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Can you write a six word memoir?



shadow
shadow
March 31, 2010
I'm not into texting or Twitter or any of those snippet-type forms of communication that are so popular these days, but I do admire what limitations can do to make words more meaningful.

I'm an impatient person and with each passing day my "get to the point" attitude grows. It's an attitude I cop with myself the most.

When I write for pleasure, it almost always ends up as poetry...not because I love flowery words or rhyme structures, but because it's concise. I can glance at an entry from three years ago and immediately grasp the gist of the subject or the mood I was in when I penned it. As for the few short stories I've started or semi-essays I've saved, I read a sentence or two and think "where was I going with this?" or "can I be any more dorky?"

Needless to say, the phenomenon that is the 'six word memoir,' makes my already-jittery heart beat even faster.

My life...summed up in six words? In this writer's mind, that's equivalent to sky diving or bungee jumping—it's risky, lightning-fast, but rather thrilling if done right. You have to pack meaning into a handful of words or rather choose words that are ripe with meaning. Like a good poem, those six words can either delightfully describe you or leave a delectable hint of mystery.

Reading others' mini-memoirs (compiled in books 'Not Quite What I Was Planning' and others) or hearing them (NPR took on-air submissions recently), rivals the most clever greeting cards.

I recognize red flags faster, now.

and

Anything's possible with an extension cord.

and

Never liked the taste of beets.

and

I still make coffee for two.

Then there are the universal ones that make me admire how others view this crazy world—

Birth, life, death, interspersed by lunches.

and

Opened my eyes.

Changing the world.

My scribblings have a theme that seems appropriate and make me feel like I'm turning into my grandpa.

Can't deny love of the land.

and

Cultivating witty words and fabulous flowers. (Strictly matter of opinion on both claims, I know)

and

Comfortable in backwoods I once despised.

and

Dirt, deadlines,dinner define my days.

Find a half dozen words that define you and start scribbling. If you're brave enough, please share. I'd love to know what your story is.

Contact Maria at mbrown@pageone-inc.com.

Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.
Castle Creek
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