The Six-Word Memoir Blog

Contest: The One-Word Title of Your Memoir

Monday, November 15th, 2010

By Larry Smith

The top three books in The New York Times nonfiction bestseller list for the week of November 14:

1. Life by Keith Richards
2. Broke by Glenn Beck
3. Earth by Jon Stewart

So, what’s the one-word title of your memoir? Leave it in the comments here, with, optionally, a one-sentence explanation why (and, yes, your sentence can be more than six words). Erin McKean, founder of our favorite place for linguistic treats, Wordnik, will pick her favorite. The winning scribe gets a copy of one of the above books, or, if you don’t like those options, you can choose SMITH Mag’s most recent Six-Word Memoir book.

Contest ends on November 19 (5pm est). Enter as often as you like. On Twitter, tag it: #1wordmemoir.

Tags: , ,

188 responses

  1. CT Goods says:

    Shards.

  2. Lisa Bottone says:

    Journeywoman

  3. Lisa Bottone says:

    Undefined

  4. Veronica Keegan Moore says:

    Tenacious

  5. Lisa Bottone says:

    F*#$K!

  6. Lisa Bottone says:

    Poised

  7. Lisa Bottone says:

    Vamped

  8. Jenny says:

    Finally (because after all the ups, downs, trials, and tribulations of life - eventually it all comes to an end and then we’re all at peace - finally.)

  9. Katherine Carroll says:

    Runaway

  10. Larry Smith says:

    Overcaffeinated.
    Ideal for running a web community, a little tough to live with…

  11. Lisa Bottone says:

    Used

  12. Valérie says:

    Ambivalence

    - because my feelings and thoughts always seem to be conflicted and can never be straightforward (and I just like this word as well ;) )

  13. Amanda says:

    Adapted.

    Because life (on the large and small scales) is about change, and this memoir adapts my memories and experiences into print. (Who knows? If it’s good, maybe a film or made-for-TV movie, too!)

  14. Our Bold Hero says:

    Notwithstanding

  15. Marc Bernardin says:

    Assimilated.
    Not only am I a black man who walks successfully through a predominately white world, I’m a geek who as integrated successfully into society.

  16. Holly says:

    Dilettante

  17. Sgul says:

    Hence

  18. Sgul says:

    Sigh

  19. ally c says:

    Hope
    …because despite it all, i still have the hope for a better tomorrow.

  20. GN says:

    Pass

  21. Douglas says:

    Caveats.

  22. Lisa Bottone says:

    Anyways……
    I was once encouraged to consider this word as a prompt to jog my thoughts past judjments and comments from everyone and anyone around me. After I listen and nod my head, I think (despite the lack of gramatical correctness) “Anyways, what will I do now” It brings everything back to my responsabilty for my choices.

  23. Lisa Bottone says:

    Inamorata

  24. Lisa Bottone says:

    gadabout

  25. Lisa Bottone says:

    siren

  26. Julia says:

    Medicated.

    (It’s how I get up, how I fall asleep, and how I survive everything in between.)

  27. Liz says:

    Word

  28. GabrielJR says:

    Regards.

  29. Killie says:

    Toughgrrl
    -I don’t take any crap from anyone and most men are threatened by this.

  30. Killie says:

    Yo
    -My favorite saying.

  31. Killie says:

    Freedom
    -After my divorce, it’s what rang true! (and my ears are still blissfully ringing!)

  32. Killie says:

    Witch
    -Fits me perfectly.

  33. Karen says:

    More!

  34. Sam Grobart says:

    Pants

  35. Sarah says:

    Veganized

  36. Penelope says:

    Passport
    Ever since I grew up in a farm town, I’ve been itching to land somewhere else, and I’ve lived around the world from Denmark to New Zealand. It took staying in place in San Francisco to find true love - to an Italian.

  37. David W. Berner says:

    My memoir - my real one - is entitled ACCIDENTAL LESSONS. The story of a rookie teacher and his road to self-discovery.

    But - I think the memoir could easily be entitled ACCIDENTAL.
    That says a lot, don’t you think?

