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Tall And True Short Reads

Audio Fiction

Tall And True Short Reads is an audio fiction podcast featuring original short stories from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by your host, Robert Fairhead.
Latest Episode10/11/2020

A Song on the Radio

Season 1, Ep. 4
A Song on the Radio is a short story from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides a writer’s insight into the story, which he wrote for #FuriousFiction in April 2020, inspired by the Tie A Yellow Ribbon song. The show notes include links to A Song on the Radio on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Copyright notice: Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree written by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown, recorded by Tony Orlando and Dawn, released February 1973. Writer's Insight into A Song on the RadioI wrote A Song on the Radio in April 2020 for #FuriousFiction, a monthly 500-word short story competition run by the Australian Writers' Centre. The brief for April’s story was that it had to begin on THE SIDE OF A ROAD, and include a SPLASH and the words APRON, PIGMENT, RIBBON, ICON, and LEMON, the first letters of which spell, April.A Song on the Radio was my first attempt at #FuriousFiction and it was timely because it coincided with the first full weekend of COVID-19 lockdown in Australia. As I later wrote in a Tall And True blog post on the experience, I typed in the brief and stared at it on my otherwise blank computer screen. It felt like a Rorschach test, only with words instead of inkblots. But slowly my writer's eye discerned shapes in the random pattern:A car pulls up and parks on THE SIDE OF A ROAD, near a beach. There is the SPLASH of waves on the shoreline. And a bottle of Tequila, with salt and a LEMON (lick, sip, suck). An APRON is spread on the sand. And, of course, harking back to a song on the radio from my youth, there's a yellow RIBBON, tied around an old oak tree.A pattern was forming, but who could I weave it around? The Tie a Yellow Ribbon song suggested characters and a storyline. A recently released prisoner, Elliot. In my story, Elliot's been in and out of jail and is now working as a kitchen hand (hence the apron). And the Yellow Ribbon love interest? Gail, whom Elliot met in rehab between stretches in jail.As for the remaining words in April's brief, age spots mark the skin PIGMENT of Elliot's hand, above the Tequila salt lick. And he lost contact with Gail during his last long stretch in jail, because as I wrote, "Life stands still on the inside, but not on the outside." Every morning Elliot checks his phone's message app ICON, hoping to see an overnight response to his calls and texts. But he knows life’s not a song on the radio.I hope you enjoyed A Song on the Radio as much as I enjoyed writing it for #FuriousFiction. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads, The Cat in the Trunk, will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed to make sure you haven’t missed any of the earlier episodes.Read A Song on the Radio on tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/a-song-on-the-radio.Podcast Theme Music and Sound EffectsRoyalty free music fromPixabay.org: 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.Car Parking: https://freesound.org/people/ARCHIVES84/sounds/508891/Car Door: https://freesound.org/people/oscaraudiogeek/sounds/333281/Seagulls: https://freesound.org/people/plantmonkey/sounds/377107/Waves: https://freesound.org/people/amholma/sounds/376802/Gulps: https://freesound.org/people/Wizage/sounds/418853/Splash: https://freesound.org/people/swordofkings128/sounds/398032/
10/11/2020

