NaPoWriMo 2023 Early Bird


Calling All Early Birds

on MARCH 31, 2023

Happy Na/GloPoWriMo Eve, all! Tomorrow is April 1, and the official start of the twentieth year of the project. We can’t believe it’s been going on for so long. Its longevity is due to you all – the enthusiasm our participants bring to this yearly challenge is wonderful to see.

… This year, in honor of the 20th anniversary of Na/GloPoWriMo, we’ll be featuring a mix of prompts from our archives and brand-new challenges.

Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that plays with the idea of a “fun fact.” Your fact could actually be fun – or the whole point could be that it’s not fun. Maybe you have a favorite wacky fact already, but if not, Mental Floss’s “Amazing Fact Generator” is here to help!

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Process Notes:

My first amazing fact was:

A cough can propel saliva droplets as far as 20 feet at speeds up to 25 to 50 mph.

I knew the first part (length of a football pitch) but I didn’t feel inspired…

I LOVED my 2nd fact but have banked it for another time… along with feeling sorry for the people of Wyoming – unless of course they have an abundance of one storey buildings (I know there are lifts/ stairs/ alternatives).

And just as I began to worry that I was disappearing down my 1st NaPo rabbit hole — the universe delivered this!

A fist pump to the air – I knew I had my first prompt!

No more searching. Although randomisers are too much fun!

I copied the fact into a word doc. and prepared to free-write. The moment the document was loading I knew what I wanted to write about – now the subject of at least 4 of my poems. My late Godfather loved books, antique ones especially and for years every Christmas he’d arrive with a bottle and an old book. I kept them all of course but some are brittle with age and I fear further damage will occur so I have preserved them for now.

The poem is a 5 stanza free write – I edit in May – as is the NaPo way so I am sure it will change, but for now and for the first poem of the month, its bones are good!

From the fact I used:

grassy notes// Vanilla and underlying mustiness.

Which were the words which clung in my mind on first reading.


Finally I started to work on a title (titles are often work as opposed to thinking for me, I find them hard usually). I was holding the shroud in mind and know that the tradition is a simple white linen. Maybe because it’s Easter or possibly because the loss of my Godfather is fairly recent I thought about beliefs and the dead rising again. There is mention of future generations in the poem so it seemed fitting to call it – The World to Come – which may change to -World to Come – or may be lost in future writes entirely.

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