Busby Journals 02: Circling the Basket

The book, it progresses. It is now at a point where, were it demanded tomorrow, it could exist without the ending that I’ve to tweak. The characters are alive, their training wheels are off and they’re every bit breathing, painting, loving in the world whether I were to type another word or not. Of course,…

Busby Journals 01: Writing and the Loading Phase

A few months back I read a collection of Steinbeck’s letters. The gist of it was an exercise given to him by his editor at the time as he prepared to write ‘East of Eden’. His editor provided him with a journal, and Steinbeck wrote a letter to him each day he wrote the novel…

Dear Mr Busby Snippet: His Father’s Light

He had an aversion to his father’s eyes, the icy steel therein that didn’t belong to his gentile warmth. His dad was ten feet tall and he’d observed how others saw him that way, too. But he wasn’t the feared giant he appeared from afar in his formal rigidity and the straight, cutting lines of…

Dear Mr Busby Snippet: Rupie Discovers Music

Rupie had barely known music, a banned substance like alcohol in the house, which his father had taken to the attic to imbibe. Its recreational use was clearly a dangerous thing: he managed to connect the pieces of the broken gramophone back together, taping parts of it so that they’d hold in place while their…

A Snippet: Mr Busby’s Porcelain Marbles

Before changing into his work suit, he knocked his mother’s bedroom door and poked his head in, demonstrating his fresh haircut. Mrs Busby was awake, uninterested in the top of bristly scalps today. She lay propped up against her throne of pillows in her jewellery and silk nightgown that would require one part titanium white…

Karl Ove Knausgaard Reads in Manchester

Kar Love  stands to read, rocking side to side like a mantis. He reads like the words aren’t his, the translation a rough outline of something he felt dearly when alone, at home, on another continent, writing about Autumn to his unborn daughter.

Manchester Fringe Festival Review: Shackles, The Boss

Knowing Andy Dickinson as a novelist, I wasn’t surprised that his talent for engrossing, hilarious dialogue captivated the audience of the King’s Arms studio. I defy any actor or wordsmith to enthral the same with the considerable challenge of a two-man play. You have to question what design carries such an achievement. The chicken or…

The Composer

Acrylic paint on canvas. 30 x 24′. Like a silent disco, this was painted in the heat of loud music. When it was finished there was silence and this figure poised in the dark, wand out like a wizard. You can still see the energy of the music though, I think. Available at: https://www.artfinder.com/manage/jack-boardman/artworks/

The Violinist of Mosul

Listening to Ameen ‘Hope Maker’ Mokdad’s compositions, recorded and sent out to the world on social media from war torn Mosul, is a little like discovering a message in a bottle that has drifted in hope from the survivor of a catastrophe, stranded on distant lands. He, however, says that he did not think of…

Tune and Ink From The Bunker

Been underground again in the bunker, working on a draft of new and old book, ‘Dear Mr Busby’. Surfaced for air and threw this up. Better out than in.

Trump Protest

‘Trump Protest’ Albert Square, Manchester. Watercolour and ink on paper.

Study of Green Pillow

‘Study of Green Pillow’ Pencil, pen. 3 hours. Northern Realist Studio. Forgot my paint