A Song on the Radio

Season 1, Ep. 4
A Song on the Radio is a short story from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides a writer’s insight into the story, which he wrote for #FuriousFiction in April 2020, inspired by the Tie A Yellow Ribbon song. The show notes include links to A Song on the Radio on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Copyright notice: Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree written by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown, recorded by Tony Orlando and Dawn, released February 1973. Writer's Insight into A Song on the RadioI wrote A Song on the Radio in April 2020 for #FuriousFiction, a monthly 500-word short story competition run by the Australian Writers' Centre. The brief for April’s story was that it had to begin on THE SIDE OF A ROAD, and include a SPLASH and the words APRON, PIGMENT, RIBBON, ICON, and LEMON, the first letters of which spell, April.A Song on the Radio was my first attempt at #FuriousFiction and it was timely because it coincided with the first full weekend of COVID-19 lockdown in Australia. As I later wrote in a Tall And True blog post on the experience, I typed in the brief and stared at it on my otherwise blank computer screen. It felt like a Rorschach test, only with words instead of inkblots. But slowly my writer's eye discerned shapes in the random pattern:A car pulls up and parks on THE SIDE OF A ROAD, near a beach. There is the SPLASH of waves on the shoreline. And a bottle of Tequila, with salt and a LEMON (lick, sip, suck). An APRON is spread on the sand. And, of course, harking back to a song on the radio from my youth, there's a yellow RIBBON, tied around an old oak tree.A pattern was forming, but who could I weave it around? The Tie a Yellow Ribbon song suggested characters and a storyline. A recently released prisoner, Elliot. In my story, Elliot's been in and out of jail and is now working as a kitchen hand (hence the apron). And the Yellow Ribbon love interest? Gail, whom Elliot met in rehab between stretches in jail.As for the remaining words in April's brief, age spots mark the skin PIGMENT of Elliot's hand, above the Tequila salt lick. And he lost contact with Gail during his last long stretch in jail, because as I wrote, "Life stands still on the inside, but not on the outside." Every morning Elliot checks his phone's message app ICON, hoping to see an overnight response to his calls and texts. But he knows life’s not a song on the radio.I hope you enjoyed A Song on the Radio as much as I enjoyed writing it for #FuriousFiction. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads, The Cat in the Trunk, will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed to make sure you haven’t missed any of the earlier episodes.Read A Song on the Radio on tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/a-song-on-the-radio.Podcast Theme Music and Sound EffectsRoyalty free music fromPixabay.org: 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.Car Parking: https://freesound.org/people/ARCHIVES84/sounds/508891/Car Door: https://freesound.org/people/oscaraudiogeek/sounds/333281/Seagulls: https://freesound.org/people/plantmonkey/sounds/377107/Waves: https://freesound.org/people/amholma/sounds/376802/Gulps: https://freesound.org/people/Wizage/sounds/418853/Splash: https://freesound.org/people/swordofkings128/sounds/398032/
10/1/2020

Too Late, Lenny

Season 1, Ep. 3
Too Late, Lenny is a short story from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides a writer’s insight into the story, which he wrote for #FuriousFiction in July 2020. The show notes include links to Too Late, Lenny on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Writer's Insight into Too Late, LennyI wrote Too Late, Lenny in July 2020 for #FuriousFiction, a monthly 500-word short story competition run by the Australian Writers' Centre. The brief for July’s Furious Fiction was that the story had to take place at either a WEDDING or a FUNERAL, something had to be CUT, and it had to include the words OVER, BETWEEN, and UNDER.I set Too Late, Lenny at Lenny’s FUNERAL. Due to COVID restrictions, his funeral is streamed OVER Zoom. Our narrator, Bob, tells the tale, “BETWEEN you and me”, of his friendship with Lenny, how it had been CUT and rekindled. And the story ends with Bob watching Lenny’s coffin lowered “six-feet UNDER” via Zoom.I didn't win #FuriousFiction July, but I thoroughly enjoyed writing Too Late, Lenny. However, when I shared it on Tall And True, I changed the narrative slightly. Bob’s still our first-person narrator, but in the original version, he only addresses the reader. Revisiting the story, I thought it sounded better for Bob to speak to his old friend Lenny in the opening and closing paragraphs.I hope you enjoyed Too Late, Lenny. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads, A Song on the Radio, will be in your podcast feed shortly.Read Too Late, Lenny at tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/too-late-lenny.Podcast Theme and Podcast Sound EffectsRoyalty free music fromPixabay.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.Cafe/Restaurant Ambience: https://freesound.org/people/lunchmoney/sounds/380200/Comedy Laughter: https://freesound.org/people/Evil_Ear_Recordings/sounds/524775/Hanging Up Phone: https://freesound.org/people/DrNI/sounds/164035/Clock Ticking: https://freesound.org/people/FlashTrauma/sounds/398275/
9/20/2020

