When asked who my literary influences were, I hesitated for a good long time. I thought of all the usual great authors, but nothing screamed that they were the one. I’ve had small children in my house for the past 17 years and as much as most parents received an abundant amount of joy from reading books to their offspring, I dreaded it and would have rather stuck a fork in my eye. The books were painfully boring and predictable.
Enter Dr. Seuss. Whenever my children would pick one of his books, my entire demeanor changed. I took great delight in altering my voice and getting into complete character while reciting Seuss’s lines. In my dreams I recently had the opportunity to sit at a bar and have an interview with the beloved Dr. Seuss:
I have to say, I’m such a big fan. I understand your mother use to recite stories in rhyme to you when you were little. Obviously you used that experience to influence you, how do you suppose I could use something from my past to be as creative as you?
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, Any direction you choose. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
My biggest fear is failure. I’m afraid to put things out there that people won’t like. How did you make the huge leap into writing without knowing if you would succeed?
“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. Remember Life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes: You will indeed! Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. Except when you don’t. Because sometimes, you won’t.”
Did you find it difficult to write about things kids would relate to and enjoy?
“A person’s a person, no matter how small. Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained, and delighted.”
You have such an easy wit to your writing, have you ever had trouble coming up with things to write? Did you ever find it hard to be so amusing?
“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me! There are no worries about finding inspirations…From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.”
I see your point, however, sometimes I find it difficult to write and feel like no one is reading my words and I don’t really have much worth.
“When you think things are bad, when you feel sour and blue, when you start to get mad…You should do what I do! Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re really quite lucky! Some people are much more…Oh, ever so much more…Oh, muchly much-much more unlucky than you!” – “You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So…get on your way!”
What do you think is the one thing that people could do in order to gain inspiration?
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try.”
How do you juggle it all?
“Be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.
OK, but even you would have to agree with Christmas right around the corner that you’re incredibly busy stocking up on gifts and things.
“Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
You are amazing Dr. Seuss. I am going to miss your words of wisdom so much.
Oh my dear, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
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