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.

I stand in the school supplies aisle of our local drugstore while my two teenagers count out the number of spiral notebooks, folders, pencils, and pens they need to start the academic year. Neither needs a box of crayons, colored pencils, or markers, yet I find myself studying the choices and inhaling a little deeper than normal, hoping to catch a whiff of the more exotic shades of apricot, mountain meadow, and wisteria.

Even though our kitchen drawer of end-of-the-year school supplies is filled with broken crayons and dried-out markers left over from the past 10 years of elementary and middle school, I'm tempted to add a box of colored pencils or markers to our shopping cart. I know we don't have any of the metallic or neon variety.

"How about a package of these silver and gold markers?" I ask no one in particular. "Wouldn't they be fun to use to jazz up a poster or a report?"

Both look my way; neither responds.

But I've tapped into a memory.

"Remember when we had these?" my daughter points to a package of window markers. "Ally and I had so much fun with them. And it took you forever to get the windows clean."

She turned away with a sigh and a barely audible, "I wish she hadn't moved away."

Later that afternoon, I find her lying on her bedroom floor. She's opened an old coloring book of geometric shapes and surrounded herself with blunt-ended colored pencils.

"I just thought I'd finish this," she explains. "I don't know why I stopped coloring it."

I didn't see her for nearly an hour.

Journal Entry: Print out one of the suggested coloring pages (circles, crescents, rectangles) and color it. Write about the color choices you made and the medium you chose. What did you think about while you were coloring?

P.S. Are your color choices in America's Top 50 Favorites? Find out here.

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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