I have been nursing a small, un-stated, un-announced, un=tweeted media project. It occurred to me that this is an interesting way of being creative. Just do something. Don’t make a splash.

It’s a secret.

Or it is a “recondite” project:


This word has been in steady decline since it’s peak in 1850


Oh, yes, the project.

I got carried away.

I’ve been a big fan of the katexic newsletter since it first started.

Each issue includes a “WORD” always new words to me, with its etymology, examples of use in literature. I decided a few weeks ago to play with doing my own visual definitions. Spend maybe 20 minutes max doing it, the scale of a DS106 Daily Create.

Here is a storify of the four I have done

Of course it’s only now on writing this post, that I see on the web site, that each WORD already has an image chosen by the publisher.

And even better, you can get a random WORD – now that is something one can use as a creative prompts

Still, it does not negate this wee little project (as I imagine John Johnston saying in his lilting accent). It’s mine.

And having written this, I have busted my abstruse project.

Oh well.

This seems like a thing I should end with those string of “thought” questions that close the Profhacker posts.

How about you? Do you have a secret project? What are your favorite resources for secret projects? Where do you share your recondite ideas? Please share in the comments.

Top / Featured Image: A remix of the public domain Wikipedia photo Shimer comping 66 Recondite with the logo from the Katexic web site. Just for fun, I did a Google Image search on “recondite” (with results set to ones licensed for reuse), and this one was near top of the heap.

The image is described as “Comprehensive exam at Shimer College in Mt. Carroll” and the bookish and exam based form of education in 1966 is both familiar and looks antiquated. For even more irony, Shimer College is described in Wikipedia as “a liberal arts college in Chicago, Illinois, best known for its small discussion classes and Great Books curriculum. With fewer than 150 students, Shimer is one of the smallest liberal arts colleges in the United States. Shimer was founded in 1853, and adopted the current curriculum in 1950.”

Could that be more fitting for a post about katexic? Even with all the crap and doom on the internet, it still acts magically to me.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. I was starting to think that your visual Katexic WORD pics were something more than coincidence (and have obviously been enjoying them). I will be updating those posts to use your images instead. If anyone else makes more, I’ll use them too!

    And I’m glad you noticed the random WORD feature!

  2. Hi Alan,
    I had noticed your pebbles tweet and was wondering where it would wend.
    I love katexic, and playing with ‘wee’ projects (which I’ll now tag recondite).
    The Internet needs more of this sort of thing:-)

  3. I have so many recondite projects that they fill my life. They wouldn’t be recondite if anyone paid any attention to them, but they don’t, so they are secret by virtue of the actual truth of the Internet–mostly nobody’s watching and nobody cares.

    It’s like living in a massive prairie dog village–all the cute little dogs are doing variations of the same things, popping up and down out of their interconnected little holes hoping my cousin Richard doesn’t come along for a little target practice on his way home from the mill.

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