Talk to DP Forum

Jordan Beck

January 15, 2017

Dear Mr. Pinkwater and Associates Who Read His Forum Missives,

My name is Jordan Beck. I am 27 years old.

When I was six my mother and I read Blue Moose & Return of the Moose for the first time. At the time, my parents had recently divorced and I saw my mother on only weekends, then eventually only holidays after my father moved me across the country. That first read through we howled with laughter until tears streamed down our faces. We read that dog eared copy of the book every single I visit, even now as an adult. Quotes from the story remained an important part of our communication as I became a teen, and clandestine humor for silly social situations as I entered adulthood. Though I grew to love your other work (Young Adult Novel defined large swaths of my Middle School years), nothing can compare to the deep connection forged between my mother and I through Blue Moose.

I am currently studying to be a theatre teacher. This semester I'm taking a Dramatic Literature for Youth class. Our final project is to adapt a beloved story into a play script. I am by no means an accomplished or talented playwright, but I tingle with anticipation as I think of living in the world of your story as a writer, and revisiting those characters for the stage.

Thank you for your stories, and the enduring impact you've had on me as an artist and a son.

All the best,

Jordan Beck

Daniel replies:

You seem to be saying that you contemplate adapting the moose for your project. I have no objection, providing that you agree to use your work for class only, not to make or distribute copies in any medium, & not to sell tickets. Have fun!

Alyssa Foos

January 1, 2017

Here is a link to where one can find some of my knitted cat hats…
Thanks, Daniel!

Daniel replies:

Cat hats!

Falonious Chester

December 17, 2016

Do you prefer to remain something of an enigma so that readers are more likely to "construct meanings of their very own, in their very own brains"? Do you deny that your work is often a gateway to a lifelong affection for and fascination with the surreal (and if so, why have so many people I know had that experience with your work)?

Daniel replies:

Can it be that many people you know tend experience things in a way that reinforces their affection for and fascination with the surreal? I don't know why you suggest that I am an enigma. I think I am the opposite of an enigma. I think I am a non-enigma. I don't think it's my job to influence readers. I've explained this already. My responsibility is to write it so it's not painful to read. After that, you're on your own.

Alyssa Foos

December 13, 2016

Hello, dear sir. I very much enjoyed your recent (re?)reading of "Kat Hats" on the podcast. Cat hat production of the knitted sort continues here, though it has been a bit anemic of late. I am working on that. Anyhow, I came across this artist musician person named Tom who does a daily birthdays cartoon that he publishes on Instagram. You were immortalized on this past Nov. 15. Happy belated birthday! Cheers!

Daniel replies:

Thank you. You are the foremost cat hat designer/manufacturer in the civilized world. Feel free to let podcast visitors know where they can obtain your fashionable product.

J. Raphael Shaul

December 11, 2016

A few years ago, an abrupt educational disjunction (read: I tried to switch programs and my university told me to get lost) resulted in several years of surrealism. Events include:

– Pedaling through New York on a tiny collapsible bicycle to buy allen wrenches from an all-night third-story hardware store
– Accepting an anonymous internet solicitation to pick up a woman at the Las Vegas airport and deposit her in the desert near the California border. (She had to meet a horse.)
– Photographing a pirate wedding in a geodesic dome erected by the groom in the center of a giant psychedelic party in the Mojave.

I credit your literature for preparing me for the realities of adulthood.

Daniel replies:

My position, which I state frequently, is that authors create works according to the Rules of Art, (whatever those may be), and readers construct meanings of their very own, in their very own brains, often having nothing to do with what the author thought it meant, if anything. Don't blame me for the way your life turned out--I am just a simple teller of tales.

Tim Davis

December 5, 2016

Just read Blue Moose to my four year old in bed. He laughed uproariously throughout, then crashed off to sleep. I think this book should be re-issued, with new, and more, color illustrations. It's a goddamn hit waiting to happen!

Daniel replies:

It's been reissued and reissued over the years with the nice B&W illos. Glad your kid enjoyed. Bard? I think I went there.

ozhekno fielder

November 27, 2016

what are your thoughts on the election of donald trump and the intrusion of white nationalism into the mainstream? do you have any advice for people who are scared?

Daniel replies:

My advice is do not be scared, be active. It is up to us citizens to help the President all we can--this would include helping him understand that it is a job, not the same as being a mogul, and we are his bosses. Oppose any act or statement that you feel does not reflect the character and interests of the nation. Get in the habit of writing and calling your congressional representatives, following the news, and participating in organized protest when called for. I don't believe "white nationalists" are really part of the mainstream, the big meeting they held last week in Washington was attended by around 200 sick men. They remain a minority, and one of the things we have to help our President with is understanding that decent Americans despise their views, (and possibly his).

Greg Crystal

November 14, 2016

Dear Mr. Pinkwater:
Your delightful books help cheer people up and are like cool neighbors who brighten your day. Also, salad spinners are indeed time machines for mice and insects. Bye!

Daniel replies:

You know, if you carefully inspect the produce at the market, you won't have so many mice and insects in your salads.


November 14, 2016

Hello, Captain, thank you for the special message. It was very good to hear that story again. It's humbling to think that the small stuff we do may be the most significant in the end. Although i thought there would be an ironic ending this time: "… and the name of that student who visited me that night, so long ago… was… Donald Trump!" (quick cut).

Always good to hear your voice. Happy almost birthday.

Love, glauber.

Daniel replies:

It's a completely true story--in fact, I'd forgotten I ever told it before. Thanks for appreciating.


November 11, 2016

Dear Daniel Pinkwater,
Today, Google points out that it is Walter Cronkite's 100th birthday, and I wanted to celebrate it as Reynold and Helen and Raymond and Victor and the Claudia and the rest of the gang might. And share it with you, too, of course. Cheers! To Walter!
Yam is a name you gave me, oh, pushing about twenty years ago… my kid sister was dubbed Wuggie Norple as a toddler, and so we each got Pinkwater aliases… mine is just a little bit better, as it was given – awarded? – rather than taken.
OK, so, for the record, Lizard Music is my favorite, but The Big Orange Splot is a Design Manifesto, and I love that, too. The list goes on… thanks so much for all the stories, images, inspiration and laughs.
with great admiration, Yam

Daniel replies:

Do you ever quote Popeye? "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam?" Happy Walter Cronkite centenary!