Monday, January 30, 2012

Sometimes metaphors can be taken too far.

MY MOTHER (on the phone): So I feel like this whole process of sending your book out into the world sounds almost like giving birth.

ME: You know, I think that's when you're writing it. Or after you've sold your book and it's going to be released for real for-reals. Trying to find an agent is more like... trying to get pregnant.

MOTHER: I think that metaphor can go dangerous places if you don't put it in park now.

ME: That's probably true. Excuse me, I need to go tell the internet that I just compared querying to trying to get pregnant. To my mother. I feel like the internet might have something to say about this.

A few minutes later, the internet had some things to say about this:

And this is why you should pick your metaphors carefully.

And if you're really pedantic, you'll know this is why you should know the difference between simile and metaphor, because I have been misusing them throughout this entire blog post.

And if I've traumatized you with regards to queries, you ain't seen nothing until you've read some Philip Roth. You want to see the power of metaphor? You'll never look at an apple the same way again.

Friday, January 27, 2012

There are feelings in this song!

Hello lovelies,
So, I have absolutely nothing to say today simply because my brain is completely fried. Yep, between work, school, and being sick I can't really come up with anything to say besides: IM SUPER EXCITED ABOUT MY NEW PROJECT! and QUERYING IS TERRIFYING!!!
But if you follow me on twitter, you already know these things :) So instead I'm sharing three (that's right, I said THREE) giveaways with you that I have running on my blog! Just click on the names!

And I leave you with a song.

This is simply because I love you all!
Much love, 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

If you're wondering what's on the shelves at indie stores

Look no further, this is what is on the shelves right now at Hicklebee's in Willow Glen CA.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nova on Pushers

No I'm not talking about Pushers as in the book or movie, but about people in your life that push you along to finish your goals.  You see, I don't have problems staying on task--really I don't...ok that's a lie but I try my best anyway.  There are times that I get side tracked with how many things I have to do in a given week or even in a given day.  I'm not making excuses because most of the time it's my paying job that takes up so much of my time.  It isn't like I have any normal job either.  What I do for a living currently gives me crazy hours and not so much down time.  I love what I do but sometimes I wish I had more time to just sit and write.  While I'm working, I dream of sitting at home in the quiet, with the smooth feel of keys under my fingers.

There are times when I'm off work and have every plan to write, but for some reason the words don't come or something else comes up.  I know you are suppose to make time for writing and trust me I do, but there are times that I need a nudge, or on worse days, a shove.  My family and friends are my pushers.  There are some who are far harder on me than others.  I would say that I don't like it but really I do.  Having them push me makes the reward of hitting each word count goal that much sweeter.

Who are your pushers?  Do you get on yourself more or do you have someone in particular who pushes you to be better?

Also I would like to officially say on record that I have made a first draft deadline of March 31st.  If I do not reach this said goal then a punishment is made--vlogbrothers style.  I will record myself doing the punishment for the world to see.  If you would like to add to the list of punishments, leave a comment below or tweet me @novalovette


Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday, Monday, gotta get down on... wait. Who are you?

I feel really guilty sticking you guys with a video, but I am editing like crazy (both my own stuff as well as some thesis work for a friend), and also have homework because I am taking a once-a-week class thing? And like, there's homework again? And I was never particularly good at this stuff when I was IN college, so now that I checked out of that thing years ago my brain is like, "Lol wait, what?"

