Tag Archives: kari-lise

Quick Hiatus

Quick Hiatus

For the next ten days or so I will be intentionally incommunicado with this blog and the rest of the internet as a whole. Responses to emails and comments will be delayed. Kari-Lise and I will be traveling to New England, where we will be attending a wedding, visiting a National Park, and where I hope to eat a lobster roll (or seven.) I might occasionally post to Instagram, so if you’re not following me over there, feel free.

There are quite a few posts in the hopper (including one already scheduled.) My current plan is to resume normal blog activities around mid-September. If you’re looking for something to read here in the interim, here are a few of my more popular posts over the last few years:

The Collection Grows

The Collection Grows

Last night, while pallin’ around at the Pioneer Square Art Walk, Kari-Lise and I checked out our friend Casey Weldon’s solo show at Treason Gallery. If you’re in Seattle, I recommend swinging through. It’s an incredible body of work, and a great selection of Casey’s engaging and often humorous work—check out the full show here.

It’s a big show, and there was a lot to check out, and much of the work drew us in. But we both fell in love with the green variant of Casey’s Fang You Very Much. Next week is our fifteen-year anniversary, so Kari-Lise and I figured this would be an excellent gift for ourselves—something collective and something we both appreciate. I’ve shared it below, it’s glorious.

Casey Weldon - Fang You Very Much - Green (2018) - Acrylic on wood 12” x 12”
Casey Weldon – Fang You Very Much – Green (2018) – Acrylic on wood – 12” x 12”

I really dig the visual depth going on here, the loose swirls and patterns offset by the realistic mouth, and the creepy glowing eyes. Casey’s skills and imagination never cease to impress me. The subtle reference to Felix the Cat is a nice touch, and something I initially missed (thank’s for pointing it out Julie.) I’m excited to hang it up in our home and finally add a Weldon to our collection. It’s about damn time.

Who sent me these mysterious books as gifts?

Okay, Who Is Doing This?

Someone has been sending me mysterious gifts, and I have no idea who’s doing it.

There is a reason they’re doing this: I don’t like birthdays. I have no problem with them as a concept, and I don’t mind getting old. My argument against them is curmudgeonly, and I’m sure rooted in my disdain for Facebook (and what it’s done to birthdays.) As a result, I usually keep my birth date to myself which means most of my friends are always trying to guess when it’s my birthday. Which has now led to strange packages arriving willy-nilly.

Several months back—someone, I have no idea who—randomly sent me Judith Schalansky’s amazing Atlas of Remote Islands and with it came a note saying it was a gift for my birthday—whenever it happened to be—I posted about it on Instagram. To this day I don’t know who sent it, and Kari-Lise (who seems to know) isn’t telling.

The mystery gifts and notes
The mystery gifts and notes

Fast forward to this weekend. We returned home from the opening of Kari-Lise’s show in Portland, and a curious little box was waiting for us and addressed to me. Inside was Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours, and it came with a note that read:


 It is not your birthday. There is nothing here for you.


Okaaaay… that’s a touch mysterious. To add to the puzzle, the box was empty, but it still felt heavy. It didn’t take long for me to realize the package had a false bottom, so I flipped it over and broke the seal on the bottom. There I found another compartment, and inside was another book, Charles Pierce LeWarne’s Utopias on the Puget Sound 1885-1915—an examination of five historical communitarian settlements that once existed locally. It also came with a note, and that note bore a single word:


#Resist


The second mystery book in its little compartment
The second mystery book in its little compartment

The box came from the “DLB-Reinforcement Div” the return address pointed to Des Moines, Washington—a small city south of Seattle. When I searched for the address, I got nowhere. It didn’t seem to exist. This wasn’t entirely unexpected, the first box I received had a return address that pointed to a non-address as well. Strange yes, but also quite compelling.

The mysterious non-address
The mysterious non-address

So, the mystery remains! I have no idea who sent this pair of books. Both books look amazing. I can see how the Werner book will come in handy during my writing and the utopia book sounds fascinating. I knew we had a history of communes here in the Pacific Northwest. I didn’t realize how deep that history goes. I do appreciate these gifts.

Thank you, whoever you are.

A Hiatus

A Scottish Hiatus

Observant readers probably saw this coming after reading the alleged Ibn Battuta quote I shared on Wednesday. I am going on a trip! For two weeks! That means starting tomorrow, I Make Stories will be on hiatus as Kari-Lise and I spend some time among the mountains and islands of Scotland.

We’re going to be busy hiking, looking at shaggy cows, wandering castle ruins, eating haggis, taking photos, tasting scotch, poking around cairns, and exploring. We’ll be joined for the first week by friends of ours, fellow writer J. Rushing and photog/designer Kelcey Rushing. (I recommend following them both.) Ever since they absconded to Europe we don’t see them often enough so hanging out should be fun.

