OK… NOW I’m back…

Y’know what they say about the best laid plans and all the other sayings about making plans, and them exploding in your face?
Yeah…that.

I wish I actually had a good reason for it, but, it’s actually a set of reasons. Predominantly, discovering that I have anameia so severe that I need to go for infusions, which has cut my effective working time down to a fraction of what I’m used to, cause I’m so absolutely exhausted, constantly.
(at the time of writing this, I’ve been for one of two infusions, which, I’ll be honest, I’m pretty sure I’m feeling a little better, but not much. Tomorrow night, at the time of writing this, I have a full torso CT. I’m very lucky to live where I do – not only am I UK, but we’ve been a county that has a moderate increase but not a massive bump in our CV19 infections, touch wood. We do have BOTH mutations locally though, so that may change, but so far, it’s looking like we’ll be ok to get my CT done, and that’ll leave me with autoimmune as the issue with my stomach, or maybe finally the endometriosis has caught up to the point that it now hurts monthly instead of being ignorable. But we’ll find out tomorrow, or just after, with any luck.)

If that wasn’t enough….


Add to that, I’ve had shingles, had to postpone Uni till next year, and a few other bits and pieces, I’m just kinda feeling like I’m on the hop. And then, we had to 180 degree from Christmas plans – there’s no physical way for us to travel over one day to get home, with all the well-meaning ideas in the world – we live six hours from where we grew up, without traffic accidents, roadworks and other delays. And, both of us have grandparents still alive, and we want to keep it that way.
I’d like to put everything behind me though. So, Mondays should see a post here. Starting, later tonight, with my calendar for the year, and how I plan on working on everything. Things change over the years, but this year, I’m actually going to work through some of the changes I’ve been putting off and taking them forward, finally.
I hope, on this updated adventure, you’ll join me! There will be news on writing groups, projects you can join me on, and I’ll even be talking Nanowrimo, because I don’t think I’ll be home for one of the Camp Nanos this year, and that’ll be an adventure all it’s own in a new world. ūüôā
All will be revealed…along with news on where to check out my newsletters, books, and more, cause that’s all coming too!

Kai Viola logo. dragonflies and wood

I’m….back?

Yeah…. I’m *well* aware that this blog has been quiet for years. And actually, because of a slightly fault, I actually went dormat in 2018, not 2016, but still…

So… for those of you that knew this blog (and go digging in the archives, this was my mostly author blog, and I’m going back to doing that, though I’m looking into a couple of things, including how I merge down as much as I can.

Books….

Firstly though, I wanted to let you know that I’m bringing back some stuff. Glass Block and some other books, but firstly, Sabby.
(so…grab a giveaway or sign up to hear when we re-release Memento and announce a game….where you can win….your own place in my horror town….Your business, your books, yourself. Also, I might let you name some victims…as long as it doesn’t get me sued). There’s other fun giveaways, such as Zox bands, and some other stuff, but hey, come move into my horror town.
I’ll be blogging more in the next few days – including catching everyone up on the massive amount of changes in my life since the blog stopped a while back. And….there’s a lot.
I mean….A LOT.

So….join me tomorrow, but till then I just thought I’d pop my head up, say hi, and start cleaning up. Cleanup might take me a while ūüôā
And how are you?

Nanowrimo Wheeeeee!

It’s my most favorite time of the year – Nanowrimo! ¬†For those of you who don’t know what it is, Nanowrimo is the National Novel Writer’s month. ¬† It’s great fun – a chance to try to write without your inner critic nipping at you because you won’t have time to stop and think about what it’s saying if you want to make 50,000 words in the month.

To be fair, that’s 1667 words a day. ¬†And while a lot of naysayers claim that this is the reason there’s a lot of drek out there in the writing world, I like to think that Nanowrimo is the creative spirit in us all.

And it’s ok if you don’t want to do it – it’s just a lot of fun if you do. ¬†This year, I’m scaling back a little. ¬†The last couple of years I’ve tried to write as much as I can – this year I’m trying something different.

