Life in a Pandemic

It’s all horrendously normal, in some respects.

We’re far from the epicentres of Europe or even the U.S. up here in Powell River. While the virus has hit British Columbia, it doesn’t seem to have reached us on the Sunshine Coast yet.

That will change soon. Already we have a case on the Island. It won’t take much for it to hop a ferry and join us here, in beautiful, isolated Powell River.

But things here still have a veneer of normalcy to them. People go to work and school. They still have events. Seedy Saturday is this weekend and it’s going on.

At work we have new protocols to protect ourselves and members of the community. Those protocols change every day.

Small changes in everyday life have occurred, too. You can no longer get your reusable cup filled at the coffee shop, to protect those that work there. Workers are wearing gloves and disinfecting their workstations after every customer.

People are disinfecting their grocery carts before shopping. The local school has thankfully cancelled their spring break trip to Europe.

There isn’t panic. More like the town is a corral of nervous horses. Skittish, milling about. Not spooked and trampling yet.

There’s a quiet while we wait for it. The sound, the crack-shot of a news headline: First Powell River Case Confirmed.

Preparation and Worry

We need to prepare, I know, but there is something tremendously difficult about actually doing so and knowing you’re ready. Some part of me is clinging to the normalcy we still have, resisting doing what I know needs to be done, and now.

Social isolation. Stock up for if one or both of us does get the illness. Restrict our travel outside the house to absolutely necessary trips: doctor’s office, work. Turn the front entryway into a decon chamber. Set up for home delivery of groceries, so it’s ready if we need it.

We already disinfect all our groceries when we get home with them, before mom touches them. I use gloves at the gas station. I’ve got alcohol sanitizer in my car and don’t touch my face unless I’ve sanitized my hands when I’m out. Mom follows the same rules too.

And when we’re out we keep our distance from other people, as much as we can. This is made harder by the folks who don’t understand personal boundaries when we’re not in a pandemic.

Seriously, people. Back up.

Mom is immunocompromised, with an infection in her leg plate and probable Hashimoto’s. She’s on antibiotics to deal with the infection in the leg, and will require surgery again to remove the plate, which will increase her risk even more.

If I need to turn the house into a fortress to protect her, I will.

1% of Life

About 60% of my being is tied up with worry for those I love. My mom. My husband, who has preexisting lung issues. Other family members with their health issues.

Another 39% is tied up with thoughts about my own future, as a healthcare worker that’s not a nurse. Will we prepare enough here? Or will we face what Italy is facing, where people without nursing training are being conscripted and given crash courses in patient care out of desperation?

Will I end up working long shifts in one set of personal protective equipment until I can’t stand anymore?

Or will we flatten the curve?

Only time will tell at this point. So the remaining 1% of myself is trying to focus on some sort of normalcy. Like continuing to write, despite everything.

Next project: a list outlining all my needs in case of quarantining myself.

Tomorrow I get paid. It’ll be time to stock up.


PerPoWriMo. The various wrimos are getting a little ridiculous, which means I must join in.

How did it become March already? Something something, time moves in mysterious ways, something something.

Mom and I are doing PerPoWriMo this month. WTF is PerPoWriMo, you ask?

Personal Poetry Writing Month. Not personal poetry, just our own personal poetry writing month.

April is NaPoWriMo (or Na/GloPoWriMo I guess), but we wanted to write poems this month. One per day. I have the added goal of submitting 15 of the poems I write to contests and literary mags.

I thought about calling it KaWPoWriMo, for Kat-and-Wolff Poetry Writing Month, but I think PerPoWriMo has more legs. Also it kind of sounds like “purple rhino” if you say it fast enough.

winning even though it’s not a race

So far, I’m winning. I’ve penned a poem each day this month (save today; it’s not over yet).

"Hey mom, how many poems have you written this month?"
"Uh...1.8. Bad, eh?"
"I'm winning!"
"You bitch."

All in jest. It’s not a competition. Well, it’s a healthy one. And mom often calls me a bitch. It’s a term of endearment in our family. (We are a wolf pack, after all.)

For me, this is partially a way to catch up with my goals of poetry this year. I wanted to do 1/week, or a total of 52, poems in 2020. Doing 31 in a month will help me get ahead of that number.

