Sunday, March 13th, 2011
It’s fitting that as I tap out this note of deep gratitude that I’m at South by Southwest Interactive right now, preparing to give a talk called “How to Create an Internet Phenom for Peanuts.” I’ll talk about how you should try to make something for love over gold (though passion can ideally lead to profit) and that the most important concept I can convey is the importance of community. Sites like SMITH are both a blast and a beast to run. I’m the only full-time employee, Rachel F. works part-time and has an intense day job, and we have a few under-paid tech people who do their best to ignore our requests. And we love it.
The birth of my son, Lukas, a few weeks ago was a joyful, intense, confounding event. As that baby came into the world, it was no surprise that I neglected my first baby, SMITH Magazine (though I was lucky to have Rachel, and others like Lisa Q. and Vivian C. and Megan M. kindly picking up some of my slack). As a major life change took place, one that was all-consuming, I wanted to find a way to document it. Writing Six-Word Memoirs about my boy, and my rapidly changing life with him, have proved to be the perfect way to quickly get my feelings down, at once an easily updated journal and a form of public therapy. Your good wishes and advice in the comments of many of my Lukas Sixes came unexpectedly and delightfully.
And then a bunch of you snuck behind my back did something so special that I found myself falling in love with my first baby all over again. For starters, you sent a great batch of books, so the little guy can get off to a good start with his words, as well as a thoughtful gift for his mom. That was the easy part. The images you see here are of a framed poster of Six-Word Memoirs some of this community’s most fervant contributors wrote about the newest Smith. Little birds tell me that SMITH community member L2L3 corralled the memoirs and marymc created the original art that frames it. You offered me the best gift ever, six words at a time, from the likes of Scarecrow (“What?!! Not six lbs, six oz.?”), Loon (“Smith plagiarizes self. Lone clone home.”), GabrielJR (“Reading more picture books than novels.”) and even wackjob, who turns out to be the big softy we all suspected, offering, in six words: “Miracle boy born. Has sixth sense.”
This labor of love you created hangs in his room, a daily reminder to my boy and myself about the awesome power of words, the warm joy of having a community that’s got your back, and why you should also trust your instincts to do something you love. To the great gang of L2L3, marymc, l8leigh, lisamoans, ctgoods2, Wench, Scarecrow, Loon, Steve_Anthony, Skyrocketjones, Sisterpoet, jebcrg, JAD, GabrielJR, oopsalittle, Renegade, and wackjob I send just two words back: thank you.