THE INVESTIGATION OF THE COVID-19 WRITER By Melanie Lentz CASE REPORT
Report Date: 04/20/2020
Case Agent: Writer S. Block (“case agent”)
Case Subject: Author Lost (“subject”)
Reference is made to the case agent’s opening report, dated 03/17/2020, initiating this case following the closure of the world due to COVID-19.
On 03/17/2020, the subject informed the case agent that she’d just learned of the immediate closure of her workplace due to the pandemic. The subject stated she was overjoyed to have unexpected free time for writing her book and simultaneously panicked about her livelihood.
On 04/14/2020, an analysis of the subject’s Macbook Pro revealed a document entitled “Draft 1”. Upon review, the file was last edited on 03/19/2020. Five pages were deleted and the following text added:
“THIS IS GARBAGE!!!!! START OVER.”
Continuing on 04/14/2020, the subject’s Internet history after 03/17/20 was reviewed:
Most Visited Websites: Instagram.com, Facebook.com, Twitter.com, Pinterest.com Other frequented websites: eBay.com - Searches noted for jigsaw puzzles Chase.com - Frequent refreshes were noted, likely for stimulus deposit verification
Recent Google search history: “How to color your hair?” “How much is a peloton?” “Peloton promo codes” “Used Peloton for sale”
Continuing on 04/14/2020, the contents of the subject’s iPhone XR were analyzed. It was noted that a “Notes” entry was made with a storyline idea on 03/20/20. No further information was added to date. There were increased texts between family, friends, and her boyfriend. Alarms entitled “Time to Write” were snoozed approximately eleven times per day.
Prior to 03/17/20, the subject sent the following statement in multiple text messages:
“I wish I had more time to write.”
After 03/17/20, the subject sent the following statement in multiple text messages:
“I’m staring at a blank document but can’t think of anything to write. You?”
Continuing on 04/20/2020, a review of the subject’s Garmin 735 revealed the following: The device’s sleep analysis showed an average wakeup time of 0500 hours prior to 03/17/2020 and 0913 hours after 03/17/2020. When comparing active periods with the subject’s iPhone calendar, the subject appeared to be participating in daily walks during times designated for writing. There is little evidence the subject regularly participated in these daily writing appointments.
The case agent concludes there is evidence the subject is in violation of Writing Code 1.1: Avoidance of writing via procrastination and Writing Code 1.2: Avoidance of writing due to fear. Special circumstances are added due to the subject’s escalated fear of failure.
The case agent submitted a prosecution report to the Writer’s Attorney’s Office, Central District of the Universe.
On 04/14/20, the subject attended a briefing with the Council of Writer’s Accountability. A plea deal was reached. In lieu of prosecution, the subject agreed to a writing accountability program by participating in regular Zoom or FaceTime meetings with writers. The first meeting was arranged for 4/21/20. In addition, a calendar review confirmed a new daily reminder to write.
Case continued pending receipt of Draft 1.
Melanie was a U.S. Secret Service Special Agent from 2007 - 2016. Between her workplace adventures and her imploding personal life, Melanie is vulnerable and relatable as she shares her journey through a male-dominated workplace, divorce, depression, and the difficult decision to leave the job she loved. Starting over in her thirties was humbling, to say the least. Little did she know the Secret Service would prepare her to live a meaningful life apart from it. Her time with the Secret Service showed her what kind of woman she wants to be.
Melanie is currently writing and speaking about her time with the Secret Service and hopes to encourage others with her story.