News, Notes & Inside Info from a Children’s Book Author

Archive for August, 2009

Loudon Wainwright III, “History,” Revisited: Music Video Friday

Thursday, August 27th, 2009 Posted in Interviews & Appreciations, Music | No Comments »


Hopefully this will keep you entertained while I'm away for a week . . . hiking, sitting by fires, kayaking, reading, playing with my kids, reconnecting with Lisa, writing on a yellow legal pad by Rainbow Lake in the Adirondacks, ...

The Little League World Series, Some Photos, My Reusable Bag, etc.

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 Posted in Current Events, Family | 2 Comments »


Just back from a memorable trip to Williamsport, PA, for the Little League World Series. I'm hooked for life. Here's a few random snaps . . . This is the view when we first arrived, coming down a hill from the ...

I’m Going to the Little League World Series (but 36 years too late)

Friday, August 21st, 2009 Posted in Happenings | No Comments »


As a 12-year-old Little Leaguer, I never dreamed of playing in the Little League World Series. We didn't  have the sports saturation of ESPN back then, and my World Series dreams were of the Major League variety. That's me, back row ...

This Week’s Greatest Thing Ever: Laser School Photos

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 Posted in Around the Web | No Comments »


I found this site the other day, We Have Lasers!!!!!!!!!! (yes, ten exclamation points), which holds some of the same appeal found at Awkwardfamilyphotos.com. There's not a lot to say. The host of the site runs a line that reads: "You ...

The Spectacle Blog

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 Posted in Around the Web, the writing process | 1 Comment »


I don't recall if I ever mentioned The Spectacle Blog, "a place for authors of middle grade and young adult books to discuss writing science fiction, fantasy, and everything else along the spectrum of speculative fiction." This relatively new blog, begun ...

From Sketch to Final Art; Final Art to Cover

Monday, August 17th, 2009 Posted in A Pirates Guide (Series), Greatest Hits | No Comments »


I'm sure my Nation of Readers will remember this sketch, which I talked about here, fifteen months ago. Well, lubbers, double quick, set your deadlights on the final art: "Ahoy, me hearties!" I cried. "Prepare to be boarded!" Interestingly, in the above final ...

Around the Horn: 6 Things & Music Video Friday

Friday, August 14th, 2009 Posted in Around the Web, Music | No Comments »


1) I thought this was very cool. Six word stories, illustrated! 2) Curious about this book. 3) This helped me rethink the opening of a new story. Nothing new under the sun, but there's so much under the sun, it helps to ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #58 (Thursday Edition)

Thursday, August 13th, 2009 Posted in Fan Mail | No Comments »


Let's do it! Dear Mr. Preller, The Jigsaw Jones Mystery's that you wrote are100,000,000% Awesome! I want to be a mystery book writer too. It's so cool that Jigsaw and his partner Mila solve the crime really, really well! I've even started ...

Cover Art by Greg Ruth for “A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade”

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 Posted in A Pirates Guide (Series), the writing process | 1 Comment »


One of the ruling ideas behind this blog is to document the working life of a writer. I try to skip the boring parts, of which there are many. But one thing that is never dull is when I first ...

I Need a Book Suggestion

Monday, August 10th, 2009 Posted in the writing process | 8 Comments »


Lurkers, uncloak! I'm working on a story that features a relationship with a young,  earnest teacher and a boy who tends to do inappropriate things in the classroom. He gets in trouble a lot. They butt heads. The new teacher, ...