Michelle Sodaro Blog

Letting go...

Mar 07, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So...I may have one or two control issues (Okay, that "one or two" is a bit of an understatement...)

One thing that being an author has taught me, is to let go of some of my control issues...for example...what a project should look like in the end. There have been many things I have tried to force into what I wanted them to be...and it worked as well as the square peg, round hole conundrum.

Another thing I have learned is that projects will get finished when they are supposed to...this is a hard one for me because I have A SCHEDULE. I have a GAME PLAN. I want these ducks lined up at this time...and oh crap...where did all the ducks...

Lucky Charms Series

Lucky Charms Series
Feb 17, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So First Down met it's publication date of was mid-December, but it still says 2016 on it, so it counts. So far, people have seemed to like to my crew of characters, which is always the best compliment.

Some people have told me that my book kept them up past their bedtimes...I do believe that is the ultimate "sorry, not sorry" (at least for an author).

Stealing Second is well on its way to its March publication date. It may be closer to the end of March, but it will be out next month (wow...if saying NEXT month doesn't light a fire, I don't know what would). I am putting some final touches on the story for the fictional Kansas City Royals...then...

End of a road...

Jan 20, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
I find myself standing at the end of a road...I decided in May of last year that my teaching career needed to come to a close. I had been questioned about my integrity one too many times because my percentage of adults who didn't pass my course was too high...the implication being that I am a "bad teacher" when the truth is in fact I am a very good who feels the sting of every single "F" I have ever given out...did I not do enough? Could I have pushed harder? Did I push too hard?

I have cried at every graduation I have been to...every graduation except the one I attended last year...last year I just felt numb. My...

Dreams and goals

Jan 16, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Trust me, Dr. Martin Luther King, jr...I know the power of a dream. I know what it is to picture something that others might not see...or might think "That sounds nice, but it's not very realistic now is it" and while my dream is not as universal as's still all-encompassing and what keeps me going.

I am making solid plans for my dreams. I am making those dreams into goals. I am taking steps every day in the direction of my dreams. I believe in everything I am working toward...some people believe right along side me. Some people want to, but can't quite see it, and they believe in me if they don't necessarily believe in my dream. Some people...

Quizzical Queries

Jan 09, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So I love the process of self-publishing, and I will continue to self-publish regardless of anything else that happens. I am also querying agents to check out the traditional publishing route. Anything that puts my books in more reader's hands, I am a fan of and am going to try. Count on it.

The querying process is dizzying. Why can't there be one standard thing that agents are looking for. Query letter should have this, this, and this. Synopsis includes this, this, this and not this. Never do this. Always do this. AND....send.

But no...there isn't agreement in what should be in a query letter..what should be included in a synopsis (chapter by chapter? Overall? 3 pages? One page?) Send the first...

And then there were six...

And then there were six...
Jan 04, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So yesterday my 6th paperback came in the mail. To say I was distracted while at work, is an understatement, but I still did my job to the best of my ability, so my present and my future are getting along currently.

I am excited about this I am for all of my 'babies' but this one is the first in a 3-part series, which means I get to play with my characters for two more novels...even better, those novels are written, so now it is just editing and polishing things up so that they can join their first one in the PUBLISHED category (moving up from the EDITING category, which then makes room for some new projects to join...

Hello, 2017

Jan 01, 2017 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
This year is going to be my best one yet. I said that last year, and it was will also be true this year, because I will work my ass off to make it I did in 2016. 

I am going to get 4 books published in 2017. They are all done as first drafts and are in editing mode. Well, three of the four are in edit mode. The last of the four needs to be finished in its first draft, but there is time. 

I want to be braver in 2017. I dabbled in this in 2016...I tried three new foods. I want to try new foods. I want to try new experiences. I want to date new...

Saying goodbye to 2016

Dec 31, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Wow. What to say about this some ways, it feels like I had just said hello to it...and in other ways it feels like it lasted about 17 centuries.

We lost a lot of people in the entertainment industry...which I imagine happened when our parents were our age as well. Of course there wasn't Facebook to give us minute by minute and post after post...and it's sad. It's always sad to lose positive energy and bits of our childhood. But as with any loss, the memory remains and that is ours to keep forever.

I published two books this year. That is a first for me. I now have Whatever you Make of It 2011, Arianna's Honor 2012, Arianna's Destiny 2013, Broken Trust 2015, and...


Dec 28, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Some of the best advice I have ever heard about writing was to work on something new immediately after finishing something, and I have to be honest, this has never been a problem for me as I was always starting new projects (much to the dismay of my current projects and the prospect of actually finishing anything).

The past year and a half I have devoted to finishing projects I have had "done" for a while. Case in point...First Down was published this month and I had originally started the series on the first day of 2012. One one hand, I need things to percolate a bit...on the other hand, get it together, Michelle.

So I am in editing mode for the...

First Down

First Down
Dec 26, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
On December 20, 2016 at 12:13AM, my 6th novel was born. I sent her off to the fabulous people at Bookbaby so they could check her over and format her and get all shiny for the world.

She is already out on Kindle.

She will be coming out on Nook in the coming weeks.

She will be on my doorstep, in paperback format, on January 5th.

As the first in the Lucky Charms series, she leads the way for the other two books, Stealing Second, due out in March 2017, and Hat Trick, due out in June 2017.

This entire series started at a hockey game on New Year's Eve, 2011,  with one Missouri Maverick's super fan who danced around in the stands to get the crowds riled...

