Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy Birthday Sakura 2014! Update on status of Chapter 70

 First off, Happy Birthday Sakura!!! Good news or bad news? Bad news, is, as all of you probably guessed, I was planning to release New Trials of CCS Chapter 70: Eye of the Dragon today, but I realized it's just not physically possibly. Next time, please schedule Sakura's birthday on a weekend! I wish someone can give me a two-day break to finish up this chapter. I've been staying up until past 4 a.m. trying to finish it for Sakura's birthday but my stamina is just not the same as it used to be. I was even sneaking in lunch hour at work. My two-week old cold is not helping either, and I've been coughing up bloody phlegm. I'm blaming yellow dust or pollen. I actually don't get sick often--last time I was really sick was two years ago when I was teaching 10 hours a day and lost my voice for three months. 

Anyhow, the good news is the chapter is 98% done. I can't give a release date because I'm working late for the next few days, but I'm going back to finish off the chapter even after this blogpost to get as much done as I can. I'm soooo sorry I couldn't get it out on time. But to make it up, I will give you a preview of the next chapter.

Since we lost our lead protagonist, the series has promptly been renamed: 

The New Trials of Cockroach Exterminator Syaoran, Wutai, and Friends

Chang Erika sat curled up in her couch, feet tucked under her folded legs, watching a huge cockroach the size of her fist scamper straight across the blue Persian rug of the Li mansion parlor. A pesky buzz in her ear left her swatting at her head with her hand before she slapped a mosquito that landed on her arm. Black juice spurted out, staining her blouse. And she saw a huge grasshopper-like creature land on her armrest and stare up at her with buggy eyes. She stifled a scream as she caught sight of the Black Dragon standing off to the corner, heedless of a moth landing on his head.

“Leiyun, do something!” shrieked Kara Reed, drawing the black hood of her coat over her golden head.

Li Leiyun swatted at some locusts with a silk fan. “Why, it’s just a few pesky flies.”

“Why, I thought you like spiders, rats and other grotesque creatures,” said Erika snidely to the older girl.

“Not swarms and swarms of disgusting locusts!” snapped Kara. She stabbed her forefinger into Erika’s chest. “This is all your fault! Get rid of it!”

“It’s not me!” retorted Erika.

“You’re useless!” sighed Kara. “Get Syaoran to do something. Where’s that useless boy?”

“Do you think the Li Clan Chosen One is some kind of personal exterminator?” drawled Leiyun. “He’s busy entertaining my father and all those annoying Elders.”

Kara rolled her eyes. “Well, hope he’s doing some exterminating there.” She turned her head. “Jin! Do something about the cockroaches in this house! It’s disgusting!”

Jinyu reached for his pistol in his inside breast pocket.

“No, don’t!” cried out Erika, much to the surprise of Kara and Leiyun. But Erika happened to like the parlor of the Li mansion—and the hole blasted by Eriol last time had been difficult to mend as was.

Jinyu replaced his pistol in its holster.

Leiyun cheerily drew out a box full of bug repellant from under the coffee table. “Wei bought this—they’re sold out in all the stores, and he had a special order placed from the black market. Through yakuza connections.”

He abundantly sprayed at a cockroach, and Erika sputtered at the fumes. “I think you’ll exterminate us before you fumigate the bugs from this house!”

“Well, on the bright side, the Li delegation has all moved out to a hotel,” Leiyun said. “You should have seen the look on Uncle Daifu’s face when he found those cockroaches crawling out of his bed having hatched eggs on his pillow.”

Kara smiled into her teacup, recalling the fiasco the other day.

“This country needs to do something to control the pests,” Wutai had declared, swatting at a cockroach crawling up his chair with a rolled up newspaper during the last Elders meeting the conference room.

“What, like spraying down the city with insecticide?” asked Leiyun with an angelic smile. 

“Yes, something like that,” said Wutai, reaching over to the plate of cookies then realizing fruit flies were buzzing around it. “Wei, have you had this house fumigated?”

Wei blinked. “Fumigated? I don’t think this place has ever been fumigated since it was built.”

Wutai glared at Kara and Leiyun. “This house is creeping with insects—how do you live in such filth in a daily basis?”

Kara batted her long blonde lashes innocently. “Oh, you get used to it—it’s not too bad really. Just be careful not to leave out your coffee cup for too long though—you might find a spider or two might have dropped in.”

