Patricia Reding, Author, Press Release

I lead a double life. An attorney by day, I read and write fantasy during my off hours. . . . 




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A Drift of Quills for October 2019


It is October (already!?) and we Quills are at it again. This time, the focus of our joint post is to share a book we loved, and read repeatedly, as a child. I don’t know about you, but it’s getting harder all the time for me to think back that far . . . In any case, for starters, I’m anxious to hear what my fellow Quills have for us.

Parker? What great read caught your fancy as a young one?



“I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.”
― C.S. Lewis

I read and re-read many stories growing up. Some are still on my shelf today. Call it Courage, by Armstrong Sperry. Another is The Wolfling, by Sterling North, (best known for the children’s novel Rascal, a bestseller in 1963). It's a coming of age story about ...


Thank you, Parker.

Robin, I’m sure you’ve something wonderful for us. So, please do share!



I was born into family of bibliophiles. Probably the best thing that ever happened to me. No matter where I lived (like way out in the sticks), I always had places to go, people to see, and things to do. I found them first in the family bookshelves. The doors to whimsy surrounded me, and I was not afraid to open them and explore!


Thanks, Robin.


And now, for my turn ... 





I’m just going to come right out and say it: I’m cheating this time. You see, there is a great, great work for children, that I wish I had read as a child, but alas, I did not. I did not read it until I was an adult. However, from the very opening words, I can say that this tale is not just for children. In many ways, it is most especially for adults. (This is probably true of any great “children’s classic," don't you think?) And for some reason, this story has been on my mind of late. (I suspect it is time that I re-read it ...)


How about you? What were your favorite reads as a child?

A Drift of Quills for September 2019


This month we Quills are writing about some of our favorite book opening lines. This is more difficult than it may seem to be at first blush, as there are so many fascinating stories to choose from. Nevertheless ...


Let's see what Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, has for us this time around. Robin?



The internet is full of lists of “best first sentences.” That opening line garners a lot of attention. It has a lot of work to do! It’s got to set the mood and draw the reader in. No hemming and hawing, blushing, or flailing around for something to talk about. (So I would totally fail as an opening line…)

Luckily, writers can devote a little time to figuring out that all-important greeting before someone opens the door. Er… book. I’m going to skip past the Usual Suspects and head straight to my own shelves. Oh, the hand-rubbing and gleeful expressions! I love rummaging through my books and I’m in the mood for a little questionable book-sniffing. So I’m going to stick with physical copies this go-round, which is strictly unfair to the digital part of the collection, but who’s the boss? I’m the boss!


Let's dive right into something a little terrifying ...



P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse, always provides us with entertaining ideas. Unfortunately, he's out of commission for the moment, but I'll be sure to let you know when he returns ...


For more information, visit Parker at


And now, for my part.



If found this subject fun—and challenging, as there are so many great lines to choose from. In the end, I chose to go with a couple very well-known openings—followed by a lesser known line, namely (uh-oh, hear the self-promotion here!) one of my own. The reason for my last choice is that I worked very long and hard on the line, and in the end, am so thoroughly satisfied with it, that I’d like to share it with you (and, in truth, I can't think of a better time to do so)


Here is my first opening line ...


So what do you think? What are your favorite opening lines?


A Drift of Quills for August 2019 - More Flash Fiction Fun!


It is almost impossible to believe, yet true, that August is upon us. The days are growing shorter, the nights longer, and for the most part, also cooler. I am looking forward to a much needed get-away before summer's end, but for now, I'm excited to bring you the August post for A Drift of Quills. We are back to what has quickly become our favorite kind of post, and it seems to be yours, too. What kind is that? Why, flash fiction, of course!


This time around, Robin Lythgoe, selected the picture that we used for inspiration. It is always great fun to read the wildly different stories the three of us come up with to go with the chosen picture for these posts, so prepare yourself!


The photo, by Steven Erixon:



We Quills all seem to view the parameters of flash fiction a bit differently. My personal goal is to stay within 1000 words - if at all possible. Today, I've managed to do just that - coming in, I believe, at 998 words, title and all. But before I share my flash fiction story with you, I'm anxious to read what my fellow Quills have for us all. (Make sure you follow the links for each of us to get all the full stories.)


