Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure” as Want to Read:
Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure (Six-Word Memoirs)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  2,972 Ratings  ·  423 Reviews
Deceptively simple and surprisingly addictive, Not Quite What I Was Planning is a thousand glimpses of humanity--six words at a time.One Life. Six Words. What's Yours?When 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-wo ...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published February 5th 2008 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published February 1st 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Not Quite What I Was Planning, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Not Quite What I Was Planning

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Richard Derus
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 3.75* of five

My Review: Deceptively simple and surprisingly addictive, Not Quite What I Was Planning is a thousand glimpses of humanity—six words at a time.
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 whole, real life can be told this way, too. The results are fascinating, hilarious, shocking,
...more
Melki
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, wordplay
During NaNoWriMo 2006, SMITH magazine issued a challenge - write a six-word memoir. From published writers, celebrities and undiscovered authors came the responses.

The stories they (briefly) told were philosophical:

"Afraid of everything. Did it anyway." Ayse Erginer
"Found great happiness in insignificant details." Alisdair McDiarmid
"Started small, grew, peaked, shrunk, vanished." George Saunders

Occasionally inspirational:

"Followed rules, not dreams. Never again." Margaret Hellerstein

Funny:

"Perpe
...more
Derek
Feb 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers
I love this book, if only because it makes me want to write a six-word memoir for my life. My junior American Studies students wrote their own:

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.
It’s n
...more
Emily
Apr 26, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
My attention span only lasts about five words these days, but when I work up to six, I'll give this a shot.
Valerie
Feb 15, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Kind of cute; got old quickly.

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

We
...more
Kirsti
I like that this collection mixes famous authors with unfamous ones.

"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

"Strug
...more
Kevin
This book comes out in January 08 but I just read the galley. And yes, it really is a collection of 6-word memoirs. About 1,000 of them. They're compulsive reading and many hold the mystery of a good haiku (but shorter!). The people at the great non-fiction web site, Smith Magazine put this together. To my surprise, I have one in here too (if you ask nicely I'll share it). I remember submitting it months ago but never heard back. Strange.
But I'm excited to be in it, right after Myfanwy Collins (
...more
Lisa
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: MeggieBree
Shelves: memoir
Thank you Meghann for recommending this book. I loooooved it. It is what it is: writers give their memoir in six words. Fabulous. I'll give you just ten of my faves:

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.
No sh
...more
jess
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
i love work that is driven by the method, not the material. this is often my biggest complaint about crafting books. well, this is definitely not a crafting book. however, it is decidedly driven by the method and not by the materials! challenging a bunch of writers *famous & not* to write their own memoirs in exactly six words, not quite what i was planning is a peek into the thousands of different ways people can tell their stories. i think that having some very strict rules and limits can ...more
Heather
WARNING- SOME ADULT LANGUAGE AND SUBJECT MATTER.

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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Found II: More of the Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World
  • Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See
  • The Secret Lives of Men and Women: A PostSecret Book
  • Passive Aggressive Notes: Painfully Polite and Hilariously Hostile Writings
  • The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers
  • The World's Shortest Stories
  • Mortified
  • Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices
  • Milk Eggs Vodka: Grocery Lists Lost and Found
  • I Never Metaphor I Didn't Like: A Comprehensive Compilation of History's Greatest Analogies, Metaphors, and Similes
  • Dear Old Love: Anonymous Notes to Former Crushes, Sweethearts, Husbands, Wives,   Ones That Got Away
  • No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row
  • Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life
  • Causing a Scene: Extraordinary Pranks in Ordinary Places with Improv Everywhere
  • Six-Figure Freelancing
  • The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide
  • Fires in the Mind: What Kids Can Tell Us about Motivation and Mastery
  • The Really Funny Thing About Apathy
Our book features nearly 1,000 six-word memoirs by famous folks, as well as unknown writers from SMITH Mag's storytelling community.

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
More about Larry Smith...

Other Books in the Series

Six-Word Memoirs (8 books)
  • I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous  Obscure
  • Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure
  • It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous  Obscure
  • One life. 6 words, what's yours? : six-word memoirs from Smith magazine
  • Oy! Only Six? Why Not More? Six-Word Memoirs on Jewish Life
  • Things Don't Have To Be Complicated: Illustrated Six-Word Memoirs by Students Making Sense of the World (TED Books)
  • Six Words About Work
“After your jump, the net appears. - Vincent Lauria” 6 likes
“I still make coffee for two. - Zak Nelson” 4 likes
More quotes…