Notes on the dangers of reading Orwell.

The danger of reading Orwell is that you think you have done enough. You know now that an information dictatorship is a real and present danger. And if you know, so does everyone else, right? The problem is covered, no need to worry. There is a world famous book that points out the insanity of a mind controlled population through stealth use of technology. And if there’s any possibility of that remotely happening, then someone else that has read Orwell too and is in power will just….sort it out? And yet, everything you do is recorded. Every message you send, every e-mail, every like, post and uploaded photo. Every comment, every status update, every time you look at a profile, send a tweet, take a Snap, watch a video or a stream a show. It is all banked, saved and stored in the micro data vault you’ll never be able to find. Everything you buy is tracked on your bank card and your loyalty tags. Every time you buy fuel it’s tracked through your registration and CCTV. When you use online maps, the journey is recorded and a profile of your travel habits is created and observed in a dark room by strangers that regard you as piece of data, a minute fraction of information that builds a picture of your life and those around you. Everything you say is heard, everything you talk about is analysed. When you meet someone for dinner, or a coffee, or on the street, your phones are co-located and the relationship is established. What is the connection between these two people? Let’s look at their social media, their family, their work history, their location information. All this is done in seconds as you stand or sit in the world of no privacy. There is no escape. You are logged in at work. They give you a phone which can be tracked for quality and training purposes. They give you a car and a tablet which is monitored for employee compliance and punctuality. Your online activity at the office is regularly observed by the IT department for potential breaches of company policy. All banked, stored, saved forever. You are logged in at home because you need Wi-fi to pay your bills, watch your shows, book your holiday, do research, communicate with the outside world. The world outside now is considered dangerous. It’s important that you are concerned about going outside. Outside, there are potential dangers. Crime, disease, pollution, freak weather events, traffic accidents. Going outside is a bad idea, you need to stay inside where you can’t protest against the things about which you are vaguely uncomfortable. Your government needs to change but you don’t have the time to politically engage. Your time and attention are constantly absorbed by notifications, e-mails, phone calls, messages and tasks that ought to be done now. Now, now, now. Communications from work, calendar alarms, climate change, carbon tax, war here, war there, war coming, war almost over. Threats abound, anxiety is standard. And what is to be done? Nothing, it’s too late. The irony of Orwell’s nightmare being so available and obvious is that you were softened into thinking it could never happen. And then you sleepwalked into it. And here is you. Say hello to your new Big Brother.

Mick.

*
Check out Mick Donnellan’s Work on Kindle

Fisherman’s Blues (Paperback)

Fisherman’s Blues is the hilarious new novel from Mick Donnellan.Dark and audacious, written in a distinct West of Ireland vernacular, it covers a myriad of genres from Crime Noir to comedy and an odd bit of religion. Fresh in its language, vivid in its descriptions, the book sings with the signature style of all Donnellan’s previous work, and a bit more. Delving into the lives of drinkers, lovers, thieves and scam artists, the story weaves a web of intrigue and curiosity that ends with an unforgettable bang. Not without its poignant moments, the plot hinges on the chaotic consequences of three unlikely comrade’s attempts to save their lost relationships, while unintentionally ruining the plans of a rising criminal’s efforts to take over the city. The question is: Can they succeed? And if they don’t, what then? And where have the women really gone?

€10.00

Notes on Reviews….

The odd thing about reviews is they’re not reviews anymore. They tend to be banal descriptions of the story that begin with what happens at the beginning, give away all the plot points and then spell out the end. There is no opinions, no critical analysis, no understanding of where the title being reviewed fits into the artistic landscape. And this asks the question if the reviewer knows what they are talking about. Yes, the artist is often neurotic and despises the indifferent art of reviewing, and yes; a review can be written in ten minutes where the project – say, a book – may take years. So you have a journalist taking your work and saying what they think they understand based on a speed read and a glance at the back cover. It’s quite possible the reviewer may be experienced enough to know what’s good and what’s another turkey. They may even read the entire work and form a justified negative opinion and call it as so. But. The art of the review itself ought to be a balanced act of expertise. It should be considered an art in and of itself. One where the reader comes away with enough information to decide for themselves whether to invest their time in the work – but no so much that all the suspense and surprise is spelled out in explicit detail and now there is no need to ever think about the work again one way or the other. There is a difference between a review and a summary. A summary can be useful in a meeting, or prior to an exam where you need factual points of a subject in question. In a summary you are not expecting creative ideas, unexpected plot twists, original or intriguing tales. You just want the information. You don’t compare a summary with another summary and ask yourself which summary is better. But you do with books. When an author’s work is being reviewed it’s important to know where in the career this work has appeared. How the creative journey of the artist is developing and where this talent might lead. The reviewer ought to be able to reference and notice the influences (or lack of) on the writer. They should be able to conjure their own comparisons with books he or she has also read and come to a balanced conclusion. The review should be critical – constructive where possible. Sure, a work may be hopeless but not always. And what we have now when it comes to reviews are a disguised form of summary. This might be acceptable in a college newspaper in the early days of a journalistic career but not on national media. Not on television, or newspaper, or digital versions of either. It’s lazy by the reviewer, does nothing for the author, and is of no real use to the reader or potential audience.

