Pinocchio and Making Lists

I’m a list maker, a project scheduler. I’m also a graphophile. These two things often converge in some great pulsar explosion when I’m journaling. I’ve kept a journal for over 25 years now, each Moleskin carefully dated with start and end, and each one beginning with a list in the very front. At first (when I was only a hopeful writer), the list was short usually surrounding a single project – a short story – or the hope of one, anyway. And then things changed. 

One year, I actually published my first short story. And that seems to be the tipping point for my manic documentations still used to this day. It is actually quite pronounced, this line in the sand, this before and after. Because, now that someone really wanted my material, that meant I really needed to get serious. And seriousness equaled: schedules and lists.  I started making lists of every project that swirled in my mind, large series, multi-genre manifestos, one offs, even graphics novels… all potential books with (now) unrecognizable titles and along with them – writing/publication schedules.

Oh yes, reader, looking at it now, I believe a therapist would see this and commit me. But, there is not necessarily just the echoes of madness in these. There is something else. In these lists I was writing hopes and dreams, the “what if’s” the “and next I will….” Year after year, my journals mapped out with the publishing process in mind. And low and behold…. Whether it was because of or in spite of or a random coincidence… the lists became… well… real. The wooden boy became flesh and blood.

I have learned to love my lists, my potential projects, my hopefuls. I root the real into the calendar, plan around it, then I hope and dream and do until other projects reveal some form of alchemy, a subtle movement in the peripheral vision, a slight glimmer in the eye. And then that project becomes front and center, and it too is eventually placed in the calendar of the real with a process and publishing date, and ultimately a life of its own. 

It all started from a wish, a dream, a hope, then a volitional act placed into words on a list that soon took on flesh and bone… and now walks among the living, exhorting nonsense, consoling, entertaining…. My Pinocchios.


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