“Wanting less feels like getting more.” The Best Six-Word Memoirs of the Week

Sixes of the Week 2014 09 13-19

Looking for guidance? Look no further. This week’s memoirists used their insights to create the most thought-provoking Sixes (“Wanting less feels like getting more.”). Take heed: whether sharing advice on how to have your cake and eat it, too (“Avoid disappointments. Leave room for dessert.”), or passing down wisdom from one generation to the next (“Mama said, ‘Nice ‘em to death.’”), these Sixers seem to know what they’re talking about.  –Allison Volpe

Most patient: “Give second thoughts a little time.” –TeaTopper

Most indulgent: “Avoid disappointments. Leave room for dessert.” –oopsalittle

Best philosopher: “Some days deserve stroking, not seizing.” –Kharis

Most grateful: “Wanting less feels like getting more.” –_Miracle

Best reality: “Bad wine doesn’t get any better.” –canadafreeze

Most personal: “Mama said, ‘Nice ‘em to death.’” –HippyGirl

Plus! Do you dream of being published? Final call! Click the link and submit your sage advice in Six Words to be considered for our upcoming book, Six Words of Advice from Writers Famous & Obscure, coming out in 2015 from St. Martin’s Press.


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Top Six-Word Back to School Memories


For SixContest #35, we asked you to reflect on the post-summer ritual of going back to school. From first day failures and tears to triumphant returns and laughter, Sixers shared defining moments that were anything but elementary. Of course, only six can claim the top spots. Here are our favorite back-to-school memories in Six Words:

6. “More scared of bullies than teachers.” —CanadaGoose

5. “Butt reacquainted with principal’s office chair.” —Oh_Skinny

4. “Brothers became strangers passing in hallways.” —@etduggan (via Twitter)

3. “Class clown makeup hid terrified expression.” —JohnBigJohn

2. “First day magic squashed under textbooks.” —onionhearth

And the top back-to-school memory is…

1. “Pencils sharp. Classmates not so much…” —Foolishwriter

Congrats to Foolishwriter and thanks to everyone who joined in the fun! Whether in our SixContests, on FacebookTwitterTumblr or at sixwordmemoirs.com—keep on Sixing!

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“Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer.” The Best Six-Word Memoirs Of The Week

Best Six (Sept 6-11)-01

It is often said that life is a journey. This week’s Sixes make us realize that our journey doesn’t have to be rushed or flawless because it is always a work in progress. Some memoirs are about embracing imperfections (“My flaws lead to my discovery!”), while others recognize that modification is always an option (“Delete, edit, create the wishful life.”). And some Sixers trust that anything is achievable with time (“Impossible just takes a little longer.”). We are inspired to embrace life through all of its trials and tribulations. —Allison Volpe

Least flawed: “My flaws lead to my discovery!” —PhDink

Most meaning: “That one passion connecting all dots?” —Amapola

Toughest Narrative Arc: “No longer renting. Owning my mistakes.” —JohnBigJohn

Best attitude: “Impossible just takes a little longer.” —rratatat

Most adaptable: “Delete, edit, create the wishful life.” Nol_Martin-tungpala

Best query: “Ducks are lined up. Now what?” —trust2020

Plus! Final hours to share your back-to-school stories for SixContest #35. Enter now! Contest ends today, 9/12 at 3:00PM ET.


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“The sunflowers have curtsied to Fall.” The Best Six-Word Memoirs of the Week

Best Six (Aug 30-Sep 5)-01

The Six-Word community is stirring with excitement as many happily embrace the fall season. Brisk winds bring with them energy and enthusiasm, which are expressed throughout this week’s best memoirs. Our Sixers are quick to illustrate autumn’s colors (“Purple chrysanthemums fall into my fall.”), sights (“The sunflowers have curtsied to Fall”), and sounds (“Cicadas are rattling, ‘September! September! September!’”). A change in the seasons encourages a change in inspiration. We are delighted to see how fall will animate our community.
–Gilmarie Brioso

Ed. Note: Many of these memoirs have beautiful images and backstories. Please click on the highlighted links to view them.

