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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.

Pathfinders by Michael Bennett

Pathfinders - History of Aboriginal Trackers

I've blogged about how my son stopped reading for pleasure in his teenage years. And yet, despite his ongoing disinterest in them, he still surprises me with books for my birthday, Fathers Day and Xmas. Pathfinders: A history of Aboriginal trackers in NSW by Michael Bennett is one such pleasant surprise.

Twelve Furious Fictions eBook

Twelve Furious Months eBook

The Australian Writers' Centre runs a Furious Fiction writing competition on the first weekend of the month. Writers have 55 hours to write a 500-word short story based on a brief. I've never won or been short or long-listed, but in May 2021, I published Twelve Furious Months of my entries as an eBook.

Back to School Podcast - classroom blackboard

Back to School Podcast

Last year, I launched the Tall And True Short Reads audio fiction podcast featuring my short stories. And in April (2021), I chose a story I wrote thirty years ago for episode 18 of the podcast. However, some of my stories are longer than they are short. And Back to School is one of those stories.

Olive, Mabel & Me by Andrew Cotter

Favourite Olive, Mabel & Me Quotes

My son called a few days before my birthday: "Without giving anything away, dad, would you like a book about a couple of famous labs?" I laughed: "Well, without giving anything away, son, I've been hoping you'd give me THAT book." And so, on my birthday, I was delighted to unwrap Olive, Mabel & Me.

Twelve Furious Fictions

Twelve Furious Fictions

In April 2020, I wrote my first short story for the Australian Writers' Centre's monthly Furious Fiction competition. This April, I submitted my thirteenth straight entry. The anniversary means I've also shared twelve Furious Fictions on the Tall And True writers' website and Short Reads podcast.

59 Chapter Challenge Books

59 Chapter Challenge

For several years, I've set myself age-related birthday challenges. When I turned 55 in 2017, I swam 55 laps. I did the same at 56 swimming 56 laps. And then, at 57, I found I'd torn both shoulders and couldn't swim one lap! 58 in 2020 was a stay-at-home write-off. But what could I do to mark turning 59?

Three Minute Microfiction - Hourglasses

Three Minute Microfiction Podcast

Launched in September 2020, the Tall And True Short Reads podcast features short stories written and narrated by me, Robert Fairhead. Each episode includes a story and my writer's insight into why and how I wrote it. Episode 16, Three Minute Microfiction (March 2021), featured three microfiction pieces.

A Good Story - Sand Island

A Good Story - Sand Island

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 textas. My aunt, the only one in our family who owned a typewriter, typed up the manuscript. And my father helped bind and cover the book. I was ten-years-old.

White and Blue Niles by Alan Moorehead

The White and Blue Niles

In 1987, my wife and I shouldered our backpacks and set off from Australia. The plan was to live and work overseas in England for two years, using it as a base for UK and wider world travels. And the widest of these were inspired by reading books like Alan Moorehead's The White Nile and The Blue Nile.

Life and Other Writing - WIP

Life and Other Writing

In March 2020, I heard an interview with former Middle East correspondent, Sophie McNeill, about her book on Syria, We Can't Say We Didn't Know. It inspired me to start a travel piece on my experience in Syria in 1995. But I got sidetracked by life and other writing and didn't finish it until January 2021.

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.