A Moving Sculpture

Season 1, Ep. 2
A Moving Sculpture is a short story from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides a writer’s insight into the story, which he wrote in England in 1992. The show notes include links to A Moving Sculpture on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Writer's Insight into A Moving SculptureI wrote A Moving Sculpture in 1992 when I lived in England. Looking through my original notes, I can't find the reason why I wrote it. Perhaps I just came up with the idea and explored where it took me?Initially, the young protagonist, Toby Evans, was a journalist for a socialist magazine, researching an undercover story on landed gentry. But around this time in the UK, several stately homes were robbed, having been cased beforehand. And I thought this was a more likely scenario for Evans’s visit to the Old Colonel and the Manor House.The story doesn’t explain the supernatural springing to life of the garden sculpture’s marble figures — I leave that to the reader’s imagination. Though years later, when I saw the Weeping Angels episode on Doctor Who, I did wonder about Eve's intent!I hope you enjoyed A Moving Sculpture. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads, Too Late Lenny, will be in your podcast feed shortly.Read A Moving Sculpture at tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/a-moving-sculpture.Podcast Theme Music and Sound EffectsRoyalty-free music fromPixabay.org: 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.Walking on gravel driveway: https://freesound.org/people/775noise/sounds/494571/Finger Tap: https://freesound.org/people/pikachu09/sounds/204605/Bell: https://freesound.org/people/WebbFilmsUK/sounds/200318/Outgoing call: https://freesound.org/people/aldenb4610/sounds/348584/Phone pickup: https://freesound.org/people/MootMcnoodles/sounds/444399/Pouring water into glass: https://freesound.org/people/FillSoko/sounds/257957/Owl hoot: https://freesound.org/people/Breviceps/sounds/465697/Squeaky hinge: https://freesound.org/people/Breviceps/sounds/515289/Shovel dropped on concrete: https://freesound.org/people/jackofall29/sounds/503756/
9/10/2020

Five Meet On Zoom

Season 1, Ep. 1
Five Meet On Zoom is a short story from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides a writer’s insight into the story, which he wrote for #FuriousFiction in May 2020, inspired by Enid Blyton. The show notes include links to Five Meet On Zoom on Tall And True and the podcast theme music.Writer's Insight into Five Meet On ZoomI wrote Five Meet On Zoom for #FuriousFiction, a monthly short story writing competition run by the Australian Writers' Centre, in May 2020.Held on the first weekend of the month, writers have 55 hours to write a 500-word story based on a brief set by the Writers’ Centre.For #FuriousFiction May, the first word of the story had to be FIVE, and it had to include something “being replaced” and the phrase “a silver lining”.My boyhood love of Enid Blyton's Famous Five books inspired Five Meet On Zoom. And our socially isolated times, where it seems everyone is meeting via Zoom, even the family dog.Julian, struggling with technology and lockdown, hands his leadership role to his “clever clogs cousin”, George.And on replacing Julian as the leader of future Zoom meetings, George comments to Timmy-the-dog, "Perhaps there is a silver lining to this wretched virus?"I didn't win, nor make the short or long lists for the May competition. But I had fun with Five Meet On Zoom, especially as on the same furious weekend of writing, I wrote a blog post about my first #FuriousFiction in April (Tall And True, May 2020).Perhaps as George observed, there is a silver lining to the coronavirus lockdown? More time to write!I hope you enjoyed Five Meet On Zoom. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads, A Moving Sculpture, will be in your podcast feed shortly.Read Five Meet On Zoom at tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/five-meet-on-zoom.Podcast Theme MusicRoyalty-free music fromPixabay.org: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 'Pastorale' – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.
9/5/2020

Welcome to Tall And True Short Reads

Season 1
Tall And True Short Reads is an audio fiction podcast featuring original short stories from TallAndTrue.com. My name is Robert Fairhead, and I'm your podcast host and narrator.I've always loved reading and writing and wrote and self-published my first book, Sand Island, an Enid Blyton-Famous Five-style adventure story, in 1972, when I was ten-years-old.I’m now a middle-aged writer and editor at the Tall And True website, an online showcase and forum for writers, readers and publishers. In addition to Tall And True, my book reviews and other writing have appeared in various print and online publications. And in 2020, I published a collection of short stories titled, Both Sides of the Story.All of the stories on Tall And True Short Reads were written by me and are shared online at TallAndTrue.com. Some explore recent themes, like lockdown and social isolation. While others from the Tall And True archive, are set in more distant times.At the end of each episode, I give a brief background into the writing of the story, which should be of interest to podcast listeners and fellow-writers.I hope you enjoy Tall And True Short Reads. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True website.Thank you for now. The first episode of Tall And True Short Reads, another Enid Blyton inspired short story, Five Meet on Zoom, will be in your podcast feed shortly.Podcast Theme MusicRoyalty free music fromPixabay: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 'Pastorale' – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.