Saturday, June 29, 2013

22. d'Artagnan's Corner: An Overview

Hello my lovely readers,
I feel it is appropriate to share a bit of where I am in my life with you--at least the level of information I'm willing for the entire world to know. It is the internet after all. I am happy to get to know any of you at a more personal level, but it will need to be done privately via email or other means. (See my "About" page for contact information).

So, where to begin? I guess it is safe to tell you that I work as a writing instructor at a university. I love my job. I love working with my students and being allowed to work in a field that I am passionate about. I do research on literature and my focus areas are: LGBT literature, human rights literature, multicultural literature, pop culture, Harry Potter, feminist theory, queer theory, and creative writing. I am currently working on a project on the Harry Potter series studying representations of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in the stories and exploring how the series can then be used as a form of bibliotherapy (further posts to come on this research). I presented this research at the Midwest Pop Culture Association's annual conference in 2011. Below is a photo of me at the presentation.

(photo (c) J. d'Artagnan Love. No use without permission.)

Along with working full time, I am also in the last leg of a Master's program in psychology. I am working on my thesis research which is about Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Animal Assisted Therapy (further posts to come on this research). My interest areas in psychology include: cognitive-behavioral therapy, PTSD, Animal-Assisted Interventions, introversion, and the psychology of chronic illness. I am still a baby in this field but I love it! The research is so interesting and I feel like I'm making a difference when I'm doing it.

On top of all that I am a beginning professional photographer. You can view my online photography portfolio here. Photography is so much fun! It is something I've liked doing since I was very little, like, eight or nine years old, and once I had to financial means to do so, I bought myself a professional DSLR camera and have been growing my business ever since.

I also do freelance and creative writing and editing. I currently do not have any freelance writing projects happening. I am focusing more, at the moment, on editing and have a few (paid!) editing gigs that I work on every weekend. I am also working on a novel. I try to write a page a day, but with everything I am juggling, I don't always get that accomplished.

I love, love, love, love animals. My ideal life is one full of animals...which mine is! I have three cats and a dog. Here's their fur-baby-family photo.

(Photo (c) J. d'Artagnan Love. No use without permission)

The grey kitty on the arm of the couch is Pi. She is my first baby. I adopted her at two months old. She is the diva of the house and I often call her "Prissy Princess Pi Pi". The dog is Orlando. He is the newest member of my family. He is a "China Jack" which is a Jack Russell Terrier and Chinese Crested mix. He is the sweetest, sweetest, dog in the world. The black cat on the top right of the couch is "L," yes, just "L." He was named after a character in one of my favorite series of books who is an awesome detective. You can read my review of this series here. L is a total spazz and when he's feeling playful he will climb walls and jump from pieces of furniture like a flying squirrel. Finally, the tortoiseshell kitty next to L is Cherry. Cherry and L are siblings. Cherry is the purrrfect cat--she's sweet, and snuggly, and has the most adorable, squeaky meow! All the cats are going to be four years old in September and Orlando will be two in September. They are my babies!

That all being said, this week was crazy! As you already know, I have EDS which is a chronic and often debilitating genetic disorder. You can read my EDS story here. Work was very busy with different events happening on campus. On top of that, my car took a poop. I drive a '98 Chevy Malibu and it took a poop. The repair is going to cost major money and right now I'm working on paying off some medical debt, and can't afford the repair. I spent the week hitching rides to work. Tuesday, a friend sent me a text saying she was giving away a car she had originally intended to sell, and that I was her first choice. She needed to get the car off her hands as she was moving soon. Wow. Just wow. I could not have been more grateful. I have the Malibu which will only be used for short trips until the repair and a '94 Toyota Tercel (photos to come soon). I am so blessed to have such amazing friends and I really, really, really do have amazing friends.

Anyway, I was supposed to do a photo-shoot this weekend, but all the stress has taken its toll on my body. I'm in pain, have a massive headache, and am super fatigued. Such is the life of EDS. It was a really hard decision to make, but I had to postpone the photo-shoot. I have so much ambition and so many interests and avenues I want to pursue. Luckily, most of these things are EDS friendly such as my research, and painting. Other things aren't so EDS friendly and photography is one of those things. Photo-shoots often require being really active, being outdoors, lugging around heavy equipment, and getting up early on the weekends. I have to be very careful not to over-schedule myself with shoots and to make sure to plan shoots at times when I don't have a lot of other stressors happening. Unfortunately, this was not one of those times and I had to postpone and here I sit, writing this post for you. The day isn't a total loss and thankfully, my client was understanding.

I think that is a long enough post for the day. lol. This is where I am in this crazy-stupid-painful-wonderful thing called life. I hope you are all doing well. Thanks for reading, fremily.


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