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

[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!

This week’s round of emails left me googling. Something about the words “Neil Gaiman Fire” will do that. Here’s what I found.

I’m also a little confounded that Writer X is only now attracting police attention after all she’s done. Gulp. I hope they don’t pry too deeply into her past!

Without further ado…

Subject: WAR ON THE WINDS!!!!!!!

Dear Gladys,

You won’t believe this!!!! I just got home from picking up my new thigh-high pink spelunking boots and I found this nasty note slid under my door!!!!

It has now come to this!!!!! My evil neighbor A____ is scrapbooking at me again!!!!!

Gladys, do you remember the War of 2018? What about the war of the roses???? And the wars of the Unicorn Lawn Ornaments???? I still shudder at that last one. Yet, as you can tell from the state of my garage roof sacrifices were made but I was definitely the WINNER.

Things are escalating between me and A____ only this time I have no idea why. Maybe it’s Tryxy’s new drum kit. Or it was the eggs. Or the chicken feathers. Or the chickens. Or when my closet was screaming. Or the Salvatore Dali fiasco. Or the weird creeping goo from last June. Or the accident with the backyard catapult BUT THAT WAS ALL THE WAY BACK IN MAY AND IF SHE’S GOING TO BRING THAT UP SHE’S REALLY HOLDING ON TO A GRUDGE!!!!!

I know how to read the writing on the Scrapbooking page, Glayds!!!! Mark my words, SCRAPBOOKING was the harbinger of THOSE wars and scrapbooking is harbinging the war to come!!!! Harbingeing. Harbinged. Harbiggering.

I suppose you are dying to know what is happening with my novel. Well, the road has not been easy but conflict BREADS creativity and I have definitely had a BREAKTHROUGH on my latest technique to getting the job done.


First, I know you’re not a writer so I should fill you in on what happened so that you can really understand the INCREDIBLE discovery I’ve made.

Wait a minute. WHY does she think I took her autographed copy of The Elfstones of Shannara???? I have my own soon-to-be-autographed copy of Oathbreaker waiting in my safe, not to mention my 1997 prizewinning autographed copy of Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown!!!! That won three blue ribbons and a decorative country-themed wagon wheel!!!!!

What was I saying?

…my mind just went blippity.

Oh! Did I tell you that #bestkitten is INCREDIBLY LOUD??? It’s obvious that she’s a born vocalist. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a kitten that can mew SO LOUDLY. Tryxy has taken up pilates and was out for his Saturday Body Buff Pilates Session and #bestkitten hadn’t woken up yet and so I was still asleep and I woke up to #bestkitten on my forehead meowing for her breakfast and I swear it curled my hair. This definitely could save me some time with personal care this week.

Tryxy has been a handful. Not only have we both re-started our jobs at the Tractor Gallery but he’s been too preoccupied with Grammy’s anxiety to focus on anything constructive except for picking out his Grammy gown for the afterparty tomorrow night.

Anyways, I was going to tell you something. But you know what just struck me?

Gotta go, Gladys! I have to climb up my roof!!!!


Subject: Come see my new weather vane!!!!

Dear Gladys,

I made an excellent decision. I am the proud new owner of a unique weather vane. After I emailed you I wandered around with a ladder in a forgetful haze for two hours and then I remembered why I dug it out from under all those lawn unicorns!!!

While I was emailing you, I looked up on my wall where my decorative country-themed wagon wheel that I won for my autographed copy of Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown is hanging and it occurred to me that there’s no reason that wagon wheel couldn’t fall of my wall and smash my pencil cup so shouldn’t I move it???

That’s when I had the idea of transforming it into a decorative country-themed wagon wheel weather vane and spent the better part of this afternoon installing it on my roof. As you know, wagon wheels aren’t exactly wind-socks so I had to be careful not to install too many screws so that it would still move whenever the wind blows. Then I had to stand out on my lawn and admire it for a little while and that’s when that snarky little Ms. B came down the road looking to stick her whiskers into things and she comes up to me and says in that snooty little voice of hers “That’s a death trap! You should take that down!”

Some people have no sense of when opinions aren’t wanted!!!! Anyways, I stayed very polite and definitely took the higher road when I reminded her that her son is using all her hard-earned money to make films for mice.

And you know what she said????


I asked her what made her think I would do such a thing and she said, “Oh, you know. ‘Cause you steal things.”


Anyways, I’m still making up my mind about whether or not I’m going to meet Tod Boadkins on Wednesday night to go to his secret underground council. He’s asking me to bring those notes I stole as “tribute.” I don’t know why he thinks he’s ever getting those notes back.

Hang on, I’m still babysitting #bestkitten and she’s discovered yowling at herself in the bathtub and I think it’s making the glue bonds in the tub liner separate from the wall. I have to go get her. BRB.

