CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is
Featured Book
The Young Wizard's Hexopedia
Search Site

Breathing Circle
Music Box Moment
Cautious or Optimistic
King of Hearts of War and Peace
As I Was, As I Am
Perdition Slip
Loves Me? Loves Me Not?
Wacky Birthday Form
Test Your ESP
Chess-Calvino Dictionary
Is Today the Day?
100 Ways I Failed to Boil Water
"Follow Your Bliss" Compass
"Fortune's Navigator" Compass
Inkblot Oracle
Luck Transfer Certificate
Eternal Life Coupon
Honorary Italian Grandmother E-card
Simple Answers


A Fine Line Between...
A Rose is a ...
Always Remember
Annotated Ellipses
Apropos of Nothing
Book of Whispers
Call it a Hunch
Colorful Allusions
Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up?
Disguised as a Christmas Tree
Don't Take This the Wrong Way
Everybody's Doing This Now
Forgotten Wisdom
Glued Snippets
Go Out in a Blaze of Glory
Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore
How to Believe in Your Elf
I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought
Images Moving Through Time
Indubitably (?)
Inflationary Lyrics
It Bears Repeating
It's Really Happening
Last Dustbunny in the Netherlands
Miscellanies of Mr. Jonathan
Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led
No News Is Good News
Non-Circulating Books
Nonsense Dept.
Not Rocket Science
Oldest Tricks in the Book
On One Condition
One Mitten Manager
Only Funny If ...
P I n K S L i P
Peace Symbols to Color
Presumptive Conundrums
Puzzles and Games
Letter Grids
Tic Tac Toe Story Generator
Which is Funnier
Restoring the Lost Sense
Rhetorical Answers, Questioned
Rhetorical Questions, Answered!
Semicolon Moons
Semicolon's Dream Journal
Simple Answers
Someone Should Write a Book on ...
Something, Defined
Staring at the Sun
Staring Into the Depths
Strange Dreams
Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out
Telescopic Em Dashes
The 40 Most Meaningful Things
The Ghost In The [Scanning] Machine
The Only Certainty
The Right Word
This May Surprise You
This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea
Two Sides / Same Coin
Uncharted Territories
What I Now Know
What's In a Name
Yearbook Weirdness
Yesterday's Weather
Your Ship Will Come In


January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006


Magic Words
Jonathan Caws-Elwitt
Martha Brockenbrough
Gordon Meyer
Dr. Boli
Serif of Nottingblog
Joe Brainard's Pyjamas
Ironic Sans
Brian Sibley's Blog
Abecedarian personal effects of 'a mad genius'
A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
The Book of Whispers: Being a Looking Glass

The most profound secrets lie not wholly in knowledge, said the poet.  They lurk invisible in that vitalizing spark, intangible, yet as evident as the lightning—the seeker's soul.  Solitary digging for facts can reward one with great discoveries, but true secrets are not discovered—they are shared, passed on in confidence from one to another.  The genuine seeker listens attentively.

No secret can be transcribed, save in code, lest it—by definition–cease to be.  This Book of Whispers collects and encodes more than one hundred of humankind's most cherished secrets.  To be privy to the topics alone is a supreme achievement, as each contains and nurtures the seed of its hidden truth.  As possessor and thereby guardian of this knowledge, may you summon the courage to honor its secrets and to bequeath it to one worthy.

November 15, 2016 (permalink)

"The secret is to look beyond what is said and examine what drives it." —The Fox Trilogy: Imagining the Unimaginable and Dealing with It
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

May 27, 2016 (permalink)

"The secret to being hip is often just adding an -o to words," as we learn in Robin and the Seven Hoods (1964), analyzed in Funny to Us by Ploeger, Bryant, & Hsieh.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

December 24, 2015 (permalink)

"Who lists may in their mumming see traces of ancient mystery."  From Christmas in the Olden Time by Walter Scott, 1887.

Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

December 4, 2015 (permalink)

"The Road to Fairyland" by Ernest Thompson Seton, in St. Nicholas magazine, 1903.

#otherworld #full moon #fairyland #magic words #yellow moon #enchantment
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

September 16, 2015 (permalink)

We hereby present the tightly-guarded secret to finishing a manuscript: "He wrote on to the conclusion."  From Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

#vintage illustration #art #writing #how to finish
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

August 24, 2015 (permalink)

"I shall tell you a great secret my friend.  Do not wait for the last judgement.  It takes place every day." —Albert Camus

Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

July 11, 2015 (permalink)

"What the secret chamber contained," from Home-Theatricals Made Easy by Frances Elizabeth Callow, 1891.

#vintage illustration #art #severed heads #secret chamber #decapitation #spiked heads
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

June 29, 2015 (permalink)

"The is the secret of Hall-in-the-Wood," from The Mystery of Hall-in-the-Wood by Rosa Mulholland, 1893.

#vintage illustration #mystery #secret #giantess #art
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

June 25, 2015 (permalink)

The devil whispers a great secret to a cow, from Blasts From the Ram's Horn, 1902.

#vintage illustration #devil #satan #ornate capital #capital I #cow #art
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

June 4, 2015 (permalink)

"Yes, I know the hidden secret," from Thrilling Life Stories for the Masses, 1892.

#vintage illustration #secret #art
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

May 4, 2015 (permalink)

"There was more than one way into the Otherworld." —Lisa Tuttle, The Mysteries

Pictured above, Prof. Oddfellow knocks on a fairy door.  Pictured below, Prof. Oddfellow reveals that even a fairy window floating in space may betray subtle sounds.

#otherworld #fair folk #fairyland #fairy door #hidden people
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

April 19, 2015 (permalink)

"Whisper the one word, dearest."  From The Cap Becomes a Coronet by Frederick Bingham, 1894.

#vintage illustration #whisper #art
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

February 7, 2015 (permalink)

Every beginning is shrounded in a mist — a clue — in the darkness — flashing.  From Proverbial Philosophy by Martin Farquhar Tupper, 1881 (with our own erasures).

#vintage illustration #art #altered text
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

February 2, 2015 (permalink)

From Holiday Leaflets Illustrated by Charles Eyre Pascoe, 1898.
#vintage illustration #divination #sphinx #art #soothsayer #fortune telling
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

January 20, 2015 (permalink)

"The voices in the waves are always whispering to Florence," from the Works of Charles Dickens, Household Edition.

#vintage illustration #art #hearing voices #voice of the sea #ocean whispers
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

December 30, 2014 (permalink)

"Anyone who has worked with groups will be aware of [the] phenomenon of a mental field and yet this may only be whispered in respectable scientific circles." —Barbara Dowds, Beyond the Frustrated Self
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

December 20, 2014 (permalink)

"I could not distinguish what he said," from The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells, 1896.

#vintage illustration #art #pig man #h. g. wells #doctor moreau #vivisection #pig language
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

October 9, 2014 (permalink)

#vintage illustration #art #mark twain #big ears #all ears
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

September 18, 2014 (permalink)

"The golden secret is told," from The Trail of the Serpent by M. E. Braddon, 1861.

#vintage illustration #secret #art
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

September 15, 2014 (permalink)

"Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world?  It is that we have only known the back of the world.  We see everything from behind, and it looks brutal.  That is not a tree, but the back of a tree.  That is not a cloud, but the back of a cloud.  Cannot you see that everything is stooping and hiding a face?  If we could only get round in front." —G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday
#vintage illustration #backwards #chesterton
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

Page 2 of 13

> Older Entries...

Original Content Copyright © 2019 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.