Mick.

Check out Mick Donnellan’s Work on Kindle

Fisherman’s Blues (Paperback)

Fisherman’s Blues is the hilarious new novel from Mick Donnellan.Dark and audacious, written in a distinct West of Ireland vernacular, it covers a myriad of genres from Crime Noir to comedy and an odd bit of religion. Fresh in its language, vivid in its descriptions, the book sings with the signature style of all Donnellan’s previous work, and a bit more. Delving into the lives of drinkers, lovers, thieves and scam artists, the story weaves a web of intrigue and curiosity that ends with an unforgettable bang. Not without its poignant moments, the plot hinges on the chaotic consequences of three unlikely comrade’s attempts to save their lost relationships, while unintentionally ruining the plans of a rising criminal’s efforts to take over the city. The question is: Can they succeed? And if they don’t, what then? And where have the women really gone?

€10.00

Feeling Cultural?

 

 

Fisherman’s Blues (Paperback)

Fisherman’s Blues is the hilarious new novel from Mick Donnellan.Dark and audacious, written in a distinct West of Ireland vernacular, it covers a myriad of genres from Crime Noir to comedy and an odd bit of religion. Fresh in its language, vivid in its descriptions, the book sings with the signature style of all Donnellan’s previous work, and a bit more. Delving into the lives of drinkers, lovers, thieves and scam artists, the story weaves a web of intrigue and curiosity that ends with an unforgettable bang. Not without its poignant moments, the plot hinges on the chaotic consequences of three unlikely comrade’s attempts to save their lost relationships, while unintentionally ruining the plans of a rising criminal’s efforts to take over the city. The question is: Can they succeed? And if they don’t, what then? And where have the women really gone?

€10.00

Novel – El Niño (in Paperback).

El Niño is the exciting debut novel from Mayo man, Mick Donnellan. Slick, stylish and always entertaining, the story is a rollercoaster of drama and tension that hasn’t been seen in Irish fiction for a very long time. Charlie is our protagonist, the pick pocket that steals El Nino’s wallet and then falls in love with her. She’s the wild femme fatale, beautiful; enigmatic and seductive. She rocks Charlie’s world with her smoky wiles and drinking ways and her tough girl ideals. This is Noir at its best. Dark and edgy with crisp fresh dialogue and a plot that engages the reader from the first line and keeps them up all night – right through to it’s powerful finish.

€10.00

Mokusatsu – A Novel by Mick Donnellan.

(Includes Worldwide Delivery and Postage) Charlie’s out on bail and back on the sauce. Still devastated over the events of El Niño, he drinks to kill the pain and robs all he can to feel alive. But the past won’t give him peace. The police want him in jail. Kramer’s old crew have a price on his head, and his new employer has big plans to carve out his own niche in the criminal underworld — with Charlie at the helm. Roped into a series of audacious heists and ingenious schemes, he finds himself involved with illegal diesel in Westmeath, stolen cash machines in Mayo and violent debt collection in Galway. Couple that with his regular income of stealing wallets and robbing shops and you have a cyclone of a man roaring down a path to destruction. And bringing everybody with him. And then there’s Karena. The beautiful girl that may save him — but maybe she should know better? At times dark, others touching, and often comic, Mokusatsu is a fiction readers feast of Irish Crime Writing.

€10.00

Notes on the real artist.

He works in a small town and decides he’s got a voice and wants to be an artist. Things the kid wants to do, things the kid wants to say. Most nights he drinks to stop him thinking and hopes to sleep but can never quite get there. Some voice, some emotional turmoil, something wrong with the way things are. A distant hum in the ether of reality, a curve in the emotional space time. A door to be unlocked and the key is somewhere out there. Just needs to be found. Friends laugh, family don’t agree. Hey, what about your job, another recession coming. Gotta get that house, build on that site, settle down with that nice girl. S’all the same, no matter where you go. Gotta do that engine Tuesday. Gearbox gone in that Toyota. NCT due on the Opel. We know what that guy’s like, real particular. Real cheap too, finds something wrong, he won’t pay. Thinks we’re all animals here. Thinks we’re all dumb mechanics. Always on the phone, doing some job, some kinda Wall Street, clean shoes and that expensive suit and those rings. Educated type, uses big words, asks if we got a website, asks if we do e-mail. Ain’t no e-mail here. Had an e-mail once, lost the password, waste of time anyway. Gotta spray that transit, guy wants to sell it, make it look good, springs coming up through the boards, let’s nail them down, pass me the drill. Keep it going for a while, same with all these English cars. Salt on the road, see. Comes right up and causes rust and then they sell them over here when they’re about to fall apart. Let’s get a drink tonight. I can’t drink tonight. Our hero’s working on something, some story, some play, some book. He’s thinking about a film, that song he heard the other day. He was changing the oil filter on the Insignia and it came on, moved him somehow, meant something. Would look good in a movie. That collection at home. DVD’s up to the ceiling. S’all Netflix now but the broadband around here is too bad. Good thing too, he thinks, more substance, less choice. You gotta watch what you got and watch it right and learn. Learn what a story is, learn how to add a song, learn how to write what people say. That girl with the Ford Focus, smelled nice, in some college somewhere, studying something. Something to do with points, forms, applications and those damn e-mails. Maybe could ask her. Ask her how. Ask her where. Ask her when. Where does a guy start, telling that story, putting those thoughts in order. Breaking through. Here’s the girl with the focus now, speak of the devil, she knows all about it, says there’s that big festival on in the city. here, you want a brochure, I got one last week. He takes it off her, brings it home. Reads it that night. Too many big words, too many big ideas. Culture, diversity, inclusion, stability of the organic societal perspective from an artistic standpoint. Man just wants to tell a story. Doesn’t want to send e-mails, drink the wine or wear the good coats. Just heard the song when doing the Insignia, can see the scene, just like the stack of DVD’s that all came before. Man’s got ideas but he’s tired now. Too tired for culture, and diversity and artistic standpoints. Needs to finish that Passat in the morning and the Peugeot’s back with a rattle in the bearing. And that guy with the suit, they say he’s some kind of director, on some board, film board maybe, what’s the film board, who knows, probably more inclusion, and e-mails and metaphors and big words like archetypal and fostering the rural imperative in the Post Celtic Tiger era. Here, pass the WD40, there’s a squeak in the window, Almera nice car. Doesn’t let you down. Japanese. Great culture there I bet. Supposed to check out that festival tonight, what’s the point, won’t fit in. Can’t understand a damn thing they got going on. Let’s get that drink instead. Six cans in Tesco and a binge of Scorsese.

