#Nanowrimo updates, #Stuffwritersneed, #Facebook and more

So, for those of you wondering where I vanished to on Facebook, I’ve been locked out temporarily.  I’ve submitted my driver’s licence, I hope they let me back on soon.  But there’s very little that I can do other than follow guidelines.  I’m not worried though – what’s got me more upset is that my pre-order for Memento Mori has been cancelled.  I’m working through that too with Amazon.  Not been a good day for me and tech at all.

But in better news…

In better news this week, I passed 125k on my Nanowrimo novels.  Ar Y Traeth isn’t going up on Wattpad yet, because I discovered something that I needed to check and it requires editing – which I don’t do during Nanowrimo.  But I am talking the hint, seeing as I can’t be on the social network that I use the most and reviewing websites, designing content and getting some much needed work done.  And then I’ll see about sorting out the issue I found with my story and I’ll share it.

One of the major projects I’m working on is #Stuffwritersneed – I’d love to hear from you if you’re an author and have some recommendations for anything that writers need.  Whether it’s software, books, stationary, treats or websites, I want to hear from you.  I’m interviewing people now, and we launch on December 1st, so if you’d like to get your interview in the queue, please let me know!



Happy birthday to me – A year that probably was good, on balance

googleToday, I am 21.  Again.  As, apparently, I look no older anyway.
It’s been a tough year here for us again in some ways, though also, some real bright spots.

Where to start
Just after my birthday, I fell in work hard enough to give myself a severe concussion.  That was a really cool temp job, but I never got to go back.  Six weeks of headaches, and not a mark on my face, though my eye was bloodshot for weeks.
So, I started looking for a new job and freelancing.  As a Finishing Fairy, I helped launch, promote and sell books, arranged tours and did lots of great stuff with some incredible authors.  I also threw myself into helping out at APG. But, I never really got back into writing and lots of projects have languished.  Tff closed this last week, and I’m in the process of starting a new writer’s marketing blog. Kriss and I still share Wilderness Apocalypse, so it’s all good.
Then, in April, I got an amazing, incredible job with Mantic Games, as their community manager.  I spent seven brilliant months there, and took part in a million dollar Kickstarter.  If they were a bit closer, or I could drive… Alas, I have neither, so finished up last month, but I’m still a freelancer with them, when they need me.

And the stories
This year hasn’t really been about writing, but I now realise one of my major dreams, to be a published, multi-book author has fallen by the wayside.  I have a lot to show for the things I’ve done instead, but 15 years off plan is a bit much.  :)
And besides, I need to start earning back the editing and covers I’ve paid for, and have.  So, I’m job hunting and forcing myself to face down my fears.  It can’t be as bad as I think – my major failing has always been I’m harder on myself than the worst critic.  I’ve survived my own self esteem issues this far, there can’t be anything worse.  And I did get that dream job…


If I’m honest, I’ve not coped well with miscarrying or my mental health this year – mostly because I’ve still not learned to walk away and that even if it is my job, it can be done at something slower than breakneck pace.  And I’m not very good at not filling my time so that I don’t make it worse for myself when I finally stop and stand and think about what I’m running from.  It’s hard not having managed one of our major goals after I graduated (to have a baby), but we’ve got stuff we can look into eventually, so it’s ok for now.  And the fun caused by my meds change seems to be mostly settling down.  I’m still not sleeping right though – but I think tomorrow might help.  9am coffee meet!

It’s funny, as I refuse to age, my kids seem to be accelerating, in some sort of weird time dilation.  My son looks older than he is (though, still not as old as he hopes) and my daughter too.  Both are now firmly entrenched in their teens.  She’s proving to be quite the poet too, and he’s a talented artist.  I’m really blessed to know them both, though I can’t for the life of me work out how they’re that smart or gorgeous.
My partner too amazes me, and while I’ve struggled with my worries this year, he’s been implacable, loving and amazing.  I am very lucky to have him, and we have now been together ten years, though we BOTH find that hard to believe.  One day, I might write about how we met, because it was quite a set of things I’d never gotten at if I hadn’t done that first Nanowrimo.
We went on our first “just us” holiday for a very long time, away from home this year (and I shared photos), in North Wales and softly, the little voices started whispering.  We had a ball – daytimes scrambling over beaches and castles, and exploring the area, and evenings with good food, a hot tub outside and a cozy house to enjoy.  We watched two seasons of QI back to back over the four nights, and just spent time together, snuggled up.
Elliot and Farran however, are still mostly mute.  I can’t have everything, I guess.

