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.

Who am I?

Release schedules….

One of the major areas I’m looking at right now, while increasing my ‘discipline’ and butt in seat stickivity for my writing is to look at my release schedules.
So, when I’ve got Glass Block out the gates, I’ve got several choices – Near Earth, Black Monday or another book, I’m not sure whether I’ll move forward with one of several books, or if I’ll take the time to build up my copywriting business, or do something else.  All I do know is the next few weeks and months are going to be jam packed, and I hope that they’ll be good for my carreer.

One of the major things I’m learning right now though is that I can’t underestimate anything – if anything, I need to build in space and delays, just to make sure I get through it all – with dissertations and other projects in the way, I’m well aware that just about anything could go wrong between now and June 4th – it’s a good lesson for writers though – as I’m restructuring (again) to ensure that I have time to work on the things that interest me most, I’m also aware that there’s no way in this WORLD that I have the time to do everything I want to.  Not right now anyway – it might be possible later once the books start actually doing well……

And that’s where you, my dearest of dear readers come in.  Please (please please please!) come on over and check out Darkness PD and fan me on Facebook – D Kai WilsonViola


Toys and tools for writers – part 2 – the novelist

Toys and tools for writers – part 2 – the novelist

Ok – so, one way or another, you’ve got the tools I recommended – whether you went with all free, or a mix of free and paid, or you’re ready to experiment with each.  Or you’ve got your own go-to tools, that you work with – that’s ok too – the list I provided wasn’t exhaustive (though, if you think I’ve missed something, please let me know – I’d love to hear about other tools people use).
I also didn’t list ‘Write or die’ – deliberately – that goes under a whole ‘nother section – writer’s block.

Anyway – tools for novelists and why they work well together.

For idea collation I suggest Evernote – simply because it’s search able and is as handy as your mobile phone (if you’ve got a smart phone).  It lets you store notes, inspiration, voice recordings, images, the works.  This is crucial, because there are occasions you won’t be able to stop and grab a piece of paper, but you might have your phone with you, or times when you’re in the middle of writing something else, and need to take notes.
I suggest having a couple of tags to categorise ideas – I’ve got ‘story idea’, ‘snippet’, ‘research question’, ‘blog post’ and ‘misc’.  I categorise them at home on my laptop because it’s easier to catch them that way than tag on the fly.


If I’m writing a novel, I pick the tool that best fits the job as soon as I get settled, but I tend to do my outlines and other basic work in Word, just because sometimes it’s hard to tell which is ‘best’ to use.

I’ve found though that it pretty much splits into two easy categories – serials, in which case I find it easier to work in Liquid Story Binder (and will explain that on a later post :)) or stand alone which works best in Scrivener.  If it’s a stand alone with lots of notes, Scrivener copes, I’ve just yet to adapt to writing longer serials in Scrivener.

I edit though, in Word – simply because it’s easier to do cohesive line editing in there – though, again that comes down to personal preference.
Other tools a novelist needs – books in the genre they’re writing in – so they can keep their ‘finger on the metaphorical pulse’ and some support.  I recommend finding a crit group to chat about your writing, and get feedback.  I like OWW-SFF but your mileage may vary.

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There and back again

There and back again

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So Monday morning, I went into hospital – and I’m home again now. For personal reasons I tend not to talk about my medical problems on the blog (I have a couple, some of them gender based, some of them because I’m just unlucky) but it’s a fair bet that if I’m going into hospital, I’m in more pain than I can cope with.

There’s been an odd shift in the health community lately – and I’m not sure that I like it. Ir amazes me that doctors are perfectly willing to take input from sick people, to a point. That threshold though, once crossed seems to represent the end of common sense. The other thing that amazes me is the way attitudes change when my partner is with me versus when I’m on my own. I’m not sure if it’s because they can push me further or because (my other half) just doesn’t take any nonsense from anyone, but it’s easier to get people to treat me appropriately when he’s with me. We’re not sure how much of it really is to do with my mental health ‘stuff’ and how much of it is just that I seem to rub people the wrong way – I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m confident enough to say, without question, how I should be treated, and what I’m allergic to, or if it’s something else.

What I do know is that there are a lot of nice nurses out there – and a lot that shouldn’t be front line in wards that deal with people in pain – so instead of focussing on the negative (which we will do when we send in our complaint), I’m going to look at a couple of the positives.
There were some *very* nice staff there – the consultant that checked me over, the acute pain team carers (that managed to talk to me once I was actually in less pain- the poor woman that had to come down and argue how to give me meds that first time – and the nurses and care staff that may not have been looking after my room, but did come and check on me. So, they deserve my thanks.

I should be almost back to ‘normal’ tomorrow – I hope. Till then ciao 😉

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Who am I?

Guest blog posts with free tech support

I thought, given there’s a lot of people have been asking how to ‘hire’ me as a guest blogger recently so I thought I’d sweeten the deal.
If you’re running WordPress self-hosted, I’ll log in, run the posts that you want, over a period of two weeks or more (with a standard bio) – but you’ll get to review them and edit them before they’re posted as live – and while I’m there, I’ll make sure everything you’re running is up to date and give you the basic plugins that I run at the same time.
I’ll also make sure your theme is up to date (or let you know if you need to download it and upload it afterwards).

What I won’t do
I’m not running this offer along with installing or fixing theme issues that are already in place – this is not the way to hire me to fix a hack either – and you have to be able to read the documentation on additional plugins to understand how they work.  Basically, I’m here to give you a shove in the right direction, if you need it.  Plus a minimum of two free guest posts, on the subject of your choice.

All I ask in return is two things – one – you let me include a link to this post at the very bottom of the guest posts I do for you – and two, I get to run an unedited bio with two links to two projects relevant to what I’m writing, or one link that’s relevant, and my hosting company if there aren’t two links with relevant content.

If you’d like me to guest blog for you, shoot me a comment or drop me a comment on my contact-me form.

(small print – I only do basic updates for this offer and cannot be responsible if your blog is so out of date that anything breaks – I am not responsible for any custom coding and cannot undertake it as part of this free offer – this offer is only valid with a minimum of two guest blogs, spaced at least a week apart, and I am not accepting guest blog bookings for more than three weekly increments at present.  All guest blog posts are exclusive to the blog site for one calendar week then revert entirely to me and cannot be used as reprints to promote your blog without prior permission.).