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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We Quills are back with more flash fiction fun! (Do you hear that crowd cheering?)


Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, selected our prompt this time. 



Please take a look at what we each came up with and if you'd like to share a story of your own, we'd be delighted!


It is Truly Magic

by Patricia Reding

Copyright Patricia Reding 2021


Some say it doesn’t exist.

But they are wrong.

It does. It does.  

“It does!” Nellie cried, as though repeating her mantra, whether in her mind, or verbally, would make it so. 

She pulled her boots on, then wriggled her toes, testing . . .


I hope you enjoyed that. Now, for Robin Lythgoe's tale.



Robin is running a bit behind, but is sure to catch up in short order. For now, check out her site here.



P.S. Broaddus. What have you for us?  



by P.S. Broaddus

Copyright P.S. Broaddus 2021


People don’t talk about it, probably because they don’t remember, but being eight is the hardest age. Even harder than being a junker. Or a evaporative farmer, or whatever we are now.


I guess it didn’t start right when I turned eight. So maybe it’s eight and a half. (Turning seven was even awesomer, ’cause that’s when I got my goggles, and my nickname, “Gogs.”) Even so, turning eight was pretty good . . .


Thank you so much, Parker!


That's it for now. Thanks for stopping by!

A Drift of Quills for July 2020



There can be no mistaking that 2020 has been a most unusual year.

I believe Robin Lythgoe and I started our Quills posts in 2013. Later, Parker joined us. I do recall times when we’ve not all been able to put a piece together for our joint-post, but I do not recall a month when we did not post at all—until last month, that is. June 2020 came and went too quickly, and too many personal issues held us up. Consequently, we had no post last month. We are pleased, however, to be with you again, and just in time to wish America a very, very, very Happy Birthday, indeed!

The topic we chose this month was to put together a character sketch. I am currently in the process of introducing someone new, Athan Eamon, in Volume 4 of The Oathtaker Series, (for now, entitled, Blue Gloom), so I thought I would use Athan as a subject. I’ve known about Athan for a long time, although I was uncertain as to when he would actually show up. Then, wouldn’t you know it, a door opened and … there he was …

What follows is the beginning of a rough character sketch for Athan, and beyond that, an excerpt from my current work-in-progress...

A Drift of Quills for February 2020


Hello, all!

This month we Quills are back to one of our favorite types of posts. That is, we will share some new flash fiction tales with you. (Here is a quick link to a page identifying where you can find our prior stories.)


This time, P.S. Broaddus, aka Parker, author of A Hero's Curse, chose the picture for which we would each create a story. When I first saw the pic, the word "whimsey" came to mind. You'll see how I made use of it. In the meantime, let's see what Parker and Robin have for us! 




Parker? Off you go!


Welcome to Sky

by P.S. Broaddus

Copyright P.S. Broaddus 2020


"My dad could eat your dad."

"Not if he can't catch him first."

"He's one of the best fliers we have!"

"He still can't outfly my dad. No cat can outfly a bird."

"Bet I could outfly you."

"Not a chance."

The nestling and the kitten eyed each other. The kitten broke the terse silence. "I'm Starbucks. I was named after-"

"I'm Boeing!" The nestling interrupted. "I was named after the fastest flying machines of the old gods."

Starbucks huffed. "As I was saying before you interrupted me, I was named after the elite fuel of the old gods.


(Readers, be sure to follow the link for the rest of Parker's story.)


Now, Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, has something for us. Take it away, Robin!


Learning to Fly
by Robin Lythgoe
Copyright Robin Lythgoe, 2020

Striped Chasca, Seventeenth of the beloved and revered Fluffy, picked her way delicately down the garden path. She held her ears up, chin at a haughty angle, and let only the very tip of her tail twitch—just the way she’d seen the senior members of the clan do. Every dozen steps or so, she paused to preen, using the opportunity to sneak backward glances at her magnificent wings.

(Again, readers, be sure to follow the link for the rest of the story.)
And now, it's my turn! Coming in at 970+ words, title and all ...
Huckleberry's Whimsey Day
by Patricia Reding
Copyright Patricia Reding 2020
His muscles aching and his wings tattered, Huckleberry tumbled through the air, his four legs akimbo, before finally righting himself. Looking down, he spotted a branch below, largely clear of brush. He aimed for it, confident that like all kittens, he would indeed land on his feet.

Keeping his knees loose, his paws touched. He bounced up, and then aimed yet again for another, even clearer branch, just below. On arrival, he teetered. Regaining his balance, he heaved in a deep breath in an effort to still his wildly beating heart. All the while, he contemplated on how his panic had added to his difficulties motoring through the air, which in turn, had resulting in his landing here—quite less than gracefully.
Again, be sure to follow the link for the rest of the story.
That's it for this time around. Please stop by again soon!

A Drift of Quills for December 2019

December has arrived and as usual, I am scurrying about with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head—which is to say that I am trying to work out what to get for whom, and from where, and at what cost, and so forth … One thing is for certain: when it comes to the simple gifts one may purchase, the age of technology has made life so much easier. For another year now, I will do most if not all, of my holiday shopping online. I love clicking the BUY button and then waiting for things to arrive on my doorstep.

But our subject this month has put me in a more introspective mood about gifting …

​We Quills have decided to comment briefly on a gift we received at some time that made a lasting memory, and on something we gave that made a lasting impression.


Robin Lythgoe is the author of As the Crow Flies. Robin’s stories, perfect for ages 12-85, come packed with adventure and humor. Perhaps you know just the right person to receive a copy of one of her works for Christmas … (?)

Robin -  What do you have for us today?


It was 1999, and my father was dying. The cancer was fairly aggressive. Shocking, when he’d been so healthy all his life. He’d left the family years before to follow a drummer only he heard. We didn’t see much of him, but still—it was Dad. Time was short. So was money ...


