Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Author J.K. Rowling made the list of 25 people AOL & Fortune say we envy most, an article that touts personal income, sex appeal, business credentials and (strangely enough) hair as reasons of superiority.

And you guys have been snickering over my hair angst all these years. I knew hair counted.

I can't covet J.K.'s fairytale career, or the bank account in which she deposits six times as much money as The Queen. I love her story too much. Single mom, writes a great book, can't afford to make a copy of her manuscript so she retypes it, hello billions. She's the writer version of Cinderella. What's not to love?

J.K.'s hair? Eh. I've seen better.

Other writers go green over mega-popular authors who have fifteen hundred readers show up for their booksignings. I don't get that one. Fifteen hundred people show up looking for me, I'm out the back door and heading for Mexico. Then again, I get a facial twitch when I'm shopping and the Sunday toilet paper sale crowd floods K-Mart. There's also the physically daunting task of having to sign fifteen hundred books, which Mr. MacBride has already assured us is not a meander through the tulips.

Three things other authors have that I do covet --

1. More books than I have. I'm betting author Mark Kurlansky's personal library would be like Aladdin's Cave for me. If it is as good as my daydreams and his research, lock me in and leave me there for a few decades. I'll dust while I read.

2. Holly Lisle's talent. It makes you seriously consider burning everything you've ever written and moving your career into shoe sales. Greatly envied: Kait and Galweigh House from Diplomacy of Wolves. I will never get over this book, I guess.

There's also Holly Lisle's Talyn, which has the #1 spot on my keeper shelf. I'm not the only one who fell in love with this novel; go read what Holly's editor thinks of it. For my part, if my house was burning down, and I could only grab one book and take it out of here, it would be Talyn.

2a. Okay, I covet her hair, too. Holly has great hair.

3. J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood from Dark Lover. Don't make me pick, just give me all of them. They can help me dust Mark's books.

I believe in spreading the envy, so in comments to this post, name three things that you covet by midnight EST on Wednesday, 10/12/05. I'll draw five names at random from everyone who participates, and send the five winners a copy of Talyn. I've also talked the author into signing the books for the winners, whose names will be posted here before noon EST 10/13/05. Giveaway open to everyone on the planet (that includes everyone who has won something before now.)


  1. Anonymous12:27 AM

    Three things that I desire...

    1. Your talent. Your worlds come to life, your charaters find places in my heart and your story lines become something real and something 100 times better than television.
    1a. Kao Torin.
    1b. Xonia Torin.
    1c. Jakol Varena.
    1d. T'ang Jian-Shan
    1e. Michael Cyprien
    1f. Oh heck, all of your men.
    1g. I'll take J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood from Dark Lover with them too.

    2. To finish the novel I'm working on. I'm attending univeristy, so time is tight if not nonexistant. I've been developing it and working on it, but there just aren't enough hours in the day.

    3. To get a bigger library. So many good authors, so many good books and I'm falling behind...
    3a. Holly Lisle's "Talyn"
    3b. Max Foran's "The Madonna List"
    3c. Douglas Clegg's "The Priest of Blood"
    3d. Alastair Reynold's "Century Rain" - he is such a good author, hard science fiction, but very talented.
    3e. Ann Jacob's "A Mutual Favor"
    3f. Stuart MacBride's "Cold Granite"
    ... I won't go on ...

  2. Anonymous1:01 AM

    1. Holly's lyrical ability with words. I wanna write lovely too! ;) Add in her burning need to pay it forward. She's phenomenal.

    2. Stuart's great sense of humor. Even when he's down, he's hilarious. And clever. And bearded-bloke-sexy ;) (I don't covet that last part, at least not for myself)

    3. My friend Gail's strength. She adopted two children, one with handicaps, and she loves them both to death. She amazes me every time I talk to her.

  3. 1. My spouse's intelligence. Able to switch from medical terminology to poetry within a second.

    2. Your ability to write in so many genres.

    3. Holly's hair. Heck, I'm losin' mine :)

  4. Three things I covet?

    1. Your amazing output and talent. If I did as much, I'd be dead of exhaustion in a week... okay, two weeks.

    2. Every author who succeeds when they give up their day jobs to pursue their dream.

    3. Word Masters like Nora Roberts and Stephen King who make buckets of money... and who have earned it. Greedy of me, but I do covet their success.

