Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Writing Prompt: For Your Journal

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Do you keep a journal – or wish you could get one started? Literary Mama wants to help. Several times a month, we'll post a writing prompt. Open a notebook and write for 10 minutes. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation – just write.  


Yesterday was a classic fall day. Lively, yellow light penetrated through the browning tree tops, squirrels scurried about gathering walnuts, and orange leaves fell to the ground on warm puffs of wind. So at five o’clock when the sky darkened and great booms of thunder overtook the land, I was sufficiently surprised.

The lightning came first. It flashed dramatically over the hills and brought quickly behind it the thunder. A shot of lightning flashed at the same instant as the thunder cracked, close enough to rumble our house.

My eight-year-old was sitting on the couch watching Garfield. “Wow! That was really close,” he announced.

Then came a downpour like I haven’t seen in months. I went upstairs to look out over our yard and watch the gray take over. Lightning was hitting all around. I had to wonder what people did before there were houses, before glass windows and good insulation and shiny metal roofs. The power of this overwhelming storm must have scared them. It scared me, and I was safe inside.

After a few minutes the lights flickered. Went off, came on. Then went out for good.

I waited for a moment. What would my son do? Would he be scared and come find me? We have been through storms before, and he knows he’s safe inside, but still, this one was intense.

The lights stayed out, and soon, I went down to check in with my son. He was sitting quietly on the couch in the dark, looking out the windows, waiting for the storm to pass. He grinned as I sat down next to him. He liked this kind of storm. And as long as we were safe inside, so did I.


In your journal today, write about fear and safety. What causes you and your kids to feel afraid, what causes you to feel safe? How are the two related?


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

Amanda Jaros is a freelance writer living in Ithaca, NY. Her essay “Blood Mountain” won the 2017 Notes From the Field contest at Flyway Journal. Other work has appeared in numerous journals and magazines including, NewfoundLife in the Finger Lakes Magazine, Highlights for Children, and Cargo Literary. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Chatham University.

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