Tag Archives: Prompt

Daily Prompt: Nice is as Nice Does (thank you, Martha)

Tell us about the nicest thing you’ve ever done.

While I am happy to tell you that I think the nicest thing I have ever done (and continue to do)  is to not sing in public, casting around for something to say about today’s prompt, I came across Thank you, Masked Man, and couldn’t agree more with what Martha Ann says (thank you masked woman). 

For me the essence of being nice, in the context of this prompt, is just be nice for God’s sake, don’t go looking for kudos as well.  As Martha pointed out, recent Daily Prompts have been, well, an invitation for “selfies” –  and although writing about a subject you know well (and hopefully, we all do  know ourselves well), is good practice, blogging about yourself day after day is not going to be all that riveting for your readers.  However, you could challenge yourself more by responding to the prompt with something unexpected, or at least a less obvious response.

Something to think about –  saying you have done something “nice” may not be the best admission you could make about yourself.  Here are some definitions as  found in the Online Etymology Dictionary:

nice (adj.)

late 13c., “foolish, stupid, senseless,” from Old French nice (12c.) “careless, clumsy; weak; poor, needy; simple, stupid, silly, foolish,” from Latin nescius “ignorant, unaware,” literally “not-knowing,” from ne- “not” (see un-) + stem of scire “to know” (see science). “The sense development has been extraordinary, even for an adj.” [Weekley] — from “timid” (pre-1300); to “fussy, fastidious” (late 14c.); to “dainty, delicate” (c.1400); to “precise, careful” (1500s, preserved in such terms as a nice distinction and nice and early); to “agreeable, delightful” (1769); to “kind, thoughtful” (1830).

“In many examples from the 16th and 17th centuries it is difficult to say in what particular sense the writer intended it to be taken.” [OED]

By 1926, it was pronounced “too great a favorite with the ladies, who have charmed out of it all its individuality and converted it into a mere diffuser of vague and mild agreeableness.” [Fowler]

“I am sure,” cried Catherine, “I did not mean to say anything wrong; but it is a nice book, and why should I not call it so?”
“Very true,” said Henry, “and this is a very nice day, and we are taking a very nice walk; and you are two very nice young ladies. Oh! It is a very nice word indeed! It does for everything.” [Jane Austen, “Northanger Abbey,” 1803]

nicety (n.)

mid-14c., “folly, stupidity,” from Old French niceté “foolishness, childishness, simplicity,” from nice “silly” (see nice). Underwent sense evolution parallel to nice, arriving at “minute, subtle point” 1580s and “exactitude” in 1650s. Phrase to a nicety “exactly” is attested from 1795.

niceness (n.)

1520s, “folly, foolish behavior,” from nice + -ness. Meaning “exactness” is from 1670s; that of “pleasantness” is from 1809.

nicely (adv.)

early 14c., “foolishly,” from nice + -ly (2). From c.1600 as “scrupulously;” 1714 as “in an agreeable fashion.”



Daily Prompt: Nice Is as Nice Does – Picture of Hugh Laurie as the “nice” George IV from Cache

Day Twelve: From comment to blog post: be inspired by the community

Today’s assignment: write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday. Don’t forget to link to the other blog!

Liebster AwardWell this assignment is serendipitous.   I made quite a few comments yesterday, triggered by a very nice American pastor called Scott who chose to offer my blog the Liebster Award.  He did this by adding a comment my Daily Prompt: Fast Forward post, and replied to that comment accepting the award and the challenge that went with it.  The challenge is to answer ten questions he set me, and nominate ten more bloggers, setting them ten questions of my own. So my first comment of the day was “Thank you Scott – happy to accept the nomination and the challenge – I’m gearing up to do the tasks now – it will certainly keep me busy today”.

The first thing I did was follow the link Scott had kindly added in his comment. This brought me to his own response to the Liebster Award. As you can see from how I introduced this story, I was fascinated that an American Pastor had paid attention to my blog.  Born, raised, and living in Holy Catholic Ireland, I have only characters in television shows and movies to reference for  this almost exotic creature.  Before this, the images that would spring to mind when American Pastor was mentioned were Reverend Harry Powell in Night of the Hunter, Shepard in Firefly and  Reverend Timothy Lovejoy in The Simpsons. A diverse line-up to be sure.    So I read his ten answers to the ten questions he had been set with great interest.  From what he says, he is what we Irish would say is “a lovely man”, a loving dad, very articulate and well worth reading.  Scott is clearly a man of great faith too, so I was very taken with the idea that he would be interested in my completely faithless ramblings – clearly he is also very open-minded.

