Goodbye, PDX Writer Daily. Hello, Propeller.

This morning I discovered that the venerable (blogospherically speaking) PDX Writer Daily has closed shop and many of its perpetrators have begun a magazine, Propeller.

propeller1coverA project of the Portland State University Writing Center, PDX Writer Daily had taken a long summer sabbatical that stretched into fall, and so I hadn’t checked it in a while.

The new magazine, which you can flip through online, looks good, and I wish it well. But I’ll miss PDX Writer Daily, too. It was witty, just a little gossipy (in that discreet academic way), often insightful and usually entertaining.

I did a little random scrolling
and discovered this post, from April 11, 2008, the first anniversary of Kurt Vonnegut’s death. An excerpt (although you really should call it up yourself and read the whole, not-too-long thing):

“We’re also upset today about our discovery of the winner of the Diagram Prize, given by The Bookseller magazine for the oddest book title each year. We noted the list of finalists recently, and were clearly rooting for I Was Tortured By the Pygmy Love Queen. The winner, however, was a book called If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs. We’re not even going to dignify that with a link.”

Plus this, from April 14, 2008, in a discussion of American Book Review‘s list of 100 Best First Lines from Novels, which pegged the opening of Portlander Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love at No. 83:

“When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets,” Papa would say, “she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing.”

imagedbThat’s #83? Hmm. Well…okay. It actually does feel kind of 83rd-ish, doesn’t it? They might be right on that one.

Personally, we would prefer to see a list of the “100 First Drafts of the Best First Lines from Novels.” Where is the piece of paper on which is scrawled: “There was a really loud sound way up in the air, moving kind of toward us through the sky.” Around which peasant campfire, after a long night of drinking, did Leo say (and Constance Garnett immediately translate): “Man, happy families are all pretty similar, really, but unhappy families seem to have totally unique ways of getting so screwed up, which is kind of interesting, don’t you think?” On which napkin might we find: “Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting. By which I mean playing golf. I am developmentally disabled, by the way. I want to be clear on that, so you don’t get confused.” We want to see those 100 lines.

Art Scatter will add the link to Propeller to our links list on the right. But we’ll leave the PDX Writer Daily link, too, for your occasional strolls down memory lane.