Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

How I Write

Ashley of the illustrious Sherwood Family tagged me to blog about How I Write. Have you noticed that nobody tags people in blog posts anymore? I know, I know, it's because hardly anyone blogs anymore, right? I'm tempted to go all crotchety on you and extol the value of the written word, but I don't really feel that way. I'm glad there are different media people can choose from to express themselves according to their strengths. I blog because it's what I've always done, because it suits my lifestyle (living away from family in a foreign country that lends itself to stories), and because I like to write.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. There are actual questions I'm supposed to answer!

What am I working on?
Stuff. I'm in that stage of SAHMdom where I am busy all day and yet I could not for the life of me sit down and fill out a timesheet showing you what I have accomplished. It's summertime, so life is slow. I'm looking forward to next week when life will be slow in a much cooler climate (aka Europe).

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Tell me what my genre is so I can answer this question! If this is a mommy blog (because I am a mom and I have a blog? Not a fan of that term), then it's different because I live outside the US and actually I don't think I blog about my kids that much. If this is an expat blog, then maybe I blog about my kids a little too much. I like to think that maybe my blog has no genre, that if you like to read about books, life overseas, mom/kid stuff, Mormons, the English language, foreign languages, being a working mom, being a student mom, working in academia, traveling, traveling with kids, the Middle East, Russia, Japan, random stories from an American childhood, weekly updates on cool websites, and (lately/strangely) a lot of stuff about Ken Jennings and/or Jeopardy!, then this is an ok place for you to be.

Why do I write what I do?
I write what I do because blogging is how I parse my life experiences. I enjoy finding the story arc of everyday occurrences; the spark of growth in awful days; the oddities in normal ones.

How does my writing process work?
I usually have one or two ideas for a post floating around in my head. Sometimes they sit there until something happens to bring them to the forefront. For example, for a few weeks, I had been wanting to blog about how I was finally getting back into shape, but I couldn't find the right entry point to that story. Then I saw my Filipina friend at the pool. When she told me I was sexy again, I knew I had my blog post.

Other times, something happens, like my car battery dies, and I write a post about it. I still sometimes wait for a hook, though. With the car battery story, I still think it's pretty mundane. But I found that thinking of it through the normal straw/crazy straw filter, or when I considered that of all people, at all times, it was an Iraqi man, right now, who ended up helping me, the post took a better shape. But there are still plenty of messy posts on this blog. Sometimes (ok, MOST times) I don't finesse them. I'd rather write than not write, even if the final product is not perfect. Perhaps you've noticed.

As for who I would like to tag to answer these questions, I choose Nancy of Heissatopia. And I didn't even warn her ahead of time.

Thanks, Ashley! And good luck, Nancy.

Having Magdalena's tonsils removed at age 5.5

Eating Qamr al-Din