  5. You did say 'three things you covet' rather than 'three goals you'd like to achieve' - so, with that in mind...
    1. Stephen King's storytelling
    2. JK Rowling's sales figures
    3. Your ability to write in multiple genres

  6. Anonymous3:01 AM

    Longtime reader; first-time commenter.

    1. Your candor. :)
    2. A talent for writing description.
    3. A stronger immune system (I am currently sick for the 126954th time this year, or at least it feels like it.

    Love your blog! Keep it up!

  7. Anonymous3:28 AM

    I've been reading your blog a long time, but I rarely comment. I can't resist the chance to win a signed copy of Talyn though! I read my library's copy and enjoyed it so much that I decided I needed to buy my own. But a signed copy? That would be just too great.

    Three things I covet?
    1. My brother's sense of humor. He can make me laugh no matter what kind of day I'm having. He's the next Dave Barry... if I could only persuade him to actually write down the hilarious things he says!
    2. The talents of Donald Westlake, Neil Gaiman, Dick Francis, William Goldman and Tolkien. (And the talents of many other wonderful authors, but I'm trying to hold myself back here, really!).
    3. Writers who can finish their books. ;) *glares at her own stalled novel*

  8. Ha! Your check is in the post Tammy!

    Hmmm, three covetous things...

    1. J.K. Rowling’s audience – imagine having so many MILLIONS of people clamber into your imaginary world on a regular basis. And not just once, but over and over again, probably for the rest of their lives. How cool would that be?

    2. Stephen King’s name – being able to play in multiple genres with his own name on the cover, rather than multiple pseudonyms. I can barely remember my own name, let alone half a dozen other people I’m meant to be.

    3. Sheila’s word countbloody hell! How can one person produce so many words in a day? And not only that, but GOOD words too. Not ‘pish what I can edit up later, just as long as it is words on the page’. Envy, envy, envy! (Plus other things that just sound crawly, so I’m not going to say them.)

    And fourth on the list (breaking the rules, but what the hell) the niceness of people like Mark Billingham and Ian Rankin: successful, BIG NAME writers who still manage to be real people. Friendly, supportive, interesting... Bastards


  9. Anonymous5:10 AM

    1.The career of Edgar Rice Burrough
    2.The piano talent of Jerry Lee Lewis (but not his personal life)
    3.The armour of Archduke Sigismund of Tyrol (http://www.khm.at/system2E.html?/staticE/page459.html)

  10. Anonymous6:43 AM

    1. Everyone who got a chance to talk to Oscar Wilde. That had to be the best conversation ever.

    2. People who get paid lots of money to do nothing. That would sure make writing full time easier!

    3. People with artistic talent. Because I would love to draw something that wasn't a stick figure.

    Special #4 - writers who can give good advice without talking down to me (e.g. pbw and Holly). It feels spiffy!

    Rachel Aaron

  11. Anonymous7:49 AM

    Hmmm, can't pass up a chance for Talyn...

    1) Your focus--just stunning. On the other hand, I have a life :D Okay, so your focus with an on/off switch would be ideal.

    2) Joss Whedon's wit and talent with dialogue.

    3) Jk's bank account. She totally deserves it, I'm happy for her, but I still covet. I'm weak.

    Julie Anne

  12. Right now I envy you. And you...you too, over there behind the giant latte mug, I envy you and your coffee.

    I'm so consumed with envy I'm stagnant. I need some religious humility; someone smack me a bible so I can get on with this here writing stuff!

  13. 1.Not just your talent, but your courage, grace, and wit.

    2.Tamara Siler Jones' wordweaving and damned if I don't covet the copy of Ghosts I gave to a customer (trying to be nice) that he took all the way to New Zealand when it was just a loaner, not a gift.

    3. People with agents who are that one step ahead of where I want to be.

    Bonus#4 People with blogs who have contests and their readers participate. I am having a Halloween contest and no one wants to play *sniff*


  14. Oh, my, so many things...

    1. My own writing garret.

    2. Enough money to cover my expenses and BE the anonymous doner to whatever charity and good cause that gets my attention.

    3. Poetic prose that makes my readers think and/or weep.

    A consistently good cup-o-Joe would be a big bonus!

