Top Ten Things To Do When Stuck At Home

Submitted into Contest #74 in response to: Write a story in the form of a top-ten list.... view prompt


Creative Nonfiction Christian Contemporary

My mom got tested positive with Covid, so me, my oldest brother, and my dad can’t go to work. The whole family is stuck at home, and I tell you, we’re having a blast. When I seen this prompt, I knew it was a great way to get myself writing on here again. So this won’t be a dramatic fictional story, but I hope you like it!

No, these aren’t in order. There are a few that aren’t my favourite, but now’s the time to get them done; and if I put them first, you wouldn’t keep reading, but if I put them last, you’d loose interest. So I’ll scatter them in with the other fun ones. 

Learn a new instrument

I didn’t think I’d ever get into guitar. I’m a pianist. But I happen to have a mom who’s been meaning to learn, so there’s a guitar in the house. Then I happened to get extremely bored while it was out, so I picked it up, googled a couple chords, and learned how to play a song. It was that simple. One thing I’ve noticed is that my hands are not nearly as strong as I thought they were: for example, the piano never needed my left-hand ring finger, but the guitar is quite demanding of it. Also, the lowest (or, depending on how you think of it, the highest) strings are quite thin and determined to one day cut my fingertips. I’ve been practicing daily to build up muscle strength and hopefully some calluses. 

Finish publishing a book

This one’s been fun but also tough. I’ve been in contact with my publisher for a while. It’s been really busy with last changes and proof reviews, which is why I haven’t been posting a lot of stories on here. I’ve been editing so hard that it’s a wonder my creative side still works. But I signed the final papers on Wednesday, and it’s being sent to the printers. I am so excited!

Read together

Together? Yes, you heard me. Reading by myself is relaxing, sure, but when members of my family are sitting in the living room with me, it’s even better. Then I get all the funny and pithy bits from, say, four books, instead of one. I recently finished The Seventeen Second Miracle, and it was very inspiring. It kept me riveted and reading past my bedtime, which I haven’t done in a while. Currently I’m going through The Fellowship of the Ring. Another thing my family does together is read the Bible in the evenings. Right now we’re going through Second Chronicles, which is a fascinating account of ancient kings. I’ve got an app,, that has incredible audio drama bible. We listen to that, then read a few chapters from the New Testament. Everyone gets two verses, and we go around in a circle. It is so neat to hear everyone from my parents to my little brother reading the words of God aloud. 

Go for walks

Sometimes I have to force myself to do this, but I’m always grateful for it afterwards. Our property abuts a field with a creek and a railroad track, so my siblings and I can go adventuring there without disturbing anyone. We’ve just got to remember to exchange our runners for rubber boots unless we’ve got a hankering for wet socks, muddy pants, and a displeased mother.

Explore your niche interests

Mine has been opera. I love theatre too, but I’ve been focussing on opera, since now I can easily justify sitting still for two-to-four hours and watching people sing. It’s like a movie, only it’s a musical, only it’s way more passionate and descriptive. If it’s done right. I’ve been watching several of The Met’s nightly streams. Some of them I haven’t cared for, but their production of Nabucco kept me on the edge of my seat. Also, The Merry Widow was way funnier than it should have been. My favourite opera by far, though, has still got to Ingmar Bergman’s take on Mozart’s The Magic Flute on YouTube. Not in English, but worth the initial confusion. It is beautiful. 

Finish projects with now-extended deadlines

I was so busy with my family’s Christmas gifts that I wasn’t on time with my friends’. I’ve been watching my operas while making jewelry for them. Spoiler alert! Although I guess you probably already knew what I was going to give you. This hobby has my fingertips doubly sore.

Watch movies

I usually don’t watch a lot of movies. Our family in general doesn’t; just the occasional Andy Griffith Show episode. Now, we’ve been watching one nightly, and I’ve seen Age of Ultron, Fisherman’s Friends, Jumanji The Next Level, Let There Be Light, Klaus, and Extraction so far. My repertoire is greatly increasing. 

Study something

My library offers free access to a learning program called Gale Courses. They are instructor-led, graded courses, on almost every subject I could ever need. So far I’ve finished Accounting Fundamentals and Writing Essentials, and I’m working on two more. Accounting Fundamentals II is really boring, but it’ll be useful, and once I get into it, it’s not that bad. If you do do this, remember to not print out the work double-sided. It makes organization very confusing. The other course, much more up my alley, is Introduction To Screenwriting. It’s been a lot of fun so far and I’ve learned quite a bit. Christmas put me behind schedule but I am almost back on track with my lessons. 

Organize what you’ve been meaning to organize

Okay so this one I have a hard time with. I keep telling myself that it is on my to-do list, but after I get caught up with my studies and Christmas gifts. My desk is covered with scrap papers and notes that need to be stapled into my journal so I never lose them. 

Write a short story

And that about covers it! I hope you gained a couple ideas from here if you’ve been going crazy with nothing to do. Now I’ve got nothing left but to reach a thousand words so that I can bore whoever gets assigned my story. Sorry it wasn’t more interesting! I just needed something to get me going and none of the other prompts were inspiring me. 

Lets see… what else have I been doing during quarantine? We eat a lot, but my dad loves to cook, so between him and my mom (and my grandma, who dropped off soup and homemade bread yesterday), I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking. Just a lot of dishes. 

Dad spends a lot of time in the shop. There he can kinda do his own thing, and even just chill, while still feeling useful and not like a bum who sits on the couch and does nothing all day and is a drain on society.

Mom is enjoying her Christmas break, sleeping in, and just kinda doing her thing: the daily load of laundry and so on. It was her New Year’s Resolution last year to read more, and I’m very proud of how much she’s read already, but she’s taking advantage of this time to read more yet.

My next two brothers have made a few wooden knives in the shop. They are really getting good at it; the blades are beautifully shaped, the handles are smooth, and the pommels and hand guards are decorative.

My sister is having the hardest time with this, I think. She thrives on routine and society, and now with no school to do and no friends to visit, she’s a little lost. She loves helping Mom cook, as well as crocheting and reading, but only one chapter at a time. We’re going through Pride and Prejudice together so that I can explain the Old English to her. 

My little brother is having a great time. He’s got four older siblings to follow around and inquire after, and he loves getting in on all the fun stuff we do. He and my other brothers have built a nerf war zone in the basement. He and my sister talk all the time (occasionally fighting, to liven things up). He is sitting next to me right now, listening to Kung Fu Panda soundtrack and eager to read how I am portraying him. 

Let’s see if that was a thousand words yet. 

That was 1,408 words! Well, I’ve reached my limit and over, so I’ll stop boring you now. If you made it this far, thanks for reading!

December 31, 2020 15:17

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Amel Parvez
11:27 Jan 07, 2021

Amazing! i liked your story.:)


Keri Dyck
14:24 Jan 07, 2021

Thank you kindly!


Amel Parvez
16:43 Jan 07, 2021

Anytime! <3


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Hallie Blatz
13:42 Jan 01, 2021

This was great, loved it! Yeah I figured it would be jewelry 😝


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