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.

Significant Vegetables

by Nancy Casey

If it isn’t an animal or a mineral, it’s a vegetable. If it means something to you, it is significant.

Today, write about one or more significant vegetables in your life.

The obvious vegetables are the eat-your-vegetables kind—carrots, lettuce, green beans, etc. There are other possibilities, too.

There is a whole world of growing things that count as vegetables. Outdoors there are trees, shrubbery and flowering plants. Indoors are houseplants that you grow on purpose and the mold you grow by accident.

Don’t overlook the things that are manufactured from vegetables—a basket made of reeds, clothing made of cotton, and all of the wood that is in your home and furniture. Sometimes pillows are stuffed with vegetable matter. Some plastics are made of cornstarch.

Once you start looking around, there are vegetables everywhere.

Choose one or more of the vegetables that has played a role in your life and write about them. You could tell about your history together or the purpose they fulfill. You could explain how they frustrate you or make you happy. You could simply describe what they look like.

While you decide which vegetable to write about first, 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 you can draw and decorate a frame around the whole page.

If you still haven’t decided 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.

If you finish with one vegetable and still have room on the page, fill up the rest of the page by writing about a different vegetable significant to you. Or make a bigger drawing.

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 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. 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.

There’s Always Water Somewhere

by Nancy Casey

Scan around in your big wide memory and everywhere you look, you’ll find water.

Our bodies are full of it. Without it we die. The same is true for all the other plants and animals we share the planet with.

Hidden pipes carry water in and out of offices and houses. Clouds full of it fall as rain, filling puddles, lakes and streams. Water freezes and makes snow and ice.

Today, write about a memory that has water in it.

Maybe you’ll tell a relaxing story about an outing beside a body of water. Maybe you’ll remember hard times that were caused by flood or ice.

Has there ever been a time when a hot or cold drink really hit the spot? Or a time when you longed for one and couldn’t have it?

You could write about a water sport—an event you witnessed or participated in. Boating. Swimming. Diving.

Water figures into the care of a pet, a garden, or houseplants. Do you have experience with any of these?

Maybe you’ll arrive at a story to tell by thinking about your interactions with water. Or maybe you’ll look around for the water in a story that you want to tell for some reason.

Before you begin, set up your page like this:

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.

The page setup, as well as drawing and doodling get your pen started, even before you’ve decided what to write. The motion slows your thoughts and helps you notice them better.

After you’ve told one water story, if there’s room on the page, tell another. 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.

Sweet Relief!

by Nancy Casey

Being alert for bad things that could happen is an important part of staying alive. We do this by instinct and habit in traffic, for instance, or when we draw away from the edge of a cliff.

Sometimes a bad thing is so likely to happen that we have to plan for it. In those cases, the bad thing sits like such a cloud in our consciousness, it can be hard to tell the difference between planning and worrying. We can become rattled. And then, if the bad thing doesn’t happen, we feel sweet relief!

Today, write about a bad thing that didn’t happen, even though it was a real possibility. Begin with the moment when you realized it wasn’t going to happen. Write about the sweet feeling of relief. Did it come upon you with something that was said? Something you saw? What made the bad thing evaporate in your imagination? What brought relief?

After you write about the moment of relief, you can go on to tell as much or as little of the rest of the story as you like.

Your life probably has many stories of relief. Think about them and decide which one to start writing 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 you can draw and decorate a frame around the whole page.

Drawing and doodling get your pen started, even if you don’t know what to write. The motion slows your thoughts and helps you notice them better.

After you have written one relief story, if there’s still room on the page, write another one.

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.

A Turning Point, Alphabetically

by Nancy Casey

A turning point is one of those places in our lives where we can say that the future is definitely different from the past. Sometimes we notice them as we pass through them. Sometimes we notice them in retrospect.

Today, you will describe a turning point in your life by going on a scavenger hunt for details on either side of it. You’ll be looking for a detail to match each letter of the alphabet.

Set up your page with your usual line for the title at the top. Then draw two lines down the middle of the page to make a stripe about a half-inch or so wide. Write the letters of the alphabet down the middle in the stripe. You can write the letters from A-Z. Or from Z-A. Or in totally random order. As long as all the letters are there.

Rumble around in your memory to decide on a turning point. Unless you want to, you won’t need to actually write down what the turning point was, just be sure it is clear in your mind.

Some turning points are obvious. Moving to a new place, a different job, a new friend. There’s always the pandemic. Some turning points are traumatic: an illness, injuries, and loss.

Life isn’t zig-zag, it’s a winding road. So many turning points are subtle. There’s a “before” and an “after” marked by objects in your life, for instance. By changes in appearance, too. By the seasons and the phases of the moon. From morning until night.

Turning points happen in your mind and imagination, too. When you learn a fact or a skill. When something “dawns” on you. When you set or abandon a goal. When you start telling a story in a different way.

Whatever turning point you choose, fix it clear in your mind. The left side of the page will be for writing sentences or phrases about Before.  On the right-hand side of the page you will write sentences or phrases about After. One for each letter of the alphabet.

Pick out words that begin with each letter. Write a sentence or phrase on each side of the letter that contains that word. On the left, write something that was true before the turning point. On the right, write something true about after the turning point.

You can do the letters in any order. While you are thinking up what to write, you can doodle and fancy up the borders of the page.

After you have filled the page, 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.

Things You Trust

by Nancy Casey

In today’s writing, you will have a chance to consider what you trust. Not who (or even whom!you trust, but what. Things. Not people, not pets, not even plants. Inanimate stuff.

For instance, you probably trust your favorite chair not to collapse under you when you sit on it. You trust gravity to keep working. You trust certain keys to fit in certain locks.

As you gather your writing materials and set up your page, take your mind on a tour of the reliable objects in your life. Draw a line at the top of your page where your title will eventually go. Set aside some room for drawing on the page. You can draw a frame where you can doodle or draw pictures. Or make a border around the whole page that you can decorate.

While you are setting up your page, you might also think about the idea of trust. When you trust something, you have a set of expectations for it and are pretty confident the expectations will be met. The car will start. Winter will come. Pull the cord and the curtain closes.

Write about something you trust. Sing its praises a little bit. Tell why you count on it and how it has helped you down the road of life.

Maybe you’ll write a whole page about one single thing you trust. If you finish writing about one thing and there is still room on the page, write about another. If you don’t know what you are going to write yet, draw or doodle on the page. Drawing and doodling get your pen started. The motion slows your thoughts and helps you notice them better.

After you have filled the page, 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.

When you have finished, you will have sketched out a partial map of what’s reliable in your life.

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.