Welcome to the Tall And True blog of a middle-aged dad and dog owner, Robert Fairhead.

In addition to sharing posts on this website, Robert is a writer and editor at the Tall And True writers' website. He also writes and narrates episodes for the Tall And True Short Reads podcast, featuring his short stories, blog posts and other writing from Tall And True.

Robert's book reviews and other writing have appeared in print and online media. In 2020, he published his début collection of short stories, Both Sides of the Story, and in 2021 Twelve Furious Months, twelve short stories written for the Furious Fiction writing competition.

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Favourite Audiobooks

My son loved books. And I loved reading to and with him in his early years and watching him grow into an independent reader. However, in his teenage years, he became a “reluctant reader”. Thankfully, my son found audiobooks. And with a family account, he and I are building libraries of our favourites.

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Writing True Sentences

The brief for October 2021’s Furious Fiction was to set the short story in a COURT, include a character who measures something, and the words BALLOON, ROCK and UMBRELLA. Recalling Hemingway’s advice to write one true sentence, I wrote, “The policewoman at the front of the Court is trying to catch my eye.”

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Tall And True Short Reads – Season Two

In September 2020, I launched the Tall And True Short Reads podcast, featuring short stories written and narrated by me that I’ve published over the years on Tall And True. My goal with the podcast was to share and showcase something I love doing, writing, on a medium I also love, podcasting.

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Read Like A Writer

The ABC RN Bookshelf podcast episode looked interesting: “What does it mean to read like a writer? Twenty-five Australian writers give their thoughts.” And then I recognised two of the contributors, Belinda Castles and Nicholas Jose, whose books I’d read and reviewed for Writing NSW. So I clicked play.

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The Longest Book Read

A question posted by Penguin Books Australia in 2017 popped up in my Facebook timeline memories: What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? Back then, I’d responded Gone with the Wind. But after sharing the old post on the ABC Book Club, I realised there are longer books, and I’d read one of them.

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Inspired by Michael Palin’s Pole to Pole

Michael Palin embarked Around the World in 80 Days in 1988 and again from Pole to Pole in 1991. My wife and I were avid watchers of his adventures on BBC TV. And inspired by Palin, we left England to travel overland to Australia following his “Pole to Pole” route and means of transport in 1995.

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Pathfinders – History of Aboriginal Trackers

I’ve blogged about how my son stopped reading for pleasure in his teenage years. And yet, despite his ongoing disinterest in them, he still surprises me with books for my birthday, Fathers Day and Xmas. Pathfinders: A history of Aboriginal trackers in NSW by Michael Bennett is one such pleasant surprise.

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Back to School Podcast

Last year, I launched the Tall And True Short Reads audio fiction podcast featuring my short stories. And in April (2021), I chose a story I wrote thirty years ago for episode 18 of the podcast. However, some of my stories are longer than they are short. And Back to School is one of those stories.

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Favourite Olive, Mabel & Me Quotes

My son called a few days before my birthday: “Without giving anything away, dad, would you like a book about a couple of famous labs?” I laughed: “Well, without giving anything away, son, I’ve been hoping you’d give me THAT book.” And so, on my birthday, I was delighted to unwrap Olive, Mabel & Me.

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Three Minute Microfiction Podcast

Launched in September 2020, the Tall And True Short Reads podcast features short stories written and narrated by me, Robert Fairhead. Each episode includes a story and my writer’s insight into why and how I wrote it. Episode 16, Three Minute Microfiction (March 2021), featured three microfiction pieces.

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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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Published April 2021

I look forward to the Writer's Centre's monthly Furious Fiction competitions because I've become addicted to the escapism of writing short stories! ~ Robert Fairhead

Twelve Furious Months by Robert Fairhead
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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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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.

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