Nanowrimo Spotlight #10: Kelly Ospina, Stuck in the Slow Lane of Life

November 3, 2012

It’s day 3 of Nano, high time for a Spotlight, so let’s shine some high-beams on Kelly Ospina!

What’s the most unusual part of your writing process?
I am a single mom and foster parent and have four kids, ages 2 1/2 through 19, plus a dog who thinks he’s a cat, a cat who thinks she is a ninja, and one lonely guinea pig. So as you can imagine, there isn’t much peace in quiet at our house for writing. If I want to get an hour and a half of writing each day I have to get up at 5:30 in the morning to do it. I’m not a morning person by nature, but I make myself do it because my writing is important to me.

Where are your backup files?
I write in Scrivener now (after discovering it post-Nano 2011). I love Scrivener and have it loaded on both my work and home computers so I can squeeze in some writing on my lunch hour now and then. I keep my writing files in my dropbox account, which works out great because I don’t have to worry about carrying a USB around with me.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
Don’t listen to the little voice in your head that tells you this is impossible and tries to derail you. You will get frustrated, you will have writers block, you will be so damn tired of your story you can’t stand it anymore. Keep going anyway! Push through it, even if you have to write nonsense for a couple days. You will be surprised at the bursts of creativity that come out of nowhere when you least expect it.

Sneaky Ninja Question! If you had one day left to live, what’s one thing you’d want to spend that time on?
Believe it or not, I think about this on a regular basis. Hands down, I would want to spend that time with my son and now the foster kids, too. Being a foster parent, much like being a writer, can make you crazy with frustration sometimes. To survive you really have  learn to live in the moment and take things as they come. While we all hope that we have many more days left ahead of us, in reality we don’t really know when our time will come. Today may very well be that last day so we may as well live it as fully and be as present in it as we can.

Once upon a time, back in high school, I wanted to be a writer. Then life got in the way and I took a long detour through restaurant management, graphic design, marriage, divorce and parenthood. In my mid-forties, with my son finally grown, I thought I would finally find the time to make my writing dreams come true. That is, until life took another detour and I found myself as foster mother to three young children. Now that I’m cruising through life in the Slow Lane in my 18 year old Honda with a car full of kids I’ve finally realized, there is no magic right time to live your dreams, you just have to get out there and do it. Writing is my dream and I’m living it, finally, albeit around the edges of being a working mom. Feedback on my blog and website would be appreciated, so please visit me at www.kellyospina.comor at

Preparing for Block Revision with Holly Lisle

July 10, 2012

I’ve taken over five weeks off from my Holly Lisle ‘How to Revise your novel’ course – heading into June, I decided that I couldn’t manage my Summer of Shorts Camp Nanowrimo project and revising at the same time, which was probably a good choice for my sanity. But Summer of Shorts is over, I’m back from Kansas, and it’s time to dive into Lesson 17 – Block Revision.

Or at least time to dive into preparation, because Block Revision is apparently not something you should dive into without all the right gear. 😉

I’ve got a to-get list set up in my ‘Holly Lisle’ folder, and some of the items are X-ed off:

  • Pages to rewrite, from the spiral-bound revision draft copy I had made at Staples in early December.
  • A break timer – I figure I’ll be using the iPhone for that.
  • Spill-proof cup (Nanowrimo!)
  • Printout of the surgical marks to make on the pages.
  • Laundry list of consistency details to remember.
  • My Alphasmart Dana. (Not from Holly’s Block Revision instructions – more on that later.)
  • Scissors
  • Typing paper, mostly for cut-and-pasting.
  • Pens
  • Sticky notes.

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