5 Nice Things

I read a blog post today over on Kottke about the “Five Nice Things” activity, which is pretty obvious to understand. You take some time to think through what’s going on in your life and you come up with 5 things that you appreciate at the moment. They can be big things. Small things. Stupid things. Doesn’t really matter. The point is to just think about the positive for a bit.

And let’s face it: we could all use a bit more positive, right? I know I could. I keep finding myself blaming 2020 for all the bad things in life at the moment, and I know when I do that, I’m not doing myself any favors. We can easily look at the bad things and decide 2020 is a year of only bad things. It’s confirmation bias at work. So instead of thinking about the election and COVID and quarantines and impending economical disasters, I’m going to take a bit of time on today’s blog to list 5 nice things, and I invite you to play along wherever you see this post. Maybe even make a post of your own, if you feel so inclined, to keep the 5 nice things game moving forward.

Here’s my list for the moment:

  1. Sales of THE MEMORY THIEF have been really strong in China, of all places. I earned out my advance there and got a significant (to me) chunk of change for royalties late last week, out of the blue. It’s a book that’s continued to bring in money for me, years after it was published, and that’s definitely cause for celebration.
  2. I just signed my two book contract with Sourcebooks. The first one (THE PERFECT PLACE TO DIE) is already well into the publication process, and is slated to come out next summer. It’s heading to the copy editor, and we’re working on cover jacket descriptions, cover designs, and the like. (The cover is super creepy, and I can’t wait to share it with you, even though I have to wait, which is hard.) My editor also gave me the green light for my outline for the second book, which will be an indirect sequel of sorts to the first. It will come out the following summer, if all goes according to plan. Signing contracts is probably the most concrete point you can celebrate as an author. The book you wrote has officially made you money. Yay!
  3. BYU’s football team, after a run-in with COVID earlier in the season, righted the ship and is doing really well. It’s been fun to still have that to watch, even if the games are typically on very late at night. Who knows if cases will stay low enough to allow all of college football to keep playing, but for now, BYU is undefeated and ranked in the top 10, and that’s something to celebrate.
  4. Halloween turned out much better than I feared it would. We bought the kids a veritable cornucopia of candy that we kept surprising them with throughout the day. We watched Halloween movies, made spudnuts, and delivered them to friends in a sort of reverse trick-or-treating approach that let us be socially distant, yet still a bit connected. It went over very well, and might be something we repeat for other holidays.
  5. I’m still under 185 pounds, despite all the different stressors in my life. I’m proud of my ability to keep my weight under control so far, even if I might wish it were even a bit lower. Halloween has been difficult (Did I mention we bought the kids a cornucopia of candy?), but I’m still hanging in there, trying to keep myself healthy through diet and exercise.

So there are my five nice things for now. I’d love to hear what yours are today.


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