Tall And True Short Reads

Family Reflections

Episode 73 (9 May 2023)

Mum’s up first, though she doesn’t like looking at her reflection nowadays. She splashes her face and turns away from me with a towel. Over her shoulder, I watch Mum gaze out the bathroom window. And when she turns back, Mum’s wearing her pained expression again, like she’s failed to solve the riddle of life.

Family Reflections

Show Notes

Season Three: Episode 73 (9 May 2023)

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

Read the story on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/fiction/short-stories/family-reflections

Podcast website: https://www.tallandtrueshortreads.com

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

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Story Insight

I wrote Family Reflections (originally titled Morning Reflections) for the Australian Writers’ Centre’s April 2023 Furious Fiction writing challenge. The brief for April was:

  • The 500-word short story had to have something that CHANGES COLOUR
  • Include the words ACCEPT, POINT, RIDDLE, INKLING and LABEL (did you hear them?)
  • And the story had to have an ENGAGING OPENING SENTENCE that would make readers want to read on.

My first idea was a dark piece on domestic violence, opening with a woman staring at her bruised face in a mirror. However, I decided I couldn’t tell that story, so I abandoned it. But I kept the mirror … and gave it the narrator’s voice.

I enjoyed exploring the possibilities of a bathroom mirror, *reflecting* on the family. As an older dad, I recognised its melancholy, recalling Tilly and Zane’s younger days and worry over the effects of ageing on Mum and Dad. And I’m sure the family and I are not alone in confiding confidences and concerns to our reflections with no inkling that the mirror may be listening to us.

April 2023 marked the third anniversary of my first Furious Fiction, A Song on the Radio  (Episode 4 of Tall And True Short Reads), written on the first weekend of the COVID lockdown in Australia in April 2020. And Family Reflections was my twenty-seventh short story submitted to the challenge.

And [drum roll, please], after three years, it was the first of my short stories showcased on the Writers’ Centre’s website (as Morning Reflections) — the perfect anniversary gift!

It was also one of my most time-squeezed stories, with weekend family and footy commitments meaning I could only fit in short bursts of writing. But three years of Furious Fiction gave me confidence in my process and ability to write and submit the story by the Sunday midnight deadline.

I hope you enjoyed Family Reflections. You can read this and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores.

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

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my storytelling.

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

Finally, please do this podcast a favour by telling 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.

Podcast 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.

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