In the News

For the Love of Gloves

by Nancy Casey

Surgeons wear them. So do boxers and astronauts. And probably you, too.

Good old gloves. Today, write about some of the gloves that have graced your life. You can tell what they are made of or what color they are. Maybe you remember where you got them. Perhaps they were present for an important moment. Maybe they even saved you from disaster.

Think about all the gloves you have known as you set up your page. Draw a line at the top of the page where the title will go. Set aside some space for illustration. (If you begin by tracing your hand, you can quickly draw a glove.)

Most gloves protect your hands from something. In the winter months you probably rely on them for protection from the cold. But a glove can also protect a hand from heat. Gloves can keep out microbes and dirt. Some people count on gloves to protect their hands from cleaning agents or other toxins.

When is a glove not a glove? Consider a mitten, for instance, or a fingerless glove. Maybe you remember a time when you needed gloves and couldn’t find them. What did you use instead?

Sometimes gloves don’t protect anything. They can also be used to hide something—unsightly age spots, chewed up nails, or fingerprints at a crime scene. Some gloves are strictly for fashion and instead of protecting you, you have to protect them.

Is there a certain kind of glove you wish you had? Is there a type of glove you would never wear even if you did have them?

If you lose one glove, what do you do with the other one?

Have you ever given or received gloves as a gift? Or stumbled on a pair of gloves you forgot about? Have you ever stolen a pair of gloves?

So many gloves! The more you look around and think about them, the more you can find.

If you never, ever wear gloves, there’s a story in that, too.

Fill up a page today by writing something about gloves.

When you have finished the page, read over what you have written. Illustrate your work if you haven’t already. Think up a title that ties everything together.

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. In-person Write-For-You classes could be returning to the Recovery Center before too long—but not yet! If you would like some help with your writing, or just some encouragement,  contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

Pause and Relax

by Nancy Casey

There are lots of different exercises a person can do to relax. In some of them you consciously relax your body—from bottom to top, from inside to out. Some exercises focus on the breath—slowing it down, feeling it in your belly. Other exercises ask you to move with maximum awareness, slowly and deliberately. Do you have a favorite?

Today you will have a chance to see what it’s like when you combine writing and relaxing.

Put yourself into relax-mode as you settle in to write: pens ready, clean page. Draw a line at the top of the page where the title will go. Can you draw that line with your hand and arm completely relaxed?

Next, draw 3 dots spaced evenly down the middle of the page. They will divide your page into four “imaginary” sections.

Breathe gently, and use your favorite method to enter your relaxation state. Then begin writing. Write about whatever is on your mind. That might be what you see or hear. It might be a plan, a worry, or a memory. Whatever floats through.

When you get to the first dot, put down your pen and look around. Lay your hands gently in front of you. Close your eyes and do a little something to relax your breath and body.

When you begin to feel relaxation, open your eyes slowly and continue writing. If your mind floated off to a new topic while you were relaxing, write about that. If you are more inclined to pick up where your writing left off, you can do that, too.

Can you stay inside of that relaxed feeling as you continue writing? How does a person do that?

Work your way down the page. Pause to relax each time you come to a dot. Start your writing back up however you like.

Consider drawing or doodling on the page as well. (Would that be part of writing or part of relaxing?)

When you have filled the page, pause and relax one more time.

Read over what you have written. Even if you changed the subject a lot, it’s still probably all connected somehow. Think up a title that hints at those connections.

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.

From Squiggles to Faces

by Nancy Casey

You will find today’s writing to be an exercise in anti-planning. In other words, you’re not going to be able to think up what to do ahead of time. When you have finished, you might say, “I never would have planned that.”

When you make this page, you will start by drawing and then write some words. Before you begin, draw a line across the top of the page where you title will go.

Next, make six or eight random squiggles that are spread evenly over the page. They can be roundish or angular, made of a single line or a couple lines, twisty or straight.

You mission will be to fiddle with the squiggles until you can get a face to emerge.

Take a look at your collection of squiggles and pick one that reminds you of a face or a head, or a part of one, somehow. Add a couple more lines to make it look even more like a face or a head.

You can color your faces and your not-yet-faces. Mindless coloring helps new ideas float into your mind.

Fiddle with each of the squiggles until a face emerges. Some will be easy. Some might take some coaxing. Just keep fiddling, going from one squiggle to another, skipping around, adding details, until you decide each face is finished.

Here are some ideas for fiddling:

  • Draw one facial feature, such as an eye, an eyebrow, a nose, or an ear. Just draw one of them. Put it randomly near the squiggle, in no particular spot. Then take a look at the whole thing. Does it look any more like a face now?
  • Draw a hairdo over the squiggle. Does that give you a new idea?
  • Give the squiggle a hat. Is there a face there yet?
  • Draw another squiggle on top of, around, or next to what you already have.
  • Make a shape near the squiggle. A triangle, circle or dash. An exclamation point! What does it look like now?
  • Remind yourself that there’s no requirement to draw a human face. It can be any creature at all. Real or imagined.

Draw some lines to separate and frame each of the faces. Or maybe you want to divide them into groups that seem to belong together and frame them that way.

In the background, write down some words to go along with each face. You can use a cartoon bubble to show what they are thinking or saying. You could also write a title or a caption for a face.

