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

[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.]


Hello All, Melanie here!

Sometimes when I’m typing away in my latest fantasy work-in-progress, I wonder who else in my vicinity might also be burning the midnight oil, adding pages to their own epic fantasy saga.

Then I wonder if they’re actually getting any words written. Then I realize that I’m not getting words written because I’m busy wondering if my imaginary writer neighbor is getting words written. Then somehow I spend an hour on twitter scrolling through panda videos.

Enough about me.

Without further ado…

From: Bevvy Hart

Fw: Write Team Coordinator?

Dear Gladys,

It’s happening!!!! My fantasy writing skills are being bowed before!!! I’m catapulting to stardom and recognition among my writerly peers!!! I’ve never had so much power COARSING THRU MY VAINS!!!!



P.S. I may have stretched my Preptober word count a ***tiny*** pinch when I last talked to my boyfriend, award-nominated fantasy writer Tod Boadkins. DON’T TELL HIM OTHERWISE!!! A woman needs her secrets, Gladys!!!

begin forwarded message

Dear X,

Thanks for joining IBCC this year for NaNoWriMo. I’m not sure if Tod has told you, but every year we run a friendly little word count competition between our local critique group and the Fantasy Writer’s Meet Up in Brokenheap.

I know what you’re thinking. You wouldn’t believe that such a miserable little town would have a Fantasy Writer group, but they do. Unfortunately they’ve also beat us squarely four years in a row.

Most of us write regularly, but something happens in November, I’m not sure what. We never get as much writing done as we think we do.

A while ago, the group decided to appoint one of us as coordinator/coach to “rally the troops” and make sure we were each hitting our word count. Last year it was supposed to be me but I’m really busy with my press, my Etsy design shop, my yoga practice, and my pet turtle and I think it ended up cutting too much into my own precious writing time.

Tod says you’re really driven and that you’ve already written 100,000 words in your novel this last month. With you hosting a write-in this week, I thought maybe you would be up for it? It’s pretty easy. All you would have to do is touch base daily with all the writers in our group and make sure they’re getting “words on the page.” Gentle mental health checks, affirmative statements, asking us questions about our story, that sort of thing.

Is this something you would feel comfortable doing?

Welcome to the club! Have a happy NaNoWriMo. See you Friday.

Btw, is X short for something? Curious.



Bevvy Madison Hart she/her

Wandering Spirit Small Press, CEO

A Vegan Owned and Operated Press

Subject: NaNoMoMO is off with a bang!!!!

Dear Gladys,

I’m sorry I haven’t written earlier this week. I have been extremely busy getting ready to host my very first Write-In!!!

I’m sure you are dying to know how the progress on my novel is going. Well, as you know I am now one of the Dream Team of Fantasy Writers in the Ink Black Coffee Club’s Critique Group and that means that a LOT is riding on me. NaNoNuMnum IS THE BIG LEAGUES!!!

This year, Ink Black Coffee Club is in a competition with the Fantasy Writer’s Meet Up of Brokenheap, NH and the writing club with the most words written in November…WINS.


I think a book of stamps and a John Deere mousepad.

Not to mention an overall air of writerly superiority that extends over the exact square mile radius of the combined towns of Cradensburg and Brokenheap.

My writing group is counting on me to turn out THOUSANDS of WORDS every day. Someone has to hold the line, Gladys!!!!

Of course it’s par for the course that when you are hosting as prestigious a Write In as I am hosting, you may lose a few days of writing progress to install a special security system and to hunt down my favorite vegetarian pate and econo tubs of Cool Ranch Doritos. Only the best for my writing guests!!!!

We also did some last minute NaNo cleaning! Needed to make sure everything was spic and span so we could make a good impression. The house looks amazing. Except for the bit of lizard skin dander that Tryxy and I couldn’t get up with the shop vac. But we’ve swept most of it into the baseboards so no one will probably notice.

Let’s see, let’s see, I owe you some pages. This is also a great opportunity for me to check into my document and see how many words I’ve racked up in my future bestselling epic fantasy novel!!! BRB!! (That means be right back.)

Gladys, I think my word processor is broken. Could you swing by and take a look at it? It’s Day Four of NaNoAlligator and it’s saying I don’t have any new wodrs!!!! Everyone is supposed to check in with their word count today and my word counter is broken!!!!