Most Rich:Autumn: when hot yellows turn gold.” -deconstructingself

Most Color: “Purple chrysanthemums fall into my fall.” -CanadaGoose

Toughest Narrative Arc:The sunflowers have curtsied to Fall.” -canadafreeze

Best Visual  “’Life’s brief’ sighed a September leaf.” -BanjoDan

Most Lyrical:Sun shines so sweetly in September.” -Solstice22

Most Sonorous: ”Cicadas are rattling, ‘September! September! September!’” -liberata

Plus! Congratulations to Wench, our Memoirist Of The Month for September. Read our blog and see why she’s been with Six-Word Memoirs since 2009!

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“Angels are raving about Joan’s ensemble.” Six Words for Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers Six RIP

Back when I was putting the word out for Six-Word Memoirs for our very first Six-Word book, a friend who knew Joan Rivers asked the famous talker if she was game to describe herself in just six words. My pal texted Joan who immediately replied: “Furious! Had same idea for 7!”  A few moments later she shared the Six-Worder seen above, one that graces page 82 of Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. 

I think Joan Rivers was one of the first celebrities to jump into the six mix because she was lady who was, in a word, game. My parents love recounting how they used to see her in small clubs when she was just getting started—seemingly she never stopped working.

So we raise a glass to Joan Rivers and toast her the way this community knows best: in six words.

Joan & Johnny L2L2

“Hardest working woman you’ll never meet.” —PollyMath
“The abrasive queen is no longer.” —cheesehead1976
“Lightning-witted, deliciously un-PC. RIP inimitable Joan.” — LetTheWolfin
“Can we talk?” Joan sure could!” —Jugggler
“Oh, Joan Rivers… we’ll never talk.” —lillybrook
“Johnny and Joan finally settled it.” —L2L3
“Angels are raving about Joan’s ensemble.” —ADHDean
“Joan Rivers: Got to the point.” —Larry_D._Smith
“No one could deliver like Joan.” —shaunyata
“Fashion police was my secret pleasure.” —marymc
“Joan said bury her in style.” —JAD
“Joan was our indefatigable whoopie cushion.” —by Loon
“What the hell you wearing, God?” —Abby_Ellin
“Wearing white, Joan’s shaking her head.” —jl333
“Imagine Joan, flipping God the bird.”  —notjustagirlintheworld
“Remember Joan, let God talk sometimes.” @AisforAmie



Memoirist of the Month—September 2014: Alexis (aka Wench)

The six-word setup has become so much more than a creative challenge for me…with two little boys, free time is a hot commodity. I like the ability to express myself creatively in short bursts, in between washing marker off of my wall and relinquishing my baby’s grip on my hair.”

Name: Alexis R.picone

Place: Philadelphia, PA

SMITH Member since: February 2009

Known fondly as Wench, Alexis joined Six-Word Memoirs in 2009, making this her sixth year here. Her memoirs are rich in content (“You can always take another step.“) and volume—over 2,200 to date—often complemented by compelling backstories (“Is he still in there, anymore?“). We’ve enjoyed watching her blossom and evolve, both in her photos and her memoirs (“Tonight’s goal: Tastefully turn some heads.”). Wench has used Six Words to chronicle milestones (“Two kids on a big adventure.”), riff on everyday life (“Queen of the fireball hipster pour.”), and work through hardships (“Pounding my fists on God’s chest.“). Congrats to Alexis as our Memoirist of the Month for September, which she can celebrate with a custom t-shirt thanks to our friends at Spreadshirt. See why Alexis has found an audience here as she answers our Six Questions.


