Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, April 04, 2008

Your Life in Six Words

Legend claims that Ernest Hemingway started the six-word novel/memoir craze with For sale: baby shoes, never worn. If the part about him considering it his best work is true, I’d tend to agree. But this isn’t a blog about how much I dislike Hemingway; it’s a blog about the addictiveness of the six-word phenomena. (Also it’s a sneaky way to get other people – like you! – to write my blog for me.)

In 2006 SMITH online magazine hosted a reader contest: Your life story in six words. The site was inundated with entries – 500+ a day, in fact. From this tidal wave of response came the bestselling book Not Quite What I was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. (Rachel Fershleiser & Larry Smith, editors. I just can not get the link to work, but you can find it on Amazon.) Three examples from the book:

Nobody cared, then they did. Why?
(Chuck Klosterman, award-winning journalist)
Cursed with cancer. Blessed by friends.
(Hannah Davies, nine-year-old leukemia patient)
Well, I thought it was funny.
(Stephen Colbert, TV personality, humorist)

Since then, many sites have asked their readers (famous and obscure) to post six-word memoirs or novels. One site asked sci-fi/fantasy writers for a futuristic novel in six words. My favorites:

The baby’s blood type? Human. Mostly.
(Orson Scott Card)
Steve ignores editor’s word limit and
(Steve Meretzsky)
Heaven falls. Details at eleven.
(Robert Jordan)

Choice Literacy got in on the act, polling authors who contribute to their site. My favorites:

Little bit Lucy, tempered by Ethel.
(Tami Maus)
It’s on my to do list.
(Mary Lee Hahn)

Since it’s spreading across the blogosphere now, and since I got tagged, I am hereby tagging all of you. You may write a novel or a memoir or both, but you must keep each to six words. No exceptions. (No, not even for DGW who has never written a mere six words about anything in his entire life.) I’ll expect 500 entries (at least) by the end of the day.


At 4/04/2008 12:12 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Having written that Ernest Hemingway started the craze, I'm wondering now if it didn't start earlier -- much, much earlier. Plutarch, after all, attributes this "six-word memoir" to Julius Caesar:

I came. I saw. I conquered.

Of course, due to the marvel of ancient Latin, Julius said it all in only three words: Veni vidi vici.

Beat that.

At 4/04/2008 12:12 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

Kids still alive by bedtime. Miraculous . . .

At 4/04/2008 2:02 PM, Blogger Karlene said...

And then there was that one old guy who said, "To be or not to be..." which sort of sums up everyone's life story.

Lately, mine would have to be:

Was I supposed to do that?

At 4/04/2008 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why baseball? Because some must suffer.

Doctor, is it mutant? No, Razerback.

Kerry Blair's blood type? Baseball. Mostly.

Razorbacks win. Details on the food channel.

Raising Arizona? Too hot. No daylightsavingstime.

Kerry's test results? No pulse, doctor.

Counted any blessing lately? Kerry Blair.

David G. Woolley

PS: Kerry, did you read the comments to Julie Coulter Bellon's blog about referees? I think Julie deserves a medal of honor. Unless, of course, they have red cards in Volleyball!

At 4/04/2008 2:51 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

What's all this about a deadline?

At 4/04/2008 3:15 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

Jon's Bio:
Awoke. Got up. Fell asleep. Repeat.

Novel (courtesy of TMBG)

What's that blue thing doing there?

More attempts to up Kerry's numbers:
Secret Weapon? Not so secret anymore.

My love, forever; till death... Oops!

You want a SASE?!? *pulls trigger*

P.S. "This song's just six words long" (Weird Al, making fun of George Harrison)

At 4/04/2008 6:38 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Those are pretty good! Thanks.

We're still about 483 short however...

At 4/04/2008 8:22 PM, Blogger jill said...

Wake. Feed. Play. Learn. Laugh. Sleep.

At 4/04/2008 11:51 PM, Blogger brandt said...

I'm cheating and taking 3

1. I swear, I can explain it

2. Honestly, where do these people come from?

3. I have a meeting. Yes, again.

At 4/05/2008 12:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Six words tonight? I'm too tired.

Only for you would I do this, Kerry.


At 4/05/2008 8:12 AM, Blogger Cheri J. Crane said...

Time for a Chili's moment now!

At 4/09/2008 11:03 AM, Blogger Danyelle F. said...

Addicted to reading, writing. Loves family.

Wanted: Hot Guy, must love books.

Potty training? Invest in carpet cleaners.

At 4/11/2008 12:14 AM, Anonymous Grace & Biggie's Dad said...

this is more of a biography/timeline than a memoir & a bit boring (and I'm still alive):

Born. Ate. Slept. Worked. Married. Died.

My wife came up with a better one :)

Very bad choices, except my wife.


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