Category Archives: Ali House

What Happens to Forgotten Ideas? | House Blog

I had a great idea for a blog post, but then I forgot it.

I can’t remember anything about it, only the vague feeling of ‘Oh, this’ll make a great blog entry’. The rest, my friends, is darkness. It felt like the kind of idea that I would have written an entire post about, instead of doing my usual thing, which is:

  1. get an idea
  2. write two paragraphs
  3. get stuck
  4. wonder why I thought this would be a good idea in the first place
  5. think of something else
  6. repeat steps 2-5 many more times before losing your mind (once you’re officially insane, move on to step 7)
  7. magically discover an idea that’ll fill a whole blog post
  8. panic because it’s already the 18th and you’re behind schedule!
  9. write the post

[Full Disclosure: I did steps 1-5 before that idea hit me, but I’m sure it would have made me go straight to step 7 instead of step 6.  Fuller Disclosure: I only wrote one paragraph before I got stuck.]

Anyways, the point is that the idea left me. Utterly and completely left me. I was sitting at my computer, trying to think of something to write when suddenly I had a brilliant revelation. But instead of writing it down I got distracted by something and by the time I went back to it, the idea was long gone.

This happens most often when I’m trying to get to sleep. I’ll be thinking of how lovely it would be to drift away to dreamland instead of lying here awake when suddenly I’ll think of a new idea or scene or a way to fix a plot point that’s been bothering me. However, the thought of getting up and turning on the light, finding pen and paper and writing it all down can seem like a lot of work. So instead of doing that, I’ll tell my brain that I’d better remember this when I wake up or I’ll be pissed. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Which leaves me with the question I asked about three hundred and fifty-three words ago: what happens to a forgotten idea?

Is it waiting patiently for me to remember it one day? It it hovering in the background somewhere, hoping and wishing that one day I’ll suddenly have a light-bulb moment and it can spring forth?

Did it get lost in the ether, swirling in idea-purgatory forever? Hoping that it’ll stay above water and won’t get dragged down into the depths from whence it’ll never come back, buried underneath all the other forgotten ideas?

Or did it move on to someone else, finding satisfaction in being acted upon by a person who didn’t forget it? Have all my forgotten ideas shuffled off to someone else? Is someone else writing the stories that I didn’t?

I’d like to think that those ideas don’t ever leave me, that they get stored away somewhere in the back of my mind, waiting for the right time. And some point in the future something will happen and it’ll appear, ready. Maybe it’ll seem familiar or maybe not, but it’ll be there, and that’s all that matters*.

_________

*And hopefully this time I’ll be smart enough to write it down the instant I think of it.

Announcing: ‘The Lightbulb Forest’ collection of short fiction!

Ali House Lightbulb ForestEngen Books is proud to announce the next book in its bestselling From the Rock series to be the first of a new spin-off series, From the Rock Presents, which will focus on recurring authors who have had their work featured in multiple collections. The first of these will premiere in early 2020: The Lightbulb Forest, the collected short fiction of Ali House.

The Lightbulb Forest will feature forty short stories collecting House’s long and storied career as one of Atlantic Canada’s most prominent genre fiction writers, including her work to date and many stories seeing print for the first time. It will feature multiple categories of short fiction, including fantasy, thrillers, drama, humor, and science-fiction.

The Lightbulb Forest will also include links to House’s ongoing series The Segment Delta Achieves.

Ali House has had a long and fruitful career, but with novels and short fiction. To date her fiction has appeared in every open-call Engen anthology, including Bluenose Paradox, Unexpected Stories, Dystopia from the Rock, Fantasy from the Rock, Chillers from the Rock, Sci-Fi from the Rock and Flights from the Rock. She has also been featured in Gathering Storm Magazine.

Be sure to mark your calendars and check out this wonderful literary event when it hits shelves!

Spooooooky Stories! | House Blog

When I was a kid I loved scary stories. I was addicted to Are You Afraid of the Dark, Goosebumps, Unsolved Mysteries, and Haunted Lives. My bookshelf was full of R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, and any random horror author I could get my hands on. But now that I’m an adult, I don’t read as much horror. And, honestly, I don’t know why.

So if you’re like me and looking for more scary books to read, here’s a list of some that I’ve found over the past few years.

*** Continue reading Spooooooky Stories! | House Blog

Writing Advice I’ve Gleaned from Playing DND | House Blog

1) Too much exposition can be boring.

If you’ve got an awesome flaming sword (or a Chekhov’s gun), you’re going to want to use it. You won’t want to listen to some NPC drone on and on for hours and hours. Yes, information is important and you’ll never solve the story’s mystery if you don’t talk to people or listen to clues, but eventually you’ll want that local farmer to shut their yap so that you can start doing some things. Knowledge is great, but if your dialogue seems to be going on for too long, toss your character a task that needs completing, even if it’s a simple one.

2) Too much fighting can be exhausting.

Fights are thrilling, but if your character is going from one fight to another to another to another, eventually you’ll get battle fatigue (just like your character). You’ll want to rest and heal up, maybe go to a hospital. Or maybe you’ll just want a quick nap and a sandwich. Either way, action’s great and all, but too much of it and you risk tiring everyone out*. Continue reading Writing Advice I’ve Gleaned from Playing DND | House Blog

Amazing Fall releases from Engen Books!

2019 has been a roller-coaster so far for Engen, but we’re in no way through yet! We’ve got huge new titles, sequels to some of your all-time favorites, and shocking new reveals coming your way!

First, as many of you already know and have preordered, Zombies on the Rock: The Republic of Newfoundland will be released on September 6 to eBook and print platforms. This astonishing third entry in Paul Carberry’s Zombies on the Rock series brings Eric and Dana closer to the destruction of the community they’re established than ever before! Who will live — and who won’t — in this third volume? Read to find out! Continue reading Amazing Fall releases from Engen Books!

Getting Back on the Writing Horse | House Blog

I had started 2019 so full of hope.

This was going to be the year when I wrote more, submitted more, was rejected more, and (hopefully) accepted more. And I was prepared. I had a calendar where I could highlight the dates of deadlines (pink for “hell yeah, I’ll submit” and yellow for “if I have time/an idea”), with a monthly reference sheet for which deadline was for which publisher/idea, plus links to their website and guidelines.

And then May and June happened. Continue reading Getting Back on the Writing Horse | House Blog

On to Round 2! | House Blog

I did it, everyone! I managed to wrestle my short story into a first draft!

calvin-hobbes-dance

(click here if you haven’t read my previous post)

Now, don’t get me wrong – it’s a rough first draft, but 1,645 words and a shaky ending are better than 475 words that dwindle off into nothingness. Continue reading On to Round 2! | House Blog