Looking forward

I don’t know what the future will bring.  I’m job hunting – mostly full-time work, but I’ll settle for anything right now, but I also know that by the end of the Nanowrimo, I want to put a couple of things right, and move on with my writing.  So that’s what’s coming.  What the rest of the year will hold will depend how long it all takes.

But, I did want to say thanks – it’s been an ok year, and that’s been because of the love of my friends, my family and my beloved.  Here’s to a better one next year!

Can’t talk, writing

Or trying to at least.
Tomorrow, it’s my birthday.  I will once again celebrate being 21 :P
But, it’s also nano season, so I’m trying to write.
Come back tomorrow for this year’s retrospective.


And, perhaps, a peek at one of the stories because that book is on pre-release right now.
More on that tomorrow too :)

manuscripts do not burn

IRC commands for the chatrooms

Every November, I dust off my IRC server and set up some rooms for the various projects that need them – all of the Nanowrimo projects that I run get their own chatroom, plus a shared room, #coffeehouse


We recommend ICEchat for Windows, simply because it’s…well…simple.
You can get it from here – http://icechat.net/site/

The settings you’ll need is:

Username – whatever you’d like your nickname to be (you can register it once on, so choose whatever you’d like.  If someone else is using it, it will tell you once you’re online).
Server: irc.bykai.com
(if it asks) Port:6667

If you’re running it on Windows 7 or 8, change the compatibility of the program so that it’s running as XP.  (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/make-older-programs-run#1TC=windows-7 – these instructions work for both 7 and 8)

once you’re connected, type /join #coffeehouse –  it is the main room on the server, so other projects will pass through there, so it might be busier in there.


Limechat is Rae’s choice for Macs, and you can grab it from: http://limechat.net/mac/

You need:
The IRC channel: irc.bykai.com
chat room #nanoglos
username (your username)

Some useful commands.

Join lets you join a chatroom.  You need to remember the hashtag before the channel name for it to work.  If you type /join #nanoglos , you’ll be in our room.  If you type /join #(myroom) where the name of the room in brackets is a room that hasn’t been created and claimed, you’ll create the room as you enter.  Similarly, if you’re the only person in there, sometimes, you’ll ‘create’ the chatroom until a moderator joins you.  I can see a list of all rooms on the server, so please don’t spawn too many.

To register something.

Registering your nickname – the command is

/msg NickServ REGISTER password youremail@example.com

Replace password with a secure, unguessable password that you keep secret.  I cannot see your email – it’s just to let YOU reset your password.    Using a fake email in here can compromise your access however.

Once you’ve registered your username, whenever you log into the server, you need to use the command:

/msg NickServ IDENTIFY YourNick YourPassword

If you don’t do it in a certain amount of time, you’ll have your username changed  to something.  If that happens because you weren’t fast enough.  Just run the command above and that should sort it. Any problems with nicknames and just give me a shout.

ALL Nicknames should follow basic etiquette rules.  Please don’t use rude words in your username, or I’ll have to ban you.

If you want to generally chat with people, join #coffeehouse or stay there when logged in.  You’ll also have project specific rooms to use, which you’ll have posted on the groups etc. I’m with.

Channels and nicks are deregistered after a period of inactivity (more than a month), so please be sure to keep logging in if you want to keep your username.

Please also be aware that server ops (myself and three of my friends) can message anyone on the server and you *will* get announcement messages occasionally.

The server will be up and running fully by tomorrow evening – for now we’re still doing the setup, so please be aware that if you log in/use the browser, you may or may not find that you’re removed several times as the server reboots as we update information on the project.

