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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.

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, May 8, 2009

So, so close

The last papers are graded. The learning portfolios have been reviewed. Course evaluations have been handed out. All that's left to administer are final exams next Tuesday and Thursday, and then my obligations here are over for the year. Well, there's also that pesky little 25-page paper due Wednesday for my own class, but we're just not going to think about that for the moment. (Though after I finish this post, I'm going to buckle down and try to crank some text out.)

It's been a very packed week and then some since I last blogged. Besides the blitz-grading, I was in Seattle last weekend, celebrating our ten-year dating anniversary by cleaning the new house in preparation for the move -- very exciting! D insisted on carrying me over the threshold, which was a memorable way to enter our home for the first time after officially making it ours. (I made him promise not to throw me over his shoulder in a fireman's carry.) After we were married, he also carried me over the threshold of our first apartment, but this felt different. In a good way, of course.

In other exciting news, while I was gone, Ludwig started to bloom (see above). I think he'll finish just in time for me to return him to D's parents -- somehow, I don't think I'll be able to carry him on a plane, so they're going to take him back into their care. I can't wait to have potted plants again. My apartment at Little U. doesn't get enough light to support many, so I haven't purchased anything, though it's been tempting.

We've been thinking about things to plant in our garden, which borders our tiny patch of side yard (small enough that D can mow it with an old-fashioned human-powered lawn mower in about ten minutes if he's really trying to stretch out the experience). There are already several small shrubs and what looks like a Japanese maple rooted in. Our irises will be ready to transplant soon -- they're greening up very nicely now that the weather has turned warm -- and I have a packet of wildflower seeds that were sent to me as part of some promotional mailing. Random, but we'll take them!

D recently went to a tulip festival a few hours north of Seattle. I didn't think I was a fan of tulips as the ones I'd seen before always tended to get sloppy-looking very quickly after the first spring rain, but these are gorgeous:


We may just have to get some of these too:


D got a few panoramic shots of the fields while he was wandering around. The space restrictions here don't do them justice, but if you click on the photos, you can see the larger versions.



Twelve days. Yes. And more news soon(er), I promise. I have a feeling I'll need a few breaks to keep my academic writing brain from getting worn out.

8 comments:

Sherlock said...

I know you can't wait! It's all so exciting. Lovely flowers -- I used to think tulips were boring too until we got several different varieties for our yard. I especially like the pink and white variegated ones and they seem to last a very long time. My plain old yellow tulips lasted four weeks this year and that was through getting trampled a few times during construction of our deck stairs!! Have a good weekend -- grading, writing paper, and all!!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Hi, Sherlock! Those sound pretty :). D likes the variegated ones too. If we can find some that are hardy, we'll be in excellent shape.

Bev said...

All such good news!!! Congratulations on almost being done! I can't wait to see the new place :)

Contemporary Troubadour said...

There will be pictures, I promise :)

French Fancy said...

The last bit of sand is almost through the timer and I'm thrilled for you. Now go and do your paper.

x

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Almost 11 pages, FF. Plugging away -- and I have strategically scheduled good-bye social events to make me stick by this. Am hoping to be done with most of this by tomorrow before heading out for drinks!

Good Enough Woman said...

I'm so happy for your! Finishing up. Moving to Seattle. New house. SOOOO exciting. Enjoy the wrap-up, and I can't wait to see pics of the house.

So. Do you have any special plans for the blog? Title changes, etc?

Oh, and I just love the way you appreciate the details in life. Like special tulips.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Thanks, GEW! I did have a fleeting thought a few weeks ago that this blog's title would need a little revision -- am working on ideas.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

So, so close

The last papers are graded. The learning portfolios have been reviewed. Course evaluations have been handed out. All that's left to administer are final exams next Tuesday and Thursday, and then my obligations here are over for the year. Well, there's also that pesky little 25-page paper due Wednesday for my own class, but we're just not going to think about that for the moment. (Though after I finish this post, I'm going to buckle down and try to crank some text out.)

It's been a very packed week and then some since I last blogged. Besides the blitz-grading, I was in Seattle last weekend, celebrating our ten-year dating anniversary by cleaning the new house in preparation for the move -- very exciting! D insisted on carrying me over the threshold, which was a memorable way to enter our home for the first time after officially making it ours. (I made him promise not to throw me over his shoulder in a fireman's carry.) After we were married, he also carried me over the threshold of our first apartment, but this felt different. In a good way, of course.

In other exciting news, while I was gone, Ludwig started to bloom (see above). I think he'll finish just in time for me to return him to D's parents -- somehow, I don't think I'll be able to carry him on a plane, so they're going to take him back into their care. I can't wait to have potted plants again. My apartment at Little U. doesn't get enough light to support many, so I haven't purchased anything, though it's been tempting.

We've been thinking about things to plant in our garden, which borders our tiny patch of side yard (small enough that D can mow it with an old-fashioned human-powered lawn mower in about ten minutes if he's really trying to stretch out the experience). There are already several small shrubs and what looks like a Japanese maple rooted in. Our irises will be ready to transplant soon -- they're greening up very nicely now that the weather has turned warm -- and I have a packet of wildflower seeds that were sent to me as part of some promotional mailing. Random, but we'll take them!

D recently went to a tulip festival a few hours north of Seattle. I didn't think I was a fan of tulips as the ones I'd seen before always tended to get sloppy-looking very quickly after the first spring rain, but these are gorgeous:


We may just have to get some of these too:


D got a few panoramic shots of the fields while he was wandering around. The space restrictions here don't do them justice, but if you click on the photos, you can see the larger versions.



Twelve days. Yes. And more news soon(er), I promise. I have a feeling I'll need a few breaks to keep my academic writing brain from getting worn out.

8 comments:

Sherlock said...

I know you can't wait! It's all so exciting. Lovely flowers -- I used to think tulips were boring too until we got several different varieties for our yard. I especially like the pink and white variegated ones and they seem to last a very long time. My plain old yellow tulips lasted four weeks this year and that was through getting trampled a few times during construction of our deck stairs!! Have a good weekend -- grading, writing paper, and all!!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Hi, Sherlock! Those sound pretty :). D likes the variegated ones too. If we can find some that are hardy, we'll be in excellent shape.

Bev said...

All such good news!!! Congratulations on almost being done! I can't wait to see the new place :)

Contemporary Troubadour said...

There will be pictures, I promise :)

French Fancy said...

The last bit of sand is almost through the timer and I'm thrilled for you. Now go and do your paper.

x

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Almost 11 pages, FF. Plugging away -- and I have strategically scheduled good-bye social events to make me stick by this. Am hoping to be done with most of this by tomorrow before heading out for drinks!

Good Enough Woman said...

I'm so happy for your! Finishing up. Moving to Seattle. New house. SOOOO exciting. Enjoy the wrap-up, and I can't wait to see pics of the house.

So. Do you have any special plans for the blog? Title changes, etc?

Oh, and I just love the way you appreciate the details in life. Like special tulips.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Thanks, GEW! I did have a fleeting thought a few weeks ago that this blog's title would need a little revision -- am working on ideas.