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.

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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 21, 2011

Printed and mailed!

And good riddance.

I can't say I like the revision I sent to my committee on Monday afternoon, but in the limited time I had to address all the comments from my advisor, I did the best I could with the file. The hard copy, which goes to the graduate college review board for more technical assessments (formatting for the purposes of binding, archiving, etc.), went out from the post office today.

So I am, until my defense a week from Monday, free of responsibility for this draft!

The last two weeks have been disheartening because the writing really did become an endeavor for the purpose of finishing my degree, to satisfy my advisor's concerns rather than adhering to the larger vision I had (and still have) for the book project. Because the work is by nature incomplete -- writing a book and writing a thesis are not on the same scale -- and because the thesis also needs to be "complete," i.e., must set forth enough evidence of thought and inquiry into my subject to merit a sense of a focused investigation, I found myself revising at cross-purposes when I tried to satisfy my instincts and my professor's. Obviously, she and the rest of my committee will determine whether I graduate, so I ended up making some changes that I will be taking out again once I have the degree in hand. (I'm trying not to think about the remaining round of post-defense revisions that I'll have to complete before that happens.)

Life here has calmed down some since my last post. It's a relief. Thank you to the lovely people who sent private words of encouragement -- you know who you are. You helped me endure a craptacular two weeks where everything seemed to go pear-shaped and I had no choice but to get through it.

In the interim before my defense, I'll be doing some serious decompression (in between a lot of backlogged household chores). And I have a new project. Not one I'd say I elected to take on, but one that has taken on unexpected priority. More on that very soon ...

6 comments:

TKW said...

Hi five and a herky!! Woot! So happy for you!

C. Troubadour said...

Thanks, Kitch! It's a relief. And a little hard to believe after being immersed in it for so long.

BigLittleWolf said...

Excellent news! Félicitations!

C. Troubadour said...

Merci, BLW! And now, off to pack -- we fly tomorrow.

Good Enough Woman said...

CT, I'm glad things have settled down for you, and I hope you're doing better with all of the things that you couldn't *eff*.

And yay for the thesis being on its way (or arrived, at this point)! And, perhaps, by having to take detours necessary for the thesis, you gained even more clarity about the direction that you truly want to take. Here's hoping!

Either way, congrats. And have a good trip! Good luck with the defense! I'm sure you'll be great! Or at least good enough. ;)

(My verification word is "worpated." Somehow, it seems meaningful in the context of your thesis.)

C. Troubadour said...

Thanks, GEW! I do hope to be good enough :). The thesis detours have provided insights for the larger project -- to the point that I might be starting the draft over in some ways when I take it on again with book-writing eyes -- but that's okay. It's a good sign that I want to make it "right" (whatever that means).

Worpated! Worry-pated ... yeah, that's about right. I have no idea what I'm going to be asked on Monday. One can only anticipate and hope the questions won't be too far afield.

As for the ineffable parts of this life, they're in a holding pattern. I'll take it for now!

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Printed and mailed!

And good riddance.

I can't say I like the revision I sent to my committee on Monday afternoon, but in the limited time I had to address all the comments from my advisor, I did the best I could with the file. The hard copy, which goes to the graduate college review board for more technical assessments (formatting for the purposes of binding, archiving, etc.), went out from the post office today.

So I am, until my defense a week from Monday, free of responsibility for this draft!

The last two weeks have been disheartening because the writing really did become an endeavor for the purpose of finishing my degree, to satisfy my advisor's concerns rather than adhering to the larger vision I had (and still have) for the book project. Because the work is by nature incomplete -- writing a book and writing a thesis are not on the same scale -- and because the thesis also needs to be "complete," i.e., must set forth enough evidence of thought and inquiry into my subject to merit a sense of a focused investigation, I found myself revising at cross-purposes when I tried to satisfy my instincts and my professor's. Obviously, she and the rest of my committee will determine whether I graduate, so I ended up making some changes that I will be taking out again once I have the degree in hand. (I'm trying not to think about the remaining round of post-defense revisions that I'll have to complete before that happens.)

Life here has calmed down some since my last post. It's a relief. Thank you to the lovely people who sent private words of encouragement -- you know who you are. You helped me endure a craptacular two weeks where everything seemed to go pear-shaped and I had no choice but to get through it.

In the interim before my defense, I'll be doing some serious decompression (in between a lot of backlogged household chores). And I have a new project. Not one I'd say I elected to take on, but one that has taken on unexpected priority. More on that very soon ...

6 comments:

TKW said...

Hi five and a herky!! Woot! So happy for you!

C. Troubadour said...

Thanks, Kitch! It's a relief. And a little hard to believe after being immersed in it for so long.

BigLittleWolf said...

Excellent news! Félicitations!

C. Troubadour said...

Merci, BLW! And now, off to pack -- we fly tomorrow.

Good Enough Woman said...

CT, I'm glad things have settled down for you, and I hope you're doing better with all of the things that you couldn't *eff*.

And yay for the thesis being on its way (or arrived, at this point)! And, perhaps, by having to take detours necessary for the thesis, you gained even more clarity about the direction that you truly want to take. Here's hoping!

Either way, congrats. And have a good trip! Good luck with the defense! I'm sure you'll be great! Or at least good enough. ;)

(My verification word is "worpated." Somehow, it seems meaningful in the context of your thesis.)

C. Troubadour said...

Thanks, GEW! I do hope to be good enough :). The thesis detours have provided insights for the larger project -- to the point that I might be starting the draft over in some ways when I take it on again with book-writing eyes -- but that's okay. It's a good sign that I want to make it "right" (whatever that means).

Worpated! Worry-pated ... yeah, that's about right. I have no idea what I'm going to be asked on Monday. One can only anticipate and hope the questions won't be too far afield.

As for the ineffable parts of this life, they're in a holding pattern. I'll take it for now!