Her new novel is Thread and Gone.
Recently I asked Wait about what she was reading. Her reply:
I write mysteries; the most recent, Thread and Gone, is about a piece of medieval needlepoint found in a Maine attic, and the chaos (and murders!) that result. So you might assume that I read mysteries and suspense and thrillers in my free time.Visit Lea Wait's website.
But for the past month I’ve been reading the poems of Emily Dickinson.
I “discovered” Emily Dickinson and her poetry when I was still in elementary school and was assigned to “memorize a poem.” Hers were short, and made sense to me (little did I know then!) because she often used images from nature. I was hooked. A few years later I started reading analyses of the work, as well, and biographies, and went on to have classes that included her work in college and grad school.
I wrote poems, too. I was no Emily, but I learned from her use of words and her unique way of seeing her word, external and internal.
But then I moved on. I adopted my children, I worked for a corporation, and in my forties I began writing fiction: historical novels for young people and mysteries for adults.
Emily’s poems sat on a shelf over my desk, or next to my bed, but I seldom opened those books.
And then about a month ago I did. And I re-discovered the brilliance of her work. I also found out that in the past fifteen years new research on her life has newly illuminated it, and I am reading those biographies. I’m especially enjoying Alfred Habegger’s My Wars Are Laid Away in Books and Lyndall Gordon’s Lives Like Loaded Guns. And, of course, I’m re-reading her poems and letters.
I write prose during the day, and in the evening look forward to spending time with poetry.
Because words, after all, are what it’s all about.
The Page 69 Test: Thread and Gone.