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NEAL CONAN, host:

This is Talk of the Nation. I'm Neal Conan in Washington.

(Soundbite of headlines)

CONAN: Less than three days until Valentine's Day, maybe not enough to compose a sonnet to your love, but can you manage six words? For a couple of years now, Smith Magazine has been collecting six-word memoirs by writers famous and obscure. They joined us to talk about their first collection, "Not Quite What I Was Planning," and now they're out with "Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak." So, if you have a six-words saga on either theme, our phone number is 800-989-8255. Email us, talk@npr.org, or you can post your words and read others at our Web site. That's at npr.org - just click on Talk of the Nation. Joining us now from our bureau in New York are editors Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith. Nice to have you back in the program today.

Ms. RACHEL FERSHLEISER (Editor, Smith Magazine): Nice to be here.

Mr. LARRY SMITH (Editor, Smith Magazine): Good to be here, Neal.

CONAN: And we've gotten already a bunch of listeners emailing us in. This is Helena(ph) in Philadelphia - His eyes twinkle when we talk.

Mr. SMITH: They'll come pouring in. When we put the challenge at Smith Magazine a couple of years ago, we didn't know what would happen. But whether our love, heartbreak or any part of your life, people love to tell their story, and six words is a really easy way to do it.

CONAN: And it was interesting to me. We got a bunch of emails like that. Well, this one is from Meagan(ph) in Denver - Only craigslist ad I ever answered. But there's lots on love. We would expect that before Valentine's day. We got a lot of these, too. This is from Elaias(ph) - Death-filled gaps, my wife disagreed.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Well, it's not all hearts and flowers and unicorns, you know. This book is six-word memoirs on love and heartbreak. And certainly there are some very interesting ways people have managed to screw things up over the years.

CONAN: One of the ones on that theme in the book, this is Cristy Samas(ph). Met him online, blogged our divorce.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Technology has been a huge theme in this book. I found my ex-husband on craigslist twice. Years of pillow talk, Blackberry breakup. It's a really big part of how we conduct all of our lives, and I think especially romance.

CONAN: When you guys were putting these together, was this a separate challenge to the readers of Smith Magazine or were these just culled from all of the other six word memoirs that came in?

Mr. SMITH: So many of the memoirs that came in when we first post the challenge three years ago were about love and heartbreak. So we did do a separate section, what's your six-word memoir in love and heartbreak? So, it's a mix from both projects.

CONAN: Don't trust a man who waxes, that from Noel Hancock(ph) in the book, and - Lovesick 1985, suicide by Pop Pocks. I love that.

Mr. SMITH: You know, we met that woman in a reading in San Francisco, and it's great story. She fell in love with the boy in fifth grade, heard you could commit suicide by mixing pop rocks and coke, and fortunately, it was a myth.

CONAN: (Laughing) Fortunately, a myth. Now, all of these got started I guess with that famous line from Hemingway that we mentioned the first time you're on the program. What is it again?

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Hemingway wrote a six-word story which was - For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

CONAN: And there is, as you suggested then, an entire novel behind those six words as there is in some of these six-word memoirs on love and heartbreak you have in the book. I like this one from Josh Macue(ph) - She got back on the Vespa.

Mr. SMITH: Tomorrow, maybe, I'll sell the ring. I'd love to know the whole story behind that.

CONAN: This is from Tricia(ph) in Bozeman, Montana - Joyous June wedding, then Prop 8.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Ah, heartbreaking.

CONAN: Let's see if we can some callers on the line. 800-989-8255. Email, talk@npr.org. And let's see if we can start with - this is Jeff(ph), Jeff with U.S. from Superior in Wisconsin.

JEFF (CALLER): Yeah, there a horse that retired now that was highly touted to win the triple crown. And my memoir would be Coulda, shoulda, woulda won the derby.

(Soundbite of laughter)

JEFF: Point Given, the horse Point Given.

CONAN: Point given. Yes, absolutely. And I guess that's heartbreaker of a sort.

JEFF: Oh yeah, I was there. I lost $500 that day, but I won it back in the (unintelligible) in the Belmont.

CONAN: Well, congratulations there. But not quite the kind of heartbreak were going for in this particular context.

Mr. SMITH: Our heartbreak is more like - Should have read the pre-nup agreement.

