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Archive for the ‘Greatest Hits’ Category

Scared of Santa, Revisited, Again (because it never gets old)

Friday, December 20th, 2013 Posted in Around the Web, Greatest Hits | No Comments »


I'm REPOSTING from the "Greatest Hits" collection . . . ------------------ No, I don’t know why good, sane, well-intentioned people do this to their children. This guy terrifies even me — I keep thinking he should have a lit Chesterfield and a glass ...

RE-POST: Pretty Lights on the Tree, I’m Watching Them Shine

Friday, December 13th, 2013 Posted in Greatest Hits, Music, the writing process | No Comments »


Sometimes you can hear a song a hundred times and on a random afternoon it will hit you in a new way. Whap, right upside the head. As a huge Bob Dylan fan, that happens to me frequently, ...

RE-POST: Imaging the Character of Griffin Connelly in BYSTANDER

Thursday, December 5th, 2013 Posted in Bystander, Greatest Hits, School Visits, the writing process | No Comments »


I just enjoyed a terrific visit to Virginia, three nights, visiting Matoaca Middle School and Davis Middle School. I stayed in Richmond, was treated like a conquering hero, and all I can do is express my heartfelt gratitude one more ...

REPOST: Elmore Leonard’s Rules for Writing

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 Posted in Greatest Hits, the writing process | No Comments »


I learned this morning that Elmore Leonard passed away, so my thoughts immediately returned to his wonderful "Rules for Writing" which I blogged about some years back. Here's that post once again. Thank you for the lessons, Mr. Leonard. As part ...

RE-POST: An Interview with Thomas Newkirk, Author of “Misreading Masculinity: Boys, Literacy, and Popular Culture”

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 Posted in Greatest Hits, Interviews & Appreciations, The Gender Gap in Reading | No Comments »


NOTE: I've been blogging at this site since May, 2008, which is like 120 in Blogger's Years. My strong suspicion is that a lot of the oldies-but-goodies have not been seen by my current readership, so I decided to give ...

Celebrating 4 Years of Bloggy Goodness: An Appreciation of Bernard Waber

Friday, May 4th, 2012 Posted in Greatest Hits, Interviews & Appreciations | No Comments »


I originally posted this in October, 2008. It's nice to come across old writing and think, okay, not terrible. I still agree with myself. ---- "When I am writing, I think of myself as a writer. But when I am illustrating, I ...

Old Posts Revisited: A Celebration of Four Full Years of Bloggy Goodness

Monday, April 23rd, 2012 Posted in Greatest Hits | No Comments »


I've been so overwhelmed lately, visiting far-flung schools, working hard on my "Shivers" project, all while fighting "flu-like symptoms" for the past ten days. Anyway, part of my blogging experience has always been one of talking to myself in the dark. ...

Slice of Life Writing Challenge: My Hot Tub Story

Sunday, March 18th, 2012 Posted in Greatest Hits, the writing process | 3 Comments »


Preamble: This entry was inspired by Stacey Shubitz and Ruth Ayres at the great Two Writing Teachers blog, where they issue an annual slice-of-life writing challenge. Essentially, to write every day through the month of March. I did not participate formally, ...

Dad’s Fertilizer & the Mortification of Us All: A Father’s Day Tribute

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 Posted in Family, Greatest Hits | 2 Comments »


Dad was the father of seven children, a veteran of World War II who served in the Pacific. After the war, he graduated from Boston University in two and half years, because why in the world would anybody want to ...

James Preller Interviews . . . Thomas Newkirk, author of “Misreading Masculinity: Boys, Literacy, and Popular Culture”

Sunday, March 6th, 2011 Posted in Greatest Hits, In the Classroom, Interviews & Appreciations, The Gender Gap in Reading | 3 Comments »


I recently read Thomas Newkirk's outstanding book, Misreading Masculinity: Boys, Literacy, and Popular Culture. I sent him a complimentary email and, to my great surprise, he agreed to an interview. My reasons were selfish. I simply wanted to learn more ...