Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

Tall And True Short Reads

Are We There Yet?

Episode 63 (22 November 2022)

“Are we there yet?” Milly whines from the back seat. “I’m bored,” adds Tyler. “Oh, for goodness sake!” I snap, eyeballing the pair in the rear vision mirror. “It’s only been two hours.” Kids nowadays! The drive has been smooth and fast compared to the narrow, windy roads of my childhood family holidays.

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Are We There Yet?

Show Notes

Episode 63 (22 November 2022)

Are We There Yet? is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the story: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/are-we-there-yet

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Writer’s Insight

I wrote “Are We There Yet?” in September 2022 for a Flash Fiction Competition hosted by the South Coast Writers Centre and Berry Writers Festival.

The brief for the competition was that the short piece of fiction must be under 500 words (my story is 498 words). And writers should include the theme or word “berry” but “interpret the theme in a broad and creative way”.

My interpretation, however, was literal, about the town of Berry, on the NSW south coast, two hours south of Sydney. And it was inspired by a conversation with my twenty-year-old son.

My son is currently working in Berry. But he has a long association with the town because we used to stop there for a break on the drive to our old south coast holiday house. And one of his favourite places as a young boy was Apex Park, running about its lush lawns, playing chasey around the rotunda and, of course, playing in the playground.

My son mentioned the new Boongaree Rotary Nature Play Park and said if the playground had existed when we used to stop there, we would never have got him out of it!

I haven’t been to Berry since we sold our holiday house in 2016. But talking to my son about the new playground and his memories of the old one had me reflecting on our family holidays. And while I didn’t win or get short-listed for the Flash Fiction competition, I’m happy I wrote this short homage to Berry.

I hope you also enjoyed the break in Berry. You can read Timeline Memories and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections, including my latest collection, Twelve More Furious Months, from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores — links are available in the show notes.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One, Two and Three.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps other listeners find my writing.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

Episodes are recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

Support this show https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

Contact Us

Are We There Yet?

Timeline Memories

Tall And True Short Reads

Timeline Memories

Episode 62 (8 November 2022)

I dread mornings like these when Facebook floods my timeline memories with posts and photos of Jas and the kids. On social media, we’re still a happy family. Whereas in the real world, I live alone and only see the kids on weekends. But that’s not Facebook’s fault. It’s just an algorithm.

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Timeline Memories

Show Notes

Episode 62 (8 November 2022)

Timeline Memories is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the story: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/timeline-memories

Blog Post with photo of Jet: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/blog/introducing-tall-and-true-short-reads

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Writer’s Insight

I wrote Timeline Memories in July 2022 as my entry for The Big Issue’s September 2022 Fiction Edition. The magazine received more than 900 short stories and selected 12 for publication. Unfortunately (for me), mine was not one of them, but I enjoyed the writing process.

The story draws on parts of my life — I post to Facebook, my son’s grown up, and I have a rescue dog — and pure imagination — I’ve never been to a toga party.

I suspect older parents (like me) will recognise the melancholy felt by my main character scrolling through his family posts. And dog lovers (also like me) know the comfort of having a dog on a mat beside your chair. And if you read my September 2020 blog post introducing the Tall And True Short Read podcast on the Tall And True website, you’ll see a photo of my rescue dog, Jet, on his mat beside my desk.

I hope you enjoyed my melancholic tale. You can read Timeline Memories and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections, including my latest collection, Twelve More Furious Months, from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores — links are available in the show notes.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One, Two and Three.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps other listeners find my writing.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

Episodes are recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

Support this show https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

Contact Us

Are We There Yet?

Council Clean-ups and Recycling

Tall And True Short Reads

Council Clean-ups and Recycling

Episode 61 (16 October 2022)

One fine October Sunday in 2020, I returned home from the morning dog walk to be greeted with the news our annual council clean-up was happening on Monday. After previous clean-ups, I thought we had nothing left to throw out. And I looked forward to a long productive day of writing … until I checked the attic and shed!

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Council Clean-ups and Recycling

Show Notes

Episode 61 (16 October 2022)

Council Clean-ups and Recycling is a blog post from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the post: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/blog/council-cleanups-and-recycling

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Writer’s Insight

I wrote Council Clean-ups and Recycling after a fine Sunday in October 2020. And if you visit the blog post on the Tall And True website, you’ll see photos of my neatly arranged pile on the verge, my son’s 2017 haul, including the drill press, and the books I rescued in 2020.

