I have a jealous nature. Among other faults. And I’ve long castigated myself for it, talking myself down from agitation toward something more Zen, counseled myself over and over to be grateful for what I have, to be less concerned with what others are up to, to be, generally, different than I am. But recently I’ve come to re-understand my state. I have realized that my jealousy acts as fuel for my fire. After a few moments of intransigent, ill-tempered, frowny-faced, crossed-arm fuming, I find those little needles and pesky twigs ignite my energies. I peruse the awful pages of Awards and Deadlines in Poets & Writers full of winners that are not me. I hear someone gleefully announce an opportunity I want to have, an award I’d like to win, a publisher I’d like to call my own. Russinfrussindagnabit, I’ll mutter. Or words to that effect. Then I find I sit back down to the work required to get such opportunity, win such a win, snag such a publisher. I write more, send more work out, audaciously apply for things I have no reason to believe I’ll get. It’s a boon, this jealousy. A vehicle. Vroom vroom. So go on and achieve, ya bahstids. I’m coming after you.