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? Read this prompt from Literary Mama reader Kris Woll. Then, open a notebook and write for 10 minutes. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation – just write.


Gifts that Last


My grandma only made a few sock monkeys, but she made a lot of sock pigs.

She lived in Iowa.

And she kept a pile of sock pigs in the big upstairs bedroom along with the ancient typewriter, gilded Bible, and rug made from plastic bags. She gave me a sock pig one Christmas; once home, I shoved it in my closet, behind the stack of hand-me-down sweaters I tried to pass off as new. I left only Cheer Bear and Smurf out on the shelf for friends to see.

Now my sock pig belongs to my son, my son who will not remember my grandmother, who has only one picture with her, taken the Christmas before she died. His chubby baby legs rest on her thinning thighs while my father and I lean into the frame. None of us are looking in the same the direction.

To my son, now a big kid, the sock pig is just another toy in his collection, a collection overwhelmingly handed down and at least partially handmade. Another toy to sit in attention along with his little sister when “school” is in session by the playroom chalkboard while my son lectures on Ancient Egypt and how to draw a star. And after school ends, and the chalk dust clears, and after the teacher and his little sister are sound asleep, there is sock pig, in the middle of action, at the front of the room and surrounded by his friends. And I am so glad he is.


Journal Entry:  Is there an artifact from your childhood in your current family’s life?  What did it mean to you when you were young?  What does it mean to you–and to your family–now?  Write about the changing use and value of a piece of your youth.


Do YOU have a writing prompt to share with Literary Mama readers? Send your 150- to 300-word narrative and associated writing prompt to lmblogcontact (at) literarymama (dot) com. We'd love to read your ideas!


Kris Woll is a Minneapolis-based writer.  Read more of her stuff at

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I need to see this sock pig!!
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