I've got too many words to write this week for my NaNoWriMo novel, a dark fantasy about an Empire ruled by vampires. (I'm at 27,460 words!) So instead of writing a post, I'll just paste this lost transcript from the Belle Art: Ghost to Ghost podcast.
As you all know, Belle Art ran a popular late-night paranormal podcast. She disappeared last June under mysterious circumstances, along with every copy of every podcast she ever recorded. These transcripts survive. They were of a show taken exactly one year ago, today.
BELLE: Hello world! Welcome to late-night Ghost-to-Ghost with Belle Art. That's me. Tonight we have a special show. In studio with me, I have Vlad the Improbable, a vampire from our sinister city, New York. I have a ghost, Henever Mones, from his old haunts here in Seattle. We have Gary Plotter, a self-proclaimed White Warlock who flew all this way from London.
GARY: On a broom.
BELLE: Yes, purportedly on a broom.
GARY: Why won't you believe me?
BELLE: I'm skeptical about such things.
BELLE: And lastly, I have a werewolf on the line, calling in from Nevada, who refuses to give his name. And what do these fiends have in common? They are all participating in an annual competition called NaNoWriMo. Vlad, would you care to explain?
VLAD: Yes, and may I add that your skin is so, very... very... succulent.
BELLE: That's enough, Vlad. I'm wearing garlic, so just answer the question.
VLAD: But of course. NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. Every November, thousands of people... and unpeople... sit down to write a novel in just thirty days.
BELLE: And what constitutes a novel? How do you "win" NaNoWriMo?
VLAD: Why, you must write 50,000 words between midnight November 1st and November 30th, of course!
BELLE: That seems impossible. How do you do it?
BELLE: Interesting, werewolf. But I'm afraid I can't understand you.
VLAD: It is a simple matter of patience, something my kind has aplenty. It is a mere 1,667 words per day.
BELLE: Yes, but if you have other things going on in your life.. or... ahem... death... like jobs, families, hobbies... Isn't it hard to write that much?
HENEVER: It is impossible to write that much, when you cannot hold a pen.
BELLE: Fascinating. Vlad, what do you do for a living?
VLAD: What a silly question.
BELLE: I'm sorry. What do you do during the day?
VLAD: ... You mean, at night?
BELLE: Yes. You know what I mean. Just answer the question.
VLAD: Aside from sucking blood, I'm an investment banker. So I have some flexibility. I take a few days off in November to help me get through.
BELLE: Don't you mean nights?
BELLE: You take a few nights off in November... Anyway, what is your story about?
VLAD: It is about a succulent young thing who wanders into a dark and scary castle all alone... And who should she find there? But a scary, evil, repulsive, terrifying monster!
BELLE: A vampire?
VLAD: No, of course not. She finds a vampire hunter!
BELLE: Oh, scary.
VLAD: Yes. It is firmly in the horror genre.
BELLE: And you, Henever. Brr, why is it suddenly so cold in here?
HENEVER: Sorry about that. I'll stop.
BELLE: Thanks. That's better. Henever, what do you do for a living?
HENEVER: I'm a ghost writer.
BELLE: I see. And what is your novel about?
HENEVER: My plot feels so transparent.
BELLE: Come on, you can tell us. NaNoWriMo is just for fun. Don't take it so seriously.
HENEVER: I'm writing a ghost-apocalyptic tale where everyone is dead. Everyone.
BELLE: And how far along are you?
HENEVER: I'm so far behind. I'm at 2,500 words. I got to the part where everyone died, and then, well... Everyone was dead.
BELLE: I see. And you can't have much of a story without any characters, right?
HENEVER: You got it.
BELLE: So why don't you write about the ghosts of all the dead people?
HENEVER: Why... I never thought of that!
BELLE: Glad to be of help... Henever? Where did you go? Oh well. And Werewolf. What do you do for a living?
BELLE: Hmm. And what is your novel about?
BELLE: You don't say... well. And you Gary. What do you do for a living?
GARY: I am a Private Warlock.
BELLE: Uh-huh. And what does that mean?
GARY: People come to me for all manner of wizardly services, such as tracking down mysterious magical murderers.
BELLE: Uh-huh. What's your novel about?
GARY: You don't believe me.
BELLE: I'm not sure why you're so surprised. Do many people believe that you're a warlock?
GARY: No, but you're Belle Art. You're sitting here interviewing a ghost and a vampire, and you didn't question their magical credentials.
GARY: And a werewolf.
BELLE: That's because vampires and ghosts and werewolves are real. But warlocks? I'm sorry, but I think you are more likely a paranoid schizophrenic with a mental disorder.
VLAD: No offense against those of us with mental disorders!
BELLE: No offense intended.
GARY: Anyway, my novel is a memoir, based loosely on my life as a warlock, my upbringing as an orphan, my status as the one foretold to defeat an evil warlock, my time at warlock school, and the friends I've made along the way.
BELLE: Hahaha! Who's going to want to read that? What a ridiculous story.
VLAD: Back to me. Aren't I hansom? And your skin is very, very... veiny.
BELLE: Well that's all the time we have today, folks. If you're interested in doing NaNoWriMo next year, visit their website at NaNoWriMo.org! Get away! I have a cross! And a stake! Back!
GARY: I'll turn him into a newt. There. Is that better?
BELLE: Yes, thanks. But I still don't believe in you.
My NaNoWriMo Page