Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Ninety-Seventh

[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 coldwildeyes.com (temporarily closed for update). Wipe your feet before entering.]

THE PLOT DEVICE

Hello, All! Melanie here.

NaNoWriMo is still underway. For the very first time, Writer X and her friends appeared to be winning their annual word count competition against the Fantasy Writers Meetup of Brokenheap, NH. And this was in spite of the fact that Writer X has written exactly zero words so far!

Unfortunately, the only reason why the Fantasy Dream Team of Cradensburg is winning this year is because the writers of Brokenheap have mysteriously gone missing.

And that’s not the only mystery. A clandestine figure named “W” has appeared on the town’s NaNoWriMo Discord chat hinting that something called “Deep Publishing” has to do with the disappearance of the Brokenheap writers. “W” advised the curious to look at what the missing writers had been writing if they wanted answers as to what happened to them.

This week, the Cradensburg writers have been looking into the identity of this mysterious “W.” They don’t want to break into missing writers’s houses without knowing exactly who told them to do so.

Meanwhile, X’s best friend and high-level demon, Tryxy, had been time traveling to visit historical figures and take better pictures for their Wikipedia profiles. Writer X has been kitten-sitting while he’s away.

Tryxy’s latest trip was to hang out with the Marquis de Condorcet in Paris of 1789. His spacetime machine broke down and he’s been stuck in revolutionary France for nearly two weeks.

Turns out, Tryxy’s extended stay has gotten him in deeper trouble and it could impact the whole investigation.

Without further ado…


From: TRYXY BO BIXIE BANANA FANA FO FIXIE…TRYXY!

Fw: PARIS IS BURNING & NOBODY’S STRIKING A POSE (SAVVY FILERS WILL GET THE REF)

Dear Gladys,

Will you please go to my house and look for #floofybaby??? I checked Tryxy’s sock drawer in his abyss in the basement, and it’s not there. I’m on my way to the flea market to see if my boyfriend, award nominated fantasy writer Tod BOadkins, hasn’t taken it with him.

We haven’t slept in four days!!!! Meanwhile, Tryxy’s going from one crisis to another!!!!! He could be gone ANOTHER THIRTY DAYS!!!!! How am I supposed to solve our NaNoMystery without sleep???????

You should leave now because THE TRAFFIC IS HORRIBLE!!!! Everyone’s out holiday shopping!!!!!

xox,

X

P.S. Will catch you up on NaNoHoobastank later. Right now, things are not looking good for our writing group!!!! We are no closer to finding the missing writers and I CAN’T DO EVERYTHING, GALDSY!!!!!

begin forwarded message

STILL STUCK IN PARIS, 1789, WAITING FOR SPACETIME AAA TO COME FIX MACHINE SO CAN COME HOME AND SEE YOU, #BESTKITTEN, AND TODDY, TOO.

GOOD NEWS: I’VE BEEN GETTING MY HOMEWORK IN ON TIME, EVEN IF I AM STUCK IN THE PAST. BAD NEWS: OTHER THINGS GOING NOT WELL.

TODAY IS JULY 14, 1789. KNOW WHAT HAPPENS ON JULY 14, 1789?

THE STORMING OF THE BASTILLE, THAT’S WHAT.

THERE’S SOME FIRE. A LOT OF SHOUTING. A FEW HEADS ON PIKES (YUCK!) AND NO ONE’S PRIORITIZED BATHING.

GOT YOUR NOTE ABOUT #BESTKITTEN.

SHE’LL BE FINE, JUST FIND HER #FLOOFYBABY.

THINK I LEFT IT IN MY SOCK DRAWER. IF SHE STILL WAKES YOU UP AT THREE A.M., YOU’LL HAVE TO FIND #FLOOFYBABY’S BABY.

NO IDEA WHERE THAT IS.

SHE HAS A VET CHECK UP TOMORROW. DON’T FORGET!

/SIGH. HOW AM I TO FIX THIS WITH A BUSTED MACHINE? HOW AM I ALWAYS SURROUNDED BY WRITERS?

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, INTERNET, AND A GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN.

LOVE YOUS.

TRYXY BO BIXIE

P.S. SO STRESSED! I MISS MY KITTY!


From: Bevvy Hart

Fw: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who the hell is “W”?