  15. Anonymous8:10 AM

    Three things I most covet at the moment --

    1. Your productivity. Holy crap! (Er, don't mind my eloquence there.)

    2. Neil Gaiman's personable charm.

    3. The new generation of American-born creators who are creating what's being coined as "original English language" manga and their amazing energy and drive.

  16. I enjy the discipline of writers such as Nora Roberts, yourself, and Stephen King. I have a hard time sitting down!


  17. I came here with same number one as most of the posters here:

    1) Your output, and I agree with Michelle, your courage, wit and grace.

    2) Dennis Lehane's ability to see the world as it is, seeing all sides, and being able to put it on paper so elequently.

    3)The ability of Tamara Siler Jones to write the tough stuff, the painful and horrifying scenes, whether people like it or not. I'm having trouble with that one. I still flinch when I write them, and end up editing them to soften the blow.

  18. Anonymous8:36 AM

    It's a fine line between envy and admire, but today let's call it envy:

    1. You, for your ability to visualize a novel before writing it. Hell, I envy that clarity of visualizing even one full scene.

    2. Michael Chabon, for his writing style, especially his knack for metaphors and imagery.

    3. All the newly published writers, for those hard first steps toward finding an audience and making a couple bucks along the way.

  19. Things other people have that I wish I had, too:

    1. A successful writing career, one where I can call myself a stay-at-home-writer.

    2. Money. Lots and lots of it.

    3. Multi-genre publishing credits.

  20. 1. I envy anyone who has a college degree; especially those who don't take advantage of it. I would love to be able to go back to school to finish what I started, and it kills me everytime somebody says that their degree is worthless. Knowledge is never wasted.

    2. I envy any writer with a publishing contract. One day, I too will have one (dare I hope several!), and I will make the most of the books that hit the shelves with them.

    3. I envy the folks that have enough money to live off interest and investments. While I know that scraping along 'builds character' and that I'm plenty more priveleged than most in this world, it still irks me when spoiled rich kids get to abuse their parents money and power and not learn the value of a hard day of work.

    Forgive me, for I have sinned. :p


  21. My envy list:

    1) Elizabeth Peters' collection of characters in the Peabody series. Endless amounts of fun and the series keeps building them with each book.

    2) Jacqueline Carey's world in the Kushiel series. A marvelous fantasizing of Renaissance Europe, with all the politics, fashion, scholarship, religion, and mythology. One of the most realized and unique (even when based on our own world history) fantasy worlds I've read.

    3) Arthur's Phillips use of unreliable narrators in The Egyptologist. Realizing the truth at the end of the story gave me chills. I can't gush enough about it.


  22. Three things I envy:

    1). Everybody who's already read Private Demon, because my bleeping Amazon order hasn't arrived yet!

    2). Your discipline and grace and Holly's heart.

    3). Anyone with the ability to look at their work with a cold, analytical eye and see past the beloved darlings to the problems--or better yet, know enough not to make those mistakes!


  23. Anonymous9:51 AM

    Like many other people, I don't normally comment here, but I couldn't say no to the chance of a signed copy of 'Talyn'.

    Things other people have that I wish I had:

    1) My sister that I grew up with (She was in an accident, sustained a head injury and has never been the same since) and my other sister that I didn't get a chance to grow up with (she died when I was young).

    2) To be able to choose the path of writing and have the courage to follow it.

    3) The ability to motivate myself to do things, even things I don't want to do.


  24. Anonymous9:57 AM

    Three things I covet:

    - The time with my kids that a stay-at-home-mum gets.

    - The patience it takes to BE a stay-at-home mum if I could actually do it financially.

    - World peace. ;-) Seriously, my original third answer was "An impenetrable fortress around my family to protect us from the evil in the world." But then I thought, if there really were "peace" between every single human on the planet, then I wouldn't need my fortress and neither would anyone else!

  25. There's a trend, because your output is also #1 on my list.

    #1: Covet the ability to produce pages and pages and pages of quality writing daily.

    #2: Covet more free time which would greatly help my ability to attain #1.

    #3: Covet the ability to say no to chocolate. I don't really want to say no to chocolate, but it would be good to be able to, should the desire every arise.

