The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

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

New stuff…a new design, backlist announcements and more! #mondayblogs

New stuff…a new design, backlist announcements and more! #mondayblogs

Firstly, I’ve redesigned my blog. I’d love to hear what people think of it, and if you’d like to see anything.
I’ll be connecting up more of my blogs as time goes on, but for the time being, and I’d love it if you sign up to my newsletter.

I’m also delighted to announce that on Friday, I’ll be relaunching Glass Block!

Glass Block

When Big Brother fell out of popularity in the early part of the 21st century it was replaced with ever more ‘realistic’ reality TV shows, till the need for this was replaced with a need for fantasy. In an attempt to resurrect the old format some die-hard fans filmed themselves locked in with a recently released murderer. The person to get out got the money from the stream sales at the end. Needless to say, they were slaughtered.

Word of this spread on the internet and a ‘sanctioned’ version by the UCPS (United Coalition of Prison Services) was established. Brought in from Darkness, one of the cities providing most of the prisoners, most of which he’d been responsible for collaring, Elliot Peters is forced into a nightmare world where the walls are made of glass and people vote as to whether you survive.

Glass BLock by D Kai Wilson-Viola

Glass Block is the start of a series of sci-fi books. Check back on Friday and I’ll share the link!

And coming up next….

There’s more on the horizon for me, but for now, I’m really happy with my site and my book!
How’s everyone else doing?

C is for #Covid #atoz2022 #mondayblogs #ukpolitics

C is for #Covid #atoz2022 #mondayblogs #ukpolitics

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Blogging From AtoZ 2022

Like many millions of people, I’ve now had at least* one confirmed CV19 infection. Irony, as the UK released all restrictions and we learn to ‘live with Covid’, two of us caught it.
And while it was mild, I’m still tired, I’m still recovering, and I once again remember why my doctors are cautious of me, and I can’t even think or wonder how others might be coping with this, or not. And I’m just thankful for vaccines.

I’m actually thankful for a lot of stuff, which I want to talk about before I go after the government. Which I will be.
I am thankful for the support I’ve had, the care given for vaccines, the fact that my GP has been kind, caring and working with me as best they can. I’ve never had an issue with our local surgery, and because they know us, they know when I ask for something, there’s a good reason for it. I’m also thankful though, that we’ve been able to follow all of the guidance to ensure that we actually didn’t get sick until year 2. Given everything that happened with Titanboi and his extra kidney (which ended, as in, the stent came out, the morning we went into a sixteen week lockdown in March of 2022), we’ve been lucky, and safe for the whole time. A lot of the time, that has been down to the choices we’ve tried to make, following guidelines, but, we’ve had so much that we can do that others might not have had the luxury of, and that’s important to be clear on. A lot of why we’ve been ‘ok’ is because we’ve had the opportunities that let us protect ourselves and our community.

We did also lock down, entirely, for the week and a half @artenapan and I were testing positive for. She had a terrible cough, and was tired (and still both are), and headaches, while I had all that, and a temperature of 39.8(C) for more than a couple of days. That temperature was the worst for me, and I had a BAD chest infection, so was given steroids and antibiotics. Artenapan spent the first ten minutes of us suspecting that she needed serious help because she had a ten minute coughing fit. Those ten minutes, I have to be honest, were the most scary ten minutes with her, ever. But we got her to stop coughing, we tested, and our LFTs were out in record time. In her case, 2 minutes. And, we then did what we could to protect everyone around us. We cancelled my son’s visit for Mother’s day (which we had this weekend in the end), and for the week we were both sick, it was kinda miserable in the house. We are, however, recovering. We are lucky.

This may not be the popular opinion but…

I don’t go political very often, though I am an outspoken about a lot on my own profile, and I’ll go on the record and say that the NHS rock. They’re doing a job they are not funded for, and that’s the government’s fault. And at every turn, the government – especially the current Tory cabinet, who I’ve lost track of through various reshuffles where they play musical chairs – are just insanely inept, and at every turn, demonstrate why politicians SHOULD come from the communities they serve.

My partner and I both feel that if an MP wants to judge someone’s life, they should experience it. Let’s see them live on the average wage, especially with our current energy price hikes. Let’s see them live on what people are earning at their poorest. Let’s see them deal with children that need special needs and work through their SEN meetings, and social service support. Let’s see them get the mental health support they need after ten plus years of cuts (and again, the NHS are heroes for giving us the support we get. I am NOT going after them, despite some of the issues I’ve had with them. I’ve had issues, yes but, Dr C and M, my last psych nurse, were actually my friends by the end of it. I still write to them twice a year. They gave me … not the life I had, but the best life I can have now back. I’ll talk more about that when I get to P for Psychosis, but… one of the things we’ve talked about is that if the government stopped defunding critical services, and expecting us to be ok with that.
It’s not ok.

Full circle in one sentence

No thanks to the government, thank you to the NHS, who got me through a bout of Covid. Yes, we’ve managed to be the lucky family – so far – who lives with covid – but through no thanks of our local MP. He doesn’t speak for us, elected for us though he is. And the whole government? With the deaths and other issues that have happened since Brexit, and Covid (though some of it was unavoidable), they should be ashamed. They aren’t. But they should be.

