You’ve heard many metaphors for life, images that suggest how daily happenings can throw us into a tailspin:

  • Life is like a roller coaster with lots of ups and downs
  • Life is like a washing machine, churning round and round
  • Life is like bumper cars, hitting one obstacle after another


Perhaps also life is like a quilt, odd scraps pieced together to form a whole, especially if it has a crazy quilt design.


Since 2013, I have been “quilting” on my blog, “Plain and Fancy,” assembling pieces of my family heritage, my own life events, along with literary interests and promotion of other authors.




In the beginning, I assembled blog posts, nilly-willy, following my fancy. My memory of family history or the passage of seasons sometimes prompted my choice of themes. Often, like a quilter, I too let instinct guide me. In 2015, I noticed that you, my reader, responded well to stories of my early life, especially those involving Mother and Daddy Longenecker along with Aunt Ruthie and Grandma Fannie. Several of you encouraged me to assemble these stories into a book. As it happened, many of those blog posts became scenes (or chapters) in my memoir, Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl.

Now I’m scooping up some of these blog posts for my next book, tentatively titled, My Checkered Life: A Collection of Blog Posts, the cover probably including a “checkered” quilt pattern like the one above.

Selected blog posts will form the anchor points for the themes in this book: Moments of High Emotion, Aunt Ruthie Longenecker’s Diary entries, Longenecker Artifacts, Life of the Spirit, and Recipes. In another section, writers, especially beginning memoirists, can find their own direction reading 10 steps toward publishing my memoir, Mennonite Daughter.


Excerpt from the Prologue

Quilts tell stories. In order to begin, you don’t have to know how your story will end. Sometimes your narrative can come together without your consciously thinking about it. Taking a walk, soaking in a tub, or chatting with friends often summons the next, best step. I have gotten better results when I “Go with the flow” rather than straining to make my characters or plot sequence work in a prescribed way. Above all, trust that in the end, your story, whatever genre, will lead to a satisfying conclusion.



In addition to the suggestions above, what other story categories would you like to see included in this collection?

What particular story/stories should certainly be included?

What do you think of the title?



With publication sometime in early 2023, nothing about the proposed book is cast in stone. I am completely open to your ideas.

Thank you!