Tuesday
Apr222014

Baby Shoes

Hemingway (far left) and friends at the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan

A friend of Mrs. G's told her an interesting anecdote about Ernest Hemingway, the literary legend, and his prowess as a word slinger. 

Let's set the scene according to a secondhand witness:

"More than thirty years ago, at the beginning of my career, I had lunch with a well-established newspaper syndicator who told me the following story: Ernest Hemingway was lunching at the Algonquin, sitting at the famous "round table" with several writers, claiming he could write a six-word-long short story. The other writers balked. Hemingway told them to ante up ten dollars each. If he was wrong, he would match it; if he was right, he would keep the pot. He quickly wrote six words on a napkin and passed it around. The words were "For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn." Hemingway won the bet: His short story was complete. It had a beginning, middle and end."


Mrs. G. thought it would be engaging and compelling for us to try writing our own six-word-long short stories. They can be based on your life or pulled from thin air. The only rules are to use just six words and carve out a complete story with a beginning, middle and end. You can enter three if you like.

Mrs. G. will add hers in the comments but, trust her, this is not an easy assignment. She jotted down a few potential stories this morning and in her mind, all of them fell short. It made her irritable and argumentative when she did yard work all afternoon. She cursed daffodils and foxgloves, and mocked a few aggressively cheerful red tulips. But let's face it, she can be this way.

 

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Reader Comments (59)

Saturday Visits, Bunk Beds, Divorced Dad.

Loyal Friend, Slips Away, Good Dog.

Sugar Cookies, Buttery Crisp, Plate Empty.

April 22, 2014 | Registered CommenterMrs. G.

This quickly comes to mind:

It all happened on Tuesday: NOTHING.

But that seems like cheating, eh wot? So let's try another:

Lost my cat, got the blues.

Or another:

Bagels for breakfast... lunch and dinner!
(true story! I baked them yesterday and they are good)

And how about one more, a true spring HORROR STORY:

Snow melted but it snowed again.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentergary rith

When's Spring?...it's here....so happy

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTrudy

Springtime, mulch gardens, bleeding hearts flowering.
Swordfish, fresh asparagus, grill, plates clean!
Wake up, on-line order, at bench.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJennie

Only daughter, caring for Mom, death.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChrisinNY

Mom sick, chicken soup, all better!

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArli

Had a baby. He grew up.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJenC

Youth and speed, service held tomorrow.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNot Beehive

Camp flirtation,sixteen years later; marriage.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbramble

These are amazing and poignant and beautiful! Some of you are giving Ernest a run for his money. Thank you for sharing them.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermrs.g.

His life, lived; ended too soon.

Twenty-one years ago today, gave birth!

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLizzie

Dump the trash, kid. I'm gone.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Snow

This is from the "Godfather", so obviously not my own.....
"Leave the gun, take the cannoli."

Mine...
"Margaret happily spent her birthday alone."

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermolly

I suppose you could summarize other works in six words. Here's Raymond Chandler's "The Big Sleep":

Husband killed by sister. Dad's fault.

or Harry Potter:

Wizard hates magic kid. He loses.

Gone With the Wind:

War, death. But bitch keeps Tara.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Snow

Phone rings. Can I come home?

New clothes. School starts. Teacher smiles.

Parched. Lost. Hungry. Animal circling. Bang.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterUse Wisdom

She realized the baby wasn't hers.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

Wow, these are great!

Here's my attempt-

They met. They married. She settled.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelley

Blind love, blinders off, stopped hiding.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrandy

Farm, long winding road, forever lost.

Farm, long run, once here,gone.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermeredith@whynot

Love, once there, is no longer.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Watching her leaving without me. Again.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

He left, kids stayed, I win.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteralison

Gave in, got dog, cats unimpressed.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteralison

Stuck in traffic. Forgot my book.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRainbow Motel

Sick. Making soup. Noodles or rice?

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersw

You guys are SO good, these are amazing.

Oof. This is hard. Hemingway is clearly a master. Here we go:
Feeling sick -why now? I'm pregnant!

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLori K

CONGRATS LORI!

April 22, 2014 | Registered CommenterMrs. G.

Congratulations, Lori!

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteralison

Memory leaves, then returns, love rekindled.

What fun this is.
Thanks Mrs. G.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlbug

Congrats Lori!

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelley

Sad days behind, all joy ahead.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSaraspunza

Woohoo Lori! A new Derf baby.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentertrash

State testing stole love of learning.
More of an introverted homeschool thesis than a story. But true.
How about: Tiny bud braved snow, bloomed briefly.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMiri

Ooh, these are good. I'm completely stumped.

Congratulations Lori!

Thanks Mrs. G. for kindly making me blog o' the week. You salvaged a rather dismal day.

Hey, that's 6 words!

You salvaged a rather dismal day.

First half, all theirs. Now me.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercardinal

daughter,wife, divorcee, wife, widow, wife.

a life that should have been simple got quite complicated. but finally happy. or content.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAngAK

These are great! I'm not even attempting.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGail

These might be my favorite comments in the history of this blog. Six words CAN be a story. Thanks all!

April 22, 2014 | Registered CommenterMrs. G.

American mom. Japanese family. Definitely interesting.

In Japan. Teaching English. Yeah.......right.

congrats to Lori!! Fun to come!

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterdebKuroiwa

In my defense, he looked older.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkate in MI

This might have to become a regular feature with different subjects--food, sex, work

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. G.

Easter chocolate, ate it, none left.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda C in Seattle

dear Kate...i spewed coffee. HA!!

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterdebKuroiwa

Daughter drifting, many worries, gray hairs.

Granddaughter smiles, troubles lifted, heart melts.

Generation gaps: don't share, facebook posts.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Back seat. Kiss. Gone. Single mom.

(I have teenage daughters. Can you tell?)

p.s. "but bitch keeps Tara" gets my vote! Haaaaa!

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentershrink on the couch

Your friend has three months left.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNacCrackHouse

Drugs suck. Too young to die.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Here's one for my nephew and his wife:

Fertility woes, success at last, twins!

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter1Les

Early alarm, hectic day, bed early.

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlauri

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