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.
The chemical reaction when I pour the jug of milk onto my cereal sparks a memory: "Snap, crackle, pop!" Growing up, Mum bought us bland wheat cereals for breakfast. "You need the fibre," she'd say, cutting short complaints and requests from my sisters and me for more popular brands.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 2019, approaching the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, I found a timely book in a secondhand bookshop: The Berlin Wall, 13 August 1961 – 9 November 1989 by Frederick Taylor. The book inspired me to write about my contrasting visits to Berlin as a backpacker in 1987 and 1995.
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.
To help overcome writer's block and start writing the first sentences of A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway is said to have reminded himself: “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
Two disclosures. Firstly, I've known Ashley Kalagian Blunt for several years, from her work at Writing NSW and conversations on social media about our writing projects. Secondly, I am not a big reader of crime fiction. But I know it's a popular genre, and after binge-reading Dark Mode, I can see why.
Over the summer holidays, I caught an ABC Science Show podcast, The Year in Tech. Science reporter, Ariel Bogle, discussed with her editor, Jonathan Webb, tech stories which had caught her eye in 2017. She opened with an audio clip from the Ex Machina movie that instantly spiked my interest.
The writer John Banville observed, "Memory is imagination, and imagination is memory. I don't think we remember the past, we imagine it." I have vivid memories of my early childhood (I believe they're memories, not imagination), which is why the #5YearOldSelfie challenge on social media caught my eye.