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.

Friday, November 28, 2008

There and back again

So I expected that I would have MORE time to blog while in Seattle for Thanksgiving break, but it was exactly the opposite. Some of that was the product of catch-up time with D, of course, but while he was at work, there was just that much stuff to do -- Christmas shopping, prepping for dinner guests, taking advantage of the free laundry, and working on the holiday newsletter to go out with the cards to friends and family. That last item is sort of becoming a tradition. I had hoped to get it finished before leaving so I could print off the copies from our color printer, but I couldn't manage it. Oh well. I'll write the rest of it tonight, and D will print it. Hopefully his version of Word won't scramble the document like it did last year after I sent it to him! Coordinating a repair job over e-mail took some creativity, to say the least.

I wish I could have stayed in Seattle through Sunday morning, but in order to get there using mileage awards, I had to come back today. D and I will see each other in three weeks, which will also mark the beginning of winter break for me (can't wait!). This little week off was wonderful -- a taste of what we'll have over December and January. We had a dinner date on Friday after I landed, and then we had a very lazy Saturday -- lots of lounging and talking and just being in the same home with the prospect of another five days together instead of only one. D made his special waffles for breakfast and we tested a molten chocolate cake recipe (part of the menu for Thanksgiving). On Sunday, we went marketing for Christmas gift ideas and I got reacquainted with the irises. Ralph has what seems to be a bud! Silly plant -- it's not time for that yet!

Things really started picking up on Monday. While D was at work, I met up with our realtor again to look at more houses. The market has definitely changed a bit with the economy. I'm glad we didn't jump into making an offer on anything this summer as there are larger places for better prices now. We looked at seven homes, two of which felt like they had good potential (with room for us to grow so we wouldn't have to move out again for several years). Appreciation rates have slowed, so being able to stay put for longer is important to us.

Tuesday, we did the last of the pre-Thanksgiving grocery shopping and D made a delicious white bean and ground turkey chili for dinner while I was whittling away at grading and the newsletter. It sounds almost mundane, doesn't it? Trying to write about why all of this was so good is difficult -- how do you explain how extraordinary ordinariness is when you never have it?

Our guests arrived Wednesday, and their visit deserves its own post, so I'll stop here for the moment. But yes, it was lovely just to be back where I could see the mountains, even if it's dark at 3:30 now because we're so far north. My plane followed the sunset on the way out to Seattle, which was a little treat. Here's a shot of the last of it and the north star somewhere over Montana.

2 comments:

French Fancy said...

'how do you explain how extraordinary ordinariness is when you never have it?'

That sums it up perfectly. When you have someone in your life that fits just right any absence is hard. I don't know how you manage, to be honest. I suppose it does keep the romance alive and you always have a date on the horizon that you know you'll be together again.

Lovely pic of the sky - is that a little star twinkling?

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Yes, it is a star -- it followed our plane for a while and then disappeared as we descended into the clouds.

I didn't know how we would manage being apart either when we were first confronted with this situation. But now that it's part of our "routine" (let's hope it doesn't become routine, though!), we cope without feeling like it's coping so much anymore. The blog helps :). D likes to provide photos when he can, and the blog acts as a record of what we're doing so we can connect through that (and e-mails and phone calls). Can't imagine trying this before the internet's existence!

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Friday, November 28, 2008

There and back again

So I expected that I would have MORE time to blog while in Seattle for Thanksgiving break, but it was exactly the opposite. Some of that was the product of catch-up time with D, of course, but while he was at work, there was just that much stuff to do -- Christmas shopping, prepping for dinner guests, taking advantage of the free laundry, and working on the holiday newsletter to go out with the cards to friends and family. That last item is sort of becoming a tradition. I had hoped to get it finished before leaving so I could print off the copies from our color printer, but I couldn't manage it. Oh well. I'll write the rest of it tonight, and D will print it. Hopefully his version of Word won't scramble the document like it did last year after I sent it to him! Coordinating a repair job over e-mail took some creativity, to say the least.

I wish I could have stayed in Seattle through Sunday morning, but in order to get there using mileage awards, I had to come back today. D and I will see each other in three weeks, which will also mark the beginning of winter break for me (can't wait!). This little week off was wonderful -- a taste of what we'll have over December and January. We had a dinner date on Friday after I landed, and then we had a very lazy Saturday -- lots of lounging and talking and just being in the same home with the prospect of another five days together instead of only one. D made his special waffles for breakfast and we tested a molten chocolate cake recipe (part of the menu for Thanksgiving). On Sunday, we went marketing for Christmas gift ideas and I got reacquainted with the irises. Ralph has what seems to be a bud! Silly plant -- it's not time for that yet!

Things really started picking up on Monday. While D was at work, I met up with our realtor again to look at more houses. The market has definitely changed a bit with the economy. I'm glad we didn't jump into making an offer on anything this summer as there are larger places for better prices now. We looked at seven homes, two of which felt like they had good potential (with room for us to grow so we wouldn't have to move out again for several years). Appreciation rates have slowed, so being able to stay put for longer is important to us.

Tuesday, we did the last of the pre-Thanksgiving grocery shopping and D made a delicious white bean and ground turkey chili for dinner while I was whittling away at grading and the newsletter. It sounds almost mundane, doesn't it? Trying to write about why all of this was so good is difficult -- how do you explain how extraordinary ordinariness is when you never have it?

Our guests arrived Wednesday, and their visit deserves its own post, so I'll stop here for the moment. But yes, it was lovely just to be back where I could see the mountains, even if it's dark at 3:30 now because we're so far north. My plane followed the sunset on the way out to Seattle, which was a little treat. Here's a shot of the last of it and the north star somewhere over Montana.

2 comments:

French Fancy said...

'how do you explain how extraordinary ordinariness is when you never have it?'

That sums it up perfectly. When you have someone in your life that fits just right any absence is hard. I don't know how you manage, to be honest. I suppose it does keep the romance alive and you always have a date on the horizon that you know you'll be together again.

Lovely pic of the sky - is that a little star twinkling?

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Yes, it is a star -- it followed our plane for a while and then disappeared as we descended into the clouds.

I didn't know how we would manage being apart either when we were first confronted with this situation. But now that it's part of our "routine" (let's hope it doesn't become routine, though!), we cope without feeling like it's coping so much anymore. The blog helps :). D likes to provide photos when he can, and the blog acts as a record of what we're doing so we can connect through that (and e-mails and phone calls). Can't imagine trying this before the internet's existence!