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 OneLetterWords.com.
Select Creations
Search Site
Interactive

Breathing Circle
Music Box Moment
Perdition Slip
Loves Me? Loves Me Not?
Wacky Birthday Form
Test Your ESP
Chess-Calvino Dictionary
Amalgamural
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

Collections

A Fine Line Between...
A Rose is a ...
Always Remember
Ampersands
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
Do-Re-Midi
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
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
Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led
No News Is Good News
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
Pfft!
Phosphenes
Precursors
Presumptive Conundrums
Puzzles and Games
Constellations
D-ictionary
Film-ictionary
Letter Grids
Tic Tac Toe Story Generator
Which is Funnier
Restoring the Lost Sense
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
Unicorns
Yesterday's Weather
Your Ship Will Come In

Archives

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
December 1969

Links

SPOGG
Magic Words
Monkeys 1, Typewriters 0
Dr. Boli
Serif of Nottingblog
dbqp
Tonya Harding Shot JFK.com
Lord Whimsy
Phantasmaphile
Crystalpunk
BibliOdyssey
April Winchell
DJ Misc
Grow-a-brain
Joe Brainard's Pyjamas
J-Walk Blog
Ironic Sans
Ursi's Blog
Brian Sibley's Blog
Omegaword
World of Wonder
Neat-o-Rama
Abecedarian personal effects of 'a mad genius'
A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
November 30, 2010

The Right Word (permalink)
From our Magic Words outpost:

We're delighted to be twice-referenced in Varla Ventura's Beyond Bizarre, an entertaining collection of stranger-than-fiction stories and trivia.  In the chapter on famous magicians, hoaxes, and feats of human endurance, see our explanation of why "open sesame" is the most straightforward magical key.


Our Magic Words: A Dictionary is referenced twice in Beyond Bizarre.
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
Punctuated Cloud Divination

(an excerpt from our whimsical new manual on Divination by Punctuation)

An ancient druidic art, divination by cloud formations offers punctuation insights on many different atmospheric levels.  The little fluffy altocumulus clouds may coalesce into periods, colons, semicolons, ellipses, and quotation marks.  The thin altostratus clouds may form long dashes.  Airplane vapor trails and cirrocumulus clouds may form forward or back slashes.  The tall cumulonimbus clouds may combine with their altocumulous cousins to form question marks or exclamation marks.  The lower stratus clouds may form short dashes, while the highest cirrus wisps may form commas and parentheses.

Students of art history will know that billowing punctuation figures into fifth-century Roman mosaics: "the cloud is simply a punctuation mark (a kind of parenthesis) that derives its meaning from the position that it occupies in a linear sequence” (Hubert Damisch, A Theory of Cloud, 2002).  So, too, with modern cloud divination: the position of the punctuation within the hieroglyphic clouds is of vital importance.

Punctuated cloud divination can be likened to Klexographie—the European parlour game that inspired Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach to develop his famous inkblot test.  One views a cloudscape through one’s inner eye so as to unlock the wisdom of the inner voice—that primal vestige that knows the answers but doesn’t always speak loudly enough for one to hear.

To begin, cast your eyes down to the ground and meditate upon your question.  When the moment feels right, look up to the sky.  The cloudy symbols and patterns you see will shed light upon your question.  You may see multiple pictures within one cloudscape, joined or separated by punctuation icons.  Do they tell a story?  There’s no need to over-analyze what you see in the clouds; trust your initial responses to the images.  Punctuated cloud divination speaks to your intuition, so allow your inner wisdom to pour forth.  If you are uncertain of how the clouds illustrate your answer, or if you require additional insight, perform a second reading by casting your eyes downward again, allowing time for the animated cloud shapes to evolve, and then look up again.

A scattering of punctuated cloud details:

Apostrophe ( ’ )
If an apostrophe cloud dissipates quickly, the loss of a possession is indicated.  "O little cloud of faery hue, / Wither so fast away?” (Anonymous, "An Apostrophe”).

Bracket ( { )
Shaped to resemble the rounded contours of a cumulus cloud, "cloud brackets” are common architectural features in Buddhist pagodas.

Comma ( , )
Cloud commas (also known as mesocyclones and hook clouds) sometimes develop eye-like features at their centers.  "The cloud eye-lids that shadow / Stay not to see what will be done” (Edgar Lee Masters, "The Battle of Gettysburg”).

