Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Twenty-Fourth

[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 writing this from the road. My family is driving back from the special memorial service we held for my father this weekend. We had to travel with our new pet guinea pig. He’s a baby and was too young to leave with our other piggy. He’s the cutest thing, his name is Polar, and he’s now a traveling pro.

It was wonderful to see family. My father passed in December, but it was no less an emotional time being around the places in which I spent so much time with him. Everywhere my eye turned, I saw him and felt overcome with love.

That said, when I got back on the road, I had a moment to catch up on my emails and I was VERY cheered by the email I got from X. I’m honestly surprised, I sort of never thought this day would come.

Well, that’s not true. I imagined it might take her a few more years. It took me years to learn how to finish a novel. In some ways, she’s ahead of me.

In other ways, she’s gotten ahead of herself.

Still and all, this is cause for celebration!

Without further ado…


Dear Gladys,

I’m looking for a place to buy some pink booties for #bestkitten. Where did you get those booties you bought for your dog, Trowser???? Do you have a coupon?? Oh, by the way, Tryxy has a new kitten and her name is #bestkitten and she is adorable. Did you know that cats are hobbies??? I always thought they were cats.

Anyways, you’re probably wondering why you haven’t heard from me for a little while. Believe it or not…



I would tell you the name of the book, but right now it’s called “Untitled (I Will Name It Later.)” I didn’t want the publishers I sent it to look at the title and think they have any idea of what’s going to happen in the story. I want their minds to be prepared to be BLOWN and that’s what happens when you name things “Untitled.” It’s a power move!!!! This story isn’t like anything they’ve seen before!!!!!

I bet you’re dying to know how I did it. There are some perks to being friends with a famous novelist, I’m going to give you the exclusive scoop but you can’t tell anyone until after my Dateline interview.

At first I thought I was going to have to buckle in for the long haul. Once I hit chapter seven I nearly came to complete stop. I really had no idea what I was doing and I was just bumping around on the pages sending characters on errands and throwing in random love interests and monsters. THEN, when I ALMOST WAS GOING TO QUIT, I cut out a bunch of stuff and went to the next spot and that’s when I STARTED TO PICK UP MOMENTUM. Once I got enough momentum I paused long enough to install a catheter so I didn’t have to waste trips to the BATHROOM and Tryxy installed a coffee IV in my left arm and I wrote until I hit the finish line!!!!

While this was originally going to be a NINE book saga, it turns out that I was able to fit books two and three into book one. I know the publishers are going to be disappointed but I can always write two or three prequels later after I buy my yacht.

Would you look at that?? It’s my boss calling. Just In time, too! I have to take this call because I was planning to quit my job now that I’m going to be paid for my writing. Will tell you more later.


Subject: I am SO popular right now

Dear Gladys,

I apologize for the delay in writing you. Since I’ve finished my book, you know everyne in the world wants to talk to me. My electric company just called and of course they had to SAY they were calling about my bill, but we both know they really wanted the chance to talk to a famous novelist. The library also called, and so did R____ and then Marjory. See what I mean??? SUPER POPULAR.

And…I QUIT MY JOB!!!!! Isn’t that amazing??? WHAT A MILESTONE!!!!! Tryxy is a little mad but he’ll get over it. I told him he could take lunch breaks at home and he felt a bit better. Let’s face it, he wasn’t as good a salesperson as me. I was starting to lose my employee of the month status. 

I should probably change my email address now. Maybe I should change it to That has a little zing to it, don’t you think???

All said, I’m going to need my phone line to be clear so please don’t call me over the next week. At any moment the publisher should be calling me to let me know when they’re going to put out my book and what the cover is going to look like.

Tod Boadkins also called. He has pestered me nonstop since I rescued him from his evil, shifter-suds-using brother. He thinks I stole his notes on the anti-horcruxes and of course I stole his notes but he doesn’t have to be so annoying about it.


BRB, Gladys. (That means “be right back.”)

Okay, I’m back. Unfortunately, to get Tod Boadkins off the phone I had to tell him I’m going to give him back his notes if he meets me at my celebration tonight. (I’m never giving back his note, Gladys!!!!)

By the way, Galdys, what I originally was emailing you about was MY PARTY. I am cordially inviting you to my novel celebration party!!!! Please join me, and R____, and Tryxy, and #bestkitten, and Marjory at ART! The Art Gallery of Art tonight at 7:30pm to celerbate all this hard work!!!! The tab is ON ME. We are going to buy ALL the ART! I have a credit card and I’m not afraid to use it!!!!

I also had to have a bunch of novel small talk with TOD BOADKINS since he still thinks he’s a writer. (Did I tell you that he wrote Broken Tides based off a Pathfinder campaign he played with his younger brother??? And then he didn’t credit his younger brother and that how he ended up locked in a basement for a month???? The nerve.) Tod wanted to know what my final word count was so I had to go look it up. 52,188 words!!!!! That’s gotta be HUGE. IT’s at least 200 pages or more.

Tod seems to think it’s not long enough but WHAT DOES HE KNOW????

Well I’m back again, Gladys. I let what Tod Boadkins said stick in my head and I had to go off and assuage my doubts about novel word counts. Apparently publishers don’t consider 52,188 words a full novel!!!! It’s a good thing my novel is so special!!!!

Okay, no, I’m back again. I had to go and google if my novel is special. I found an online tarot site and it says the Ace of Peppercorns, the Queen of Badgers, and the Fashion Police, I’m pretty sure that means I’m going to be successful.

Okay now I’m really back. I just had to do another tarot spread to see if the last tarot spread was accurate and it said the Three of Semi-Permanence, Do Your Taxes, and the Eight of Cognitive Bias. Rest assured, after that tarot spread I know my phone will ring with a publishing offer any minute now. I should even be famous by next week!!!!

Back again. I forgot that Tod Boadkins asked to see a couple of my opening chapters so I had to go and get them and put them in a separate file and when I did, I noticed all these typos and also I’m pretty sure something happened to my file because I remember the writing being A LOT better.

I REALLY am back this time. I just had to do another tarot spread to see if my file had been corrupted and I got the Six of NO YOUR FILE HAS NOT BEEN CORRUPTED, the Page of First Drafts, and the Twelve of It Happens to the Best of Us. I pulled an additional card and it was the Negative Seven of What Were You Thinking. This means that my file has DEFINITELY been corrupted, Gladys!!!!

I have to go. I have an emergency. I have to call all those publishers and let them know I will be sending them the non corrupted file and that they have to send me the old one back and not publish it!!!!!

I may be late for the party, Gladys!!!!!
















Discover more from File 770

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.