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.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Landing

I've done a lot of that in the last week. First in D.C., where Marketing Sis lives -- several months ago, I'd planned a visit, hoping, among other things, to catch a performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring at the Kennedy Center with her. (We have a more than slightly irreverent appreciation for this piece, but that's a story for another post.) Arrived last Tuesday. Took off again Friday for Canada. Came back for the remainder of my visit Sunday.

My grandmother passed away just before I was supposed to come to D.C. I'd meant to write something to honor her nearer to the date of her death, but I knew the stress of travel prep would keep me from doing that properly. So here I am, trying to find words, but none are coming. There are images, snatches of beautiful things other people said at her funeral last weekend. Still, this isn't the right moment for me to think of her in the way I'd like. Perhaps in a few days. I'm leaving again on Friday to go to a wedding in New York. Once that's over, once I've landed for good in Seattle, I can do this. It seemed important, though, to mark her departure sooner in this space; hence these sentences.

Landing here twice in one week has let me remember my first trip alone to this city too. I was moving here for the summer to intern at a magazine, with only the address of a university dorm anchoring me to the world beyond the airport. The rice cooker my mother insisted on letting me borrow -- there was no stove, just a microwave and fridge in the efficiency I'd found -- didn't fit in my luggage, to her dismay. But it wasn't until my plane was gliding in over the Potomac, giving me a clear view of the Capitol dome, that I started to feel panic. "What have I gotten myself into," I whispered as we touched down, suddenly doubting my credibility, eligibility, whatever had supposedly earned me the right to be there. I'd never held a paid writing job before.

Returning so many years later, following the same trajectory past the Capitol, remembering my fear on the plane's final approach -- it was an odd feeling. I still write, in a slightly different form. And there's fear that goes with it, not so much about the prospect of doing it but whether I can sustain it, given its emotional demands. What have I gotten myself into? I'm still not sure. But I have to believe in it, or try my best to, even when words refuse to stick to the page.

So today, even without a clear sense of what I'm trying to say, I attempt.

9 comments:

Corinne said...

I'm so sorry for your loss... really. Big events render me wordless often. I completely understand.

BigLittleWolf said...

My condolences, CT. And as for landing and writing, the act of doing it, of sticking to it, is inexplicably grounding. And we don't really have a choice, now do we?

I find some of the most important events in my life I still cannot write about. Not in the way I wish to. So I let them write me, when and how they see fit.

medieval woman said...

I'm very sorry you lost your grandmother, but I hope her passing was peaceful...

((CT))

Kristen @ Motherese said...

CT, I am very sorry to hear the news about your grandmother. I know this hasn't been an easy time for you and I hope, most sincerely, that the process of writing (or maybe just the process of processing) lands you in an easier place some time soon.

Sending hugs.

French Fancy said...

Goodness - I just left a message and it led to a Blogger error message. Let me try again...

I am so sorry to read this. I remember that poignant photo of her hands and do hope you are going to be okay. I know you will be worried about everyone else at the moment but please take some time out for you

x

French Fancy said...

Grrrr - they lied when they said it was an error

C. Troubadour said...

Thanks, everyone, for the kind wishes. BLW, I like the idea of letting the events write me. I think that's the primary problem I've been up against with the thesis -- trying to make the events work for me when really I ought just to record them and see where they go. Easier said than done, of course.

My grandmother's passing was indeed peaceful, MW. Very thankful for that.

TKW said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your grandmother. I think Wolfie's words are very wise. ((you))

C. Troubadour said...

Indeed, TKW, the Wolf is wise. Thanks for being there too.

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

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Landing

I've done a lot of that in the last week. First in D.C., where Marketing Sis lives -- several months ago, I'd planned a visit, hoping, among other things, to catch a performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring at the Kennedy Center with her. (We have a more than slightly irreverent appreciation for this piece, but that's a story for another post.) Arrived last Tuesday. Took off again Friday for Canada. Came back for the remainder of my visit Sunday.

My grandmother passed away just before I was supposed to come to D.C. I'd meant to write something to honor her nearer to the date of her death, but I knew the stress of travel prep would keep me from doing that properly. So here I am, trying to find words, but none are coming. There are images, snatches of beautiful things other people said at her funeral last weekend. Still, this isn't the right moment for me to think of her in the way I'd like. Perhaps in a few days. I'm leaving again on Friday to go to a wedding in New York. Once that's over, once I've landed for good in Seattle, I can do this. It seemed important, though, to mark her departure sooner in this space; hence these sentences.

Landing here twice in one week has let me remember my first trip alone to this city too. I was moving here for the summer to intern at a magazine, with only the address of a university dorm anchoring me to the world beyond the airport. The rice cooker my mother insisted on letting me borrow -- there was no stove, just a microwave and fridge in the efficiency I'd found -- didn't fit in my luggage, to her dismay. But it wasn't until my plane was gliding in over the Potomac, giving me a clear view of the Capitol dome, that I started to feel panic. "What have I gotten myself into," I whispered as we touched down, suddenly doubting my credibility, eligibility, whatever had supposedly earned me the right to be there. I'd never held a paid writing job before.

Returning so many years later, following the same trajectory past the Capitol, remembering my fear on the plane's final approach -- it was an odd feeling. I still write, in a slightly different form. And there's fear that goes with it, not so much about the prospect of doing it but whether I can sustain it, given its emotional demands. What have I gotten myself into? I'm still not sure. But I have to believe in it, or try my best to, even when words refuse to stick to the page.

So today, even without a clear sense of what I'm trying to say, I attempt.

9 comments:

Corinne said...

I'm so sorry for your loss... really. Big events render me wordless often. I completely understand.

BigLittleWolf said...

My condolences, CT. And as for landing and writing, the act of doing it, of sticking to it, is inexplicably grounding. And we don't really have a choice, now do we?

I find some of the most important events in my life I still cannot write about. Not in the way I wish to. So I let them write me, when and how they see fit.

medieval woman said...

I'm very sorry you lost your grandmother, but I hope her passing was peaceful...

((CT))

Kristen @ Motherese said...

CT, I am very sorry to hear the news about your grandmother. I know this hasn't been an easy time for you and I hope, most sincerely, that the process of writing (or maybe just the process of processing) lands you in an easier place some time soon.

Sending hugs.

French Fancy said...

Goodness - I just left a message and it led to a Blogger error message. Let me try again...

I am so sorry to read this. I remember that poignant photo of her hands and do hope you are going to be okay. I know you will be worried about everyone else at the moment but please take some time out for you

x

French Fancy said...

Grrrr - they lied when they said it was an error

C. Troubadour said...

Thanks, everyone, for the kind wishes. BLW, I like the idea of letting the events write me. I think that's the primary problem I've been up against with the thesis -- trying to make the events work for me when really I ought just to record them and see where they go. Easier said than done, of course.

My grandmother's passing was indeed peaceful, MW. Very thankful for that.

TKW said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your grandmother. I think Wolfie's words are very wise. ((you))

C. Troubadour said...

Indeed, TKW, the Wolf is wise. Thanks for being there too.