Tag Archives: twitter

I'm Going to ECCC

ECCC Starts Today—Let’s Hang Out

Today is the start of Emerald City Comic Con, Seattle’s premiere comic convention. It’ll run through Sunday, and it’ll be busy. Last year there were 90k people in attendance, and I’m sure this year will be much the same. (When I last checked most tickets are sold out.)

I will be present—but I won’t be showing up until tomorrow morning. I plan on being around Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I’m not paneling or running a table so there’s no specific place you’ll see me, but I’ll be exploring everything. I expect to be hitting up a lot of the fiction panels—there’s quite a few that have piqued my interest. So keep an eye out, and don’t hesitate to say hello. We can high-five and stuff.

If you want to keep track of where I am, I recommend two places:


  • Twitter: @KM_Alexander

    While I’ve decreased my tweeting over the last year, this is when it’ll be convenient. Odds are I’ll be using Twitter a lot, sharing what it is I see and hear.


  • Instagram: @kmalexander

    As I take photos, I generally like to share them here. So if you enjoy black and white photography, and you’re interested in seeing whatever it is I find exciting I recommend following me here.


I hope everyone has a fun, safe, healthy, and respectful convention. Should be a great time and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone.

 

Criticism is Okay - A Twitter Thread

Criticism is Okay: A Twitter Thread

The following is a series of tweets from last night that were well received. I’m reposting them here for posterity mainly, and because it sucks to read Twitter threads. The thread was sparked by a variety of things: my opinions of The Last Jedi (I didn’t like it), how I’ve noticed some creators complaining about criticism and critique in general, and how respectful debate and discussion seems to have disappeared. As with everything on my blog, criticism and comments are welcome.


Know what? You can absolutely dislike something. You can tweet about your hate, and you can write hot-takes all day long on the platform of your choice. Look at you go.

Gotta go fast!


But, you have to be willing to accept that other people may love the thing you despise. Their opinion is just as valid as yours.


Share your opinion. (They’re welcome!) Lay out your case. Invite discussion with those who are willing. But, let them come to you. No one likes the person who saddles up into someone’s mentions/comments to zing ‘em by telling ‘em why they’re wrong.


Oh and understand, if you say something no one likes, they may take their toys and go home. Or just ignore you. Often both. Does it make you wrong? Not necessarily. But it’s entirely within their rights.


Of course, if you listened like a reasonable person and engaged in a respectful manner, you’ll probably come to an understanding. (Fingers in the ears, insults, and shouting isn’t reasonable or respectful.)


This all goes both ways. BTW.


Oh, and the nature of public posts on a site designed for public engagement inherently invites comment. Thems the breaks ’round here. Welcome to the internet. (Yes, even if you’re all: “don’t @ me.” 🤔 Maybe especially.)


Don’t want to discuss? No problem! 🎉 There are tools to help with that as well. Consider a less public forum, make your account private, keep an IRL journal. Also, fan forums/sites exist for this very reason.


I think review, debate, and discussion make creative work better. We can (and should) learn from it. I learned a lot from design critiques in college, and I learn a lot from reviews now as a writer. So, yeah, I’m all for it. Just don’t be *that* person. Ya know?


Should you wish, you can read the tweets over on Twitter. If you have any thoughts or opinions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Why Am I Stepping Back From Twitter?

Why Am I Stepping Back From Twitter?

Like everything, this begins with a story. Recently, I started reading Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander, and I’m enjoying it so far. He begins the book with an author’s note explaining how he bends history to serve his narrative. In this introduction, he states that while the book is thoroughly researched, he takes creative liberties in regard to historical figures and battles. (Though I usually find such forewords unnecessary in historical fiction, I appreciated O’Brian’s care, and I know some Royal Navy enthusiasts probably did as well.)

“My point is that the admirable men of those times, the Cochranes, Byrons, Falconers, Seymours, Boscawens and the many less famous sailors from whom I have in some degree compounded my characters, are best celebrated in their own splendid actions rather than in imaginary contests; that authenticity is a jewel; and that the echo of their words has an abiding value.”

—Patrick O’Brian, Author’s Note, Master and Commander

Whenever I start a new book, especially one as lauded as Master and Commander, I do a quick Google search about it. I’m not sure why I do this. Sometimes, it’s to find ephemera I might otherwise miss. Sometimes, it reveals little details not mentioned in the prose. Sometimes, I want to check out maps or illustrations that are not in my copy of the book. Over the course of the search, I stumbled across another book claiming to be the real story of the real master and commander. I have forgotten the title, and, to be honest, it’s not relevant. However, I found it amusing. Here was a book written and published decades years after O’Brian’s novel that pretended to be a response to it. Its author ignored O’Brian’s foreword completely and was like, “NO! You need to tell the REAL history of the Royal Navy’s heroes!”

Which now leads to Twitter. While at a BBQ, I was explaining to a friend how I found this amusing. His comment (I’m paraphrasing): “Funny, that’s like Twitter but before Twitter, and the guy actually took years to write a response.”

I found that comment funny and poignant. Over the last few days, I’ve been dwelling on his statement. It’s resonated with me. In a way, it is like Twitter, but as my friend observed it’s also very different. You see, Twitter removes that time in between. It gives us an instant connection for good or ill. Twitter lets us respond so quickly—we often don’t realize how our comment will make others feel. We don’t take the time to write a well-honed response, we just react. We laude. We celebrate. We resist. We obey. We re-tweet. We sub-tweet. We call out. We insult. We cast aspersion. We make accusations based on 140 characters and a profile picture. Twitter has ceased being a conversation and has become the mass reacting to one another. We’re no longer listening, which means we’re no longer responding.

