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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'.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Stacking The Shelves, Writing My Novel, Landing New Job and Loving New Phone

1. HAUL!
*snort* A book buying ban indeed! I dropped by my old workplace last week and couldn't resist picking up a book or two... precisely two. Then I ordered two online O_O (one of them was Vicious by V.E. Schwab, the first read for the Goodreads TBR Smash reading challenge group) and THEN at some point I miraculously acquired the biggest book I have seen since the original Dance of Dragons edition by George R.R. Martin (and even then, this one may be bigger!) This enormous book was Words of Radiance, written by one of the most highly praised masters of fantasy, Mr. Brandon Sanderson.

HAUL: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury, The Tropic of Serpents (A Natural History of Dragons 2) by Marie Brennan, Vicious by V.E. Schwab, and Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson.

I'm linking up with Tynga's Stacking The Shelves meme (#148) for the first time ever. Exciiiitiiiinggg!

2. Novel!
I have been working on OOTD/ Karalan's Legacy like a BEAST! I realised at some point that I haven't actually done an in-depth post on what this novel is about, after all this time blogging! So that needs to be on its way soon, along with a story summary (and a pretty infographic...?) on my next novel focus, Brilliance of The Light.They both have Pinterest boards, so check them out because... pictures! =D

3. Neglect!
I know. I am ashamed. >.< I will be making sure I have posts ready, because I did very badly with posting last week! Also, I promised a chapter of The Sorcerer's Secretary and didn't deliver, so you guys get two chapters this coming week. So YAY for the double post, but whoops about the forgetting-in-the-first-place.

4. Interviews!
I'm no longer working at a bookstore. D= Sad times! Now I have to rely solely on YOU GUYS to keep me updated on the latest books and such. But DON'T START YET because my TBR pile is high enough to touch the clouds and wobbling dangerously.

Last week, I had two interviews and then to my surprise and absolute delight, the first one offered me the job two days later. GOODBYE, GRUELLING JOB HUNT! It's exciting, extremely nerve-wracking, and I really hope to settle down in this role so fingers crossed that it'll be the perfect match for me.

My sister gave me a nicely wrapped box of chocolittes. So happy. c: There's only like, three left. I took this picture with my camera, but MOVE OVER CAMERA! The phooone has arrived.

OMG. Soo. You guys already know I scrutinise a lot of things... the media... social networking... pessimism from other people... badly written fantasy books... mind-melting technology and technology you can put in your pocket. You get the gist. My family nagged at me for years and years to switch from my beloved Nokia C2-01 to an android phone. NO! I insisted, I LOVE MY PHONE.

But since taking this new job I decided that at last, it is time. My new role encourages networking so I knew I'd need to have easy access to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp and so on. So I finally got myself a Samsung!

I really wanted a Samsung Alpha because it was very flashy, had great functions, and I don't change my phone as often as other people change their clothes (and well, and their phones) so I knew I'd keep whatever I got for the next several years at least. But Alpha was out of my budget so I scaled right down to a more basic Samsung Galaxy Ace 4. To be honest, I've heard it's a pretty dismal model but for my first smartphone it's more than good enough.

Finally, I am one of you. We are all zombies together. *zoooombiiiie huuuug*

- A Secret Thing. -
I hesitated a long while before writing this because I didn't want to seem ungrateful. I'm not unemployed any longer - I have a bunch of new clothes,  a new phone, new books, and yes, the addition of each thing made me feel temporarily happy. I am grateful for these things, but deep down I'm more unhappy than I've been in months.

Materialistic things don't solve emotional problems. Despite everything, I am more depressed than I have ever been, and I was having such dark thoughts last night I didn't sleep at all. So actually, you're kind of getting the no-sleep-hangover-word-vomit. I'm kinda unhinged right now.