So, um, I love you all. Have a funny video:

Friday, January 20, 2012

On Craziness and Waiting

I have to be honest, I had a little bit of a hard time coming up with a topic this week. You see, my brain is a bowl of candy on Halloween. There is so much crazy in there, if you stick your hand in, you won’t know what will come out. I know, great visual for ya’ll, but its the truth. 
Does anyone else have weeks like that? 
Yet, I am not without a reason, oh dear ones. In a word, the reason (well one of them) for my madness is: querying. 
Query [ˈkwɪərɪ] “an inquiry from a writer to an editor of a magazine, newspaper, etc., regarding the acceptability of or interest in an idea for an article, news story, or the like: usually presented in the form of a letter that outlines or describes the projected piece.” (
Yes, that’s what I did. Or doing. Whichever. *shakes uncontrollably* 
The truth about publishing that no one ever seems to remember is the fact that publishing world is filled with rejection. People ask me all the time, “So when is your book getting published?” And more often than not, I really dislike that question. After the grueling (and ridiculously fun) process of actually writing and revising the book, there is agent search. Then, publisher search. Constant sanity search. But that’s beside the point. The point being, publishing world is brutal. However, while I toss and turn, fidgeting constantly while I wait, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Why? Because this is the world I’m part of and that’s how it works. I know, crazy logic but I already mentioned my mind is a nuclear explosion in my brain. 

It would be cool if it was this. 
Instead, it's more of this.

So, here’s to waiting. 

Here’s a video for you (or me, whatever):

Still waiting. 
Much love, 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nova on Novel Playlists


So I am sure you have all heard of this before. It isn't something that is kept under lock and key though authors do usually wait until their book is released to post about their playlists.  A novel playlist, in case you haven't heard about it, is when an author lists together songs that help push them along in the writing process.  Depending on the author, it can be songs that pertain to their plot, characters, settings, feelings, etc. When you have the right music or inspiration, it can help all that much more during the writing process.  In my case, it helps me get into a certain feeling while I write a scene.  I've even had a certain song inspire a whole scene altogether.

When I sit down at the computer to focus on my work, I have to listen to something more soothing instead, say something like techno or screamo--which I can't stand screamo in the first place unless it is Flyleaf.  Usually I go for things with a strong guitar or piano leads because for some reason those tones help me focus more.  I do run into moments where I want to sing along though, which makes things a lil' more difficult but it is hard for me to write without something going on in the background.  I can however write in a coffee shop/bookstore with no music as long as I have headphones on to muffle the conversations.

I've been collecting songs for my novel playlist for quite awhile.  I have ones for certain characters, lists for certain emotions, and ones that fit perfectly into my story.  There are times when I feel like I've heard each song a million times so I just switch over to and pick an artist who has a similar tone to what I am writing and let it go for hours.  That is also the way I find some amazing new artists. I tend to go for artists who are less mainstream as of right now and a little on the folkie side.  No I'm not meaning knee slapping hillbilly music but if you ever watch The Vampire Diaries, Secret Circle, or Pretty Little Liars then you have an idea of what kind of music I lean towards.

Not only does playlists help out the author while writing, but I've seen many authors post their playlists for their readers so they can read along with music the author chose. Maggie Stiefvater posted one for her Mercy Falls books. Check out Forever's Playlist Here!   I think she has similar posts for all of her books but I just posted the one for now. And if you don't follow Maggie's blog, shame on you! She is wonderful and is amazingly entertaining.  If you are curious if there are author playlists for your favorite books, I suggest that you check out the author's website/blog.  They are usually pretty easy to find.

Once Novel playlists started getting pretty big on the net, something new popped up, fan made playlists.  I'm not just talking about songs that readers combine together on what reminds them of their favorite characters, I'm talking about actual songs that readers have created.  There are some amazing and talented fans out there and it is always amazing to see how one person's work inspires anothers.  Some of my favorites have been The Hunger Games Project and The Mitch Hansen Band. Check them out if you haven't!

I'm not going to post my playlist just quite yet but I will list some of my go to artists below.  What kind of music do you listen to while you write?  Do any of you share similar ones to my own?  I'd love to hear!

Without further are some of my favorite writing artists:

The Afters
The Avett Brothers
Brandi Carlile
Dashboard Confessional
A Fine Frenzy
David Cook
The Fray
The Script
Peter Bradley Adams
Sara Bareilles
Beside Lights
Brooke Waggoner
The Civil Wars ( I can listen to them all day.  They are one of my favorite artists)
Damien Rice
Ray Lamontage
Dry The River
Erin McCarley
Glass Pear
He is We

Ok that gives you an idea. If you want some recommendations let me know and I'll add some more to the list.  Enjoy!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

On Getting Involved

Sorry, had to get that out of the way. 