I’m writing four¬†books – but I don’t have covers. ¬†Two non-fiction, two¬†fiction.

I’m writing “I don’t want to wear…” – which is a book about dealing with heavy periods and everything you haven’t been told about managing them without ruining your clothes, your social life and your tolerance to medication. ¬†It’s a humourous non-fiction.

The other non-fiction book I’m writing is a bit wierd. ¬†It’s about mindfulness and dealing with anxiety when you find it difficult to connect with that stuff. ¬†I dunno if it’s semi-autobiographical, but I’m also currently talking about the miscarraiges and the other issues I’ve had since this severe anxiety bout started. ¬†It doesn’t have a title.

And the fiction I’m writing –¬†Cherry lips is the stories a sex addict tells at her sex addiction therapy – all of the adventures she’s had. ¬†It’s funny, and very erotic, so that’ll be a change because I’ve not written proper erotica in about eight years.

Midnight is a fantasy/magic realism novel about a girl and the two worlds she sees and believes she’s living in. ¬†The real world, and every so often, she slips into the other one, and though she’s there for a while, seconds pass in the real world. ¬†It’s a bit like Mirrormask right now, but there will be dragons and swordfights and all sorts. ¬†It’ll be an allegory for her dealing with bullies and other stuff – some of the things she does while she’s daydreaming changes the world around her sort of thing. ¬†I really don’t like it right now, but I’m going to see it through.

Unlike the last couple of years, I’m not aiming to get 50k on all of them – just a solid start so I can finish them in the coming year.

I can’t believe I’ve been doing this every year since 2003. That makes this my 14th Nanowrimo! Woot! ¬†How about you guys? ¬†How many have you done? ¬†What are you writing?

 

Books, therapy and blues

So our big Disney adventure starts in two weeks, which I’m quite excited about, as is someone coming to housesit and get some painting done, so that’s also awesome. The eldest is on holiday with his girlfriend right now, the youngest leaves tomorrow for two weeks with her dad, and all that leaves me is reading, getting used to writing again (which I’m really struggling with), books, art, and therapy.

I wanted to talk for a sec about my therapy and my reading, though.

Therapy – compassion is thy name

I’ve been going to a type of therapy called ‘Compassion focused therapy’. ¬†It’s to teach me – and those that do it – to be slightly more self-compassionate. ¬†I struggle quite a bit with that, and it’s just something my brain just doesn’t get. ¬†It’s nothing anyone’s done to me as a child – I had a good life, compared to some – it’s just something that I wasn’t emotionally ready to learn, so I’m struggling to deal with it now. ¬†My later experiences compounded that – being bullied, bad relationships, losing friends in traumatic ways – it’s all shaped me into quite a little ball of neuroses, and though I absolutely stick to ‘they were kids they didn’t know what they were doing’ about my childhood bullies, there are some things I shouldn’t have put up with. ¬†But we learn and we grow, and that’s how we become, right?

Well, my ‘become’ has stalled. ¬†I have no drive, no self-soothing, just fear/fight/freeze/anger. ¬†It’s a pretty bad place to be, but I’m…enjoying isn’t the right word for what you do with therapy, but I find myself appreciating what I’m learning and doing as much work as possible to extend on it. ¬†It’s hard work, but I think it’s worthwhile.

One of the things that it did teach me though is that I don’t have any interest in writing right now and I’m struggling to even settle long enough to read. ¬†So, that’s what I wanted to talk about today.
I’m trying to decide whether I want to review books or not – I’m not saying I’ll open the reviews up to requests, but would people be interested in reading about the books I’m enjoying?

Answers on a postcard…..

Back? Maybe not, maybe just more vocal…

So.

