Gonna Change

by Nancy Casey

Things change. Sometimes we like it. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we’re surprised. Sometimes we’re not. You can’t possibly predict all of the changes that are coming, but some of them do arrive with plenty of advance notice.

In your writing today, focus on the aspects of your life and situation that you know are going to change.

Set up the page first. 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.

Describe something in your life that you know is going to be different—in a day, in an hour, in a year or merely someday. Write about the way it is now and how it will be different at some point. You can comment further—explain why this is good, bad, or neutral for you or why you know this change is coming. You can explain as much or as little as you like, just be clear about what the change is. If the story of one change doesn’t take up the whole page, write about another, and another until the page is full.

You can draw or doodle to get started. This can relax your mind and allow ideas to come to you. Or maybe an impending change will pop into your mind right away.

You can consider the routine changes that the world provides: sunrises and sunsets, patterns of stars and moonlight, the weather. What changes do the seasons or the calendar reliably bring into your life?

Changes happen inside you. Aches and pains come and go. Sensations like being hungry and feeling full don’t last. Growing and healing are both forms of change. So is learning.

The configuration of our lives changes—jobs, living spaces, friends, co-workers, the ebb and flow of clutter and chores.

Many of our plans are about change—how to bring a change about, what to do if and when a change is coming.

Our tastes and desires change, too. It can be hard to imagine we’ll stop wanting what we want now or start to want something different, but sometimes we can anticipate that. When it comes to food or entertainment, people or places to live, our likes and dislikes might not stay the same forever. Can you guess what some of those changes will be for you?

Start writing about a change that you know is coming, and let your thoughts and words flow from there. Write about more than one change if you have room. When you feel like you’ve written enough, stop. If there’s still space on the page, fill it with drawing or decoration.

Look over your work carefully and make corrections if you wish. When a title idea floats to the surface of your mind, write it at the top of the page.

Write the date on the page 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. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center. In-person Write-for You classes have been suspended for now, but when Covid recedes, they will return.

On Your Mind

by Nancy Casey

A mind is such a peculiar thing. Everybody has one. Yet you are the only one who knows what yours is truly like.

In today’s writing you will take notice of some of the qualities of your own mind.

First, the page setup: Draw a line at the top where the title will go. Then make four equal-sized writing spaces on the page. You can do this by drawing a vertical line down the middle of the page, and then a horizontal line across it. Or you can draw four shapes of any type that can hold approximately the same amount of writing. The second option leaves you some space to draw or doodle while you think.

In one of the writing spaces, write the heading Remember.  Head another one with Plan. In a third space use the heading Figure Out. Leave the fourth space completely blank.

Remembering, planning and figuring things out are three of the many activities that go on in people’s minds. How these activities play out in your mind is unique to you, however.

In the space about remembering, write something about how your memory works. You could relate something that you remembered and why. You could explain something about how you are “good” or “bad” at remembering things. You could tell how your power of forgetting seems to work or not work. Anything at all, as long as it has something to do with your mind remembering things–or not.

How do you use your mind to make plans? Write something about that in the space headed Plan. Do you follow your plans? Is a good day planned or unplanned? What is the difference for you between planning and worrying?

In the Figure Out space, tell something about how you use your mind to find a solution to some kind of problem. We figure out things all day long: what to eat and wear, how to get a point across to someone, where you left something you can’t find. Anytime you have a question you don’t know the answer to, you have to figure something out.

Fill the fourth space with anything that comes into your mind about your mind. You can continue a thought that you started in one of the other spaces. You could write about another activity that you mind engages in, something like longing, excitement, arguing with itself, boredom, joking, getting stuck on an ear worm song, or…? If you like, you can fill the space with doodles and drawing and try to quietly notice how your mind works when it is not trying to put your thoughts into words.

When the page is full, look it over carefully and make small changes if you like. When a title idea floats to the surface of your mind, write it at the top of the page.

Write the date on the page 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. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center. In-person Write-for You classes have been suspended for now, but in the spring, Covid permitting, they will return.

Connected by Color

by Nancy Casey

Today in your writing, you will get a chance to make some unusual connections by looking for identical colors in totally different places.

Set up your page first: draw a line across the top where your title will go and set off a a box or blob to use for illustration if you like.

