Old Haunts — Vignettes and Visions from the City of Lovat

Old Haunts: Rhapsody

King Station Warren, Level Four, Early Evening

“Yes, I’m Hagen Dubois, and this is Saint Olmstead Religious Antiques.” He waved his hand around, moving automatically into his pitch. “We specialize in pre-Aligning antiquities, though we do carry all manner of holy and consecrated objects; for the more discerning customer I have access to all manner of items I can get delivered. Now, introductions out of the way, can I help you?”

—Hagen Dubois, The Stars Were Right


Visit Previous Haunts:

Credits:

“Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin

Other audio from Freesounds, special thanks to acclivity, larasark, mzui, qubodup, scream studio, straget, theshuggie, and zevcuk.

Broll provided by Videezy


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

"Night Garden" A New Series of Painting by Kari-Lise Alexander

Night Garden

I usually can lead into one of Kari-Lise’s show announcements by inviting locals to come out to an opening wherever it happens to be. But since America is still reeling from the pandemic and in-person events are still a long way off, I get to invite all y’all to the fancy virtual opening celebrating Kari-Lise’s latest series Night Garden coming this Thursday, July 9th at Roq La Rue Gallery here in Seattle.

This new series displays a substantial shift toward the new-contemporary movement while still retaining elements of Kari-Lise’s roots in lowbrow and pop-surrealism. Night Garden is fraught with wisps of gothic romance intertwining with introspective observations on the artistic journey with a nod towards growth, hardship, and one’s learned experiences. Realism remains a major aspect, but there’s a seeing a shift towards something else. It’s exciting to see. Her lavish colors, deep shadows, and the way she plays with shifting depth still amazes me. Yeah, I might be biased, but I find this new series enthralling, and I think you will too.

I’ve included a few of my favorite pieces below. Or just head on over to Roq La Rue’s website and see the full show! Be amazed with me!

Kari-Lise Alexander — "Night Garden" oil on linen, 36"x46"
Kari-Lise Alexander — “Night Garden” oil on linen, 36″x46″
Kari-Lise Alexander — "Rose" oil on panel, 9"x12" (Left) and "Bloom" oil on panel, 9"x12" (Right)
Kari-Lise Alexander — “Rose” oil on panel, 9”x12” (Left) and “Bloom” oil on panel, 9”x12” (Right)
Kari-Lise Alexander — "The Artist #2" oil on panel, 15”x30”
Kari-Lise Alexander — “The Artist #2” oil on panel, 15”x30”

While there isn’t going to be a traditional opening, the show can be viewed in person at Roq La Rue between 12-4 PM on Saturdays (masks are required, and no more than four people will be allowed in the gallery at a time.) If you live here in Seattle and are bored at home and looking for something safe to do, you really gotta see these pieces in person. Be sure to contact the gallery with inquiries about any particular piece.

Finally, follow Kari-Lise over on Instagram she shares a lot of amazing things and often documents her process. You can see her past work over on her website. If you’re interested in getting the insider scoop on what she’s doing before anyone else, I recommend you sign up for her newsletter. It’s an excellent way to stay up to date on what she’s doing.


🎬 Watch Overlooked Details

If you haven’t taken the time, make sure to watch the short documentary about Kari-Lise’s work: Overlooked Details, An Artist’s Journey, directed, edited, and filmed by Scott R. Wilson. (It partially documents her work on Inflorescence in 2013/14.) It’s fifteen minutes long and very much worth your time. It’s a raw, heartfelt, open, and vulnerable glimpse into her journey. I’ve embedded it below, and I recommend watching it full screen. You can view the full credits here.


🖼 Kari-Lise’s Previous Series

Interested in seeing Kari-Lise’s previous shows? I’ve written about them before, and I’d encourage you to check them out. Her work has always been incredible, but it’s also amazing to see her shift as an artist documented through the years:

✨🎨✨

Old Haunts — Vignettes and Visions from the City of Lovat

Old Haunts: Lucky Star

Denny Lake Warren, Level Four, Midmorning

 

“The long-dead engineers who designed Lovat’s superstructure made its massive floors and ceilings hollow. A lot of these hollows are crammed with the things that make a city livable: sewer pipes, air ducts, electrical lines, generators. Others are empty intermediate spaces. Some are occupied with shanty towns packed cheek by jowl, some are filled with trash, some harbor narrow mushroom gardens, and a small number have become storefronts. Cedric’s operates in the latter. An in-between place for in-between folks.”

—Waldo Bell, Red Litten World


This vignette (and those that will follow) were initially created for my Instagram account (they loop a bit more seamlessly over there.) But, I’ve had too much fun creating these to hide them away on social media so expect to see them here as well.

If you like this and are hungry for more of the Bell Forging Cycle, there’s plenty more out there for those of keen mind and stalwart heart.


