Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Trials Wiki and Dark Force Files

The Explosive by ~AmethystBeloved on deviantART
It's the end of cherry blossom season where I live, and I was walking along when the wind blew and all the pink petals showered down. It almost made me feel like I was in a shoujo anime. But all the petals on the ground made me feel a little sad at how short-lived the blossoms were. When I got into the office, I found a little pink-white petal had stuck to my sleeve, and it was so pretty I left it on my desk. Some hours later, it turned a putrid brown, and I thought what a pity.

So, I've been feeling very irritated lately because of my right middle finger troubles. I mean, I've had a cast on my leg before and lost my voice for like three months last year, but I didn't mind. I'm sort of a very anti-dramatic person IRL, almost to the point of emotional detachment. But the fact I can't bend my finger properly really irks me. Especially because it prevents me from doing properly two things I like: drawing and writing. Properly is the key word here. I still manage. Well, maybe it's punishment for torturing Syaoran so much

But New Trials cheers me up. So, how amazing is Amethyst Beloved? She compiled a Dark Force File, complete with battle costumes. It makes me wonder, "Where have you been all my life?" Yes, it's going to be a dream-come-true for me especially when I go back to edit chapters in the near future. Kirei Blossom neatly compiled the list of cards over the arcs as well, and now, we even have all the details! You know I used to be too over-confident and kept the whole plotline of New Trials in my head, but starting from latter Arc 3 I began to jot down notes. Since Arc 4, I actually had a rudimentary outline of chapters and tentative titles for remaining chapters.

And a New Trials Wiki is being compiled by Kris and Amethyst if you are interested in contributing. It's something I've been really really wanting to do if I ever got time, so I'm very grateful that it's gotten started. I would love to contribute in any way I can, so shoot me an email or leave a post if there's anything I can do to help out. ie. original character birthdays, etc.

Check out Winxc1ub's awesome Duradura Ending theme parody using New Trials characters. I haven't watched the anime, but I saw the Duradura Trust Me ending theme meme on youtube some time ago, and thought it was fun. My favorite part is Nadeshiko and Ryuuren. ^^

Friday, April 13, 2012

New Trials Chapter 68 Fanwork Spotlight

Happy Friday the 13th. First off, I posted on deviantart a rough concept art for New Trials of Card Captor Sakura Chapter 68: Regeneration. I normally do not post doodles, but sadly I don't think I'll be able to actually ink this sketch till my finger gets better, hence, I'm posting it up. I sketched it on a crowded subway on my lap, without support, hence the messiness. Upon Amethyst Beloved's request, I also posted up a HQ version of the entire cast of New Trials (not really, but closest to it you'll see in one picture). It's more of a collage of old and new artwork, some incomplete. I actually like Chang Ruichi and Risa the best in it, but they're not really completed. The picture was used in the pan-up sequence in the New Trials Ending Theme 4 I made to Maaya Sakamoto's Koucha.

Kris from the New Trials Yahoo Group did an awesome video review on Youtube on Chapter 68. Warning, it has spoilers! 

My favorite part of Kris' review is his Asuma and Leiyun's Anyhow, Kris is so very articulate and has a great sense of humor, I feel like I'm listening to a pro film critic or something. Anyhow, if you're feeling to lazy to read the chapter or forgot what happened, Kris does an excellent job summarizing what happens, and it's so fun hearing a reader's POV on the various events. So, may I say, I think this review does a better job of relaying Chapter 68 than the actual chapter. I loved it when he recaps the Magnet scene. Oh, poor Syaoran.

While you're waiting for Chapter 69, please do check out other fanworks. The talented and beautiful Melenie Mackey from the Yahoo Group (the Malanie who appears as a model in Chapter 63) wrote a HILARIOUS New Trials side fanfic "The Gang Plays Love Truth Game." 

Of course Eriol would wear Armani. And I suddenly began to wildly imagine what could be on the Hiiragizawa Eriol Blackmail Diaries. Oh ho ho ho... Anyhow, loved all the Tomoyo x Eriol interactions and also seeing Leiyun in somewhat of a regular setting. ^^

Then, there is the great Kirei Blossom's Tomoyo Video Diaries, New Trials Edition: The Sniffing Chronicles. I cracked up so much... Poor Eron-kun. So, I've always told Kirei-chan if something ever happens to me, I'll let her finish New Trials.

