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

[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.

When last we left our heroes, they were stranded at a Time Lounge in the future, waiting for a mechanic to repair the time machine that Writer X and Tryxy assembled from parts they had purchased on the internet. X’s boyfriend and fantasy writer, Tod Boadkins, has been writing on X’s behalf since she fell off the clock tower and broke both her wrists in a time travel accident. 

X and Tryxy have taken to time traveling again as a means of reversing X’s wrist injuries and also to cheat. Tryxy has had a big show coming up for his band DemonKitty but still hasn’t written any additional material so that they can fill an hour-long set. Rather than buckle down and write music, Tryxy has decided to jump ahead into the future when DemonKitty is on a world tour and get a glimpse of what songs he should be writing. 

Unfortunately, writing doesn’t work like this. Not even in the future. 

Last week, we learned that Tod believes that Tryxy has ADHD and that he’s worried that Tryxy is jumping through time not because he’s trying to cheat but because the demon is grappling with ADHD overwhelm and paralysis.  

Tod’s desperately trying to get Tryxy help, but he needs X’s support to convince Tryxy of this, too.

Without further ado…

Subject: Tod Boadkins is sending you a message courtesy of Time Lounge™

Hi Gladys,

Well, the good news is that I’ve managed to convince X that Tryxy needs help and may have ADHD, but the bad news is much more plentiful. We’re currently in the year 2029, and with world financial markets running so hot, I almost couldn’t afford the fifteen minutes of wifi at the local Time Lounge so that I could send you this message. 

Where to begin? After the time mechanic repaired X and Tryxy’s Ghost Time Machine last week, we went jumping year by year through summers looking for a DemonKitty world tour by perusing the top 100 streaming songs looking for “Ninevah Burns In My Soul,” “Meow,” or “Meow Meow.” Basically, all the songs Tryxy has written for DemonKitty so far. 

We couldn’t find them, which was disheartening for Tryxy. He’s proud of those songs, and it’s hard for any artist to know that their best work still won’t change things for them. 

Meanwhile, we could only average one time jump a day, which meant we spent the better part of the week in the future while DemonKitty’s first festival show got closer and closer in the past—well, in the present: your present; our past. 

I was terrified that DemonKitty would No-Show because Tryxy had spent two weeks jumping through time so that he could learn what songs he would write in the future rather than writing them in the present. I shouldn’t have been worried because, when X asked me to check her email the other day, I learned that the festival promoter had gotten fed up with DemonKitty’s lack of communication and dropped them from the festival performer line-up. 

This was crushing, but it came at the same time as our landing in 2029 and X  discovering this.

When Tryxy saw this, he became convinced that canceling his festival gig would be unimportant. This is a bad idea for any young person to get in their head. X was excited for Tryxy, too, and had come down on his side of things; instead of having a sit down with Tryxy about getting some help in 2024, she spent all yesterday in 2029 looking for tickets to the tour’s opening night in Berlin. 

I already mentioned the financial markets; we had to refinance her home to afford the tickets. I asked X if we should be doing this, and her response was, “We’re not refinancing until 2029, so we have until then to change our minds!!!!” 

That’s when I cornered her about Tryxy not writing any songs, and she gave me the same logic: “They’re on a world tour in the future, so obviously everything works out.” 

And that’s when we found this:  

I think Tryxy bombing out his gig in 2024 due to (possible) ADHD is changing the future as I type.

X still wasn’t convinced that not getting your art made could cancel your future as an artist. And I knew that there was no way Tryxy would get help if X didn’t also agree that he needed it, so I had to push on X. 

And there goes the second wave of bad news. 

The conversation went like this: 

X: “Tryxy is just an artistic artist. Artistic artists don’t ‘show up’ and ‘write on demand.'”

Me: “X, I’m an artist. I write. The only way my writing gets done is by me writing.” 

X: “You’re an artist, yes, but not an artistic artist like me and Tryxy.” 

Me: “What does that even mean?!”

X: “If you were an artistic artist, you’d know.”

Me: “Okay, so what about the fact that we’ve been jumping around space and time for the last two weeks, and Tryxy hasn’t done any homework or checked into any of his college classes? Is that because he’s an artistic student? Will Miskatonic University accept that he’s an ‘artistic’ student who doesn’t get any homework done?”

X lost it. It’s complicated, but I’ll cut to the chase. Some people believe in Santa Claus. Like, they really believe. X believes that all the writing she hasn’t been doing in the last two years will magically get done at some point in the future, and I had to break it to her that if a writer doesn’t write, their writing doesn’t get done.

She wasn’t prepared for this. 

“You mean I won’t wake up tomorrow and be famous as the world’s next big epic fantasy writer of all time because I didn’t write anything for the last two years????” 

She spent the last six hours completely unconsolable, sobbing into a pillow and singing “Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer” as a funeral dirge. 

But I’ve gotten through to her that Tryxy might not be doing his homework or writing music because he needs help. 

Sometimes, it’s hard for a writer to know if they’re not writing because they aren’t showing up for themselves or because they need help. 

I wish we had figured this out a week ago. Tomorrow morning, we’ll take the last of the home equity loan, take Tryxy to breakfast, and talk about his future. 

Wish me luck, Gladys. 



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