I did also want to add…

I’ve mentioned the fuel crisis in the UK. Our energy price caps jumped by 50% now and it’s predicted it’ll happen again in October. We, as a family are still lucky, and safe, but I know many people that are not. Our government has done less than nothing to prevent the week of stress all of us have been through. And to be clear, we’ve been stressed and we know we’ll manage. It’ll be more money we pay out for our utilities, but we can do that. But we know families that are living in fuel poverty, and the insipid response, alongside the absolute clusterf*ck that was trying to get our meter readings in before the prices jumped, was absolutely insane. In my case, I was awake every two hours, and kept trying. Started at 11am on the 31st. Finally got my meter readings submitted at 4am the next day. I can only imagine what people living on the poverty line already are feeling, and the last thing we need, after two years of isolation, is to hit next winter, and be dealing with illnesses based on poor heating, and other problems related to poverty, let alone the mutations we are probably going to hit from Covid, the overstretched NHS, and the exhausted staff…many of whom may be just as affected by fuel poverty (no, I’m not kidding). So…this was C for covid, but it’s also C for ‘Can we vote them out and press charges?’.

*I say at least once because we don’t know if we’ve had it before now.

The Covidcoaster – a week of ill #Mondayblogs #rungirlrun #kaiatus #Bloggingfromatoz

The Covidcoaster – a week of ill #Mondayblogs #rungirlrun #kaiatus #Bloggingfromatoz

Last Monday, I posted about how myself and my youngest tested positive for CV19. Monday/Tuesday, I started getting really sick. Monday, I’d been quite cheerful – after all, Artenapan, my daughter, had had three days of a cough and little else. That’s not how it played out for me (spoiler, it’s REALLY not how it played out for me).
The net result of last week was a week spent either in bed, sleeping, in a cool bath, or generally feeling like I was being slowly boiling alive. I mean it’s been great for story ideas (that make zero sense now that I’m thinking through them, but they worked when I was awake at three in the morning, staring at the roof), but it’s also been less than brilliant looking at what I’ve wanted to do over the last few months.

And heading towards #Kaiatus too…

The plan was that by this time now, we’d have several books out, I’d be tending towards various more announcements, but the truth is, I’ve struggled, a lot. I don’t have excuses, it’s just how it’s been the last few…it’s just how it is.
I’m planning on changing that as we move forward, but I’ve decided to go with the flow. We were going to offer a bundle for the rest of the year with various books, but I’ve got to be honest, I’m not sure I want to promise that. I’d like to say we’re doing something to move forward, but…I can’t say what we’re doing till we do it.
I’m working on my pages, I’m working on projects, I’m working on my happiness. I’m working on my writing. I’m working on myself mostly. But I’ll be moving forward as I can. We’ve got so much back end work to do but it’ll be ok once we get there. But I can’t say when it’ll be. I’m just pulling myself up for now and hoping that we’ll eventually just make everything click. 🙂
And then there’s Camp Nanowrimo too!

On the 1st, I’ll be starting the A to Z, and I’m hoping that I keep improving, but I’ve been so tired and sore and it’s just…. hard to think about what I’m doing moving forward, until I’m moving. But the thing is, I am moving. So, we’ll see.
I’m hoping too, to unveil a new look here, but that’s been delayed because I was sick.

Anyone else taking part in the A to Z? What are you doing?

The two pink lines we didn’t want… #mondayblogs #rungirlrun

The two pink lines we didn’t want… #mondayblogs #rungirlrun

Just a quick one this week, as I have had a positive LFT for covid this morning.

Lft 2 pink lines #covidtest #UK

What this means in all practical terms is I’m more grateful than ever for my vaccines and, in part due to something my partner said this week, I’ve pitched a book about two lines. As in…tests like that.

The only others I’ve really encountered were pregnancy ones, and two lines often meant good news. And it hit home this morning.

I akways end up with books, but, for now, I have a very unwanted virus, I hope I remain out of hospital, and… yeah. The rest, I’ll talk about when I am less wiped.

Imbolc, Chinese New Year, St Brigit’s day #newbeginnings #mondayblogs

Imbolc, Chinese New Year, St Brigit’s day #newbeginnings #mondayblogs

I’m still feeling pretty down, and I’ve been away for a bit. Plus, I loged in this week and discovered that the theme I’d been trying to pull together had gone completely pear shaped, so I’m running a new, possibly temporary one.
But it’s all new beginnings, which is really, quite a theme today.

So. 恭喜发财 (gōng xǐ fā cái), may the seeds you planted make you the happiest you can be this year. I’m working on changing things, and letting go of regret. I’m not sure whether I can plant that and it’ll grow into something better, or if I discard it, but I do know that right now? New starts aren’t something I’ve really got the inclination for right now, but we don’t get the choice. So I’m embracing what I can.

Books and more will be coming really soon, but I’ve got to get through some work, some uni stuff and more. But I’m hopeful things are getting better.
Imbolc for me though is about planting and tending seeds. Which I’m dealing with as I can. And I’ve got a few ideas for some new books. And hopeful that I’ll deal with the stuff that’s in my way.