CONAN: (Laughing). The medication made him feel numb, from Tori Turner(ph). There's so many of these that are so great. I've got... just trying to turn all these by the pages dog-eared here. I love this one from Donna Bumgarner(ph) - Tried men, tried women, like cats.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: A lot of people have love for their pets, love and heartbreak, I guess. Worried that the dog liked him better, by Lindsay Ross(ph).

Mr. SMITH: And there's a lot of medication in sort of modern problems - Maybe it was the Paxil talking.

CONAN: (Laughing) Let's go to Karen(ph), Karen with us from Portland, Oregon.

KAREN (Caller): Love on a plane, two kids, is my six-word story.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: That's great. We also got one that was - Red-eye, me window, him aisle, love. We're just coming back from two weeks on book tour, and nothing that exciting happened to us on airplanes

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAN: Rarely does. Karen, is that a true story?

KAREN: It sure is. We've been married for 20 years.

CONAN: Congratulations. Have a happy Valentine's Day.

KAREN: Thank you so much. Bye.

CONAN: OK. Byebye. Let's see if we can go to - this is Ethy(ph). Ethy is calling from Philadelphia.

ETHY (Caller): It's over unless you're monogamous.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SMITH: That reminds me of one my favorites from the book - Monogamous meet at sex party, marry.

CONAN: There was also one from Esther "Lobster" Newberg, the famous agent. I'm trying to find it. You might remember…

Mr. SMITH: He told me he was single.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SMITH: That's heartbreaking, Esther.

CONAN: Ethy, thanks very much. As you're going through these, some of those famous writers, people like Christopher Morris in the book and various other people like that, did you solicit those - these people you know sort of, or did those come in over the transom?

Mr. SMITH: Our whole idea at smithmag.net is to combine the professional and the amateur. Some did come over the transom. Mario Batali and Neil LaBute are both fans of Smith. But in fact, some of our favorite writers and storytellers like Daniel Handler, we did - we did chase down. And Daniel told us - Our song, Pat Benatar's "We Belong."

Ms. FERSHLEISER: And Armistead Maupin, who is the author of the "Tales of the City" books...

CONAN: Yes.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Tells us - He still needs me at 64. We asked him for his memoir and he wrote back that it was the easiest writing assignment he'd ever been given.

CONAN: Let's see if we can go to Derrick(ph). Derrick with us from Fort Mill in South Carolina.

DERRICK (Caller): Hey, sir. I had one it's - So good, so bad, so long.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SMITH: There's a lot of regret in these six-word stories of love and heartbreak.

CONAN: Derrick, you're dining alone on Sunday?

DERRICK: Oh, yes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAN: Have a good time anyway.

DERRICK: Thank you very much. You have a great day.

CONAN: Bye-bye. This email from Mark in Orlando, Florida - Flirting, Orlando. Love, Manhattan. Heartbreak, Detroit. Sydney(ph) via email -Wedding dress for sale, worn twice.

Mr. SMITH: Images of Hemingway.

CONAN: Images of Hemingway, that's very good, Sydney. Haron(ph) in Salt Lake - Flowers fade, love should last longer.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: In a perfect world.

CONAN: This, Cole(ph) in Cincinnati, Ohio emails: College boys are really, really awful.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SMITH: It helps to label the books.

CONAN: Gary in Buffalo - Dumped when mom died, I survived.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: That's, ah...

CONAN: That's - boy. Yeah. Which is the one about cancer in here?

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Well, we've got a couple but - you want to go on the heartbreaking tip, we've got Michael Malice's(ph) - She got Hodgkin's Lymphoma, I bailed.

CONAN: Ooooh.

Mr. SMITH: There's a toast to a line that all happy families have the same story, and each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. And we really feel this in this book. We could have done a book of just happy love stories, but we decided that to reflect what came in at Smith, really, it's a lot of heartbreak in the book. But it's a fun book, don't get me wrong.

CONAN: Dozens of people have posted their six-word memoirs on our Web site, that's at npr.org/talk. Karen Allyson(ph) wrote - Alone but never lonely, that's me. Beth See(ph) - He lets me Bogart the computer. Carrie…

Ms. FERSHLEISER: That's love.

CONAN: That's love. Carrie(ph) - Should have considered nose hair trimmer.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAN: And Brandy(ph) - He didn't get on the plane.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Very Casablanca.

CONAN: That's very Casablanca. Let's go to Cheryl(ph). Cheryl calling from Cleveland. Go ahead, Cheryl.

CHERYL (Caller): Hello.

