Kim Anderson is a second generation Houstonian who moved overseas at the age of one. Her early childhood was lived in the middle east and then London, returning to Houston in the sixth grade. Kim has a degree from UT Austin and a masters degree from UH Downtown. She has lived in Houston for the past 27 years with her three, third generation Houstonians, two boys and one girl, along with her husband and five cats! Kim has written her whole life, for fun and for work. Kim says, “words and sounds are, for me, like colors to a painter. There are infinite possibilities in language to express what is real or imagined. I hope to teach, inspire, laugh, and learn – all with equal intensity at WITS.”
Writing that Kim loved as a kid, from Dr. Seuss, Fox in Socks:
“When beetles battle beetles in a puddle paddle battle and the beetle battle puddle is a puddle in a bottle… they call this a tweetle beetle bottle puddle paddle battle muddle.”
Dr. Seuss used to say, “I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells.” This summer I am challenging myself to make up more of my own “jabberwocky.”
I’m taking lessons in this from my own students. Uninhibited writers are experts at experimenting, taking risks, and acting crazy. My 2nd graders are willing to push the boundaries of sense, so I’m paying close attention to them. I’ve noticed that the ones who are most reckless and free in their approach to writing are the ones who enjoy playing with language and ideas.
For those of us who need some help loosening up, here is a good exercise to wake up the brain cells. It involves juxtaposing words in original ways.
Below is a group of words. To play the game, take two to four words and create a phrase with them. The goal is to come up with phrases that you would not normally think of (“blue city,” “ocean trophy,” etc.)! Go crazy!
One of the cool things about being a kid these days is that your can find your favorite writers on the web. To celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday, expose kids to anything by Dr. Seuss – his books, drawings, tongue twisters, games – and you’re showing them a writer who really knew how to have fun with words and images. And now you and your kids can go online to explore his wonderful world first hand. Take a trip to Seussville right now.
Dr. Seuss’ unforgettable characters, unique voice and fiercely funny talent inspires the young and old to oh, think the thinks they can think!
Posted by Rachel Ayala, Writers in the Schools