Mick.

Fisherman’s Blues (Paperback)

Fisherman’s Blues is the hilarious new novel from Mick Donnellan.Dark and audacious, written in a distinct West of Ireland vernacular, it covers a myriad of genres from Crime Noir to comedy and an odd bit of religion. Fresh in its language, vivid in its descriptions, the book sings with the signature style of all Donnellan’s previous work, and a bit more. Delving into the lives of drinkers, lovers, thieves and scam artists, the story weaves a web of intrigue and curiosity that ends with an unforgettable bang. Not without its poignant moments, the plot hinges on the chaotic consequences of three unlikely comrade’s attempts to save their lost relationships, while unintentionally ruining the plans of a rising criminal’s efforts to take over the city. The question is: Can they succeed? And if they don’t, what then? And where have the women really gone?

€10.00

Mick Donnellan’s new Writing Course begins Tuesday 24th – 7.30pm @ AIT Athlone.

Sign up to Mick Donnellan’s New Creative Writing Course

@

 Athlone Institute of Technology.  

Tuesday September 24th

7.30 – 9.30pm

Duration 10 weeks

Cost: €180

Contact:

Life Long Learning Department at AIT:

(0906) 471829

Mobile: (087) 9422942.

E-Mail:mickdonnellan@hotmail.com

**Limited Places. Early Booking Strongly Advised.**

About the Course:

Mick Donnellan’s new Creative Writing Course opens this September 24th at the AIT Athlone. Building on the creative momentum gathered in recent classes, the course will concentrate on Fiction, Poetry, Non-Fiction and Publishing. 

Each student will get a chance to work on a creative project of their choice and use the class as a safe environment to get feedback, ask questions, and learn new techniques and approaches to their craft.

The Fiction Module will explore the art of the Short Story, different genres of the modern novel as well as how to plot and develop your story or book. This will be an incisive and educational exploration of the writing process and will enlighten students in ways that help them make substantial leaps forward in their creative careers.

The Poetry Module will examine Poets past and present as well as dive into the poetic mind and process. We will pull back the veil on conventional poetry and examine the difference between sincere verse and commercial rhyme. Aspiring poets will share work and get constructive feedback on their voice, themes and style.

Non-Fiction will cover a myriad of writing styles such as Biography, Memoir, Journalism, Review, Writing Features and Online Media. Students often find this aspect of the course the most educational and discover talents they never knew they had. For instance, Fiction writers often find they are better at Memoir and poets find passion for Blogging or Journalism.  Some Short Story writers have found they prefer writing Biography. This module will help students realise their full potential and ensure they are not locked  into one specific style or type of writing.

Publishing: We will go through the entire publishing process from editing, to format, designing the cover, marketing and getting work published.  This will be an insightful and exciting process for everyone involved. Each student come away with a keen knowledge of the Publishing Industry and will know how and where to send their work when they feel it is ready.

Course Intended for:

This course is ideal for writers at all levels of their career. It suits beginners and those who need a channel to express themselves creatively. No experience is required as the course will cover the basics of writing and gradually move through the different stages towards publishing success. It will be an enjoyable, stress free course with opportunity to be published at the end. It will also help those writers working in isolation and looking for a constructive environment to share and develop their work.

