Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Hundred & Nineteenth

A dark forest sits beneath a starry sky. Creepy black goo drips over the scene. Whimsical white letters read: “Fit the Hundred & Nineteenth: The Barguwar.”

[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.]


TL;DR: Tod Boadkins reveals the magical reason why X is losing her writing ideas before she gets a chance to write about them.

Hello, All! Melanie here.

Two months ago, Writer X broke both her wrists in a time travel accident. If you’ve noticed that the latest emails have been chocked full of cool-headed thinking and sound writing advice, X’s boyfriend, Tod, a fantasy writer, has been keeping us updated on all things Cradensburg on X’s behalf. 

Noticeably absent from recent emails has been the customary post script from X’s BFF and adolescent demon, Tryxy. I thought this might be because Tryxy and Tod aren’t that close, but the way Tod pushed for Tryxy to seek medical and educational support for suspected ADHD has proved that wrong. Tryxy explains the real reason for his absence in the post script far below. 

Meanwhile, summer is in full swing in Cradensburg, and that means music festivals, ren faires, and writers avoiding doing any actual writing (but also being sweaty). 

Without further ado…


Dear Gladys, 

Summer is here!!!!!! And the temperatures are here to prove it!!!!! As you know, my boyfriend, award-nominated fantasy writer Tod Boadkins has Irish skin and is molting after our weekend out in the sun. He’s slathering himself with aloe as we speak!!!! EVEN THE BOTTOMS OF HIS FEET ARE SUNBURNED!!!!!

Recently, the forty-two Ren Faires have come to town, bathing our locals in wench-dunking contests, poorly used thees and thous, obnoxiously large drinking horns, merry monarchs, and bawdry jokes. Then, because there are forty-two Ren Faires, things have become highly competitive with Ren Faires luring visitors into their quasi-Elizabethan villages with promises of Turkey Legs As Big As Your Arm™!!!!!


If you are looking for the BIGGEST turkey leg for your buck, I can say with absolute certainty that you should attend the Hey-It’s-Queen-Elizabeth-If-You-Squint-Real-Hard Renaissance Faire at the Farm Hill Park. They import their turkey legs direct from the giant turkey farms of Australia where the turkeys aren’t turkeys at all but lab grown Pterosaurs!!!!!!

Doesn’t taste anything like turkey, but the value is tremendous. I’ve been gnawing this same turkey legs for the last four days Gladys and I’m not even half done!!!!!! The only downside is that I leave driblets of meat everywhere I go and my keyboard is so greasy that the letters have worn right off1!!!!

Anyhoo, I’m sure you’re dying to know how my writing is going.

I am now two months late for being the next big epic fantasy writer of all time thanks to having BOTH MY HANDS IN CAST/S.

When faced with the facts, I can’t HELP but conclude that me falling off the town hall roof during a lightning storm and breaking both my wrists in a dogwood tree WAS PART OF A GRAND PLOT TO STOP ME FROM BEING FAMOUS!!!!

As if that isn’t bad enough, I recently learned that there are other DEVIOUS FORCES working against me getting any writing done. It’s enough to make me conclude that I am about to write A MASTERPIECE if I could just REMEMBER WHAT THAT MASTERPIECE IS ABOUT!!!!!

I’m an EXTREMELY CREATIVE person. I have million-dollar ideas every five minutes. Last night before drifting to sleep, I had like EITGHT ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT epic fantasy story ideas and I told myself I would remember them but when I got up this morning, all I could remember was that I TOLD MYSELF TO REMEMBER THEM but the actual ideas were CONSPICUOUSLY ABSENT!!!!!!!

Then, this morning I was reading the first two paragraphs of something written by someone who ISN’T the next big epic fatnasy writer of all time when I was hit with another idea, but before I could even start writing, I already forgot what it was.

That’s when I sought out my extra pink boyfriend who was soaking in a tub of cool water trying to feel human again and asked him if HE had stolen my writing ideas.

He sat up, his beard dripping with water, and raised his snorkeling mask over his forehead and said, “What? I couldn’t hear you.”

“Convenient excuse!!!!” I told him.

But it turns out, it wasn’t a convenient excuse, he really hadn’t heard me, but when he did, he gave me this sweet and dreamy look and said, “You really don’t know, do you?” Then he picked a driblet of turkey out of his bath water and placed it in my hand, his face momentarily green. “I think this is yours.”

A few minutes later, my boyfriend, award nominated fantasy writer Tod Boadkins, had donned some clothes and we crawled around all the cool, quiet, dusty places in our house until we found a small, waif-like creature meekly huddled beneath a bunch of old winter coats in our walk-in closet.

