Michelle Sodaro Blog
 

Quiet whisperings

Nov 30, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So I have mentioned that my beautiful muse turns and runs when there is too much chaos in my mind, and it doesn't matter if the chaos is self-induced or just a natural by-product of living a life with other people. My current chaos is mostly self-induced...I took on too much without giving myself a break between when my life was too busy and when my life relaxed; I wanted to make up for lost time so I piled it all on my own plate...and my sweet muse was tolerant for a bit...though I knew she was laughing and shaking her head at me. So when it got to be the closing time for my doctorate quarter which always perfectly...

Beautiful, fickle muse

Nov 23, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
I was reading the new edition of Writer's book of Days by Judy Reeves (this book has a writing prompt for every day of the year and is fantastic for filler days when writing projects are not flowing!!!!) and she said this about the muse..."Though she has the patience of a saint, the Muse doesn't like to be ignored. If you don't pay attention, she may stop paying calls" (2010, p. 109). Truer words were never spoken. I went through too many weeks, months, yes...I'm ashamed to admit, years where I kept telling her to hold on one second...just one more second and I'd get back with her. And she went away as would anyone that has been ignored for...

Game Plan

Nov 15, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
The nice thing about having actual readers is that they can help me with the tricky parts of writing. They can get me through the tough parts that are hard to write and require ice cream. They can let me know if my characters are acting out of character...and they knows this because the figments of my imagination have become real to them as well. My readers let me know if my plot is moving too fast or too slowly -- if dialogue sounds the way that people actually speak or my English-geek side has reared its head with too many words that only fellow word lovers would know. My readers also keep me focused. At any given time, I...

Time Change...

Nov 08, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So the increasingly unnecessary time change affects us all; for most of us we look forward to the fall back more so than the spring ahead...that extra hour is immediately filled with more sleep, more partying, more...life. Unfortunately, children and pets have the same time schedule...just as they have no snooze button, they have no concept of "it's not 6:30...it's actually 5:30." So yesterday and today, my kittens were adamant about my being up at my normal time, which is 6:30...unfortunately every clock in my house, including my body clock agreed with the sun that it was only 5:30...but if you can explain that to two cats, then please...tell me your secrets. So I was up at 5:30 which yesterday...

Ah sweet habits

Nov 04, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
It is amazing how quickly a behavior can become a habit...and how quickly that habit can be the basis of your mental state. Less than two months ago I was busy with a job that I was really good at, but that was not my passion. Since then, in that short of time, I have reawakened my passion for writing and have become a better teacher. My muse has gotten accustomed to having time to play every week, and has responded in kind with words that literally dance through my mind and out of my pen so that all I have to do is keep up. It has been amazing and therapeutic and healing and all that I had hoped...

Pondering about poetry

Oct 31, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
I am a fan of poetry, although, if I am being honest (which while I am the writer of this, why would I be anything but honest, to a certain extent anyway) many many poems escape my comprehension. I have been told that I am not a deep enough thinker and that is why I didn't understand the poems...I think, as with all forms of art that more frequently than not, the beauty and the brilliance is in the eye of the beholder. I have written over 400 poems. I will be publishing 3 books of poetry in the upcoming months, either through self-publishing or by a bit of magic, through an agent (I am hoping when I send off...

And my Masters pays for itself again...

Oct 22, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Some times, I get it right. It's amazing when it works. It is beautiful and magical and fantastic...when it works. So, my Master's thesis was about the using of writing to help people work through things. It took bibliotherapy and kicked it up a notch. Instead of reading a particular book that dealt with a specific issue, my thesis focused on the healing power of writing, be it poetry, creative writing, or my favorite; freewriting. I remember a student a thousand years back that had anger issues; he fought with his family all the time and it kept getting worse. He took my class where we would journal and freewrite. The letter he wrote to me will always remind me...

Putting the puzzle pieces together

Oct 18, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Sometimes you can sit and stare at a puzzle for hours, days, months, years and no matter how you turn the pieces, how you rearrange them, how you put them in groups, no matter how sure you are that this piece goes in this particular place...none of that can matter...and then suddenly, there is a change which could seem so minor and unrelated at the time, but it changes EVERYTHING. And suddenly the pieces seem to put themselves together and the picture becomes crystal clear and more beautiful than you could ever imagine...certainly better than anything you could have planned on your own. Everything happens for a reason. People say this to the point that it loses its meaning, but...

Too many cooks...

Oct 10, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
It is always an awkward time when someone asks if they can read my unpublished books. I know that their request comes from a good place. I know that they see it as being supportive and are sure that I would welcome any advice they would give or opinions they would have. I truly appreciate their interest in my projects, I really do. It warms my writer's heart and truly makes my muse giggle with delight... My hesitation in handing over my rough texts who have not yet been polished, not yet been sent out into the world is complicated. There is of course the thought that if I hand it over to everyone that asks to read it, there will...

Sometimes it's hard to be around real people

Oct 06, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
All I want to do right now is play with my pretty novels...invite my characters over for some popcorn and Coca-Cola and just do what we do when we all get together. Today I don't really want to be around actual people at all; for actual people disappoint and confuse and in general are not as dependable as fictional people are. Anytime I am feeling down, Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockinbird can bring me right back to thinking there are people who are worth it after all. There are real people who make me think this too, of course...but today, I don't want to play with real people...I want to play with the people I have created for...