Credits:

“You Are My Lucky Star” by Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra

Other audio from Freesounds—special thanks to jrsandoval, kangaroovindaloo, ludwigmueller, nahlin83, splicesound, be-a-hero-not-a-patriot, kiloton, theshuggie, microsoftsam, kodack, craigsmith, and jackbhandersen.

Broll provided by Videezy


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Frederick Douglass

Agitate ×3

“Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!”

Frederick Douglass


“Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.”

—Frederick Douglass


“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

—Frederick Douglass


I’m featuring three quotes today, and I could have featured a lot more. Douglass was prolific, wise, and arguably one of the greatest minds in America’s history. (Read up on him.) Over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about Douglass’ words. I kept coming back to how poignant his speeches and writing remain over a century later. The work ain’t over. Racism, bigotry, and prejudice still plague our culture. The fight goes on. Lip service, phrases, quotes, and black squares on social media mean nothing without action. All lives won’t matter until Black Lives Matter, too.

Raunch Review: Dragon Age

Raunch Review: Dragon Age

Raunch Reviews is a series about profanity. Not real profanity, but speculative swearing. Authors often try to incorporate original, innovative forms of profanity into our own fantastical works as a way to expand the worlds we build. Sometimes we’re successful. Often we’re not. In this series, I examine the faux-profanity from various works of sci-fi and fantasy, judge their effectiveness, and rate them on an unscientific and purely subjective scale. This is Raunch Reviews, welcome.


Raunch Review: Dragon Age
Raunch Review: Dragon Age
The Author: David Gaider & BioWare
Work in Question: The Dragon Age Series
The Profanity: “Andreste’s Flaming Knickers”

Oaths have a long and sordid history. Often they emerge as a response to blasphemy laws/rules handed down by church leaders or, in many cases, the state. They’re a bit of rebellion by the laity, and they come in many forms. During the middle ages (especially 14th and 15th centuries), swearing by a deity’s body parts, excrement, or secretions were in fashion. And, as often happens with profanity, we see the minced variants show up later.

So, while it might sound silly, there’s a bit of “historical” accuracy at play here. Much of the faux-profanity in Dragon Age fits within a 15th-century theme. Andreste, in this case, is a prophet who has risen to deity status. Some consider her the bride of The Maker—the lone deity of Thedas—and according to the lore, she was burned alive by the Imperial Archon.

It’s from that “historical” event which the world pulls the oath, “Andreste’s Flaming Knickers.” It’s occasionally said by the mage Anders as the player moves around. It’s a bit morbid, but it works rather well in an in-game historical context, and it fits within a period-specific styling for faux-profanity. (It could be argued that “knickers” isn’t period-accurate since that term didn’t come into vogue until the 18th century, but this is fantasy, and I won’t ride them too hard.) “Flaming Knickers” is a bit of a mouthful. It doesn’t exactly roll smoothly off the tongue. In a thousand years, I’d assume there would be some linguistic drift or at least a simplified version. As it stands, the oath comes across as more of a silly colloquialism than anything a normal Thedaian would use in everyday speech. Plausible, but not common.

Score: Half Swear (3.5)

🤬 Previous Raunch Reviews


Have a suggestion for Raunch Reviews? It can be any made-up slang word from a book, television show, or movie. You can email me directly with your recommendation or leave a comment below. I’ll need to spend time with the property before I’ll feel confident reviewing it, so give me a little time. I have a lot of books to read.


Giving Back Promo Results

Giving Back Promo Results

Because of the events of the last few days, I’m intentionally a little late with this report. As anyone who reads my blog regularly knows, for the previous few months, I’ve been running a special promotion. I reduced eBook copies of The Stars Were Right were down to a buck, and 100% of the profits were going to be donated to the World Central Kitchen. Well, June 1st has rolled around, and the promotion has ended. I am proud to say that with your help, we raised OVER $500 for the WCK. ($516.94 to be specific.)

I am stunned and beyond amazed. Pat yourself on the back! Thank you, thank you, thank you! That can buy a lot of food, and it’ll go a long way to help those currently struggling with food insecurity. Thank you to everyone who joined in the promo, helped spread the word, bought a book from me or just donated directly. You did a little good, and we made our world a better place, it’s no secret we’re facing some tough times, and your generosity is something of which you can be proud. This letter isn’t just for me, it’s for us:

WCK Donation Confirmation

(Yeah, I rounded up and offered to cover the card fees, so the WCK got more of our donation, that’s what the end amount is a bit higher.) If you didn’t get an opportunity to join in the promotion, you can still donate to the WCK. Just click the link below and give what you can. A little bit can go a long way.

DONATE TODAY

Follow the WCK on social media, they’re very active on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and you can get a glimpse at the noble work they’re doing. Want to volunteer? Details on how you can help are available here.

Photo via World Central Kitchen/WCK.org

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: World Central Kitchen/WCK.org


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →