Michelle Sodaro Blog

Grateful for: Friends and Family

Nov 03, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
"Thank you for being my friend." Golden Girls theme song

Where would any of us be without our friends and family (whether that family is blood or the family we choose). Those people who stand by us at our darkest moments -- lift us up when we are down at our lowest -- and fly with us when we are at our highest. Those people who are our anchors and our wings simultaneously. (*hey, spelled that word right for maybe the 5th time in my whole life*)

I have some truly amazing people in my life. I would not be where I am without them. I am standing on the edge of making some pretty major life changes and I know, without...

Grateful for: NaNo

Nov 02, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
About five years ago, I stumbled across the website for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I was intrigued. A novel in a month? 50,000 words is not a "novel" according to Writer's Digest magazine, but it is a solid first draft. And written in a month? 30 days? 50K in 30D? Interesting.

The first year my attempt was a mess. I went in with no game plan and figured I could easily get the 1667 words a day. I mean I write ALL the's kind of my deal. I started of getting 2000 words a day and I was thinking I got this. Then I slowed down. Then I slowed down some more until coming to a complete stop at...


Nov 01, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
I start my day and end my day, expressing my gratitude. People and things for whom I blessed to have in my life and without whom, my life would be infinitely more sucky.

When life has knocked me down the hardest, I find that this habit of gratitude keeps me getting back up to fight another day. The alternative is to what? Cry in my Frosted Flakes? At least I still have Frosted Flakes.

I am grateful for the lessons learned by some people and some events. Learning who actually has your back and who doesn't is perhaps one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned. Who wants you truly and absolutely succeed and who is just waiting for you...

It's NaNoWriMo time again

Oct 31, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Tomorrow starts National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) again and I can hardly contain my is so much fun and I totally geek out for it.

The challenge:

**50,000 words in 30 Days (50K in 30D) (this averages out to about 1667 words/day).

The challenge for me:

**Getting the 50K is challenging with a full-time teacher gig (thank goodness for vacation time and national holidays), but the more challenging part for me is having those 50K words be all about the same project as my self-diagnosed ADD which keeps me bouncing from project to project leaving a trail of half-finished projects in my wake.

What I have learned from previous NaNo's:

**If I seriously only allow myself to work on only my current NaNo project --...

First Down Update

Oct 30, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
One of the hard parts of being a "grown up" (I figure it's only fair I put that in quotes since I tend to put them there for the kiddos I teach) is the financial part where the I have to pay for this has to come before the I want to pay for this. I have been working on a balance of my have to's vs. my want to's (it's very middle-child, ego --in the ID, ego, and superego trilogy, Gemini me) where there is an equal as possible a balance between the two parts in regards to resources (money) and schedule (time) since there is a finite amount of both money and time. I have pared down my budget and...


Oct 24, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
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...

Art therapy...

Oct 14, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So, I am going to an art museum today. I have been pushing myself to the point of exhaustion with keeping up with my grading like a good little soldier and starting a part-time job and working to get First Down out in the next couple of weeks. The past two weeks I have been dizzy and confused. A sure sign I need to slow down a bit and breathe.

I have always been fascinated by those who can create art. My gift lies in words. I have no gift in drawing (my previous high school students can attest to this. Sorry for the nightmares I caused). I haven't tried painting or clay past a disastrous elementary school class, where my teacher...

Are you Happy?

Oct 07, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So there is a countdown going on and yesterday was 451...451 days...(for those of you who don't feel up to counting this morning, that brings us to 12/31/17...and's not the end of the world as we know it...but it is the end of a world I know and have known far too well for far too long.)

With yesterday being 451, I thought about the wonderful book (Fahrenheit 451) by Ray Bradbury throughout the day...even going so far as to get out my well-worn, well-loved copy and flip through...catching a phrase here and there and smiling about this part of the book or that. Because I have taught this book and because I have loved this book, there are underlined passages...


Oct 05, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
For some reason, and I do it every year, but I start thinking, "well, time to put this year to bed and get ready for a more productive next year." NOT this year. No way. No how. I still have lots to do before 2016 ends.

I have two more books to publish this year. First Down is due out this month. It is coming along nicely and I should have no problems meeting my deadline as long as I keep my eye on the prize. I have people helping me from getting too distracted by other projects, so I should be just fine. Stealing Second is due out in December and I have some work to do on that one, but will...

Looking back on September

Sep 30, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
What a busy month. WOW....30 days? Really? There were only 30 days this month? Can I have a recount? Or a nap?

I ordered copies of all of my books so that I have them in stock at all time. Found out it is easier to sell them if I have them on hand. Weird, right?

I had my 2nd book signing, which was a success. I have some new readers who will hopefully become fans.

I have had some rejections from agents which makes me sad for a minute that they didn't love my pretty books...and then I dust myself off and strengthen my resolve. I WILL make a living as an author...and I will get to where I want to go....

Happy birthday, Trav

Sep 27, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
I remember the year I lost you and your birthday snuck up on me...I had been trying to stay super extra busy so it didn't hurt to breathe without you. And Facebook, in its helpful way, told me to celebrate with you and honestly I would have given anything to do just that. 

I have five books now. You srarted that. You gave me the wings I needed to be the author I always said I wanted to be. And look, five books out and plans for however many more. I like to think you are proud of me. I know you would be. 

I miss you. I also feel you every day. 