Although the mature, middle-aged me is less of a “Magpie” than my son nowadays, I still feel the thrill of discovery when I come across a box of books and have added to my bedside “to be read” pile several times since I wrote this post in 2020. And returning from my walk with my dog this morning, I noticed neighbours putting out their junk on the verge. So the annual Council clean-up must have come around again, and I wonder if I can find some more books?

I hope you enjoyed my short tale of rummaging and recycling. You can read the Council Clean-ups and Recycling post and all my writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections, including my latest collection, Twelve More Furious Months, from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores — links are available in the show notes.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One, Two and Three.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps other listeners find my writing.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

Episodes are recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

Support this show https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

Contact Us

Are We There Yet?

Kurd Friends in the Mountains

Tall And True Short Reads

Kurd Friends in the Mountains

Episode 60 (4 October 2022)

My wife and I visited Turkey in 1988. We had endured our first English winter and spent two weeks hugging the coastal sites and sunny beaches. We returned in 1990, venturing far from the coast to the mountains of eastern Turkey, where Kurds befriended us, and we learned a little of Kurdish culture.

READ SHOW NOTES

Kurd Friends in the Mountains

Show Notes

Episode 60 (4 October 2022)

Kurd Friends in the Mountains is a travel memoir blog post from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the post: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/blog/kurd-friends-in-the-mountains

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Writer’s Insight

I wrote Kurd Friends in the Mountains in October 2019, drawing on my memories, journal entries, travel-worn map and the photo of the young girl I had taken on my trip to eastern Turkey in 1990.

I have an Iraqi Kurd friend who was a refugee in Iran for several years before resettling in Australia. One night we were talking about his experience, and I mentioned that I had visited the Kurdish areas of Turkey and had a tape of Kurdish music. I also told him about the photo I had taken of the young girl in a village.

My friend has a young Australian-born daughter, and I realised she would be a similar age to the girl in the photo. And the thought of how different those two girls’ lives could have been, one raised in Australia, the other in the Kurdish mountains, inspired me to write this travel memoir and share it as a blog post on Tall And True.

I hope you enjoyed my story about Kurd Friends in the Mountains. You can read this and all my writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections, including my latest collection, Twelve More Furious Months, from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores — links are available in the show notes.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One, Two and Three.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my writing and memories with other listeners.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

Episodes are recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

Support this show https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

Contact Us

Are We There Yet?

Once Upon A Time

Tall And True Short Reads

Once Upon A Time

Episode 59 (16 September 2022)

This story begins at the end. But my time spent observing your planet has taught me humans like to process events and information in an orderly, if not entirely predictable, sequence. So forget the first sentence, and I’ll serve you a linear tale. Just don’t skip to the end and spoil it.

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Once Upon A Time

Show Notes

Episode 59 (16 September 2022)

Once Upon A Time is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the story: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/once-upon-a-time

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Writer’s Insight

I wrote Once Upon A Time in June 2022 for the Australian Writer’s Centre’s quarterly writing competition, Furious Fiction. The brief for the 500-word short story was:

  • It had to begin with a sentence containing exactly SIX words.
  • Include something being served.
  • And use the words STAGE, WIRE and LOG. (Longer variations were acceptable as long as they retained the original spelling.)

Fittingly, the six-word sentence popped into my head first: This story begins at the end. And it also signposted the ending, so I knew my writing destination.

I wanted to play with form and point-of-view in the story, so I came up with the idea of an omniscient narrator, possibly other-worldly and not limited to “linear timelines”. However, our narrator has observed that “humans like to process events and information in an orderly sequence”. And so serves the reader a three-part “linear tale” of two scientists dedicated to saving the world from climate change.

We follow the scientists from their first meeting at an early UN Climate Change Conference in the 1990s to their collaboration-catch-up at a post-pandemic UN Conference in the 2020s and joint address on the sidelines of a UN Climate Adaptation Conference in the late-2050s.

In addition to form and point-of-view, I wanted to write a story on climate change. About how scientists have warned us of its existence for decades, while vested interests have denied it or urged us to adapt rather than take action to halt and reverse its effects.

I found places for the required words from the brief in the story, although I took advantage of being allowed to use longer variations for one of them — did you hear the words?

And for the first sentence callback at the end of the story, I used a classic beginning, “Once upon a time, a pair of dedicated young scientists tried to save the world from climate change.” But as our narrator-observer explains, how this story ends is up to the reader.

I hope you enjoyed my “linear tale” with a message. You can read Once Upon A Time and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections, including my latest collection, Twelve More Furious Months, from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores — links are available in the show notes.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One, Two and Three.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my writing and memories with other listeners.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Clock Ticking: https://freesound.org/people/blukotek/sounds/412751/

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

Episodes are recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

Support this show https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

Contact Us