Moonlake’s Lyrics (19)

If you are one of my followers, you probably can tell that I’m getting slack again. Whenever I do, I post up a set of lyrics or dig up some old pieces of random writing that I did. Sadly, I’ve run down most of my stock save for a very few.

 

Now, the man reason I like the following set of lyrics is probably because it goes so well with the TV drama for which it is the theme song. The protagonist is an ‘ugly’ woman: well she’s a beauty faking to be an ugly maiden and then a magician (not Gandalf magician, modern magician but story is set in ancient China) comes along and swaps her head with her childhood friend who really is ugly so she becomes ugly. It’s a love story of course as you will see from the lyrics below.

 

Anyway, the title of the song is “The Price of Love” and the lyrics goes as follows:

If eyes can separate right from wrong

Right at this moment                      have you seen through me clearly?

The honesty hidden in the bottom of my heart

How do I harnest it to compose a love song with you that will last a thousand year?

 

Judging me from my social position

A female like me              would you love her deeply?

If appearances make people fall for the wrong person

How do I make you look closer at me      so that you will see me true

 

Let’s Cry

I don’t know how to lie and cheat            don’t you know my goodness?

I still believe that honesty is me and my deep love still hasn’t changed

 

Come                    See for yourself

It’s not scary to use up a whole life

Even using up this life    no begrudging   no regrets           no hatred

This is the price of love

Moonlake’ Lyrics (18)

Today is the last day of my ‘chilling out’ from the epub venture so I lost myself in chat for the most of today. So here’s another set of lyrics. It is a song sung together by a male and a female. The title of the song is called “Effective medicine that tastes bitter”. Consistent with the song title, there are many metaphorical references to Chinese medicine terminologies and it basically tells the story of a couple that didn’t make it.

 

Here goes:

(F) No lights        still people around          it is considered good luck if we hugged before

Even if we are patients we’ve hung on for so long that the tea have become bitter and then the bitter tea have turned back into sweetness in aftertaste

 

(M) So glad         a fortunate one                                learnt to be content with one’s lot after losing love

The attraction you left behind in the past have all risen above themselves and become the key ingredient of a medicine

 

*(F) Never mind that your kiss yesterday                             have made scars out of me

Happiness become cruelty                                          it still left a lasting impact on me

(M) Having shared the flaw of falling in love        don’t wait for pity anymore

(F&M) That pain in the past is like the Ten Commandments         prompting you and me to strive for rebirth

 

#(M) After driving a bitter concoction a sweet candy will be given to me                (F) the cure for the past works

(M) To dry away tears                    (F) Even if what had once been possessed is lost

(F&M) No matter how trying it is in the end it will end up plain as water

(M) When you and me have got to a certain age                              (F) we get tired of whatever we loved best

(F&M) Yesterday             no matter how perfect it will be snowfall eventually turning into water

(F) The tears shed will recede with the tides one day      (M) will be a fit match for happiness one day

(F&M) Looking back on the beautiful snowfall it will still stay within your heart

 

(F) If still remember        the past love      breaking up shouldn’t be considered bad luck yet

If loves hang on till the heart have suffered then the love will be deeper

(M) In this world              thousands of people      love can be passed over as gifts of course

The imprint of your hand left on the cheek to let another kiss

 

Repeat *##

Moonlake’s Book Discoveries- December 2015

I think this post is actually due last Sunday but because I was so excited to share the news about short story writing, it gets pushed back. But I’m sure we’re all used to my whims now if you’ve been following me and isn’t a casual passer-by. If you are, this is a series I run recurring every 3 months which isn’t book reviews, just quick and dirty summaries on what I think about the books that I’ve read recently.

