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


Hello, All! Melanie here.

The roads for an up-and-coming writer and an up-and-coming musical act are similar. The highways are abundant with highs and lows, and all its drainage ditches overflow with uncertainty and cast off dreams.

At the start of the year, Tryxy and Writer X wished to succeed in their respective artistic pursuits, and X also hoped to shed a few pounds. Since then, X has been gung ho about getting Tryxy a steady stream of gigs, however humble. But Tryxy has grappled with the herculean task of writing enough original music to fill an entire set.

When last we left Writer X, the demon Tryxy, #bestkitten, and X’s boyfriend Tod Boadkins, Tryxy and #bestkitten’s band, DemonKitty, had a gig at a bus stop. With just five songs, DemonKitty couldn’t fill the hour they had been booked for.

As fate would have it, their set was unexpectedly interrupted by a lost A & R man from a renowned music label in Boston. Yes, A & R reps still play a crucial role in today’s direct-to-audience music industry, much like acquisition editors in the publishing world. This unexpected encounter could potentially change the course of Tryxy and Writer X’s journey.

DemonKitty was invited to Boston this week to play for the A & R rep (named Arnold Rolfson because—according to X—that’s what “A & R” stands for.)

Whatever wariness I have about music labels, I’m excited for DemonKitty. Of the hundreds of thousands of bands out there dreaming of the big time, few will ever get so lucky a break. But there’s also a danger to getting your lucky break before you’re ready for it.

Without further ado…

Subject: Cat-urday Comfort Fest!!!!!!!

Dear Gladys,

I’m writing to cordially invite you to our Comfort Fest this Saturday. I’ll just need you to bring a few things which I’ll detail later so that you don’t forget.

We are on our way back from Boston. My boyfriend, award nominated fantasy writer Tod Boadkins, is driving and Tryxy and #bestkitten are in a ramen coma in the back seat so I’m free to write you.

I am very proud of Tryxy. It has been a big week for him and that’s the most important thing. Today we all learned that playing music is pretty much the same thing as writing SFF except that they are completely different.

It all started on our way down to Boston when we entered gridlocked traffic as soon as we crossed the boundary of New Hampshire into Masshole-landia. It’s incredible how different the two states are!!!!!! On the New Hampshire side of the border, its sprawling highways, pine trees, mooses, and sasquatches, but the second you cross into Massachusetts, BAM! the roads shrink, pot holes mouths open and devour cars at random, spitting out shocks and suspension all over the place, and storm clouds roll in with eldritch horrors flinging madness from the skies.

While waiting for the DOT to clear a misplaced Shoggoth from I-93, Tryxy started fretting again about the fact that he only has five songs and what if that isn’t enough for Arnold Rolfson and he completely blows it??? To make matters worse, he was EXTREMELY NERVOUS about having to play a show for just one person.

It was so bad, we had to let him out of the car several times to upchuck his hot cheetos in a drainage ditch full of natty ice cans, cynicism and broken dreams. 

That’s when my boyfriend, award nominated fantasy writer Tod Boadkins, decided to give Tryxy a little advice.

“You know, an audience of one isn’t a bad thing, Tryxy,” he said. “In fact, an audience of one is all you need to write a story. Maybe that can be true for playing a show, too! When I’m getting ready to write, I pick one person—just one person—that I’m going to write this story for and then I tell the story in the way I think they would like it. And sometimes that one person you’re writing for can be you.”

“Ohhhhhh, why did you have to bring up writing??????” Tryxy wailed and tumbled out of the car again to make another deposit in the wildlife.

You see, Galdsy, not only has Tryxy been nervous about performing for Arnold Rolfson, he’s also had a bad case of writer’s block. Every time he thinks about writing another song as good as “Ninevah Burns In My Soul” or “Meow” or “Meow Meow,” he gets nauseous.

However, I couldn’t let my boyfriend’s silly advice be the last thing Tryxy heard!!!!

I vehemently disagree with writing to an audience of one!!!!

I mean, if all you ever want to be is an award nominated fantasy writer, maybe writing to an audience of one is enough for you, but if you want to be the next big epic fantasy writer of all time LIKE ME!!!!! you have to write stories that are all things to all people!!!!!!!!