    Joely, feel free to envy me. I read Private Demon over the weekend. Shame on Amazon for depriving you of a great book!

    Congrats, PBW! What is your publisher thinking making us wait until June for Dark Need?

  26. Things I covet, not in any particular order:

    1. My husband's immune system. The man *never* gets sick. Not even little colds or headaches. Or at least, such things don't bother him.

    2. The discipline and perserverence of writers such as PBW, JK Rowling, Nora Roberts, Stephen King that have allowed them to take what they love to do and turn it into a career.

    3. Okay, yeah, JK Rowlings bank account would be nice. To have the kind of money that it is no longer even remotely an issue would solve a lot of those little problems like food on the table and shoes on the kids' feet.

  27. Anonymous10:22 AM

    Three things I covet? Well ...

    1. Anybody who's doing this for a living. I wish I could be writing for a living. But I suppose I'm young and have a long way to go.

    2. Rowling's audience. Come on, admit it.

    3. Sheila, for obviously getting much more writing done than I am.

  28. Anonymous10:29 AM

    1. My friend Melanie's ability to say what she wants out of life, and then works her tail off to get it, even when her family tells her what she wants is impossible.

    2. The strength of another friend who is pregnant with her first child while her husband is serving overseas.

    3. The ability to tell myself to take my doubts about everything, and cram them up my ass, because no one ever accomplished anything wallowing in doubt. At least I haven't yet. ;)

  29. I envy

    1. Anyone who makes a living writing.

    2. People who are neat and organized, because I'm a super-mess.

    3. People who enjoy playing video games. It's a strange thing to envy because they seem like such a waste of time but my husband always seems to have such fun, and I couldn't actually think of anything else to envy...

  30. Anonymous11:04 AM

    I covet:
    1. the HUGE library in Beauty & the Beast along with the time and money to buy and read every book on my “To Be Read” list.
    2. the ability to enjoy cleaning. I intensely dislike cleaning and would rather being doing almost anything else.
    3. the ability to get in touch with the creative genius I know is lurking in here somewhere through writing, architecture, art, music, a craft – something constructive that touches people.
    4. Bonus – the scientific genius it takes to develop medicines that cure diseases. It would be nice to do more than donate money to help cure Multiple Sclerosis. Sappy, I know, but it would be great for my mom and I to actually be able to walk side-by-side again.

  31. Anonymous11:11 AM

    The three things that I envy the most are:

    1) Michelle West's ability to write emotion that cuts because it's so true.

    2) Ursula K LeGuin's ability to take common words and make them beautiful through her prose.

    3) Stephen Donaldson's ability to so fully dedicate himself to an idea that it takes over the book, and stays with you long after the last page.

  32. Let's see. I wish:

    1) That I could have your output and self-confidence.

    2) Holly's long-term career.

    3) Any full-time writer's ability to keep the muse and words going.

  33. 1) Anyone who has a good deal of "disposable" income. (Actually I covet their income, not them.)

    2) My favorite authors' ability/discipline to sit their butt in the chair day after day and make it happen. And do a damn fine job of it, too.

    3) The ability to see the good rather than the not-so-good most of the time.

  34. Anonymous11:39 AM

    Three things I covet:

    1) The incredible discipline that prolific writers have.

    2) Jennifer Crusie's seemingly effortless ability to be funny

    3) JK's car. I don't even know what it is, but I covet it.

  35. My three:

    1. Your productivity. I don't have the attention span or the smarts to write at such a pace. But I will keep trying.

    2. The beautiful yet lean prose of Lawrence Block. How does one get to be both lyrical and lean at the same time? Oy!

    3. Robert Crais's jacket photos. If I looked that good, I'd probably be a bestseller, too. Or at least I could look in the mirror without sucking in my gut.

    I had no idea I was so envious. A fourth one would be: Of anyone who wins TALYN if I do not. I want one!! :)

  36. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Three things that I covet:

    1. The continuation of all of the authors who take the time to offer help/advice to others who are infected with a desire to write. They don't have to do it, yet they are more than happy to. I've learned so much from the sharing - and I have a lot more to learn.

    2. Juliet Marillier's worldbuilding skills. She writes in worlds that are from my own heritage, and they never cease to make me want to go back and learn more. She weaves the threads so beautifully, and I owe her a thank you for reminding me of the magic in my own ancestry.

