Monday, July 14, 2014

Happy Birthday Li Syaoran 2014!!!


Syaoran Birthday Omake #3 by wishluv on deviantART


For some reason,I keep drawing 4-koma omake for Syaoran's birthday. I think ever since the first birthday special, his birthday has become a joke. But this omake actually turned out sadder than I intended it to. I don't know why I always decide to draw something new instead of finishing off a dozen fanarts that still need to be finished. But I was very inspired by all the wonderful artwork being produced in honor of Syaoran's birthday.

Speaking of Hong Kong, I'm going to dear Syaoran's homeland at the end of the month for a couple of days. I haven't been there in nearly 9 years, so I'm excited. Anyone who's been to Hong Kong or lives there, let me know if you have any recommendations of what to do there. I'm kind of dreading the heat. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LI SYAORAN 2014! 

Music spotlight: I used to really like Ellegarden's "Firecracker" when I was going through my J-rock/punk rock phase. I think it's their best song. Too bad Ellegarden is on permanent hiatus.  


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Update: New Trials Chapter 70 posted on website... the longest shoujo anime fanfiction ever?

I don't know how many times I have posted an updated for Chapter 70 this time around, but without further ado, Chapter 70: Eye of the Dragon is up on my website. Now, you can see it in its unadulterated formatting. But truthfully, it was fun posting up the landmark Chapter 70 Part II up on fanfiction.net first. The lovely Amethyst Beloved has been uploading the chapters up on ff.net for me for years, so I didn't really keep track of the page much. I've been feeling a little bit like the narcoleptic Dormouse in Alice in Wonderland, in contrast to my insomniac days (which is better for writing!). Maybe it's the summer heat and humidity.

Years ago, I tried to do a word count of New Trials and gave up because MS Word crashed. I should have just checked ff.net first. I couldn't believe the series is reaching 1.7 million words--I think it surpassed that number if you count all the side specials like the Legacy of the Five Forces and Kaitou Magician specials. Of course, numbers are only numbers, and as you guys all know I've never been big on stats. My motto was as long as I have one reader, I'll continue writing New Trials. But the continued fan support for this fanfiction again humbles me. You guys who stuck around for 1.7 million words are awesome as well. For reference, the Guinness Word Record holding longest novel is around 1.2 million words. There definitely are longer fanfiction out there (and I don't really have any intentions of breaking records), but I'm sure this is the longest Card Captor Sakura fanfic. It might be the longest shoujo anime fanfic out there, but again, who knows. Conclusion is, kudos to all of you for reading that many words, some over the span of many years, some who have marathoned through the series! 

Because the chapter was posted on ff.net first, it was fun to see the stats generated by the website. I don't think I realized I still had so many readers, especially because CCS ended so long ago, so thanks for checking by to read the latest chapters whether on ff.net or by website or backup sites after all these years. Also, I loved reading all the comments on ff.net. I have been very blessed as a writer in the wonderful comments and feedbacks I have received since 1999 via email, the Yahoo Group, Facebook, Bravenet Guestbook, Geocities guestbook, blogposts, etc. Of course, I've seen hotmail delete my inbox, Geocities crash, etc. And Facebook and Yahoo posts are for members only, so I realized how nice it is having a dated record of readers' comments up for the public to see. And I know how for many budding fanfiction writers, each comment is very precious and after all these years, that hasn't changed. I feel blessed to have more than 2,000 comments on ff.net--and this is discounting the much more numerous feedback I've received in many different medium over the years. One of my favorite recent comments was by SnowCharms who said: "I swear, I hate and love you with equal fervor." I'm having a lot of fun reading feedback for this chapter, for it was an experimental format and also one I worked really hard. Interesting stats while I knew I had the most readers from the U.S., that's followed up by the Philippines and India. There are times when I think if the internet disappears, all record of 15 years of work will disappear as well, as I've never printed a single page of New Trials. I probably should in the editing process, but hey, save the trees. 

Thanks for pointing out that CLAMP is going to write a new sequel of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. So, my dream of a new CCS sequel must have been for a new TRC chapter due in August, darnit. I'm excited for any glimpses of CLAMP Sakura and Syaoran artwork I can get. And who else wants a chibi-Syaoran figurine? How adorable are chibi S+S? How do you get one?

