The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

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

The new book site

The new book site

Can’t believe I’m saying this – but tomorrow I launch my hosting site again, complete with automated billing (again, that actually works), but I’m also launching the ‘new’ book site on Saturday/Sunday depending on how much I get done tomorrow.

There will be some new short stories, some information on books and a lot more :)

See you there!

Adverts that annoy me and why that’s important

Adverts that annoy me and why that’s important

I’ve always thought the most effective adverts are the ones that get you talking – I remember starting at Uni and seeing a ‘New York Deli’ mayonnaise one that caused offence, but was still hilarious.  And then the ‘Brains’ from the Thunderbirds dancing one for Drench, which was a bottled water, and caused a lot of conversation between our friends.

But there’s a difference between conversation and annoyance.

Tune Out, Turn Off

There’s two adverts right now that really annoy me – the Windows 7 advert, and the ‘And it’s from Glade you know’ adverts.
They’re both obnoxious, pandering and patronizing – which makes it even worse that I’m even giving them attention.

Windows 7  – I’m a PC and Windows 7 was *never* my idea

The ‘I’m a PC and Windows 7 was my idea’ adverts are probably remotely true in that people have bitched and whined about Vista since before it was released.  So if you consider the BILLIONS of bug feedbacks ‘thier’ idea, then sure, they created Windows 7.  The truth of the matter is that Windows 7 was designed around feedback that we all made – alongside some things that Windows 7 may or may not have asked people about.

I’m actually unsure whether the people that say they’ve suggested the features really did – but it feels so fake and so contrived that I doubt it.  And though I’m now a Windows 7 user (because I felt that it was an improvement on Vista, mainly on the strength of the beta tested product) those adverts are almost enough to make me switch, permanently, to a Mac. (that and the ’switch’ advert is another funny one – done right).  You’ll see how close they are to the ‘Im a windows 7 adverts.

And it’s from Glade, you know

Oh my god, another advert that I hate because there’s some stupid idea that every stay at home mother does the things that the inane woman does.  As a SAHM, I can say, flat out, that I don’t care how the house smells when people show up – clean is better than overpowering sweet candles, unless I’m really in the mood for them.   As for the ‘it’s that clever’ – clearly, Glade aren’t.
A cleaning product or home comfort product shouldn’t focus on patronising anyone – we know it smells good, we know it is worth it if we need that ‘comfort’ – but why not sell the comfort rather than the concept that it’s that clever.  That phrase doesn’t say ’simplicity, it says ‘you can’t remember when you set it off last, and we need to build in a function that fires it off unless you press the button on the front.  Personally, the only Glade device I have is facing the wall so it doesn’t go off every time we wander past, and I press the button when I want it.

Why this is Important

You might think that the fact that advert annoy me isn’t important – but in both cases, I’m part of their ‘target’ demographic, at least on the surface.  My problem with Windows 7 is that they are dumbing down operating systems, and yet expecting people to manage increasingly complex and powerful systems with them – and the two don’t meld well.  The fact that I’m tech support to my parents tells me that Windows 7 hasn’t helped.  As for Glade – I’ll only ever buy it when it’s on offer because my house smells clean enough with the polish and all of the sprays that we use to clean glass, and the floor and everything else.  And none of my friends are so shallow that they care about whether the house smells of Gardenia and Wildflower.

Adverts that annoy me and why that’s important

A Day in the Life

Last night, in the ‘writechat’ ( we were talking about a lot of different things – creativity and inspiration (which I’m going to post about tomorrow), productivity and more.

One of the comments I made was that my day runs on a split shift – that I take the kids to school, do around an hour of chores (more or less), have a half out workout on the wii-fit+/ea sports active, and then between 10:30 and 12, Write.  I stop for half an hour, then write again till 3.  I pick up the kids, and spend time with them and my finacee, and then, at 8:30, when they go to bed, I go up to my office (on the same floor) and then work for another couple of hours three days a week.  I either edit, reearch, or write up a novel in 30 days plan.  But I thought I’d outline exactly what I do and would love to hear from other people too.

