Write for You: Contradictory Creatures

by Nancy Casey

If life held no contradictions, then words like problem, difficulty or overcome wouldn’t be in the dictionary. Contradictions do abound, however, and probably always will. Today in your writing, you will celebrate contradictions.

Begin with two lines of notes. Across the first line, write down words for friendly little creatures. Ones that you like. Maybe they are cuddly. The kind of creatures that might make good imaginary friends. You’ll have room for a half dozen or so.

On the second line, write down words that describe awful qualities that people can have. Think about things that you don’t like about yourself or other people. Think about things you aren’t supposed to say about yourself or other people. They don’t necessarily have to be terrible, as long as they have negative connotations. (Grumpy…Insensitive…Lazy…Controlling…Messy…) A half-dozen or so should fit on the line.

Next, invent a creature whose name has two words, one from each list. The name might be something like Naughty Bunny, Sullen Pollywog or Clumsy Chickadee.

The name will always be contradictory because one part is pleasant and friendly part and the other is rather crummy. If you think the name is funny, you’ll have fun imagining more about the creature..

Write about the creature with the contradictory name that you just invented. What kinds of things do they do? What kinds of problems and difficulties do they cause?

If you get tired of writing about one creature, you can invent another one by combining different words from your list and write about that one two.

If you want, you can write a story that has several of these creatures wreaking chaos wherever they go. In their friendly way, they can’t seem to help it.

When you have finished writing, read over your work. Change or add information. Add decoration and color to the page however you would like. Sometimes a little doodling will help you think up a good title. Write the title at the top of the page and make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add even more decoration and color to the page if you would like. Here is an example of what a person could write.

You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. To do that, you can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.

Would you like to do exercises like this in a class setting? Summer writing groups and classes will start May 16 at the Recovery Center. You can come just for fun, enjoy the company, and, if you choose, share your work. If you jump through some hoops you can earn a Writing Certificate. Classes will meet Thursday evenings at 5pm. Here is all the information. If you have been curious about the Recovery Center, this is a good opportunity to see more of what it’s about. The classes are free and open to all.

Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories, novels, homework, etc. She will be teaching writing classes at the Recovery Center on Thursday evenings, starting May 16. To sign up or get more information, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Community

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