What is the Sky?

by Nancy Casey

Go outside, look up, and there it is—the sky.

What is the sky anyway? What is it made of? How far does it go? If something is in the sky, is it part of the sky?

Today, write a page about the sky.

With the sky on your mind, get out your writing stuff. Arrange it in a way that looks pleasing to you. Take a breath or two. Wiggle around a little to loosen yourself up.

Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Set aside some space for illustration if you like. Start drawing or doodling in it if it helps your mind focus. If your mind feels empty of ideas, doodling, drawing, or even simply scribbling, relaxes your mind and gently draws your focus to the writing task. When an idea comes, you’ll be ready to write it down.

You can consider the sky from the viewpoint of a scientist and write down ways that it can be observed and measured. What would be different if you considered the sky from a religious viewpoint? What is the sky like if you take the viewpoint of a dog or a plant?

You could write down a story that has the sky in it. Your story could be true or made up—or both.

Is it possible to write a whole page of questions about the sky? Or a whole page of statements about the sky that are false?

You could divide your page into two parts, label them “Day” and “Night” and write thoughts and observations about the sky appropriate to each heading. What other headings could you use instead of “Day” and “Night?” Now and Then? Winter and Summer? Child and Adult?

As you relax into your writing task, write down the first idea that comes into your mind. Don’t hold out for a “good” idea. Most people keep getting more ideas once they start writing. (If you don’t, doodle some more. If you fill your whole page with doodling…well, you filled a page!) Whatever idea you begin with, chances are your ideas will get more and more interesting as your work your way down the page.

When you have filled up the page, look back over your work. Add illustration or decoration if you like.

Do your ideas form any kind of a pattern? Do they seem to be about a bigger idea that you hadn’t really planned on writing about? If they do, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If they don’t, make up some kind of a title anyway and write it at the top of the page.

Put your initials or a signature on the page, too. And write the date on 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 or encouragement with any kind of writing project, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

Erosion

by Nancy Casey

Erosion is going on always and everywhere. Geologists tell us that it is the relentless process that ensures that nothing on the surface of the earth stays the same for very long.

A river carrying rock and dirt downstream gradually made the Grand Canyon. Wind, and the little particles it carries, have worn away mountains. Erosion has caused whole cliffs with houses on them to fall into the sea.

It’s not just the surface of the earth that is affected by erosion. A hole in a well-worn article of clothing can be caused by erosion, too!

Think about erosion as your prepare your writing situation for the day. Get out your stuff and arrange it in front of you so that it’s pleasing to you. Take a breath or two. Wiggle around a little to loosen yourself up.

Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Set aside some space for illustration if you like.

Consider the world around you. Think about the erosion that happens to the earth when it rains or when the wind blows. Sometimes you can see it happening, and sometimes you can’t.

Imagine all the different things you know of that can wear out. How often is erosion the cause?

You can think of erosion in a metaphoric or symbolic way, too. When an intense feeling becomes less acute, what has caused it to erode?

What besides feelings can erode inside yourself? A conviction? A sense of resolve? A desire? A memory?

Is there something that you wish would (or wouldn’t) erode?

What does time erode?

Allow your mind to settle into these thoughts, and when an idea about erosion occurs to you, write it down. You could explain what causes the erosion and what the end result will be. You can tell if you think the erosion is good or bad and whether you can slow it down or speed it up.

Maybe you will have so much to say about your first idea that it fills the whole page. Or perhaps you will have a little bit to say about several different types of erosion. Somehow, you will fill the page.

If your mind feels empty of ideas, doodling, drawing, or even just scribbling, can open up your thoughts and gently draw your focus to the writing task . Then, when an idea comes, you’ll be ready to write it down.

When you have filled up the page, look back over your work. Add illustration or decoration if you like.

Do your ideas form any kind of a pattern? Do they seem to be about a bigger idea that you hadn’t really planned on writing about? If they do, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If they don’t, make up some kind of a title anyway and write it at the top of the page.

Put your initials or a signature on the page, too. And write the date on 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 any kind of writing project, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

Certain Kinds of Success

by Nancy Casey

People measure success in all kinds of ways. But what about plants and animals? They can succeed, too, can’t they?

What does it take to be a successful pig, for instance? Does it depend on the pig? What is success like for a dog or an amoeba?

What are the signs that a plant has succeeded? What is a successful garden like? Or a successful forest?

Look around you. What kinds of success can you find among the plants and animals? If there are no plants or animals nearby, look around for some inside your memory or imagination.

As you organize yourself to write, think about all the different forms “success” takes, depending on the perspective.

Get out your stuff. Arrange it in a way that looks pleasing to you. Take a breath or two. Wiggle around a little to loosen yourself up.

Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Set aside some space for illustration if you like. Start drawing or doodling if it helps your mind focus. If your mind feels empty of ideas, doodling, drawing, or even just scribbling, relaxes your mind and gently draws your focus to the writing task so that when an idea comes, you’ll be ready to write it down.

Write down the first idea about non-human success that comes into your mind. When you are finished with that idea, if you still have room on the page, write about the next idea about non-human success that comes into your mind.

When you have filled up the page, look back over your work. Add illustration or decoration if you like.

Do your ideas form any kind of a pattern? Do they seem to be about a bigger idea that you hadn’t really planned on writing about? If they do, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If they don’t, make up some kind of a title anyway and write it at the top of the page.

