Talk to DP Forum

William A. Broom

Post #589 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Magister Pinkwater,

Isn’t technology…whatever. Congratulations on your web site, the URL to which I typed into my browser even as you spoke it in your NPR commentary mere moments ago. I was connected your new electronic presence before your commentary was finished and was pleased to find — FINALLY!! — an Opera Omnia Pinkwateri listed there, now available world-wide. Clicky-clicky and voila`!

I have enjoyed repeated readings of “Chicago Days Hoboken Nights” and “Fishwhistle,” and await more published versions of your insightful autobiographical musings. The accounts of your Epiphany before a Jackson Pollock painting and your life among malamutes and maine coon cats have struck a special chord (I prefer the harmonious spelling) with me. If it’s not too presumptuous to ask, could you kindly crank out your publications for us older children a bit faster. I have already seen 50 summers and fear that either of us has an ever more limited engagement in which to enjoy your work.

Yours, enthusiastically awaiting your next publication announcement,

Bill Broom

Daniel replies:

Discipulus Broom -- I do not differentiate. The books are not _for_ young or old, they are for young me! As someone remarked on this page, I contain the child I have been. Others are invited to read with him. Besides, I too am past a half century, and plan to do another 40 or 50, which I suggest you do also, so you can read the



David Price

Post #646 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Hi Daniel, I’m an anthropologist who has been using the Freedom of Information Act to write a tragic history of the Cold War (the paranoia, intellectual, social & financial costs). I’m one of your biggest fans & was thrilled to hear your piece on NPR a few months back on that Russian children’s book illustrator/writer… I can’t find the napkin on which I scrawled the artist/author’s name, or the name of the book you spoke of, would you be kind enough to tell me who this author is & provide a citation of the re-issued book you reviewed? Thanks.

I have been sparring with the FBI off and on over the last few years trying to pry loose their files on Ted Geisel (As Mr. Hoover used to say:…hmmmm….something suspicious about ANYONE who uses a pseudonym…). Once they finally turn it over I’d be happy to send on a copy of his file to you if you are interested in such things.

peace

PS: My son Milo (age 4) want to know you are riding inside the second car from the left on shown on page one of the last pages of your book “Aunt Lulu.” If it is a picture of you, where are you going? Inquiring minds want to know.

Daniel replies:

Did Hoover say anything about people over 40 who wear feather boas? I wonder if my FBI files contains any of those pictures they used to take of me at folk concerts in Chicago in the 50's. My father had brought me a genuine beret and a paisley scarf from Paris, and I always wore them, and the agents used to snap me with the long lenses, because of my un-American appearance, not to mention that I was going places to hear black musicians. Dr. Seuss had a file? My, my.

Sorry, David Price, I forgot to say the book is FIRST, SECOND, published by the often-mentioned FS&G this past spring. The name of the translator and illustrator (good!) elude me at the moment.



Dennis Franco

Post #639 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

I heard the new diet segment on NPR but didn’t sink in until I reflected on it.

I need to shed some winter weight and it sounded credible.

Where can I get it? (the diet) ratatouie..sp? recipe?

Thanks Daniel…I also enjoyed your call in to Car Talk which prompted this message. (I loved the call about your old BMW….I have an old one too.

Daniel replies:

Dennis, I will send Aileron the text of my fool-proof ratatouille weight-loss plan, (not diet, please--diets are dangerous things, and many people make themselves uncomfortable and/or endanger their health by dieting--my plan is just eating a lot of yummy vegetables instead of double cheeseburgers). I am sure Aileron will post the piece here. Thanks for your kind words, and the old BMW is running fine!



The Fourth Grade at Alban

Post #661 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

We can hardly wait to see you at Albany Academy for Girls on November 1st. We enjoy reading your books, especially THE BLUE MOOSE and MUSH, THE DOG FROM SPACE and NED FELDMAN, SPACE PIRATE. We will see you soon.

>From the Fourth Grade at Albany Academy for Girls

P. S. Please write back.

Daniel replies:

Dear Fourth Grade at Albany Academy for Girls:

Yep, it's a fact. I will show up on November first, prepared to give my usual stupid answers to your intelligent questions. It makes me sad to think how many readers who may respect me now will be asking on November second: ""Who was that idiot?"" But, you have to learn to stay away from authors some time.



Davy

Post #504 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Hey Danny! hows the modern day world treating you? I am none other than your actual biggest fan. i have never red books (save for one(enders game by orson scott card)) that were as totally entertaining as yours. ever since fourth grade when i wrote a letter to you in fourth grade i have been trying to gen in touch again. i was sent i nice picture of about ten of you floating around . (obviously a genius at work) i just want to say that i immensely enjoy the hours of reading i have spent on your books. i only regret that i have not met you in person. we have alot alike. my personal fave would have to be alan mendelson, boy from mars. keep it comin’ but dont work too hard.-awed and splendored, davy: age 14

Daniel replies:

Davy - Other readers have mentioned ""Enders Game."" I'll have to check it out. Maybe Ian Stoba can read it on the airplane. Thanks for the kind words, and being my fan and all. You're wrong about wishing you had met me. People are always disappointed when they meet writers they like, and discover they are.....(yuck)...writers. However, readers can be nice, especially mine.



