writing process part 2

when i write

i'm absent

i'm somewhere that only exists as a nonexistence

an away place

like i'm with death

it is a good place

it is where i came from

and where i'm going

and it is the place that follows me all my life

and where i can seek sanctuary

at any time

this unknown other place

this is where i am going now


there are so many types of writers

one type of writer is someone who has to wait for the thing inside them they feel to push its way out

i am not an intellectual writer

i cannot pre plot

or decide what it will be

i have to find out what it is going to be

i have to wait

for the thing inside me

for the moment of birth

it will say "now i am whole"

"i am ready to be born"

but when it is born the story (or adventure) is still a baby

but it is whole

it will mature

it is ready to be discussed now

i heard a voice inside myself the other day screaming at me

"you've got to get me out of here"

i don't know what it meant

but something was whole

and making noises 

your story will announce itself

the theme will flood your mind and the characters will rise up

and scream their heads off

for me

it is very vivid

i've been spending more time in the county

on my cousin's land

i went on a walkabout before a writing session

and took some photos

CW: black and white deer carcass i stumbled upon (it will be the last photo)

coyotes must have gotten him


one writing process

attend happy hour

have a pain aid

have a sleep aid

find a dollar store journal with a good 'vibe'

open youtube 

search 'emo mixtape'

click on 'filter' 

click on 'upload date'

find a title and thumbnail of the 'current vibe' and listen to that shit

write some of that novella (in longhand)

the 'vibe' tonight is: 'on late nights i still think of you - a midwest emo mixtape'

this mixtape has so many highs and lows
it's tragic that the track list wasn't listed in the video description and that the comments are turned off
i tried to google some lines of lyrics from different songs to figure out who the band was to no avail 
bright eyes is on it, i fucking love conor oberst, he called me on my birthday via face time (here's a screenshot)
i guarantee it that every single member of each band on this 26 minute mixtape has: i hate myself, the mineral, and bright eyes on a music app saved in their cellphones
(at this point in the blog post i found one of the artists on the mixtape because the lyrics were so good and it kind of sounded like a matchbook romance acoustic song)
i searched "we couldn't see the stars, but you said you could feel them,
i couldn't feel the stars"

the next line goes "i want to tell you that I think you're adorable but i think i'd rather you just kick me in the shins"

write for 26 minutes while listening to a mixtape
do it again tomorrow with a new mixtape
you never learn how to write
every time you sit down you have to learn how to write all over again
the process of writing is an exploration
if you don't have time
you don't have priorities
start using that imagination and courage

(if you'd like to support me there are links on the right to purchase my zines)

(this blog is impervious to criticism)


Agbogbloshie, the vibe of a zine, first post of 2023

I started following this author Mike Kleine's twitter

Saw a tweet about sending out review copies of his new zine (on his store).  
(click the images for high res or whatever)

I sent them a DM saying I do reviews on this blog (now you're caught up).

I'm going to start off by writing a few blurbs.

"It's fun to read AgbogbloshieCharacters admire each other's 'drip'."

(the cover is also a table of contents)

"A nice small zine that keeps you on the edge of your seat." 

"If you feel fucked this is a good zine to read, it will bewilder you." (all of my posts are good to read if you feel fucked). 

"You can read it, finish it, go back to the beginning and read it again, and keep reading it continuously." 

"Agbogbloshie has a tone like once the zine ended the author started to talk shit about themselves and were really funny." 

"You can read it then put it down and feel a ‘calming’ sensation of ‘everyone is fucked.'"

"Each page is 'infused' with being good and also fucked depressively while leaving me yearning for more."

The zine is small and seems like the editing process took a long time because of the way it is laid out. 

It feels as if Mike Kleine was sitting at his computer, sometimes grinning at something he typed, then looking behind him to see if anyone was there, and no one was there. 

I read this zine alone and was depressed, but later shared portions of the text with my family.

I spent a lot of time with this zine. 

The next day i watched hustle & flow. that movie fucks; I recommend that movie.
that movie is full of amazing scenes to quote. 

