The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

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

K is for Kindle (Scribe)

K is for Kindle (Scribe)

This entry is part 15 of 22 in the series AtoZ 2023 - The AtoZ of Me

(please note, this is a rare blog with affiliate links in. Please do remember that when or if you click through).
I have a Kindle Scribe. I got it as soon as I’d heard it came out, because I’d been eyeing the Remarkable for years, and when the Kindle Scribe came out, I jumped at the chance.
It was a birthday present from my family, though I’d ordered it beforehand, and was excited to get it, and when it arrived in December, I was over the moon.

And I still am.

My everyday companion

I haven’t quite given up on my paper diaries, but, I’ve got everything else on my Scribe. Between it and Todoist, 99% of my ‘must do’ is all up to date. I’m finally at the point where I can, I guess say that everything that I’m not disrupted because of swapping stuff over, so I can say fairly confidently, that I’ve found everything easier since swapping over. And I get to work on my books on my Kindle – my book editing flow is so much better now.

The Kindle Scribe comes in three sizes, with two pens. I’ve got a 32GBs with premium pen, and I’ve grabbed another pen, which looks like a pencil 🙂

Do you have any thoughts on the Kindle Scribe?

I is for ink

I is for ink

This entry is part 13 of 22 in the series AtoZ 2023 - The AtoZ of Me

Did you know I have a tattoo?

I do. When I seperated from the father of my now adult children, my brother offered me a tattoo for my birthday/Christmas. I think he was expecting a little butterfly, or something that was on my shoulder or back, that would always be covered, but…well, my tattoo remains mostly covered, but it’s not exactly a discreet tattoo.

I’ve got a biohazard tattoo on my spine.

It’s got a meaning too. A lot of people joked to say that it’s a tramp stamp, but it honestly is something important to me.

A biohazard symbol marks the contents as hazardous to biological life. All of them. Including me.

I used to say my biohazard symbol marked how I felt about myself, and in a way that’s true. I am…in some ways, dangerous. To myself, to others. But I can turn that danger to other stuff – for example, nuclear material is marked as biohazard. It can be used to power…anything, when refined and treated correctly. And that’s how I view my tattoo. I don’t like myself, I feel dangerous sometimes, but… I’ve got the power to be so much more. And I’m responsible for that power. To use it properly.

G is also for gaming

G is also for gaming

This entry is part 11 of 22 in the series AtoZ 2023 - The AtoZ of Me

I’ve spent all of my life gaming. Literally, since I was small, I’ve been obsessed with games of all kinds, from computers and consoles to boardgames. Since I was nine, I’ve been playing in RPGs, starting with Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve played everything since, from Warhammer 40k, and everything else I can get at ever since.

I’m also super lucky that I’m married to a gamer. Our house is basically a geek paradise, and our date night often consists of gaming.

Currently playing…

So, right now, I’m currently playing GloomHaven with our friends – I’m also playing that on Steam. In our gaming group, I’ve just levelled up my first character, and I’ve just started a bard, of sorts. Online, we’re playing a D&D, run by a dear friend.
Online, I play everything from Fallout 76 to Wingspan. We also have a lot of the games we play as boardgames.
I’ve got a console and I’m saving for a Steam Deck, but first, we’ve got the UK Games Expo which I’m saving for. Which is where we get to try new games and buy art and spend a fortune 😉

Based on…

One of the final great things about gaming is that I get to write stories too, from adventure ideas I’ll never run to books I’d love to read. And, I sometimes pull characters from games, that I’m playing, and develop them. That’s how I ended up with Shula, and how Jonathen ended up in Cry Havoc (though, in the case of Cry Havoc, and Jonathan and the wraiths, they came from my ‘bad idea bear’, aka my other half).

F is for Fun…

F is for Fun…

This entry is part 9 of 22 in the series AtoZ 2023 - The AtoZ of Me

I actually do a lot for fun. From writing and blogging, to LudoSport (which I’ll be blogging about later this month), gaming (tomorrow) of all sorts, reading and gardening. I also do lots of crafty things, from using my Cricut, diamond paintings, knitting and learning now (or trying to learn) to crochet, cross-stitch, and I’ll be learning to make macrame creations. I’d love to learn to do resin artwork too, but it’s on my later list, cause there’s only so many hours in the day.

Fun, or downtime

While I used to struggle with this, downtime is one of those things that I now specifically schedule for. I write as a job, but I also love writing in general, so I count that as work AND play. I also blog, because I like sharing information, and giving people the support they need.

I exercise in the garden, and at LudoSport, and I enjoy going for walks in gardens, and Arboretums and in parks and forests. I love nature in general really, and it’s nice to spend the time with my family.
I also meditate (again, I’ll write about that) later in the month, and yoga. I also collect various things – dice, artwork from games, books, and FunkoPops.

I also have models for my games, and my computers, and consoles. I enjoy spending time with my family, and love my cats.
Most of my stuff though, is included in my awesome banner. See what you can spot 😉

What do you do for fun?

Yesterday’s blog posts

E for Elliot

E is for Edinburgh

Yesterday’s comments

(I’m on a deadline, I’m going to catch up after then!)

