Notes on Confidence.

It’s over. It’s done. No more writing. Time to delete all the files, all the words, all the articles and the half finished novels and badly baked stories. Take down the blogs. Remove all the links and pictures. Burn all the reviews. Put the laptop in the microwave and swing the microwave to full power. When you’re sure the hard drive is toasted and burnt you take the microwave and all and throw it in the skip downstairs. And now it’s done. No more anxiety about what to write, who to write about, where to start. No more fear that the world is secretly laughing at you, talking in quiet circles about how you can’t write, shouldn’t write, wrote something terrible that makes everyone cringe. How they smile to your face and roll their eyes behind your back. It’s all a joke, a conspiracy, a waste of your life and time and social reputation and it’s time to grow up and stop dreaming. Get a job, a normal job, one that pays normally and you don’t have to beg for the crumbs off the Arts Council table or the publishers that don’t pay on time or the theatres that take 40% of the door when they had agreed 20% but hey, read the small print. Best of luck with the eviction.

But you are now free. The path is clear. The distant dream that has dominated your thoughts for years is gone and now you can sit back and enjoy your life without the unrealistic pressure of making it as an artist. And….well. What else? The next day you wake up and all you want to do is write. There’s that story you’d forgotten about. That song that’s looping in your head and you’re sure it’s original. It’s yours, it’s been fermenting for months and you finally have the tune. That line to finish that poem. That word you’d been waiting for turns up on the newspaper and you know it’s perfect. It’s the perfect ending to the verse of the Poetry that yesterday you regarded as pointless. The theatre isn’t that bad, it was just a clerical error and they call you to apologise. The publisher wants to know why your site is offline because people are trying to buy your books. An e-mail comes from a random stranger to say they’ve enjoyed your work and it touched them in a way that was unique and made an important difference to their lives. And here’s that idea for a film. The soundtrack, the themes, the script, all coming together in a flood of inspiration like water and your head’s like a submarine that’s about to burst with the pressure. Time to go back down to the skip and rescue the laptop but the skip is gone. Still, deep down you know you’ve saved everything on an external hard drive and you needed a new laptop anyway so time to head to the computer shop and ask for Flexi finance. After, you put back all the links, find all the reviews, put the website back online. Find them half baked stories and discover they’re not that bad. Maybe that novel’s closer than you think. Here’s the royalty payment in the post. Rent paid for another month. You confidence is back. Time to get writing.

Mayo Launch of Mick Donnellan’s new novel – The Naked Flame.

You are invited to the launch of

Mick Donnellan’s new novel 

The Naked Flame 

Ballinrobe Market 

On Easter Saturday

16th of April

**Time 1.30pm**

Media Contact: mickdonnellan@hotmail.com

You can read The Naked Flame on Kindle here: 

The Naked Flame on Kindle

You can buy The Naked Flame on Paperback here: 

The Naked Flame in Paperback 

About The Naked Flame:  

Set in Athlone, the heart of the Irish midlands, The Naked Flame is a story of love, loss, betrayal, and passion. John joe is engaged but doesn’t want to get married. He’s not sure how to break this to Karen. Then it’s time for the stag party in Madrid. There he meets Marilyn. They spend the night together and everything changes. Now the wedding is cancelled, the police want to talk to him about a double murder and the phone is ringing with mysterious requests to come to London. John joe suddenly finds himself in a surreal world, full of unusual characters and extreme danger, with no obvious way out. Met with impossible choices he can only trust the alluring woman that offers all the answers – but at what cost?  

 Mick Donnellan’s fourth novel is rich in comedy, tragedy, hints of the absurd and undertones of a man in existential crisis. The story thunders along with unexpected twists and ominous turns that culminate in a devastating climax. A unique tale, it strikes an emotional note, and is guaranteed to supply an entertaining read. 

About Mick Donnellan 

Recent Awards/ projects: 

Mick Donnellan is the author of three previous novels. El Niño (2012) Fisherman’s Blues (2014) and Mokusatsu (2019). 

The Naked Flame was completed during a retreat at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in late 2021. 

When not writing fiction he works as a successful Playwright and Screenwriter. Film credits include Tiger Raid (2016) adapted from Mick’s Play Radio Luxembourg.  He has recently received the Agility Award through the Arts Council of Ireland and the Mayo Theatre Bursary through Mayo Arts Office.  

His most recent Play Nally was supported by Westmeath Arts Office and aired in May 2021 as a Zoom/Youtube performance. It was attended by over two thousand viewers on the night and many more since.  