I don’t want to do that. I’ve seen what the toxic nature of reaction-culture can do to communities. I’m not interested in playing those games any longer. This is why I’m going to shift the majority of my thought back to the humble blog. For me, this format forces solicitude and introspection. It makes me slow down, and it tempers. I never published posts the day I write them (even this one)—I let them sit and simmer which in turn discourages knee-jerk reaction. I have drafts of posts I’ll never publish because I wrote them while my ire was up. That’s a good thing. It lets me get those emotions out without dragging someone else down. It’s therapeutic in a way.

The biggest trick of social media, like Twitter and Facebook, is that you need to be on social media to somehow be successful. It’s a lie. Yes, you need a web presence, and you need to be on social media, but you don’t need to let it control you. There’s a big difference in running a business online versus throwing yourself into the volatile social media landscape. Humanity is just now starting to see where the latter leads, and I’m choosing a different path.


TL;DR—So, what does this all mean?
  • Well, first off, I’m not deleting my Twitter account or anything like that. I still run a business and Twitter is a part of that, and it’s an important part. After all, I gotta keep the lights on and the bills paid.

  • This blog is my primary platform; it’s where I’ll be doing most of my thinkin’. So while I will be posting more links elsewhere (probably a lot of links.) Most of those links will bring you back to here. Likewise, instead of writing Twitter threads, I’ll be writing posts. Posts are easier to read anyway; Twitter is garbage for long content.

  • If you’re interested in continuing to follow me here are a few options:
    • Do nothing and keep following me on Twitter; I’ll continue to post links to news and blog articles there. But my content will primarily live here.

    • Click the “Follow” button in the footer to follow my blog via e-mail.

    • Follow me on Facebook where I also share news and articles.

    • Subscribe to my newsletter; that’s what the cool kids do. It’s where I share news about my books and preview secret stuff like sales and giveaways.

Where to Find Me & How to Contact Me: A List

Where to Find Me & How to Contact Me: A List

“How do I contact you?”

I’ve been getting this question a lot over the last few weeks. I realize it can be daunting. There aren’t many places I don’t have a social media account. I keep an updated page listing all of my accounts and it is always growing. However, I tend to favor some more than the others. To combat that, I figured I’d write up a list focusing on my priorities when it comes to communication. After all, some places are better than the others. So, if you want to contact me, here’s where to start:

  1. Email
    I check my email daily, and I try to respond to everyone promptly. With other forms of communication, I don’t have notifications turned on. Email is the one exception.
  2. Blog
    This is where I share the most information. I also make sure to approve all legitimate comments and I try to respond to any direct questions.
  3. Twitter
    This is my primary social media platform. As “they” say: my DMs are open.
  4. Goodreads
    Yo, it’s Goodreads. I like talking about books, so I hang out there. Ask me a question.
  5. Instagram
    I’m not as active on Instagram as, Kari-Lise (nor as popular.) But I do occasionally post, and I try to respond to comments.
  6. Facebook
    Honestly, I hate this site so much. But it’s a necessary evil. So I am there, begrudgingly but rarely. Because of that reason, it can take me a few days to respond to messages, but I will eventually get around to them.
  7. Snail Mail
    I check my P.O. box once or twice a month. While I’m happy to mail you free swag, I don’t take the time to send a letter for every one I receive. I’m sorry. The address is on my Contact Page.
  8. Pinterest/Tumblr/Snapchat/Periscope/Etc.
    These are tools for me. Not useful forms of communication.
  9. LinkedIn
    LOL

This list is subject to change, and should that happen I will make another post. For those trying to get ahold of me, I hope this helps. Thanks to those who are reaching out. Writing can be a lonely profession, and it’s always encouraging to get a message from a reader. Y’all rule.

Bell Forging Cycle Avatars

Bell Forging Cycle Avatars

Are you bored with your current photo on Twitter or Facebook? Looking for something different? In between events this weekend. I had a few moments so I put together some free avatars you can use for your social media accounts. You can find the full list over on my Free Stuff page alongside cool backgrounds and info on how to get free swag packs. Hooray!

Once there, you’ll be faced with a choice, and you must choose your allegiance wisely. Will you lace up your boots and join Bell Caravans, find a spot in the multi-level City of Lovat, or will you side with the aggressive empire-building policies of the City of Syringa? The choice, dear reader, is yours!

Think I’m missing something? Would you like to see a Cedric’s Eatery avatar? Sardini Market? St. Olm’s? Shoot me an email or let me know in the comments below.

Godzilla by Josh Montreuil

#Kaijuly Is Here

Who doesn’t love kaijū? From Godzilla to King Kong, giant monsters are a mainstay within science fiction and fantasy. Literature has its share of famous giants. We have the shai-hulud in Dune, the avanc in The Scar, and even to the balrog in Lord of the Rings. There’s something incredibly engaging about enormous creatures.

Onibaba by Matt Nelson
by Matt Nelson

Well, last year, some of my more artistic friends decided to celebrate these giant creatures and have taken to Tumblr for an event they call #Kaijuly. It’s a celebration in art of all things giant monster! Each day artists post new and original pieces starring creatures from film, movies, books, television, and myth. It’s a lot of fun. I’d highly recommend checking it out and if you’re the artistic type… perhaps participate yourself?

by Josh Montreuil
by Josh Montreuil (Josh also illustrated Godzilla above.)

Hit the links below and check out the fun:

Joining in the #Kaijuly fun? Why not link some of your own work in the comments? I’m sure all of the readers of this blog would love to see your work!