E is for Edinburgh

E is for Edinburgh

This entry is part 8 of 22 in the series AtoZ 2023 - The AtoZ of Me

Princes Street Walk

I am a native of Edinburgh,
Auld Reekie born and bred,
scrappy, beautiful, like our famous dog,
And a beauty over a gory, bloody history.

A melting pot of cultures,
loud bagpipes, in endless loops1
the Fringe, Hogmanay, Beltaine,
the city alive, beautiful, brilliant.

Athens-like Folly2, overlook
some modern shames, like the ever
tripline replacing trams3,
whose tracks warp, even in the
flash summers of Scotland.

The misheard street names,
that of Princes Street, in front of Queen,
we stand there, by the Scott Monument,
our picturesque ‘Goth Rocket’4
waiting, for the One o’clock gun,
tourists asking when, bemused residents answering,
asking one another “if it’s not just in the name?”

Look out over the gardens, then back,
A mishmash of souvenir shops, blaring
traditional music, the echo of bagpipes,
forever kept, the hotel fronts, or grab a coffee
and transport stops with dual purpose

Go down, past the galleries, travel to
Haymarket, and beyond,
find the woodlands, the water,
Go to the Braids,
solitude, space, and isolation, in the centre of one edge
or to the Pentlands to Water of Leith,
dance out in Colinton,
where Princes may have walked,
leading me back home.5


1 – I’m not complaining about the bagpipes, I actually like them, but for the month of the Fringe, it’s just a wall of sound. Understandably, but it’s a lot.

2 – The Folly referred to here, is also called ‘Edinburgh’s Shame’. It was built, and then ran out of money and was never completed. It was abandoned in 1829. It’s beautiful, and it’s also the backdrop for Beltane’s fire festival.

3 – No one really likes the trams, not anyone I’ve spoken to. There’s been a lot of backlash about them. i betcha though, saying this, I’ll be told they’re actually ok now. All I know is that they’re one of the major things both our families talk about as an issue with things happening in the city. Recently, the only thing they’ve been more annoyed about is the random bike lanes popping up like vines.

4 – No really, we call it the Goth Rocket 😉

5 – I used to walk from the centre of town, home. I’d start on Princes Street, after walking down from my now partner’s flat a few streets away, walk to Haymarket, then up to Fountainbridge, pick up the Union Street Canal, then come off it, onto the Water of Leith and home, to the Calders or Wester Hailes. It was a long walk, but I loved it, especially in spring.

Yesterday’s posts

D is for ‘Don’t call me that’
D is for Darkness #Elliotpeters
D is for DungeonBashers

Yesterday’s comments

Songbird’s Crazy World
Life after 50 for Women
Brizzy May’s Books
Arbitray Dust Bunnies
The Curry Apple Orchard

D is for ‘dont call me that’ – aka Donna #Mondayblogs

D is for ‘dont call me that’ – aka Donna #Mondayblogs

This entry is part 7 of 22 in the series AtoZ 2023 - The AtoZ of Me
I’m going to get right to the point with this post. My birth name isn’t Kai. Or Kaiberie. My birth name is Donna.

A name I don’t relate to

I personally believe that our name is one of the things that define us. And while I know the definition of Donna is ‘lady’ in Italian, I’ve never felt particularly ladylike. I am, in fact, the biggest tomboy moving. I’m actually quite proud of that fact, and don’t avoid hobbies just because ‘that’s not for girls’ (it comes up less now, but it was quite common, even in the gaming community until recently). I always have been. From being more interested in computers, and playing RPGs (D&D was bought for me, for the first time, when I was nine). I was a cadet; I loved being online at internet cafes, I love computer games. As I’ve grown older, though I am definitely ‘feminine’, the name Donna has really been associated with some really bad memories and some of the worst times of my life. And most importantly, it doesn’t feel like me.

So, I changed my name

I’ve been Kai since, basically separating from the father of my children. I’m very open about it not being my legal name (yet), but it *is* my preferred name. Funnily enough though, Kai and Donna, though they have some differences, are still quite interestingly linked. A little at least in my mind.

Kai in various languages

Kai has various meanings, depending on the language you’re thinking of, and while it’s considered a gender-neutral name, it’s rarer for a girl to be called it than a boy. In my case, it’s short for Kaiberie, but even at Kai, I feel the Hawaiian ‘Sea’, the Mauri ‘Food’, the Welsh ‘Keeper of Keys, or earth’ and even the Japanese ‘shell’. I feel it fits me more than the definition of Donna. But…all, even ‘warrior’ which is apparently from Frisian roots, and a short form of the name Kaimbe, kind of is with me. All of them are nurturing, kind (well, except warrior), fierce, life-sustaining and life-giving.  Much like everything that people say about women, and so while I’ve changed my name, I feel I’m still kinda true to it. Just…don’t call me Donna. (and for those of you that ask, you now know why there’s a D at the start of my pen name).

Yesterday’s Blog posts

C for CPTSD – C is for Cats – C is for Characters – BooksbyKai

Yesterday’s comments

Monty’s Blahg The Sound of one hand Typing