Tag Archives: Writing

How (NOT) To Write A Blog Post

Step 1)  Think of a topic and start writing.

Step 2)  Realize half-way through that you don’t like this topic as much as you thought you did.

Step 3)  Think of new topic and start writing.

Step 4)  Wonder if maybe the first topic was better and consider returning to it.

Step 5)  Wonder if maybe there’s a third topic out there that’s even better than the previous two*. Continue reading How (NOT) To Write A Blog Post

Engen Books sponsoring the International Small Island Cultures Conference June 15 – 19 2017!

Engen Books is a proud sponsor of the 2017 International Small Island Cultures Conference happening all this week at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Nearly 60 presenters will be attending from Newfoundland and Labrador, elsewhere in Canada, Australia, Cayman Islands, France, Hong Kong, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States. The topics are just as varied, and will include presentations on island identity, narratives, music, legends, mythology, literature, migration, gender, fisheries, tourism, creative industries, geography, health and wellness.

Although tickets for the conference as a whole have been sold, throughout the weekend our table will be open to the public and Engen Books authors Matthew LeDrew, Ellen Curtis, Amanda Labonté and editor Erin Vance will be present to sell books and talk about opportunities for your authors, editors, and smart creatives in the province. Come join us from 8am-5pm June 17, 18, and 19th!

Join the Facebook event here!

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Thank you for having us, @harriscentre! 🙂

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I didn’t write The Six Elemental with any sequels in mind. It sounds crazy to me now – that I put all this effort into creating a future world with a detailed history and never thought of another story for it (“Twenty-One”, in Sci-Fi From the Rock, was adapted from a scene that got cut early on). But, to be fair, I had doubts that I would ever finish this novel – I mean, I’d worked on it for over a decade – so the thought of writing a second was crazy.

But, on the other hand, I’d created an entire future world! Was I ready to just let it go? Surely there’s at least one more tale in there that wants to be told…

For a while I wondered if there was another story to tell… Was there something I had missed?

Then I realized that there was a secret I’d placed in The Six Elemental that I never told the reader. It’s not an obvious secret – it’s more of a secret in the personal history of one character, which explains some of their actions – but it’s there. Continue reading Press ‘Enter’ to Continue…

Writing marathons: Don’t take my word for it

I’m pretty excited about hosting a writing marathon in the St. John’s region this coming June. But while this is an easy sell for me, it may seem a little daunting for some. That’s why I decided to do an interview with writer Kaarina Stiff about her experiences with novel writing marathons.

Kaarina is a full-time writer and editor living in Ottawa, ON.  She has participated in three novel writing marathons and was the Young Adult category winner in the Toronto Novel Marathon in both 2015 and 2016. She was gracious enough to answer a couple of questions about the process so that I could share her experiences with potential participants. Continue reading Writing marathons: Don’t take my word for it

Make Time to Read | My Writing Process | Distractions

goodreads1One of the oldest clichés when it comes to writing advice is that if you want to write, you need to make time to read and you need to read a lot. I will confirm: yes, yes that’s absolutely true.

It’s entirely subjective evidence, but I find in my own life that when I do hit the rare dry spell writing, I’ve also hit a similar dry-spell reading. Perhaps life is just getting in the way too much. Perhaps I’m reading a particularly lengthy book that I’m not enjoying as much as I’d like and is “bottlenecking” my desire to get back to things. Or perhaps I just find myself seeking other, less engaging forms of media that week. (I enjoy games, the Lego games especially).

All that is fine as a temporary issue, but if you don’t have the discipline to finish a book, how do you expect to have the discipline to… well… finish a book? But it’s more than that. It’s a creative muscle that you’re flexing when you read, and it’s informing how and how well you write. I’ll attempt to break down my experience and the pseudo-science behind it. Continue reading Make Time to Read | My Writing Process | Distractions