When I was in college in the mid-1990s, I was lucky enough to find a roommate who had similar interests. When I was faced with the school’s illogical and uncaring bureaucracy, we decided to write a story: The Pirate Union. Now, I’m not sure that the bureaucracy was the reason for the story. It may have just been coincidental. I do know that my coauthor was smart enough to have suggested as a remedy, but there was no real cause and effect here. At least, I don’t think there was.Continue reading Pirates, Bureaucracy, and Magic? Oh, My: The Pirate Union’s Story
On Saturday, June 22, 2019 from 10 am to 2 pm, Shad Engkilterra will be signing copies of his books in front of Second Chance Books on Main Street in Independence from 10 am to 2 pm. Shad has written nine books for all ages; come by and check out the books that are right for you.
For children of all ages, “There Are No Penguins in Alaska” offers the opportunity to color while learning about the animals that people find in Alaska. The humor at the end will keep you smiling.
For those from 8 to 11 and for fans of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, the Adventures on the Amur series is two great adventure stories that take place in Far East Russia. Explore a little history and enjoy Steve and Irina’s adventures as they search for the Lost Treasure of Nikolai Nikolaevich or learn firsthand about the Curse of the Golden Kopeck.
For those in high school or older, “The Pirate Union” finds out what would happen if bureaucracy regulated pirate activities. This comedy with a 1990’s sensibility promises magic, puns, and fun as the crew of the Jolly Rogue tries to find out what the nefarious P.U. is up to.
Want to know what it was like growing up poor in the 1980s? “My Life in the Projects” is the mostly true story of how I survived living in government housing as a child.
For nonfiction fans, “Disneyland Is Creativity” and “the Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” offer looks at Disneyland and the Haunted Mansion with an eye toward creativity principles. Take a tour of the Happiest place on Earth and let Walt’s dream bring you greater joy and inspiration through greater creativity, or go through the Haunted Mansion as your Ghost Host leads you on a tour of the beloved attraction while materializing habits to become more creative.
If you need a bathroom reader or are looking for activities to improve your creativity and life, “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories” and “Penguinate! The Disney Company” are the books for you. These collections of short stories and essays provide suggestions for activities to do after each section. Penguinating is the power of positive creativity.
When Edward Allen and I wrote “The Pirate Union,” we were in college. We passed the manuscript back and forth at least once a week with a reading for our friends on the weekend. Fast forward to years later, and Questlove describes the collaboration process for creativity (and “The Pirate Union”) perfectly.
“This was a collaboration,” writes Questlove in “Creative Quest” (p. 102) about working with Tariq, “We negotiated briefly, but most of the energy in the process was spent participating. He waited eagerly for my beat so that he could get going with his lyrics. I excitedly assembled my beat because I couldn’t wait to hear it with his lyrics.”
Ed and I weren’t writing music. We were writing a story, but the feel was the same. We only had one rule: We couldn’t kill the other person’s characters. This kept us from having to start over and having a book full of dead characters (though with the success of “Game of Thrones” maybe we should have killed each other’s characters).
What we did instead was try to find situations that would stump the other author. Sometimes, one of us would write just one sentence. Other times the situation would be much direr. “He leveled the gun at Chantel and pulled the trigger, firing three shots. ‘Three in the head, you know they’re dead.’ Chantel jolted back, dropping Charlie, her head cracked hard against the floor. Mr. Bigbottom smiled down at them and grotesquely blew on the end of his pistol like a cliché cowboy.”
Chantel wasn’t my character, so I couldn’t technically kill her. Ed’s jaw dropped; how could he write her out of this situation? I thought for sure, I had him. And then he smiled, he came up with a solution in seconds and took the manuscript from me. “I know exactly what I’m going to do,” he said. I was afraid and excited. How would he get her out of that situation? Chantel grew into one of my favorite characters.
“Collaborations work best this way, when there’s a mutual desire to see what the other adds,” writes QuestLove.
Like Tariq and Questlove in school, Ed and I had an audience who was also waiting for the next installment, and “The Pirate Union” is better for it.