(That means be right back.)

I feel like I was going to tell you something.

Oh right! My story!

So. This last week after the Neil Gaiman fire, I felt sparked with inspiration and decided to start working on the scenes that are missing from the middle of my story and it was nearly impossible to produce ANY words. I did manage to write one or two scenes using the same method I used to write the other 50,000 or so words. I just close my eyes and start typing like a fiend!!!!

But then I ran into ANOTHER problem. Well, a few problems but I don’t see any point in mentioning all the typos. The scenes I wrote didn’t match the other scenes I wrote. A character that is alive and SUPER IMPORTANT in the final scene that I wrote just died in this middle scene!!! How does that make any sense???

Something was definitely wrong. So first I tried to concentrate on the problem but every time I asked myself what is supposed to happen in those middle scenes my brain just went whhaaaaaaaa??? And started thinking about yarn. Or yams. Or opening up a farm stand. Or changing my brake fluid. Or hang nails.

And then it hit me!! What if the way I solve my story questions is by thinking of something else????? This method taps into one of the most powerful laws of the universe, Gladys, the fact that your most creative thinking ALWAYS happens when you’re supposed to be thinking about something else. When I finish my book, I’m definitely going to write ANOTHER book about this approach!!!!!!!! I’ve designed a whole technique around this complete with homemade mantras and imagining that my brain is full of jack russell terriers. Now it’s harder for me to focus on anything that it has ever been!!!! That’s how I know I’m doing it righ

Hang on. That’s Detective Fischer calling me. I told her I’m busy writing an email so she should just send me an email.

Will call you back.


Fw: Please come down to the Cradensburg Police Station

How am I supposed to respond to this, Gladys????


Begin forwarded message:

From: Detective Amanda Fischer

Date: April 2, 2022 at 5:58 PM EDT

To: Writer X

Subject: Please come down to the Cradensburg Police Station

Dear X____,

As you may have heard, some interesting things have happened in Cradensburg and I’d like to invite you to come down and meet me at the station to have some coffee and let me ask you a few questions. You are not under arrest, I simply need to ask you a few questions.

If you are unable to make it down here yourself, I will be more than happy to send an officer up to Horn Hill to escort you.

Looking forward to seeing you one way or the other.


Detective Amanda Fischer

Cradensburg Police Department

1767 Main Street

Cradensburg, NH 03666

Fw: RE: Please come down to the Cradensburg Police Station

Begin forwarded message:

From: Detective Amanda Fischer

Date: April 2, 2022 at 6:08 PM EDT

To: Writer X

Subject: RE: Please come down to the Cradensburg Police Station

Dear X____,

The tone of your reply sounds hostile and a little bewildering. We should discuss this in person. In response to your questions: I have several witnesses who have testified that they saw you driving around town a couple months ago in a pink ninja suit. I would like to learn a little bit more about what you do with your free time. Whether or not you have a mint-condition autographed copy of Robin McKinley’s The Hero in the Crown is something you should consider sharing with your lawyer.

See you soon.


Detective Amanda Fischer

Cradensburg Police Department

1767 Main Street

Cradensburg, NH 03666

Subject: I think they’re going to arrest me

Dear Gladys,

I really need you to help me figure out how to focus on this and resolve this problem. As you can tell from the email I just sent you, Detective Fischer is DEFINITELY going to arrest me and I don’t want to go to jail!!! It would severely limit my fashion choices!!!!!!

There is no way I can go down there and meet her unprepared!!!! Gladys, remember when you spent that lifetime as a defense lawyer in Micronesia???? I need you to really help me focus and

Hang on.

What if my dead character magically comes back to life using the Humindaal?????? I did it, Gladys!!!! My technique worked!!!!!

I have to go write!!!! Not even #bestkitten yowling in the bathtub is going to distract me!!!!


P.S. Uh oh. That yowl sounds like it shook my wagon wheel loose.

P.P.S. Yes.

Yes. That’s definitely the sound of my decorative country-themed wagon wheel weather vane rolling down my roof.

P.P.S. And THAT’S the sound of it bouncing off my gutters and the silence of it arching over the backyard.

P.P.P.S. And that’s definitely the sound of it smashing through my evil neighbor A____’s living room window.

P.P.P.P.S. She’d better give that back, Gladys!!!! I won that as an award!!!!!!!












2 thoughts on “Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me — Fit the Twenty-Sixth

  1. Thank you for inviting me to your Grammy afterparty, Tryxy, but I’m afraid I have a prior engagement. I’m sure that the kitten will look lovely in the gown you’re knitting, however.

  2. I couldn’t attend either. I honestly googled Grammy results all Sunday evening while biting my nails. I never really pay attention to them, but I hope that in whatever reality Tryxy is in, Lil Nas X took home more awards than he did in this one!

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