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text 2019-08-03 16:05
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?

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text 2019-07-13 02:16
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!

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text 2019-04-12 17:27
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!

 

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text 2019-02-02 20:07
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 http://www.patriciareding.com/blog-posts.

* * *

 

For my additonal prior flash fiction tales with my Quills pals, check:

http://www.patriciareding.com/blog-po... (which includes my tale entitled Her Golden Hair); and

http://www.patriciareding.com/blog-po... (which includes my story entitled, The Resistance; and finally, see

http://www.patriciareding.com/blog-po... (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 http://www.patriciareding.com/blog-po.... 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!

 

 

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text 2018-08-03 18:31
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)?

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