You can watch Nally here: https://youtu.be/FiJYuaa5x2Q  

In May 2020 Mick had a monologue (The Crucified Silence) chosen as part of the Scripts Ireland Play festival. After a week of intensive workshops with Playwright Eugene O’Brien, the monologue was directed by Jim Culleton (Fishamble) and performed by Aaron Monaghan.  

Mick is currently part of the Galway Theatre Development Programme run by Andrew Flynn in conjunction with Galway’s Town Hall Theatre. He is also listed on the Irish theatre institute here:  http://irishplayography.com/person.aspx?personid=47564 

About Mick Donnellan:

Mick Donnellan completed the MA in Writing at NUIG in 2004. Since then, he has worked as a novelist, travel writer, teacher and Playwright. He completed his first novel, El Niño, in 2004 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 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)  and El Niño was published in 2012 with excellent reviews.   

Later, Mick 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.”  

Moving slightly from rural settings but not themes, the theatre company toured a fourth Play, Velvet Revolution. Set in a stark urban landscape, it created interest in Mick’s work among the film industry. He followed Velvet Revolution with his fifth Play – Radio Luxembourg – and it was immediately optioned by London Film Company Dixon/Baxi/Evans and adapted for the screen.  

While the film was in development, Mick’s second novel – Fisherman’s Blues – was published. As it rose up the ranks, and enjoyed positive reviews, Mick was taken on board as screenwriter on the Radio Luxembourg project. After some months commuting to and from London, the script was complete, and a shoot was organised in the Jordanian desert. Titled Tiger Raid and Starring Brian Gleeson, Damian Molony and Sofia Boutella, it was accepted into the Tribeca film festival (New York) and was also seen at Cannes and Edinburgh. The Irish Premiere was screened at the Galway Film Fleadh. You can read more about Tiger Raid and watch the trailer here:    

 Other exciting projects include the screen adaptation of Shortcut to Hallelujah with Florence Films. 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. Set in the present day, Sam is drenched in Irish lyricism and modern-day dark humour. The script has been met with keen interest by film producers and actors throughout the industry.  

Mick has lectured part-time in writing at the AIT (Athlone Institute of Technology) in County Westmeath. The course has enjoyed an exponential increase in numbers since its inception in September 2017. April 2019 saw the release of the well-received Tales from the Heart which is a collection of creative work from the students. It was launched at the college by bestselling author and esteemed politician Mary O’Rourke. 

Mick has worked as a writing lecturer at NUI Galway.

http://www.mickdonnellan.com

Notes on – The Artist.

Without the artist there is nothing. There is no stage, no play, no audience. No lights, no script, no lines to remember for actors that don’t exist. There is no box office. No tickets sold, no posters on the window, no leaflets, no programmes, no social media advertising. No applause, no wine sold at the theatre bar. Outside, on the street, there is no bookshops, no shelves, no readings, no place to browse fiction titles, no Non Fiction books, no Sci/Fi, no Crime Thrillers, no Romance. The windows are bare. The counters are unattended, the tills are quiet, unplugged and unnecessary. People don’t read on the bus because there is nothing to read so they listen to music. But there are no bands, no songs, no song writers, no guitar players, bass players, drummers or vocalists. There is no band art, no genre, no classical, no rock, no dance, no psychedelic, no trance, no country blues, no homegrown singer/song writers recording the modern soul. As the passengers look out the window they don’t see any churches because there are no designers, nobody to imagine a steeple. No church, no mosque, no synagogue, no buddhist temple. There is no bible, no Torah, no Koran because nobody has had the ability to understand the teachings, the ethos, the importance of being able to record it artistically, attractively, with an eye to the divine. There is no divine. There is no stained glass windows. There is no Mona Lisa, no Sistine Chapel, no IL Duomo. No Ulysses. No Count of Monte of Cristo. No Brother’s Karamazov. No Godfather, no Goodfellas. There are no phones, because there were never any computers. There were never any computers because nobody was able to imagine the future. It takes an artist to bend the rules of perceived reality and force the impossible into existence. To drag human understanding to the next step. To know that there is another door to open, another level to reach, a place we don’t know about – but only the artist truly believes it is there. Without the artist, the cars are poorly designed. There are no papers in the shops. There are no museums, no libraries. No cinemas. No poetry. No sculptures. No exhibitions, no launches. There are no podcasts, no blogs, no kindle. No Apps. No philosophy, no thinking. There is only silence, infinite and grey, and the human without art is a biological machine for which there is no meaning. No understanding. No purpose. The artist is the pulse of the soul. The cartilage of civilisation. Without the artist, there are no publishing houses. No editors. No book designers. No interns. No marketing department. The printing presses lie idle and redundant. Pristine and unused in a cold austere warehouse. An occasional bored click or twinge of a rusting screw.

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