Content Tagged ‘Lee Upton’

Making a List: Five Halloween Costumes from the Guts of Ecotone

Halloween is just days away. Maybe you’ve been planning a costume for months, maybe you’re putting on the finishing touches, but if you’re a costume procrastinator (ahem, like me), I bet that right about now you’re scrambling to pull something together. And if you’re a literature lover, then a book-themed, favorite-character-driven guise is probably your go-to.

But let’s be real—you want something other than your typical literary costume: Alice and the Mad Hatter, Dorothy and the Scarecrow (or the Lion, Tin Man, or Toto), Harry Potter, Red Riding Hood, Frankenstein. So over the past couple of days, I’ve browsed my Ecotone collection, and here are the results—five costume ideas that jumped out at me from the pages of my favorite issues. I hope to see some of these on Halloween—and if we’ve caught you a little too frighteningly close for this year’s All Hallows’ Eve, then go ahead and bookmark one for next year!

  1. Why not go as Granna, from Clare Beams’s story in issue 17? Sure, her knuckles are swollen and pearly as knobs, but all you really need in order to pull of this illusion is a nightgown—one that reflects a certain kind of ageless glimmer, like a moth’s wings.
  1. If you’re in need of a little comedy on the spookiest night of the year, then perhaps a good choice would be Amy Leach’s Modern Moose. Dress in rich shades of brown and decorate your antlers with one of the following: a pill-box hat or trinket horns, party horns, flirty horns. Or go all out and dress in sleek Armani horns.
  1. Maybe you like something a little more on-the-nose. If that’s the case, then do some quick research on Egyptian mummification. Dress as Lee Upton’s “participatory mummy” and let someone unravel you. Don’t worry—if they look confused, just surprise them by saying “Hello! I am saying hello! Because that is what I do when I say hello!”
  1. With the primaries just around the corner, and no opportunity for an Andrew Tonkovich–inspired Reelection Day, get a group of fellow citizens together and go as ghostly voters. Any combination will do—a female soldier, four bikers, a lost father and his children, a band of cyclists. Just be ready to show proof of residency, or some other evidence of eligibility, as you and your crew hit the town.
  1. Perhaps you’re taking your pet to the local pet costume parade, and you’re feeling a little guilty about stuffing poor Fido in that polyester hot dog for the fourth year in a row. Why not make it feel like a brand New Animal, courtesy of Douglas Watson? With just a few tweaks, your pet could be looking like a winner as a miniature racehorse with a jet-black coat and a docile nature—an idea you can feel good betting on.

Have another freakishly delightful costume idea from the Ecotone archives? Send it our way!

–Ryan Kaune, Ecotone Fiction Editor

News Roundup

It’s been a notably rainy week here in Wilmington, turning our thoughts toward fall at last. You know fall is coming when you scroll down your Facebook feed, and no less than four friends have posted links to this oldie but a goodie from McSweeney’s.

9780544569621_p0_v2_s192x300In other notable news, we’ve got our list of stories and essays that were honored in the Best American series! Best American Stories 2015 NOTABLES include Matthew Neill Null (for issue 17’s ‘The Island in the Gorge of the Great River”) and Chantel Acevedo (for 17’s “Strange and Lovely”). Several of our essayists earn NOTABLE mentions in Best American Essays 2015: Belle Boggs (for issue 17’s “Imaginary Children”), Camas Davis (for 18’s “Human Principles”), Joni Tevis (for 17’s “What Looks Like Mad Disorder”), and Toni Tipton-Martin (for 18’s “Breaking the Jemima Code”)! We’re so happy for our talented contributors!

Notable reviews abound: Lee Upton’s Bottle the Bottles the Bottles the Bottles gets a glowing review in The Literary Review, Claire Vaye Watkins’s new novel got a great review in Slant Magazine, and Ana Maria Spagna’s new book Reclaimers got this review in the Seattle Times. Last but not least: Chantel Acevedo, Edith Pearlman, and Jim Shepard—all Ecotone contributors—were longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

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We were notably excited to meet so many booksellers at the Southern Independent Bookseller Alliance (SIBA) conference last weekend. We had a great time at the panels, signings, and exhibitor show, where we talked up Honey from the Lion. The South is filled with so many great bookstores, and we love getting to know the people behind them. Check out the Seven Questions section of our blog, where we interview writers and, yes, booksellers! We already have some amazing interviews, including ones with Hub City, Quail Ridge, and Parnassus. If you’re a bookseller and are interested in participating in this blog series, let us know.

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Matthew Neill Null’s Carolina tour, supported in part by the great folks at South Arts, culminated with his appearance at SIBA, and it was a resounding success (even Leopold Bloom the dog thought so!) If you missed him in North Carolina, catch him in Nashville, Tennessee on October 10 at the Southern Festival of Books. He’ll be giving a talk with Glenn Taylor titled “Whiskey-Bent and Gallows-Bound: Novels of Turn-of-the-Century West Virginia.” And big thanks to Tennessee’s Chapter 16 for giving him this great review in advance of his visit!
The weekend is here, and we hope it’s filled for you with many notables. (Naps are in order here, friends.) Have a great one!