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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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For posts sorted by date or label, see the links below.

For posts on frequently referenced topics, click the buttons to the right.

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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.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

And there goes another one

Fastest chapter on record -- yes, No. 5 is off into the electronic ether. It may very well remain out there for a few days while both my advisor and I are at this week's conference (assuming she's able to get in tonight), but that's fine. I'm relieved that it's off my desk and I can now focus on the next few days here.

Speaking of here, I very nearly didn't make it because of the weather yesterday. But I was lucky enough (seriously, how long has it been since I've gotten to say those words!) to finagle a flight change out of Seattle when my original itinerary through Dallas was canceled -- as well as the second and third rebookings automatically generated by the airline's computer system. No. 2 routed me through Chicago (into even heavier snow?); No. 3 put me back through DFW on the red-eye (16 hours after my original flight, into sub-zero conditions in a metropolis that handles temperatures in the 20s only rarely). Damned connecting cities!

I'm no fan of six-hour flights, but when the very cranky gate agent I sidled up to managed to find the last open spot on a nonstop operated by a partner airline, I was delighted. So, only an hour after I was originally supposed to take off, I squeezed into a seat between two gentlemen and tried to get comfortable.

Believe it or not, that's where I finished Chapter 5.

It was definitely a challenge, trying to do that with so many interruptions -- captain's announcements, the shuffling of beverages, turbulence (the flying-over-a-blizzard kind, not just a few bumps here and there). But with the new laptop battery that arrived just in time for the trip, I got a solid two hours of writing done. A big thank-you to my seatmates for being the quiet kind (one seemed to be studying for an interview; the other was writing a PowerPoint presentation on his own laptop). Not that I don't like being social, but the window of opportunity was invaluable.

So now I'm on page 51. Twenty-four to go ...

4 comments:

Good Enough Woman said...

Yay for getting to D.C. without being stuck in Chicago! (But are you now stuck in D.C.?)

And an even bigger "Yay!" for the writing you finished. Fabulous.

I hope the conference is going well and that you're feeilng motivated and inspired by the comradery and not intimated or trodden down by the elbow-rubbing.

C. Troubadour said...

It's gone well, GEW! I'm glad I did this for myself. I was totally nervous about what the whole experience would be like (especially the elbow-rubbing) but I'm happy to say I've learned tons, formally and informally.

I have no idea if I'm going to be stuck when I try to leave Wednesday. But at least staying extra time with my sister is no problem :)

SuziCate said...

That's fabulous! You're so productive. Hope your conference is great!

C. Troubadour said...

Thanks, SuziCate! It's been very helpful -- reaffirming that I do love writing, even in the midst of some of the hardest I've done.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

And there goes another one

Fastest chapter on record -- yes, No. 5 is off into the electronic ether. It may very well remain out there for a few days while both my advisor and I are at this week's conference (assuming she's able to get in tonight), but that's fine. I'm relieved that it's off my desk and I can now focus on the next few days here.

Speaking of here, I very nearly didn't make it because of the weather yesterday. But I was lucky enough (seriously, how long has it been since I've gotten to say those words!) to finagle a flight change out of Seattle when my original itinerary through Dallas was canceled -- as well as the second and third rebookings automatically generated by the airline's computer system. No. 2 routed me through Chicago (into even heavier snow?); No. 3 put me back through DFW on the red-eye (16 hours after my original flight, into sub-zero conditions in a metropolis that handles temperatures in the 20s only rarely). Damned connecting cities!

I'm no fan of six-hour flights, but when the very cranky gate agent I sidled up to managed to find the last open spot on a nonstop operated by a partner airline, I was delighted. So, only an hour after I was originally supposed to take off, I squeezed into a seat between two gentlemen and tried to get comfortable.

Believe it or not, that's where I finished Chapter 5.

It was definitely a challenge, trying to do that with so many interruptions -- captain's announcements, the shuffling of beverages, turbulence (the flying-over-a-blizzard kind, not just a few bumps here and there). But with the new laptop battery that arrived just in time for the trip, I got a solid two hours of writing done. A big thank-you to my seatmates for being the quiet kind (one seemed to be studying for an interview; the other was writing a PowerPoint presentation on his own laptop). Not that I don't like being social, but the window of opportunity was invaluable.

So now I'm on page 51. Twenty-four to go ...

4 comments:

Good Enough Woman said...

Yay for getting to D.C. without being stuck in Chicago! (But are you now stuck in D.C.?)

And an even bigger "Yay!" for the writing you finished. Fabulous.

I hope the conference is going well and that you're feeilng motivated and inspired by the comradery and not intimated or trodden down by the elbow-rubbing.

C. Troubadour said...

It's gone well, GEW! I'm glad I did this for myself. I was totally nervous about what the whole experience would be like (especially the elbow-rubbing) but I'm happy to say I've learned tons, formally and informally.

I have no idea if I'm going to be stuck when I try to leave Wednesday. But at least staying extra time with my sister is no problem :)

SuziCate said...

That's fabulous! You're so productive. Hope your conference is great!

C. Troubadour said...

Thanks, SuziCate! It's been very helpful -- reaffirming that I do love writing, even in the midst of some of the hardest I've done.