 

So let’s get down to the substance by recapping all the books that will be reviewed. Books will be grouped by category since I picked up few short story collections and gaming books. They include:

 

Standalone novels and series

  • Moby Dick
  • Shadows Trilogy by Jon Sprunk
  • A Dead man’s Ransom by Ellis Peters
  • Hope to Die by James Patterson
  • Days of the Deer by Lilliana Bodoc
  • Shadows and Stronghold by Elizabeth Chadwick

 

Short story collections

  • A Dreadful Murder & other criminally compulsive tales by Minette Walters
  • Harvest Moon by Mercedes Lackey, Michelle Sagara and Cameron Haley
  • Tortall and other lands: a collection of tales by Tamora Pierce

 

Gaming/plot-your-own books

  • Destiny quest: The Legion of Shadow by Micahel Ward
  • A Million Little Mistakes by Heather McElhatton
  • Being Elizabeth Benett: create your own Jane Austen Adventure by Emma Campbell Webster
  • Cavern of the Snow Witch by Ian Livingstone

 

Here’s what I thought about each of them:

Standalones:

  • Moby Dick: I only got to the second chapter and I did not get motivation to pick it up again. I knew it was a classic but didn’t realise it was so classic as to remind me a little of Charles Dickens. I felt like it doesn’t chime with me in vocab or in the ‘worldview’ that underlies the story.
  • Shadow’s Trilogy: I thought it was a two-book series when I picked up (Shadow’s son and Shadow’s Lure). But later I found out it’s actually a trilogy. Anyway, I decided to stop reading a little into book 2. How shall I describe it? Well, I was okay with it enough that I continued into book 2 but I think the main issue I have with this series is that I don’t like the writing style of the author nor the basic setup of the story. Essentially, the main character is an assassin with morals and he ends up helping the daughter of his would-be victim that he didn’t kill. While reading book 1, in the back of my mind I keep getting the feel that I’m reading a trope from video games (Assassin’s Creed, never played but see ads on buses a few times). In fact, the book feels a bit like a video game transposed into a book- having fast-paceish action, a worn plot and no prose or maybe no prose that I like.
  • A Dead man’s Ransom: Pretty good as I remembered it. And then it’s hard not to compare it against the Sister Fidelma series by Peter Tremayne. All I want to say is that I like both. I can personally empathise with Sister Fidelma more but Brother Cadfael is like a fatherly figure and I like a fair bit too. And some of Ellis Peters’ prose regarding what Brother Cadfael’s ‘psychological profile’ of other characters are just sublime
  • Hope to Die: JP’s certainly got a unique style of his own, what with the switching between first person perspective for his protagonist and third person for all other characters in different chapters. The other thing of him that’s different to most other novels that I’m used to is that he writes really short snappy chapters. In a thriller/mystery, I think that’s an overall plus since it ensures a fast pace. I think I will add him to my list of comfort writers from now on.
  • Days of the Deer: it’s a translated work from Spanish. I might be biased against translated works in general (ever since I read Pride of Prejudice in high/secondary school in Australia and finally has a basis of comparison against the kid’s version of a translated-into-Chinese version of P&P) or it might be that I read this directly after James Patterson above. The first chapter didn’t really draw me and since I’ve got a long queue of books from my local library during this time, I’ve decided to skip this.
  • Shadows and Strongholds: It’s a bit of historical fiction/romance but it’s not whimpering/head-over-heals romance that I have an abhorrence against. In fact, when I first picked up, I didn’t realise it was a romance since the backcover blurb advertised it as a coming-of-age story. Well, it wasn’t far off since foremost it is about the protagonist, a boy with a self-confidence issue coming to age and growing into a man. The plot of him finding the ‘perfect match’ for him, a childhood play-mate who’s a spirited lass and sometimes too prone to jumping to conclusions, is secondary to his own growing up plot but at the same time, it’s really the two of them together I think that really draws one into the story. Another author added to my comfort reading list- I think she does good work with characters that I’m trying to improve on for my own work.

