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.


Family Heirlooms

I was about 10 years old when my grandma gave me her two baby rings. They were in perfect condition because, in her day, jewelry was saved for special occasions and she had worn them only for the weekly outing to church.

At first, I, too, wore them only to church and special occasions. But when I entered high school, I wore one or the other nearly every day and, as teenagers sometimes do, grew careless. One ring was lost for several weeks after it fell out of my jeans’ pocket and to the bottom of my duffle bag. I dropped the other one and stepped on it. Today, it wobbles unsteadily on the table.

One ring still fits and I wear it occasionally on my pinkie finger. The other is attached to a brooch, with my mother’s baby ring hanging beside it. (Mom too, wore her ring only to church and for special occasions, but because my grandmother tied a pink ribbon from it to her wrist, it was never lost.) When my daughter was young, she wore this pin for special occasions, her own baby ring nestled between her grandmother’s and her great-grandmother’s rings.

Now my daughter is in high school and I’m officially passing the three rings on to her. They’re a visual reminder of the family who helps shape us into who we are and an unspoken message that whether she rolls straight ahead, wobbles a bit, or gets lost, we’ll always be there for her. I hope she doesn’t lose them and that she’ll be able to pass them on to another generation, but I also hope she’ll want to wear one or the other every day, not only on special occasions.


Journal Entry: Write about a family heirloom you hope to pass on to your children. Describe its history and the when-why-and-how it was given to you.


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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