Tag Archives: Nova Ren Suma

Imaginary Girls giveaway: winner!

Wiener Dogs Reading Books: Ziggy, absorbed in Imaginary Girls

There’s a winner of the Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma giveaway!

Here’s the video of the drawing (sorry for the slight jostling, I was holding the camera up with my left hand and “self-taping”):

And if you don’t want to bother to watch the video and see me blink a million times and stifle an immature giggle when the winning number is generated (it took serious willpower not to laugh-until-I-barfed)…the winner is…
**SPOILER ALERT***

**SPOILER ALERT***

*drum roll please*

**SPOILER ALERT**

*drum roll*

*drum roll*

The commenter named ishita!
whose comment was:
“OMG i really really want to read this book! and i dont have a sister i have a brother lol 🙂
thanks for this giveaway!
ps. the doggie is beyond adorable !”

*cymbal clash!*

Congratulations to ishita–and thank you to all of you for supporting Nova Ren Suma’s book, and for being such avid readers. I hope those of you who wanted a copy and didn’t win, still manage to find yourselves a copy soon.

Methodology:
I assigned each of you a number, in the order of comments, and used a random number generator to pick a number between 1 and 90, as there were 90 entries. The generated number was matched with the assigned number of the contest entrants.

Trivia:
The winning number was 69 *insert stifled immature giggle*

The wiener dogs reading Imaginary Girls are Scarlet the Wiener Dog and Ziggy the Wiener Dog. I rescued both of them at separate times many years ago and they are now 18 and 14 years old, respectively. And yes, Nova has met them!

Stay tuned…I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Patricia Engel’s award winning short story collection Vida next!

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Filed under Giveaway, Reading

Imaginary Girls Giveaway!

Ziggy, absorbed in Imaginary Girls

My friend Nova Ren Suma wrote an incredible book, one that Publishers Weekly and the merciless Kirkus Book Reviews gave starred reviews. Most recently, it received a great review from the LA Times Book Review, lauding it a book “not just for kids.” (Makes sense. I loved it. And it’s been a long time since I was a teenager).

I wish this YA novel existed when I was in junior high. But better late than never.

I read Imaginary Girls on a stormy weekend and couldn’t put it down. As a writer, I admired the language and Nova’s expertise with setting–and as a reader, I loved Ruby and Chloe and the overall tension throughout the story. That I was reading the book throughout weekend-long Spring thunderstorms was even more fitting! Water is a prevalent theme throughout Imaginary Girls.

In addition to the aforementioned commendations, Imaginary Girls is creeeepy in this fantastic way. But NOT in a scary-creepy haunt your dreams way. (Believe me, I’m the kind of person who can’t watch any scary movies, not even “Scary Movie”). It’s creepy in this “OMG, I love this book and want to know what happens and why it happens and why do I have so many questions and why do I want to swim in a reservoir!” way. I hope you all read the book.

Opening lines:

Ruby said I’d never drown–not in deep ocean, not by shipwreck, not even by falling drunk into someone’s bottomless backyard pool. She said she’d seen me hold my breath underwater for minutes at a time, but to hear her tell it you’d think she meant days. Long enough to live down there if needed, to skim the seafloor collecting the shells and shiny soda caps, looking up every so often for the rescue lights, even if they took forever to come.

It sounded impossible, something no one would believe if anyone other than Ruby were the one to tell it. But Ruby was right: The body found that night wouldn’t be, couldn’t be mine.”

But now onto business…!

In honor of Nova’s book release, I’m hosting a giveaway of a signed hardcover copy of Imaginary Girls.