And Wutai glanced down at the bottom of his cup in horror as hairy, leggy creature crawled out. “Well, get some wards out or burn some incense or something!” 

Some hours later, Wutai came wobbling out of the conference room after a long debate amongst the Elders about a shipping deal, demanding, “What is this sickly odor? It’s giving me a pounding migraine.”

Leiyun’s turquoise eyes widened. “We just burned some incense to knock out the cockroaches, as you requested.”

“Bah, I can’t breathe. Give me some fresh air.” Wutai staggered over to the windows, which wouldn’t budge open, until he put his shoulder to it.

“Oh, I wouldn’t do that if I were you—” Leiyun protested weekly. But even as Wutai opened the windows, a swarm of angrily buzzing bees flocked into the room.

“Where are these coming from?” demanded Wutai, covering his face with his arms as the bees flocked to the honey crumble cake on the conference table, for the Elders’ snack time.

“Ah, spring must be in the air,” said Wei.

“Spring?” snorted Wutai. “It’s freezing in Japan!” 


Yes, Happy April's Fool Day. :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Website is up and running again!

Some of you have noticed that my main website was down for a little over a week. I just wanted to apologize for any inconveniences or incurred during the downtime. I have been getting free hosting from Robert Arrowsmith of robswebsites.com ever since revolutionhosting.net went down several years ago. Robert used to be with revolutionhosting.net. I called Robert long distance today, and he was very helpful and got the site up and running again right away. He said that he had been doing some spring cleaning for old websites and mine got deleted in the process by accident. But luckily, my files were still saved on the server. Anyhow, shout-outs to robswebsite. I am very grateful for Robert's support all these years. Thanks for all the suggestions at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/newtrialsring/ in the meantime! 

I can now go back to finish Chapter 70: Eye of the Dragon. Which is a dinosaur of a chapter. I put together a collage of WIP sketches and doodles over the years in the meantime to keep you occupied trying to figure out who is who--more difficult isn't it, when it's black and white? Which artwork would you like to see completed? 

WIP - New Trials of CCS doodles over the years by wishluv on deviantART

So, have any of you wondered what New Trials would be like as a Korean live-action drama? Check out the video below made by the talented Saloni and Melanie from Yahoo Group, posted originally on Facebook but now up on youtube. I had a great fun looking at all the choices!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Belated Happy Valentines Day 2014!!!

The Dark Ones: A not so distant past... by wishluv on deviantART

Belated Happy Valentines Day!

The past few months have been a whirlwind, as is year's end usually. I don't think I've ever been glad that a year is over, but I am glad that 2013 is over. I am late celebrating V-day because I was asked last-minute to translate a wedding ceremony into English today by a coworker. Why me, I wonder. I swear, I'm always doing random errands for weddings of people I am not that close with. Of course I wouldn't mind doing it for my friends. I got to learn a new German-language poet though, Rainer Maria Rilke, an Austrian. The service included the poem "Lieben," translated into Korean, and I had a real hard time finding an English translation. And a German to Korean to English translated poem would not have sounded pretty. It's a long poem, but I could only find the first  couple verses. It's very pretty.   

And how might Love have come to you?
Did Love come like sunshine, like the glow of blossoms?
Did it come like Praying? Tell!
A brilliant joyfulness detached itself from heaven
And hung with large folded wings
From my blossoming soul.

I have a bunch of other fanart I am working on, but I decided to post one of character designs not seen before up. Can you even guess who they are? I think this is Chang Ryouta, Reiji and Eri in their freshmen year of high school. They look slightly younger here than they would in the beginning of the Nadeshiko Arc. They are the same age as Ryuuren, who was 17, when he first came to Japan. Nadeshiko is three years younger. She was 14 when she first met Li Ryuuren. 

Of course, the most important news is the status of Chapter 70 after an awful cliffhanger. I really thought I would be able to finish it quicker, but basically between October and January, work took precedent. I've been writing more recently though so hopefully it will be done soon. Yes, I was aiming for a Valentine's Day release but it was just not happening. Sigh.

So, is anyone else as obsessed with Frozen? It's my favorite Disney animated feature film since... I don't know. Mulan?