How about you guys, how are you?

A 2022 plan in the making… #mondayblogs #backlist #kailarks #rungirlrun

A 2022 plan in the making… #mondayblogs #backlist #kailarks #rungirlrun

So I did my retrospective. And I don’t do resolutions, mostly because if I did, I’d get into even more trouble than I’m in already. But, I do sorta, do plans for the year ahead.
I’ve split them into personal and professional, then split appropriately from there. That said, I’ll forget something, I always do. And it’s not exhaustive. There’s stuff I cannot post yet, like the planned visits to production and filming, if we do it this year. But here’s what’s on my current lists.

Professional

My professional splits down into three areas. Business and service which covers all of my formatting, hosting, coding and other stuff.
Passive income and professional writing, which is where I blog for my own blogs, or other companies and make money from it
and
Books.

Business and services

This one is a bit complex, cause anything I commit to has to also go through my business partner, but she and I are planning:

  • Hosting for writers and PhoneixFormatting online and running a booking calendar. HFW runs hosting and code design, wordpress management and more, while PF is where we format pretty books. 😉 Like, really pretty, you could fall in love with them, books. Which is great, cause that’s what every author wants.
  • AOK and IT up and running. These are keyworded projects, because we’re still sorting them out. They should feature lots of indie stuff.
  • Stuff for writers and my marketing/tutorials site back online and feeding to various places, in both my professional commitments and my own sites.
  • Having a solid plan for everything we’re doing going forward that’s reasonable and meetable. Both of us have health challenges, so it’s one of those…. “gotta do it, but HOW” conversations.
  • Teach at least six classes and have two masterclasses running happily by year end

Passive income/pro writing

Again, this is a bit of a hard one. I’m managing editor on one site, so I’m responsible for rounding up the writers. 😉

  • All commitments to story prompts and other stuff met and optimised. No deadlines missed. Currently that’s just Ladies Of Horror, but I want to add more to my list
  • Set up and run Indie Author Group (I’m managing editor there, so it’s really set up new guidelines, write up content and import what isn’t exclusive) and start my new column for Horror Tree. I’d really like to have 100 exclusively written articles not on my own sites by the end of the year, which is basically one every three and a half days or so, or two a week. I can do that.
  • Set up a few blogs for help with specific topics and long tail the crap out of it all.
  • 12 submissions a month from Duotrope. Poetry, prose and articles beyond what I’m committed to.
  • Substack and Medium up and running and perfect.
  • classes – taught for a cost.

Books

Totally not complex this one, but always seems to be the biggest set of problems. From people messing with my account to delays of my own making I guess this one is the one that worries me, professionally at least, the most. But is also the most important to me. I love being an author.

  • My WHOLE backlist reissued. My current count seems to be 31, with about another 12 books cancelled from last year, and probably another few that I could set up from books I’ve scrapped and need reworked. I’m calling it 30, cause some are giveaways too. So, 30 backlist. There’s also a set of … 15 I think short stories that I was doing over Nanowrimo that are ready to go, I just need to format them.
  • 12 short stories OR novellas issued. There’s a group for this project, or should be.
  • 3 series continued, one of which has to be Darkness and Elliot.
  • 6 n/f books written and published or close to published by year’s end, OR with a contract.
  • Signed with my agent.

Phew.

Personal goals

My personal goals are a lot more ephemeral and don’t really break down into anything approaching organised.

  • More Ludosport – I don’t know how long a form takes to graduate from, but I’d like to be all the way to finishing form 1, and getting into Form 2. I want to be less afraid there too.
  • Body FX training too strengthen my core and have a bit of fun doing it
  • Enjoy more movies and games, and complete a few of them.
  • Read (or listen to, cause we use Audible too, but I only count it if I actually listen to the book and am awake for it as it also runs at night so we’ve got some form of white noise going on) 150 books (Goodreads challenge)
  • Not break my streak on 4thewords
  • 20th year Nanowrimo, both Camp Nanowrimos and 2 million words total in writing (that is sorta a professional goal too).
  • Declutter and organise the house better
  • Set up the office the way I want it to be set up
  • Say yes to good things more often rather than think ‘I can’t’ because I’m exhausted, so rest up and get ready for some fun!

Again there are others. We’d like to travel again, but only if it’s safe. I’d love to do Steelcon again, and I’d love to go to a Games Day too. I’d also love to have a baby with my beloved but they’re pretty much aspirational and up in the air based on how the world continues to behave over the coming year. Covid and it’s vaccines aside, I do have to wonder if the radical changes people don’t like are as bad as they believe. I’m struggling with some of them, sure, but if it’s to keep others safe, cool.

And that’s my final one. Keep myself, my communities, my family and friends and others safe, keep paying it forward, and keep swimming and lifting others where I can. And continue working on my therapy, as it’s gotten me a long way last year and I’m sure that’ll continue.

Next post, in a few days, will be about the actual places I’m working/writing and announcing everything. Calendars need set up and discussions with my amazing business partner, Brianna Hawthorne, need to take place before then, but we’ve got a lot planned. We just need to work out what we’re doing and how, and finish planning.