Writers are solitary creatures. There are not many careers out there that allow you to spend your days in pj’s, if need be, away from all the crazy that is outside of your house. We like solitude. We like to be able to live in our own little worlds. After all, our worlds are rockin! 
But on the other side of this solitude is the loneliness. I know we have talked about that here before, but loneliness is just as much a part of a writers life as breathing. We all get in the ruts of self doubt, procrastination, and various other depressing words that you can enter here. However, what I’ve discovered in the past year was that writers are also one big family. 
This is nothing new either. If you’ve been writing for any length of time you have discovered this for yourself. We band together to keep each other encouraged and motivated. So this is where the core of my post lies.
This year, I’ve decided that I would be more involved. On my personal blog, I write a lot of book reviews. I just adore the privilege to let others know about a particular author and their book. But what I’ve decided to do is to get the authors themselves a little more involved. On top of the reviews, I want to have a Q&A, or a sneak peak, or just some kind of a visit from the authors themselves. Like this Interview & Giveaway I have on my blog right now (Click here).  I want my readers to discover the authors and their work in the best light possible. Truth be told, it is a bit intimidating to reach out to those who have “made it” while I’m still searching for an agent *wipes brow* (but that is a topic for another day). However, the family that is us is a lot more open and receptive than I could’ve ever imagined. The people that take time to talk to me are the ones who encourage me to keep going and that is why I want to get involved. I want to give a little of it back. I encourage you, my friends, to give something back as well. Get involved in your writing communities. Drop a sweet note into an authors mailbox. Comment on a blog post *hint hint* We appreciate it more than words can express. 
Now I leave you with a questions: what authors would you like me to have featured on the blog? 
Go forth and do something nice for somebody today! 
(Even though its Friday the 13th)
Much love, 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nova on Getting Back Up Again

It has been said that if you take off one day from writing, your muse will take off the next three.  Only, I have taken off more than a day, we shall not name how long, and I am defiantly feeling the loss of my muse.  When my current career takes off, it is hard for me to make writing my center focus.  The kind of job that I have doesn't even leave me much time to sleep, let alone get in a daily word count.  Don't get me wrong, I love my job but writing does something different for me all together.  I beg for the moments when I can make the world disappear, to jump into someone else's.  But right now that my life has slowed down, I have found it hard to get back into the swing of things.  It isn't that I have changed my mind about what I am writing right now, but when I sit down at that computer screen, it's as if I have a brain fart or like that movie where they erase the guys memory and he is only given a few items to figure it all out.  I just can't seem to find what I want to say.  

I have my outline and every step is planned out, so why can't I put the words down onto the paper?  How do I push myself to throw up the words that I know are buried in there?  Should I stand on my head? Or should I just Dance around to loud music to shake them out?  SOMEONE GIVE ME THE ANSWERS!  I'M DYING OVER HERE!

On an unrelated note.  I just watched 127 hours tonight.  I know, I am way behind with the times, but can I just say, "What an amazing story!"  That guy was super smart to do the things he did.  My dad loves the survivalist stuff so I kinda grew up on that.  I knew alot of the things he did but there were a few that surprise me, like making a way for him to sit.  I brought that up in my head but I never put two and two together.  It's movies like that that really make you think about life and what you would do in that same situation.  Have you seen any good movies lately that made you really think or that inspired you?  Lemme know!  I would love to check them out!  Till next week!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Changing Times (or: Authors as Rock Stars)

I'm going to come right out and say it: I'm not that old. In fact, I'm a downright youngin' compared to some of you lovely people, and compared to some of my dearest writer friends. I grew up in the 90s; I've never owned an Ace of Base CD, I don't remember the Exxon-Valdez oil spill, and I was too young to get into either Fraggle Rock or ThunderCats.

