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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.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

When is something worth fixing?


I asked myself that question a lot over the last two days while I was trying to get my work in better shape for my advisor. After 24 hours had gone by without significant improvement, I decided I'd better start putting editorial notes into the draft with my thoughts on everything just as it was -- and hope that that would show my advisor what my intentions for the piece were and where I was having trouble making it do what I wanted.

Sigh.

It was all going so well while I was visiting Almost Dr. Sis -- every day, I camped out with my draft for a few hours, and by bedtime, I'd have measurable progress: maybe a new section of a scene or a much more fleshed-out revision of a previously written part. But once I got back to Seattle, the whole thing bogged down and sentences began to sound labored and I was reading paragraphs over and over without actually remembering a word. That was what told me that I needed to get some space from the piece. So I sent it off.

My advisor sent me her feedback today with reassurances that she thinks it's going well -- the scenes I'm sketching out are not meant to be perfect and we're going to reexamine everything I write this semester when the new term starts in January. That's definitely a relief. I have my doubts about this particular set of pages, though. Sometimes it really is easier to start a piece over from scratch than to try to take apart and reassemble a badly mangled draft. Guess we'll see what happens ...

In other news, my gastroenterologist got back to me yesterday (via his nurse) about my CT results. The good news: on the pancreatic front, there's nothing visibly wrong. We'll still do the endoscopy next week to see what there is to see and then go from there. The not-so-good news: certain lady parts looked abnormal on the film, so now I have to go get all that checked out by yet another specialist.

Where does this end??? I just want to figure out what's wrong so I can do something about it sooner rather than later. It would be nice if new issues didn't keep cropping up.

3 comments:

Sherlock said...

Good news from the CT scan but frustrating otherwise. Somehow it seems like one thing always leads to another and another and so on. As far as fixing things -- for me it's actually two questions. Not just when is something worth fixing but if so, where to start. Because fixing one thing inevitably means fixing the next related thing, and then the next and so on. Good luck with the further testing. Sending good thoughts your way.

French Fancy said...

Good - that your advisor is pleased with the progress of your piece

Bad - the test results uncovering unrelated problems.

I know just how you are feeling, wondering if you will ever get to be a 'normal' person again. I'm sure we both will - these are just little stumbles on the way to perfect health

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Sherlock -- so true. I think that was the trouble I was running into. Whenever I "fixed" one part of the scene I was working on, other parts that had worked so well before suddenly felt off. It was like I was making things worse as I tried to make them better!

Thanks for the good thoughts.

FF -- you're very right about the wondering. I think I've accepted the diet stuff as my new normal, but I was totally not expecting this extra issue. Fortunately, it's asymptomatic (I would have had no idea there was anything out of the ordinary if I hadn't gone for the CT).

Hope you are still doing well with the massage therapy.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

When is something worth fixing?


I asked myself that question a lot over the last two days while I was trying to get my work in better shape for my advisor. After 24 hours had gone by without significant improvement, I decided I'd better start putting editorial notes into the draft with my thoughts on everything just as it was -- and hope that that would show my advisor what my intentions for the piece were and where I was having trouble making it do what I wanted.

Sigh.

It was all going so well while I was visiting Almost Dr. Sis -- every day, I camped out with my draft for a few hours, and by bedtime, I'd have measurable progress: maybe a new section of a scene or a much more fleshed-out revision of a previously written part. But once I got back to Seattle, the whole thing bogged down and sentences began to sound labored and I was reading paragraphs over and over without actually remembering a word. That was what told me that I needed to get some space from the piece. So I sent it off.

My advisor sent me her feedback today with reassurances that she thinks it's going well -- the scenes I'm sketching out are not meant to be perfect and we're going to reexamine everything I write this semester when the new term starts in January. That's definitely a relief. I have my doubts about this particular set of pages, though. Sometimes it really is easier to start a piece over from scratch than to try to take apart and reassemble a badly mangled draft. Guess we'll see what happens ...

In other news, my gastroenterologist got back to me yesterday (via his nurse) about my CT results. The good news: on the pancreatic front, there's nothing visibly wrong. We'll still do the endoscopy next week to see what there is to see and then go from there. The not-so-good news: certain lady parts looked abnormal on the film, so now I have to go get all that checked out by yet another specialist.

Where does this end??? I just want to figure out what's wrong so I can do something about it sooner rather than later. It would be nice if new issues didn't keep cropping up.

3 comments:

Sherlock said...

Good news from the CT scan but frustrating otherwise. Somehow it seems like one thing always leads to another and another and so on. As far as fixing things -- for me it's actually two questions. Not just when is something worth fixing but if so, where to start. Because fixing one thing inevitably means fixing the next related thing, and then the next and so on. Good luck with the further testing. Sending good thoughts your way.

French Fancy said...

Good - that your advisor is pleased with the progress of your piece

Bad - the test results uncovering unrelated problems.

I know just how you are feeling, wondering if you will ever get to be a 'normal' person again. I'm sure we both will - these are just little stumbles on the way to perfect health

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Sherlock -- so true. I think that was the trouble I was running into. Whenever I "fixed" one part of the scene I was working on, other parts that had worked so well before suddenly felt off. It was like I was making things worse as I tried to make them better!

Thanks for the good thoughts.

FF -- you're very right about the wondering. I think I've accepted the diet stuff as my new normal, but I was totally not expecting this extra issue. Fortunately, it's asymptomatic (I would have had no idea there was anything out of the ordinary if I hadn't gone for the CT).

Hope you are still doing well with the massage therapy.