CONAN: Yeah, you're on the air.

CHERYL: It's - weight gain, hair loss, we're even.

CONAN: That's love.

CHERYL: It is.

Mr. SMITH: Endurance is an expression of love, as Lee Woodriff(ph) told us.

CONAN: Have a great Valentine's Day, Cheryl.

CHERYL: Thank you. You too.

CONAN: Bye bye. Let's go now to Rob. Rob with us from Saint Gabriel, Louisiana.

ROB (Caller): Yes, mine is - Yes, dear, you're right, I'm sorry.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SMITH: I repeat, endurance is an expression of love.

ROB: Yes, I've used it as a philosophy of my marriage, my wife has always been right. I verified it with numerous (unintelligible) and they've all agreed. And it's a phrase that only men can say.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: I'm not going to contradict you on that one.

CONAN: Here's one, a regretful one from the other side of the equation, Rob. This is from Paula Edgar(ph) - He picked Jets over sex, sigh.

Mr. SMITH: Men talk much more about sports - Wouldn't give up the remote - and technology, perhaps. But men also know to keep love enduring, you really do need to say you're sorry.

CONAN: Rob, have a Happy Valentine's Day.

ROB: I always do.

CONAN: Bye-bye. Let's go now to Will. Will with us from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

WILL (Caller): How you doing? Mine is - We fight, we kiss, we love.

CONAN: It's another one in the sustainability category.

WILL: You bet.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAN: Here's another one from the book on the - where is this story behind this one? This one from Martha Garvey(ph) - Teen homewrecker, still miss his kid.

Mr. SMITH: One of the things about traveling around the country is that we do get to hear some of these back stories and they are amazing. We can find out the stories from people in person, but also you make up a story in your head. That's half the fun of the book.

CONAN: It does provoke the imagination. It is really astonishing. Let's see if we can go now to Patrick, Patrick calling from Lansing, Michigan.

PARTICK (Caller): Yeah, mine is - My friend left her, his loss.

CONAN: Oh, there is a number in the book on that theme, aren't there?

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Yeah, you know, so many things that sound so heartbreaking when you first hear about them, sometimes they're love for somebody else.

CONAN: Patrick, thanks very much for the call.

PATRICK: Have a good one.

CONAN: Sounds like you're going to have a good Valentine's Day. Why do we keep thinking it's Thanksgiving?

Ms. FERSHLEISER: (Laughing) You can be grateful for the love that you have or the freedom you've encountered.

CONAN: This is from Ariel(ph) in Hailey, Idaho - Almost gave up, there he was. Connie in Boise emails us - Aren't we glad we didn't quit? This from Eric - Confused, discovered boys, partied, settled down.

Mr. SMITH: Tried men, tried women, like cats, Donna Bumgarner(ph) tells us.

CONAN: And let's see if we can go to John in Tucson, Arizona.

JOHN (Caller): Yes, mine is - Diamond was too small, I re-enlisted.

CONAN: Oh, there's a story behind that.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: People love to talk about rings.

CONAN: And…

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Three engagement rings, no wedding band.

CONAN: And so the diamond was too small and it cost you how many years in the military?

JOHN: It's going to be - probably another six.

CONAN: Well, buy bigger next time.

JOHN: Yes, definitely.

CONAN: OK, John. Thanks very much. Bye bye. Let's see, this is Holly(ph), writes us, True love is peace of mind. There's a fair number on the philosophical point of view like that. This, from Howard - Single, then married, divorced, then single. We're talking about "Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure" edited by Smith magazine. You're listening to Talk of the Nation from NPR News. And here's another email. This one from Dan - I love you isn't strong enough.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Ah, That's nice.

CONAN: A pretty good one.

Mr. SMITH: It reminds me of, on the other side of the equation - He sees the me I don't.

CONAN: He sees the me I don't. Let's see if we can go to Deidre(ph). Deidre calling from Cornwall, Connecticut.

DEIDRE (Caller): Hi, yeah, this is what's inside my wedding ring. I met my husband and married him three weeks later - A deep breath and a leap.

CONAN: So you have that inscribed on the wedding ring before you'd ever heard of Six-Word Memoirs?

DEIDRE: That's right. Half of it is mine and half is in his.

CONAN: And it does describe after being married after only three weeks knowing each other?

DEIDRE: That's it. And it's been the best leap I ever did.

CONAN: How long have you been married now?

