Sodaro's Stories

October 24, 2016


Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:29 pm
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So after being dizzy for the last couple of weeks, I have really come to appreciate having balance (I have also enjoyed standing up without vertigo). Had my health screening and Blood Pressure is perfect as always, so that is not the reason for the dizzy…but I do know what caused it.

Teaching full-time is not a 40 hour and out kind of job. You grade until you are “done,” you explain until they get it, and you care…well you just end up caring all the damn time. I haven’t figured up how many of my Facebook friends are previous students, but I know it is a pretty high percentage. The care doesn’t stop just because they graduated or the class ended. And that’s fine. It’s been my whole existence for the last 19 years, my identity, my calling.

I am in a transition phase of my life, where the teacher me is not the be-all, end-all of my existence and the author me is coming in to the light. This has been and is an amazing journey where I am rediscovering Michelle (as opposed to Ms. Sodaro) and I am learning how to do both…which is where the balance comes in and where I have failed the last couple of months. I have tried to cram in a full-time author life into my weekends and have caused myself to not have any down time and to feel horribly guilty if I spend time with friends or binge watching on Netflix during the weekend. This is not healthy.

So, I am going to try (again) to have author time every evening, thus lessening the pressure on my weekends and allowing me to hang out and chill like “normal” people do…and one of these days, maybe I will even try dating again…but one step at a time, folks.


July 11, 2016

to-do lists

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelle sodaro @ 12:29 pm
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Sometimes I over plan my to-do lists…and by “sometimes” I mean daily. I always put more on the list than I could possibly accomplish in a 24-hour  period. I do this on days when I have to be at work and I do this on days where I work from home and it used to drive my OCD tendencies crazy to not finish every single thing on my list. I haven’t gotten rid of all of my OCD tendencies (I will likely NEVER be okay with a messy white board and will likely always still grab 5 cookies instead of 2 cookies…the former because it’s just messy and distracting and the latter because…cookies.)
Now I am okay with unfinished tasks on my to-do list. I consider them more of guidelines than hard fast tasks. I have a lot I want to get done and to-do lists keep me focused.
I have my work tasks on my to-do lists even though they don’t change from week to week…Mondays are always the same, so are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, etc. etc. etc. And as much as I love the predictability and routine (I tell myself I love it weekly)…I know something will slip through the cracks with the auto-pilot that occurs with cycle, rinse, routine tasks.
I have my health tasks on my list. I am working out almost every day. I am drinking more water. I am working on it. The list reminds me to get it done.
The majority of my to-do list (and if you know me at all, this should not be a surprise) is my author life tasks. And yes, the same projects are on the to-do list each day because if I just said “Write a Chapter” or “Edit something” then I would (once again) have ALL my projects out of the toy box, which is fun, of course, and keeps me entertained, is not conducive to finishing things. And right now I really need to finish more things or else everything will fall apart. I don’t have time for things to fall apart right now. It’s not on the to-do list.

May 29, 2016

Looking back on year 40

Last year I was reflecting on my third decade on this planet, and I commented on the fact that my 30’s had bouts of anger and passion, moments of absolute joy and soul-crushing sorrow. Two of the greatest extremes of human emotion with the loss of Trav and the publishing of my first novel…talk about hitting a bottom (not rock bottom…that was still waiting for me) and having the most natural high imaginable (which is the only kind I know :D).

It was the decade that showed me about love and truly started my author career.

So far my 40’s have been really odd and extreme. I have been growing as an author and letting go as a teacher. A transition is happening in my life. (I also learned what true rock bottom felt like)

I have looked at the relationships in my life and have let got of those who were not what I needed them to be, could never be what I wanted them to be. I have lost contact with people I never would have thought I could lose and have met people I would never have met if things had gone differently. And now that I have ended some relationships, I feel lighter and healthier and more focused on myself and my goals. The people I have met through all of this, I know cannot imagine my life without.

Love continues to allude me, but with a full-time teaching job and a full-time author life, I am not exactly giving lover an actual chance. But my heart is healing and I am rediscovering my belief in love, so it’s a start. Since things tend to happen when they are supposed to, I have no doubt that love is on its way.

Finding out I had arthritis in my right knee (haven’t examined the left one yet…) has me more determined to lose weight and get healthy. I push myself, but also let myself rest to not do more damage.

