Tag Archives: Ali House

8 Different Kinds of Drafts | House Blog

  1. The Unfinished Draft :: aka ‘The Albatross’. Will you ever pick it back up and finish writing this draft? Does it count as a draft when it’s not complete? What does the word ‘draft’ even mean? What do words mean? Are you a figment of your own imagination?
  1. The Zero Draft :: It might be a mess, but at least it’s done, and isn’t that the most important thing? A little elbow grease and it’ll be a full-fledged first draft in no time!

Continue reading 8 Different Kinds of Drafts | House Blog

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?

‘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

“Top 10” Stories from The Lightbulb Forest | House Blog

I’d like to start off by saying that as an author I love all my stories equally, and that there’s really no such thing as a “Top 10”, just as there would be no “Bottom 10”. After all, if I didn’t care about some of these stories I wouldn’t have wanted them in this anthology.

That being said, here are 10 of those stories that I’m really excited to share with you. Continue reading “Top 10” Stories from The Lightbulb Forest | House Blog

New Year’s Resolutions (For Writers) | House Blog

I resolve to finish at least one project I start.  (I have twelve months ahead of me, which should be more than enough time to get a working draft done of something. And although I may leave a hundred unfinished projects in my wake, I will finish that one thing.  …Unless it gets too hard, then I’ll switch projects to something else that I’m sure to finish. But I’ll definitely finish that project.)  (Probably.)

I resolve to never be without a pen.  (I will continue to buy more pens than I could ever possibly need, and to be very particular about which pens I buy because some are definitely better than others and ink consistency matters very much.)

I resolve to continue buying books even though I have piles of unread books around my home.  (I’d resolve to stop doing that, but it would probably be broken within minutes.)

I resolve to review more books.  (Considering how often I read reviews to get an idea of what a book’s like, I should be writing more of them.) Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions (For Writers) | House Blog

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!

What do these three writers have in common? | LeDrew’s Blog

They are, collectively, the only people who will ever be able to say they’ve been featured in every From the Rock collection: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Chillers, Dystopia, and now Flights from the Rock.

Over the last five years, the From the Rock series has become one that is routinely among the bestselling anthologies in Canada. It has become a series that makes authors bestsellers. With that success has come increased competition: the first volume, Sci-Fi from the Rock, featured many reprints from previous defunct Engen volumes, as we only received a dozen or so submissions. Now we routinely receive over a hundred, typically 300,000 words worth of submissions.

To put it bluntly, the competition has gotten fierce.

Which makes it all the more impressive that there are three authors who have made it into every, single, collection: Ali House, Peter J Foote, & Matthew Daniels. Continue reading What do these three writers have in common? | LeDrew’s Blog

The last Flights from the Rock author announced: Ali House!

Engen Books is proud to reveal the final author to appear in the Flights from the Rock anthology: the amazing Ali House!

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. Continue reading The last Flights from the Rock author announced: Ali House!