Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Writing Prompt: Standing Still

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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. 

Then, share a link to your free write in the comments section below. We’d love to see what you did with this week's prompt! 

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Photo by Dina Relles

It's nearing summer's end. The days are shortening, but our lists grow long. It is the last week of camp. I work in the front office where, some days, it feels like everything flows through.

We were unexpectedly short-staffed. Campers needed to get home safely—luggage tags and transportation lists and phone calls to parents and packing and sorting and cleaning and triple-checking and then finally the moment when the first long luxury bus ominously rumbles up the dirt driveway to the dining hall. Inside, kids—tears streaming, tanned arms reaching—exchange rushed goodbyes and climb aboard, headed for their other homes.

By 4pm, the campers all had left. An eerie quiet blanketed the grounds. I collapsed onto the cool grass—exhausted, relieved—and squinted up at the gloaming sky. The white, wispy clouds moved methodically and, for a long minute, I saw nothing else.

Later that evening, the last night with my three boys in our sweet summer cabin, I sat on the edge of the bed, listening to their measured breaths, memorizing the moment.

In a world that moves too fast, how do you make time stand still?

In today's free write, consider how you make space and time for quiet and stillness. In a world of buzzes and beeps, overcommitting and overextending, and mile-long to do lists, how do you slow down? What does it feel like when you do?

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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 like to hear 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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I had a fun time free-writing this morning and surprised myself with what my answer was to the question, "How do you slow down?"
The link to my post is kristinwagner.wordpress.com
Just reading this slowed me down. Turning off the computer now. Thank you, Dina.
Thanks so much for taking me back to re-visit my blog post from this time last year and a favorite book All The World by Liz Garton Scanlin. Deep happy breath. "All the World Can Hold Quite Still." http://shinememoirs.blogspot.com/2014/08/all-world-can-hold-quite-still.html
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