It went something like this: I asked my friend and occasional publisher Whitney Pastorek if there was anything I could do to help with the site. She said sure, sometimes it's a pain to search for all the images to match the stories, you think you can help with that? And I said no problem.
And before I got going Googling and swiping and resizing, she got in touch again, and asked, actually, do you think you can take over the whole thing?
And I said, uh. I think so.
Other than passcodes and directions on adapting the html for every update, her instructions were brief: if you reject a story, tell one thing you liked about it, and one reason you're saying no.
That's the essence of Pindeldyboz. I came to it after years of conversations with Whitney about literary preferences, so her trust in my aesthetic judgment was, at least as manifest, whole. She never questioned my selections, never pushed for things to be done any way other than my own. Pindeldyboz is about what's irreducible, answering over and over again the question "what does it mean" with a potentially incompatible cluster of stories that somehow respond, this.
The other side of it - the not-so-vague-and-evasive side of it - is the ardent respect involved in telling one thing you liked, one thing you didn't. You, the submitter, might hate the response. You might find it condescending and presumptive. But you will not question that I met your effort with some care and calculation of my own, and who knows, maybe that one ping back from the generally soundless publishing universe will persuade you to send me something else, something better.
Goodbye, Pindeldyboz. Goodbye pindeldycovers to pindeldyjournals, goodbye pindeldyshirts, goodbye pindeldyevents.
One thing yes: I liked your cheek.
One thing no: But there are so many others, and the ardor now is theirs.
About the author:
Shauna McKenna served as Web Editor of Pindeldyboz from 2004 through 2005.