Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Forty-Fourth

[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.

It’s great to see you here this week! For the next few weeks we’re celebrating one year of Writer X thanks to a care package from Tryxy. It’s not every day you get a box in the mail full of stuff from another reality.

We’ll be doing an exclusive giveaway here at File 770 while supplies last. All you have to do is leave a comment on this fit, or the next two fits and I’ll ping you and get your mailing details.

Soon after that, you’ll get a thank you gift in the mail full of trinkets from Cradensburg.

Thanks so much for reading. It’s been a great year.

Without further ado…

Subject: LETTER FROM THE HOA!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Gladys,

You cast one little spell that makes your cedar pencils multiply, go on a two month vacation to a magical land in Writeria, and you come home to a house full of pencils and what is your reward???????


You think she’d be thankful that thousands of pink pencils are spraying from my chimney every six minutes like Old Faithful but NOOOOOOOO!!!!! Little Miss Asymmetrical Haircut has to write to the HOA and send a petition around the neighborhood saying that I have to be expelled from the neighborhood like a bunch of cockroaches in pink tutus!!!!!

She literally said that!!!!!

I just saved her at least four dollars a year in office supplies!!!!!

She can go ahead and try to expel me!!!! As soon as I am able to step foot in my house, I will GLUE myself to my living room floor!!!!!

This is the last thing I need right now, Gladys!!!!! First of all, I have managed to go back to work and I’ve just got home to your place. I had exactly two hours of time to myself to WORK ON MY NEW FANTASY NOVEL before Tryxy’s dads are coming over for strawberry daiquiris and a battle over Tryxy’s fate. My hands are VERY FULL!!!!!

By the way, Gladys, I found this recipe for strawberry daiquiris:

2 parts rum

1 part simple syrup

1 part fresh lime juice


Does that look right to you? I forgot to run to the package store and then I forgot to run to the grocery store so I’ve been digging through your garage and pantry for the last five minutes and I think I’ve come up with pretty good replacements for the missing ingredients.

You didn’t have any rum but I did find this bottle of Hennessy Cognac in a locked box at the back of your liquor cabinet. This is funny, someone put a $5000 price sticker on that. Well, it’s gonna have to work, Gladys!!!!!

Your ice machine isn’t working but I did find about five bags of frozen cauliflower rice in your freezer. THAT’LL DO IN A PINCH.

Let’s see, let’s see. Now I just need some lime juice!!!!! Where do you keep your limes, Gladys?????

Well. I couldn’t find any limes but limes are sour and I did find this giant bottle of apple cider vinegar. It’s organic. Should be good!!!!!

Last things last, what’s “simple syrup”? One bottle of New Hampshire Brand Maple Syrup is what you’ve got in your cupboard. SYRUP DOESN’T GET ANY SIMPLER THAN COMING OUT OF A TREE!!!!!

This is going to be DELICIOUS. I couldn’t find any daiquiri glasses, but you do have quite the collection of kitty cat shaped coffee mugs. I also picked up a bunch of stir sticks from the gas station at the bottom of the hill. That’ll be a nice touch. We’re goingto  wow Tryxy’s dads with CLASS!!!!!

Cockroach in a tutu…

Gotta go, Gladys!!!! Silverfox just sent me a writing worksheet to help me build my characters and I need to get cracking on it. Maybe I’ll sneak a couple sips of these strawberry daiquiris!!!!



Subject: Fw: Character Worksheet

Dear Gladys,

Wlel, Tryxy’s dads r here. THey are drinking the daiquiris. We are having very reasonable conversation about Tryxy. Such a good conversation. Tryxy is REALy impRessed at my skills. Writers can do lots of thing

Hurs what they’re saying:

Dad 1: Is this apple cider vinegar?

ME: Issa daiquiri

Now they’re talking to eacother about qhether or not is a diadquiri.

In the meanwhile. Am multi-tasking. Going to email YOU, talk to daiquiri dads about keeping TRxy, and CREATE MY MAIN CHARCET.

Oh wait. THat’s my phone.

It’s the HOA. I told them my pancils are saving them FOUR DOLALRS a YEAR!!!!!! You know what they said???? They ARE FINING ME. Say “THAT”S AN UNREASONABLE AMOUNT OF PENCILS” Say the chimney pencil geizer is scarring the neighborhood birds. Birdswatcher society is mad. Purple finches won’t come and poop on lawnnow. Binoculars. YOUR WELCOME.

Uh oh, Dad 2 is allergic to APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. Shouldn’t be a problem. Iss organic.

So mad at EVIL NEIGHTBOR!!!!!

You know what? Instead of working on main character, am working ON VAILLAIN




This is going to be so good. It feels good to be wking on my SECOND NOVEL!!!!!

Basic Character Info

  1. What’s your character’s name? EVIL NEIGHBOR

2.   What’s your character’s occupation? WRITES LETTERS TO HOA

3.   What is your character’s family background? HARPY


4.   What is your character’s personality type? ASYMMETRICAL HAIR CUT

5.   What is your character’s favorite past time? She loves to CALL HOA!!!!!

6.   What is your character’s goal for this story? Very jealous of WRITER X!!!!!

7.   What is one thing your main character will learn over the course of this story? That WRITER X MAKES GOOD DAIQUIRIs



I don’t think this cauliflower aggress with me.

VEry aggressive cauliflower daiquir. Running right through me.


Gladys can u come pick me up. Am at your house. Want to go to your house. Bathroom too far.




Subject: I’m KEEPING TRYXY!!!!!!!

