Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Sixty-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 Wipe your feet before entering.]


Hello all! Melanie here.

I’m a believer in community creating opportunity, but I haven’t considered this approach.

Without further ado…

Subject: Preparing for FAME!!!

Dear Gladys,

I’m sure you’re dying to know how my writing is going. I bet you are expecting me to send you pages from my next world-shaking story. Silly, gladys! I bet you think that sitting down at a computer and typing out SHEER BRILLIANCE is all there is to writing.

Well, you would be suprised to know that there is A LOT to writing that doesn’t have ANY writing at all!!!! And that is exactly the kind of writing that I’ve been KILLING this week.

For example, there’s that blog that you’re supposed to be wriitng for me so that all my fans can see behind the scenes in my life. There’s also the important question of Nepotism Networking. How else do you get agents hunting you down and books on the NYTimes Most Wanted list???

One of the most important things a writer can have ISN’T finished stories, IT’S FRIENDS WHO ARE ALREADY FAMOUS. Those friendships can be forged by mutual respect of each other’s writing but everyone knows that the STRONGEST friendships are forged OVER CATS.

Now, you know I love my friends at the Ink Black Coffee Club Critique Group, but lets be honest, Gladys, with the exception of my boyfriend, award-nominated fantasy writer Tod Boadkins, none of them are exactly cut out to be the next big epic fantasy writer of all time.

It’s time to set my sights higher!

In unrelated news, N.K. Jemisin’s cat, King Ozymandias, is on a Destruction Tour and book signing and is coming to Cradensburg this weekend. As you know, usually King Ozymandias is a highly sought after writerly cat and the rumor is that if so much as his SHADOW falls on you, you’ll win a NEBULA award or a HUGO or a HOOBER or a ROGERROGER. For some strange reason, he doesn’t make a lot of public appearances, probably because he’s so busy hanging out with N.K. Jemisin.

She’s so cool. And I’m pretty sure that when she lists in her biography that she’s “saving the world from King Ozymandias” that this is code for something.


Obviously “destruction tour” is a METAPHOR Gladys although I can’t quite figure out what it’s a metaphor for. Probably the event promoters are using it the way we use “wicked” here in New England. You know, like N.K. Jemisin is “Wicked Cool” and “Wicked Good at Writing.” They’re like this is such a “destruction tour” and Ozzy Kitty is “SO DESTRUCTION.” 

Word on the street is that King Ozymandias will be selecting one person at random, going home with them, and personally destroying their WHOLE HOUSE. (METAPHORICALLY) DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT KIND OF PUBLICATION OPPORTUNITIES THAT COULD CREATE FOR ME??????

Word at the Ink Black Coffee Club is that Marjorie thinks THEY’LL be the one to win the personal house destruction with Ozymandias.

Little does Marjorie know that I HAVE SOMETHING BIG UP MY SLEEVE.

No, it’s not a cat.

Why does Marjorie think that King Ozymandias, THE MOST WRITERLY OF CATS (except for #bestkitten) is going to want to go home with them when Ozzy can come destroy the house of the next big epic fantasy writer of all time??????

The arrogance of some people!!!!

This couldn’t happen at a better time. Tryxy is SO excited. He’s been feeling pretty pent up with all his school work and really needs something exciting to do.


ANyhoo, gotta go Gladys, have to raid the back of Mr. Morgans for some cardboard boxes. WE SPARE NO EXPENSE FOR OUR GUESTS IN THIS HOUSE!!!!!



Subject: Sewing Machine COming

Dear Gladys,

FYI, I ordered a new sewing machine and am having it shipped to your house. I will also be needing your dining room as soon as it arrives for me to work on my top secret project.

I would use my living room but Tryxy has this week off from school. He’s discovered the music department at the library and has borrowed a bunch of Yanni CDs. As you know, you can’t listen to Yanni for the first time without breaking into interpretive dance. Obviously, Tryxy has since cleared out our living room of all furniture to give himself “leaping room.”

I would use my dining room to sew, but that’s bad feng shui. You shouldn’t work where you eat.



P.S. I also dropped off a vat of pink rhinestones and swarovski crystals on your porch. Whenever the sunlight hits it, #bestkitten jumps on the vat and tries to catch the sparkles and then it gets EVERYWHERE. Cats love sparkles in the sunlight.

All in good time, gladys, all in good time.

As soon as I finish my robes of Wonderment, just you watch out. I’m gonna get some of that good old fashioned nepotism.