    David B
    Author, ACCIDENTAL LESSONS

  38. Cathy says:

    Laughable

  39. SAH says:

    Him
    (the last few years were all shaped because of that one person)

  40. Lisa Qiu says:

    Peripheraltastique

    I think that at this point in my life I’ve been living on the outskirts of other people’s success and passions— but in a fantastic way where I’ve been taken wonderful places both physically and mentally. Thus— peripheral + fantastic!

  41. Beth says:

    Me
    courtesy of Katharine Hepburn and Ricky Martin

  42. Beth says:

    Replay
    would be mine own

  43. Arru says:

    Real

    my experiences in the last few years are teaching me to try and be truly authentic, to be myself.

  44. dangonzalez says:

    responderé

  45. Jeanette Cheezum says:

    Hope

  46. Larry Smith says:

    My 14-year-old nephew reports that his would be, “Sexy.”

  47. Nick Seagers says:

    Inebriated

  48. Victoria says:

    Confusiated…

  49. Victoria says:

    Dogged.
    (brought my 4 dogs to visit my kids and their 5 dogs)

  50. Tsia Harris says:

    Tailspin

  51. Tsia Harris says:

    angsty

  52. Tsia Harris says:

    alight

  53. SAH says:

    Lies

  54. A.Keller says:

    Juicy.
    Bonvivant.
    Dandy.
    Tremensely.

  55. molly r says:

    Well,

  56. Milena says:

    Lugubrious.

  57. jaced says:

    Nutshell.

  58. Tom says:

    Lymphomartini. The story of my most recent year and a half; the fear from my lymphoma diagnosis, and how we overcame that fear to royally kick some ass.

  59. Mary Elizabeth says:

    Tom & I are in similar boats — per my cancer tweet yesterday:

    Melanomaniac

  60. ak says:

    static

  61. Jim Gladstone says:

    MOIST

  62. Jim Gladstone says:

    The tears, the tenderness, the heat-drenched drama.

  63. Jim Gladstone says:

    Tears. Tenderness. Sweat-drenched drama. Mmm hmm.

  64. abby ellin says:

    Solipsism
    (A LOVE STORY!)

  65. abby ellin says:

    alternatively:

    Solipsist

    (The story of moi)

  66. Tsia Harris says:

    Wander-lust
    tales of an emotionally promiscuous girl with an insatiable need to.. travel.

  67. Susan Breeden says:

    Perplexed.
    (About so many things, and on a daily basis.)

  68. shaunyata says:

    Juxtaposed
    From conception to marriage, careers to parentage, my life can be viewed as a series of juxtapositions.

  69. Susan Breeden says:

    Self-helped.
    (I’m a total self-help book junkie.)

  70. GabrielJR says:

    Laments

  71. Almost Teb says:

    scaredoflivinghopefulforabettertomorrow
    I guess it won’t count, right? If not, my word is oxymoron

  72. PDXWLF says:

    Swexican, because my mom is Swedish.

  73. Bethany Wilk says:

    Worldly. (I grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness, and this is their term for non-believers.)

  74. Bethany Wilk says:

    Untimely.
    (Because so many life events happen at inconvenient and ill-timed intervals.)

  75. Gisele says:

    Wordsmith

  76. Laralee says:

    Haredi

  77. Kelly says:

    Blue

  78. Kelly says:

    Doormat

  79. Kelly says:

    Sisyphus

  80. Kelly says:

    Gringa

    [Grew up as the only American girl in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood.]

  81. cynchi says:

    Wait

  82. Cathy Lilly says:

    unquenchable
    -my eternal flame

  83. xina_lowe says:

    Bogtrotter.

    No straight, easy paths in my life. Scenic, though.

  84. sonny smith says:

    Ahhh!

    ( memoir of a life focused on the all together too brief moments of joy & bliss in a world full of pain & misery)

  85. Britt Knight says:

    Riptide

  86. Bobbie says:

    Satisified.

  87. Britt Knight says:

    Kapakahi
    (Hawaiian for confused or mixed-up.)

  88. Bobbie says:

    Perfect.

