In 1969.

That's about when I think I made this little tome -- maybe a little earlier, but right around when I was six or seven and in 1st Grade. I found it in a box of stuff saved by my mom, along with my birth announcement in the Rio, Wisconsin newspaper (my dad's hometown of around 700 people -- how did they have a newspaper?), some ancient birthday and Valentine's Day cards, and some unused birth announcement cards featuring a drawing of the Milwaukee hospital that hosted my arrival. A couple things are clear right away with "My Book." I didn't become wordy until later on in life, and MissEight is a waaayyy better artist than I was.

If you didn't know or don't remember, the "famly" of the 1960s wore only scoopnecks or turtlenecks. I don't know what on earth happened to my mom's face there. She is not a Yeti.

Wow! Fried eggs and bacon! And my name is still Marianne, but my cursive has devolved to the "doctor signature" model.

The elementary school there is actually Cushing, and it's still there in Delafield, WI. We used to call it "Cussing" and giggle, because children in the 1960s were still pretty much the Waltons. And I know exactly who my "frend" is there: Paula, my next-door neighbor. There's no need for "friend" to have an "i" in it, really.

Of course I wanted the snazzy bike in my illustration. I was stuck with a balloon-tire model from like the 1600s that my folks found in the DUMP! It was the uncoolest bike ever, weighed 9000 pounds, damaged your kidneys with every bump, and didn't even have a kickstand. I ended up having to wait two more years for my ninth "bithday" to get a banana bike. Agony. Also, I realize that I suck at drawing cars, and I did realize that back then, too. Notice how I was hedging my bets on the spelling of "places" there. Like it would count if I penciled the alternative thought on what it was supposed to be. Oh, me.

I think I was running out of gas here. That's the most austere bathtub and bed I've ever seen. And that faucet...how do it work?

And we end with Me, appropriate for My Book. Well, Me as I wanted to be, with lush, long, backcombed and flipped-out brunette locks, monochromatically-mod in a mini, with limbs apparently segmented like an ant and an unnaturally-long neck, smiling anyway.

HP commercial, The Kinks, "Picture Book"