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.