Randomly Reminding

by Nancy Casey

When you write today, you will have a chance to explore—and appreciate—how vast the contents of your mind are. You will do this by disorganizing your thoughts, and then (sort of) reorganizing them again.

Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Next, write the letters of the alphabet, A-Z, down the left-hand side of the page.

Although the alphabet is very orderly, people don’t think or talk in alphabetical order. So you can disorganize your thoughts by writing down, next to the letter A, the first thing that pops into your mind that begins with the letter A. Then write something for the letter B. And then C, and so on down the page, finishing at the letter Z.

If you spend very much time deciding what to write next to each letter, your thoughts will naturally get orderly. So write down your 26 words as fast as you can. Use the first words that come to mind, instead of searching around for a “good” one.

Return to the word you wrote for the letter A. Next to it, write “reminds me of” and after that write something that your word reminds you of. You don’t have to explain the connection, or make anything clear. Just write something that makes sense to you in the moment.

For example, if you wrote airport for the letter A, maybe it would remind you of going to pick up your friend Ziggy at the airport. Of course you could write, “picking up Ziggy.” But you would remember other things, Ziggy’s clothes, perhaps or the snack you ate while waiting. So you might end up writing something like “torn jeans and a plaid shirt” or “an expensive sandwich that tasted awful.”

When you first start out, your mind might resist being so disorderly. After all, there is a lot of pressure on us to “make sense” most of the time. You can’t be totally random and at the same time, hold on to the idea of getting something “right.”

Does your mind get looser as you move down the page?

After you have written down what your Z-word reminds you of, go back over the page and reread what you have written.  Is it easy or hard to follow? Are there parts that surprised you or made you feel clever and original?

Give your work a title. Draw on the page, too. Decorate it however you like. Write your initials and the date on it, 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. 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.

Drawing, Doodling, and Writing

by Nancy Casey

Drawing, doodling, and writing are more alike than different.  All three involve you making marks on paper (or whatever you write on) with a pen (or whatever you write with.) They can float your mind away from the part of your life that is all about tasks and time.

Today’s writing is an opportunity to make a page that leans heavily on the draw-and-doodle aspects of writing. So you can notice what that is like.

Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Extend the line all the way to the edge, down the sides, and across the bottom so the whole page below the title will have a box around it.

Inside that box, draw some lines that divide the space into 5-7 more or less equal sections. You can draw straight lines or squiggly ones. The lines can slant and curve to make the sections be any shape that you like. Or you can make regular, even boxes.

Draw a line pretty close to the inside edge of each section. Now every section has a frame around it!

Decorate all the frames. In the space inside each one, draw a picture and write at least 3 words. You can skip around all over the page and doodle-decorate, draw, or write in any order.

To decorate the frames, you can draw lines and patterns or doodle it up in a way that’s completely random. To decorate a frame really fast, color it all one color.

For the pictures, you can draw any object around you, or something from your memory or imagination. You can try pictures that begin with a squiggle-doodle and turns into—what? Maybe a picture of something maybe not.

Three words isn’t very much. Start with the drawing and doodling parts and see what words pop into your head. More than three words is okay, of course.

Move around the page with drawing, doodling and writing until it is full. Look back over your work and think about what it felt like to do it.

Different people describe different ways that drawing, doodling, and writing affect their mind. For most, after 5 or 10 minutes into the process they notice a shift into a relaxed mind space. Ideas pop up that they didn’t expect to have. The sense of time and responsibility evaporates somehow. It can be very pleasant.

Sometimes there is resistance, too. It’s also interesting to notice that. How you can feel impatient. How, gradually, that impatience can go away and then boing! some clear thought comes into your mind and pleases you.

There’s no single, correct way for a person’s mind to behave. And nobody’s mind is the same every day. Drawing, doodling, and writing are tools in your toolkit. Over time they will show you how your mental and creative processes work.

While you are looking at your work and thinking about your process, a title will likely pop into your head. Write it at the top of the page, along with a signature and the date.

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.

‘Tis the Season

by Nancy Casey

Seasons come and seasons go. They don’t stick around. But they do return.

Today in your writing, you will make up names for some of the seasons that you are currently experiencing. You will base those names on activities typical of that season.

While you think about seasons and the activities that come with them, 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. Some people like to draw and decorate a frame around the whole page.

Winter, spring, summer and fall probably pop into your mind at the mention of seasons. But not all seasons are made of weather. Any circumstance that arrives, goes away, and then comes back some time later constitutes a season.

Holiday season… Birthday season… Mosquito season… SAD season… Migraine season… Cramps season… Vacation season… Busy season… Worry season…

Some seasons might be so short and ordinary we can experience several in a day. (Cooking season… Doomscrolling season…  Toothbrushing season.) Other seasons, such as a global pandemic season, seem far too long and most of us hope never to experience one again. Grief seasons are like that, too.

Think about a season you are experiencing now. What does it call on you to do? Give it a name based on a normal activity for that season. The best names have hyphens in them, because they let you use several words to describe that season’s activity. Here are some examples:

Think-before-you-speak season… Clean-the-house season… Put-away-the-garden-tools season… Invent-pep-talks-season… Lug-dirty-clothes-to-the-laundromat season… Enjoy-the-view-from-the-window season… Take-tiny-little-baby-steps-so-I-don’t-slip-on-the-sidewalk season…

Explain something about the season you have named. Are you in the beginning, the middle, or the end of it? Words like when or where might help you add details. Other useful words could be until or because or which is the opposite of. You could also explain why you do or don’t like this season. You can write down why you know the season won’t last forever.

After you have given a name to one season and described it a little bit, go on to another one, and another, until you have filled a page with some descriptions of the particular seasons you are passing through at this time.

If you can’t decide 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 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.

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.