Dash ( — )
A cloudy dash may foretell hurriedness.  "The moon slowly arose, amid a fitful dash of clouds, and was no sooner from under one than she would dart beneath another” (Samuel M. Kennedy, First Loves).

Ellipsis ( . . . )
Ellipsis clouds point out superfluousness: more than enough of a thing.  "A few cumulus like ellipses at the horizon’s end . . .” (Christopher Buckley, How Much Earth).

Exclamation Point ( ! )
The Hawaiians revere clouds as "the only animated features of the landscape, . . . ever with us.”  The storm cloud is feared less than "the whirlwind with that exclamation point, the whirling chimney of red dust” (Charles Warren Stoddard, Hawaiian Life).

Question Mark ( ? )
The mystic Osho considered the "immensely significant” question mark to be emblazoned "on each cloud, on each star, on each atom,” since the question mark addresses the eternal mystery of existence (The Book of Wisdom).

Semicolon ( ; )
Postmodernist author Mia Couto likens the semicolon to a raindrop "born prematurely from a cloud.”  Raindrops are ephemeral links between heaven and earth; as semicolons, they highlight the fluidity of the boundary as they simultaneously connect and separate (Phillip Rothwell, A Postmodern Nationalist: Truth, Orality, and Gender in the Work of Mia Couto).


> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .

November 29, 2010

Colorful Allusions (permalink)
We were recently honored by these kind words:

"If David Lynch and Jorge Luis Borges created a book the result would be something very much like the writings of Craig Conley.  As with those artists, Craig's work creates truly remarkable and subtle effects.  His books are ones to dream with and learn from."
Lawrence Hass, Ph.D., philosopher & magician
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


Book of Whispers (permalink)
Prof. Oddfellow listens to a standing stone's whispers.  (Longtime Abecedarians may recognize this location.)


> read more from Book of Whispers . . .

November 28, 2010

The Right Word (permalink)
"A creed is an ossified metaphor." —The Philistine, Dec. 1904
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Presumptive Conundrums (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the puzzle image below to reveal one possible solution.

You Do the Math - Presumptive Conundrums
* Learn more about Presumptive Conundrums at Amazon.com.
> read more from Presumptive Conundrums . . .

November 27, 2010

Puzzles and Games (permalink)
A Shakespeare puzzle by Vladimir Nabokov:

Can you turn this sequence into the opening words of a famous monologue?

5.13  24.11  13.16  9.13.5  5.13  21.11

Answer: To be or not to be. (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)
> read more from Puzzles and Games . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Mysterious Beards ~

Portrait from An Autobiography by Herbert Spencer.

“The unreal beard of a spectre selon les règles.” —Jemima Tautphoeus, At Odds

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .

November 26, 2010

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"There is, it would seem, in the dimensional scale of the world a kind of delicate meeting place between imagination and knowledge, a point, arrived at by diminishing large things and enlarging small ones, that is intrinsically artistic."
Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)
“Instead of waiting for your boat to come in, you swim out to it.” —Michael Powell


 
* Our printed collection of vintage nautical postcards is entitled Your Ship Will Come In and is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Your Ship Will Come In . . .

November 25, 2010

Uncharted Territories (permalink)

what words can follow me here
to the edge of the end of a horizon
—vox anon, "a honeycomb"



> read more from Uncharted Territories . . .


Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .

November 24, 2010

Unicorns (permalink)
"If we can all think about unicorns in this world, then anything is possible."
—Camomile Hixon, explaining why she hung 2,000 "Missing Unicorn" posters all around New York City. 

Read all about it here.

(Thanks, Gary!)
> read more from Unicorns . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Diminutive as a mote of dust, a mere peck of the pen, a crumb on the keyboard, the full stop — the period — is the unsung legislator of our writing systems. . . . It crowns the fulfillment of thought, gives the illusion of conclusiveness, possesses a certain haughtiness that stems, like Napoleon's, from its minuscule size.  Anxious to get going, we require nothing to signal our beginnings, but we need to know when to stop: this tiny memento mori reminds us that everything, ourselves included, must one day come to a halt." —Alberto Manquel, "Point of Order"


Art by nada abdalla.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Mysterious Beards ~

Portrait from A Memoir of John Elder.

“A pluming bituminous beard of smoke.” —Esquire

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .

