Fun With Truth and Lies

by Nancy Casey

Everything you write on the top half of your page today will be the truth, and everything that you write on the bottom half will be falsehood. Made up stuff. Lies. Although some lies can hurt people, you can also tell lies just for fun. Some people call that “fiction.”

First, the page setup: A line at the top where you will put a title later, and a line across the middle of the page that will divide the truth (top) from the lies (bottom.) You can mark off some space for illustration, too.

Begin writing a list of what’s right there with you in the present tense, obvious things that you or another person could take in with their senses. What’s in the room? What’s out the window? Check out what’s behind you, above you and below. Write down what’s there.

For each item, include as many details as will fit on one line. When you get to the end of the line, move on to something new. Keep going until you’ve filled the top half of the page.

Start the bottom half of the page by choosing an item you wrote about on the top half. Write something false about it, an untruth, what anybody paying attention might call a lie. It doesn’t have to be believable, it just has to be untrue.

You can make tiny changes, like altering the color of something. Or your lies can be wide and vigorous, like a family of extraterrestrials on a picnic dropping by to juggle your houseplants.

When you finish one lie, pluck a new detail from the top part of the page and tell another. And another. Until the bottom part of the page is full, too.

Maybe your list of lies will morph into a story. And maybe it won’t.

When the page is full, go back over your work. Make small changes if you want to. Add more decoration if there is room. Think up a title.

Write the title at the top of the page. Write the date on it too, along with a signature or your initials.

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. It’s not possible to have an in-person Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center at this time, but if you are interested in writing coaching, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

The Bigger Picture

by Nancy Casey

Since you will probably write the word “picture” more than once in your writing today, you could start by drawing a picture frame all around the edge of the page. You can decorate the frame while you are thinking about what to write.

Leave a bit of space at the top where a title can fit later, and then write one sentence about something that is small.

You can describe something small that’s in your immediate environment, like a dust mote or a key. Or you can write down a few details about something you remember or something that you make up. It doesn’t have to be a thing. It can be a small idea, like remembering to close the door behind you. Or a small action, like twitching a muscle or the tick of a clock.

Begin the next sentence with the phrase, “In the bigger picture…”  Imagine that you zoom some distance away from the small thing you began with. Describe what’s in the (bigger) picture that contains it.

Then write “In the bigger picture…” again. Zoom once more and describe what’s in a still bigger picture.

You can zoom out into physical space, like a camera would, and put a larger frame around the scene. You can also zoom out in history or time where a day fits into the bigger picture of a month or year, or an event in your life can also be an event in the bigger picture of your family or community. Ideas fit inside one another, too—gravity, for example, is part of physics.

However you keep enlarging the picture, keep going, describing the ever-bigger pictures your first small thing fits into, until you have filled the page. Or until your picture is the whole big vast universe and every object and idea in it. In that case, start over with a new small thing.

When the page is full, go back over your work. Make small changes if you want to. Add more decoration if there is room. Think up a title.

Write the title at the top of the page. Write the date on it too, along with a signature or your initials.

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. It’s not possible to have an in-person Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center at this time, but if you are interested in writing coaching, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

How (Not) To Do Something

by Nancy Casey

Today you will be writing about something that you know how to do. Think about the many different possibilities for this and decide which one(s) to write about as you set up your page.

Draw a line at the top where the title will go. Mark off a space where you can doodle or draw if you like. Or make a frame around the whole page that you can decorate later.

Obviously, you know how to do many things. You have amassed many different skills in your life.

Some people know how to knit. Others know how to fix engines. Some can draw, cook, run marathons or read in a foreign language. Others tend plants, play sports, operate a cash register or fly airplanes.

Some skills are more mundane. Dressing for winter. Chopping an onion. Getting to work on time. Checking social media.

After you have chosen from among the many skills that you have, think about how to do this thing wrong. That’s what you’ll write about today—directions for how not to do something.

You can write from the genuine perspective of sharing the wisdom of your life experience. Or if you prefer, you can caution against doing preposterous things a person would be unlikely to do anyway.

