Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Six-Word Autobiography

I'm taking a break from cleaning. I don't know about you, but nothing says "relaxing bank holiday weekend" like scrubbing the baseboards with a toothbrush. (I hasten to point out, this is a new toothbrush, purchased precisely for this purpose.)

During a chat with my dad on Friday, he reminded me of the six-word autobiography. Smith Magazine, inspired by the legend of Hemingway 'writing' the shortest short story ever, challenged people to send in an autobiography in six words. The best were collected and published in a book.

I first heard about this project last month on NPR's Talk of the Nation. I was intrigued, although I found it a nearly insurmountable task. Summarise my life in six words? Really? Do I have to count words like 'a' or 'the'?

At the time, I was at work and I know I scribbled a few things on a scrap of paper, but I can't remember what those words were or where the paper is now. So this is just off the top of my head:

How did I end up here? - I often wonder this, in a good way. My life has taken several strange twists and turns and I'm always curious about where I will end up next.

Always an aunt, never a mother. - That may just be the biological clock talking.

Falling in love changed my life. - True, but kind of generic. Still, it's hard to talk about my life without mentioning Peter.

From Irish American to American Irish. - Simple and right.

Punching the puncher since 1972. - Possibly my favourite, but I don't know if anyone else would get it.

How about you? Could you sum up your own life in six words? Feel free to have go, either in the comments or in your own blog.

Now, back to the baseboards, Cinderella.


At 16 March 2008 at 14:05, Blogger Kaycie said...

I've seen this before and I think yours are wonderful.

At 16 March 2008 at 14:10, Anonymous Noelle said...

I love the Irish American one. BTW, you really should check out my blogroll... I'll add yours, if you'd like. (This isn't a shameless plug, it's that I used 6 word descriptions for everyone.)

At 16 March 2008 at 14:18, Blogger laurie said...

you are scrubbing the baseboards, truly?

i think i have never done this.

your six-word bios are great. i've heard of this before and never tried it; it seemed too daunting.

but let's see:

Loves dogs more than most people.

Must write as I must breathe.

More an observer than a participant.

At 16 March 2008 at 16:00, Blogger Babaloo said...

Now, that isn't really my idea of a fun bank holiday weekend. Honestly. No thanks.
The 6 word autobiography is interesting. I'll have to think about that.

At 16 March 2008 at 16:28, Blogger Jan said...

I did this on my blog. What I came up with for me is:
Everything I've done, I'd do again.
In other words, No regrets.

At 17 March 2008 at 00:52, Blogger Sweet Irene said...

I should be scrubbing the bas boards and I am not kidding! Good idea to buy a tooth brush to do this with.

Sum my life up in six words?

A long hard road now easy!

How about that?

I am sure I will think of more and better ones now that you've got me thinking about this.

At 17 March 2008 at 04:45, Blogger ped crossing said...

I shall be pondering in the next day or so. I'll let you know what I come up with.

At 17 March 2008 at 06:03, Blogger Pamela said...

I'm mesmerized. Something to think about -- and I WILL!

At 17 March 2008 at 07:10, Blogger -Ann said...

Kaycie - Thanks. I'm really not great at being that succinct.

Noelle - Yes, please, blogroll away. And thanks for reminding me that I really need to do some spring cleaning on my own links. :)

Laurie - It's not something I do often, but you'd be surprised how much dust collects in those damn little ridges. Good bios, btw. I think it's one of those things that is best when you just dash it off the top of your head. If you think too hard, it becomes too daunting.

Babaloo - Yeah, well, I'm weird. I can only relax by doing things. :)

Jan - good one. I regret about 3 things in my life, which one day, might make a good blog post.

SI - Ah no, I think you should stop with the first one - it's very good.

PC - Looking forward to hearing it.

Pamela - Excellent. Will have to remember to stop by and check out your progress.


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