Top Six-Word Spoiler of Your Life

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We are the authors of our own stories. For SixContest #78 — inspired by Mary Elizabeth Williams’ new book, A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles, whose memoir about battling Stage IV Melanoma begins “SPOILER: I lived.” — we invited you to share the spoilers of your lives in Six Words. Some spoilers reflect your fantasies (“SPOILER: Discovered my superpower, saved world.” —Stella_Matutina), while others reveal sobering realities (“SPOILER: His manly chest scar is melanoma.” —MargotEd. Note: see below for backstory). Spoilers are often about life-changing moments (“SPOILER: The pee stick turned blue.” @popazza via Twitter), and sometimes they help us distinguish fact from fiction (“SPOILER: Larry and Piper get married!” —Larry_D._Smith). Whatever the future holds (“Spoiler: Aged, but never grew up.” —ComicBookMom), don’t let spoilers ruin the story for you.

Introducing the Top Six spoilers that leave us wanting more of the story:

6. “SPOILER: We’ll laugh about this someday.” —caralongwrites 

5. “SPOILER: My story’s villain was…expectation.” —JohnBigJohn

4. “SPOILER: Rebellious student becomes dedicated teacher.” —sisterpoet

3. “SPOILER: Fairy tales are often grim.” —scribbling_scribe

2. “SPOILER: DDT changed my DNA. Cancer.” —DynamicDbytheC

And of the hundreds of entries, the spoiler that is most timely:

1. “SPOILER: Over this rainbow lies hope.” —Dyan_Titchnell [Ed. Note: see below for backstory]

Backstory from Dyan_Titchnell: “Peace to Orlando and those beyond.”

Backstory from Margot: “I was published in your amazing book It All Changed in an Instant. Since my first Epilogue story I have (in six): “Met the man of my dreams” had a daughter and have been “Reciting Dad’s Eulogy in my head” after my Dad passed away last year. I’m very attached to your latest request for Six Word Spoilers in conjunction with Mary Elizabeth Williams. My husband endured a surface spreading melanoma on his chest. Not from sun bashing. Just because. Who knows why? My sister is a Beauty Therapist. She saw it first. A tiny little blemish that looked angry. In her words – “get that looked at as soon as possible.” I’ll never forget the conversation we had after he had gone to the skin clinic and they confirmed it. Melanoma. Cancer. He was calm, rational but scared. I was irrational, yelling at the world but trying to remain positive. He had surgery the next week to remove it. As the Doc said “No time to spare for you.” Another six! The scar on his chest is impressive and people ask. We like to embellish. We tell stories. But not the real one.”

Congratulations to Dyan_Titchnell and thanks to all who participated! Each of our Top Six contributors will receive a copy of Williams’ memoir, A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles. We’ll be reaching out to all six winners shortly regarding their prizes. Whether in our SixContests, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or at sixwordmemoirs.com—keep on Sixing!

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Top Family Stories In Six Words

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The personal histories that shape our families reach far and wide. For SixContest #77 — inspired by Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin star Diane Guerrero’s new memoir, In the Country We Love: My Family Divided — we invited you to share your own family stories in just six words. Each family is a collection of journeys (“Left everything behind. Crossed oceans. Lived.” —@MaggyTheBrave via Twitter). Some families are defined by adversity (“In the shadow of the Holocaust.” —Frieda W. Landau via Facebook), others by hope (“Homesteaders, refugees, immigrants. Moved for opportunity.”
—@EugeneEvon via Twitter, Ed. Note: click link for the accompanying photo). In some cases,

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Six Words & Harmony Project’s Inside/Out: Breaking Down Barriers

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One of the most meaningful collaborations in our Six in the City: Columbus initiative has been with David Brown’s Harmony Project, a community choir based in Columbus, Ohio, comprised of different races, ages, cultures, orientations and affiliations. This past winter, Harmony’s student choir shared their take on what being beautiful means in six words. Students from public, private and charter schools across Columbus spent a day together answering the question, “Why I Am Beautiful?” This video — where students sing a rendition of Moby’s “Beautiful,” intercut with images of their Six-Word Memoirs on beauty — captures the alluring energy of connecting diverse perspectives through collaboration.

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Mr. Ferry’s Illustration Class at Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri

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“Small guppy in a shark tank.” —Megan Wyatt

The Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, sets out to prepare its students to “transform the world creatively.” It is no wonder, then, that Six-Word Memoirs has found a place at this prestigious arts school.

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Memoirist of the Month—June 2016: Christine Macdonald

“I pop onto Six-Word Memoirs every day or so for inspiration, to catch up on heartwarming stories of truth, current events and contests. I adore the connectivity the site provides. I am constantly amazed how one six-word sentence can spark inspiration and evoke emotion.”

Name: Christine MacdonaldHeadShotMed
Place: Long Beach, California
SMITH Member Since: January 2011

Christine Macdonald finds power in her deeply personal revelations. With her first memoirs, Christine showed us her willingness to be vulnerable (“Going back so I move forward”) and bare it all (“Realizing my worth without the pole). Although Christine isn’t the type of Sixer to post thousands of memoirs like many of our “power users,” her bold truths have led to numerous features on our site and in our publications. Christine follows @sixwords on Twitter, posting many of her Six-Word Memoirs and entries in our SixContests as @thatgalkiki (“I was stripping, not selling flowers”). Christine’s candid tale, “Sunset Strip” is included in our longer-form collection, The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous & Obscure, and her astute memoir, “In love with love isn’t Love.” is featured in The Best Advice in Six Words. Congratulations to our Memoirist of the Month for June, Christine Macdonald. As she answers our Six Questions, you’ll discover why Christine’s dignified honesty is applauded within our Six Words community:

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#SixWordCommencement: A Toast To The #ClassOf2016

speecheswinnerGlorious days are upon the next generation of scholars. For SixContest #76, we offer a gift of wise words from those who are making their procession this graduation season. Remember that life is unpredictable (“Embrace the world, even its thorns.” —SouthPorch) and sometimes the best advice is tried and true (“Relax. Tomorrow the real work begins.” @MarielleMondon via Twitter). In the end, you will find your purpose — your sweat and tears will not go to waste (“You’re enough to change the world.” —@asraimun via Twitter).

