How to write an Exquisite Corpse! (The Writers favorite writing game)

Ever heard of an Exquisite Corpse? It’s not what you might think. An Exquisite Corpse is an old game in which people write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold it over to conceal part of it and pass it on to the next player to do the same. The game ends when someone finishes the story, which is then read aloud.

The Anonymous Writers!

Meet us in the Conference Room every Thursday from 4 to 5 p.m. for our Anonymous Writers writing group! Please bring a piece of writing (poetry, short stories, creative non-fiction, or anything else, really) to share with the group and be ready to talk about everyone’s work! Grades 7 and up.

Note: If you can’t find us talk to the lovely ladies and gentlemen at the circulation desk and they will gladly direct you to our location!

(Check out this picture of the current Anonymous Writers and their Leader. Come join them next Thursday in all the literary fun!)

The Princess Bride (PG, 1987)

True love is never easy, but you get the feeling it’s never faced quite as many obstacles as in The Princess Bride. Directed by Rob Reiner, based on William Goldman’s book of the same name, and adapted for the screen more or less faithfully by the author himself, the movie features Cary Elwes (Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Ella Enchanted) as Westley, a young man who must do battle with Rodents of Unusual Size, scale the Cliffs of Insanity, take on a giant (Andre the Giant, that is) in a wrestling match, and more to save Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn), his one true love, from being forced to marry the evil reigning prince. Add in the swashbuckling efforts of Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya and appearances by Fred Savage, Peter Falk, Christopher Guest, Mel Smith, and Billy Crystal, and you have an action/adventure/comedy/romance/fantasy to please all audiences.

Mostly Martha (Bella Martha) (PG, 2001)

Mostly martha poster - man and women in chef's attire, looking intently at each other as man holds up small pan and spoon laden with food, leaning in to offer to womanMostly Martha was the inspiration for 2007’s No Reservations, but don’t hold that against it. The German original is set in contemporary Köln, and features The Lives of Others’ Martina Gedek as Martha, the neurotic, workaholic head chef of a high-end restaurant. When her boss forces her into therapy, Martha just cooks for her shrink. When her new downstairs neighbor flirts with her, she’s awkward and terse. As lonely as she is a loner, Martha must readjust everything when she becomes the guardian of her niece, Lina (Maxime Foerste), and her boss hires a playful Italian sous-chef (Sergio Castellitto, most recently of Paris, je t’aime and Prince Caspian) to split her duties in the kitchen. By turns tragic, comic, and romantic, Mostly Martha is not only a great story, but a foodie’s dream to watch.

A Very Long Engagement (Un long dimanche de fiançailles) (R, 2004)

Fans of Amélie (Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain) will recognize A Very Long Engagement as the work of an old friend. Still, though directed by Amélie’s Jean-Pierre Jeunet and featuring many of the same faces as that 2001 effort, Engagement is a decidedly different love story. Audrey Tautou’s  assertive and heartsick Mathilde is anything but the shrinking flower of her scheming and heartsick Amélie, though her comic timing and moments of poignant vulnerability are just as good. The tone is set by quick shifts between violent scenes of World War I trench warfare and gleeful 1920s Paris, both a far cry from contemporary Montmartre. And though Amélie features a fairly tangled web of mystery and love, neither quite reaches the epic proportions of Mathilde’s stubborn refusal to believe the official story of her fiancé Manech’s death in No Man’s Land and determined detective work to uncover the truth. Along the way she delves into the lives of several other characters, superbly played by the likes of Jodie Foster and Marion Cotillard. If Manech were dead, Mathilde says, she would know. Do you believe her?

The Secret Agent—Joseph Conrad

With apologies to Messrs. Conrad and Kurtz, this is the book for all of us who find it harder to read Heart of Darkness than Herodotus. Based on a real attack in London’s Greenwich Park in 1894, the novel follows Mr. Verloc and a group of anarchist terrorists as they plan a dynamite outrage in newly-industrialized 1886 London. The Secret Agent also details Verloc’s domestic life, complete with a younger wife, a mentally disabled brother-in-law, and a mother-in-law who wields guilt to greater effect than the terrorists’ explosives. Conrad’s Dickensian bent toward caricature lends this early narrative of modern terrorism, beloved by the Unabomber, some much-needed (though still undeniably dark) levity.

June Red Feather Reads

We're back again and can't wait for you to take a peek at what we have been reading this past month.  Lots of different genres were explored so take a look and we hope you find something great to read on these hot summer nights.

More than a Stranger  by Erin Knightly
I thought this book would be really good. It dragged for me. You don’t even get a kiss until halfway through the book. If you want any bedroom action in a book, don’t pick up this one. Only the last 50 pages are worth reading.

Distracting the Duchess  by Emily Bryan
The heroine is an artist who mistakes him for her next nude model. He’s a spy trying to uncover secrets her father left behind. But he does what she wants in order to keep his cover. He’s also being told to marry her sister. She finally gets outraged at his shenanigans. She gets involved in trying to find the secret key to her father's past. I like that the heroine wasn’t ditzy, but still strong within her era’s limitations.

Coveted  by Shawntelle Madison
Three words; OCD hoarder werewolf, need I say more? Loved the heroine: an outcast  werewolf who cannot stand dirt (hard to do when you’re wolfy). She also seeks out  Christmas ornaments like her life depends on it. As a werewolf, she can’t defend herself and is kicked out of the pack because of her illness. A really good first novel with lots of elements of comedy. Pick it up and read.

Fifty Shades of Grey  by E.L. James
Well here we are. Finally writing something about the much-discussed book of the year. If stringing together of words to form sentences that don't make you cringe is something that you value in your reading material then this book is not for you. It's not even about the subject or the plot, it's the inner dialogue of the main character that will cause the reader more pain than Mr. Grey is able to dish out. Three out of three readers agree: this is a badly written book which you should not bother reading. If you are interested in the genre there are better writers out there than this.

Coming up Roses  by Catherine Anderson
Heroine had an abusive husband. He dies, and she buries him under the rose bushes. The hunky neighbor’s dog ends up digging up the rose bushes! They meet, and sparks fly. However, he ends up rescuing the heroine's daughter from a well full of snakes. He gets bitten, and she takes care of him while he recovers. Lots of plot twists. Reads fast, and has funny moments.