Dear Gladys,

I know it’s been a couple days since I last wrote you, but I have a lot to catch you up on. First of all, I know you’re probably DYING to hear what’s happening with my newest story.

As I’m sure you know, Gladys, it’s a lot different starting your second novel than it is starting your first. I have a lot more confidence about this draft since I’ve had a lot of other writing under my belt. All that remains to be done is for me to write this book before Tod Boadkins’ finishes his second book. Then we will have both written TWO books.

I started working on my villain the other night but I seem to have misplaced my worksheet. I’m going to have to start looking for it again after I finish emailing you. It’s very important to get an idea of your characters and world BEFORE you start writing your first draft. You don’t have to know everything, but this is where you will see how creative you can REALLY be.

FOr example, today I went to work and, on my lunch break, I created FOUR magical races that inhabit my world and who are working both FOR and AGAINST the child of the prophecy. Heretofore known at the COTP.

Magical race of L’elve’s. Tall and beautiful. Everyone is good. Very long robes.

Magical race of Du’warvs. Short and hairy. Have hammers. Very greedy. Like to drink.

Magical race of Gah’blins. Evil and slimy. Live in caves. Eat rocks.

Magical race of Yu’nicorns. Horselike. Have magical horns that can turn poison water into healing water.

Highly original worldbuildings!!!!! Doesn’t that get you so excited to read my story!!!! And I haven’t even written it yet.

If only I could find that charcter worksheet I was working on the other night. I seem to have misplaced it when Tryxy’s dads were here.

Anyhibble, that is definitely the other thing I need to share with you. Tryxy is feeling SO much better. After his dads sent out that public service announcement looking for him, I marched right on over to the demonic vortex that had appeared over the Custom Tractor Shop and told them that if they wanted to talk about Tryxy they could come over to my-your house and drink some daiquiris like civilized people!!!!

You could just tell that Tryxy’s dads already had a lot of fixed ideas about what kind of company tryxy is keeping. They completely weren’t expecting the level of sophistication I put on!!!!!! For one, Imade some very creative daiquiris and we gathered in your living room and talked very calmly about how they’re not sending Tryxy back to the Void of Ashiput if I have anything to do with it.

That’s when they brought up Ninevah. I think. It’s a little fuzzy here. Either they brought up Ninevah or they brought up strawberry daiquiris. But anyhoo, I really had them on the ropes. They said Tryxy was a growing demon and that he has to contribute to demonic society especially after he “changed the course of human history” by burning down a prehistoric American city that had developed the recorder and the perpetual motion machine thousands of years before schedule.

Anyhump, there were a lot of other things they said, I’m sure most of it wasn’t important or else I would remember it, wouldn’t I???? But THAT’S when we came to the contest of WILLS. They summoned Tryxy back to the Void of Ashiput. And then, you know what I did?


They summoned him again.

And I SUMMONED HIM BACK. (It’s easy, you just say his name three times.)

They summoned him again and blip! He disappeared right out of your living room.


This went on for about ninety minutes more and that’s when Dad 2 (that’s his real name) blew cauliflower rice and apple cider vinegar chunks all over your fireplace. We got it cleaned up pretty good but there are still some little chunks of cauliflower cemented to the mortar. The dads were very apologetic and said that they’ll be sending along some cleaners to fix things up.

And that’s about it!!! We agreed that Tryxy can stay here with you, me, #bestkitten and all the people that love him. The only thing is he has to do community service. Apparently he’s been using demonic wifi without contributing to the larger body of work that demons do so he has to send iPhone gift card scams to people’s junk mail for at least three hours every week.

YAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s what you get when you underestimate the CLASS we have here, Gladys!!!!!!

Hang on.

That was the HOA. I have them EXACTLy where I want them. They told me they were breaking into my house to rid it entirely of my signature pink pencils and I told them I would let them.

Things are looking up, Gladys!!!!!



P.S. I think the mailman peed on your porch. It smells awful out there. Sort of like cauliflower.











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9 thoughts on “Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Forty-Fourth

  1. Those “daiquiris” sound horrifying.

    And I would enjoy getting some trinkets!

  2. Well, not the first time I have seen a haircut listed as a personality…but it is still amusing.

  3. I hate to say “I told you so” but
    this is what happens when you don’t outline
    Just sayin’

  4. @Warner Holme, true! Haircuts can occasionally work as shorthand for personality, sometimes to amusing effect.

    Thanks so much for reading! I’d like to mail you a gift. If you send me your details, I’ll get it right out. Best email is melanie at msmarketing dot org.

  5. @Jim Janney, how’s it going, Jim?

    I feel you on the outline, ( ´??). I don’t quite use outlines but I tend to do lots of pre-writing and character creation so it kind of works the same.

    Thanks so much for reading! Can I send you a gift? Just shoot your details to melanie at msmarketing dot org.. I’ll get it right out!

  6. I actually have no strong opinions on outlining, do whatever works for you, but it seems as though Writer X might occasionally benefit from a little planning, if that didn’t also require her to be someone else entirely…

  7. Completely agree. I appreciate that perspective, Jim! Outlining or Pantsing tend to get treated as magical orbs here to save or destroy the writing universe, IMHO. I’m neither pro or against outlining. To me, outlining is just a tool to help assemble or heighten a story when needed. I’ve found that every writer has to find a method for them that works, and sometimes the same method doesn’t work for different stories, even if it’s the same writer (guilty.) But the way X seems to have stalled in her last story suggests to me that she might benefit from some structure if she weren’t so terrified of it!

  8. Pingback: Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Fifty-Ninth | File 770

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