DEIDRE: Eighteen years.

CONAN: Congratulations.

DEIDRE: Thank you. Loving it.

CONAN: Bye-bye.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Six words really does seem to have a magic to it. Even if you didn't get it from Hemmingway or from us, we find it all over the place, like inside her rings.

CONAN: Let's go to Victor, Victor calling from Portland, Oregon.

VICTOR (Caller): Yeah, hi. If you like numbers - One birthday, twenty five years later.

CONAN: One birthday, twenty five years later.

VICTOR: Yes, I met my wife - I was born in Los Angeles. She was born in Normandy, France. We met - excuse me - in Moscow, Russia. It turns out we're both born same day, month and year. And in April, we'll be celebrating our 25th anniversary.

CONAN: Victor, congratulations.

VICTOR: Thank you.

CONAN: That's an improbable one.

Mr. SMITH: Six-word kismet.

CONAN: Kismet. This is from Mimi in Reedsburg, Wisconsin: Two lives shared multiply each other. That's nice.

Mr. SMITH: It reminds me of George Saunders who writes, What once were two are one.

CONAN: This is from Ashley via email - Pregnant, he marries best friend's widow. Wow.

Mr. SMITH: We have another one like that - Girlfriend is pregnant, my husband said.

CONAN: This is from Madeleine(ph) in Pocatello - Found my ideal New Englander in Idaho.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Location, location, location.

CONAN: Christian(ph) is with us, speaking of locations, in Birmingham, Alabama. Christian, you there?

CHRISTIAN (Caller): Yes.

CONAN: Go ahead, Christian.

CHRISTIAN: Well - She left me in the hospital.

CONAN: Wow.

CHRISTIAN: That's what you are talking about earlier.

CONAN: Yeah, that's a true story, huh?

CHRISTIAN: Oh, definitely.

CONAN: And what was…

CHRISTIAN: I had broken my little right leg in about 12 places. They said it was about 12 pieces, I guess. Anyways, it was just too much for her, so she walked out.

CONAN: OK, well, I guess you got to find these things out some time. But maybe not that time.

CHRISTIAN: Yeah. Well, it happens, but, you know, you move on.

CONAN: Alright. Thanks very much.

CHRISTIAN: Thank you.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: These have certainly proven me wrong for all those times I go, ugh, men are horrible.

(Soundbite of laughtth us from Portland, Oregon.

KAREN (Caller): Love on a plane, two kids, is my six-word story.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: That's great. We also got one that was - Red-eye, me window, him aisle, love. We're just coming back from two weeks on book tour, and nothing that exciting happened to us on airplanes

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAN: Rarely does. Karen, is that a true story?

KAREN: It sure is. We've been married for 20 years.

CONAN: Congratulations. Have a happy Valentine's Day.

KAREN: Thank you so much. Bye.

CONAN: OK. Byebye. Let's see if we can go to - this is Ethy(ph). Ethy is calling from Philadelphia.

ETHY (Caller): It's over unless you're monogamous.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SMITH: That reminds me of one my favorites from the book - Monogamous meet at sex party, marry.

CONAN: There was also one from Esther "Lobster" Newberg, the famous agent. I'm trying to find it. You might remember…

Mr. SMITH: He told me he was single.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SMITH: That's heartbreaking, Esther.

CONAN: Ethy, thanks very much. As you're going through these, some of those famous writers, people like Christopher Morris in the book and various other people like that, did you solicit those - these people you know sort of, or did those come in over the transom?

Mr. SMITH: Our whole idea at smithmag.net is to combine the professional and the amateur. Some did come over the transom. Mario Batali and Neil LaBute are both fans of Smith. But in fact, some of our favorite writers and storytellers like Daniel Handler, we did - we did chase down. And Daniel told us - Our song, Pat Benatar's "We Belong."

Ms. FERSHLEISER: And Armistead Maupin, who is the author of the "Tales of the City" books...

CONAN: Yes.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Tells us - He still needs me at 64. We asked him for his memoir and he wrote back that it was the easiest writing assignment he'd ever been given.

CONAN: Let's see if we can go to Derrick(ph). Derrick with us from Fort Mill in South Carolina.

DERRICK (Caller): Hey, sir. I had one it's - So good, so bad, so long.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SMITH: There's a lot of regret in these six-word stories of love and heartbreak.

CONAN: Derrick, you're dining alone on Sunday?

DERRICK: Oh, yes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAN: Have a good time anyway.

