Turns out I’m not that keen on leaving pieces of fiction lying around like I’m some kind of religious fanatic sprinkling pamphlets in the paths of unsuspecting citizens. I did leave one copy at a library; I hope someone’s found it by now. That person will have the only copy with the title “Public Display of Fiction.” When I got home yesterday, I tried doing a search for this site in its original form”publicdisplayoffiction” and got the helpful Google message: No results found. Did you mean public display of erection? I promptly changed the title of my site.
Here is copy three of the first story, “Butterflies.”. I might head over to the Country Girl Diner for a blueberry pancake and real maple syrup. Could be a good spot to drop and run.
Why this experiment? I’m tired of all the digital stuff. I’m tired of flat screens under everyone’s fingers. Do we even remember the different textures of paper? Do we remember what it’s like to see other people’s handwriting? Do we remember what it’s like to discover a note or a list or an envelope inside a book and feel like we get a tiny glimpse into some unknown life? I want to put something out into the world that offers a sense of discovery, a moment of surprise with something other than our phone screens. A minute’s pause to look in a different direction.
I toyed with the idea of not having any web presence at all to really keep the experiment analog. I even thought about renting a P.O.Box where readers could drop me a note if they wanted to tell me they’d found a story. But even to me, an epistolaphile (I probably just made that up), that seemed too much to ask of the modern person.
My hope? That people will enjoy finding these little stories. That it will motivate me to practice the art of micro-fiction. That a few people – after finding a copy of Lost Mitten Fiction – will look for this site, leave a comment, feel a connection that started with something real. Maybe a copy or two will get hung on refrigerators next to drawings of rainstorms and a wallet-sized school photo. Maybe a few will be passed along to friends: “Look what I found today. What do you make of this?” They’ll pass a stranger’s handwriting between them – my hand touching theirs. That would be success.