Tall And True Short Reads
Episode 48 (14 March 2022)
The policewoman at the front of the Court is trying to catch my eye. I have a thing for women in uniform. It’s what attracted me to my wife. That night we met at the pub across the road from the hospital where she worked as a nurse. I couldn’t stop fantasising about the front zip on her uniform.
Season Two: Episode 48 (14 March 2022)
Judgement is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.
Read Judgement on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/judgement
Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads
Buy Robert’s short story collections online:
- Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Fairhead/e/B086HZ36NM
- Rakuten Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/author/robert-fairhead
I wrote Judgement in October 2021 for the Australian Writers’ Centre’s 500-word short story writing competition Furious Fiction. The brief was:
- The story must be set in a COURT of some kind
- Include a character who measures something
- And contain the words BALLOON, ROCK and UMBRELLA. (Longer variations were acceptable.)
After writing and submitting the story (my seventeenth straight entry), I shared a blog post on Tall And True about the experience, Writing True Sentences. I revealed recalling Ernest Hemingway‘s advice to writers to write one true sentence. And how I started my story with, “The policewoman at the front of the Court is trying to catch my eye.”
I had a COURT setting and an opening scene to build upon with more true sentences, half-truths and pure imagination. For example, it’s true a policewoman once tried to catch my eye in Court and mouthed, “Guilty or not guilty.” But my wife’s never been a nurse. However, I dated a nurse before my marriage, so that part was a half-truth. The rest is imagination.
As for BALLOON, ROCK and UMBRELLA, I felt confident I’d find a place for the first two words. And I sweated on the third until it occurred to me why “Dolled-up” might be attending Court.
In the Writing True Sentences blog post, I also quoted George Saunders, who observed, “A short story will undergo hundreds of edits. It’s done when it’s done. I know it when I see it.”
It’s the same for me and my stories. A shiver ran up my spine when I wrote the last sentence, “And I feel the Court’s judgement.” That spine-tingling feeling is how I know when “it’s done”!
I hope you pass favourable judgement on this episode. You can read all my blog posts, short stories 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 in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, don’t forget to browse your feed or the podcast website, for earlier episodes from Seasons One and Two.
And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my writing with other listeners.
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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:
- Judge’s Gavel: https://freesound.org/people/theneedle.tv/sounds/376667/
Tall And True Short Reads produced using Audacity.
Podcast recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.
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