And then if I end up surpassing the 52? Awesome. Another book in the offing.

I don’t want y’all to think this means I’m eschewing fiction, however. I’m not. I’m just so busy with the drudgery of life right now that poetry is often all I have time for. (And it’s a struggle, most days.)

I still have lofty goals for writing novels this year. I’m not letting little things like mom’s broken ankle, her two post-op complications, my back going out at all hours of the night like a rebellious teenager, or a global pandemic get in my way.

If I did, I wouldn’t be Katje van Loon, Baroness of Fucking Watch Me (also Duchess of Bitch, I Might Be).

And hopefully, I’ll find even more time in the near future, as I’ve finally left Twitter. (About time.)

Loonily yours,

Radical Blogging

I have been blogging since 2004. I had just moved into the dorms with my best friend Makana, and she convinced me to join her on Blogdrive.

My early blog posts were raw and unfiltered; deep dives into my psyche or incoherent rambling. The titles of the posts were song titles, usually whatever I was listening to at the time. I was part of a community on Blogdrive — a small group of bloggers who read and commented on each other’s blogs regularly.

I don’t know when all that changed. At some point blogging was no longer about laying your feelings bare — journalling, for an audience — but became yet another way to make money. Content farms. Content marketing. Content content content.

Post regularly! Make sure your readers can rely on your schedule. Show that you’re an expert in your field. Here’s how to monetize your blog — here’s how to turn it into a book.

And of course I went with this flow, even though I really, truly hate it. Of course I did, because I’m an author, and authors have blogs, and author blogs are how they leverage book sales. Of course I have a SEO plugin that’s telling me how to market this post for maximum discoverability.

Because in the vast landscape of the internet, visibility is all.

I miss the Wild West days where you could carve out a small spot, a rocky outcropping, and just say whatever shit came to mind and post it. I’m sure my old Canadian Pagan blog was full of stuff that would make current me cringe, but it was honest.

It was honest, and it didn’t cause me more anxiety to write. It was cathartic.

Blogging has become so full of anxiety for me.

Is this post good enough? 
Should I even keep a blog? What if someone hatereads my entire archive to find something to weaponize against me -- and succeeds?
Shit, I missed my post day.
Ugh I can't think of anything good to write!
Fuck, I forgot to do Myth Mondays today.
If I don't find the perfect featured image for this post I can never let it see the light of day.
Shitfuckgoddamn, I haven't blogged in three months I can never show my face online again.

What used to be a joy in my life, a place where I could let out what I was feeling and find some commiseration, or support, from my small blogging community, has now become another source of stress.

Even this post, where I am trying to let go of all of that — I am tweaking and editing, fixing and shaping, trying to make it acceptable.

I am shoving my writing into a corset and wondering why its bones are misshapen.

I want to release that stress. And no, the answer is not to stop blogging, but to continue. To continue freely, like I did before. To engage in Radical Blogging.



of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference.

To be radical is to go to the root of something. To go back to basics, to the fundamentals.

I want to go back to the root of blogging. To write a post and not give a shit about SEO or the readability score (which is red frowny face right now, by the way); not give two figs about whether or not I’m leveraging proper content to monetize my life; to stop squeezing my writing into too-small shoes and instruments of torture masquerading as clothes.

I have been blogging for 16 years, and I want to detoxify the relationship I have with it.

I need to go back to basics. And basics say…I don’t need to end this post on something punchy. I don’t need have subheadings that lead to a logical conclusion where I neatly sum up my entire point. I don’t need links to things I want you to buy, or other bits of my content.

I can just say bye.

insert title here

Gif used in post.

Gods above I am so tired.

I have a half-written post that I want to share here on Monday the 27th (I’ve set myself a “posting schedule” here of every other Monday, and I was GOING to post Myth Mondays this week buuuuut, yeah, no) and hopefully that will happen but right now I just need to, you know. Blog.

Noodle incoherently about my life. Rant. Vent? Talk, but with text.

I’m so tired, guys.

It’s only the 16th of January, 2020. Barely two weeks into the new year and I’m ready to nap for most of it.

It’s mostly emotional drainage. It’s been an exciting and good but also bad two weeks, and my little heart is fluttering like a hummingbird having a seizure.

