Picking Bones from Ash

Picking Bones from Ash cover

Marie has developed three lectures related to Picking Bones from Ash and a lecture on the writing/publishing process. Marie is an experienced teacher and clinician and is available to deliver lectures to audiences and/or schools. Follow the blog links below for more information on Marie's presentations.

1. Japanese Fairy Tales: Powerful, Unattainable Women and Mischievous Spirits

Fairy tales often reveal the bones of a culture's psychology and story-telling, laying bare our longings, dreams, and fears. In the West, we wait for princes, woo princesses and strive to break evil spells. In recent years, the Japanese imagination has intrigued a new generation of westerners through the movies of Miyazaki and the thrilling yet unpredictable stories of Murakami. In her examination of Japanese fairy tales, Marie Mutsuki Mockett explores a world in which beautiful and talented women remain unattainable to mortal men, and evil is rarely conquered. Audiences will leave not only understanding a different aesthetic, but will also discover new avenues of storytelling technique.

To date: Lecture delivered at Adelphi University 10/26/09, Centenary College 11/11/09, and Berkeley Hillside Club 11/30/09. Will be delivered in Minneapolis in Spring 2010, Date TBD.

2. The Bamboo Princess

A simpler version of the lecture above can be delivered to children in public schools. Marie will read "The Bamboo Princess," the fairy tale which inspired much of her novel. Children are then asked to think about the differences between this story, and western fairy tales. The lecture serves as a stimulus for the imagination and an introduction to Japanese culture.

To date: Lecture delivered at All Saint's Day School, 10/14/09, Carmel Valley, CA

3. Background to Picking Bones from Ash

Picking Bones from Ash is a sweeping novel that ranges from the north of Japan where demons and ice festivals are alive and well, to the sophisticated city of Tokyo, and the black market of antiques in San Francisco. A lecture suitable for the general reader, "Background to Picking Bones from Ash" serves as a cultural and travel introduction to Japan. Audience members will leave understanding a number basic cultural aspects of Japan—the role of Shinto in society, wabi sabi aesthetics in every day life—in addition to some lesser known festivals and customs highlighted in Marie Mutsuki Mockett's debut novel.

To date: Lecture delivered 10/15/09 at the Sunset Center in Carmel, CA

4. The True Business of Writing: Starting a Career

Writers starting out on their careers often are not informed of the kind of truly practical information that is instrumental in developing a career. What are the real odds of submission/rejection/acceptance? Does anyone actually get out of the slush pile? Is there really some focused way to build a career? Is getting an agent the most important thing? How can rejection letters from editors actually be useful? How, in God's name, do you know if you are really making any progress? In this workshop, Marie shows the inner workings of a writer's career. She shares her rejection letters from editors and publishers and challenges workshop members to study the correspondence for helpful clues. She shows actual letters rejection from the slush pile so writers will not make the same mistakes themselves. Audience members will leave feeling empowered, and with much of the publishing process demystified; this is the lecture Marie wishes someone had given her seven years ago.

To date: Lecture delivered 10/10/09 at Wordstock Book Festival, Portland, OR, and 11/20/09 at CLMP's LW;NYC at The New School, New York, NY.

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