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.

Also: Every three months, I'll accept submissions and choose a few pieces to post for LM readers to enjoy.

My first grader ran home from school and raced into the kitchen, eager to challenge me to a new game he'd learned on the playground.

"It's really fun," he informed me. "You draw a square on the cement. Then you draw lines down the middle. Then four people stand in the square and you try to get them out.

"I'll get it set up. Come outside in two minutes." Just as quickly as he'd entered, he was out the door in search of our sidewalk chalk.

The square he drew was not truly square, nor were his lines completely straight, but his determination to teach me how to play Four Square was genuine.

"I serve to you," he explained. "You have to let the ball bounce before you hit it back to me. And then we just bounce it back-n-forth."

Turns out the rules I remembered from my elementary school days were a bit different from his. Sometimes, he caught the ball before bouncing it back to me and sometimes, he added a spin so it bounced opposite what I expected. But I had to call a timeout after he yelled "Typewriter!" followed immediately by "Cherry Bomb!" and I'd nearly fallen in my attempts to reach the ball.

"Oh. Sorry." He flashed a sly smile. "That's how the fourth graders play. Sometimes they make up different rules."

Remember Four Square? Check out the official rules here and the cool rules here.

Journal Entry: Write about a time your child taught you how to play a game. What was the most important rule?

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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Sounds like a great idea! I'll be waiting to receive your first instruction...
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