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.
Admiring Point Wilson near Wilson Admirer
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
Thanks to everyone who has commented or sent me thoughts on how to pull off this geocaching short story distribution thing. Jez Burrows (who does amazing design stuff in the UK) referred me to this service I’d never heard of called Lulu which will print a book of the size I envision for about five bucks a copy. My friend and colleague Beatrix Gates recommended Bookmobile and then tonight at Hugo House Matthew Simmons suggested I might be able to do something with the new Espresso Book Machine (really sucky name for the thing, imo) they’ve got running at University Bookstore.
One commenter on Slog raised an issue I hadn’t thought much about, whether folks would simply take the books and not pass them along because they’re cool. I’ve always figured a number of books will go missing, and I accept that, but I’m curious about whether there’d be a correlation between the stories’ production values and their tendency to live permanently on someone’s shelf rather than get passed along, as I intend them to be. In other words, should I produce these stories to be completely no-frills? Should I simply send them out into the world as pieces of loose-leaf paper in Ziploc bags? Continue reading
Paul Constant blogs about this blog at The Stranger. Paul, incidentally, has consistently been thinking in forward-looking ways about technology and books.
I’m excited to announce a new project: a series of stories distributed solely via geocaches.
What Is Geocaching?
From geocaching.com: “Geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS device can then try to locate the geocache.”