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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, April 1, 2010

This is my reason


... to be happy today: my answer to question 7 on our census form.

I almost wrote in some arrows and exclamation points and a great big smiley face. But I figured it was better not to take any chances with whatever system, human or automated, is going to process this.

11 comments:

suzicate said...

But at least you wear able to wear the smile on your face for all to see!

Good Enough Woman said...

Awwwwwww, that's so great! Three cheers for full-on cohabitation with the spouse!

P.S. You won't *believe* my verification word: it's "dongnest."

Contemporary Troubadour said...

SuziCate -- indeed! I think D was more than a little entertained when I whipped out the camera at breakfast while I was marking the form.

GEW -- I am STILL laughing at your verification word. Man, and I thought I'd gotten some crazily entertaining ones over at your place. (For some reason, of all the blogs I read that have word verification, the funny ones pop up when I'm commenting on your posts and so I keep having to share.)

French Fancy said...

How great to be able to mark that box with the X. I feel the love from here

xx

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Kristen -- exactly! Don't think I wasn't tempted to graffiti the shot before putting it up here, either :)

FF -- I'm still a little giddy about it! It's been almost a year since I moved back home but filling that form out was like arriving all over again.

hgg said...

what a great feeling. I doubt I ever get there. and frankly, I'm not entirely sire I want to...

hgg said...

sure, dammit, sure.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

I'll definitely agree that getting there was (and still is?) complicated, hgg. I'd be interested to hear your take on wanting/not wanting to do it, if you want to share!

Corinne said...

I don't know that I've ever seen anyone ready to use positive exclamation marks on the census :) Yay!

theycallmejane said...

This is too funny - and like you, I was very grateful to check "No" as well --- considering the alternatives!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Corinne -- thanks for visiting! Yes, this census was a milestone for us. I couldn't let it pass without making proper note of it.

Jane -- those alternatives are very convincing, no matter how long or short the commute (in distance or time), no?

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

This is my reason


... to be happy today: my answer to question 7 on our census form.

I almost wrote in some arrows and exclamation points and a great big smiley face. But I figured it was better not to take any chances with whatever system, human or automated, is going to process this.

11 comments:

suzicate said...

But at least you wear able to wear the smile on your face for all to see!

Good Enough Woman said...

Awwwwwww, that's so great! Three cheers for full-on cohabitation with the spouse!

P.S. You won't *believe* my verification word: it's "dongnest."

Contemporary Troubadour said...

SuziCate -- indeed! I think D was more than a little entertained when I whipped out the camera at breakfast while I was marking the form.

GEW -- I am STILL laughing at your verification word. Man, and I thought I'd gotten some crazily entertaining ones over at your place. (For some reason, of all the blogs I read that have word verification, the funny ones pop up when I'm commenting on your posts and so I keep having to share.)

French Fancy said...

How great to be able to mark that box with the X. I feel the love from here

xx

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Kristen -- exactly! Don't think I wasn't tempted to graffiti the shot before putting it up here, either :)

FF -- I'm still a little giddy about it! It's been almost a year since I moved back home but filling that form out was like arriving all over again.

hgg said...

what a great feeling. I doubt I ever get there. and frankly, I'm not entirely sire I want to...

hgg said...

sure, dammit, sure.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

I'll definitely agree that getting there was (and still is?) complicated, hgg. I'd be interested to hear your take on wanting/not wanting to do it, if you want to share!

Corinne said...

I don't know that I've ever seen anyone ready to use positive exclamation marks on the census :) Yay!

theycallmejane said...

This is too funny - and like you, I was very grateful to check "No" as well --- considering the alternatives!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Corinne -- thanks for visiting! Yes, this census was a milestone for us. I couldn't let it pass without making proper note of it.

Jane -- those alternatives are very convincing, no matter how long or short the commute (in distance or time), no?