The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

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

Well, that wasn’t quite what I had in mind

Well, that wasn’t quite what I had in mind

I know I said I wanted to simplify my life, but this wasn’t quite what I had in mind…..

First up though – good news.

My dissertation was handed in on Thursday.  I’m so excited that I managed it, and am delighted that I got through it in one piece, more or less.  In the end I never handed in the story I wrote at the beginning of the year, that I’ve prepped to hand it in and instead ran with the first half of a new Elliot and Morri novella.  It’s done, dusted, handed in.  And all I need do is wait for the confirmation that it’s been received and I’m all good.

And the bad news.

I think all I need to is link this site and leave it at that.

Sometimes I’m truly ashamed to be an indie writer, and I’m hoping that shame wears off before I’ve got to actually help some of my indie writing friends, or it’s going to colour my enthusiasm and they don’t deserve that.

Well, that wasn’t quite what I had in mind

Kai’s ‘day in the life’

I’ve thought about this a lot in the last three or four weeks – and every time I go to write it, I realise it’s difficult to pin down my ‘average’ day.  But Chris Brogan outlined his day, so I thought I’d give it a try 😉

There are a couple of commonalities, but it’s been difficult to tie everything into each other lately.  But I thought I’d give it a try.

My ‘job’.

I am a full-time writer.  So I copywrite, and if I’m not copywriting, I do other content for my blogs, or write fiction.  I’ve been off fiction for a while, but I’m working on most of it with a vengeance again.

The morning:

7am – if he doesn’t wake me up at 6:30, I wake up mostly naturally sometime between 7 and 7:30.  My first thing I do, and I hate, is check my email for messages overnight from my clients/the team I sub-contract with.  It means my morning might be started on a good note or not, depending on edits and stuff that have come in overnight.
I tend *not* to check in on Facebook unless I really need to.  I get the kids ready for school – and if I’m not feeling sick, I grab brekfast.  I’m trying to teach myself to do that more often, because I think my body confuses nausea with hunger first thing and it has a knock on effect.

8:30am – Kids are normally out the door by now – so I do email, and blogging and anything else I feel like.  Right now, in the morning I’m doing fiction writing and writing until lunch.  Today, and for the last six days, I’ve been working on my dissertation.  Next week, the kids go on holiday and I’ll be working on my novel for its final work through before handing in.
I do Facebook quite a lot during the morning, between writing, in snatches.
If I’m blocked, I blog.


Lucky to stop for lunch – working from home means that I can do it whenever, but I normally forget.


In the afternoon, I’m a great copywriter.  I don’t know why the difference exists between morning and afternoon, but it is.  I write until around 4pm, when the kids get home.


In the evening, I’m on Facebook, I’m interacting with friends, I’m doing my best impression of a meerkat and listening to the world, with my head stuck above my ‘burrow’.   I collapse into bed around 11pm, after a hot bath, one last check on Facebook, and either games on my iPad, or one last bout of writing.  If I can’t sleep, I knit.

And Tuesday nights, I game with friends – we’re currently roleplaying through a 40K Rouge Trader game, where I’m the Captain.

Intermingled with all of this, I keep an eye on several self-publishing support groups on Facebook, and put the finishing touches on a lot of the things that I’m setting up for launch post dissertation (this Thursday to hand it in!)

Today’s tasks

  • 2 Blog posts for my client’s equality blogs
  • 4 blog posts to get my blogs ahead – including bi-polarbears 
  • 4k of my dissertation (2k writing and 2k editing)
  • Press release for DarknessPD.
  • Set-up for new community site for self publishers.
  • Chapter edits on two books for clients
And anything else that comes up 😉
My ‘takeaway’
One of the big things I’ve learned from Chris over the last years is there’s always a ‘take away’ – an underlying message that comes from what I know now versus what I knew the last time I did this.  The last time I did this I was signed off with a mental health disorder – and had just quit Uni for the year, and going back into the classes later in the year to try again.
I’ve come *a long way* since my last ‘day in the life’ post.  Seriously.  Things have changed so much – I own two limited companies in the UK and our last year’s turnover was great.
The takeaway?  I’ve come a long way – and I’ve got a lot to be proud of but there is no such thing as a regular day in the life of a fiction/copywriter. 🙂  Not for me anyway.
How about you?
things you probably don’t know about me – 25 at a time

things you probably don’t know about me – 25 at a time

Barred Owl (Strix varia) – Whitby, Ontario (Ca...

Image via Wikipedia

One of the things I’ve realised is that many people don’t actually *know* me, some of that’s deliberate, but that if I don’t start really connecting with people, all of the advice I give people about working with their community is going to be pretty hollow.

