04 February 2009
I stumbled upon this marvelous little book, Not Quite What I Was Planning, a volume of concise and sometimes laconic stories that only have 6 words. One would think that limiting oneself to only 6 words would be constraining and impossible. But in fact the opposite is true. Much like a Haiku, the limited structure produces surprising brevity.
According to literary legend, Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His answer:
For sale: baby shoes, never worn.
Some of my favorites from the book...
Followed white rabbit. Became black sheep.
Thank God I lived through Vietnam.
(Captain John Irving)
So it goes a tad askew.
I colored outside the lines.
Ran away with circus; never returned.
Polka-dotted mayhem and decadent disasters.
It's like forever, only much shorter.
Saw the sky and started walking.
You can say a lot in six words.