Narrative Urge
On April 15, 2011, I began anonymously distributing in Atlanta what would, after a year and a half, total 100 envelopes. I placed them at various public locations around Atlanta: on park benches, hanging from trees. Inside menus, on the shelves of art shops, and many other places. Some of them were mailed.

Each window envelope contained a $10 bill, a numbered fragment of writing taken from published work (by mostly Atlanta authors), and a sheet of paper with a handwritten message on it. The message contained hints intended to lead anyone who deciphered them to a website named after the project, which I called 10 Stories High.

In early June, a person found the website and contacted Narrative Urge (the persona that I invented to represent the project) by email. This was the trigger to make public the Facebook pages that had been active and "talking" with each other since the project began.

On Labor Day weekend, the final envelope was left at the Decatur Book Festival.

Using all the writing fragments, I wrote a story called "Hydra."

At the same time, another project related to 10 Stories High concluded.

From August 2 to August 21, 2012, I posted entries daily in the "Missed Connections" area of Atlanta’s Craigslist. The story introduced Norris Underwood, a fictional protagonist, and was meant to illustrate metaphorically the relationship between the narrative urge and those who follow it – as well as those who are, in a certain way, sought by it. Pursued.

Many of the posts, like most of the envelopes, incorporated fragments of published writing.

On Aug. 22, when Craigslist began blocking my repeated posts, I switched to the site, where I continued the story through Sept. 1, the day the final envelope was left at the book festival.

During the course of the project, it was the subject of news stories and blog posts locally and nationally, including Creative Loafing, the GA Voice, WABE-FM, Chicago Reader,
Minneapolis Star Tribune,
GalleyCat, Scoutmob, and others.

Go back home.