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

Archive for June, 2010

Essential Reading: “On Facebook, you can be as mean as you want.”

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 Posted in Bystander, Readings, bullying | No Comments »


I realize not everyone receives The New York Times. Or if you're like me, sometimes you don't get around to reading it thoroughly. So I refer readers to this long, thoughtful, well-researched article from June 27, 2010. It explores the ...

Summer Hours: Less Blogging, More Slogging

Monday, June 28th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »


I plan to slow the pace of my blogging this summer -- and I'll try not to feel guilty about it. I've learned that there's generally a downturn in readership in July and August, so it's silly for me to ...

Cue the Inspiration: “Home” by the Foo Fighters

Thursday, June 24th, 2010 Posted in Music, the writing process | No Comments »


My son, Gavin, who recently turned eleven -- or as Maggie said, holding up ten fingers, "now he's off both hands!" -- found this song and I immediately loved it. An unexpected track from Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters. ...

One Downside to Raising an 11-Year-Old Boy

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 Posted in Family | 1 Comment »


Adam Sandler movies. I submit to you: Bulletproof, Big Daddy, Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds, Anger Management, Click, 50 First Dates, Chuck & Larry, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, and whatever else he's inflicted on innocent, misguided viewers. [gallery] Ick, ick, ick. I think ...

Coach Preller . . . and a Deleted Scene from “Six Innings”

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 Posted in Six Innings, the writing process | 2 Comments »


Baseball has been central to my life for as long as I can remember. These days, it's primarily as a coach, since I've become too busy to play on my men's hardball team. Let me give you a quick update: * On ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #90-91 (Friday Edition)

Friday, June 18th, 2010 Posted in Fan Mail, the writing process | 1 Comment »


I received two similar emails, so I'm going to post both and give one reply to avoid repetition: Letter #90: Dear Mr. Preller, I love your book Bystander. My teacher read it to my class for a read aloud. It was very well ...

The Reading Feeds the Writing

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 Posted in Readings, the writing process | No Comments »


I read with a pen in my hand. Mark up the pages, underline passages, use check marks and asterisks, write in the margins. It's one of the things that makes me uneasy with library books, because I lose that activity, ...

Overheard: “I really, really, really want a Chinese water dragon.”

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 Posted in Family | 4 Comments »


Maggie is on a mission. She's been leaving notes around the house, like this: Due to technical difficulties, I can't flip the scan so you can read it easily. It reads: "I love Chinese water Dragons! Maggie will take care of ...

This Week’s Greatest Thing Ever

Thursday, June 10th, 2010 Posted in Fun Clips, New York Mets | 1 Comment »


I'm off to Baltimore, Camden Yards specifically, to see the Mets play the Orioles. Every year I take a trip with my buddy from Queens. Always to see the Mets. We've been to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington D.C. Our big ...

Patti Smith Commencement Speech: Direct from the Heart

Thursday, June 10th, 2010 Posted in Current Events, Greatest Hits, Interviews & Appreciations | No Comments »


I am a huge Patti Smith admirer, for many years now, but especially now after reading her fascinating memoir, Just Kids. A fabulous, uplifting book that could have been subtitled: "Portrait of an Artist as a Young Woman." I'd love ...