There are times when 1 picture is worth 1000 words …

There are times when 1 picture is worth 1000 words …

Day 241. Here’s Mine

“I LIVED.  I WROTE.  I REWROTE.”

The story of my life.  My epitaph.  My autobiography.  My six-word memoir.  Have you ever heard of six-word memoirs?  They’re the brainchild of Larry Smith, the co-founder wordsand editor-in-chief of the online publication, Smith Magazine.  The idea behind both the magazine and the memoirs is to provide a platform for storytelling, in all its forms.

It’s been said that Ernest Hemingway had once been asked to write a short story in just six words.  The result was:  “For sale:  baby shoes, never worn.”  Larry Smith was inspired by it.

So he decided to create his own version of the challenge.  And in November 2006, he and his colleagues at Continue reading

Day 116. Be Brutal

Pete Armetta has a WordPress blog I very much enjoy.  He’s a powerful writer of poetry, flash fiction, essays and short stories; and I’m always struck by how few words he needs, to say so much.  Which, incidentally, is much easier said that done.  His ‘style’ brings to mind a favourite Mark Twain quote:

“I am sorry to have written such a long letter, but I did not have time to write a short one”.

Says it all.   Because the true measure of a writer is the ability to self-edit.  To be ruthless.  To choose words carefully.  To make every one work hard.  And having talent is the least of it.  It takes discipline.  Love of the craft.  The ability to let go.  To love ’em, but leave ’em, on the cutting room floor.  To know when you’re done.

So really, a writer’s best friend isn’t a computer.  Or a dictionary.  Or a thesaurus.  It’s the eraser.

Luckily, I learned that very early in my career. It was hard.  And painful.  But the best thing that could ever have happened to a young writer, just starting out.  Which is why I wrote a blog post about it.

When I commented on Pete’s poem, and how much I admire his ability to keep only what’s absolutely essential, he responded, Continue reading