I went my quietest that I’ve ever been in the last few years on social media. ¬†I’ve cut back massively on Facebook, I’m not on Twitter at all really, I’m rarely posting photos to Instagram. ¬†I’ve become slightly more active on Goodreads, but only because I pledged to read 500 books this year. ¬†I’m well on track, I just need to record that, but I’ve spent the last few days…weeks…months really, hiding in my room. ¬†Sleeping. ¬†Watching TV. ¬†No games on my computer, but I did spend a lot of time on my Kindle fire. ¬†I did also do a lot of work – the piece work anyway. ¬†I’m catching up slowly, but I thought I’d pop up and say hiya and explain what’s been going on.

Not a lot to be honest.

My mental health has been on quite a solid downward swing for a while now. I’ve talked about it often on the blog, but I’ve spent the last few…since before December really, hiding in our room. ¬†We went home this Christmas, but we came back and I began basically living up there. ¬†We’ve had a couple of really serious issues with my health these last few months too, starting with a nasty caustic soda burn on my hand. ¬†I did it the middle of December, and it meant, for three days, I basically watched my skin deteriorate on the back of my hand. ¬†It really hurt to be honest – I ended up on quite strong meds, antibiotics and all sorts. ¬†I’d already been put on antibiotics for an ear infection, and so, there I was, rattling from all of the physical issues I had. ¬†Add to that, I finally got to stop my seroquel. ¬†I’ll talk about that a bit more in depth elsewhere, later, but it meant that i was out of sorts, off anything that was really helping me cope with all of the anxiety. ¬†And though I felt the meds weren’t working, I guess there was a portion of them working, because dropping them was like dropping off a cliff.

I’ve been plunging for weeks now. ¬†It’s been an awful freefall, punctuated by medical issues, puking blood (again), becoming so dehydrated that my veins collapsed as people tried to get me IV’d, a left hand with some quite impressive scar tissue on it – I had full thickness burns from the caustic soda, in the end (and did you know, the burns can sometimes take up to a week or more to develop? ¬†I didn’t.), and I’ve finally been told I have something wrong with my esophagus – four years of testing, and they’ve found grade one damage. ¬†I did that camera test unsedated and I was so unhappy – it scared the life out of me to do it, and to be honest, I kinda wish I’d come back another time and done it with sedation. ¬†I’ve also had several hospital stays mixed in with all of this – I mean, don’t get me wrong, I seem to spend a lot of time in hospital yearly – up to two weeks I’d guess if we include the overnights, but if that grade 1 scar tissue inside my throat is healing instead of being there permanently, that could be where the blood came from when being ill. ¬†So it’s been a lot to take in, overall.

I’m not promising I’m back – I can’t promise that, but I’m going to try and be a bit more vocal. ¬†I have to try and be more vocal.

The end… #Nanowrimo 2015 after action report

One of the things I’ve been working hard at lately is making myself more present and accountable – instead of living in the past and trying to get past things I can’t change, I am instead working on accepting and understanding why I feel the way I do, while living with my limitations, and working around the issues my mental health presents.

One of the major things I had to accept this month is that there’s no way I’m going to be able to work out of the house full-time, any time in the near future. ¬†So I threw (and I really mean THREW) myself into Nanowrimo, and wrote my butt off. ¬†I wrote reports for Blueshifted Apps, I edited for two friends, I wrote fiction and non-fiction, and started a poetry book. ¬†Insomnia at the beginning of the month meant that I wasn’t really sleeping, so I wrote. ¬†I ran meets (though, I’ve never been out on my own, something else I’m working on) and kept the chatrooms up and running. ¬†I made sure that everything I was doing fed back into what was important to me.

And so, I thought I’d talk about Nanowrimo today, which ended yesterday. ¬†The other stuff, I’ll touch on later, but Nanowrimo was awesome for me this year on a personal level. ¬†I wrote over 350k on all of my projects combined, and though there’s a road ahead to release them, the hard bit is done – hard for me anyway. ¬†I’ve completed four projects, and made a strong start on a further 13 – some of them are serials, so are pretty much designed to keep going and going – others…I don’t know. ¬†And I will talk about them in the coming days, weeks and months, but mostly, I’m just proud I made it again this year. ¬†I didn’t think I’d see my birthday, let alone Nanowrimo at one point this year – my mental health has been on a quite sharp downturn for the last 16 months or so, and at the bottom of that pit, I was barely sleeping, finding it hard to eat and had no interest in anything. ¬†The bottom of that pit was August of this year, so it’s been tough to motivate myself this month, enough to get anything done properly at least.

