"In space no one can hear you scream. But what if you're deep in the backwoods, in an isolated cabin on a dead-end trail?" Karen set aside the book. A horror story was not ideal reading for the off-grid log cabin Peter had booked for their thirtieth wedding anniversary weekend, especially as she was alone in bed.
This anthology, drawn from Tall And True and other sources, features 70 examples of my microfiction. Some are Hemingway-esque six-word stories, others one to a few sentences, and there are longer pieces, like the 460-word Her. I hope readers enjoy Tall And True Microfiction as much as I enjoyed creating it.
Episode 82 (13 November 2023): "Roses are red, violets are blue, I spend my day, thinking of you." Davey reviewed the poem in his exercise book. "Thinking" is what you did at school. It wasn't romantic enough to attempt Mission Impossible with the girl of his dreams. That's it! "I spend my day, dreaming of you."
Take my word for it: the best object in the night sky is the Moon. And you don't need an expensive telescope to observe it. A pair of binoculars does the trick. I'm looking at the Moon now, leaning against a wall to steady my hands, and it's a beautiful sight. No wonder it inspires poets and lovers.
In May 2023, I joined a local group campaigning for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. We had high hopes. But as the Referendum result proved, in Australia, while some things change, some stay the same. And voters rejected the proposal to recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.
Cassie lay perfectly still in bed, staring at the shadowy shape on the ceiling overhead. A bulky body and eight legs, a spider, but this wasn't Incy Wincy. It was a huntsman with long hairy legs, needle-sharp fangs, and a jump so powerful that if human, it could win gold at the pole vault without a pole.
While this story has elements of autofiction, it's mostly my imagination. But the parts about Indigenous Australians are factual, as objective reading and research will confirm. As is my hope for the successful outcome of the Voice to Parliament Referendum, to be held in Australia in October 2023.
Two disclosures. Firstly, I've known Ashley Kalagian Blunt for several years, from her work at Writing NSW and conversations on social media about our writing projects. Secondly, I am not a big reader of crime fiction. But I know it's a popular genre, and after binge-reading Dark Mode, I can see why.
Kristel Thornell's novel, The Sirens Sing (HarperCollins 2022), is divided into two parts. The first part is set in the NSW Blue Mountains in the mid-1990s and features a lovestruck teenager. And the second part relocates the reader to Sydney's Inner West in the mid-1970s and is his mother's love story.
In 2019, approaching the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, I found a timely book in a secondhand bookshop: The Berlin Wall, 13 August 1961 – 9 November 1989 by Frederick Taylor. The book inspired me to write about my contrasting visits to Berlin as a backpacker in 1987 and 1995.
Henry Rollins said, "A great way to learn about your country is to leave it." I learned a lot about Australia while overseas from 1987 to 1996. Books like Alice Nannup's When The Pelican Laughed helped my education. And from her memoir, I learned about the Stolen Generation and a connection with my Nan.
The writer John Banville observed, "Memory is imagination, and imagination is memory. I don't think we remember the past, we imagine it." I have vivid memories of my early childhood (I believe they're memories, not imagination), which is why the #5YearOldSelfie challenge on social media caught my eye.
To help overcome writer's block and start writing the first sentences of A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway is said to have reminded himself: “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”