P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse, is sure to have a great read for us, and no doubt it will be loaded with wit and charm. Take it away, Parker!


The Standing Stone

by P.S. Broaddus

Copyright P.S. Broaddus 2019


The guardian standing at water’s edge hadn’t always been there. At one time no shadow from the pillar of rock crept across the long salt-grass, as the western sun sank into the wine-dark sea. The path that ran along the coast from the capitol of Plen toward the high timbered trees of Greatwood Forest didn’t always have the patch of stone shade that marked the half-way point. There hadn’t been a section of the monolith rubbed smooth by thousands of hands, touching the rock and then touching the forehead for good fortune.


As mentioned, Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, selected the pic for us this time around. I can't wait to read her story. So . . . here goes!



The Judgment Stone

by Robin Lythgoe

Copyright Robin Lythgoe 2019


There’s a town near the Rhogan coast that has a unique way of dealing with undesirables. Their “undesirables” consist of murderers, rapists, and arsonists. Thieves—unless their theft ruins a citizen’s livelihood or affects the entire town—are generously permitted a second chance. Upon conviction, the criminal is immediately taken to the Stone of Judgement, bound there, and left to the whims of the local dragon. If he or she is still breathing at the same time the next day, freedom is restored. Apparently the almighty dragon decide whether or not they are innocent, no matter what other proof previously stood against them.

​You can safely imagine that those who escape leave the surrounds and never return. You might also imagine my astonishment at being arrested, tried, and found guilty of something called “High Thievery.” I’ve never stolen a thing in my life, unless you count a nap now and then. Well, I have helped myself to apples in the orchards I pass on my way between towns… But a face? How does a person steal a face?


And now, it's my turn. Ready?




Left Ahead

by Patricia Reding

Copyright Patricia Reding 2019


A musty odor greeted Lorna as she awakened, stiff and cramped. She groaned. Her head hurt; her body ached. 

​A clicking sounded out, as something brushed her cheek.

Lorna’s eyes flashed open. She bolted upright, then turned to the source of the touch. Although semi-dark, there was no mistake. 

“Onyx!” she cried, recognizing her long time companion, a snowy owl that had adopted her shortly after her father’s death. She wrapped her arms around his neck and combed her fingers through his soft fur-like chest feathers. 


As always, we look forward to your comments. What do you think?

A Drift of Quills for July 2019


It is July, and we Quills are bringing to you, our joint post for the month. This time our theme is to share one or more pictures that illustrate a person, place, or thing from our work. I'm anxious to see what my fellow Quills have for us. Please be sure to follow the links to find the "rest of the story" for each of them!


Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, is first up today. What have you for us today, Robin?



This recurring theme is one of my favorites! I love sharing with you the images that have inspired my stories (or the images I’ve had to hunt for, trying to match a description!).


I’ve come back to Sherakai’s story—I figure it makes sense since his first book, Blood and Shadow, is currently part of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off (SPFBO). Hosted by Mark Lawrence, author of The Broken Empire series and other books, a total of 300 books are judged by 10 bloggers. Am I nervous? (Gulp!) Mostly, I try not to think about it. There is some serious competition in the running!


Since we already caught a glimpse of things in my previous post about him, I thought I’d share some images from the second book of The Mage’s Gift. In Flesh and Bone, Sherakei receives ...


P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse, is sure to have some great stuff for us. Well, Parker?



I love illustration and I think it works well for the young reader genre and age. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to flip through a book looking for the pictures, and things haven't changed.


I'm a particular fan of simple sketches. I have a collection of them, some commissioned, some that were done by readers. I think that's something I wish I could do as well, but my sketch art is little more than a series of stick figures ...


And now, for my thoughts ...



I’ve chosen to sprinkle a few pics throughout my post today, all relating to the same part of the storyline from Oathtaker, The Oathtaker Series Volume One.


Before sharing any pics, let me open by saying that while perhaps a bit odd, I’ve always been fascinated by the words we give for groups of animals. Here are just a few great ones:



To the above, I would add a couple I’ve made good use of in my stories, including the words used for a group of vultures, namely, a kettle, committee, or wake, depending on what they are up to at the time. Then there is my favorite, which is the word used for a group of crows: a murder. (What a great name for this group of animals!)


