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Six-word memoirs

“What would you tell the world if you only had six words?”

Six-word memoirs are just that, six words to share something significant whatever it may be. They are short, sweet and to the point.

Another gem that I stumbled upon in my Google reader, (I LOVE THAT THING!) six-word memoirs hosted by smithmag.net, is an ongoing project similar to efforts like PostSecret. They are similar in the way fans are the direct resource for its existence, but six-word memoirs give more of an instant gratification. Where one may send a secret and hope for it to be chosen and published, six-word memoirs pop up instantly. The memoirs are broken into categories varying from anything to Life to Moms and Food to War and it’s really easy to get caught up on exploring and reading the memoirs for hours.

Smith Magazine is a magazine that hosts a bunch of contests and forums for people to share their content on its website. Many of the story projects where participants can submit their work lead to publication through a competition to be the next published work by Smith Magazine.

Created in 2006, the six-word memoirs have been published into five books and has received over 200,000 memoirs. Larry Smith, creator of Smith Magazine, was inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s legendary six-word novel, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” He wanted a forum for people to share with each other using only six words.

Now TWLOHA has jumped on board with this project and together with smithmag they are creating a book called Six Words on Pain and Hope. There is still time to participate and try to get your six-word memoir into the book, just click on the TWLOHA tab and submit your story.

TWLOHA invited the University chapters to recreate this project on their respective campuses back in last Oct. (National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month) and I found a compilation video on the tumblr of the uchapters with some of the submissions that students shared. BEWARE! This video is great, simple and touching. It made me cry and even though it might not have such an effect on you, it’ll definitely tug at your heart strings at bit.

TWLOHA UChapters 6 Word Memoir Project from TWLOHA UChapters on Vimeo.

Sorry it’s so small! I played around with the height and width of the video and it just won’t center itself when I make it fit so if you have trouble viewing it, please click to view it on vimeo.

Overall, I thought that my readers might enjoy this site because it’s easily accessible and a quick way to vent on those bad days. No one can stop you from posting 30 of these if that’s what you feel you need to release what you may be going through. It’s also a great reminder that you are not alone. When you can look through and read some things that people from around the world have to say on certain topics, it’s a great way to evaluate your personal feelings and emotions. Some submissions are crappy, some are just simple and trivial but some are truly profound so it’s worth some inspection if you find a few extra minutes.

You have to register to post but you can register as you post your first memoir. The registration is also quick, not all the other information some sites ask for. Smithmag only asks for a valid email, a username, password and full name.

I loved it so much that I posted my own:

“beauty is everywhere, just believe it”

Lastly, a little birdie told me that IMAlive, the online crisis network I mentioned a few weeks ago will launch THIS WEEK! It’s only a test launch or “soft launch” to not overload the system and hopefully it will go according to plans and yield good results for a full scale launch. (Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the IMAlive blurb.)

Quote of the day- I couldn’t decide which I wanted to post so I’m actually giving you two.
“In the end, it doesn’t matter that everything’s in pieces. It’s how you carry them.” – Garret Freymann-Weyr
“We all live in suspense from day to day; in other words, you are the hero of your own story.” – Mary McCarthy

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IMAlive: online 24hr crisis center

So I’m really sad that IMAlive is something that I am just learning about and I’m sure that many you, my wonderful readers may not have heard of it either. IMAlive is still in the works but when it launches, it will be the first live online crisis network. IMAlive will be a 24 hour, 7 day a week internet help line. When launched, anyone can log on and chat live with a certified volunteer, through instant messaging.

“The terror of picking up the phone to call a hotline not knowing who will answer you prevents you from doing so,” the site reads. “Or, even if you have the courage to pick up the phone, the sound of the person’s voice scares you and you hang up. We know this happens because over 30% of all people who call our hotlines do just that—they hang up as soon as they hear the human voice.

More importantly, we recognize the technological age we find ourselves in today and we know that millions of people in crisis will never pick up the phone. We believe that IMAlive is part of the solution to the problem.”

IMAlive is a revolutionary idea as it brings the help right into your living room. Through partnership with To Write Love on Her Arms, PostSecret, and the Question, Persuade, and Refer Institute, which provides training and certification of volunteers, The Kristin Brooks Hope Center plans to launch IMAlive.

