The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

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

Free Chapter – Glass Block

Free Chapter – Glass Block

Iridium fountain pen nib, macro.
Image via Wikipedia

And he’s the free chapter from Glass Block – let me know what you think, and whether you like it or not.  Interested, not interested, I’d love to hear your views!

Glass Block free prologue

Glass Block Blurb

Sometimes games and reality shows just shouldn’t be revived – Elliot Peters, detective at Quadrant A, Downtown Darkness knows this best.  When he’s plunged into a nightmare game show, he begins to realise that the religious element of the city might just be finally making their move and it’s a race against time to stop the release of a deadly virus that four of the prisoners had been carrying.

Available for Pre order July ’10.

Kai’s Nanowrimo 2009

Kai’s Nanowrimo 2009

Final Wordcount (verified) 117,456.

Final (actual) wordcount – 122,200


Changes – 37,895
Values – 25,909
Glass Block –  44,200
Untitled new scifi (from no series I’ve ever talked about) –  14190

Cordate leaf (Cyclamen).

Image via Wikipedia

Those last 14,000 words were basically the rough outline of a project that I’m now building in my snowflake method software, because I’m finally at the point where this is my last ‘free’ day for several weeks.  Not because I neglected anything else, but because I’m basically looking at needing to deal with several important projects over the next month or so.  And then we have Yule/x-Mas, and Uni and a dozen other things to look at.   It’s all very secret and hush hush, but one launches on the 6th – and you don’t need to go anywhere to keep up with the salient parts.

But that’s my Nanowrimo this year.

My experiences

The Nanowrimo this year was an odd experience.   I enjoyed it, but instead of being happy, and working down with my happiness, and slowly whittling into that store of happiness to fuel the run.  This year I started low and have ended up with a refilled well for my writing.  It’s just a pity, right now, that I can’t work on the things that I’ve got planned.  I’ve got plenty of editing and solid starts for some great books though.  I hope everyone else’s Nano went well.

Where now?

This blog started talking about the Nanowrimo – but from here, it’s going to slowly start picking up everything I write, and talk about.  I’m really looking forward to introducing everyone to the rest of my world 🙂  Anyone got requests?

I wrote a Novel, now what?

I wrote a Novel, now what?

15446_187277182310_640687310_2785152_4967170_nThere’s a page that shows up in about a day on the Nanowrimo, that says ‘I wrote a novel, now what’.  I’d suggest checking that one out in conjunction with this one, because this is my personal process for the next 11 months.
In 10 months time, I start planning my next Nanowrimo – I’ll have graduated and will hopefully either be in a position to write full time, or write part time, work out of the house part time, or possibly working full time, back to writing as a hobby.  I’m not entirely sure what the next ten months hold for me, but I do know that in March, I’m editing my three Nanowrimo novels from this year.
And in July, I’m doing something special.  It’s actually a year round project, but is specifically geared up to be ‘done’ along with other people in July.  So, I’m delighted to announce that on January 1st, we launch the National Novel Query month site!  We’ll be running in July, with year round posts, tips, tricks, prep work.  So, we hope you’ll join us.

the writer and the story can be separate – NanoWrimo day 18

the writer and the story can be separate – NanoWrimo day 18

Mask A-Peel

Image by Cayusa via Flickr

I has a migraine, so, instead of being all wise, and clever and down to earth about the fact that I’m now at 55k (WOOOOO!), I thought I’d talk about something thats bothering me for about a dozen reasons right now.

I’m writing three books – two are brand spanking new, as in I’ve only been talking about them or thinking about them, or even contemplating them for about two months, and one, Elliot’s, is a recurring rewrite.  I might talk about them later too.  Anyway, the two that are brand new are…troublesome in ways I never thought I’d get down in words till I thought about it this morning.

They’re bothering me because in some ways they’re very close to the ‘bone’ for me – either because of the mental health aspect in Change, or because of the concept that the story is reflecting what’s going on in my life (Values).  While both are true, at the same time, neither are true.

Values specifically is about a young married couple who, for whatever reason, don’t have kids – the ‘she’ in the story is unsettled and vaguely concerned by it, while he’s not bothered at all.  And the more she pushes, the more he resists. It’s true, the story *started* out life because of a conversation my fiancee and I had and evolved from there, but it’s not the be all and end all of the story.   I’ve started with our situation and played a very skewed ‘what if’ game along the lines of the entire story.

Change is a sci fi time travel story.  The lead narrator so far is a schizophrenic, who has  a very comfortable and intimate relationship with her ‘other self’ in parts of the novel, and is very distant and aloof in other parts – it’s all told from the perspective specifically of the woman that travelled back in time, so at points there really *are* two of them.  It’s boundary challenging and touches on a couple of key stones of mental health that I think tend to be overlooked – that some of us are comfortable in our own skins, even if those skins are bags for something entirely flawed and odd based on conventional norms.

The thing is though, I’m neither schisophrenic or in a relationship as extreme as the one I’m writing about in Values – I’m not a time traveller, and I don’t go around shooting perverts in the unmentionable places that my characters may.  I’m not a cop, and I don’t live in a city quite as warped as Darkness.  What I am is highly imaginative, and intelligent.  I can project the concepts into the ether and build something out of them.  I can let my brain run loose and have a look at where that takes me.  I know freedom and self interest intimately and can be very different in my expression of either of them.

