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January 20. It's always the day, every four years, when the United States swears in a new president. It is filled with pomp and circumstance, ceremony and punditry. Parades, balls, speeches, lunches, dinners, and endless commentary.

I can't pay attention. January 20, 1981, the day Ronald Reagan was sworn in, was the day my youngest sister was born. I was already grown, married, with children of my own …

I was 11 when I got the news, my grandfather, my best friend, was going in to have massive heart surgery. I was shaken. It did not sound good. They had to replace the main heart valve, drain his lungs and cut a sack around his heart off. He was in surgery for hours. It felt like days sitting in school, waiting for the news.
He's out. He's okay. Read more »

It was the first time I had cried in ten years. It was the last time I cried for another four. The day my grandfather died is the day I shut down. In some ways, it was the hardest day of my life. I think I died with him. The one person who told me I could do anything, the one who said my opinion of myself was the only …

It was a chilly evening with the sun setting squarely on my back. I could feel the warmth soaking into my spine and spread its dreadful happiness throughout my veins. I was surrounded by dried up vegetation and large rocks the color of ancient blood. The path was smooth and sandy under my sneakers. The leash was hard and cold resting in the palm of my hand, and Zoe my …

Reading the six-words (and for many I say that lightly) left in the "Addressing America" challenge I found myself disturbed by what felt like a total lack of seriousness by so many. I am spoiled by the Six-Word community that I choose to call home and because of that I felt my blood pressure steadily increase as I went through the topics. I know I could have closed …

At my high school, gay kids were never bullied. That's because, in 1985, none of the kids who might have been gay would have admitted it in a million years.

Back then we still believed people chose to be gay, the way someone might choose to be an accountant or choose to dye their hair. The general thinking was that these …

I try to stay away from bananas. They remind me of my mother, a tiny brunette with red lipstick and sparkling eyes. The sparkle was from an even mix of glamour, narcotics, and madness. It's not that I don't like bananas. I steer clear of them because when I was a baby, my mother tried to kill me with one.

This is the moment my boyfriend and I knew we were in far deeper than any relationship had ever taken us before. I tell it from his perspective, which may seem weird, but that is how we work: One of us understands the other and somehow we manage to communicate with the rest of the world.

Well there’s young love, you know, first with the sort of girls …

I’m 11, trying to fall asleep in my new room, the pink room with the twin beds where my mom and her sister used ignore each other. We are inside the house that my grandma decorated, where everything is just so. Unfathomably, we are fitting in with the velvet wallpaper and alabaster sculptures. I take strawberry bubble baths. My grandma combs the tangles out of my hair with a special …

Have you ever felt that emptiness and you have no idea what you need? It's not that piece of cake, it's not that boy/girl, it's not a hobby, it's God. I've given my all to Him and my life has completely changed. I fell powerful, capable, fulfilled. God is trying to tell you something. You should listen.

She owed him only the courtesies that come from familiarity, and even after a long absence they had that connection, albeit strained by distance and time.

He knew how to insinuate himself into her present by conjuring memories of the past and assuming an intimacy based on knowledge of names, dates and families and tears she had shed in his presence.

There were no tears now, no familiarities …

Do you know the sound of rain beating hard on a tin roof? The sound that makes you feel like at any moment, it could all cave in, but it never does. Although, I know that the beating is just rain, and roof is sturdy, I still feel a pang of worry when that first rain storm comes by, because I’ve learned that some of the strongest things, are also …

As I sort through the plethora of bills to pay out of my upcoming paycheck, I pause and evaluate my situation. My budget planning has turned into a “how to” magnum opus. There are two categories I sort the envelopes into: the “how to get out of debt” and “how to avoid debt” stacks. Depending on the amount of the bill, the due date, and its importance, each bill has …

That summer morning, seven years ago today, I was walking through Boston’s Chinatown on my way to meet my two-year-old niece Joli, her parents, and my parents for dim sum. They were in town for a medical appointment with an eye specialist for Joli. There was concern about a lazy eye.

Although it was a beautiful day in Boston, the sidewalks and buildings washed in yellow light, I didn't …

Elizabeth Titus


“I just wasn’t grateful enough, Liz,” Lynn told me on our final encounter, as she was being forcibly evicted from the bungalow I had bought and was renovating.

Five years later her words haunt me. Was she right? Did I let her live rent-free in my home for six months not because I felt sorry for her, but for some insatiable need for gratitude? For …

I was ten years old, bookish, shy and smart. My teacher, Miss Hoare, was my idol. She taught English literature, my favourite subject and I was her favourite pupil. She liked to give surprise three minute quizzes and I aced those. I never missed one and that was my downfall as one day she announced a quiz and I had to pee. I knew that If I ran …

I was ten years old, bookish, shy and smart. My teacher, Miss Hoare, was my idol. She taught English literature, my favourite subject and I was her favourite pupil. She liked to give surprise three minute quizzes and I aced those. I never missed one and that was my downfall as one day she announced a quiz and I had to pee. I knew that If I ran …

My six-word title is a question lovingly posed in 'The Four Loves' by C.S. Lewis. I've not read the book (those readers who have -please, some input!), but my guess as to what those four loves could be are: MONEY, SEX, LOVE and GOD. These were defined as 'The Four Pillars of the Human Experience' in the New York Times' best- selling trilogy 'Conversations With God, An Uncommon …

I was ten years old, bookish, shy and smart. My teacher, Miss Hoare, was my idol. She taught English literature, my favourite subject and I was her favourite pupil. She liked to give surprise three minute quizzes and I aced those. I never missed one and that was my downfall as one day she announced a quiz and I had to pee. I knew that If I ran …

"What's happening to me?"
The question was pounding in my head, beating against the walls of my brain. If I had been able to talk, I would have said it aloud, screamed it, pleaded it, lashed out at this strange new reality with it.
"What's happening to me?"
But I couldn't speak. I couldn't breathe. The room was spinning. Was there a room at all? I couldn't tell. Stars …
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The Moment Book

Moments from the SMITH Community

Tomorrowland "Daisy, F3," my son Archer says as we pull into our parking spot. Disneyland’s about to open and we've arrived, just the two of us, our last hoorah before school starts. *** The alarm goes off and I pull the pillow tightly over my head. My husband, Hal, offers to wake the kids so I roll over, fall back asleep until Archer's voice wakes me, this time for good. "Hi, Mommy. It's …
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With Both Hands Whenever I think of my mother, my mind flips to this story. Not to the whole story, but right to the middle of it, the worst moments of it. For me, that's where the story always starts. My mother was beating the hell out of me. The first few blows seemed to come from every direction as I grabbed my nightgown and pulled it over my head, not …
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Reasons to be Thankful By Robert Israel They scraped me off the street, my bicycle in a heap nearby, and ever so gingerly placed me on the gurney. A crowd of curious onlookers watched intently, thankful they were not being loaded onto the ambulance. The nurses at the hospital were calming as nurses are wont to be, and administered an intravenous tube of morphine, and soon everything around me became fuzzy and numb, and the …
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Read More Community Moments →
 
SMITH Magazine

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