Until recently, I was just a children’s author. I never actually planned to be a children’s author, it just happened. I’m glad it did. I’ve written five children’s books now and I enjoy doing it. I enjoy the challenge of figuring out what lesson or moral I want to focus on next for those books. The interpretation of the children’s books is usually laid out through the pages because of the purposeful lessons written within. Although, I know there is still room for interpretation when reading the children’s books, it’s slim compared to other materials.
Take my most recent publication of my poetry book, Beneath It All, for example. The poems within are the first real and raw publication of my writing. There was not a specific lesson to teach or moral to share. Those poems are simply words that travelled from my mind to my hand and yes a few came from the heart.
However, my poetry is still subject to the interpretation of others. I’ve had various reactions to the poetry book and, admittedly, I kind of laught to myself. Not to be ugly toward the person’s interpretation, but because it reminds me of my poetry class in college.
I had a great professor. We were expected to read the assigned poems and be prepared to discuss them in class, but he gave the impression that your interpretation needed to match his. There were many times when I prayed I wouldn’t be called on because I knew what I thought the poem said was different from his thinking. There was only one time when that worked to my benefit and it was only because he proclaimed to not know what the poem meant. I did. At least, I felt I knew. See, even I interpret! He called on me and was amazed at my interpretation. I was amazed that he didn’t see it that way. But, really, the only one who truly knew what the poem meant was the author, William H. Aulden.
My point to this blog is this; we all interpret what we read differently. If I said “The cat ran away.”, some would hear it in an agonizing tone in their head while others would read it as a statement flat with fact. Unless, we hear the tone of the writing that the author intended, we still interpret the reading our own way. Let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to want to be Anne Shirley’s kindred spirit hearing the actress proclaim the desire for it than it it is to sometimes read it. It might depend on how active your imagination and thoughts are. I don’t know.
What I can tell you is that most of the poetry in my book was led by the hearing of things said. Such as Let Us Ride. That poem was spun from something I heard my favorite actor say once. Other poems are thoughts that I played with. Thoughts of my own and thoughts of others. Quite honestly, some of the poems spun from my simple love of the title placed above them. And yes, a few were created from emotions within myself. There is always a little bit of the author somewhere.
I want my writings, all of them, to be enjoyed. I want people to get something from them and I pray they have. While I know the original reason each item I write is written, I do welcome others to create their own interpretation. I just ask that the words “the author meant this” not be used unless the author was asked because only they know what they meant. Everything is subject to interpretation. Create yours and enjoy the writing, but let the author have their own.