So, here’s how this one’s going to work.
For this first set of 25, I’m going to tag five people and then for the next set, I’m going to use people that have commented on the post.  Once a week on a Sunday, I’ll post em and we can see if we can’t all get to know one another – y’never know whom you might meet 😉

The 25 things

  1.  My real name isn’t Kai.  My real name doesn’t even contain, legally, Kai, and though I’ve been threatening for years to change that, I’ve never gotten round to it.  My name is very girly, and I never felt it suited me, so I changed it, post breakup from the father of my kids.  I have a whole circle of friends that get very confused when people use my ‘real’ name (though, I’m not interested in sharing it in public ;))
  2.  I am 32, and I’m a Scorpio.   I’m a very typical Scorpio too.   whether that’s an aspect of the fact that I’ve got a strong personality, or whether it’s because of something else, I’m not sure.
  3. I don’t actually buy into a lot of the ‘hippy’ stuff that we call ‘New Age’.  I used to, and then realized most of it was probably my positive mindset.  I still wear stones and colors that I like, but because I like them, not because they ‘vibrate and heal my aura’.
  4. I own two limited companies in the UK.
  5. I love birds of prey.  Especially owls and falcons.
  6. I hate writing right now.  Just hate it.  I’m tired and burned out and sick of my dissertation, and want it over with, and that’s sad.
  7. I’ve been in Uni for a year extra than most of the peers I started with.  That last year was a bit hit and miss really.
  8. I am a closet linguistics geek.  My main interest is a field called ‘Forensic Linguistics‘ and I had a paper accepted for publication on it recently, but declined because I realized I could make the findings better.  They liked that idea.
  9. I own 220 domains – 98% of which are mine.  I hold some for other people, but not many.
  10. My natural coloring is red hair, hazel eyes and very pale skin – but in the last few years I’ve started going a very pale honey brown after living in a part of the country.  I dye my hair more vivid red because people seem to ask less questions about how ‘natural’ it is.
  11. My favorite books aren’t probably publishable as a list because they make me look *really* bad.  In that number are several books that are, or have been banned in the past.  Transgressive literature isn’t so much something I like as something that I learn from.
  12. Socially speaking, I’m a bit of an idiot – I don’t get a lot of the social stuff that goes on around me, and am very direct when people piss me off or put me in a poor situation.  I also get very annoyed when people use others for their own gain, and often see it long before others do – while I’ve been told in some cases it’s just how it is.  But socially, I’m horrible at new situations, and even worse at understanding why something doesn’t work.
  13. I love to code.  But I’m not very good at it, and do a lot of what I do from trial and error.  I know the very basics of PHP but most of what I’ve learned isn’t from reading books on coding, it’s from reading code.  Again, back to the linguistics aspect of my mind, but I get on very well with code once I understand it.
  14. I have several pen names – one of which, including my back catalog is up for sale to another writer.  He’s more passionate about it than me and just as good a writer, so….
  15. I sleep on my stomach because I’m scared that I’ll be choked to death.
  16. I love sci fi.  I used to call it my guilty pleasure but now I just call it my pleasure.  But I don’t get on with shows like ‘Andromeda’.
  17. I can be very closed minded when I want to be – then realize what I’m doing and fix it.  Sometimes years after the fact.  Most of the time, once you’re in my bad books, that’s it.  You never get back into my good books.
    Conversely, if you’re my friend, you can get away with just about anything once.
  18. I really don’t get on with people that believe they are the font of all knowledge.  I hate it when people think that’s what I am too.
  19. I knit.  I don’t do it often, but I do knit.  I also cross stitch like a pro.
  20. I am currently playing a rogue trader in my beloved’s 40K tabletop game.  Maeda is a bitch and she’s keeping it pretty well covered so far.
  21.  I dislike cooking with a passion.  If I could live without food, I think I would.  But I love to make meals for friends.  Just don’t like cooking for myself much.
  22. I was on Seroquel from May or so of last year until 2 weeks ago.  There’s a very good reason that I’ve stopped, but we’ve not gotten there yet, so I can’t talk about it ;).  I am an outspoken mental health advocate on my ‘award winning‘ site.
  23. I dislike, intensely, being the centre of attention, though, time and again, I put myself ‘out there’.
  24. I feel like I’m a fraud….oh, most of the time.
  25. I am bipolar, have a touch or at least aspects of aspergers, and have an unspecified personality disorder to do with self esteem.
And my five ‘tags’
I tag –
  1. Keith Foreman (who is one of my best friends in the whole world)
  2. Mary-Ann Peden-Covellio – Mary-Ann is an incredible writer and another very good (best) friend.
  3. Valerie Douglas – amazing writer whom I’ve been honored to get to know lately.
  4. Rae Gould – fantasy writer extraordinaire and my co-mod on tonnes of projects.
  5. Stephen King – another amazing writer – I seem to be surrounded with them – who keeps a very good blog on writing.

And that’s it.  The five I’ve tagged *could* do 25 points of their own, or you could just go check out five really good blogs.