I haven't had my 5-year college reunion yet. I sometimes frown in consternation when household chores don't mystically do themselves. I own a cheese grater, though I'm not entirely sure why. If the Power Rangers knocked on my door tomorrow and asked me to fight evil with them, I'd probably say yes. (So long as the original Blue Ranger was there. Because: BILLY!)

Basically, the point I'm trying to make is that I am still a bit of a wee one.

But I'm old enough to remember when things were different. I'm talking about books, here - and YA books in particular. All of us know the general zero-to-sixty history of the YA book market, which experienced exponential growth with the advent of the Harry Potter series and continued to metastasize over the next 10 years.

Thousands of YA books are published every year now. There's money in the market, lots of sales, and a recent report revealed that in 2011 young adult book deals made up the vast majority of 6- and 7-figure deals to authors.

I kind of take this for granted sometimes. This is sort of the new normal for us, as it were. We've come to expect it.

But I'll tell you what's different - and a lot more recent. More and more lately have I seen books and authors, and excitement for both of those things, hyped up in the mainstream entertainment industry. A lot of this is surely due to the enthusiasm that started with Harry Potter, that carried over with Twilight, and seems to be continuing with The Hunger Games. Loads of people, including many who've never even read the books, have watched and loved these movies - or in the case of THG, anticipate them just as much as the rest of us.

Movie adaptations have been made out of books for approximately a thousand years, but for the first time the reaction is not, "That was a book?" or "They always screw it up" or even "I don't want to see something based on a book". The reaction is, "I read these books and I can't wait for the movie".

Books aren't the dirty little secret or the kicked-around kid sister of the entertainment industry anymore.

I'm thinking of Tahereh Mafi's exclusive cover reveal a few months back, which was hosted by MTV. Mafi also wrote an op-ed that was featured in the Wall Street Journal, and I saw an ad recently for SHATTER ME in Entertainment Weekly.

My fabulous friend Miranda Kennealy's book CATCHING JORDAN was reviewed with glowing praise by SEVENTEEN magazine.

These are only two examples, really, because they're the only ones I can think of off the top of my head and I haven't saved the links. But I've been seeing more and more of this kind of thing, and it makes me so passionately, inexplicably happy.

I never thought when I was a kid, or even a teen - as both a writer and read of YA fiction - that I would see a day when writers were written up in Seventeen Magazine, when their books were featured on MTV or where bookstores would be so intimidated by crowds they opt instead to hold author events in the local Hyatt (John Green I'm looking at you).

I'm old enough to remember when things weren't this way at all, but I am so, so glad they are now and I hope this never changes.

Authors have always been my rock stars. I'm glad to see the rest of the world catching on.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I Kissed a Writer and I liked it!

Hello lovelies, 
So this week its my turn to cheat a little. Not that I'm really cheating I just wanted you all to have the opportunity to read this post (yes yes). 
A few days ago Michele Shaw (follow her, she's awesome) posted this little blog post. I read it, I laughed, I showed it to all my friends for future reference, and now I'm sharing it with ya'll. 

The title of this post is the phrase I want everyone to say in the new year. I think there should be bumper stickers! T-shirts! Barbie dolls wearing the T-shirts! Coffee Mugs! A new logo on the Red Bull can! And...and...did I miss anything? 

Well, anyway, the reason for this phrase should be obvious, but for those who don't know, writers are quite loveable if you get past the quirks and don't need a lot of attention. 

We have many, many good points. For example:

1. Soft lips. We use a lot of Chap Stick. All that hunkering down in the dry air requires copious amounts of lip balm.

2. Virtually wrinkle free. We never go out in the sun, so that unlined baby's bottom skin is ours! (disclaimer: Most of us aren't vampires.)

3. We go green. While we consume our fair share of electricity, our footprint is low when you consider the lack of showering, and wearing the same shirt for a week really saves on laundry.

4. We create jobs. The coffee industry stays vibrant and healthy due to writer consumption of their product. Even if all non-witers quit drinking coffee, the bean would still be in high demand.

