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

Archive for November, 2009

Around the Web: Bystander, The Kidlitosphere, and a Grand Conversation

Monday, November 30th, 2009 Posted in Around the Web, Bystander | 3 Comments »


I confess: I sometimes have misgivings about the kidlitosphere. At times it feels like just another clique, and one dominated by women. I recognize that one woman's ceiling is another woman's floor; a "clique" could easily be described as a ...

This Week’s Greatest Thing Ever: Rules for My Unborn Son

Saturday, November 28th, 2009 Posted in Around the Web | No Comments »


Just discovered this blog -- and this book! -- and I really like it. Surprisingly, it's not all snark and wisecracks; most of the advice is almost traditional, but with a modern sensibility. There's wit here, certainly, but heart also. A ...

Bystander: Chapter 2 (and some thoughts on adverbs)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 Posted in Bystander, the writing process | 8 Comments »


Click here in case you missed Chapter 1 a couple of weeks back -- that is, I mean, if you want to. And don't worry, there are 34 Chapters in the book; I'm not going to give away the entire ...

Twilight Meets Three Wolf Moon Tee

Monday, November 23rd, 2009 Posted in Around the Web, Fun Clips | No Comments »


I bought the first book, wanted to like it, found it unreadable. For me, it was Bridges of Madison County bad, and that's saying something. I bought the t-shirt, and its mysterious power changed my life. Here's the parody that brings them ...

Music Video Weekend: Gary Jules & Michael Andrews, “Mad World”

Saturday, November 21st, 2009 Posted in Music | 2 Comments »


Not sure where I've been, but I just discovered this song -- or this version of the song -- as sung by Gary Jules for the Donnie Darko soundtrack. I have to listen to it every day. Sounds a little ...

Stories Behind the Story: The Case of the Runaway Dog

Friday, November 20th, 2009 Posted in Family, Jigsaw Jones, the writing process | 1 Comment »


As we close in on Thanksgiving, and turkeys grow nervous, I thought I'd take a look at Jigsaw Jones #7: The Case of the Runaway Dog, since it features a Thanksgiving subplot. The book opens with Ralphie and Jigsaw discussing the ...

Watch Me, Dad

Thursday, November 19th, 2009 Posted in Family | 5 Comments »


Lisa went out with Maggie last night to buy a new pair of basketball shoes, as they call 'em these days. Used to be sneakers, but whatever. Maggie was thrilled; she's very excited about playing hoops on the grades 3/4 ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #68

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 Posted in Fan Mail, Jigsaw Jones | No Comments »


I'm sure that any reasonable reader of "Fan Mail Wednesday" will remember Jack from Golden, CO. I answered his letter last week. Well, here's a nice follow-up note: Dear Mr. Preller, Thanks for your awesome answers to my questions. I cleaned Mrs. ...

Celebrating 40 Years of Sesame Street: Muppet Dopplegangers

Monday, November 16th, 2009 Posted in Around the Web | 2 Comments »


I'm just passing this along. You'll have to click here for the full megillah. But here's a few samples of Muppet Dopplegangers . . . Thanks for the tip from Whitney at my favorite pop culture site, Pop Candy.

The Charles Chips Man

Sunday, November 15th, 2009 Posted in Family, Greatest Hits | 62 Comments »


Does anybody remember Charles Chips? I do, or just did, recently, after not remembering it for years and years. Suddenly, once again, there it was: a specific object of memory newly recovered, pressing up against my skull. That big 16-ounce drum ...