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The Top Six Summer Vacation Memoirs


This week you happily reminisced, sharing tales of summers lost and summers past. From exhilarating adventures to helping hands, our community did it all during the summer months. Yet, only six can claim the top spots. Here are our favorites from SixContest #34:

6. “Hiking, delirious somewhere around 4,000 feet.” -@Lori Romero (via Facebook)

5. “Orlando for volleyball. California for love.” -macdad

4. “Please, just one more lobster roll.” -NancyWriterNYC_fromtwitter

3. “Working hard to encourage young lives.” –georgiahelper

2. “Saw some abs you wouldn’t believe.” -TeaTopper

And the top summer Memoir is…

1. “Farmhouse porch. Chateau miraval. Paradise found.” –JanAlexander

Congrats to JanAlexander and thanks to everyone who joined in the fun! Whether in our Caption Contests, on FacebookTwitterTumblr or at sixwordmemoirs.com—keep on Sixing!

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“Treating sick day like golden ticket.” The Best Six-Word Memoirs of the Week

Best Six (Aug 23-29)-01A poet sits silently within each Sixer. Every so often, he or she will share a seductive simile. It’s outstanding how a simple “like,” showing similarities by comparison, can produce the most splendid lines and images. Some memoirs use similes to capture one’s spirit (“Seeps into souls like rain drops”); others remind us to live in the moment (“Ride like it’s your last ride”). Each one of this week’s best is as sweet as a summer song. -Gilmarie Brioso

Best Essence: “Seeps into souls like rain drops.” -tk13

Most Childlike: “Treating sick day like golden ticket.” -illuminatrix

Most Nourishing: “Mom loves me like a BLT.” -Loon

Best Advice: “Ride like it’s your last ride.” -hiitstaylorlane

Most Growth: “Miracles sprout like mushrooms from faith.” -Picaboo

Best Imagery: “Soars like bird, sinks like stone.” -likemeimlonely

Plus! Don’t miss this week’s SixContest #34! Share your wild stories or new encounters from this summer. The contest ends today, 8/29 at 3:00PM ET.

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Site Maintenance & New, improved Teens site

Six Teens_LogoIn 2013, we introduced our newly designed Six-Word Memoir “parent” site, sixwordmemoirs.com, with a fresh look and new features. Now, we’re ready to share those exciting enhancements with the SMITHTeens community—more then 400,000 Sixes and counting—which we’re renaming (drumroll!)…Six Teens. Coming soon, teens will have a new place to call home on our Six Words site: sixwordmemoirs.com/teens

As we make this switch, we’ll be experiencing a few tech glitches, so please be patient. Among them: the “All Topics” Editor’s Picks list isn’t updating correctly, so those looking for today’s Editor’s Picks should click on the Life topic and then the tab Editor’s Picks.

The new Teens section of SixWordMemoirs.com will be finished up this first week of September—we hope you like it and invite the teens in your life to come in and play.

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“I have money. Please come back.” The Best Six-Word Memoirs of the Week

Best Six (Aug 16-22)-01 (1)There have been numerous debates on money and happiness; while money may not guarantee joy, it certainly is an important factor in our lives. This week’s Sixes involve money and outcomes. Our Sixers shared stories in which money affects relationships (“Getting a dishwasher saved our marriage.”) and defines eras (“My previous life relied on payphones.”). Sometimes our happiness comes without breaking the bank (“Every ride has its own payoff.”). They proved that money is more than those green bills we carry around. Money can bring us happiness, but it does not define our happiness. –Gilmarie Brioso

Best Judgment: ”Every ride has its own payoff.” -G_Austin

Best Request: “I have money. Please come back.” -Echochan79

Most Incidental: “Having ADHD means occasionally ‘finding’ money.” –ADHDean

Most Cherished: “Broke banks. Stole hearts. Treasured memories.” –ctgoods2

Toughest Narrative Arc: “Getting a dishwasher saved our marriage.” -MNorway

Most Quarters & Dimes: My previous life relied on payphones.” -BanjoDan

Plus! See how Six Words joined the powerful storytelling that took place at TEDx: Marion Correctional Institution.

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