The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

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

Happiness isn’t earned, but then again, it is… #MondayBlogs

Happiness isn’t earned, but then again, it is… #MondayBlogs

It’s been a weird week at Casa Wilson-Viola. It started on Monday morning, waking up with THE worst cold, and wanting to get so much done, and then….getting a call about my blood tests from the Friday before. Turns out I’m incredibly anemic again, so I was right about that. And while that wasn’t a surprise, what came next kinda did.

I don’t know enough about anemia to actually talk about it properly, I just know what I know. And what I think might be going on, but I’m still waiting for some outstanding blood tests. That was why what came next was a bit…’what?’.
So. I’m not just one type of anemic, I’m two. It could be that I’m actually only one, but I’ve got one version that’s different from the last time, that causes the second one, or if I’m actually two. So. Monday was the ‘omg, your iron count is really low’ anemia conversation. The last time I had it, I was two points lower than I am now, and went for infusions in January 2022. So, tests were arranged for once I shifted my cold, and that was that.
Tuesday though, I got a text asking me to pick up some supplements from my pharmacy. I didn’t really get to talk to the doctor this time, but when I read ‘B12 and folate deficiency’, I started researching. Mostly because I wanted to work out what was ‘different’ this time, and whether it also explained the reason I asked (turns out, it doesn’t). I’ll talk about that a bit later, cause this week has been a bit of a pivot for me, without actually changing the general plans I had.
You can be one type of anemic without the other, but this time I’m both. I’m unsure where that leaves me, and won’t know till I talk to my doctor about the tests and what my next steps are. For now, though, I wanted to share the after…

This week has been a perspective change…

I was talking to a friend about the things I was changing to get ‘better’, which added time to my day that I’d been clearing down for writing, but she raised something that led me to the idea that I wanted to share.

I’d been talking about how it kinda made sense that my motivation wasn’t there, why I was foggy and tired all the time, and I said that before, I’d have laid down and postponed stuff. Given in for now. But, the last week was basically ‘ok, so what do I do?’.
Part of it is deciding that happiness is something I work for. Another part is that giving in…it’s not something I want to keep doing, and honestly? I can stay in bed and write.
So, that’s where happiness is and isn’t something we earn comes from with me. Happiness is something you can work towards, by achieving goals, and it’s the type I’m cussed on right now I guess, but you can also stumble into it too.

Especially if your balance is anything like mine right now.

This week is a big one for me – I’ve got books to announce, projects to signpost and more, so don’t be surprised if there’s more posts than usual appearing, and if you’ve got questions about the dietary stuff, hold them? I’m writing that up next 😉

Working hard, playing less #Mondayblogs

Working hard, playing less #Mondayblogs

Things have dramatically changed for me here in the last four weeks. As a bit of a recap, I thought I’d share why.
In June, I decided that I didn’t want to keep going the way I was, and, as people kept asking, I was going to launch a coaching project. And while there had been a lot of interest in private, in public, people were just…less engaged I guess. And that’s ok – with everything going on in the world, it might not just be the right time for it, but it left me feeling less than stellar, if I am honest.

Tempus and I have been talking for a while now and one of the things I had observed is it’s hard for me to care full time for myself, my daughter and the house and run my business, let alone write, which I’d barely had any time for. Tempus, who is my beloved other half came down with Covid a couple of weeks ago, and as he recovered, one of the things he said to me was that I could consider just stopping for a bit… he’d support my writing.

I run businesses, but I do it to write…

Ultimately, while I run a hosting, coding and formatting service, and planned to teach coaching classes, but I do it all – all of it – in aid of my family, and books. I’ve always thought of myself as an author, though I am really quite good at other stuff, apparently. And I’m very lucky – I get to do a lot of fun stuff. But…

The honest truth of all of this is as my daughter has grown older, although she manages college, there are other things, like me, that she finds very stressful, and unfortunately, as an adult, she is encountering them more and more. I’ve often got to support her, which is absolutely ok, but it has meant that I’ve got less time to do other stuff, and, as I have mental health issues too, something had to give. And it did. Luckily, the ‘give’ was a choice, rather than what I know other people often face, so now, I just…change direction.
It’s not as easy as it sounds, and over the coming weeks, I’ll be explaining why.

