Tag Archives: anniversary

2018 in Ten Significant Photos

In our ever increasing world of social media, we all share a lot. But how often do we take a moment to look back? If you’re an Instagram user, then I am sure you’ve seen people share their “top nine.” If you haven’t seen these, here’s how they work: the Top Nine app goes through your feed and selects your “top” photos based on the numbers of likes and builds a grid-collage with those photos. It’s always bothered me. A “like” is worthless. It holds no value. It’s applied to photos of new babies and on pics of brunch with equal abandon. Using this as a metric, Top Nine ignores the most meaningful events one’s life in exchange for the false reality of pseudo-engagement.

This ritual is different. By personally selected the ten significant photos that matter the most to ourselves we are forced to reflect—that reflection requires thought and contemplation. We’re forced to choose what mattered and by doing so, we select moments of meaning over moments of popularity.

The rules are simple, pick ten photos from your year that are the most significant to you: positive or negative. Some moments will fall by the wayside, that’s intentional. Culling is important. Focus on what is essential. I’ve been doing this publically for five years now and I look forward to it every year. It puts things into perspective.

Enough talk! Let’s take a look at my 2018 distilled into ten significant photos.


The beginning of 2018 marked a small achievement for us. Kari-Lise and I have lived in Seattle for a decade—I think that makes us locals. I’ve never regretted moving. Much of my year was spent in my city—and I often found myself reflecting on its current challenges and how despite ups and downs living here has changed my life for the better. This town has captured my heart in a way no other place has, and it’s truly become home.


I didn’t attend too many conventions this year. But I did manage to join my friend and fellow writer Steve Toutonghi and attend ECCC 2018 here in Seattle. Overall, it was a great experience to come together with so many and celebrate the stuff we love, be sure to read my con debriefing where I go into more details.


One nice thing about living in the PNW is how easy it can be to escape from the constant rush of urban life. I’d even say it’s a critical part of living here. Mid-spring Kari-Lise and I joined some friends and headed out to the Washington peninsula—we traversed some of our favorite locations in Olympic National Park, Cape Flattery, and along the Strait of Juan De Fuca Highway. I love it out there.


I read a lot this year—Goodreads tells me I’m over 14k pages (and there’s more piling on even as this post goes live.) As usual, my full reading list along with my favorites will be coming after Christmas. It’s been a banner year for me and books, I read so many that I absolutely loved, so many in fact that it’s going to be nearly impossible to choose.


Last year, in my last photo, I talked about unexpected change—for us, it came in the form of our backyard garden plans being completely upended by a fallen tree. This year, we began to work on rebuilding. After a busy summer and fall, most of the structure is in place for something exciting. I can’t wait to see where we end up in a few years. I think it’s going to be something special. (That enormous beast in the foreground is Willamina, our English Lop.)


This summer, Kari-Lise and I celebrated fifteen years of marriage. I’m forever grateful for a partner like her who stands beside me and supports me, and I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone else. She’s an incredible person, and my days would be empty without her. We celebrated by heading up to Whidby Island and spent a long weekend hanging out and exploring. Read the trip report and see more photos here.


Toward the end of summer, Kari-Lise and I flew to New England to attend her brother’s wedding in New Hampshire. Afterward, we extended out Anniversary celebration and took a small road trip to Maine and Acadia National Park, Lovecraft Country (the area not the book,) and then Salem. It was my second visit to New England, and we saw much more of the country than we had before. It’s really a special place. Read the trip report and see more photos here.


Kari-Lise debuted a new project as part of the Lush Life 6 show during the resurrection of Roq La Rue Gallery here in Seattle. Venerate is an ongoing series focusing on modern women artists working today and the connections to pioneering women artists of the past. You can find out more on her site. It’s been exciting to watch her engage with these themes, and I cannot wait for you to see what’s going to happen in this series.


We traded in our two old cars in for one new car—partially to help reduce our carbon footprint but also because we really don’t need more than one car. It’s our first new vehicle in nearly fifteen years, so it’s been a shift. A week and a half after driving it home, the car was hit by a van while parked in a parking lot. So, for the last several weeks, it’s been getting repaired. Thankfully no one was hurt, and insurance covered everything. Still, that’s not exactly what you want to happen to your new car.


Well, I might as well announce this now. Kari-Lise and I are recruiting a crow army, and they work for peanuts. It started this summer with a family of four—two parents and a few fledglings. But it has grown, considerably. Now when we wake up in the morning there’s a whole murder waiting for us. Things are going exactly as planned. Consider yourself warned 2019. We’re coming.