November 23, 2010

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


Inspired by literary scalawag Jonathan Caws-Elwitt, who adds:

In fact, if I am to be believed,* a "ballpark" estimate is etymologically unrelated to the brick-and-mortar ballparks in which America's favorite pastime is indulged. "Ballpark" in the temporal sense began life as "by all perquisites," a phrase first utilized by seventeenth-century bureaucrats to acknowledge that a fiscal estimate was just that—an estimate. (Merriam-Webster notes that a "perquisite" is "a privilege, gain, or profit incidental to regular salary or wages; especially: one expected or promised" [my emphasis]. Appending "by all perq." to a budgetary item was what we might call an instance of "CYA." Over the centuries, this term compressed itself to Hawthorne's "byalperk" [as seen in "More on the Custom-House; or, I Forgot to Tell You Some of the Fascinating Details of My First Summer Job"] and, in due course, Sinclair Lewis's "ballperk" [as seen in Hartdale, his satire about a social-climbing golden retriever]. It was only in the second half of the twentieth century that the association with baseball venues became irresistible and then indelible.

*Note: I am not.

---

June writes:

And by the time they get here, it will be almost night, honey, so that's already one day done.

---

Alexandra writes:

This accounts for why I am usually late... it's my throwback approach that time needs merely to be reckoned. Minutes are much more exciting this way!
Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE
by Gabriel García Márquez

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. Suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .

November 22, 2010

Colorful Allusions (permalink)
"I confess I do not believe in time.  I like to fold my magic carpet, after use, in such a way as to superimpose one part of the pattern upon another." —Vladimir Nabokov, Speak: Memory


Photo by Horizon.
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


Book of Whispers (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


> read more from Book of Whispers . . .

November 21, 2010

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Choose your own punch line:

Being an indoor pet
a. is no walk in the park.
b. ain't livin' on easy street.
c. is no bed of roses.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Presumptive Conundrums (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the puzzle image below to reveal one possible solution.

You Do the Math - Presumptive Conundrums
* Learn more about Presumptive Conundrums at Amazon.com.
> read more from Presumptive Conundrums . . .

November 20, 2010

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)

From our Magic Words outpost at Blogger:

We contributed an article in the December issue of MAGIC magazine about our favorite magical gathering. Here's a snippet:

There are No S's in "Magic & Meaning"

by Craig Conley

What's the secret for keeping a magic conference from turning into a "vicious circle"? For host Jeff McBride, it's uncoiling that circle into a spiral, with a fixed starting point but enough momentum to spring. McBride's unwound magic circle, known as Magic & Meaning, is an innovative, annual conference held over four days in Las Vegas. McBride gathers a band of prominent thinkers, theorists, and philosophers of the art to spark insights for magicians from around the world. Attendees have only one thing in common: a quest to unravel the secrets of wonderment.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Mysterious Beards ~

Portrait of John Eglington Bailey from Thomas Fuller.

“Uncom’d and squalid hung the spectre’s beard.” —The Æneid of Virgil

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .

November 19, 2010

Colorful Allusions (permalink)

Photo by Giant Ginko.
Vladimir Nabokov peers through a stained glass window:

"The most constant source of enchantment during those readings came from the harlequin pattern of colored panes inset in a whitewashed framework on either side of the veranda.  The garden when viewed through these magic glasses grew strangely still and aloof.  If one looked through blue glass, the sand turned to cinders while inky trees swam in a tropical sky.  The yellow created an amber world infused with an extra strong brew of sunshine.  The red made the foliage drip ruby dark upon a pink footpath.  The green soaked greenery in a greener green.  And when, after such richness, one turned to a small square of normal, savorless glass, with its lone mosquito or lame daddy longlegs, it was like taking a draught of water when one is not thirsty, and one saw a matter-of-fact white bench under familiar trees.  But of all the windows this is the pane through which in later years parched nostalgia longed to peer."  (Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited, p. 79)
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)
“You smile watching your ship approach.” —Anne Ranasinghe


 
* Our printed collection of vintage nautical postcards is entitled Your Ship Will Come In and is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Your Ship Will Come In . . .

November 18, 2010

Colorful Allusions (permalink)

The absence of coloring contains all coloring (Zen Koan).
Vladimir Nabokov offers our favorite tribute to the joys of coloring with a white crayon or pencil:

"The white one alone, that lanky albino among pencils, kept its original length, or at least did so until I discovered that, far from being a fraud leaving no mark on the page, it was the ideal implement since I could imagine whatever I wished while I scrawled." (Speak: Memory, revised edition, 1967)

See, of course, our own Minimalist Coloring Book.
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .

November 17, 2010

The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Mysterious Beards ~

Portrait from Biography of Rev. G. H. Atkinson.

“Each hair in the beard ends in a point of light.” —Eliphas Levi

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .


Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

Inspired by Myrlin A Hermes, The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet


> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .

November 16, 2010

Staring at the Sun (permalink)


Sunset over Puget Sound from Alki Beach in Seattle
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .


Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

LEAVE IT TO JEEVES by P. G. Wodehouse

Jeeves—my man, you know—is really a most extraordinary chap. So capable. Honestly, I shouldn't know what to do without him. Suddenly, a shot rings out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .

November 15, 2010

The Right Word (permalink)
"How small the cosmos (a kangaroo's pouch would hold it), how paltry and puny in comparison to human consciousness, to a single individual recollection, and its expression in words!" (Vladimir Nabokov, Speak Memory, revised edition, 1967, p. 13).


> read more from The Right Word . . .


Unicorns (permalink)
In search of unicorns, Prof. Oddfellow tales the road less pointed out.


> read more from Unicorns . . .

November 14, 2010

The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)
You swiftly fading daguerrotype I take
in my more gradually fading hand.
Rainer Maria Rilke, "Portrait of My Father as a Young Man," translated by J. B. Leishman
* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .


Presumptive Conundrums (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the puzzle image below to reveal one possible solution.

You Do the Math - Presumptive Conundrums
* Learn more about Presumptive Conundrums at Amazon.com.
> read more from Presumptive Conundrums . . .

November 13, 2010

Staring at the Sun (permalink)


The Columbia figurehead, Disneyland.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Mysterious Beards ~

Portrait from A Biography of William Cullen Bryant.

“The phantom’s beard was like lichen gray / Spread o’er an ancient stone.” —Traditional, “Conversion of Merlin”

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .

November 12, 2010

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Vladimir Nabokov answers the "Nature vs. Nurture" question:

Neither in environment nor in heredity can I find the exact instrument that fashioned me, the anonymous roller that pressed upon my life a certain intricate watermark whose unique design becomes visible when the lamp of art is made to shine through life's foolscap.  (Speak Memory, revised edition, 1967, p. 14).
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)
“There’s a search plane out looking for your boat right now.” —Tara Taylor Quinn


 
* Our printed collection of vintage nautical postcards is entitled Your Ship Will Come In and is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Your Ship Will Come In . . .

November 11, 2010

Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .

November 10, 2010

The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Mysterious Beards ~

Portrait from The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Buchanan.

“The first part of the mysterious beard is that which commences from the right ear and descends to the corner of the mouth.” —Eliphas Levi

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .


Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

CANDIDE by Voltaire

In a castle of Westphalia, belonging to the Baron of Thunder-ten-Tronckh, lived a youth, whom nature had endowed with the most gentle manners. Suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .

November 9, 2010

It's Really Happening (permalink)
"Now it's really happening.  You're really there, and if something were to happen, you couldn't really help it.  It's just happening." —Jeff Temple, qtd. in Deployed by Michael C. Musheno & Susan M. Ross
> read more from It's Really Happening . . .


Semicolon Moons (permalink)

NEW

Yet again, the semicolon's shadowy side is facing the reader. The semicolon is not visible, except in times of melting snow and great droughts. The lighted side of the semicolon faces away from the reader, as if it were asleep. This means that the reading lamp, reader, and semicolon are almost in a straight line, with the semicolon in between the reading lamp and the reader. The semicolon that we see looks very dark, like a snuffed match head.


 
Inspired by Gary Barwin.
> read more from Semicolon Moons . . .

November 8, 2010

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Simple Answers (permalink)
"The simple answer is 'no.'"
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Published


A still from Vertigo (a film irreparably marred by Kim Novak's clownishly painted on eyebrows).
If this is not the answer you’re looking for,
click here for a different answer.
> read more from Simple Answers . . .

November 7, 2010

Strange Dreams (permalink)
Friedrich Nietzsche suggests:

We use up too much artistry in our dreams—and therefore often are impoverished during the day.  (The Wanderer and His Shadow, 1880)

However, Vladimir Nabokov notes:

Imagination, the supreme delight of the immortal and the immature, should be limited.  (Speak, Memory, revised edition, 1967)
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .


