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Preview — Not Quite What I Was Planning by Larry Smith
Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure (Six-Word Memoirs)
When Ernest Hemingway famously wrote, "For Sale: baby shoes, never worn," he proved that an entire story can be told using a half-dozen words. When the online storytelling magazine SMITH asked readers to submit six-word memoirs, they proved a...more
A little rough around the edges.
My conscience: brought to you by…
Dear mom, how is your cell?
I love god. Love me more.
I wonder what my cat’s doing.
What’s broken can always be rebuilt.
I am not quite there yet.
Would you like fries with that?
When do I get to leave?
Homesick for somewhere I’ve never been.
Wherever I go, fun follow me.
Milk in a cup of oil.
But I'm excited to be in it, right after Myfanwy Collins (...more
And for all you wise-crackers out there - that's my review of the book, not my own six-word memoir.
Smith magazine, inspired by Hemingway's six-word story "For Sale: baby shoes, never worn" invited its readers to submit their own six-word memoirs. The results were published in this book, along with some submissions by famous writers and celebrities.
Here are some that I liked:
Couldn't cope so I wrote songs. Aimee Mann
Would you like fries with that? Scott Northrup
Being a monk stunk. Better gay.
Happiest when ignoring huge financial debt.
Lived in moment until moment sucked.
Nothing profound, I just sat around.
It was embarrassing, so don't ask.
Thought I would have more impact.
Can't tonight, watching Law & Order.
Anything possible - but I was tired.
Rebel librarian on sabbatical from boys.
Each story is completely different some are about relationships while so...more
"I asked. They answered. I wrote." --Sebastian Junger
"The psychic said I'd be richer." --Elizabeth Bernstein
"I thought I was someone else." --Tysa Goodrich
"Happiness is a warm salami sandwich." --Stanley Bing
"I'm enjoying even this downward dance." --Column McCann
"Dad died, mom crazy, me too." --Moby
"Fight, work, persevere--gain slight notoriety." --Harvey Pekar
"Mushrooms. Clowns. Wands. Five. Wig. Thatched." --Amy Sedaris
Seriously, this book is a wreck. It's 219 pages of roughly 5 entries per page -- and almost all are inside-jokes-sorta and/or blatant attempts to be profound and artsy. When I closed the back cover, I felt more like I'd gained nothing than after any book I've ever read.
Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write a story in six words. "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
In 2006, Smith Magazine offered to its readers the opportinuty to write a six-word memoir. This book contains some ot the entries they received.
Cursed by cancer. Blessed by friends.
I was born, some assembly required.
Creative and destructive in many ways.
On her birthday, my life began.
We walked barefoot in wet cement.
I wrote it all do...more
Palindromic novels fall apart halfway through.
I will never be quite finished.
Without me, it's just aweso.
The psychic said I'd be richer.
Semicolons; I use them to excess.
Followed Yellow Brick Road, Disappointment ensued.
I wrote it all down somewhere....more
She walked barefoot in wet cement
My life's a bunch of almosts
Fact checker by day, liar by night
After reading this you won't be able to resist writing your own and your friends' six wo...more
Larry Smith has done it. He has put together a book that can get many readers to express their emotions. He has taken famous writer's personal thoughts on their life and turned them into something extraordinary. Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure will help you see the way writers come up with many of their stories. It will also show you how hard an author's life can actually be....moreNot Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscur
“Take six and call me later” It’s amazing how six words can make you smile, cry and ponder. Sitting at the diner counter and reading these small memoirs I started to notice it didn’t matter if I knew who the famous or obscure writers were…I could connect with a lot of the quotes on many levels. It became so apparent to me that six simple words could describe so many of my own experiences, and motivate me to express myself with six words. I...more
in insignificant details. Page: 50
Six words; that is all it took for people to express how they felt about their lives, what summed up their lives. They did this with six words; they couldn’t describe anything over six words because it wouldn’t be the Six-Word Memories if the word count went over six. I have never read anything like this; I was surprised and intrigued. I had moments of laughter, moments of sadness and moments of confusion. There was so much emotion held in...more
I enjoyed it. Some of the memoirs are funny; some are tragic.
Great examples of a few found in book:
"Soul'd out so I could prophet"
"Born Free, but lost my Country."
"Followed white rabbit. Became black sheep."
"Painful nerd kid. Happy nerd adult."
"Took scenic route, got in late."
It's completely addicting. Watch out, you may find yourself writing your own 6 word memoirs incessantly; as I have.
The stories are funny, thoughtful, thoughtless, heart-breaking, confusing, all condensed down to the bare bones. It's amazing how much you can reveal in only 6 words!
Some of my favourites were:
I still make coffee for two. -Zak Nelson
Followed white rabbit. Became black sheep. -Gabrielle Maconi
Found true love, married someone else. -Bjorn Stromberg
Came, saw, conquered, had second thoughts. -Harold Ramis
I coloured outside of th...more
But yes, I loved this. It was fun both to see certain themes (Coffee? Tequila?) as well as some names I recognized (Diana Welch, Nora Ephron.) I like how much people can reveal of themselves in only six words. I think that's truly beautiful. Anyway, I took a class on this actually, and I have to say that the concept has not lost any of its funness for me. I...more
I wrote down a few dozen (!!) favorites, but here's the one that rose to the top:
I live the perfect imperfect life.
Learned everything from words, pictures, love.
Put whole self in, shook about.
Fearlessness is the mother of reinvention.
We were each other's...more
My favorites from the book:
"abc's, mtv, sat, thc, ira, npr"-Jancee Dunn
"Adopted? Are you f-ing sh#$ing me?"- Darius Logan.
Mine for myself...
"Social worker both passionate and fatigued"
Mine for my husband....more
Some of my faves:
"Born free, but lost my country."
"Followed rules, not dreams. Never again."
"My spiritual path is 100 proof."
"I hope to outlive my regrets."
"Happiness is a warm salami sandwich."
"My life's a bunch of almosts."
"I couldn't possibly fuck him again."
"We were our own Springer episode."
"Full of tequila and bad ideas."
"Must remember: people, gadgets. Th...more
After Harvard, had baby with crackhead.
Savior complex makes for many disappointments.
Fifteen years since last professional haircut.
She said she was negative. Damn.
Mom died, Dad screwed us over.
- Lesley Kysely
The psychic said I'd be richer.
- Elizabeth Bernstein
I had my students do an assignment centered around this book and had them submit their 6 word memoirs online. One of them is also being considered for publication!
More than 200,000 people have submitted Six-Word Memoirs at SMITH Magazine (smithmag.net) and its younger cousin, SMITH Teens (smithteens.com). Thanks to the devoted admiration of writers, critics
and educators alike, the six-word memoir concept has spread to classroom...more