Monday, 7 July 2014

#talk 20: Moons, Ten Loves, Frequently Asked Questions and other spring wonderings

credits: qianyu

   Lemonsalt sent me the above picture saying it looked like Ye Hua and Bai Su Su. I agree! I love qianyu's watercolour renderings. They really are so lovely. 

  My blog has turned seven months old! Despite being an IT idiot, I have slowly organised the content of my blog. I have also finally added the synopsis for the translation and fiction works on the pages in the header. I'm very happy with that (I have a low threshold for satisfaction haha). 

  One of the things I'm interested in working on would be the Frequently Asked Questions page. I don't know if I will be able to answer all questions, but I would certainly like to try. In one of my other entries, I got a really good question about chinese mythology and the pantheon of gods. I don't think I have sufficient knowledge to answer that yet, but I do plan to do write ups in future about the more famous Chinese Gods that you see so often in the xianxia novels, such as Jade Emperor, etc (although ambition as always exceeds ability haha).

  So ask away! :) Yes, seriously about anything! Fiction, Translation, Dramas, anything!

    I just returned from Macau yesterday and I'm still acutely feeling the pangs of wanderlust. Singapore Airlines launched a sales promotion today and I quickly booked my plane ticket back to Hong Kong. This time I will have much less baggage and 30kg of check in, I'm all giddy thinking of the books I'm going to cart back this time!

  One of the things I have also missed after I started blogging was time to read! At first, I started blogging to digest what I have so rapidly read, but now most of my free time is spent writing/translating. Not that writing/translating isn't enjoyable (because it's really much more fun when one gets to discuss the story with like-minded people), but the full-scale plunge into a new universe in a new novel is a feeling I do miss. I read Ten Loves by Zhang Yueran on the plane in Macau, and was rather curious of what the original text must be like. There were beautiful turn of phrases and a strong narrative voice, but besides the last story (Who Killed The Month of May?), I did not particularly enjoy the short stories. I think if you read any of the stories alone, you would find it interesting, but when they are sold as a collection, they all kind of meld into one fatalistic story of love - everything usually ends in blood and death, that it got kind of predictable in a horror movie way. But, Who Killed the Month of May?, was a very lovely short story and it was the story the book ended with so it still left a positive aftertaste. But, it also made me think that some things are lost in translation, especially the bit at the end when the male character's daughter reminds him that June is here and May is over.

  I think the chinese language has a huge range of words and something very romantic in the chinese language can be just the right tinge of fatalism - that right tipping point between life and death, that may just be a bit too heavy in english. There is a beautiful logic in the chinese words that I enjoy, for example Moon (月 - Yue) can also connote the months - First Moon refers to the first month, January, Second Moon refers to the second month, February, so on and so forth... and it's so beautiful, because the cycle of the moon is a month isn't it? What a beautiful way to read time.

  I actually thought of naming the chapters First Moon, etc - but I knew I would end somewhere around 16 chapters and I didn't like the idea of going beyond the Twelfth Moon. It's wonderful that I am going to end Little Moon. :) I'm excited for that. To have everything completed, and for readers to hopefully get the full range of the ideas I wanted to explore and the things I wanted to say. I must say that the popularity of Xi Yang was something completely unexpected. Haha.

  I have other exciting projects in mind, but I shall learn patience (endure, endure!) as well because I want to finish my current projects. Thanks for being so patient and supportive of my works. *heads bow*


  1. Hi Decembi, sounds like it was a good weekend for you :)

    Actually I really liked the 3L3W TMPB's couple because of the relatively straightforward love story with not too much angst. I think YH is a quite a misunderstood character because of the first chapter where he appeared to be callous but there were hints of something more that Susu didn't know of. Ye Hua and Bai Qian/Su Su <3

    I'm in a c-novel desert right now - trying to look for a good story to read but somehow can't find something suitable. Have a few potential ones on to-be-read list but the length or complexity/angstiness of the storyline deters me (Feng Qiu Huang, Who Gets The World, Once Promised). I did read some cute fluffy modern novels - Thank you for introducing Sutekii's blog! (Sutekii your translations spurred me to read Black Belly Boss Don't Run - quite enjoyable and lighthearted read, his younger bro is a real rascal to keep trying to seduce his sis-in-law :p). But I'm yearning for a good xian xia/ancient novel like Heavy Sweetness or Da Mo Yao. Is there any book that you would highly recommend? (I read some parts of The Emperor's Strategy, I skipped the chapters on political machinations and just zoomed on the interactions between the leads. Hehe so I'm still a supporter of your translations for this novel :D)

