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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.

Monday, May 24, 2010

At long last

Meet Tessa.

Of the four irises we picked out on our visit to the farm almost two years ago to the day, the tawny gold one bloomed last Thursday afternoon. She waited through a year in a planter on a too-shady apartment balcony and a long fall and winter in the ground at our new house. Finally, finally. Welcome to the world, pretty one.


(Yes, before we started fostering kitties, we named our plants.)

I'm so glad we didn't miss this moment. We'd planned a last-minute weekend trip down to Portland to see the same friends we were visiting when we went to the iris farm in 2008, and I had a feeling this iris would bloom while we were away. And then once it did open, I wasn't sure I'd get a decent picture because the weather was uncooperative -- up through last Friday afternoon, it rained pretty steadily. But just after I loaded up the car, the showers slowed and some sun sneaked through. So I slipped to the front of the house and snapped some quick shots.

A lucky interval, those five minutes. I'll take them.

14 comments:

Corinne said...

Absolutely gorgeous!

Jules - Big Girl Bombshell said...

Beautiful! They are one of my favorite flowers. I have purple ones that my cuz pulled from her garden and sent to me across country. It bloomed for the first time this year!

Good Enough Woman said...

Heeellooo, Tessa!

I'm not sure I've ever seen an iris that color. Beautiful!

French Fancy said...

Tessa is such a gorgeous colour - now I've seen the purple ones, I've seen the creamy ones but I've never seen this golden/tawny/bronzy colour before. She is really lovely.

Sherlock said...

Beautiful color!

Kristen @ Motherese said...

Ooh, Tessa. What a pretty lady you are!

BigLittleWolf said...

Incredibly beautiful. Something so "human" about the iris. Expressive like a face.

C. Troubadour said...

Jules -- welcome. Irises are one of my favorites too. We're hoping to do the same, dividing the rhizomes once they've grown and spread. D's dad would love to have cuttings from us.

GEW, FF, and Sherlock -- the color was part of the reason D was especially interested in getting one of these. He picked one other, a third one was my choice, and then we got a bonus bulb thrown in as a gift from the farm. Can't wait to see how the others turn out! This one was called "Instant Smiles."

Corinne, Kristen, and BLW -- it's like looking at something with an actual personality, no? I'm reminded of the gowns Deborah Kerr wore in The King and I.

theycallmejane said...

So delicate, so pretty! Love this.

Leslie said...

Ooooh, lovely. I love that butterscotch irises and am glad you caught it! We have only purple and burgundy; my mother has yellow and pink. Around here, I know that spring is on the on the way out when they show up.

C. Troubadour said...

Jane -- me too. I wish I had a better view of this little bed from the window over the kitchen sink. (I get plenty of opportunity to stand there ...)

Leslie -- welcome! Yes, the irises do mark a season shift around here too. May is usually fairly cool but June is anybody's guess. I'm hoping for fewer heat waves than last year since we don't have air conditioning.

TKW said...

Hi Tessa! You are lovely!

suzicate said...

Beautiful, love the raindrops on them. Hope you had a fabulous time with your friends.

suzicate said...

Beautiful, love the raindrops on them. Hope you had a fabulous time with your friends.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

At long last

Meet Tessa.

Of the four irises we picked out on our visit to the farm almost two years ago to the day, the tawny gold one bloomed last Thursday afternoon. She waited through a year in a planter on a too-shady apartment balcony and a long fall and winter in the ground at our new house. Finally, finally. Welcome to the world, pretty one.


(Yes, before we started fostering kitties, we named our plants.)

I'm so glad we didn't miss this moment. We'd planned a last-minute weekend trip down to Portland to see the same friends we were visiting when we went to the iris farm in 2008, and I had a feeling this iris would bloom while we were away. And then once it did open, I wasn't sure I'd get a decent picture because the weather was uncooperative -- up through last Friday afternoon, it rained pretty steadily. But just after I loaded up the car, the showers slowed and some sun sneaked through. So I slipped to the front of the house and snapped some quick shots.

A lucky interval, those five minutes. I'll take them.

14 comments:

Corinne said...

Absolutely gorgeous!

Jules - Big Girl Bombshell said...

Beautiful! They are one of my favorite flowers. I have purple ones that my cuz pulled from her garden and sent to me across country. It bloomed for the first time this year!

Good Enough Woman said...

Heeellooo, Tessa!

I'm not sure I've ever seen an iris that color. Beautiful!

French Fancy said...

Tessa is such a gorgeous colour - now I've seen the purple ones, I've seen the creamy ones but I've never seen this golden/tawny/bronzy colour before. She is really lovely.

Sherlock said...

Beautiful color!

Kristen @ Motherese said...

Ooh, Tessa. What a pretty lady you are!

BigLittleWolf said...

Incredibly beautiful. Something so "human" about the iris. Expressive like a face.

C. Troubadour said...

Jules -- welcome. Irises are one of my favorites too. We're hoping to do the same, dividing the rhizomes once they've grown and spread. D's dad would love to have cuttings from us.

GEW, FF, and Sherlock -- the color was part of the reason D was especially interested in getting one of these. He picked one other, a third one was my choice, and then we got a bonus bulb thrown in as a gift from the farm. Can't wait to see how the others turn out! This one was called "Instant Smiles."

Corinne, Kristen, and BLW -- it's like looking at something with an actual personality, no? I'm reminded of the gowns Deborah Kerr wore in The King and I.

theycallmejane said...

So delicate, so pretty! Love this.

Leslie said...

Ooooh, lovely. I love that butterscotch irises and am glad you caught it! We have only purple and burgundy; my mother has yellow and pink. Around here, I know that spring is on the on the way out when they show up.

C. Troubadour said...

Jane -- me too. I wish I had a better view of this little bed from the window over the kitchen sink. (I get plenty of opportunity to stand there ...)

Leslie -- welcome! Yes, the irises do mark a season shift around here too. May is usually fairly cool but June is anybody's guess. I'm hoping for fewer heat waves than last year since we don't have air conditioning.

TKW said...

Hi Tessa! You are lovely!

suzicate said...

Beautiful, love the raindrops on them. Hope you had a fabulous time with your friends.

suzicate said...

Beautiful, love the raindrops on them. Hope you had a fabulous time with your friends.