  • The good: I have a new job!
  • The bad: it requires moving away from my husband.
  • The good: I’ll be closer to my mom! As in, living in her house.
  • The bad: I’m supposed to go up at the end of the month, but circumstances (read: bad timing) have conspired to make her in need of my help now.
  • The good: living with mom will help me achieve my writing goals this year as well as personal goals of downsizing my things and trying to live minimally.
  • The bad: I’m really not ready to live minimally and when I first go up I have to take the bare minimum of stuff because mom doesn’t have much space for me yet. (She’s still renovating her new house.)

On it goes! This kind of emotional whiplash would be exhausting at any time, but of course it’s on top of my having a cold for almost the entire new year so far and not getting enough sleep because of it.

retro vade me, bad timing

And what about this bad timing I mention? Bad timing is the creature that has stalked our little family for as long as memory stretches back — my memory, at least — and it continues to plague our days. I wanted to leave it behind in 2019 but I guess it needs more than willpower to banish it; perhaps a knife to the heart and cremation, with ashes scattered at crossroads.

Continue reading “insert title here”

2020 Reso-goal-tions

OK, take 2 on getting my shit together…I started this post on January 1st. It is January 10th. I have not finished this post. Let’s see if we can change that, shall we?

Do you like that word? Reso-goal-tions? I made it up today January 1st. I never seem to make pure resolutions, and trend towards goal-setting instead — but in my goals there is some resolve. Thus, reso-goal-tions.

I have a million and one, but I’ll just be talking about my writing and publishing ones here on loony bin.

First, my 2020 Intention. What’s an Intention? It’s some hippy-new-age thing I’m into that I don’t even know how to describe, but it’s what I set before I started doing my resogoaltions.

I created it while writing my last email newsletter of 2019 and shared it right there in the email. It’s based off the oracle card reading I did for the upcoming year for myself and my newsletter subscribers.

(Are you on my newsletter? You should be! I might actually email it this year! And when I do I sometimes draw cards for the list.)

May my writing lead me to greater spiritual insights and wealth, in 2020 and beyond. May I share those insights with others, and in sharing, may my own spiritual wealth and happiness grow.

Katje’s 2020 Writing Intention

I know, sounds hokey, but the truth is, writing is a spiritual calling for me as well as a career. Yes, I want it to make money, but first it needs to feed my soul. Then it can feed my coffee habit.

But, because I’m a crazed Type A, anything that feeds my soul must also have goals and organization attached, and perhaps a little healthy self-competition. Never measure yourself against other people — measure yourself against yourself.

"Never measure yourself against other people — measure yourself against yourself." Click To Tweet

Just don’t go crazy, like I do. Baby steps!

Ok, let’s see what big honking elephant steps I’m about to take this year.

Continue reading “2020 Reso-goal-tions”

Here I sit, with a wolf at my feet…

…winds at my back, and chocolate in my stomach.

Probably a lot more poetic in my head than on paper. Even digital paper.

It’s the end of 2019. The end of a year, the end of a decade. Tomorrow we — I — start the march into 2020, the best year yet — or so I tell myself.

2019 was actually pretty decent, on a personal level. I know it was hard for lots of people, and for the world in general, but personally I’m feeling pretty good about it, and the personal is all that matters…. That’s right, it’s all about me. It is my blog, after all.

December threw me a few curveballs. Mr. Katje’s transmission blew, costing us a few thousand in repairs; my Fitbit nearly set my hand on fire and then died, spectacularly; my writing laptop decided — right before my writing retreat with mom — that starting up was for losers — oh, and my body finally decided to get back on track after Depo. With a vengeance. To wit, it’s my second period this month and I might actually be bleeding to death.

If you think that’s TMI, you are new to this blog.

But aside from the last month of the year going “WAIT! I NEED TO SLAP YOUR FACE!”, 2019 has been, on the balance, pretty good.

2019 in Review

  • I started a new career in January as an MOA, and in February I walked the stage at school to graduate with distinction from my program. I got a 4.20 GPA in my time at Douglas, and that’s with my spine going out for a full week in my second semester.
  • Within a period of 8 months, I wrote and published a poetry manuscript, Rewolfing the Soul. I’m really proud of this bad boy, though I do not recommend trying to write and publish a manuscript in 8 months if you have very little free time on your hands.
  • I became part of a writer’s collective called Our Own Worlds for women and non-binary indie writers of SFF. It is a really exciting adventure to be part of, and I’m proud to join with such great writers in this endeavour.
  • I managed to email my newsletter a couple of times!