When all of the framed faces are finished, and each has something to “say,” take a look at the whole page you have made. Make small changes if you want to. Can you think up a title that hints of a story that connects all of the faces?

Write your 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.

What’s Easy?

by Nancy Casey

What do you find easy to do? Everybody is different—in the ways their minds work, in their physical abilities, in their preferences about how they like to spend their time. The constellation of activities that come easy to you is unique.

Today, write about one or more of the things that you find easy in life.

Consider your everyday activities. Are some of them so easy that you hardly even think of them? Do you procrastinate doing certain tasks, thinking they’ll be hard, only to find out they were pretty easy?

What do you find easy to do in a grocery store, with friends, or outdoors? What, in your opinion, is easy about having a family, going to school, or being in relationships?

Consider some of the skills you have acquired in your life. As you acquire a skill, an activity that you once found difficult becomes easier. What comes easy to you now that wasn’t so easy in the past?

What kinds of things do you find easy to remember? Are certain things easy to forget?

What have you found to be easy so far in this day, this week, or this year?

As soon as an activity that you find easy pops into your mind, write down a little bit about it. Describe how you do it and explain, perhaps, how your ability has developed over time. If you can, explain why you think this activity comes easy to you.

Then move on to another activity that you find easy, until you have filled a page with one description after another of activities that come easy to you. Read back over what you have written and make small changes if you like. Decorate the page if you like, and keep thinking about what you have written until a title pops into your mind

Write your title at the top of the page. Write the date on the page also, 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.

At Least Four Letters

by Nancy Casey

When you write today, you might not make a lot of sense. Or you might make sense in a different way. Maybe, in a peculiar way, you will make more sense than usual!

You will make today’s writing a little bit goofy by only writing words that contain four letters or more.

As you think the words you are writing, little words will naturally pop into your mind. English has zillions of them: the… of…, a… up… to… and… I… us… You can’t say much of anything without these words, so don’t try to skip them in your mind ahead of time. As you write, skip over them without writing them down. If you write one by mistake, you can always cross it out later.

For example, if you remove all the words that are 3 letters or less from the first paragraph of this post, you end up with:

When write today, might make sense. might make sense different. Maybe peculiar make more sense than usual!

It’s certainly odd. That’s your mission today: to write in a way that’s odd. Peculiar. A little bit goofy. Just for fun.

Set up your page in the usual way, with a line for a title at the top and some space for an (optional) illustration. Then draw a dot mid-way across the page and about a third of the way down. (Later this dot will remind you that you have used up a third of your space.) Draw a second dot that marks a spot that two-thirds of the way down the page.

Launch into your writing. You can tell a story from your life. Or simply describe your day so far and tell how it is different from yesterday. You could write about all of the things you have to do. You can write whatever you want and even make it up as you go along.

The only rule is that as you go, you only write down words that are more than 4 letters long. Don’t let your brain wrinkle over this. Try to find a rhythm where you relax and hear the little words in your mind, but skip over them as you write. When you get to the first dot, a third of the way down the page, give it a rest.

Reread what you wrote, just the way it is. If you notice that some little words have slipped in, scribble them out. Can you read it aloud in a way that (sort of) makes sense?

Continue writing, and continue skipping the smallest words. Pause again when you get to the dot that marks two-thirds of the way down the page. Go back and scribble out any words that are less than 4 letters. Again, read aloud with as much expression as you can.

Finish up the page in the same style, and read the whole thing all over again once more.

As your worked your way down the page, how did your mind and your writing adjust themselves to make the task less awkward? Do you like what you wrote? Are there places that were especially clever and unusual? What title pops into your mind?

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.

Shadows

by Nancy Casey

Today in your writing, you will be challenged to notice objects in the world, but instead of describing the thing itself, you will describe its shadow.

Unless we are trying to see something in good light, or perhaps if we are seeking shade on a sunny day, we tend not to pay a whole lot of attention to shadows. Wherever there is light, however, shadows are cast. Look for the shadows around you.

If the light is bright, shadows are clear and well-defined. What color are they? Not exactly gray or black. What other colors faintly appear? (Neither gray nor black is a color in the rainbow. Gray and black are made by combining several colors. Brown, too.)

When the light is faint, shadows are still there.  Look at the edges or cracks where an object touches the floor or another object. Is there a shadow in there? What shape is it?

Notice places where two shadows combine. Shadows inside shadows. What can you say about those?

Take a look at something that seems pretty uniform in color. The floor perhaps, or a wall, maybe a piece of furniture. Snow. A cloud. A road. The more you look, the less the color seems uniform. Are some of the different shades caused by shadow? What do those shadows look like?

You can set up your own shadows with a lamp or flashlight. Arrange objects around it for the fun of seeing what kinds of shadows they cast. Fool around with them. Make a “shadow play.”

As you set up your page, shift your mind over to the idea of shadows. Draw a line at the top where the title will go. Set off a space for illustration, or draw a frame around the whole page that you can decorate later if you like.

When your page is ready, sit for a moment and take in the shadows around you. As you notice a shadow you never paid much attention to before, begin writing. Describe it however you like. If there’s still room on the page, look around for another one. Keep describing shadows until the page is full.

Go back over your work. Make small changes if you want to. Add more decoration if there is room. If you have made a drawing, you can add shadows to it and notice what effect that has.

Think up a title. 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. 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.