"I completely lost my mind and tried to rob a jewelry store. I flipped on my medications and didn't realize what I was doing."--former pitcher Jeff Reardon on his recent activity; 11.5 million dollars career earnings

Simply lost?

"MARRIOTT DISCLOSES MISSING DATA FILES; BACKUP TAPES LOST AT TIME-SHARE UNIT: Marriott International Inc.'s time-share division said yesterday that it is missing backup computer tapes containing credit card account information and the Social Security numbers of about 206,000 time-share owners and customers, as well as employees of the company. Officials at Marriott Vacation Club International said it is not clear whether the tapes, missing since mid-November, were stolen from the company's Orlando headquarters or whether they were simply lost."


Our Lady of Assumption school library policy #2

Students are responsible for returning materials in good condition and paying for any material that is lost or damaged. If a book is lost, the replacement cost will be the actual price of the book, with a minimum of $10.00. A flat fee of $5.00 will be charged for any lost magazine.


Readers! Writers!

Our next issue (No. 2; January) is now closed and being designed, and we're currently reading for issue No. 3 (February).

A sneak preview on losses we'll be writing about in January? The city of Detroit's; Native Americans'; the history of an NYC ghost town; library privileges; celebrities' appendages; and a whole lot more.

We'll need any timely submissions for our third (February) issue by January 2, but keep 'em coming any time (our submissions guidelines are at http://www.lostmag.com/contact.php). We're always reading.

And keep letting every person you've ever met know about issue No. 1 and www.lostmag.com, and keep visiting and reading yourself. Artificially high numbers are still, in our book, high.


On getting back in the game

"I haven't looked at a playbook in two years. I think I know my way around a 94-50 court. I know what I'm doing when I'm out there, but right now I'm a little bit lost."--Pat Riley


LOST is live

After many months of discussing lost people, places and things, and of meeting in bars and in passing, and after thousands of emails and debates and tinkerings, we at LOST Magazine are proud to finally present the magazine itself.

LOST is based on the premise that as we live our lives immersed in continuously changing landscapes, it's vital to review and remember what we, as individuals and as a culture, are leaving behind. So much goes lost -- the souls, money, fast food favorites, people, places, and things in this issue being only a small portion -- and recording these losses in prose brings them back, for a little while, for reflection, and for what they're worth.

And we believe they're worth a lot.

We all harbor people, places, and things in our memories: the people who have died or left us, the places that are falling or closing down, the things we've left behind or put away. It's self-punishment to recall them, sometimes, and sometimes recall is what keeps us going. And increasingly often, recall is simply impossible, because what's lost really is lost and fading from our collective memory each day.

And that's what LOST Magazine is about: using writing to inform us about the way things are by reminding us how (and what) they were.

LOST also exists because we're not the only ones. The writing you'll find on our pages speaks for itself, and while you'll find some fun features here, you'll also find a content-based site committed to its writing and writers, all of whom share a bond in bringing forth unique experiences of loss in their writing.

Please join us here on the first Monday of every month, but join us here even more than that: to visit the Classifieds and Blog, to forward your favorite essays and stories on to friends, and to enjoy a magazine where loss, by design, is found.


LOST in five nights

In five nights, the first issue of LOST Magazine will exist -- will be clickable and viewable -- will provide content online about all things lost. It's crunch time, so be sure to email our link (www.lostmag.com) to everyone you know, and be sure you (and they) sign up for the LOST List. We'll email you when the first issue goes online.


Off to see the Wizard...

"I'd like to roar 'em down --
But I think I lost my roarer."
--The Cowardly Lion

Did it happen; is it true?

"All of a sudden the poor have emerged from the shadows of invisibility, lifted onto a temporary pedestal by natural disaster. Whether it is because of guilt, pity or the nation's generosity in times of crisis, those who lost everything--many of whom had little to begin with--find themselves in a strange wonderland of recognition."--THE WASHINGTON POST


"Lost List" Email #1

[Sign up for the Lost List at www.lostmag.com, and you too can find updates in your in-box!]

[Original email date: October 20, 2005]

Dear LOST Listers--

Welcome to the first LOST Magazine update (though you've found it--good for you!).

Our first issue comes online at www.lostmag.com on December 1, and our blowout first installment will feature losses of:

--the soul (purported to weigh 21 grams), from the author of STIFF and SPOOK, Mary Roach;

--financial well-being, from the author of RATS, Robert Sullivan;

--Vietnam War vets, from the writer and author of CHASING THE SEA, Tom Bissell;

--sensitive parts, from memoirist and former Nerve.com sex columnist Grant Stoddard;

--and many, many more (often heart-wrenching, frequently silly, and habitually obscure).