I wasn't expecting the characters in this story to be dripped out kicking ass in space, while I think, also trying to get the world to end.

I thought about each word as it was being edited. The layout is awesome.

Each page is 'infused' with being good and also fucked depressively. 

Everything was really inspiring me as I was reading it.

To me, it reads like a one-shot OSR (derogatory) adventure. 

I recommend buying zines that aren't TTRPGs.

This one is sold out in print but I think it will be available digitally soon.

I love books with an index.

I recommend using indexes. 

I am curating an index for my next project.

I won't get into spoilers but I think the characters crash their space cars, run away from orcs on fire, pray to the 99 gods, 3 of them answer, hack a bunch of shit, blow shit up, and see the world end.

this next photo (not mine) is from twitter and it has a great summary of the zine. 

and now an interview with the author

1. If you could leave yourself a present in the future what would it be?

Just a short hand-written note on cream paper or something (so I'd know it's from me for sure) that reads, "Drink more water, please, And also sleep longer. XOXO"

2. What do you do on the internet if you're bored?
Lately? Mostly, I try and learn how to be better at Twine. And by this, I mean I just run a ton of different scenarios and ideas until I break the software, then I wait until the next day, after my brain has recovered, and try and figure a way around the "break" I caused. I am not a programmer and this is probably the closest I will ever come to programming. It's fun solving puzzles I sort of caused/created myself. My goal is to one day become comfortable with all the Twine story formats. I also really need to get back into Bitsy. (This is one game I made.) (Here's another.) (And one last one I made with Dan Hoyhere. Oddly enough, it won the award for Most Bizarre at The 2019 Spring Thing Festival of Interactive Fiction!)

3. When do you enjoy making art the most?
Between the hours of 11PM and 2AM. This needs to stop, tho.

4. Can you type a dialogue you've had in real life that you remember and liked?

"What was the thing you said last week?"
"What thing?"
"I dunno, it was something funny."
"But you don't remember what it was?"
"If I remembered what it was, I wouldn't be asking you if you remembered what you said last week."
"What did you say?"
"What d'you mean?"
"Hmmm. (?)"
< pause >
"I am trying to remember what you said last week."
"I don't think you remember what you even said last week... even."
beat >
"Plz don't change the subject."

5. Can you type a dialogue you've had in real you remember and disliked?

"I didn't get Tár, I didn't like it."
"What do you mean you didn't like it?" What's there to not like?"
"Like, right now I am looking on the phone. Who even is Tár?"
"Tár isn't a real person."
"Tár isn't a real person?"
"No--Tár isn't a real person."
beat >
beat >
beat >
beat >
beat > < beat > < beat > < beat >
beat >
beat > < beat > < beat >
beat > < beat >
beat >
beat >

Even tho I didn't like the film, the dynamic range/swell of the orchestra bits is some of the best sound mixing I’ve ever heard (for film), maybe ever.

6. What are you writing now?
I wrote this today:

<% character.inventory.addItem("Blade of Gonzo'r"); %>


<img src="[REDACTED FOR PRIVACY REASONS. SORRY.]" width="500" height="256">

You are <%
switch (Math.floor(Math.random() * 4)) {
  case 0:
    print('an ogre');

  case 1:
    print('a monster');

  case 2:
    print('a terrible person');

  case 3:
    print('not of this Earth');

You have always lived in the swamps and you will forever remain in the swamps.

You have been blessed by the god <%
switch (Math.floor(Math.random() * 4)) {
  case 0:

  case 1:

  case 2:

  case 3:
%>, with the following items, for your journey ahead:

Blade of Gonzo'r
25 gold
Tunic of Despair

[[Continue|The Journey Begins]]

(Before this, I was working on a character generator thing, for myself mostly, and have since given up on that (at least for now).)

thanks mike
you can buy books from Mike on his website or here
read some of his book reviews and find out more about him and his other books on htmlgiant
It's a small world, Mike went to college with a person I collaborate with a lot now as a writer. This mutual acutance we share is also my mortal enemy
mike likes troika, and owns troika zines. i invited him to play troika online sometime. he told me his dad played dnd. 