 

Short story collections

  • A Dreadful Murder…: 3 short stories, 2 of which are based on true murders. The author said in the foreword that each of the three are written in different styles and that’s the ‘selling point’ of this book. I like the first the best, followed by the last, but I don’t like the second one at all.
  • Harvest Moon: again, a collection of 3 stories. The first unpacks a lot of character within the length of a short story because it’s mainly based on Greek mythology. There are some bits that I like about it and some bits that I don’t. Overall, it’s an okay story. Second I like the best, a story about how a thief(?) from the poor quarter gets recruited into the fantasy equivalent of a police force and grows into her new role in the midst of a serial children murder case. Third is really an urban fantasy about a gangster evading a death curse with the Angel of Death to implement the curse and I like it the least. Probable reason being that I don’t really like urban fantasy all that much in general.
  • Tortall…: Since I’m pretty read up on Tamora Pierce, this is the favourite of the three short story collections that I read in this period for the pure reason that I’m fairly familiar with her Tortall setting. I also like how she’s included two related stories within this single volume (starring same two characters and adventures one after the other).

 

Gaming books

In case anyone’s wondering, these are books where you play as a given character like a RPG. You can’t read them in a linear way. Passages are numbered with random length ranging from a couple lines to a few pages. You start from whichever passage denoted by a number Foreword or Intro tells you to flip to and go from there. At the end of each passage, there are a few alternative instructions telling you where to flip to next. And, you usually need a dice to roll which can affect what ending you can get.

  • Shadow of the Legions: the way it proceeds with a quest system feels quite PC gamish, especially calling to mind the Diablo series, but it provides a fairly good fantasy adventure
  • A Million Little Mistakes: The basic setup is that you’ve just won a million dollars worth of lottery and what would happen to your life from that point on. I don’t really like the way that sometimes the character are forced into doing things that just aren’t me and in this book, you can a very short plot arc most of the time. But the author did tell you at the start to mark the page you were on last so that you can always return to it and make an alternative choice. But what really makes this book unique is that the author tells me that in this book “If you aim to do good it might not always give you a good ending and the same is true vice versa, just like real life.” Something to that effect. At first, I was thrown by the very short plot arcs and this thing of the character doing things just not me. But there’s something about this book that keeps on compelling me to continue searching for an alternative ending that I like. And I did eventually. It’s an ending where the character is well contended and I’m well contended. Most importantly, I think this book is trying to send a message that “go with your heart, that’s the sure thing to give you a good ending.”
  • Lizzy Bennett: I don’t like this book at all. The setup tells to keep track of all these stuff (which a normal gaming book does- equipment listing and character sheet are the 2 musts) but they don’t really come in play in terms of affecting your ending. Okay, the only thing that affects your ending is Lizzy’s intelligence score but even the author says you can fib it since the ending just goes two ways based on a threshold. But what really gets me is that the author’s asking us to play as Lizzy and she doesn’t like Lizzy herself, it seems. She’s downright patronizing towards Lizzy, therefore towards the reader.
  • Cavern of the Snow Witch: The author is one of the two who wrote a whole bunch of these books and I think his name (along with another guy he usually co-authors with) is a brand name in this genre. It’s an okay storyline but probably is, I think there’s only one positive ending out of this and there’s only the single path to get to that positive ending. So that makes the whole book a little linear. It’s a long time since I’ve read him and his co-authors though and I can’t remember whether that has always been their trademark.

 

Okay, that’s it for December’s Book Discoveries. Stay tuned for the April re-run of this series.