In Oathtaker, when Lilith is on her mission to ...


What do you think? We'd love to know!

A Drift of Quills for June 2019

It is June, and time for A Drift of Quills to offer you a joint post. This month, each of us is sharing with you, five of our favorite antagonists. (Don't forget to follow the links for more...)



P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse, begins. 


Mine is a list of truly evil baddies, fantastic villains, complex antagonists, and a lovable toad. In the style of FilmFisher's "Undefended" articles, I'm putting these forward with only minimal comment.


Thank you, Parker!


Next up is Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies



Oh, dear, so many villains, so few spaces in the list ...! Granted, antagonists are not always villains, per se, but someone or something manifesting opposite actions, thoughts, or motives than the protagonist. Still, I've chosen to lean towards the villainous in my list.


Great list, Robin! Now, it's my turn.



Since the antagonist in a story is frequently a villain, the first antagonist/villain that comes to my mind is ... Now, don't laugh. It's Cruella deVil.There are good reasons for this. Well, good reasons to me, anyway. You see ... 


Who are your favorite antagonists? Do share!





Spring Flash Fiction Fun

I've had such fun writing flash fiction tales of late, that I decided to do another. You'll find the full 1000-word story on my site. Here's a teaser:



A Minor Magician
by Patricia Reding
Copyright Patricia Reding 2019


Tying her pants, Brigid Dosser muttered, “I must eat better. So what if I can’t afford it? I could take up bribery . . . or begging.” Recently discharged from employment, embezzlement was no longer an option. “Or maybe good old-fashioned thievery,” she added.
“What did you say?” asked eight-year old Amelle. 
Brigid looked her way. She’d been shocked to discover that the girl hadn’t fallen to the wiles of the criminal deviants that abounded on the streets where she’d found her living a couple years earlier. It was a testimony to the girl’s curious genius that, almost miraculously, she melded into her surroundings. She had an uncanny ability to seem invisible while in plain sight, thereby learning the most confidential things. So when Brigid needed information, Amelle was her most reliable source—and it was details Amelle had learned and shared with her on which Brigid would act tonight.
“Nothing, little one.” She pulled a protective leather band over her arm. “Now you wait here,” she ordered as ...


What do you think?

Flash Fiction Fun

I've quite enjoyed writing some flash fiction over the past year or so. If you've just a couple of minutes and are looking to be entertained, please check out my tales--and share your thoughts!


A Drift of Quills for April 2019 - You Can Quote Me


This month, we Quills set out to share with you, great book quotes that have inspired us, and why. There are so many, a person can get carried away quickly with this one. But in the end, we restrained ourselves . . .


First up today is Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies. Take it away, Robin!



I am a lemon in the book quotation collection department. Oh, I have accumulated scores of quotes, but mostly in the line of pithy truisms. Like, “All of us could take a lesson from the weather; it pays no attention to criticism.” Or "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." They are little reminders to myself that I need to buck up, knuckle down, stop being overly sensitive, work toward my goals, and remember to breathe. Those reminders get jotted down on post-it notes and stuck around my workspace. Bright, rich butterflies whispering directions I would otherwise forget.


Great stuff, Robin. Thank you!


Next is P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse. What have you for us this time, Parker?


The quotes with the most meaning to me personally have come from within stories themselves, as opposed to quotes from an author or prominent individual. I think that's because for me a quote can capture the essence a story--suddenly a snippet evokes an entire journey. The sentence is no longer a disassociated fragment, it has a context. It becomes the story itself, capturing some essential element that inspires me to consider, at least for a moment, the entire narrative from a single perspective.


The best part of Quills day for me is reading what my fellow authors have set out. Thank you, Parker.

Finally, I have some thoughts . . . 