In Conclusion

I changed the title of this series. I thought “significant” carried more weight than the often overused “awesome” and it hits closer to what this ritual attempts to capture. This is, after all, about reflection.

It was harder than I expected to find my ten photos. Usually, I have an abundance, but this year a lot of my experiences were closer to home. There were many circumstances where I kept my phone in my pocket and skipped photo documentation. Instead, I chose to live in the moment. Overall, I think that’s a step in a positive direction, and it’s something I want to keep encouraging in my life.

How about you? What did you experience in 2018? What are your ten?


Want to revisit photos of past years? Click on any of the links below and check out my photos from that specific year. It’s interesting to watch subtle changes year over year.

2014 • 2015 • 2016 2017


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 →

It's Old Broken Road's Birthday!

Happy Birthday to OLD BROKEN ROAD

Today marks the birthday of the second book in the Bell Forging Cycle and the most divisive: Old Broken Road. I say divisive because it gets a lot of interesting reactions from readers, some folks love it, some do not. It’s certainly the creepiest and most “Lovecraftian” of the three. It also won’t be the last time we see Waldo Bell adventuring beyond the levels and warrens Lovat. Book Four (whose name is out there for those bold enough to look) promises to take us into parts beyond, but probably not in the way you’re imagining.

Divisive or no, 2017 has been a good year for Old Broken Road. Earlier this year, and thanks to a BookBub sale it was propelled to the Amazon Best Seller list, and I ranked among Amazon’s Most Popular Authors in Science Fiction and Fantasy for a brief time. It was a good month, February.

So Happy Birthday, Old Broken Road and thanks for a great year. Remember! All month long you can pick up a signed version of any of my books and receive free shipping from my store. (US only, sorry.) Just use the code: BFCMONTH on checkout. The code expires Halloween at midnight.


If you’ve missed it, I’ve been posting a lot of Bell Forging Cycle related content this month. Make sure you check out some of the following posts:

Happy 4th Birthday to The Stars Were Right

October Begins: A Month of The Bell Forging Cycle

Hey! I’m back from the green hills of Scotland and look: it’s October 1st—the start of the best month. Here in Seattle that means the nights grow longer (more time for reading), summer is behind us (more time for jackets), and the days are getting cooler (more time for uh… coffee).

This October 1st also marks the fourth anniversary of the arrival of The Stars Were Right. For those who somehow found their way here without knowing the details, Stars is the first novel in my dark cyberpunk post-post-apocalyptic dystopian weird-western cosmic-horror urban-fantasy adventure series: The Bell Forging Cycle. (It’s hard to pin down, okay.) Since the launch, it has been my most successful book, and I’m still really proud of it. I’ve sold thousands of copies and garnered hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. (I could always use a few more if you’re feeling particularly generous.)

If you’re looking for a new book, you can pick up eBook copies for only $2.99! It’s the perfect companion to the cool fall evenings (or warm spring mornings for those in the Southern Hemisphere.) Links to purchase can be found right here.

For those who prefer reading paperbacks, all month long you can pick up a signed version of any of my books and receive free shipping from my store. (US only, sorry.) Just use the code: BFCMONTH on checkout. The code expires Halloween at midnight.

October is a big month for The Bell Forging Cycle series, and I’ll have more fun stuff to post throughout the month. So stick around there is more to come, and for the long-time roaders out there who are itching for more, I still suggest you: Look West.


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 →

Red Litten World arrives tomorrow! It's time to return to Lovat.

Last Day – Red Litten World eBook Only 99¢

I mentioned this on Twitter (follow me!) but I wanted to write a quick update for everyone else. Last week, my novel Red Litten World turned one. To celebrate for the last seven days eBook copies have been on sale for only 99¢ (a savings of five whole dollars!) Today is the final day to nab it at that price from any of the following stores:

KindleKoboiBooksNook • GooglePlay • My Store

After tonight prices will start reverting to the regular price of $5.99. So buy a copy, tell your friends, and please leave a review.

Happy Birthday, Red Litten World

It’s Red Litten World’s First Birthday

Today is the first birthday of Red Litten World, the third installment in my Lovecraftian urban fantasy series, The Bell Forging Cycle. It has been a fantastic launch, and I’ve loved hearing from readers who have enjoyed the book. I’m proud of it. Since it’s been a full year, I felt it was important to celebrate the occasion.