DERRICK: Thank you very much. You have a great day.

CONAN: Bye-bye. This email from Mark in Orlando, Florida - Flirting, Orlando. Love, Manhattan. Heartbreak, Detroit. Sydney(ph) via email -Wedding dress for sale, worn twice.

Mr. SMITH: Images of Hemingway.

CONAN: Images of Hemingway, that's very good, Sydney. Haron(ph) in Salt Lake - Flowers fade, love should last longer.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: In a perfect world.

CONAN: This, Cole(ph) in Cincinnati, Ohio emails: College boys are really, really awful.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SMITH: It helps to label the books.

CONAN: Gary in Buffalo - Dumped when mom died, I survived.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: That's, ah...

CONAN: That's - boy. Yeah. Which is the one about cancer in here?

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Well, we've got a couple but - you want to go on the heartbreaking tip, we've got Michael Malice's(ph) - She got Hodgkin's Lymphoma, I bailed.

CONAN: Ooooh.

Mr. SMITH: There's a toast to a line that all happy families have the same story, and each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. And we really feel this in this book. We could have done a book of just happy love stories, but we decided that to reflect what came in at Smith, really, it's a lot of heartbreak in the book. But it's a fun book, don't get me wrong.

CONAN: Dozens of people have posted their six-word memoirs on our Web site, that's at npr.org/talk. Karen Allyson(ph) wrote - Alone but never lonely, that's me. Beth See(ph) - He lets me Bogart the computer. Carrie…

Ms. FERSHLEISER: That's love.

CONAN: That's love. Carrie(ph) - Should have considered nose hair trimmer.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAN: And Brandy(ph) - He didn't get on the plane.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Very Casablanca.

CONAN: That's very Casablanca. Let's go to Cheryl(ph). Cheryl calling from Cleveland. Go ahead, Cheryl.

CHERYL (Caller): Hello.

CONAN: Yeah, you're on the air.

CHERYL: It's - weight gain, hair loss, we're even.

CONAN: That's love.

CHERYL: It is.

Mr. SMITH: Endurance is an expression of love, as Lee Woodriff(ph) told us.

CONAN: Have a great Valentine's Day, Cheryl.

CHERYL: Thank you. You too.

CONAN: Bye bye. Let's go now to Rob. Rob with us from Saint Gabriel, Louisiana.

ROB (Caller): Yes, mine is - Yes, dear, you're right, I'm sorry.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SMITH: I repeat, endurance is an expression of love.

ROB: Yes, I've used it as a philosophy of my marriage, my wife has always been right. I verified it with numerous (unintelligible) and they've all agreed. And it's a phrase that only men can say.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: I'm not going to contradict you on that one.

CONAN: Here's one, a regretful one from the other side of the equation, Rob. This is from Paula Edgar(ph) - He picked Jets over sex, sigh.

Mr. SMITH: Men talk much more about sports - Wouldn't give up the remote - and technology, perhaps. But men also know to keep love enduring, you really do need to say you're sorry.

CONAN: Rob, have a Happy Valentine's Day.

ROB: I always do.

CONAN: Bye-bye. Let's go now to Will. Will with us from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

WILL (Caller): How you doing? Mine is - We fight, we kiss, we love.

CONAN: It's another one in the sustainability category.

WILL: You bet.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAN: Here's another one from the book on the - where is this story behind this one? This one from Martha Garvey(ph) - Teen homewrecker, still miss his kid.

Mr. SMITH: One of the things about traveling around the country is that we do get to hear some of these back stories and they are amazing. We can find out the stories from people in person, but also you make up a story in your head. That's half the fun of the book.

CONAN: It does provoke the imagination. It is really astonishing. Let's see if we can go now to Patrick, Patrick calling from Lansing, Michigan.

PARTICK (Caller): Yeah, mine is - My friend left her, his loss.

CONAN: Oh, there is a number in the book on that theme, aren't there?

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Yeah, you know, so many things that sound so heartbreaking when you first hear about them, sometimes they're love for somebody else.

CONAN: Patrick, thanks very much for the call.

PATRICK: Have a good one.

CONAN: Sounds like you're going to have a good Valentine's Day. Why do we keep thinking it's Thanksgiving?

Ms. FERSHLEISER: (Laughing) You can be grateful for the love that you have or the freedom you've encountered.