It’s interesting to consider those things that catch one’s attention. For my part, they are often obscure lines that most people likely pass by without a second thought. Occasionally when I find a gem tucked in amidst all the words surrounding it, I grasp it, then adopt it for my own for later use. No, I don’t mean that I copy and use it in my written works, I just say it from time to time. For example, back as a young adult, I read some of Robert A. Heinlein’s science fiction. From his works, one line stood out that I’ve revised—just a bit—and repeated many times over the years (giving Heinlein credit, of course). My version reads thusly: Man is not a rational, rather, a rationalizing being.” All too often, that seems to be the case . . . So if you like, you can count that as my first choice, but I can’t say that it has inspired me so much as that it has intrigued me ...


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I also invite you to check out and to like and follow me on Facebook.


Finally, for those interested in the story behind the story, look for the follow button on Bublish. Thank you!


A Drift of Quills for February 2019 - More Flash Fiction


We Quills are back this month with what has quickly become my favorite type of post. That is, we selected a single picture for which each of us has spun his or her own flash fiction tale. This time around, I got to select the inspirational image. It is entitled:


A Quiet Man
, and is by PeteMohrbacher. You will find it on DeviantArt. What do you think?


There are so many ways this could go that I cannot wait to see what my fellow Quills have for us. But for now, I will start you with my tale which came in at exactly 1000 words, (inclusive of the title!). That said, with three stories to go, this post could get a bit long. Thus, I'll get you started here and then direct you to my site for more. While there, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter so that you won't miss any great flash fiction stories in the future. Also, for a list of additional posts with my prior flash fiction tales, check below.


Breaking Spells
by Patricia Reding
Copyright Patricia Reding 2019

Aiden Piper journeyed from the Burara Wilds, back home, where six years earlier, Fenella’s father, Nigel Duke, had forced Finn Mock to put a spell on him. It happened the day before he and Fenella were to exchange their vows in the cobblestone-paved Dorberg village square. As a consequence, Aiden and his love would remain divided until they broke Finn’s spell. But Nigel, taking no chances, had paid crimpers to trick Aiden, drug him, and then set him aboard a ship that hauled him away.

Soon after awakening in chains, trapped into sea service to the cruel pirate, Wyn More, Aiden fell victim to jungle fever. For months he knew only the mercy of forgetfulness that unconsciousness granted him. But eventually his illness passed and his memories returned. They harassed him unceasingly. He longed for Fenella and the revenge he would have when he returned home where he knew she waited for him.

When the opportunity arose, Aiden jumped at his chance to escape. The cliff from which he dove was higher than the three tallest trees imaginable standing one atop the next. Still, he’d have taken the risk even if that distance had been doubled. Fortunately he resurfaced alive from the water below.

Aiden didn’t have a single copper buckle to his name. Nevertheless, he headed for Dorberg, rendering his services along the way in exchange for food. Occasionally, he picked a pocket, but only after confirming that his mark was truly wealthy, and even then, only when in dire straights. He’d never forget that gelid morning when he awakened, shivering, to find his boots missing. Then there was the time he went for almost a week with naught to eat but a half loaf of stale bread ...


Find the rest of this story at

* * *


For my additonal prior flash fiction tales with my Quills pals, check: (which includes my tale entitled Her Golden Hair); and (which includes my story entitled, The Resistance; and finally, see (which includes my story entitled, Signs, Signs, Everywhere There Are Signs!).

If you're a big flash fiction fan, you will also find another of my prior flash fiction tales at At that post you will see that I wrote with two young friends of mine. Wait until you real the stories by my 20-ish year old friend, Veronica, and by my 14-year old friend, Reyna! (My story at that link is entitled, Throwback Awakening.)

Do stop by for more!



The Junk Yard Solution: Adventures Among the Boxcars and Other Lost Causes

Reviewed for Readers Favorite.



From time to time I read something that doesn’t seem to fit (for me, at any rate) into any traditional genre classification. Such was the case with The Junk Yard Solution: Adventures Among the Boxcars and Other Lost Causes, by Peter Kelton. The story opens with the discovery of Loretta’s body hanging from a cell phone tower in the middle of a village made up of abandoned railroad boxcars populated by a cast of characters one might classify as “misfits.” The boxcars are as uniquely finished and decorated as the personalities that inhabit them. Each of those personalities exhibits its own unusual idiosyncrasies, as does the Federal Marshal, Rick Senate, who investigates Loretta’s death. Throughout the journey to discover Loretta’s killer, the reader is taken along on a series of adventures as parts of the villagers’ past stories are presented.


