Talk to DP Forum

Art Thieme

Post #511 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

M…. Dan, Howdy! This is Art Thieme, New to computer but it’s great trying to say HOWDY this way. Hope ya get it. First time I tried I disabled my computer for 3 days; clicked send in wrong place. Since school I’ve been a folksinger and now am disabled. Can’t pick now;MS> Had an NPR radio show in thr’80s. Was fun some ways; others not. So, if it wasn’t for time we’d have to do everything all at once! For sure, best regards, Art Thieme

Daniel, Howdy! A cement mason friend of mine was tired of kids writing their names in the wet cement. He chased ’em arount the block six times. Came back wheezin’ & puffin’. I told him, “I thought you liked kids!” His answer: “In the abstract, yes. In the concrete, NO!” All the best in ’98, Art Thieme

P.S.–I sang for kids for 22 years through Urban Gateways in Chicago.

Daniel replies:

Hey, Art! I hear you from time to time on Wanda Fisher's weekly folk program out of WAMC in Albany, NY.

Did you know Mike Sideman in Chicago? He's from the neighborhood.

Marcus Harwell

Post #584 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Mr. Pinkwater,

I had no choice. I had to write and tell you what a terrific time I’ve had with your work over the years. Were I to ignore this opportunity to convey my fond good wishes (the electronic equivalent of a smile and a “thumbs up”), my conscience would smack me right in the frontal lobe.

_Alan Mendelsohn_ is my favorite. When I found, to my amazement, that my partner hadn’t even HEARD of it, I stopped what I was doing, yanked the book off the shelf, and subjected him to a forced reading. After all, the book helped shape (warp, some say) my already lopsided view of the world and its otherworldly denizens. It wouldn’t have been the same kidhood without it, and I might have grown up to be an accountant (urk!) or a senator (gack!), instead of the goofy artist I became.

Yours, with much affection,

Marcus Harwell

Daniel replies:

Hey! Now you can _give_ your partner a copy of Alan Mendelsohn, along with 4 other nifty books....arrgh. I am starting to nauseate myself plugging that book. Just everybody please buy a copy, so the publisher will agree to doing another collection. I will quit mentioning it now.

Jake, Age 13

Post #722 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

My name is Jake. I go to J.L. Stanford Middle School. I just read your book, Alan Mendelsohn, The Boy From Mars. I liked the book, it was funny. I have some questions and I hope you have the answers.

1. Who are the Waka-Wakians? And where did you get the inspiration for those guys?

2. What gave you the idea of writing this story?

3. Was Alan Mendelsohn really a Martian?

4. What does Rolzup look like?

5. Were you the inspiration for the way William Lloyd Floyd looked?

Thank you,

Jake, Age 13

Daniel replies:

Here are some answers.

1. I know, but I'm not saying.

2. A real-life incident.

3. Was he?

4. Very nice-looking.

5. No, someone else.

Thanks for being a thoughtful reader.

David Klein

Post #498 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

The E-mail joke concerning the talking frog mentioned in your last commentary had made the rounds in similar form for at least 2 years. The geeky/nerdie types (among which I am numbered) find it endearing – a reinforcement of the odd ball loner techie image we claim as our birthright (even if we don’t match the mold).

One of the people to whom I forwarded the joke some years ago found it less than humorous as she thought the joke was a drawn from life image of her son.

Just thought I’d pass that along.

Daniel replies:

Her son carried a frog around with him, and talked to it?

Tom Johnson

Post #516 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Daniel,

As a fan of NPR I heard you give an interview to Scott Simon, and to my amazement, another author I’m fond of, namely Harlan Ellison, popped up. Or was it the other way around? At any rate, since I am also a fan of the television show Babylon 5, and Harlan Ellison is a consultant to the show, I thought you might ask to appear as an alien on the show. Ask Harlan, maybe he could arrange a cameo. It would be a hoot, and show support for the only intelligent science fiction show on television. Besides, you could really impress people by being an alien on TV, especially kids.

Daniel replies:

Harlan Ellison? Harlan Ellison? Who is that? Are you sure it was a segment on NPR in which I was heard? Maybe he was being interviewed by Daniel Schorr. Harlan? Ellison? It's familiar, but I can't place it. You don't mean Ralph Ellison, who wrote The Invisible Man, do you? No, not that Invisible Man, the other one--the greatest American novel since Moby Dick. But you wrote Harlan...I'm stumped.


