Thursday, 13 April 2017

#40: Three Lives Three Worlds, Thousand Miles of Peach Blossom & Life Update!


   
  Oh my god, my blog basically exploded with the popularity of 3L3W. I haven't had a chance to watch the drama properly yet though I think Yang Mi and Mark Chao look so good in the trailers. I really hope to marathon it good once my schedule clears in May. 

   Plus, Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost is also going to get a drama production! I hope some of the actors/actresses I like will be cast in it :)

  I  just wanted to do a mass post as I have been getting emails/comments - and I really tried to reply everyone of them (got shocked that we entered into the hundreds whilst I was away). I definitely will be continuing my original stories, I definitely will continue to update my blog - I have been too busy, but once my schedule clears, I will definitely be writing much more. 

  I also have not given up on chinese fiction :), and hope one day I will meet a C-novel that will inspire me to translate again. 

Much love,
decembi

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Fiction: A Heavenly Dream (Part 1 of 3)





Dear readers,

  As written in the previous post, I dreamt of this story (haha) during my heavy bouts of Goblin watching. It won't be very long, only 3 chapters. I hope you enjoy it! I will try and finish it quickly. It's a little different from my usual stories and I'm a bit rusty.  I would love to hear what you guys think! 

Love,
decembi


A Heavenly Dream (Part 1)

(i)

   Ever since I was young, I knew I was strange - but it was only much later that I knew how very strange I was. You see, when I was a young child, I would see a date and time flash across a person's face. It was when I was seven that I realized that that date, that time, was the person's death. The first death I saw belonged to my father. 

 We started traveling - my mother and me. My mother was a really good cook, she had a makeshift stall and we travelled across towns and cities. Sometimes, I wondered why we did not settle down someplace and have a small food stall - it seemed easier as compared to the endless winding dusty roads we set upon. It was also only later, when I was older, that I realized she had to keep traveling because my father had left with her one concept of home, and she could only remain on the road.

  Now, I do not want you to think I had a sad life. Contrary to it, my mother was warm, loving and generous. We never made much, but we had much. We would feed the poor and homeless with the little excess we had. The sky was our home, the stars our warmth. 

  Of course, nothing lasted forever. I could see it already on my mother's face. 

  The only thing I could not see was my own date. 

   Before that though, mother and I had a very strange customer one day. We weren't even open for business. We had made a makeshift tent by a lovely clearing next to a river. There were trees protecting us, and a full moon, very full moon above us.

  I had caught two fishes and was cooking it above our camp fire. It was then we met this strange visitor - who seemed to had come from nowhere. 

  He had pure white hair that shimmered under the moonlight, a kind, very kind face. When he smiled, it seemed like the stars had came to dance in his face. He wore white robes with silver embroidery and there was no trace of dirt on him at all.

  As was natural when we met strangers, mother offered this elderly gentleman some of our fish. She brought out some of the wine that she made from the previous town and we had a little dinner party. When it seemed like even the moon was going to go to sleep, the elderly gentleman suddenly stood up and said he had to go on his way.

  I wasn't really sure I had remembered this clearly since mother had let me drink a little bit of wine. But, I remember he turned to me with a smile and said, "You will have a choice. One day, close to death, if you hold on to the person and ask him to save you, you will live. If not, this life as you know it will end."

  "What person?" I asked, confused, "How would I know which person?"

  The response was the strangest of all. The old man gave a deep hearty chuckle before he seemed to disappear, "The most beautiful person."
    
   After he disappeared, I realized he did not have a death time.

Monday, 23 January 2017

#39: So Much Goblin Feels




  I have so much Goblin feels. I absolutely loved the drama. Yes, it has so much problems, but it's still pretty much my most favourite drama experience in a long while. 

  I'm having such a hard time letting it go, and been listening to the songs on almost repeat. I even started having dreams - not really on Goblin, but a fantasy-themed story that evokes that same kind of existential romantic tension. 

 I'm half-decided if I should collect all these fragmented images inside my brain and write it out into a story. I can't decide if it would be relieving or merely sink me into deeper grief over the end of Goblin. Decisions, decisions.

  I'm going to sleep on it (haha), it's now dreaming between a one-shot or a three chapter short story, with really just two central images I really want to capture. 

  The story goes like this: the male character is the God of Death, chinese myth-inspired, basically the Underworld where all deceased souls pass through to assess if they go to Heaven, Hell or reincarnated again. I imagine him like a CEO of a soul-processing corporation haha. By some accident (don't really want to go into it here in full), he saves the life of the female character, who is more than human, but not immortal either. Nothing really unique or special about the setting, except these dream images I got and a scene I really really want to write. I think it's because in a lot of the romantic stories, maybe the male lead gets more attention, but in my dream, I really liked the personality of the female character - who is so spunky and philosophical and funny. 

  Shall sleep on it.

Much love,
decembi

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

#talk 38: Hello, I am here.



Dear readers,

I am genuinely surprised that it has been more than six months since my last update. I wonder where I should start!

I'm alive and I'm doing very well. I'm actually living in America for a while, for professional and personal reasons, and am enjoying my time here very much. Of course, the move, the transition and all the necessary things that I have to do has really filled up my time and left me with little to translate or write.

