New SixContest: We’re swimming in Sixes! Use “swim” in a Six-Word Memoir

June 2013

learn The Six-Word Memoir community is filled with lifelong learners. For many, summer is a time to take a break from education; for others, it’s a time of discovery. Your memoirs discuss things you want to learn, have learned, or wish others would learn. Your words are wishful, wistful, and downright skillful. Learn more about your fellow Sixers and their lessons learned year-round:

Teaching summer school; learning from students.

-- FinchGirl

A learning disability? A teaching disability.

-- ibotero

Life provides mountains. Learn to climb.

-- aussiegirl625

Learned to throw knives, parties, hissyfits.

-- M.Law

Reserved. Not shy. Learn the difference.

-- jk72724

This past Friday, June 21, marked the first day of summer, when the sun reached its highest point in the sky. This day, also known as the solstice, derived the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), is the longest day of the year. Six-Word Memoirists responded about their plans for the endless day.

But what about the longest season? Now that summer is upon us, time, like the sun, seems to stand still. The days are long, the nights even longer, and there is time to do and time to rest. Like all summers, this one may feel endless, but it too will come to an end. What will you do this summer? Read on below for some inspiration from your fellow sixers. From mixing mojitos to san digging with toes, these sixers plan on sweltering through a summer drenched in heat, sweat, and heart.

[caption id="attachment_4740" align="aligncenter" width="473" caption="Copyright by Moyan Brenn ("][/caption] Summer solstice skipped a beat. Raining. Amapola Favorite activity on sultry summer evenings? — Dean6805 Summer attire; grease, sweat and paint. DynamicDbytheC Planting mint for summer mojito making. accidentaltourist Long days lead to longer nights. SheFearsNone Summer headed south. Sweltering, sweating, swatting. KharisJo Dug toes in sand, unearthed summer. Level1 Summer: anguishing over bikinis and bodies. permalink

For some graduates, leaving the familiar world of their high school or college and transitioning into what is often described as the “real world” is purely exciting, a simultaneous beginning and ending that offers a host of new opportunities, all built on the solid foundation from which they are graduating. For others, however, graduation can be a time of trepidation as they leave the comforting niche of higher ed. Graduation can be a painful farewell for those who aren’t ready to leave, or for those who are left behind.

This famous rite of passage, in all its emotional complexity, is captured in your Six-Word Memoirs. You told us about your pride at earning your diploma, the struggles and doubts you faced along the way, and even about your own surprise when you actually succeeded. Parents and grandparents lauded their loved ones’ achievements and told us how much their graduates would be missed. Fears were confessed, dreams described, childhoods mourned, and metaphorical caps tossed, all in six-word packages.

Here we have compiled just a few of the vast collection of your thoughts on graduation. For more, visit the featured memoirs page or, to see several illustrated memoirs on gradation, the Six-Word Memoir Tumblr.

Shackled 'til graduation. Free 'til death.

-  jman94xx

My graduation present... was my daughter.


Graduation near. Not finding work feared.


Outdoor graduation: audience applauded, thunder clapped.


Graduation day. Goodbye, my babies.


Graduation party tomorrow, then real life.


Student requested my presence at graduation.

From the outpouring of memoirs on fathers and fatherhood, it's clear: pops are important, their impact felt whether present, absent, or no longer with us. At their best, and occasionally, at their worst, fathers have helped shape your worlds. Many Sixers revere their Dads—some traditional, others, unconventional—and reflect on how each has influenced the other’s lives. With Father’s Day approaching, we take this time to celebrate fatherhood, in all forms and descriptions. Join us and enjoy a few of our favorite Six-Word Memoirs on Dads as we honor all of the exceptional men who touch our lives so profoundly. If your father did not meet the mark, hopefully you know a Dad who has and can think of him today. Measure of good dad, his son. — Mark Hashizume (with his son, above) When I shave, Dad's the reflection. — Vincent Aurelius Dad had a second job...Superman. — MariaMaria Fishing, farming, camping. Childhood with dad. — rustlingleaves Met man, my dad in disguise? (click memoir to read the backstory)Mourning-dove

With the arrival of summer, vacation begins for students. But for non-students, summer doesn’t always mean vacation. While students sleep in, and the boredom begins, working professionals yearn for a vacation, or at least a break from constant working and wakefulness. Whether we like it or not, some things take vacations even when we don’t: from creativity to softball skills to God, these things take off without our permission. So don’t ask anyone for permission to take a vacation. Your office can be a vacation from home, and home a vacation from the office. The park becomes the beach on the weekend, your own backyard a foreign country. These SMITH users understand that vacationing from the idea of an ideal vacation can be it’s own sort of get-away. So take a vacation from what you're supposed to be doing now, and read on below for more vacation ideas:

Slept in. Vacation has officially started.


Snow shovel's eight month vacation begins.


And boredom commences with summer vacation.


Summer vacation hides the clocks& calendars.


“Congrats! What’s your Tony nomination story?” was the prompt we gave Tony Award nominees, and from actors to scenic designers, Broadway’s best scribbled out their six-word reaction to their Tony Nomination. We shared their six words, by their own hearts and indeed hands in a photo gallery—you can see some of Entertainment Weekly's Popwatch favorite sixes in a story about the Six-Word Memoir/Tony Awards collaboration. On Sunday at Radio City Music Hall, the Tony Awards winners were announced—and some of these theatrical Six-Word Memoir scribes had the chance to say a few more words to the world as they accepted their award. In the plays category, Courtney B. Vance won best performance by an actor in a featured role for Lucky Guy ("It's Kandinsky! It's painted on both sides!"). In the musicals category, Gabriel Ebert won best performance by an actor in a featured role for Matilda The Musical ("Poignancy is ephemeral. Tonys are, too!"), Billy Porter won best performance by an actor in a leading role for the winner of best musical Kinky Boots ("Theater saved my life!!! #original dream"), and for her role in Pippin, Andrea Martin won best performance by an actress in a featured role ("Never too late to start living!")

Neil Patrick Harris, who contributed his Six-Word Memoir for one of our recent books (“Barney, Doogie—average names elude me!”) was once again the perfect host. Now if he'd just share his six words on what it was like to make out with a dog. At after-parties as The Plaza and The Carlyle I had a chance to meet a few of the stars. Richard Kind, who was nominated for The Big Knife, said he loved the concept of six words, and offered these nuggets for our upcoming book, Six-Word Advice: "The journey: more fun than success." I chatted with another six-word fan, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike's talented and stunning Shalita Grant, whose six words— "Partied til 4AM, nominated by 8AM"—rung true among the joyous scene. And while first-time Tony nominee for Benj Pasek. He may not have won, but as I met his beaming mother, I knew his six words about being nominated for a Tony could not have been more true: "Jewish family freaking out on Skype!" Thanks to all the nominees who participated, and a special thanks to the inspiration behind "What's Your Six-Word Tony Story?" to Elisa Shevitz of The Broadway League and her amazing colleagues, including Erica Ryan, Shawn Purdy and Ben Pesner, as well as Ian Weiss the amazing crew of digital minds at Serino/Coyn. See photos of these memoirs below, and view the full set of photos on our Facebook page.