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

Drawing from The New Yorker, December 20, 2022


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!

Drawing from The New Yorker, December 20, 2022



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!



Mennonite Daughter