The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

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

Birthdays and stuff

Birthdays and stuff

Normally, I do my ‘birthday’ update on or around my birthday – but I’m a couple of days late this  year.  And with good (ish) reason.
On the 8th of this year I graduated officially.  And so began a week of visits and catching up with friends and family.  Unfortunately, so also began a week of random exhaustion and a horrible rash that’s over most of the front of my neck and up one shoulder.

The rash
The rash itself isn’t actually too bad now, other than it itches like mad.  I’m itchy in various places to be fair, but it’s all mostly associated with one side of my body.  I spent Monday rearranging my conservatory, and sorting out the house –  Tuesday – I graduated – Wednesday and a docs visit saw me picking up meds, but little else.  I started needing about 200% more sleep.   Thursday, mom came back from Egypt, and visited.  Friday, Keith arrived, and Saturday….

Well, Saturday was supposed to be my book launch, my big birthday *bash* and my graduation celebration.  It ended up being coffee in the morning with my nanoees, napping most of the rest of the day, before landing in the out of hours service at 5:30.  Which lead to ‘you have meningeal symptoms (stiff neck, headache, bright lights bothering me, nausea, no temperature though), go to the ER’, which led to ‘the heck no’ conversation that comes up whenever I land in the Gloucester hospital.  I eventually talked my other half into letting me go home for my birthday party – which, in the end was food, chatter and watching some cartoons.  And then I slept.  I did much of the same on Sunday.
And yesterday.
As of 11am this morning I’m still randomly needing to nap for an hour or two after only being up for a few hours, I’m stiff, I’m tired, but I’m still working.

Not quite the way I wanted to celebrate my 33rd birthday, but it let me have a think about several things, and, as Glass Block was signed up with a press, I’ve got space now till February to pursue something fun.  So I am.

Birthdays and stuff

999 bottles of beer on the wall…999 bottles of beer

I’m about to go hunting for the daily/monthly word count plugin I’ve got on another site, for lo and verily, I want to actually start keeping track of my writing again.  But that’s not what the title of this post is about.

I’m writing a new(ish) plugin that lets me track what I’ve done with writing – but I’ve also got something else I want to keep track of, something that’s going onto a new blog, but for now, I just wanted a record of it *somewhere*.  I have 137 books to read.  137 books I’ve either bought or been given – not including the new ones that are going to be coming in for review.  And I want to read the lion’s share of them before the end of December.

Sanity optional – aka, I’m not reading enough

One of the major things I’m discovering right now is I’m just not reading enough.  Or, at least, I’m not reading enough that’s not on my laptop, snatched between chores.  I’m also not reading enough, as in, for myself.  The best I’m doing right now, is listening to audio books while I sleep.  Which isn’t good, because the alarm goes off and my brain is ignoring the voice narrating at me, so it also filters out/incorporates the alarm into my dream.  And while there’s a lot of overlap (I’m reading my way through Valerie Douglas‘ stuff at present, partially because she’s a friend, but mostly because I like it), it’s getting to the point where I’m genuinely missing just taking time out to read during the day/evening.

This week is going to be a bit busy, but I’m thinking I might be lucky and get some reading in when I’m at the graduation celebrations.  I’m going to be there on my own after all, for several hours and though I know *some* people there, I’m not entirely certain I know enough people to have conversations with anyone.  On the other hand, but the time I get into my gown and find my seat I might not….

And I guess that’s partly it.  It’s been a really long road to here – one which isn’t fully documented *anywhere* any more, and I’m bone weary.  Writing isn’t something I can abandon, but at the same time there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything to the point I need it to be, before I’m done.  I’m not sure what to do, in the long-term.  But I think some of the time I was going to spend on Nano this month, I’m going to have to put towards planning and settling the stuff that I want to keep, and getting rid of the projects that are good ideas, I just don’t have the time for.  Priorities are going to have to shift again too, but I’ll look at that later this week.

For now, I’ve got a huge week ahead – graduation, book launch (I hope!), birthday party, Nano!

Birthdays and stuff

Insidious lies in the Indie community

We interrupt your regularly scheduled fluff for a bit of a rant.  And I wouldn’t be doing this during Nanowrimo season, but it *really* needs to be said.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word ‘Dystopolitics’.  And my idea of Dystopolitics is actually linked to my own books, but it goes beyond that.  The politics of dystopia, right now, is pretty much looking at stuff like ‘A Handmaid’s tale’ and going, oooh, we’ll make sure our political views never get that radical.

And you know, the politics of dystopia.  The radicalness….it’s seeping into everything going on around us.  I’m days from a graduation ceremony I never though I’d make.  I’m getting a 2:1 and I couldn’t be happier.  But I’ve found myself in a community of radicals that many refer to as entitled, and I just look at and think ‘You’d be so much happier if the world wasn’t actually democracy, because that’s what you’re campaigning for.’.  And you know, that cuold be a horrible thing to think about people, but when they say what I’ve heard lately, I think you’d question whether then understand free speech, a scale of awards, and the rights of others….let me give you an example….

I’ve been reading a lot of ‘I don’t need to worry about grammar and editing, all that matters is I’m writing’ or ‘you’re jealous because your book isn’t out yet’, or ‘would YOU accept a C from your kids if they came home with it on the report?  Then why accept a three star review?’.
All of this has kicked off since I started working as an editor – and a lot of it comes out when people discover that it’s going to cost money to edit their books.
There’s two insidious lies I’d like to address today.  It’s getting a bit dystopolitical in here if I’m honest.  As in, this is the politics of dystopia.  The politics of not doing what we’re actually experincing.  And that’s wrong.
First –  Editing and grammar ain’t important.  O’rhyleah? (sorry, been looking at lots  of Lolthulu lately).  Seriously?  Would I have gotten away with that in a very post ironic way on my degree, or, would my tutor have kicked me from here to next week about run on sentences, and the occasional tense mistake?  I think I’d have been kicked.  I know I would have been – in fact, I was.
So, while I don’t agree with the idea that we need to be locked to rules (and I’ll talk about that more a bit later) if you’re not at least flirting with the acceptance that mistakes aren’t acceptable, then you’re not a professional writer.

There – I said it – it’s not the idea that you can’t afford to hire an editor that doesn’t make you a professional writer – it’s the idea that you can excuse your behavior by HIDING BEHIND not being able to afford a professional editor.
Can’t afford an editor? – I’m writing a book, and I teach classes – check them out.

The other insidious lie is that we’re not all on the same side as writers and readers.  And while that’s true, in some cases (you can’t be ‘on the same side’ if you’re buying something from someone), when it comes to literature, readers and writers ARE on the same side.  We all want good literature, and the best stories.

So – there’s a second element to all of this:

If you are charging for your work, you have an obligation – a paid service provision –  to be professional.

Again, I said it.  If you’re going to publish your work – and people are paying you – for heavens sake, act like a professional.  That goes beyond the presentation of your work, but in the end, that’s all that matters to your reader.