The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

Office cat’s guide to blogging

Office cat’s guide to blogging

Hi there, I’m Office Cat.  My pet, Kai, has graciously allowed me to come onto her blog today to introduce the ‘office cat guide to

Blogging’.  But first, may I offer my feline feliciations and give you an idea of who I am

Kushka

Kushie, the Office Cat

and my (blogging) pedigree.

My name is Jenuine WildTansy, and I am an F4 Bengal.  But my mom (and pet) calls me Kushka, or Kushie, or Fuzzbutt, which is very undignified.

But what my pet has told me about Blogging is *really* valuable, so valuable in fact that I wanted to share.  She’s doing the 30 day challenge, and so am I!

From now on, the ‘Office Cat’s guide to Blogging’ will appear on WPforAuthors, but mom has graciously allowed me to start on her blog first, and get everyone interested.

And here’s my first tip.

1) Personality

Forget worrying about SEO, forget worrying about domain names, the first thing you’ve GOT to do is find your gorgeous voice.  Like my piercing stare, a gorgous, sleek voice will be strokable, skritchablle and entirely memorable.  Once you’ve got your voice, you can plan your blog.

Remember, I’m appearing DAILY at Wpforauthors, and I hope you’ll join me there from tomorrow!

Till next time!  Kushie, the Office Cat

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The countdown to Glass Block – Dedications

The countdown to Glass Block – Dedications

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Countdown to Glass Block...and beyond...

So, Glass Block will be out on Friday the 20th, and in the countdown to it, I’ll be sharing some stuff. Tomorrow, I’ll be talking about why it’s even related, in a way to my non-fiction, but front and centre, I wanted to share my dedications. Not everyone that supports me is specifically name-checked here, for various reasons, but I’ve covered, I hope, everyone important.

Dedications

Dear reader. Most of these names won’t mean a thing to you, unless you’re one of the people listed. You are welcome to skip them, but if you know me, online or off, you might not wanna 😉

First up though.
I want to put a special dedication into the book for the Nanowrimo. Without it, the book, the series, the universe would never have been written. So, if you’re at a bit of a loose end in November (or April/July for Camp Nanowrimo), wanna meet some people just as crazy about writing as you or want to support up and coming writers, then head on over to http://nanowrimo.org.
A portion of every sale of EVERY book I’ve written or will later publish goes to Nanowrimo.

Glass BLock by D Kai Wilson-Viola

To my beloved, David – without your unwavering belief, clever ideas, encouragement and comfort when it all went pear-shaped, this book would be gathering digital dust. Without your love, I’d be a completely different person, and I hope every day coming is as good as the last – together.
To Katie-Anne – love you, big sis. Thanks for being my unwavering cheerleader – even when I was being an angsty dumbass. I miss you so very much, and wish you were with us still.


To my children – there’s two of you right now, though there may be more in the future. Love you loads. Thanks for putting up with your mom’s crazy need to write everything down and take photos of stupid stuff 😉 You’ve grown into two of the most amazing people ever, and I’m so grateful I got to be your mum, and still get to be.
To Keith – People are lucky to have one best friend. I’ve got four, and you’re one of em. Thank you so much for sending the notes and the part I thought I’d lost. Thanks for talking to me about forensics, and not dying laughing when I said the dumb stuff™. Get your book written sunshine ;), you’ve proved you can write other stuff, and kicked ass at it in the process.
To Mary Ann – founder of #chartermemberofteamkai, patient, intelligent and funny. I think you, of all people on this list, have been waiting the longest for this book. Tada!
To Brianna – I’m really looking forward to all the mischief we’re planning, and I’m hoping you are too! Thanks for being there to chat every day (just about!)
To Valerie, Quinn and everyone else that kept me going – Thanks for all you do!
To all my other writing community friends and cheerleaders – I’m not sure that to say other than #writingcommunity on Twitter is awesome! The Facebook communities are awesome, from IAG (which I helped co-found), to the others I take part in are awesome too!
To my mother – I dunno what to say, other than thanks. Without everything you did for me as a child, I’d never have loved books enough to want to write one, and without your patient tutelage, I wouldn’t have nearly as much fun with learning, nor be so obsessed with continuing as an adult.
To my family and my family-in-law – thank you for your unwavering patience, support and funny conversations. And thank you for not looking at me as if I am completely insane when I went hunting for a pen and paper, or said completely random things that made you stop and ask me to repeat myself. I never did without explaining what I’d been thinking, but still, I’m grateful for the kindness, love and support – and occasional books handed over when you realized what I was trying to work out.
To all my Nanowrimo participants – thank you for letting me ML and thank you for cheering me on when I hit crazy word-counts. Here’s to many more years of that. And to Nanowrimo HQ itself. Office of Letters and Light will receive 5% of all sales, of all books from now on, as they have. This year has been rough, I know, but I’m hoping that it’ll get easier.
To Troy, Simon, Zoe, Jack, the lecturers at Gloucester University and all of my classmates – Thank you. You know what for but thank you. My voice only got louder once I did that degree – best four years of my life! I’ve continued to grow since then, and I’m on my second degree now!
And to my newest friends at Ludosport Bristol (And beyond in the Ludosport community)– THANK YOU. You don’t know what you gave me back, and how much I enjoy training, nor how happy I am to be allowed to. What an awesome sport!
And if you’re not included above…to all my friends and fans online – Social media is a blast, sure, but it really does get in the way of writing. Thank you for being the distraction I needed to get the story straight in my head ;).
Love you loads – thanks for your support, crazy about you all!

