Michelle Sodaro Blog
 

Closure

Oct 11, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Yesterday, I was standing in a classroom at a university...which at a time not too long ago, was the ultimate dream...to get my PhD and teach future teachers...pass the torch and help those who came after me...that was the goal for such a long time...until it wasn't.

When I quit teaching in April, I felt good about my decision to focus on being an author. I felt a peace about my decision, which always lets me know I am on the right path...but there was a small part of me that wondered, if I was misreading the signals, making a mistake, if I would have regrets.

Yesterday, I stood in the classroom and waited for 3rd and 4th grade tiny humans to...

Talking Poetry to Kids

Oct 10, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
A few weeks ago, a friend from high school asked me if I would be interested in talking to groups of kiddos about poetry. She had remembered how much she had enjoyed my poetry when we were in school (and what a compliment that was, for someone to remember enjoying something I wrote over 20 years later).

I told her I would love to do that. I didn't even hesitate. Is it outside of my comfort zone. Yes...very far, in fact...but what an amazing opportunity.

And also, what a not so subtle reminder, that I need to work on my poetry again. For too long I have avoided feeling too much and my writing has suffered...and my poetry writing has been reduced...

Stacks o'books

Stacks o'books
Oct 02, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
My book count is up to 8...the goal is to have two more out by the end of this year...but as I turned the calendar page to October, I wonder if that is feasible. Have to say though...this stack of books always makes me smile. It makes me remember why I am doing things. Why I am making my life more difficult...it is for this stack of books and how I want it to grow.

I remember in 2011, when I held Whatever you Make of It for the first time with its beautiful green cover...all of the projects in my head gathered around and collectively gasped...they each wondered when it was there turn...and I knew then what I wanted to...

And then there were four...

Sep 16, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So my friend and I were at lunch a while back and she said she wasn't ready for Lucky Charms to be over yet. I could totally empathize with her, I love this group of characters too. I have held them in my head, getting to know them and letting the world know about them little by little. Everyone loves Lilly...and how could you not. I have never wanted kids of my own (20 years of teaching and I feel like I have hundreds of kids)...of course if I could have a Lilly, then how could I resist that?? I find myself wanting to put a quarter in a jar every time I swear. So, of course, I understood...

Hat Trick

Hat Trick
Sep 14, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
 The third book in the Lucky Charms series is now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.

Ty Cole plays for the Kansas City Mavericks and watched his two best friends, Josh Matthews and Chris Jasper, find their Lucky Charms in Dillon and Stacey, respectively, and he couldn't be happier for them. As far as having a woman in his life, he is pretty sure they are all crazy or something about him makes them insane, so he is just going to keep it safe and avoid the fairer sex.

Dr. Mackenzie Wilson lost her job and her fiancé in one swoop and is just trying to put her life back together. She gets a job as the doctor for the Mavericks (thanks...

Refresh

Sep 12, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
I decided while I was finishing Hat Trick, that I would add a new ritual to my book writing process. A sort of cleansing of the mental palate, if you will. There is such an amazing feeling once I send a book off to print and release it out into the wild. With my first couple of books, there was a panic...what if I clicked send too early? What if she wasn't really ready? How do I un-send (a wish I have also had with more than my share of text messages as well)?

Now I know that there is no perfect draft, no perfect anything, really, which takes a lot of pressure off. I am excited to have people meet...

Kansas City

Aug 04, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So, people who know me, know that I am a die hard Chicago fan. I love my Bears, my Bulls, my Blackhawks, and my Cubbies (no, I am not a White Sox fan). My love for Chicago teams is strong...even though I have lived in the Kansas City area for quite some time. (I fully support KC teams...as long as they are not playing my boys).

When I decided to write my Lucky Charms series (as well as when I decided to write Broken Trust and Redeeming Trust), I at first started with the Chicago area because it made sense to write about the teams who had my truest loyalty...and then I switched to writing about Kansas City, because though my...

Check this out at Amazon.com

Aug 01, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Stealing Second: Book Two of the Lucky Charms series https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711VQPYP/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_nEjGzbMW2HX85

Broken Trust

Jul 23, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Broken Trust https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0731FGJSZ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_6s3CzbMVAP4HK

This is on sale for a short time. I recently re-read (and fixed a few minor edits) and every time I read my book, I still laugh and cry at the same parts. I live these characters and hope you do too. And their sequel is Redeeming Trust, also available on Amazon

First Down

First Down
Jun 29, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
(Kindle version on sale for a limited time)

Having a book that you know from the start is a part of a series, is an amazing feeling. Having the first book and second book out in the world and being deeply into the editing stage of the third book in the series, is an even more amazing feeling. I know and love the group of characters who have grown and evolved from the first moment I knew I had to write this story.