    Xi Yang - I think he's stealing the hearts of some readers because we like male leads who have a gruffy exterior concealing a sweet and loving heart :p Haha hope it doesn't sound too cheesy. Yeah maybe also because in the few brief paragraphs that he appears, we get the sense of the history he had with Moon (running away from the pesky younger cousin, and then being touched by the handmade birthday gift, maturing to the fiercely protective figure) and then depth of his love for her. So in an alternate storyline, we wished that this peach flower had a chance to blossom in to something really beautiful! (Sorry Hsiao! This is only a what-if, you get the girl in the end!)

    Maybe sometime you could write a post on your favourite couple/male lead/female lead/side character? Also, are you planning another story after Little Moon's Matchmaking Mission?


    1. Hello lemonsalt,

      Yes, it was! It's quite hard to get into work mode after the dreamy weekend :( even though there's so much work.

      I actually love love love the Ten Thousand Miles of Peach Blossoms. It's an ancient god version of my favourite trope - reunited couple with a baby! Hahaha. I recommend Shu Ke's "Little Phoenix is Not a God" (here's the link: It's a decent length (probably only 40 chapters) funny xianxia novel. I was just about to write a review on it (4 stars) when I fell very sick. Peanuts have reminded me a few times lol to update this on SSB. I promise a reallllly good review on it, because it's so funny, I just can't decide which parts should I translate as part of my review. I hope that helps! :)

      Awww, I love your description of Xi Yang. Actually, I realised only now that Xi Yang has the personality of a typical male lead while Hsiao's personality is closer to the second male lead haha. I have some really good ideas and can't decide if I really want to start another fiction - it's a huge undertaking. I will write Xi Yang and the Moon God's epilogue when I'm done and then decide. <3

      That's a very good idea! I shall do that. Hmmm, even now I find it hard to decide who is my favourite!!!

    2. Ohh it must be a very bad case of Monday blues :( Anyway there's the next holiday to look forward too :)

      Haha I like how you simplify TMPB into reunited couple with a baby - I didn't even think about that! Ye Hua gets extra brownie points for being a devoted father and the best cook in the family!

      Shu Ke's "Little Phoenix is Not a God" - I saw this in douban and was thinking whether or not to read it. Since it's your recommendation, I'll give it a go! Are you writing the SSB review soon? It will be interesting to read your review before starting on the novel.

      Actually, it is interesting thought - are all main male leads like Xi Yang and second male leads like Hsiao? For Lost You Forever, I really liked Jing on first impression and thought he would be the one for Xiao Yao although he's not the typical alpha male. Because Zhuan Xu and Xiang Liu both had a real chance with her but gave it up for various reasons. (Poor Xi Yang had no chance at all!) Before I knew the ending of the story, I just had a feeling that Jing and Xiao Yao would find their way back to each other. Hmmm at the moment I can't think of any other stories where the non-alpha male was the main lead. Maybe Ye Hua? He seems a little more like Hsiao than Xi Yang. And I like him too! Haha maybe you can do a post on characters of male leads/female leads!

      Anticipating the conclusion of Little Moon's story with excitement and sadness! Xi Yang and Uncle Moon - can't wait for your epilogues :)

      To make it easier, maybe your top 3 or 5 favourites!

    3. Decembi - I'm going to give "Little Phoenix is Not a God" a try as welll, but I'm just wondering if there's an audio book? Just incase I get stuck in certains areas since my chinese isn't that great.

      Lemonsalt - I'm glad my translation encouraged you to pick up the novel. Decembi's reviews spurred me to --> now I did the same for you hahaha. ^^"

    4. I agree, Xi Yang is a great character! He deserves his own book (hint hint - nudge nudge). Uh huhs!

      I would love it if he was more fleshed out because in the few instances he appears in Little Moon, he has been plenty possessive and dreamy. *swoons*

      As for LYF, I've was on Xiang Liu's ship from the very start even when I knew it was a sinking one. :( For c-novel heroes, he's my #1 bias with Liu Fu Ling at a veryyyyyyy close second <3

    5. @ lemonsalt - Hahaha! It's a cute novel. Don't expect too much from it and you should be able to enjoy it. It has a different kind of male lead. Hahaha. I plan to write the review after I finish Little Moon. Hmm, hopefully up by this month? Work is rather unpredictable though. Haha, Ye Hua is a sweetie, and I like the darkness hinted in the start of the story. <3 Yes, very good idea. I can't wait to work on it.