But, I did.
The next few months will basically hold a lot more of the same – a few of us are continuing with daily prompts and wordcount threads outside of Nanowrimo, where people can drop in and out and report as they go, and that’ll be cool. ¬†And if not, well, I’ll see you, hopefully, for #Nanowrimo2016.

Aside

Chatrooms and fun

This year, we’re running our chatrooms again. ¬†We had hoped to get it all moved over onto Gloucestershire Writers, but never mind!

We have several chatrooms right now, depending on your project, but the main Nanowrimo Gloucestershire rooms are linked here while the IAGNanowrimo one is here

We have some commands here.

I’ll be running the chatrooms daily, from November 1st, though, this year will be the first year I WILL NOT be in the chatrooms during meets. ¬†It’s just too much to manage.

We are currently working on setting up timers for sprints – once I work it all out I’ll announce them here too!

Please note – there is a connection limit on the server that we got very close to last year. ¬†Please do let me know if you see it, though I would also like to highlight that messaging me when the server resets doesn’t change the server resetting, and it’s really not personal.

Mental and physical health challenges #givemehope #bipolarbears

 

I honestly try not to whine too much about where my life is, versus where it should be because ‘should be’ is an ideal world. ¬†But regular readers of my blog will know that for the last year and a bit, I’ve been fighting what feels like a losing battle against my mental health support.
How it all worked out is around 13 months ago, I started vomiting back my Quetiapine (Seroquel), and when it was investigated and I had anti-sickness meds provided, but that my anti-psychotics had basically stopped working. ¬†I started having real problems sleeping, my anxiety started to become something that defined my day again, and I couldn’t really deal with anything outside of the house. ¬†My GP swung into action instantly, and referred me back to the team at our local outpatients where I’d spent six months the year we moved to our new home.

Instantly, I discovered that things were vastly different – the crisis team didn’t deal with me much at all, the unit I was referred to assigned a psych and a mental health nurse that to be blunt, were not kind or understanding in the slightest, and though the first psych had a clear plan for me, that¬†month on lithium led to a lot of issues for me. ¬†In fact, I went from September of that year, to most of the way through January before I’d been tested out, six ER admittances all for issues with managing food. ¬†At first, we thought it was the lithium doing it, but of course, looking back on when my issues started, I realized that I was being sick when my meds stopped working.
After being tried and removed from Lithium, this time last year, we went on a week’s holiday to Wales, while my children headed off to Tunisia with my mother. ¬†We came back expecting that things would get easier with my psychiatrist. ¬†It didn’t.

I guess it really doesn’t help to point fingers from my public blog, but I’ve spent the last few days and weeks really considering how to make my psych team understand this isn’t right.
I’ve always been outspoken when I see things that don’t work for others, and I wanted to say something today about something that was actually probably quite stupid, looking back on things, but I’d decided, about two weeks ago, that I wanted to try to get to sleep, and to see if I could do it without having a doctor intercede on my behalf, in part so I could go back and say ‘I’ve had to take xyz, is there any chance you can help me with this, as I’m not sleeping without help’. ¬†Instead, a week into trying this, and the weekend before I was due to go to my psych team appointment, my heart started racing. ¬†I couldn’t slow it down. ¬†Fifteen minutes of that and I realised I was in trouble, and woke my partner. ¬†At first I was quite worried I’d accidentally doubled up on my meds because I’d been given new (repeats) ones that day. ¬†But it turned out that the combination I’d been taking, on it’s own, caused it.
What was it that was extra, you might ask?