Dear Gladys,

Still at flea market. No sign of #floofybaby ANYWHERE. I just got this email from Bevvy. I wonder if she knows that a group of our writers carpooled over to Brokenheap with a trunk full of disguises this morning to beat the traffic. I got a text about a half hour ago reporting that no one could get past the crime scene tape and that they’re currently regrouping at the gas station outside Brokenheap to cobble together a Plan B!

No idea how they’re going to get into those houses, Galdsy!!!! I think I’m going to have to call in a flavor from you!!!!!

I wonder why Bevvy isn’t in the group texts? Oh, well.

I’m going to keep shopping while I”m here at the flea market. After all, Hogswatch is right around the corner!!!! What I could use is a good, old-fashioned Plot Device to solve this mess, but it’d be worth a fortune!!!! You never know what you’ll find at a flea market!!!!!

xox,

X

begin forwarded message

Dear Fellow Writers,

I hope you don’t mind, I took the night to think about our conundrum more deeply. We can’t be hasty about a situation like this. 

The best information we have on the Mysterious “W” tells us that they post at odd times. Discord tells us nothing about their location. The only thing I’ve noticed is that “W” posts whenever X is away from home, and when she has a viable alibi.

As much as I hate condoning the insanity, I loathe us falling further behind on our word count. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I agree with X. We’re going to have to bite the bullet and find a way into the homes of the Brokenheap writers. 

Warmly,

Bevvy

Bevvy Madison Hart she/her

Wandering Spirit Small Press, CEO
A Vegan Owned and Operated Press

On Fri, Nov 24, 2023 at 7:19 PM Writer X <WriterX@xx_xx.com> wrote:

NO ONE WOULD BE ARRESTED IF YOU JUST WORE THE DISGUISES I’VE PROVIDED!!!!!!!! I would assist in the investigation more, but I am currently in the middle of a #bestkitten emergency and if I don’t find her #floofybaby, I MAY NEVER SLEEP AGAIN.

#EnterTheWortex!!!!!!!!!

xox,

X

P.S. Has anyone seen her #floofybaby???? It’s a bedraggled blue floofy thing about the size of an apple.

On Fri, Nov 24, 2023 at 7:14 PM Thomasina Prepper <DoomsdayReady@xx_xx.com> wrote:

Ravenhair,

Wish I had your confidence, but did you see the latest news from Brokenheap? The writers have been reported missing and police are conducting an investigation.

Following your advice would mean collectively breaking into several writer’s homes—which are now all crime scenes—and leaving our fingerprints on EVERYTHING. That’s a fast way to become Persons of Interest.

What the heck is a Wortex? Is that like a Vortex? But with Words?

<3,

Thomasina

On Fri, Nov 24, 2023 at 7:00 PM Ravenhair Silkenwind <Ravenhair@xx_xx.com> wrote:

Not so sure it’s a prank, Bevvy. Did you see the latest post? According to the Mysterious “W”, the only way we’ll find the missing fantasists is by entering “the Wortex.” The only way to enter the Wortex—apparently—is to find out what the missing writers had been working on.

If we keep searching for the identity of W instead of discovering the documents, we’re going to waste more valuable NaNoWriMo time. At this point, I don’t care about the competition, per se, but I do care about neglecting my WIP for too long.

-Ravenhair Silkenwind

On Fri, Nov 24, 2023 at 6:08 PM Bevvy Hart <wanderingspiritpress@xx_xx.com> wrote:

Dear Fellow Writers,

Here are our latest numbers. Since we’ve begun our search for “W,” we’re aren’t making as much progress. I must remind you that, last year, Brokenheap writers wrote a total of 154,227 words. It’s after Thanksgiving, and we aren’t even close to that. What if they’ve continued writing wherever they’ve been squirreled away? We’ll lose again!

Am I the only one who’s considered the possibility that W is not a prank, but that a certain someone within our group is feeling insecure about her word count numbers and wants to make herself feel better and so has come up with a missing writer conspiracy meant to draw the rest of us away from our hard work?

Fantasy Writer’s Meetup of Brokenheap, NH:

7,675 total words written

Ink Black Coffee Club’s Fantasy Dream Team of Cradensburg, NH:

73,230 total words written

Bevvy Madison Hart: 7 words written
Tod Boadkins: 10,600 words written
Edwína Tómas: 2,004 words written
Ravenhair Silkenwind: 1,578 words written
Thomasina Prepper: 2,323 words written
Mark Prepper: 1,956 words written
Writer X: 0 words written

Warmly,

Bevvy Hart


Subject: A MAJOR WIN, GLADYS!!!!!!!

