The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

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

On the road again…

On the road again…

Well, I’ve kinda posted about it over on BooksbyKai, but, as most people that read this blog know me pretty well (I think), I’m pretty sure everyone knows that this month (mid-May to sometime in June) is referred to as #Kaiatus. Bad pun, I know, but I’m the person that runs Kailarks, so I’m sorry, but only a little.

Anyway, #Kaiatus. I take time off over May, in part because May is a pretty busy month. We start with our anniversary (well, the 29th April really, and that’s our handfasting), then we’re usually prepping to go to Games Day (The UK Games Expo really), and celebrate my daughter’s birthday, plus May tends to be when I do my spring cleaning. Don’t know why, I just do.

This year, I stayed around until a few days ago, because…well, we celebrated our handfasting, and then I had another professional milestone. 10 years ago, I self-pubished a few short stories on what we now consider to be mainstream platforms (my first self-pubbed book goes back to around 03/04, where I sold PDFs of my poetry from my blog/bi-polarbears. Yes, this blog. THIS blog is 17 in July. Bi-polarbears was 18 in March. It gets better…the Livejournal and disorganised site I kept that was basically this blog beforehand, dates back officially to 02, and earlier if you count the baby HTML sites I buit. Ahem.)

Anyway, alongside that anniversary, my publishversary, I mean, one of the major projects I helped to found, and still work as an admin and the webmistress/managing editor for is also 10. I don’t think one would have happened without the other. That group is the Indie Author Group. ūüôā

But now…

Well, now, I’m travelling home for a week. This will be the first time I’ve travelled, really, since last September/October, but, more importantly than that, it’s the first time I’ll have seen our family since Christmas 2019. We never got to travel when lockdown was loosened, Christmas 2020 was just a clusterf*ck for so many reasons (I had shingles, the youngest needed to self-isolate for CV19 contact, and to protect as many people as possible, the rules kept changing to the point we just couldn’t go home. Which I bitterly regret, as we lost my gran in February.)

So, that’s part of why we’re going home. Another part is none of us have done anything remotely ‘holiday’ since….well, before Christmas 2019. Christmas 2019, I was kinda distracted with my son’s health and getting him to a place where we could support him. Tempus and I did go on a small trip late 2020, but it was his work and I was too sick to be left alone. Go me?

So…home?

Home, for those that haven’t been around for long, is Edinburgh. Shockingly, the gaelic speaking girlie comes from Scotland (anyone that’s seen my videoes will not be surprised. I have a recognisaibly Scottish accent). So that’s where we’re going. If I’m lucky, I might get to go get some reference photos for a book I want to write, but, if I don’t, the place I want photos of is easy to get to when were in Edinburgh, so it’ll keep.

Mostly, I’ll be spending time with family, and, as I do when we travel (it’s a six+ hour drive), I’ll think, and do some planning. I’ve got a ‘Legendary’ Planner, which I’m going to be trying out. And I’ll be doing some decluttering and house re-org, planning books, and getting ready to do some study for Uni. AND reading some books that I’ve been putting off for a while.

In short, I’ll be ‘off’. Buuuut…blogging more ūüôā

First though, home. I’ll be sharing in real time on my Instagram, and I’ll do roundups as I can. Be good without me ūüėČ

The featured image? Well, one is me working while I go, the other?
That would be a view of Edinburgh, with an inconvenient lamppost.

And then she said….follow me :)

And then she said….follow me :)

I know, I know, I said yesterday I’d post something, but we filmed this, we filmed some other stuff, and then…well, other things got in the way, so we changed the order we did the vids in, and stuff.

I’m writing this from my bed today – I’m not having a great week already, but I’m sure it’ll get better ūüôā

So, today, I’m inviting you over to Authorinterrupted, which you, Constant Reader, may or may not know, is my ‘professional’ writer’s blog, but which, for a very long time last year was just ‘my blog’. ¬†I’m going to split off the personal posts and either mirror or redirect those to here.

For those of you asking how best to keep up with this instead of remembering where I left off the day before, if you go to ByKai, you should find that all the posts mirror there, though they may appear slightly out of synced order to when I post on Facebook to say there’s a new post live. ¬†But, also as requested, Kai’s Blog Page, or Kai’s Blogging Network as I prefer to call it, has started this week too! ¬†Exciting stuff.

So, without further ado, my promised freebie, and see you later, over on Authorinterrupted.com – let me know what you think!

If it’s not behaving here, I’m launching my own Youtube Channel too, so please join me over there, or on my page at Facebook, where I’ll load it direct!
([youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDMd_U4lGIw])

The adorable, endless grind

The adorable, endless grind

I guess I’m going to get some funny looks for this post, but writing is an adorable, yet endless grind. ¬†I’ve been arguing with people today about it today, but we grow, and we learn. ¬†And writing is both pleasure and pain, or at least for me. ¬†And I’m still stretching my muscles and wearing them in again.

