Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Fifty-Ninth

[Introduction: Melanie Stormm continues her humorous series of posts about the misdirected emails she’s been getting. Stormm is a multiracial writer who writes fiction, poetry, and audio theatre. Her novella, Last Poet of Wyrld’s End is available through Candlemark & Gleam. She is currently the editor at the SPECk, a monthly publication on speculative poetry by the SFPA. Find her in her virtual home at Wipe your feet before entering.]

The PERFECT Hogswatch

Hello All, Melanie here!

I’m writing you from New Jersey this week as I’m here visiting my sister for the holidays. I hope that you each enjoyed your holidays and had uninterrupted power.

Without further ado…

Subject: This will be the end of those juggling, caroling gnomes!!!

Dear Gladys,

I need you to convene at my house IMMEDIATELY. I am traveling from the Magical Market and should be there in TWNETY MINUTES. Nothing less than My Perfect Writerly Hogswatch is on the line!!!!

Drop whatever holiday shopping you’re in the throws of and bring me your extra long extention cord. I have something to plug in. Please.

By the way, sorry that I didn’t email you last week, as you will see from my lawn I was BUSY handling this GNOME situation!!!!

This Hogswatch I could have wished for world peace, a renewable energy source for humanity, or an end to hunger but did I do that? NO.

I set my sights on a reasonable list of Hogswatch demands: to be a famous writer (currently in the works!!!), to find the perfect present for Tryxy (this is his official first celebrated Hogswatch), to give my boyfriend—award-nominated fantasy writer Tod Boadkins, a present that reveals I am the superior giftgiver.

And to lose ten pounds.

With all my wishes on the verge of coming true except that last one, I was set to have the Perfect Writerly Hogswatch. Hogswatch morning would begin with a light snowfall, some writing and reviewing all the hundreds of acceptance letters that SHOULD BE IN MY INBOX BY THEN, popping a scrumptious three course Hogswatch feast in the oven, and then quietly opening presents together.

Two weeks ago, Tryxy and I even put together A VERY TASTEFUL Hogswatch themed animatronic display in our front yard. At sunset on Hogswatch, we planned to switch on the animatronic display as the HOGSWATCHY WONDERMENT of animatronics doing the robot delights all.

Everything was great until my neighbor, Mr. D___, hired those STUPID juggling MLM gnomes to set up Magical Hogswatch Village in his front yard. Since then, it’s been non stop juggling, chorus line kicks, and barbershop quartets singing saccharine carols until FOUR A.M.

How is my Hogswatch display supposed to inspire HOSGWATCHY WONDERMENT with those stupid barbershop gnomes singing a doo-wappy “It Happened On A Hogswatch Night”???????

Of course this forced me to delay shopping for Tod Boadkins and Tryxy UNTIL HOGSWATCH EVE and prioritze buying ALL of the Hogswatch lights and lawn ornaments in a fifty mile radious. (Ialready got #bestkitten a ham and a cute little snoopy doll.)

I covered EVERY inch of front acreage in wattage and gtinsel!!!! It took ALL of my attention.

You know what those miserable gnomes did??? They exchanged juggling metallic balls for CANDLESTICKS. And now Mr. D___’s lawn is bucolicly lit with the warm glow of juggling candle flames THUS DIMINISHING my overall animatronic HOGSWATCHY WONDERMENT by AT LEAST 18%!!!!

So I started anti-gnome whisper campaign. Gnomes are the most pedestrian of Hogswatch symbols. But you didn’t hear that from me!!!!!


Down at the magical market, I bought a one-of-a-kind BEHEMOTH  XRAY VISION LUMINANCE HOLIDAY BEACON 10000.

I signed the safety waver and promised to reserve its use for Emergencies. Such as if planet earth needs to signal extra terrestrials for help. But that’s just like those tags people tell you not to tear off pillows. 

On Hogswatch, if those melodic gnomes so much as whistle a single bar of “Silent Night, Hogswatch Night” I’m gonna light those suckers up with SO MUCH HOGSWATCH CHEER IT WILL WAKE THE DEAD!!!!!!



sent from my iPhone

Subject: SEcond OPINion

Dear Gladys,

I’m hear in the Magical Market scouting last minute presents for Tryxy and my boyfriend, award-nominated fantasy writer Tod Boadkins. I think I found the perfect presents but I want your opinion.

For Tryxy I went to Mungawo’s Misfit Marvels and I found a chartreuse fur-trimmed unitard. or a  lifelike immense sculpture of a malevolent purple leopard with opulescent bared fangs and black eyes that follow you when you move. It also throbs with a cold dread whenever you touch it.

I’m leaning towards the leopard but you can change my mind.

Tod Boadkins is against the commercialization of Hogswatch. He prefers recycled gifts so I popped by Sigmund Sigirsson’s Second Chance Showroom and found a watch that’s entirely out of time.

I also found this nifty little lamp with a writer’s soul trapped inside. It’s the ultimate upcycled gift. That could be cool, too.