lemme tell you more about Agbogbloshie

 the Agbogbloshie sphere has an active volcano, a swamp, canyons, black wilderness, prairie grasses with hidden sewer tanks, and corpo office towers with evaporating doors

encounters from the Agbogbloshie (aka earth2) sphere
1. an erupting volcano melting the castle known as '76, ancient electronics can be looted, d20 orcs are running to a jeep, d6 of them are on fire
2. jungle swamp corridors lead down to a mosquito net tent littered with pink maggots eating the flesh off of a designer cybernetic arm, horror film strings play
3. a low-level guard driving a jeep, blasting drill 'n' bass music drowned-out
4. 1d3 blind women summoning a psyops barge descending from the sky, they each wear a pendant of st. agnes

5. the ceiling clouds escaped the castle, they are outside, dropping black soot (poison)
6. !!??!!?!

(at this point in the blog post writing process i started making a cajun spaghetti sauce, starting with the trinity first, making it extra spicy, and serving it with my own homemade jalapeno cheddar bread)

a background from 
the Agbogbloshie sphere or earth2

the soul survivor always kisses their gun when suitin' up.

d3 synaptic-jammers
d3 heavy-glow putty 
d3 pop-smoke
hecka-expensive snake-charmer shotgun with 2d6 shells (damage as pole-arm)
headband (with a charm from an ancient hell witch, +3 random spells)

3 hackin'
3 paintin'
2 blastin'

(if you'd like to support me there are links on the right to purchase my zines)

(this blog is impervious to criticism)


end of the year post, d20 links to some of my favorite 2022 reads that are now encounters

a massive amount of confusion has arrived in my brain. 

it spent months reading endlessly. 

it can take months of concerted effort to replace an irrational thought process.

happy new year 🐹

i'm going to share the first and last sentences from some of the books (and/or zines) i've read this year.

it's a poetic way to close this year on the blog. 

i've made an encounter table at the end to be used for a setting based on the books (and/or zines).

1. Cyst by Jamzilla
First Sentence: "All has come to ruin."
Last Sentence: "All is lost."

2. Psycho Nymph Exile by Porpentine Heartscape
First Sentence: "Vellus Satowary is a biomecha pilot."
Last Sentence: "I was alone for so long."

3. Horse Girl by Samuel Mui
First Sentence: "You are a woman in her late 20s."
Last Sentence: "You will be remembered by those who love you."

4. Against Nature by Tomas Espedal
First Sentence: "I’m starting to grow old; I don’t recognize myself."
Last Sentence: "You say the end, but love doesn’t want to end."

5. The Pheasant by Raymond Carver
First Sentence: "Gerald Weber didn't have words left in him."
Last Sentence: "'He should turn around and just knock hell out of her.'"

6. White Ibis by Sam Pink
First Sentence: "'
Just, whatever,’ I said, standing in a drugstore aisle with my girl."
Last Sentence: "And I couldn’t tell if it was trying to come in, or telling me to come out."

7. Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier
First sentence: "Her name was Jenny Hauser and every Wednesday I put pickles on her pizza."
Last Sentence: "She really was beautiful, even with short hair."

8. Into the Odd (remastered) by Chris McDowall
First Sentence: "The world is too large for explorers to map, and too old for academics to record."
Last Sentence: "The crew are looking for anything to stave off the boredom."

9. The Blunts and Future King by Jimble
First Sentence: "
A hand hearth is a small, stone orb with a hole in its top." 
Last Sentence: "This supplement was written with the Champion being an NPC in mind, but I’m not a cop."

10. To Be Devoured by Sara Tantlinger
First Sentence: "Something is dead over there, hidden among the tall trees separating my property from Mr. Landon’s."
Last Sentence: "At least it is something they cannot take from me."

11. The Easter Parade by Richard Yates
First Sentence: "Neither of the Grimes sisters would have a happy life, and looking back it always seemed that the trouble began with their parents’ divorce."
Last Sentence: "Would you like to come on in and meet the family?"

