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Cinders Magazine

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Ballerina, Baker, Etsy Shop Maker?

First published in Cinders Issue Five

Thinking about school and examinations, editor Méabh McDonnell looks back on her own years of exams, prospective careers and the ever present intimidation of internet geniuses. She has one piece of advice: don’t panic.

Let me tell you a story. When I was six years old, I thought that a ballerina would be a nice career to have when I grew up. I’m not sure if it was the pretty costumes or the interesting shoes – it definitely wasn’t any burgeoning dance ability – because I had none. But whatever it was, I remember looking into ‘ballerina’ as a prospective career i.e. looking it up in my Childcraft encyclopedia.

That was when I discovered that most professional ballerinas begin their training at three years old. That’s when I had the thought: ‘Three?! But I’m already six! I’ve missed my window!’ And thus my ‘promising’ ballet career came to an end.

Continue reading “Ballerina, Baker, Etsy Shop Maker?”

What we’re reading: Stephanie Garber, Sara Pascoe, Jane Austen, and Jo Baker

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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Caraval is a book that has been all over my ‘recommended reads’ lists for months now. I finally picked up a copy to see what all of the hype was about. Billed as being similar to Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus Caraval tells the story of two sisters who are invited to a mysterious island, where they can participate in a carnival to achieve their ‘heart’s desire. Think a cross between The Hunger Games and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it as nuanced as either one of those.

Continue reading “What we’re reading: Stephanie Garber, Sara Pascoe, Jane Austen, and Jo Baker”

Feminism Forwards – An interview with Rosita Sweetman

First published in Cinders issue three

We had the pleasure of speaking with author, writer and feminist Rosita Sweetman. Author of Father’s Come First – which we reviewed in issue two of Cinders – Rosita gave us her impression of feminism today, how it has changed since Ireland of the 70s.

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What with the strides that the feminist movement has taken in recent years for privileged women of the developed world, it can be easy to forget how much more change is needed – but also how recently in Ireland that women’s power was os much less and so reliant on the men in their lives. But that is the world that Rosita Sweetman’s Father’s Come First is set in. Rosita wrote the small but powerful novel when she was living in East Africa and thinking of home.

Continue reading “Feminism Forwards – An interview with Rosita Sweetman”

Unusual Beauties and their Beasts continued

First published in Cinders issue three

What with the new adaptation of Beauty and the Beast hitting our screens earlier in the year it got us here in Cinders thinking about some of our favourite unconventional interpretations of the classic fairytale. Méabh McDonnell looks at the ways the tale as old as time can be interpreted.

Continue reading “Unusual Beauties and their Beasts continued”

Beauties and their Beasts

First published in Cinders issue three

What with the new adaptation of Beauty and the Beast hitting our screens earlier in the year it got us here in Cinders thinking about some of our favourite unconventional interpretations of the classic fairytale. Méabh McDonnell looks at the ways the tale as old as time can be interpreted.

A tiny ladybird edition of Beauty and the Beast was my favourite book as a child. The Disney animated movie also held a special place in my heart – still does in fact. Beauty and the Beast is a complex story. On the one hand it’s the magical tale about how love is all you need . It’s the concept that rings true with most people in love – it doesn’t matter what the person looks like – if you love them, you love them. That being said… on the other hand it’s a story where a young woman’s freedom is claimed by a vicious domineering beast who then proceeds to win her over by granting her ‘freedoms’ within what is a very well furnished prison. It’s hard to reconcile that with the happy story of love conquering all. Some people find that too much of a turn off – others might point out that fairytales were written in a time where they were meant to be more gothic than sweet. Regardless of which side of the fence you fall upon Beauty and the Beast’s enduring nature as a story is undeniable.

This is why I decided to compile some of my favourite interpretations of this classic story that I feel really capture the best Beauties and even better Beasts. Some are closer to the original tale than others but all have a special allure.

Continue reading “Beauties and their Beasts”

Write what you need – An interview with Meg Grehan

First Published in Cinders Issue Four

Last issue we had the pleasure of reviewing Meg Grehan’s gorgeous verse novel, The Space Between. This month editor Méabh McDonnell was delighted to talk to Meg about her writing inspiration, mental health and poetry.

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1.What was the inspiration for The Space Between? 

It wasn’t inspiration so much as desperation, to be honest! When I started writing The Space Between I was an absolute mess. I couldn’t go two days without a panic attack, I was afraid of everything, I couldn’t bring myself to leave my house and I needed to do something. I read a lot which helped at first but I could never find exactly what I needed in the books I read so I decided to write what I needed instead. It was inspired by the tough things I was going through but also the good things. I’m lucky to have had someone who was there for me every step of the way, my girlfriend came home every evening and listened to every rambling thought I had. She constantly reminded me that I had to help myself but that she would hold my hand while I figured out how. I wanted to write about how while people aren’t medicine, there’s power in letting people in and she inspired that in a million little ways.

Continue reading “Write what you need – An interview with Meg Grehan”

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