Choose Your Own Adventure: Glowforge Edition

In case you are not familiar with the Choose Your Own Adventure series, each one is a book that is not meant to be read in linear fashion, from one page to the next, but skipping all around the book based on options you can choose from as the plot progresses. The options lead to different plot twists and multiple endings scattered throughout the book, so you can reread it and get to a whole different ending by making different choices.

I thought it would be fun to write a Glowforge version with contributions from the whole community.

I fully realize that this has the potential to bring out our best or our worst, so I have one absolute rule:


The other rules (some of which which may be bent):

  1. Use your post to add to the plot or modify it drastically, but try not to write an entire chapter if you can help it.
  2. Direct the readers using post numbers at the end of your post, when you give them options to choose a new thread in the plot.

“The Glowforge factory has a unique visitor. If it is an insurance salesman with a mysterious briefcase, go to post #4. If it is an Elvis impersonator fleeing the police, go to post #5.”

And no, it doesn’t have to be that dramatic. In fact, different threads in the plot can have an entirely different tone to them. Like the smoky, jazz-era nightclub plot vs. the suspenseful thriller plot. The plot is what you make it!

  1. If things get messy from people posting at the same time or out of order, you can always go back and edit your post so it has the correct post numbers.
  2. If someone takes it upon themselves to be a jerk, feel free to vanquish them in the plot. :slight_smile:

This can work if we all approach it with good humor and a spirit of general benevolence.

So without further ado, I present the first (and perhaps only ever) title in Choose Your Own Adventure, Glowforge Edition:

A Glowforge Carol

(I’ll start.)

It was a dark and stormy night. Bob Cratchett sat at his tiny desk, his tiny stub of grubby candle nearly going out with every cold gust of snowy wind that pounded the creaking windows. A small ledger, black with charcoal smears, lay before him. These numbers just weren’t going to work. Some people were going to get a Glowforge for Christmas, and some weren’t. He had worked late into the night for many nights, trying to solve this problem. Suddenly he heard a creaking sound.

Ok, now at this point the sound could be anything, from Scrooge to a ghost to JarJar Binks. I leave it to the next person to decide! Release the kraken!

If it’s someone approaching, go to post 2.
If it’s the door of the Glowforge factory swinging open, go to post 3.

Your turn! What happens next?


It was followed by a mysterious whir, then a tick-tick-tick. A low roar thundered, and the smell of charcoal and walnut filled the air. A thumping, as if some large and heavy cart, rolled towards Bob’s tiny desk as an eerie light danced across the rafters of the old warehouse.

“You there! Down the hall! You shouldn’t be printing while your Glowforge is moving,” Bob scolded. “Haven’t you read the manual? And how are you powering that damn fool thing anyway?”

There was no reply, but the warm smell of walnut was knifed through by acrid fumes - there was no mistaking it. Acrylic. And it wasn’t Proofgrade.

Proceed to post 4.

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Muttering under his breath, and shaking his head at a sudden frisson of apprehension, Bob groped along the desk for the nearby snack stash of yogurt dipped pretzels.

Crunching a tangy handful, he returned to the books … the recent push to deliver units had everyone working all hours, (although he’d thought he was the last one here tonight), and he wanted to finish up already and get home before midnight at least once this week.

He turned at a gentle tap against his shoulder.

Proceed to Post 4 if there was no one there.

Proceed to Post 5 if it was Felicia from accounting.