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, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, 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.
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.

Found 55 posts tagged ‘writing’


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought – March 17, 2022 (permalink)

It's an enduring question.  From Woroni, 1978.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
#writing #vintage headline
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Yearbook Weirdness – March 9, 2022 (permalink)

From DePauw's 1905 yearbook.

*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
#vintage illustration #cat #vintage yearbook #spilled ink #writing
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought – March 7, 2022 (permalink)

It's rare to find an anti-dedication / non-acknowledgment in a book.  This one disrespects the Canadian Council for refusing a grant application, putting the author onto the street for an entire winter.  From Incurable Trucks & Speeding Diseases by Crad Kilodney, 1986.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
#writing
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Restoring the Lost Sense – June 22, 2021 (permalink)

"And there's soul in every stroke of the pen."  From Woroni, 1977.
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #writing
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Images Moving Through Time – June 11, 2021 (permalink)

"Alien creature guides writer."  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1996.
> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .
#writing #vintage headline #alien
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought – June 10, 2021 (permalink)

From Blue Stranger with Mosaic Background by Wayne Koestenbaum.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
#writing #tired #poem #gay and tired
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Restoring the Lost Sense – June 8, 2021 (permalink)

"We write because we have to, but knowing that there people out there who really latch on to what we're trying to do in such a favorable way is both gratifying and justifying" (Thomas M. Reid).
From Nebelspalter, 1938.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #writing
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Restoring the Lost Sense – October 23, 2020 (permalink)

Paul Berthon's "Andhré des Gachons," from The Chap-Book, 1896.  
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #angel #muse #writing
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Yearbook Weirdness – July 30, 2020 (permalink)

There are zero Google Books results for "writing with spilled ink."  Yet it's how we compose all of our own books.  From Purdue's 1907 yearbook.

*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
#vintage illustration #spilled ink #writing #crying #tears #ink
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Go Out in a Blaze of Glory – July 15, 2020 (permalink)

We're thrilled by this amazing reaction to our video about how to get published big time, without connections:
"You sir have awoken something in me that has been collecting dust for quite some time now. In a sense, an encounter with bad luck had me concluding that life was too busy for art. Thank you for shining a light far enough for me to find a source of my own. I shall repay the favor and pass it on with each chance that presents itself." --Joshua Batie
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
#creativity #writing #success #publishing
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Yearbook Weirdness – May 10, 2020 (permalink)

From the 1923 yearbook of the Presbyterian College of South Carolina.

*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
#vintage illustration #pen and ink #vintage yearbook #writing #pipe smoker #quill pen
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought – January 29, 2020 (permalink)

"A book is tremendously important.  Nobody ever paid for the price of a book, they pay only for the printing.  But a book is actually an offering and must be regarded as such.  If you give honor to the man who writes it, there is something in that which further induces the expressive powers of writing."

—Louis I. Kahn, "I Love Beginnings" lecture, 1972

> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
#books #writing
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Yearbook Weirdness – January 24, 2020 (permalink)

A caution to writers: a celestial globe is like spell-checking software, in that once you grow accustomed to having it, dependency grows.  A celestial globe is one of the many tools we use for writing our lesser-known works of esoterica
From Desoto's 1981 yearbook.
> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
#vintage yearbook #writing #vintage man #star globe #1980s #celestial globe
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought – January 18, 2020 (permalink)

Here's a great justification for varnishing the truth, which I'll summarize for your convenience (though of course the original passage is superior):
1. varnish brings out veins of beauty that were otherwise invisible
2. it doesn't actually hide the sober facts of life since it's transparent
3. having penetrated the artifice, the observer's powers of insight are flattered and attention is better secured
4. even the coarsest mundanity has moods in which it's gilded by the light of romance
5. if the storyteller believes in the true gold of those fairy minarets, the story benefits
From Idolatry by Julian Hawthorne, 1874.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
#writing #storytelling #unvarnished truth #poetic license
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Restoring the Lost Sense – November 3, 2019 (permalink)

From Lustige Blätter, 1901.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #writing #nature
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Images Moving Through Time – July 23, 2019 (permalink)

INSTRUCTIONS: Click to give him a hand. From Lustige Blätter, 1917.

Man working at desk from Lustige Blätter, 1917
> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .
#vintage illustration #explosion #writing #brainstorm #gif
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Yearbook Weirdness – May 7, 2019 (permalink)

From Purdue's 1915 yearbook.

*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
#vintage illustration #vintage yearbook #writing #typewriter #deadline #typing
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Restoring the Lost Sense – October 23, 2018 (permalink)

"She ended it with a great blot."  From St. Nicholas, 1879.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #inkblot #visual poetry #writing #asemic #ink blot
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Go Out in a Blaze of Glory – August 20, 2018 (permalink)

Thanks to Jaybee for letting us know: "Your last video really, REALLY helped me. I was in tears. Seriously. I struggle with that. Very. Thing. A lot. But your video helped me remember that I’m not here to win a popularity contest."
She's referring to this video, in which I reveal my secrets for landing a major book deal, even if you don't have a best-selling idea, weren't born into the right families, and don't work very hard: https://youtu.be/GuvJpPTawGs
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
#writing #success #getting published #against all odds
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Restoring the Lost Sense – August 6, 2018 (permalink)

From Krokodil, 1954.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #anthropomorphism #writing #writer #typewriter
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