Today's song is a sad one, Kokia's "Time to Say Goodbye." I think this is one of the first songs that made me fall in love with Kokia years ago. I sort of rediscovered it recently because I have run out of songs to listen to while writing. Please recommend me any good songs because I am in dire need of a new playlist for writing!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!!!

I am a big fan of the "What I do" meme which has been popular all over the internet for a while now and thought I might do one for Card Captor Sakura.

I was hoping to have a new chapter or fanart up but I am traveling this Christmas and unfortunately have unstable internet connection. But hopefully you find this somewhat amusing. If you haven't heard of this  meme do look it up some of them are hilarious and so true. mashable.com/2012/02/15/what-i-really-do-meme/

Merry Christmas and happy holidays 2013!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013! Masquerade time!

Sakura and Syaoran - Masquerade by ~wishluv on deviantART

Happy Halloween 2013! I'm a little late this time, unfortunately. Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes. You don't know how much it means to me. And loved all the artwork and vocal talents of everybody. 

Thanks Kamaku Lemjane of FB, Draugurok, Saloni Khoja (loved a reverse-harem with long-haired Sakura,and Bubulona20 for awesome fanarts. Hopefully I'm not forgetting anyone.

Loved all the song presents too. Kirei Blossom has the sweetest voice ever--a blend of Sakura+Tomoyo in my head. I got excited that you sang "Part of Your World" because everyone knows I'm just a Disney maniac. OLD SCHOOL DISNEY TWO-DIMENSIONAL ARTWORK Disney. Yes, that deserved caps. Anyhow, I had to giggle because I actually had been drawing a Disney-themed Halloween pic but postponed it because it required too much effort. You will see it someday, and I'll dedicate it to you. And Arigatou was so cute! Have you become fluent in Japanese over the years? You sure sound like you are now. I'm debating whether or not to add the links... May I have your permission to do so? But I respect your wishes.
Hazuki Goldair of Syaoran the Waiter Boy fame covered one of my all-time favorite songs, "On My Own" from Les Miz and nailed it. And boy do I know what a difficult song it is--you should head on straight to broadway! 

Between all the musical talent in the New Trials fan community, I'm surprised we haven't been able to make a full-production anime. Lol. One of you two can sing the OST.

Best scene of Little Mermaid--Part of Your World Reprise. I think Ariel has the prettiest hair of all the Disney princesses.

Friday, September 6, 2013

CCS Questionnaire

I saw over at the New Trials Yahoo Group that Kirei Blossom has posted up a very fun Card Captor Sakura questionnaire, and here is my take on it though I left some out because they were not applicable or were spoilerish. I began answering them early August and just got around to finishing it. Belated Happy Birthday Tomoyo!

1. Tell us how you discovered CCS:

I didn't know it at that time, but I first discovered CCS through a stationary my half-Japanese friend gave me with a manga image of Sakura and Tomoyo in a kimono back in 1996 (the year the manga came out). I still probably have it saved somewhere because pretty Japanese manga stationary was hard to get back then. A couple years later my country began to broadcast CCS anime on TV on June 1999. Even from the previews, I knew I was going to love the show, but following episode, "Sakura's Never-Ending Day," I knew it may become a lifetime favorite show.

2. Did you watch the original subbed version, or a dub?
I first watched the Korean dub version, which is nearly on par with the Japanese version. A few episodes were missing, though, I discovered later, like ones with the characters in kimonos. I managed to get caught up with CCS-sphere and for CCS season 3, I watched live NHK2 broadcasts since I got the channel via satellite in Korea. It's the first and last Japanese show I watched live I think on Japanese channel. Back in the days, subbed anime weren't all so readily available on the internet. Since then, I've watched all the subbed version and movies. Multiple times.

3. Where did you first read the manga? (Bought hardcopies/read scanlataions?)
I bought Korean hardcopies for all the volumes... Which got lost when I moved in high school! I'm still so angry. Each book came with the character bookmarks. But I think back in the days, I read translated scripts for the latest manga volume. Old school.

4. How did you get into fanfiction?
I was feeling frustrated somewhere between season 2 and season 3 of CCS anime and found the Anipike website and that there were fanfictions written about CCS characters. These were the olden days where we all had dial-up connection and LQ images took a long time to download. And there were no streaming videos. Oh, how far we've come since then.

