One of the best parts of being a writer is getting feedback from your readers. I've had people smile and say that they enjoyed my book. I've had people say that they don't normally read action novels, but they still enjoyed Where the Clouds Catch Fire and finished it in two days. I've had people say that they couldn't think of any negative feedback to give me.
To be honest, I'll look at you strangely if you say you don't have any negative feedback, because no one's that good of a writer. Heck, I'd give negative feedback to Laura Ingalls Wilder if I could. (She over-describes outfits in my opinion, but that's the only thing wrong with the Little House series.) I'm grateful anyway, but you won't hurt my feelings if you point out that my Irish dialect is off or that my villain doesn't have a strong motivation.
I had a friend text me recently saying that she enjoyed Where the Clouds Catch Fire. She pointed out different things that she liked--how I personified the ocean, how I gave a sense of family--but then she pointed out something that I hadn't thought of before.
The symbolism of spoons.
For those of you who haven't read Where the Clouds Catch Fire (which is available on Amazon and under the "Purchase" tab above), one of the main characters, Lukas, does not eat with spoons. Whenever he eats oatmeal or soup (which are the staples of his diet), he simply drinks it straight out of the bowl. Protagonist Alynn spends most of the book trying to get him to change his ways, and by the end of the book, he's capable of using spoons. He still doesn't enjoy it. But if it makes him seem like a normal person, he'll do it.
I meant for it to be funny, not symbolic.
I've heard similar stories about people finding hidden meaning that wasn't supposed to be there in the first place. A Tumblr post mentioned a student who drew a fictional character without hands. The teacher took it to mean that the character felt helpless, while in reality, the student just couldn't draw hands.
I've mentioned in earlier blog posts that I'll accidentally throw a fact in a book that's historically accurate. Like that one time I put in a throwaway line that mentioned an Irish character making ham, before realizing that Irish people are apparently pretty good at making ham. But being unintentionally symbolic? That's new.
I don't quite know what my friend saw in the spoons. Adapting to new times and/or a new culture? The release of old ways so that the new can be welcomed? The appreciation of small things in life? Come to think of it, there are quite a few things that I could have meant. But I didn't mean any of them.
Don't get me wrong--I'm flattered that someone would think of my writing that way. I'm also comforted that I'm not the only one who goes crazy over little details. (I paused How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World the other day just so I could show everyone the ravens on the chief's chair that symbolized Hugin and Munin from Norse mythology.) Lord willing, when I move on from the Clouds Aflame series and start making other books, people like my friend will notice how they're all connected. I want to have a ruby cross necklace in all the books, and don't worry, Alynn will get her hands on it eventually.
What do you think the spoon symbolizes? Or what's your favorite observation from a book, movie, or TV show? Let me know in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.