Day 27: Mapping Out Writing Time: Using the Green-Eyed Monster for the Greater Good and Happiness Giveaway #1

January. January. January.

I despise how I’ve allowed these four syllables to throw me into a funk these past few years. It’s not supposed to be this way.

January is meant for new beginnings. We say farewell to the old year and herald in the new. We write up our New Year’s Resolutions and try to commit to becoming thinner, fitter, smarter, better, happier, and kinder. We shovel the snow and enjoy adrenalin-pumping winter activities like skiing, skating, snowboarding. And let us not forget January is named after the Roman god, Janus, the god of gates and doorways, of beginnings and endings.

I’ve alway loved planning out my New Year’s Resolutions, but lately, it’s difficult to muster up the enthusiasm to set them in stone, to be reviewed in the next year. (Yes, I do this sort of thing.) I blame it entirely on being cursed blessed with a January birthday. Think it’s hard to write down New Year’s Resolutions? Try it with a January birthday. This double whammy ensures twice the pleasure of reflecting on what hasn’t been done. And if you’re in your forties (gulp), when every new year becomes more precious, the success and failure of each goal becomes a critical analysis. And yes. Sometimes when you see good things, well-deserved things happen to people you like and respect, sometimes it’s hard to tell the Green-Eyed Monster to leave you alone.

Even with friends and family.

Some friends invited us over to their house for dinner on Saturday. They bought a new construction home and it is Spectacular, with a capital S–all the latest and greatest of shiny things. Radiant-heated bathroom floors. Stainless steel kitchen appliances. Custom designed kitchen. Beautiful, big windows. Huge flat-screen tv… Shiny. Shiny. Shiny. When I came home, all I could see was my house, stuck in the 1960’s, overshadowed with imperfections. Big Time.

The next day, I picked Ninja Girl up from a friend’s house. They invited me in to see their stunning kitchen remodel with incredible slider doors to their backyard, overlooking their personal skating rink.

“This should be you.” The Green-Eyed Monster gnashed her teeth. “You’ve been living with old appliances and a run-down kitchen for years. It’s not fair!”

“It’s not in the budget right now. Soon.” I hesitated.

“Ah, but think what you could do if you knocked down some walls in your kitchen.” She curled her slimy hands around my shoulder and shone a light around my dumpy kitchen. “Hire an architect, order designer cabinets. Spare no expense! Look what you’ve put up with. Don’t you deserve better?”

I grabbed a tape measure and started drawing out a plan. Man. I deserve a dream kitchen. The Green-Eyed Monster is right. Fuhgeddaboutit. It should be mine. I deserve it just as much as anyone else. Why do they get the nice kitchen? They’re younger than I am. I work just as hard as they do. I deserve it. Fuhgeddaboutit. Forget I need to replace Sophie, my eleven-year-old car first. Forget about our plan to wait another year to replace the cabinets. Forget about the budget. Forget about… Gah!

The nice thing about getting older is I’m no longer a prisoner of the Green-Eyed Monster. She can reel me in, but now, I’ve accepted I’m wise enough to know there is a time for everything. It’s easier to let the Green-Eyed Monster know her place. Sometimes, it’s enough to know good things do happen to people, the people you are happy for, and that your time will come.

Work hard. Use the Green-Eyed Monster for motivation and inspiration, to nip at your heels and help you work harder. Great things WILL happen to you. Soon enough.

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Write-a-Scene Writing Prompt: Let’s face it. Most of us succumb to the Green-Eyed Monster at some point. She can drive some of us to evil or put us in uncompromising situations because of all-consuming jealousy. Others, are inspired to harness the Green-Eyed Monster for the greater good. How does your MC react to jealousy? Or, perhaps your villian? Write a scene where your MC or villian is confronted with jealousy. Did someone win a coveted prize? Maybe someone else got the girl or boy. How does your protagonist/villian react? What actions do they take? Drum up the emotion, the intensity and conflict here. Have fun!

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Happiness Giveaway because it’s my Birthday Month: We celebrate big in my family, celebrating the week before and after the Big Day. Since I’d like to dull the dread of the impending day, I’m going to host a few giveaways in these two weeks.

Today’s offering is a pretty LUSH gift pack of Christmas Party. Sure, Christmas is over, but how can you resist the Happy Hippy Shower Gel and Ice Blue soap I purchased at my local LUSH store? Just the thought of these fresh scents makes me happy. Man, I sound like a commercial.

If you’d like to enter, answer the following question in the Comments below: If you had one chance for happiness, what would do you to get it? Deadline is Thursday, January 14th, 11pm EST. U.S. shipping addresses only. Comment away!

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Vivian Lee Mahoney

Consider yourself warned: I write books about rebels. I'm also a postergirlz for readergirlz, a literary advisory group for teens. Who knew going back to the teenage years would be so rewarding?

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