19 January 2014

In honor of 'Game of Thrones' and its upcoming season....

Made with Bitstrips


HBO recently released a trailer for Season 4 which begins in April.
You can read a breakdown of it here. In the meantime, I just completed my first week of teaching at a college! And I'm so busy with schoolwork that I don't have the time for a lengthy article. Hence this lovely
Game of Thrones-inspired Bitstrip to tide you over.

And if you're really bored or creative, you can now make your own Game of Thrones House Sigil and create your own Game of Thrones character name (female option here).

I am Marissa Chelsted of the House Butke. Hear my name and tremble!

07 January 2014

Let's talk about AMBITIONS!

(c) Graphic Stock.
As I write this post, it's -13 degrees (F), and I don't even want to mention what the wind chill brings it to, or I'll keel over.

I was going to write up another post (about widgets!) in my Author Online series, but that requires a bit more time that I don't have at the moment. I highly recommend checking out the first two articles in the series--I tried to make them as straightforward and helpful as possible for all of you, and I have lots of links in the article designed to help you over and over again as you set up your author platform and promote yourself online.
And now let's get to the topic at hand--AMBITIONS--because I didn't want this to feel like another New Year's Resolution post. Words like resolution and goal sound like they're (in the context of the new year) all-or-nothing. As in, if you didn't complete your goal for the new year, you're a failure. Boo, I say. 

I chose to call my goals ambitions because I think the concept's a bit more nebulous. The ambition is the desire to achieve...and the desire leads to the motivation needed to work towards the goal. Meanwhile, a goal is just a goal. To employ a ridiculously over-used cliche, the goal is the destination; but to me, ambition is the journey. And I've always thought the journey is the most important aspect of goal-setting. You learn on a journey. 

Let me hop off the soapbox and dive right into my ambitions for 2014.

I was just hired as an adjunct instructor for North Central State College. On January 13th, classes start, and I'll be teaching three English composition courses! So what is my ambition? Be the best teacher I can be. 

I decided to apply to the Odyssey Writing Workshop, which will take place June into July of this year. It's a well known writers' workshop, especially for those who write fantasy and speculative fiction. Based on some agent rejections, some excellent feedback, and a couple epiphanies I had during NanoWrimo, I realized my writing still isn't quite where it needs to be. So I'm taking whatever steps I can to raise my awareness and strengthen my skills in order to be the best writer I can be. 

I have small goals here and there, of course, that I may or may not accomplish during the year, but of all the things I desire the most, what I've mentioned above represents the biggest dreams, the grandest desires, and yes, the most ambitious goals of 2014. 

As always, I'll keep you posted as to my struggles and successes. What are your ambitions for the new year? Please comment below...and stay tuned for the next Author Online post. Thank you!

02 January 2014

Happy New Year!

(c) Shutterstock
I'm still in disbelief that 2014 is here. Of course, when every year passes, it feels like it's gone too soon, but 2014 marks the ten-year anniversary of some milestones, all of which make me feel old.

Ten years ago, I was in Times Square on New Year's Eve to watch The Phantom of the Opera with my sister. At the end of the show, the cast sang Auld Lang Syne.

Then a few days after that, I arrived at Heathrow airport in London to begin my home-stay in Swansea, Wales. Then, I few days after that, I settled into my dorm room (at what was then Trinity College) in Carmarthen to spend the entire semester there.

Ten years ago, I started exhibiting the first signs of what would later be diagnosed as bipolar disorder. Ten years ago, my father and grandfather were still alive and their deaths seemed far enough away that I didn't even think about it.

A lot  has happened over the past ten years, and if I were to speak to my past self, the old me would be surprised where I ended up at. Not disappointed; not unhappy; just surprised. Even though I didn't take the expected path, I still managed to accomplish some things that were very important to me (especially with writing) and I'm proud of where I am today.

I look forward to this new year, and I look forward to the time when, in 2024, I'll remember all of the wonderful and challenging things I'll have been through. Will I still accomplish what I've set out to do, even if I take a different route to get there?

Anyway, I wish all of you a bright and happy new year!