Story Weekend: Envy

John taped two of my favorite shows for me while I was on my writers’ retreat: Mad Men and Smash. We watched them tonight and I thought about the theme that ran through both of those episodes: Envy. So that’s our theme for this weekend. I wonder how many of you will share your story? Envy’s an uncomfortable emotion to own up to. It’s uncomfortable even to think about, which is why I’m not going first!

If  you’re new to Story Weekend, here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme, however you interpret it. Thanks to all of you who’ve been contributing. As always, there are a few “rules”:

▪   The story must be true

▪   Try to keep it under 100 words. Embrace the challenge! That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge.

Have fun!


  1. kirsty on May 19, 2012 at 5:45 am

    i’m actually feeling envious right now of every single person who is in a job they love cos thats what i want to do get a job i love so i can move off my stepmothers sofa lol.

    • Diane Chamberlain on May 19, 2012 at 10:25 am

      rotting for you, Kirsty!

  2. Sheree Gillcrist on May 19, 2012 at 6:59 am

    I envy families that are close for the love and support that they bring to each other in good times and times when the rest of the world has abandoned you. Over the years water has rushed under the bridges of my sister and one of my brothers that has left us standing on different shores. I have no idea what precepitated their withdrawal so I am the pebble dropped deep into the well of wanting and I know that sometimes silence is it’s own wound and it speaks it’s own language. I have come to know better than most that blood does not a family make and I am so grateful for my friends who are my soul sisters. Who can read between the lines of my emails and then call me just because they sense that something is amiss and I love them for it. I am grateful for my mom who still calls me her baby though I have almost as much grey hair as she does and grateful for my kids who still let me be their port in the storm.My partner who takes me as I am, zany, impulsive and a word puzzle of sentiment and tells me never to change. We are all candles in this life. Sometimes we are the flame and light the paths of others so that they can see all the colours of possibility and sometimes we just need one of them to lend us thir match.
    ‘It’s not getting what you want. It’s wanting what you’ve got’ Cheryl Crowe’

    • Diane Chamberlain on May 19, 2012 at 10:25 am

      Sheree, I hope some day your relationship with your sisters and brothers is healed.

  3. Amy on May 19, 2012 at 8:13 am

    My name is Amy and I’m a recovering envyaholic.

    HI AMY!

    My affair with GEM (green-eyed monster) began as a young child after a fight with my little brother. My father said, “It’s not his fault we love him more than you, he’s just easier to love.” His words fed GEM, who grew bigger and bigger and bigger.
    Once I became adult, I realized GEM was no friend, because I wanted to be genuinely happy for the successes of my friends. Years of therapy later, I’m 90% envy free. Thank you.


    • Diane Chamberlain on May 19, 2012 at 10:23 am

      love this, Amy. Not too sure about your Dad, though!

  4. Bernie Brown on May 19, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I envy people who can speak another language. I have tried – Lordy, I have tried. I diligently studied Spanish in college. I lived in Holland for three years and took weekly Dutch lessons. I bought a Teach Youself French kit. I never progressed much past hello, goodbye, shoppoing lingo, counting, and my colors in any language but English. I got stuck in language kindergarten. Hence, I am in awe of people who can speak another language and I Want To Be Them. My daughter, on the other hand, holds a master’s degree in German from Middlebury. A tough language from a tough school. I may change my name from Brown to Green, like the GEM above.

    • Diane Chamberlain on May 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      Oh Bernie, I have the same problem. Can’t master another language. . . or the piano, either. Sigh.

