Questions, Questions

by Nancy Casey

There are a lot more questions in this world than answers. Today in your writing, have a little fun asking questions. Skip the answers. Just ask the questions.

First, get your page set up. Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. A good way to set aside space for illustration is to draw a frame around the page that you can decorate, either now or later.

Write the letters of the alphabet, A-Z down the left-hand side of the page.

For each letter, write a question that uses a word that begins with that letter.

You can start with “A” and work your way down the page. Or you can skip around.

Maybe you will know the answers to the questions you ask, and maybe you won’t.

To be creative with your question-making, think about the basic question words, the ones that start with “W.” Who, what, when, where, why?

There is also How? As in How many…? Or How does…?

Yes-or-no questions are a possibility. They might start out with Does…? Or Is…?

Sometimes you can make a question more interesting if it uses words like if or would somehow.

Write down the first idea that comes into your mind, and then just keep going.

When you have filled up the page, read through all of your questions. Add illustration or decoration if you like.

Do your questions form any kind of a pattern or seem to tell a story? 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.

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.