Lucas Flatt

August 18, 2000

Post #1165 – 20000818

Mr. Pinkwater,

I don’t have an actual question, I just have something I would like to say (I hope this is the appropriate place). When I was much younger (relatively, I am only seventeen), my mother bought an audio cassatte of Fish Whistle. I forget how old I was, but I know that it was a very crucial age in deciding what kind of person I wanted to become. I have loved to write ever since I was capable, and nothing gives me more pleasure than to write something which might entertain. I therefore do a humor column for my school paper. If you were to read some of my columns I am sure you might notice a slight influence. This is because your stories (along with several choice works of literature my parents read to me when I was even younger) caused me to realize what I wanted to do in this world. I find it difficult to express the amount of gratitude I feel towards you, sir. I honestly believe if it wasn’t for that book, as well as the Narnia chronicles by C.S. Lewis (I think, it is really late) which my parents read to me at an early age, I wouldn’t be the person I am proud to be today. I hope, well more than hope, I will become a writer someday soon, and write the sort of nonfictional humor stories featured in Fish Whistle. Although I would probably list Grizzard and the currently popular travel writer Bill Bryson as influences, I want you to know that you are the one true influence on the way I express myself. Perhaps you get letters like this constantly, and perhaps you don’t and find this hard to believe, but either way I have always wanted to thank you. Someday when I am a known author, world reknowned and adored by beautiful women, I will think “If it wasn’t for Daniel Pinkwater none of this would have been possible, and I most likely would have lived a quiet and miserable life as a military land-mine inspector, just like dear old dad.”

Thank you for the inspiration,

Lucas Flatt

Daniel replies:

No, I don't get all that many letters like yours--that is, letters which refer to the craft, or artistry, or whatever the hell it is that I do, that makes my stuff work as writing. I tend not to want to discuss it myself, only because much talk, (not to mention courses, conferences, and how-to books), are just so much twaddle. However, I fully appreciate what you say--and for me, even after all this time, the simple pleasure of putting words together, putting them on paper, or on a screen, remains utterly diverting and delightful. How wonderful when someone else can appreciate the results!