What are you thankful for? Say it in six words

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL November 26, 2020

The First Thanksgiving, 1621, Plymouth Colony, MA. The Pilgrims didn’t call it Thanksgiving

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn” read the handout in my short fiction creative writing MA class at the University of East Anglia.

It’s a famous six-word story, often attributed to Ernest Hemingway, though it’s not entirely clear he wrote it.

Whoever did was a master of flash fiction. There are many worlds in that one short sentence. It suggests many emotions, events and experiences.

Who placed that advert? A heartbroken nearly-mother? An impecunious almost-father? What pain lies in the two words “never worn”?

The six-word story can truly be a magnificent thing.

David Leonhardt of the New York Times recently asked readers to send in their six-word take for Thanksgiving. Write about what you’re grateful for, he suggested, building on magazine editor Larry Smith’s bestselling six-word memoir series.

This Thanksgiving, I’m busy thinking of my six thankful words. Try it.