Some people say that when an actor takes on a certain role, it’s hard for them – that it can pull them down and destroy them.  I think sometimes it’s the same for writers – not as often as actors, but sometimes we play a role, we assume a persona, and we write.  It pours out of us, flood and trickle, and we bleed it – the persona – dry.  And then, if we’re lucky, we can remove most of it – because in writing from another perspective, we may have learned a couple of things, so we may never be entirely free.  Other times it might cling for a bit, but we’re always – ALWAYS free to go back to ourselves, and should always be free to do so – and should never be held accountable for the ideology of our characters.

It’s not an argument about free speech though – we aren’t entitled to hurt others deliberately under the guise of ‘character’ and to be honest, if it’s odious enough, warped enough, or revolting enough to make you hesitate (which, I believe sometimes goes beyond ‘transgression’ and on into ‘bad taste’) then you should seriously consider whether you want to share it.  In an ideal world there would only be that reason, but unfortunately, this isn’t an ideal world.

I guess what I’m saying is it’s ok to be a writer – it’s ok to take on these guises and explore your character – what’s not, possibly, ok is to believe that you are responsible in the real world for what those characters do, unless you actually do it.

Your Wildest dreams – Nanowrimo day 17

Your Wildest dreams – Nanowrimo day 17

Peacock Feathers

Image by Maia C via Flickr

(this is a slightly different type of post – I’ve not started in on my NanoWrimo work yet)

One of the biggies about the NanoWrimo is in most cases, it encourages people that aren’t writers to take time out and write.  For writers it’s a bit of a different proposition – sometimes it’s a kick up the butt to finish a story, sometimes it’s about taking time out from a carreer that may not entirely ‘fulfil’ your writing needs.  Kinda like eating fruit and nuts all week, and then splurging on chocolate once a week – or never drinking unless it’s a special occassion.

There’s a problem with the Nano though.  I’m still not *at* this point in my life, and I know of writers that are, that are still doing the NanoWrimo, but I’m not sure how I’m going to handle it when I’m actually published.  Others ARE doing it, but I’m not sure that when I get to the point that my books are out there, that I can actually let go of promoting and showing off for long enough to actually write another novel in a month.  It’s a dumb worry, just like being ‘worried about’ fame, and about one of the other myriad of my neuroses, and until I get there, I’ll never know, but I’m thinking about how I’ve adapted my working schedule right now, to fit the NanoWrimo in – and I thought I’d share a couple of them.

How to take a month off

You are, basically, taking a month off to write, after all, so there’s a couple of simple ways to clear your boards, at least in part.

1) Tivo (or Sky+box or similar) anything you are interested in watching over that month.  You can catch up when you’re feeling uninspired, or can’t concentrate as well as you’d like to.  These recordings can also be used as a reward 😉   If you’re not lucky enough to have access to a Tivo, or similar, plan carefully what you’d like to watch, and make sure that you’re able to write while watching or move something else to make that time.  You should treat your TV plans as you would your writing at any other time of the year.

2) If you work from home, see if you can increase your income for a couple of months before, or conduct your business more frugally – the goal here is not only to be able to ‘afford’ to take time out financially, but to clear some time to allow you to write.  It’s important however, to note that you should make sure that your *work* comes first.
If you work outside of your home, you can’t really cut back your time, but you can spend time writing, if you choose, during your lunch hour.

I’ve also cut back on any social events outside of the house, replacing them with my NanoWrimo coffee meets – which has freed up a lot of time.

How have you cleaned up your calendar to make space for the Nano?

NanoWrimo day 15&16 – looking at the selfish aspect

NanoWrimo day 15&16 – looking at the selfish aspect

NaNoWriMo: the niche

Image by mpclemens via Flickr

One of the biggies that I keep hearing from the people I ML from, especially in private, about how to cope with the whole ‘selfish’ aspect of the Nanowrimo.
It got me thinking about how writers are perceived, and how we perceive ourselves, and how that, in turn impacts on how we present ourselves.

The Nanowrimo is about  being brazen about your writing – to say ‘to hell with it, TV repeats, I’ve only got NOW to write’.  People, who aren’t in the habit of writing daily, learn to apply thier butt to the seat.  Those who work and can’t write, but dream of it , get access to a chance to spend the time writing.

And then there’s people like me.  I write for no reason other than I can.  I’d love to make money from it, and have tried in various ways, but it’s something, I think, that I’ve held back from because of a fear of success.  And people might laugh, because it’s a silly fear in some ways, and though I will quite happily lay my soul bare in public, and I am a very public person, but public in my own, controlled way.

There’s a slightly selfish aspect of the NanoWrimo though – that comes up in conversation several times a week in IM and other places.  Selfish isn’t the right word though – and there’s a myriad of the them that come up, selfish, indulgent, spoiling myself, needing family support, taking family time.  It’s not actually the accurate terminology though.  We are doing it for ourselves, but there’s nothing to say that it’s inherently ‘selfish’.  It’s self oriented, but that doesn’t make it selfish.

The thing about writing is that it’s *usually* a lone process.  Lots of other people *are* of course writing when you are, but the NanoWrimo harnesses everything and puts us all in the same place and going through the same process.  Still not selfish.  It’s not selfish because that thought is what keeps us from actually accepting that we can write, and still be a good parent, and keep up with freinds and everything else we do.  We’re not super-people, but writing *can* come higher on our priority lists, without being a bad thing.  And I think that the NanoWrimo kinda highlights that.

Tomorrow, I’m going to talk about how to balance losing a 12th of your working year without feeling selfish – and what to do if your wildest dreams come true.

Wordcount update – 41k approx!