My press-proof copy of My Checkered Life arrived January 31, 2023. It was thrilling to open the package.
I found some errors in the press proof, so I submitted a revised version. If all proceeds as I hope, my print book will be available end of February, the e-book in early March. Count on me alerting you.
Autographed copies of paperback books will be available locally soon. Stay tuned!
What you can expect
- Mystery dedication page
- 352 pages with 100+ illustrations
- Diary secrets
- Recipes from the two mothers
- Marital arguments and make-ups
My Husband’s Humor, a memoir excerpt
One of the qualities that attracted me to the young Cliff was his lightheartedness and sense of humor. On one of our first dates, we went to see “The Sound of Music,” which premiered in 1965, the movie an immersive experience in Cinerama, a wide, curving screen. When we exited the theater, Cliff threw leftover popcorn into the air, pretending it to be snow. “Whee!” he shouted into the brisk air of the theater parking lot. “Look at it snow. And more to come!” flinging another fistful into the air. I felt embarrassed because he was so loud and also because moviegoing was forbidden to Mennonites in those days. Trying to shush him then was impossible, and now I wouldn’t even care to try.
Humor was built into Cliff’s performances as well. His shows, especially the “History of Art” productions, featured Cliff as cartoonist drawing live caricatures of students and teachers. Drawing a likeness of the principal was usually the highlight of the show—the climax, delighting the students. Once, a principal, a rather stout one, stood on the platform, trying to be a good sport, smiling wanly as her image in caricature was evolving. Seconds later, Cliff noticed a slight shift in her posture. As he glanced toward the woman, he noticed she was tilting at an odd angle toward the rearview projection screen and the heavy wooden side panel. Realizing she was starting to faint, he leaped toward the woman, leaning awkwardly in slow motion. He tried to hold her and the collapsing display as she slipped further onto the stage floor, his black primary crayon still in one fist.
Titles and Scents
Did you know? Book titles cannot be copyrighted.
“Book titles are among the list of things that can’t be copyrighted. Titles aren’t considered intellectual property but are only “short phrases,” which are not eligible to be copyrighted. The Copyright Office doesn’t want titles to be restricted to one book; there may be other works in which the title may be equally usable and appropriate.”
Dozens of books boast the title, My Checkered Life, but I’m sticking with this title for two reasons: It has a specific subtitle + I am fortunate to have an audience of expectant readers like you. Even the subtitle, A Marriage Memoir has been used before. Multiple variations exist, including this one, A Modern Marriage: A Memoir.
The fresh-off-the-press scent!
My Checkered Life: A Marriage Memoir is a sequel to my first memoir: A Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl. My first book is specially priced now. You can find it here. Read it for the first time or gift a copy to someone special!
Good morning, Marian! SOOO exciting! Your book looks beautiful, and I’m certain it is wonderful!
Wishing you all the best with both books!
(Could the young Marian even have imagined writing and publishing two books on her life?)
Never did I ever want to be anything other than an English teacher. But I’ve loved to “read” since I was two. So I guess the reader morphed into a writer. Haha!
I know you wrote and edited encyclopedias earlier in your career. Now I wonder if you ever dreamed you would become a prize-winning poet. Brava to you too, Merril! 😀
You’re welcome, Marian.
I started out thinking I was going to teach kindergarten or elementary age kids, then thought I was going to be a history professor. I wrote books–not just encyclopedias–so I thought I’d have a career as an independent scholar, which I did sort of. . . so no. I didn’t expect I’d be a poet! 🙂
I love imagining Cliff’s attempt at rescuing the fainting principal. And …what happened next?? Your many friends what to know! Thanks for the update on where the book stands….
Merril, I guess you’ll have to read the book to find out what happened next–ha! Thank you for following along my publishing journey, sometimes fraught with peril, but other times with “ah-ha” moments, like these. ;-D
Marian, your memoir will be great! Isn’t it wonderful to hold it in your hands????? Yay!!!
I can feel your enthusiasm through the cybersphere, L. Marie. Thank you. And I appreciate your good wishes immensely. Yes, you know the pleasure of holding a piece of your own creativity in your hands. 😀
What a beginning splash! You have my attention and anticipation.
Bravo sister Marian.