Originally set to launch in 2010, IMAlive is innovative in the way it plans to offer these services. Instead of hired hands to work the online help network, IMAlive is seeking volunteers from all over the U.S. and Canada. IMAlive allows real people, who are passionate about helping others become a part of the solution.

The criteria for volunteering includes:

• A genuine desire and willingness to help people in need
• At least 18 years old (*16 with parents notarized consent)
• Must have reliable Internet access
• Must complete at least 50 hours training and a series of tests and screenings.
• Must be willing to commit to responding four hours a week for one year. Or can commit to responding eight hours a week for six months.

There is, however a $250 cost combined with becoming a volunteer. The fee goes to training necessary to properly deal with people in crisis situations. So far, there are only 60 (!) trained and certified volunteers so if this is something you feel you want to do and are able to handle, SIGN UP PLEASE. I know I will be very soon.

IMAlive allows its volunteers to set up a personal page in which they can solicit donations for their fee, so if the fee scares you from signing up, don’t let it. It’s possible to fundraise the entire thing.

I personally cannot wait until this online community is launched. IMAlive has the potential to change and SAVE so many lives. It allows survivors to help others and those in need to find a solace where people truly understand their struggle. If this is something you are passionate about, if you have the resources, please donate to the cause. It’s already behind on its launch date, LET’S HELP IT GET OFF THE GROUND! This is something that people need and the sooner, the better.

Along with its own merchandise, To Write Love on Her Arms is selling IMAlive shirts which the proceeds will go to the launch of IMAlive.                                                    

The back is the lyrics to “Go” by Boys Like Girls :]

If you’re a twitter fiend, follow the movement: @_IMAlive

As promised, my quote of the day is:
“Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.” – Mary McLeod Bethune

Late V-Day :{

Firstly I want to start this post off with an apology.

I haven’t been posting like I wanted and I’m not giving this blog the attention I hoped to. I started this for a class and but I have hopes for this blog to be so much more. I’ve given up any prospects of winning my teacher’s ‘best post of the week’ because the subject that I chose to write on is for a very specific audience and not something everyone enjoys. I’m okay with that though. I write for my readers, the few of them that I have right now. I write for those who feel alone.  I write for those with a story to share. I write for those like me. I will post more and I hope you keep reading.

Even though I’m totally late and Valentine’s Day was two days ago, I know that that particular holiday can be especially painful for some. When some many of us have felt an empty space inside, devoid of any affection, a holiday all about lovers and love can be difficult to bear. The effects of Valentine’s Day sometimes linger way past Feb. 14.

On the blog of To Write Love on Her Arms, a national organization aimed at suicide prevention and awareness, a letter or “a vulnerable note written to today’s strange pink holiday” was posted and written on Valentine’s Day by TWLOHA’s founder Jamie Tworkowski. The letter was a heartfelt goodbye to all of the pain and loneliness associated with being alone on Valentine’s Day.

“To make a long story short, I think I’ve given you way too much power.  I let you scare me and I let you name me and I let you tell me what I’m worth.

I don’t want to do that anymore.”

In truth the post made me cry because it spoke the words I haven’t been able to formulate myself. It was like reading a page from my own heart.  I hope that it touches you like it touched me and I also hope that you will explore TWLOHA and what its site has to offer. Tworkowski is a powerful man. He came to Central Michigan last spring I got to hear him speak. Some of my friends got up and left because they found it boring but his story was so honest and his passion for his cause is so organic, it made a left an imprint on me. I’ve been attached to TWLOHA ever since.

If you ever feel ready to end it all and get sick of the pain, please make this call:

National suicide help lines

*1-800-SUICIDE

*1-800-237-TALK

You don’t have to suffer alone.

I also found a website that will allow you to look up any crisis centers in any state, just in case you feel more comfortable talking to someone closer to home.

Finally, I’ve decided that I will end each post with a quote, something that moves me or something I find worthy of sharing. This quote comes straight from TWOLHA’s twitter feed and it reads:

“The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals…” -Unknown