I have read a couple of Lea Wait’s fiction books, so when I saw her latest book was memoir-y, I was so excited ! I am always interested in how other writers pull it together, how they structure their lives around their craft.
Lea’s book follows the seasons, and is a series of essays describing daily life at home with her husband, her writing, his painting, and their cats.
What comes through very clearly is her love for all of these things. Her four daughters and her grandchildren are also front in center in her heart and in her book.
There are some stories in the book that echo my own life, and I was happy to be reminded of my own memories about my tea-loving grandmother, walking in the beautiful Mt Auburn Cemetery in Watertown, MA, and adopting a kitten. Like Lea, I have also experienced the gut-wrenching occasion of seeing a completed written piece somehow get deleted from my computer–however, unlike Lea, I no longer have a cat to hold responsible. I only had myself to blame!
That’s the first part. The second part of the book tells us a lot about her writing process. I loved reading about the ‘how to sign a book’ quandary, as she grappled with the same issues I did prior to my first book signing last April for One Brave Thing. She generously shares with us the elements she includes when writing her own (very successful!) books. I will be starting my own character journal immediately!
But the best thing I learned from this book is that Lea was 53 when she published her first book…just like me! And she has written many, many books since then.
Hope (her favorite word!), people! It’s a beautiful thing!
This is a fast read that will appeal to anyone who loves Maine and anyone who loves their own family and town, as well as any writers. So buy Living and Writing on the Coast of Maine by Lea Wait and put it up on the shelf next to your copy of On Writing by Stephen King (whom she has met!).
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