History of my ‘Day in the life’ articles

At some point I’ll go back and find my two other ‘day in the life articles’ and place them in the archives, but I did my first ‘day in the life’ piece because I was asked how I fitted everything in.  At the time my daughter was two – and I was with my ex, and I had a very hectic life with two toddlers, an ex who to be honest I disliked and was struggling to keep our relationship together, and was struggling with lots of different things, including starting a business (which collapsed later) with a freind.

My next one, in 2007 was just before my head injury.  By that point, I’d met a new partner, I’d moved 400 miles, and I’d JUST started at Uni.  It was amazing how it had changed, but then I had a lifechanging accident.  I fell and banged my head, and for the next year and a half everything was a struggle.  Both my 2007 and 2008 Nanowrimos were almost the only writing I did.  Poetry that used to flow and spill from me took days to write, and there was nothing left for me to pull from.  I’m not sure, entirely why it happened, but it did, and I went from writing between 6 and 7.5k to writing 3k, if I was lucky.  My 2009 Nanowrimo was more successful, but it was still a monumental effort.   But with my ‘new’ routine, it’s getting better.  Slowly.  And as @toniandrews said, “That’s still prolific. 3K is a good day.” 
I still feel like a failure though – which is more about me than anyone else.

And without further ado, ‘A Day in the life 2010′, ‘Tuesday’

7:30am – The kids and I get up, get dressed, have brekfast, get the last of our stuff ready for school etc. 
8:20am –  The Kids and I leave for school
9am –  Tuesdays is office straightening day – filing paperwork, printing, signing or duplicating contracts, posting stuff back…
10am – Yoga/20 minutes of sports active.
10:30am-3pm – Writing with a quick sandwich stop.  There was no lunch break today.
3pm – left early to go to the library, because one of my requested books was in.
3:20pm – picking up my adorabe pre-teens.
4pm – home, snack for the kids, talk about thier day.  We clean up the bottom floor.
5pm – tea and getting the youngest ready for her Brownies.
6pm – youngest leaves for Brownies, eldest and I do popcorn and a movie.
8pm – youngest is back home, tuck her into bed and then at 8:30pm, do the same with my son. (Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the only nights I don’t read to them)
9pm – Tuesdays is games night, unless it’s cancelled, so freinds, gaming, or movies.  If games are cancelled, I edit my work or write.
10:30pm – reading, todo list in bed or Fallout 3 (which I’m currently playing through if I get everything else done).
12am – usually asleep.

I’m currently sleeping 6 hours, not four, and teaching myself that this is better for me, but I can operate on three or four hours sleep.

Adverts that annoy me and why that’s important

Chattering into the void

I’ve been blogging since somewhere late in 2002.  I’ve been through Ujournal, onto Livejournal (which I still use to this day), and then here, but I’ve always felt like I was chattering into the void.

Others refer to it as looking into the void – ‘if you look into the abyss, the abyss looks back’ (paraphrased, Friedrich Nietzsche) and eventually it’ll look back.  I’ve always wondered if blogging is a bit like that.  You talk and talk and talk, and eventually, people talk back.

So I thought I’d say thank you to the ‘people’ talking back. Your comments are always welcome, and though sometimes it seems like I’m chattering into the void, and not saying anything to anyone at all, I’m always thinking of my regular commenters and looking for their opinions, and fresh voices to give me new insight.

Thank you.

Adverts that annoy me and why that’s important

Why is the site called Insanity Mk x?

Honestly?  It’s called Insanity Mk x because it’s been changed, revived and moved so often now,  that I can’t remember what iteration we actually are.
This should be the final one though.

Also, just in case the tagline gets asked about, has been a constant factor in my life since 2004.  And we fund our writing habits any way we can, don’t we? – Insanity is contagious, Mk x – Funding my writing habit since 2004.