Yesterday my wife and I celebrated my birthday at Words on the Waves, soaking up the sun on several Sausalito houseboats of the South Forty Pier. This biannual event--part of LitQuake: San Francisco's Literary Festival --opened eight floating homes to 125 ticket holders during two literary sessions exhibiting North Bay writers (as well as bowls of paella and butternut squash soup with cornbread and beer).
Thematic readings ranged from 'Poetry Boat: Building Bridges with Words' to 'Tales from the Deep,' featuring readings about wayward whales and other marine mammals. 'Six-Word Memoir: Loose Lips Sink Ships' drew the biggest crowd; we missed that boat on the first round but jetted down the dock and up the winding stairwell of an exquisite home for the second.
|Piper Kerman shares her story behind 'Snitches get Stiches'|
On deck with a spectacular water view, we were entertained by three masters of memoir: Joyce Maynard, Joe Loya, and Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison, adapted into a comedy-drama Netflix series whose first season I watched in one week.
Emceed by Larry Smith, creator and editor of the Six-Word Memoir® project at the online SMITH Magazine (he also happens to be Piper Kerman's husband), this riveting hour of short-form storytelling left us spellbound by the power behind a sentence.
Each storyteller--including hilarious Simon & Schuster Editor-at-Large Tricia Boczkowsi--revealed the backstory of their six words, in line with the magazine's tradition called 'What's Six?' (Read the beautiful story of "Sonny came out. Moved in yesterday." for an example).
"Truth makes boats float. Not sink."