D Kai Wilson-Viola

Updated May 2022,
Originally released April 2015

Home office organisation basics

Work at Home Writers licences this article as a free reprint as long as all links remain intact and the article is unedited.  For edited or commissioned guest articles/blogs please contact D Kai Wilson-Viola via our contact form. This notice can be removed, but the bio should remain in place.

One of the biggest challenges writers, or anyone that works from home face, is thier home office.  There are lots of things to take into consideration, from where to situate it, to organising your paperwork and more.
In this series of articles, we’re going to talk about all of this, with a couple of things that most people don’t think about when setting up a home office besides.

First up – what do you *really* need?

One of the key mistakes people make when planning a home office is looking at space and then cramming themselves into it – or conversely, not thinking through everything they need and then discovering they’re scattering themselves over several rooms to accomplish it.
So, think about what you really need.  Do you *need* a sprawling desk or can you fit your work into a smaller area? More importantly, if you do need a lot of space, do you *always* need that space?  In the case of people who work from home making products, you might need quite a lot of space that can be condensed down, or alternatively, you might have machinery that doesn’t compact well.

Choosing your space
In most homes, there are areas that have to serve dual functions – in our house my home office is in one of two places – at the dining room table, where I do most of my paper based work, and in the guest room, where I write and type.  Our filing cabinet, through neccesity, lives in the conservetory, so my home office is scattered througout our living space.  It makes organising my workspace in a traditional sense very difficult, which is why i’ve learned to plan my tasks carefully – but if you’ve got a space room, or area under stairs or even a corner of another room that you can use as your office, that’s perfect.  If you can’t, do what I do, and repurpose areas without changing the ‘flow’ of your house.

Using your diningroom table

One thing I learned, early on, was that using my dining room table meant that I needed to pack up before the kids got home from school, or at least make sure I was using as little of one end of our 10 seat table as possible – if I didn’t, I’d spend time when I was getting tea ready, cleaning up eveyrthing on the table, so I have a rule now – if my paperwork is going to take longer than the time I have between breakfast and tea, or if it’s the weekend, I don’t do it unless it’s an emergency.  I’ll do other bits of prepwork on the laptop instead.
You have to consider a couple of things when looking at your dining room table, or kitchen table – and one of them is how much ‘traffic’ it sees.  Mine is pretty high, to be fair – there’s four of us in the house that use it constantly, sometimes at opposite ends from one another.  Others might find that sometimes their table is entirely ‘free’.  So I’ve taken to thinking of it as a conference room of sorts – and ‘book it’, even if that booking is just a mental one.

Got nowhere at all?

A good way to look at the home office in general that’s ‘shared’ with other duties, is to consider when you’re going to lose it.   I have to plan for visits, because I lose my office then.   It’s not a hardship, I just plan around it.  So if you’ve got no space, consider instead making your ‘home office’ anywhere with a table and some space to keep a filing cabinet.  Can’t even manage a filing cabinet?  Keep some boxes that hold foolscaps and store your paperwork in there.  They stack and can store in many places easily.

D Kai Wilson-Viola is a blogger with a purpose.  She’s owns DigitalSteward LLC, a full service design and copywriting company that offers everything from WordPress support, to grant writing, and lots of things in between.  A parent, blogger and author, she works with her diverse experiences to run Work at Home Writers, a blog which talks about working as a writer from home, whether you’re an author,  copywriter or blogger.

Kintsugi and Levelling up #gamergal #mondayblogs

Kintsugi and Levelling up #gamergal #mondayblogs

So, firstly, I’ve spent the last week with shingles all up one side of my face. It’s not *the most* painful thing I’ve ever felt, but gotta be honest, it’s close. Because of this, my ‘October announcements’ post and this one have kinda rolled up.

