Twelve Furious Fictions

In April 2020, I wrote my first short story for the Australian Writers’ Centre’s monthly Furious Fiction competition. This April, I submitted my thirteenth straight entry. The anniversary means I’ve also shared twelve Furious Fictions on the Tall And True writers’ website and Short Reads podcast.

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59 Chapter Challenge

For several years, I’ve set myself age-related birthday challenges. When I turned 55 in 2017, I swam 55 laps. I did the same at 56 swimming 56 laps. And then, at 57, I found I’d torn both shoulders and couldn’t swim one lap! 58 in 2020 was a stay-at-home write-off. But what could I do to mark turning 59?

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My Love Affair With Somerset Maugham

I discovered Somerset Maugham in my early twenties when I borrowed a copy Of Human Bondage from a friend (which, to my shame, I never returned). The novel captivated me with its beautifully crafted tale of thwarted artistic ambition and unrequited love and sent me on a journey to read more Maughams.

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A Good Story – Sand Island

My first “published” writing was an Enid Blyton, Famous Five-style adventure story, Sand Island, in 1972. I wrote the story and illustrated it with textas. My aunt, the only one in our family who owned a typewriter, typed up the manuscript. And my father helped bind and cover the book. I was ten-years-old.

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The White and Blue Niles

In 1987, my wife and I shouldered our backpacks and set off from Australia. The plan was to live and work overseas in England for two years, using it as a base for UK and wider world travels. And the widest of these were inspired by reading books like Alan Moorehead’s The White Nile and The Blue Nile.

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Life and Other Writing

In March 2020, I heard an interview with former Middle East correspondent, Sophie McNeill, about her book on Syria, We Can’t Say We Didn’t Know. It inspired me to start a travel piece on my experience in Syria in 1995. But I got sidetracked by life and other writing and didn’t finish it until January 2021.

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Favourite Books of 2020

The downside bedtime reading is dozing off midway through a chapter, paragraph or sentence. And when combined with my habit of juggling several books at once, it takes me a long time to read a book. But I love reading. And although it wasn’t a favourite year, I thought I’d share my favourite books of 2020.

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Thanks Furious Fiction

My first attempt at the Australian Writers’ Centre’s monthly Furious Fiction competition fell on my first weekend of lockdown in April 2020. Some feared the prospect of social isolation, working from home, and long hours spent lost in their thoughts. But for me, it was a perfect storm — uninterrupted time to write!

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To Kindle, or not to Kindle?

Amazon discounted Kindles during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales. I have several ebook apps, including the Kindle app, on my tablets and phones. And I have a small library of ebooks, from Amazon and elsewhere. But I’ve never read an ebook from cover to cover. Could a Kindle help me enjoy ebooks?

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Share Your Writing

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~ Maya Angelou

Share your untold story — fiction, nonfiction and reviews — on Tall And True, an online showcase and forum for writers, readers and publishers.

TallAndTrue.com

Published March 2020

This slim book is hard to put down. And the only regret we may feel after reading it is that we reached the end too quickly! ~ Denise O'Hagan

Both Sides of the Story by Robert Fairhead
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