It could be a lot of things. It could be the fear of failure at my new role. It could be uncertainty that I've gone into the right field, or loneliness of feeling/being cut off from my friends, the stress of finding this job and more stress at settling into the new rhythm on my life. But there's something deeper I can't put my finger on, and it's the reason I haven't had a solid night's sleep for two weeks. My days are hectic and exhausting, my diet is pretty bad, by fitness regime is worse (there isn't one), and so it makes me very uncomfortable to say, I've noticed the inklings of feelings and old habits that arrive just before the suicidal feelings, which arrive just before the cutting. I need to do something fast.

First, I'm going to seek professional help. Second, I'm going to make sure I exercise and engage in artistic activity for release, as much as I can. And third, I'm going to try extra hard to stay in touch with friends. This may not work but at least I would have tried.

I Don't Want To Leave You On A Blue Note.
Let me tell you about something EXCITING I just discovered!! On Mark Lawrence's site (he wrote Prince of Thorns) is a brand new Self-Published challenge for bloggers, where bloggers will read 25 self-published books (or as many as they can, although some bloggers are VERY FAST readers), and help to promote debut indie authors if they like it. This is extremely beneficial to the author who may struggle to be seen because gems are drowning in a huge slush pile of crap.

I've massively paraphrased this so please visit Mark Lawrence's Self-Published Author Blogger-challenge blog post to understand the challenge properly. But it's exciting, right?! I really want to get behind this but I'm wondering if I'll have time. You know. New job and all that.

It was only posted yesterday, but already six bloggers have pledged to the challenge. If you're an avid reader and agree that talented indie authors should be heard, sign up! =D

Finally, I'm going to share this absolutely stunning image I found on Pinterest. It's Beautified Disney Villains. In one sense it's kinda shallow, then again it's interesting how the beauty clashes with their innate evil and skewed moral compass, which makes them more complex. I love complex villains. Don't you?

Source: Pinterest

The Jafar one had me. I half-slipped out of my chair.

Ashana Lian .

Questions! What books did you buy/borrow this week? Have you read any of the books I bought/borrowed? And for GOODNESS SAKE how do you manage posting on your blog? I am failing. Failing! Comments are always appreciated - I comment back. :3


  1. I'm so jealous that you have The Sin Eater's Daughter! I hope you enjoy all of your books! Congrats on the new job as well! I hope everything goes great. Thanks for visiting!

    1. Hey Lizzie! I totally forgot I entered a giveaway for Sin Eater's Daughter. Oh well, I didn't really wanna wait XD Aw, thanks. Fingers crossed!

  2. I actually just borrowed a whole heap of books from the library in the last week, which was awesome. I think the most exciting one for me was one of the Skulduggery Pleasant books. Mortal Coil I think it was. Honestly, sometimes I don't handle posting on my blog. I get really lazy and write up really simple posts on the day and ignore the posts that aren't absolutely essential. But I find that writing and scheduling a whole bunch of posts when I have a bit of extra time helps ease the burden a lot.

    I really hope everything gets less stressful for you. It sounds like you're going through quite a tough time at the moment.

    1. I know, I love getting a whole bunch of new books from the library. I'm going to make sure I schedule this weekend because this is honestly getting ridiculous. =/

      Thanks. I feel tired all the time, but I assume it will pass at some stage. Just trying to manage it all! Well, now I finally understand the whole work/life balance thing now. Thanks for commenting Imogen!

  3. Awww, don't worry about how often or infrequently you post, Ashana. I think you'll find that readers will come back whenever you have something new. They're usually understanding of those kinds of things. (And if someone isn't, well, then they're not meant to be part of your readership. *winks*) Personally, I don't keep to a real blogging schedule. I just post something whenever it's ready, usually 2 or 3 times a week (sometimes more, if I have time).

    Yay for book hauls! It's so hard to not buy books, isn't it? ;) I've been meaning to read V.E. Schwab's work for a while, but haven't gotten any of her books yet.

