Black Dogs and Fuckery

A reblog, for the day that’s in it. #worldmentalhealthday2018

carolinefarrell

More often than we care to admit, sensitive, intelligent and creative souls fall down into the pit of depression sometimes. And I’m not talking the ‘blues’ here, like when your favourite jeans don’t fit anymore, or you didn’t get that job, that ring, that funding for your project; that house. No, what I’m talking about is that big black dog, the silent visitor that comes along every now and again, scratching its ugly claws at the door while you keep pretending, keep trying to ignore it. Keep trying to drown out the hunger of its need to get inside your head, to hang out there with its incessant negativity. You’re not good enough, you’ve nothing of value to say, to contribute, you‘re going to fail and nobody really likes you anyway; you have failed. You’re shit and the world would probably be a better place without you in it.

Complete and utter fuckery with your…

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WE, the Writers …

WE, the writers, get up every morning to face the daily demons of self-doubt, and even when we think we are doing well, we are probably waiting for the hammer to fall on our notions of wordy pursuits. We all have it, that internal voice. We are not good enough.

But there’s also the external voices to torment us, and they are growing louder, it seems to me. The machine of US and THEM and the constant streaming of negativity. We are not as good as yer man, or yer woman. Not literary enough. Too literary. Too working class. Not working class. Not working class enough. Too overeducated. Too undereducated. Not cutting edge. Too political. Not politically correct.

Too young. Too old. Too genre-centred. Too female-centred. Too male-centred. Not a man. Not a woman. Not the right skin colour. Not the right ethnicity. Not hanging out with the right crowd; the cool writers, the media influencers, the critics, the bloggers, the reviewers, the editors, the festival organisers, the bookshop owners, the publishers, the award givers. Too trad. Not trad. Too independent. Too hybrid. Not marketable. Not selling enough. Not on the ‘hot new talent’ radar.

Not something. Too something; insert here any word you can stick a pin in the dictionary to divide us, pitch us against one another, make us feel superior, inferior or invisible!

All I’m saying is fuck that shit. We are readers too. I don’t care if you publish your work on a roll of kitchen paper or on a leather-bound, gilded limited edition. If I like your writing, I’ll read it, and I will spread the word. Let’s just support each other to shut down that noise. (Literally)

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Caroline E. Farrell is a writer and filmmaker. Her novel, LADY BETH was awarded BEST NOVEL by the Carousel Aware Prize in 2017. She has also written and directed the short film, FRAMED (2018) currently on the festival circuit, and has written and co-produced the award-winning IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013). She is currently working on her latest novel.

FRAMED Festival Screenings: October 2018

Following successful screenings in September, I’m delighted to share that my short film, FRAMED will screen at the following festivals in October:

 

Hollywood Theatre, Portland, Oregon. USA

Friday, October 5th at 9:45pm AND Sunday, October 7th at 8:00pm

Details HERE

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The Sugar Club. Dublin City.

Sunday, 7th October at 3:30pm

Details HERE

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Blacknight Festival Centre – Dali, Cork City.

Sunday, 14th October at 7:00pm

Details HERE

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FINALIST

Beanbag Cinema – Belfast.

Friday, 26th October at 8:00pm

Details HERE

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Reading Challenge: Progress on my battle with the TBR Tower!

I’m sure I am not alone in rarely being able to resist the temptation of buying new books, despite the growing To Be Read tower already tilting over on the floor of my spare room. To combat my addiction – and it is one folks, it is an addiction – at the beginning of September, I decided to take 20 titles in total, most from the physical book tower, and the remainder from my Kindle, also bulging with waiting to be read works.

See my original post HERE.

I figured if I read 5 books per month between September and December, I could finish the list by New Year’s Eve, though I give myself permission to replace any title that isn’t grabbing me in the first chapter. So far, I haven’t had to resort to that, and am proud to say that I have finished the 5 books I set aside for September. So, here they are, with comments on each:

Her Name Was Rose: Claire Allan

Lonely Emily witnesses a terrible accident when a car mows down a young mother, killing her. Convincing herself that it should have been her who died that day, Emily becomes obsessed with the dead woman’s life through social media, and in particular, with her widowed husband, Cian. No spoilers here, but this is a gripping murder mystery, peeling secretive layers from an ensemble of characters as Emily moves further and further into danger…

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The Collector: John Fowles

Published in 1963, The Collector grabbed me from the very first paragraph and kept me consumed with the story until the last page. Switching between the narratives of the captor, the socially inept Frederick Clegg, and the captive, pretty middle-class art student, Miranda Grey, the darkness of the subject matter is subtlety, yet powerfully conveyed through the author’s acute study of the foibles, gender and psychology of these compelling characters. A truly dark chiller, I loved it!


