A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.
Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.
The other day, I had the good fortune to hear about some new books from two representatives of Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop. If there’s one thing you know about me, it’s that I have an addiction to buying books. It is rare that I will enter a bookstore and leave empty-handed. For me, it is like walking into a kitchen and being faced with freshly baked brownies and cookies. I cannot resist!
Anyway, many good suggestions were made. One in particular made an impression and so I bought it. It’s a small book called Not Quite What I Was Planning. It is, simply, a collection of six-word memoirs. That’s right. I said SIX WORD MEMOIRS. You might be asking yourself, how can this be?
The answer is that it’s based on the legend that Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in six words. Here is what he wrote: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Wow. Pretty powerful stuff, isn’t it? And that’s the premise. It is possible to say a lot with very little. In fact, it’s even fun.
The book is chock-full of these gems. Here are a few:
“Liars, hysterectomy didn’t improve sex life!” – Joan Rivers
“I still make coffee for two.” – Zak Nelson
“Fifteen years since last professional haircut.” – Dave Eggers
“Nobody cared, then they did. Why?” – Chuck Klosterman
There are more…many more. Those are just a few from the back cover alone. The book has six-word memoirs from famous and unknown authors alike. Some are silly. Some are sad or poignant. Some are brilliant.
So like the cookies, brownies and this book, I couldn’t resist. I had to try it myself. My life summed up in six words. Let me tell you that this exercise truly illustrates that less is more…work that is. It’s easy to be verbose and very difficult to be concise and descriptive all at the same time.
And although I don't come close to Hemingway, here is mine: “Saw some stuff. Tried acting otherwise.” That’s it. I won’t explain it because it’s all there.
How about you, dear readers? Will you share your six-word memoir with me? Go ahead, right here in the comments. I promise it’s fun!
Oh and if you’re totally addicted, you can join Schwartz on Downer’s Six-Word Slam on April 25th. "Six words about you. Great fun!" (See! I did it again!)