CONAN: This is from Ariel(ph) in Hailey, Idaho - Almost gave up, there he was. Connie in Boise emails us - Aren't we glad we didn't quit? This from Eric - Confused, discovered boys, partied, settled down.

Mr. SMITH: Tried men, tried women, like cats, Donna Bumgarner(ph) tells us.

CONAN: And let's see if we can go to John in Tucson, Arizona.

JOHN (Caller): Yes, mine is - Diamond was too small, I re-enlisted.

CONAN: Oh, there's a story behind that.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: People love to talk about rings.

CONAN: And…

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Three engagement rings, no wedding band.

CONAN: And so the diamond was too small and it cost you how many years in the military?

JOHN: It's going to be - probably another six.

CONAN: Well, buy bigger next time.

JOHN: Yes, definitely.

CONAN: OK, John. Thanks very much. Bye bye. Let's see, this is Holly(ph), writes us, True love is peace of mind. There's a fair number on the philosophical point of view like that. This, from Howard - Single, then married, divorced, then single. We're talking about "Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure" edited by Smith magazine. You're listening to Talk of the Nation from NPR News. And here's another email. This one from Dan - I love you isn't strong enough.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Ah, That's nice.

CONAN: A pretty good one.

Mr. SMITH: It reminds me of, on the other side of the equation - He sees the me I don't.

CONAN: He sees the me I don't. Let's see if we can go to Deidre(ph). Deidre calling from Cornwall, Connecticut.

DEIDRE (Caller): Hi, yeah, this is what's inside my wedding ring. I met my husband and married him three weeks later - A deep breath and a leap.

CONAN: So you have that inscribed on the wedding ring before you'd ever heard of Six-Word Memoirs?

DEIDRE: That's right. Half of it is mine and half is in his.

CONAN: And it does describe after being married after only three weeks knowing each other?

DEIDRE: That's it. And it's been the best leap I ever did.

CONAN: How long have you been married now?

DEIDRE: Eighteen years.

CONAN: Congratulations.

DEIDRE: Thank you. Loving it.

CONAN: Bye-bye.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Six words really does seem to have a magic to it. Even if you didn't get it from Hemmingway or from us, we find it all over the place, like inside her rings.

CONAN: Let's go to Victor, Victor calling from Portland, Oregon.

VICTOR (Caller): Yeah, hi. If you like numbers - One birthday, twenty five years later.

CONAN: One birthday, twenty five years later.

VICTOR: Yes, I met my wife - I was born in Los Angeles. She was born in Normandy, France. We met - excuse me - in Moscow, Russia. It turns out we're both born same day, month and year. And in April, we'll be celebrating our 25th anniversary.

CONAN: Victor, congratulations.

VICTOR: Thank you.

CONAN: That's an improbable one.

Mr. SMITH: Six-word kismet.

CONAN: Kismet. This is from Mimi in Reedsburg, Wisconsin: Two lives shared multiply each other. That's nice.

Mr. SMITH: It reminds me of George Saunders who writes, What once were two are one.

CONAN: This is from Ashley via email - Pregnant, he marries best friend's widow. Wow.

Mr. SMITH: We have another one like that - Girlfriend is pregnant, my husband said.

CONAN: This is from Madeleine(ph) in Pocatello - Found my ideal New Englander in Idaho.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Location, location, location.

CONAN: Christian(ph) is with us, speaking of locations, in Birmingham, Alabama. Christian, you there?

CHRISTIAN (Caller): Yes.

CONAN: Go ahead, Christian.

CHRISTIAN: Well - She left me in the hospital.

CONAN: Wow.

CHRISTIAN: That's what you are talking about earlier.

CONAN: Yeah, that's a true story, huh?

CHRISTIAN: Oh, definitely.

CONAN: And what was…

CHRISTIAN: I had broken my little right leg in about 12 places. They said it was about 12 pieces, I guess. Anyways, it was just too much for her, so she walked out.

CONAN: OK, well, I guess you got to find these things out some time. But maybe not that time.

CHRISTIAN: Yeah. Well, it happens, but, you know, you move on.

CONAN: Alright. Thanks very much.

CHRISTIAN: Thank you.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: These have certainly proven me wrong for all those times I go, ugh, men are horrible.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Because clearly we're equal-opportunity offenders.

CONAN: Oscar(ph) is on the line from Tucson, Arizona.

