The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

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

Who am I?

Who am I?

Cricket asked this and at first, I thought, ah, well, that’s easy.

I’m tech support.  I’m a writer.  I’m an extremely clever woman.  I’m a graduate of Creative Writing.
I’m a mother.  I’m the woman that’s dating one of the most amazing men in the world, bar none.  I’m close friend to people that I can’t mention by name, because my privacy and theirs is worth more than the street cred it might get me.

But that’s all very ‘external’ and perception based.

So, I tried to go a little deeper.  My name isn’t Kai, but it’s what everyone bar my family and a very few friends call me.  My last name also isn’t Viola – yet.  It’s not that we don’t intend to get married, it’s just that the practicality and expense of it all – it’s not only overwhelming, it’s so huge that I just can’t look at it.  At all.
I’m nearly 33.  Mother to two wonderful children here with me and one that had a name that passed over at ten weeks pregnant. Empty shell right now, because I can’t, for the life of me get and remain pregnant, and I’ll be honest, it’s on my mind a lot.

And that leads to thoughts of failure and loss.  And I’m that too.  I failed to do what was expected of me – many times.  Hindsight being what it is, I know now that some of my difficulties are trying to function as ‘normal’ when I’m anything but.  I’m an extraordinary woman, not least because I have bipolar disorder.  It’s not just a disorder though, it’s shaped my whole perspective, personality and way of life.  I have a fair idea what the day is going to bring when I wake up, but there’s always that rogue chance I’ll be off cycle, and anxiety, which I always pretty much accepted as background noise is something that’s slowly becoming less like a sly whisper in the back of my head and a shout that drowns out everything *out there*.  And I know some of that is to do with my thought pattern.
Ans the language I use, which is something else that I am.  I am a language Geek.  Capital G. I love linguistics and have found my favourite field in linguistics to study, if only I could find the money to do it.
Some of the reason I failed though was fear.  Whether I accept I’m paralysed by it, or have a world to create around it, shielding myself from the things that make me feel that way remains to be seen, but what I do know right now is that I dislike it.  A lot.  I’m afraid of everything.
Afraid people will see through me and realise I’m a fraud.
Afraid that people will find that out, and tell others.
Afraid that what I’m doing is somehow *not enough* and that when it comes down to it, my life will be a series of moments that I missed.

It’s still external and tied to an event though.  And if that’s all I am, a series of events, doesn’t that make me a series of moments, and though I can’t say that the good always outweigh the bad on a year to year basis, there are more neutral to good days in our house.  So, doesn’t that make me mostly neutral good? (Or lawful-neutral for our gaming readers ;))  But that’s not me either.  Because those moments, even if they were instigated, orchestrated and meticulously recorded by only me, are still external.

Who am I?

I’m Kai.  I’m not perfect, and I know that deep inside of me there’s a crack that I skillfully and artfully make people ignore,much like the hole in Amelia Pond’s wall.  I am a geek, and the carrier of worlds that, lets me fair, only currently exist in a very warped mind, bundled up in fair, freckled skin, vibrant red hair, and a body that ends up in corsets a lot less regularly than I’d wish for.  I’m NOT famous, and doing my level best to keep it that way, but I am a writer and artist.  A good one if my degree is to be believed, and those that have pried my stories off of my hard drive can tell.
I leave a legacy in my kids of an amazing pair of children, with strong personalities – a legacy I currently get to enjoy each and every day, so I’m a shaper of the future, no matter how transient that influence, and I’m a good friend, who goes out of her way to do what she can to help, protect and support those she cares about, though, I fail quite often at that too.

I’m learning.  I’m Kai.

Weekly author spotlight

Weekly author spotlight

(I’m part of a facebook group called ‘Indie Authors Unite‘ and we do a weekly facebook blog hop/swap – I’m a bit late this week, this was actually supposed to be last week, but when the laptop died, that kinda scuppered that!)

This week, I’d like to introduce Helmy Parlente Kusuma

Give me a two line description of your book
-Mementoes of Mai is the story of a man who reached an intersection and has to decide where to turn in order to have the love of his life.

Give me a two line description of you
-Helmy Kusuma is an ex-IT worker who has spent two decades typing on the keyboard when suddenly the egg of  inspiration fell on his lap.

What’s your favorite scene in your book?
-When the main character was in the middle of a bay shouting “Yeah!”

What did you find hardest?
-Rock, I guess…no, wait a minute, I believe diamond is the hardest.

How about the process – what did you think you were good at, and what did you struggle with?
-I am good at descripting something but still working on creating good dialogues.

If you could ask a fan one thing, what would it be?
-Would you buy my next book?

Who is your favorite author?
-Paulo Coelho

If you could meet any one person, who would it be, and where would you go for lunch?
-I would like to meet Jesus and have lunch at a mountain’s tip. I have always wanted to ask him “Do you like salmon or tuna better?”

Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
-Buy my book or I would send the minions of darkness to rip your wallet, steal 99c and slap your face with my book.  Kidding. Seriously, please buy my book.

Smashwords  , Kindle US  , Kindle UK  , Kindle DE 


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Who am I?

Kai’s weekly todo

One of the things I’m working on, other than writing and releasing books, is making my life a bit easier.  I work 30 hours a week as a copywriter, and on the surface, given I also care for two kids and the house full-time, that might seem like I’ve got a good work/life balance.

But I don’t.  I’m still struggling with basic scheduling, and fitting everything in.  I’m still underestimating how long errands take, and I’m still struggling to disengage effectively from places like Facebook.  I guess it really drove the topic home when my boss posted on the AppleCopywriting blog about removing distractions.
So, weekly todo’s are the way forward.  With time set aside for all of the work that I’m expecting, it should help 🙂

For now, I’m using ‘Workflowy’ to manage the vague stuff, that isn’t dated.  And I’m not sure what I’m going to use for actual deadlines, possibly toodledo.  There has to be an easier way, but for now, it’s a bit difficult to see my way out of the forest for all the tasks that are stacking up around me like brittle wood. 😉

Who am I?

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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Who am I?

A bit more discipline

Contrary to popular belief, I’m really *not* as organised as I seem.  I need tools and apps and everything to stay as ‘on top’ of everything that I do.  Which, in some cases is a real shame – my ‘spontaneous, got room to actually *write* stuff is much better than the stuff I write on […]