Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Did You Know Dinosaurs Can Open Doors?

I was teaching Dog Safety today and I opened it up for questions at the end like I usually do. When you're teaching Kinder kids, you never know what you're going to get. Usually their "question" is something like "I have a dog. He's black. We call him Blackie." (Brownie is another popular name for brown dogs)

Today, my first question was...

Miss Jennifer, did you know that Dinosaurs can open doors?

Yes, we spent thirty minutes on when it's okay to pet a dog and when it's not okay to pet a dog and my first question was about Dinosaurs. It's one of the best things about my job - you never know what is going to come out of these little mouths!

I asked, "Like in Jurassic Park?"

"What's that?"

He had never seen the movie. "How do you know?" I asked.

"I just know," he said as he shrugged his little shoulders.

In his mind, Dinosaurs not only exist they can open doors! Let's set aside how scary bedtime must for him and look at his imagination. As children, it's so easy for us to believe - in the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, that monster under our bed. To us, it all comes alive and truly exists.

As we get older, we lose that imagination. I think our teachers and parents might start discouraging it at some age. Fairy tales are set aside. We stop opening our minds.

When I was writing Dark Forest, it was fun to be a kid again. There were times when the adult in me would try to stop the flow of something. "That's ridiculous. That would never happen." "Impossible!" I had to lock my adult self out of the house while I was writing. It was MY book. ANYTHING was possible. Elves and Magic and Healing - all possible.

Did you know that Dinosaurs can open doors?


  1. I never really lost my 'kid' imagination because I needed it to survive. I had a really rough childhood (my dad was a prick and even though my mom and I have a great relationship now, that wasn't true until about three years ago) and I used my imagination to tell myself stories and get lost somewhere where I wasn't always hurt/angry/sad.

    The only time I lost that was when I was depressed and had, like, no thoughts in my head for about a year but my characters forced me to wake up three years ago and I retaped into that imagination and I've been writing ever since. One book down with two more books in that trilogy fully planned. And two story ideas waiting for me to have the time to get therm out.

    My favorite thing about my mom is when my imagination gets out of hand in every day life (which is always does) she never tells me that what I'm saying is ridiculous or stupid, she plays along with my delusions (it's mostly theoretical discussions like 'if I could fly,' 'stop time,' that kind of thing) and actually encourages it.

    It's unfortunate that most parents discourage their kids from doing this.

    Also, Jurassic park.....let me just say that Raptors scare the bejeezus out of me!!!

  2. Nothing beats a kid's imagination! While my grown-up imagination is still pretty good, I've now got logic, reason, and experience to put a damper on it, and making magic happen isn't quite as easy as it used to be. On paper or otherwise.

  3. Sometimes I miss the freedom of a child's imagination. Like Jennifer said, I still have a working imagination (thank goodness! else I wouldn't be writing!), but all that adult stuff sits on top of it and can make letting go difficult. There are times though when I'll reflect back and try to put myself back in that mindset, remembering the various things I came up with or believed. Ah, those simple times...

  4. Aw, that is so adorable! I just want to hug that kid!!

  5. I find glimpses of that imagination when I write, especially when I get on a roll and things are really flowing.

  6. So cute! I had a little cousin tell me once that he knew where the dinosaurs were. I love that imagination!

  7. That kid sounds so cute. That’s funny about the dog names based on color. I noticed the same thing is true for grey cats. Every grey cat I’ve ever met was named Smoky, I don’t know why.

  8. My imagination is still very active, scares me sometimes. Literally, I'll be walking in the dark and imagine things and creep myself out.

    We have to believe the impossible is possible though. Without that belief and hope, we become zombies who just go through our day to day lives not thinking or wondering what if. I can't think of how that would be for us.

  9. There's so much that can put a damper on imagination. Seems like we need to put the internal critic and the imagination-less adult self on hold during the writing process!

  10. Yes, but only because I've watched Jurassic Park many times!

  11. Jurassic Park is one of my favorite movies.

    Kids come up with stuff to make our heads spin. Which makes them fun to hang out with. Stuff we don't think about much any more.

  12. Aw so cute. I love Jurassic Park (just the first one..the last two were jokes). I always wonder what my daughter may say in school (although sometimes she seems a little more intelligent and would ask actual dog related questions in class...but who knows)

    Anyway, I've always had a vivid imagination and I think my parents encouraged it. Maybe that's why I always came up with stories, and daydreamed instead of doing my work (I still do at times lol). I'm just a teenager at heart and maybe that's why I never got out of reading YA (and writing) it either.

    Love the new layout!

  13. Children surely do keep us young and always keep us loving those special moments!!! Dinosaurs opening doors would freak the crap out of me especially if it's Jurassic Park style!!