  89. Elisa Shevitz says:

    Drama

  90. Shira Lazar says:

    neurosity
    it’s a mix of neurosis and tenacity

  91. Jeanette Cheezum says:

    Diligent

  92. Jeanette Cheezum says:

    Survivor

  93. Jeanette Cheezum says:

    Faithful

  94. Jeanette Cheezum says:

    Worker

  95. Jeremy says:

    Klong

    “[A] word coined by Frank Mankiewicz to describe ”a sudden rush of crud to the heart,”’ such rush caused by the realization that all that time, you had been wrong about something.

  96. arluckett says:

    multihued

  97. Loon says:

    Tripe— takes guts to survive out there

  98. Loon says:

    Gestalt

  99. Loon says:

    Unrequited — we love life far more than it loves us

  100. Loon says:

    Genitalia —- everyone will want to read my memoir

  101. Loon says:

    Reared

  102. Loon says:

    Welcome — An invitation to a life of exceptional mediocrity

  103. Loon says:

    Stirred— A life unlived by James Bond

  104. Loon says:

    Laugh —It’s the quintessential defense mechanism

  105. Loon says:

    Homogenized — Succumbing to the American melting pot.

  106. Bobbie says:

    Lucky

  107. Bobbie says:

    Bullshit-ed
    - Don’t think my mother ever told me the truth!!!

  108. SAH says:

    Teenager…

  109. Carl says:

    “Distracte…”

  110. Carl says:

    “Almost”

  111. ctgoods2 says:

    Shameless

  112. mrsjack says:

    Chameleon

  113. sfdell says:

    Reassembled

    Restoring the shards of youth, I want to be a grown up when I grow up.

  114. Loon says:

    If — For all those things left undone

  115. Loon says:

    Edited — To ensure our legacy is almost real

  116. Loon says:

    With — the Most Wanted preposition in the English language

  117. Loon says:

    Pi — Enigmatic, life imitates unknowable numbers — we simply do not know the ending

  118. Loon says:

    Lust — The driver behind most of our life-shaping accidents.

  119. Loon says:

    Should’ve — Without the second-guessing, what fun would a memoir be?

  120. Loon says:

    Child — We begin as children and end the same — with older skin.

  121. Loon says:

    Mom — Born of Mom, be a Mom, love a Mom — life’s all about Mom.

  122. Loon says:

    Ball — Sports, sex, prom, bawl, rolling stone, completeness…

  123. SAH says:

    Highschool

  124. Amy says:

    Done!

    Stick a fork in me…

  125. Loon says:

    Loon — About to land jelly side down

  126. Loon says:

    And — And that’s all there is…

  127. Loon says:

    Claustrophobia — It’s not easy being that mountain guy in the cave

  128. Loon says:

    Yin

  129. Loon says:

    Yang

  130. Loon says:

    Sleep — Finally get to rest

  131. Loon says:

    Dead — Buried alive by my last chapter.

  132. Christopher says:

    And?

  133. Melanie says:

    Homonymy - We’re all in a state of being so many different things at once, in the guise of being just one thing.

  134. Susan says:

    Disrupted.

    I came. I saw. I obsessed.

  135. Teawench says:

    unfinished

  136. Mr London Street says:

    Potentially?

    My life sometimes seems to be about potential; had it, lost it, tried to regain it, tried to realise it. If there’s ever a book, maybe I will have done.

  137. Eleisabelle says:

    Onomatopoeia. As a musician, actress, and writer, my life has been all about words and sound and how they relate to each other. :)

  138. Natalia says:

    Eclectic. Because it has been and still is.

  139. Daniel says:

    Pull

  140. Stephen Tiano says:

    Unexpected

    Because my life has been punctuated by a series of surprises.

  141. Deb says:

    Mantourage

    (an almost true love story)

  142. Tammy Castleberry says:

    “Invisible” All my life I have felt people have just looked right through me as if I wasn’t there, ignored me, forgotten me.

  143. Lisa Bottone says:

    F.A.B

    This is an intersting acronym I made up after being called a “FAT ASS BITCH” by my former sister in law. Hey, if you don’t laugh you’ll cry right? Turn those lemons into lemonade…whatever you say bounces of me and sticks to you and all that Jazz! So yes, I guess I am F.A.B…my def of it not hers.

