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Memoirist of the Month- February 2018: Brielle Intorcia

 “Stories became much more meaningful when they fit inside six words—they were short enough to recite in one breath, but deep enough to ponder long afterward.”

Name: Brielle Intorcia

Place: New York, New York

Member since: July 2013

Brielle Intorcia, writing as EveningCicada, details what it’s like to become an adult (“Adulting’s knowing better days are coming.”) Her memoirs give insight into her life as a pre-med double major in psychology and English, with a concentration in creative writing (“Science major praying for divine intervention“). She uses her memoirs to share her passions: travel (“Packed every bag. Destination: somewhere else.“), stories (“I feel more in fictional worlds“), and  mental health awareness and suicide prevention (“They’re not ‘disorders,’ Call them ‘conditions.'”). Congratulations to our Memoirist of the Month for February 2018. Learn more about Brielle and her desire to tell stories as she answers our Six Questions:

How did you first hear about SMITH and Six-Word Memoirs?
I was trying to overcome a dry spell in my writing career when I began researching websites for writing exercises. I was determined to try something new to freshen up my lifelong hobby. Eventually I came across Six-Word Memoirs in my sophomore year of high school and was instantly hooked. There was a certain thrill that came with condensing my chaotic life into six words. For weeks I counted my thoughts on my fingers, always excited when I landed on the sixth and final word. Stories became much more meaningful when they fit inside six words—they were short enough to recite in one breath, but deep enough to ponder long afterward.

While I like readers to develop their own perspective about what I write, lately I’ve been adding backstories to provide more depth to my memoirs. Sometimes I include original poetry in my backstories, too. I always make sure to comment on memoirs that have especially moved me; it’s important to tell people that you appreciate what they’ve shared. Six-Word Memoirs has transformed the way I write and the way I connect with other writers. I never write alone. I’m surrounded by people who share my victories and empathize with my defeats.

When did you start writing, and what have been turning points in your creative life?
I’ve been writing ever since I could hold a pencil. When I was around seven I’d write stories that featured my friends and me off on some magical adventure (complete with pathetic illustrations—thank goodness I stuck with writing). I was probably ten when I started writing poetry. I found this empty green notebook laying around and decided I’d try my hand at writing poems. In middle school I began writing—here it comes, the f-word—fanfiction based on celebrities and video games. Er, not exactly those two things together, although I’m sure that exists somewhere. Somehow my geeky twelve-year-old self gained quite a following on FanFiction.net. Posting my work online so others could read it and provide feedback was huge for me. At that point I’d been writing for a while, but it was the first time I felt truly competent at my hobby. I think at some point every writer has a “Whoa, I guess this means I’m good at this” moment, and FanFiction.Net did that for me. I also wrote original stories on its sister site, FictionPress.com. While I don’t post stories regularly online anymore, those websites gave me the confidence rush I needed to propel my writing career.

Of course, getting published in The Best Advice in Six Words was another turning point (“Write as an artist would paint”). It was incredible to declare that I was published at seventeen years old—that the words I’d typed on my smartphone screen were now staring back at me from a book in print. It’s all because of Six-Word Memoirs. I was blown away when I saw that the Chewelah Arts Guild, all the way out in Washington, quoted my published memoir on its Facebook page. To know that a dweeb like myself reached somebody over 2,600 miles away is, well, crazy. This is what I’d always worked for—to see my name in print, in a hardcover book—and it’s only the beginning. As for the next step: I was recently accepted into Fordham’s selective Creative Writing Concentration. I’m looking forward to the new turning points this next journey is sure to bring.

Please share a favorite Six-Word Memoir, Moment or other backstory of yours on SMITH and tell us why it’s meaningful to you?
This one’s tough. Sometimes the kind comments I receive make me love a memoir I felt otherwise neutral about, or bring a new perspective I hadn’t considered. In any case, one of my favorite memoirs is “Tagged along on their adventures, breathless.” I wrote this after finishing the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. I keep this memoir in mind when I write because I don’t want my readers looking in through a window when they read my stories—I want them there, actually there with my characters, crawling and crying and cheering and running to catch up with them, the whole way through.

