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!)

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

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

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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.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A fish out of water


Let's see. Graded all papers? Check. Finished writing final exam? Double check. Acquired test booklets for students? Check, check, check. What's left?

Absolutely nothing until Thursday, the day of the exam. I'm out of things to do -- for the next four days.

Okay, it's not really that bad. I have Christmas cards to write, packages to mail, friends to catch up with, books to devour, and, oh, a little thing called a thesis prospectus to consider working on, but even with all of this, my eyes are constantly roaming toward the clock. I can't wait to see D again. CANNOT WAIT. And the feeling is mutual -- it's been such a long semester of spreading visits out as much as we can that even as we've been talking on the phone in the last few days, we've been running out of things to say beyond, "Can next Saturday get here any sooner???"

Teaching was a really nice responsibility for the last three and a half months, and now that I'm no longer forced to keep my mind completely focused on the job, I have a four-year-old's attention span. Nothing is compelling enough to keep me occupied. I can't even pack yet because the majority of the things I plan to take with me have to be used. Well, I suppose I can put the last few Christmas gifts I've acquired with the stash in my closet so they'll be ready to go. The little cloisonné fish in the photo above is one of the items I brought back after Thanksgiving and will go to D's parents. We got one for ourselves as well -- each Christmas, we buy one new ornament for our tree to mark the year. The fish caught our eye because each row of scales is a separate piece, allowing it to flex as if it were actually swimming. Lots of fun.

All right, that's with the rest of the presents now. What next? D, stop laughing (I know you are). It's the Type A in me coming out again just like it did at the beginning of the summer. "Just enjoy the vacation," D kept telling me, "and stop trying to find things to do."

He's right. Even the books I've been reading have been books that I'm considering for my thesis bibliography. Time to find something completely unrelated. Yes.

2 comments:

French Fancy said...

I'm so excited for you. It must be lovely knowing you will soon be together again for Christmas - and four days off. You'd better watch it or you'll begin to enjoy having nothing to do.

It's a lovely fish decoration and I'm resisting the temptation to do lots of fish jokes.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Did I say I had nothing to do? Silly me, forgot all about that self-review form I had to write up for my department ... :)

That's done now, and my grades are in order, and if only the weather would cooperate, I could get out of here! Oh well, it is lovely *thinking* about being together again.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

A fish out of water


Let's see. Graded all papers? Check. Finished writing final exam? Double check. Acquired test booklets for students? Check, check, check. What's left?

Absolutely nothing until Thursday, the day of the exam. I'm out of things to do -- for the next four days.

Okay, it's not really that bad. I have Christmas cards to write, packages to mail, friends to catch up with, books to devour, and, oh, a little thing called a thesis prospectus to consider working on, but even with all of this, my eyes are constantly roaming toward the clock. I can't wait to see D again. CANNOT WAIT. And the feeling is mutual -- it's been such a long semester of spreading visits out as much as we can that even as we've been talking on the phone in the last few days, we've been running out of things to say beyond, "Can next Saturday get here any sooner???"

Teaching was a really nice responsibility for the last three and a half months, and now that I'm no longer forced to keep my mind completely focused on the job, I have a four-year-old's attention span. Nothing is compelling enough to keep me occupied. I can't even pack yet because the majority of the things I plan to take with me have to be used. Well, I suppose I can put the last few Christmas gifts I've acquired with the stash in my closet so they'll be ready to go. The little cloisonné fish in the photo above is one of the items I brought back after Thanksgiving and will go to D's parents. We got one for ourselves as well -- each Christmas, we buy one new ornament for our tree to mark the year. The fish caught our eye because each row of scales is a separate piece, allowing it to flex as if it were actually swimming. Lots of fun.

All right, that's with the rest of the presents now. What next? D, stop laughing (I know you are). It's the Type A in me coming out again just like it did at the beginning of the summer. "Just enjoy the vacation," D kept telling me, "and stop trying to find things to do."

He's right. Even the books I've been reading have been books that I'm considering for my thesis bibliography. Time to find something completely unrelated. Yes.

2 comments:

French Fancy said...

I'm so excited for you. It must be lovely knowing you will soon be together again for Christmas - and four days off. You'd better watch it or you'll begin to enjoy having nothing to do.

It's a lovely fish decoration and I'm resisting the temptation to do lots of fish jokes.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Did I say I had nothing to do? Silly me, forgot all about that self-review form I had to write up for my department ... :)

That's done now, and my grades are in order, and if only the weather would cooperate, I could get out of here! Oh well, it is lovely *thinking* about being together again.