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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, October 22, 2009

The house has been warmed!

And it was great fun.

I know I said I'd try to get shots of the food, but once things got going, there weren't many chances (if any) to do that. Fortunately, our good friends from Portland came up for the occasion and stayed overnight, so we made strudel the next day (at left). They even brought their own steins!

Here are some shots of the finished decorations before guests started arriving. We were delighted that the flags we ordered arrived in due time.



And the gingham-checked tablecloths too.


D's parents sent us proper music (yodeling, alp horns, etc.) as well as D's lederhosen -- the same pair they hung at their Oktoberfest last year.


And to entertain our guests when they first arrived, we invited them to guess how many grains of rice fit into this one-liter stein.


We also put trivia questions about Oktoberfest and the Mid-Autumn Festival around the room (hence the little signs you might be able to see on the walls).

So now our house has seen its first official party and we're looking forward to a few quieter weeks before the holiday season arrives. Which means I'd better get cracking on that next set of thesis pages. Progress on that front continues, slowly but surely. Next deadline in one week ...

4 comments:

Good Enough Woman said...

I love the photos of the house! I love the flags! The party must have been so much fun.

Now that your house is warmed, the writing should be much easier. ;)

Contemporary Troubadour said...

GEW, it was a lot of fun. Relaxed and convivial -- couldn't have asked for a more comfortable crowd. Something about the "bring your own stein" request on the invitation seemed to put everyone at ease -- you can't avoid getting into the spirit of fun if you and everyone around you is holding a mug the size of your head, I guess!

As for the writing, we'll see ;)

French Fancy said...

Oh isn't your new house lovely - it looks so airy and spacious and filled with light. Official congratulations are now in orderand I bet the party was fabulous.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF, thank you. We do love the sense of space the main room has. My favorite thing about it is the windows.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

The house has been warmed!

And it was great fun.

I know I said I'd try to get shots of the food, but once things got going, there weren't many chances (if any) to do that. Fortunately, our good friends from Portland came up for the occasion and stayed overnight, so we made strudel the next day (at left). They even brought their own steins!

Here are some shots of the finished decorations before guests started arriving. We were delighted that the flags we ordered arrived in due time.



And the gingham-checked tablecloths too.


D's parents sent us proper music (yodeling, alp horns, etc.) as well as D's lederhosen -- the same pair they hung at their Oktoberfest last year.


And to entertain our guests when they first arrived, we invited them to guess how many grains of rice fit into this one-liter stein.


We also put trivia questions about Oktoberfest and the Mid-Autumn Festival around the room (hence the little signs you might be able to see on the walls).

So now our house has seen its first official party and we're looking forward to a few quieter weeks before the holiday season arrives. Which means I'd better get cracking on that next set of thesis pages. Progress on that front continues, slowly but surely. Next deadline in one week ...

4 comments:

Good Enough Woman said...

I love the photos of the house! I love the flags! The party must have been so much fun.

Now that your house is warmed, the writing should be much easier. ;)

Contemporary Troubadour said...

GEW, it was a lot of fun. Relaxed and convivial -- couldn't have asked for a more comfortable crowd. Something about the "bring your own stein" request on the invitation seemed to put everyone at ease -- you can't avoid getting into the spirit of fun if you and everyone around you is holding a mug the size of your head, I guess!

As for the writing, we'll see ;)

French Fancy said...

Oh isn't your new house lovely - it looks so airy and spacious and filled with light. Official congratulations are now in orderand I bet the party was fabulous.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF, thank you. We do love the sense of space the main room has. My favorite thing about it is the windows.