Inanimate Pals

by Nancy Casey

While you gather your writing materials and set up your workspace, think about what it means to be pals with somebody.

A pal is a thick-and-thin kind of friend. One who knows when to stay quiet and when to help you change the subject. A friend who shows up and who asks questions because they care about you. When your pal rubs you the wrong way, it’s easy to forgive them, because they are your pal.

Today, think beyond the people who are your pals. Think about things.  Inanimate objects. Your stuff.

You could probably say that all of the everyday objects that make your life possible are your pals. From your favorite shoes to your spoon, they wait around most patiently to be at your service. They are loyal.

Some pals are your pals by the simple fact that they have witnessed your history. They remind you that yes, all that did happen, even if it seems a lifetime ago. Even if they are out of sight in a box.

People can have pals that they forget about until they need them again. When they get back in touch, they are glad to be together. No guilt-trips between pals.

Set up your page: draw a line at the top where a title will go and mark off a space for illustration.

As you do that, think about the stuff in your life.  The stuff in front of you, the stuff you know is around somewhere, the stuff you remember, even though it’s gone. Look around in all that stuff for your pals.

Write about one of those pals. Here are some questions that might help you do that:

  • Does this pal smell or sound or look a certain way? Can you touch it?
  • What does this pal contribute to your life?
  • Does this pal ever frustrate you?
  • What is reliable about this pal?

Write about one of your inanimate pals. Doodle and draw in the illustration space while you think. If you finish writing about one pal and still have room on the page, write about another one. Or draw some more.

After you have filled a page, read over your work. Make small changes if you need to. Add more color or decoration to the page. When you are satisfied with the page, give it  a title and write the date on it, too.

Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She occasionally teaches a Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center. For more information about writing coaching and writing certificates, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

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