Archive for January, 2007

And The Winner of the Six-Word Memoir Contest Is…

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

You’re a dark, funny and surprising bunch. We asked you all to tell your life stories in six words, and you blew us away with your responses—more than 5,000 so far, and they’re still pouring in. While story by story your six-word summations were alternately heartbreaking and hilarious, they were even more moving and powerful when taken in huge helpings—as we discovered when we were poring over the submissions, sometimes hundreds at a time.

To determine the winner, contest co-pilot Rachel Fershleiser and I narrowed the list down to our favorite 500, then to a painstaking 25. Then we asked a dozen or so SMITH contributing editors to choose their top three. Finally, we tallied. To be eligible to win the iPod, you also had to sign up to receive a memoir a day on your phone via Twitter (which was free and fun, as lots of you found out).

Maybe it’s the mood this country’s in, but many of your stories revealed self-doubt, resignation or a desire to explain yourself. At the same time, most of you—in one way or another—appeared to just want to tell it like it is. And what “it is” is your world in six words, making for life stories in miniature that we’ve been honored to receive. We hope they’ll continue to find their way from you to us as we put together a book of six-word memoirs.

Until then, the next tall mocha soy latte is on Abigail Moorhouse, the caffeinated owner of a new iPod and winner of SMITH Magazine and Twitter’s first annual Six-Word Memoir Contest.

Her story: “Barrister, barista, what’s the diff, Mom?”

After the jump, more of your many, many amazing six-word memoirs. (more…)

The Best War Comics

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

SW1_2_copy.jpgShooting War gets a huge shout out in a survey of the best comics about the Iraq war in Slate, which calls SMITH’s webcomic “One of the more ambitious attempts to address the Iraq war,” “vividly drawn” and “full of sex” (that’s the spirit!). We’re honored to be included among the likes of Joe Sacco, Brian K. Vaughan (whose Pride of Baghdad, about lions escaping from the zoo, is out of this world) and other luminaries of the craft (some found in the Best American Comics 2006). Congrats to Anthony Lappé and Dan Goldman, currently busting their tails to finish the Shooting War book, due out later this year from Warner Books.

The Music Genome Project

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

I’m back from a brief vacation in Europe, which — he said by clever way of segue — brings up the thing I wanted to post on. The friend I traveled with had been telling me for some time about Pandora Internet Radio. Their gimmick, essentially, is that when you tell them what music you like, they’ll tell you what else you’ll like. I’m normally skeptic about this sort of thing, which pops up on the other music services I use, iTunes and Napster, plenty, and I’ve never found that useful. But I’ve been listening to Pandora for all of five minutes now and I’ve already found four songs I’ll be downloading when I get home.

This by itself probably isn’t all that SMITHy, but what caught me was the introduction written on the page:

Ever since we started the Music Genome Project, our friends would ask:

Can you help me discover more music that I’ll like?

Those questions often evolved into great conversations. Each friend told us their favorite artists and songs, explored the music we suggested, gave us feedback, and we in turn made new suggestions. Everybody started joking that we were now their personal DJs.

We created Pandora so that we can have that same kind of conversation with you.

I like that, a whole lot. Speaking as someone who often serves as a personal DJ for people — making mixtapes/playlists, passing on musical wisdom if not the music itself (uh, not that I would do anything that would violate copyright) — I love the idea of having the entire world as my personal DJ, being able to go on the Internet, say what I like, and have a program that (accurately) goes back and sees what other people with similar musical tastes would tell me to listen to, if they could. Pandora seems to be the first, unlike iTunes and Napster, to have hit on the right formula to do just that.

How To Write 66,795 words in One Year

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

264152520_a7eeb0464b.jpgI just found a new blogging platform called Word Count Journal, perfectly timed for many of our New Year’s resolutions (”I will write more in 2007″ — see how easy that was? And six words, too).

The big idea is a little one: you write one word your first day, two words the second, three words the third … one year later, you’ve written 66,795 words (more words than many books). The site allows for photos with each entry and either public or private access. And you don’t actually have to follow the daily word count rules. But I think the word-by-word, day-by-day notion’s a great one. It’s also absolutely in line with the best advice I’ve ever received about getting big things done.

Q: How do you eat an elephant?
A: One bite at a time.

Elephant>>Flickr>>Creative Commons>>Savinca
Elephant advice>>Doc Milsten

The Resolution(s)

Monday, January 1st, 2007

152383715_ca4a1e241f.jpgI’m not a big believer in “the resolution,” but I am making an exception this year. Blame the sexy vixen with the blond hair wearing leopard print heels and red lipstick on the N train last night, but I realized I was a bit of a bore in 2006.

That being said, I have decided to post my resolution(s)—in six words—on SMITH, so I can actually remember what they are. The list will be part of the official SMITH record.

OK, here goes:

1. Start book proposal. Want book party.
2. Wear high heels to City more.
3. Hit gym. Nice gams in heels.
4. Freelance more—for tax purposes, natch.
5. Go to London. Heck, travel more.
6. More yoga. Yoga means more balance.
7. Celebrate BIG 3-0 in big way (FYI: February 25).
8. Make out with boyfriend. Daily basis.
9. Hang with friends. Call them too.
10. Enroll in class at New School.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2007!

“Turn 40. Lose 20. Be 1,000,000.”

Monday, January 1st, 2007

BT_hpobama_catalog_1527.jpgThat’s the six-word resolution for 2007 from a certain M. Barnes. Rachel Pine resolves to: “Don’t judge, sometimes budge, ignore Drudge.” What’s yours?

Today is the last day to enter SMITH & The Huffington Post’s Six-Word Resolution Contest. Ten of you will win a new Huffpost tee, chosen from the likes of the one you see and envy here.

Happy New Year!

SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.