I set myself a goal of 100,000 words this year, and I’m already a fifth of the way there, just blogging, doing 750words.com and a tiny bit of fiction. ¬†I want the fiction to be much more of an element in it, but seriously, it’s easy to write 100,000 words, just by blogging and doing 750words.com. ¬†I may need a bigger goal!

In the interim though, I thought I’d introduce my new readers to a few things that they might have missed:

My main Facebook page.
My main G+ page.
My twitter
My writing Blog
My PR blog (which I share with Kriss Morton)
I’ll stop there – I’ve got pen names too, but y’know, it’d be great if you’re following the main stuff…it’ll cut down on your clutter too.

We (Kriss and I) are sorting out some other stuff to launch too – a horror blog and a couple of other things besides.

But yeah, that’s where we are right now. ¬†I’m back to looking for a job, which is really fun, and really tiring. We’ve temporarily stopped trying for a baby, while I settle into everything. ¬†We’re coming up with new and interesting ways to amuse the now not so kitten-sized kittens. ¬†Life is as it is.

Kushka…The best six years we could ever have wished for

Kushka…The best six years we could ever have wished for

I’ve been trying to write this post for about a month. ¬†And each time I do, I end up crying and backing away from it. ¬†But it’s with the heaviest heart that I report that Kushka Viola, aka OfficeCat, was put to sleep on February 26th, after a short but¬†valiant¬†battle with her various illnesses.
The last post was a few days to go until Glass Block…..
The day before the release was the other half’s birthday, but the night before, ¬†Kushie was having trouble breathing. ¬†We thought it was another infection (Kush had a URI from adoption) and steamed her and put her in her box with her nebuliser and on Monday, called the vet. ¬†The vet came to get her, and then¬†everything¬†kinda exploded in our faces.

Monday, we discovered that she had pneumonia so bad they couldn’t see her lungs, probably had¬†diabetes¬†and was really sick. ¬†We didn’t think it could get much worse than that, so, we kept trying for another day. ¬†She was completely out of it, and the vet said she’d gone blue at one point, so we knew it was bad. ¬†We reluctantly asked that they didn’t¬†resuscitate¬†her and thought happy thoughts that she’d fight. ¬†And fight she did.

Remember that ‘it couldn’t get any worse’. ¬†We were wrong. ¬†Tuesday confirmed her diabetes, pneumonia in one lung at the back, and a ‘growth’ in her chest that the vet couldn’t really identify. ¬†It could have been an abscess, it could have been her lymph nodes. ¬†It could have been much worse.
Diabetes in cats is difficult, or at least that’s what we were told. ¬†Diabetes in cats like Kush, with permanent URI’s….might have been impossible.
Pneumonia…she could have recovered. ¬†She’d have never been the same, but again, with her nose infection, she’d have really struggled, and it would have been a long road.
And then there was that growth.
I just couldn’t put her through it any more – neither could David. ¬†We let her go on Tuesday 26th February, cuddled up in my arms.
I really miss my gorgeous girl. ¬†I miss getting batted and beaten up because I’m not stroking her fast enough when she hops up on the couch. ¬†I miss finding her waiting to be steamed as my bath is running. ¬†I miss her singing, even at three in the morning. ¬†I even miss her funny sneezes.

But….we had the best six years any owner could ask for. ¬†She was an amazingly intelligent, cuddly but independent girl who loved nothing more than to snuggle on the couch next to us, or park herself on the windowsill. ¬†The daft cat that went missing and was so happy to see me when the other half picked her up that she was reaching through the cage batting at me. ¬†Our gas fire in the living room was her friend – she’d rub up against it waiting for it to be turned on, and slept happily in front of it. ¬†And she sang. ¬†Oh my goodness was she loud. ¬†I miss her jumping on my laptop to make me close it. ¬†I miss her coming to get me when I’m sad. ¬†I just miss HER.

I thought I’d share this with everyone though – because she doesn’t deserve to not be remembered and enjoyed by others.
So.

I thought I’d share all of the gorgeous pictures that made us smile.

Bye baby girl.  We miss you so much.

 

Momentum

Momentum

We move through our lives at a constant pace. ¬†We can accelerate or decelerate ourselves with a limited amount of success, but the speed we do things at, at our base rate at least, is probably something we’ll never change. ¬†Some of us rush headlong into everything and batter through life as fast as we can, hungry for as many new experiences as we can pick up, and tired at the end of each day because we’ve packed in so much.

Others go as slow as possible, savoring every step, and realising, deep down, that they can’t do everything they might want to.

My problem is I want to savor everything, but I want it all. ¬†I have too many hobbies, and too little time on my books for new stuff. ¬†I book far too much into my life, mostly because I can. ¬†My laptop became both my freedom and my curse, because now, there’s a whole world of reading and writing out there, and I get nothing done.
Facebook is a horrible blessing. ¬†I can meet and hang out with so many wonderful people, and keep an eye on my¬†friends, and there are some really cool games on there, but, lets face it, I’ve got a nasty habit of refreshing my page again and again, and then wondering, at 2pm, where my day went.