Dave Taylor

Post #499 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

To the Great Mr. Pinkwater –

Just wanted to let you know that I push all your books on people I know and don’t know. The woman I date depends on whether or not she can appreciate “Blue Moose” and the music of Frank Zappa. I also wanted to let you know that I am now obsessed with New Jersey. My last girlfriend was from there. I think about it a lot. Keep up the great work!

Daniel replies:

Dave Taylor -- I applaud your high standards. As must the women of New Jersey.



Daniel Epstein

Post #488 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Sir, thank you very much for writing Fat Men from Outer Space and Lizard Music, they changed my life.

Daniel replies:

Daniel Epstein -- I am glad to hear it. Others have told me the same thing, but I'm never sure if they are thanking me or accusing.



rschroed

Post #484 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

well. i’m very irritated. i DISTINCTLY remember seeing the meaning of

life posted here…it was something involving bagels…

hello. im a collitch student, and i have no idea how i managed to get

here after reading so many of your books…i would think that would be

on all the applications…HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU READ ALAN MENDELSOHN

THE BOY FROM MARS???

dooo dooo dodo dooo do (tuneless humming)

i am an extremely unworthy individual, i bow before you, do you really

levitate?

please write more books, i will stand on street corners and distribute

them to passersby as i wait for the #22 clark bus.

have you been to 57th Street Books in chicago? i mention them because

not only are they one of the few bookstores that has voluntarily had

book such as young adult novel in stock, but they carry many other books

such as Well Wished which deserves to be plugged also, even though

d.m.p. didn’t write it. anyone passing through chicago should stop by

and SUPPORT YOUR INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLERS–they’re the only ones that

sell books by people like d.m.p.

merci

Daniel replies:

d -- Was the post from rschroed received via the web, or was it, as I suspect, pressed into your hand by someone in the crowd at the Sunday Brooklyn Outdoor Kosher Computer Market, printed in tiny letters like the exterior of a Dr. Bronner's soap bottle, on a crumpled sheet of paper? This is the dark side of DMP book-culture. We don't know who rschroed is, and that may be for the best. We only hope that s/he will accept our good wishes, and not do us any harm.



Brad Sondahl

Post #536 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

I recently received some heinous spam email about 5 Novels by D. P. It must have contained some form of mind control because I dutifully went out and purchased a copy, even though I’d read 4 of the 5 novels several times previously. Now I am left pondering, why these 5 novels? A good omnibus might have all the Spiegel works together, or both Snarkout novels. I suspect the selection was intended to have a second collection “Son of 5 Novels,” with the missing related works. Is this your heinous plot?

Daniel replies:

Complain to my heinous editor, Mr. Wesley Adams at Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He made the choices--I merely held my breath and approved whatever he wanted. I was happy some company was willing to take on such a project. See, for publishers, bringing out some well-liked books collected in an inexpensive paperback edition is as daring as space-walks. If enough copies sell, yes, there will be another collection. You can help this happen by giving copies to persons known to you, who can read, as holiday gifts. (Cheap ones, too).

I think Adams's idea was to provide a sampling. Probably, he did not dream there might be another collection, and expected to get fired after talking his company into risking more than $4,000 on such a radical project.

My own wish was to make it a really overstuffed 2-volume set with about 20 out-of-print books--and I offered to let FSG do so for the same paltry sum they ultimately advanced me--but it was just too scary for them. I am delighted 5 Novels exists, and hope it does well enough for them to bring out another.



Chad Kirby

Post #545 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Mr. Pinkwater,

Though I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember, the first books that REALLY got my attention were “Lizard Music” and “The Last Guru.” Memories of them stick with me to this day. You were my first favorite author back in the fouth grade or so, and I want to thank you very much for the hours of enjoyment I got from your books.

I was delighted to discover your commentaries on ATC a couple years ago and always enjoy them. I continue to enjoy your work very much 20 years after first discovering you–something I cannot say for any other author. We should all write to ATC and request more and longer Daniel Pinkwater commentaries (if you’re up to doing them)!

Thanks again, best regards and keep creating,

Chad Kirby

Daniel replies:

Clearly your early experiences, (including reading my books), gave you a disciplined and creative mind. All write to ATC? You mean atc@npr.org? What an interesting idea. And it's your belief that many communications from listeners would cause them to appreciate me and air my stuff? Well, I've said all along that I attract exceptional readers. This is just another example.



