The TOTC Word Cloud…


July, 2014
by E. C. Waters


A word cloud is an artistic depiction of words found in a text.  The size of the word indicates the frequency of its use. The larger the word, the more it has been used.
Color is not meaningful in this example. will accept text and generate art depending on various user preferences.  In this example, all of the text (excluding various common stop list words like “the”, “and”, “or”, etc. from TTOTC were used with the intention of visualizing word frequency patterns for clues.



42 thoughts on “The TOTC Word Cloud…

  1. One thing I noticed is that the word ONE is listed twice – huge toward the bottom of the picture and pretty small (by the word small above the big word JUST). I’m not sure this helps me any though! 🙂

  2. I love this!
    It sings of thoughts, not clues.
    My favorite is 3/4 of the way down…
    Because it’s what Forrest is best at. (IMO)

    “Something small told beautiful”

  3. Agree it isn’t as helpful as I would have hoped when I tested this approach, although it does start to hint at common topics from Forrest. In his responses, he seems to point a lot at the concept of “thinking”. There are also two prominent and repeating words in his book of “think” and “thought” as depicted here. I’ve seen him use “deep thinking searcher”, “reverie”, and several other places where he suggests to use our imagination. I’ve tried linking this with places like “reflection lake”, etc.

    Anyway, it’s fun to examine.

    • E.C. Waters, I forgot to thank you for your time and money spent to gift Dal’s bloggers with this. Thanks. You also reminded me of a lake in my solve that matches reflections nicely.

  4. E.C. Waters – it is fun to examine words Mr. Fenn uses.
    Here’s what I found on “REVERIE”

    Reverie => deep thinking, day dreaming quality => “a BROWN study” mood of deep absorption or thoughtfulness; somber thoughts about death in an understated way. (may be a rural, Southern U.S. regionalism)

    It certainly fits metaphorically with TOTC poem, in my opinion.

  5. Such an interesting focus on temporal subjects too: first, started, always, never, years, + TIME.

    • Hi Map – it’s also interesting how the ‘focus is narrowed’ to LIKE THOUGHT, JUST ONE

      I can’t help thinking that there will be just one who thinks in a similar way to Mr. Fenn who discovers the treasure. Forrest’s waters wash over life’s stones with deep undercurrents and it seems like mine are carefree riffles on the surface.

      Are you heading out again this summer?

        • Time for CFR creative fund raising! I may sell granny’s antique silverware that I never use.

  6. I wish I could talk openly about what E.C. has nicely generated #OMGWHYUOUDOTHAT!?
    So far…….well………mmmmk! Thanks E.C.!
    Run that through your evil gizzmo software thingy ma jig!

  7. remember one thought…just go see something really beautiful…

  8. If I could find that chest I have a T Shirt in mind that people could buy. 🙂 !!!!!!!

  9. The value of a word cloud is currently best found in bringing quick attention to high frequency words of interest, such as trends coming through search engines, or social networks like Facebook or Twitter. These tools try to illuminate concepts of interest and inspire further conceptual thinking, usually for quick decision making in marketing. Unusually, this form takes advantage of how our brains assimilate jumbles of words, often faster than reading sequential strings of words. Some of these posts are starting to express that inspiration. Imagine a book’s chapters being written like this with the more important concepts in larger print. For a few speed readers, that may seem unintuitive, but for the rest of us, it is naturally how we assimilate information and make judgment calls within our environments.

    Using a word cloud with text extracted from TOTC is not particularly a great strategy for looking for Forrest’s subtle clues. Most literature tends to rely on the same linguistic patterns to convey thoughts. Here, “just” and “one” are highly significant and frequently used. It happens the same in many books this way. You’ve probably heard the phrase “write for a sixth grader”, meaning as an author, simplify complex language using plain words or you’ll lose a lot of readers. This advice was originally suggested by Rudolph Flesch who pioneered plain language, and what now appears in word processing software like Microsoft Word as an algorithm for calculating readability. Coincidentally, Flesch also wrote a book on “The Art of Clear Thinking”, which according to Forrest, all of us should be doing more of this.

