Write for You: The Summer Ahead

by Nancy Casey

When a cold wet spring rides into town on the heels of a long snowy winter, the whole idea of summer can seem really far away.

Imagine summer for a moment. How air on your skin can make you warm instead of making you shiver. The long evenings with heat radiating up from the sidewalk. People’s yards, bursting with shrubbery and flowers.

Once the summer is actually upon us, plans, obligations and routines put limitations on our time and energy. While the season is still mostly imaginary, anything can happen. Or might.

Today, write about what the summer might bring. Begin with the phrase, “Summer might bring _______.” Write about some of the different things that could happen this summer. If you feel stuck, write out the phrase, “Summer might bring ______.” That might bring you an idea. You can also draw or doodle on the page and wait for ideas to come to you that way.

The nice thing about the word “might” is that it allows you to think freely and gently about the future.

You might already have some plans, perhaps a lot of them. Plans can go awry. Life is always intervening in one thing or another. If you use the word “might” when you write about your plans, you’ll put a little less pressure on your future self.

If you use the word “might” to write about all your hopes and dreams and aspirations, you don’t have to worry about being greedy and putting in too many. You can ignore the reality that every possible good thing that can happen to you isn’t going to fit in one summer. Even though lot of them might.

The word “might” also comes in handy for discussing miracles. Are there things that one part of your mind says are impossible, while another part of you thinks they would be a good idea anyway? They might happen.

Another thing you can do with the word “might” is worry. When you start to think about what might happen, your mind doesn’t limit itself to events that are joyous. Dreadful things can float into the imagination, too. Fortunately the word “might” always walks with its friend “might not.” When you reread the page, you can squeeze in the word “not” anyplace you like.

Launch yourself into the summer in your writing today. All of its ups and downs, thrills and challenges.

What might the summer bring? More than you can imagine.

When you have filled a page, give your work a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add further decoration and color to the page as needed. Here is an example of what a person could write.

You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. You can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories, novels, homework, etc. She will be offering writing classes at the Recovery Center starting the second week in May. Email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.

Write for You: The First Chapter…

by Nancy Casey

I stopped by the Latah Recovery Community Center the other day, to ask around about what people might be looking for in a writing class. Someone told me that the best writing class they took that had fun assignments like, “Write the first chapter of a story using only words that are one syllable long.”

“How totally cool.” I thought. “I should try that.”

And so should you!

You don’t necessarily have to write the first chapter of a story, but you can. You might decide instead to write about an event or an experience, something you remember, or something that you invent.

Write a page about anything at all, as long as you only use one-syllable words.

If you have trouble deciding what to write about, just begin in the immediate present and describe what’s in front of you. Then go where your imagination carries you—around the room or all over the universe.

This can seem impossible at first. How are you supposed to write about what’s in front of you if you look out the window and see a shovel in the garden? You can’t write window, shovel, or garden! But you can write the clear glass in the wall. You can write the thing I dig with. You can write the place where the plants grow.

You get the idea (or rather, the thought.)

When you have filled a page, give your work a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add further decoration and color to the page as needed. Here is an example of what a person could write. There, you can also see an example of a page written with only two-syllable words.

You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. You can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories, novels, homework, etc. She will be teaching writing classes at the Recovery Center starting in May. Email Nancy or the Recovery Center for more information or to make a suggestion about the type of class to offer.

Write for You: One Thing, Now Another

by Nancy Casey

Everything changes. That’s what they say.

The more things change, the more things stay the same. They say that, too.

Is that because everything—no matter what it is—used to be something else?

Today in your writing, you notice the many different aspects of your present life which used to be different. Which is to say—everything.

Begin with a sentence that goes like this:

Once…………, now ………… .

You can consider the solid objects in front of you. What was there before there was a table, your shoes, a plant, a window, a cup? What were the table, plant, shoes, window or cup before they were turned into those things?

You can think about the ideas in your mind. We often change our minds. Where we once thought one thing, now we think a different way.

Emotions change. Relationships change. Food preferences change. So does the weather and our bank account. Healing is change, so is an injury. It’s always the same story: things used to be one way, now things are different.

You can write about big things or little ones, things you can see or things that are invisible. You can write many words about one thing, or write only a few and move on to the next one. Whatever you write about, tell it in two parts: how it used to be and how it is now.

Once…………, now ………… .

When you have finished, give your work a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add further decoration and color to the page as needed. Here is an example of what a person could write.

You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. You can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories, novels, homework, etc. She will be teaching writing classes at the Recovery Center starting in May. Email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.

Write for You: Many Travels

by Nancy Casey

We travel a lot. Across the world, across the room, across time. On foot. In memory. In empathy.

Is some part of us always traveling?

Today, write about your travels.

First, set up your page. Leave space at the top where you can put the title after you have finished writing. Mark off a space that you will use to draw or doodle while you are thinking up things to write.

Begin with a sentence that uses this form:

When ______________ , I travel______________

(You might prefer to say traveled or will travel, might travel, wish I could travel, etc.)

The part of the sentence that says when will tell something about the beginning of the travel. Was it started by a life event? A thought? The weather? Some part of your routine, such as eating or brushing your teeth?

Think about the travel in terms of who, what, where, why, how. Think about all the different kinds of traveling you can or might do.

After you have written that first sentence, add a little bit more. Make some kind of a comment on what you’ve already written.

You can fill the page by writing about one thing, one single bit of traveling. Or you can write many different travels.

Use the doodling space to let your pen and your mind travel aimlessly while you are thinking and deciding what to write.

At the very end of the page, wish yourself safe and happy travels.

When you have finished, give your work a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add further decoration and color to the page as needed. Here is an example of what a person could write.

You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. You can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories, novels, homework, etc. She will be teaching writing classes at the Recovery Center in the spring. Email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.

