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text 2020-07-03 19:03
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...

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review 2020-04-16 13:17
Curiosity Quills: Chronology - Various Authors

An Anthology


This is a collection of 25 stories that span a broad range of time. The authors are meant to be well known, though I only recognize a couple of names, like Piers Anthony.


The first story, Draconic King by James Wymore, is a well written Fantasy tale of the dragonslayer kind (with some differences), others include a story of a succubus spirit of a volcano, a weird story of an encounter with a ready meal and others covering a wide spectrum from Fantasy to Victorians.


The common factor holding them together is that the authors are all established names with credits behind them. This shows in the quality of writing in the stories. Recommended for those who enjoy a well written short story.

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text 2020-02-08 16:17
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!
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text 2019-12-07 01:30
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!



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text 2019-11-01 17:42
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!
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