I mentioned in my last post that for Chapter 70 Part II, I had Imagine Dragon's "Demon" in mind. For Part I, I had in mind theThe Band Perry's "If I Die Young."  I love the simplicity and poignancy of the song, contrasting with the bright, whimsical music video, reminiscent of Anne of Green Gables and the Lady of Shalott, as Elaine was my favorite Arthurian heroine. Gosh, I despised Sir Lancelot for many different reasons, but I can probably write a whole blogpost or two on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, probably Syaoran's inspiration for Sakura and her Alliance of the Stars. 



I absolutely love Kurt Hugo Schneider's piano rendition of "Demons" as well. I kind of wish there is a nonvocal piano version of the piece--I would totally use it for my writing playlist. 



Monday, June 16, 2014

New Trials Chapter 70: Eye of the Dragon Part I and II is up on ff.net

It is just one of those ironies in life when I finally decided to post up the official completed Chapter 70 of New Trials of CCS Part I and II up, and my website http://wishluv.revolutionhosting.net was down over the weekend. The site is up again, but I'm having trouble logging into my ftp at the moment, so I really didn't want to keep you guys waiting any longer (as if you haven't waited long enough already), so I posted up the full chapter myself on fanfiction.net. (Usually darling Amethyst Beloved has been diligently uploading the chapters for years, so this is the exception, especially because I didn't want to burden her with editing in all the annoying scene breaks!) I already posted Part I on my website, without an official update notice. Not much changed except some typos, a few pointed out by Amethyst, and a date error pointed out by another kind reader S. Halliwell (and a bunch more that I discovered and hoped you didn't). No content change, so if you already read Part I, you can skip right ahead to Part II (but you can also read Part I again as a refresher!)

Without further ado, you can find Chapter 70 Eye of the Dragon Part I: A Midnight Toll and Part II: The Dragon Isles here: 

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/197453/115/The-New-Trials-of-Card-Captor-Sakura-and-Friends
 
And of course you can read the rest of the post after you finish reading the chapter. I am not a big fan of how ff.net changes the formatting of the chapter, so if you don't mind waiting a couple more days, hopefully by then I will have the ftp problem resolved and you can read the chapter with proper formatting on my website at http://wishluv.revolutionhosting.net/newtrials.htm soon enough. Despite ugly formatting, I kind of like the idea of debuting the landmark 70th chapter on ff.net first, for the first time. For a while, I entertained the idea of ending New Trials at Chapter 70, to parallel the number of anime episodes. But not happening, obviously.

There are so many things I can say about this chapter. As you know, I had this chapter almost finished for Sakura's birthday and posted up the first half in mid-April. An apology is due, however, for taking so long to get Chapter 70 completed, however, (plus the nearly two-month hiatus to get Part II out.) Work (organizing an economic forum on top of everything else) and real world drama took over, as usual. I was really being nit-picky about this chapter as well, because it is a significant chapter to me in many ways, and there was one last scene that I was stuck on. This is actually technically the length of two chapters (around the length of the first Harry Potter novel), but I wanted it to be under one chapter. As you guys know, I've been writing ahead, and I've actually had to cut out the last third of this chapter because of length. 

This was probably one of the most technically difficult chapters to write to date, but I had a lot of fun writing it (in retrospective)--I feel like it's a bit different from any other chapters so far, and I've imagined so many years writing this chapter, I'm excited I finally got to it. I don't think the 13-year-old me could have pulled off this chapter at all.

Before I forget, it's odd but I had a CCS-related dream last week. I think this chapter was stressing me out subconsciously. I haven't had a CCS dream that I remembered in years and years. Themost vivid CCS dream I think was over 14 years ago. I had a dream (in anime) with Meilin with short hair crying and looking very sad in a snowy place. I used to hate Meilin during Season 1 and 2 CCS days (sorry girl, love you now), and I think it was because of this dream I decided to like her (and after she got rejected for good by Syao-chan.) Anyhow, I had a dream that I was watching on a screen CCS!Sakura in a trademark white and pink dress, levitating in space with stars around her, and shooting an arrow up into the sky, emitting light like a shooting star. It felt like a promotional teaser or something and in my dream, I think I thought it was an ad for a CCS OVA or remake or something. I think I was excited by the stream of new CCS merchandise being released, and also thought if Sailor Moon gets a reboot, why not CCS. Though I probably won't want a reboot for CCS. Maybe an OVA or third movie. I'm pretty sure I had another CCS dream over the past week, but I can't remember it at the moment. 

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle provided the concept art for this chapter. Refer to 0:22 of my TRC AMV. 
 
I really like Boyce Avenue and Jenel Garcia's acoustic cover of Imagine Dragon's "Demons" which reminds me of Chapter 70 Part II. The original version of the song, though I would use as Kai's OST.   





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!