12. Ashcan People, Displaced Well Beyond Time and Space Volume 1 by Evey Lockhart
First Sentence:
 "Why is a large, wedge-shaped neighborhood near the densely packed heart of Troika City, more than half abandoned at any given time?"
Last Sentence: "If you are in a wetlands area, your spells have no stamina cost."

13. Chilly Scenes of Winter by Ann Beattie
First Sentence: "
Permettez-moi de vous présenter Sam McGuire” Charles says."
Last Sentence: "It would be a waste of time just to stare at snowflakes, but she was counting, and even that might be a waste of time, but she was only counting the ones that were just alike."

14. Stack Gang by Sean Richer
First Sentence: "Welcome to Troika City, wherein the STACK GANGs are in a very boring mumblecore war with the Flatmen, the Flatworlds, and the Trash Corps that plug the hole between the 2D and 3D astral planes." 
Last Sentence: "Running at full speed right at you."

15. EEEEE EEE EEEE by Tao Lin
First Sentence: "Andrew talks to Steve on the phone then drives to Domino’s."
Last Sentence: "He pulled the blanket over his head and listened to Steve, in the kitchen, cleaning dishes, then microwaving something, then nothing for a while; and then the TV, making a cheering noise."

16. Batrachian Swamps by Micah Anderson & Nate Treme
First Sentence: "
37 distrustful villagers, many missing arms—fishers of vast catfish and the dreaded lurks and divers of swamp pearls."
Last Sentence: "If it makes it out, the whole swamp becomes infected and the frogmen are reborn from the junk DNA of their mammalian scourge."

17. The Garbage Times by Sam Pink
First Sentence: "It was a shitty winter."
Last Sentence: "I blew her a kiss and it shattered the window and exploded her head and went through the wall behind her, through the entire building and everything else in its path into the sky, moving so fast it didn’t even disrupt clouds, up and up, halving an airplane as it continued into space, crushing meteoroids such that they smothered and killed stars, piercing and assassinating the sun, eventually reaching the end of everything and opening a hole in the lining, deflating it and carrying it off like a popped balloon."

18. Vampire Cruise by Amanda Lee Franck 
First Sentence: "A few months ago, a pair of young and hungry vampires wrote out a business plan, dredged up a wreck, and poured their hoarded wealth into veneering it in luxury."
Last Sentence: "Adding to the model boat to bring it more in line with the real boat will allow for more specific effects."

19. Enter the Craplands by Sean Richer
First Sentence: "
Alright, so like, I’ll be pretty straight forward: these are the denizens of the craplands, just ordinary people."
Last Sentence: "Craplandian Goddess of the Wind, patron saint of slamming that damned door in your face."

20. Bear by Marian Engel
First Sentence: "In the winter, she lived like a mole, buried deep in her office, digging among maps and manuscripts."
Last Sentence: "It was a brilliant night, all star-shine, and overhead the Great Bear and his thirty-seven thousand virgins kept her company."

d20 encounters from this blog post to write into your #dungeon23 notebook

  1.  lost ruin
  2. biomecha pilot. “I was alone for so long"
  3. horse-girl
  4. man without a face
  5. d8 wild pheasants
  6. drugstore, open
  7. pizza delivery driver
  8. d6 mercenaries, bored
  9. majikal pipe, see “the blunts and future king
  10. d3 volture-women, hungry
  11. 2 sisters taking care of their sick mother
  12. 2 great ponds on the edge of the city
  13. begins to snow
  14. people stacked on one another’s shoulder, running full speed right at you
  15. pizza joint, payphone
  16. fishery. ran by frogmen
  17. a giant crater, caused by a kiss
  18. vampire
  19. Craplandian Goddess of the Wind, see enter the craplands
  20. mole-girl, speaks of the Great Bear and his thirty-seven thousand virgins

my new year's resolution is to not say a single word all year 🐹


i've noticed the best encounters are ones not based on a TTRPG


d50 table to generate adventures from the knife shaped sphere

This table conveys feelings I use for my setting. I will add it to my '#dungeon23' (top 3 alternative hashtags) notebook. When I use something from the list I will strike a line through it; write something new. I'm sharing it so that others can use it. Roll a few dice and create your own Knife Shaped Sphere recipe now. Write them down in your notebook to use later. Check my other posts tagged 'table' for more.