5. We make a cheap date. Take us to the library, sit and discuss books for a few hours, then spring for a bag of chips from the vending machine on the way out and we're set.

6. We're good listeners. It's all about YOU! We like for YOU to do most of the talking. That is...if you're answering our research questions about how you hold your fork, when you lost your virginity, or what's the best way to kill someone with a can of hairspray. 

7. We're generous with your free time. We'll never complain about how much time you spend playing video games or watching You Tube videos. That just frees up more time for us to write.

8. We have interesting friends. Do you know many people who sit around and talk about the best way to write a sex scene (in detail) and consider it all in a day's work?

9.  We're easy to please at gift time. One solid trip to the office supply store and you're done for the year.

10. Writers are freaking cool.  Nuff said.

I think everyone should kiss a writer...then go get the shirt.

For more Michele inspired fun go to her website:
Or her twitter:!/veertothewrite

Much love, 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What to do when Steven Spielberg steals your idea

I had just finished the first draft of my book when the interwebz began to buzz about this hot new show from Spielberg titled Terra Nova. I knew immediately that I had a problem. My book was titled Terra Nova. Its all about virtual reality and building new worlds and of course the Berg was gonna PWN my tiny manuscript. I hated him for a moment with the white hot passion of a million suns. Then I realized. Terra Nova was easy. It was wholly unoriginal and I could do better if I put my mind to it. While I miss having the ease of everyone knowing what the term Terra Nova meant, I had to dig a little deeper to find something of my own.

In the end my husband found it. Sekai is the Japanese word for The World and since my story is set in Tokyo we chose Sekai Virtual which roughly translates to world virtual. It took some digging and it took some time but I think my name is way better than Spielberg's... don't you?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Nova is....Sick :(

So I had this blog all planned out or shall I say vlog.  I was going to surprise you all and post something all great for the first Wednesday blog of the year but alas, I am in bed with a terrible cold.  Currently I am struggling to breathe and don't even get me started about the stuffy nose.  I don't understand how a nose can be runny and stopped up all at the same time.  So since I have been in bed I have been getting some reading done.  I have almost finished this current book in a few hrs.

The reason I am not going to name it is because I want to bring something up about it without being detailed.  You know how films say the title of the movie in the dialogue?  Well this book has said not only the title of the book multiple times, but also the chapter titles.  Is it just me or does that bother anyone else?

Stick around for next week for a vlog because I am dying to do one for you all! Send meds to me like they do in The Hunger Games and I shall forever be your best friend! Toodles!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Feedback (Paying It Forward)

I did some editing/beta-reading for a friend today. It was on an article that was only 5,000 words long, but it's the first time I've done this in quite a while.

That's a slightly ironic feeling, since people have been reading for me for the better part of a year.

The whole thing took me a little over an hour. I had the time to set aside as soon as I received the piece in question, which was fortunate. But I had forgotten what an involved process it is. How hard, how challenging, it is to not just read something and be able to identify what works or not, but then to come back and explain, to make editorial suggestions, to not just be critical but constructive.

It's the difference between saying "This didn't work for me" and "I know how to make this better".

I felt out of breath by the time I finished. Editing those 5,000 words for my friend was almost as challenging as if I'd had to write 5,000 new words on my own story.

And I'm so, so glad I did it. I have a few more things on my plate now, more work by more people that I've committed myself to. And even though it's daunting, and challenging, and time-consuming, it's one of the best ways I can think of to give back to the friends and the community that has been so supportive - and so willing to go out of its way to help me, when I am nobody.

I can't do this for everybody. I'll never have that kind of time. But I no longer feel like I am just taking and taking, accepting generous favor after favor without anything to contribute in turn. The community of writers is an extraordinarily gracious and giving one, and it's important to pay it forward; to keep that momentum going.

There are a million ways to do that. But for now, this is mine.

Who has helped you along your writing journey - and what are you doing to pay it forward?