How wonderful to have a sister alongside, one who knows both the high and low points of my story. Huge thanks! ((( )))
Good luck with the final stages of book publication, Marian. I really look forward to reading it.
You are so kind, my friend. I too will be happy to get through the final stages and hand a copy to eager readers. Thank you! 😀
I’m so looking forward to purchasing and reading your second book! Where will it be sold?
Lynn, thank you for your great question. It will be available online very soon at various outlets. Next week I hope I can give you a link. Stay tuned! 😀
Funny how all the stress and anxiety disappear once we hold our book. Congratulations, Marian!
If you visited me earlier today, you’d know the stress and anxiety did not vanish immediately. We had some trouble uploading the e-book files, but I think we got it figured out.
Thank you, Jill. (I believe you know that Cliff and I were married in Charlotte, NC, close to where you now live.) 😀
Congratulations, Marian I’m sure it will be a great success 🙂 x
I’m glad your crystal ball reflects only good news. I appreciate your support, Carol! 😀
Can’t wait to read it. I’m sure we will have a celebratory lunch, and we can all get a copy.
A celebratory lunch would be great. Thanks for following so faithfully along this second memoir journey, Bonnie. 😀
I read your book “Mennonite Daughter ” & I am eager to read this coming book. “My Checkered life”
Where can I purchase it /?
Thanks for asking, Bertha. It will be available online very soon at various outlets. Next week I hope I can give you a link for purchase. Stay tuned! 😀
I love the pure joy on your face when you look through your book. Congratulations!! I look forward to reading it and seeing the photos. I know it will be wonderful–and funny.
Elaine, the cheering for you and your book on monarchs is just around the corner. Yet, I know the twisty turns of the book writing/publishing business. Just this morning we had another snafu with e-book files.
I think you’ll find reason to laugh and to cry as you read this memoir. You’ll also find a reference to your argument with Vic near the end when I discuss conflict (and resolution)! 😀
Eau de New Book! Thank you for sharing these thrilling moments with us. And the excerpt. Onwards Marian!
Your enthusiasm is catching, Susan. Thank you so very much! 😀
You and Cliff both have great dispositions and senses of humor. His is a little more zany. Yours is twinkle-eyed. Makes for a great marriage memoir. All best!
Thank you for your original descriptions about our brands of humor. I guess, like the wildebeests and zebras you’ve read about in one of the memoir chapters, we are complementary. Just as you and Stuart are. I’m so glad to hear some good news this week from both of you, Shirley! 😀
Isn’t it a joy to see your words in print like this? Does it make you wonder how the errors got there? Are any of them actually better than what you submitted? By the way, congratulations!
Ginger, I like your descriptions of errors. Yes, they are like WEEDS, springing up as though out of no where. Thanks for the good wishes too! 😀
So close now, Marian! The checking and keep checking your Checkered Life is almost finished! Creating a book is such a long road. By the way, there are quite a few “Plunge” titles out there as well and I decided to stick with it, too.
Humor is such an important part of life and relationships. I wish there was more of it in my life and lifestyle…
Yes, I think we can call this a “check[er]ed manuscript.” Oh, my word!
You seem to be in a happier place right now in Columbia. I hope you can begin to relax after all the stress of getting Thirsty Bella ready for transport and then transitioning to a new culture and climate. I suppose we’ll get an update from you soon, Liesbet! 😀
Marian — Oh, what a FUN video of you. I love it!
Thank you for sharing in my joy, a sentiment you’ve experienced more than twice with your very popular Sean McPherson thrilled series. Yay, Laurie! 😀
I loved watching you pull out your newest book. Always a great moment. It looks amazing!
Like Laurie and some others here, you DO know the joy of birthing a book baby. So thankful to have you in my cheering section, Darlene! 😀
I love the cover and can’t wait to read your new book, Marian! Having a sense of humor is a big plus in any relationship. Yours will be fun to read about. Blessings!
Patty, I sense you value humor too. Thanks for your blessing here! 😀
Thanks for keeping us up on your progress. Cliff sounds like somebody I’d like to hang out with. A good sense of humor and the ability to enjoy himself by having fun are great character traits. I laughed aloud at the image of him flinging popcorn into the air to make “snow.”
