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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.

Year of Books (2018)

My Year of Books (2018)

It's my habit to read in bed and usually, after ten to fifteen minutes of reading, my eyes get a little tired and sometimes I wake to find the book resting on my face. It can take me a long time to read a book from cover to cover. So I was surprised by the size of my "year of books" pile for 2018.

Dog Club Fun Day Sack Race

For the Sake of a Story

The local dog club where I'm a volunteer instructor runs a training season-ending Fun Day with events like Fancy Dress, Agility Slalom, Waggliest Tail and other novelty races that change from year to year. One of my favourites is the Sack Race, in which my dear old dog and I always placed third.

Selby's Joke Book

Book Inscriptions

Recently I found Selby's Joke Book in my teenage son's bookshelf. Inside the front cover, were inscriptions which told me the book had once belonged to a young girl, Grace. Judging by the handwriting in pencil, phonetic spelling, and her *knock-konck* joke, Grace was very young when she wrote in it.

Writing Tips on Tall And True

Three Writing Tips

Wannabe writers and aspiring authors are always looking for writing tips. I've bought books, attended classes, read blogs, listened to podcasts, and printed pointers from the web. But as with the forest for the trees idiom, it can be hard to find useful tips among a wealth of well-meaning advice.

#TallAndTrue posts on Instagram

Celebrating 200 Instagram Posts

In mid-October 2018, I posted my 200th #bookcovers and #firstsentences photo and quote to Instagram (posting as @tallandtrueweb). The series is an eclectic mix of fiction and nonfiction books, all from my bookshelf. To celebrate (a little belatedly) here is another selection of posts from Instagram.

Where's Malcolm tweet from a week in politics

My Week in Politics

Since 2007, I've sat and watched Australian politics stumble from one self-obsessed stuff-up to the next. Resulting in the revolving door prime ministerships of Rudd-Gillard-Rudd and Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison, and the rise of crackpot fringe politicians. In the past week, I stood up and took action.

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 in Russia and the daylight hours very long.

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 Facebook challenge, the "Albums that changed your life". It also appears on social media as the "Ten album challenge", the "Pictorial music challenge", and the "Seven all-time favourite albums". Or more matter-of-factly as the "what-the-heck, I'm 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 judges' critiques inspired me to keep writing!

50 Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories

My son was born at 5:36 am on 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.

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