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.

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's that time again

Halloween is Saturday, and I actually have a costume in the works.

I wasn't expecting to make something new for myself, but we've been invited to a party. And it's our first Halloween together since the year D and I were married(!), so it seemed like the occasion needed proper feting.

To that end, here it is, the first part of my costume:


Before you furrow your brows too heavily, let me clarify -- the pumpkins are not part of the ensemble. They were just convenient for propping up the other items you see in the picture. What are those sparkly hemispheres supposed to be? You get to guess! And the costume is entirely G-rated (unlike some of what we saw at a costume supply store this past weekend), so no, the parts you're looking at are not what you might initially think they could be.

Submit your guesses in the comments! I'll post some more clues as we get closer to Saturday.

In other news, thesising continues. I'm still working my way through my committee's recommended reading list, and the most recent stuff has been really helpful with encouraging me to think in scene form, so I thought I'd share titles:
  • David Mura's Where the Body Meets Memory: An Odyssey of Race, Sexuality and Identity. This one was great fun to have with me on my way back from the wedding in New York. The woman sitting next to me on the plane asked to see the title, and her comment after I showed her was, "Well, that's certainly not a light read." Amusing reaction, accurate assessment. Powerful, honest memoir with the most effective parts being the use of scene.

  • Judith Levine's Do You Remember Me?: A Father, a Daughter, and a Search for the Self. The narrator chronicles her experience of her father's decline from Alzheimer's and its effects on her entire family (primarily through scene). The limits of human compassion get pushed as the disease progresses -- and the author does not shy away from showing her limits or her mother's, does not ask to be liked. But you end up feeling for the family all the same.

  • Sue William Silverman's Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You. Really stunning scene-based reconstruction of the way a child sees and understands trauma while having to keep that experience hidden from the outside world. The narrator is relentless (and I mean that in a good way) in her ability to make clear the emotions of characters who start off fairly inscrutable without beating the reader over the head with explanation.
Okay, enough for now from me. I need to start on the next stage of costume construction ...

6 comments:

Sherlock said...

I haven't a clue about the costume and won't even hazard a guess. I'm not good at that sort of creative thinking! LOL But I can't wait to see the clues and hints and the finished product. I love halloween and all the great stuff that goes on. Now that our boys are grown, though, we don't do anything for halloween anymore. *sigh* maybe in a few years when we have grandchildren! LOL

French Fancy said...

Looking at the titles of your books - in the post and in the sidebar - I'm not surprised you needed a little distraction in the shape of sequins and strange shapes that are masquerading as your costume. I've not got the faintest idea what they will end up as, but I'm going to enjoy the finished thing.

Good Enough Woman said...

I think I know what they are, but I don't want to spoil the fun for the rest of the guessers. If I'm correct, it's thanks to my son and his obsessions. And if I am correct, I can't wait to see how you make the rest of it b/c it seems as if it will be quite large!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Sherlock -- D loves Halloween too. I think he's even more excited about the costume than I am :).

FF -- heavy subject matter, indeed. It's definitely nice to have projects outside of the reading and writing. This one is especially whimsical.

GEW -- I was almost sure that you'd have a good guess right away because of your son and his interests! I was wondering what he'd think of this idea while D and I were gluing the fabric onto the molds (styrofoam).

Good Enough Woman said...

CT, I'll definitely be showing him some of your photos! I might wait until after Halloween so that he doesn't get any ideas about what Mommy might be able to accomplish this week. His astronaut costume is supposed to arrive tomorrow!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Hee hee, I'm excited to hear what he thinks, GEW :). This costume is actually not that time-consuming to make. The pieces in the photo required the most effort -- and that was an hour (at most) after dinner of cutting, gluing, and stapling. I'll put the how-to online after Halloween in case people want ideas for the future.

I hope the astronaut costume is awesome!

