Busby Journals 03: Two Steps Back Editing

Have looped back on myself, working the two steps back after one forwards approach. The problem with momentum is that it can become another kind of complacency. If this was On The Road, typing not writing, as Capote put it, I’d be away. But daily word count doesn’t determine success as this point, and it…

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…

Homeless Man Sketch/ Blue Monday Tune

The picture is one of many sketches of homeless people around Manchester City Centre. This was from the corner by the tram stop outside Debenhams. You could call it a study. I wouldn’t. Watercolour and pen on canvas board. These are lying around on the surfaces near my desk – the ones that haven’t been…

Silent Night

The song, it started out chipper, honestly. Was painting the picture when I put the brush in the murky water and reached for the nearest instrument. Was in a screeching key of Jack’s Lament from The Nightmare Before Christmas while squinting at what had been the orange and black base notes of the picture so…

Finished New Novel

Done working on latest project, Store High in Transit. In keeping with tradition, when the words were all done and finished with, I got the story out my system with the sketching. Will update shortly, but enough writing and S.H.I.T. for today.

“A Marvellous Way to Pass The Time”

Thing with funerals is you spend the day so focused on everyone around that it becomes like a kind of cold turkey of any self-centred tendencies. Looking back over the last decade or so, time’s been measured in the short stories, the novel chapters, sketches, experiments with paint and new instruments, guitar riffs and melodies…