jobs

In the 19 years I have taught, I have had jobs at 8 different schools, and I have taught anything and everything that had any kind of writing, any sort of analyzing, critical thinking, research (pretty much the gamut of General Education courses that weren’t math or science).

At every teaching job I have ever had, I have met students and fellow teachers, principals/deans, etc. that have changed my life and more importantly (at least for the purpose of today’s blog), inspired either a plot line or a character for a novel…or were the inspiration for a nonfiction project.

Broken Trust and Redeeming Trust were part of a dream I had one night and might have stayed a dream if not for a conversation with a math teacher friend, Beth. When I told her about Sam, my artist, and Ali, my music store owner, and Ben, my architect (I hadn’t mentally met Vincent at this point…Officer Biceps got added later, thanks to a police officer at another school) she helped me turn that spark into a plot line.

My Back on Track series had reached a stall when a conversation with a former high school student, Stacey, gave me a strong idea for book five and reawakened my passion for the whole series.

Some people I have met will meet their timely demise in three different novels I have started, Black Widow (my serial killing prostitute), Karma, (my vigilante killer), and All-American Diner (all tentative titles).

I have been influenced and inspired by so many of my students and coworkers and have observed and made so many notes on human behavior (what else am I supposed to do when I am standing in front of 25 students?)

A character here or there came from this student or this teacher or this boss…or this innocent crush. And maybe if they read my book, they might recognize themselves…but most likely not.

Every teaching job I have had has in one way or another, shaped my writing…and I am eternally grateful.

January 9, 2013


One of my favorite questions is when people ask me where do I get my ideas….because in a writer’s world…anything is fair game. Little snippets of conversation, a comment made or look given, a dream, a scene on a television show that I could do better, a picture in a magazine, a line from a song, a fight, a drama-filled chat…I think you get the picture. Everything is fair game.
For example, Whatever you Make of It came from a book I read where I wanted to talk to one of the characters who was not behaving the way I thought he should. I tried talking to him, but he ignored me and continued on with his plot. So I created a book where a person reading a book could talk to the characters and not be ignored.
Arianna’s Honor started with a scene that ended up not being in the novel until p.231. That is where that story started for me. That is the scene I saw that started the whole novel. I am being intentionally vague here…those of you who have the book can look at the scene I mean. Those of you who don’t…well you might just have to buy the book now won’t you 😉 See what I did there.
Hat Trick and the entire Lucky Charm series started with a Missouri Mavericks hockey game that I attended with some of my favorite friends. There was a super fan in the stands getting us all pumped up…he became JD. A hockey player I thought was dreamy became Ty…and so on and so forth.
Cassidy’s story, which will be part of the Back on Track series came from me ignoring the elephant in the room for too long. The entire premise of the series is people not dealing with the one thing that they need to deal with…thus the elephant.
It is always fun to know how a story idea got started. I always want to know that of my favorite authors as well. I also want to know that about songs…what inspired this song? Are the two still together if it’s a love song? What demons was the person working through in this one? Did it work?
So I love it when people ask me that question. I love it even more when I have a specific answer instead of …hmmm…I don’t know…it just came to me.

November 7, 2012

if 1 is good, then 5 is better…

So I am really enjoying getting to be a part of the National Novel Writing Month challenge. I have wanted to do this for the past few years, but as it tends to…life has gotten in the way. But this year…it is going strong.
An idea occurred to me…that if I can write a first draft in the month of November and that is good…then I could continue that pace and knock out some more rough drafts…say 4 more (that is my timeframe for unemployment benefits).
Imagine that…I would have first drafts of Redeeming Trust done, I would have First Down done, I would have Stealing Second done, I would have Breaking Point done, and I would have Playing it Safe done. WOW!!!! That part of it sounds excellent. Then spend time editing them and getting them ready for the publication journey. Wow…that would be amazing.
The reality of it though…is not quite as shiny. First of all I would probably have no friends left. I tend to shut out the world when I am on an inspiration frenzy and having a word goal of 1500-1700 words a day causes quite a frenzy. So my doing that for 5 months total would definitely take a toll on my ability to be a normal person with actual friends and a “social life.”
Also…the problem exists that when the writing is good…I will sometimes only eat cereal…not because I don’t have food in the house…but because it is fast and easy and can be eaten holding the spoon in my left hand…or go to Perkins where they know me and keep my coffee cup filled and leave me to my pen and paper.
Another factor…is the pure exhaustion factor. As exhilarating as it to be on an inspiration high, it is also exhausting. I don’t sleep much, certainly not daily, right now…but when I do sleep…it is pretty close to coma. Doing this for one month is intense…doing this for 5 months in a row may be downright unhealthy…
But the idea of having more first drafts done does hold an unshakable appeal…not even going to pretend I’m not considering it.

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