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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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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, September 10, 2009

She's here ...

Meet Jada.

She's not ours to keep, but she's the newest addition to our home -- we decided two weeks ago to become foster parents for kitties from the local animal shelter. Jada is our first resident, and so far, things seem to be going well.

I know I said we wanted to get a cat back when we were shopping for a house, but after a lot of thought, we realized that we weren't in a place where we could give a cat a good permanent home (too much travel, finances prioritized for other things first, etc.). So fostering became the next best option -- we give shelter kitties a place to get extra love and attention a few weeks at a time with all vet care and pet supplies provided, and we do it as our schedule allows. Seems like a win-win situation for everyone involved.

We are total newbies at handling cats (for various reasons, neither D nor I ever had one when we were growing up) so we're learning as we get to know our first charge. Jada seems to be fairly adjusted to us after 36 hours here -- she's eating well and showing interest in the toys we've made for her. We're still learning how to decipher her meows, though. I think we understand her "I'm hungry" pretty clearly, but there are other times when we're not sure if she's alerting us to something amiss in her kitty suite or just asking for some attention. Her mother had to surrender her when she lost her home to foreclosure in April, so Jada was definitely not used to shelter life. She's with us to get a break from that environment.

Speaking of which, we had a lovely break ourselves at the B&B last weekend. More on that soon. For now, I believe I have litterbox duties to attend to ...

4 comments:

French Fancy said...

A bloggy welcome to pretty Jada. Yes, this does sound like a win-win situation. Be prepared to put your studies and teaching in second place though while you spend hours watching your newest addition playing, sleeping, eating etc. It is so lovely having a pet and I know that very soon you will probably decide you want to make her 100% yours

Contemporary Troubadour said...

She's definitely a marvel to watch, FF! It would be lovely to have her as our own. Hopefully she'll get parents who can give her even more than we can.

Crabby McSlacker said...

What a wonderful thing to do!

Now that we are again petless, and are a little reluctant to get a new cat because we like to travel, we may consider doing something like this too some day. The only thing I'd worry about is falling for a particular cat and not wanting to give it up again. But knowing the pet was going to a good home would sure help.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

We are totally in love with Jada already, Crabby! I just keep telling myself that I'm allowed to lavish affection on her -- it's normal! -- and when she finds a permanent family, we can start the process of getting to know our next guest. Who knows what we'll get to learn about kitty personalities by hosting many different ones?

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

She's here ...

Meet Jada.

She's not ours to keep, but she's the newest addition to our home -- we decided two weeks ago to become foster parents for kitties from the local animal shelter. Jada is our first resident, and so far, things seem to be going well.

I know I said we wanted to get a cat back when we were shopping for a house, but after a lot of thought, we realized that we weren't in a place where we could give a cat a good permanent home (too much travel, finances prioritized for other things first, etc.). So fostering became the next best option -- we give shelter kitties a place to get extra love and attention a few weeks at a time with all vet care and pet supplies provided, and we do it as our schedule allows. Seems like a win-win situation for everyone involved.

We are total newbies at handling cats (for various reasons, neither D nor I ever had one when we were growing up) so we're learning as we get to know our first charge. Jada seems to be fairly adjusted to us after 36 hours here -- she's eating well and showing interest in the toys we've made for her. We're still learning how to decipher her meows, though. I think we understand her "I'm hungry" pretty clearly, but there are other times when we're not sure if she's alerting us to something amiss in her kitty suite or just asking for some attention. Her mother had to surrender her when she lost her home to foreclosure in April, so Jada was definitely not used to shelter life. She's with us to get a break from that environment.

Speaking of which, we had a lovely break ourselves at the B&B last weekend. More on that soon. For now, I believe I have litterbox duties to attend to ...

4 comments:

French Fancy said...

A bloggy welcome to pretty Jada. Yes, this does sound like a win-win situation. Be prepared to put your studies and teaching in second place though while you spend hours watching your newest addition playing, sleeping, eating etc. It is so lovely having a pet and I know that very soon you will probably decide you want to make her 100% yours

Contemporary Troubadour said...

She's definitely a marvel to watch, FF! It would be lovely to have her as our own. Hopefully she'll get parents who can give her even more than we can.

Crabby McSlacker said...

What a wonderful thing to do!

Now that we are again petless, and are a little reluctant to get a new cat because we like to travel, we may consider doing something like this too some day. The only thing I'd worry about is falling for a particular cat and not wanting to give it up again. But knowing the pet was going to a good home would sure help.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

We are totally in love with Jada already, Crabby! I just keep telling myself that I'm allowed to lavish affection on her -- it's normal! -- and when she finds a permanent family, we can start the process of getting to know our next guest. Who knows what we'll get to learn about kitty personalities by hosting many different ones?