I wanted to thank all of you readers who still come to my blog, read my translations, read my stories and most of all, leave me comments. It is all these small notes of love that keep reminding me that I need to return, I need to come back.

Being here in America, right now, during such a divisive period - really makes me appreciate the common beautiful things that we can all share regardless of where we come from, or what language we primarily speak.

I've actually a few ideas for quick, short one-shots and may post one or two first. My heavier stories and work will require much more effort, and I can't really promise when I will have that length of time. 

But, I promise to always be here. Thank you so much for coming here.

love,
decembi 

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost : Translation (Epilogue 4: Tang Yue)



  After my hiatus, I have actually re-read the translations from the start again and there were parts I got embarrassed but also parts that I was really emotionally touched. Most of all, I really remember each and every step of this story's translating journey.

  I feel very lucky to have been able to translate this story and am really glad that even after re-reading it months, and maybe years later one day, it still leaves me feeling so full in my heart.

  I hope you will enjoy this epilogue, which is particularly sweet.

love, decembi


Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Epilogue 4 - Tang Yue 

  Since the previous time when I failed to go for the pill testing, Phoenix had completely grounded me. It has been half a month since that fateful day. No! I should say it has been fifteen days, a whole fifteen days, he really is too domineering and I am really too pitiful. Those who can see will be sad, those who can hear of it will weep.

  I was in the study and grinding till my face was about to drop into the ink slab when I heard a small demon announcing from outside, "The Moon God requests an audience with the Great One's Mistress. May the Great One give his directions."

  One phrase and I became furious. Why was the Moon God finding "the Great One's Mistress", why did the demon seek "the Great One's directions?" This was truly overlooking my presence! Of course, I could only be angry in my heart... habit was indeed a frightening creature.

  "No audience," The Great One cleanly spat out two words. His head did not even raise up and he continued writing. 

  "Yes," The little demon retreated. Quickly, he returned, "Reporting to the Great One, the Moon God said...said... there needs to be a reason for not being able to see......"

  Phoenix steadily paused his brush, he still did not raise his head and said, "Mistress is pregnant and needs rest." The little demon received his instructions and left.

  I was actually dozing off when I suddenly stood up in shock, "When did I get a baby?"

  Phoenix raised his head, lightly looking me in the eye and replied, "Soon." I suddenly felt my forehead turn black. 


Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost : Translation (Epilogue 3: Testing Pills)





 Dear readers, apologies for the long hiatus! I had a lot of things to handle in my personal and professional life, and so didn't have enough capacity to reply to comments and update my blog. Most of my things have been settled and I think this means I will have more personal time to write.

  I have actually read quite a bit doing my hiatus as well and should have a few reviews coming up. Unfortunately, I have not actually read another book that has moved me enough to want to seriously start a translation project again. I will probably have to continue reading, finish the epilogues for Heavy Sweetness (I think there's two more!) and the Princess Who Cannot Marry ;)

  This epilogue is especially cute and sweet! 

  Thank you for your patience! There's going to be a few more goodies coming up this week. 

love, decembi 


Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Epilogue 3: Testing Pills


  "Where are you going?"

 With the Moon God's arm warmly round my own as we headed out, I suddenly felt cold sweat break out from my back from an icy cool voice. 

  As I turned my head back, I saw Phoenix standing behind me with pressed lips, the Phoenix who was supposed to be in his study. In that moment, I suddenly felt an awkward lightness in my heart. After hawing and hemming for a while, I suddenly remembered that I have not done anything wrong - only that I often felt shorter by about a three inches by his stature, so I raised my head and patted my chest and said, "How scary! I thought I was 'caught cheating in bed', scared me to death......."

  Half of Phoenix's face immediately turned dark. 

  The Moon God was so frightened that he loosened his grip on my arm and said, "We are innocent. Whiter than the egg white! Nephew, you have to believe me!"

 The other half of Phoenix's face also turned dark.

  The Moon God and I nervously watched Phoenix as he took in a deep breath, as if managing to control something, then he slowly opened his mouth, "Jin Mi, I once said that you can avoid using phrases that required four words (*chinese sayings like proverbs)".

  “But....." I looked at the tip of my toes and murmured, "But, I feel, I feel that if I use more of those four word phrases I'll... I'll appear more learned, elegant, and people will respect me......"

  Phoenix stretched his hand up and pressed his forehead, he said very seriously, "I don't think 'caught cheating in bed' can express elegance".

  "Then how about 'Red Plum Over Wall' (meaning a wife being unfaithful)? Or 'Planting Flowers and Grass' (means to mess around with love)?" I felt that since we were husband and wife, naturally everything can be negotiated, this would reflect our harmonious relationship, thus I spoke in a humble and conciliatory tone. 

  Who knew that once he heard my words, the green veins in his forehead started to throb and he coldly said, "From now on, you are not allowed to use any four word phrases! You will be allowed to speak only after you figure out their meanings!" 

  Sigh, a man's heart is like the needle on the ocean floor. I really could not understand and gave him a recriminatory look. At my glance, his face immediately softened and he coughed before stating, "If you want to, it's not impossible...but when there's outsiders, you should refrain from it a little, ok?" After he finished, he seemed to deeply regret his change of stance and lightly furrowed his brow. 