*The course will differ in content from previous courses so don’t worry if you have taken Mick’s course before.*

Background of the course:

The Writing Class began in September 2017 and has since gone from strength to strength. Taught and co-ordinated by Mick Donnellan, with the help of the Lifelong Learning Department at AIT, the course has seen an exponential rise in demand coupled with a series of exciting successes. To date, three students have had books published and others have gone on to be accepted to prestigious writing programmes such as the Masters in Trinity and NUI Galway. Most recently, Aiden Shorthall shot to prominence with his gripping memoir: The Tree That Fell In Winter. He cites the writing course as a crucial instrument on his road to success.

The course covers an array of genres such as Fiction, Playwrighting, Journalism, Screenwriting, Poetry and the Publishing industry. The aim is to determine the best voice for each student/writer that enrols. Writers often come to the class believing they are Novelists and leave as Poets. Or start out thinking they want to be a Journalist only to discover they’re more of a Playwright. By covering each topic, we find the approach that best suits each student and allows  them the creative flexibility to explore their writing and reach their full potential.

Last semester, the class produced a collection of work titledTales from the Heart.  The contributors came from varied backgrounds and professions and provided a unique and creative insight with their stories and poetry. Hailing fr​om Athlone and the surrounding towns of the midlands, each student drew deep to put their life experience on paper. While some had experience in the creative industry, the majority of the writers were making their publishing debut here in exemplary style. 

The idea behind the publication was to take writers to the next step. They started the class with the imagination and moved to the written word but there was always a question of how to migrate these stories and ideas to the published form. Tales from the Heart was the perfect opportunity to make that happen. 

After ten weeks of teaching, experimenting with form and style, and developing each entry to perfection – we eventually had the finished product. Every writer  excelled themselves to push their imagination to the limit and beyond and they now have the experience and confidence to push forward into a rich and rewarding career in the writing industry. The collection was launched at the AIT in April 2019 by Mary O’Rourke and was recognised as a publishing success. You can read more about Tales from the Heart on www.mickdonnellan.com



About Mick
Mick completed the MA in Writing at NUIG in 2004. Since then he has worked as a novelist, journalist, travel writer, teacher and Playwright. He completed his first novel, El Niño, in 2005 and immediately secured a literary agent. He left Ireland soon after and went on to live in Spain, Australia and Canada. While traveling he worked as a travel writer and Journalist and co-founded the Arts Paper – Urban Pie – in Vancouver. Upon returning to Ireland he went on to work with Druid (2009) and RTE (2010).

More recently, he established his own theatre company, Truman Town Theatre. All Truman Town Plays are written, directed, and produced by Mick. The company exploded on to the theatrical circuit in 2011 with their hit Play – Sunday Morning Coming Down. Following a national tour, they went on to produce (and tour) two more hugely successful Plays Shortcut to Hallelujah and Gun Metal Grey. These dramas eventually became known as the “Ballinrobe Trilogy”. More recently, the company toured a fourth Play Velvet Revolution and in 2014, Radio Luxembourg, his fifth Play, was bought by a London Film Company (Dixon/Baxi/Evans) and has been adapted for the screen.

The title for the movie version is “Tiger Raid”. Starring Brian Gleeson, Damian Molony and Sofia Boutella, it had its world premiere at the Tribeca film festival (2016) and was also seen at Cannes and Edinburgh and the Irish Premiere was screened at the Galway Film Fleadh.

El Niño is now published and Mick is currently in negotiations to sell the screen rights. Between that, he teaches writing while promoting his second novel “Fisherman’s Blues” and keeping Truman Town on the go.

Most of 2018 has been working on the exciting screen adaptation of “Shortcut to Hallelujah” with Florence Films. Hot off the press, the screenplay is titled “Sam” and is based around the gypsy curse supposedly set on the Mayo Football team as they returned home as All Ireland Champions in 1951. “Sam” is set in the present day and deals with themes of Mayo life and the hope of bringing the Sam Maguire home. Drenched in Irish lyricism and modern day dark humour, the script has been been met with keen interest by film producers and actors throughout the industry.

Mick’s third novel Mokusatsu – a crime novel set between Galway and Athlone – was published in May 2019.

See more on www.mickdonnellan.com

Mick.

Mokusatsu – A Novel by Mick Donnellan.

(Includes Worldwide Delivery and Postage) Charlie’s out on bail and back on the sauce. Still devastated over the events of El Niño, he drinks to kill the pain and robs all he can to feel alive. But the past won’t give him peace. The police want him in jail. Kramer’s old crew have a price on his head, and his new employer has big plans to carve out his own niche in the criminal underworld — with Charlie at the helm. Roped into a series of audacious heists and ingenious schemes, he finds himself involved with illegal diesel in Westmeath, stolen cash machines in Mayo and violent debt collection in Galway. Couple that with his regular income of stealing wallets and robbing shops and you have a cyclone of a man roaring down a path to destruction. And bringing everybody with him. And then there’s Karena. The beautiful girl that may save him — but maybe she should know better? At times dark, others touching, and often comic, Mokusatsu is a fiction readers feast of Irish Crime Writing.

€10.00

Tales from the Heart – New Writing from Athlone Institute of Technology.

