Friday Fun — Your Autobiography

Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.

QUESTION: What would you title your autobiography? Feel free to share some insight as to the title, too!

wendy-shotWendy Thomas: I’m actually working on two memoir manuscripts. The first is called Lessons Learned from the Flock – it’s based on the stories from my blog and describes the life lessons I’ve learned from living with kids and chickens in New Hampshire. The second memoir (which is really autobiography) has the working title of A Tick and a Chick – it tells the stories of Lyme disease in our family and weaves in the story of our crippled chick; Charlie who taught me a few life lessons about dealing with disability, chronic illness and pushing chicks out of the nest.

hennrikus-web2Julie Hennrikus: My autobiography would be called Blessed. I have a wonderful, packed, zany, busy, blessed life. Opportunities that I never could have imagined have presented themselves. Even the obstacles have had their long term benefits. So I live in a place of incredible gratitude, in recognition that I am truly blessed.

LisaJJackson_2014Lisa J. Jackson: I’ve named the biography I’m writing about my parents, My Parents Drink Mushroom Juice from a Pickle Jar and Other True Stories. It’s a true (and funny) compilation of stories from over the years of things they’ve done that have stressed me out and been hilarious after-the-fact. There’s never a shortage of fodder for this book.

As for my autobiography, it’d be something fun like Living an Orgasmic Life: How Following My Bliss Led to Awesome Adventures with Positive People. Because I’m am darn satisfied with this life I’ve created for myself.

headshot_jw_thumbnailJamie Wallace: Oh, good gods. I’ve never even contemplated writing an autobiography.  I’m not sure if I’ve even read an autobiography, or a biography for that matter. I’ve read collections of non-fiction essays by Kurt Vonnegut, Ann Patchett, and Anna Quindlen, but that’s not really the same thing, is it? As you can imagine, it’s tough to pick a title for a never-conceived (never mind nonexistent) autobiography, but how about this: Learning to Drive.

I turned forty-five last month and while I haven’t yet succumbed to a full-blown mid-life crisis, the somewhat momentous number did get me thinking about how far I’ve come and how far I’ve yet to go. Much of my life’s journey has been the result of following the path of least resistance. It’s only in the last decade or so that I’ve actually begun to “take the wheel,” as they say, and learn how to become the driving force in my own life. I would hazard a guess that I’m not the only one to wake up one morning wondering, “How the hell did I get here?!?” As David Byrne said, “This is not my beautiful life.” So Learning to Drive would be an apt title to chronicle my journey towards a more intentional and self-aware life. I’m still working on it.

dll2013Deborah Lee Luskin: It would be a memoir, not an autobiography, and would be about living in place, since where I am (literally and figuratively) seems most important to who I am. But would it interest anyone else? Ah, there’s the rub!

11 thoughts on “Friday Fun — Your Autobiography

  1. I must admit, I’ve thought about writing a fictionalized autobiography — you know, changing the names to protect the not-so-innocent and weaving a moral into the mix. But I suppose most novel writers do just that, capturing some aspect of their lives in story form. We write what we know, right? For years, I wrote nothing but our family’s yearly Christmas newsletter, which has garnered me compliments including “You should write a book.” If I wrote a true autobiography, I would use my Christmas letters as my backdrop and title the book Reading Between the Letters (imagine that in italics, as the comment box doesn’t permit me to type it that way). I just might write it — so nobody steal my idea. 🙂

  2. What an interesting question. The first title that comes to mind is Abide. This word has been near to my heart for a long time. I have lived in many different cities and homes, and my heart always longs for travel. Wherever I live and visit, my heart, mind and soul abide in the same body, and I challenge myself to quiet the restlessness and the change around and within me with this truth.

  3. if i’m going to write a memoir it would have a title like: Dodging the bullets – or something like that. it would be about living a million lives, having been to hell and back and survived, full of scars but nonetheless alive and the core still intact.

    perhaps i would write an autobiography as well about the romantic/amorous aspect of living a million lives and will call it: fragments of forever. how’s that?

  4. “Where The Dump Trucks Lived” – I grew up in Southeastern Queens, NY, right down the street from a cement manufacturing yard. “A Yankee in The Oldest City” would be good,too – since I relocated to St. Augustine 13 years ago…lots of different ideas for a title to my autobiography.

  5. I did write a sort of autobiography, but not for publication, I value my freedom too much. However, that manuscript did seed at least three others, by taking a nugget, and then fictionalising and expanding upon it. I recently released one of them entitled ‘Heather’.
    If I had published that first one, I might have called it, ‘A Turn of The Hand’, as I seem to have been told so many times throughout my life, “You can turn your hand to anything.”

  6. I would write mine with a title such as “Panic Stricken”. I spent the first 25 years of my life as a stutterer. Who can possibly imagine the absolute terror of having to stand up in class and read from a book? To see the way people laugh at you or feel sorry for you, as if you are simple minded. How did I overcome this impairment of speech? I gave presentations on how it feels to be a stutterer and what stutterers do to minimize the agony of talking. I became so good at public speaking that eventually the stuttering mostly stopped. I say mostly, because even now in my twilight years, I occasionally lose the art of speaking without stumbling over a word. I also realized that communication is not just about the spoken word. I learned to write so I was able to convey my thoughts to my audience without fear of them turning away in embarrassment. I’ve written my first novel and I’m currently writing my 2nd, 3rd and 4th novels simultaneously!

  7. At 67, perhaps it’s time for me to write my autobiography – except that I can’t think of anything exceptional I’ve actually done. I seem to have spent most of my years bringing up our six children and teaching adolescents about geography. The word ‘harassed’ springs to mind, so perhaps I could call an autobiography, ‘Harassment with fun’! I can’t say my life hasn’t been enjoyable, and now I’m nearly finished my second HF novel. And that has definitely been enjoyable.

  8. I am presently writing both, Memoirs and Autobiography. Contrary to many writers above, I had a not-so-happy childhood living with a mom who loved me dearly ~ I don’t doubt it ~ but had strange ways to show it. Mom cut my wings since my youngest age. I grew up without being pushed toward my dreams ~ on the contrary, living encaged in a world (house) full of no-nos and don’ts, surrounded by my mom’s fears of everything, without the right to have friends or to go play outside. It was not a fun childhood. Will it be published? I don’t know but for the moment, it is a good “therapy” and even though it is painful at times, I kind of enjoy reliving my life and trying to find those little and rare moments of joy. My writer side would like to call this book “The Ink Stain”. Good title?????

    As for the Memoirs… yes I put an S… there will be several but might be written as novels as I had several violent or destructive encounters in my life, encounters that marked me profoundly and not positively ~ like a murder attempt on my little tiny person as recent as 6 years ago. Due to my small stature, I had been bullied a lot. So… What to say?

    Again… will they be published? I really don’t know but my friends want me to write them… they say it will make excellent movies and could be best sellers. 🙂 I will start by the writing and will see how it goes.

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