Poem: dressed up as a pirate on Halloween

6 inklings - saturday

there were boardwalks
across the plank
a plunge in icy water
pops in the summer heat
she was incomplete without him
hooked against his arm
candy canes in December
and fireworks in July
tied up in the dank cellar
the creaking and hollowed wails of
ghosts in October
pumpkin pie
rated R movies in the dark of night
she clung close to his skin
softly asking for parley
he opened the treasure chest
the dead casket
and with one aching grasp
stole her breath away

- cumuloq <3

Everyone Should Watch This Short Film: “I Ship It”

5 tgfyv - friday

As far as romantic comedies go, this one was quirky, geeky and down-to-earth. Plus, it has Joey Richter, which is a bonus. And, might I add, it still fits with the Halloween theme due to the Harry Potter (witches and wizards) references. :)

- Cumuloq <3

Words for Autumn Poems or Stories

Autumn Semantic Map

For those who want a semantic mapping of all words related to autumn, either for your poem or a blog post or a story, I share with you my Wordle, i.e. Word Cloud!

I took some time to collate a couple words related to Autumn that might inspire you to write something about this season. What I’ve learnt from my Creative Writing classes is that semantic mapping can help create a bigger picture of something without necessarily saying the word.

As humans, we have created huge word banks in our minds with multiple connections in between them. Therefore, if I just say “pumpkin” you might think of “Autumn” even though pumpkins may not naturally connote the meaning of Autumn. This is similar for any of the words I present in the picture above.

So go ahead and feel free to use and share this around. Plus, it’s a bonus that Wordle happened to shape it to look a bit like a leaf. :)

Till next time,

Cumuloq <3


Introducing Town of Salem and Its Kickstarter

Hey guys!

I realise that, as of late, I haven’t been blogging as much. This has less to do with me not having anything I want to blog about and more to do with the amount of assignments that are trooping towards me on the battlefield which is my one-year of college. I think you can tell from my most recent posts though that a lot are Halloween themed.

Similarly, I would like to introduce a game that I have been playing too much of this week that is so aptly related to Halloween and Fall this month. Said game is…

Town of Salem

Game duration: 20-25 minutes
No. of Players: maximum 15 (Online), can play solo or with friends
Game type: Bluffing, Deception, Deduction
Similar to: One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Coup, Saboteur

I think I discovered this game last Sunday and I’ve been playing it ridiculously too much this week. The hype for it (or at least the Classic mode) has died down a lot since that I’ve been able to focus on other things like readings. But I thought I may as well introduce it here all the same because they are having a Kickstarter for it and trying to raise money. Having been absolutely addicted to it means that I do believe it is a worthy cause.

If you’ve ever played a game called Werewolf or Mafia or maybe even Polar Bear in real life or the board game of Werewolf, it works like that. There are phases of day and night.

During the night the Mafia and the Serial Killer will choose, separately, to kill one member of the town. Other town members might have other duties at night, e.g. a lookout may look into one townie’s house per night or a jailor might choose to jail and probe another townie for their role and choose to execute them in jail.

Credit goes to blankmediagames.com

Credit goes to blankmediagames.com

The day phase begins with finding out who has died, whether they left a will with clues and the death note from the Mafia or Serial Killer. Then there will be a few seconds of discussion, followed by a voting period for who should be put up on trial. If someone is chosen to go up on trial, they need to plead their case and the rest of the town can decide whether they are innocent, guilty or abstain from voting. And this pretty much continues until the town wins, the mafia wins or the serial killer wins.

That is as brief (and detailed) a description I can come up with. If you want more details on the gameplay, rules and the roles of the various Town’s folk, you can go to their wiki.

What I love about the game?

  1. It’s free to play, just register an account or use your Facebook account.
  2. It’s a pretty low stakes but highly addictive “Who Is Who?” type of game.
  3. Choosing your random name means you can be creative – but not too creative or you get killed. E.g. I chose the nickname “Twizzler” once, and the Mafia and SK got me on the first night. They apparently love candy.
  4. It’s definitely fun to fool the town (if you’re an evil role).
  5. Certain roles are definitely more fun than others, in my opinion: Some of my favourite roles include Transporter and Veteran. My strategy as a Transporter has always been to put a deliberate target on myself as a townie who probes for roles too much, then I switch my position with a suspected evil role at night. I’ve done this successfully about two or three times, and it’s an amazing feeling to have the Mafia commit suicide. Similarly, I love being a Veteran as there has been one game where I managed to go on alert and kill three out of the four evil roles. Those are the highlights of the gameplay.
  6. It’s also a great feature that, when you die, you are still not out of the game (in fact, sometimes it’s even necessary that you stay) – that is until the Medium or Retributionist is dead too.
  7. Even so, it’s sometimes fun to even stay and find out who the bad guys actually were or whether your side wins, cause you’ll get coins for your side coming out on top.

What I hate about the game?

