I am not generally envious of the success of other writers, though there are a few -- James Patterson, Tom Clancy -- whom I dislike for essentially turning themselves into corporations and churning out titles under their name, and a few -- Stephen King, John Grisham, Dan Brown -- of whom I think, "Why not take a breather for awhile and leave some space for the rest of us, you frakking billionaires?"
And though I long ago decided that I would never be a literary star, I once in awhile find myself envious of the deftness and beauty of the craft of other writers. For example, Michael Chabon, whose The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay I finished yesterday. Even though I find him a bit ponderous at times, he's an authentic genius and a great storyteller. But it's his way with words that makes me green-eyed with envy (or is it jealousy?). I could cite numerous examples, but one that struck me was his description of something giving off an "anenome flutter." Think of that image: the languid, delicate, subtle motion of an anenome fluttering in the currents of a lagoon.
I don't think I would ever, in my best writing, be able to create such an evocative wordplay as Chabon did simply by attaching "anenome" as an adjective to "flutter."
Sure wish I could.