Category Archives: Engen Books

The Weird Habits of Writers | House Blog

And here we see the elusive ‘Writer’ in its natural habitat… Be careful – we don’t want to scare it off…

 

Speaking for myself, I tend to do some weird things when I write. Usually I do this in the safety of my own home, where other people can’t witness these oddities, but sometimes the weird cannot be contained and spills out into the rest of the world…

 

As we can see, sometimes the writer’s face will suddenly contort into strange expressions, as if warning unseen enemies not to get too close…

When I’m writing a scene between two people, I’ll often find myself trapped in dialogue, so I’ll toss in some descriptions to break it up a little. If I want to describe how someone’s face looks, it’s easiest for me to make the face I want and go from there. If a character’s conflicted, I’ll pretend I feel that way and then I’ll notice how my eyebrows come together and the left corner of my mouth tightens. If you ever see me making weird faces for no reason, it’s probably because I’m working on a story.

 

If we get a little closer we can hear the writer talking to itself, repeating words over and over, as if invoking an ancient spirit…

I like my dialogue to sound natural (well, as natural as something entirely scripted can sound), so I’ll say the lines to myself – sometimes acting out entire scenes. If a line’s not working, I’ll try saying it a few times to figure out what’s not working. Do I need to find a better word? Rearrange the sentence order? Start from scratch…? What sounds better?

 

Sometimes, the writer will sit still for hours, not moving in the slightest. We suspect that this is some kind of strange meditation, and yet they do not seem very relaxed…

Yeah, I’ve been there. Staring at the screen or page in front of me, willing words to suddenly appear – afraid that if you move you might scare the words away. I’ve found this to be one of the worst ways for me to get over writer’s block, and yet I cannot stop doing it. I did it at least 5 times while I was writing this blog post…

 

Here we see the strange, awkward dance of the writer. Although there are no other people around, notice as they move about in strange ways, dancing to music that only they can hear…

Confession time: I like to act out fight scenes. It gives me a better idea of what’s going on and how the characters are moving, plus I get a better idea of tension and momentum and pacing. Also, it’s really fun to act out fight scenes.

 

I’m sure there are many other odd habits I’ve failed to mention, but I’ve got to go stare at my computer screen for a few hours and will some words to appear.

Do you have any strange writing habits you’d like to share? Any habits here seem familiar to you?

And remember, if someone sees you doing something strange and confusion clouds their eyes, just say “I’m a writer” and that should be explanation enough.

Do or Do Not: Anthony Bourdain, Star Wars, and Failure

Like so many, I was deeply saddened by the news of Anthony Bourdain’s suicide. He produced many great TV shows and pretty much created modern food culture with Kitchen Confidential. He was a once in a generation influence.

I was watching one of his final interviews where he made a point that I’ve been thinking a lot about ever since. (I highly recommend watching the full thing.) He said, “I’d much rather not make TV at all or make unsuccessful TV than competent television…I detest competent, workman-like storytelling…I’d rather fail.” At the face of it, attacking competency seems wilfully ignorant, but what Bourdain means here by “competent storytelling” is by the numbers acceptable mediocrity.  He’d rather take a chance at something different and fail. “There are shows where people are just going to hate it. They don’t like the style, they think it’s self-indulgent. But that’s the kind of failure I like. A powerful reaction one way or another is infinitely preferable to pleasing everybody.” Continue reading Do or Do Not: Anthony Bourdain, Star Wars, and Failure

How to Blackmail Yourself into Finishing Your Writing | House Blog

Maybe you’re one of those writers who has no problem sitting down and writing a story from start to finish, or maybe you’re more like me and you get side-tracked multiple times before you can get to the end.

Although it’s romantic to think of yourself as a tortured writer who’s utterly desperate to finish that one big novel you have inside of you – which is so eager to come out, but can’t because you’re too weighed down by the massive ennui you feel just by existing – it’s much more practical to actually finish your darn projects.

Here are few problems that I’ve encountered while trying to finish a story/novel, and what I do to try to keep myself motivated*.

Continue reading How to Blackmail Yourself into Finishing Your Writing | House Blog

Drawn to the Tides | Amanda Labonté

019Drawn to the Tides
Amanda Labonté (Author)
Blood of the Sea
With the start of senior year approaching, Alex and Lia struggle to find their place in an ever-changing reality.
As Lia develops a new appreciation for human culture and norms, Alex learns more about what it means to be a human in the merrow colony. But integrating into a new world is not without its pitfalls. In his search to understand his place, Alex will come face to face with hidden truths about his past that could drastically affect his future.
Dive deeper into the mysterious, enigmatic world of magic and intrigue as Alex struggles to uncover what it means to be the blood of the sea.


Title Information:

ISBN: 978-1-926903-75-0
Release Date: June 2018
Purchase: Amazon.com
Amazon.CA
Amazon.UK
Price (CAD): Print: $20 / EBook: $2.99
Page Count: 300

Related Titles

Call of the Sea, Amanda Labonte, cover The Six Elemental, cover, Ali House acceptance

Reviews

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Chillers from the Rock | Anthology

Chillers from the RockChillers From the Rock
Ellen Curtis & Erin Vance (Editors)
Twenty-five short stories written by a diverse mix of some of the best suspense and horror authors in Atlantic Canada, including both award-winners, veterans of their craft, and brand new talent. Edited by Erin Vance and accomplished genre author Ellen Curtis, this collection features the thrilling, creatively charged, astonishing fiction that showcases the talent, imagination, and prestige that Atlantic Canada has to offer. Featuring the work of Paul Carberry (Zombies on the Rock), Kelley Power, Matthew LeDrew  & much more!


Title Information:

ISBN: 978-1-926903-74-3
Release Date: March 2018
Purchase:

 

Amazon.com
Amazon.CA
Amazon.UK
Price (CAD): Print: $20 / EBook: $2.99
Page Count: 220

Related Titles

Zombies on the Rock, Paul Carberry Faith reptilia_bookmark

Reviews

“Loved it,” – Peter Breau, author, It Came from the Public Domain.

 

“Tarnished” by Jennifer Combden | Short Story Winner

She rounded a corner, nearly running into an unexpected dead-end. Blinking in surprise, she stood unmovingly. She couldn’t say how long she’d been trapped in this white labyrinth, as time had no meaning here. She had no need to eat, her body never changed, her teal dress never ruffled, and she never felt fatigued. So she continuously wandered, memorizing its layout, measuring time by completed circuits. However long it had been, nothing had ever changed. Until now, that is. Continue reading “Tarnished” by Jennifer Combden | Short Story Winner

Flash Fiction/Photography Contest | Deadline June 15! |Engen Books | Kit Sora Photography!

Engen Books is proud to team with the imaginative and creative people of Kit Sora Photography to bring you the “Flash Fiction Photography Contest”!

Every month we’re going to upload one of the photos from the amazingly talented Kit Sora, a local Newfoundland artist known for her stunning work with props, lighting, and imaginative designs. Kit uses her art in a variety of fantastical settings, so we’re tasking the authors and creative minds of the Atlantic Provinces to write short fiction based on the subjects! Continue reading Flash Fiction/Photography Contest | Deadline June 15! |Engen Books | Kit Sora Photography!