Saturday, 27 March 2021

#talk 43: Hello, long time no see.

Hello my dear dear dear readers, 

I honestly never thought that there would be a gap of three years from my last post to now. I also never thought that when I last left the blog, I would come back to see that it has still been steadily read and loved by all of you, and almost reaching 5 million page views!

I have tried to read every single email that has been sent to me during my absence and also every single comment left on my blog. They touched me so much that I needed to write a post to reply even if it's just not possible to reply every single comment and email at this stage. 

I thought I would broadly address the common questions that has been posed to me. 

#1: Are you back? Are you going to come back? How is your health? 

My health is much better than what it was in 2018. I don't think I would have the capacity and strength to translate like how I did in 2014-2016, but there is a big part of me that would like to be back in some capacity. 

I think one thing that has also led to my absence besides my health, was a slight disillusionment with how many translators face having their translated works being placed on other sites without permission or on site aggregators. It's just heart-breaking to have our work being used in contexts that we cannot control - and I see today when I went to some of the older translation sites I visited that it has led to Hoju, one of my favourite translators back in the day, choosing to take a break and leave translating. Translation is honestly, hard work, but also heart work and very hard to do once there is that crack in your heart, after all, why do we translate? Only because we love a work so much we want to share it with the world.

Just on my return today, I had to try and take off more unauthorised use of my translations from sites such as wattpad. If you do see any of these, please do notify me and try and help me get them off those sites. :(

I almost closed the site at one point, but decided that I won't because I loved the comments on this blog and all the discussions we shared - it is these comments and discussions that pushed me to finish my translation and own fiction projects and I always hoped that there would be a season where it would feel right for me to come back. 

#2: Are you going to translate the other epilogues of Heavy Sweetness Ash-like Frost? 

I think when I left, I did not translate one other epilogue but it had been translated by Hui er at that point so I thought I won't duplicate the translation. In my absence, I just learnt that Dian Xian released a new epilogue after the drama was broadcasted and this related to the time they spent in the mortal world which was shown in the drama. 

I didn't watch every single episode of the drama but only the parts I liked and I really enjoyed some bits. I think the casting overall was very good - I mean these are gods, and we are but mortals afterall lol. I haven't read the new epilogue but I am interested in translating it. I will have to see how I feel after I read it! Will update on this.

#3: Will you translate this [insert novel], are you going to continue translating [insert novel], are you going to have a new translation project?

I always love translation requests but as I have written previously, it is very unlikely I will choose to continue a novel that has been partly translated already. I wouldn't say never since Heavy Sweetness Ash-like Frost was precisely a translation project I picked up because I thought it would be so sad to leave uncompleted - but Heavy Sweetness was in many ways special. Heavy Sweetness was my first chinese novel of this genre and it changed my perspective. I can see how it is a flawed novel, but I think it is also the imperfections of Night, Phoenix and Jin Mi that really fueled me to translate the novel so that I could discuss all these feelings I had with fellow readers. 

I have no intention to continue Once Promised at this point. I'm so sorry but tragedy is just so not the phase I would like to be in now and you really have to be in that phase when you translate. For now, I am not continuing The Emperor's Strategy - honestly, it's been so long and I don't even remember how I feel about it, but I heard on the grapevine that it is going to be adapted into a drama and so I may re-read the novel then and start to get excited again. 

For now, I think I am more likely to want to start a completely new project. I haven't found any novel I wanted to translate and I honestly won't unless I feel very strongly about a novel. I think ideally, it would be something like Our Second Master. The emotions and length were just perfect for me. I have read many good novels of that standard in my absence, but they were way too lengthy and wieldy and not a sustainable project for me. 

I am up for recommendations on novels and also latest translation sites etc. Would love to see what are the current projects. I won't want to duplicate any current project as well!

#4: Are you going to finish your fiction, The Princess Who Cannot Marry?

Yes! Honestly, I tried to pick it up again and continue during my absence. I re-read the whole trilogy and I was so angry at myself for not finishing it long ago because I wanted to read the ending. 

But, a huge reason why I didn't was that to my huge horror/surprise when I re-read the piece, I suddenly felt like maybe the direction I had and the male lead I chosen for the story may not be the right one. This has never happened before since my first two stories, Little Moon's Matchmaking Mission and The Sun's Dark Love, were very clear on who the male lead was. It really kind of put my story in an existential (?) crisis as I wasn't sure if I should go with my original path or this sudden development, or somehow combine both into a hopefully coherent piece? 

I think if I do go with my original direction, I would have to also maybe do an epilogue with an alternate timeline, to address this other development that came up when I re-read the piece. 

Thank you so much for all the love and comments you showed to me for this story. I loved every one of them, and all the emails. 

Most of all to Joann, who I am not sure will be able to read this since we last talked to each other in 2016 (!), but she even made pretty pdfs of my two fiction. Thank you so much. I will be happy to share this ebook pdfs, I just need to figure out how to do so haha.

Finally, thank you for reading this, thank you for reading this post. 好久不见, thank you for still being here. 




Tuesday, 6 March 2018

#41: Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost & Life updates!

    Dear readers,

    Thanks so much for all your lovely emails and comments! I wanted to write a short update to state that I have been away because of serious health issues. I'm better now, but still a huge distance away I think from functioning in a way I would like.

   I really do plan on updating my fictions! Actually on that note, I realised from one of the comments that there is a mis-conception that BeautyVang on wattpad is me because she has posted my stories there. She is NOT me. I actually have an account "decembi" on wattpad but never really used it. Thanks for notifying me though - I have messaged BeautyVang and hope she takes down the stories on her own accord.

  I really do miss writing and translating though. I'm hoping that I will be able to write some entries on the upcoming Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost Drama (I got the gif above from the weibo (like a chinese twitter) account of the drama). I think it's surreal that the drama has 60 episodes (I mean seriously - Heavy Sweetness is not really known for its plot right?), and hope that it will be half as enjoyable as Eternal Love - Ten Thousand Miles of Peach Blossom.

  I really really want to thank everyone for not forgetting me and for sending such heartfelt emails to me. It's amazing that I still have fans of my translations when I have not translated for so long, and I really appreciate that people seem to enjoy my translating style and commentary (haha). That was why I started translating in the first place - just so I could excitedly discuss a story I love with more people.

  Well, hopefully as I gain strength, I will start reading again and see if I can find stuff to translate. I don't want to give false hope, but I really will try to continue my fictions but it's really largely dependent on the state of my health. I promise though that you won't be left hanging. In the worst case scenario, I will write a summary of the plot so you will know what is meant to happen. I don't think it will reach such a situation though, it may take a while but I definitely can write the story.

  Sending my love to everyone! Now, I'm going to try and reply the comments...


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,

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! 


A Heavenly Dream (Part 1)


   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,

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.


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.