Questions?  I’ll see what I can do to answer you!




Sit down.
The dishes can wait.
No, the baby isn’t stirring.

That’s it.
Let me tell you a story.
It won’t take long.

Sit down.
That wasn’t the door.
You don’t need more coffee.

That’s it.
Fingers on keys.
We’re off.


A view from the beach, Traeth Trefor 2014

Ar y Traeth (on the Beach)

So, of all the stories I’m writing, I think this one is going to be the hardest.  You can follow along on Wattpad of course, but I thought I’d give you a bit more on this one before we get started.

There have been two bodies washed up, on two separate beaches on the desolate and hauntingly beautiful coastline around a small, isolated village in Wales.  They are both pointing at one another, though roughly halfway between them, a ruined laptop, phone and rucksack was found three days before.

A tale of secrets, lies and the stories we’ll tell ourselves to keep our world normal while everything around us crumbles.  
The devastating result of these murders will be felt far beyond the Welsh village, but for one girl, her sister and her beloved died after going missing a few nights before.  Was it an accident in the storm, or is there more to this than meets the eye.


And just to give you an idea of my inspiration….this is what started the story whispering.  Of course, it would be twisted and quite dark, but it’s still a story I’m looking forward to writing.


Art by www.atrtink.com

Coffin Hop 2014!

This is a sorta PSA brought to you for horror readers everywhere.
And, I’m giving away five copies of my horror novel, due out on November 29th.

(check the rafflecopter below)

Art by www.atrtink.com

Art by www.atrtink.com

What is Coffinhop?

Coffinhop is a supporitve group of horror writers who band together for a few days and share horror, stories, books, and *stuff*.
Me, I’m just boosting the signal.  I think CoffinHop is a great project, and I think I’ll be more involved next year, for now I just wanted to signpost peeps to the site, and give away some horror stories.

Oh, and recommend some other horror books too.


Consumed by Love, by Pavarti K Tyler –  an erotic tale of cannibalism

Shades by Valerie Douglas – a corporate retreat that goes horribly wrong

And, of course, there’s the Death by Drive-in book by Coffin Hoppers.  Check it out!


Win one of five copies of my horror book, or a $10 gift voucher for Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And of course, we’ll be around on Wilderness Apocalypse again from November 1st so come on over and say hi!

A pretty leaf

Adventures in medical stuff…(Lithium)

I don’t often talk about medical ‘stuff’ on here, but I thought it was important to post something because for the first time in a long time, my health has gotten in the way of my writing.

It started about eight weeks ago.  I couldn’t sleep – which is unusual to say the least for my usual meds.  So I upped them.
(Quetiapine) Seroquel’s primary recognised function, beyond being a mood stabiliser off label (it’s an anti-psychotic ON label) is that it acts on the histamine that makes you sleep.  So it stopped working.  And I began to get really anxious.
I spoke to the doctor.  They gave me sleeping meds.  First lot made me angry and paranoid, and the second lot sorta worked.  So they sent me to the outpatient psych team.
In Gloucester we’re fairly well provisioned for this stuff, so I spoke to a doctor and a nurse who told me I needed to up my seroquel to the max, gave me a double-up of my sleeping meds and basically gave me councelling, and told me to think about whether I’d be willing to try lithium.

wpid-wp-1413588152019.jpegBad history on other meds

I’m extremely sensitive to meds in general – Prozac made me a walking mess, and others haven’t been anywhere as helpful as we could hope, which is why I persisted with Seroquel (it worked).  But I read and thought about it and decided to give Lithium a go.  That was six weeks ago.

