I have placed the first Found and Lost story in a cache. It’s out in the world, eager to find its readers.
I’m at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA, where I teach creative writing at Goddard College’s low-residency MFA program. I’m staying in one of the houses on officer’s row and woke this morning at dawn, excited for a morning run in the fog. Fort Worden is a magical, strange place, a state park that’s a former military base overlooking Admiralty Inlet on Puget Sound. There’s a hill with decrepit old concrete bunkers and gun emplacements, a Dr. Seussian series of stairways and platforms and pits covered in moss and surrounded by trees. It’s a gorgeous ruin, a place built for warfare that was never used to kill anybody, now overgrown, otherworldly. The path that encircles the hill combined with the park grounds makes for a good 45-minute run (I’m sure many runners could do it in 30 or fewer minutes) and this morning I especially enjoyed the mist hanging in the boughs of doug firs.
As if to insult all this natural beauty, I ran plugged into my iPhone, listening to Metallica’s Garage Inc. and Mastodon’s Crack the Skye. As I crested the hill I pulled up the geocaching.com app and hit “Navigate to Neaby Caches.” While James Hetfield and co. crammed their cover of Queen’s “Stone Cold Crazy” into my skull, I watched the little pinpointy arrow thingy get closer to a cache called Wilson Admirer.
Later, during lunch, I returned to this cache and dropped off Found and Lost: Juan. As soon as someone finds it and logs it, I’ll get an email. And chances are whoever finds it is going to visit this site and see this post. Hello, you!
It feels appropriate that I launched the first story here in Port Townsend. Decades ago my life changed across the water from here at Fort Casey, where I spent a week for two consecutive summers at Young Authors Camp. Teaching in a low residency program here makes me feel exactly the same as I felt when I was 11, sitting around in officers’ mansions talking about limericks and Native American folktales. That experience cemented my determination to one day write books, and I find it kind of amazing that I’m now teaching in a grown-up version of Young Authors Camp.
Recently one of my fellow Young Authors Campers got in touch with me via Facebook, and sent a picture he’d scanned. That’s me with the goofy smile and horrible hair.(Interesting side note: the guy to my right now works for the US Congress on Homeland Security policy.)
I have several more copies of Found and Lost: Juan to cache. My brother in Connecticut has offered to distribute some stories on the East coast, and I’ve gotten other offers to help from friends in Australia and the UK. The more I consider how this project is going to play out, the more I think I’m going to have to employ “mules” to distribute the stories worldwide.
I’m also looking into ways to fund this thing. I understand there may be an arts grant I can apply for through the City of Seattle. I’d like to host some production parties in the future and get more people involved in actually making the stories. I’ll of course update this site with all developments, and alert the world as soon as this first story makes its move…