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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 3, 2009

Some R&R at a B&B

... is in the very near future for D and me. We're taking a little road trip over the long weekend to see the Cascades, explore Washington wine country and visit friends of ours in Idaho -- the perfect wind-up to summer before I really buckle down with the writing (a whenever-inspiration-hits kind of thing that does not exempt weekends and holidays from its schedule).

I did get some solid hours in this week on a scene (I know, I know, it sounds like so little!). It's evolving. My thesis director is pleased with my approach -- focusing on writing scenes to get at their emotional resonances before anything else -- so no concerns there either. She's also given me a tentative schedule for the semester with work due every three weeks or so, which will be very helpful. For a while, the plan was just that I would submit a big chunk of the manuscript after Thanksgiving, and that had me very nervous as I could see myself procrastinating until the last minute and then turning in something I didn't feel good about.

We've been making progress on our garden as well -- the irises got transplanted two weeks ago as planned and we've found the sprinkler valve at last. So now our poor yellowed grass is slowly coming back to life. To keep the weeds from reclaiming the iris bed, we picked up little perennial mums to create a border. Apparently, they bloom into the fall, so we'll be able to enjoy the color for quite some time. We were also able to get some wonderful lavender plants to flank the flagstones leading up to our front walk, as well as hens-and-chicks to place in between the stones themselves (see below).

It's nice to have something so delightful to nurture as we're putting down our own roots here. I know it'll help with the thesis stress for sure. If I didn't have the whole job search thing that I'm also supposed to be working on right now, I'd almost be able to say I felt like my life was in balance again ...

4 comments:

Sherlock said...

Nice to hear all the good stuff going on!! Enjoy the holiday weekend and hope the weather is great out there!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

A good holiday weekend to you too, Sherlock!

French Fancy said...

Glad you found the lavender plants in the end - I remember you wanted to put them in a border and then D opted for something else - I love lavender.

Hope you have some well-earned r&r

Contemporary Troubadour said...

The R&R was lovely -- I don't think I've been that mellowed before by a vacation. More on that soon!

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Some R&R at a B&B

... is in the very near future for D and me. We're taking a little road trip over the long weekend to see the Cascades, explore Washington wine country and visit friends of ours in Idaho -- the perfect wind-up to summer before I really buckle down with the writing (a whenever-inspiration-hits kind of thing that does not exempt weekends and holidays from its schedule).

I did get some solid hours in this week on a scene (I know, I know, it sounds like so little!). It's evolving. My thesis director is pleased with my approach -- focusing on writing scenes to get at their emotional resonances before anything else -- so no concerns there either. She's also given me a tentative schedule for the semester with work due every three weeks or so, which will be very helpful. For a while, the plan was just that I would submit a big chunk of the manuscript after Thanksgiving, and that had me very nervous as I could see myself procrastinating until the last minute and then turning in something I didn't feel good about.

We've been making progress on our garden as well -- the irises got transplanted two weeks ago as planned and we've found the sprinkler valve at last. So now our poor yellowed grass is slowly coming back to life. To keep the weeds from reclaiming the iris bed, we picked up little perennial mums to create a border. Apparently, they bloom into the fall, so we'll be able to enjoy the color for quite some time. We were also able to get some wonderful lavender plants to flank the flagstones leading up to our front walk, as well as hens-and-chicks to place in between the stones themselves (see below).

It's nice to have something so delightful to nurture as we're putting down our own roots here. I know it'll help with the thesis stress for sure. If I didn't have the whole job search thing that I'm also supposed to be working on right now, I'd almost be able to say I felt like my life was in balance again ...

4 comments:

Sherlock said...

Nice to hear all the good stuff going on!! Enjoy the holiday weekend and hope the weather is great out there!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

A good holiday weekend to you too, Sherlock!

French Fancy said...

Glad you found the lavender plants in the end - I remember you wanted to put them in a border and then D opted for something else - I love lavender.

Hope you have some well-earned r&r

Contemporary Troubadour said...

The R&R was lovely -- I don't think I've been that mellowed before by a vacation. More on that soon!