Oh! Gotta go, my guests are arriving!!!



P.S. Brokenheap can’t win!!! They don’t even have their own library!!!!

Subject: A November Mystery

Dear Gladys,

Well if there is one thing I can tell you it’s that it’s a good thing the Ink Black Coffee Club forgot they banned me, because THEY NEED ME!!!!

I hosted my very first Write-In and it was categorically A SUCCESS. We were supposed to hit a group goal of 10,000 words written to close off WEEK ONE of NaNO…November, but we spent the two hours fiddling with the WiFi and talking about what it will feel like when we each get 50,000 words written this month and are famous by December. We all agreed that, while we didn’t get any words written, we had a lot of progress.

Except for my boyfriend award-nominated fantasy writer Tod Boadkins. He just sat through the whole night typing away on his laptop and only stopping when #bestkitten walked across his face. It was distracting from the rest of us talking. I had to send him into the next room. He and I will have a LITTLE talk about distracting our writing group with all of his WRITING.

Well, that’s not totally true. There was Edwina. She was very distracting too. Between you and me, Galdsy, I think she’s a secret Eraser. I kept hearing her type, and then she would frown at her screen for a very long time and hit the backspace key. Every time I peeked over her shoulder she was staring at a blank page. I think she erased at least 350 words, or 35 words written 10 different times 10 different ways. Do erased words count???

Then there was Bevvy. I think Bevvy would have gotten a lot done if it weren’t for all the things she had to do BEFORE she could start writing. Very important stuff. First she had to check the submissions Dropbox for her small press and make sure the slush pile hadn’t gotten bigger. Then she had to check on her turtle via her nannycam and make sure his terrarium light hadn’t gone out again. Then she had us all stop everything and listen to her because she needed to talk through some of her writing anxiety before she could figure out which of her forty-six works-in-progress she should focus on this month. It was too bad she had to stop everything to help Ravenhair with the WiFi because she was THIS close to having enough time to getting some writing done.

Do you know Ravenhair Silkenwind? Because he sounds like he thinks a lot about writing!!! He certainly talks a lot about it!!! But that’s probably because of the trouble he was having with my WiFi. He was trying to download a piece of total crap fantasy that someone had shared on Reddit so that we could see what a piece of total crap it is, but he couldn’t find it and then my WiFi got all bungled. Anyway, he spent the rest of the night talking about how he really wasn’t certain if he should make his main character a Manic Pixie Dream Girl or if it was too soon to use that trope without everyone just grumbling and saying that it’s the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope. Then he went on for another hour about how everyone on his discord server hates him because he—honestly I’m not sure why they hate him, at that point I couldn’t hear over Tod Boadkins TYPING!!!

Well Gladys, I’m pretty tired after being the hostess with the mostest! I really like Bevvy, she told me about her small press and how she publishes a “little bit of everything” but she’s just looking for the right author to take a chance on her so that she could be the publisher of a NYT bestseller and get her turtle a bigger terrarium. Between you and me, I think I might be the answer to her prayers!!!!!

As soon as I write some words!!!!

She wasn’t kidding, though, I think we only got 2,674 words written tonight at our write in but it felt like there should be a lot more!!! It’s a November Mystery.

Pages next week!!



Subject: THIS MEANS WAR!!!!

Dear Galdys,

This is serious!!!!! I just checked on the word count that the Fantasy Writers Meet Up of Brokenheap posted for their first week and they collectively wrote 33,566 words!!!!

We wrote 8,373 and between you and me I think most of that was my boyfriend Tod Boadkins!!!

That’s it, Galdys! No More Nice Writer X!!!! I’m getting to the bottom of this mystery and with Tryxy as my witness and demonic notary, I have their addresses, I know where they live, THESE WRITERS WILL WRITE!!!!!

Oh, do you still have that medieval torture rack laying around in your basement? I need it for…things.



P.S. Brokenheap can’t win!!! They don’t even have their own gas station!!!!
























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2 thoughts on “Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Fifty-Third

  1. That sounds like an excellent plan, Tryxy. (Oh, and here’s some spackle for the fourth wall… <grin> )

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