November is National Novel Writing Month, when thousands of aspiring novelists try to pump out 50,000 words of fiction in 30 days. Fun fact: This year, Seattle produced more words than any other city on earth—over 14 million, nearly a million more than second-place Los Angeles.
To celebrate the conclusion of NaNoWriMo, our hostess is throwing a novel-reading party. Besides the copious cases of beer and Cosmopolitan-making bar, there's a table resplendent with delicious homemade fudge and a decorate-your-own-holiday-cookie station. A lot of the partyers are dressed in suits and fancy dresses, as they're on the way to a prom-themed party down the street, but everyone listens intently as the authors read excerpts from their books.
There's a murder mystery involving a Drew Barrymore–worshipping cult, a story about the weird relationship between a smart, funny young girl and the chef who may or may not want to eat her, a young man who gets a ride on the hood of a car from the potential woman of his dreams, and a psychological thriller about a schizophrenic woman who's being used as an experiment by a twisted psychologist. The stories (and attendant author commentary: "That whole paragraph sucked pretty bad") are funny and touching. One listener approaches a novelist after the reading: "Your story really touched me. It made me cry." "I'm sorry," the confused author says, "I didn't mean to hurt anybody's feelings." And now, finally at the end of a painful, ridiculous journey, it's time for the novelists to make like Faulkner and get totally fucking hammered.
Want to get into an argument with The Stranger about whether the Davis or the Moncrieff translation of Proust is better—Moncrieff totally sux donkey balls, btw—at your house party? E-mail the date, place, time, and party details to firstname.lastname@example.org