Teenagers Write Killer Six-Word Memoirs

I’ve adored SMITH Mag‘s six-word memoirs for a while, and last fall they launched SMITHTeens.com to collect material for a new book written entirely by teenagers. In one year, more than 65,000 memoirs have been posted. The site is worth visiting daily for intense, from-the-heart writing. Founding Editor Larry Smith calls the teens who’ve submitted memoirs “honest and brave and funny and intense and awesome.”
That’s pretty much how we feel about the book that has come out of these submissions, I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets (HarperTeen, $9), which hits shelves tomorrow.

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Help Women, Heal the World

The New York Times Magazine recently did a big story on Why Women’s Rights Are the Cause of Our Time, and it could not be ignored. Think about it: In a very large sense, women raise children. They rear the future of humanity! And yet 70 percent of people living in poverty are women and children.
The world turns a blind eye to many atrocities committed against women, like “bride burnings” in India, which occur at a rate of once every two hours to punish or kill women whose husbands are unhappy with their dowries or who want to remarry. And not much attention is paid to the 39,000 baby girls who die annually in China because parents don’t give them the same medical care and attention that boys — more valuable children in that culture — receive.

Read the magazine for yourself to find out more — you’ll be shocked and moved to action. So here are three productive ways to channel that outrage, abroad and here at home:

1. kiva.org. Find a female entrepreneur to support on this micro-lending site. Add in your loan, as little as a few dollars, to get these women the supplies to start a small business that will not only earn your investment back, but also create a new life for their families. After you’ve given, pick up one of these handy widgets for your blog or facebook page to encourage your friends to help too.

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RED Hearts: The Wonder of Drugstore Hair Color

RED Hearts are guests posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today.
Today’s RED Hearts post is from Jessica Goodman, 19, reporting from Los Angeles, CA, who’s falling in love with her new hair color:

I have a brand-new obsession — hair dye. I love how it helps you transform into a more comfortable person, gives you the ability to change your appearance at the tip of your fingers, and lets you make your own statement whether people notice or not.

How often in life do you get granted such powers for under $10? Clairol Nice n’ Easy is the classic; it’s at most drugstores and works wonders.

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Japanese Nail Art

Though I may dress exclusively in neutral colors, I’ve always been more daring when it comes to my nails. I prefer hues so bright and bold that my fingers could guide me out of a cave.
Because of this, I’ve always wanted to try Japanese Nail Art. In Japan, girls go bonkers for the intricate and crazy designs that turn nails into 10 mini masterpieces of pop design, often with 3-D elements. From food to skulls to crystals and animals, no theme is untouched.

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Your Back-To-School Eco Bag

Billboard vinyl isn’t a material I’d normally consider for a bag, but now that TerraCycle and Yak Pak are co-creating environmentally responsible backpacks, messenger bags, wallets and totes from this material, I’m willing to take a look.

After all, TerraCycle is known for making green, affordable products from non-recyclable waste. And the bags, which are manufactured in a hydroelectric powered factory in El Salvador, are each unique because all are cut from a different section of thousands of various billboards. So that one pictured? Yours won’t look like that.

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The Indie Rock Coloring Book!

Remember the Yellow Bird Project we wrote about a couple months ago? It’s the amazing organization that funds deserving causes through its platform of great indie rock bands and musicians.
Now, YBP has teamed with illustrator Andy J. Miller to create the Yellow Bird Coloring Book ($10) — 25 pages of amazing designs inspired by its roster of bands. The profits will benefit the charities involved, like the Nature Conservatory and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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Anna Sheffield Jewelry for Target

I love, love Bing Bang jewelry. The line designed by New York-based designer Anna Sheffield is best described as punk jewelry for those who are too timid to wear spikes and studs, but don’t want to wear pearls and broaches either. (It’s a fine balance, right?)
Though Bing Bang’s prices aren’t as steep as Tiffany’s or Cartier’s, the pieces still make a little dent in your wallet. But never fear! That big red target in the sky is here to save the day! Target and Anna have teamed up to bring her great designs to stores nationwide. Ranging from $19.99 to $79.99, there’s something everyone can afford.

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Harvard Sophomore Writes Hollywood Novel

At 19, Isabel Kaplan is starting her sophomore year at Harvard. Add the fact that her first novel, Hancock Park (HarperTeen), came out this summer, and now I’m really feeling like a slacker.
Despite my pangs of jealousy, she totally won me over with this interview. Meet Isabel:

I Heart Daily: Have you always been a writer?
Isabel Kaplan: I wrote my first short story when I was seven. It was a sort of retelling of Tom Sawyer (which I suppose I must have read around the same time) — except, in my story, all of the characters were female.

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Smashing Pumpkins’ New Drummer is 19!

Mike Byrne’s life is about to get a whole lot more interesting.
The 19-year-old from Beaverton, OR just landed the gig as the Smashing Pumpkins’ new drummer. After he submitted his tapes to an open call posted by the seminal 90s band, he attended a live audition in Los Angeles, where head Pumpkin (not to be confused with “pumpkinhead’), Billy Corgan, liked what he heard.

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