NaPoWriMo 2023: Day 11- Shocked

Today, our daily resource is Chill Subs. Since it was first created couple of years back as an easy way to find journals and magazines accepting submissions of poetry and other writing, the site has grown to include software for tracking your submissions, a blog with fun posts about writing, and much more. It’s free to join, and I know I’ve found it very helpful in seeking publication opportunities.

And finally, our (optional) prompt for the day. This prompt challenges you to play around with the idea of overheard language. First, take a look at Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “One Boy Told Me.” It’s delightfully quirky, and reads as a list, more or less, of things that she’s heard the boy of the title – her son, perhaps? – say. Now,  write a poem that takes as its starting point something overheard that made you laugh, or something someone told you once that struck you as funny. If you can’t think of anything, here’s a few one-liners I picked out of the ever-fascinating-slash-horrifying archives of Overheard in New York.

•             So I asked my priest, and he said “I think you should see other people.”

•             Don’t say “no” to drugs. Say “no, thank you.”

•             You smell like you want to be alone.

•             Oh hi! We were just speaking very poorly about you!

•             I feel so elated! Wait…no, I mean, “violated.”

Happy writing!


I knew a girl who once who told me her mother died
I said was sorry.

She said, 'Don't be.'
'It was a long time ago.'

'My dad just died and my mother couldn't take it.'
'Oh!' was all that I managed to say.

I wasn't sure whether it was okay to ask 'How?'
She said simply, 'She jumped into the well.'

I looked at her aghast. I said, 'That's tragic'
She continued, 'Yes, it was terrific.'

It left me speechless, I searched her face.
The pain in her eyes explained what her words had not. All Rights Reserved.

This is based on a true incident that happened in 1995 when I was in college. The girl obviously meant, 'It was terrible.' The use of the wrong word left me stunned.

My debut novel, ‘Coming Home’ was published on 24th March, 2023

For the Kindle edition of the book, please click here. The book is available in most countries.

The paperback edition is currently available only in India. You can get your copy by clicking here. I am working on getting the paperback version in other countries as well.

8 responses to “NaPoWriMo 2023: Day 11- Shocked”

  1. robbiesinspiration Avatar

    Hi Smitha, such a sad memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Hi Robbie…yes, it is. I don’t remember her name and have no idea where she is now but the memory stuck because of the shock.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Romana Iorga Avatar

    Oh my god. Poor child.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Hi Ramona, Strangely, it’s been 3 decades after the incidents but it came back to me so clearly when I read the prompt. We were in class when she told me. It was terribly sad. Some experiences are so shocking, they stay with you forever.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Romana Iorga Avatar

        True. I hope she was able to have a joyful life.


  3. VJ Avatar

    Whoa. Grief does strange things.


  4. rajkkhoja Avatar

    Very nice write a poem with emotional history . I like.

    Liked by 1 person

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