At the end of the day, I’m lucky

While this isn’t how some people experience this kind of push, I am effectively now a part time looking after the house, and part time writing. Which is both exciting and scary. And I thought I’d be talking to you guys about it as we go, because, quite honestly, I think some of the advice will be useful – I hope – to other people.
The next few weeks and months are going to be incredibly exciting for me – and I hope, for you guys following along. It does mean I get less time to play with code and other stuff, but honestly? I’ll happily trade that off, for now, to get to support my daughter, look after our house, and best of all, write.
That adventure starts fully on October 1st, though I’ve been doing prep all month for it, around CV19, and other illnesses. ANd I’ve got some interesting stuff to show off, already. That’s coming up on Thursday 😉

Rebooting… #Mondayblogs #rungirlrun

Rebooting… #Mondayblogs #rungirlrun

I kinda feel like I’m watching a flashing cursor sometimes right now. As I said in my last post though, Tempus is talking about giving me space to do something to make me happy.
And honestly? it’s been a bit of a shock. And a bit of a weird thing to start organizing.

And it’s a LOT like starting at a blinking cursor. A blank document.
But it’s full of hope, if I’m honest. Blank is scary, but blank also means endless – or nearly endless – possibilities.

First tentative steps

I’m not stepping away completely from my business – after all, I’ve run a hosting company and written before. I’m also not stopping formatting books, as it makes no sense to. But I am stopping the plans I had for coaching and teaching. I’ll be running a 30 day writing challenge from the 30th September, and I’m looking at what I can do to write and set myself up.

It’s not easy choices, if I’m honest – so this week really is about consolidating and working out what to do. Pivoting back to writing isn’t as easy as going ‘yus, writing time!’. I’ve still got commitments to clients, but I don’t think I’ll be taking on new ones for a while. I want to take this opportunity – it would be entirely ungrateful to do otherwise.

Rebooting…

I do very much feel like I’m rebooting my computer inside my head though. And maybe even doing a little bit of a clean install – removing some of the stuff I don’t need right now. It isn’t the easiest of things, if I’m honest, but, I am really lucky. I’ve got this opportunity, and I don’t want to waste it.
I am, thinking hard, in short.

So…what do you guys think? What should I do? I’m looking at books and trying to decide what to write, but for now, I’ll be working on my backlist and thinking.

Broken, busted, depressed #mondayblogs – Losing hope, briefly

Broken, busted, depressed #mondayblogs – Losing hope, briefly

I’m in a bit of an odd, vulnerable place right not.
And it’s been going on for about three months. Because I literally started writing this post in June of this year. And stopped.

Everything.

Broken, busted…

I don’t know how to put into words how hard the last few months have been, if I’m honest. It’s been a rollercoaster of trying to work out what to do and how to do it, and if I’m entirely honest, it’s been painful and unpleasant and just not fun.
A lot of it too has to do with stuff not really in my control. I am disabled and care for someone disabled, and the last few years have seen that ‘commitment’ as it were, rise and rise. The more time I put into getting better, it seems the more time I need.

In June, things really started to slip. I wasn’t in a fully regular routine and with summer just around the corner, all my grand plans for getting help and getting stuff done(TM) were shattered when various things happened.
Fast forward three months, last week, and everything just… collapsed in a spectacular fashion.

There is a light at the end of that tunnel

This week, we’ve had a house full of sick people – my beloved caught Covid (he dodged it, somehow when we had it, but we think we picked it up at Alton Towers as a few days after our day there, he was so ill that, completely unlike him, he took to bed for most of the day from Saturday till this morning. He’s much better now, to my intense relief), and we’re slowly sliding back into a routine of sorts. But on Tuesday, after he’d thought about stuff I’d been saying I guess, he told me that he wants me to just focus on writing for a bit. To stop trying to fight against ‘the tide’ because though I was trying something big and bold, the public encouragement was there, but in private, more people wanted ‘a free slot if everyone else was paying’ than the people actually choosing to engage with the plans themselves. Months of work on designing a coaching project aside, the discouragement I felt – and if I’m honest still feel – became so palpable, that I … I spiraled completely.

