Mary Jo here. Are you familiar with the six word story? Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was sitting in a bar (naturally!) when he was challenged to tell a complete story in as few words as possible. He replied:
For sale. Baby shoes, never worn.
And there it is–a poignant six word story of hope and loss.
More recently, the idea of a six word memoir has been crystallized by Larry Smith in the Smith Magazine , an online publication devoted to populist story telling. Everyone is invited to participate. The tagline on the homepage of the website is a neat six words:
"Everyone has a story. What's yours?"
I'd come across the six word story idea before, but didn't think a lot about it until I impulsively bought a sale e-copy of It All Changed in an Instant, a collection of six word memoirs. I started reading the volume over lunch, and really, these are addictive as potato chips! Here are some I particularly enjoyed; look at the breadth of stories and emotions, humor and regret, dreams and reality!:
"Master of none; okay with that." (Carmen McGee)
"No longer youngest daughter. Youngest son." (Adrien Arnao)
"I turned eleven. No Hogwarts letter." (Laura Murray)
"Unraveled career, reknitted as baby blankets." (Clare Hobba)
"Smart girl wants love, gets dog." (Kathryn Horning)
"Married Russian. Brush teeth with vodka." (Curt Brandao)
"Made weird children–will die proud." (Rachel Pealer)
"Straight-A student, now flunking judgment." (Miranda Kaplan)
"Caring for critters saved my sanity." (Kelly Meister)
"Born with big nose. Pursued comedy." (Andy Borowitz)
"Ten years, 100,000 dollars; indentured MD." (Andrea Skaggs)
See what I mean about addictive? I could go on and on except that at some point it would become plagiarism!
Now I want to encourage you to write and share six word memoirs of your own. When I thought about my life memoir, I almost immediately came up with:
Loved to read, decided to write.
And here I am. <G>
Larry Smith and his co-editor, Rachel Ferschleiser, have published several collections of six word memoirs, including Not Quite What I was Planning, Six Word Memoirs of Love and Heartbreak, and I Can't Keep My Own Secrets–Six Word Memoirs by Teens.
(If you'd like to buy one, Not Quite What I Was Planning is priced at $2.99 for the Kindle edition. )
I thought about a six word summary of my romantic life, and came up with:
Luckily I like smart, nice guys.
I also thought about pets:
So what are your stories? Please share!