You know, I never realized how popular the Li Syaoran Blackmail Diaries would be. It makes me wonder, what will be on it. Any ideas? Syaoran wearing teddy-bear print boxers? Syaoran tying a frayed green ribbon around his hair, Eron-style. Syaoran folding Sakura's underwear, only trying to be helpful? 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kaitou Magician Origins Chapter 5 Up!

I never thought that I would be able to say this... But I've caught up on months and months worth of backlogged emails. If by any chance you have emailed me in the past several months, and you have not received a response, please do shoot me another email and let me know. Hotmail might have simply gobbled it up as junk mail and I might not have received it. 

Reading my inbox made me very very happy and very very guilty at the same time. It's so horrible, I feel like a wretched person reading everyone's lovely emails and then taking so long to respond. But I do respond eventually. 

And when I'm bad, I'm really bad. But when I'm good, I'm really good (about updates I mean). So, Chapter 5 of the New Trials Special: Kaitou Magician Origins is up. It's not an eventful chapter but it should provide a lot of back information. New fanart of Kai and Kara when they were young is also up at deviantart. It's an old artwork/ doodle.

So, I'm officially "Nine-Finger Wish." How's that for a pirate name, aye? I finally went to the doctor because I got scared from everybody's warnings. The first doctor I went to at a general clinic looked at my middle finger and said that it looked like it was broken and that I might need to have a surgery and put a wire in it and won't be able to use it for eight weeks. Seriously, I kind of felt faint when I heard that. I value my hands a lot. So I went to an orthopedist who took an x-ray. As I thought, it was a stretched ligament, and there's nothing to do about it. Did some rehab and got asked what I've been doing for the past month. I'm trying to type with nine fingers these days though. Sigh. 

The Goo Goo Dolls' Iris from the City of Angels OST is one of my most favorite songs ever. There are just some songs that reach the soul, and this is one of those timeless songs. This live version of the song just sends shivers down my spine because the pouring rain just makes it all the more epic and unrepeatable. I listed before in the "New Trials OST" list that Iris would be Kai's theme song. (And Syaoran's too, but more Kai's). The lyrics really are resonant with Kai. It's kind of what the whole Kaitou Magician Origins story is about too. "I just want you to know who I really am." I hope Johnny Rzeznik doesn't strain his voice and continues to sing the song with the original chords instead of the modified version so I can hear the song live in concert live someday.

Friday, April 6, 2012

New Trials Fanwork Updates!

I feel like fanfiction writing in itself is sort of a testimony of how much you love the original work. As I began writing New Trials in 1999, it was because I: a. loved Card Captor Sakura and b. was frustrated at that time because I felt like I wanted a continuation of Sakura's story and was bubbling with many ideas. No, the anime and manga weren't even finished then, and I was craving for more CCS.

But I'm so grateful for the love that New Trials has received, and I am so distracted by how organized/ talented/ imaginative readers have been. Amethyst Beloved has been very hard at work over the past few months, updating New Trials on fanfiction.net. Can't you tell that there's a marked different when I'm trying to run it and when she is? Lol. It's so good to have her back. I used to feel an empty hole when she went missing for some years. ^^

I was sort of lost in time looking through the New Trials Picture Book she has put together. It made me so nostalgic seeing all the fanart organized by arcs, really like seeing a visual representation of NT. And I love how Amethyst has tracked down all the old artwork too that might have been lost. I feel like readers have also sent me a lot of fanart over the years. Stupid hotmail that deleted them all and stupid old computer that crashed. I got lost in an afternoon looking at old and new artwork and feeling nostalgic. Do check out the New Trials Manga if you haven't already by Asocialcat. 

And do join the newest New Trials DevianArt Group set up by the talented WinxC1ub.