    Congrats on finding a new job! I hope the transition goes smoothly, and the stress you've been feeling eases out. It sounds like you have ideas to get that under control, though, so that's good. Just remember to be kind to yourself. :)

    Also, I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for The One Lovely Blog Hop. Not sure if you participate in blog hops, and you don't have to if you don't want to or don't have the time. I just wanted to acknowledge you, that's all. :)

    Here's the link:

    1. Aw, thanks for that. That is really encouraging - I realise the danger now is rushing my posts =/
      I've never had a full-time job before, so I'm quickly realising what drives most of the population slowly mad. O_O Also the journey to and from takes an hour so I feel as though it's wasted time if I'm not doing/reading something!

      I knowww =D I'm excited to get to Vicious but now my free time is about a fifth of what it was before, so that may take a while. Thanks very much for your support Sara, always appreciated!

      P.S. I've never been part of a blog hop before!! I would love to do it. I will try and have a look at that post ASAP.

  4. Oh Ashana, I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you with all this anxiety. I wish there was something I could do to help you, but sadly the most I can do is wish you all the luck possible in taking control over it. ♡

    Those pictures are sooo cool! I especially like the one of the Magician from Princess and The Frog (I don't know his name, sorry! )

    As for posting....don't worry bout it! :) I personally try to make sure I post AT LEAST once a week, but sometimes I slack a little bit 😱😱😱😱 THE HORROR!

    Books, books, books. Well I've recently began Jane Austen' s Mansfield Park, and just finished Pride and Prejudice by her as well (bi fan of the classics, you see)
    Also, Emma is worth the read as well.

    Are you participating in Fan Month? I may be, I haven't decided yet. 🐥

    1. I appreciate that, Cindy! Sometimes I wonder whether or not to share my troubles. I don’t like to delve into them too much. But if it affects whether or not I’m able to blog, it becomes necessary. The only plus about being in a dark place is that there’s nowhere to go but up. Cheesy af, but still true.

      I love those images as well! And pshhh, NOBODY knows that guy’s name. The Princess and The Frog is that one movie people don’t really care about. Even I forget about it the majority of the time.

      My original goal was twice a week, which I can still hit if I REMEMEBER to pre-schedule! Jane Austen is... well, to be honest she’s quite far down on my TBR list but still on there. I considered participating, but I know for certain now I won’t have the time. If you do, have fun I hope it goes well.

  5. I can't believe I've never read a book by Brandon Sanderson, but this post has served to remind me that I should soon. All the Bright Places is an amazing book. I realized that it wasn't my type of book as I was reading it, but I can't deny that it's so well written.

    Good luck with your new novel. I'm currently plotting a complete rewrite of my novel for the third draft, and I'm really excited to see where it's heading.

    Congrats on the new job! That's so awesome, and you totally deserve all that chocolate.

    I'm so sorry that you're going through some tough times lately. I hope you feel better soon!

    1. I feel exactly the same! My plan was to start with Mistborn, but by chance I ended up owning Steelheart first and began with that. Sadly, I’m not liking it so far... but you never know.

      I doubt that All The Bright Places is my type of book either, but because it’s so highly rated I’m going to try it anyway. You mean Half Full Of Water? Third edit?! Amazing! Well done, keep going - let me know if you do blog posts about it. As always, thanks for the support. c:

  6. Wow, the villain pictures are AWESOME and thank you for sharing them! It sounds like the phone, the job, and the books are all excellent for you, and I'm happy that you've got that going for you. :D

    And, at the same time, your struggle is still there—and I'm glad you're getting professional help, and you seem to have a plan in place. I don't know what one does in those situations; I don't know how that feels. But I hope and pray that you are able to build yourself back up and that you find yourself all the stronger as soon as you can. :) Keep going!