  144. joseph says:

    Rationalizations.

  145. cb says:

    Woops.

  146. Russell says:

    Palimpsest. I am the sum of my incarnations, each one a revised manuscript, a displaced testament to lost time.

  147. Nancy Pate says:

    Clearly

    Because I have lupus fog and my blog is called “On a Clear Day I Can Read Forever”

  148. D.D. Syrdal says:

    Time.

    There’s never enough, and I wish I’d been born in a different time.

  149. Martina says:

    Chaos - because I live in a constant state of chaos between work, family, friends, etc.

  150. Loon says:

    Normal — Ironic exposure of this Utopian no-such-place

  151. Loon says:

    Posted — aka The End

  152. Leigh says:

    Unfinished

  153. Leigh says:

    Compulsive

  154. Bobbie says:

    Distracted

  155. Stephanie B. Reyes says:

    Qualia

    Because you can’t tell “what it’s like” to live my life, unless you’ve lived it.

  156. LoonNe says:

    Next! — Life is a möbius
    strip bread line; hop on…

  157. LoonI says:

    Lie! — Just add “f” and shake, don’t stir . . .

  158. Keely Done says:

    Undecided–because indecision is the key to flexibility!

  159. Mary mcloven says:

    Actually…

  160. Mary mcloven says:

    Retro-spect

  161. Mary mcloven says:

    Ineffable!

  162. Kelly says:

    Skirting

  163. Tes says:

    Moments!

  164. Girlygirl says:

    Extra-Ordinary

    Extraordinary or extra ordinary? Either one could be quite fitting.

  165. Loon says:

    Pork — horny male pig, chunky, loves bacon, meets carnivorous world, and then “Pork!” springs love affair with Scout and Boo, lasts a lifetime.

  166. Loon says:

    Boo — Life is a bogeyman from Stephen King’s closet until one meets her Guardian Angel, Boo Radley…

  167. Loon says:

    Ishmael — Everyman’s furtive wish: Call me . . .

  168. Loon says:

    McMurphy — Always wanted to help him choke the Big Nurse and hoist him, alive, out that impossible window . . .

  169. Loon says:

    Allie — Like Holden’s lost brother, I too wrote poems in my baseball mitt, to pass those dull outfield moments, my roses in December.

  170. Rich Dailey says:

    Feastiality.

  171. Rich Dailey says:

    Onesomeness.

  172. Tes says:

    Experimental

  173. abby ellin says:

    POINTLESS.

  174. rebecca says:

    Survived

  175. Kelly says:

    McLovin’

  176. Lynn Lamousin says:

    Catatonic (confessions of an insomniac cat lady)

  177. Anna Raff says:

    WithDrawn
    As an artist, there’s so much more to me than meets the eye

  178. EJK says:

    cacophony

  179. Angel Zapata says:

    Egotistical

    (A book all about the remarkable me)

  180. Quin Browne says:

    Yes, I’m 13 minutes late–I’ve been baking muffins.

    *sigh*

    I’ll give one anyway…

    ‘Effervescent’

    or

    ‘Eclectic’

  181. Susan Breeden says:

    Whatever.
    (Apathy has become a survival skill.)

  182. Laurel says:

    Unrequited.

    I’ve been waiting five years.

  183. Laurel says:

    Giggly.

    I always crack and laugh under pressure. I have a truly maniacal laugh.

  184. Tameka Mullins says:

    Writer.

    This word defines me the best. Throughout my life when faced with challenges, triumphs or defeats, one thing remains. My ability to pour my emotions on a page. I live, therefore, I write.

  185. Killie says:

    Ink
    -I’m a tattooed writer, it’s all about the ink. Once you write it or stab it, it lasts forever…

  186. Dave says:

    “Almost”
    because I almost make something of myself but fuck it up in the end.

  187. Morgan Zink says:

    Unstoppable.
    No matter how much life knocks me down, I keep getting right back up and proving to it I can’t be stopped.

  188. Anonymous says:

    Fucked.
    because i always either am, or want to be.

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