Peter McNiff, writer, Greystones, County Wicklow

 

NOTEBOOK

WHO AM I?

I've been asking myself that question most of my life. People slap labels on me: office boy, church student, tramp, cyclist, soccer player, soldier, gunner, long distance runner, truck-driver, PRIZE WINNING JOURNALIST (like), dish-washer, waiter, cook, sailor, actor, navvy, photo-journalist, columnist, scriptwriter, correspondent, playwright, poet, hack, scribe, painter, producer, director, anchorman, TV AWARD WINNER (true), newspaper editor, television editor, gardener, decorator, DIGITAL ARTIST(definitely), dog walker, joker, historian, WRITER OF FICTION (preferred), liar, hill-walker, swimmer, independent film maker, lover, father, reporter, ducker, diver, and painter...

 

Favourite food: Son of a Bitch in a Sack.

 

Well I could go on. Labels don't make the man or the woman. As in fiction, their actions define them, the rise and fall of their energy, their moods, and the risks they take, their successes and failures, their strengths and weaknesses.

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To have to write a little every day is terrible. Not to write at all is absolute hell

Rip wrap stories

Sailing

Winning

SQUALLS were gusting off the land and blackening the sea, the day I had my first capsize in a small boat, couple of miles out in the bay of Greystones. It's true what they say about your life flashing by in thirty seconds, maybe a minute, in stills and special effects. I thought, what a stupid waste of a life. No more meat pies with an egg in the middle. No more spaghetti bolonese, no more wife, nothing, a nobody before I even got started. And then a guy with a launch came out and towed me into harbour. Next day I went sailing again. I WAS driving through France with my wife the day word came through that I'd won a Hennessey award for short fiction. I wanted to give up my job. Hell, I was over the moon. I hit the bar tender for sure that night, and guess what I drank? Awards can be dangerous things. It took me a long time to recover. Fame is a mind bender. If you don't wake up in time it can be disturb those close to you for a couple of weeks. You go around telling people (friends, of course) I'm a hot property. Most of them think you're just being funny. At the time I was never been more serious.

SKILLSET

Er

THREE

I can put a link in a bicycle chain.

TWO

I can touch type.

FOUR

I can put a cork in a bottle but never on a sunny afternoon.

EDUCATION

Second hand books, among other things.

—Graham Greene

ONE

Erm...."We'll always have Paris"