Can a story be told in only six words? Consider these six. “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” This story has been attributed to Ernest Hemingway who it is said made a bet with friends that he could write a story using only six words. It is also said that he won that bet. There is considerable doubt as to the veracity of this Hemingway attribution, but nonetheless, it is indeed a very moving story –and very short story.
Recently, The New York Times has been asking people to write their own really short stories, or six-word memoirs, about their experiences during COVID and quarantine. In only six words, people have managed to depict our times and tell the story of the pandemic. Here are a few that they’ve collected:
- Cleaned Lysol container with Lysol wipe.
- Fall wardrobe refresh — three new masks.
- Tired of hearing, “Mark, you’re muted.”
- My dog loves having us home.
- Freedom comes through following the rules.
- Same earrings, six months, why change
- Apparently, rock bottom has a basement.
- I am smiling under this mask.
- Working from home. Bored. Lonely. Lucky.
- Stayed in, needed less, valued more.
What about you? If you were to write your six-word memoir right now, what would it be? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment if you are seeing this on social media, and I’ll share our MVCC memoirs in a future post. Here’s one that is a variation of a t-shirt that I bought for my son.
2020: less toilet paper, more Zoom