Wilde Times

Arts and Literature Newsletter

The Morphean Stanza that I Dreamed

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Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 1.35.05 PM (wiktionary key)

 

While the lines I’m about to reveal may seem simple enough, they have provided me with much fodder for thought.  Here are the lines which were in my memory when I awoke:

Just above the salty sea,
in a castle made of sand,
lived the Queen of the Færies,
Sovereign of the mystic lands.

When I first “remembered” these lines, I was terribly excited to have the memory and delighted by the image and merriment of the lines.  I set about analyzing the lines and was sure, as I noted earlier, that there would be no rhyme or reason (pun intended, ha) to the lines of verse.  I was very wrong.

First, each line has seven syllables and the rhyme scheme ABAB.  Also, based on the sound of the line, I am inclined to believe that the third and seventh syllables of the third line should bear an assonance.  The fact that the seventh syllable of the third line gives the line a feminine ending and is assonant with the word “Queen” supports this inclination, as well.

The prosody and feet of the lines are thus:

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 1.30.00 PM

 

 

 

 

 

At first, I thought that this may be just a random arrangement of metric feet; however, there is actually a fairly interesting dynamic at play here.  The first two lines bear the same structure and are composed of rising feet.  The third line begins with two rising feet, then moves to the feminine syllable, which begins a fall continued through the end of the stanza, with the fourth line being composed of falling feet.  What’s even more fascinating is that the fourth line is an inverse of the first two lines.

Again, let me be clear on this: I awoke from a dream with this Morphean Stanza in my memory.  After analyzing it, I believe that it bears a prosodic truth like a mathematical property which exists absent of human invention; what happened here was discovery, not invention.

So, therefore: An Oneirostrophe (also called a Dream Stanza or a Morphean Stanza) is a quatrain with the rhyme scheme ABAB, is written according to the scansion noted above, and shows assonance between the third and seventh syllables of the third line.

BOOM.  Mind blown.

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

December 6th, 2013 at 6:12 pm

I Have Dreamed a Dream of a New Poetic Form

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First, before I explain, I am coining and claiming three (3) terms: 1) Oneirostrophe, 2) Dream Stanza, and 3) Morphean Stanza.

In order to explain these terms, let me begin with a family tree (This is based somewhat on Ovid’s Metamorphosis, but does bear other influences, as well.):

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 12.56.05 PM

 

(Two main things to point out with which some people may disagree: 1) some say that Morpheus et al. are Hypnos’ brothers and 2) some say that Ikelos and Probetor are the same.  I know there is contention; this is how I’m showing it.)

The first term, oneirostrophe, comes from the Greek from Oneiro (dreams personified) and strophe (turn or twist), which in longer poems becomes synonymous with stanza, thus “Dream Stanza”.  I’m also offering a more colorful version of the name: Morphean Stanza, a hat tip to Morpheus, the most influential of his brothers.

I have always been fascinated by Coleridge’s claim to have dreamed the poem Kubla Khan and have often wished to have such an experience.  Recently, my wish was fulfilled when I awoke one morning with a completed stanza (a Morphean Stanza) in my memory.  I did not dream of composing a poem; I was not thinking of poetic things when I drifted off to sleep; nor did I doze off with the television on.  To my best and honest recollection there was no “process”; the stanza was just there, in my memory, when I awoke.

I spent a fair amount of time pondering over what to do with the bit of poem I’d been gifted with.  Now, I have decided to create a full story using the form given to me in my dream.  (I also aim to have each oneirostrophe illustrated and publish the complete work as soon as I’m able.)  To that end, I began an analysis of the linguistic features (prosody, rhyme, structure, etc.) of the Morphean Stanza.  I was sure that I would find a garbled mess with which I could do little without completely distorting the verse given to my by the Oneiroi.  What I discovered, though, was quite the contrary… and quite fascinating.

As for that, though, you’ll have to wait for the next post.

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

December 6th, 2013 at 12:33 am

Wilde, Inc., is on Kickstarter!!

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Here’s what you do:

1. Click this link and pledge a lot of money: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/191458625/wilde-inc-an-original-graphic-novel/

2. Tell all of your friends to complete steps 1 and 2 on this list.  All of them.

3. Sit back and wait for your cool stuff to come.

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Written by Alex Kaulfuss

December 4th, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Posted in News

One more “fix” for the Shopp plugin

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So this one isn’t really a Shopp issue. Those of you who’ve visited the store after I fixed it may have noticed that the main item image wasn’t lining up correctly. After a good long while of wracking my brain, a thought occurred to me. I changed the theme of the base blog, and, voilà, the misalignment was fixed.