Christel Gause

Post #505 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Mr. P.

Well, it’s been a while since i’ve written so I guess I’ll write again. How is your diet going? I noticed that the main (human) character in Mush: A Dog From space is distinctively female. Is this the first book of yours with a female for the main character? I thought it was kind of strange. Also, I’m sure you’ve been asked this for the last twelve years or so but are you or did you already finish Young Adults? I just had to ask because I just read Young Adults for the first time and although I read Young Adult Novel in high school I enjoyed the subsequent chapters even more. I’m looking forward to the publication of The Education Of Robert Nifkin. I have it pre-ordered from amazon. I’m doing my best to keep ratatouille on your table.

Daniel replies:

Christel Gause -- I wish to emphasize the important distinction between eating a healthy diet, and being on a diet. Many people think that my insane consumption of ratatouille, and guzzling of the product of my 40 horsepower industrial juice extractor, have as their ultimate end making me a little skinny-boy stick-figure of a lightweight wimp. This is not so. I remain round, just terribly healthy. Young Adults? Is that something I wrote? I'm starting to forget things. Have to bulk up on the zucchini.



Chris Bruzzi

Post #642 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

I am a 23 year old musician. I don’t know if you’d say I was aspiring, but I’m having fun. I am also a big fan of your slightly warped mind. It has greatly influenced my own slightly warped mind since elementary school when my 5th grade teacher Mr. Hibbard would read us your stories. I am in the process of writing a song based on Lizard Music and was wondering: A) is this legal, and B) if so, would you mind? If you would like to screen my lyrics/music first, they can be internetidly reached at

www.concentric.net/~bruzzi/cuscus.html

Daniel replies:

Chris, as far as I know, it is not illegal to write songs. However, I am no lawyer. There are many local laws on the books. It is illegal to converse with chickens, or other poultry, in North Carolina, and to do so on Sundays in Delaware, for example. It may not be legal to write songs in your community. Before putting pen to paper, I would seek counsel, or visit a law library. You are prudent to raise these questions before undertaking the arduous work of composition.



The Famous Chicken Guy of

Post #656 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

When I read Lizard Music when i was a kid I got to the part about the gorilla eating the guy “like a cookie” and physically lost control of myself. I distinctly remember jumping up and then hurling myself headfirst at the sofa.

Today I am a professional juggler and magician named The Chicken Guy. My chicken is stuffed and doesn’t do tricks, but she does sit on my head during every performance.

Is the story you tell in Chicago Nights/Hoboken Days about a “boy from mars” causing a riot at your school true?

Thanks a million times over-Tom A. The Famous Chicken Guy of Akron, Ohio

Daniel replies:

Chicken Guy--you carry on a noble traditon, as a chicken-entertainer. That is to say, one who entertains incorporating a chicken in his act, not one who entertains chickens, which is another matter entirely.



Kirk Brewer

Post #727 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Of the 120 or so books you’ve written, have you ever considered one on the experiences of an NPR commentator? Or are you just going to skip all that now that you’ve progressed to Chinwag Theatre? By the way, is Chicago one of the markets where Chinwag is broadcast? Just how many books do you write every week?

Daniel replies:

Chicago is, in effect, a market where Chinwag Theater is broadcast, as it is distributed by satellite and goes pretty much everywhere. Of course you can't hear it because there has not been sufficient pressure brought to bear on WBEZ...letter-writing campaigns, group visits to the offices, persons chaining themselves to the building, sky-writers, and full-page ads in the Trib have not yet been employed to persuade the conservative administration to carry the program, which is free of cost to the station. Notwithstanding, in at least 26 cities, none of which are Chicago, listeners are delighting in our droll antics. Programs Numbers 13 and 14 are in preparation as I type these words.

PS: I write eleven books, except for those weeks with national or religious holidays in them.



Dennis, I will send Ailer

Post #640 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

I’m a 43 year old teenager who’s relived his childhood reading the wonderful adventure novels of Daniel M., especially the Snark Out Boys, Kukumlima, Lizard Music. If Goosebumps can kick out dozens of schlocky stories, why can’t you do the same with the Snark Out Boys? The Snark Out Boys and The Bagel of Doom, The Snark Out Boys and the Very Scary Rhododendron. Son of Lizard Music. Get to work, Pinkwater!

Daniel replies:

Brad, it takes me some little time to crank out a schlocky story. That's why there is no Snarkbumps series, and why the creator of Goosebumps deserves his wealth. Speed is everything, and I am not built for speed. (See my response to Jason, above). You can write fast and well, or you can write slow and lousy. I prefer the latter, and so do my readers, who also tend to like spam with cream sauce, and off-brand toothpaste. There's room for everyone in the Great Democracy.



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