Talk to DP Forum

Brad Sondahl

January 24, 2015

I had a waking dream this morning that reminded me of you. My wife and I were on a bus tour of some exotic place like Kabul, but obviously not Kabul. The bus went by a mountain called the sleeping prophet whose outline looked like a sleeping prophet, only the locals had painted up the rocks in a cheesy manner to make the resemblance more obvious. Then the bus stopped for a local ritual, where they brought out a 25 foot potato pancake steaming hot, propped up off the ground on little toothpicks, and the faithful ecstatically danced on the hot pancake ripping out bits to eat and neither burned their feet nor got poked by the toothpicks. So why did I think of you? Potato pancakes…

Daniel replies:

I hope you are aware that some would be deeply offended by your depiction of people behaving disrespectfully to a potato pancake.

Richard Levy

January 18, 2015

I happened upon your site because I was remembering my days at Nettlehorst and the gyp joint. You mentioned them in an article 3 years ago about Mr. Richman. I cannot describe the place other than to say the candy was stacked to the ceiling and aisles barely wide enough for a skinny 9 year old. I miss it, along with the Corned Beef Center, Clayton's Shoes, Simon's Drug Store and Dews Hardware. A small town in the big city. Richard levy

Daniel replies:

I remember all the places you mention except The Corned Beef Center. How could I possibly not remember a place called that?

Patrick Kramer

January 15, 2015

Hi Daniel
Just checking in to say thanks for your fine web site, insight, and to say you are out a site! Love hearing that FM voice on my ride to work listening to RADIO MOZART! Wish I had one, onehundredth of your brain! Please live forever.

Daniel replies:

I wish I had one-hundredth of a brain. However, I am gratified that you're enjoying what I'm able to do with the bit I've got. Thanks for not mentioning the creepy commercials on Radio Mozart--I understand they are only heard in the US.

BH

January 15, 2015

Hi Mr. Pinkwater,
Are you a watcher of the BBC "Sherlock" series shown in the states on PBS? In their modern-day re-telling of the Holmes stories, they put out this little mini-episode (linked below) to be shown after Holmes' "death" episode, and preceding his return. I especially like the first minute of it, set in what looks like a Buddhist monastary, perhaps near the border of Nepal and Tibet. There doesn't seem to be any sign of a particular gurkha physician in their footage, but I suppose he may not as yet have been introduced to the funny foreigner at the time of the filming. Seriously, your "Gurkha Physician" short story is hand-down one of my favorite tidbits of literature, I re-listen to that podcast episode frequently. Thanks for sharing it with your audience!

www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/watch-online/shorts/sherlock-mini-episode-many-happy-returns/

Daniel replies:

My friends would tell you that I am practically without ego, if I had any friends. So it is up to me to tell you that I do not mind that the producers of Sherlock abstracted elements from my work, any more than I minded when Sir Arthur, used mediums to acquire much of the Sherlock Holmes canon from my then yet-to-be-written Shloime Hockman detective stories thus rendering them unpublishable as apparent plagiarisms. Pangdatsang Gompa is not shown in the TV series because they fear legal action from a living author. But I am bigger than that.

Nicholas Clark

January 15, 2015

Hi Mr. Pinkwater!

I'm a huge fan of your work. When I set about composing my first novel, I found myself setting it in a fictionalized analogue of Chicago and surrounds. My instinct was to borrow the wonderful geography of The Snarkout Boys, Lizard Music, et al.

Would it bother you if someone else composed a novel – with a voice that makes no attempt to resemble yours and a style decidedly more adult than that of say the Snarkout Boys books that took place in Baconburg, Hogboro and McDonaldsville? If not, would additional geography such as Puggle State University (an amalgam of Northwestern, Purdue, Penn State and Rutgers) and Igor Capri Gardens (a housing project referencing well known midwestern projects like Cabrini-Green, Pruitt Igoe and DC examples I'm more familiar with like Potomac Gardens and Barry Farms) be tolerable additions?

Many thanks for the hours upon hours of enjoyment and inspiration you've given me and who knows how many others.

Nick

Daniel replies:

I'll tell you what bothers me. How is it that all these writers, many of them really good and/or famous, are more than respectful fans of my work, and I can't get a publisher to consider a novel by me? Picture books, and little chapter ones, yes, I can sell those, thank God, so I'm not starving or anything. But a novel? Gornisht. As to your question, I've never hesitated to help myself to anything I want. It's perfectly likely anything you steal from me has been stolen from someone else, and that someone may well have stolen it. The fact that you feel the need to ask bodes ill for your book. Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

tm rose

January 15, 2015

Not sure if you got prior msg. so here goes X2. Mentioned your past NPR vignette taking the time to savor sunsets(remember that one?) to my 2 kids working in Shanghai when I asked them how the sunsets are out there. When I heard your words it reminded me of the importance of these wondrous wonders. Thanks for being so accessible
Have a nice decade,
Scott btw blue plus red is another color teach. I appeal past failing Sir.

Daniel replies:

Thanks to you for reminding me that I wrote that piece. (I had not forgotten to enjoy sunsets.) For those who never heard or read it, it's about the time I set a task for myself to quietly watch and note a whole sunset every evening without fail for a succession of seasons. I learned a lot.

Adrienne

January 8, 2015

I teach a wonderful, culturally diverse, bright, and amazing group of 2nd graders. We have been reading your Larry stories this week and my students wanted me to tell you that we LOVE them. Thanks for writing and illustrating such lovely, silly books.

Daniel replies:

Thank you. Try the Bad Bears books on the same kids--Larry makes a guest appearance in some of them.

Rabbi Bruce J. Pfeffer

January 8, 2015

January 7, 2015
Dear Mr. Pinkwater,
I am a 51 year old. (Born in the Bronx, grew up in New Jersey.) I always enjoyed hearing you on the radio. I purchased, years ago, Wempires, and recently my children (Leia, 13, and Max, 10) and I are enjoying your books — the Nediad, the Ygyssay, and the girl with the whiskers.
Is there an annotated version of these books? I am sure there is not, but there ought to be! It took me a while to figure out the Yiddish spelling of ferblunjet. Who would have thought you could have a dalet, zion, shin combination? (I think that is what it was.) Well, if I were fluent in Yiddish, I would have known.

Thanks again.

shalom,
Bruce
Rabbi Bruce J. Pfeffer
Indianapolis, Indiana

Daniel replies:

Wait a minute, Rabbi! Are you saying there are Yiddish editions of those books? If this is so, I never gave permission or received any payment! Could these be unauthorized translations from Hong Kong? (My only books officially partly in Yiddish are Beautiful Yetta, the Yiddish Chicken, and Beautiful Yetta's Hanukkah Kitten, which I commend to your notice, and that of your children.)

Kevin

January 6, 2015

Happy New Year, Captain Pinkwater and Webmaster Ed!

Daniel replies:

And a happy new year to you and all readers/listeners/websters!

Dan

January 6, 2015

I've always admired Johnathan Quicksilver's poetic style in the final Snarkout Boys book. It reminds me of spanish: it uses just as many letters as it needs to.

Do you have a favourite poet?

I wish obscure poets was offered as a course of study at my university, but I don't think it is.

Regards,
Dan

Daniel replies:

Jonathan Quicksilver's style is like that of many beatnik poets I used to listen to on the lower east side of New York in the 1960s. There was a cozy place, a few steps down from the street, where you could get a mug of nice coffee, and guys with beards would get up and read stuff. I was happy there on many a winter night. My favorite poet is Calef Brown, and he can draw too.