    3. And, right now, I covet everyone who's able to get a quick, accurate medical diagnosis for any problem they're having - you are unbelievably lucky, and any of that luck you'd like to share, I'd appreciate. *-*

  37. These are the things I envy:

    1. The ability to put down books and get real work done. All to often has my life been put on the wayside for a good book. (I have to get up for work at 5:45AM, but in just another hour I can finish the book! This is at 2AM)

    2. The amazing imaginations of my favorite authors. I notice that as I mire myself deeper and deeper into corporate life I get less time to sit back and day dream. I notice that the less you day dream the harder it is to day dream. Luckily this is an envy I can work on.

    3. All the characters we read about in these fantastical worlds who get Magic. They may have tough lives who are constantly threatened and in danger of being killed. But the also get to experience things we don't have the option too.

    Thanks for reading about my little envious feelings :)

  38. Wow. Well, here goes:

    1. The ability of others to do what they love AND make a living at it.

    2. Orson Scott Card's talent and brilliance. This guy writes, observes, and helps teach others.
    2a. Ditto for Holly Lisle. :-)

    3. The courage of Larissa Ione and the other writers whose lives have been twisted around and turned upside down; many of them lost all their work, but they're still moving forward.


  39. Anonymous2:10 PM

    1) Anyone who's finished a novel. That includes everyone from arohen, who's struggling with the rewrite, to our very own PBW, who's list of published novels is about to eclipse my number of years on this planet. I have yet to get past 40,000 words.

    2) Holly for finding the time to pay it forward and still give us exceptional reads like Talyn and the Secret Texts.

    3) George W.'s ability to stay the course. This is not a reflection on the quality of the decisions he makes, but rather a statement that he stands behind them 100%. He's so steadfast that I don't think he's ever seen a waffle, let alone eat one. I just hope that the decisions I stand behind are better than the ones he's made. *~)

  40. Anonymous2:12 PM

    Hmm - some good ones there; here goes:

    The three things I covet most:

    1. The ability to write prolifically and well.

    2. Libraries - if I had the money I would have my own library (and most of it would end up being my TBR pile!) But I would be able to get all of the books on my TBB list instead of having to prioritise the priority list.

    3. Part-time work (and being able to afford it) at the rate I (and my country are going) I'll be working till the day I die unless something miraculous happens so the ability to go part-time or give up the day-job completely would be lovely.


  41. Anonymous2:40 PM

    1) Papa's ability to write a story like The Snows of Kilimanjaro, that can make you cry in twenty pages.

    2) Hal Clemet's super-natural talent for short stories that grab your brain and take it on a joy-ride to new places while shedding brilliant light on social situations that most people never even think about.

    3) Larry Niven's hard-science god-like ability to tell a short story, boggle the mind and bug out the eyes all while teaching physics to the reader.

    BONUS ENVY) PBW's experience with the industry, inside knowledge, track record in multiple genres and staggering word-count production all while maintaining quality in her products. What's not to envy there?

    -- F

  42. Anonymous2:55 PM

    I'm incredibly envious of:

    - my best friend Jan's strength and faith. While recovering from leukemia, she lost her hair, gained weight (from the meds) and suffered all sorts of physical unpleasantness. Regardless of her pain, the woman still thinks of other people before herself. And never once did she back away from her faith. I wish I had half the strength of will she has.

    - my father's determination. Again, health problems threatened to put him down for good, but instead he became proactive about his own health, and is now more fit than 99% of men his age.

    - the woman I saw Sunday morning at the cast call for faire, the one with the stunning, thick, wavy red hair. I truly wanted to knock her down and steal it off her head (except I was pretty sure I'd be caught, since I'm not much of a runner.) *grin*


  43. 1. Jackie's hair. She's the mother of twins in my daughter's class and she has gorgeous hair and skin. (I'd like her skin too but I'm trying not to be greedy.)

    2. A day with my dad. I was so little when he died I have no real memory of him.

    3. The ability to sing. I mean well. I can sing but it starts all the dogs in the neighborhood howling.

  44. Anonymous3:11 PM

    3 things:

    1. the abilty to write to the standard that agents accept the work so that i can write full time.