    1. Hi Heather! Thanks v. much c: I kept switching between excited and stressed because of all the new things happening. Overall I am happy with the new developments, but that underlying grimness is still there. It helps to try and do things to keep me occupied and my mind off darker things. I also wish I had more time to blog because that always cheered me up. Still, your kind words are much appreciated. =D

  7. SCAR THOUGH. OMG. HE IS QUITE ADORABLE. *ahem* I can't believe I'm saying that about a lion...>.>

    Ohhh, I really want to know if Vicious is good because I'm SO TEMPTED TO BUY IT. Villainous stories? Yes please. And I really do want to expand more and read more adult. *nods*

    *hugs you* I'm not going to say "it'll all be better soon" but I completely understand depression and JUST HANG IN THERE, OKAY? You can do this. Stressful things and change always make depression worse, but yeah. I have no advice and I'm awful at saying encouraging things. But exercise always helps me, idek why though.

    1. I know! That is exactly why I went loopy over this picture. You kinda forget they're villains for a moment because usually Disney makes it rather clear; goodness = beauty; evil = uglay. So when the villain is adorable, your feels get confused. O_O

      Me too, and a particular sub-gen I want to explore is superhero novels. I'm trying to make time to read all of these awesome books.

      That's an excellent point, I definitely need to be more fit. I keep saying the words now I actually need to DO IT. Le Sigh. Thanks for your support, Caitoki. c:

  8. Ooh, I hope you'll enjoy Vicious, it's one of my favourite books of 2014 (and I just read A Darker Shade of Magic by the same author and it's AMAZING and brilliant and I can't recommend it enough since you seem to be a fellow fantasy lover)! :)
    I hope you'll feel better soon - I'm sure your new job will be great and that will relieve some of the pressure in your life.
    Have a nice week!

    1. Thanks Kaja, I have high hopes for Vicious too! I hope to read A Darker Shade of Magic after.

      Aw, I appreciate the kind words. My fingers are crossed so hard! I just want everything to go smoothly. Thanks for visiting!

  9. *hugs* A million hugs for you right now. I'm sorry you're feeling depressed again, I can really appreciate how awful that feels. I'm so happy you're already planning to go see a professional, as that's an important step. I've been on my anti-depressants for about two months now and I thought they were working at firs,t but have started to feel really bad these last two or three weeks. I think that's because I know I'm leaving my old job and starting a new one. The pressure and fear is real and intense, so I can see why you starting a new job might not be helping matters. I panic about all things though, so that's probably why it gets to me so badly.

    I'm word vomiting all over this comment. I'm sorry! I just want you to know that I am glad you're getting help. I'm glad you realise there is a problem. And I'm sorry that you have to go through it because it's horrible to feel so down and not really understand why. If you ever need or want to talk or word vomit at someone then I am here. You can always drop me an email if you ever need to.

    Congrats on getting a new job! I hope you love it and that it all works out for you!

    1. *huggles* Thanks thanks thanks. I was a bit =s about posting this but I don't feel so bad about it now, you've all been so supportive! c: It's always sad to hear others going through the same rough time. I took anti-depressants for a very short while but they made things worse and not better, so instead I stuck to counselling. It weird, I don't usually panic, as in frantically, but I do sit and worry in a sort of... intense, brooding way. The same thoughts over and over again. They both leave you worse off. =(

      I hope things look up for you as well (I REALLY DO) and once again t h a n k s t h a n k s t h a n k s !

  10. Omg those pictures are soooooo pretty!!! And I completely hear you on the phone thing. I kept my email disconnected for the longest time until I found myself having a hard time accessing it while traveling and realized I just needed to give in and embrace convenience haha! I hope that you get things figured out, transitions are always tough for me and I realized I just need to give myself time to adjust. I'm glad that you're taking steps to get help and help yourself! *hugs*

    1. Hi Anya, sorry for the delay! As I'm sure you've guessed, I've been run off my feet this week. c: Hahaha convenience is the word. And having a smartphone HAS been very convenient.

      Glad you like the pictures, I really did go loopy over them! XD And I'm slowly but surely figuring out what's making me miserable. I know it'll take time, but I just want to skip to the end when everything's fine. e_e Thanks for your support!


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