The pot of my soul, cracked as it is

I’ve been talking about ‘levelling up’ a lot on my private groups. I’ve been talking about several things really, but I want to be clear. My major one is community. I talk – a lot – about #payitforward and that the #writingcommunity is very important to me. To do that, I’ve been thinking about levelling up my life.
I’ve lived my whole life accommodating various things. Mostly, I guess, psychosis. My mental health is a major element of my life, and even when I’m at my best, I’m… not? I live with imperfect cracks, like a little jar, a Kintsugi pot fixed with the things I find around me. My soul is visible in places – in others, it’s patched and safe. There are raw patches, that I guess I’ll eventually cover over. But that little pot is pretty tight right now. I’m managing to fill it up a lot more often, even if there’s…less space in there. We’re working through various things as a business team, because we do sort of have some plans.
For now though…

Substacking

This is my newest project. I’ll be sharing snippets and more. But this Kintsugi thing? I’ll be talking more about it.
As for levelling up?
Because I’ve had shingles this week, I’ve not managed as much as I wanted to. But I’ve taken a couple of things forward. I’ve grabbed a Duotrope trial, to start working towards getting to my stories out there and building my name as a writer, but also to bring in a challenge. To ‘earn’ it, I have an amount I have to be paid for the pieces I submit, and that’s ok. It’s a low goal.
I’m using my diary again. I’ll be clearing my office space. I’m also getting Uni work done – I’m booked in for tutorials, and I’ve got my books ready to go. I’m a bit excited to complete my first year of Uni, and start moving towards my PHD.
And I’ll keep condensing down stuff to here. I’ll talk about that more in the coming weeks, but it’s pretty much a clean up and combine exercise right now 😉

And that’s me this week. Oh, and Kill Kit Killers is out on the 15th. That’s kinda exciting, and I know what the next three books are too! Woot!

Kushka…The best six years we could ever have wished for

Kushka…The best six years we could ever have wished for

I’ve been trying to write this post for about a month.  And each time I do, I end up crying and backing away from it.  But it’s with the heaviest heart that I report that Kushka Viola, aka OfficeCat, was put to sleep on February 26th, after a short but valiant battle with her various illnesses.
The last post was a few days to go until Glass Block…..
The day before the release was the other half’s birthday, but the night before,  Kushie was having trouble breathing.  We thought it was another infection (Kush had a URI from adoption) and steamed her and put her in her box with her nebuliser and on Monday, called the vet.  The vet came to get her, and then everything kinda exploded in our faces.

Monday, we discovered that she had pneumonia so bad they couldn’t see her lungs, probably had diabetes and was really sick.  We didn’t think it could get much worse than that, so, we kept trying for another day.  She was completely out of it, and the vet said she’d gone blue at one point, so we knew it was bad.  We reluctantly asked that they didn’t resuscitate her and thought happy thoughts that she’d fight.  And fight she did.

Remember that ‘it couldn’t get any worse’.  We were wrong.  Tuesday confirmed her diabetes, pneumonia in one lung at the back, and a ‘growth’ in her chest that the vet couldn’t really identify.  It could have been an abscess, it could have been her lymph nodes.  It could have been much worse.
Diabetes in cats is difficult, or at least that’s what we were told.  Diabetes in cats like Kush, with permanent URI’s….might have been impossible.
Pneumonia…she could have recovered.  She’d have never been the same, but again, with her nose infection, she’d have really struggled, and it would have been a long road.
And then there was that growth.
I just couldn’t put her through it any more – neither could David.  We let her go on Tuesday 26th February, cuddled up in my arms.
I really miss my gorgeous girl.  I miss getting batted and beaten up because I’m not stroking her fast enough when she hops up on the couch.  I miss finding her waiting to be steamed as my bath is running.  I miss her singing, even at three in the morning.  I even miss her funny sneezes.

But….we had the best six years any owner could ask for.  She was an amazingly intelligent, cuddly but independent girl who loved nothing more than to snuggle on the couch next to us, or park herself on the windowsill.  The daft cat that went missing and was so happy to see me when the other half picked her up that she was reaching through the cage batting at me.  Our gas fire in the living room was her friend – she’d rub up against it waiting for it to be turned on, and slept happily in front of it.  And she sang.  Oh my goodness was she loud.  I miss her jumping on my laptop to make me close it.  I miss her coming to get me when I’m sad.  I just miss HER.

I thought I’d share this with everyone though – because she doesn’t deserve to not be remembered and enjoyed by others.
So.

I thought I’d share all of the gorgeous pictures that made us smile.

Bye baby girl.  We miss you so much.