Blog Posts on Tall And True

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

Tall And True showcases the writing — fiction, nonfiction, reviews and blog posts — of writer and podcaster Robert Fairhead. Guest Writers are also invited to share and showcase their writing on the website. 

#30Words30Days April 2024 - 01 Calendar
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#30Words30Days April 2024

In April 2023, Sumitra and Danielle Baldock from the Twitter/X #WritingCommunity ran a #30Words30Days microfiction challenge. Danielle re-ran it this year, posting a daily "Nature" themed prompt word and inviting writers to share their 30-word stories, read and cheer everyone else, and have fun!

Tall And True Short Reads - The Lost and Found Story
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Tall And True Short Reads - The Lost and Found Story

Episode 92 (10 May 2024): I've lost a few things over the years but never imagined losing a story! I only realised I'd "lost" A Window Table when I started working on a blog post to mark my fourth anniversary of writing Furious Fictions. However, when I found and read a copy of the story, I didn't recognise its plot or characters.

Selfie with my birthday float tank, lid open and purple-blue light on
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The Dead Sea and a Float Tank

I turned 62 on 30 March. In previous years, I've swam laps to match my age on my birthday (until I tore my shoulders), read 59 and 60 chapters, and written a 61-word story. This year, I spent 62 minutes in a float tank, and to prepare for it, I read my travel journal entry on my 1995 trip to the Dead Sea.

Tall And True Short Reads - A New Jack

Tall And True Short Reads - A New Jack

Episode 91 (18 April 2024): Less than forty-eight hours after receiving her online order, Third Age Cybertronics delivered Jack to Daisy, a sprightly centenarian who purchased the Advanced Companion Droid to help her with household chores and carry her bags when travelling.

Five hands counting up Five April Stories
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Five April Stories

My first attempt at the Australian Writers' Centre's Furious Fiction writing challenge was in April 2020. Since then, I've submitted entries to every challenge except two when I was away from home on holiday. I wrote my forty-third (official and unofficial) Furious Fiction this month, my fifth April story.

Tall And True Short Reads - A Good Story

Tall And True Short Reads - A Good Story

Episode 90 (1 April 2024): My first "published" writing was an Enid Blyton-Famous Five-style adventure story, Sand Island, in 1972. I wrote the story and illustrated it with coloured Texta markers. My aunt, the only one in our family with a typewriter, typed up the manuscript. And my father helped bind and cover the book. I was ten.

Tall And True Short Reads - Moving On

Tall And True Short Reads - Moving On

Episode 89 (14 March 2024): Eighteen-year-old Hugo glanced up at the train station clock. It seemed time had stood still, with the minute hand barely moved since he'd last checked. He confirmed the time on his watch and then looked at the departure board, breathing a sigh of relief. His train was running on schedule.

Filing and Folders - Lost and Found Story

The Lost and Found Story

I once wrote a short story titled The Lost Hour that opens: "You know what it's like when you lose something. It's always in the last place you look. But how do you find a lost hour? It's not like it can slip down the back of a sofa like coins or keys!" I've lost a few things but never imagined losing a story!

Tall And True Short Reads - Finding Inspiration

Tall And True Short Reads - Finding Inspiration

Episode 88 (29 February 2024): While sorting through storage boxes at home, I found an old notebook belonging to my son. It wasn't a school exercise book but something he'd jotted and doodled in as a twelve-year-old. Among its random pages was a short story he'd written in 2014 about a father who doesn't have "great ideas".

Tall And True Short Reads - The Lonely Moon

Tall And True Short Reads - The Lonely Moon

Episode 87 (15 February 2024): If you ask me, the Moon is the best object in the night sky. 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.

A Dad and Son Road Trip - the Nullarbor Plain
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A Dad and Son Road Trip

On Monday, 11 December 2023, my twenty-one-year-old son and I set off in his van on a 10-day, 4600-kilometre dad-and-son road trip from Sydney to Margaret River. We had planned the trip for over six months to spend Xmas/New Year with our WA family. And yet, I only had a vague idea of our route.

Tall And True Short Reads - A Knock at the Door

Tall And True Short Reads - A Knock at the Door

Episode 86 (18 January 2024): "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, listening to wind from a storm whistle through cracks in the doors and windows.

Tall And True Short Reads - Kris Kringle - Xmas 2023

Tall And True Short Reads - Kris Kringle - Xmas 2023

Episode 85 (22 December 2023): I'm taking a short break from podcasting because I'm going on a long road trip with my son from Sydney to Western Australia to spend Xmas and New Year with our WA family. But as I did in 2022, I've put together a Kris Kringle collection featuring three episodes from the Tall And True Short Reads archive: Too Late, Lenny, Stuck in Time and Family Reflections.

The covers of my four favourite books of 2023

My Four Favourite Books of 2023

Since 2018, I've posted an annual review of books I've read. 2023 was a busy year for me: writing and podcasting, helping my son fit out his van, and supporting the Indigenous Voice to Parliament campaign. I don't know how many books I read, listened to, or started and set aside on my to-be-read pile.

Tall And True Short Reads - In Her Head

Tall And True Short Reads - In Her Head

Episode 84 (9 December 2023): 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.

Tall And True Microfiction (book cover)
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Tall And True Microfiction Anthology

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.

Tall And True Short Reads - A Better Poem

Tall And True Short Reads - A Better Poem

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."

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