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.

"Mom, you wouldn't say no if I wanted to give you a Christmas present early, would you?" My son has just returned from an evening at the roller-skating rink and is hiding something behind his back.

"Oh, I suppose not..." I let my response trail off. Christmas is still two weeks away, but my eleven-year-old is so eager he can't stand still. Remembering the rink's selection of game-token prizes, I prepare myself for something plastic and gaudy.

"Good. Here. Merry Christmas!" The box he proudly hands me holds a five-inch resin Santa figurine, a "Made in China" sticker on its underside.

"Do you like it? It cost almost 100 tickets, but Jesse gave me some of his. I had to play the fat lady game five times. You should've seen me!" He stops to take a breath and waits for my response.

Though the figurine isn't one I'd purchase for myself, there's an angelic sweetness to it, and I tell him his gift is wonderful, a perfect addition to my nightstand.

"But you didn't need to spend all your money on me," I add, acknowledging the amount of time and money he spent at the game machines.

"Oh, that's okay. I wanted to. I know how much you like Santas." He throws himself into my arms, the excitement of his evening and its secret coming to an end.

Journal Entry: How do you choose gifts for those you love? Do you make lists? Do you window and catalog shop? Is it a hassle, or is it exciting? Then, describe a time you found the perfect gift and presented it. Note the recipient's response when he/she unwrapped 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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