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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.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On a lighter note

It's been busy, as I'm sure you've guessed, but life chez Troubadour is back to normal as of yesterday. In relative terms, at any rate.

I'm not going to go into all the details right off, but I'm happy to say that my parents' visit was manageable. All the prep leading up to it figured significantly in making it so, but there were also moments that were enjoyable entirely for what they were, not because I used any magical thinking or conversational stealth to make a difficult situation better.

Troubadour Dad stayed for an extended weekend; my mother stayed for an additional week. During the last part of her visit, we drove down to Long Beach, a tiny town at the southwestern corner of Washington, for their annual kite festival. It's been running for thirty years, but D only found out about it early this summer.

Road trips to new places with Troubadour Mom are always fun because she still has her sense of adventure (my dad is another story, but Mom works on him every now and then). We were pleased to give ourselves lots of firsts on this brief weekend, which included:

Mom's first visit to Oregon! (We stayed Friday night in Astoria, which is just across from Long Beach Peninsula by way of this bridge.)


First time flying a Revolution kite for all of us, and the first time flying any kind of kite for both me and Mom. A master Rev flier was giving lessons to interested bystanders, so we lined up for a try. What a rush!




Mom even managed to land the kite on her second attempt without crashing:


These aren't easy to fly in light winds, but they can do amazing things. Each of the Revs in this clip is flown by a different person:


Then there was my first time dipping a toe in the Pacific Ocean. Even though we moved to Seattle three years ago, I'd never had the chance -- the Puget Sound isn't the same thing even though it's technically connected.



Two weeks of playing parental vacation director means more than a few things around the house are in need of attention. And the fall semester started yesterday! So it's back to earth after much flight. But I'm on both feet and glad.

First photo courtesy D; second, third, and above photo courtesy Troubadour Mom

6 comments:

BigLittleWolf said...

Really glad the visit was manageable. Kite festival! Totally cool, CT.

theycallmejane said...

Yay for a less than dramatic family visit! And the pics from your visit are so amazing. I love the shadow pics!

SuziCate said...

A kite fly, how cool is that! Glad you had a manageable visit with your folks. LOVE the bridge!

French Fancy said...

Oh I am delighted the visit went off okay and that you had such great times with your mum, if not your dad. You, better than many, understand how many little things I am bowed under with this move. Blogging takes up so much time and I have felt so guilty at not being around much.

I hope you are feeling much better than you were back in the late spring. At least all the visitors have gone, a new term will be looming and I hope your creative juices will be at their best.

Hugs

J

C. Troubadour said...

BLW -- me too! And the kites really were incredible. I think we know what D wants for Christmas this year :)

Jane -- I got the shadow picture idea from my sister. She took some like mine when she came for a visit three years ago (can't believe it's been that long already).

SuziCate -- the bridge was pretty neat, especially since our hotel was practically UNDER it. I'd never gotten to wake up with a truss staring at me through the window until that weekend :)

FF -- thank you. And yes, I do know how many little things pile up in the process of moving! I'm glad you're through the messiest part of it -- actually getting everything from one place to the other. Now you can take your time settling in.

French Fancy... said...

Hope things are on an even keel for you, dear CT. I don't know why I feel anxious about you today but I do. Silly old me, eh?

x

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On a lighter note

It's been busy, as I'm sure you've guessed, but life chez Troubadour is back to normal as of yesterday. In relative terms, at any rate.

I'm not going to go into all the details right off, but I'm happy to say that my parents' visit was manageable. All the prep leading up to it figured significantly in making it so, but there were also moments that were enjoyable entirely for what they were, not because I used any magical thinking or conversational stealth to make a difficult situation better.

Troubadour Dad stayed for an extended weekend; my mother stayed for an additional week. During the last part of her visit, we drove down to Long Beach, a tiny town at the southwestern corner of Washington, for their annual kite festival. It's been running for thirty years, but D only found out about it early this summer.

Road trips to new places with Troubadour Mom are always fun because she still has her sense of adventure (my dad is another story, but Mom works on him every now and then). We were pleased to give ourselves lots of firsts on this brief weekend, which included:

Mom's first visit to Oregon! (We stayed Friday night in Astoria, which is just across from Long Beach Peninsula by way of this bridge.)


First time flying a Revolution kite for all of us, and the first time flying any kind of kite for both me and Mom. A master Rev flier was giving lessons to interested bystanders, so we lined up for a try. What a rush!




Mom even managed to land the kite on her second attempt without crashing:


These aren't easy to fly in light winds, but they can do amazing things. Each of the Revs in this clip is flown by a different person:


Then there was my first time dipping a toe in the Pacific Ocean. Even though we moved to Seattle three years ago, I'd never had the chance -- the Puget Sound isn't the same thing even though it's technically connected.



Two weeks of playing parental vacation director means more than a few things around the house are in need of attention. And the fall semester started yesterday! So it's back to earth after much flight. But I'm on both feet and glad.

First photo courtesy D; second, third, and above photo courtesy Troubadour Mom

6 comments:

BigLittleWolf said...

Really glad the visit was manageable. Kite festival! Totally cool, CT.

theycallmejane said...

Yay for a less than dramatic family visit! And the pics from your visit are so amazing. I love the shadow pics!

SuziCate said...

A kite fly, how cool is that! Glad you had a manageable visit with your folks. LOVE the bridge!

French Fancy said...

Oh I am delighted the visit went off okay and that you had such great times with your mum, if not your dad. You, better than many, understand how many little things I am bowed under with this move. Blogging takes up so much time and I have felt so guilty at not being around much.

I hope you are feeling much better than you were back in the late spring. At least all the visitors have gone, a new term will be looming and I hope your creative juices will be at their best.

Hugs

J

C. Troubadour said...

BLW -- me too! And the kites really were incredible. I think we know what D wants for Christmas this year :)

Jane -- I got the shadow picture idea from my sister. She took some like mine when she came for a visit three years ago (can't believe it's been that long already).

SuziCate -- the bridge was pretty neat, especially since our hotel was practically UNDER it. I'd never gotten to wake up with a truss staring at me through the window until that weekend :)

FF -- thank you. And yes, I do know how many little things pile up in the process of moving! I'm glad you're through the messiest part of it -- actually getting everything from one place to the other. Now you can take your time settling in.

French Fancy... said...

Hope things are on an even keel for you, dear CT. I don't know why I feel anxious about you today but I do. Silly old me, eh?

x