It’s summer, and there are now three teenagers in my house 24/7. They’re coming and going at all hours of the day and night, the refrigerator door opens and closes just as often, and the quiet I’d grown accustomed to during the school year occurs only when my overgrown cherubs are sleeping.
It takes me a few days to adjust to the schedules, the sounds, the stuff, the wrestling, the wet towels, the friends, the unending need for food, the extra trips to the grocery store — and to fully acknowledge the impact all this has on my writing day. But once I accept the change, I embrace it.
I stay up late to watch a movie with one child. I go for a bike ride in the middle of the day with another. I join the third who’s lounging with a book on the back patio. I “summer,” and instead of tackling writing projects that require substantial research, concentration, and time at the keyboard, I focus on my journals — especially my Gratitude Journal, the 5″ x 8″ notebook I use to capture one or two comments about each day. To keep the creative juices flowing, I combine my Gratitude Journal entry with Smith Magazine’s Six Word storytelling project; I call it my Six Word Summer.
Once a week, I choose one highlight of my week and describe it in six words. That’s it — no other description or dialogue, no notes about setting or character, no universal message — I simply capture the memory. Sometime down the road, I’ll flesh out the details and re-create the experience.
Six Word Summer 2011
I don’t have a photo of my first entry from last summer, but I’m confident the phrase is all I’ll need when I decide to write something about my son’s personal hygiene:
Haircut. College son’s first since February.
|Shoulda stopped at that last town|
And the six words I chose for this photo–my last entry for 2011–are much different than the words my son and daughter suggested! That discussion is part of my memory and again, something I’ll write about in more detail in the future.
Six Word Summer 2012
Wanna play? Pick one moment from your week and describe it in six words. If you have a blog, use the six words as the title of your post. Add a photo and my Six Word Summer button. And if you want, link to my post so I (and others) can enjoy your summer moment too. I hope to post an entry each Sunday and will leave the link open until the next week’s post. If you don’t have a blog, post your six words as a “Comment” on mine. … Just six words and a photo. Starting June 3rd.
I hope you’ll join me!
Read newspaper headlines. They’re often between five and eight words and are a great source for writing catchy phrases that are also informative.
Check out Smith Magazine’s six word, story, and comic storytelling projects. I’m sure you’ll find something that will make you laugh.
Allow time for brainstorming. Limiting your entry to six words isn’t as easy as it sounds!