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."
When I launched Tall And True Short Reads in 2020, I called it an "audio fiction podcast". But in my introduction to Season Three in September 2022, I observed how I'd realised I was producing storytelling episodes, whether based on short stories or blog posts, fiction or nonfiction, or tall and true tales.
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.
After two seasons of Tall And True Short Reads, I realised I was producing a storytelling podcast, whether the episodes were short stories and blog posts, fiction and nonfiction, or tall and true tales. So, in Season Three, I included further examples of my writing on dogs, travel, memoir pieces and other topics.
I launched the Tall And True Short Reads storytelling podcast in September 2020. Twelve months and 32 short story episodes later, I announced Season Two of the podcast. And how in addition to short stories, the new season would feature my blog posts and other writing from the Tall And True writers' website.
In the Podcast Milestones blog post (July 2023), I revealed how I'd forgotten to celebrate the milestone 75th episode of my storytelling podcast, Tall And True Short Reads. And that I'd also neglected to mark its 50th and 25th episodes. I corrected this and promised to post future episodes and milestones.
I launched the Tall And True Short Reads storytelling podcast in September 2020. And in June 2023, I released the 75th episode, a short story I'd written for Furious Fiction, Past Demons. And as inexcusable as missing a special friend's birthday, I forgot to celebrate the podcast milestone.
The photo is from March 1983. My dad has his arm around me at a party for my twenty-first birthday. I had plans to travel back then, but no one thought I'd leave my hometown forever. Let alone that in 2023 I'd have an arm around my son's shoulder for his twenty-first on the other side of the country.
At the end of March 2023, Sumitra from the Twitter #WritingCommunity announced a #30Words30Days challenge. During April, Sumitra and Writing Dani would tweet daily prompt words at 8 am and invite writers to share a 30-word story inspired by the prompt. "No prizes, just for the joy of writing together!"
As a regular swimmer, I set birthday challenges to match my age in laps from 55 in 2017 to 57 in 2019. (Let's skip 2020!) Then, after tearing both shoulders, I read 59 chapters in 2021 and 60 in 2022. But I wanted to do something different when I turned 61 on 30 March this year. So I wrote a 61-word story.
In July 2022, I tweeted a photo of my damp black lab, Jet, after we got caught in the rain on our bedtime walk. And a few days later, publisher Anne van Gessel replied to my tweet with a proposition: I'm putting together a coffee table book featuring dog pics and short stories. Jet would be a sweet addition.
An ASTOUNDING, THRILLING and AMAZING episode of ABC Radio National's The Book Show from 2019 popped up in my Facebook timeline memories in January (2023), with host Claire Nichols in conversation with Dr Alan Levinovitz from James Madison University (Virginia) about the history of book blurbs.
When I launched Tall And True in August 2017, I realised a dream to provide an online forum for writers, including myself, to share and showcase our writing. In 2020, I updated the design, labelling it as a "new chapter" for the website. And two years on, I've given Tall And True a fresh look and focus.
Inspired by the lists and favourites posted on the ABC Book Club Facebook group, I checked my bookshelf, Kindle and Audible library for the titles I've read and listened to in 2022. The results were interesting: I read six paper-based books and seven ebooks last year and listened to thirty-one audiobooks.
I fell in love with live theatre when I saw my first London West End play as a newly-arrived backpacker in 1987. Over the next eight years, living in Brighton and Windsor, I attended countless professional and amateur productions. But I didn't think in 1987 that one day I'd be up on stage, too, taking a bow.
In May 2022, a post by Penguin Books Australia popped up in my Facebook timeline memories from 2017, challenging readers to finish this sentence: "I like reading because ..." A keen reader since childhood, I'd responded, "Because it opens my eyes and mind to other places and possibilities."