The first few issues will also present:

--established and emerging writers of every persuasion and many ilks;
--a lost and, well, lost section--the LOST Classifieds;
--LOST fiction and nonfiction;
--lost people, lost places, and lost things;
--lost handwriting, lost body parts, lost islands, lost golf balls, and lost property.

You'll find it all here.

*[We're planning a great event in New York for this December, too, so stay tuned for information and an invitation.]*

But with all that's going on, we're still far from done, here; keep your submissions coming and spread the word about LOST; keep checking the temporary site and blog at www.lostmag.com; have your friends join the LOST List and forward this email to everyone you can; and keep your head up: you'll be finding yourself at LOST in 42 days.


LOST Magazine

P.S. We're reading for Issue #2 now--send your writing to fiction@lostmag.com or nonfiction@lostmag.com and your art or photography to artphoto@lostmag.com.


The kitchen sink

"Apple is not responsible for direct, special, incidental or consequential damages resulting from any breach of warranty or condition, or under any other legal theory, including but not limited to loss of use; loss of revenue; loss of actual or anticipated profits (including loss of profits on contracts); loss of the use of money; loss of anticipated savings; loss of business; loss of opportunity; loss of goodwill; loss of reputation; loss of, damage to or corruption of data; or any indirect of consequential loss or damage howsoever caused...."--Apple's one year limited warranty (keyboard)


In the face of profound, immediate loss, the human struggle is always against that loss. It's in our nature; we race to fill the loss in by finding, and we're seeing that race play out hundreds of times daily now, in New Orleans. The most dramatic stories coming out of Louisiana aren't political, though certainly, the smallest decisions have affected great numbers of people. The most dramatic stories are individual--losses of life, losses of children, losses of sanity--the losses that, regardless of their cause, are overpowering for a citizenship that can only sit idly as the images stream by (for it feels that way, no matter how hard our emotions are wrenched, no matter what kind of aid we give).

The world's citizens have reached out and provided absolute compassion and generosity in scenes that go some ways towards reaffirming our trust in basic humanity and goodness. But in the face of profound, immediate loss, time is of the essence, especially when losing that race, even by a minute, can mean anything, including unnatural, untimely death. That, more than anything--and the knowing of its possibility--is the hardest thing to see in the faces of the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

Recently, celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Phil have done as much as they could--counseling, providing compassion, and even reuniting families for their television shows. It's impossible and inappropriate to criticize the results of their efforts--one loss found, one void filled, is how it starts, how we start chipping away at the overwhelming situation on the ground in New Orleans. But in a more perfect world, the reunions they enabled wouldn't have been delayed for tape, as they seemed to be during recently-aired programs. Shows wouldn't have been built around grieving family members already separated from their loved ones, especially when the structure of those shows was merely a conceit--the missing family members were on the sets, waiting, it seemed, for the shows' staffs to bring them out, at the "right" moment for television drama.

The drama is already there, these weeks; there's no need to augment it. And using that by drawing it out--not the end result, not the intent--is what was inexcusable. Finding people, dead or alive, is of the utmost importance, and moving quickly and letting the lost know what, and who, has been found--as soon as possible and not even a minute later--is the only way to do it.


The good in getting really lost

Lost at night in an immense forest, I only have a small light to guide me. A man appears who tells me: "My friend, blow out your candle in order to find your way." This man is a theologian.
The sea, fluid garden filled with animals and plants.
--Alfred Döblin

As we at LOST have been developing our online magazine, I’ve noticed that periodically blowing out a candle can be a convenient way of keeping things moving forward. We’ve scrapped logos, ditched plans, and even evaluated our mission over the last few months, and each time we’ve done it I feel like we’ve gained something—sometimes something frustrating, but often something like momentum.

But that’s the easy way out—a timid way—and bits of our past iterations linger when we build on the partial ruins of our former ideas.

So in anticipation of our launch this December, we’re blowing the lights out and pulling what we can out of the dark. Our permanent web site will be whatever our hands fall upon, and we encourage you, our readers and writers, to do the same with your work; we can only exist because of you and the losses you find, and we'll only be a framework without you.

We look forward to getting (and finding) LOST with you.