  5. Cindy on May 19, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    If you have read my post…you can probably guess that my GEM is wanting a talent. I am so envious of those that pick up a paintbrush and create a beautiful picture. Those that sit at the piano and they play the most beautiful music. Those that can take a pen and paper, and create a wonderful story,poem or novel. I love to play the piano, but can’t make beautiful music…I can draw stick people and flunked 1st grade art…couldn’t stay in the lines….and writing..well I love to write, but my thoughts will never make it on to the paper so that anyone can make sense of them…my stories are stuck in my head… But I love trying all of the above…and I am still young at 54… 😉 so there is plenty of time for me to discover that hidden talent…: 🙂

  6. Michele on May 20, 2012 at 12:32 am

    My envy is probably those that are fortunate to have their health!
    I have been ill since I was 17 years old, and I am so envious of my elder sister who has her health and yet abuses it at every opportunity, through alcohol and smoking. I would have loved too have been given a chance to live my life through her body!, the reality is I long ago accepted it but it doesn’t stop the GEM on the odd occasion.

  7. Steph Walford on May 23, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I have just spent 6 weeks in hospital. Last year it was 3 months. I am tired of plastic mattresses, hard hot pillows, needles searching for reluctant veins, watching my temperature soar, the journey into anaesthesia (and back), and seeing worry and exhaustion on the faces of those I love. I envy the early morning commuters, dog walkers, shoppers, theatre goers, holiday makers, and those who are unfamiliar with the local ED. I envy people who take for granted the smooth working order of their own bodies, who are foreigners to medical jargon, who watch films rather than the heart monitor and steady drip drip of the IV. I shut my eyes and retreat to a place found in the pages of a book, communing with characters imagined by the author, leaning on the memories found in my Kindle, until I am strong enough to relearn my first steps. Again.

    • Diane Chamberlain on May 23, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Steph, how beautifully written and passionately felt. I hope you’re a writer as well as a reader. I’m so sorry for all you’ve gone through and are going through. Your comment is eye opening.

      • Steph Walford on May 24, 2012 at 10:43 am

        Thank you for your comments Diane. This is the first thing I’ve ever ‘written’ apart from academic stuff. I’m still reeling from being so ill so suddenly, and just how much I have to invest in recovery. It’s a steep hill and my feet slide in the sticky mud as I lean into the wind, but I’ll get there. I am truly grateful to you for providing, through your books, the magic that feeds my mind. And I confess to being a little in love with Marcus (Before the Storm and The Secrets She Left Behind). Keep weaving those tales please!

  8. Margaret on May 23, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I envy women with sisters and daughters, people who can play the piano by ear, and those bilingual with English and Spanish. Pathetic, hmmm?

    • Diane Chamberlain on May 23, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      You have 6 Weymouth sisters, dear Margaret. 🙂

  9. Steve on May 28, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Hi Diane—found your blog through Goodreads!

    Envy is the subject of the blog I’ve been writing since my then 8 year old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, or rather, how to live Without Envy. It deals with her and my family’s struggle of learning to live with this incurable disease and the challenges from a parent’s perspective of raising a child with diabetes to live life to the fullest, no matter what.

    For a child with diabetes, envy is not just cause for occasional grief, but often a daily occupation.

    • Diane Chamberlain on May 28, 2012 at 9:27 am

      Steve, thanks for posting. I hope your daughter is thriving in spite of diabetes. You may or may not be aware of author Brenda Novak’s annual auction for a cure that’s going on right now. She started the auction years ago when her own son was diagnosed and has made hundreds of thousands of dollars toward the cure. Best wishes.

      • Steve on May 28, 2012 at 10:07 am

        Hi and thank you for the well wishes. Yes, I do know of Brenda’s auction and this year even have my own novel listed in the auction!

        • Diane Chamberlain on May 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm


  10. JoAnne McCrone-Ephraim on May 29, 2012 at 12:12 am

    This has become a rather painful topic for me to reflect on, for I really believed I was not envious of what others have that I do not. While pondering the list of possibilities the GEM showed up and the reality is quite the opposit!

    I often tell my friends how blessed they are to have never lost a loved one whenever they complain about a sibling or another family member however, I now recognize it is actually envy that motivates me to counsel them. Although I am ashamed to have envied my friends for their families, I probably always will. On a more positive note, I will still point out how truly blessed they are to have them!

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