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I’m not known for my brevity, so today’s Writing Challenge is living up to its name.  Can I tell a story in just six sentences? We’ll see. But not today. Immediately, this challenge brought to mind the genius of Ernest Hemingway. As the story goes, “Papa” settled a bar bet with his writing colleagues by crafting a complete tale – beginning, middle, end –  in just six words:

  For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.

He proclaimed it his finest work, apparently, and it has inspired countless famous and lesser-known writers to try their hand. Perfectly concise, Not Quite What I Was Planning is a compilation of six-word stories that at once expand and contract all kinds of human experiences. I marvel at the skill of those who can so effectively pare down to its very essence the story of a life.

How does one craft a microscopic memoir? Being Hemingway helps. Distance from the experience, I imagine, helps too. So I will return to this challenge another day.

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