5. How and when did you find NT?
I was looking for a credible continuation to the CCS anime/manga, and because back then, it was difficult to find CCS fanfiction which I thought kept Sakura and Syaoran's characters in tact, I decided to write New Trials in the fall of 1999. (CCS has a huge fandom now, but back then, I don't think there was as big of a fan community as now, though it was substantial). I didn't have my own website then, and I just sent it off to website that hosted CCS fanfiction after a bit of hesitation. it was pretty surreal, thinking back on the process.

6. How long have you been following NT for?
Since its womb. ^_^;

7. Your first reactions about NT (for example, your instant thoughts during the first few chapters or halfway through the first arc)
8. And now that you've read up until three-quarters of Arc 4, what are your thoughts at this point of the story?
9. Why are you *still* reading NT? Why do you wait more than a year for a chapter to be released?
I am curious too. 

10. Your favourite parts of the story?
11. Your least favourite parts of the story?

12. Your favourite New Trials character originally belonging to CCS:
If I didn't like them, they didn't make it over to NT. 

13. Your favourite original NT character: (Tell us who ranks as the first OC for you and WHY, and then list other favourites):
Kai's probably the most popular OC. I rather like Amamiya Hayashi, and the sad thing is, I haven't really written much about him but hope I will be able to when I continue the legacy series. 

14. Your least favourite original NT character?
Yes, I even like Li Wutai. There's more Wutais out in the world than Syaorans, for sure. 

15. Favourite Dark Forces?
The Fantasy. 

16. Which couples do you ship?
Sakura and Eron. Syaoran and Meilin. Kai and Kara. Naoko and Eriol. 

17. How do you think New Trials will end?
18. What are you waiting eagerly to see?
19. Any unanswered questions you want answered:
20. What do you think should happen to the twins when NT ends?
21. What should happen with the Li Can at the end?
22. Any character subplots you'd like to see more of before the end?
23. If you could change anything about the story, what would it be?
24. Your words for Wish-chan:

25. Sakura and Syaoran: Maroon 5 - "Payphone" (Boyce Avenue cover)

26. Kai and Meilin: I loved Taylor Swift's performance of "I Knew You Were Trouble at the American Music Awards 2012, and still think the choreography, stage, costumes and camera work made it a standout performance.

27. Eriol and Tomoyo:

28. Nadeshiko and Ryuuren: My favorite original couple. Too bad they didn't happen. Or thank goodness.  

29. Chiharu and Takashi: Amethyst Beloved's favorite

30. Miho and Aki: Oh dear.

31. Rika and Terada:

32. Eron and Sakura: 

33. Erika and Jinyu: 

34. Leiyun and... whoever is freak enough to be with him: Good luck.

Yes, I'm just a huge fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber, and we had to sing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat for choir in sixth grade so I know all the lyrics by heart till this date. And this whole part of the questionnaire is just for a way to share random songs with you. I think I usually share Japanese songs but this is sort of my more eclectic taste, including even both pop and oldies, all English songs.

35. Any other pairings/characters/plots:


36. Your name/screenname and why you chose your screenname?
Wish-chan because I was 13 years old and in the middle of Chapter 3 or 4 when I realized fanfiction writers need nom-de-plum, and I was I wasn't creative enough to come up with anything better. Wishluv because it was cool to spell love as "luv" back in the 90s.

37. Are you male or female? Female. 

38. How old are you? I was 13ish when I wrote the prologue for New trials. You can do the math. 

39. Where are you from / Where do you live? NYC/Seoul

40. What languages can you speak? Bilingual in English, Korean, and at one point French un peu but no more. 

41. Which NT character are you most like?
Tomoyo, since I too am an observer and listener. But truthfully, I've invested a little bit of me in each of the characters... Like Kai's non-confrontational tendencies, Sakura's hopefulness, Eriol's AB bloodtype evilness...

42. Your interests / likes: Writing, drawing, matchmaking.
43. Your dislikes: Deadlines, smelly things.
44. Favourite food/cuisine: Ice cream and Italian
45. Least favourite food: Weird slimy creatures
46. What was the last thing you ate: Shrimp and avocado pasta and mango pudding.
47. Any random fact about yourself: I willed my fingers to be double-jointed.
48. What is most important to you in life: "Life is a journey not a destination."
49. Your birth order (Are you an older child, middle child or youngest child) and how does that affect your personality:
50. What else did you want this questionnaire to ask?