  1. This is a love-hate feature of the game, but Townies can be pretty darn stupid, and accusing innocent people, or being dead and watching the innocent accuse other innocence is very infuriating.
  2. Sometimes whether you win or not is entirely dependent on luck, i.e. whether you’re in a lobby with daft idiots and also whether your name is randomly chosen to die or be interrogated.
  3. What I’ve also noticed about playing it for a week is that the Classic mode becomes incredibly predictable.
  4. Once you know the nooks and crannies of the gameplay, you can pretty much solve who is good and who is bad, and lying never helps the Mafia or the SK – or even the Executioner. Which makes being part of the Mafia less fun. During the earlier games I loved being the bad guy – but after a dozen or so more games I realised I hated it ’cause I hated having to do the same lies.
  5. There really isn’t much salvation once someone finds out you have forging instruments.
  6. Again, some roles are more fun than others so you know if you get Lookout or Escort, your game is going to be pretty much so low stakes that you can die and be done with.
  7. Which sometimes leads to trolls.

Things that need to be improved upon: It’s currently in its Beta phase so there are still definitely improvements that can be made. But here are some of my observations:

  1. When going into a lobby, there really should not be a host that has to start the game. Often people who are hosts don’t realise it and then other players will swear and draw blood and try to repick that person. It’s an unnecessary hassle, just start the game when there’s 15 people in there.
  2. Another thing that needs to be improved upon is the Jailor features. The sun icon that is meant for the jailor to choose a person to put into jail should be changed. There were so many times I was a jailor and I knew I had to pick during the day, but often forgot because the icon is so small. I’d rather that the jailor is reminded to pick at the end of the day phase.

Apart from that, I believe that it plays out quite smoothly.

For beginners:

I agree with a lot of others who say that this game has a bit of a learning curve. What I would suggest is to watch maybe two Let’s Plays of them. There are a lot going around currently but the more comprehensive ones belong to Youtuber, Ohmwrecker (who actually has an avatar of himself in this game becomes of his promotion of it on Youtube during its Alpha phase).

If you’re not the type to try to recce before doing something, then I suggest just getting into the game and learning along the way. People in the lobby are more than willing to help out new people.

Some first timer tips would be:

  1. to make sure that you write a will (it’s on the top left hand corner, the blank note).
  2. If you want to whisper the format is “\w [username or number] [msg]” – as you may see this a lot and wonder how to reply or do the same, so e.g. “\w 2 I healed you last night”.
  3. As a mafia member, don’t say your mafia brethren’s names cause the Random Town person can be a Spy. Alternatively, you can try trolling by writing someone else’s name, but if they see through you, it doesn’t help either cause they eliminate certain suspects.
  4. If someone is immune, keep an eye on them, but don’t immediately suspect them as GF or SK.

Lastly, I think this is the perfect little online game to get into for this month! You can even add friends to play one game with. You can give away each other’s roles but be sure not to give away your name!

Till next time,

Cumuloq <3

Poem: bones and all (the tale of a body snatcher)

6 inklings - saturday

they told me i’m fine
they told me momma will return
my teddy bears i register
like cans on a fence i once saw in a field
pleated wires
silver smouldering in the blazing heat
i press their fur against the cold wall of my bedroom
and i tell them
“these dreams i’ve been having,”
i ask them,
“will they go away?”
my teeth hurt because of them
momma used to grind chillies
using mortar and pestles
my molars play the part of
instrument and victim
executing me
i slide my hand along my jaw
up the bone
and before my eyes
there is a ghost there:
alabaster grey body snatcher
and endless absence in between the slits
time slides down the frame of the mirror
the curtains are my vital signs
they rise and fall
and hang still
they dance the song of the croaking toads
beyond the sheets of hostile glass
they told me i would be fine
they told me i’m still young
these ghost wounds, they don’t stay
they say
but there’s a shadow plastered to my skin
i bath in it at night
run the length of it up my arm
and across the belly
i tug at it and it snaps
suffocating purple and blue
those beady eyes -
i turn the bodies around
don’t judge me.
i’m still young.
they told me she’ll be back
i yank my feet from under me
hold them out
like slabs of white meat
roll the bones and ghosts along it
watch the folds.
but when?
cause there’s yellowing eyes in the corner of my room
there’s a breath against my shoulder
thick and heavy like the carcass of a pig
in shades of mutilated pink
i slide to the ground
overhead the faint glow
a light that used to be on
they told me i’d be okay
a chest that rises and falls
arms clinging to the floor
like i might fall to the sky
the protruding bones
the ghosts that silhouette the coming of the blind
they do not answer anymore
their heads have turned and bare scalps and patches decide
the fate
and there
a weight leans against my breastbone
and stays still
and there
the yellows turn to whites that glare through the empty sheets
the whites that hungrily bore down into mine
the whites that peer at the starving ribs
the ghost skin
the craving knuckles
the croaks in the distance crescendo
the moon gapes wide like a wound in the sky
naively i believed
that momma had departed
but tomorrow morning
in this hollowed out bedroom
with the judgement borne
and the jury turned away
they will dust and peel away
the shadow plastered
upon a girl