Four weeks ago, I started being unable to tolerate certain foods.  I sorta started sleeping better, but I could eat less and less.   And my sleep was still pretty rocky.  Three weeks and I could eat less.  Two and it narrowed further still.
All I was managing was soup (clear broth at that) and my side and stomach were killing me.  We went to talk to the doctor about it, and he suggested that my stomach pain was explainable.  He did a pregnancy test which was negative.  The pain then moved up my stomach, landing me in hospital twice in 10 days.  Between them, I had a blood test to take which showed abnormal results from liver function tests.  Before I went on holiday, they did some serious liver tests, including for hepatitis (I’ve been cleared for that).
Later today, I go speak to the doctor to find out what my calcium profile and liver function test being abnormal actually means and whether it explains the pain in my side.    The ER doc that was looking after me that though he couldn’t tell me to stop taking my lithium, I really need to stop taking my lithium.  I spoke to my own doctor and he agreed.
And, I stopped taking my lithium.  Instantly I could eat almost normally again.  I was given cyclazine tablets, and pain meds and stuff to protect my stomach, which was most welcome, and began taking a pre/probiotic.  My holiday (see the Welsh adventure post) was probably a lot easier for not taking lithium, and though I think there’s something else going on, lithium just isn’t for me.  The nausea and weakness, shaking and headaches, the inability to eat anything at all and the fact that I think it’s exacerbated underlying stomach issues that I might have avoided.  On the one hand, it’s a bad thing, but on the other, I can see why it might have been a blessing in disguise.

So, that’s my experience, for what it’s worth, with lithium.  The new stuff might be difficult, but we’ll work it out as we go.


And the winners are…(Nano 14 books)

Yeah, ok, slightly mean.
I’ve been asked so I thought I’d get the announcements over and done with.

On release this month

Delayed from last month because of the adventures in illness (another post, coming soon!), Memento Mori and 365 Blogging topics for writers are out this month.  I hope people like them because they’re really the first proper books I’ve put out in a while.  And they mark a shift in how things will be done around here, and the beginning of I hope is a regular schedule.

And this year’s Nanowrimos

Overacheiver that I tend to be, this year I’m doing three Nanowrimo books, while looking for the next job.

One has a cover, the other two don’t.

ThereAreDragons_small A week ago, Anya decided that it was time.  She made arrangements to get extra meds, and walk out into  the  sea.  The day before she planned to though, the world ended.  And she didn’t go with those that were  taken.  So, now the world has changed, and things are different, Anya and her best friend have to make  new plans.
A transgressive novel to discuss assisted suicide, apocalypse and the end of the world.


Alongside it, I’m writing a new novel called SWIM – Someone who isn’t me.
Jessica needs advice, so she goes online and posts a hypothetical.  And that hypothetical brings down a world of trouble.

And finally, I’m writing a new one that doesn’t have a name yet.
This one is going up on Wattpadd as it’s written.  It’s called “Ar y Traeth“, which translates loosely to ‘On the Beach’

And, because I’m a glutton for punishment

Black Monday Cataclysm is getting it’s redraft.
Oh, that’s four really.

Conwy Castle, Sunday 19th October 2014

Our adventure in North Wales :) (not much about writing)

I thought I’d share some of the pictures and information about our mini adventure.
We went to Trefor and stayed in an amazing little rented cottage as a base, and then explored a lot of the amazingly gorgeous north Welsh coastline.  If you get the chance, do it.
As for me, I spent a lot of time thinking about what the last few years have brought me – how ill I’ve been, and the reality of that, and that I need to really start working towards the things that are most important to me.  I’ve got everything I need to make my life work out the way I want it to, I just need to apply myself.  And that’s ok too.  I know what I’m doing now though – writing is something that’s really important to me, I just need to reframe this to suit what I really want.

Anyway.  Here are some of what I thought were the best photos I took while I was gone, and you’ll see more in the coming weeks and months as I sort them into galleries.
This is Traeth Trefor, Traeth Criccieth, Castle Conwy, Castle Criccieth, Nefyn, Abersoch, Trefor mine (in the background – we started referring to it as Helm’s Deep – turns out it’s a granite mine and quarry). We also went to Pwllheli several times.  And the photos don’t do the places any justice – if you get the chance, go visit.

Oh, and try not to be too shocked, but there are photos of me in here too!

(Traeth btw means beach).



All photos (c) D Kai Wilson-Viola, October 2014.

Which one’s your favourite?  I’ve got nearly 1000 of them all told, so this is just a selection, but I’d love to hear which you liked the best!