Emails from Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the 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. Find her in her virtual home at Wipe your feet before entering.]


Hello, All! Melanie here.

Last week I didn’t receive an email from Writer X and it put me in a slightly anxious state. Kendall wisely pointed out that, in the realm of possibilities, there were more explanations for not receiving an email than X having been thrown in jail. Jim Janney gave some excellent tips for cross reality travel so, if you’re planning your next cross-reality trip, you may want to check out the comment section!

As for my health, I’m feeling MUCH better. Still a little groggy and staying near the tissue box, but no longer so plague-ish.

Back to the missing email and its cause. There were two specified ideas on the table.

1.) X has been thrown in jail for breaking into the Grim Hill House on Thanksgiving night to retrieve her clog. Perhaps a small, panicked jump in logic.

2.) X has had internet/connectivity issues. Being that she did go for several weeks without power, this was very logical.

The good news is that X has sent us an email and explained her absence. Of course the cause was option 3.) Some other third thing.

I think what X is looking for is a plot and I’m not sure you can buy those online. I would send her an email about character goals, story structure, and through-lines but I don’t see that going well.

I’ve taken the added liberty of inserting links to this email just in case you’re new here and are wondering as to what X is referring to. I’ll try to declare when I do this in the future as she sometimes includes links of her own.

That said, without further ado…


Dear Everyone Else BUT Gladys,

I am now decreeing that I will never write to Gladys AGAIN. Not only did she not reply to my latest draft, she also DID NOT SHOW UP AT THE GRIM HILL HOUSE leaving me, R___, and EHPKTRYX to FEND FOR OURSELVES!!!

I almost didn’t write this email but thanks to my victory shopping session at BAM, I’m feeling a little generous and thought that I wouldn’t punish the rest of you just because GLADYS was a no-show.

You’re probably wondering where the latest pages are for my epic fantasy saga. This is honestly part of the cause of my very bad mood and I would prefer you didn’t bring it up.

I have had a very rough two weeks. First, I was nearly spotted by my boss at Mr. Morgan’s Food Emporium & Things Nicely Priced while I was supposed to be at work. Of course, I WAS at work—or at least EHPKTRYX was at work on my behalf. Not that he’s doing a very good job. I could sell twice the tractors he does in a week. My paycheck is going to take a hit pretty soon if he keeps this up!!! Fortunately, I spotted B___ before he spotted me and dove over the meat counter before he caught me but slipped on a bunch of meat grease and bruised my coccyx so I am now embroiled in a law suit against Mr. Morgan or at least I will be once my new lawyer calls me back.

The good thing was I had already made my initial trip to BAM to solve my writing problem after dropping off EHPKTRYX for his shift. That’s when I bought seventeen NEW books on writing fiction.

Hang on. My phone is ringing. It’s probably EHPKTRYX wanting me to bring him Subway brand lettuce for his lunch break or else he’ll threaten to quit my job. I don’t know WHAT is up with that demon. Get him his own smartphone so that he leaves you alone and he calls ALL the time!! How am I supposed to get any writing done???

BRB. (That means be right back.)

Would you believe that was Brian from the Society??? He sounded really shaken and was asking if I would be reasonable and he could come over and speak to me about why he needed my right croc. I’M BEING PERFECTLY REASONABLE, GLADYS!!!

Anyway, I asked him to deliver some Subway brand lettuce to my workplace and ask for me and hung up on him. 

Where was I?

I can’t remember so I’ll just move on. I feel very confident about the last draft I sent you. However, what I have been feeling not confident about are the NEW pages.

I haven’t written them. Well, I haven’t written them per se.

I have hit a whole new low. Writing is very hard, Gladys!!! Now that I FINALLY know what my story is about, I STILL don’t know what HAPPENS. How does a writer figure out what happens in their story???

I mean, I see a lot of scenes in my head and I think “oh! This is how the story will go” but then when I go to write them they just fall apart and aren’t what I saw in my head at all!! Then I wonder if what I see in my head is any good??? There has to be some kind of GLUE that holds it all together.

Hang on. I’m googling “story glue.” The internet will tell me where I can find it. It has everything. Horse shampoo. Dildo batteries. Bullets.

I’m back. Nothing interesting on story glue. I guess I’M going to have to be the one to invent it, Gladys!!! Do I have to do everything????

Speaking of bullets, I still could use that gun. The lights have really gotten to be too much. I’ve forgotten what the moon looks like. I’ve forgotten what it is to feel tired. But I did just order a set of night vision binoculars I saw on sale. They’re going to come in handy VERY SOON!!!

