. . . and i’ll fly if i want to.

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change of plans, my #reverb10 friends. after today’s weekly check-in with my writing partner, julie daley (always a party), i was just plain tickled, giddy, bubbling over. so today’s tip (from @shauna: What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.) comes with a story:

i’m still hung over from the times when all my selves show up. which is, coincidentally, usually at the party on the page – you know, the one happening whenever i sit down to write . . .

there’s good girl who makes me dizzy in her constant frothy motion making sure everybody’s glass is at least half full (if not brimming) and that the spotlight shines on Everybody Else (though never so much that they glisten, mind you). she says she doesn’t want to take up too much space, professes the last thing she wants to do is be a bother, and tries to make herself believe that all she really, really, really wants to do is make Everybody Else comfortable. good girl knows – she flat-out knows – that the secret to good writing is to never use i, me, mine or any other personal reference.

there’s down-to-business girl who spends gazoodles of prep time making outlines and clearing the desk and making sure there’s ample ink. before arriving, she passes out treats to the dog and cats, gets a load of laundry on to wash, and cleans every single toilet. again. it’s all she can do to keep from charting the arrival and departure times of the party guests and documenting leftovers for future reference.

trophy girl wants Everybody to love every single word . . . and beg for more.

martyr girl nails herself to the cross at least three times a day. her to do list is so voluminous, she spends her best creativity justifying 15 (measly) minutes of writing time.

reticent girl entertains herself by listening in on conversations and wishing she had something blazingly new and noticeably worthwhile to add to the conversation. she vows right then and there to read more – to smarten herself up before writing another word. (i mean, really. who does she think she is?) fortunately for her, she has an ipad and can stop right then and order a hefty supply of books from knowledgeable authors. it’s a quick, easy, and (actually enjoyable, if expensive) penance.

there’s mischievous girl who fantasizes about, well, i can’t really tell you that. not yet anyway.

obedient girl came because she said she would. and actually, now that it’s feeling more like a party, she’s not showing up as much any more. which makes the other guests just about as happy as it makes her.

then there’s wannabe girl who lives in a lush, colorful, vibrant landscape where it’s Very Much okay to blurt things out without worrying-up a single wrinkle from fretting about how to defend them. wannabe girl chokes on statistics, numbers confuse her, and she stalls out on facts wondering why such silly hand-me-down things matter so much to other people when they just seem to get in her way. she is fluent in JustBecause and speaks it with an accent that’s prone to change three times in a single short sentence. and just so you know, JustBecause isn’t only spoken, it’s the language of action, too. wannabe girl writes books JustBecause. she dances JustBecause. she wears what she wants to – you guessed it – JustBecause. wannabe girl can fill a minute with eggs of laughter AND tears that sparkle so you want to take them to the jeweler and have them mounted. there are even things she does NOT do JustBecause . . . and it all makes perfect sense to wannabe girl.

if you want to know the truth, wannabe girl has a standing invitation, and when she shows up, she is always – and i mean always – the ravishing guest of honor.

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today’s tip: make every prompt a party and delight in who (or what) shows up on the page. if you’re delighted, we’ll be delighted, too.

you know how it goes: every day i post a tip, a suggestion you might find useful in juicing every single succulent drop out of this month-long experience. some of the tips are things i learned over the past year; some are answers to questions reverbers have asked me privately; some are things i just pull out of thin air.

at the end of each day (or roughly thereabouts), the tip will be folded into the comprehensive list, a.k.a. the marrow. and hey, if a tip sparks another idea, i’d sure appreciate it if you’d drop me a note in the comments section so i can sprinkle it out to others. and do some sprinkling of your own: point others to the marrow in case there’s something there they can use.