I went for my annual the other day and all is AOK, so of course I am grateful for that. There is nothing better than a clean bill of health. Plus, the upside of age: there are certain things I no longer need to be checked for: I’ve aged out! Grateful Grateful grateful.
After discussing words last week, I chose nice for my word this week. Here’s how it appears in the books that I’m reading:
- Fiery, driven, and bright, she’d decided long ago that having a man in her life was never essential, more like something nice to pick up when she needed to and put back down when she didn’t.Candice Carty-Williams
- When a nice family showed an interest in Fashion Eclipse, Martha let her go to them. Geraldine Brooks
- He sounds nice over the phone. Javier Zamora
- They just make nice. Julie Cameron
- Mary Lawson’s A Town Called Solace is a nice example of the latter, with three protagonists, a mix of first person tense and third person past tense and, as a bonus, some interesting treatment of time.
- We’ve mistaken being nice with self sacrifice. Pedram Shojai
- Dust jackets were invented to protect nice fabric, at least until a buyer got the book home. Jane Mount
- Our heart doesn’t tell us what is nice; it tells us what is true. Eveline Helmink
- We should try to stay in a good mood to the extent that we can, and be nice to people. Fumio Sasaki
- Given that joy is often imagined as the result of some accomplishment or acquisition- something nice you get out there and do; something nice you get yourself. Ross Gay
- Men who paraded around as nice guys but secretly harbored incel thoughts. Carolyn Huynh
- Have a nice day. Gu Byeong-Mo
- I had nice clothes she recalled. Hugh Eakin
- She had an unmatched ability to cut to the heart of the matter in the nicest possible way. Caroline Kennedy
Here’s how I’m thinking about nice:
- When used ironically, nice can be awesome in a scene
- The majority of the times I saw nice in a book, I realized that it told me nothing about what it actually meant- it’s a throwaway word
- I am going to try to eliminate it from my writing- it will be harder to never say it
Ode by Elizabeth Alexander I love all the mom bodies at this beach, the tummies, the one-piece bathing suits, the bosoms that slope, the wide nice bottoms, thigh flesh shirred as gentle wind shirrs a pond. So many sensible haircuts and ponytails! These bodies show they have grown babies, then nourished them, woken to their cries, fretted at their fevers. Biceps have lifted and toted the babies now printed on their mothers. "If you lined up a hundred vaginas, I could tell you which ones have borne children," the midwife says. In the secret place or In sunlight at the beach, our bodies say This is who we are, no, This is what we have done and continue to do. We labor in love. We do it. We mother.