What authors inspire you or do you admire, including writers on Six-Word Memoirs?
I credit Markus Zusak with being the first author to inspire me to not just write, but tell a story. Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Maas are also on top, as well as Sylvia Plath and Pablo Neruda. I’m not sure if he counts, but singer/songwriter Billy Joel also makes my list—the way he weaves stories into his music is effortless and captivating.

The Six Words community has some of the warmest and most supportive members I’ve ever met. ksan and I are kindred spirits moved by the elegance of Japanese tradition. I always look forward to torturedbutterfly’s poignant contributions. BanjoDan’s memoirs are the perfect blend of humor and compassion. ShellDeFelice, raisedbywolves, canadafreeze, and Silken were some of the first members to welcome me to the community and continue to leave lovely comments. Neesha101 and jl333 always make me smile.” I’d be here till tomorrow if I listed everyone on here that moved me, so remember that I cherish all of you.

When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
I love video games! I’m always playing something. I’m also a mixed martial artist, although because of college I’m currently only training in the summer. You can find me at Barnes and Noble, crouching in the Young Adult section, analyzing three or four copies of the same book to determine which one is in the best condition. I also frequently prowl the streets of Manhattan in search of the best dessert places. In my downtime (which lasts about 40 seconds), I like to research health conditions and treatments around the world. I’m also obsessed with world travel—I’m usually mapping adventures around Japan and Europe (literally anywhere, let’s go), planning trips that I swear one day I’ll be able to afford. I love learning languages despite the time crunch that is my life, and I aim to attain fluency in several foreign tongues. I’m also on the executive board of our school’s chapter of Active Minds, an organization dedicated to eliminating the stigma surrounding mental illness. I’m a huge advocate of suicide prevention and mental health awareness.

Finally, what are your Six Words for today?
“Be fearless and you’ll be unstoppable.”

Comments

  • OrlandoPat
    February 6, 2018

    “short enough to recite in one breath, but deep enough to ponder long afterward.” – I love that!

  • torturedbutterfly
    February 7, 2018

    Omg, huge congratulations, EveningCicada!!! I love reading your sixes, and I’m touched that you mention me in your interview. I loved reading it, by the way. I’m super proud. 🙂 Keep writing and succeeding.

    -Butterfly

  • J3nny
    February 7, 2018

    Brielle, you’re as beautiful as your screen name here.
    Congratulations on this February honor. Well deserved.

    You wrote a six a while back…. something like “Hardest thing, getting over a ghost”. One of my all time favorites that I think about often. So true.

    Enjoy the spotlight and good luck in all future endeavors!

    Jen

    • DynamicDbytheC/DDC
      February 9, 2018

      Thanks for sharing that memoir. That one will stick always.

  • jl333
    February 7, 2018

    Wow, what a beautiful name! Clearly you’re a busy young woman…but I see you like dessert about as much as I do. No wonder we can connect so easily! Best wishes to you and your future travels! Congrats on the feature. Oh, and I really like the photo of you holding the sign that reads, “The world needs you here”.

  • canadafreeze
    February 7, 2018

    Woot! So happy to see you featured, Brielle. Congratulations on being February’s MOTM, a well deserved honour. I fully expect to hear great things about you as you make your way through life’s journey.

  • Silken
    February 7, 2018

    Ah finally !! We can write now.
    Beautiful sixes, beautiful poems, beautiful young lady.
    Congratulations!

  • BanjoDan
    February 7, 2018

    Dear Brielle, you are a remarkable young lady and I enjoyed learning more about your interests and goals in life, Plath, Neruda and Joel are three of my favorites also!

  • Skinny
    February 7, 2018

    It is an honor to meet you, Brielle. You humble me with your accomplishments. Congratulations on this much-deserved honor. You are quite wonderful!

