Marie Mutsuki Mockett, author of Picking Bones from Ash, appears at Wordstock on Saturday, October 10, at 11 a.m. on the Powell’s Books Stage; she will also participate in the panel discussion “My First Book,” on Sunday, October 11 at 3 p.m. on the Columbia Sportswear Stage.
In the opening chapter of my novel, young Satomi recounts the story of the Moon Princess, who was discovered inside a bamboo shoot. The Moon Princess, or Kaguyahime, is a classic Japanese fairy tale that most school children learn. It’s so popular, even Hello Kitty has done her time posing inside a bamboo stalk.
I’ve always loved this story–it’s beautiful, haunting and like all Japanese fairy tales, a little bit sad at the very end. It’s difficult for me to go to Japan and look at a bamboo forest and not see it as a potential hiding space for an adventure or a story. Look, for example, at this photo of a bamboo forest that I snapped one fall. To me, this looked like the entryway to a secret world.
Now imagine that you grew up in a little town like this, nestled in a small valley. The dark patches of green are pine, the lighter patches bamboo. If you were an adventurous, imaginative kid, well . . . aren’t all kids? It’d be hard not to explore your surroundings.
You may read Marie’s full post on her own blog by clicking on this link.
Tomorrow night, we plan to do just that, with the help of an amazing live storytelling company from Chicago, 2nd Story. With its roots in the Chicago theater community, 2nd Story combines high-energy performance storytelling with live music and delicious wine. Sound good so far?
2nd Story also manages to do something more. They bring an intimacy to their performances that makes you feel like you are sitting at the back table of your favorite corner bar, with a friend you haven’t seen in a long time. As you listen, you find yourself leaning forward. Read more »
Well, after a week-and-a-half-long process, we have the winners for the Wordstock Haiku Twitter Contest. That’s right, the ten best Haikus have garnered votes and they can claim their tickets. Now, before we get into the list of winners and the winning Haikus, I’d like to take a minute to let the winners know what to do to claim their Free Day Admission Tickets.
If your Twitter handle and Haiku are listed below, please contact me, Spencer, your social media chatter bug with your Full Name and Email Address at Spencer@wordstockfestival.com. I will put you on the Admission List and when you arrive at the Oregon Convention Center to attend the wondrous event we like to call Wordstock simply proceed to the Wordstock Booth outside of the main hall and give them your full name. They will stamp your hand and you are off to the races. Or at least the books…
1st – @amybaskin – “Coffee or a brew/ A book and a red chair, too./ Portland in autumn. (Winnings: Two One-Day Tickets)
2nd – @MBHern – “Put your stock in words./ An investment sure to pay./ It’s Wordstock weekend!” (Two One-Day Tickets)
3rd -@mightytoycannon – “Bookapalooza./ A bibliophile’s wet dream./ Wordstock, I Love You.” (One One-Day Ticket)
4th – @trishamead – “The lush feel of pulp/ The crackle of prose on paper/ The scent of wordstock.” (One One-Day Ticket)
5th – @caraholman – “Twas the week before/ Wordstock, excitement ran high/ All those books waiting.” (One One-Day Ticket)
6th – @sarahgilbert – “sunflowers graying/ tomatoes give last red shout/ tidings of wordstock.” (One One-Day Ticket)
7th – @dijeratic – “There’s words aplenty/ and more than words after that/ Wordstock will find you.” (One One-Day Ticket)
8th – @sarahgilbert – “Read through the weather/ in rain or @portlandfog/ wordstock warms my brain.” (One One-Day Ticket – Yes you won twice!)
9th – @Aprovecho – “Expand Open Mind/ Literary Omnivores/ Cross-Polination.” (One One-Day Ticket)
10th – @Tortoogal – “ ‘Frog ‘n’ her throat’ hangs/ Green-Towel Frog ‘round my neck:/ ‘Figures of Speech” ball” (One One-Day Ticket)
Congratulations! – Winners please email me with your full name and email address at Spencer@wordstockfestival.com
Emily Harris, the host of the OPB show “Think Out Loud”, will be moderating the “My First Book Panel” on Sunday October 11th at 3 P.M. on the Columbia Sportswear Stage.
I just put up a post on Think Out Loud’s website about the show this Thursday with Sherman Alexie. He’s on for the hour – you can call in from 9 to 10 AM or post your questions now. This us your chance to connect with him before his Wordstock appearance Sunday. I am also prepping to moderate Sunday’s panel (see #9) with new novelists Patrick DeWitt, Naseem Rakha, and Marie Mutsuki Mockett telling their stories about becoming published writers.
I’ll be paying close attention! Even though daily deadlines force (or allow) me to stop researching, stop editing and to just put out what I’ve got, I have a book or three in the back of my mind. In fact, in a whirl of fantasy, I signed up for National Novel Writing Month after a recent TOL show on creativity under pressure. I don’t think I’m actually going to be able to produce 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30 (especially since none of the books in the back of my brain are novels) but what the heck, might be fun to try.
Luckily, Wordstock is in October. Naseem was on TOL recently so I already know her story includes mayonnaise. I’ll know more about Marie and Patrick and post tantalizing tidbits when I do. What do YOU want to know from these authors about their first books? Leave a comment or question here – and see you Sunday.