It’s Sale Time

For the next week, Red Litten World is available on eBook for only 99¢! So, if you haven’t read the most recent adventure of Waldo Bell, now is the most affordable time to check it out. Buy five copies! Give them to your family, share ’em with your friends. Hell, send them to your enemies. Hit any of the links below to grab a copy on the cheap.

KindleKoboiBooksNook • GooglePlay • My Store

The discounted sale price will only be available for a week. So, take advantage while you can.

Let’s Talk Reviews

As with most series, there was a significant drop-off in reviews of Red Litten World. Review fatigue is very common for books in a series, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable. Reviews are not only helpful for other readers; they also allow authors to take advantage of mailing lists, promotional newsletters, and review sites. So if you haven’t had a chance to leave a review of Red Litten World, please, please, please take a few moments and drop one on Amazon and Goodreads. It’d help me out considerably.

Where Are We Going from Here

It’s October, which is usually the month when I release a new title. (Based on the emails I’ve had to answer, many of you were aware of this.) However, there isn’t a release this year. Last December, I wrote a post called The State of the Cycle, where I went into details about the future of Wal’s tale. I invite you to read it if you haven’t. Don’t worry; his story isn’t over yet. There’s plenty more to come; I’m just taking some time to collect myself before I dive back into the madness.

In Closing

Once again, I need to extend a big thank you to those who have supported me over the years. Thanks to those who have left reviews and told their friends. Thanks everyone who has reached out to me and helped me promote my work. It’s all of you that contribute to making books like Red Litten World possible.

So, today, join me in wishing a happy birthday to Red Litten World. What a gem.

Friday Link Pack 07/11/2014

After the Storm by Kari-Lise Alexander
We’re back! It’s time to share a few interesting links I have found throughout the week. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Let me know!

First Thing First:

It’s my wedding anniversary! Happy Anniversary to my lovely and talented wife of 11 amazing years. If you are unaware: Kari-Lise is an amazing pop surrealism painter. You can see her work on her website or over on her blog or her Instagram account. She’s incredible. (That’s her art up top!)

Writing:

HarperCollins Pivots To Sell Print And Ebooks Directly To Readers
Good for HarperCollins! Publishers should have been doing this long ago. However, part of me wonder if this isn’t a fallback for their own upcoming price negotiation with Amazon. Amazon/Hachette 2: The HarperCollinsing.

UK Author Income Survey: Another Publishing Bombshell
An in depth look into the income of UK authors, both independent and traditional. I’d wager than these numbers are similar stateside as well.

Backing The Wrong Horse: Why Choosing Sides In The Amazon/Hachette Feud Is A Moron’s Choice For Writers
Michael A. Stackpole, author of many many sci-fi books that enthralled me growing up, lays out his own case against picking sides. I am happy we agree.

Cory Doctorow On Intellectual Property In A Digital Age
Authors, just in case you missed it, make sure you listen to this keynote from Cory Doctorow on Amazon/Hachette, DRM, copyright laws, platform channels, privacy, and more. Worth your time.

Art:

Super Pixel Quest
This is very much worth the five minutes to play. Funny, unique, and fun.

Inferno By Steph Davidson
This is how modern internet art is done. Take note.

Miniature Medieval Interiors Carved Into Raw Marble By Mathew Simmonds
Love these. It’s like someone made a miniature Petra then divided it up in parts. (Really they’re based on Westminster Abbey and Ely Cathedral.) It’s really neat to see architecture from this perspective.

Random:

100-Year Old Photos Reveal The Dark Side Of Antarctic Exploration
Incredible photos from Captain Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition and Ernest Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party. The story behind these is both amazing and tragic. I recommend you look it up.

An Abandoned Bangkok Shopping Mall Hides A Fishy Secret
In the last Link Pack I posted a series of haunting photographs by Seph Lawless documenting America’s Abandoned Malls. This is sorta related, only with less America, more China, and a lot of fish.

A Pyramid In The Middle Of Nowhere Built To Track The End Of The World
Incredible photographs showing a old US military radar facility built to track incoming missiles. It’s not a site anyone often sees and it’s kind of haunting.

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Shadow Over Innsmouth
I have featured this before, but since it’s Kari-Lise and my favorite H.P. Lovecraft story and it’s our anniversary I’m featuring it again! For fun, compare it to the original discarded draft.

Farewell Gif of the Week:

Weird Al is the best. THE BEST!