Buy “Tales from the Heart” here and have it delivered in Paperback Directly to your Door! * Tales from the Heart is a recent publication from the AIT Writing Class, launched by Mary O’Rourke in early April of this year. Here you will find a striking array of Prose, Non-Fiction and Poetry that can have you laughing out loud in one story and bringing a tear to the eye in the next. The prose is always lyrical, the poetry always profound and the true stories are drenched in observational brilliance. From interviews with Maeve Binchy to hard boiled Noir and beautiful memoir, this is a mouth watering collection that will be devoured by readers from all walks of life. The Writers The contributors come from varied backgrounds and professions and provide a unique and creative insight with their stories and poetry. Hailing fr​om Athlone and the surrounding towns of The Midlands, each student has drawn deep to put their life experience on paper. While some have experience in the creative industry, the majority of the writers are making their publishing debut here in exemplary style. The idea behind the publication is to take writers to the next step. They started the class with the imagination and moved to the written word but there was always a question of how to migrate these stories and ideas to the published form. Tales from the Heart was the perfect opportunity to make that happen. After ten weeks of teaching, experimenting with form and style, and developing each entry to perfection – we now have the finished product. Read more on http://www.mickdonnellan.com

€10.00

Looking to buy Mick Donnellan’s on Novels Amazon Kindle?

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Fisherman’s Blues by Mick Donnellan (On Kindle)
*****
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El Niño by Mick Donnellan Now available on Kindle –
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Mokusatsu – Available now on Kindle – 
*****
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Tales from the Heart – A Collection of New Creative Writing from the Students at Athlone Institute of Technology – Now available on Kindle here:

Cloony The Clown.

Cloony The Clown 

I’ll tell you the story of Cloony the Clown
Who worked in a circus that came through town. His shoes were too big and his hat was too small, But he just wasn’t, just wasn’t funny at all.
He had a trombone to play loud silly tunes,
He had a green dog and a thousand balloons.
He was floppy and sloppy and skinny and tall, But he just wasn’t, just wasn’t funny at all.
And every time he did a trick,
Everyone felt a little sick.
And every time he told a joke,
Folks sighed as if their hearts were broke.
And every time he lost a shoe,
Everyone looked awfully blue.
And every time he stood on his head,
Everyone screamed, “Go back to bed!”
And every time he made a leap,
Everybody fell asleep.
And every time he ate his tie,
Everyone began to cry.
And Cloony could not make any money
Simply because he was not funny.
One day he said, “I’ll tell this town
How it feels to be an unfunny clown.”
And he told them all why he looked so sad,
And he told them all why he felt so bad.
He told of Pain and Rain and Cold,
He told of Darkness in his soul,
And after he finished his tale of woe,
Did everyone cry? Oh no, no, no,
They laughed until they shook the trees
With “Hah-Hah-Hahs” and “Hee-Hee-Hees.” They laughed with howls and yowls and shrieks, They laughed all day, they laughed all week, They laughed until they had a fit,
They laughed until their jackets split.
The laughter spread for miles around 

To every city, every town,
Over mountains, ‘cross the sea,
From Saint Tropez to Mun San Nee.
And soon the whole world rang with laughter, Lasting till forever after,
While Cloony stood in the circus tent,
With his head drooped low and his shoulders bent. And he said,”THAT IS NOT WHAT I MEANT –
I’M FUNNY JUST BY ACCIDENT.”
And while the world laughed outside.
Cloony the Clown sat down and cried. 

Shel Silverstein

*

Fisherman’s Blues (Paperback)

Fisherman’s Blues is the hilarious new novel from Mick Donnellan.Dark and audacious, written in a distinct West of Ireland vernacular, it covers a myriad of genres from Crime Noir to comedy and an odd bit of religion. Fresh in its language, vivid in its descriptions, the book sings with the signature style of all Donnellan’s previous work, and a bit more. Delving into the lives of drinkers, lovers, thieves and scam artists, the story weaves a web of intrigue and curiosity that ends with an unforgettable bang. Not without its poignant moments, the plot hinges on the chaotic consequences of three unlikely comrade’s attempts to save their lost relationships, while unintentionally ruining the plans of a rising criminal’s efforts to take over the city. The question is: Can they succeed? And if they don’t, what then? And where have the women really gone?

€10.00

Ruaile Buaile in Tullamore

We got there around nine. Tullamore Hotel.There was a band starting in a while, Rualie Buaile they were called. “Supposed to be mighty.”