Moonlake’s Lyrics (17)

This is another set of lyrics that chimes with my personal life philosophy: there’s no need for fame, I just want to walk my own path. The title of the song is ‘Nameless foot solider’ and it’s actually the theme song of a 1989 HK TV series that I really like- I’ve actually watched it three times. Anyway, here goes:

Haven’t taken ungrounded reputations to heart,  I’ve already cast them to the clouds.
Lodging within muds and dusts, I can still reach a state of ecstasy.
Like a mere foot solider  but I am broad-minded
Not mindful of fame and wealth, no need to be too keyed up

Yet I’ve been passionately honest for the whole of my life
Won’t permit darkness to ferment
Having made it through a hundreds battle and blizzards

Lacking a little bit of power in appearance, yet the courage in my heart shines through
Even though my prestige isn’t high enough, I’m only half capable at kung-fu
I’ve made it a goal to fight against wrongness

Getting rid of road blocks with ease
I step back into obscurity amidst laughter, not seeking to be looked up upon and worshipped
Stepping on my unrestrained path
Shaking off the mould of courage of the secular world

Moonlake’s Reading List (2)

All right, I skipped Sunday again! Two consecutive days of 30+ Celsius cooked my brain but mostly, I’m still out of my blogging routine. Ah well, I’m still owing one and I will be keeping tabs.

 

Hmmm…. I did say this won’t be an actual series but well, I’m not really in blogging mood today and besides Moonlake’s Book Discoveries is overdue but I’m not ready to write another long read so this will have to do. Read this as a preview of January’s Book Discoveries, to be released on 3 January (in Australia).

 

Firstly, let’s go through the list of reviewed work/books I had read in the interim of the last Book Discovery post and the forthcoming one:

Standalone novels and series

  • Shadows Trilogy by Jon Sprunk
  • A Dead man’s Ransom by Ellis Peters
  • Hope to Die by James Patterson
  • Days of the Deer by Lilliana Bodoc
  • Shadows and Stronghold by Elizabeth Chadwick

Short story collections

  • A Dreadful Murder & other criminally compulsive tales by Minette Walters
  • Harvest Moon by Mercedes Lackey, Michelle Sagara and Cameron Haley
  • Tortall and other lands: a collection of tales by Tamora Pierce

Gaming/plot-your-own books

  • Destiny quest: The Legion of Shadow by Micahel Ward
  • A Million Little Mistakes by Heather McElhatton
  • Being Elizabeth Benett: create your own Jane Austen Adventure by Emma Campbell Webster
  • Cavern of the Snow Witch by Ian Livingstone

 

Next up on my reading list are:

  • Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson (yay, my local library finally stocks the whole series!)
  • More Elizabeth Chadwick books
  • Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy and possibly other series if I like her style
  • Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera pimped by my good friend except they are only available only as audiobooks which is a problem for me as I like to read, not listen to books

Moonlake’s Lyrics (16)

To make up for last week, I’m doing 2 posts today. This is from another song by Anita Mui. I don’t think this is one of her famous songs. In contrast, the other Cantonese version of this sung by another HK female singer is quite well known. But I like this version much better. Somehow, I also connect this song with the life story of the singer. Anyway, the real reason this song draws me is that it reflects well the reason why I never value fame. In fact, I actually abhor fame, preferring to hide in a corner usually. That is in part what drew me to writing, which is essentially a solitary pursuit (as are all my other hobbies).

The title of the song is “Song of the Sunset” and its lyrics is:

*The sunset is infinite                    and yet it is only brilliance only lasts for a breath
Diffusing with the clouds              splendour that went past won’t come back
Late years                                           cannot endure the changes of this lifetime
Like the coming together and diffusion of clouds              entangled with this tired appearance who had experienced all the ups and downs of life

#A long road                      suddenly I feel that time has shortened
Times of happiness are always short and never return
Who has seen through that my dream                   is plainness

@How many storms have I encountered                              weaving my criss-crossing fantasies
Having encountered your embrace from the heart          accompanying me through ordeals
Amidst rushing about                     become disheartened
There is yet another bend on the road amidst disputes and twists and turns
One day when I think     (think)                  of returning it’s already too late

Repeat *, #, @, *, #, @

Oh                          me who is born alone feel gloomy
There is yet another bend on the road amidst winds and hail and tears and laughter
One day when I think                                     think of returning it’s already too late

Repeat @,@