Worst of all, I’m a person that moves through life with a momentum that pulls others along behind me. ¬†And lately, I kinda feel like I’m out in the middle of a great big ocean, with no chance of finding the new land I was aiming for. ¬†But it feels like I’m stranding other people now and I don’t like that feeling.

Momentum is working out where you’re going and I think that’s the biggest thing for me right now. ¬†I need to work out which map I’m working from – someone else’s or my own. ¬†If I’m working from someone else’s, where can I adapt it so it’s all mine – or if I’m going to dive on in headlong and do it all myself, I need to work out where I want to go – there are *so many* choices right now.

What I do know is tomorrow begins my ninth Nanowrimo. ¬†I’m really looking forward to it. ¬†It gives me another month to work out and plan the¬†roller coaster¬†that is about to be my life. ¬†One way or another, things will start resolving and working out the way I want to.

Plans are coming soon, though. ¬†I’m happy to report there *is* a plan, but it’s difficult to see whether it’s the right choice right now. ¬†So I’m going to have a bit of fun with my writing for a bit, and see where that takes me. ¬†It’s too easy for me to lose sight of what I wanted to do when I started out online – which was writing. ¬†I’ve gone all over the web since, looking for something that’s ‘all me’ but what I am, underneath it all, is a writer.

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The adorable, endless grind

Home office organisation basics

Work at Home Writers licences this article as a free reprint as long as all links remain intact and the article is unedited.  For edited or commissioned guest articles/blogs please contact D Kai Wilson-Viola via our contact form. This notice can be removed, but the bio should remain in place.

One of the biggest challenges writers, or anyone that works from home face, is thier home office.  There are lots of things to take into consideration, from where to situate it, to organising your paperwork and more.
In this series of articles, we’re going to talk about all of this, with a couple of things that most people don’t think about when setting up a home office besides.

First up – what do you *really* need?

One of the key mistakes people make when planning a home office is looking at space and then cramming themselves into it – or conversely, not thinking through everything they need and then discovering they’re scattering themselves over several rooms to accomplish it.
So, think about what you really need.¬† Do you *need* a sprawling desk or can you fit your work into a smaller area? More importantly, if you do need a lot of space, do you *always* need that space?¬† In the case of people who work from home making products, you might need quite a lot of space that can be condensed down, or alternatively, you might have machinery that doesn’t compact well.

Choosing your space
In most homes, there are areas that have to serve dual functions – in our house my home office is in one of two places – at the dining room table, where I do most of my paper based work, and in the guest room, where I write and type.¬† Our filing cabinet, through neccesity, lives in the conservetory, so my home office is scattered througout our living space.¬† It makes organising my workspace in a traditional sense very difficult, which is why i’ve learned to plan my tasks carefully – but if you’ve got a space room, or area under stairs or even a corner of another room that you can use as your office, that’s perfect.¬† If you can’t, do what I do, and repurpose areas without changing the ‘flow’ of your house.

Using your diningroom table

One thing I learned, early on, was that using my dining room table meant that I needed to pack up before the kids got home from school, or at least make sure I was using as little of one end of our 10 seat table as possible – if I didn’t, I’d spend time when I was getting tea ready, cleaning up eveyrthing on the table, so I have a rule now – if my paperwork is going to take longer than the time I have between breakfast and tea, or if it’s the weekend, I don’t do it unless it’s an emergency.¬† I’ll do other bits of prepwork on the laptop instead.
You have to consider a couple of things when looking at your dining room table, or kitchen table – and one of them is how much ‘traffic’ it sees.¬† Mine is pretty high, to be fair – there’s four of us in the house that use it constantly, sometimes at opposite ends from one another.¬† Others might find that sometimes their table is entirely ‘free’.¬† So I’ve taken to thinking of it as a conference room of sorts – and ‘book it’, even if that booking is just a mental one.

Got nowhere at all?

A good way to look at the home office in general that’s ‘shared’ with other duties, is to consider when you’re going to lose it.¬†¬† I have to plan for visits, because I lose my office then.¬†¬† It’s not a hardship, I just plan around it.¬† So if you’ve got no space, consider instead making your ‘home office’ anywhere with a table and some space to keep a filing cabinet.¬† Can’t even manage a filing cabinet?¬† Keep some boxes that hold foolscaps and store your paperwork in there.¬† They stack and can store in many places easily.

D Kai Wilson-Viola is a blogger with a purpose.¬† She’s owns DigitalSteward LLC, a full service design and copywriting company that offers everything from WordPress support, to grant writing, and lots of things in between.¬† A parent, blogger and author, she works with her diverse experiences to run Work at Home Writers, a blog which talks about working as a writer from home, whether you’re an author,¬† copywriter or blogger.