Blogroll

When I'm not here, you may find me wandering the pages below. (If I'm a regular visitor to your site and I've left your link off or mislinked to you, please let me know! And likewise, if you've blogrolled me, please check that my link is updated: thisroamanticlife.blogspot.com. The extra (a) makes all the difference!)

Archives

For posts sorted by date or label, see the links below.

For posts on frequently referenced topics, click the buttons to the right.

To search this blog, type in the field at the top left of the page and hit enter.

Body: in sickness and in health

I won't lie; this body and I have had our issues with each other for many years. Body image -- sure. Physical and mental overextension -- comes with being a Type A kind of girl. I still struggle with these things, so they show up from time to time in my writing.

More recently, illness, pure but not simple, has added itself to the mix in a multi-system sort of way. And the challenges in figuring out exactly what's gone wrong are many. As problems have revealed themselves in the last few years, beginning with reactive hypoglycemia in late 2008, I've documented them here, partly to gain a little clarity on managing complex conditions but mostly to give voice to vulnerabilities I feel but don't normally share with anyone face to face. Better out than in, they say, right? (Oh yes, humor is one way I deal.)

The links below cover the different angles I've examined (and from which I've been examined) within that experience.

Travel: neither here nor there

When the person you're married to lives two time zones away, you log a fair number of frequent flier miles. And if you blog about commuter relationships, you log quite a few posts en route too.

Since we're no longer in separate places, I blog less often from airports. But we do travel -- together now! -- which is much more fun to write about. So in addition to thoughts on our years of commuting, the links below cover the places we've been as a pair and, in some cases, the adventures that have happened on the way.

Writing: the long and short of it

Why do I do it? Good question. Maybe it's not so much that I like to write but that I have to write, even when the words refuse to stick to the page. Believe me, I've tried doing other things like majoring in biochemistry (freshman fall, many semesters ago). Within a year, I'd switched to English with a concentration in creative writing and wasn't looking back.

After graduating, I taught English for a few years and then worked as an editor, which I still do freelance. In 2007, I applied and got into an MFA program at a place I like to call Little U. on the Prairie. I finished my degree in 2011 and have been balancing tutoring and writing on my own ever since.

The following links cover the writing I've done about writing: process, content, obstacles, you name it. It's not always pretty. But some part of me loves it, even when it's hard. And this is the result.

Heart: family and friends

I'd have a hard time explaining who I am without being able to talk about the family I grew up in as well as the people I've met beyond its bounds. But even with such context, it's not easy! In the simplest terms, I'm a first-generation Asian-American who has spent most of this life caught between cultures. That, of course, doesn't even begin to describe what I mean to, but there's my first stab at the heart of it all.

That's what this group of posts is reserved for -- heart. The essential parts of my life whose influences I carry with me, for better or worse. The links below cover what I've written as I've learned how these forces work within me, for me, against me, in spite of me. They anchor me even as they change me, and they keep life interesting.

Recommended reading

What do I do when there's too much on my mind and my words won't stick to the page? I escape into someone else's thoughts. Below is a collection of books and articles that have been sources of information, inspiration, and occasional insight for my own work.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Chouette!

I woke up to a little surprise today. French Fancy, a blogger in Brittany, kindly nominated me for a blog award (see her post here). I've never received one of these before -- what an unexpected and welcome nod of encouragement.

The really fun part is that now I get to put up some nominations (that's the way these things seem to work, according to what the conditions are for said award). I'm also asked to post the rules for accepting the award, which are as follows:

  • Copy and paste these rules/instructions in your post.

  • When you post about receiving this award, include who gave you the award and link back to his/her blog.

  • Post five winners and link back to them as well.

  • Post five of your addictions.

  • Add the award image.

  • Let your winners know you gave them this award by leaving comments on their blogs.

So, without further ado, here are my nominees.

  • The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee, by Laurie Cinotto ~ One of my sisters introduced me to this darling site that covers the lives of foster kittens in Tacoma. I cannot wait to get back to Seattle for good -- D and I are hoping to adopt one (or two or three ...).

  • Purring Prophecy, by Medieval Woman ~ While doing research on commuter relationships last summer, I came across this site by sheer chance. The author is, in her own words, "a medievalist beginning her first tenure-track position, working on her book, and commuting to see her long distance husband." She's also got a wicked sense of humor and manages to hang on to it through the travails of teaching.

  • Cake Wrecks, by Jen ~ The name of this compendium says it all. A friend of mine who knew that I was doing research on footbinding for a Chinese history course last spring directed me to this blog for a look at a very relevant photo someone had sent in. Can you guess what the cake in the picture was made to resemble? I do have to say it was an excellent representation of the real thing, but whether or not it was in good taste -- sorry, I couldn't resist.

  • Caramel Cook, by Brian Sharp ~ I found this blog when I was searching for a recipe for scones last winter. The food photography is wonderful, and the commentary is great for culinary inspiration.

  • Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog, by -- well, that's a little more complicated. This site was originally by the esteemed author of The Canterbury Tales, but it seems he's been ousted from his role as head scribe. There's a new order handling things at the moment, but no matter what, it's a hilarious read, especially if you like deliberate anachronisms with your Middle English.

All right. On to the addictions ...

  • Soup. Of almost any kind. It is really, really cold at Little U. on the Prairie in the winter (which sometimes lasts six months), and making a huge pot of soul-warming goodness always makes it more bearable. I got started on a soup-making kick last year thanks to a cookbook called Soup: A Way of Life by Barbara Kafka, which I picked up before moving from Texas. I also grew up savoring my mother's incredible homemade stocks, which kind of sealed my fate before I was old enough to boil water.

  • Mountains. If you followed this blog especially during the past summer, you know this already. I discovered my natural habitat -- didn't know I had one -- in the Pacific Northwest, where the pines and the peaks they decorate make me happy. I haven't yet figured out why. Maybe it's the solitude, or maybe it's the smell of the air. In any case, I've told D that we're not moving once I get back because I don't think I could bear to leave.

  • Books. This one probably goes without saying. D says I eat books, which is pretty accurate. I wouldn't feel right without some kind of personal reading in my life -- titles of my own interest, not those assigned for class (though sometimes those lead me to other books, which is totally fine). I'm currently collecting copies of my favorite children's books so that someday, I'll have a library all ready for our kids.

  • Stationery. Beautiful pens, beautiful paper, the kinds of things that give you pleasure when you write. Even as a little girl, I was obsessed with writing (both penmanship and the creative act), and the sensuous trails of colored inks gliding from beneath the perfect nib onto the creamy surface of a fresh page of a journal were like catnip to me. Now, I do most of my writing electronically (I compose better that way), but when I'm grading and commenting on student papers, I always choose a pen that feels good to write with.

  • D's hugs. This is the worst addiction because I can't get a fix on a regular basis! Now, I don't mean this in the "I can't help saying this because I'm in love with him" sense. I've had hugs from various friends, male and female, in my life, and even before D and I knew we were attracted to each other, his hugs far outranked any I'd ever experienced. Not like those airy, squeamish, not-really-touching-you hugs. His platonic hugs were warm and enveloping, gentle but firm. They were meant. His hugs now (not so platonic, obviously) are the same. Only now I get to ask for them and I don't have to let go.

I think that does it for today. Thank you again, French Fancy, for the award. This was fun.

7 comments:

medieval woman said...

Thanks, CT, for the lovely nomination! I'm going to put this up on my blog tres soon!!!

Blu said...

Hello, thought that I would drop in and have a look around. Yes I got an award too from French fancy too. I will be back soon.

French Fancy said...

Hello there. What a lovely post you did. ((soup)) - I adore the stuff and like you had a mum whose stock would bubble away making the kitchen smell so lovely.

Isn't all this blog award stuff fun.

French Fancy said...

p.s. - I've added you to my blogroll because I like you :)

Contemporary Troubadour said...

What a compliment! Thank you. I shall add you too. It's nice having a blogfriend in one of my favorite countries. I miss using the language. My sister and I write back and forth in French occasionally just to keep ourselves from getting completely out of practice.

As for the blog award stuff -- yes, it is fun :). I think your idea of creating your own is excellent.

Bev said...

chouette indeed!!!!

French Fancy said...

Thank you back again. I do admire you writing back and forth in French when you don't have to. My grammar is not to great but I speak fair colloquial French and my vocab is not too bad. I always ask any French people I meet to correct my errors when I talk but, of course, they are far too polite.

This blog award would be a good idea - but it would help if I could do all that techy stuff. I thought it was HTML that was needed but I think it's something called CSS (?).Poor Mr FF - another chore for his list :)

I wanted to give my five awards to good bloggers who either had none or very few credits in their sidebar. Some people have so many - there is no justice (grin).

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Chouette!

I woke up to a little surprise today. French Fancy, a blogger in Brittany, kindly nominated me for a blog award (see her post here). I've never received one of these before -- what an unexpected and welcome nod of encouragement.

The really fun part is that now I get to put up some nominations (that's the way these things seem to work, according to what the conditions are for said award). I'm also asked to post the rules for accepting the award, which are as follows:

  • Copy and paste these rules/instructions in your post.

  • When you post about receiving this award, include who gave you the award and link back to his/her blog.

  • Post five winners and link back to them as well.

  • Post five of your addictions.

  • Add the award image.

  • Let your winners know you gave them this award by leaving comments on their blogs.

So, without further ado, here are my nominees.

  • The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee, by Laurie Cinotto ~ One of my sisters introduced me to this darling site that covers the lives of foster kittens in Tacoma. I cannot wait to get back to Seattle for good -- D and I are hoping to adopt one (or two or three ...).