Nytol.
Nytol is¬†diphenhydramine hydrochloride, they claim that it’s a very common antihistamine. ¬†I’ve taken it before as an antihistamine along with cycalzine (another antihistamine, though it’s prescribed as an anti-sickness agent). ¬†Add that to Quetiapine and you’re suddenly taking three types of medicines that cause long QT syndrome, a type of heart defect that causes the electrical function of your heart to somehow change. ¬†There are three running theories on what it actually does – either it changes potassium or sodium channels in your heart, or it creates poor feedback causing your heart to race, or…well, I’m not sure I understand, but it was what the first ER doc started trying to explain before going off-shift.
What I did know was that it was terrifying.

It gets worse from here really. ¬†I spent that weekend back in bed – I’ve only very recently bounced back from having cellulitis on one side of my face and ears, so I just basically regressed into the very sulky, constantly sleeping, incredibly depressed girl that I’ve managed to hold at bay unless things are bad with my sleep. Y’know when the last time my sleep was this bad? ¬†When I freaking failed the A-Z challenge. ¬†It’s gotten worse from there – the accident in July was quite bad, but I thought I was done for a while. ¬†Nope. ¬†Still limping, still struggling, still finding it difficult to sleep. ¬†I’ll have to talk about sleep deprivation another time, this post is gonna be long enough.

It takes quite a bit to make me rant on this blog, but life is now at the point where my life is BASICALLY my bed, my kids, my partner, my cats, my living-room, my kitchen, my bed. ¬†I only leave the house if someone is with me. ¬†I only write if forced. I’m not working. ¬†I’m not sleeping. ¬†I’m not (really) eating, and I suspect the days I barely drink anything are why I get headaches. ¬†I’m going to talk more about this on Bi-Polarbears, along with some really great other stuff that’s important to me.

I realized when I tried to pick up everything I’d dropped that the reality of what’s gone on in the last 24 months is causing real, and scary issues with my life. ¬†When I went to speak to my GP the day I tried Nytol as a solution for the first time, we’d been talking about my pain management. ¬†When I spoke to him after my Psych team screwed me over this time through, he told me that there’s a flag in my blood sugar, and now, I have to do more blood tests. ¬†I’m sure those of you around last year remember that we’ve been here before, though last year it was my liver. ¬†Especially galling is the fact that I’ve been on Seroquel for 14 months more than I probably should have been and, Seroquel causes, survey says….Blood sugar issues, and some studies suggest, early miscarriage. Welcome to my world.

I’m working with an amazing author right now – M.R. has written a book that I think we can create and edit into a better version so he and I are working together, though the poor guy just landed with me sick. ¬†I’m not editing books unless I see someone in genuine need of help, and only as the first line now. ¬†Someone has to come in behind me to proof, because I’m not and will never be a proofreader. ¬†I can see mistakes when I read, I just don’t catch them while in documents, which is why I even have a spell check here.

I had hoped today to talk about my Nanowrimo projects, but that’s coming another day, soon. ¬†I’m doing Nano, I’m just dealing with lots of stuff that isn’t easy to consider, let alone talk on. ¬†But I’ve got some great friends, and made some new ones – HI NEW FRIENDS! – so it’s all good. ¬†We’ll get there, and there’s some REALLY exciting things coming over November, alongside the Nanowrimo and beyond. ¬†If this has taught me anything it’s that I need to communicate more and I need to be more present where I’m happy. ¬†It’s going to be a hard year because things are changing, but I can’t see anything but positive coming from some of it (and if you know my good news, professionally, please don’t say anything here – I’m not allowed to announce it yet!). ¬†I’m really trying to be positive, and I know this reads really quite upbeat but I’m so tired and constantly find even the simplest things difficult.

