Just when I think I've seen or heard everything, something new pops up on my radar. This week I stumbled across an idea that was something strangely unique:
Your life in a six-word memoir. Count them - only six words there. Then write paragraphs in six-word sentences. See how long you can go. It's an interesting exercise needing practice. Almost anyone can do it too. Once you start, you won't stop. But this paragraph will now end. Only six words, count them all.
Little did I know at the time there was a complete and well-developed genre for this kind of six-word exercise. Here's the web link to the original site where you'll find hundreds of examples in many categories of six-word expressions about nearly everything. Who knew?
So if you had to summarize your life to this point in six words, what would you say about yourself?
Here are some that jumped out at me for a variety of reasons, some serious, some funny, some whimsical, and some thought-provoking:
"Sharing smiles earning frequent happiness miles."
"Rediscovering why I married my wife."
"Happiness is an attitude of gratitude."
"Question that you would ask God?"
"Best advice for a new mother?"
"Could have used her advice today."
"America's naysayers outnumber the yes sayers."
"It's my home, I'll come back."
"This is America. Everything is improbable."
"Never thought I'd be this old."
"Have broken 6 Commandments, almost 7."
"Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow!"
"Pain is temporary, hope is forever."
"Never made headlines, only wrote them."
"What's old is new again tomorrow."
"He who writes first writes best."
"Moms really are the best advice-givers."
"Considered suicide, but dinner was ready."
"Misunderstood, suicide, drugs, now Jesus freak."
"Facebook members knowingly commit privacy suicide."
"I'm the hero of my story."
So hopefully you've found a new word game here that will test your powers of condensation. I've learned many times as a writer that it's always harder to condense than it is to expand. For those who struggle with their journal writing and their aborted attempts at putting together a life story, this might be a useful exercise in overcoming the writer's block. Take a few periods of your life and write the headlines in six words.
Here are examples from my life (in six words):
"Life, more sweet than bitter mostly."
"Son first, then husband, father, grandfather."
"England to be missionary, got converted."
"Vietnam my generation's war, now al-Qaeda."
"Being Dad best gift from Patsy."
"New president needed in America. Who?"
"Snowy Pine Valley, Spring always follows."
"Staying here until Thanksgiving, then out."
"Missing Christmas, white and quiet here."
"No inversion up here, down there."
"Looking back occasionally, still pointed forward."
"If you're done changing, you're done."
"Repentance daily, good soul food forever."
"Holy scriptures, holy temple, holy people."
"Holey shoes, holey socks, holey economy."
"Jobs aplently, but you look harder."
"Fire's warm, snow's falling, beauty's everywhere."
"Herman Cain, unnamed women from NRA?"
"I remember when NRA meant guns."
"Mitt Romney, whooda thunk it? Us?"
"Newt Gingrich, next anti-Romney in Iowa."
"Jon Huntsman, China was more friendly."
"Rick Perry, Texas meteor flame out."
"Michele Bachmann, pint-sized in tall timber."
"Ron Paul, here's your sign: 'Fed-up!'"
"Rick Santorum, once a better Senator."
"Barack Obama, Marx and Keynes? Yup."
"Second Coming? More signs every day."
"Fig leaf watch includes Independence, Jerusalem."
"Don't hold your breath, hold fast."
"Be patient until I come. Someday."
"Follow Brethren, they know the way."
"Today's post, all about six words."
Try it, you'll like it. . . too.