Ashana Lian's Blog is now Archived!

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You will be redirected to the new and official Ashana Lian's FANTASY LAB in a moment.


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'.

Saturday, 25 June 2016


New Blog Name

When I began this blog, I had NO IDEA what to call it. I figured an accurate, descriptive name was better than a flashy name that gave no indication as to what the blog was about. 'Ashana Lian - A Fantasy Writer's Blog' was just that and for three years, that was that.

Now, looking back, I can see my main focus with this blog was to analyse the fantasy material already out there, to explore and intercept it. Without claiming to know all the facts, this blog was more experimental than authoritative. Now I know it’s true name.

Ashana Lian's Fantasy Lab

... which (after years of trying to come up with the right title,) is the name that won out over Grand Fantasy, Fantasy Scholar, Fantasy Mad, Defiant Fantasy, and an additional two dozen potential names I wrote down in my notebook. Thinking about it, I'm pretty chuffed that I didn't even use a name generator.

Facebook Page

I picked up my pencil again in 2014 and my collection of artwork has grown since. To my surprise, my difficulty with getting myself to draw (“artist’s block” I guess) was far more foreboding than my writer's block. Still, looking at the last few years in isolation, I have more to show for my art journey than my author journey. So I created a Facebook page, very obviously titled:

Ashana Lian

... with the tag ‘artist’, because it wouldn’t let me put ‘writer, blogger and artist’. I guess they don’t want you to be an overachiever – duly noted.

Jade Rose Project

Jade Rose is the only project, and character, that means more to me than Karalan. If it's ever finished I'm sure it'll be my uncelebrated magnum opus or something. Jade Rose is my whole world, and her symbolism is so complex and personal that I couldn’t explain it on this blog(!!).

... join the fun.

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Challenges Disbanded

As I stated in my previous post about blogger ambition, I took on more than I should have with this blog as I was surrounded by so many brilliant memes and tags and challenges and blog hops and giveaway events and anniversaries.

I created three challenges. Great ideas, but it was driven by the feeling that I should do more to encourage bookish communities in the blogosphere and I had no real vision for it. Naturally, they lasted something like four months...? Not even the whole year. So, to all of those challenge champions, thank you for testing the waters with me. It was fun while it lasted.

Review Posts (?!)

I’m reading again!

More importantly, I’m finally getting round to reading the books I bought two years ago  O_O  at Fantasy In The Court and the Grim Gathering. I may actually post a few reviews this year! Or... not. I dunno. I'm not pushing myself this time.

Still, I have a lot to say. There were some books I particularly loved and also books I particularly, specifically DID NOT LOVE AT ALL. I recently read:

Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey (Fantasy)
I rated 2/5. Not for me.

Peaks and Valleys by Spencer Johnson (Non-fiction, self-help)
I rated 5/5. Brilliant.

The Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Le Guin
I rated 5/5! Amazing!

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
If only I could give 6/5. This was phenomenal.

Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay
I rated 5/5. This was part of a reading group for uni, and this book was deep for me. DEEP.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
I feel so bad because I met her at Fantasy In The Court. But.. I rated 2/5.

Until next time.

Ashana Lian .

Monday, 20 June 2016

Courage & Blogger Ambition

It's been four months, and somehow I am back.

I have been embarrassed to have my last post Headache as the prominent post of my blog for so long. But that embarrassment was fleeting feeling because I was suddenly so tired of feeling ashamed or unworthy, or confused about whether or not I have the authority to post my own point of view on my own blog.

Every so often, I have to rediscover myself and my motivations. Ergo, here I am.


It's taken months to gather the courage to post.

I have about a hundred draft posts sitting in Blogger, but for the first three months I couldn't even log in to my account. I was paralysed, petrified. Stone.

I didn't write for my blog, and I didn't read any other blogs. I was completely disconnected and that allowed me to breathe, reset my mindset, and reconnect. I started to miss the blogging world - typical. I started to get back into the swing of reading. I started drawing like crazy, too. I reformed my opinions on old topics and forged opinions on new ones. I suddenly had something to talk about again. I suddenly didn't feel worthless with my blog, a physical product of my mental efforts. I thought of my blog more and more often. I finally plucked up the courage to log in. But I didn't write anything.

Remember Karalan's Legacy?

Zuri has finished writing her book, and it'll be published any day now. That made me think more and more about my own novel, about my silent and raging Karalan waiting for me. She wants her story to be finished, and for the love of God, so do I.

Right now, I am supposed to be clearing my room. I am supposed to be booking a holiday to somewhere far away from this beloved crudbucket. To be washing my hair, which will make my arms ache once my dreads are full of water. To be stretching out my painful muscles. To be doing something else, a whole list of Something Else's. Instead, for some reason, I sat down at wrote this post in eight minutes.

I'm ecstatic. I'm back.

Blogger Ambition

Blogging stopped being fun.

Do you know Paper Fury? Its creator, Cait, is one of the most incredible bloggers I have ever come across. She dwarfs the blogosphere with her unwavering passion and dedication to books - she read 300 books last year. I'm not joking, see her Goodreads.

Why am I saying this?

At some point along the way, I started to feel as though what I was doing was enough. At first it was fine - it just showed that I cared. But then I started to lose my soul - constantly trying to manage a post schedule and make my content engaging and to free, blogs hops, giveaways, tags, blogger awards, sweet but superficial things, trying to boost views, trying to boost comments, trying to churn out three posts a week, trying to cover all of subjects this blog covers - novels, films, comics, games, cartoons, anime, manga and artwork - to review every book I read on the same day; I was cracking under the strain that I put on myself.

The good news is that I pulled back, but the bad news is by the time I got there, I stopped caring about blogging.

Blogging is always the best at the beginning, before the feeling of inadequacy creeps and and you feel like you have to give so much just to stand on the same level as your peers.

Ashana Lian .

Guess what? I finally made a Facebook page.
You can guess what it's called, right?

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