So far the pros far outweigh the cons and I really think this is going to be the best decade yet.

May 23, 2016


Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:55 pm
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So today I paid off one bill. One tiny step closer to financial freedom.

Today I also did workout 23. I was even able to breathe through my nose for part of it (over the weekend I had some sort of sick going on…I took naps…NAPS…as in plural…)

This weekend (in between naps and Dayquil) I wrote a chapter, got the next agents information to send my novels to (I am going to send them out as soon as I hear back from the current agents I have queried or June 6th, whichever comes first).

This weekend I also wore a skirt…in public…by choice. And it was not as uncomfortable as it has been in the past…yeah workouts…this is motivating as the number on the scale is not as low as I think it should be with as much as I have been doing…

I also made notes on 3 different projects, did some very profound reflecting on my teaching career, and read half a book (I have been on a self-improvement book kick lately, but really am craving some good old fiction).

I made plans for my blogs and made cuts in my daily routine so that I could have more balance between my work life and my author life.

Slowly but surely…step by step. I am making progress. GO ME! Yeah Sodaro!

May 18, 2016

Getting Closer

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:18 pm
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So I used to do things for all the wrong reasons, and it wasn’t until I lost everything that I even realized why I did the things I did.

SO much of my life has been me making decisions based on what other people would think or approve of (acknowledging how much I needed others approval, often at the cost of my own was a hard truth to face). I became the teacher my students needed me to be, the family member others needed me to be, the friend people needed me to be, the lover men needed me to be, even (and this is perhaps hardest to say) the writer others needed me to be….and it’s my doing. I trained people that I would bend for them, losing myself in the process…little bits at a time.

I used to hide behind my weight. I used to wear it like a badge…if they can’t accept me as I am then who needs them. I would reject them before they got the chance to know me or reject me. This gave me a semblance of control. It also left me lonely and vulnerable to men who tried to change me. I am now working on losing weight, on getting healthier…but I’m doing it for me. I’m doing it so when I go on book tours, I fit in an airplane seat and don’t get winded when I walk to my seat at my book signings.

I used to hide behind being a teacher. I was sure I didn’t have time to date or be in any kind of relationship because I needed to be the best teacher I could be. As a result of this, my students were the only people I talked to. This has caused me problems in my personal life on multiple levels.

I used to hide as an author…writing what was safe and acceptable. I used to have people’s voices in my head as I would write and while I was never disloyal to the story, I would change things if I thought someone might not approve.

It’s an amazing feeling to be free. To not worry about anyone’s approval but my own, and what I have found…is that it has brought and kept the most amazing people in my life. It has made me a stronger woman, a more balanced teacher, and a more authentic writer. And I love it.

February 24, 2016

The paradox of February

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:55 pm
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So every year, about this time, it occurs to me that February is a paradox…by calendar days, it is the shortest month (even in years such as this one where it has 29 days instead of its usual 28) and yet, somehow, it always feels like the longest month in the history of all time.

Maybe it’s that awkward time after football before baseball where we are not quite sure what to do with ourselves? I know there is still basketball and hockey to watch, which is helpful…but still…

Maybe it’s all of us waiting for Spring? We get these little teasers of nice weather but nothing stays the same for more than three minutes and the warm weather only serves to confuse flora, fauna, and allergies.

Somehow, I lost almost two weeks this long-short month. I went to work (I am pretty sure of this as I somehow still have both my full-time and part-time teaching jobs). My cats are still alive and affectionate (ish) towards me, so I must have fed them and kept up with their demands. I’m not mal-nourished or wasting away so I must be eating on a regular basis as well.

Then I look at my projects and I have no idea what happened to that time. For about two weeks, very little progress was made…and part of it, I know, is from the aforementioned confused allergies, but there is just a block in my memory of what I accomplished for the past two weeks. I am behind on every project, including my blog…and it’s a little disconcerting because I have lots to get done.

