Funny Memoir Project

My evil friend, as I was telling a story yesterday, suggested I should write a memoir. I argued that I get too stuck on all the bad stuff, which she said was the point of reading memoir, but another friend suggested the slightly different angle of humorous, self-deprecating episodic memoir in the vein of Jenny Lawson or David Sedaris.

That’s much more up my alley, and I found myself actually thinking about it as I lay in bed last night, despite already having as many projects as I can write in the next ten years already.

Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I thought I’d make notes about some of the possible stories that sprung to mind.

* marks outdoor adventures. ** marks travel stories. Bold are the best stories.

  • The illegal swim**
  • Eat that vein*
  • The Sandblaster and dune buggy rollover*
  • Backpacking in Canada in November*
  • Wanna Dive*
  • Mediterranean cruise on a ship with no sail*
  • Frozen water bottle at Joshua Tree*
  • Weirdo at horse camp*
  • Kansas City road trip**
  • Kahurangi backpacking*
  • Water heater explosion
  • Band camp
  • Egypt**
  • They call me Strings*
  • Camping next to the katana wielding felons*
  • Two a.m. siren in a New Zealand beach town**
  • “We’re so fucking lost” backpacking trip*
  • Inviting ourselves to camp of the howlers*
  • Woman popping out of the river into our campsite*
  • Bear doing the lakeside tour in Yosemite*
  • Photography camp
  • Poetry camp
  • Winning a nerd-off contest
  • One Teva Down*
  • Hiking Mt Tam in a day*
  • North Cascades bear cam*
  • Fiji vacation**
  • 4th of July at type 2 waterfront
  • Olympic National Park in July*
  • 30th bday backpack*
  • Hiking in to Goldmyer*
  • Long weekend in New Zealand*
  • South Island road trip*
  • Northern tip of New Zealand**
  • Kaikoura marae and the dolphin dive**
  • Halloween hotel and the brunch meltdown**

Phases in my life I could probably turn into a story:

  • Band Mom
  • Cats from hell
  • National Park internships*
  • Pen pal competition / “the friend tree”
  • Montana “study abroad”*
  • Roommate opposites: OC and the Jesus battle
  • Living in the crew girls’ attic
  • Cross country and Coach
  • Middle school excursions with Hannah
  • Mud Magnet*

Some possible kind of title themes I could stew on more:

  • Stupid ways I could have died in the woods, and other fun excursions
  • Why do I like backpacking again? And other fun adventures
  • Woman vs Wild: misadventures in the not-so-great outdoors
  • Outdoorsy: a suburban girl with adventurous aspirations
  • Unprepared: tales of mutual suffering in the not-so-great outdoors

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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