Posts by date

Posts by label

Air travel Airline food Allergic reactions Astoria Awards Bacteremia Bacterial overgrowth Baggage beefs Bed and breakfast Betrayal Blues Body Boston Breastfeeding British Columbia California Canada Cape Spear Clam-digging Colonoscopy Commuter marriage Cooking CT scans Delays Diagnoses Dietitians Doctor-patient relationships Doctors Eating while traveling Editing Endocrine Endoscopy ER False starts Family dynamics Feedback Food anxiety Food sensitivities Gate agent guff GI Halifax Heart Home-making House hunting Hypoglycemia In-laws Intentional happiness Iowa Journaling Kidney stones Knitting Lab tests Little U. on the Prairie Liver function tests Long Beach Making friends in new places Malabsorption Massachusetts Medical records Medication Mentorship MFA programs Miami Monterey Motivation Moving Narrative New York Newark Newfoundland Nova Scotia Olympic Peninsula Ontario Ophthalmology Oregon Oxalates Pancreatic function tests Parenting Parents Paris Pets Photography Portland Prediabetes Pregnancy Process Professors Publishing Reproductive endocrine Research Revision Rewriting Rheumatology San Francisco Scenes from a graduation series Scenes from around the table series Seattle Sisters Skiing St. John's Striped-up paisley Teaching Technological snafus Texas Thesis Toronto Travel Travel fears Traveling while sick Ultrasound Urology Vancouver Victoria Voice Washington Washington D.C. Weight When words won't stick Whidbey Island Why we write Workshops Writers on writing Writing Writing friends Writing in odd places Writing jobs Yakima

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's that time again

Halloween is Saturday, and I actually have a costume in the works.

I wasn't expecting to make something new for myself, but we've been invited to a party. And it's our first Halloween together since the year D and I were married(!), so it seemed like the occasion needed proper feting.

To that end, here it is, the first part of my costume:


Before you furrow your brows too heavily, let me clarify -- the pumpkins are not part of the ensemble. They were just convenient for propping up the other items you see in the picture. What are those sparkly hemispheres supposed to be? You get to guess! And the costume is entirely G-rated (unlike some of what we saw at a costume supply store this past weekend), so no, the parts you're looking at are not what you might initially think they could be.

Submit your guesses in the comments! I'll post some more clues as we get closer to Saturday.

In other news, thesising continues. I'm still working my way through my committee's recommended reading list, and the most recent stuff has been really helpful with encouraging me to think in scene form, so I thought I'd share titles:
  • David Mura's Where the Body Meets Memory: An Odyssey of Race, Sexuality and Identity. This one was great fun to have with me on my way back from the wedding in New York. The woman sitting next to me on the plane asked to see the title, and her comment after I showed her was, "Well, that's certainly not a light read." Amusing reaction, accurate assessment. Powerful, honest memoir with the most effective parts being the use of scene.

  • Judith Levine's Do You Remember Me?: A Father, a Daughter, and a Search for the Self. The narrator chronicles her experience of her father's decline from Alzheimer's and its effects on her entire family (primarily through scene). The limits of human compassion get pushed as the disease progresses -- and the author does not shy away from showing her limits or her mother's, does not ask to be liked. But you end up feeling for the family all the same.

  • Sue William Silverman's Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You. Really stunning scene-based reconstruction of the way a child sees and understands trauma while having to keep that experience hidden from the outside world. The narrator is relentless (and I mean that in a good way) in her ability to make clear the emotions of characters who start off fairly inscrutable without beating the reader over the head with explanation.
Okay, enough for now from me. I need to start on the next stage of costume construction ...

6 comments:

Sherlock said...

I haven't a clue about the costume and won't even hazard a guess. I'm not good at that sort of creative thinking! LOL But I can't wait to see the clues and hints and the finished product. I love halloween and all the great stuff that goes on. Now that our boys are grown, though, we don't do anything for halloween anymore. *sigh* maybe in a few years when we have grandchildren! LOL

French Fancy said...

Looking at the titles of your books - in the post and in the sidebar - I'm not surprised you needed a little distraction in the shape of sequins and strange shapes that are masquerading as your costume. I've not got the faintest idea what they will end up as, but I'm going to enjoy the finished thing.

Good Enough Woman said...

I think I know what they are, but I don't want to spoil the fun for the rest of the guessers. If I'm correct, it's thanks to my son and his obsessions. And if I am correct, I can't wait to see how you make the rest of it b/c it seems as if it will be quite large!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Sherlock -- D loves Halloween too. I think he's even more excited about the costume than I am :).

FF -- heavy subject matter, indeed. It's definitely nice to have projects outside of the reading and writing. This one is especially whimsical.

GEW -- I was almost sure that you'd have a good guess right away because of your son and his interests! I was wondering what he'd think of this idea while D and I were gluing the fabric onto the molds (styrofoam).

Good Enough Woman said...

CT, I'll definitely be showing him some of your photos! I might wait until after Halloween so that he doesn't get any ideas about what Mommy might be able to accomplish this week. His astronaut costume is supposed to arrive tomorrow!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Hee hee, I'm excited to hear what he thinks, GEW :). This costume is actually not that time-consuming to make. The pieces in the photo required the most effort -- and that was an hour (at most) after dinner of cutting, gluing, and stapling. I'll put the how-to online after Halloween in case people want ideas for the future.

I hope the astronaut costume is awesome!