    Forrest suggests he is not a typical author, and in the same section has shunned a few classics because of how they organized their words. I might have misread his intended message. He instead might have been suggesting their story concepts were uninteresting. When I studied linguistics for use in my career and for the niche area I enjoy, I was taught [cleverly paraphrasing] “it’s not in the frequency of what’s being written, it’s what’s in the infrequency” meaning high word frequency is not the right end of the spectrum to search for important clues. People searching Colorado might also try to agree with this. With that said, I’m still stuck in Yellowstone with Bessie, a fawn-colored calf, leading me to Talus. lol

    • So VERY interesting E.C. Thank you. You may enjoy a book titled “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” by Gladwell

    • Wow! Even if this has nothing to do with the chase or the clues, it is fascinating. Thanks for the excellent explanation. It is interesting that I remember reading a quote from one of Forrest s friends who said that it’s not important what F says. What’s more important is what he doesn’t say. Fits right in with your explanation.

  10. Very interesting EC. It is curious to me that the word “Time” jumps out because in many of my early searches, the hours on a clock along with the references in the book such as the following snipets played directly into each attempted solve.

    So now i sit here past midnight, beside my juniper fire

    When Mr. District Attorney was over at 8 o’clock, the kids had to start to bed..that was set in concrete

    A small clearing appeared at eleven o’clock on my canopy….it was magical because a small waterfall…in the center of the clearing. How peaceful it all seemed.

    It was 5:55 pm when I ejected from my crippled F-100… I had experienced the effects of Operation Arc Light… (my solve matching the ejection sequences centered about Santuario de Chimayo just directly north of Santa Fe which today is a pilgrimage site of living day miracle of sorts for Operation Arc Light of which I do not believe was a true Vietnam Operation)…later that morning at 7:55, Lt. James Swisher came looking for me. The terrain of Santuario de Chimayo matches nicely with all the time and aircraft heading and helicopter references in the TTOTC story. Oh, and this site also includes two omegas and a chest “containing more than twenty troy pounds of gold” based on my calculations. This area was my most meaningful search as I thought the sacred healing soil and miracle that occurred at the Santuario might have played a critical role in Mr. Fenn’s battle and miraculous recovery from cancer.

    thank you for sharing EC

    • Windsurfer
      I was at the Santuario de Chimayo last year. In a way it looked like the top of the chest. It was very interesting and I took a lot of pictures. Here is something that will get you thinking. Translate some of the roads leading to the church in the mountains.

  11. I would love to have a print of this to frame! Thank you for sharing with us!
    Appreciate your hard work.
    FYI…I found this interesting…”Brown”—a location containing material possesions, the color of elegance and also revelation and rejuvination.

  12. E. C.,
    enjoyed the word cloud but wondering if you can make a reverse cloud that highlights the least used words? The small words that whisper.

    • Maybe I could send Dal the whole word count list and if he wants, he could post a link to it for you? Creating a word cloud with least used words wouldn’t have the same look and feel. It would still be a word jumble, but there would no size perception. All words would be the same size.

  13. I suspect that if you did a word cloud of this blog “double” and “omega” would be biggest. IMO…not a clue.

      • Better than frowning…….. right? just got tickled at some of the responses to this scrapbook……Throw out a bunch of words on a piece of paper , sit back and smile…. gotta enjoy the little things…..:-)

          • Thanks Spallies . How is the search going for ya ? Good I hope…. Don’t know about you but I’m ready for spring…. Miss the Mountains. Good luck to ya…… 🙂

          • Pretty Dandy so far, Focused… thanks for asking. Victor has me a bit confused but I just remember that if your heart is happy you will be ok… so I am following my happy heart… wherever that takes me …:)

            How about yourself???

  14. The chase is going good for me. Now the Victor ” Honeycomb ” thing , Gives me a headache…:-) I don’t think it will be solved that way…IMO Sometimes I feel like a ” MIME ” at a horserace….lol Yes , my heart is happy….. thanks for asking… good luck to you Spallies…… Be careful in the mountains.k…….

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