Write for You: Doodles of Kindness

by Nancy Casey

Today you will write down some random thoughts about kindness. How will you make sure they are random? By doodling!

Gather up some different colors of pens if you have them, and any other drawing-type materials you enjoy.

Draw a line near the top of the page to mark the space where the title will go. Then draw the letter ‘K’ in the center of the page and put a circle around it. K is for kindness.

Draw 3 lines from the K in the center out to the edge of the page so that your page will be divided into 3 sections that are more or less the same size.

Pick a section and begin doodling. You can doodle up squiggles and shapes or you can sketch whatever is in front of you. You can make a single blob and just color it in. What you draw can be “about” something—or not. Fool around and enjoy what comes out of your pen.

Drawing relaxes your mind in a way that allows your thoughts to roll around at random. When one of those random thoughts happens to be about kindness, notice that.

“Kindness” as a topic can cover a lot of things. So you will probably start to notice lots of thoughts about it. Kind actions, kind thoughts. Kindness offered, kindness received. All the different ways kindness feels. Kindness you remember. Kindness you wish for. Ways to be kind.

As you continue to draw and doodle, decide which random thought about kindness you will write down. You don’t have to write a lot. You might decide to go back and forth between the writing and drawing.

Try to have the writing part and the drawing part take up approximately the same amount of room.

When you have filled one section, fill another one the same way. Then fill the third section.

After that, look over all that you have done. Squeeze in new things if you want. As you go back through your work, a title is likely to pop into your mind. Write it down at the top. Put the date on the page somewhere as well.

Here is an example of what a person could write.

You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. You can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories, novels, homework, etc. She will be teaching writing classes at the Recovery Center in the spring. Email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.

Write for You: When You Don’t Want To

by Nancy Casey

Have you ever done anything that you didn’t want to do? If the answer is yes, you won’t have any trouble coming up with things to write about today.

Think of a story about something you did even though you didn’t want to do it.

For example, it’s hard to love every single chore you must do to keep your life moving along. Laundry. Vehicle maintenance. Shoveling snow. Shopping. Filling out forms. Have you had to sigh recently and say to yourself, “Nobody else is going to do it, so I might as well get going?”

Sometimes we have opportunities to do something that seems scary to us. Going snowboarding, swimming, or bowling. Eating sushi. Singing in public. Applying for a job. Asking directions. Have you stepped up lately and done something you were reluctant to do? How did it go?

What happened before you did the thing you didn’t want to do? Was it preceded by a period of procrastination or clever tricks of denial? Did you (or other people) give yourself pep talks or scoldings? Did you dive in and get the thing done so it wouldn’t bother you?

Doing what you don’t want to do isn’t always so great. Have you ever gone ahead with something you didn’t want to do, only to learn that you had been right about it not being a good idea?

Sometimes we find ourselves in really difficult situations where we have to make a choice that feels terrible in the moment. We have to rise to the occasion somehow because we know this is what’s best. Maybe we are helping another person. Maybe we are helping our future self.

What about all those times when a friend’s needs make you set aside your own? Do you have stories of giving up time, sleep, or other needs to help a friend through a problem?

When you tell a story of doing something that you didn’t want to do, include some information about your attitude. Were you grumpy, hesitant or joyful? Did your attitude change as things progressed? Was it the same at the end as in the beginning?

When you have written a page, give it a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add an illustration or decoration to the page. Color is nice. Here is an example of what a person could write.

You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. You can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories, novels, homework, etc. She will be teaching writing classes at the Recovery Center in the spring. Email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.
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Write for You: Mighty Winter

by Nancy Casey

The winter we are experiencing on the Palouse is a mighty one. Plenty of folks are beginning to feel worn down by daily snow-shoveling, hazardous driving, and the scary mincing steps one must take on an icy sidewalk to avoid a concussion or a broken hip.

This is a good time to pause and remind yourself that if you are feeling exhausted by the winter, it’s because you have been fighting back. The fact that you are dealing with it is proof that although the winter is mighty, you are mightier still.

Today, write about the opportunities this winter has given you to prove how mighty you are.

Obviously, there is physical might. Breaking ice and shoveling snow. Pushing your door open when there’s a snowdrift on it. Propelling yourself forward through a foot of snow. Watching where you are going in the stinging wind. What you do effortlessly on a 70-degree day, requires physical might in the snow. If you are doing it, you are mighty.

What clothes and accessories help to make you mighty? Your coat, your boots, a perfect hat or pair of gloves? A ski pole to walk with? A broom to sweep your car? Chains on your shoes?

What problems have you solved? Getting to work on time? Getting your groceries in the door? Thawing water pipes?Showing up to meet a friend? Dealing with a power outage? Not getting frostbite? All of these things are hard in winter. Anyone would complain! If you do any of them, you can also tell a story of how mighty you are.

For anyone who dislikes the season, and especially for those who struggle with a disability or illness that makes every wintertime activity a chore, winter requires psychological might. Some people wake up every winter morning facing genuine fear and dread related to the weather. And they find a way to make it through another day. The exercise and fresh air that keep a person grounded can be impossible to get. Winter can make a person feel small. It takes considerable strength not to curl up and give in. It’s worth writing about how you manage to do that.

One of the mightiest things you can do in winter is play. Have you been outside in the snow and cold and found yourself laughing? Have you thrown a snowball, rode a sled, skied over hill and dale? When you do such things, you are definitely mighty.

Today, write a page about the many different ways you have been mighty this winter. Use the word “mighty” to refer to yourself as many times as you possibly can.

When you have finished, give your work a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add further decoration and color to the page as needed. Here is an example of what a person could write.

You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. You can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.

Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. In the spring, she will be teaching at the Recovery Center—after the weather eases up! She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories novels—email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.
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