    2. a career in the RAF so i can serve my country

    3. The full knowledge of the english language and ability to speak others

  45. Anonymous3:42 PM

    1. I covet the ability to write such as Sheila, Tambo, Holly, Nora, etc.,

    2. I covey the ability to carry a tune - I sing but always get the strange looks if I didn't realize anyone was in earshot.

    3. I covet the ability to do anything with my hair - I have 10 tons of it and it has a mind of it's own with several very large cowlicks which make for interesting hair days.


  46. My covetousness includes:
    1) The discipline you and Holly Lisle have to sit ass in chair and put out the words, each day every day.
    2) Those whose assest preclude the need for a day job. Not necessarily extreme wealth, but enough that working wasn't required to cover living. I would focus on full time writing.
    3) I covet every second I can spend with my little girl. There can never be enough time with my kid. That time is MINE, and I will not share! :-)

  47. That was 'assets' not assest in item 2. Arrgh! Brain moves faster than fingers.

  48. I covet...

    1. Diana Gabaldon's raw instinct for storytelling.
    2. Jade Walker's discipline.
    3. a child of my own.

  49. Hmmm . . .

    1. The ability to write fearlessly--like Tammy, Holly, Joss Whedon, Sheila, and the rest of the way-too-long-to-post list.

    2. The audience of people like J.K. Rowling and Nora Roberts. I want people to love my stories. Otherwise, I'd just keep them to myself.

    3. The money earned by the top bestselling writers--because I want to set up my foundation to help kids who make too much money for grants they don't have to pay back and not enough money to pay for college. I think it's a travesty that so many of our young people have to start out their lives $100K or more in debt, just to meet the minimum requirement to get a job that pays enough money to live on.

    I can't help it. I have to put number 4--the prolificness of people like Nora Roberts, Sheila, and Isaac Asimov.

    Good luck to everyone. Even though I have a copy, I'd love a signed one. It's the best book I've read this year. So, if I'm in one of my rare lucky streaks and win, I'll do a contest to send an unsigned copy to any interested losers of Sheila's contest. :)


  50. Anonymous5:18 PM

    Three things I covet:

    1) People that can eat and drink whatver they want without ever having health problems.

    2) Writer's that consistently finish books...then start another.

    3) People that have lots of money in the bank and don't have to worry about bills.

  51. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Three things I covet:
    1. Kevin Costner's looks;
    2. Shiela's word production;
    3. being 6 ft. tall.

  52. Anonymous6:06 PM


    I covet those writer with the ability to sit down and write and write and write.

    I covet JK's ability to put together in her head the entire seven books.

    I covet anyone who can actually come up with a story idea and then follow throgh with writing the idea.

  53. I have a few things I covet (I don't need a copy of Talyn--I already have one, and I might be able to swing an autograph for it through other means, but I do want to play):

    1. The ability of anybody who consistently maintains a healthy diet without feel deprived or cheated.

    2. Sheila's ability to produce copious quantities of good, intriguing stories in multiple genres. (And I know she has a life in addition to a prolific writing schedule.)

    3. Holly's ability to weave a captivating story, both in a genre I enjoy reading and one I've never touched until she told me she wrote in it. Yeah, that ten foot pole had to get chopped up for kindling, and my hesitant fingers were soon flying over the pages to enable me to read more. Same goes for Jenny Crusie.

    My hair is a lost cause. I'm tempted to shave if off and not worry about it, but that would probably look even worse. I don't think I've found too many people's hair I do envy--nobody's would look good on me. When I need an author photo, I think I'll go the paper bag route.

  54. Anonymous7:33 PM


    1. Writers who finish books. And then, write another.

    2. People who own lots and lots of books.

    3. My own flat.

  55. I love your blog! You always have such thought-provoking questions, though I've never answered them here before. First time for everything, huh?

    1) The control and strength required for martial arts mastery -- not just doing a few katas.

    2) My sister's lyrical, poetic writing style...because I'm about as lyrical and poetic as a limerick about Nantucket.

