Sunday, February 23, 2014

Deeper Meaning

Something interesting that has happened since publishing my books is that people have started asking me what certain aspects of my book "really mean." I've had questions about whom my characters represent (not just inspiration, but literal translation from person to character), what metaphors I've used, and so forth.

I think that this search or perception of deeper meaning can be found in just about anything--books, music, movies, etc. Sometimes it's there (C.S. Lewis filled his writing with deeper meaning), and sometimes it isn't (Tolkien stated that he hated allegory, yet people still look at "Lord of the Rings" in that light). 

Let me tell you what I think on this matter. I believe that if you wish to see something good and meaningful, then you will. Likewise, if you wish to believe something to be corrupt, you will probably find evidence of it. 

I should make a point of saying that I do not believe that there is no such thing as "bad" media. In fact, I think there are things out there that no one should be watching or reading. However, you can be exposed to truly horrible images or words and choose to take away something profound. Does that mean you should seek out horrible things? No. I think it is important to choose entertainment wisely and with discretion. But this post is meant to be about general things (namely, my books), not extremes.

Now, back to my main point.

A writer (or director or artist) can put whatever deeper meaning they want into his/her work. Once it has been released to the world, though, the writer's intentions only carry marginal meaning. You hand your work to your audience, and it is now up to them how it is interpreted. You can try to control it (many have tried), but you cannot control what another person thinks or feels about your work. Unless it is part of the written story, it is nothing more than the writer's opinion.

I'm sure many people would disagree with me on this subject. After all, isn't the creator of the work the one who knows it best? Wouldn't they have all the answers? Perhaps, but that does not give them control over a world of readers.

I can say that Adesina (my main character) is a metaphor for the decreased population of bees (she isn't, by the way...I just needed a really random example). Since I said it, and since I'm the writer, it HAS to be true! You must now think of her in that way.

Does that make any sense? No, it doesn't. And that, my friends, is why I believe in this principle.

So, to come to the point, I can tell you what I think of my story. I can tell you what the characters and situations and dialogue mean to me. I cannot, however, tell you what the same things mean to you.

I hope that my readers find deeper meaning in my books. I believe it makes reading more interesting. And I also hope that the meaning found is something uplifting and thought-provoking. That would make me feel that I have spent my time doing something worthwhile. I do not know what that meaning will be for each of you, though.

Perhaps, if you feel so inclined, you can share your thoughts and experiences with me (and I with you). Then you can see the story through my eyes, and I can see it through yours. Otherwise, I am content to let you think whatever you wish about Adesina and her world.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My Triumphant Return

Hello, my faithful few! I said that I would return, and I have. Granted, I said that I would return when the chaos died down and that has not yet happened. Chaos reigns supreme in my home. Still, the baby is sleeping and my toddler is temporarily distracted by an offering of raisins. I have a few minutes to write this post before Lewis calls me away again.

December was a busy and blessed month for our family. We were joined by a beautiful baby girl, and our lives haven't been the same since. Just as I refer to my son as "Lewis" (for the sake of privacy), I shall refer to my daughter as "Eliza" on this blog. She is a sweet-tempered baby, and she sleeps quite well. My life as a mother of two is definitely an adjustment, but I have been surrounded by such loving and supportive family and friends. When Lewis was a baby I often felt that I wasn't cut out to be a mother, and I wondered how I would ever make it through. Eventually I adjusted, and I felt that I had achieved a good rhythm for all of us. Now I occasionally feel that I'm not cut out to be a mother of two. Eliza is relatively easy to care for, but Lewis has entered the phase of toddler tyranny. He requires so much more attention now (a good portion of that consists of disciplinary measures), and so I feel stretched thin. My brain tells me that I'll eventually adjust and find my rhythm, but it's hard to stay positive when hormones are askew and sleep is limited. It's during times like these that I am so grateful for my wonderful husband (I'm grateful for him all the time, but I'm more aware of it now). I honestly couldn't do any of this without him.

I am able to enjoy quiet moments from time to time--usually late at night, when I'm feeding Eliza. When I'm not too brain-dead, I plan out my next writing project (which will be Book 3 of my current series). I have character outlines completed (where I want each character to go), and now I just need a detailed, chronological outline for the story. I have done a bit of writing, so Chapter One has a beginning. However, I think it will be summer before I start writing in earnest.

Lewis has finished his raisins. My time is up.

Well, that is pretty much all that's going on right now. I will post updates on how my writing is coming, and I will continue to share bits of trivia about the world I have created for my books. If you have any questions you would like answered or anything like that, feel free to post a comment. I will be happy to share any information that will not spoil Book 3.