William Carmichael

January 1, 1997

Post #647 – 19970101

Mr. Pinkwater-

This message, long overdue, is prompted by my recent re-discovery of your work while browsing at a local bookstore. They had copies of “Lizard Music”, “The Blue Moose”, and “Young Adult”. I was thrilled, because I’d come to believe that I had imagined the whole thing about the lizards named Reynold.

I read LM as a third grader, at the behest of a desparate public school librarian who was running out of new things to recommend for me to read. I’d been through Dr. Seuss long before that, and Lloyd Alexander’s fantasy novels, and the Doctor Doolittle books, and so on…so I had already developed a mild taste for the strange. Which was too bad for the librarian, a kindly woman without a non-linear bone in her body. She gave me “Lizard Music” without (I am sure) having read it herself, just to fend me off for another week, and I loved it. It was my first encounter with a deliberately “odd” piece of art. Now, at twenty-eight, I listen mostly to music that my live-in girlfriend doesn’t understand, and enjoy movies that most people here in Omaha have never heard of. But I LIKE it that way. Thank you so much.

Daniel replies:

Another life ruined. Your sarcastic thanks sting like a whip. But isn't it really the librarian's fault? I can't help what I write. And I have to sell the stuff to publishers, because I'm not qualified for any honest work. For one thing, I'm too fat to be on my feet in Burger King all day. Besides, I present an unsanitary appearance, not suitable to a place where food is served. But I decry the practice of giving my books to young people. Look what can happen. Look at you. Your poor girlfriend! It breaks my