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.
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.
Episode 86 (18 January 2024): "In space no one can hear you scream. But what if you're deep in the backwoods, in an isolated cabin on a dead-end trail?" Karen set aside the book. A horror story was not ideal reading for the off-grid log cabin Peter had booked for their thirtieth wedding anniversary weekend, especially as she was alone in bed, listening to wind from a storm whistle through cracks in the doors and windows.
Episode 85 (22 December 2023): I'm taking a short break from podcasting because I'm going on a long road trip with my son from Sydney to Western Australia to spend Xmas and New Year with our WA family. But as I did in 2022, I've put together a Kris Kringle collection featuring three episodes from the Tall And True Short Reads archive: Too Late, Lenny, Stuck in Time and Family Reflections.
Episode 84 (9 December 2023): 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.
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.