Subject: The Jemisin Plan

Subject: DELETE LAST EMAIL!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Gladys,

Delete the last email I sent you RIGHT AWAY!!!! You were not supposed to get it. You were ACCIDENTALLY CC’D.

Write back to me as soon as you delete it!!!!!!!

Oh, and can I borrow your bedazzler? Mine broke.



Subject: LASER POINTERS?????

Dear Gladys,

I’m writing to you now because I need your urgent help.

I have spent the last 24 hours bedazzling my robes of feline wonderment with 16,000 crystals. My dress is now so stiff and crowded with pink gems that Tryxy says I look like a giant pink disco ball. WHICH IS EXCELLENT. The other positive side is that I no longer need to use my feet for walking. I just have to tilt my head a little in the direction I want to go in and I just roll that way in pink, sparkly splendor. I will definitely stand out in the crowd with this outfit but what does it matter WHEN WORD ON THE STREET IS THAT MARJORIE HAS MADE A BLACK JACKET WITH A CONTRAPTION OF LASER POINTERS POINTED AT IT?????????

No cat in the world can resist a laser pointer GLADYS!!!!!! WHY DIDN”T YOU TELL ME TO MAKE A LASER POINTER DRESS?????

Tryxy and #bestkitten keep saying I should calm down and just relax and enjoy the event and let my winning personality shine through but NEITHER OF THEM ARE INTROVERTS LIKE ME!!!!!! THey don’t understand what is on the line here. I mean, we’re talking about N.K. JEMISIN’S CAT. We’re talking about an adorable ball of orange fur that has PROBABLY PLACED TYPOS ON THE PAGES OF THE STONE SKY!!!!

GLadys, I know I don’t ask you for much, but sometimes you have to admit when you need to get help.

I need you to take out Marjorie. They’re the only person standing in the way between me and some sweet sweet nepotism.

Do you still have that old police wagon? I have a plan. When I go down to see King Ozzy tonight at the town green, I’ll roll over to Marjorie and act like I’m just catching up and admiring their laser pointers and then you drive by real slow with the back of the patrol wagon open and I’ll shove Marjorie in.

In fact, I’m going to roll down there now to get there early and save Tryxy and #bestkitten some good seats. They’re still getting dressed and singing old demonkitty songs at the tops of their lungs. Tryxy’s really ready to let loose!!! Six weeks of writing research papers about research papers will do that to you!!!!

Meet you there!!!! Give me five minutes to roll downhill!!!!



Subject: Out of Urgent Care Now

Dear Gladys,

There is no way that any of us could anticipate what happened.

All I can say is that the people of Cradensburg need to learn how to keep their cats safe indoors. Everyone knows that cats are safer WHEN THEY’RE INDOORS.

I’m considering suing the inventor of the cat flap. I’m pretty sure they’re to blame for at least part of this!!!! I was rolling along in the winter sunlight perfectly fine, with thousands of sparkles reflecting on the siding and into the windows of houses when OUT OF NOWHERE, about fifty-two cats shot out from their homes and batted me from one end of Cradensburg to the other.

Fortunately, Marjorie was able to distract them with their laser pointer jacket and drive me to urgent care out in Koroner so that I could have my dignity sutured and rubbed over with iodine. Neither one of us got to see King Ozymandias and that event ended hours ago. It’s probably safe to call off the patrol wagon.

Did a tornado hit town? It’s like a ghost town in here!!! I have never seen such devastation short of the time we burned down the historic gazebo at the Neil Gaiman candlelight reading. How did toilet paper get all the way up there? Why is there cereal everywhere? There are decimated cardboard boxes strewn helter skelter and no one’s picking them up. What’s with all the chewed through extension cords?

Wait a minute Gladys, is that you climbing up the rope ladder of the helicopter over our heads???? Why are you chastising that adorable orange cat?????

Oh no, that can’t be you. You don’t have dreadlocks anymore. And you’ve never had such a writerly aura as whomever it is who’s climbing up to that helicopter with a cat under their arm.

Ah well, I’m sure it’s nobody I know.



sent from my iPhone


















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2 thoughts on “Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Sixty-Seventh

  1. X’s self portrait reminds me of one of those angels that people put at the the tree at X-mas WAIT A MINUTE!

  2. Whooooooaaaa. Did you just uncover a hidden Xmas Angel conspiracy, PJ? Why aren’t people talking about this? This has Deep State Holiday Cover Up written all over it. Next this you know, Starbucks cups will be PINK!

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