Quality Comparisons

by Nancy Casey

Begin by setting up your page. Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Then write all the letters of the alphabet, A-Z, down the left-hand side of the page.

Next to each letter, write a word that begins with that letter. Any word. You can choose from your surroundings or memory. You can write down whatever pops into your mind. Often it’s easier or skip around the alphabet rather than plod from A-Z.

When your word list is complete, look it over and pick a word to begin with. Whatever that word is, compare it to something else. Anything else. You can be silly or serious, or both.

One way to make comparisons is to think about the qualities of things. Qualities are ideas you can use to describe something—size, weight, reliability, difficulty, color, sweetness, speed… Comparisons based on qualities might use words like bigger, easier, more nutritious, slower, taller, rounder, harder to remember…

You can also put together a comparison by choosing one of the words from your list and naming something else—anything!—that you will compare it to. In that case, you hold the two words in your mind and think about the qualities that they do and don’t share.

No matter what two things you think of, there is always a way to compare them. This is obviously true if you are comparing two different pairs of shoes, and equally true if you are comparing a rattlesnake to a thunderstorm.

When you have written a comparison using each of your 26 words, look back over your work. If you like, add some illustration or decoration while you think about it.

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.

You Didn’t?

by Nancy Casey

Of all the things, possible and impossible, that a person could do in the world, which ones haven’t you done? A rather long list, no doubt. Think about the zillions of things you haven’t done while you settle in to write and set up your page.

No doubt there are all sorts of things you meant to do, but didn’t. (Yet?) Also things you woulda-coulda-shoulda done—and didn’t.

Consider some of the things you are really glad you didn’t do. (Whew!) Or things that you didn’t do because you don’t care about them enough to bother.

Most people don’t break the laws of biology or physics when they get up in the morning—or at any other time. Imagine all the things you haven’t done because you can’t time travel or be in two places at once. What haven’t you done because you can’t fly or breathe under water? You could write about any number of those.

As you let ideas about what you didn’t do float into your mind, get out your writing stuff. 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. Pick up your pen and start.

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 settle down and focus.

When an idea about something you didn’t do comes to your mind, start writing it down immediately. Don’t get all fussy about whether the idea is good enough. It is.

Explain a lot or a little about what you didn’t do. It’s possible to fill up a whole page explaining what you didn’t do, why you didn’t, whether you could have, who can do it, how and where it is normally done, who else would be interested… There is so much you could say.

You might decide that you don’t want to say anything extra about what you didn’t do. Then your page would look more like a list. If some items on the list merit explanation, include some more information. Just let the ideas flow and try to keep pace with them as you write.

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

Did your writing fall into any kind of a pattern? Is there some kind of story it tells? If so, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If not, 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.

Where’s the Writing?

by Nancy Casey

You can find writing all over the place. In books and on food labels. Road signs. Fine print. Where else?

Today, write about where writing can be found, whether anyone reads it or not.

Consciously notice all the writing that you see while you get ready to write. Get out your stuff. Organize your space.  Move or stretch your body a bit. Take a big breath in and a long exhale.

At the top of a clean sheet of paper, draw a line where you will put your title after you have written a page. Mark off some space for illustration if you like. Or draw a frame around the page that you can decorate if you like to draw and doodle while you think.

Where can you find writing? Write down the very first answer that pops into your mind. Tell something about that writing, but don’t tell what it actually says. You could tell what kind of writing it is or how the letters or marks look. You can explain where the writing is and who, if anyone, is likely to read it. Maybe you know who wrote it. What language is it in?

After you have written something about one bit of writing, look around you and scour your memory. Where else can you find writing?

Maybe you want to stretch the definition of writing to mean something other than what people do with words and letters. If you can read animal tracks, do they count as writing? Geologists talk about what is written in rocks. What does it mean if something is written all over your face?

If you think about all the different places you can find writing, you end up thinking about the places where you can’t find writing. If that’s interesting to you, write about that!

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 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.

Some Assembly Required

by Nancy Casey

When you put something together, you end up with a new thing, one that wasn’t there before the putting-together occurred. Take a moment to think about all the different ways that putting-together can happen.

People put together everything from bicycles to dishwashers by following (or not following!) the directions.

You can put ideas together in your mind and make new ones.

You can put together things like meals and videos.

What happens when you put certain people or pets together? What does a person put together to make a life?

Putting-together always starts with pieces and parts. It finishes with some kind of result.

Set your mind loose with putting-together thoughts while you put together your writing situation. If you haven’t already, 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 your feet, hips and shoulders.

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 get your mind together.

As soon as an idea comes to you, start writing it down.

You could start with some pieces and parts and explain what can be put together from them.

Or you could decide to start with the results and explain what pieces and parts must be put together to achieve them.

Another possibility is to consider a typical day and write about all the various types of putting-together it contains.

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.

More Than 10

by Nancy Casey

For today’s writing, you will fill a page with questions. The catch? The answer to every one of your questions must be “More than 10.”

Think about that as you get ready for your writing session…

Get out your stuff. Organize your writing space a little bit. Arrange the things in front of you in a way that looks pleasing to you. Take a breath or two. Wiggle your feet, hips and shoulders

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.

Wait for the questions to drift in, and when they do, write them down.

It’s likely your questions will begin with the words, “How many…?”

You can ask questions about time. How many centuries, days, minutes. Those questions might also have words like until, since, before, or after.

You can ask questions about living things and inanimate ones. How many does it take? How many is enough, or too many? How many will you find? How many are forgotten, useful, understood…?

Questions that start out, “How many times…?” are about actions or events. How many times did someone (or something) fall, disappear, get wet,…?

Your questions can be serious or ridiculous. Maybe you can make up questions out of details from your surroundings. Perhaps you can ask questions about something you are trying to learn or a hobby that you have. You can ask questions that come entirely from your imagination. You can even use made-up words. (How many glips in a glop?)

When you have filled up the page with questions that can be answered with “More than 10,” 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 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.

What’s Burning?

by Nancy Casey

Put a fire in your writing today. Literally. Write about anything that you want to, as long as it has at least one fire in it.

As you set up your page, think about fires that you have seen or heard about, fires that you have started, and fires you have put out. And every other kind of fire that might pop into your imagination.

Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Set aside some space for illustration if you like. Draw or doodle while you wait for an idea to come into your mind. When an idea presents itself, start writing. Even if the idea seems lame.

The first fires you might think of are the kind with flames that burn stuff up in front of you. Or perhaps you mind will fall upon all the fiery bodies in the universe. If we burn calories, does that mean that there are little fires in each one of our cells?

What kind of fire is it when someone is all fired up about something?  What burns when a person fires off a tweet, a retort, or a gun? Are there flames when someone gets fired?

If you get burned, what do the ashes look like? What do burning questions devour?

Invite your imagination to roam freely in and around the notion of fire. Fill up a page with some of those thoughts. Then look back over your work. Squeeze in some additions or changes if needed.

Add some type of illustration or decoration to your page 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 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.