Write for You: Remember Winter?

by Nancy Casey

Time flies.  Or does it?

We’re settling in to the heart of summer here in Latah County.  The world was vibrant green all around us a week ago.  Now that greenery is beginning to look brown and crusty at the edges.  It’s probably not going to rain much between now and September. 

These days, people who love hot weather are joyous.  People who wilt in the heat are, well,  wilting.  The last of the dusk fades from the sky just a few hours before the dawn twilight starts to creep in.  This week, with the moon big and bright, it will hardly seem to get dark at all.

When was the last time you flashed on a memory of the past winter, and what was that memory?

Did you recall the unrelenting cold and all the routines you had to perform to stay warm?  The snow buried us repeatedly, remember?  How did you navigate through it?  Did you play in it?

What clothes and shoes did you wear the most last winter?  How is the pile of stuff that’s by the door now different from the pile you had there six months ago? 

What did you worry about last winter?

What was your social life like during the winter?  Where did you see your friends?  What kinds of things did you do?  What did you talk about?

What did you do last winter that was fun?  What made you laugh?

Winter.  It was dark a lot of the time.

Was it a long time ago? Or was it just yesterday?

Begin daydreaming about your recollections of winter as you gather up your writing materials and limber up your hands and arms.  Before you begin to write, do a few slow neck rolls in either direction and invite the memories to flow in. Does your body feel the same as it did then?

If you write down the answers to all of these questions, what you will have is a whole bunch of information.  Information can be interesting, but stories are better.

Write down a story from last winter.  Something you did, maybe.  Or something you saw happen.  Something that happened to you.  It can be any kind of story. No doubt you have lots of them.  Just tell one.

Write your story using only one side of the page and leave a lot of empty space on the other.

When you have finished the story, go back to all those questions I asked at the beginning.  Think up bits and chunks of information that you could add to your story.  Write the new words or sentences in the extra space alongside the story and draw lines to the places in the story they should go.  Squeeze in as much as you can.  It might get kind of messy.  Use circles and arrows, or even different colors, so that you can follow your thinking when you look at it again.

Recopy it.  Tell the whole big story with all the information.  Change it around however you want.  Be sure to give it a title and put the date on it when you are finished.  There are a zillion different things a person could write.  Here is an example.


Nancy Casey teaches writing classes at the Recovery Center on Thursdays.  Check the calendar for classes and times, or just drop in.  All are welcome.  She coordinates Recovery Radio, which airs on KRFP 90.3 FM in Moscow, Thursdays at 1:05 PM. Recovery Radio needs on-air and off-air volunteers.  Call the Recovery Center  208-883-1045 or email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.



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