    3) Luther Reigns, formerly of WWE Smackdown. The man has the most beautiful thighs I've ever seen on a wrestler. *drools*

  56. Anonymous9:36 PM

    1. Books I wish I'd written: It, Watchers, Mystic River.

    2. Jimmy Page's 1959 Les Paul.

    3. Anyone with a really nice home library (with built in bookshelves).

  57. Anonymous10:22 PM

    1. Picasso's artistic talent
    2. Noam Chomsky's analytical mind and breadth of knowledge
    3. Kate Heburn's energy, metabolism, and cheekbones (as she was, of course; not as she is)

  58. Anonymous11:19 PM

    mrloco covets:
    1) My father's righteousness (not a religious reference - my real father)
    2) My maternal grandfather's larger-than-life qualities
    3) My friend Ronnie's willpower & confidence (single quality would be character, I suppose)

  59. Anonymous11:25 PM

    Covet? Hmm. I don't covet, I want.

    One: My research mentor's discernment. She is amazing. Everything she does is so very, very thought-out and specific, she knows how to explain it, she can write and write and write and edit, and she does it all. And gardens. And reads, when she has the time. I want to be her, only for bioremediation instead of invertebrate zoology.

    Two: Your and Holly's apparent conviction that your current works aren't the worst things ever to happen to the English language. Because that happens to me, about forty thousand words in. I write a lot of short stories because of this. You write novels, and lots of them, and they are good because they are good, and that is because they are finished because you didn't stop after fifty thousand words.

    Three: I also want to be Teresa Nielsen Hayden. Just for the cooking, I think. I'd rather read about food than eat it, any day, but she makes me want to cook for someone. Not for myself, because I don't eat good food, but for someone.

  60. Anonymous12:59 AM

    This prize is bringing me out of the lurkdom.

    What do I covet,

    1. Anyone who regularly gets enough sleep, since I had my son its been a roller coaster of feeling mildly tired to exhaustion and back again.

    2. Authors who make me laugh, Christopher Brookmyre springs to mind here, no matter how I'm feeling just describing the plot of One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night makes me laugh.

    3. My husband and anyone who has truly found their passion in what they do for work.

    Robin F.

  61. I covet the patience to find my own voice and speed, before setting up the next deadline!

    I covet the wisdom of my grandmother, who knew to let me fall and how to make me feel better after.

    I covet one more chance at everything, but most of all the chance to enjoy it once I get there.

  62. Three things I covet (not necessarily in order)

    1). A son. After three daughters, I'm sick of pink.

    2). The latest super-charged computer. If I only had that, I could churn out novels (or whatever), faster than anyone.

    3). The ability to make people laugh - not just to say sarcastic comments that only my family gets.

  63. I probably shouldn't tempt fate, seeing as I just won a book from you, but this one is signed.

    I haven't read the other covetous comments, so as not to be influenced.

    1. I covet the ability to write for a living. Not to get rich, but to be able to support myself and my family doing it.
    2. I covet my wife's incisive intelligence.
    3. Like a fair number of middle-aged men, hair on the top of my head would be nice, but the truth is I covet my own lost ability to eat what I like.

  64. I'm a usually quiet lurker, but your rave about Talyn helped me overcome my shyness *Grin*

    I covet:

    1. Jennifer Garner's smile. It brightens her whole face and she just glows... even more so now that she's pregnant (and her body wouldn't hurt either... :) )
    2. Your ability to push past the procrastination and just WRITE. my internal editor is a nasty, evil woman who has buttstapled herself to my shoulder, always there with a "you suck" comment. I really wish she'd go away.
    3. J.K.'s ability to create a world so vividly, that it just sucks in everyone who reads it. (and her bank account. I'm shallow, what can I say... )

  65. Anonymous11:39 AM

    My three:

    1. Discipline (I have to work very hard to make myself work very hard at something that doesn't come easily for me. I let myself take the easy way out too often.)

    2. To have believed in myself enough when I was younger to pursue my dream

    3. Time & resources to pursue the myriad of hobbies and interests that get shoved aside by daily life

  66. Hope I'm not too late..

    I covet:

    1) Writers who can write fulltime. That's my ultimate goal, and I want to have a chance to do it.

    2) Your ability to bring characters to life, notably Cherijo and Jory.

    3) Holly Lisle's plotting/worldbuilding skills. I am amazed over and over again and wish I could do a little bit of that.

    Erin K.

  67. I'm in a shallow mood today so . . .right now I covet

    1. Santa Cruz's weather and coastline.

    2. my sister-in-law's energy and figure (they go together, I imagine).