Post #479 – 19970101

January 1, 1997


You know what you should get them to do? You should get them to release an anthology of your short fiction. By “short fiction” I mean, of course, your picture books–anything shorter than, say “The Magic Goose.” You could probably fit all of them in one volume if you just put the text in with no pictures. Purists might complain that the esthetic experience of reading your work will be tainted by taking away the art, but I’ve read two of your books this way (“Wempires” in Omni and “Devil in the Drain” in Marvin Kaye’s _Devils and Demons_ anthology) and can personally testify that they are still dang good reads, pictures or no pictures. Plus, picture books cost a lot and the old ones are hard to find. The world needs a handy one-volume collection of Pinkwater short stories, perhaps bound in rhinoceros hide with gilded page edges, but also released as a mass market paperback so I could buy one. (I thought _5 Novels_ was a great idea, and I hope it miraculously becomes a best seller so you can release a companion volume containing _Yobgorgle_, _Lizard Music_ and the underappreciated _Worms of Kukumlima_.)

On a completely unrelated note: I am moving to Hoboken in a few days and wondered if you could tell me all the cool places to go in Hoboken. By “cool” I mean places where I won’t get beaten up.

Daniel replies:

Hal -- You can have no idea how discouraging getting ""them"" to do anything is. It took me years to get a publisher, any publisher, to do an anthology. ""5 Novels,"" appears to be selling somewhat, even with the accursed and feeble backing of Farrar Straus and Giroux. I have another collection proposed elsewhere. They've been thinking it over for the past three or four months. No sign of an actual thought having taken shape, nor do I expect on any time soon. This is how it goes.

I would say that you are likely to be beaten up anywhere in Hoboken. That's part of its charm.

Young Dave Wooten

Post #657 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

At some point in my life, dear Danny, I was reading a funny children’s book I had picked out of the heaps at the bookstore. I had a funny feeling. It didn’t lessen. I had read this Before. And suddenly, in a flash, I remembered a librarian pointing me to Daniel Manus Pinkwater’s Lizard Music (as she was at a loss for finding other books I hadn’t read.. “well, as a last straw..”) The rest is hazy, but I’ve been reading all of your books again and I finally came across Wingman which nearly brought tears to my eyes as I was so familiar with it and had cared for it so much, and even remembered caring for it but hadn’t known which book it was. It’s not that I’m older than twenty-three, or anything, but thanks.

Daniel replies:

Gosh. How moving. There are times when I think I must be some good writer. Then there are the other 23 hours and 59 minutes. But I'm glad the books meant something to you.

Chris Cummins

Post #523 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

I just wanted to thank you for the great books. “Fat Men From Space” was my favorite book growing up, and still remains on my shelf alongside of other great works.

I am a film student, and I believe that it would make a fantastic film. Has their ever been plans to adapt it to a film?

Thanks again!

Chris Cummins

Daniel replies:

Fun to speculate about what other great works FMFS is nestled up against. Plans for films are for others to plan, not me. Just send my agent a large check, and plan all you want. You can send a smaller check, and plan for a year. Or you can order plans directly from Popular Mechanics, at a considerable saving.

Fred Robey

Post #486 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Captin,

The more of your books I hunt down and read the more I enjoy them. I also found your audio tapes in the libary, they were great. I would like to say thanks for your contribution to the litary arts. It is fun to read Chicago days and Hoboken nights and then wander around Chicago and find the places you wrote about.

Please keep up the good work.

Your Fan,


Daniel replies:

Fred Robey -- What? There are really places in Chicago like ones I wrote about? Dang!

Fred Robey

Post #627 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Captin Pinkwater,

I enjoy your books A loT!!!!! Also I am not writing you to yell about how you beat up on fat Jew’s. I am writing to say that you are a great writer. That it is all for now. I am in awe that I found this site!!!!

Ps. I have heard of chicken man from some of the old timers that work the cta!

Daniel replies:

Fred Robey -- Now _there's_ a post! Thanks for your abject praise. Notwithstanding, this baseless accusation that I beat up fat Jews is likely to haunt me. I offer this challenge: Let any fat, or even slightly overweight Jew who can claim I have beaten him, or her, up come forward. I am prepared to refute any such claim, and produce as witnesses satisfied Jews, and adherents of other faiths, to whom I have offered ice cream, matzoh brei, hot dogs and other good things.