Few people in. There was stools in the corner. Took them. Another couple landed. Him with tattoos and an orange T-shirt and a pint of lager. Her with a red wine, black hair and painted nails. Are these chairs taken, do you mind if we sit beside ye, where ye from?
We got talking.
Michelle on to your one about hair, clothes, work, Bank Holiday weekends.
Your man was five foot tall and nearly five foot wide. Square measured head like the graphics off a Commodore 64. What do you do yourself? Are ye stayin here? Was it a long drive?
There was a fight breaking out at the bar. Two clowns pushing and a girl trying to break it up. Something about a joke gone wrong. What do you mean by that? I’ll burst your head. And your one slurring: ‘Leave it lads, leave it!’ And she barely able to stand.
Your man turned to me and said: ‘Don’t ever get involved, lad.’
‘Heh?’
‘Fights, I’ll tell you, waste of time, take it from me…let them at it.’
‘Why’s that?.’
‘Was outside Supermacs not so long ago… havin a smoke. Seen this fella arguin with his girlfriend, she was wearin a big pink jacket, that’s why I noticed her. She was tryin to walk away and he was pullin her back, and she was screamin at him, and next thing I know he hits her a box in the face and knocks her out clean cold- Bang!’
‘Jesus.’
‘Yeah, so I went straight over to your man, and I says, “Pick on someone your own size!” and I laid him out, broke his jaw with a right hook. There was a crack like breakin eggs. But what can you do? He hit a woman. Anyway, what do you think happened?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘Weren’t the cops after landing behind me.’
‘They were not?’
‘They fuckin were.
‘They arrested ya?’
‘On the spot. I put up my hands straight away, says, “I don’t mind, I’ll do the time, he hit a woman, it was worth it. I’d do it again, bring me in lads….”’
‘And what happened then?’
‘About six months later – there was a court case. I was up for assault, Grievous Bodily Harm, somethin else, loadsa shit, and I wouldn’t mind, but I’ve a few convictions already like, so it didn’t really suit, but I was hopin the judge would understand…’
‘And did she?’
‘No.’
‘Why not?’
‘Well, ask me who the first witness was, up on the stand, to testify against me…?’
‘Your man that you hit?’
‘No. The girlfriend. Your one that he knocked out, that I was protecting. Stands up and says it was all my fault, they weren’t arguin at all and I just came over and attacked them….fuckin bitch.’
‘Jesus.’
‘I’m fuckin tellin ya. And she wearin the same fuckin pink jacket. Nailed me the bitch. Stickin up for the bollox that was batein her…’
‘You get a sentence?
‘Nine months. Suspended.’
‘You were lucky.’
‘That’s what I mean though. I’ll tell ya, next woman I see gettin a box….they can tap dance on her fuckin head for all I care, I’m not getting involved, waste of fuckin time…’
I looked back over at the two that were almost fighting. They were posing for a picture now. Hands on each others shoulders and they smiling pure happy. And the drunk girl tryin to take the picture with a phone but she kept pressing the wrong button and the lads jaws were getting sore trying to smile.
‘See what I mean?’ Says Commodore. ‘Waste of fuckin time. Is this band startin or what….?’

*

Novel – El Niño (in Paperback).

El Niño is the exciting debut novel from Mayo man, Mick Donnellan. Slick, stylish and always entertaining, the story is a rollercoaster of drama and tension that hasn’t been seen in Irish fiction for a very long time. Charlie is our protagonist, the pick pocket that steals El Nino’s wallet and then falls in love with her. She’s the wild femme fatale, beautiful; enigmatic and seductive. She rocks Charlie’s world with her smoky wiles and drinking ways and her tough girl ideals. This is Noir at its best. Dark and edgy with crisp fresh dialogue and a plot that engages the reader from the first line and keeps them up all night – right through to it’s powerful finish.

€10.00

Dentist sequel – The Extraction…(reblog)

A few days later, the dentist rang and said: ‘I rang the dental crowd and it’s sorted now.’
‘What happened?’
‘Someone mixed up your files with a 75 year old man.’
‘How?!’
‘I don’t know, but that other man had all his teeth extracted, and you still have most of yours. So that’s where the confusion was…how’re the painkillers?’
‘Middlin.’
‘Call in tomorrow so.’
And he hung up. The next day. The receptionist answered the door. ‘Oh, hello Thomas.’
I was in too much pain to correct her. She led me down a corridor towards the surgery. Green walls. Echo. Stuffed birds. Smell like liquorice. The dentist was in there and ready. Mask, white coat and antiseptic wash. He said: ‘Are you ready so?’
I sat back in the chair. He put on the big light and got a really long needle. He asked me through the mask if I was allergic to any anaesthetics or anything. Sounded like he was talking from the fat end of a traffic cone. I said no. He asked me if I was sure cos there was a fella here before that said he had no allergies and then he had a fit on the way home and crashed into the wall.
He held up the syringe, like something out of a film about Mind Control, and blinked. I said I was fairly sure I was ok and to go ahead. He shrugged in a way that said: ‘It’s your choice, so.’
As he put it through, and my brain froze in terror, unable to compute the mad agony, the receptionist said: ‘It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it, Ger?’
Soon my mouth was stroke numb and I didn’t’ have any fits so it was time to take out the tools. Pliers, drill, dental angle grinders, scrapers, gum hoover, long metal rod with mirror on the back. I was feeling so positive about it all, I could have sang if my mouth didn’t feel like concrete. Something happened behind me with a tap and a sink and then he floated back into my vision, holding what looked to be a vice grips. “I’ll need you to be very still and relaxed.” He said.
I said ok and then he went at it. Tried to get grip but couldn’t cos the thing kept slipping off. He sighed and grunted a lot. Used the electric saw and a steel apparatus not unlike a shovel. I kept looking at the big light and hoping for the best. His eyes were huge through the goggles and you could tell he was a fanatic for this sorta thing. Stubborn molars, resistant to the latest technology. There could be a paper on this yet, at the very least, good material for the drinks at the next conference. Then I started wondering if he was qualified at all. The receptionist interrupted my thoughts when she held my head and muttered reassuringly. “It’s ok, Patrick, it’s nearly over.’
And it was. He was mad now. Takin it personal. There was a feeling he’d got to the crux of the problem and it was time for one last all out attack. He bit his lip as he caught it well and grasped with intense hatred and yanked like a man trying to start a broken chainsaw. There was a rupture somewhere in my brain. I saw roots dragged from the soil in the garden of Eden, sequoia’s torn like twigs, molar earthquakes. A crisis somewhere in my consciousness that something huge had happened. He stood back and held it up between the prongs and proudly said: ‘That’s her now! Take a rinse from the glass. Good man.’
Everythin was spinning. The room, the walls, the chair. I felt like a deer that had just been shot. I stood up, shook. They were around me. Him with the mask, her with the lipstick on her teeth. Everything was amplified, like on the cartoons when you’re hit on the head with an anvil. ‘Do you need to sit down?’ He asked.
And I did. So I did. Feeling the emptiness with my tongue. The receptionist said: “You have to be careful, you could fall over. And then you might lose another tooth! Imagine that, Barry!’
He wrote out a prescription then. Said to take these anti-biotics for the next two weeks and I should be fine. Don’t mix them with drink. The last fella that mixed them with drink ended up in the mental.
Outside, the sky frowned. It took a few seconds to figure out where I was. The receptionist walked me to the door. “Goodbye now, Paddy, don’t worry about anything, I’ll make sure your files are up to date this time, there’ll be no more problems. Just keep the teeth brushed, good man, and if you don’t, sure we’ll see you again soon, wouldn’t that lovely?!


