“I love the love stories and the sixes about redemption and hope and bodily functions. That’s the beauty of the site; everyone is free to be themselves and show all their different sides.”
Name: Tricia Janosy
Place: Chicago, Illinois
SMITH Member Since: September 2013
Tricia Janosy knows how to turn everyday events into colorful six-word stories (“Cyberstalking bargains leaves me feeling cheap.”). Known by our community as Trix95, in just six words she’ll make you laugh (“Leaving the circus, taking my monkeys.”)—with a special talent for finding those silver linings (“Shaky ground’s a better dance floor.”), moments that matter (“Time’s run off with my boy”), and backstories that are timeless (“Radio baseball static: heavenly Dad’s communication”). Congratulations to Tricia Janosy as our Memoirist of the Month for January 2018. Discover what makes Tricia a natural part of the Six Words fold as she answers our Six Questions:
How did you first hear about Six-Word Memoirs?
It’s such an odd story that it has to be serendipity. I was mowing the lawn and kind of musing. When my mind wanders, I think about three things: ice cream (when I last had it…and when I might have it again), wine (same) and writing. I’d pretty much mastered the wine and ice cream conundrums and it was time to find an outlet to write. I started googling and found a bunch of different possibilities. I had literally just started Orange Is the New Black and Larry’s name popped out at me. I loved what I read, tried Six Words and I was hooked!
Whenever I have time between appointments, first thing in the morning, when Breaking Bad gets too violent, I pop in. I try to read them all! I love when a riff gets started and takes on a life of its own (the one a few years ago with selfies was one of my all time favorites and I miss the elephant threads). Like everyone else, I get the biggest kick out of Random Word of the Day; even if I don’t have the time/creativity to come up with something, I love seeing what people create with Dean’s prompt. [Ed. Note: RWOTD is posted by power-Sixer ADHDean. One of our favorite RWOTD submissions from Trix95: “Seeking beachy biome to call home.”]
When did you start writing and what have been turning points in your creative life?
I started writing in elementary school; for some inexplicable reason my stories always had families with dozens of kids, probably because I wanted to up my word count which is kind of ironic now. I don’t know that I’ve had anything but turning points; I’ve kind of been traveling in a circle around my wish to write my whole life.
Which authors do you enjoy or admire, including writers on Six-Word Memoirs?
My tastes are currently all over the place, but I’m a long time devotee of Anne Tyler, Ann Patchett, Richard Russo, Jennifer Weiner and Wallace Stegner so I guess my tastes have always been eclectic. No matter the author, though, I’m a notorious end-of-the-book reader. This makes my book club crazy, but ever since Leon Uris’s “Trinity”, I’ve tried to prepare myself for what might be coming. It does not always work.
As the girl who always wants to be invited to the dance, I’m not picking just one partner. Honestly, I really do enjoy them all. I’m probably most drawn to the unexpected turns of phrase/word play and the slice of life sixes. I love the love stories and the sixes about redemption and hope and bodily functions(!). I cherish that perfectly-timed uplifting six, but I don’t even mind the occasional angry six (as long as it’s not directed at another Sixer! After all, we all have our crabby moments). That’s the beauty of the site; everyone is free to be themselves and show all their different sides. Seeing a notification in my mailbox that my Six has been favorited or commented upon really is like hearing from a friend.
Can you share a favorite Six-Word Memoir, or other story of yours on SMITH and tell us why it’s meaningful to you?
Oh gosh, anything related to my family is meaningful to me. I have to say, finding out I was going to be in The Best Advice in Six Words, at a time when I wasn’t even writing (I took a hiatus for a few years) was incredible. A few months after the book came out, my sister actually found my quote on Oprah.com. I was thrilled until I saw that some well-meaning soul had edited it and it was now seven words, which took the bloom off the rose a little bit and kept me from submitting it to my high school newsletter’s “Who’s Winning at Life” column. But it was there, on OPRAH.COM, right near a quote from Amy Poehler. I have witnesses.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time and what do you enjoy doing?
I’m a social worker and have worked in a multitude of settings including adoption and hospice, so after 25 years I’ve pretty much hit the entire life cycle and have enjoyed every phase. I’m lucky enough to love what I do which (almost) makes up for my rather sad salary. I’ve been married for more than 22 years to my husband Mark and we have three children aged 20, 18, 16, as well as two dogs and an indestructible box turtle. We love to travel and have taken some wonderful trips to different parts of the world. We live in the Western Suburbs of Chicago, in a town known for its abundance of churches and lack of alcohol; I’m as surprised as anyone we’ve been allowed to stay for over seventeen years. It’s been a wonderful place to raise a family and we have the best neighbors around—it’s a beautiful “village” for sure. I grew up out East, met my husband in Michigan and we spent the first few years of our marriage in California, so my roots are definitely buried all across the U.S.. I run, I read, I work and I’m a compulsive Swifferer. If you uncork it I will come, wine glass and peanut M&M’s in hand. Honestly, I have no real hobbies to speak of but with teenagers poised to move on I better find some. I’m open to suggestions!
Finally, Tricia Janosy, what are your Six Words for today?
“Oprah, I have other works available.”