Lost (and back)

"At the end of the day, everybody lost."
--Wayne Gretzky on the players' and owners' tentative agreement to end the National Hockey League lockout


Barn raiser

Mourning the loss of anything, be it person, place, or thing, can be wrenching. Even the smallest losses can take on a surprising magnitude, and we're all often keen on getting over and leaving behind. But there is something like joy in coming to understand the possibilities, potential, and facts of a past existence--and of discovering those existences--and that's what's going to keep LOST Magazine feeling like a good funeral. You know the kind.

I've been cataloging this 130-year old barn in my head for almost fifteen years. But as it slowly slides away from the highway and into tall grass, I'm amazed by the fact that I see more in my head when I look at this barn now than there actually is. I see fifteen years of images and somehow they keep extending back in time, my mind extrapolating from what it knows and producing, in my head, a proper barn.

But I know that while loss and mourning are universal, sentimentality may not be. It's a line LOST will have to walk. It's easy to say that nostalgia is wasteful, a lazy exercise in staying stuck, or in fearing change. And it's easy to see that barn and call it a wreck--or to not even see it. We've got the hard job--to illuminate and expand upon what is by presenting what was. But as I see it, how can we not, when we're sitting here together on the same spinning rock in the middle of nowhere as traces of everyone and everything that ever sat here before us?


68 years and a day ago,

Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting the first round-the-world flight at the equator.


Lost Frost

Seeing myself well lost once more, I sighed,
"Where, where in Heaven am I? But don't tell me!
O opening clouds, by opening on me wide.
Let's let my heavenly lostness overwhelm me."


Magazines, memory, spare change

Last night some of the LOST founders found ourselves at the Poets & Writers 35th anniversary party, and as we dispersed and kept our eyes on what was happening on-stage (the musico-literary amalgam that is the band One Ring Zero), I found myself enjoying a free beer thanks to Google (the event sponsors) and thinking about P&W's achievement.

It wasn't a misty-eyed event—until the open bar closed down—but there was something about the fact that 35 years later, some of the people who were there then were still there, still talking about and celebrating writing and now recalling the history of their magazine. What better way to remember the past than through anniversaries, and what greater purpose for writing than to remember the original moments? Memory translates. Why do I keep every issue of The New Yorker? What is the deep frustration I feel when my email account fills and I'm forced to choose what to delete? Am I crazy or do I know how human my memory is—that I need things to help keep my memories alive?

I had a great aunt who was tall and quiet and absolutely kind. I’d never been to her home, where she lived alone, but whenever I saw her I remember thinking, when I was young, that she had a remarkable memory. She remembered every one of her nieces' and nephews' birthdays, when we were young and before she died, and each birthday, she'd give us a plastic bag filled with coins, each coin in it minted in the year of our birth. It felt awful to spend those coins, each one handled by her and categorized by our birth years, each one having circulated for as long as we ourselves had, but we did, of course, trading her work for gum, or Topps baseball cards.

When she died, relatives went through her house and discovered a kind of legacy—papers, magazines, money, and clothes, everywhere, in stacks and in closets. I like to think that perhaps her mind was so concerned with preserving her memory that her house took up some of her day-to-day operational slack, functioning as an annex, an element of her that contained her mind's overflow.

Is it too much to say that LOST should be a similar thing? A repository or annex? A place where lost things are? A place where we blow off the dust, or the dirt, or the years, and celebrate the people, places, and things that were?

What did I lose yesterday? (A dry cleaning receipt, an argument, 2800 breaths.) But what don't I know I lost? What don't I remember losing? What don't we all remember losing?

We'll be here, finding out.


Why, why, why?

We're six months out from our first issue here at LOST Magazine, and boy, are we busy.

Our little staff of six has been defining, building, drinking, waking, gaining, losing, and, in the process, finding. And that's the thing about this little magazine about loss; as we troll our collective memories for the losses we share—like buildings and landscapes and people—we're reminded of the things we’ve lost ourselves, and by remembering those things, we find them again.

Check back frequently for my updates on LOST's progress; for reflections on creating an online magazine; for images of lost things; for thoughts on whether lost things in photographs are really lost; for lists and tables; for periodic musings; to see what we've lost lately; and what we've found.

We're working hard to lay the groundwork for a magazine that is at once serious, funny, bizarre, and lovely. And if we do our jobs, we'll be putting you, too, at the crossroads of mourning and celebration on the first Monday of every month.

Come get lost with us.


On loss, and losing out.

Three little kittens
They lost their mittens,
And they began to cry,
Oh, mother dear,
We sadly fear
Our mittens we have lost.
What! lost your mittens,
You naughty kittens!
Then you shall have no pie.
--Eliza Lee Follen