  • liberata
    February 7, 2018

    Lovely interview, Brielle! So happy to get to know you better.

  • Lisa
    February 7, 2018

    Keep being you… congratulations Brielle.

  • maryjane31
    February 7, 2018

    For some strange reason, I thought you were older. I love your sixes and enjoyed learning more about you. Congrats on the MOTM!

  • Tricia
    February 7, 2018

    Brielle,
    It’s wonderful to learn more about you. Your poise and eloquence are so admirable and the fact you’re just starting your creative journey gives me so much hope for the future of beautiful writing. All the best to you! -Trix

  • Solstice
    February 8, 2018

    Like maryjane 31, I also thought you were older! I always enjoy your Sixes and have loved your profile name forever! Big congratulations on being February’s MOTM!
    Oh, and “Write as an artist would paint” was my very most favorite Six in the Advice book!! That was you!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!

  • CanadaGoose
    February 8, 2018

    Congratulations, Brielle, on being this month’s MOTM!
    You are an inspiration to us all. Your Sixes showcase your mature outlook and talent. Thank you.

  • DynamicDbytheC/DDC
    February 8, 2018

    Young beauty, sixy writer, soulful visionary. I never would have believed your youth. You are one of the “people in my neighborhood” at Smithmag (Google that under Mr. Rogers, ha). Your memoirs are way beyond your years. Glad to know more than six words about you.

  • shelldefelice
    February 8, 2018

    Beautiful, brilliant and creative…girl, you are a triple threat! I’ll join in with the awe and surprise at your short years on the planet…The depth of your writing definitly speaks,”Old Soul.” Happy to meet you Miss Brielle!!

  • catsmeow
    February 9, 2018

    Oh yes, you are going places, girl!

  • JoC
    February 12, 2018

    Congratulations, Brielle! I can only echo the words of others: your name is beautiful, your profile name is also beautiful, I thought you were older, I have loved so many of the Sixes you have written, and I, too, love Plath & Joel, and now I must check out Neruda! Kudos to you for winning a well-deserved honor.

  • Kharis (Jo)
    February 14, 2018

    Brielle Intorcia/Evening Cicada are both such beautiful, lyrical names and they perfectly suit your beautiful face and soul. Congratulations on being this month’s featured writer and I wish you every success with your writing and future. May I also congratulate you on your involvement with Active Minds- understanding mental illness and preventing suicide are such vitally important causes. Finally, hope you plan a trip to Australia!

  • RaisedbyWolves
    February 14, 2018

    Wonderful, thanks for sharing!

  • Kimm Smith
    February 16, 2018

    Congrats Lady!
    Never stop writing. We appreciate it.

  • Cara
    February 18, 2018

    Brielle,

    Congratulations. I would never have guessed your young age because your words ring with a maturity and wisdom that belies time. So happy to get to know you better.

  • Jannna
    February 20, 2018

    Congratulations!!!

  • Ksan
    February 28, 2018

    私はあなたの知人ひぐらしを作ることができてうれしいです
    ======================
    Ah, tranquility!
    Penetrating the very rock,
    A cicada’s voice

    閑けさや 
    岩にしみいる 
    蝉の声

    Shizukesa ya
    Iwa ni shimiiru
    Semi no koe

    Haiku poem from Matsuo Basho’s book of poetry – ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’

  • Ksan
    February 28, 2018

    私はあなたの知人ひぐらしを作ることができてうれしいです
    ======================

    Ah, tranquility!
    Penetrating the very rock,
    A cicada’s voice

    閑けさや 
    岩にしみいる 
    蝉の声

    Shizukesa ya
    Iwa ni shimiiru
    Semi no koe

    Haiku poem from Matsuo Basho’s book of poetry – ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’

  • susiebell
    March 3, 2018

    Lovely, ambitious, and seriously talented. Congratulations!

  • Neesha
    March 18, 2018

    Brielle, please accept my very late congrats on your February MOTM! I’m getting caught up. I’m so glad for you, and it’s such a delight to know you better.

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