Here’s how to enter:
1) Leave a comment below. You can say anything you want–e.g., you can choose to tell me why you want a copy of the book, or tell me about a beloved sister (I don’t have one, and have always wanted a sister), or simply say you just rrrreally want a copy of the book. Do fill out your email address when you fill out the fields in the comment box (it won’t be published to the world, but I will need it in order to contact you in case you win)!
2) 1 entry per person
3) The giveaway is open worldwide.
4) If you win the contest, I will email you for your mailing address.
5) Winners will be chosen by a random number generator.
6) I will be announcing the contest winner on the blog. None of your personal information will be posted, aside from your first name and last initial (or the nickname you choose to list in your comment).
7) If you are below the age of 13, please ask your parents to fill out the comment field with their information.

The deadline to enter a comment is July 25, 2011 1:00pm EST. The winner (picked at random) will be announced July 25, 2011 at 9:00pm EST.

Update: The winner is announced!

Scarlet reading Nova's Imaginary Girls

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Filed under Giveaway, Reading

Quick blog post, June 15, 2011

Rapture Art

I am sitting down to write for the first time in weeks. Life has been hectic, albeit in celebration, these days. Lots of parties, outings, (non-writing) work, meetings, travel. I wonder at times if the world is cold-blooded; now that the temperatures have risen, the pace of activity has quickened.

And in the face of a frenetic social schedule and steamy summer, I find myself fantasizing about winter–a time of year when the ubiquitous jackhammers silence, the snow casts a monochromatic scheme over things, and getting dressed is mostly about getting that down parka over my jeans and tshirt. (Yes, I spend almost the entirety of winter in a tshirt and jeans under a parka). I love when nighttime outweighs daylight and a party is not outdoors but cast in lamplight and candles. You’d find me happy in wintertime Narnia.

Winter is the time of year when I get most of my writing done. I am not sure why this is, but after numerous writing seasons, this is confirmed as fact. Thankfully, I normally live in San Francisco, where summer is one long glorious winter.

But it’s summer in NYC, where it can get so sweltering that my legs become slick with sweat (sexy, I know). I’ve stocked up on summer dresses. I’ve cut my hair. I’m trying to figure out summer makeup. And I’m writing and seeing how it goes.

Because I haven’t blogged in awhile–thought I’d do a “quick blog post” as an update.

Read/Reading:

  • Nova Ren Suma’s debut YA novel, Imaginary Girls. Buy it.
  • Beginning to read manuscripts from VONA. Did I mention VONA before? I got a lot of rejections in the past few weeks (everytime I opened my mailbox, it seemed there was a lightweight envelope addressed in my own handwriting)…but I will be in Junot Díaz’s fiction workshop this summer. I haven’t had workshop with him since 2005, and I’m excited about working with Junot again.
  • Can you believe I’ve never read Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse? So I’m picking it up.

Wrote/Writing:

  • My novel. I am trying very hard to work on nothing else.
  • But I did write up my parents’ visit to NYC, and in particular, their jaunt to Queens, over at AAWW’s Open City blog.

Viewed:

  • A lightning storm from inside a jet. I saw a flash out of the corner of my eye, and I looked out the plane window. I’d missed whatever it was. Then another flash in my peripheral vision–was my retina detaching? I kept my eyes on the infinite black horizon–and there, there I saw it: an illumination of the clouds beneath. Lightning storm down below. It was like the animation of synapses firing inside a brain, the clouds brain matter and lightning, genius.
  • Too many couples breaking up on the streets of Manhattan to count.
  • An “I love my dildo!” sticker on a residential vehicle in San Francisco’s Mission.
  • Sailors falling-down-drunk during Fleet Week.
  • Bridesmaids. The female response to The Hangover–booyah!
  • Lots of nekkid people looking out their windows in the hotel across the street.

Memorable eats/Culinary outings:

  • Fine dining Israeli food at Zahav in Philly. Israeli food is much more than pita and hummus, people!
  • Too many great meals in Manhattan (some upscale, many more cheap eats)–I’ll have to do a different post on my favorite eats here.
  • Everytime I return to the Bay Area–the first thing I want when I get off the plane is a Gordo burrito. If I land too late to get a Gordo burrito, I just get it the next day. NYC has Dos Toros (a direct derivation of Gordo) and it is good–but isn’t the same.