Put your initials or a signature on the page, too. And write the date on it. Here is one 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 any kind of writing project, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

What’s Electric?

What’s Electric?

by Nancy Casey

Electricity. We all use it. But can you see it? Hear it? Taste it?

Today, write a page about the electricity around you. Where does it come from? Where does it go? How do you know it’s there?

Think about that while you get yourself set up to write.

Begin with a clean sheet of paper. Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Set aside some space for illustration if you like.

Take a breath or two. Wiggle around a little to loosen yourself up, and write the first thought about electricity that comes into your mind.

Maybe the electricity that runs in and out of your life in wires comes to mind. You could recount everything you know about that.

If you are scientifically inclined, you might be able to explain a lot about electricity from a scientific point of view.

You could describe the electricity that can be found in nature. Is there electricity in your body? In outer space?

Sometimes electricity is used metaphorically. What does it mean to feel electric? Or to say that there is electricity between two people?

Fill a page with your electrical thoughts. Draw or doodle on the page, too if you like.

When you have finished the page, look back over your work. 

Do your ideas form any kind of a pattern? Do they seem to be about a bigger idea that you hadn’t really planned on writing about? If they do, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If they don’t, make up some kind of a title anyway and write it at the top of the page.

Put your initials or a signature on the page, too. And write the date on it. Here is just one 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, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

Getting Out the Door

by Nancy Casey

What does it take for you to get yourself from the private comfort of your home and out into the public world?

Do you concern yourself with your appearance or what you carry with you? Is there something you must always remember? Anyhing you often forget? Do you start getting ready early or rush around at the last minute—or both?

Think about those things as you settle into today’s writing project.

Get out your stuff. Arrange the things in front of you in a way that looks pleasing to you. Take a breath or two. Wiggle around a little to loosen yourself up.

Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Set aside some space for illustration if you like. Start drawing or doodling in it if it helps your mind focus.

As soon as an idea comes to mind, start writing. Don’t fret over whether your idea is good enough. Sometimes the really good ideas don’t surface until you are halfway down the page. You just never know, and the only way you can find out is by writing something—anything.

How you prepare to leave your home often depends on where you are going. For example, it usually takes more effort to get ready to go on a trip than it does to step out for some fresh air. How do your preparations differ when you are going to work, to a friend’s house, or to take out the trash?

How you get ready to go depends on the season, too. In summer, it can be hard to remember what it takes to leave in winter. And vice-versa.

Do you have to prepare your home for your departure—turning off lights, giving water to a pet, telling someone goodbye, or things like that?

Once you close the door behind you, do you often have to go back inside for something you forgot?

You could write about your departure process for several different scenarios. Or perhaps you can recall a time when the simple act of leaving home turned into a story that will take (at least!) a page to tell.

Maybe you don’t feel like writing about yourself. You could write about someone you have helped or observed. Or you could make up an imaginary person and tell stories about what it’s like when they leave their home.

When you get to the bottom of the page, look back over your work. Pause to add illustration or decoration if you like.

Do your ideas form any kind of a pattern? Do they seem to be about a bigger idea that you hadn’t really planned on writing about? If they do, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If they don’t, make up some kind of a title anyway and write it at the top of the page.

Put your initials or a signature on the page, too. And write the date on 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, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

On average…

by Nancy Casey

Nobody’s perfect, but a lot of people must be average. Think about the average ones today.

You already know how many eyes and fingers the average person has. The internet can probably tell you how tall the average person is, what they weigh, and how many teeth they have. And you can explore your imagination for your own ideas you about average people.

Get yourself set up to write, and as you do, invite your thoughts turn over the notion of  “the average person.”

To get ready, arrange the things in front of you in a way you find pleasing. Take a breath or two. Wiggle around a little to loosen yourself up.

Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Set aside some space for illustration if you like. Start drawing or doodling to help your mind focus on the page in front of you and your thoughts about average people.

Consider the average person’s appearance—what they look like, what they wear, how they style their hair. Do they wear contacts or eyeglasses? Do they yawn much or slouch?

What does the average person eat? What kind of work do they do? What do they watch or listen to? In what ways are they like you?

What goes on inside the average person’s mind? What makes them laugh? What are they looking for in life? How much do they plan and worry? How do they feel about their accomplishments?

How many times a day do you suppose the average person smiles, blinks, or burps?

How often does the average person make a mistake, and do they tend to know it’s a mistake at the time? What makes the average person successful? What do you suppose the average person regrets?

You might want to narrow down your idea of the average person. After all, there are nearly 8 billion people on the planet and it’s hard to consider them all. Maybe you want to think about the average person in your town or age group. Or the average barista, student, or gardener. You could consider the average tired person, the average traveler, or the average pet owner.

There are all sorts of average ideas ideas about average people lounging around in your mind. Describe the first one that floats to the surface, and then keep going until the page is full. Pause to doodle and think whenever you need to.

When you get to the bottom of the page, look back over your work. Pause to add illustration or decoration if you like.

Do your ideas form any kind of a pattern? Do they seem to be about a bigger idea that you hadn’t really planned on writing about? If they do, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If they don’t, make up some kind of a title anyway and write it at the top of the page.

Put your initials or a signature on the page, too. And write the date on 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, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.