Combinations

by Nancy Casey

Today’s writing is a chance to play a word game. You might rattle around your vocabulary and pick out some words you haven’t used in awhile. Maybe what you write will sound like nonsense, or maybe it will clarify the way you think about something. You just don’t know what you are going to write until you have written it.

Begin by writing down an ordinary thought. Something true. A memory, an observation, a plan, a wish, a feeling, a conclusion—any one of those zillions of thoughts that pass through your mind in a day. Any old thought.

While your mind floats through possible ideas for beginning, set up your page. Draw a line across the top where your title will go. You can also draw a box or blob that you’ll use for illustration. Or draw a border around the page.

Then write down your opening thought. A few lines. A sentence or two. Something short.

Here is the word game: Pick a word from the thought you have just written and begin a new thought that fits this pattern: “_______ (your word) is a combination of ­­______ and ______ .” (two new words)

You can say anything, as long as you think it’s true. You could write that water is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen. Or you could write that water is a combination of wet and cold. If it makes sense to you, you could even write something like, “Water is a combination of old and vast.”

After the “combination” sentence, write a line or two that expands or explains that thought a little bit. If you get stuck, try using words like because, for example, or if.

Pause and reread the thought you just wrote down. Choose one word—any word—and begin a new thought with “_______ (your word) is a combination of ­­______ and ______ .” (two new words)

Explain a little bit about that thought. After a few lines, pause, choose a word and begin again with the “combination”  sentence.

Follow the same pattern all the way down the page.

When you have finished writing, reread your work. Put something decorative on the page if you like. When an idea for a title pops into your mind, write it on the line at the top of the page. Write the date on your work and sign it.

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. If you would like some help with your writing, or just some encouragement, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

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