Then sit back and look at the space around you, indoors, probably, and perhaps out a window. See if you can disconnect your mind from naming what you see and instead notice only the colors. Look closely, and you’ll see that an orange thing isn’t just orange. There many shades of orange that appear on the surface of one orange thing. On closer inspection, something that’s orange probably has flecks of other colors mixed in.

Not only that, your eyes work in a unique way. Color isn’t absolute. You see colors the way that you see them. No one is quite sure if any two people see colors in the same way.

You can be sure, however, that if you see a color in one place, it’s likely you can find a color that looks the same to you somewhere else.

So try it. Look around you and take note of a particular specific color that you see somewhere. It’s likely not to be a whole object, but rather a single tiny part of something. Study it carefully. Sometimes if you try to draw an object (even if you “can’t” draw) you will notice the colors more. Take careful note of the color you have chosen, then cast your eye around and see where you can find the same color on an entirely different thing.

Maybe the corner of a box of crackers will make an exact match to the color of a doorknob or the tip of a shoelace. Perhaps a thread in the pattern of a shirt will be the same color as the edge of a ball left out in the yard. Look hard and try to surprise yourself with the color matches that you find.

Write down some information about the colors—how they appear to you and where you found them. Then continue with some more details about the two things you have connected by color. Tell a bit more about them, even if the details seem completely irrelevant. It’s okay to let your thoughts ramble a bit.

If you still have room on the page, look around for a new color and repeat the process. Do it as many times as you can until the page is full.

Add some drawing or decoration to the page if you haven’t already.

When the page is completely full, look it over carefully. Make small changes if you like. Wait for a title idea to float into your mind. Put the title at the top of the page. Add the date and a signature, too.

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. In-person Write-for You classes have been suspended for now, but when Covid recedes, they will return.

Giving Thanks for Stuff

by Nancy Casey

Gratitude is appropriate any day of the year, but this week marks the official season of giving thanks. Once we begin looking, we can find much to be thankful for—people and relationships, pets and houseplants, life lessons, personal growth, and STUFF. Yes, stuff. Our stuff. The inanimate objects that populate our lives and living spaces. And perhaps even clutter them up.

It’s rather fashionable these days to decry how much stuff we have, to say we’re supposed to downsize and not behave like a hoarder. Maybe you live surrounded by oodles of stuff, or maybe you live sparse and lean like you are on a backpack trip. Whatever the case, you have some stuff and you wouldn’t have the stuff that you have if you didn’t like it for some reason.

Today in your writing, celebrate your stuff. Look around you. What do you see? What do you have? Maybe some of the things you see make you tired or make you wish they weren’t there, but for the most part, we like our stuff, it does something for us.

As you set up your page, meditate on all of the inanimate objects that you call “mine.”

Draw a line across the top of the page where your title will go so you are certain to have a place to put it when you have finished writing. You can also draw a box or blob that you’ll use for illustration. Or make a border that you can decorate. Sometimes the drawing helps settle your mind so ideas can flow in.

Concentrate on your stuff—what you can see, what you know is behind you, in a different room or even in a storage locker or at a friend’s house. Consider why the various objects are in your life. Remind yourself what they do for you. Some things have important memories attached. Others are just plain useful. We own certain things for the simple fact that we like the way they look.

Pick an object that you like and tell why you are glad to have it. If that doesn’t take up a whole page, pick another one and sing its praises on the page. If there’s still room, write about another object, and another. When you feel like you’ve written enough, stop. If there’s still room on the page, fill it with drawing or decoration.

When the page is all filled up, look it over carefully and make small changes if you like. When a title idea floats to the surface of your mind, write it at the top of the page.

Write the date on the page 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. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center. In-person Write-for You classes have been suspended for now, but when Covid recedes, they will return.

A Perfect Meal

by Nancy Casey

The Thanksgiving season is upon us. The holiday represents many things, and it differs for different people, but the one thing all the celebrations seem to have in common is eating.

Some people are enthusiastically planning meals. Others are dreading and dodging invitations. Some folks revel in the chance to overeat, while others will only be nibbling tiny bites.

But we all eat. Hopefully 365 days a year. All the pressures of the perfect Thanksgiving aside, what is your idea of a perfect meal?