December 7, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — michelle sodaro @ 4:01 am
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Some times I feel like two separate people. No, don’t worry…I don’t lose time (well, sometimes I have stared at my laptop screen for an hour with  no comprehension of what I am grading). I am not saying I have multiple personalities (well I do hear voices, but they are my muse and characters) Hmm…I don’t think that I am pleading my case well — let me try again.
All I want to do is write and work on my novels. The ONLY exception of this is when I am teaching (erm…let me clarify — when I am interacting with students who truly want to learn and who are in school for the right reasons — not getting on a soapbox here, just needed that clarification). I love conversations via email or face to face where there is intellectual curiosity and mutual respect. When this happens at my teaching jobs, it’s the ONLY time I am okay doing something that is not a part of my author life.
I want to do more with my writing. I would love to teach creative writing again, where my two passions could intermingle…but not full-time because that would take away from the creative energy I need to write MY projects.
I used to feel almost as if Ms. Sodaro, teacher and Michelle Sodaro, author were two completely separate people. But as I have become more comfortable in my own skin — and realized the things I do care about as well as those things about which I could not care less (ah Grammar, I do love you), there has been more of an overlap between the two careers and the person I am. This realization has made me a better teacher, a better person, and definitely a better author. It has also helped me to not feel quite so separate between teacher and author. I am more a whole person and feel a crossover coming between my author and teacher lives. It feels good to have less duplicity.

November 2, 2015

30 Days of Author Gratitude: Myself

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:37 pm
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No, I am not quite as narcissistic as this blog title might suggest, but I am grateful for me and the person/author/teacher I have become.

It has taken me 4 full decades to get to be the person I am, and she’s pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. Everything I have been through, every person I have met along the way, all have shaped me into this person I am today. I am grateful for every lesson and blessing and who I have grown to be.

The person I have grown to be knows what it takes to get a novel from an idea to a draft, to a final tangible paperback version of a dream. I know what it takes and I STILL want to pursue an author as a second career (and this is even after learning what it takes while working full-time in my first career, a challenge in itself).

I am grateful for me. For every joy and every heartache. For everything I have experienced either directly or indirectly that I couldn’t wait to make note of for a story idea (because as you all know, anything is fair game). I am grateful for being able to keep my eye on the future, while enjoying the present and learning from the past…and for never allowing myself to get distracted for too long.

So as odd as it may sound, I think we should all show the same gratitude for ourselves as we show for other people…and I, for one, am grateful for me.

October 8, 2015

My Author to-do list

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelle sodaro @ 4:53 pm
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It is rather easy to get overwhelmed by all of the things I need to do as an author, especially since I am still loving and doing the full-time teacher gig (actually full-time plus since I’ve picked up a class at my old stomping grounds, but I know I need to do these things:
1. Webpage– I need one. I even have a domain (I think) it’s
I need to face my techno fears and just get this done.
2. POBox — there will come a day when it’s not okay for my fans to have my home address.
3. Goodreads– I am a Goodreads author now, so that is a good start, but I need to do more with this as well as support my fellow authors.
4. Swag– I need some. I have none in real life (haha) but I do need swag for my books. Including something I can sign for my ereaders (a request from my reader that I haven’t forgotten).
5. Networking– I do this some, though certainly not consistently or often enough. I am expanding my circle of writers, but not as actively as I could/should.
6. Non-fiction projects– need to finish these and get them out (probably will mostly be ebooks ar least for now) but will get my name out there more.
7. Contests– I need to have them and I need to join them for the books I have out.
8. Book signings– my first I’ve was amazing, but I need more exposure…also need more copies of my books.
9. Combo deal– I need to combine teaching and writing more. My two passions working together
10. Efficiency– I need to make my process more efficient to get more done. It would probably help to work I only or project at a time, but let’s not get crazy here.

June 11, 2015

Positive conspiracy

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 12:27 am
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“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

This has proven itself true over and over again in my life. It amazes me every time…and every time it happens, I am extremely grateful.

I read a book by Henriette Klauser called Write it Down; Make it Happen. It talked about how the universe wants us to have the positive things we want, wants us to accomplish our goals that promote happiness and positive energy. The universe wants to help us, but we need to be specific in our requests, because the universe is rather literal.

I have decided I want to be a full-time author and the universe has made sure I have a teaching job that allows me to have writing time. My bills are getting paid (mostly) and I am able to put aside money each paycheck for publishing. Writing time and money to publish. Exactly what I asked for. A teaching job I love and time to write, exactly what I asked for. (I have asked for help with finding love, but I am evidently not wording that quite right yet…so I will keep trying). But the writing and teaching life parts…exactly what I asked for, and thank you kindly. Well played, Universe. Very well played indeed.

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