Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Writing Prompt: Free Write

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Do you regularly free write? Do you wish you did? Several times a month, we'll post a writing prompt. Open a notebook or a blank page and keep your hand moving for 10 minutes. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation – just write.

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I slam the car door shut and the minivan shudders a bit. I pull the sleeves of my fleece over my hands for warmth and turn the key. Slowly the car comes to life, straining against the bitter cold of a Northeast Friday in mid-February.

Music floods the space.

Angel by Shaggy streams through the speakers, and I’m instantly transported to a cramped college dorm room. Several of us studious types crowd around the lone common room mirror, experimenting with mascara before an evening out. A moody melody like Piano Man takes me back further still to the rear of a school bus on a seventh grade field trip, Walkman in hand, mix tape securely lodged within. My thumb never left the rewind button, I loved the Billy Joel ballad so.

These days, when I’m shuttling my kids around in that minivan, there is something about a catchy tune that quells a sibling spat and allows us all to come together in song and silliness.

It must be silent when I write. No soundtrack eases that process. But when I’m stuck, I set out for a drive and crank the radio at full blast. The steady, soothing movement of the car as it hurtles through the wide world merges with music-evoked memory. On the open road, my mind is free of the earthly trappings of the everyday and hovers somewhere in the ether. In a rush, a full paragraph of prose takes shape. It is there that the perfect turn of phrase always finds me.

In today's free write, explore the emotion elicited by a particular song, or a memory conjured while listening to music on the road. Do you listen to music while you write? While on the road? How does music affect you?

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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!


Dina L. Relles is a writer with work in The Atlantic, Atticus Review, River TeethSTIR JournalBrain, Child Magazine, Full Grown People, The Manifest-Station, The Washington PostThe Huffington Post, and elsewhere. You can find more of her work on her own site, Commonplaceand you can connect with her on Twitter She lives in New York with her husband and children. Dina is a former blog editor for Literary Mama.


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