I’m not going to sugar-coat it. I’m angry. I’m angry about a lot of things these days. It’s a low-level burn that simmers under the surface, boiling over into a rage when the next new terrible thing happens.
A lot of these things I’m angry about are vastly out of my control (*pauses to glare at US politics*). It’s so easy to feel helpless. I can do a little, but it doesn’t feel like much.
So what else is there? What else can I do? I write. I know it won’t change the world, but it helps.
I write tragedy to process grief. I write about equality to see a better world than the one that exists. I write about people overcoming fears and triumphing against evil. I write about hope.
I write about a day when I might not be so angry.
Sometimes I write things that I have no intention of ever showing anyone.
There are random scenes, ideas, and sometimes even full-blown stories that will never see the light of day. They’re all tucked safely away in places where no other soul will find them.
“So why bother writing them?” you ask.
I guess that’s a valid question. I mean, I am the one who brought this whole thing up, so it’s only natural you’re thinking that.
Why would someone waste time writing stories that she never intends to show anyone? Well, it’s a guilty pleasure. As we all know by now, I don’t stick to one genre when I write (I think of it like genre-Pokemon – gotta write ’em all!). I gravitate towards fiction/sci-fi/fantasy, but I’ve been known to dabble in other areas. Sometimes I get the impulse to try a completely different genre, or to mash a bunch together and see what happens. I’ll write tropes; subvert tropes; invent tropes. Nothing’s off limits. I’ll take those crazy ideas and get them down on paper before they run away and the Crazy-Idea Fairy stops coming ’round.
These guilty pleasures are me writing for my own enjoyment. I know this stuff’s not going to fit certain markets, or be good enough to submit, or ‘advance my career’ in any way, but sometimes a writer’s just gotta write. And if I’m pushing or challenging or amusing myself, then it’s worth it.
Not everything you write needs to be literary gold. Or even copper.
I went to a party a few weeks ago. It was a surprise party for someone’s birthday, but it was three weeks after their actual birthday, which meant it was really a surprise. It was also the type of party where I knew most, but not all of the people there, so throughout the night many an introduction was made.
I’m generally awkward when meeting new people (I’m terrible with faces and names), but for some reason the thing that threw me the most was being introduced as “This is Ali, she’s got a novel coming out.” Why would that throw me? Well, after someone says a thing like that, a polite response would be: “So, what’s your book about?”
…um… Continue reading “So, What’s Your Book About?” | House Blog
Whenever a submission call crosses my path, I usually end up with multiple story ideas. This is a good thing, because while some of these ideas work out and get developed into fully-written short stories, others aren’t so lucky.
For Chillers From the Rock, I was about ¾ of the way through a story about a writer selling their soul to the devil, when I realized that I didn’t like it very much and abandoned it. Shortly after that, I had the ideas for The Taste of Copper, based on a story my grandmother told me about living in a remote town in Northern Newfoundland, and The Deal, which came about because I was trying to think of scary concepts and came up with ‘trees’ (so spoooooky!).
My first idea for Flights From the Rock fizzled out after 1.5 pages. I put a lot of work into those pages, but I just wasn’t getting the story I wanted. Even after spending months thinking about it, it wasn’t clear enough. So, I decided to give up and concentrate on a different story.
There are a lot of unfinished stories on my hard-drive. And I mean, A LOT. Continue reading The Stories That Didn’t Make It | House Blog
Rising from the ashes of The Six Elemental comes the next epic chapter of the Segment Delta Archives: The Fifth Queen by Ali House!
Kendra Chen thought she knew the direction her life was taking, but when her Uncle revealed a secret about her family, she finds herself on a new path, one that seems to be headed straight for the legendary Six-Elemental.
In this new Dystopian YA Epic, Award-Winning author Ali House will take you on the rise — and possibly, the fall — of the Fifth Queen.
Hear Ali House talk about her newest achievement here on the Write Project Podcast!
You can pre-order the eBook of The Fifth Queen now on Amazon, with physical orders coming soon leading up to its March release! And be sure to check out the author’s amazing short fiction in the upcoming Dystopia from the Rock!
After much deliberation, Engen Books is proud to announce the winner of the December 31 2018 Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest: Ali House with her story, The Price of Beauty!
A native Newfoundlander, House is a graduate of the Fine Arts program at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College (MUN). She currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she works in arts administration and spends more time than a person should in and around theaters. House is an avid traveler and foodie, and uses her adventures for her inspiration when she writes. In addition to her first novel, The Six Elemental, and its upcoming sequel, The Fifth Queen, House is a prolific short story writer, with stories appearing in Bluenose Paradox, Unexpected Stories, Fantasy from the Rock, Chillers from the Rock, Sci-Fi from the Rock, Gathering Storm Magazine and the upcoming Dystopia from the Rock. Continue reading Winner: “The Price of Beauty” by Ali House | Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest
Gather round, writers both young and old, for I am about to tell a tale that will chill you to your very bones…
Once upon a time there was a writer who had finished the first draft of her novel. She sent it off to her editor, who returned the novel with some notes. Upon reading these notes, the writer realized that there were three big problem areas that she needed to fix – one at the beginning, one near the middle, and one at the end.
The writer wracked her brain for ways to correct the problems. It required a lot of thought, but eventually she came up with fitting solutions and fixed everything that wasn’t working. After those three changes were made, she started going through the rest of the novel, working her way through other, smaller problems.
A few nights later she realized that she was nearing the end of her editing. Soon she would be finished and the novel could be sent off again. However, when she scrolled down to the bottom of her novel, she realized that something was terribly wrong. Continue reading Scary Stories for Writers | House Blog