Then I set myself to answering Scott’s questions – which got me talking about myself in a way that I couldn’t when I tried the  Day 1: Introduce yourself assignment.

After that I set these ten questions:

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. What might have (or has) prevented you from continuing?
  3. It’s a cold, dark, wet day here today, what’s it like where you live?
  4. What do you like to do when the weather is bad?
  5. Do you have pet? If yes, tell me about it, or if not, what is your favourite animal?
  6. Show me a picture of what makes you happy. Why does it make you happy?
  7. Did you read anything that made you laugh in the last week?
  8. What is your favourite article of clothing, and why is it?
  9. Favourite food? (As many as you like!)
  10. Do you play any sports regularly?

I also gave an instruction to link back to my post so that the pingbacks would show in the Discussion section and all nominees would be able to read each other’s responses.

The next step was to find ten blogs that met the LA criteria, I had to like them, they had to have less than 200 followers, and I should be a follower.  I raked through all the blogs I had followed over the last few days and alas, dear reader, I could not figure out how many followers they had. So I resorted to The Reader, and searched for the Zero to Hero tag.  Sure enough I found a ream of brand new blogs that have not yet had time to accumulate a large following.  I decided I would choose blogs from people who lived in a very different place to mine and find out what, if anything, I might have in common with them.  This would double as and more than fulfil my Day 11: Leave three comments assignment.

So the gist of the next ten comments I made is this:

Hi – I like your introduction.  While you are preparing your main posts, you might like to accept a Liebster Award, which is also a kind of writing challenge, so I’ve added you to my list of nominations. If you want to see more, check this post of mine:https://itsdd2.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/the-leibster-award/

To my delight, within an hour, one of my nominees, from South Africa, replied and in very short order, had answered the questions, posted the response and nominated another ten.  I found a site about a country I had never heard of (Siargao) and that nominee has promised to respond.  Two others who responded both have very similar interests to mine. Reading their posts makes me feel as though they are talking directly to me. Suddenly the blogosphere has become a real place instead of a concept.   They have also nominated their ten, so now there are thirty blogs of interest to me. I’ll be checking back every day to see

So, if I could go back in time and write that first comment of the day again, it would read “Thank you Scott – happy to accept the nomination and the challenge – I’m gearing up to do the tasks now – it will certainly keep me busy for some time to come”.

Here are the replies I have received from my nominees so far, if more reply, I will add them here:

The Liebster Award – Pan Africanist Hands

The Liebster Award – Meebee

Zero to Hero: Day 8 : The Liebster Award – What My Husband Feeds Me

Surprise of the week: The Leibster Award, Part 1

Twice the Nice: The Liebster Award – Mel the Literacy Coach

Daily Prompt: Do you believe in magic?


You have been transformed into a mystical being who has the ability to do magic. Describe your new abilities in detail. How will you use your new skills?

Depends on what you mean by magic – is it the power to make things happen by some supernatural means, or to do something wonderful and amazing?

I have in mind the effect an accomplished musician might have on an audience – the apparently magical ability to get an instrument, for example a guitar constructed out of wood and metal, to sing.  What does it take for the musician to do this?  Skill, memory, belief, love would feature in the list. Don’t forget, the same set of items must be applied by the craftsman who built the instrument, and the composer of the piece, who may not be the musician.

There might be lyrics to go with the piece – maybe the musician sings with the instrument, maybe they are working with a singer – another set of skill, memory, belief and love to go into the mix.  And somebody had to compose those lyrics.

In order to get to the moment where a musical piece is delivered each participant has taken a journey through learning, practice and development of the necessary skills to make their contribution. But all the audience sees and hears is a wonderful combination of elements. 

So, in order to be transformed into the mystical being that is a musician, I really don’t need some supernatural power,  just the will and determination to acquire the skill, (a teacher would help), the memory to retain the skill, belief that it is the right thing for me to do, and love of playing the instrument. And a good instrument… and a great song… and perhaps a great singer to accompany.

In short, learning, practice and collaboration make magic and yes, I believe in that.

Daily Prompt: Do you Believe in Magic?.