Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
For Your Journal: Writing Prompt

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Do you keep a journal - or wish you could get one started? Literary Mama wants to help.

Three times a month, I'll post a writing prompt. Open a notebook and write for 10 minutes. Don't worry about grammar or punctuation - just write. Then let the writing simmer and your mind wander for awhile.

And who knows? Maybe you'll discover a character for your next short story or a theme for a narrative essay. Or maybe you'll use the idea to create a special holiday card or photo album for someone in your family. However you decide to use your journal entry, I know you'll enjoy re-reading it months--and years--down the road.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the outside, Cary's family appeared to be a happy one. Her parents greeted neighbors with a friendly smile, and all five members of the family were active in church and community activities. But, behind closed doors, there was fear, pain and abuse.

"Don't you tell anyone," Cary was told. "This is our little secret. Besides, no one will ever believe you."

For a long time, those statements scared her into secrecy. Then, when Cary did begin to talk about the abuse she endured, she found that her father was right: no one believed her. She began to think the abuse was her fault. Her self-esteem nosedived. The abuse shaped her childhood and was a contributing factor to many of the decisions she made as an adult.

Cary was far into her adult years before she had the confidence to tell her story, but now, as a volunteer for Prevent Child Abuse America, she shares it freely and encourages adults to listen and to believe.

Journal Entry: Write about the challenges of keeping a secret and the consequences of revealing it.

Karna ConverseĀ is a freelance writer who’s written everything from technical documentation and price proposals to newsletter articles, devotionals, personal profiles and essays. Her essays have been published in a variety of regional and national publications, including The Christian Science Monitor, Notre Dame Magazine, the Cup of Comfort and Chicken Soup anthologies, Our Iowa, and on Iowa Public Radio. She and her husband are parents to three young adults. Karna is a former blog editor, senior editor, managing editor, and editor-in-chief of Literary Mama.

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