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.

There are many places to play in our house, but none quite as magical as the closet in our front entry. My four-year-old son and I sit cross-legged on the floor. A sliver of light slides in under the door and the bottoms of wool coats and nylon ski jackets brush the tops of our heads. He's excited to show me his secret and breathlessly whispers, "Watch this. It's magic." A circle of green bounces my way and he laughs with delight.

The magic in the dark of my closet is zinc sulfide, the "glow" of glow-in-the-dark balls, bracelets, and light sticks. All three of my children have been fascinated with it. I'm fascinated too -- not so much by the science of how zinc sulfide works -- but by the effect it has on my children.

Amazement. Wonder. A breathless, "Wow! It's magic."

I've never been good at performing magic tricks, yet our days are filled with wide-eyed, open-mouthed, magical moments just like this. Our black-and-white, rule-filled world is transformed into one filled with awe, mystery, and surprise. It's here, where black-and-white turns colorful, that the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

Journal Entry: Describe an ordinary experience that left your child breathless. What, specifically, made the ordinary extraordinary?

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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Amazement. Wonder. A breathless, "Wow! It's magic." I loved this... from something so simple yet available at any dollar store. My eldest is now 16 but I remember fondly his knight stage (which followed the dinosaur stage and preceded the Lego stage). One family vacation he fashioned any 12-can beer and pop case into a knight's helmet. Poor guy still has to endure the Sir Rolling Rock monicker.
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