Marjory called me yesterday asking if I would be “submitting an application” to join the exclusive writing critique group at the Ink Black Coffee Club. I almost told them that they needed to submit an application to ME. In fact, I would have said this but then Marjory went on to say that one of the writers has a book coming out this week called Broken Tides by Tod Boadkins and that I would probably like it and I knew THAT has to be a lie!!!

Now I have to get into this exclusive critique group just to prove to everyone that Tod Boadkins is a FRAUD. Broken Tides DOESN’T EXIST!!!! WRiters are a rare bread and there just can’t be two of us in the same town!!! Meanwhile, writing is very hard!!! I just looked up “story glue” in my writing books and NONE of them could tell me anything about what is wrong with my story.

I decided that even though the high and mighty critique group is asking for a writing sample, it doesn’t have to be my writing sample. I don’t want them stealing my ideas!!! So I carefully typed out the first chapter of The Two Towers but changed the names of everything and sometimes just ad-libbed and I think it actually came out kind of good!!!

What if I just do this for the whole story??? Then I could have at least three books come out by the end of this month!!! I wonder where Tod Boadkins published his book.

Hang on, my phone is ringing.


Stupid EHPKTRYX has gotten into a fight with my boss and wants to come home before he eats his own head! I told him to stay right there or he won’t get the Subway brand lettuce that Brian is bringing him. Such a needy demon. If he loses my job, I’m putting him out!!!! I think he’s clingy. He’s always smelling me like I’m a pork rind or something.

Anyway, I suppose one good thing is that NO THANKS TO YOU we did manage to get into Grim Hill House. EHPKTRYX took your form and wore anbo-jyutsu armor but there were sigils or signs or medallions or something that kept him from entering the premises. However, he thought quickly and simply egged Brian’s car and picked a fist fight with Old Wanda across the street to lure Brian out so that R___ and I could get in. I was a little slow going as I only had my left croc on so I couldn’t stop and warn EHPKTRYX that Old Wanda is a professional cage fighter with a titanium right arm. I wonder how long it will take for EHPKTRYX’s black eyes to heal.

Then, just when R___ was figuring out that we weren’t actually on a historic house tour, we both fell down a chute and ended up on this floor that had all these mysterious dark water tanks with little bridges over them. But that was no problem since my right croc was on that floor on some sort of dais with a black circle around it. I marched right over those little bridges and I GOT MY CROC BACK GLADYS!~!!!!!

Unfortunately, that’s when the alarm system went off. STUPID ALARMS!!!! If it weren’t for those things, I wouldn’t have dropped my LEFT croc in one of those dark tanks. They were loaded with these long-snouted, razor-toothed, acid-tongued THINGS!!!

Fortunately, R___ knows barjitsu and was able to use his umbrella to wrestle with one of those creatures and get my left croc back and now they are both home, beautifully safe and sound.

Anyways, Gladys. You are on my bad side now so you should NOT delay in responding. I’m going to need you to send me Tod Boadkins home address. I’m going to PROVE that he’s a FRAUD!!!!

What other kind of equipment should I order to spy on Tod Boadkins? Probably I need a ninja suit. I wonder if they come in pink.





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9 thoughts on “Emails from Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Sixteenth

  1. @Melanie Stormm: I’m glad you’re on the mend; I hope you keep feeling better! And yay, X is back – and (but?) surreal and confusing as ever! 😉

    This “story glue” sounds like the beginning of a great product line.

    But holy heck that poor left croc! X should put it out of its misery.

  2. Thanks, Kendall! Slowly but surely feeling much better. 🙂 Too bad I don’t have a lettuce-loving demon I can send to run errands for me!

    She is especially confusing this week! Why write your book when you can sTALk A loCAl aUtHoR?

    I would def. buy story glue!

    Martin Wooster shared a file on Sudowrite, a software that writes your book for you, a day or so ago. I think it’s the closest (scariest/coolest) thing to story glue out there. Did you catch it?

  3. Right now I’m hoping that X gets eaten by the demon. Not only does she have her claws back in poor R__, she’s gone and defiled the Lord of the Rings.

  4. @Melanie Stormm: I love lettuce, but I’m no demon. 😉 Sudowrite, I agree, is scary and cool.

    @Nancy Sauer re. bad writing karma: ROFL, thanks.

  5. Writer X in a pink ninja suit makes me think of Miss Piggy going “hiyah!”

    Sudowrite is version 1 of the wordmills in The Silver Eggheads. You can skip the boring business of actually writing and just be a writer.

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