In the News

What Moves?

by Nancy Casey

Today, write about moving things and whatever it is that moves them.

Get out a blank sheet of paper and watch your hand move the pen so it draws a line at the top of your page where your title will eventually go. Mark off a space for drawing, too, if you like.

People and things go from place to place all the time, sometimes under their own power and sometimes because something or someone moves them.

In your writing you could choose an everyday object such as a fork, a doorknob, or a shoe, and then describe its movements during a regular day. Or a normal life.

You could write about how different parts of your body move, or describe the places your body moves to and from in the course of a day—or a week, a year, or your lifetime so far. Does music make you move? How does that work?

Another way to think about movement is to consider forces of nature, such a wind, water, magnetism or gravity. What do such forces move around?

You could consider movement in an abstract or intangible way. Do thoughts and feelings move? Do we move through time? What, exactly, moves when we say that we are “moved” by something?

As soon as any idea about moving and movement jumps into your mind, begin writing it down. Describe what moves, explain what moves it or any other details that occur to you. If you move off the topic of movement, that’s okay.

Maybe by the time you have finished writing about your first idea, you will have used up the whole page already. If not, relax your mind and let a new idea move into it. If your mind feels blank, doodle a bit while asking yourself, “What moves?”

When you get to the bottom of the page, look back over your work. Make small changes or additions if you like. Add illustration or decoration, too.

Do your ideas form any kind of a pattern? Do they seem to be about a bigger idea that you hadn’t really planned on writing about? If they do, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If they don’t, make up some kind of a title anyway and write it at the top of the page.

Put your initials or a signature on the page, too. And write the date on it. Here is one 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.

So Annoying!

by Nancy Casey

Water is essential for life. It makes up a big part of our bodies. We bathe in it and cook with it. Rain nourishes the crops that feed us.

Nothing is perfect, though. Today, write a page about how annoying water can be.

When has water made you (or someone else) grumpy or ruined your day? Think about that while you settle in to write and set up your page.

Get out your writing stuff. Arrange the things in front of you in a way that looks pleasing to you. Take a breath or two. Wiggle around a little to loosen yourself up.

Draw a line at the top of a blank page where your title will go. Set aside some space for illustration if you like. Start drawing or doodling in it if it helps your mind focus.

Water can be annoying when it is in the wrong place—on a library book, in your shoes, or dripping from the ceiling, for example.

Have you ever suffered from a problem that was caused by too much water? Do you have a story about a time when it rained at the worst possible moment?

Sometimes perfectly good water can be ruined when something gets into it—rust, microbes, or chemicals, for example. What annoyances does contaminated water bring about?

When water leaks, what are some of the annoying places it might go?

When water is in the form of a gas or solid, it can be annoying in ways that liquid water isn’t. Do you have a story of a time when water vapor, steam, or ice messed up your day?

As soon an idea or story about water being troublesome comes to mind, start writing about it. As more thoughts pop up, write them down, too. Try to fill the whole page without pausing. If you have to wait for your next idea to arrive, draw or doodle somewhere on the page. That will help you stay focused and open-minded at the same time.

When you get to the bottom of the page, look back over your work. Pause to add illustration or decoration if you like.

Do your ideas form any kind of a pattern? Do they seem to be about a bigger idea that you hadn’t really planned on writing about? If they do, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If they don’t, make up some kind of a title anyway and write it at the top of the page.

Put your initials or a signature on the page, too. And write the date on it. 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.

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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.

The Perfect People

by Nancy Casey

You probably don’t know any Perfect People and it’s pretty likely you aren’t one yourself.

When we observe people’s shortcomings (or our own) we make a comparison to a standard that only a Perfect Person can meet. Whether Perfect People exist or not.

In your writing today, bring the Perfect People to life in your imagination.

What do you suppose the Perfect People are doing right now? What are their homes like? What kinds of things do they say? What will they never do?

Conjure up the Perfect People in your imagination while you get yourself ready to write. As you get out your stuff, think about all the perfect writing stuff a Perfect Person probably has.

As you relax and clear your mind to write, heave a big sigh for all the mistakes a Perfect Person never would make.

Draw a maybe-perfectly straight line across the top of the page where your maybe-perfect title will go. Mark off some space that you will use for a maybe-perfect drawing. (Or scribbling—is it possible to scribble imperfectly?)

What are Perfect People like? What do they dream about? Do they ever worry?

As soon as an idea about a Perfect Person pops into your mind, write it down.

You can write about what you would be like if you were perfect. Or the perfect way that others could behave around you. Maybe you will start thinking of all the skills and qualities that Perfect People have.

When your page is full—perfectly full, perhaps—read over what you have written. Make corrections or changes if you like. Do your notice that your ideas have formed some kind of pattern? Do they seem to be about a general idea that you hadn’t really planned on writing about? If they do, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If they don’t, make up some kind of a title anyway.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.

While you are reviewing what you have written and thinking up a title, you can draw or doodle on the page.

When you feel like the page is completely finished, put your initials or a signature on it somewhere, along with today’s 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. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

Quality Comparisons

by Nancy Casey

Begin by setting up your page. Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Then write all the letters of the alphabet, A-Z, down the left-hand side of the page.

Next to each letter, write a word that begins with that letter. Any word. You can choose from your surroundings or memory. You can write down whatever pops into your mind. Often it’s easier or skip around the alphabet rather than plod from A-Z.

When your word list is complete, look it over and pick a word to begin with. Whatever that word is, compare it to something else. Anything else. You can be silly or serious, or both.

One way to make comparisons is to think about the qualities of things. Qualities are ideas you can use to describe something—size, weight, reliability, difficulty, color, sweetness, speed… Comparisons based on qualities might use words like bigger, easier, more nutritious, slower, taller, rounder, harder to remember…

You can also put together a comparison by choosing one of the words from your list and naming something else—anything!—that you will compare it to. In that case, you hold the two words in your mind and think about the qualities that they do and don’t share.

No matter what two things you think of, there is always a way to compare them. This is obviously true if you are comparing two different pairs of shoes, and equally true if you are comparing a rattlesnake to a thunderstorm.

When you have written a comparison using each of your 26 words, look back over your work. If you like, add some illustration or decoration while you think about it.

Do your ideas form any kind of a pattern? Do they seem to be about a bigger idea that you hadn’t really planned on writing about? If they do, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If they don’t, make up some kind of a title anyway and write it at the top of the page.

Put your initials or a signature on the page, too. And write the date on it. Here is just one 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.