This entire series started at a hockey game. I was fascinated by this Super Fan, who got the whole crowd energized. He became JD. As soon as I knew JD's character, he "introduced me" to the rest of the...

Check this out at Amazon.com

Jun 28, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
First Down (Lucky Charms Book 1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0714NR5JT/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_kU5uzbKMRYQGQ

To my students...

Jun 06, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Top 10 things I wish all of my students knew:

1) your past does not define you

2) you can accomplish anything that you put your mind to

3) when I say I believe in you I'm not blowing smoke up your ass 

4) my life is better having known you

 5) when you tell me about the things that happen in your life I want to hear about them no matter how many years it's been since you were in my class

6) I took it personally every single time a student failed an assignment because I should have done more

7)  I hated it when you would give up and it made me want to shake you and just say keep going 

8) I know I'm...

Less...

May 10, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Just as there are things I need to do more of, there are just as certainly things I need to do less as well...

**Worrying -- turns out it doesn't help the situation in any way, shape, or form. Things always have a way of working themselves out, so worrying is wasted energy.

**Spending money -- I don't have my teacher salary anymore. Time to really stick to the budget...that's the only way this works. And I'm not going to get into what teachers should be paid...that dead horse doesn't need any more kicks.

**Eating out by myself -- See above. Though I do this sometimes as a break to write outside of my office, but it needs, again, to stick with the...

More...

May 08, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So, as I am adjusting to the teacher-free life, I am realizing there are things I want to do and have more of...

** Writing (obviously, as this what was the driving force behind this career change). It will be amazing to have actual scheduled chunks of time to write every day rather than stolen moments between grading and meetings.

**Reading -- there is so much I want to read and haven't had time to. Suggestions are always welcome.

**Publishing, promoting, and all the other parts of the business side of authoring. These have all been woefully neglected.

**Relaxing -- I have heard of this an am excited to check this out.

**Netflix...though as not to take away from writing or reading, but again, suggestions...

Career -- Author

May 05, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Wow...okay...this is getting real. The first items on my to-do list this morning are to update my profession on Linked In, Facebook, and to revamp my resume. I need to put end dates on my teaching career (and I need to do this mentally as well as on my resume, as I keep thinking I have to be at school next week).  There are people who keep hoping it is just over for now, not forever...and I don't know how to answer that. All I know is that right now I am considering it a permanent change.

I was a teacher.

I am an author.

I gave teaching 20 years of my life (not counting the schooling to get there).

I want to give my author career more...

Brave

May 03, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
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...

No Guarantees

May 02, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
7 years ago there was a shiny game plan. It has taken me longer, having to do it "alone" instead of as it was originally planned...as part of an amazing duo. I put "alone" in quotes, because I am not now, nor have I ever truly been "alone" as I have an incomparable support system, both physically here or spiritually present. It has taken me longer, but I got there. I quit teaching and am working a job which allows for writing to be full time.

What I learned from losing Trav was there are no guarantees in life. We are, none of us, promised the chance to see tomorrow. Anyone who has lost a friend or loved one can attest...

Writer's conference

Apr 28, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Today starts my 2nd time attending Pikes Peak Writer's conference (which is celebrating its 25th anniversary!!).

Last year I was so nervous before the conference started, not knowing what to expect or where to go or if I even belonged here. (I had self-published 4 books and still felt like I was playing at being an author...which was mostly due to how much time proportionately I spent writing, as compared to what I spent teaching).

Then I made myself leave my hotel room and go down among the other authors...and I found my people. The writers, the dreamers, the poets. I was among my people. *With the exception of sitting next to the guy I refer to as "butter boy" because he...

At last...

Apr 16, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So Easter is hard for me...too many thoughts of my favorite Easter and breaking confetti-filled eggs over heads...and too many thoughts of what came next...so while all of my coworkers and friends discussed Easter plans and food and gatherings, I knew, the best way to celebrate was to finish my novel. Those were our plans, after all...and now they are all mine...and that thought used to terrify me, but right now, with the end of my teaching career a mere 10 days away, I find myself exhilarated to see happening, the plans you put into place.

"You have wanted to be a writer since I have known you, Mich. So do it. Be a writer." And I did. And I am....

Plot Twist...

Apr 03, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So the game plan 7 years ago (wow...7 years...) was to quit teaching and work at a job where I could focus on my writing...the other part of the game plan was to get married and see if he could turn the "Maybe" of having kids, to a "yes" (if there was ever a man that could get me to a yes on having tiny humans, it was Trav). Then everything changed, and in one moment, the wind was knocked out of me, and I was alone with all of our plans...and no idea how to make those plans still happen...so I put them on the back burner for awhile and I found a new teaching job and just told...