Ok, that last one is damning with faint praise, as my Oma would say. My email newsletter game is painful in its terribleness. I’m trying to get better!

My mom and I also went to FOTWA again this year, or the Festival of the Written Arts in Sechelt. It was a great experience, and I can’t wait to go again next year.

Towards the end of the year I started getting more into using WorldAnvil, and I’m really loving the experience. I’m world-building two worlds — universes, really — with my main account, and a third with my second account. (The second I’m able to have pen names it’ll be all under one account.)

I participated in WorldEmber, WorldAnvil’s version of Nanowrimo, where the goal is to write 10,000 words of worldbuilding content on your site in December. I got about 40% of the way there, which is a victory considering I joined late and was eaten alive with busyness this past month.

I really love WorldAnvil, and I’ll be updating this blog post with links to a review of it by my friend Diane Morrison, my Borderlands Saga world, and my Aradian Universe world as soon as I’m on a computer and not my tablet. (EDIT: that took a lot longer than I thought it would. Links are in now!)

Overall, a good year. And the curveballs of December are mostly solved — a Christmas gift of cash from our in-laws helped with the transmission costs; Fitbit is replacing my device, so I can get back on track with my health and not having my hand set on fire; after spending a few hours with my writing laptop, Mr. Katje seems to think it’s a simple fix that won’t lose me my sanity.

So even with those things, I’m ending this year on a high note.

Decade in Review/2009-2019 Glow-up

This past decade has been incredibly hard at times but it has arced towards goodness. I am incredibly blessed and grateful for all the great things my life has brought me in the past 10 years.

In 2009…

  • I was reeling from one bad relationship to the next, and at the end of that year I was busy crocheting a Dr Who scarf for a dude who was busy cheating on me on the other end of the province.
  • I was enrolled in a college program that was not serving my needs.
  • I was lost, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally.
  • I had finished one novel but I had no idea what I was doing with my writing or my author career.

In 2019…

  • I’ve been happily married for 4 years to Mr. Katje, who I met in 2010.
  • I’ve graduated from two college/university programs, one a Bachelor’s Degree that served my spiritual and mental needs, and the other a certificate that has served my getting-a-career needs.
  • I am no longer lost. I’m not sure where I am, but I don’t feel lost.
  • I’ve finished four novels and published 3, and I have two poetry manuscripts out there in the world. I have so many plans and ideas and when it comes to my writing, I know exactly what I’m doing.

It has been a hell of a road, but I’m in a good place now and I can’t wait to see where 2020 and the next decade take me.

Happy New Year, friends, and I’ll see you all in the next decade (when I post my goals/intentions/resolutions for the new year).

Loonily yours,


WiP Playlists: Anala

This summer I started work on Anala, third book in The Bellica Trilogy. As with all my other projects, I created a playlist to help inspire me while writing it.

As I don’t really know how to create a listenable playlist for you all online yet, I figured I’d just post the list of songs.

No true spoilers, but seeing the list might give you some good ideas about plot points. OR totally out of left field fan theories. I won’t tell you which is which. 😉

By the way, while the songs are listed in a numbered list, I don’t play them in order. I hit shuffle every time. And the order they’re listed here is random. I just thought numbers would look neater than bullet points.