The future indeed looks bright

Sep 25, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
The past few days I have been bombarded with images from the past. It has been an amazing journey that has brought me to this also some of those point in my life. I am so blessed to have so many positive, supportive people in my life. There are, of course, also those people that were not truly supportive, were and are jealous, those that have attempted to control me or shape me into what they thought I should be. But I am just me...writer/teacher/student. I am not the one to be controlled or tamed or shaped. I am my own "Captain my Captain." I am in the profession where I can excel, I am making progress on my Doctorate, I...

The flood gates have opened...

Sep 20, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
As I hoped would happen, as I got little glimpses of when I was close to being done with my previous job, the flood gates to my writing have started to open. I worried...I thought perhaps this time I had gone too long without reprieve, had put my muse off too often, had piled too much on the back burner and left too many of my ideas unattended for far too long...I feared that my muse had taken her toys and gone to play in another sandbox and I would merely be left with nothing to play with except the memory of stories that were meant to be written...distant memories of stories I wanted to tell, characters I wanted to...

The strangest places

Sep 10, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
"It does not look particularly 'homeostatic' when a business man follows his restless activities in spite of the ulcers he is developing" (von Bertalanffy, 1969, p. 193). So who would have thought that I would get personal inspiration from a nugget in one of my resources for my doctorate, but then it has always been the strangest places where I have found the greatest pieces of wisdom. I have been reflective as of late, of my choice to step away from the security and benefits (and stress and workload) of my last job and concentrate on my passions -- teaching, writing, and doctoring (poetic license called into play for the sake of parallelism). There are many who have called me brave...

And so it begins...

Sep 05, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So I have officially stepped down from my job and am getting to focus on teaching, writing, and my doctorate. There is a sense of freedom like none I have ever known and I am at peace with my universe. It is amazing how the simple act of turning in a set of keys can allow you to feel like you can breathe again, make you feel alive for the first time in years. I don't know that I have ever felt this good; I know I haven't for a while and that makes me alternately sad and mad that I allowed this much of my life to pass me by before I put my feet down and said, "wait....

A note to whomever reads this...

Aug 23, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So yesterday, the words were flowing on to the page like water down a waterfall...and it was beautiful...euphoric...cathartic...healing...inspiring...amazing...and really really neato. I was quite content in the task of keeping the pen dancing across the page, happy at the "stress" of keeping up with the ideas; my handwriting becoming a blur -- a mixture only I could decipher with abbreviations and awkward spellings. But the point is, I was writing. One of those really good writing zones where the whole world had decided to go out for its proverbial coffee and leave this lone recorder of words happy with her task of capturing her character's next moves and next thoughts. It was one of those days where my greatest wish...

Love it when it works...

Aug 17, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So this morning while I was writing (yes, at IHOP...darn that muse and her love of breakfast foods) I had such an amazing "in the zone" writing time, that I almost called in to work to just be able to make the most of that writing session. It was intense. I could not move my pen across the page fast enough and the ideas flowed out of me in a rush I haven't experienced in quite a while. My muse knows that play time is forthcoming...she is ready. And I will feed her breakfast foods every day if I have to...maybe I'll dedicate this novel to IHOP...they all know me there and know the two options I have when I...

Loving my muse

Aug 08, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So yesterday while I was in WalMart I do as I usually do and mentally go elsewhere (who wouldn't...) and when I have mentally checked out, my muse likes to come and play. I remembered a slot machine I had played recently called Queen Isabella. The pictures as they spun by were of the lovely queen; a ruffian-looking man who seemed like he would know about women; an aristocratic-sort all stuffy and proper who seemed like he would know nothing about the fairer sex; and an older, wiser gentleman that seems like there is more than meet the eye. POOF!! instant story...just add plot. That is what I love about my muse. She finds new toys to play with and all it...

“Only those that risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S. Eliot

Aug 04, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So this has been the quote on my signature for a few years now. I am about to put your words to the test, Mr. Eliot. I have recently discovered how easy a simple web page can be and I will be playing with that as well as this experiment to get me (and others) more stoked about my writing projects. Those who have read my works in progress have shown amazing patience and support and it is about time I risk going too far.

It is time for me to let Jac and Jyn into the world with Whatever you Make of It, let my teenagers express their angst and issues in Ten by Ten, let Broken Trust and Crusin...

“Finally one has to shut up, sit down, and write.” Natalie Goldberg

Jul 31, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Every so often, you come across a quote that just says it all. This one says it all for me. I have a collection of quotes that kind of gently nudge me or downright kick me in the ass (depending on what is needed on any given day). This one by Ms. Goldberg pretty much sums up what I want to do...which of course contradicts what she is saying. Very similar to Yoda's "there is no try, do or do not" and the ever-popular, "shit or get off the pot"...it all boils down to doing what you say you are going to do. Live the life you claim to be living. Do the things you need to get done. But...

Beginning to Finish

Jul 26, 2010 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
One of the biggest faults I have when it comes to my writing is my ability/desire to finish projects. My muse, beautiful though she may be, is incredibly fickle and when a project gets to the slower part, or nears the end, she has already gotten bored and wants to play with shinier, newer toys. She wants to start something new, which is fine...except that I have so many new projects, and I am not finishing any of them. There is a strange thing about getting published...evidently, it helps to finish something before you can send it out into the world. A friend told me once that I have more back burners than front ones...and I think he was right....