  1. blood-loss
  2. harpoon heart
  3. crossing the street
  4. lake water
  5. zamboni
  6. lawnmower
  7. beheaded
  8. scalpel
  9. ice
  10. embolus
  11. head squeeze
  12. Dead cop
  13. weed-whacker
  14. bleach
  15. fire
  16. impaction
  17. heart-worm
  18. scissor
  19. scythe
  20. schoolbus
  21. flamethrower
  22. fever
  23. skillet
  24. scrotal
  25. forever war
  26. smoke
  27. plane crash
  28. barbell
  29. pitchfork
  30. machete
  31. dronefare
  32. soft serve
  33. software error
  34. firehose
  35. fidget spinner
  36. gps
  37. meat grinder
  38. rubber duck
  39. fentanyl
  40. campfire
  41. boat motor
  42. wrong med
  43. right med
  44. skewer
  45. murphy bed
  46. stepladder
  47. liquor
  48. prion
  49. combine harvester
  50. razor

(if you'd like to support me there are links on the right to purchase my zines)


venmo @spooky_rusty $20 and i will write adventures

Today is my birthday. For $20 each, I will write some adventures where I say things with no point, that don't make sense, and are not 'useful' at all, but are funny and strange enough to be acceptable. Venmo @spooky_rusty with your email. 

Here's a screenshot I took of a video call I had today with Conor Oberst singing me happy birthday.


This offer will stand until I've decided it's over. 

I have completed 1 adventure for 1 customer. I think I will keep this offer open til the end of the year. I would like to do 2-4 more.

2 more people have reached out and asked me to write them an adventure.


david lych's floating head, an enemy for troika!

This strange and bizarre form of David Lych is strongly committed to having a 'worried' facial expression. The 'dead' head contains two red gems with upside-down crosses (worth 2,000 silver pence each). He's extremely protective of his unreleased VHS (priceless) that was filmed in 1.61803 videographic aspect ratio (the golden ratio). Don't ask about the Dune adaptation though, it'll get intense. 

stamina 15
initiative 2
armor 1

damage as fire bolt +1 or bite as small beast.

knows the following spells: coal resolve (troika core book pg59), cockroach (troika core book pg59), skeletal council (troika core book pg66), and teleport (troika core book pg67)

special: test luck or
flee for d6 rounds.

1. sleeping on a 'bed' of fast-food wrappers
2. talking to a doll's head
3. making coffee out of ashes

I would like someone to spray paint David Lych on buildings for me in the style of my 'art'.

now for some lore from the Knife-Shaped Sphere...

The Coffee Drinkers

David Lych makes coffee from ashes.

They get water from a nearby drainage ditch and boil it to get out the bacteria. They get the ashes from jars.

David Lych makes the coffee in a tin pot over a fire.

Werner Herzog sits near the fire.

Werner Herzog is wearing an old Nike shirt and keeps scratching their mosquito bites.

David Lych found Werner Herzog in a parking lot interviewing people for a documentary film about 'white-urbanite-witchcraft'. Werner Herzog was not the greatest person David Lych ever met, they were the only interesting person they have seen in two years.

David Lych puts the coffee in front of Werner Herzog.

Werner Hezog scratches their armpit. 

David Lych says, "Do you remember that Jay Z song where he says something like, Big pimping, something on B-L-A-Des, or something, do you remember that song?"

Werner Herzog sips the coffee and says, "This tastes like shit."

David Lych thinks, "Werner Herzog doesn't like my coffee because he's never had good coffee in his life, he'll never agree to narrate my film," and gives up on the conversation.

(if you'd like to support me there are links on the right to purchase my zines)