Happy birthday!!!!

Coming off of a high

Sep 26, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
In my 41 years on this planet, I have never been chemically "high" and can count the number of times I would consider myself "drunk" on one I have no actual basis of comparison for this. I wanted to start with that disclaimer.

Friday 16 September, I had my 2nd book signing...and it was amazing. A day...all about me and my beautiful books. I got my curls "fixed" (as much as the fantastic mess on my head can be called "fixed") and wore make up and dressed up and got to celebrate my books with friends and fans. I have some new readers, which is always fun as the hope is that they like what they see and come back...

Pre-game jitters

Sep 15, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So when I taught face to face classes, I would get this antsy, butterflies all over, bouncy insides before the start of EVERY class. Yes. 19 years later and I still get nervous before facing a crowd for the first time. Will anyone show up? Will there be at least one person who talks to me? Will someone at least pretend to laugh at one of my jokes? Humor me, makes both our lives easier.

Where I teach now, it's all online, so that is nice...there is less pressure to be humorous, I don't have to worry that my pretty yet messy curls look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. And since we have starts almost every week,...

Book Signing

Book Signing
Sep 01, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
I am having a book signing on 16 September from 7-9pm at Bead Boutique (508 NW Englewood Rd Kansas City, MO 64118).

I will be selling copies of these five beautiful books and will be more than happy to autograph them.

In 2011, someone I love said to me "you have wanted to be an author since I met do it. BE an author." And that set this all in motion. He is gone now...but there is not a day I don't feel him with me as I write. I know he is celebrating with me and watching over me at all times.

It is so surreal to think that I published my first book in 2011. Looking at what I knew...

Revisiting: Broken Trust

Revisiting: Broken Trust
Aug 25, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Continuing on my Throwback 4th fictional child. She came out last year and her sequel, Redeeming Trust is now out as well. This story started as a dream. It grew into two novels through a conversation over French fries. From the start, I pictured the talented and awkward Sam, and of course I pictured the colorful and full of life, Ali. I pictured Ben, though his picture became more clear later on...mostly...for me, this story was always about two best friends. After all, where would any of us be without our best friends.

Sam is an artist (her painting is depicted on the beautiful covers for both Broken Trust and Redeeming Trust, both designed by the Amazing Amanda Fugate). She uses her...

Project Quilt

Project Quilt
Aug 23, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
SO a few years ago, I had all my "current" projects up on my wall...and it reminded me that I needed to quit playing World of Warcraft and get to work on these projects. After a few moves and updates to the project list, it is finally back on my wall where it belongs. That's a lot of color in one is even more so in real life :D But I was careful to not have the pink paper visible on the pink paint or the green paper visible on the green paint. That and not having the same color side by side or directly on top or bottom...was all I allowed my OCD to have a say in...

Revisiting: Arianna's Destiny

Revisiting: Arianna's Destiny
Aug 18, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
Continuing my Throwback Thursday third book (first sequel). Arianna was supposed to wait her turn in line. Arianna's Honor came out in 2012 and then there were other books that were 'next.' But then my girl, Ari, was rather insistent that her sequel be next. The characters in my other novels happily stepped aside to let her pass. I am pretty sure it was not her sword that motivated them to let her cut in line, though I am sure her sword and her skill with said sword did cross their fictional minds. But whatever the reason, Arianna's Destiny became my 3rd published book. Her birth date was 2014 (and yes that gap will bother me forever...I have a 2011, a 2012,...

The Best of Me

Aug 16, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
The first time I heard "Best of You" by the Foo Fighters, I was enthralled by the lyrics...I immediately watched it on You Tube and couldn't stop watching Dave Grohl (who is amazing...just amazing). There is so much emotion on his face as he sings this song. I don't know who/what it was written for...and just like I don't care about the inspiration behind my favorite painting, Starry Night, I don't care why this song was written...but every time I hear it it makes me one has ever gotten the best of me.

No one has ever gotten all of me. Some have come close. Some think they have gotten the best of me...some think they have known all of me....

Revisiting Arianna's Honor

Revisiting Arianna's Honor
Aug 11, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So, doing a Throw Back Thursday again, with my second book, Arianna's Honor.

Arianna is my favorite. I know. I know...I am supposed to love them all the same. I have heard parents say the same thing. I have said the same thing as a teacher...but Ari is my favorite. With everything she has been through, everything she has become...she is my hero. When I am tired, she reminds me to keep fighting. Her fights were more of the physical, sword-wielding type where as mine tend to be more spiritual/emotional (though on a very small level, it pushes me harder to work out regardless of my knee pain.), and she reminds me to push harder, keep going.

Revisiting Whatever you Make of It

Revisiting Whatever you Make of It
Aug 04, 2016 by Michelle Denise Sodaro
So in honor of Throwback Thursday, I thought I would revisit my first "born," Whatever you make of It. (Published 2011 and available on

I was so clueless about so many things with this one. Fumbling and worrying at every stage...all part of the new parent package, or so I am told.

So Whatever you Make of It is the story of Jac and Jyn (or Johnathon and Rebecca, depending on your viewpoint). Jac and Jyn live in a book, but they don't know this until they hear Johnathon's voice.

Johnathon is obsessed with making partner at his law firm, no matter the cost. His relationship with his girlfriend is strained; his relationship with his parents, almost non-existent. He starts to read a book...