In One Place

by Nancy Casey

Today’s page will require a little bit of setup. As you gather your materials and sit down to write, take some slow breaths and imagine your mind settling into an empty space. For the 20 minutes or so that it will take you to write, you don’t have to think about anything important. All that stuff will be ready and waiting for you when you are done.

Draw a line across the top of a clean page where the title will go. Underneath it, draw a vertical line down the center of the page. Then draw a horizontal line across the middle.  Now your writing space is divided into four equal spaces.

In tiny letters, write the word Plant in the corner of one of the spaces. Write the word Animal in the corner of a different space. Label the other two with the words Thing and Place.

Forget about Place until the end.

In the Animal space, write about an animal. Any animal, real or imaginary, past or present, monstrous or microscopic. Whatever animal pops into your mind first. Draw a picture to go with it if you like.

Similarly, write about a plant in the Plant space. Any plant.

Obviously, in the Thing space, you’ll write about a thing. Some inanimate object. Some thing.

Draw in those spaces and decorate the borders if you like. Doodle while you are thinking up what to write.

When those three spaces are full, turn your attention to the Place space. Imagine the animal, the plant, and the thing you have written about and build an imaginary fence that encloses them all. Describe that place.

Maybe your plant, animal and thing are all in the room right in front of you. Then that’s the place you would describe.

What if your plant was outside your window and your thing was the planet Mars? Then maybe your place would be the solar system. Or even the universe.

It’s also possible that you could decide that the place that holds your plant, animal, and thing isn’t a physical place someone could visit. It could be a place like your childhood or your imagination.

You might be tempted to do this backwards, to think of a place and then describe a plant, an animal and a thing that are in it. But, trust me, you will write something more interesting if you don’t think about place until the end.

When you have finished your page, go back over everything you have done. Make additions and changes if you like.

Give your work 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. Since it’s not possible to have an in-person Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center, if you are interested in writing coaching, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.


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