Tag Archives: Not Quite What I Was Planning

Six-Word Memoir: The Write Life

It’s Saturday, time for The Write Life, an exploration of words and the nuts and bolts of the writing craft. Guest posts and comments are strongly encouraged.

Six-Word Memoir

 I continually break blogging’s cardinal rule about brevity.

 I tend to write long. (Not surprisingly, I have the same habit in my day job as reporter for the Columbia Daily Tribune. My editors sometimes need an axe and a cutting torch to trim my copy).

 For those of you who have longed for my long-form blogging to tighten up, Six-Word Memoir is for you. In fact, this one is for everyone. However, your participation and commenting is mandatory. I’m going to ask you to write a Six-Word Memoir and share it with the growing crowd that is Jackson’s Journal.

 Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

 I’m not sure I can come up with something so brilliant that paints a cornucopia of thoughts, images and mysteries. (On a side note, I’ve been dying to use the word “cornucopia” this week).

 This Six-Word Memoir is not an original idea. The online magazine Smith asked readers to write a six-word story of their own lives in a single sentence. That project birthed Not Quite What I Was Planning, a collection of six-word memoirs by writers, artists and musicians.

Larry Smith, founding editor of Smith magazine, and Rachel Fershleiser, Smith‘s memoir editor, offered their own contributions. Fershleiser’s Six-Word Memoir? Bespectacled, besneakered, read and ran around. And Smith’s: Big hair, big heart, big hurry. Some others: Almost a victim of my family; The psychic said I’d be richer; Mom died, Dad screwed us over; Painful nerd kid, happy nerd adult.

I’m giving you my three stories. Your assignment: write at least two six-word memoirs – one funny, one serious. If you can come up with three or more, you’ll get bonus points. If you can achieve both humorous and somberly serious in a single, six-word entry … well, the cornucopia of warm feelings you’ll have will be the best reward.

Ahem. My stories.

Stop? Ask for directions? Not me!

Apparently left owner’s manual in womb.

Was great, now fantabulous. I’m “Grandpa.”

(Grandpas are allowed to invent words).

Now …

Your turn.


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