Whatever you do, let me know fast because I went to Mr. Morgan’s before I came back here and I bought some grapes, a vat of eggnog, and a rack of lamb for our three course holiday feast and there are wolves circling my car. Oh! And I saw some stuff that looked like parsley growing on the side of the road so I picked some to flavor the eggnog.

You know everyone loves my cocktails, Gladys!!!!!

Oh my goodness Gladys!!!!! I WAS JUST THE VICTIM OF A DRIVE BY TAUNTING!!!!

A hand trolley full of half drunk MLM gnomes just jockeyed by while shouting “HEY LADY, WHO YOU CALLING PEDESTRIAN? WE’LL SHOW YOU WHO’S MORE HOGSWATCHY OH YEAH, TAKE THAT, SO THERE!!!!!” Then they pumped away on their hand trolley. 

This is incorrigible!!! What’s this town coming to??? I’m so mad I could write an email to those gnome’s upline!!!!

I’m gonna be the bigger person, Gladys!!!! I’m going to turn up my nose, buy that leopard, and walk with dignity to my car to carry on knowing TWO THINGS:

1.) With all the chapters of my novel submitted as short stories, I will be a famous fantasy writer VERY SOON and THOSE GNOMES WILL WANT MY AUTOGRAPH and


Always be the bigger, more well-equipped person, Galduys!!! And when given the option, always buying the econo sized bottle of cheap rum on Hogswatch eve!!!! I’m so shaken from that taunting, I need to calm my nerves!!!



P.S. Why didn’t I think of sending out my chapters as short stories before???? It’s BRILLIANT!!! I could have been famous last year!!!!!

sent from my iPhone

Subject: i’m SO CLEVER GLADys

Dear Gladys,

No. I have not been drinking. Much, Do you still have that tarp? Need to borrow it.

I was checking my emails for short story acceptances and I thought well Gladys has a tarp maybe she can assijst with this scenario.

After I snuck the giant malevolent leopard into the backyard before Tryxy could see it, I festooned it with tinsel but I don’t think the leopard liked it. Let’s cover it with a giant tarp so that Tryxy can unwrap it tomorrow and I don’t have to regret ny deciusions.

I must havetaken my Great Thinking Pills today Gladys because I narrowly avoided a crisis!!!!!


As you know the HOA loves to skulk around my backyard. With this leopard here, one of them is sure to have a heart attack. So I painted a little sign that says “Beware of the Leopard” and hung it on my front door.

so quaint!


I need you to get here before Tryxy gets back!!!! Those blasted gnomes across the street have started to roast their sugar pigs and hurl their Hogswatch sausages at passers-by. I’m going into the house before I’m




sent from my iPhone

Subject: HogSWatch!!!!! EMERGENVY!!

Dear Gladys

For some reason I overslept buyt hagve no idea why and i seem to be in a bit of a picl;e. Pickle.

How do you cook a perfcewct hogswatch feast in…twenty three minutes???

BEcause my boyfriend, award-nominated fantasy writer Tod Boadkins will soon walk through my door and the lamb is raw, the grapes are warm, the eggnog is half gone, and the parsley is growling at me.

What would Rachel Ray do? Oh!! We’ll make this a one pot hogswatch feast@@!!! We’ll put it all= in one pot  and turn  on the dinner. No.

Turn the OVEN up to 500 degrees and that should get things smelling like HoSSGwatchy Wonderfment!!!!

This is going to be the Most perfect Hogswqarch ever.

 I still haven’t gotten those accaptence letters but they’re coming, I can feel it.

Waitaminute Gladys, waht if I put the dinner in front of the BEHEMOTH XRAY VISION LUMINENCE HOLIDAY BEACON?????? If it can XRay a distant planet, IT CAN SEAR A LEG oF LAMB!!!!!

Hang on cladys, I’m just pouring the eggnog in with the lamb and hauling it in front of behemoth.

Ready Gladys??? Get ready for some Hogswatch WONDERmENT in



sent from my iPhone


Dear Gladys,

Now that power has been restored across the region, I’m sure you’re dying to know how my writing is going. Things are excellent. Those acceptances for my chapters will come any minute now that publishers once again have electricity with which to send them.

The four of us had to adjust holiday plans due to that mysterious regional power outage but we had an equally atmospheric supper of ketchup on ritz crackers.

The light from that lamp crafted from a writer’s soul came in handy. It runs on hindsight and so didn’t need to be plugged into the grid. It leant a haunting, if not a little anguished, atmosphere to the meal as the gnomes angelic’ and plaintive voices called out to each other for directions because they were temporarily blinded by BEHEMOTH.

It’s a Hogswatch miracle.

I hope you had a happy Hogswagtch Gladys!!!!


















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3 thoughts on “Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Fifty-Ninth

  1. Hope you and yours, and all the Filers, had a happy Hogswatch, and best wishes for a healthy New Year. With or without acceptance letters….

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