OSCAR (Caller): Yes, it's…

CONAN: Whoops, I think Oscar is…

OSCAR: Worry…

CONAN: I'm sorry, go ahead, Oscar. We've lost your signal there for a second.

OSCAR: Oh, yeah. Steve Perry of Journey just turned 60 in January 22nd, the most famous rock ballad: I'll be all right without you.

CONAN: I'll be all right without you. Yeah. OK. That - I guess it works to quote others but that's nice, Oscar. Thanks very much. This is from the book from Julie Clam(ph) - Hired me, fired me, married me.

Mr. SMITH: It's a whole story in six words. Those are some of our favorite.

CONAN: Let's see if we can go now to Mary. Mary with us from Atwater, Minnesota.

MARY (Caller): Hi. Mine is - I went crazy twice, he stayed.

CONAN: That's a good one, Mary.

MARY: Thank you (laughing).

CONAN: And he stayed for how long now?

MARY: We've been married - it'll be 10 years this August.

CONAN: Well, congratulations and have a great Valentine's Day.

MARY: Thank you. You too. Bye-bye.

CONAN: Let's see if we can get - let's go to Daryl(ph). Daryl with us from Scottsdale, Arizona.

DARYL (Caller): I've got two, but I'll give you just one if you want.

CONAN: Just the one.

DARYL: What she said was not true.

CONAN: Ooh. Daryl, we're not going to ask.

DARYL: That's fine.

CONAN: OK. We're going to end, though. This email from Mike in Indianapolis. My memoir on love - Good or bad, I had fun.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: That's all you can ask, really.

CONAN: That's all you can ask, really. Thank you both very much for being with us today. This has been fun.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Thank you.

Mr. SMITH: Our pleasure.

CONAN: "Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure" edited by Smith magazine. Our guests were Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser. They co-edited the book, and they joined us from our bureau in New York. You can post your own six-word memoirs and read samples from the book at npr.org/talk. Tomorrow, Steve Inskeep, a familiar name to most of you, will be joining us to talk about his trip to Iran for Morning Edition. So, join us tomorrow on Talk of the Nation. This is Talk of the Nation from NPR News. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Ms. FERSHLEISER: Because clearly we're equal-opportunity offenders.

CONAN: Oscar(ph) is on the line from Tucson, Arizona.

OSCAR (Caller): Yes, it's…

CONAN: Whoops, I think Oscar is…

OSCAR: Worry…

CONAN: I'm sorry, go ahead, Oscar. We've lost your signal there for a second.

OSCAR: Oh, yeah. Steve Perry of Journey just turned 60 in January 22nd, the most famous rock ballad: I'll be all right without you.

CONAN: I'll be all right without you. Yeah. OK. That - I guess it works to quote others but that's nice, Oscar. Thanks very much. This is from the book from Julie Clam(ph) - Hired me, fired me, married me.

Mr. SMITH: It's a whole story in six words. Those are some of our favorite.

CONAN: Let's see if we can go now to Mary. Mary with us from Atwater, Minnesota.

MARY (Caller): Hi. Mine is - I went crazy twice, he stayed.

CONAN: That's a good one, Mary.

MARY: Thank you (laughing).

CONAN: And he stayed for how long now?

MARY: We've been married - it'll be 10 years this August.

CONAN: Well, congratulations and have a great Valentine's Day.

MARY: Thank you. You too. Bye-bye.

CONAN: Let's see if we can get - let's go to Daryl(ph). Daryl with us from Scottsdale, Arizona.

DARYL (Caller): I've got two, but I'll give you just one if you want.

CONAN: Just the one.

DARYL: What she said was not true.

CONAN: Ooh. Daryl, we're not going to ask.

DARYL: That's fine.

CONAN: OK. We're going to end, though. This email from Mike in Indianapolis. My memoir on love - Good or bad, I had fun.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: That's all you can ask, really.

CONAN: That's all you can ask, really. Thank you both very much for being with us today. This has been fun.

Ms. FERSHLEISER: Thank you.

Mr. SMITH: Our pleasure.

CONAN: "Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure" edited by Smith magazine. Our guests were Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser. They co-edited the book, and they joined us from our bureau in New York. You can post your own six-word memoirs and read samples from the book at npr.org/talk. Tomorrow, Steve Inskeep, a familiar name to most of you, will be joining us to talk about his trip to Iran for Morning Edition. So, join us tomorrow on Talk of the Nation. This is Talk of the Nation from NPR News. I'm Neal Conan in Washington.

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