Home » Journalism » For sale: baby shoes, never used.

For sale: baby shoes, never used.

I love doing weird little exercises to pass the time sometimes. I’ve been so busy over the past month (hence the sudden blog gap) that I haven’t had time for anything. But now I have plenty of time. I’m trying to keep my brain working because I’m one of the many people who lose half their brain cells over the summer if they don’t keep them stimulated, and since college summers are almost five months long, I’d be completely screwed if I didn’t do this. So, after reading this amazing blog here, I learned all about blackout writing. It’s kind of like madlibs, I guess. Briefly, for those that don’t know, it’s taking a black pen/pencil/marker to a newspaper or magazine (anything with text that you’re prepared to ruin) and blacking out everything except certain words. The exercise is finding a story in the words you leave unmarked. This is my first attempt.

It’s not very good but here it is:

Your guests decided to bring a BBQ when the party patrolled the food. Nikki was the baby of the president.

For sale: baby shoes, never used.

It was a short article so it’s not much of a story but it’s kind of funny because you come up with the most random stuff. I might do one before every post (or maybe just every so often) and post the ‘story’ at the end of my post, however random. If any of you try it out, post it to me in a comment, they’d be fun to read. If that doesn’t take your fancy I have another one. This one might not be as much fun to do because it requires more thinking. Heard of Earnest Hemingway? He’s kind of a famous writer. In the 1920s, Hemingway’s colleagues bet him that he couldn’t write a complete story in just six words. They paid up. Hemingway is said to have considered it his best work:

“For sale: baby shoes, never used”

I’ve started trying to come up with six word stories myself. This is my first and only one so far, so if you must be critical, be gentle. By the way, you can read other six word stories here. Anyway, here’s mine:

“Feeling lost. Can‘t breathe, suddenly peaceful.”

Sounds kind of depressing but moving swiftly on…ironically, I’m crap at crosswords. I’m not too bad at word searches but I can’t stand crosswords. I don’t mind Sudoku (not a word exercise I know) but I really want more of these types of exercises, kind of random ones like blackout writing and six word stories. Any suggestions? Post them to me in a comment please, I’d love to try them out.

4 thoughts on “For sale: baby shoes, never used.

  1. I’m kind of addicted to blackout writing now – people are gonna have to start hiding the newspapers so I don’t destroy them before anyone gets a chance to read the original versions of the stories! haha

  2. Yeah I know, me too. I do it to the free metros I get whenever I get one in the morning. Hope I sent more traffic your way with my link to your blog.

  3. Pingback: When you’re write, you’re write | To My Write

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