A DOZEN QUESTIONS - 9 OF 12
SPECIAL GUEST: (Erm) JOE CUSHNAN
Q: What is your least favourite word?
A: Any verbal diarrhoea that spews out of the mouths of just about every politician. Where are the truly selfless, inspiring leaders? Sadly, gone the way of the dodo. But you never know, someone might just pop up and surprise us all.
Q: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
A: Simply trying to string words and ideas together, experimenting continuously, knowing that I carry with me guidance from many sources, not least my late mother, and I am not afraid to unleash my heart and soul if the writing stirs me. My watchword is 'onward'.
Q: What turns you off?
A: Yobs and bad manners.
Q: What is your favourite song?
A: Home Thoughts from Abroad by Clifford T. Ward is the sweetest, sad song. Rio by Michal Nesmith is the coolest and Buck's Polka by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, a frenetic, sugar-rush of an instrumental, gets the foot a-tappin'.
Q: What is your favourite film?
A: The Searchers, directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne, I am a western, Ford and Wayne nut. Closely followed by Casablanca. I reckon I've seen both at least a hundred times, and never tire of them.
Q: What is your favourite curse word?
A: Usual suspects: fuck, shit, bollocks.
Q: What sound or noise do you love?
A: Any noise at all from my wondrous grandsons.
Q: What sound or noise do you hate?
A: House alarms and dogs barking in the middle of the night.
Q: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
A: Radio presenter.
Q: What profession would you not like to do?
Q: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
A: "Come on in. The kettle's on."
Q: Any words of encouragement for writers and writing?
A: In the early years of writing attempts, I would get very annoyed with rejections and even more annoyed with no communication at all. Now, I'm not that bothered. Acceptances are still great for moral, of course, and very nice to add to the CV. I gave up on entering most fee-paying competitions because they are getting more and more expensive. So, I suppose my message is, find your own temperamental balance and budget. My other advice, from my own efforts and experiences, is to diversify - write poetry, take a break and write flash fiction, a memoir feature - for variety. Finally, the old one is the best, read, read and read some more. 'Tis fuel for the writing engine.
I have been very lucky that two of my writing projects have been support-funded by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, so seek such generous and encouraging organisations out in your own places.
Thank you Me for my dozen answers
and words of encouragement.