Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Tag: writing

Monthnotes for April & May 2018

April was quiet enough. I enjoyed WrestleMania weekend, even if I wasn’t moved to write much about it. My Twitter thread is here, though you might need the context of the show itself to follow along. As always, the NXT TakeOver show was the highlight.

As I mentioned previously, April saw a few actual trips to the cinema for me, to see Rampage, Lu Over the Wall and The Breadwinner, the last of which is one of my favourite films of the year thus far.

I started upping my rate of movies watched in May, which I’ll elaborate on in a separate post. I’ve also been watching more streaming TV as of late. More…


Penumbra’s New Fiction

A different approach to publishing stories, from the author of Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, only available as a limited-edition degradable print (a bit precious, that) or a PDF to print at home or read on your screen of choice (a bit limiting, when something that makes better use of HTML’s potential could be more rewarding). #link


Monthnotes for March 2018

My second feature for Bandcamp Daily was published mid-month, this one on a selection of bands exploring new directions in grindcore. Again, it’s not a definitive guide, nor meant to be one; it’s a selection of artists across a spectrum that have caught my attention over time, and which fit the brief. I’m very happy with how it turned out; cheers to my editor Jes Skolnik for their work in that regard. More…


The Stinging Fly: A Tingling Pleasure

Fantastic advice for writers, especially the parts about considering the reader (and the editor, who is also a reader, not just a butcher — and I mean butcher in the best craftsperson sense). #link


Lisa McInerney: Don’t tell me that working-class people can’t be articulate

It’s a trap I’ve fallen into myself, which is ridiculous because what am I if not working class? Also, like McInerney I wouldn’t articulate any distinction between the working class and the ‘lumpenproletariat’, since there’s as much if not more absence of consciousness to be found in the middle and upper classes. #link


Andrew Ellard’s social stories

The writer and script editor collecting tweeted thoughts on various TV and film type things. Can’t say I agree with everything, and certainly not his take on the Ghostbusters reboot (it’s not a fraction as funny as it thinks it is, and I fucking hate the Holtzmann character). But his tweets on Rogue One get to the nuts and bolts of why it doesn’t really work. My own review is superficial in hindsight, too forgiving of its flaws, but it’s a fairly superficial movie that I was evaluating in the context of a greater disappointment. #link


How to design words

How writing appears is integral to its function. It’s depressing how many people can’t grasp that, even so-called ‘writers’. #link


Stranger Things and the problem with ‘plotblocking’

In this house we’re probably the only people who haven’t seen Stranger Things among all the world's Netflix subscribers, but the issue discussed here is one that’s been a thing a lot longer. And it’s a problem with story-arc shows in general, when the main narrative thrust is too slow-burn to let the individual episodes stand alone. #link


My Son, the Prince of Fashion

It’s not even about fashion, really; it’s a touching tribute by a father (the novelist Michael Chabon) to his son, a young man he doesn’t fathom at all and yet understands profoundly. #link