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
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The X-O-Skeleton Story Generator


In alternate turns, complete a row, column, or diagonal with three X’s or O’s. Each X and O has a discrete unit of meaning, as detailed in the Dictionary of One-Letter Words. Choose and write a letter meaning alongside each X and O placed in the grid; don’t repeat a letter meaning within the same game.

Number each turn on the grid, to establish the linear progression of the story.

When the game is finished, use the sequence of key words to construct your story, adding connecting phrases as necessary.

Share the stories you generate!

Click to download and print

May 11, 2010 (permalink)

Our Tic Tac Toe generator builds stories out of the one-letter words X and O.  Here's an example, from a photo we spotted at the Frog Blog.  The letters can be translated as follows:

Stitching wonderment
Gladness crossing, multiplying
Round reassurance magnifying

December 20, 2009 (permalink)

Art by spacesick.
Here's our translation of the Xs and Os of this book cover, using The X-O-Skeleton Story Generator.  As we don't know the order of play, we read the letters row by row, left to right:

Round kissing sun
Reassurance magnifying, shadowing
Marking the spot of one(ness)

April 16, 2009 (permalink)

Here's a kiss and hug (X and O, in the shorthand of love notes), by way of the One Letter Words Quiz Deck by Pomegranate.

February 23, 2009 (permalink)

January 28, 2009 (permalink)

January 23, 2009 (permalink)

December 21, 2008 (permalink)

November 27, 2008 (permalink)

November 19, 2008 (permalink)

Tamara writes:

This is great.  I can't wait to try it with my son.

November 10, 2008 (permalink)

Dedicated to Marko.

November 3, 2008 (permalink)

October 17, 2008 (permalink)

October 2, 2008 (permalink)

September 27, 2008 (permalink)

Thanks to the Serif of Nottingblog for today's delightful Tic Tac Toem:

September 25, 2008 (permalink)

September 18, 2008 (permalink)

September 12, 2008 (permalink)

September 10, 2008 (permalink)

September 9, 2008 (permalink)

The Serif of Nottingblog offers today's Tic Tac Toe-generated poem.

September 8, 2008 (permalink)

Poet Chris Piuma, who once played tug-of-war with Momus, illuminates how and why he created a limerick with the X-O-Skeleton Story Generator.

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