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Blogging is to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud. ~ Andrew Sullivan

Share your writing on Tall And True, an online showcase and forum for writers, readers and publishers.

Favourite Books for 2020

Favourite Books of 2020

The downside bedtime reading is dozing off midway through a chapter, paragraph or sentence. And when combined with my habit of juggling several books at once, it takes me a long time to read a book. But I love reading. And although it wasn't a favourite year, I thought I'd share my favourite books of 2020.

Furious Fiction Writing - COVID mask

Thanks Furious Fiction

My first attempt at the Australian Writers' Centre's monthly Furious Fiction competition fell on my first weekend of lockdown in April 2020. Some feared the prospect of social isolation, working from home, and long hours spent lost in their thoughts. But for me, it was a perfect storm — uninterrupted time to write!

Kindle Paperwhite

To Kindle, or not to Kindle?

Amazon discounted Kindles during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales. I have several ebook apps, including the Kindle app, on my tablets and phones. And I have a small library of ebooks, from Amazon and elsewhere. But I've never read an ebook from cover to cover. Could a Kindle help me enjoy ebooks?

NAIDOC Week - Books

Reflecting on NAIDOC Week

NAIDOC Week is a celebration of Indigenous Australian culture and survival and usually takes place in July. But being an unusual year, NAIDOC Week 2020 was postponed to November. It remained an opportunity for Australians to acknowledge our Indigenous people, and to reflect upon a sad and shameful history.

Recycled Books - Council Cleanup

Council Clean-ups and Recycling

One fine mid-October Sunday, I returned home from my morning walk to be greeted with the news our annual council clean-up was on Monday. After previous clean-ups, I thought we had nothing left to throw out. And so I looked forward to a long day of writing. Until I had another look in the attic and shed!

500th Instagram Post: The Boy Behind the Curtain by Tim Winton

My 500th Instagram Post

On 11 January 2018, I posted my first #bookcovers and #firstsentences book to Instagram, On the Beach by Nevil Shute. On 5 October 2020, I celebrated my 500th with The Boy Behind The Curtain by Tim Winton. The homage series spans fiction and nonfiction, adult and children's, traditional and e-book titles.

Motley collection of bookmarks

What Do You Use For Bookmarks?

A member of the ABC Book Club on Facebook recently asked, What do you use for bookmarks? I rifled through the bookshelf and posted a photo of my motley collection: tickets, postcards, photographs, ribbons, receipts, newspaper clippings, notes, a letter, a leaf, and an assortment of proper bookmarks.

Tall And True Short Reads Podcast Studio

Introducing Tall And True Short Reads

Tall And True Short Reads is an audio fiction podcast featuring original short stories from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by me, Robert Fairhead. I launched the series with a trailer on 5 September 2020. And I published the first episode, Five Meet On Zoom, on the podcast feed five days later.

Meanjin Pandemic Fiction (website)

Meanjin Pandemic Fiction

To promote their September 2020 edition, Meanjin Quarterly announced a Pandemic Fiction challenge on Twitter. A one tweet story on the COVID pandemic, using the hashtag #Meanjin280. The prize for the best 10 tweets: a 12-month magazine subscription and publication on Meanjin's blog. I tweeted three stories.

Writing during COVID-19

COVID-19 and Writing

Australia wasn't alone in underestimating the threat of COVID-19. In our defence, the country was distracted by the Black Summer bushfires, which blazed from September 2019 to March 2020. However, by mid-March, with the fires extinguished, our focus shifted to the pandemic and its possible impact.

Australian Writers' Centre - 23-Word Story Challenge

Elephant in the Room & Other 23-Word Stories

The Australian Writers' Centre runs a monthly #FuriousFiction short story competition. I submitted my first entry to #FuriousFiction on the first weekend of our COVID-19 lockdown and ever since have taken up the monthly challenge. So I was interested to see a bonus 23-word fiction story challenge.

 When The Pelican Laughed

Alice Nannup and my Nan

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. From her memoir, I learned about the Stolen Generation. And of a connection with my Nan.

Bedside Reading Pile (June 2020)

Bedside Books (June 2020)

Ever since my childhood, I've loved reading books. Even in my teens (unlike my son, sadly), I read most nights, and in my career-driven twenty-somethings, I kept up the reading habit with short stories. Now middle-aged, I still love reading, though rather than one book, I have a pile of beside books!

Being a Dad - 18th birthday cake

Love Being a Dad

Life began at forty for me. Obviously, I’d had a life before my fortieth. I’d travelled and lived overseas, changed careers (several times), got married (once), bought cars and property, and owned a dog. But the birth of my son in 2002 changed everything for me. And I learned the joy of being a dad.

Tall And True - A New Chapter

Tall And True - A New Chapter

In 2001, I had a bright idea. I'd combine my love of writing with my software skills and create a writers' website, a place where writers could showcase their work, readers could enjoy a wide range of writing, and publishers could unearth new talent. It took sixteen long years to launch Tall And True!

FuriousFiction Tweet - April 2020

#FuriousFiction - Writers' Centre Competition

#FuriousFiction is a monthly writing competition run by the Australian Writers' Centre: 55 hours to write a 500-word short story based on a brief. First prize is $500 with the winner published on the Writers' Centre website. April's #FuriousFiction fell on the first weekend of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Reworking Both Sides of the Story

Reworking Both Sides

My niece turned twenty-six at the end of March this year (2020). I gave her a copy of Both Sides of the Story, an ebook collection of short stories I'd recently reworked and published. The gift was special because I wrote the stories for a writing competition a month before my niece was born in 1994.

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