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Sweet Little Lies: Caz Frear

Detective Cat Kinsella is working on a case, a case in which she suspects her own father of a terrible crime! A very popular debut from Caz Frear with lots of twists, intrigue and clever intertwining of family drama! A sharply written procedural crime novel, Sweet Little Lies is elevated by the witty dialogue that peppers a dark story with some light relief as we follow a very human and ‘over empathic’ main character as her personal and professional worlds collide.

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House of Spines: Michael J Malone

Struggling author, Ranald McGhie, has suffered from mental illness, a result of trauma and disappointment in his early life. When he inherits a rambling mansion from a deceased uncle he had never known, Ranald’s life changes dramatically. Although there are many tropes in this chilling mystery, Malone weaves the story rather well. A thriller bound with supernatural elements, House of Spines is a page-turner.


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The Dead Girls: Derek Flynn

Inspired by real life accounts of highway murders in the US, The Dead Girls is a well-crafted, dark thriller that features an often used, stalwart component of crime fiction, the flawed ex-cop turned private detective, in this case, John Ryan, hired to find a missing girl. The subject matter is harsh, dealing with sexual violence, murder, alcoholism and drug abuse, with a cast of characters that feel authentic to the world. This is the second book to feature Ryan, the first being Broken Falls. The ending of this one suggests a third novel in the making, and I certainly hope so, because there is unfinished business for John Ryan!


 

So there you have it, my progress so far. Now wish me luck for October – and since it is the month of all things ghoulish – so too will be my reading material!!

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Caroline E. Farrell is a writer and filmmaker. Her novel, LADY BETH was awarded BEST NOVEL by the Carousel Aware Prize in 2017. She has also written and directed the short film, FRAMED (2018) currently on the festival circuit, and has written and co-produced the award-winning IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013). She is currently working on her latest novel. 

The Librarian’s Cellar: At The Cinema – The House With A Clock In Its Wall

Well, I loved this one! Adapted by Eric Kripke from the 1973 novel by John Bellairs, The House With A Clock In Its Walls tells the tale of Lewis (Owen Vaccaro), a 10 year-old orphan who goes to live with his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black), a man he has never met before. Jonathan, as Lewis will soon find out, is a warlock, and lives in a very quirky and mysterious house – a house that ticks – literally! Cate Blanchette plays the enchanting Florence, Jonathan’s next door neighbour.

For Lewis, a clever, yet vulnerable young boy coming to terms with the death of his parents, moving to live with his uncle will not just give him a new start in life, it will open up a whole new world of wizardry and intrigue. But of course, there will be obstacles before Lewis finds his own kind of magic as he bonds with his new family. Lots of fun, great cast and the film looks spectacular. I reckon it will become a family favourite for many Halloween’s to come!!

 

The House With A Clock In Its Walls | 2018 | PG | Director: Eli Roth

From the Librarian’s Cellar: Eggshells

Congratulations to Irish author, Caitriona Lally, on winning the Rooney Prize 2018! Here’s my review of her novel ‘Eggshells’, from 2015. Delighted that she is getting the recognition she deserves. Talented writer indeed!

carolinefarrell

“Vivian doesn’t feel like she fits in – never has. She lives alone in a house in North Dublin that her great aunt left to her. She has no friends, no job and few social skills.”

So is she an interesting character? Is there enough going on for us to stick with Vivian for two hundred and fifty-three pages?

Absolutely. Yes.

Caitriona Lally’s debut novel is a delight.  Vivian is different, her circumstances cryptically threaded into the subtext. Nothing is explained, nor should it be, on this whimsical, darkly comical journey through the streets of Dublin and from the point of view of a deeply engaging, and deliciously quirky protagonist. Fascinated by words and obsessed with making lists, Vivian believing that she is not of this world, looks for magic in the everyday things, and who doesn’t need a bit of magic?

One for the Librarian’s shelf, Eggshells is published by Liberties Press. 2015

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Irish Blog Awards 2018: Finalist!

I am over the moon to announce the great news I received today. I am a finalist in the Irish Blog Awards 2018 in 2 categories:

Personal Blog > Arts & Culture
Personal Blog > Books & Literature

My blog has been shortlisted for three years running now, but this is the first time I have been selected as a finalist, so naturally, I’m pretty happy right now! Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony, which takes place on October 25th, and I am loving The Day of The Dead theme! A full list of finalists and all details are now on the Blog Awards Website HERE. Check out the cool logos!

Thanks so much to YOU, my readers who like and share my posts. I really do enjoy blogging on my favourite things, but it wouldn’t be much fun if no-one read them! Congrats too, to all the amazing bloggers on the Long and Short Lists, and especially to those who also made the finals! Fingers crossed and wish us ALL the luck!