On Location

On Location with Kevin Brockmeier

This week’s On Location comes from Ecotone contributor Kevin Brockmeier, whose story “The Year of Silence” appeared in Volume 3, Issue 1 back in 2007, and was reprinted in The Best American Short Stories 2008. Unfortunately, that issue was so popular it sold out, but you can find Brockmeier’s story and many more in the newly published Astoria to Zion: Twenty-Six Stories of Risk and Abandon.

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Kevin Brockmeier writes:

Shorty Small’s, the restaurant pictured above, is located directly across from the elementary school in Little Rock where I was once enrolled, and has been for more than three decades. When we were kids, we thought of it as the most grown-up and dangerous of grown-up and dangerous places—“a wretched hive of scum and villainy,“ to borrow the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi. A shack! Where people drink beer! With a dilapidated truck marooned on a post out front! Whatever you do, we warned each other, if the soccer ball rolls across the street during recess, do not follow it there.

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On Location in the Cemetery of Pleasures with George Makana Clark

In this week’s On Location, George Makana Clark, whose epistolary story “The Wreckers” appears in Astoria to Zion, reveals the origin of a crypt he included in two stories.

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George Makana Clark writes:

I took this photo in the Cemetery of Pleasures in Lisbon. The metal sign wired to the wrought iron door reads Abandonado to denote that the crypt and those interned within have been forgotten by the living. This of course set me to wondering, and that wonder resulted in two stories set in the early nineteenth century. The crypt in the photo is mentioned briefly in “The Wreckers” and figures prominently in the companion piece titled “The Incomplete Priest,” also published in Ecotone.

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On Location with Lauren Groff

In our new department On Location, we feature photographs submitted by authors, artists, designers, and friends of Ecotone and Lookout, showcasing spaces that are meaningful to them, or that inspire their work—anything from a desk or bookshelves to a place they gather information. We’re pleased for Lauren Groff, whose beautiful story “Abundance” appears in Astoria to Zion, to kick off the series.

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Lauren Groff writes:

Ten years ago, my writing space had to be a separate room with a lockable door, chaise longue, bookshelf, and idea board. It had to be scrupulously neat. I refused to speak to anyone between waking and working; I’d brew a pot of coffee, lock the door, light a candle and meditate, then get started. If anyone had interrupted me, they’d have died a horrid death.

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