Emails from Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Seventeenth

[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.

There is one truth I am certain of in this uncertain world and that is this: No one is better at not writing than writers. Absolutely no one.

If you decide to paper your kitchen cabinets instead of finishing chapter 7 of your current WIP, you might be a writer.

In somewhat related news: my cabinets look amazing. I have sparked so much joy that I have four boxes of ancient Tupperware to drop off at Goodwill.

How’s YOUR week been?

Without further ado, here’s the latest from Writer X. Topping up my disclaimer that all grammatical choices and typos are her own.


Dear Gladys,

My protege is the second-most wonderful person on the earth next to C___. He is just getting out of his morning classes so I’m waiting in the parking lot to give him a chicken and pickle sandwich I made him for his lunch. It’s his favorite and he told me he’s always hungry after his morning classes but it’s too far to walk down into town to pick up lunch. Lucky for him, he’s my protege.

It’s very nice to have someone else to worry about. I have only myself to look after since C___ died. 

I’m not going to be a famous writer this month. WHen I write that, it’s hard not to cry.

But R___ told me something yesterday. He said that if I give up now, then it will never ever happen. And he’s right. I just can’t help but feel heartbroken when I’ve done everything in my power to be a famous writer for MONTHS now and it still hasn’t happened!!!

And worse, I got an email from the Ink Black Coffee Club’s exclusive critique group and it only makes me feel even MORE like I’m not a real writer. I could barely read it. SOmething about “integrity” and “plagiarizing Tolkien” and “banned for life.” Do they know something I don’t, Gladys??? Do they know that I’m not a real writer???

What if they’re right??? Am I a REAL WIRTER??? WIll I ever be???

I haven’t written at all this week. I think I need a break from my saga but I feel bad for it. I’ve turned all my attention to bringing R___ sandwiches and continuing my lawsuit against Mr. Morgan but this time I’m also including that he didn’t accept my coupons for oatmilk last week!!!

Yesterday, while Tryxy was at work, I did try to sit down and write a little short story about a woman with faery wings who lives in a village but I didn’t know how to begin it and my closet is acting up again. This time it’s not the banging or the shouting. I was just sitting there in my bed sleeping on my keyboard and I heard the door open. No. Actually the first thing I heard was the doorknob turn. THEN I heard the door open. THEN I heard footsteps going down the stairs. I almost went down the stairs to find out what that was, but when I went to my bedroom door, I got this feeling VERY STRONGLY like I shouldn’t go down there. Like I shouldn’t go look. Like, whatever I do, I don’t want to know what’s downstairs.

So I stayed in my room until Tryxy got home and he told me nothing was there.

But if nothing was there, then why did it happen again when I got back from dropping Tryxy off??? This time, I was on the toilet. I heard the doorknob turn. I heard the door open, I heard feet on the stairs, and THEN I heard several people talking downstairs in my living room. Serious tones. Like they were having a meeting. At least three or four people.

This time, I ran down the stairs and straight OUT the door. I went straight to Mr. Morgans and bought chicken and pickles and made R___’s sandwich in my car. I’m not going back until I pick up Tryxy from work.

However, one thing I DID do this morning was drive by the Ink Black Coffee Club and spied Marjory’s car there. I put on my big pink sunhat so no one would recognize me and waited until someone who looked like Tod Boadkin’s facebook profile walked out and then I followed his car. It turns out, if this IS Tod Boadkins, he doesn’t live in Cradensburg, he lives in BLEAKWOOD. You know what they say about people who live in BLEAKWOOD, Gladys!!!

OH! I see R__!!! Gotta go, Gladys, I have to give my protege his sandwich!!!


sent from my iPhone

Subject: Recorded Activities

Dear Gladys,

R___ loaned me a copy of a Vonnegut book he really likes but now he’s gone back to classes and I have time to burn so I’m going to Tod Boadkin’s house to gather information. Once that writing critique group finds out that he’s a fraud I’m sure they’ll let me in!!! It took me a little longer to get here because that magical market popped up in the middle of my route and the sheer amount of holiday shoppers I had to avoid hitting was RIDICULOUS!!! Stupid gnomes!!!

I’m sending you the list of activities I observe which I will need you to comb carefully for clues that he’s a fraud.

2:17 pm : Hangs a festive pig head on his cranberry colored front door. Why cranberry? Wouldn’t a New England writer want a more unique color???

2:23 pm: Squints at my car from his porch. Have to duck under the steering wheel for a couple minutes.

2: 48 – 3:07 pm: Comes out of house, gets in car, drives to corner gas to pick up a chocolate muffin and a carton of eggs. (DID NOT GET GAS. VERY SUSPICIOUS!!!)

3:09 pm: Goes to front door. Stops to pick chocolate crumbs out of his beard. Looks over his shoulder at my car and squints again. Have to disappear!!

3:15 pm: Walks out in the direction of my car. Staying down here under the seat until he goes away!!! It’s pretty wet.

3: 58 pm: Back inside house. On the computer but since R__ took my binoculars away when I told him what I was going to do, I can’t see what Tod Boadkins is doing. I’m gonna have to get close!!

4:06 pm: Is playing World of Warcraft. (I thought he was a writer??? Don’t writers write???!!!!)

4:08 pm: I notice a book on his desk. Is it Broken Tides??? I can’t see!!! I need to get into his house, Gladys!!


4:16 He’s shouryting

5:02 pm: Okay. I had to get out of there!!!! Tod Boadkins took an unexpected bathroom break and spotted me outside his window before I could duck down. I’ve never run so fast in my life!!! I threw myself into my car and didn’t even close the door before I sped away. I just stopped outside of Mr. Morgan’s to pick up a stain stick cuz all the snow melted and Tod Boadkins’ lawn is a mud pit right now and I’m covered in muck from my rump to my ears!!!

I have to go pick up Tryxy. TOD BOADKINS HASN’T SEEN THE LAST OF ME!!!

Well no, actually he has. I’m going back next week but this time I’m going to make SURE I’m INVISIBILE.


sent from my iPhone


3 thoughts on “Emails from Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Seventeenth

  1. Good point, Cassy! Eating humans, if nothing else, will definitely assure one will get hunted down and “dealt with.” Probably before any of the other physiological consequences kick in.

  2. Pingback: Emails from Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Eighteenth | File 770

Comments are closed.