Category Archives: Engen Books

Helpful Things That Aren’t Writing | House Blog

There are times when I find it difficult to write. Sometimes I’ll sit in front of the computer with the best of intentions, but the words don’t come and the page remains blank. Yes, I want to be writing – I desperately want to create – but I feel stuck. Usually it’s because I’m stressed or finding it difficult to think, or trying not to focus on the other things I should be doing instead (i.e. cleaning).

So when the words won’t come, I try to think of other things I can do that will help push my ideas in a forward direction, instead of letting them swirl in an eternal vortex of hesitation. Such as…

Outlining. I never used to be big on outlining. I would sometimes know specific scenes and maybe how I wanted a story to end, but I always got there organically. Sometimes I even wrote out of order, having to find ways to cobble scenes together coherently. But when I’m having trouble writing I find that jotting down a rough outline of how I want the scene to look will help me. This especially helps with stress-brain, as now I know what I’m looking for and working towards. [This probably counts as writing, but it’s still different than actually writing the story.]

Creating Avatars. My visualizing isn’t always the best, so sometimes I’ll go online and create an avatar so that I have a quick reference to what a character looks like. What was their eye colour? Hair colour? Skin colour? Just look at this photo and you’ll know. And you don’t have to stop at avatars – create or find reference photos for places or buildings, too.

Reading a Great Book. When I was in high school I had two friends who were writing stories and they inspired me so much that I wanted to write one of my own. To this day, I can easily get inspired just by reading something amazing. It makes me want to create something just as wonderful. [Note: I can also sometimes be inspired by a book I find not-so-amazing, as it inspires me to write a story that doesn’t have all those things that bothered me in it.]

Reading or Watching Something Similar. If I’m having trouble slipping back into the world I’ve created, I’ll sometimes find something that’s similar in genre/character/tone, to help ease me into the world. It’s not always a book – it can be a television show or movie or graphic novel. Usually I go back to the thing that inspired me in the beginning. Whether it’s a musical that brought about a short story or a television show that I’ve spun into a series, taking another look can help me re-discover my original inspiration.

What are some of your favourite helpful non-writing activities?

Goof Report | From the Rock Stars

From the Rock Stars

Mistakes are going to happen from time to time, especially in these odd times when we all have so much else on our mind.

Anyone who ordered the at-cost version of From the Rock Stars in the past several weeks and taken advantage of the as-cheap-as-possible pricing so that we’d all have something entertaining during COVID-19 may have noticed a glitch: On the Contents page, the two stories contributed by award-winning author Jeff Slade were listed as ‘The Pale Horse’ and ‘Mimir.’ Not only were these stories not the ones that appeared from Slade in the collection, they were not written by him. Slade’s contributions to the collection were ‘Anchored’ and ‘The Culling.’

This error occurred as a result of the rushed layout process due to COVID-19. The Table of Contents was ported over from an existing collection and the details changed, and clearly those were missed.

The issue has been corrected and should not appear in future physical book purchases. The issue was not present in the eBook version of the text.

Checkout From the Rock Stars here.

 

‘Always Greener’ by JRH Lawless had links to the From the Rock series!

Always Greener JRH LawlessHave you read JRH Lawless’ stories ‘The White Bird Dives’ and ‘Breaking the Ice’ in Flights from the Rock and Pulp Science-Fiction from the Rock and need… more? You’re in luck. Both of these stories take place as part of a larger tapestry of stories — The General Buzz series from JRH Lawless!

These stories link to Lawless’ new novel, Always Greener, published in February 2020 by Uproar Books!

From the cover: “Life’s biggest victim, please step up and claim your prize! A smash-hit reality show is offering a lifetime of luxury to the one person living the world’s worst life, and now everyone is out to prove just how bad they’ve got it. Want in? All you’ve got to do is accept ocular implants that let the whole world see life through your eyes, twenty-four hour a day, seven days a week. Fortunately, there’s still one person who hasn’t lost faith in all humanity. The show’s ever-smiling host is determined to wring some tiny bit of meaning out of this twisted competition and your unhappy existence. There has to be a purpose behind all this misery… doesn’t there?

