The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

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

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).

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

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!

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?

G is for Gaming (and geekery)

G is for Gaming (and geekery)

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Blogging From AtoZ 2022

As is probably clear, I’m quite the geek. I’ll be talking about how more hobbies cross into geekery in the real world, but I’m a HUGE gaming fan. I’ve spent all of my life, since I was a young child, enjoying fantasy novels and I’ve gamed since I was about 9. From Heroquest, to D&D, I was a huge gamer until I had my children. After I left their father, I joined another gaming club and as I’ve talked about, a bit in ‘A Nanowrimo love story‘, I’m marrying a gamer and we met at a convention.

I thought for this post though, I’d share some of my favourite games, and aa few secrets about stories I’m writing right now. I’ll also share where I’m visiting today on the list for AtoZ (because I published this a bit later than I meant to. (G&H are shared for the visits, so I’ll do five on each, but from here on in, I’ll be doing around ten a day with luck. I hope to visit everyone though!). I’m also going to talk about why gaming seems to be considered a bit of a ‘duality’ even now for those of us that play.

My favourite games…

I gotta be honest, I love all games. I’ve already talked computer for Elden Ring, though I also play others. I’ve got a few games on my phone too, including Hearthstone, and we’re all currently playing our way through Elden Ring bar Artenapan. I’ve got a soft spot for simulation and worldbuilding games too, so I play a lot of things like Kingdoms and Castles, Suviving Mars, Terraforming Mars and the Tropico series, to name a few.

Boardgames and tabletop games feature heavily in my favorite things to do and play too though. Pre-pandemic (which is now over two years ago) we’d started playing Gloomhaven, and we’re hoping to pick that up again soon, but we’ve also got plans to join other people’s games and we’ve spent the last couple of date nights playing Terraforming Mars (the boardgame as well as the computer game), and Wingspan (ditto) and we’re looking forward to having a good explore at the UK Games Expo, later in the year.

And the secret?

I guess the biggest ‘secret’ is one of my main story series’ comes from a character and background I wrote for a game. We stopped less than six months into her story arc, it seemed like a waste, so Shula got set lose on the world. Or, will be. I mentioned her in B for books, but we’re in the process of setting everything up so we can run preorders and more. And on Monday, mine and other indie books (up to 60, the thread was really popular!) should feature in I for Indies 🙂 But Shula and some other characters are either people I’ve played in games or my partner (who is my self-confessed “bad idea bear” ala Avenue Q) has given me. Which is always fun. What I do know is Gaming is another storytelling outlet that I really miss, and I’ll be glad to get back to it fully 🙂



Today I’m visiting Life of a Woman, Inner workings of an Insane Mind, FictionPies, Uniquely Maladjusted (who I noticed is a Nanowrimo participant, just like me!) and will swing by more later today too!