Kris from the Yahoo Group also made a video review on Youtube. It's my first video review ever, and it makes me feel so excited to see a reader almost face to face. Kind of. ^^; 

So I'm always thankful to all you who kept supporting this scatterbrained, procrastinating author who dared to drag on a fanfiction longer than the actual work itself. I think it's also a testament to the longevity of Card Captor Sakura's popularity 14 years since it ended, as CCS consistently makes it to top anime lists even nowadays.

I have come to the sobering conclusion that I am mind-numbingly digitally challenged. Hotmail: 277 unread mails though half are ff.net alerts and another quarter junk mail probably. Gmail: 1,288 unread mail. All junk I think. Work mail: account full. How can they give me only 300 MBs? Laptop: 5GBs left. When did I use up 300 GBs and two portable drives? In case anyone's wondering why I'm such a horrible correspondent nowadays, it's because I just can't keep up. And I still don't get Twitter. But I do love get reviews via old fashioned email though. As I always mention, though I don't respond right away in the middle of writing a chapter, it could be YOUR email which makes me suddenly whirlwind through a writer's block to finish up a long-overdue chapter.

And always thanks to http://www.robswebsites.com for the free web space.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Edited Chapter 68: Regeneration up!!!

So, I finally finished editing (let me rephrase myself, got sick of editing and gave up) Chapter 68, so I'm making an official post now. Mesel Tzegai from the Yahoo Group even pointed out a huge loophole, so I had to go back and fix up the last third of the chapter a little bit. But surprisingly, it wasn't a huge change, and I'm not sure if those who read the earlier version will be able to pinpoint the changes I made. But either way, I had to incorporate elements of the next chapter into this chapter. Which actually were initially elements of Chapter 68 that got pushed back because it was a. getting too long b. I was in a hurry to finish the chapter. 

Anyway, I'm never going to post a draft again. Go ahead and check out the updated The New Trials of Card Captor Sakura Chapter 68: Regeneration.

If  you already read it and don't want to reread it, there are very minor changes in the first half of the story, and I would recommend just rereading the last third of the chapter from Tokyo Tower scene onward. The ending got extended slightly because I felt bad about the cliffhanger. Though I'm not sure if the new end is any better than the previous cliffhanger. 

I mentioned this in the Yahoo Group, but late February, I was texting while walking up stairs outdoors and tripped over in front of my coworkers. I somehow jammed my middle finger but saved my phone. Either way, it's been swollen and hurting for over a month now. It gets better and then I keep using it and it get swollen again. But because my job is comprised of typing all day long, it doesn't get better. And the worst part is, I want to show it to people but end up just cussing at them all. Sigh.

Warning of the day: Do NOT text and walk at the same time!

All fans of Disney and Madhouse must see this:

Is it random? Nope. Because we all know I love Disney. Let me rephrase myself. I love old-school Disney and their classic 2-D animation. I had stint teaching kindergartners for a while (no, I was not copying Kobato), and they came in class all Pixar and Power Rangers loving. They graduated Disney-converts. I made them watch Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, etc. etc. Even though majority of the kids were boys. Funniest thing. On Halloween, every single one of my girls came dressed as a Disney princess. Lol. And it puzzled me. Many of my kids said they like Beauty and the Beast the best (obviously my favorite Disney movie). But I sort of grew into liking it as I got older. When I was a kid, I probably liked Little Mermaid or Cinderella. My kids liked it so much that even after I moved jobs and went back to visit them, they were still watching B & the B.  I was like, "Don't you guys have any other movies?" New teacher: "Nah, they like Beauty and the Beast."

I got sidetracked. The commercial is animated by Madhouse, yes, the Madhouse that animated CCS. You just don't see that caliber animation in the States anymore. Though I welcome you to prove me wrong, Disney. Maybe because of that common factor, this commercial made me feel "hanyaan." And a little teary.  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Sakura 2012!

Today is CLAMP Day. ^^

I'm not very good at April Fool's Day jokes. I don't think I've ever done one properly for the past decade.

So a couple hours, I post: Anyway, believe it or not, Chapter: 68: Regeneration is finally up!

Just kidding!

No, actually, it really is. It's not edited though. I've never really posted an unedited chapter before, but I didn't want to break another deadline. And it's Sakura's birthday. ^^ Thanks for the patience. This chapter's dedicated to Amethyst Beloved.