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.



A 24-year-old woman called in this question to Car Talk, the radio talk show about cars and car repair broadcast by National Public Radio: “When does one do as Dad says or do as Dad does?”

The caller planned to drive her 2009 Subaru out-of-state for a weekend camping trip, but her dad told her it wasn’t a good idea. She contends she’ll be fine, just as he was several years ago when he and a friend traveled to another state to check out a 1937 Chevy and then drove it home in a snowstorm. After a series of questions and laughter about the condition of her car, the nature of her trip, and her driving record, Click and Clack, aka Tom and Ray Magliozzi, asked to speak to Dad:

Click and Clack: Is it a safety issue?
Dad: No.
Click and Clack: Is she a little hare-brained?
Dad: Well, just between you and me, yeah, just a tiny bit, but don’t let that get out.
Click and Clack: What about her makes you not trust her? Makes you think that she couldn’t do this?
Dad: It’s not that I don’t trust her. It’s the other world out there. You know what I mean?
Click and Clack: So how about if she had a companion? Would that be better? How about a dog?
Dad: No, that dog’s not going to be any help at all, not unless she needs someone to bark. This boils down to my father’s rule: Because I said so, that’s why.
Click and Clack: Oh. Because I said so … but she is 24.
Dad: Yeah I know, that’s not going to hold up much longer.
Click and Clack: Yeah, I think you got about one more week of that.


Journal Entry: Write about an argument you had with your child where your final retort was, “because I said so.” Describe both sides of the controversy but write your child’s version from his/her point of view.


Listen to Click and Clack’s exchange with Dad here; it’s labeled the Best Moment for the show that aired November 12, 2011.

Karna Converse 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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