Make sure to follow me on Instagram or Twitter where I’ll be sharing photos. As always the goal is to return physically exhausted but mentally refreshed and inspired. The Highlands await, I’ll see you all in October.


For more travel related photos, previous trips, and trip reports check out:

2015 in Ten Awesome Photos

2015 in Ten Awesome Photos

Last year, I published a post summing up my 2014 In Ten Awesome Photos. It was a fun challenge because a lot of stuff happened and it was a good way for me to reflect on the year. Going forward, I want to make this post a regular thing, I like the idea of a yearly recap of the ups and downs of my year condensed into ten pictures.

Going back through these photos has made my 2015 seem so much longer. Since I have made the decision to focus on my writing in my free time, I’ve noticed that time for me has slowed down. It feels like ages since I launched The Stars Were Right, but the reality is that it has only been three years. Losing myself to the creative process has forced me to enjoy the moment so much more, as Ze Frank says in An Invocation for Beginnings, “life isn’t just a sequence of waiting for things to be done.” For me, the journey has become as engaging as the destination.

So let’s take a look at ten stops in my 2015 together…


2015_01Like every year, Kari-Lise, myself, and some friends started the year off with a hike. This photo was taken on Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound at a National Historic Reserved named Ebey’s Landing. It’s also a great place to see incredible views of both the Olympic Mountains and Mt. Baker. The first hike of the year has become a right of passage for Kari-Lise and me, and it’s a good way to start the year out right. I wonder where we’ll end up in 2016.

2015_02In February, I put The Stars Were Right on sale for 99¢ and promoted it through BookBub. The result was astounding, I sold hundreds and hundreds of copies, and the book was propelled to the top of the Amazon Bestseller List for a day. I wrote a whole post about it.

The Stars Were Right hanging next to Hugh Howey's Wool

There’s always a bit of nervous excitement when this happens, but overall I was excited to see how many new readers loved the story and continued on to Old Broken Road.


2015_03Kari-Lise and I went down to San Diego for the opening of her show Inflorescence. The show was fantastic, and we were able to spend some time exploring the city and its environs. While there we made the trip out to Joshua Tree National Park. I haven’t visited this stretch of desert in over a decade, and the return was purifying in a way you can only experience in a desert.


2015_04In March, I went to Norwescon 38. It was incredible. I sold out of books. I met a lot of amazing people, and I was threatened by Rorschach! I had so much fun that I’m doing it again in 2016. Norwescon 39 here I come!


2015_05After Norwescon, I hit up CthulhuCon in Portland, Oregon. It was great to gather together with so many fellow mythos fans. There was short films, tons of books, great panels, amazing art, and so much more. The show was a big success, and I was able to not only participate in a reading of The Stars Were Right, but I also sat on the “Creating a Mythos” panel moderated by Ross Lockheart. Like Norwescon, I met some great people along the way, and I’m hoping to return this year.


2015_07In the summer, I was asked to be a best man at the wedding of Steve and Sarah, easily two of the best people I know. The weekend was centered around a group camp and held at Dash Point State Park here in Washington. It was a fun weekend, and that’s coming from a guy who isn’t generally much of a camper. The wedding was incredible, and it was touching to see Steve and Sarah share their love in front of a whole bunch of pretty amazing friends and family. I was so glad I attended and honored to be a small part of it.


Remembering JakeSadly, this summer my friend Jake Rogers lost his battle with cystic fibrosis. Jake was one of the kindest, caring, and supportive people I’ve known. He has been an inspiration to me and many others, and he is and will always be missed. (I didn’t take this photo, but I needed to include Jake in this list.)


2015_08At the end of the summer, Kari-Lise and I went to Iceland. It was a quick trip (only a week) but we saw a lot of the country and we’re plotting a return. Getting out into the world with Kari-Lise has had a fundamental impact on both our lives and my writing. I’m glad that we’re able to do it together. Travel doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are many ways to explore this beautiful world. Do it. You’ll thank me later.


2015_09In September, we traveled to San Francisco for the opening of Kari-Lise’s second solo show of the year, A Lovelorn Theft. The opening was terrific and like her previous show, it did really well. It was great to see so many fans coming out to support her and check out the work in person.


Red Litten WorldIn October, we returned to Lovat when I launched The Bell Forging Cycle, Book III: Red Litten World. It was my largest book launch yet, and the book continues to do well. People seem to really enjoy Waldo Bell’s latest adventure that makes me happy. With its release The Bell Forging Cycle has become a trilogy!  You can buy it right now!