Some examples: If you are walking across town in a snowstorm, don’t wear flip-flops… If you are going to fix a problem with your phone, don’t begin by throwing it across the room … If you are going to drive across the country, don’t leave your wallet at home…

While you are deciding what to write about, get your pen started by drawing or doodling. The motion slows your thoughts and helps you notice them better. As soon as an idea for writing comes to you, start putting down some words.

When you have filled a page with “don’ts,” go back over your work. Make small changes if you want to. Add more decoration if there is room. Think up a title.

Write the title at the top of the page. Write the date on it too, along with a signature or your initials.

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. It’s not possible to have an in-person Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center at this time, but if you are interested in writing coaching, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

Ah, Plans…

by Nancy Casey

When we plan, we make predictions. We expect things to go a certain way, and we make a plan for how we’ll fit into the future.

This whole year has been a lesson about what can happen to plans when the future isn’t what we expected.

What are your plans now?

Write about your plans today. Your solid plans. Your plans for fitting into the future the way you expect it to happen.

What is your plan for the next ten minutes? The next few hours? The rest of the day or week? Do you have plans for what you will eat? What are you planning to listen to or watch? Where do you plan to sleep?

You have plans that keep your household running and your hygiene up-to-date. Some people have jobs that involve lots of planning. Sometimes we plan for certain businesses to be open or city services to work. Do you have plans to stay in? Plans to go out?

Ask yourself which parts of your future feel solid. They are probably the parts that you don’t worry about. The areas of your life where it is safe to make plans.

Did the pandemic cause you to set new plans in motion? Did you re-make or postpone a plan? Or replace an old plan with a new one?

Maybe you have a plan not to plan anything. Are you planning to let yourself off the hook for any particular expectations? Are you planning to set certain worries aside?

As you set up your page, steer your mind away from the uncertain parts of your future and begin to notice the solid plans that you do have, big and small.

Draw a line at the top where the title will go. Mark off a space where you can doodle or draw if you like. Or you can draw and decorate a frame around the whole page.

Get your pen started by writing, “I’m planning…” and write whatever comes to mind. If you get stuck, draw or doodle. Go back and forth between drawing and writing until the page is full.

Then go back over your work. Make small changes if you want to. Add more decoration if there is room. Think up a title.

Write the title at the top of the page. Write the date on it too, along with a signature or your initials.

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. It’s not possible to have an in-person Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center at this time, but if you are interested in writing coaching, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

Choosing and Choosing

by Nancy Casey

Sometimes we feel trapped, as if circumstances block us in every direction we are trying to move. Other times the perfect gift of what we need falls right out of the sky and onto our laps.

In the middle is the vast universe of the choices we make.

Today, write about some of those choices.

Big choices might spring to mind, especially the ones that took our lives in new directions. Sometimes we make these life-changing choices with great care and deliberation. Sometimes we make them without noticing and only recognize them in retrospect.

We make choices all the time, though. What to wear, where to sit, when to eat, whether your bed gets made. A habit is a choice that we make the same way again and again. Choices don’t always have to change things. If we could have done it differently, we made a choice.

In addition to making choices about what we do, we can make choices about what goes on inside ourselves. We can choose to have (or try to have) a certain attitude. We can choose from different interpretations of a story. We can choose to notice or appreciate something.

Right now, I hope you choose to write this page. As you gather your stuff and get started, ramble around in your life’s choices—the ones that you’ve made so far today, and the ones that got you to where you are.

Start with a clean sheet of paper. Draw a line at the top where the title will go. Mark off a space where you can doodle or draw if you like. Or you can draw and decorate a frame for the whole page.

Write down a few sentences about a choice that you made. Tell what it was and when you made it. Or how you made it, or what the consequences were.

After a few sentences on the first choice, switch to another one and write another couple of sentences. Continue down the page that way, choice after choice—big ones, tiny ones, and the ones in between. Until the page is full.

If you pause to think about what you are writing, keep your pen moving by drawing or doodling. The motion keeps you focused on the page. It slows your thoughts and helps you notice them better. As soon as an idea about a choice comes to you, start putting down some words about it.

When the page is full, go back over your work. Make small changes if you want to. Add more decoration if there is room. Think up a title.

Write the title at the top of the page. Write the date on it too, along with a signature or your initials.

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. It’s not possible to have an in-person Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center at this time, but if you are interested in writing coaching, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.