A Lifetime in Six Words
Remember those old contests when we were kids that asked us to write 25 words or less about, say, Jiffy Pop Popcorn, to win a prize? “I like Jiffy Pop Popcorn because it, ah, pops…”
In our age of hopeful simplicity, someone came up with the clever idea to distill our lifetimes into six word memoirs. Yes, six words and only six words. It sounds impossible, but it can be done, and done well.
Intrigued? Here are some examples:
- Revenge is living well, without you. ~~ Joyce Carol Oates (ouch!)
- Well, I thought it was funny. ~~ Stephen Colbert
- Never really finished anything, except cake. ~~ Carletta Perkins
- Born in California. Then nothing happened. ~~ Mark Harris
- Former child star seeks love, employment. ~~ Justin D. Taylor
The best mini-memoirs have been gathered together into a book entitled Not Quite What I was Planning. To see more entries and accompanying illustrations, click here.
Editor's Note (2.29.08): Boom This! readers came through big time when asked to come up with six word memoirs for themselves. Apparently, they weren’t stumped by the lack of words, something we writers should keep in mind.
Here are some of the readers’ entries:
- Life was annoying. So was I.
- Love much, laugh lots, embrace life.
- Was often wrong, but never uncertain.
- Flawed, yes, but she sure tried.
- Some people liked her, some didn't.
- Lived an average life uncommonly well.
- Only wanted chocolate, but ate veggies.
- Found love, longed for solo vacation.
- Died at the gym. Looked HOT!
- Not everyone appreciated her unique humor.
- Love. The rest is just details.
- My URGENT often outstrips my IMPORTANT.
- Mother of teens. Had no mind.
- Just don’t ask for an encore.
- It was a great learning experience.