  "Outsiders?" The Moon God's face turned gloomy, "Phoenix, are you saying I am an outsider? Ah, men turn unfaithful when they age. To think that you used to be a little bird whose first coat of feathers have not yet shed and how you loved to play in my manor. Now, you draw the line so clearly, I am so sad... so very sad!"

  I immediately felt that these words were very familiar. 

  Phoenix just acted like he did not hear anything and interrupted midway, "Where was Uncle planning to bring Jin Mi?"

  The cold desolate tones of the Moon God's complaints immediately stopped. His ability to emote and then stop was amazing. Phoenix narrowed his eyes and slowly lengthened his query, "Yes?"

  The Moon God immediately replied smoothly and honestly, "Tai Shan Lao Jun has prepared a new pill. It was just completed today! I'm bringing little Jin Mi to take a look."

  "That's right," I added, "Tai Shan Lao Jun and Moon God has invited me to go test the pill today."

  "Test the pill?" The ends of Phoenix's eyes lifted, "Test what pill?"

  I suddenly realised something and so became silent.

  But, who knew that Moon God would happily answer, "The Unfeeling Pill." Ignoring Phoenix's expression which immediately turned completely dark, the Moon God continued to add firewood to the fire, "You know that Lao Jun is completely addicted and mesmerised by the process of making pills - he believes that there is no pill in the world he cannot create and no pill in the world he cannot resolve. However he never knew that there was a pill that could cause someone to destroy all emotions - he immediately felt that this was a huge blemish on his reputation, so he gave his all to create a pill like the Unfeeling Pill. Who knew that he has finally produced one! He does not know yet if it works so he has invited Jin Mi to try it."


Monday, 22 February 2016

Fiction: The Princess Who Cannot Marry (Chapter 14)





     To be honest, I'm quite nervous starting the story again after the break. I fear that my writing is too rusty and I can't do my own story justice - I know it sounds a bit ridiculous - but I haven't been in the best physical and mental state. But, I also feel like the story has been living and breathing inside me and just bursting to come out for so long already that I must, no, I need to write it out and hopefully it will get better and better as we reach the end.

  As you know, I've already mapped out the whole story from the start as is my normal style. I've a very clear idea of how I want to finish the second arc, which will end around Chapter 17/18. But, I do feel like I might have to take a step back when the second arc completes to really consider the third and final arc and what will make best sense for the overall story. 

  Without further ado, let's return to the Island on which An Hun and Yu An are...... 

P.S. I think this might be the most favourite chapter I wrote so far for this story. 

Chapter 14: The Heartbreak Song 




   (i)

    They had flown across the starry night and landed in a mist of snow. Is this home? Yu An thought to herself as An Hun led her down his large silvery bird. This was the Royal Palace of the Wu Kingdom, the residence of the Royal Princess of Wu. 

  But it felt so unfamiliar, so foreign - the way the winter winds chilled her bones, the way the gusts brushed past the thistles and the snow off the pagoda ledges - the way the powdery snow mixed with the snow from the sky, and everything was just white. 

    Yu An watched as with a flick of his hand, An Hun had disarmed both the soldiers guarding the door of the Princess' bed chambers. Yu An nervously touched her face, no, a foreign male face - An Hun had even transformed her body. She was a tall distinguished man, a classic elegantly handsome face with eyes like the break of dawn - only the eyes were her own. 

  An Hun took out a small pipe from inside his robes. With a swish, the pipe lit up and a thick syrupy scent flowed out of the pipe. An Hun pierced the pipe through the silk paper inlay in the doors. Suddenly, Yu An felt An Hun's other hand over her nose. 

  "What's this?" Yu An asked. Her voice was smooth and masculine.

   "A scent that blurs a person's perception of dreams and reality," An Hun said as he retracted the pipe and eliminated the scent with another swish.

   Then An Hun's lips turned into a rather cunning smile, "It's your turn."

  Yu An felt herself being pushed towards the doors. She pushed the doors open and was met with a question from a beautifully sweet voice, "Xiao Ling?"

  Yu An did not answer and continued to step into the bedchambers. She saw that at the side of the table was a grand wooden guzheng with precious golden inscriptions. She sat at the guzheng and started playing.

  In the midst of the notes, she heard hurried footsteps. 

 There was a gasp.

  Yu An lifted her head - she knew she must look like the Yan Emperor right now, a distinguished elegant man, playing the guzheng, a lift of his head, he smiled at her. Her, the Royal Princess of Wu.

  "Hsiao? Gentleman Hsiao?" She asked, her eyes widening as if not quite believing the sight before her.

  Softly, every so softly, she added, "Is this a dream?"

  Yu An felt a slight pang of guilt in her heart but she decided that if she could, she wanted to weave a beautiful dream for this elegant Royal Princess of Wu. So, she smiled, "Qin Xia, I've come to hear you play the song you wrote for me."

  She took a step back as if not quite being able to handle the weight of what was before her. And, then she gave a slight nod, "So, the song I wrote... it has finally reached you."