      @sutekii - I'm not sure. Usually, peanuts helps me to fill in the audiobook links. I will try and check with her on it. Though, I need to write my review first lol.

      @joannakuang - Haha! Aww the love for Xi Yang makes me super duper happy. I don't know, I had a cute love story idea for him, but I don't know if I actually want to write it to be honest hahaha. Less is sometimes more. Xi Yang is definitely closer to the Xiang Liu mold.

    6. @decembi - Oh ok no worries! Jia you decembi, this is just your enjoyable hobby no deadlines needed :) Hmmm different kind of male lead? Sounds intriguing! So the male lead is different from the usual moulds?

      @joannakuang - ^5 to a fellow Xi Yang shipper! Are you a Heavy Sweetness Phoenix fan too?

      @sut3kii - yup this is a very infectious c novel love virus :) really enjoyed Black Belly Boss Don't Run for the light breezy tone and no angst. Although Xiao Big Boss sounds too good to be true. It will actually be interesting if there is another story on his little brother finding love too.

      - lemonsalt

    7. Hello lemonsalt,

      Heehee! I cannot wait to end Little Moon. I think I should be able to update the last two chapters this week. <3 YAY! I will probably update Chapter 16 tmr. The male lead is hahahaha... basically, a super powered up Lucifer. Hahaha.

  2. decembi,

    I read and gobbled up each and every chapter of Little Moon's Matchmatching Mission yesterday! I loved it and was amazed at how easily the story flow and how addictive the narrative was. <3

    I can't wait until we get to the last chapter and see the happily ever after Xiao Yue and Hsiao deserves.

    I am so impressed by your writing; I can hardly believe it was an original story and not a translation of a work by another c-novelist. Good enough to be published for sure :D

    I know you're really busy with your career in rl and also with commitment to managing this blog, but I believe I can say for everyone else that we would ever be so thankful if you could grace upon us another original story in the future.

    1. Dear Joanna,

      Thank you thank you for reading Little Moon. That makes me so happy <3. *gives you little hearts*

      Awww, thank you for wanting to read more of my stories. I have a few ideas, but I haven't decided if I want to write something completely new or continue in the Little Moon universe.

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  4. Hi Decembi!!

    Thank u for taking us on the Lil moon ride; its been awesome and cannot wait to see it come full circle. .. as u mentioned u have been waiting to share this ending since u started! ^_^

    I think a comment before could have been misconstrued but I get what both u guys are saying. like u said the story is a do'able, fluffy, lighthearted romcom short story, Decembi you did exactly as u had set out to, bravo! To the other comment's point, I agree, ur story has got great bones and real potential to be developed into a full length story if u ever had the inclination. You have penned memorable characters and a very endearing world that we would love to know more abt.

    What colour thread is mine when u love a blog or blogger?? Tee hee

    1. Hello super-latte,

      I am replying you just after I finally posted the ending of Little Moon. :) I'm happy to finally see it complete, because I'm the type to think obsessively over the details until I finally write it out. It would be nice to give my mind a break. Haha.

      Thank you for your very kind comment! It has always been a consideration of mine as I wrote if I wanted to flesh out the supporting characters more, tell the back stories of characters that I thought about (i always like to think where they came from and where they are going to), but I stuck mostly to my original character sketch, though I lengthened some parts hence an addition of one more chapter. I think I'm still inexperienced and my writing raw, so everything is a learning process. Thank you for being part of it.

      Hmmm! Multi-coloured!!! <3

  5. Being a novice to c-novels/stories I have to say....

    Man!! They give me unrealistic expectations of men! Lol

    Phoenix, Night, Liu fu ling, Jing, Xiang liu, 4th, 8th, 13th, 14th, Huo qu bing, Meng Jiu, Meng Jue, Hsiao.. need mli name more?! Lol

    awww multi color it is!!!!

    1. Hahah super-latte, that really made me laugh. I suppose these men, while awesome to read, have their flaws though. They are also borderline obsessive hahahaha!

      Rainbow bridge <3

  6. Oh but it's boarder line obsessiveness that makes them so endearing! Hehe

    Yes yes... sad to think that ideal men like these are not only fictitious, they only seem to be dreamed up by female authors! Girls know what girls want - guys take note! Lol

    1. Hahahahaha! Super-latte you are hilarious <3. I agree, fantasy and fiction are always so dreamy.