Cooked:

  • Oh holy crap, I’m turning into a New Yorker; I don’t think I’ve cooked anything substantial in weeks, not even when I was in San Francisco.

Happenings:

  • I have an excerpt from my novel out in Men Undressed: Women Writers on the Male Sexual Experience. I’ve been trying to keep my lips sealed on this until closer to publication date (in October), but I can’t keep it closed anymore! The book is available for pre-order from Amazon–and yes, it features a sex scene from my novel.
  • My short story “Ume” will be out in Kweli Journal’s June issue. The piece holds a special place in my heart, because it was the first piece I began and finished after my stroke, from which I took about 2 years to recover. “Ume” was inspired by a friend who told me a story in hopes that it would awaken a part of my damaged brain, and the story brought me hope that I could write again.
  • Tamiko interviewed me about writing and MFAs as part of her “(private)” MFA series at kikugirl. I had fun reflecting on my MFA experience, and I hope some of it will resonate with you.
  • I have a stigmata on my left foot. When I slammed my foot by accident into a spike, I at first thought, “OW, what did I hit?” and then thought, “This is a very particular kind of bruise–this hurts more than a bruise.” I looked down. I saw the hole.in.my.foot. And then I started crying hysterically as I ran for a bandaid.

Never happened:

  • The Rapture

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It was the only day she didn’t need to hear his voice…

Out of frame

Hi, a bunch of us are in a Literary Blog Relay.

Basically, one writer writes a 250 word post/story/fragment and then tags another writer, etc., etc. We can write whatever we want, so long as our posts begin with the last line of the previous post (in bold here) and are linked to a central theme; in this case, “A Stranger Comes to Town.”

The following is Jennifer Derilo’s post, using the last line (in bold) from Jackson Bliss’s contribution.

Alexander Chee is next.


It was the only day she didn’t need to hear his voice. It was the only day she shouldn’t have been alone. It was the one day she should not have been alone to hear his voice. To note the ironic euphony. Lymphoma. Leukemia. The tap tap of the tongue’s tip against front teeth. Long vowels slipping into her ears. Soft morphemes unclasping. Converting themselves into recognizable units. Blood. Cancer. Sick. Me. All these syllables stretching between her and him. The small exam room, expanding. He rolling himself away on a chair. She sitting sedentary on the patient’s booth. His gesture elongating her loneliness and their unfamiliarity with one another.

She shouldn’t have been alone. That day. To listen to that voice. To weigh the medicalized language sliding out of his mouth. Watch him dump it in her lap. Move away from her and stop. Head lowered. Eyes boring into the woman-girl slouching on the patient’s booth. For once, not fidgeting. Silence compresses her. Maybe holds her together. Lym. Phoma. Leu. Kemia. You look confused, he says across the divide. I’m not, she says. I’m trying not to fucking crumble, she doesn’t say. She thinks about canceling tomorrow’s trip. Worries about telling. Boyfriend. Mom. Sister. Dad. Friends. Self.

It was the one goddamn day she should not have been alone. Though he returns to her gingerly. Sweeping her hair away from left shoulder. Sinking needle into a mass. She humming upward. Remembering a chatty phlebotomist from last week. You’re a long way from home, aren’t you?


THE FULL LINE-UP, IN ORDER (Completed posts in bold)….

  1. Wah-Ming Chang: http://wmcisnowhere.wordpress.com
  2. Jamey Hatley http://jameyhatley.wordpress.com
  3. Stephanie Brown http://scififanatic.livejournal.com/
  4. Andrew Whitacre http://fungibleconvictions.com/
  5. Heather McDonald http://heathersalphabet.wordpress.com/
  6. Christine Lee Zilka https://czilka.wordpress.com/
  7. Jackson Bliss http://bluemosaicme.blogspot.com/
  8. Jennifer Derilo posted at https://czilka.wordpress.com/
  9. Alexander Chee http://koreanish.com/
  10. Nova Ren Suma http://novaren.wordpress.com/

THE RULES….