Introducing the Top Six commencement speeches:

6. “Use your vacation days. Always. Often.” —Lizasighs

5. “Enjoy the grace period before loans.” —@ktbbug (via Twitter)

4. “Remember those who rally behind you.” —paristexas

3. “Move forward: Courage first, confidence follows.” —@gailgrey (via Twitter)

2. “Nobody breaks ground by standing still.” ChristinaDelia

And the Six Words that will set you on the path to success . . .

1. “Make our today your starting line.” thepoet1

Congratulations to thepoet1 and thanks to all who participated! Whether in our SixContests, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or at sixwordmemoirs.com—keep on Sixing!

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Classroom of the Month: Mrs. Criswell’s Honors English Classes at Ozark High School in Ozark, Missouri

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“Student dedicated every day, student driven in every way.”

The teachers at Ozark High School in Ozark, Missouri, work hard to fulfill their school’s motto. One such educator, Sandi Criswell, was quick to adopt the six-word form as a tool to drive home the school’s mission, and get to know her students better along the way.

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Top Six Times You Call Mom

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Although a mother’s love is cherished throughout the year, on the second Sunday of May, we celebrate moms everywhere. In SixContest #75, we asked you to complete the prompt “I always call my mom when…” Turns out mothers are renowned as the keepers of family traditions (click link for backstory: “…wanting to unlock her secret recipes.” —PoeticPisces). We often reach out to the women who gave us life when we want to share our successes (“…I get a post as MOTD.” —caralongwrites). Sometimes mothers are a handful (“…I have forty-five minutes to spare.” —Poser), but most often, the bonds with our moms are eternal (“Though she’s gone, conversations carry on.” —ggirl60).

Here are the Top Six reasons to reach out to mom:

6. “…I need a partner in crime.” —@ShelbyWoodz (via Twitter)

5. “…when I need to hear ‘sweetpea’.” —TypewriterGirl

4. “…I’ve gathered juicy intel about relatives.” —Neesha101

3. “…the stars tell me she’s listening.” —@JulieHall (via Twitter)

2. “…when my inner GPS is scrambled!” —UnitedStarminds

And it’s most likely #ICallMomWhen . . .

1. “…my children do brag worthy stuff.” —lillybrook

Congratulations to lillybrook and thanks to all who participated! Whether in our SixContests, on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr or at sixwordmemoirs.com—keep on Sixing!

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Memoirist of the Month: May 2016—Jamie W.

“The most beautiful Sixes I have ever read on this site were posted well after midnight, when the writers’ hopes and fears are unchained. I write more easily late at night, so that’s when I do most of my own sixing.”
Maeva W

Name:  Jamie W. (aka Maeva)
Place: Northern Virginia
SMITH Member Since: May 2015

Just one year ago, Jamie W. found her voice and a safe haven at Six-Word Memoirs. Known in the Six Words community by her lifelong nickname, Maeva, childhood adversity meant that she grew up much too fast (“Forced to ride without training wheels.”). She proves that you can tell compelling stories and deliver plot twists in just six words (“More foster homes than birthday parties.”). With more than 700 memoirs to date, Maeva has impressed our most seasoned Sixers with her literary dexterity (“Love dog-earing pages in my story.”) and sophisticated voice (“Laughs our symphonies. Embraces our minuets.”). Congratulations to Jamie W. as our Memoirist of the Month for May, 2016. Read through Jamie’s answers to our Six Questions and discover what makes her triumphant: 

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RIP Prince: We Put The Right Letters Together

Cover-PurpleRainOne of the many surprises the Six-Word Memoir community has brought to me, each other and those outside the virtual walls of this space is how it responds to death, whether it’s a death directly effecting one of our own in the community or that of someone famous out there in the world. I’ve always said that some of the best Sixes—or any form of stories we tell—come in times of great happiness and great sorrow. (The one time I myself was made “Memoirist of the Day” was when I shared, “Hitchhiked to delivery room; blizzard boy!” when my son was born.)

If you happened to wake up very late on April 21 and went to SixWordMemoirs.com before seeing or hearing the news, you’d still know the story that shocked the world: Prince had died. In the minutes, hours and days that followed, Sixers shared their thoughts on the incomparable Prince. One week after his death—and an deluge of tributes across the world—here are six six-word tributes (some sixes include wonderful backstories if you click through).

Purple Rain running down my cheeks. —MO_Thoughts2

Thinking back on brush with Prince. —G. Austin (backstory)

Lovesexy: soundtrack of summer of ’88.Larry_D._Smith (backstory)

Prince, Hendrix playing  Purple Rain, Haze. —@hikealot2014

Reign, “Rain.” The pain won’t wane. —@KathrynDiPasqua

RIP Prince: Nothing compares to you. —ChristineMacdonald

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