The Songs

  1. Freiflug, Megaherz
  2. Banshee, Methodic Doubt (this is the opening credits song for the TV show of the same name)
  3. The Sharpest Lives, My Chemical Romance
  4. Not An Addict, K’s Choice
  5. In The House – In A Heartbeat, 28 Days Later Soundtrack
  6. One Last Time, Veruca Salt
  7. The Ghost of You, My Chemical Romance
  8. She’s A Maniac, Michael Sembello
  9. Tango De Los Exilados, Vanessa Mae
  10. Rinse, Vanessa Carlton
  11. Eden (Hooverphonic Enigma Remix), Sarah Brightman
  12. Dig Ophelia, Rasputina
  13. Here With Me, Sarah Brightman
  14. The Show Must Go On, Queen
  15. Conspiracy, Paramore
  16. Estasi Dell Anima, David Sardy (Zombieland Soundtrack)
  17. Easy As Life, Original Broadway Cast of Aida
  18. Waltz for the Moon, Nobuo Uematsu, Final Fantasy VIII OST
  19. Monster, Lady Gaga
  20. My December, Linkin Park
  21. Starting Up, Nobuo Uematsu, Final Fantasy VIII OST
  22. Lithium, Evanescence
  23. Toxic, Britney Spears
  24. So Happy I Could Die, Lady Gaga
  25. Lose Control, Evanescence
  26. The Point of No Return, Phantom of the Opera (film soundtrack)
  27. Nothing Else Matters, Apocalyptica (Metallica cover)
  28. Weight of the World, Evanescence
  29. Rev 22:20, Puscifer
  30. Snow White Queen, Evanescence
  31. I Don’t Care, Apocalyptica
  32. All That I’m Living For, Evanescence

I might add more songs later, as work on the book is ongoing and 2 hours, 8 minutes worth of music might not be enough.


Rewolfing the Soul paperback now available for preorder!

Yes, that’s right! Rewolfing the Soul is now available for preorder!

I am SO EXCITED to release this book. I think the poetry in it is some of my best work. And I know, I haven’t been sharing as much as I’d like to Instagram and certainly not to here on this blog, but I have been writing a ton.

So much writing, y’all.

And now it’s almost done. Yep, I have a few more poems to pen/put the finishing touches on, but the manuscript is basically finished…and I got really excited about it and created a preorder page for the paperback.

Rewolfing the Soul is a collection of Millennial poetry. Poetry that speaks to the experience of being a Millennial: trapped in a soul-crushing system that will slowly grind you to dust, and dreaming of a day you can be as wild and free as the last wolves on our planet.

Yep, Millennials are killing poetry now. We’re unstoppable murderers.

Anyway, if Millennials killing poetry seems like it’s up your alley, here are some pre-order details:

  • Format: trade paperback, printed in Canada.
  • Shipping: to residents of the US and Canada. Flat rate 5 dollars.
  • Sold through: Gumroad! Great platform for indie creators.
  • Price: 20 dollars Canadian.
  • Perks: comes signed, and with a free “Rewolf Your Soul” sticker.
  • Print run: 50 copies.

But wait! There’s more!

I would LOVE to do free shipping, but I live in Canada, and am beholden to the whims of the cruel and capricious god Canada Post. However, people who pledge at my Patreon WILL get a discount on the book that will basically amount to free shipping…and if you pledge before July 30th (NINE DAYS FROM NOW, WHAT), you’ll get your name in the book too.

Let me repeat that: I will be thanking Patrons from my Patreon on a special page in the book. Pledge before July 30th at a dollar a month or more, and you’ll be part of that.

(Why the deadline? Book production! I need files finalized well before the publish date. 2 weeks is honestly pushing it, but it’s my own fault for being so behind on things.)

Speaking of being behind…I started writing this post on Saturday the 20th and now it’s Sunday the 21st. I guess I should finish up and post it, eh?

The preorder info is below the cut (along with some pre-written tweets if you want to help spread the word). It goes through Gumroad so don’t worry about the fact that my site is not (yet) https — Gumroad is secure. Your info will be safe.

Continue reading “Rewolfing the Soul paperback now available for preorder!”

2019 Micropoems, January through March

I’ve been posting micropoems on Instagram, Ello, Patreon and Pinterest this year. I did have a thing set up where they would instantly cross-post here, too, but it broke a lot of the time and just didn’t work the way I wanted.

So I figured I’d gather up the posts from the last 3 months and put them in one post. And then I’ll do that again in a little while when I have more posted.

Side note, all these poems are going into a book called Rewolfing the Soul. I’ll be working on that for April Camp Nanowrimo. More details about that — including a cover and release date — later.

This post is picture-heavy, so I’ve put the images behind a cut. The poems are more or less in chronological order; one or two may be switched around because I didn’t double check the order I posted them before making this post.


Continue reading “2019 Micropoems, January through March”