A few days later, the dentist rang and said: ‘I rang the dental crowd and it’s sorted now.’
‘What happened?’
‘Someone mixed up your files with a 75 year old man.’
‘How?!’
‘I don’t know, but that other man had all his teeth extracted, and you still have most of yours. So that’s where the confusion was…how’re the painkillers?’
‘Middlin.’
‘Call in tomorrow so.’
And he hung up. The next day. The receptionist answered the door. ‘Oh, hello Thomas.’
I was in too much pain to correct her. She led me down a corridor towards the surgery. Green walls. Echo. Stuffed birds. Smell like liquorice. The dentist was in there and ready. Mask, white coat and antiseptic wash. He said: ‘Are you ready so?’
I sat back in the chair. He put on the big light and got a really long needle. He asked me through the mask if I was allergic to any anaesthetics or anything. Sounded like he was talking from the fat end of a traffic cone. I said no. He asked me if I was sure cos there was a fella here before that said he had no allergies and then he had a fit on the way home and crashed into the wall.
He held up the syringe, like something out of a film about Mind Control, and blinked. I said I was fairly sure I was ok and to go ahead. He shrugged in a way that said: ‘It’s your choice, so.’
As he put it through, and my brain froze in terror, unable to compute the mad agony, the receptionist said: ‘It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it, Ger?’
Soon my mouth was stroke numb and I didn’t’ have any fits so it was time to take out the tools. Pliers, drill, dental angle grinders, scrapers, gum hoover, long metal rod with mirror on the back. I was feeling so positive about it all, I could have sang if my mouth didn’t feel like concrete. Something happened behind me with a tap and a sink and then he floated back into my vision, holding what looked to be a vice grips. “I’ll need you to be very still and relaxed.” He said.
I said ok and then he went at it. Tried to get grip but couldn’t cos the thing kept slipping off. He sighed and grunted a lot. Used the electric saw and a steel apparatus not unlike a shovel. I kept looking at the big light and hoping for the best. His eyes were huge through the goggles and you could tell he was a fanatic for this sorta thing. Stubborn molars, resistant to the latest technology. There could be a paper on this yet, at the very least, good material for the drinks at the next conference. Then I started wondering if he was qualified at all. The receptionist interrupted my thoughts when she held my head and muttered reassuringly. “It’s ok, Patrick, it’s nearly over.’
And it was. He was mad now. Takin it personal. There was a feeling he’d got to the crux of the problem and it was time for one last all out attack. He bit his lip as he caught it well and grasped with intense hatred and yanked like a man trying to start a broken chainsaw. There was a rupture somewhere in my brain. I saw roots dragged from the soil in the garden of Eden, sequoia’s torn like twigs, molar earthquakes. A crisis somewhere in my consciousness that something huge had happened. He stood back and held it up between the prongs and proudly said: ‘That’s her now! Take a rinse from the glass. Good man.’
Everythin was spinning. The room, the walls, the chair. I felt like a deer that had just been shot. I stood up, shook. They were around me. Him with the mask, her with the lipstick on her teeth. Everything was amplified, like on the cartoons when you’re hit on the head with an anvil. ‘Do you need to sit down?’ He asked.
And I did. So I did. Feeling the emptiness with my tongue. The receptionist said: “You have to be careful, you could fall over. And then you might lose another tooth! Imagine that, Barry!’
He wrote out a prescription then. Said to take these anti-biotics for the next two weeks and I should be fine. Don’t mix them with drink. The last fella that mixed them with drink ended up in the mental.
Outside, the sky frowned. It took a few seconds to figure out where I was. The receptionist walked me to the door. “Goodbye now, Paddy, don’t worry about anything, I’ll make sure your files are up to date this time, there’ll be no more problems. Just keep the teeth brushed, good man, and if you don’t, sure we’ll see you again soon, wouldn’t that lovely?!