Behold my 2015! There’s a lot in those ten photos, but there is so much I left out: Mariners games, Seahawk games, Kari-Lise’s documentary, book research, I finished another manuscript, I took more pictures of Iceland, I spent more time in the mountains, I went to other conventions, I took pictures of my dogs, I explored my city, and so much more. I gleaned a lot of these images from my Instagram account which I like to keep as a running record of my life (and I’ll occasionally talk about my books.)

As before, why not keep this ten awesome photos thing going? Post ten awesome photos of your own on your blog and leave a link in the comments below so others can see what happened in your year. I’ll even update this post to include links to your ten photos!

Friday Link Pack 06-05-2015

Friday Link Pack 06/05/2015

Wow, what a week. I come down from Lilac City Comicon and right into a whirlwind of a cover reveal. However, today is Friday. That means it is time for the Friday Link Pack where I share a few links I’ve found over the last few days. 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? Click here to email me and let me know! (Include a website so I can link to you as well.) Let’s get to it…

WRITING:

Amazon.com Announces The Most Well-Read Cities In America
And guess who is at #1?  Spoiler Alert, it’s my hometown. The emerald of the West Coast, the one, the only: Seattle, Washington! YAY! Hometown pride aside, there is some interesting revelations in this list. I can’t tell if Vegas reading the most romance is the sweetest or saddest thing.

Physical Attribute Thesaurus Collection
I really like these collections from Writers Helping Writers. When I write it’s common for me to forget the simplest of words and I find these Thesauruses useful when I need help loosening up. I actually own a few books from their Thesaurus collection, in both physical and ebook editions. Highly recommend them.

The Kindle Finally Gets Typography That Doesn’t Suck
If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time you know I am a stickler for good typography. I appreciate a well-designed book and it all starts with the type. It has always hurt my heart a bit when viewing books on the Kindle. However, there is some big upgrades coming and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited.

Red Litten World Cover Reveal
Yesterday, I announced the new cover for Red Litten World, book  three in my Lovecraftian urban fantasy series, The Bell Forging Cycle. The response across the internet has been stellar, twitter has blown up, and I’ve been getting some great emails. I can’t wait to share this one with everyone.

Red Litten World Cover Reveal Giveaway
Along with the cover reveal, I am doing a giveaway. Win signed copies of The Stars Were Right and Old Broken Road, as well as a Bell Caravans patch, swag, and a $50 Amazon gift card. Entering is easy and there are a lot of ways to increase your chances to win. Do it today!

ART:

Kari-Lise Featured In Beautiful.Bizzare Magazine, Issue 009
The latest issue of the pop surrealism magazine, Beautiful.Bizzare has arrived and inside you’ll find a feature on my incredibly talented wife and partner, Kari-Lise Alexander. I highly recommend checking it out.

The Art Of Sandeep Karunakaran
I’ll occasionally stumble across a great artist on DeviantArt. This week the sci-fi/horror work of Sandeep Karunakaran really stood out. It’s a fun blend of the terrifying with an animated style that I really appreciate. I think you will too.

Maskull Lasserre Carves Skeletons Into Souvenir Sculptures And Decoys
Stumbled across Lasserre’s work last week and wanted to save it for the next Link Pack. Something very satisfying within these pieces. It’s as if Lasserre is revealing a secret world we all hope exists.

RANDOM:

I Won A $5,000 Magic: The Gathering Tournament On Shrooms
I’ve never done shrooms, but this article is hilarious regardless. As my friend Rob pointed out, this is the Magic: The Gathering version of James Blagden’s Dock Ellis & The LSD No-No. [Thanks to Rob for sharing this.]

Clever Glass Fountain Pen Lets You Write With Any Liquid
Okay, it probably says a lot about me that the first thought I had when I saw this was: BLOOD! I don’t know if it says anything good. But there you have it. [Thanks to Lola Landekic for sending this my way.]

Seinfeld’s Never-Before-Seen Fourth Wall
I’m a huge Seinfeld fan, so finding out little details like this really makes me happy.

WEIRD WIKIPEDIA:

Devil’s Footprints
“The Devil’s Footprints is a name given to a phenomenon that occurred in February 1855 around the Exe Estuary in East Devon and South Devon, England. After a heavy snowfall, trails of hoof-like marks appeared overnight in the snow covering a total distance of some 40 to 100 miles. The footprints were so called because some people believed that they were the tracks of Satan, as they were allegedly made by a cloven hoof. Many theories have been put forward to explain the incident, and some aspects of its veracity have also been called into question…”

LOVECRAFT STORY OF THE WEEK:

Medusa’s Coil
What starts with a pleasant drive ends in B-movie schlock.

GIF OF THE WEEK:

the struggle