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.
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 Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or at sixwordmemoirs.com—keep on Sixing!
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.
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.
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!
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.
“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
“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.
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.
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 Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or at sixwordmemoirs.com—keep on Sixing!
A 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.
In 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.