This is my personal blog, on which I talk about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy. Some topics are serious, others whimsical. I love comments and questions so don't be shy, just courteous, even if you don't agree with me. I have another blog, The Story Template, on which I post writing-related topics on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Let's see, a bit about me... I'm married with two children, and spend much time taking care of our family. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research. I am a Christian who came to faith under protest through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. I also have written a nonfiction book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This book is a programmed learner-type book that helps you, the writer, develop a complete compelling story (novel or screenplay) from a vague idea.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mom's Stories Told in Six Words

In the 1920s Ernest Hemmingway was offered a bet. Write a full story in just six words. He won the bet with: “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

A few years back, inspired by this story, Smith, an online magazine, challenged its readers to submit their life story in just six words.

Reader submissions poured in and before long, a collection of six-word memoirs was published. “Not Quite What I Was Planning” was full of poignant, funny, sad, and moving short – very short pieces. Smith published several more versions, which included the work of well known authors, artists, musicians, as well as unknown people. Some favorites: “MISSING: One backbone. Reward if found.” “Internal compass spinning, mid-life crash imminent.” “Love my cake. Eat it too.”

A new phenomenon was born. Soon everyone was trying to sum up their lives in just six words.

Can we be honest? The mother of the six-word memoir is, in fact, mothers. We have been speaking in six-word phrases since long before Ernest Hemmingway or Smith magazine. Somehow we missed our opportunity for a book deal.

Take for example, the time honored, “Don’t make me stop this car.” Or “Were you born in a barn?” Six words each.

It’s time we take the credit we’re due. Here’s a list of some of the six-word memoirs coined by moms. Each one stands alone as its own story. And together they are a collective story that mothers everywhere share:

Where did you last see it?

Put that down. Wash your hands.

Does anyone know how to flush?

Am I talking to a wall?

Did anyone feed the dog today?

I don’t care who started it.

No means no. Don’t ask again.

Who left the milk carton out?

Not until your laundry’s put away.

Let your brother play with you.

Santa won’t come until you’re asleep.

Clean up this mess. Right now!

Find a different place to sit.

(from an email sent to me by Claire).

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