Presumptive Conundrums (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the puzzle image below to reveal one possible solution.

You Do the Math - Presumptive Conundrums
* Learn more about Presumptive Conundrums at Amazon.com.
> read more from Presumptive Conundrums . . .

November 6, 2010

The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Mysterious Beards ~

Portrait from Memoir of William Henry Harvey.

“It was ghastly pale, a heavy black beard and moustache increasing the unnatural pallor by contrast.” —Henry Steel Olcott, People From the Other World

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .


Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

TALBOT AND VERNON by John Ludlum McConnel

A very large number of those who engage in mercantile pursuits fail before their employment is ten years old.  Suddenly, a shot rings out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .

November 5, 2010

Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .


Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)
“The tide’s going to turn, and it’s all going to roll your way.” —Dolly Parton


 
* Our printed collection of vintage nautical postcards is entitled Your Ship Will Come In and is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Your Ship Will Come In . . .

November 4, 2010

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


For Jeff Hawkins, who writes: "Thanks, Craig! And I couldn't resist leaving a few words about this on Omegaword."

Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .

November 3, 2010

A Fine Line Between... (permalink)


> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .


Semicolon Moons (permalink)

NEW (PROGRESSIVE)

"The whole period of night."

—Gerald Molloy, Geology and Revelation (1870)


 
Inspired by Gary Barwin.
> read more from Semicolon Moons . . .

November 2, 2010

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Naturalized Selection

Imagine two quaint isles of contrasting shades. Let’s pull a couple of names out of a hat—perhaps Eire and Ellis. (Galapagos sounds too fancy.) We’ll paint one a brilliant emerald and the other a dull patina. Not long after a dreamy-eyed Darwin imagined a process of natural selection increasing complexity, the oxidizing eyes of Lady Liberty magnified simplicity for a million Irish immigrants: O’Conghalaighs devolved into Conleys, their family trees pruned down to a stump upon which to rest their weary feet. New books of genealogy, too modest for High Kings, began at Ellis Island. Straightforward Conleys carried on, oblivious to the echoes of their ancestral namesakes, such as dynast Conall Corc, or his fourth great grandfather Conn of the Hundred Battles (son of the passionate, furious High King Fedlimid Rechtmar, himself the son of a deity). In all fairness, from the perspective of the New World—factoring in the curvature of the earth and atmospheric distortion—it’s impossible to glimpse the glimmers of High King Crimthann Nia Náir’s silver-bossed shield or his sword’s inlaid golden serpents, both treasures purloined from the fairies. No fairies are perceptible on the lawns of Ellis Island. Where there’s no turning back, history morphs into mythology.

To stand upon the shoulders of the mighty requires not only a colossal step up but also concerted balancing and adjusted perspectives. What a hefty responsibility comes with owning one’s exalted heritage. What an effort of imagination it takes to draw one’s birthright into the limelight so as to illuminate the missing letters in one’s name. To be sure, a streamlined spelling can be a beautiful thing, so long as it meets the requirements of conciseness: clarity and completeness. Foggy origins and butchered derivations do not for a clear word make. And while it’s quaint to consider one’s home one’s castle, let’s not forget that every stony fortification begins as a "castle in the air” or, in the case of the Irish, quite literally a "castle in Spain”—as in King Milesius of Spain (1000 B.C.) who remembered a prophecy that his descendants would rule Ireland.

When our missing letters are of royal and/or magical origin, we find ourselves facing some rather profound questions and challenges. To what crown(ing glory) is one the natural successor? To what dignities? What traditions are one’s responsibility to keep alive? What untapped powers? If one’s Weltanschauung does not account for an Otherworld, how can one reconcile one’s nymph-glands? How are the descendants of a Celtic deity to appease another holy ghost? Truly, to scale ancestral branches is to hang topsy-turvy with Odin on the World Tree.



> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Mysterious Beards ~

Portrait from Autobiography of Samuel Smiles.

“His grey beard faded away in mist.” —Walter Starkie, Spanish Raggle-Taggle

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .


Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN
by James Joyce

Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo ... Suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .

November 1, 2010

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Presumptive Conundrums (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the puzzle image below to reveal one possible solution.

You Do the Math - Presumptive Conundrums
* Learn more about Presumptive Conundrums at Amazon.com.
> read more from Presumptive Conundrums . . .



Page of 740



Original Content Copyright © 2014 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.