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Well, that wasn’t quite what I had in mind

Some Twitter hashtags I set up :)

I thought I’d share some twitter hashtags I’m ‘behind’.

#tIAG – the Twitter indie Author Group The Indie Author Group is a group on Facebook, that I’m part of.

#iahop  – for the Indie Author Blog hop!

And finally, Superwriter’s Sunday – #swsun – a bit like Follow Friday, but to show the best authors that you know.

How you should use these hashtags

Twitter hashtags are brilliant for promoting your stuff – but only if you use them right.  Use them to tag posts you think someone should see, to ‘file’ something with other, similar stuff, or, possibly most importantly of all, showing solidarity to a ’cause’ or group of people.  The last use for twitter hashtags is best expressed in #mywana – my ‘we are not alone’, set up by Kirsten Lamb.

Have fun with it!

Well, that wasn’t quite what I had in mind

I needs me a better job

Actually, I don’t – I needs me a bit more organisation, to make my job better.

At the moment, I get up at 7:30am, deal with the kidlets, and if I know I’m going out, I shower, get dressed (into clothes I’ve laid out the night before if I’m super organised) and sometimes walk his lordship to school.  I do my stuff in town or over in Cheltenham, and head back (though, right now I’m not keen on leaving the house.  Don’t know why but I’m forcing myself to go further out of my comfort zone so that should be fixed in plenty of time to go to London or travel on my own (with the kids but also on my own on the way back) n the 28th.

I do some chores around the house, because I can’t settle to writing when I get up.  Conversely, unless I do something low tech before going up to bed, I struggle with falling asleep too, so it’s something I’m working on.
And then I spend anywhere between 4 and 12 hours writing, depending on workload.  I edit and blog too .  I’m looking right now, at a mountain of my own edit – it’s one I can’t send out for a professional edit because it’s my dissertation and that’s just not allowed.  It’ll be done in 15 days though.  2 weeks tomorrow I hand it in.  I’m crapping myself.

The problem I’m seeing with my ‘job’ though is that I’ve got other stuff that I have to shoehorn in.  I don’t like the idea of having to precisely map out how much time I spend with friends – and I don’t like that I’m already gearing up because I’m having less time over the summer to do ‘stuff’ and there’s no room for it.  And it’s mostly down to disorganisation.

There, I said it.  I’m disorganised.  I flit from job to job without a care in the world, and I could do so much better – and get more done.  I already fit work that takes ‘average people’ (going by rescuetime/various writer’s sites) a lot more time, and enjoy it.  I can, if I put my mind to it, write around 3k in an hour.  I have to be really desperate to write, but I can. (at 803 words in 11 minutes this morning!)

My other problem is the overwhelming amount of tech at my fingertips.  It’s not ‘normal’ to be able to read and knit at the same time, but with the kindle, I can. (I used to be able to multitask like a pro – I’m slowly getting back there, other than my attention span, since I fell in 2007 – anyone that says head injuries without loss of consciousness aren’t horrible are liars.  I did myself serious damage – I’m also not entirely sure I didn’t lose consciousness, kinda, because I can’t remember the fall.  I also don’t remember being picked up, but my beloved swears blind that I fell onto my back.  Which means I might have done myself more damage than I thought).

So.  I’ve got four days of limited access at the end of this month.  And then another four the weekend after.  I won’t be online for work between the 4th and 9th of August, because I’ll be packing for my holiday, enjoying my holiday and getting back from my holiday.  it’s right smack bang in the middle of the time away from the kids too, so it’s good.

I’m also a full-time house momma.  And that’s where the biggest problem now comes in.  I’m not doing regular chores, and that bothers me.  I’ve tried Flylady (and didn’t enjoy it) and I think, in part it’s because I’m very independent and don’t like being told how to live my life.  I’ve never responded well to limitations and not being allowed to do the things I want to do.  When I modify my life, I’ve actually thought about it – even if it’s a split second though, I do actually go though considering stuff, and reconcile it with how I process internally.  Unexpected stuff throws me, which is why I can’t stand being involved in groups where people are childish or difficult to work with.  I’m already pretty inflexible, and I’d say, sometimes, childlike in how I deal with the world.  It’s not an aspect of my bipolar, it’s just who I am.  I’m also mostly incredibly literal for someone that messes with language the way I do. it’s probably the forensic linguist in me.

Anyway, the point with this is my life is too hectic.  There’s no room for new stuff without dropping other stuff, and I don’t like that.  So.  Though I’ve merged down here, and should get to blog more often, it’s still going to be erratic for a while.  Not deliberately, but more because my technology isn’t at the point that I need it to be.  Roll on Os5, but I betcha before then I work it out.  It’s only taken me…what, nearly ten years?
in all seriousness, the ‘new me’ starts straight after the first holiday.  I’m planning some crazy, but valuable stuff.  I’d love it if people could come along for the wild ride 😉