For me, the most notable part of The Junk Yard Solution, by Peter Kelton, was the cast of characters. There is Loretta herself, who is described as having been “a health nut, a cleanliness freak, [and] a Yogini of the first order.” Loretta had a passion for learning. Then come the actors, Arthur, and his “friend” Oswald (who makes a fine plumber); Cicero who is also known as Don Quixote (and as CVR), who sometimes wears a monk’s robe and is the one to whom the others go with their problems; and Helena, the Chocolate Lady, whose life goal (at age 70) is to travel to India to spread her late husband’s ashes there; to name a few. My personal favorite is the widow, Ellen McDougal, who “converses mostly with her deceased husband, the historian.” I especially enjoy Miss Ellen because she “wanders among the boxcars at night, kind of like an itinerant fundamentalist of a proselytizing faith, quoting The Elements of Style.” Meanwhile, a couple of her neighbors, Jefferson Davis McClandish and Justine, don’t unsettle her in the least when they take up nudism, but they annoy her no end with their incessant use of the word “like.” (Seriously, that is a person I’d like to meet!) The various characters’ lives generally include some details as to how each has been in touch with—or has come within only a couple degrees of separation from—some famous person or event. Those in this odd and entertaining group share two things in common: their dislike of digital life, and their desire to discover who is responsible for Loretta’s murder. Together, these factors make for an interesting afternoon of reading.

A Drift of Quill for January 2019


The Best and Worst Things About Being an Author






I can think of no better way to welcome in 2019 than for us to share our thoughts about what we each find to be the best and worst things about being an author.

Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, is sure to have something for you as soon as she comes up for air. 

In the meantime, you will find her here.


I wonder what P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse, thinks are the best and worst things about being an author. Shall we see?



My own musings on the best and worst aspects of being an author will be rather short this time around. Which will perhaps illustrate the blessing and curse of the vocation aptly. First, the worst. The worst aspect of being a writer? It can be put off.


For more, click here.


Finally, here's my thoughts ...



In general, I prefer to end things on a positive note. Thus, I shall first set forth my “worst.” For me, that’s fairly easy. Some say it’s the editing. But no, no, no, not for me! That’s actually one of the best things for me, as it means that my thoughts are already down. From there, I can manipulate them to my heart’s content. I just need time, quiet, and ...


You'll find more on my site here. While there, don't forget to sign up for my Newsletter!



HERE is the LINK. Best of luck to you and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

A Drift of Quills for August 2018


As is typical, the summer months here in the north-country are quickly flying by. With August upon us, we’ve already lost, since the summer solstice, almost a full hour of sunlight per day. (So sad . . .) Still, this is a good time to reflect on the issue we Quills are pondering this month, which is: when we are away from the writing desk, what do we do? What gardening or improvement projects keep us busy? Are they inspirational? Do they help us to focus? Or ... ?

I'll go first, then present posts from my fellow Quills, Robin Lythgoe and P.S. Broaddus.


I used to be quite a gardener. I had a huge plot. I can’t even estimate its size. I grew berries, beans, corn, squash, melons, peas, and on and on. Admittedly, even at the best of times, I tended to lose a fair amount of my crop because I couldn’t eat it in time and wasn’t big on storing methods (although drying herbs or beans was always a hit with me). (That said, I usually had an abundance. Don't believe me? Check the pic here of just one wheelbarrow full of tomatoes from one year.)



Also, in truth, I lost some crop to overzealous weeds that would come along about the same time that I threw my hands up and nearly quit, as I was no longer having fun.

But I don’t garden like that anymore ... ​


Now that I've unloaded, I'm anxious to hear what Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, has to share with us. Well, Robin? What's your current non-writing artistic (or other) outlet?



My writing desk follows me everywhere. Virtually, anyway. Overheard conversations make good fodder for dialogue. A turn of phrase from a television show or movie often suggests an entire scene or plot point. I realized during a discussion about some people in my life that one of them in particular would make a fantastic model for a character. (No, I will not say whether protagonist or antagonist!)

