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Ashana Lian's Fantasy Lab

Fantasy and Fantasy Writing from every angle: fantasy and sci-fi novels, films, artwork, superhero cartoons, children's and YA books, manga, anime, video games and comics. Put the microscope on 'Geek Culture'.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

'Bout This Blogger Tag

This tag is to celebrate the move of the Notebook Sisters to Paper Fury! Yay! Cait is the mastermind behind it and it's a very fun blog, so yeah. Shoo. Go check it out.

1. Why did you start blogging?
In 2011, my friend Pixie wanted to start a blog and asked for my advice; blogger or wordpress? I didn't know what a blog was let alone which platform as best to host one. I'm pretty sure I said blogger though, because most blogs we found were blogger, I didn't know of Wp to be particularly great, and I didn't know then what I know now (that Google Doesn't Care About Blogger).

2. What’s the story behind your blog’s name?
This is my seventh blog, so this one HAD to stick. I created it with a focus of improving my fantasy writing and expanding my knowledge of fantasy. I gave it a(n agonisingly boring) name so that google would shove it with the rest of the 'fantasy writer's blogs'.

3. How many designs have you been through since you started blogging?
Oh god!! ALL of my blogs have been through the works. This one took a while to get comfortable. Sorry to say, I didn't take any screen prints. I do have to old header images, but they're so crappy I don't even want to share them.

4. Have you ever switched blog platforms? What made you move? If you haven’t ever changed…why?
I stuck with blogger because it's become familiar to me, and although it has a shitload of problems I'd only consider the hassle of switch to make it more professional. For example, when I (FINALLYYY) publish a novel, I'll probably switch. Google is making money from a dozen different things so it doesn't care about blogger. But Wordpress seems to be dedicated solely to blogs, which I wish I'd realised sooner. I'm now writing all of my posts in Word documents first.

5. How long does it take you to write a post? What’s your postly process like?
I AM EXTREMELY BAD AT THIS. XD As many of you already know I suffer from depression and anxiety and a dozen other things besides, so one day I'll be fine, the next day I'll be a mess. I try to get my posts ready when I'm feeling okay so they'll post by themselves when I'm not. Often, though I'll write them in a rush and post at like 23:59 on the designated post day, typos galore, but at least they're done. =P

It normally takes me several hours to write one blog post. Detailed or 'delicate' posts take me a lot longer (such as What Is YA or Describing Skin Colours and Ethnicities), or posts where really I have no idea what the hell I'm writing (The Narrator's Voice Is Your Voice, short post but took me AGES). Some posts have taken me days and days to write, like LSComic Con or HJ. Now and then I try to do shorter posts or image-based posts, which is a relief for both me and (I think) my readers. When you're busy, short posts help you get more done, especially when you follow dozens of blogs.

6. Have you ever been super nervous about a post? Why?! What was it?
I was nervous about the Describing Skin Colours and Ethnicities post, not because it might've been controversial but because I didn't feel like I had the authority to give advice. My feelings on that changed when I remembered - MY blog is MY opinion, and my unique view might still be useful to someone else. I also get a bit nervous when I share my work, although I should be used to that by now.

7. Do you have a blogging schedule? Why yes...

Monday - x
Tuesday - Secondary Post Day.
Wednesday - x
Thursday - MAIN POST DAY.
Friday - Fiction Friday, usually only if there is no post on Thursday.
Saturday - End of the week Book Review Day.
Sunday - Author's Notes for the just-gone Fiction Friday.

See, I try to keep them evenly spaced, which means that if I am doing a Fiction Friday, I might post on Monday and Wednesday instead of Tuesday and Thursday. I don't intend to ever do a post on Thurday, Fiction Friday, Book Review Saturday AND Author's Notes Sunday! That's crazy! I'll pick and choose. Fiction Friday won't resume until next year when I've calmed down from working on my novel, OOTD/Karalan's Legacy.

8. Do you tell people In-Real-Life about your blog? Their reactions?
Only people I'm close to, and they usually go "Oh, okay..." Nobody really cares.

9. Top ten blogs you read/comment on the most! Go! Go!
O_O Man, that's tough because it changes a lot. Plus I've been pretty bad with reading and commenting lately for reasons I don't really want to go into. Sorry, fellow blogsters.

Inger at So You Want to Be A Writer?, Charnell at Reviews from a Bookworm,  =D, Imogen at Gossiping with Dragons, various bloggers at Fantasy Book Critic,  Zoe at That's Zoe, Troy at Writer of Abnormal, Afro-Relevant Fantasy Literature, Pat at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist, Patrick at The Fantasy Bookshelf, (not so much now but) Michèle Krüsi at The Fashion Fraction and of course Cait at Notebook Sisters - SORRY, PAPER FURY c:

10. If you could change/improve things about your blog, what would they be?
My goal is to redesign this blog and give it a cleaner look. Both to be pleasing to the eye and for a great reading experience. The widgets on the right can be hard to read and there's altogether too many. I always debate over the font size, the font colour, the layout (sidebar or no sidebar? THAT IS THE QUESCHUN) and so on.

Also, I'm tired of pinching free images from Goggle (I mean google. e_e) so a few weeks ago I started designing my own avatar, banner, blog button and background. EXCITING! They should help to make it clear what this blog is about.

Click to find out about my fantasy novel.

Can you ACTUALLY BELIEVE it’s December already? How DEPRESSING. I feel even more depressed because I turn 22 tomorrow. I feel like a failure. What did I even do this year? Did I do anything? At all? Of value? (... I did a lot more than I thought, actually. This blog, at the very least, is in a better place). What did YOU do this year? What are you doing this month?  What are you doing today? (Don't let me keep going on like this... XD) Somebody tell me something good.

Ashana Lian .


  1. YAY! So glad to see you took part in this, it's great getting to know everyone better! :) You're like me, I really want to update my blogs design and making look nicer. I hate my sidebar because it feels too messy and crowded to me. But everything takes time and effort, and I'm not sure I can deal with that right now. Awww, I'm so happy to see that you enjoy reading and commenting on my blog <3 That made my day!

    1. I'm glad! The fact that I've made your day has made MY day ._.

      Yeah, it's a great idea, and a lot of bloggers took part! Urgh my design obsessions just get out of hand. Once upon a time I loved this jagged, foggy kind of look. Now I can't stand it. And it does takes up too much time. Still I'd like to have it cleaned up by the New Year.


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