“Tryxy, what you need to do is play for the whole world!!!” I said as soon as he got back in the car and rinsed the bile from his teeth.

“I only have five songs,” he moaned. “I can’t even play longer than twenty minutes.” And he dumped his head in his lap.

“What if you just play the five songs really really really slow?” asked my boyfriend.

We all thought that might be a plan.

Seven hours later, we had crossed twenty miles and finally reached Boston where we drove around in endless loops of one way streets until we found our destination: a squalid little warehouse pitched on some desolate corner of Mass Ave.

Arnold Rolfson greeted us at the door with a freshly waxed handlebar mustache and a cloud of weed. He bowed ostentatiously and told Tryxy how excited he was for DemonKitty to come down and play for him and how his music label could take them places they’d never dream of going—like playing Arkham or Miskatonic University!

“Hey! I go to Miskatonic University!” cried Tryxy.

But Arnold Rolfson wasn’t listening. He was texting someone on his phone. He waved a hand at us for us to follow and we awkwardly shuffled after him carrying Tryxy’s drums and #bestkitten’s microphone. Tryxy tried asking Arnodl who else played at Miskatonic U but Arnold just waved him away and kept texting. Tryxy gave me a round-eyed look of uncertainty.

“It’s fine, it’s fine,” I whispered.

Arnold Rolfson waved us into a little black room with a tiny stage where Tryxy and #bestkitten set up. Then Arnold said, “Just give me a half hour of your best stuff. No need to play too long.”

And Tryxy gave me another round-eyed look and his face covered with a pale sheen of sweat. I was afraid he’d let go of some more hot cheetos!!!!!

But I had nothing to worry about Gladys!!!!!! Because DEMONKITTY PLAYED THEIR HEARTS OUT FOR NINETEEN WHOLE MINUTES!!!!!!!! I’ve never seen them play so good!!!!!! THEY WERE AMAZING!!!!!! Tryxy really took my advice to heart and played for THE WHOLE WORLD!!!!!

But in the end, I wasn’t sure Arnold Rolfson even saw it, he was so busy looking down at his phone, the reflection of blue light shimmering on his waxy mustache.

“What’s your next song?” asked Arnold.

“T-that’s a-all o-of t-them?” mewed Tryxy.

Arnold pulled his mouth and his mustache into a frown. “That wasn’t even twenty minutes and I didn’t hear a single.”

Tryxy was crestfallen.

And then Arnold Rolfson lit up like lightning struck his brains. “HEY! How about this? Tell you what I’ll do. I have a bunch of original material I’VE written on Garage Band. Excellent stuff. All of it slaps. How about DemonKitty switches out and plays MY music? That could be a good deal for you. But I keep the publishing.”

I’m not sure what Tryxy said in return because I had unconsciously picked up a folding chair and was preparing to bring it down soundly on Arnold Rolfson’s head when my boyfriend, award nominated fantasy writer Tod Boadkins, wrestled it from my grasp and secured me in a half nelson.

Needless to say, the only way to end that kind of day was to drown our disappointments in all the ramen and boba tea we could get our hands on!!!!! Sometimes, it’s just not fair that people don’t get what you’re doing or that they pretend to care but they don’t. But like Tryxy and #bestkitten said after our fifteenth ramen egg, “At least I’m doing it with my friends.”

And that’s when Cat-urday Comfort Fest was born!!!!!!!! It starts at 11:00 a.m. this Saturday and goes to whenever feels nice. It’s taking place on my couch. The whole idea is that we all dress in sweatpants and onesies and pile onto a big couch with our favorite cats and watch movies until the cows come home!!!!!!

Bring a cat, Galdsy!!!!!! And whoever else you want to come!!!!

Pages next week!!!



P.S. Uh oh. I can’t believe this. Arnold Rolfson just texted me and asked if I could get DemonKitty to open for an up-and-coming Boston band called the Womp Rats!!!! I don’t trust that Arnold Rolfson!!! What do I do?????














X. <3








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One thought on “Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Hundred & Ninth

  1. I would very much like to attend Caturday Comfort Fest, thanks! And is Writer X available for chair wielding on an as-needed basis? Everyone needs a good chair wielding friend, I think. <3

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