The Dental Records crowd….

They reckon all good writers have problems with their teeth. That’s about the only positive thing I could take from the terrible pain. Then the dentist said: ‘You’ve given me a false name, are you tryin to pull somethin?’
I said: ‘No, it’s genuine, my mouth’s about to explode with some kinda toothache.’
‘That’s what I mean.’ He said. ‘Your records show you’ve no teeth at all.’
‘No teeth?’
‘No teeth.’
‘But I have teeth, why the hell do you think I’m here?!’
‘Well. Now. That’s what they’re sayin.’
‘Who’s sayin?’
‘The dental records crowd.’
The receptionist walked in and said: ‘Well, Gerry, how are you?’
‘It’s not Gerry, it’s Mick.’
‘Oh, Mick, that’s right. You lost all your teeth.’
‘I didn’t, no. Most of them are still here.’
‘Oh.’ She said, and walked out.
‘Well…’ said the dentist. ‘You better ring them. I can’t do anythin with you til it’s sorted out.’
He gave me the number and I went outside. And called. A calm woman answered and I said: ‘My records show I’ve got no teeth.’
‘Oh. Sorry to hear that.’
‘But I have teeth, there’s a mix up.’
‘That’s impossible, you have teeth but…?’
‘My records show that I don’t.’
‘What happened them?’
‘What happened what?’
‘Your teeth?’
‘Nothin, they’re fine. Well…I have a…’
‘So you HAVE teeth?’
‘YES.’
‘And your records show you DON’T?’
‘Yeah, so can you change them?’
‘The records? Oh No.’
‘Why not?’
‘They’re dental records, they’re inviolable.’
‘But they’re wrong!’
‘That may be, but here’s not the place to deal with that.’
‘Where is?! You’re the office of dental records!’
‘I wouldn’t know.’
‘How can you not know?’
‘You should go to the hospital where you were born, and see what they have on file.’
Hung up. Went to the hospital. The woman behind the counter squinted at my mouth and asked: ‘You have no teeth? But I can see teeth, your mouth is full of teeth.’
‘Exactly. So my records are wrong.’
‘Have you rang the dental records office?’
‘Yeah.’
‘And what did they tell you?’
‘To come here.’
‘Why?!’
‘I don’t know. They just said…’
‘Here, try this number.’
Went outside and tried it. A young fella answered with: ‘Yes??’
He was one of these new age pricks with a Kardashian accent. Probably hailed from the backarse of BallyMacWard, except when he was on the phone.  I said: ‘I need to change my dental records.’
‘Oh….k….? Why?’
‘They say I have no teeth.’
‘Were you in an accident?’
‘No.’
‘Did they just fall out?’
‘No. I still have them, my records are wrong, and the dentist can’t deal with me til it’s sorted. So if you don’t mind…’
‘Oh, you’re pretending to be someone else?’
‘No I’m not.’
‘Someone else is pretending to be you, then?’
‘Eh…possibly.’
‘Have you rang the guards?’
‘No, I haven’t rang the guards, I’m in agonizin fuckin pain and…
‘Let me tell you somethin, sir.’
‘What?’
And he hung up. The little bollox.

I rang back the dentist and the receptionist answered. I said: ‘Hello, I was in this afternoon, there was an issue with my dental records.’
‘Oh, LIAM, hello! How are you getting on?’
‘It’s not Liam, it’s Mick.’
‘Mick, of course. Any luck finding your teeth?’
‘No, the dental office were no good, or anyone else.’
‘Oh, you see, no one is allowed access to their own dental records except the dentist, and they can deal with it for you, they can be very strict about it, do you want me to tell the dentist to ring them for you? That might help.’
‘If you wouldn’t mind, that’d be great.’
‘Ok, Peter, it’s no problem.’
‘It’s not Peter, it’s….hello? Hello?’
But she was gone.

*

 

Novel – El Niño (in Paperback).

El Niño is the exciting debut novel from Mayo man, Mick Donnellan. Slick, stylish and always entertaining, the story is a rollercoaster of drama and tension that hasn’t been seen in Irish fiction for a very long time. Charlie is our protagonist, the pick pocket that steals El Nino’s wallet and then falls in love with her. She’s the wild femme fatale, beautiful; enigmatic and seductive. She rocks Charlie’s world with her smoky wiles and drinking ways and her tough girl ideals. This is Noir at its best. Dark and edgy with crisp fresh dialogue and a plot that engages the reader from the first line and keeps them up all night – right through to it’s powerful finish.

€10.00