Conclusion: Shopp does NOT work with the very cool Journalist theme. You’ll have to find a different very cool theme.

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

December 4th, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Posted in Tech Stuff

Some Excel Help

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Checking column values against each other in Excel

Lo, what to do when faced with the question: How do I check to see if a value in one column shows up in another column in Excel?

There is an easy formula to check this.  Well, there are two, but they’re really the same thing; it’s just that one is pretty, and the other: not so much.

The first (pretty) formula is a little more complex, mainly because it’s backwards:

=IF(ISERROR(MATCH(A1,B:B,0)),” “,”WE HAVE A WINNAAHHH!!!”)

This formula says this: If there is an error when I try to match cell A1 to column B, do nothing; if, however, there is no error, say “We have a winnaahhh!!!”

The reason that I say it’s backwards is because the first set of quotes (the empty ones) says what to do if the value is true (i.e., there is an error because there is NOT a match), and the second set of quotes says what to do if the value is false (i.e., there is NOT an error because there is a match), and we generally think that if we’re looking for something, the fact that it’s there should make it true.

The second (easy) formula is a little uggo, mainly because it fills most of a column with this: #N/A.

=IF(MATCH(A1,B:B,0),”yes”,”no”)

This formula says this: If there is a match for cell A1 in column B, say “yes”; if there is not a match, say “no”.  NOTE: the “say no” part is irrelevant because if there is no match the formula will return an error (viz., #N/A). 

This formula seems more “forward” in that we’re looking for a match, and it will say “yes” if the match is true. 

FYI: you can replace what you want the formula to do when it finds a match with many things.  For example, if you want to make a list of repeats, you can replace the “we have a winnaahhh!!!” (or the “yes”) with A1 (no quotes).  This will copy the value in A1 into the new cell.

Counting up those bad boys.

Now you might be thinking: How do I determine the number of repeats in columns in Excel?

Now that you’ve identified duplicates, you may want to see how many there are.  This is pretty simple, too. 

=COUNTIF(C:C, “yes”)

This is assuming you’ve placed the formula in the above section in column C.  The equation says this: Include a cell in the counting if it says “yes”.

The last part can be changed to include variables, so let’s say it’s a list of emails; you can use this:

=COUNTIF(C:C, “*@*”)

This will count the number of times the at symbol shows up.  Use the * symbol to search for an unknown string and the ? symbol to search for one missing character.  For example, suppose you’re searching for a name beginning with “Pau”; “Pau*” will return names like Paul, Paula, Pauline, and Paunchy von Puncherson; whereas, “Pau?” would only return Paul. 

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

September 13th, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Posted in Tech Stuff

One liners and an &.

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Hello, loyal readers (All three of you are very special to me.), I’m writing with another SHOPP for WordPress problem and fix to pass along to your friends.  After applying the fix I wrote about in my last post, users may have noticed an array of error messages preceding almost everything in the store.  All you have to do is change two tiny things, and the problem will be remedied.

First open the error.php file referenced in the error.  Follow the trail.  Then find lines 135 and 148-156.  Inert a new line 156 and write this: return $error;

Then go to line 236 which reads as follows:

call_user_func_array($callback,$args);

Now add an ampersand, like so:

call_user_func_array($callback,&$args);

Boom.  Fixed.  Hope that helps; pass it along!

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

January 29th, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Posted in Tech Stuff

What the deuce!?! It’s all because of an “E”?

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If you’re running the WordPress SHOPP plugin and are getting error messages about JPEG support, you need to read this.  If neither of those conditions apply to you, you don’t need to read this, but you can if you want to see how ridiculously smart I can be sometimes.

Seeing the FATAL ERROR message can be terrifying to anyone trying to manage a web-based business without a crew of geeks on hand.  Recently, I tried to access my online store (SHOPP plugin through WordPress); I saw this message:

Shopp requires JPEG support in the GD image library. Your web hosting environment does not currently have a version of GD installed that has JPEG support.

While investigating this issue, which neither my host nor Shopp provided information about, I came across a site where someone suggested running a simple phpinfo script to take a look around.  Once I did, I noticed something amazingly simple and profoundly damaging: a missing letter.

Line 349 of Shopp’s function.php reads as follows:

if (!$gd['JPG Support']) $errors[] = __(“Shopp requires JPEG support in the GD image library.

When I ran the php info script, I noticed that the people at my host had decided to call the support for this image type “JPEG Support”, while the people at Shopp were calling it “JPG Support”.  Simply adding that missing “E” to line 349 fixed everything.  The line should read like this:

if (!$gd['JPEG Support']) $errors[] = __(“Shopp requires JPEG support in the GD image library.

Hope this helps someone.