I can also envision his sketches of the principal being a highlight with many of the students.
Ha! You and Cliff would have a lot in common–sense of humor and love for kids. Thanks for being a big part of the cheering stadium here, Pete, so appreciated! 😀
Congratulations, Marian! Wow, you must be thrilled to finally hold that copy, your very own creation in your hands. Love the bright colours and both yours and Cliff’s excitement!
Yes, it’s very thrilling, Elfrieda, but to tell you the truth, we are very, very tired with all the uphill steering we’ve had to do. Still, we’ve ask God to be honored through all of this, and we hope at some point our children (and grand-children) will be blessed as well. Thank you, my friend!
I can Amen many of these comments. Thank you “Marian’s Support Authors and Readers.”
From the artist and designer perspective, I can’t wait until you all of you can finally read a copy of My Checkered Life. Besides learning more about the Marian Beaman and Cliff’s life, it’ll allow me to catch up with projects that have been in second place for about two years.
This book has taken a life of its own, from early conception, changing different directions in ideas and substance — all the while as I was trying to keep up with photos and artwork as Marian was refining her “baby.” I sent her a text yesterday saying “You gave birth to the baby, taught it to talk and I added clothes, style and color” to celebrate the new comer in our family.
You captured our experience to a tee–especially with the “baby” metaphor. You appear in the book’s dedication and also in the acknowledgements, deservedly so! 😀
Such a fun post Marian! I feel your joy coming off the blog’s page. I was also attracted to my future husband’s sense of humor. I love the story of Cliff’s History of Art shows – what an original and clever idea. Thank you also for the tip about titles. Who knew? You did! 🙂 Thanks for passing along.
Yes, there is much joy at this point, but today we had a snafu with sending e-files to the publisher. It’s just a small glitch, but it felt large because we’ve been at this so long. By the way, Cliff’s History of Art shows are described in detail (and with photos) so you can make more sense of the vignette when you read the book.
It’s always great to have you join the conversation here, Melanie. Thank you! 😀
Well, this post has certainly whetted my appetite for my copy of A Checkerboard Life! Well done to both you and Cliff!!!
That was my hope, Liz! Thanks for the good wishes too! 😀
You’re welcome, Marian. You succeeded in your aim admirably!
I LOVE the video, Marian – your joy and enthusiasm come through. Congratulations! I am excited for you.
You are kind to comment. I appreciate your support and good wishes, Rebecca! 😀
I enjoy our conversations!!
Congrats on your progress. It’s all coming together and I couldn’t be happier for you.
Thanks for sharing all this with me. I imagine you and Zen-Den can relate to some of our escapades in book, Ally! 😀
Hi Marian, it’s so exciting to see your book. The thrill of it for the author also never dies, does it? I love your cover. A fun story about you and Cliff at the cinema. Terence wouldn’t have any popcorn left over by the end of a show to throw.
During the Christmas holiday, Cliff and I had seen “The Sound of Music” three (3!) times. If the popcorn stunt happened on the third viewing, perhaps Cliff was getting tired of popcorn and didn’t care about wasting some. Honestly, I don’t remember that detail.
Thanks for stopping by once again, Robbie! 😀
I also love The Sound of Music and have watched it many times. I’ve also seen it live on the stage. My boys also enjoyed it when they were younger. Of course, now, its all the latest music for them. I’m so glad I’m not that young.
I can heartily say too, “I’m so glad I’m not that young.” Thanks for the follow-up, Robbie! 😀
Congratulations! What a wonderful day!
You amaze me, Jacqui, hopping through the blogosphere supporting so many authors, including me. Thanks from the bottom of my heart! 😀
So lovely to see you talking on the video . I almost invited you in for tea and a slice of Victoria sponge 😁 I love the cover of your new book Marian and wish all the success in the world my friend . I shall be reading it with gusto .
I appreciate ALL you do with gusto, including supporting me “across the pond,” as they say. Whenever you’re ready, I’ll be happy to share tea with Victoria sponge! LOL
So exciting to hold that copy in your hands. I look forward to reading it.
Thank you, Arlene. I love that picture of you sitting in the Adirondack chair, maybe soon reading My Checkered Life. I appreciate your support–always! 😀