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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.

Buddha meditating

My First Buddhist Lesson

It was my younger brother's idea to attend the Buddhist lesson. He said the class was in the back room of a pub, a short walk from my flat, which was handy because we were running late and my bladder felt full as we headed out the door. To save time, I decided to hold on until we got to the pub.

Lenin's Tomb, Red Square, Moscow

Thanks for the memories, Travel Journal

In 1993 my wife and I took a package trip, "Seven Nights in Moscow and St. Petersburg". Reading my travel journal, I am amazed at how much we fitted into our seven nights - it helped it was July, the northern hemisphere summer, the nights were short and the daylight hours very long in Russia.

Tennis ball - game, set and lost!

Wimbledon lost in translation

My girlfriend and I had travelled all day to reach the small farming town of Nijemardum, in the northern Netherlands state of Friesland, to visit the parents of a former housemate. “My mother will be pleased to see you," Jan had assured me. The bewildered look on Mrs B.'s face indicated otherwise.

Playing with my muse for writing on dogs

My Good Dog Muse

I met Harry when he was six months old. He was the last of his litter, hiding under a kitchen table. When the breeder dragged him out, Harry flopped his head on my leg and looked up at me with worried, brown eyes. A bond formed between us. It was more than dog and owner. Harry became my muse.

Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

My teenage son was out for the night, so my wife lined up a British period drama movie on TV, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I loved it, though I was thankful I had a box of tissues handy. And afterwards, I was keen to read the book upon which the movie was based.

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Memories of Tuesdays with Morrie

I'm posting a #bookcovers and #firstsentences series on Instagram of fiction and nonfiction from my bookcase. The posts have brought back many fond memories of dusty books I haven't read in years. And the other day I posted one of my favourite tear-jerkers, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

First Sentences on Instagram

In April 2018, I published a writing tips article on Tall And True titled, Writing First Sentences. The piece was in part inspired by a homage series I have been posting to Instagram with photos of books and their opening sentences, tagged #bookcovers and #firstsentences (as @tallandtrueweb).

Queen - A Day at the Races

Albums That Changed Your Life

A friend nominated me for a recent Facebook challenge, "Albums that changed your life". It also appears as the "Ten album challenge", the "Pictorial music challenge", the "Seven all time favourite albums" or as the "what-the-heck, I'm just posting my favourites LPs!"

Europe Through the Back Door - Rick Steves

Travel Writing

I started “travel writing”, recording journals of my travels when I left Australia in 1987 for two years backpacking and living abroad in England and Europe. I kept writing journals and diaries on my daily life in England and broader travels until I returned to Australia nine years later in 1996.

Ian St James Awards 1990

Thanks, Ian St James Awards

In their heyday, the Ian St James Awards offered the biggest fiction prize in the UK and Ireland for unpublished writers. I submitted several short stories to the awards from 1992 to 1995. None were finalists, let alone winners, but the critiques provided by the judges inspired me to keep writing!

50 Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories

My son was born at 5:36 am on the 2 June 2002. It had been a long night, and it was a long day (admittedly, more so for my wife!), and when I went home from the hospital that evening, it was with the surreal realisation I was a dad. I decided my first duty would be to buy a book of bedtime stories.

Microfiction Dream

Microfiction Dream

I once had a dream so real and intense it reminded me of the 3rd Century BC Chinese Philosopher, Chuang Chou, who dreamt, "I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou."

The Catcher in the Rye

Do You Reread Books?

Penguin Books asked a good question on Facebook last year: Do you reread books? I've kept all my favourite books with the thought of one day rereading them. And then I start a new book, it becomes a favourite and is added to my bookcase to read again ... one day!

John Lennon

My Favourite Beatle

My earliest memory of The Beatles is from when I was five-years-old. It wasn't their music, but an article in the local newspaper, with a photo of John, Paul and George hammering an oversized nail into Ringo's head. My mother tutted and told me they were silly to play with hammers and nails.

Teaspoons

Writing Can Be Lonely

Writing can be lonely, especially if you're living on your own in a cramped flat, in another country, far away from family and friends. So when I lived in England in the early-1990s, I volunteered to work one afternoon a week at an Oxfam Op shop, to get away from my writing desk, to get out of my flat, and to meet and mingle with people.

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

My Love Affair With Somerset Maugham

I discovered Somerset Maugham in my early twenties when I borrowed a copy Of Human Bondage from a friend ... which, to my shame, I never returned. (And for which, I belatedly apologise!)

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton - Omen or Inspiration?

In May 1992, the local literary news was full of the success of Tim Winton and Cloudstreet. I thought it an omen. Winton was thirty-one-years-old, and I was thirty. He'd grown up in W.A., and so had I. He'd just won his second Miles Franklin Award, and I was having a second crack at being a writer!

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