Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Six Words

Though apparently it's not clear whether the story is true, it's said that when Ernest Hemingway was challenged to create a six-word story, he wrote: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

Now, there's a book in which six-word memoirs collected by SMITH, an online storytelling magazine, have been published, called "Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure."
I was struck by two I read somewhere, authors unknown (to me): "All I ever wanted was more," and "Moments of Transcendence, intervals of yearning."

Inspired by these, I sent three topics for six-word stories to a friend and former colleague, Tim Small, who has started studying writing at the New School.
Here's what he came up with:

(On redemption)
Spilled food on lap of angel.

(On deception)
Marry me: I love your country.

(and on rebirth)
One hand left, picked up guitar.

Another six-word memoir in the book -- "They called. I answered. Wrong Number," reminded me of a story I heard recently from Randy Rosenthal, a sculptor here in NY whose lifelike wood carvings of things like the New York Times crossword page, or a yellow legal pad, bend the mind. He got a call recently asking if he would speak at a conference of toy designers, and was puzzled. Turns out they were looking for someone in Rhode Island named Randy Rosenbaum, and got his number instead. However, having Googled him after the brief conversation on the phone, they decided they wanted him instead. So it's off to a banquet hall full of toymakers he goes.

1 comment:

  1. These are spectacular! I think I'll try it with my high school students...

    Thanks for posting!


Spring rain in the railyard, Centralia, Washington