Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Life in 6 Words

June 28th 2007


In the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway bet ten dollars that he could write a complete story in just six words. He wrote: "For Sale: baby shoes, never worn." He won the bet.

Now an online magazine is asking its readers to sum up their own lives in just six words.

Smith, the American online magazine, has used the Hemingway anecdote to inspire its readers to write their life story in just six words, culminating in a book of the best contributions, entitled "Not Quite What I Was Planning". We interviewed magazine editor, Larry Smith, what made him think of the idea.

audio iconListen to the interview


Already hundreds of you have emailed your own ideas about how to sum up a life in just six words. Below are just a few of them. You can also submit your writing to Smith magazine, which is already working on a second collection.

I knew I could be happy!
Sandra Quigley

Foetus, son, brother, husband, father, vegetable.
Dick Hadfield

Head in books, feet in flowers.
Heather Thomson

Trust me, I did my best.
Ray Kemp

Wrong era ,Wrong Class, Wrong Gender.
Patsy Wheatcroft

Love Mountains both ups and downs.
Dennis Lee

Wasted my whole life getting comfortable.
Richard Merrington

An embroidered sampler, with some unpicking.
Sian Martin

Worry about tomorrow, rarely enjoy today!
Richard Rabone

Dazed and confused? No. Existential angst.
Chris Miles

Pass the bottle before clarity returns
Gail Edmans

Luckily, never got my first wish.
Theo Matoff

Lifetime partner, love, laughs - what now?
Peter Elvish

I'm just happy to be here!
Graham Marsh

Four Weddings, Three kids, then cancer.
Gillian Johnson

Intermitent loves here, there, now, then.
Paul Wingett

30 years two girls now branching.
Davina Marshall

Not quite finished, tell you later.
Dave Nicholson

Really should have been a Lawyer.
Gules Fallan

Hasn't Been A Jane Austen Romance.
Alexandra Lackey

Bored, so bored, so very bored.
John Doyle

Run over twice, thankfully still alive.
Trudi Evans

Aged child actress still seeking fame.

Married childhood sweetheart. Two kids. Content.
Steve McMullen

Born London, lived elsewhere, died inside.

Partner, pension, motorhome, life is good.
Bob Lindblom

Some no-balls but several boundaries.
Di Attwood

Apple leads to eviction of two.
Una McMorran

Unfortunately I didn't buy the t-shirt.
Caroline Ryan

Philosopher, fire-eater, barrister, careering through life.
Duncan Roy

My life? Six words? God knows.
Helen Underwood

Knight on white charger never showed.
Jane Kirk

No A Levels but a millionaire.
C North

Jennie, Emma, Jane, Sophie, Rose, happiness.
Peter Graham

Any chance I could start again?
Sunny Tailor

Lived, loved, laughed liberally and left.
Vince Horsman

Found it, Lost it, Found it.
Lucinda Lavelle

Worked all life still paying taxes.
John Ball

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