The obvious way to consider perfection in a meal is by imagining the food or foods it will have in it. Do you have a stand-out food that makes a meal feel perfect every time you eat it? Are you someone who loves so many foods that they couldn’t possibly fit into a single meal? You could write about an imaginary perfect meal that would be impossible to eat at one sitting.

Beyond food, there are many other ways that perfection can slip into a meal.

Maybe what makes a meal good to you is the company you are eating with, who they might be, what they have in common with you, what they say, how they behave. Perhaps you find that you yourself alone makes the best company of all—why would that be? Maybe your best meals are eaten with a pet nearby.

Another way that perfection can slip into a meal is the context. The place where you eat can influence your appreciation of the meal—the sights, the sounds, the smells. Think of favorite forks and spoons, plates and cups, a favorite table or chair, the best lighting or view.

Sometimes what makes a meal so good is that a certain person cooked it. Or the experience of several people cooking together. Some people say that their favorite food is anything that somebody else cooked. Other people only like their own cooking.

For some people, the gathering of ingredients is the best part—shopping, gardening, gleaning. Or maybe the cutting, chopping and stirring. Or the place you cook it.

What if your favorite meal is one you don’t have to eat? Or full of foods that aren’t good for you? Then maybe you’ll focus on the complications of living in a society where so many people are focused on effortless eating.

Think about the interesting parts of your relationship with food as you 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 leave space to decorate a border around your work.

Begin writing by describing some kind of perfect meal according to your standards. Delve into any aspect of it, from eating partners to recipes or doing the dishes. If all the details you can think of don’t fill the page, think of another type of meal you find compelling and describe that one, too

When you feel like you’ve written enough, stop. If there’s still room on the page, fill it with drawing or decoration.

When the page is full, look it over carefully and make small changes if you like. When a title idea floats to the surface of your mind, write it at the top of the page.

Write the date on the page 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. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center. In-person Write-for You classes have been suspended for now, but when Covid recedes, they will return.

Thumb’s the Word

by Nancy Casey

If you are making marks on paper, is it writing? You would say yes, if the marks were words, all in a row, organized into paragraphs and having a meaning that other people could read about.

What about scribbles, do they count as writing? Is drawing a form of writing? Doodling?

Today, do a little experiment with yourself and see what you think. You will start your page with drawing, and then, optionally, add written words to it. What will you draw? Your thumb! Yes, your thumb.

Before you get started, draw a line at the top of the page where you can write a title when you have finished.

Lay your non-writing hand on or near the page where you can see it, and begin to draw your thumb. Plan on making 3 or 4 drawings of your thumb.

Here are some tips:

  • Use ink, not pencil. If you give yourself a chance to erase, you’ll get caught up in the idea of perfection. You’re not trying to make a perfect rendition of your thumb. You’re trying to find out what it’s like to look at something and mark up the paper because of what you see.
  • Try looking at your thumb and drawing it without looking at the paper. This is called “blind contour drawing” and many artists use it as a warm-up. The results are interesting and sometimes amusing.
  • Make an entire thumb-drawing without ever lifting your pen from the page.
  • Make your drawing with only dots. Or curlicues.
  • When you have “finished” a rendition of your thumb, look at it some more and add something else to your drawing.
  • Make a 5-second drawing of your thumb.
  • Instead of drawing your actual thumb, draw all the shadows you can find in and around it.
  • Instead of drawing your whole thumb, zero in on a small part of it and only draw that. Maybe even use a magnifying glass.
  • After you have drawn your thumb a couple of times and you feel quite finished with thumb-drawing, draw it one more time.
  • As long as you are looking at your thumb and marking up the page, you can’t mess this up.

When you feel as if you have drawn enough, add some words to the page. You can write in the empty spaces. You can write straight over the top of your drawings.

You could write about what the experience of drawing your thumb was like. You could comment on what your thumb looks like. Maybe you were thinking about something that didn’t have anything to do with drawing or thumbs as you drew, so you could write about that. Perhaps you are reminded of a story that has a thumb or two in it.

Do you think drawing and writing are two versions of the same thing? Or two entirely different things?

When the page is full, give all your work a good looking-over. Make small changes if you like. When a title idea floats to the surface of your mind, write it at the top of the page.

Write the date on the page 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. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center. Covid-permitting, in-person Write-for You classes at the Recovery Center will return in the spring.