Page 22 - WCM 2023 Winter Flip
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 Western Maine Writes
Real Stories Behind the Books by Shellie Leger
 Katrina Ray-Saulis feels knitting is therapeutic, and considers it to be a passion that almost rivals reading and writing!
“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write”
~ Martin Luther
Western Maine writes. We write for social change, for excavating the white- hot centers of our collective truths. We write because stories are resting on our chests, and to entertain you. But mostly we write because when the mad dog is following us, we know we must whistle for it. I am fortunate to know some of our best writers.
River Valley’s Katrina Ray-Saulis
Ray-Saulis grew up first in Rumford, and finally Mexico, where she graduated from Mountain Valley High School. But it was a beloved third grade teacher who instilled in her the courage to write.
“I was a student in Judy Smith’s class – we’re still in contact, actually. It was Halloween and she assigned us to write a short story. Her desk was always messy, covered with dog figurines. I wrote a story about a teacher with a messy desk where the students shrunk and got lost in the piles. She said to me, ‘People write for a living, you know. You could be a writer someday.’
“Living in such a rural place, in poverty, led to long days to imagine – we didn’t even have electricity all the time. Up here, folks would turn it off in the summer. I had large chunks of time with no TV, and I’d read Laura Ingalls Wilder over and over, and all the American Girl doll books, and Baby-Sitters Club books. I developed a passion for reading, which ultimately led to my passion for writing.”
Ray-Saulis explains other meaningful events in her life that further crystallized her writing future. “In middle school we began writing
Katrina Ray-Saulis
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