Six Word Memoirs, Wuthering and Jeopardy Librarians

Do you have trouble finding time to read? What you need is a six-word memoir. Longmont Library has the 2008 collection published by Smith Magazine editors Fershleiser and Smith, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. Several other editions have been published since, including one for teens, I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets. Examples?

  • Time to start over again, again.
  • Kissed many frogs. Finally found prince.
  • Wife. Daughter. Dog. Home. Miss them.
  • He still needs me at 64.
  • If only he wasn’t a Republican.

Supposedly, Ernest Hemingway once bet friends that he could write a six-word story that would make people cry, and he won the ten-dollar wager. “For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.”

Okay, pop quiz. What does the word “wuthering” mean in Wuthering Heights? [Long pause while you think.] Do the words “froonce”  or “queach” help? Me neither, if I hadn’t had The Word Museum by Jeffrey Kacirk in front of me. Apparently, when the wind froonces through the trees and queaches the branches, the sound is a rustling that is represented by the onomatopoeic word “wuther.”

Are you a Jeopardy fan? The November/December American Libraries Magazine featured an interesting article about the show’s librarian contestants. About 150 of them have competed since 2005, and thirty become Champions. Some of the comments:

  • When it’s your turn, you go up to the stage, and there’s a little stand behind each podium that goes up and down so they can get all the contestants to be about the same height.
  • They send you home with a tote bag, a cap, and a ballpoint pen that looks like the buzzer.
  • Not too much has changed. You do get a lot of creepy messages on Facebook for a little while.

Librarian or not, how can you get to be on Jeopardy? Go to americanlibrariesmagazine.org to find out.

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” Oprah Winfrey

*Written by Carol Cail — Read more from Carol at carolcail.com
*Originally published in January 2018

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