A CLACTON author has released a book marking the 30th birthday of the baby she tragically lost.

A Bit of Spirit and a Lot of Spit is a true story written by Anna Mae, which shares her life experiences full of love affairs, life observations and personal loss.

Told from the heart, through a unique blend of prose and poetry, A Bit of Spirit and a Lot of Spit was published last month. 

Her poems provoked both tears and laughter, in celebration and commemoration of her late son’s 30th birthday. 
Anna, originally from Hertfordshire, now lives in Clacton and is active in the community, attending writing and poetry groups.

She said: “This all began about 17 years ago. Years before, I tragically lost my baby to cot death and as his 30th birthday approached, I wanted to mark the occasion, as I would have done had he lived.

"Everybody feels and bears their grief differently and if I can help even one person feel they’ve been seen and that there is a path through the thorns, that means everything.

"The poems in this book are not all bereavement ones, but the stories that lead up to each poem explain the context and I hope make for more of an experience that will help in some small way anyone who reads it.”

Returning to university at the age of 60, Anna found out she has a learning condition which affects how she reads and writes.

She said: "I wanted to pursue writing so in the year I turned 60, I went back to university to get a BA Hons in creative writing.

"It was there I discovered that I was dyslexic and not any of the lesser, more horrible labels that had been applied to me in my childhood and beyond.

"I am extremely passionate about helping others, especially kids, get into writing and reaffirm that there is nothing wrong with them - they just learn differently.

"Writing has definitely helped me see my worth and that is what I want to give to them. Being dyslexic is actually a great leveller when I’m teaching - if I can do it, so can they."