    3. your self-discipline. I have my own somewhere. I've just temporarily displaced it. If a chunk of your talent gets added on as a bonus, that's fine with me.
    Or I'll take macavoy's if she's not using it just now.

  68. Anonymous2:03 PM

    1. Trust Fund Kiddies

    2. My best friend's ability to cook.

    3. And those of you who can remain calm in the face of blatantly stupid people.

  69. Anonymous2:23 PM

    1. I have to say that good hair is up there on my list of things I covet...My mother and sister have great hair and mine's just so...blah!

    2. I covet a great agent and publisher, but am working to gain those for myself.

    3. I covet more sleep...hey, I'm 7 months pregnant, I work full-time and go to grad school full-time AND make time for writing...I'm tired!

  70. Anonymous3:48 PM

    Things I covet:

    1) The money of most of the people in any of those "Home" shows... the one's where they tore down the old house and built just what they wanted... you know, the wall that opens up into the garden, the bathtub with the huge window overlooking the wood-filled hills, the one with marble this and granite that and 6 bedrooms with 8 bathrooms and six fireplaces... I have no idea what sort of jobs these people have/had that allows them to live like that, but I want the money without the work (and having a few of those houses wouldn't break my hoeart either!)
    2) the ability to write something, and when you are finished, know it is good, and be right. To know the words you just put together came out just like they were supposed to, that you managed to get just what you had in your mind on paper, and in a way that will place what was in your mind in your reader's mind...
    3) 10 years. I don't want to be young again, but sometimes I do wish I were 10 years younger... not because I would do much different now, but because then I could enjoy some of the things I have now that I didn't have then for ten years longer. On the other hand, sometimes part of the precious is knowing things for what they are, and that includes that lack of ten years.

  71. Anonymous3:50 PM

    I covet or strongly want:
    1. a successful writing career that supports me comfortably.
    2. Sheila's and Holly's self-discipline and productivity. (To achieve that successful writing career!)
    3. my personal library restored. (I lost several thousand books in a small disaster and am now slooowwwllly building back up.)

  72. Covet, eh? Not a word I prefer to use, but I'm sure I can come up with something for a shot at Talyn!

    1. I envy folks who figure out what their talents are early in life; I feel as though I wasted a lot of years by not getting serious with my writing until I was over 40.

    2. I envy folks who can visualize entire scenes, no entire NOVELS, before starting. I'm working on that, but it doesn't come naturally.

    3. I envy folks who seem to land in the right place at the right time with their newly minted novels and find success in their new career.

    And I'm thankful, Sheila, for folks like you and Holly who take so much time out of your busy schedules to help the rest of us understand the who, why, what, where, when, and HOW of a writing life. I appreciate you.

  73. I don't envy you having to write down all these names on slips of paper before you pick one at random.

    I envy:

    1. Folks who are so disciplined they find time to write every day.

    2. John LeCarre, who can bend the rules like no other writer I know (and make it work).

    3. Folks who always know what to cook for dinner, and don't spend ten minutes staring blankly at the sausages thinking, "Now, is it kielbasa my wife hates, or is it linguiza?"

  74. "And I'm thankful, Sheila, for folks like you and Holly who take so much time out of your busy schedules to help the rest of us understand the who, why, what, where, when, and HOW of a writing life. I appreciate you."

    Val says it best.

  75. Things I covet:

    1. old-world libraries - 20' high, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves with those cool sliding ladders, comfortable chairs set in pools of light, and thousands of leather-bound books.

    2. the self-discipline to put even half my plans into motion

    3. my children's boundless belief in themselves and their ability to do anything they want

  76. Anonymous10:42 PM

    Here are three things I covet:
    1-US Bookstores. I really envy all the readers that can just walk in a bookstore and find the books they want or if not just order them.
    2-A library like the one in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" :o)
    3-An environment with a low level of stress.

  77. I covet . . .

    1. Teresa Nielsen Hayden's time management skills. She works as a managing editor, helps run a very active blog, keeps up to date on a multitude of topics, knits, and cooks.

    2. the prolific writing of you and Zette.

    3. my son's curly hair and long eyelashes. I tell you, it's just not fair!


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