Dear Gladys,

Please apologize to your cousin Blanche. I accidentally rear-ended her car while I was pulling out from the flea market parking lot. I’m sure she’ll be comforted to know that her crumpled back end wasn’t for nothing!!!

As I skidded out of the parking lot in reverse and plummeted into Blanche’s car, the force of the impact sent everything that had slid under my seats out onto the dashboard!!!! Once my airbags deflated, there was #bestkitten’s #floofybaby on the dash!!! It was under the driver’s seat all along!!! Every cloud has a silver lining!!!!

Of course, I knew that miracles would happen once I activated the plot device I found under a broken baby basinet in a novelty toy booth at the flea market, although when I first found it, I wasn’t so sure it would work at all!!!!

What is a plot device???

Well, a long time ago, in NaNoPoodleSkirts gone by, many writers wrote novels by the seat of their pants. They would wake up every NaNo Morning and plug away, blindly typing one word after another until they found themselves 50,000 words into a story, but at the precipice of a GIANT PLOT HOLE or an IMPASSABLE PLOT WALL. What would they do???? How would they solve this without losing all their hard work????

This happened so frequently, that NaNoNymphomania became known as the place where novels go to get half written and then neglected in your hard drive. Of course, this was very bad. So the NaNoHouseofPancakes met with some Wizards of Writing to invent a magical device that could help writers fix their plot hole problems and save their novels!!!!!

Enter the Plot Device!!!!!!

Thanks to the Writing Wizards, a writer could simply enter in the specifications of their plot hole, and with the help of six D batteries, the Plot Device would get to work fixing things!!!! A simple click of the button created another plot device WITHIN THE PLOT that resolved the plot hole.

For example:

Say you’re a writer who has placed the thing the main character is seeking behind a ridiculous arsenal of dragons and high-powered wizards and needs something that believably allows the main character to overcome the problem. You could make it so that the cloak the main character is wearing happens to be resistant to dragon fire!!! BUT, that means you’d have to go back to all your earlier pages and write in the details foreshadowing the cloak or else risk a Deus ex Machina!!!!!

OR, you could use a PLOT DEVICE which will automatically generate the solution AND retroactively make sure it appears earlier in the story saving the writer from continuity errors, drafting time, and embarrassment.

And a Plot Devicve is JUST WHAT I FOUND!!!!! Once I found the Plot Device, I purchased it for six dollars and powered it up!!!! I entered in the following scenario:

Writers unable to enter missing writers’s houses and find out what they had been writing thanks to closely guarded crime scene because none of them have the courage or disguise skills of WRITER X to bypass investigators but I can’t bypass the crime scene guards because me and my boyfriend, award nominated fantasy writer Tod Boadkins, have been unable to sleep because #bestkitten yowls until one in the morning because she’s looking for Tryxy, who might be stuck in the past for ANOTHER MONTH!!! And THEN she climbs on our faces at three in the morning and kneads our foreheads until we wake up again.

Then, I left the plot device to work wonders!!!!! I jumped into my car to beat the traffic leaving the flea market!!!

Who’d have thunk that a momentary decision to gun my accelerator into reverse to beat a line of pick up trucks exiting the lot would send me flying into your cousin Blanche’s car, thus freeing #floofybaby from its hiding place under my seat, but also sending me on a county wide police chase fleeing the authorities????

Next thing you know, Brokenheap’s police force was called in for back up to form a blockade on the bridge, stopping me from leaving the county but also suddenly leaving the writers’s houses unguarded and allowing OUR writers to don their disguises and enter the homes to discover the next key in finding the missing fantasists!!!!!!

Gladys, brace yourself because you’re NOT going to believe this.

The missing fantasists weren’t writing novels at all. Prior to November, all of them had received an exclusive invitation to WRITE THEIR MEMOIRS.

THEY WERE ALL WORKING ON THEIR MEMOIRS!!!!!!!!! This is all making so much sense now!!!!!

And of course, I’ll explain why it makes sense, just as soon as you hop on down to the county jail and bail me out. The police separated me from my plot device or else I’d do it myself!!!!

xox,

X

All correspondences sent from this device are subject to review by law enforcement and can be used as evidence in a court of law.

JUST

GOT THIS!

SUCH

GREAT NEWS.

One thought on “Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Ninety-Seventh

  1. 99% of missing objects turn out to be under the driver’s seat, but only if you forget to look there.

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