I try to jot these ideas down on my phone, but sometimes I really have to tell my desk to go to its room and give me a break. Have you ever noticed that not thinking about a thing is like a magic solution for finding an answer to it?

“Whim” has often been the instigator ...


And finally, we hear from P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse. What say you, Parker?



I don't often get the question, "What keeps you busy?" That's usually because I have three little boys running around and through my legs. I also work as a full time real estate agent, running my own business and managing property for myself and others. I have a master's degree in film, but I've taken a step back from film production and editing to give more time to my love of writing.

And while I enjoy real estate and homes and remodeling and flipping, that isn't necessarily where I get inspiration or rest. I don't garden - the wonderful wood nymph I married is in charge of that department. Likewise, film and film editing is work - enjoyable work, but work nonetheless.

There are a couple of things I do that fill me up, that aren't work, and sometimes even provide inspiration and encouragement ...


How about you? What’s your project de jure (or de l’annee, or even de la decennie, as the case may be)?

A Drift of Quills for June 2018


Somehow, I manage quite frequently to miss sharing on Booklikes when my fellow Quills and I publish a new joint-blog post. I'll try to do better going forward . . . In any case, this time our topic is whether we finish books we hate. Do you want to guess in advance what each of us said? Be sure to click on the links for each of us, below, so as to get the rest of each of our stories.

Now, in truth, I can't imagine my fellow Quill, Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, reading anything to the bitter end that she doesn't very much like. But perhaps I'm wrong . . .

Well, Robin?




We’ve all come across them—those books that are so badly written you wonder if the author was even an earthling. Or, assuming that they weren’t hatched on another planet, if they bothered to attend grade school. Or if they live in a sensory deprivation chamber and have no freaking idea what the real world is like. The first pages of such a book are usually painful. Do you risk the agony of finishing the entire book? You want to know my philosophy?


P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse, do you read things to the bitter end? Even when you hate them? I suspect you might be a bit more likely to do so than Robin, although I can't put my finger on why I think that might be . . . Am I right or am I wrong?



What to do with a book you hate? Or, even worse, a book that was just, 'meh.' It doesn't even warrant the energy of hurling it against the opposite wall. It barely deserves a sigh and a shrug, and certainly won't get a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Too much effort for a story that simply didn't captivate.  So what do you do with that story? Are you a finisher? A staller? Or a tosser?


Does anyone want to guess what I'll say, in advance? Do I read things to the bitter end, or do I not? What do you think? Well, here goes . . .



Do I finish books that I start, but hate? I can answer this question with a single title: Moby Dick. I found it utterly incomprehensibly, annoyingly, mind-bogglingly boring, and odd—and downright awful. I hated it. Nothing anyone could say about a color or its significance, or what the author may have intended that color may have symbolized, could resurrect this title for me. I found a solid 70% of the work to be complete nonsense. Lest I be mistaken, let me put it simply: I truly and completely abhor this work. Perhaps more than any other I’ve ever read. So . . .


Please do join us again next time when we'll share some more (new) flash fiction. Later, then!

A Drift of Quills for January 2018


Happy New Year to one and all! It is hard to believe that 2017 is already a part of the history books. Now I look eagerly toward all great things for 2018.

This month we Quills are writing about what has or does inspire us to write and/or or what may have inspired us to write a particular work.

First up is Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies and Blood and Shadow.



As I near the day I push the “publish” button for the second book in The Mage’s Gift, this seems a good time to reflect on the motivation behind the story. I think it was years in the making, and I think I will say the same about all my books and stories. What does inspire me? What prompts me to set pen to paper (I really did start out that way), and then fingers to keyboard? I’m inclined to call it "magic" . . .


The best part of our monthly posts for me, is reading what my fellow Quills have to say. Thank you, Robin!

Now I turn my attention to P.S. Broaddus's comments. Parker is the author of A Hero's Curse. What say you, Parker?



I like the question "what inspired you?" To inspire is to motivate, to encourage, to incite. It is an action that is uniquely intimate through its connection with personal desire. It touches on motivations and vocations, capturing both the mind and the heart. To be inspired is a special thing, and to inspire others an almost otherworldly, yet, perhaps, a worthy goal. Depending on the end. Depending on what you inspire your neighbor toward.

