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.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

How sweet!

While I was on my way back to Little U. on the Prairie, Medieval Woman gave me an Inspiration Award! What a lovely surprise -- thank you!

Of course, there are a few rules I must post with it.

The obligations upon accepting the award are to extend the compliment by doing the following:

1) Put the logo of the award (above) on your blog if you can make it work with your format.

2) Link to the person from whom you received the award.

3) Nominate seven or more blogs.

4) Put the links of those blogs on your blog.

5) Leave a message on their blogs to tell them.

So here are my nominations:
  • French Fancy, the namesake blog of a Londoner who now lives in Brittany, France, and writes about life on the other side of the English Channel -- including her progress toward her B.A. in Humanities from the Open University. I admire anyone who takes it upon himself/herself to pursue education through distance learning. It's not easy to be your own motivator, and Ms. FF does a terrific job.

  • A Lady Scientist, the blog of a fourth-year Ph.D. student in biochemistry who is, in her words, "navigating the so-called 'Two Body Problem.'"

  • Hypoglycemiagirl, the blog of another fellow commuter currently living in Sweden while juggling what she calls "an academic four-body problem"(!).

  • The Firefly Photo Files, the blog of a photography enthusiast from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, that features his beautiful travel and nature shots with personal commentary. There's nothing like looking at other people's art to make you want to do more yourself.

  • Making This Home, written by an American blogger living in Berlin, Germany, while she and her husband remodel parts of their 480-square-foot apartment with do-it-yourself aplomb.

These last two are actually links to collections of blogs on specific topics. I couldn't choose just one from each place -- it's the community each site represents, perhaps, that is inspiring ...

  • Diabetes Daily, a forum with feeds from people living with the disease that's become particularly relevant to me in the last few weeks. While I'm not fully diabetic yet (and hope not to be), I'm learning how to handle many of the same things these bloggers are dealing with, and reading their posts on day-to-day life has been really helpful.

  • Authors' Blogs, a forum with links to the blogs of aspiring and published writers.

Now, time to go home and start grading. And so it begins again ...

5 comments:

Katie @ makingthishome.com said...

Oh thank you for including me in your awards today. I absolutely love paintings like that. I also like the idea behind your blog (I've been looking around a bit!). Martin and I didn't live in the same half of the US until the day we were married, so we can relate so well. And your MFA sounds like a dream!
Katie

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Hi Katie -- welcome to my place! You and Martin must be so happy to be together after doing the long-distance thing. How often did you get to visit each other?

Your kitchen looks terrific, by the way :).

French Fancy said...

Thank you for giving me this award but I have to confess to being a bit naughty. I couldn't possibly select certain bloggers who have inspired me so I've said 'if you would like it then take it'. I know it's against the rules but these links take ages and I've got a lot on atm.

Another thing - I couldn't get my link to you to work today. I wonder why your http link never appears in the box at the top. Have you set it that way for a reason? Or maybe that's just how my machine perceives it. Anyway, hope you are not cross with me and once again thanks.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF, of course I'm not cross with you! I totally understand.

As for the link, I'm wondering if it's a new issue with Blogger? I tried some other blogs at random and none of their titles at the top of the page provide a link anymore, and they definitely used to. I've just been copying the link from the display at the top of the browser window (where it actually says, "http://xxxxxx.blogspot.com"). Odd.

French Fancy said...

Hello again, I returned to see what you said in response to me being a lazy cow and not obeying the rules of the tag (it's the first time, I want that noted in my defence).

Anyway, for some reason your url was back in the box so I've amended my entry and now link back to you. This net world is so weird and aggravating sometimes.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

How sweet!

While I was on my way back to Little U. on the Prairie, Medieval Woman gave me an Inspiration Award! What a lovely surprise -- thank you!

Of course, there are a few rules I must post with it.

The obligations upon accepting the award are to extend the compliment by doing the following:

1) Put the logo of the award (above) on your blog if you can make it work with your format.

2) Link to the person from whom you received the award.

3) Nominate seven or more blogs.

4) Put the links of those blogs on your blog.

5) Leave a message on their blogs to tell them.

So here are my nominations:
  • French Fancy, the namesake blog of a Londoner who now lives in Brittany, France, and writes about life on the other side of the English Channel -- including her progress toward her B.A. in Humanities from the Open University. I admire anyone who takes it upon himself/herself to pursue education through distance learning. It's not easy to be your own motivator, and Ms. FF does a terrific job.

  • A Lady Scientist, the blog of a fourth-year Ph.D. student in biochemistry who is, in her words, "navigating the so-called 'Two Body Problem.'"

  • Hypoglycemiagirl, the blog of another fellow commuter currently living in Sweden while juggling what she calls "an academic four-body problem"(!).

  • The Firefly Photo Files, the blog of a photography enthusiast from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, that features his beautiful travel and nature shots with personal commentary. There's nothing like looking at other people's art to make you want to do more yourself.

  • Making This Home, written by an American blogger living in Berlin, Germany, while she and her husband remodel parts of their 480-square-foot apartment with do-it-yourself aplomb.

These last two are actually links to collections of blogs on specific topics. I couldn't choose just one from each place -- it's the community each site represents, perhaps, that is inspiring ...

  • Diabetes Daily, a forum with feeds from people living with the disease that's become particularly relevant to me in the last few weeks. While I'm not fully diabetic yet (and hope not to be), I'm learning how to handle many of the same things these bloggers are dealing with, and reading their posts on day-to-day life has been really helpful.

  • Authors' Blogs, a forum with links to the blogs of aspiring and published writers.

Now, time to go home and start grading. And so it begins again ...

5 comments:

Katie @ makingthishome.com said...

Oh thank you for including me in your awards today. I absolutely love paintings like that. I also like the idea behind your blog (I've been looking around a bit!). Martin and I didn't live in the same half of the US until the day we were married, so we can relate so well. And your MFA sounds like a dream!
Katie

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Hi Katie -- welcome to my place! You and Martin must be so happy to be together after doing the long-distance thing. How often did you get to visit each other?

Your kitchen looks terrific, by the way :).

French Fancy said...

Thank you for giving me this award but I have to confess to being a bit naughty. I couldn't possibly select certain bloggers who have inspired me so I've said 'if you would like it then take it'. I know it's against the rules but these links take ages and I've got a lot on atm.

Another thing - I couldn't get my link to you to work today. I wonder why your http link never appears in the box at the top. Have you set it that way for a reason? Or maybe that's just how my machine perceives it. Anyway, hope you are not cross with me and once again thanks.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF, of course I'm not cross with you! I totally understand.

As for the link, I'm wondering if it's a new issue with Blogger? I tried some other blogs at random and none of their titles at the top of the page provide a link anymore, and they definitely used to. I've just been copying the link from the display at the top of the browser window (where it actually says, "http://xxxxxx.blogspot.com"). Odd.

French Fancy said...

Hello again, I returned to see what you said in response to me being a lazy cow and not obeying the rules of the tag (it's the first time, I want that noted in my defence).

Anyway, for some reason your url was back in the box so I've amended my entry and now link back to you. This net world is so weird and aggravating sometimes.