Making Changes

Dec 13, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
2017 is going to be a BIG year for me. I don't mean in the "new year, new me" thing we all say every year, but in's time to do this...wait, let me try this again...


That's a little better.

I am cleaning out my closets, metaphorically and literally. I am letting go of things and people which no longer fit in with where my life is headed. I am not going to hold on to them just because I have for so long...Just this morning I went through my gmail and deleted every message I could get rid of. Tackling my hotmail mess will be next on the list.

I am letting go of things that weigh...

Christmas Songs

Dec 02, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Okay...It is December. NOW it is okay for there to be Christmas songs. Some of my favorites:

1. My Grown-up Christmas list

2. So, This is Christmas

3. Baby, it's cold Outside

4. Grinch's song

5. Where are you, Christmas?

6. Do you see what I see (for some reason I used to sing this one to my brother??)

7. I'll be Home for Christmas

8. Please, Christmas, don't be Late (Alvin and the Chipmunks song)

9. Last Christmas 

10. Anything by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

December goals

Dec 01, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Ah is it even possible that you are the calendar page I see...

So I have some things I need to accomplish before December turns its page...

First Down needs to come out. I have received two very powerful in a missed call that was logically a wrong answer, but struck me to my core regardless and two in an email from someone I have never met who told me I had a great future in writing...well okay then, let's do this.

I have two favors (one from an ex-coworker and one from an ex-student) to work on...writing a bit for each of those.

My NaNo project...I need to continue to explore my life over these past two decades.

A friend told me...

Grateful for: Reflection

Nov 30, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
I thought this was an appropriate note to end this month of gratitude I have spent a lot of time in reflection this month.

The classes I teach now have reflection journals and I emphasize to my students that  it is a rarity in life (though it shouldn't be) that we take the time to pause and really reflect on what we learned, what we experienced, what we feel.

My NaNo project was a reflection on pretty much my entire life...and while I only got about 1/3 of my NaNo accomplished this year in the time frame of the competition, I am still counting it as a success. And it will get worked on, to be published this time next year.


Grateful for: Vacation

Nov 21, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So the past nine days, I have been on a vacation from the world of teaching. I did this because,'s the November of a very long year and some time away was needed. I also took time in November because, well NaNo...and while it is unlikely I will get to 50K in the next 9 days, it has been an amazing project to work on, just more emotionally exhausting than I thought. Turns out it's hard to reflect back on two decades of life. I also worked on Stealing Second (from the Lucky Charms series), so I wasn't lazy, just multitasking, as usual.

It's been a good bit of time off, but now it's time to finish this year out as strongly...

Grateful for: Trying New Things

Nov 14, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Yes, I know...I had to read that one again too...this is MY blog right? And I'm grateful for trying new things? Did I type that right...but yes, yes I did.

In the last few months, I have tried three new things...which is 3 times more than I have tried in most years prior. Guacamole -- most of you who know me, probably know I have an issue with food and textures...and if a food is too busy texturially speaking (it's not a word, but it should be) I avoid it...add that and it's a color that reminds me of my least favorite part of babysitting (I am trying to say it without saying it, folks)...and really poor guac never had a chance...

Grateful for: the Jeep

Nov 07, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
I have wanted a Jeep since I knew what cars were, and like everyone who loves Jeeps, I always figured I wanted a some off-roading, take the doors off and just go crazy. (I may or may not have grown up watching Dukes of Hazard).

A trip to Utah last year proved to me that I like guardrails and concrete...and civilization (you can take the girl out of the Chicago area, but you can't take the city out of the girl).

Also, given the fact that I am allergic to most of the outdoors, I should probably at least pretend to pay attention to that...not that I ever drive with my Jeep's windows up (unless it is raining or snowing and...

Grateful for: Future Plans

Grateful for: Future Plans
Nov 06, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Every time I publish a new book, I can hear the other projects whisper, "when is it my turn?" and I cannot wait until each and every one of them exists in a finished, published book format. Whether it is self-publishing or traditiional, all of my books will get their day in the sunshine. I have my project quilt up in my office as a constant reminder to stay focused and get things done so that each of my projects gets its turn. I also have projects who haven't quite made it to the quilt yet, but will get added as things get finished. (I have conquered many of my OCD tendencies, but with the project being 45 and a...

Grateful for: My pretty books

Grateful for: My pretty books
Nov 05, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Whenever I lose sight of what I am working toward (like, for example, when I get a form letter that lets me know the novel was not even looked at by the agent I queried), I look at my pretty books and know that one way or another, I am going to make a living as an author, I am going to claw my way on to the New York Times Best seller list, and I am going to make it.

I have self-published 5 books and am working on #6. My goal is to double my number by next year and have 10 books out at the close of 2017. They are drafts that have been written and have been...


Nov 04, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
In a week where the Chicago Bears beat the Vikings and the CHICAGO CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!!! HOLY COW!!! I felt it only fitting to write about my gratitude about loyalty, which ties in well with yesterday's post.

Some people don't understand true loyalty -- true, stand the test of time, believe in you forever, tried and true-- good times or bad -- hard times and easy times-- Loyalty. 

I once scored points at a teaching interview. 

Principal 1: How do you define loyalty?

Me: I have been a Cubs and Bears fan my whole life. 

Principal 2: That is a fantastic answer. 

I am extremely grateful to people who are as loyal to me as I am to them (which is also as loyal...