  • Purring Prophecy, by Medieval Woman ~ While doing research on commuter relationships last summer, I came across this site by sheer chance. The author is, in her own words, "a medievalist beginning her first tenure-track position, working on her book, and commuting to see her long distance husband." She's also got a wicked sense of humor and manages to hang on to it through the travails of teaching.

  • Cake Wrecks, by Jen ~ The name of this compendium says it all. A friend of mine who knew that I was doing research on footbinding for a Chinese history course last spring directed me to this blog for a look at a very relevant photo someone had sent in. Can you guess what the cake in the picture was made to resemble? I do have to say it was an excellent representation of the real thing, but whether or not it was in good taste -- sorry, I couldn't resist.

  • Caramel Cook, by Brian Sharp ~ I found this blog when I was searching for a recipe for scones last winter. The food photography is wonderful, and the commentary is great for culinary inspiration.

  • Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog, by -- well, that's a little more complicated. This site was originally by the esteemed author of The Canterbury Tales, but it seems he's been ousted from his role as head scribe. There's a new order handling things at the moment, but no matter what, it's a hilarious read, especially if you like deliberate anachronisms with your Middle English.

All right. On to the addictions ...

  • Soup. Of almost any kind. It is really, really cold at Little U. on the Prairie in the winter (which sometimes lasts six months), and making a huge pot of soul-warming goodness always makes it more bearable. I got started on a soup-making kick last year thanks to a cookbook called Soup: A Way of Life by Barbara Kafka, which I picked up before moving from Texas. I also grew up savoring my mother's incredible homemade stocks, which kind of sealed my fate before I was old enough to boil water.

  • Mountains. If you followed this blog especially during the past summer, you know this already. I discovered my natural habitat -- didn't know I had one -- in the Pacific Northwest, where the pines and the peaks they decorate make me happy. I haven't yet figured out why. Maybe it's the solitude, or maybe it's the smell of the air. In any case, I've told D that we're not moving once I get back because I don't think I could bear to leave.

  • Books. This one probably goes without saying. D says I eat books, which is pretty accurate. I wouldn't feel right without some kind of personal reading in my life -- titles of my own interest, not those assigned for class (though sometimes those lead me to other books, which is totally fine). I'm currently collecting copies of my favorite children's books so that someday, I'll have a library all ready for our kids.

  • Stationery. Beautiful pens, beautiful paper, the kinds of things that give you pleasure when you write. Even as a little girl, I was obsessed with writing (both penmanship and the creative act), and the sensuous trails of colored inks gliding from beneath the perfect nib onto the creamy surface of a fresh page of a journal were like catnip to me. Now, I do most of my writing electronically (I compose better that way), but when I'm grading and commenting on student papers, I always choose a pen that feels good to write with.

  • D's hugs. This is the worst addiction because I can't get a fix on a regular basis! Now, I don't mean this in the "I can't help saying this because I'm in love with him" sense. I've had hugs from various friends, male and female, in my life, and even before D and I knew we were attracted to each other, his hugs far outranked any I'd ever experienced. Not like those airy, squeamish, not-really-touching-you hugs. His platonic hugs were warm and enveloping, gentle but firm. They were meant. His hugs now (not so platonic, obviously) are the same. Only now I get to ask for them and I don't have to let go.

I think that does it for today. Thank you again, French Fancy, for the award. This was fun.

7 comments:

medieval woman said...

Thanks, CT, for the lovely nomination! I'm going to put this up on my blog tres soon!!!

Blu said...

Hello, thought that I would drop in and have a look around. Yes I got an award too from French fancy too. I will be back soon.

French Fancy said...

Hello there. What a lovely post you did. ((soup)) - I adore the stuff and like you had a mum whose stock would bubble away making the kitchen smell so lovely.

Isn't all this blog award stuff fun.

French Fancy said...

p.s. - I've added you to my blogroll because I like you :)

Contemporary Troubadour said...

What a compliment! Thank you. I shall add you too. It's nice having a blogfriend in one of my favorite countries. I miss using the language. My sister and I write back and forth in French occasionally just to keep ourselves from getting completely out of practice.

As for the blog award stuff -- yes, it is fun :). I think your idea of creating your own is excellent.

Bev said...

chouette indeed!!!!

French Fancy said...

Thank you back again. I do admire you writing back and forth in French when you don't have to. My grammar is not to great but I speak fair colloquial French and my vocab is not too bad. I always ask any French people I meet to correct my errors when I talk but, of course, they are far too polite.

This blog award would be a good idea - but it would help if I could do all that techy stuff. I thought it was HTML that was needed but I think it's something called CSS (?).Poor Mr FF - another chore for his list :)

I wanted to give my five awards to good bloggers who either had none or very few credits in their sidebar. Some people have so many - there is no justice (grin).