Engen founder Matthew LeDrew raves: “Science fiction at its finest. The brains of Arthur C Clarke and Robert A Heinlien mixed with the wit or Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams!

Check out Always Greener, available now wherever books are sold!

Winner: “The Glowing Lure” by Melissa Wong | Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest

After much deliberation, Engen Books is proud to announce the winner of the March 2020 Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest: Melissa Wong with the story, The Glowing Lure!

Melissa E Wong was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland; she is a librarian, journalist, copy editor, copy writer, creative writer, artist, blogger, YouTuber, and WANL writer-for-hire. She graduated with a BA(Hons) English from MUN, 2016, and received a Journalism diploma from CNA, 2019.

Melissa’s writing has appeared in The Saltwire network, The Kicker, Overcast, Newfoundland Quarterly, CBC, The Newfoundland Herald, and Engen Books. In 2016, she was one of the Visual Art winners for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Arts and Letters. Her painting, In the Pink Sky, was exhibited at The Rooms. She also received the 2017 Atlantic Journalism Gold Award.

We had four judges for this contest: Continue reading Winner: “The Glowing Lure” by Melissa Wong | Kit Sora Flash Fiction Photography Contest

Kit’s Storytime: Tavaril

3 Tavaril Kit Sora Engen BooksThis idea stems back to the fall, just after shooting week 44 in Harbour Maine! Myself, Drew & Maisy were all gathered around the island in her parents kitchen chowing down on some Goulash, and The Chronicles Narnia was on. The scene with the precious pink Dryad started, and immediately the wheels started turning. Drew must have noticed how hard I was staring at the screen, because he looked at me and said ‘Oh god, you want one, don’t you?’- Of course the answer was yes!

Within the next day or so we picked up a bunch of wire, and attempted a few different methods of wrapping the wire around one of my many bustforms to make a stable shape, that we could actually remove from the form when the time came. By the third try we had it, but it was time consuming. Drew started in on the torso, and made a base for me to add to. It was quite the process, and it was a slow one. The tips of my fingers were tender for a few days after. Once the torso was complete, I started in on an arm (I have a few of those kicking around too). Sadly, the amount of time in between starting the torso and continuing to finish the arm is a few weeks, and by then it was too late for my initial ‘farewell to summer’ concept, so we moved the wire figures downstairs to make room for other ideas. Continue reading Kit’s Storytime: Tavaril

Engen’s ‘Spring into Summer SALE’ May 1 – 8 2020!

Engen Books is proud to announce the Spring into Summer Sale, happening May 1 to May 8 2020!

During this time if you live in the St. John’s metro area or the Corner Brook region, you can purchase The Love of Summer, the new novel from Corner Brook’s own Sarah Thompson, for 25% off! That’s right, just $15!

Orders we be collected and delivered — with no shipping fee — during the week of May 11 – 15 2020! Special accommodations can be made if the purchase is for a Mother’s Day present. All deliveries will follow social distancing rules.

Spring into Summer Sale

This amazing, heartfelt romance follows Kerri Walters, a normal girl with anormal life until she met Summer Donnelly. She had just turned 18 in the small community of Jenkinstown when new neighbours moved in next door, including Summer. The pair become inseparable and it soon becomes clear to Kerri that there is more happening than just a friendship. Will Kerri hide her feelings from her best friend? What will happen if Summer finds out how Kerri feels? Check out The Love of Summer during the Spring into Summer Sale to find out!

C$15.00

‘What’s My Motivation?’ | House Blog

This line is usually used as a joke to indicate that an actor is high-maintenance, but motivation is a very important factor for actors and characters. Motivation is what compels a character to do (or not to do) something, and if it’s not clear enough, then the audience might have trouble believing in that character’s actions – and maybe even the character themselves. Continue reading ‘What’s My Motivation?’ | House Blog