The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

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

A Nanowrimo Love Story #nanowrimo2021 #mondayblogs

A Nanowrimo Love Story #nanowrimo2021 #mondayblogs

I’m not sure if people have much of an idea of my history with Nanowrimo, but I’ve been writing every November since 2003. Every November, I write 50,000 or more words. The only time, to date, that this wasn’t the case was 2004.

It started in 2002 actually…

In 2002, while I was writing after breaking off ties with someone I’d been working with, and working on some pretty difficult stuff, someone told me about Nanowrimo. At the time, my ex and I were still together, and though everyone thought we were ok – I mean, my daughter was a year old, we had a three year old son. But he was pretty convinced that I shouldn’t be allowed to write, that if I was going to manage it, I’d have written that bestseller. Already.
He wasn’t a bad man – we have two amazing children, but neither he nor I were not good for one another. Between 2002 and 2003, we seperated.

Fast forward to 2003

Single, unhappy and lonely, I decided that I would take my mum up on her offer, and I vollunteered to run as an ML…for the whole of Scotland as it happened then. We all met in a very loud pub, I made lots of friends, and discovered a gaming club called GEAS. 2003’s Nano was also Glass Block. And Elliot Peters firmly entrenched himself in my life.
Elliot is Glass Block. Eventually, when the library of posts comes back online, that’ll make more sense, but he’s one of my backlist books. Tomorrow, he goes to an editor for update before we re-release him, thanks to my beloved’s help.
In 2003 though, I hadn’t even met him. Instead, I had Elliot, waking me up at 4am and telling me stories. Y’see, Elliot thinks of me as a confessor of sorts. And Internal Affairs as he’s a cop. As I live with psychosis of several kinds, this is completely normal to me, but I know some people find it uncomfortable that my characters are *really* real. Others aren’t. It’s ok.
I was seven months from my other ‘leading man’, Farran. Five or so from Tempus. And I quite honestly had a ball during Nano. Honorable mentions at this point to John, James, Gregor, and everyone else I met during those months of writing. You all made my Nanowrimo so much fun, and in fact, that was true for the whole time I helped out and ran Scotland as the ML.

I did promise you a love story, didn’t I?

Well, the truth of the matter is, and it’s a story I’ve told several times, without Nano, I wouldn’t have gone to GEAS, and in all likleyhood, Tempus and I wouldn’t have met. I can’t actually say that for sure, because I might have taken it into my head to look into D&D again, but… I’d given in on that having my kids. Tempus and I have been together 17 and a half years. We origonally just decided we wanted to hang out and have a bit of fun, but…a year in, when it came down to actually thinking about the future, neither of us could actually picture a time without one another. By 2006, we’d moved to where we are based now for his work, as he’d graduated in 2005. 2007-2011, Uni for me.
It’s not all happily ever after. My mental health is a challenge we meet with varying success, but he and I share many interests (newest one, solving our arguments with lightsabers, aka we’re both going to train and learn Ludosport.). It’s no secret we’re both gamers, and we’re both super geeky, but we do have enough divergent interests that we can be together or apart. But, I truly believe I was lucky, and that Nanowrimo plays a huge part in that for me.

Our love story isn’t over. I don’t believe it ever will be while either of us are here, but it’d be nice to think that we’ll have a child together and live long, happy lives together. I really do love him, and without Nanowrimo, who knows if I’d have had this chance.

You’ll note, I don’t refer to him other than ‘Tempus’. It’s because he’s not keen on talking about himself online. There are a very few pictures of us together, and I’ve added on to the bottom of this post, but I do know one thing.
My life is a very good one, and I love that it’s with him.

This is me and him, 2018, in the Dominican Republic. The full length shot of me with a boogie board was taken about an hour before, for those that know it.

Tempus and I, Macao Beach, Dominican Republic, late August 2018.

He’s my bad idea bear, my beloved, my companion, my gaming and sparring partner. We talk books, games, movies. We tell each other jokes and pass on research from cyber security and infosec, and have a date night every Saturday. We go exploring good places to eat, we giggle at one another playing Fallout 76. We have our friends over for Gloomhaven. We’ve raised two wonderful young adults together since the 20 year old (@artenapan) was about 2 1/2, and her older brother too (he’s just as private as Tempus in many ways, so you’ll see him referred to as ‘Wonderboy’, or Titanboi. He’s in his 20’s too, and a wonderful man, and all of us are gamers of one sort or another.
But Tempus… He’s the best person in the world, and I’m so blessed.

And, one final, bonus fact. He’s the reason I have most of my pen name. He encouraged me to stay as Kai when I explained why I’d changed my name, and I did. In late 2004, after we’d been together for a few months, I asked him if I could use his last name so that when we get married, I didn’t need to rebrand. He didn’t even blink. Like I said, he’s an awesome guy.
And that’s my Nanowrimo Love Story 🙂

Two steps back, or gathering strength #Mondayblogs #selfcare #chronicillness

Two steps back, or gathering strength #Mondayblogs #selfcare #chronicillness

One of the major mindset changes I’ve been trying to work on is not looking at any delays in my life as ‘delays’, and instead look at them as chances to… I guess, design my way around the things that others consider limitations, I guess.

Today for example, I’m operating under the influence…of a migraine.
Migraines are the bane of my life. Or one of them, at least. I live with several chronic conditions, but migraines are one of the few ones that stop me dead in my tracks.

(Authors) living with chronic conditions

I’m probably not preaching to the choir here, but, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. In part because of Alchemy of Kindness, but more importantly because I’ve had to completely redesign the work that I do and how I do it. I have clients to look after, and my own books to do, so in the last few years, I’ve been refining how I work, and more importantly, WHERE I can work. Can’t get out of bed? Got a tablet that I can use with a bluetooth keyboard.
Stuck in appoitments for treatment? Smartphone and several apps for the win.

But, on the flipside of all of it, I’ve also had to teach myself when to stop.

Self-care is not a bad word

I’m my own worst enemy for this one, but, I tell other people that they need to put themselves first. But honestly? Here’s my almost…dirty little secret. I absolutely believe OTHERS should take time off when they need it, but when it comes to me? I prevaricate. I don’t deal well with taking time off, or slowing down. It’s important to note that I *do* take time off, but the guilt is always terrible. Which is why we’ve spent time trying to ‘mitigate my guilt’, but quite honestly, after I write this, I’m going to go curl up in a dark room, avoid tech for a bit and see if my migraine shifts as fast as possible.

But some of us don’t do well with self-care

I can’t say whether it’s to do with having CPTSD, or if it’s my personality type, or if it’s just how I am, but there’s a lot of time that I do have regrets because I’ve had to take time off. Tried to put myself in a position of understanding. Tried to treat myself as gently as my friends. I’m not very good at it though. So, I’m working on that. I can’t see it going away overnight, but I am concerned that time that I spend worrying is just as unproductive. It’s a bit of a catch 22, I guess.

Anyone got any suggestions on how to deal with the guilt of taking time off? Other than instead of seeing it as two steps back, and instead of resting and prepping?

I’m taking this time, other than lying in the dark grumbling, to think about books. And where I go with my websites. And what I’m writing for Nanowrimo this year!