It’s the most wonderful time of the…hang on a minute…#Nanowrimo #Anxiety

Yeah, OK, sorry if that reminds you of X-mas, but for me, this is the most wonderful time of the year – or at least, it’s supposed to be.
For those of you that are new to the blog, I’m pagan (a white woman as it happens), and so Samhain starts an amazing month and a bit where I’m running Nanowrimo locally – battering around like a loon, talking to new writers and cheering, very loudly for everyone taking part whether or not they ‘win’.
This year though, there’s a bit of reluctance in me. ¬†A bit of sadness too, actually.
This last year has not been a good year for my health, though for the first time since PrincessPink was very small, my mental health has sucked more than my physical – and trust me when I say that multiple miscarriages at the beginning of the year make that even more harrowing.
I can’t really talk about what’s going on, mostly because it turns me into a bundle of anger and tears, but this year is one of the first years for Nanowrimo where I’m so seriously overweight that most of my clothes don’t fit, that I spend most of my time in PJs, and I’m not sure how I’m supposed to run our meets.
I WILL run the meets, but something’s going to give somewhere.

I’ve got a lovely (I hope) post about the five books…no, six…maybe eight, I’m writing this year, but there’s a definitive focus on only four of them. ¬†I’ll get over 50k as usual, but that’s never a problem for me. ¬†My problem is leaving the house now.

So, my next couple of posts will be about Nanowrimo, and there will be a wordcount tracker in my sidebar, and it’ll update daily (I hope – the new script I wrote should do that, maybe, perhaps, possibly), but for now I just wanted to pop my head up and say that it’s coming. ¬†Maybe today, but definitely before the weekend.
I’m also hoping to launch Gloswriters this weekend, along with some other stuff.

I’ll also be giving up some sites ‘free to a good home(host)’. ¬†You can take them and pay me to host them or move them, the choice is yours. ¬†More on that later though.

Why #Kaiatus turned into silence

Hi guys and gals.  Bear with me a sec, while I explain something.

Sometimes it takes - Hayley WilliamsAt the end of June, myself and my business partner (Shaun Allan, he of Sin, and Darker Places, among other things) set up an app company.  Then, a couple of days into the new company stuff, I fell down the stairs in our house.

I don’t exactly know what happened. ¬†I was unconscious when David found me, but my son found me first. ¬†All I remember before that was reaching down to make sure my little grey and white cat, Haley, hadn’t brought in a bird. ¬†On the steps. ¬†Ooops.

So, that necessitated an ambulance outside of my house, on the grass the kids normally play on, lots of whimpering and crying, and the growing realization that I couldn’t feel my left leg, at all. ¬†Six days in hospital, and I was sent home by the pain team with some really unusual meds, lots of painkillers and instructions about not overdoing it. ¬†So, since the beginning of July, ‘not overdoing it’ has also involved ‘not blogging’, ‘not writing’ and ‘not being myself at all’. ¬†A lot of my coping mechanisms mentioned previously on this blog are still extant. ¬†I still veg more often than not, though I’m trying to teach myself to read as much as I physically can, as often as I can now – I’ll share my reading lists (including those I’m following along on Wattpad) on Sunday, I think, but till then I wanted to pop my head up and apologize for going silent so suddenly.

I do have some good news though – I’ve been working on that old book of mine – the forensic writing one. ¬†I think I’ve got a neat name for it – I think I’m going to call it ‘ The secret language of Fiction’. ¬†I’m still thinking – it’s not a perfect fit, but it’s now officially on ‘the list’.

But I’m still on a go slow – it wasn’t something I really meant to do, but between my psych meds still not working and my injury, travelling (we went to Edinburgh, then London, more on that later too!), I’ve just found it too hard to sit down and work out where my new workflow is leading me.

Blueshifted Apps launches soon however, and I’m really excited about that, along with the things I’ll be announcing to my mailing list. ¬†I might be rubbish at being extroverted when injured, but I’ve been thinking a lot about who I am and what I write, and I’ve got so many neat things I want to deal with between now and the end of the year, and that’s just awesome. ¬†I’m hoping that Blueshifted gets me most of the way there, income wise, and the books will fill up the rest.

How have you guys been?  Anything exciting going on?