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

January 28th, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Posted in Tech Stuff

Imp Daddy on Amazon

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Hello, all. My, it has been quite a while since the last update. I’m writing with two related bits of news:
1) I am temporarily suspending the availability of the print version of Imp Daddy’s First ABC Book in the website’s store because…
2) As of this morning, a digital version of the book (updated and edited) is available for download through Amazon. Check it out:

Imp Daddy’s First ABC Book

Peace, Alex

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

January 23rd, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Posted in News

Zero: Nothing from Nothing leaves Nothing

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I picked up my copy of Steven Brust’s Tiassa yesterday.  The dust jacket claims that Vlad and Khaavren meet.  I’m excited.

∞ Review of Zero: The biography of a dangerous idea by Charles Seife ∞

I am currently reading a book which, though written by an author I very much enjoy, is terrible.  My gratitude to Seife and Zero is immeasurable for the much needed respite they’ve offered me in the middle of this other book.  (I should note that I feel compelled to finish a book once I’ve begun it; I find myself inexplicably remiss to abandon a book unfinished.)  Zero is a fascinating exploration of the title number.  Seife offers not only a history of zero, but a well-rounded examination of its implications for religion, mathematics (as a field), and science.

I am an oddity: I deeply enjoy literature and mathematics and history and science, so this book, of course, appeals to me on most every level.  I would argue, however, that one need not feel an affinity for all of these categories; any one will suffice.  Seife is not only incredibly knowledgeable about his subject, but also a skilled wordsmith.  Zero, I believe, appeals to almost everyone, whether his interests are myriad, like mine, or much more finely honed.

Zero provides nearly infinite fodder for philosophical discourse and exploration and is a must for anyone who enjoys reading, nay anyone who enjoys anything… or nothing.

 

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

April 5th, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Hey, it’s been awhile…

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Just a quickie:

I’ve added a ton of archived literature to the Art & Lit Blog.

Check it out!

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

March 29th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Posted in News

Sooo… I’m a little excited…

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Alright, that’s an understatement.  Our new project is really starting to take shape, and we’ve got some tough decisions to make.  Got another little teaser for ya; here’s Nic’s take on Claire:

Claire Rousseau © Alex Kaulfuss and The Wilde Renaissance Co.

Claire Rousseau © Alex Kaulfuss and The Wilde Renaissance Co.

B. A. isn’t it ! ? ! ?  Nice work, Nic!

There’s a new issue of No.1R, so be sure to check that out.  Also, we’ve got some more archived content available on the Art and Lit blog.

—– COMING SOON —–

GET READY ! ! ! !

GET READY ! ! ! !

Peace,

Alex, The Editor

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

November 20th, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Posted in News

Was that a turnip?!

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Another week gone by.  There’s a new issue of No.1R in the webcomics section, a new post by Nic, and some new archived pieces.  Be sure to check them all out and let us know what you think.

Also, we’re gearing up for the third Wilde Times Sci-Fantasy Writing Contest, so start brainstorming some ideas!

Peace,

Alex

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

November 13th, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Posted in News

Holy Hot Smack!

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Alright, I know it’s been a good long while since there’s been an update ( and I sincerely apologize to my loyal readers ), but things have definitely been moving along here.  I’m working with another writer on a new project!!  You should be quivering with anticipation.  Here’s a little teaser:

Are you excited?

Are you excited? © Alex Kaulfuss, The Wilde Renaissance Co.

N0.1R fans, there’s a new one this week; check it out.

Peace,

Alex

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

November 6th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Posted in News

Exciting news!!

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Short because I want you to read Nic’s post this week.

New issues of N0.1R and It’s an Imp’s Life and some new (old) work has been archived in the Art & Lit section. 

Don’t forget about the AIR contest; see the details using the store link.

Peace,
Alex

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

August 22nd, 2009 at 2:55 am

Posted in News

Boy, Howdy!

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Quite a bit this week, so I’ll keep the info short and sweet.

First up, new issues of N0.1R and It’s an Imp’s Life; check those out using the webcomics link.  Sorry, kiddies, you’ll have to sit on the edge of your seats a bit longer to see what’s about to go down in Wilde Times.

The Art, Literature, & Photography blog’s been updated with some archived content.  One of my site favorites tops the list.  Also, Pure NRG has a new one today.

And now for the big news: We’ve launched a new little contest. Hopefully, this will be the first of many of its kind.  I’ve called it an AIR Contest – Art In Response.  Hop on over to the store for more details!! But hurry the deadline is August 28!

Many, many thanks to Steve Richard for allowing us to use one of his images for this contest!  Check out his stellar work here: www.steverichard.com

Peace,
Alex

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

August 7th, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Posted in News

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