Continue reading

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Filed under Literary Blog Relay, Memes

She hated all the characters, but felt compelled to finish…

Soraksan

Hi, a bunch of us are in a Literary Blog Relay.

Basically, one writer writes a 250 word post/story/fragment and then tags another writer, etc., etc. We can write whatever we want, so long as our posts begin with the last line of the previous post (in bold here) and are linked to a central theme; in this case, “A Stranger Comes to Town.”

The following is my post, using the last line (in bold) from Heather McDonald’s contribution. I found the line challenging because of its specificity, but I hope I did it proud.

Jackson Bliss is next.


She hated all the characters, but felt compelled to finish; she hated them less than her current circumstances.

In the train station, the Chinese characters garnished the Korean hangul. She eyed the Chinese character for mountain, three tines that pointed upwards like a pitchfork, scattered like confetti throughout the route maps of the rugged terrain. In the station itself, the character for mouth, hanging over exits, haunted her; a square, an opening, a silent scream. It made her never want to leave a room.

That was it. Those were all the Chinese “hanja” characters she knew. She knew the entire Korean alphabet, but knew not what she read most of the time. Her vocabulary was that of a small child. She smiled, her eyes sad. Today, she was a child. Mom. Mommy. Mommy.

Lucy made her way to the ticket counter at Seoul station and bought a roundtrip to Gyeongju. To the funeral, and back.

On the train, Lucy held her hand up, failing to shield her face from the late afternoon summer sunlight that outside motored the chlorophyll in some billion leaves of rice, but in her coach, streamed through the window so that she felt a brilliant and uncomfortable heat. A cupcake in an easy bake oven had an easier time of it, she thought.

Still, she watched, through squinting eyes, the landscape, a bright green that never was in Southern California, all the more green because of the red soil. The contrast sharpened the grief.


THE FULL LINE-UP, IN ORDER (Completed posts in bold)….

  1. Wah-Ming Chang: http://wmcisnowhere.wordpress.com
  2. Jamey Hatley http://jameyhatley.wordpress.com
  3. Stephanie Brown http://scififanatic.livejournal.com/
  4. Andrew Whitacre http://fungibleconvictions.com/
  5. Heather McDonald http://heathersalphabet.wordpress.com/
  6. Christine Lee Zilka https://czilka.wordpress.com/
  7. Jackson Bliss http://bluemosaicme.blogspot.com/
  8. Jennifer Derilo posted at https://czilka.wordpress.com/
  9. Alexander Chee http://koreanish.com/
  10. Nova Ren Suma http://novaren.wordpress.com/

THE RULES….

Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Literary Blog Relay, Memes

Literary Blog Relay: “A Stranger Comes to Town”

Hi, a bunch of us are in a Literary Blog Relay.

Basically, one writer writes a 250 word post/story/fragment and then tags another writer, etc., etc. We can write whatever we want, so long as our posts begin with the last line of the previous post (in bold here) and are linked to a central theme; in this case, “A Stranger Comes to Town.”


THE FULL LINE-UP, IN ORDER (Completed posts in bold)….

  1. Wah-Ming Chang: http://wmcisnowhere.wordpress.com
  2. Jamey Hatley http://jameyhatley.wordpress.com
  3. Stephanie Brown http://scififanatic.livejournal.com/
  4. Andrew Whitacre http://fungibleconvictions.com/
  5. Heather McDonald http://heathersalphabet.wordpress.com/
  6. Christine Lee Zilka https://czilka.wordpress.com/
  7. Jackson Bliss http://bluemosaicme.blogspot.com/
  8. Jennifer Derilo posted at https://czilka.wordpress.com/
  9. Alexander Chee http://koreanish.com/
  10. Nova Ren Suma http://novaren.wordpress.com/

THE RULES….

Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Literary Blog Relay, Memes