It looked like some cross between a tiny old man, a baby, and a pygmy marmoset in a tiny, red velvet vest with coat tails. It had a collection of teeny tiny tea cups gathered around its feet. The creature was no taller than two feet and peered at us with soft, baleful eyes. It had long, thin fingers that it would nervously rub against each other, making a barely audible whispering sound.  

My boyfriend whispered, “The elusive Barguwar. That how you find them: the whispering noise. They’re flighty creatures, but they mean well. This is my Barguwar. It’s taken years to befriend him. Hey, little guy. How are you?” My boyfriend’s voice creaked and he held out a finger for the Barguwar to shake. The Barguwar wrapped its spindly fingers around my boyfriend’s forefinger and shook it…nervously.

“Where does it come from?” I asked.

“Technically? A Barguwar is a mystical creature that is born from the subconscious mind of a dedicated artist. Whatever your art, whether it’s painting, singing, dancing, or writing—if you do it long enough, you’ll be blessed with a Barguwar.”

“What are those teacups around its feet??”

“Oh, those are for the Barguwar tea parties. All Barguwars know each other and sometimes they get together with nearby Barguwars. Barguwars are terribly afraid of being rude and accidentally slighting other Barguwars, so they keep teacups out at all times in case unexpected company pops by.”

On cue, a teacup and saucer clattered as my boyfriend’s Barguwar lifted a teeny tiny teacup to my boyfriend as an offering.

“They’re so cute,” my boyfriend breathed. He took the teeny tiny teacup with cautious fingers.

“You’re saying this little guy is the one stealing my writing ideas???”

“Not quite stealing. And also, this is my Barguwar. You have your own somewhere around here. The job of the Barguwar is to filter out the ideas that aren’t worth writing about, or that are not quite ready yet. Sometimes, you need to sit with an idea for months—or even years—after you first have it because it needs to develop and take root.

“And that’s why a Barguwar is so special. It will take the ideas that are just bad—like inexplicably tropey tropes—or ideas that are good but need more time—and it will send them back down to the subconscious to churn like compost. In time, when it’s ready, the Barguwar will hand them back to you. And then you’ll have to decide whether you want to write them or not.”


Apparently, I said this so loudly that my boyfriend almost dropped his teeny tiny teacup on his Barguwar’s head. “Shhhhh! You’ll scare him off. Understanding that not all your ideas are great ones is just a part of the artist life. For example, once upon a time I had this god awful idea called Fifty Shades of Hay. It was a love story between two horses. Fortunately, I have a Barguwar who saved me from—”


That’s when my boyfriend, award nominated fantasy writer Tod Boadkins, fixed me with his eyes, his mouth open. After a moment, he closed his mouth and after a deep breath said: “Of course you would. All I’m saying is that, if your ideas have gone missing, you can trust your Barguwar to bring them back when it’s time. The mind never really loses anything—HEY!!!”

You’re probably wondering why my boyfriend suddenly shouted “HEY!!!!,” Galdsy. It’s only because I took my giant turkey leg and bonked his Barguwar upside the head.

“You listen here,” I growled at the Barguwar. “You tell your little friends at your next teaparty that my Barguwar better cease and desist in taking my ideas and holding on to them for years!!!!! I need to become famous RIGHT AWAY!!!!! It’s critical to my self esteem!!!!! And if he doesn’t give me back my ideas, tell him he’ll be getting a letter from my lawyer!!!!!”

The nerve of those Barguwars. That’s just CREATIVE ELITISM!!!!! After all, Gladys, one person’s trash is another person’s Star Trek Discovery!!!!!

Pages next week!!!!



















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4 thoughts on “Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Hundred & Nineteenth

  1. My husband sunburned the soles of his feet once, many years ago. We were on a three-day canoe-camping trip, he was barefoot (it was hot!) and kneeling in the canoe, as one does. He had carefully applied sunscreen everywhere…. except, of course, the soles of his feet, because who would think of that?

    He couldn’t walk more than a few steps for several days. Fortunately, we were mostly traveling via canoe. (It got him out of setting-up-the-tent duties….)

  2. Omg, Cassy, that poor man!

    The closest experience I have to that is performing on a grand stage at a festival in the middle of July. The stage was black and I had the habit back then of performing bare foot.

    By the end of the set, I had badly burned my feet and was walking on my heels for two days. Still not nearly as bad as your hubby’s!

  3. Yeah, I burned the soles of my feet on hot concrete during a day at a water park years ago. Not fun!

  4. Pingback: Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Hundred & Twentieth | File 770

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