Thank you for sharing, Robin, and a Merry Christmas to you and yours!


Moving on ...


P.S. Broaddus offers delightful tales for middle school readersand I know how difficult those are to find. So, if you've got a young one on your gift-giving list (and who of us doesn't?), you'll find out more about his work on his sight. In the meantime, let's see what he has to say about gift-giving ...



When I think about giving, and gifts, a story from when I was close to nine or ten comes to mind.

My younger brother and I were given a few dollars by our folks and encouraged to find something for each other for Christmas. Being a kid, I did some quick math, figured I could snatch a passable something and still have monies left over.


Thank you so much, Parker!


Finally, here are my thoughts.



Gift giving is an art—a fine art. Gift giving is the fine art of selecting just the right thing for someone—and it is one that I work at. At times I’ve hit the sweet spot so perfectly, that it left even me surprised. But before I get to that, let me comment on a gift I received that made a lasting memory.

Some years ago ...


So, what are the greatest gifts you ever gave? Ever received? We'd love to hear about them!



A Drift of Quills for November 2019


I cannot believe it is November already (even though I woke to a dusting of snow this morning), but there you have it. Cold notwithstanding, from my perspective there are two great things about this month. First, it will soon be Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday. Second, we Quills are coming to you this month with new flash fiction tales!

​This time, I got to choose the pic. Here it is:



I first found these boots/moccasins on Pinterest, then tracked them down to a site for Turtle Island Moccasins. It seems you can actually order yourself a pair of these! What do you think of that?


When I chose our inspirational pic, I asked my fellow Quills if they wanted an added challenge (as if writing a flash fiction tale isn't challenge enough). I suggested the following for their consideration:


* Include in your story, something about The Forest of Infatuation, or the Temple of the Unknown Slave, or The Drum of Unbearable Silence ...


* Or … maybe your main character has an odd personality or behavioral quirk, like he or she is notoriously rude, or expresses emotion inappropriately, or is homesick, or is always looking for a fight …


* Or maybe your main character has a pet. Perhaps it’s a dog that steals keys and other small objects, or that never comes when called, or that commonly gets stuck in silly places  ...​​


In the end, we decided we would each choose for o ourselves whether to take on an added challenge, and if so, what that challenge would be.




For my part, I chose a couple of items from the above list. First, I included the Forest of Infatuation. Second, I combined features of the second and third options. Namely, I added in a pet with an odd behavioral quirk.


Are you ready? Coming in at 815 words, title and all ... here goes!


Calico Dew and
the Boots of Ominous Delight
by Patricia Reding
Copyright Patricia Reding 2019


The ramshackle hut sat in a damp tree-shaded hollow, deep in the Forest of Infatuation. An occasional bright green patch of mold stood out on its thatched roof and spotted its weathered, paint-crackled, windows.Their half-open shades looked like eyes peering down at the bed of poison ivy just outside the hut’s door, which hung slightly askew on its rusty hinges.

Nearby, Calico Dew hid. She patted Sneaker, her faithful canine companion, whose shaggy mottled coat helped him to meld into his surroundings. This well-served Calico’s purposes in carrying out her duties as an official retriever of stolen magic artifacts. However, Sneaker also came with a downside. That is, while his physical traits allowed him to rummage about stealthily, he also possessed a particularly annoying personality quirk. Specifically ...


Find more here.


Well? What do you think? Please do, share your thoughts!



Lucky for you, there is more. Next up is Robin Lythgoe.


I can hardly wait, so take it away, Robin!


by Robin Lythgoe
Copyright Robin Lythgoe 2019


The autumn sun slid toward the horizon, gilding the moors and pulling twilight ever closer. Little streamers of fog drifted this way and that, half-formed fairy ribbons. Archibald Cumming laughed to himself. The old man was getting to him. Had already got to him, years ago, truth be told. And where was the old fool now? Shifting his backpack, he trudged up the sparse hill. Hands on hips, he stopped at the top to catch his breath before he had a look around. When he had his breathing under control again, he straightened and stood still and quiet, listening. Listening as he'd done dozens of times already just today. This wasn’t the first time the old codger had taken off on his own.

He was about to move on when he heard it ...


Find more here.


Excellent! Thank you so much.



And now, for Parker.


What have you for us, Parker? Did you take on any of the added challenges?


Fool's Feet
by P.S. Broaddus
Copyright P.S. Broaddus 2019


"I'll be requested by kings," said the shiny face of ambition, caught somewhere between a boy and a man. But the glint in his eye was ageless.

"You'll be an outcast."

"Princes will offer me untold wealth and honor," he continued, unhearing.

"You'll reject it all."

​He rubbed his hands together unconsciously, unaware of how silly he looked, how small and unworthy. "My name will be known from the border of Darjil to the Jabob River and beyond."

"Where you will be unwelcome and hunted until the last of your days." The old man sighed. Ambition turned his head, the sigh finally catching his attention. Was the old one dying? Would he pass on the boots now?

Master Eli...are you well?"

The grizzled beard, streaked white and grey and sandy-desert brown, twitched. Eli looked full at his apprentice. Looked in his soul through the undisguised eyes.

The boots would instruct him.

"I must go." Eli struggled to his feet. He could not rest. Not yet.

The apprentice's long eager fingers grasped an elbow, half helping, half clinging. "I'm going with you."

​Eli shrugged. "Do what you must."


Find more here.


Great stuff, Parker! Thank you.
We would love to know what our readers think and so, we invite you to share your comments. Please also feel free to share your flash fiction stories with us.
Thank you for stopping by. Until next time!

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 ...


While on my site, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter.


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!