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 first. The lovely Amethyst Beloved has been uploading the chapters up on 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 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 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 or by website or backup sites after all these years. Also, I loved reading all the comments on 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 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

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 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 (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:
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 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 soon enough. Despite ugly formatting, I kind of like the idea of debuting the landmark 70th chapter on 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.