Saturday, February 16, 2008

My life! What a mess! Sigh!

An online magazine just published a book, Not Quite What I Was Planning. More than a year ago, they had challenged their readers to write their life story in six words. More than 15,000 did, and 832 of these life stories are in this book.

Apparently, the inspiration for this was Ernest Hemingway who is supposed to have written a six-word story:

“For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.”

He called it his best piece of work.


Hemingway could get away with it. Once these authors become famous, they can write any nonsense and it will pass off as masterpiece. Readers will find some hidden meaning and deep insights.

I have heard about an incident that happened in one of those Kavi Sammelans. A famous poet took out a piece of paper from his pocket and read out in a lyrical tone,

Poet : “Ek Kurta”
Audience : “Wah, Wah”
Poet : “Do Pyjama”
Audience : “Wah Wah”
Poet: “Ek Kurta, Do Pyjama, Teen Banian.”
Audience : “Wah, Wah”
Poet : “Oops, sorry, that was my laundry list. Here’s the poem…..”

So, if you can somehow become famous, then the halo effect will take over. Even your laundry list will be conferred the status of poetry. Same with this Hemingway story.

Last year, Wired magazine had invited a few sci-fi authors and writers to come up with their own six-word stories. Here’s the article. I liked these short stories

"Failed SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket."- William Shatner
"Automobile warranty expires. So does engine".- Stan Lee
"Epitaph: Foolish humans, never escaped Earth".- Vernor Vinge
"Computer, did we bring batteries? Computer?"- Eileen Gunn
"Dinosaurs return. Want their oil back".- David Brin
"Steve ignores editor's word limit and"- Steven Meretzky

Want to give it a try? If you can come up with six word stories, send them across to me. I promise to read them.


Anonymous said...

Six word stories don't make sense. Or does it become a seven word story because don't is actually do not.

Unknown said...

dies publishing wifes photo in blog

Usha said...

Too many words for my life!


Gad, that IS Hemingway's best story.

I mean, WHY were they never worn.

Twas the infant born without feet?
Were its feet HUGE?
Perhaps it was Rosmary's Baby's younger sibling?

Stay on groovin' safari,

Lalita said...

Your post title is perfect, Raj. We dare not compete, sigh.

Anonymous said...

Here are my sixers ! and six of them ..

six foot body, six word life.

On your mark, set,ready.. BANG !!

Full Stop is not a word.

Recycled body , recycled mind , lost self.

Hung life ? press CTRL-ALT-DEL

Keep running, to remain where you're.

Raj said...

sankar, at least Hemingway's doesn't.

sundar, stories of your death are highly exaggerated, I can see.

usha, how about this " Adding one floor? That's another storey".

Tor, yes, at least the story had only six words...

Lalita, doesn't the title sound like one of those cryptic clues? Maybe, there lurks an anagram.

jayan, you are in the same league as Sobers, Shastri and Yuvraj. Congrats.

Anonymous said...

Pure Cane Sugar. Extra Wide Hips.