Is it my turn now? Is it really my turn now?

Yes, it is! So, here are my thoughts . . .


Taking a short hiatus from writing my fantasy series (The Oathtaker Series) over the past few months, I’ve been working instead on a non-fantasy story entitled, So I Opened My Mouth and Screamed. It will be published in 2018.

This story is near and dear to my heart, as being aware of a real-life story with which this one shares features, I felt I had to write it. It opens when a young man breaks and enters into the home of a family and, armed with a knife, sexually assaults the youngest family member (a young woman just turned 16) and threatens her not to call for help. I don’t want to give away the details, but the young woman in question is/was not your typical 16-year old. Rather than being a victim to the demands of her unknown assailant, she did precisely what he demanded she not do . . .


That's it for this time around. Thank you for joining us. Please leave your comments and stop by our sites again soon!

A Drift of Quills for October 2017


It's official: autumn has arrived! With it, we Quills will try a new venture: FLASH FICTION. If you're new to the concept, it's quite simple, really. Flash fiction covers a variety of works that are extremely short. Consider the following descriptions (lifted straight from Wikipedia):

Six-word stories (self-explanatory)
Twitterature - 140 characters
Dribble - 50 words
Drabble or "microfiction" - 100 words
Sudden fiction - 750 words
Flash fiction - 1000 words

For our post today, we've chosen to write works from 300-1500 words (or so). My story, title and all, runs roughly 400 words.To add to the fun, we Quills chose a single picture for inspiration. The pic, entitled Long Walk, it is the creation of Jonathan Bach. (Find it at

I admit that I rebelled a bit over our selected motivational picture . . . It just . . . didn't speak to me. But then, finally, one thought came to mind. Just one, mind you. So I decided I'd go with it. You'll soon see what I came up with . . .

While I'm anxious to hear what you think of my take, for now, Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, is up first!




The mages—along with the history books and a dozen or so scouts—had professed their absolute certainty that the Shader Needles no longer held any power.

Either they lied, or the maggots had figured a way to put them back in operation. Cleaved nearly in half, my flitter wrapped around the base of one pitch black, sword-like spire. Shock chased after shock. First, came the shattering of the sky like a thousand shards of lightning. Struck, I hustled earthward, out of control. Glass jangled and metal shrieked. Unimaginable pressure and the sensation of tearing preceded the remainder of my flight—without the benefit of the flitter. I met the sand with ferocious force. Finally, and most astounding of all, came the realization that I still drew breath. Each inhalation burned like a hot poker, but by all rights, I should be dead.

Sprawled in the needle's dubious shade, I processed the fact that I'd been thrown clear before my little flying machine slid down the length of the spire to smash to splinters against the ground. If I died, who would stop the poison spreading from the decaying city?


Next is P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse. Accustomed to Parker's ready wit, I'm expecting a laugh or two. Or maybe things will go another way entirely. Hmmm. Well, let's find out . . .



The Prophet and the Assassin

Landships are usually a safe way to travel the dunes. Unless it's a "clanker," built from parts of the old combustible engines. They can't go high enough to escape the desert sands that come out of the south like a solid wall of death. But it wasn't the time of year for storms.

I've dreamed of starting over. I've dreamed of a fresh slate. It's a myth. You can't start over. The memories remain.The command remains.

There is no fresh slate for the living.



Finally, here's my flash fiction story.



Her Golden Hair

I had no choice. I had to leave her behind. Still, the ugly hands of guilt and grief, like the twin jaws of a vise, squeezed my heart.

I couldn’t count the times she’d saved me. I could only hope I’d prove as faithful. She deserved that . . . and so much more.

How could I have been so reckless? I’d heard the rumors of pirates having invaded the area—and all from highly reputable sources, no less. Still I’d insisted on doing things my way. I alone was responsible for my foolhardy pride, my selfish desire to be the first to arrive, my rash behavior.

The vise crimped tighter.



Please, share your comments with us!

Also, for more fun with these short-shorts, check out Flash Fiction Online at and/or Flash Fiction Magazine at