[Ed.-- You can bet your kishka on this one, folks.]

Adam Matz

Post #576 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

I don’t have much to say other than if I have kids I am going to force feed them Pinkwater books until they are old enough to live on their own. You are a wonderful author and I wish you the best in everything you do. (interesting note – my nickname is also “The Chicken Man” like Mr. Kanemoto, alas it is just because of my pitifully skinny legs)

Daniel replies:

Force feed them? I don't like the sound of that. Decent parents try to protect their children from trash such as I write, and give them lots of Disney, so they can grow up to be fine Americans.


Post #684 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

what do you recommend for depression, mr. pinkwater? It’s been a long day. still love you tho.


Daniel replies:

For depression I suggest a milkshake made with yoghurt, honey and fresh fruit, and maybe some St.John's wort.

Aleta Fera

Post #635 – 19970101

January 1, 1997


The Snarkout Boys series is a favorite of mine, even though I’m in university now (must be that inner 12 year old, hmm?) Does the new novel take place at Genghis Khan High (I noticed Ms. Sweet, the psycho biology teacher) One thing I always wondered; what are the thirteen different levels which The Baconburg Horror can be read on?

PS A friend of mine saw the Chicken Man riding a bus a couple years ago. I love it when reality and fiction collide!!!

Daniel replies:

Fiction and reality collide? You think what I write is fiction?

Thanks for the kind words. My readers are so neat!

Ella Bass

Post #490 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

I’m a teacher at Lauderbach Elementary School in Chula Vista, Ca and my fifth grade students just finished reading Pinkwater’s story “The Hoboken Chicken Adventure.” We learned that his story was made into a movie for television and we would like to know how we could view the movie in our classroom. How do we gain access to the movie? We would appreciate any information you can give us.

Daniel replies:

Ella Bass -- Obviously you read the textbook adaptation of ""The Hoboken Chicken Emergency."" There was a one-hour TV movie in the Wonderworks series, which still airs from time to time. When it was first shown, I received much congratulation from adults, and exactly six letters from kids. All the letters said more or less precisely the same thing: ""I bet you had nothing to do with the making of that movie."" And they were right. I think it would be a good classroom exercise to compare the movie with the story in the reader, or the book.

[Try Critic's Choice Video, at 800-367-7765 --Ed.]


Post #478 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Ok, so I have read your books for a long time, from the age of eight, or maybe five. I still dont like avacadoes, but we all have our faults. I stopped reading your books for a while about a year back, because I had discovered Douglas Adams and the imfamous Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, funny as hell, but no real fat men, or lizards for that matter(allright, for Adams’s sake, there was one fat man, but he was spending a year dead for tax purposes), and I was feeling lost and confused. I needed a pinkwater fix, so I went to my local library, only to find that some haggis headed yokel had stolen them all! And it wasn’t me! Now the only book I have of yours is the last guru(which I, coincidentaly, stole from a library). Now I cant find your books anywhere, excluding this sight, whic doesnt count because I am only 16 and dont have a credit card. How else can I obtain them? Back door bookcover ripping operations? The chicago mafia? Out of town library? Or can I just break down in tears at my book store? Also, did they make movies out of any of your other books besides the Hoboken Chicken Emergency?

P.S. I am fat and proud, even if it is a bit embarassing in pe. Really, when will it ever come in handy in real life? “Fifty squat thrusts now! Or you dont get the raise!!”

Daniel replies:

Draynen -- OK, listen up. This is for you, Draynen, and anyone else who comes here who's fat, (probably 50% at least), and, actually anyone. You type where it says ""Location"" in your web browser . This will take you to a neat site all for and about fat peoples, which is entertaining and enlightening in itself, but.....this is jumping the gun--there will be an official announcement before the quite near future is going to post a whole novel of mine, the very hard to find, ""The Afterlife Diet,"" a chapter a day until the whole thing is there. Then it disappears. Thus, a wretched 16-year-old without funds can read something of mine for free. Am I a terrific guy or what?

P.S. Yes, the fact that you're fat will become part of your permanent record.

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