My beloved to the rescue…!

Tuesday night, I’d had a rough day (plague house, shingles break out for me, cold-sores starting, the works), and I went up to bed and I said to him ‘I can’t do it’ and he said ‘k. Tell me what’s in your way?’ And I told him. About how people want to do it but don’t seem to be signing up, about how it feels like the wrong time to be asking people to commit to coaching in this environment, how most of all, it’s not easy to teach people mindfulness, abundance and accountability when I’m not a reflection of it myself. He went very quiet and said.

“I think it’s because you’re not writing. How about you stop and do that for a bit.”
I told him that the business wouldn’t survive if I didn’t get this to work, and he said “We’ll make it work. Trust me.”
And that was it.

I’m not saying it’s not going to be painful, but, he’s right. I wished for a way to afford to write again, and it’s not the one I’d have chosen, but I am grateful that he’s willing to back me until I’ve got that bit of my life square again.

It’s still taken a couple of days to write this. I’m still dealing with a shame spiral I CANNOT fathom, because I feel like, once again, I’m letting people down. But at the same time, I’m actually willing to look at my laptop again. I’m sad because I won’t get to earn my Remarkable the way I wanted to, but…I don’t need one to write.
There’s a lightness of heart to go with the ‘oh, I don’t like this’ failure feeling.

So….yeah…that’s been my last three months. What about you guys?

(actually, one notable exception. Ludosport. I’ll talk about that next blog post).

Made of stone, heart of glass #Mondayblogs

Made of stone, heart of glass #Mondayblogs

21 years ago today, I was in intensive care. Concious, and actually, in good shape, just waiting for a transfusion. My daughter – who is also 21 today – had been delivered an hour or two before – and they’d nicked her placenta, and that created quite a serious bleed for me. I apparently lost over a litre of blood.
Probably a good thing I was distracted with the baby girl I’d just had, huh?

21 years on though, I have a beautiful daughter, an amazing son, a good life. A great one in fact. But I still struggling sometimes. and lately, it’s been one of those periods of painful growth.

I’ve got a heart of glass

It’s often said in fact, I’m ‘soft’. I’ll give in easily when people ask me for things, though it’s very much a CPTSD/people pleasing thing. It is in fact why they’ve asked me to write a book about it. People pleasing is a major problem with people with most mental health issues, IMO, but I guess one of the issues I have with people pleasing is when you don’t keep doing it, others turn you into the bully, the villain. In my experience, instead of being thanked for supporting people as far as I have, I’m the ‘bad guy’ because they feel they can’t do what they want to do, but don’t want to acknowledge that they’re getting the help.
And after a while, it leaves you feeling like saying no will leave you with a heart in shards, when they get upset about it and ‘fight back’.

The thing is, I’ve also got a really thick skin too – for criticism at least of my professional work. It’s an odd thing to think about, I guess, but it’s important to bear in mind that people like me – that work with other creatives, and support them as best they can – that give to the community – when they’re criticized for not continuing to do so because their boundaries are really difficult to work with and ensure that things are…stable, safe. And when referring to safe with boundaries, it’s something really important. Because honestly? We don’t handle boundaries well when we people please. And for me at least, it means my heart ‘breaks’ but bounces back of my thick skin, so the only person that really gets hurt…in my experience anyway…is me.

And that’s completely at odds with my ‘gratitude attitude’ (I’ll explain why I hate that one later) and trying to be happy and settled and….good.
I wonder if anyone has any thoughts (kind ones please, I’ve got enough wounds right now, mostly self-inflicted.
Right now, it’s holding course, it’s remembering that this is hard to deal with, that it’s NOT ME if I really need to fix my boundaries.

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 onlineSocial 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