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Patricia Flaherty Pagan

Writer of karma fiction in which bad things happen to bad people

Lucky & Tough: Gratitude & An Excerpt from "Kit-Cat Clock"

Reading my flash story "Kit-Cat Clock" at the Spider Road Press celebration.
Reading my flash story “Kit-Cat Clock” at the Spider Road Press celebration.

I can’t believe that we recently celebrated three years of publishing at Spider Road Press! It’s been challenging professionally (and, at times, financially), but it’s the best creative adventure I’ve taken so far. I love content editing and I’ve pushed myself to learn more about publishing and marketing. I’ve stared down the barrel of creating an ebook, learned a few snazzy design tricks, forced myself to ask new people, “What do you like to read?” and worked with some stellar consultants. I learned to multi-task more than I ever thought I could, and to delegate to stay sane. I’ve made mistakes and had epiphanies. In my life, both ugly technical mistakes and gorgeous creative epiphanies tend to happen after 11 pm.

It’s taken a lot of hard work, budgeting and stubbornness to get this far. I am damned lucky to have made it. There are too many people who have helped make my dreams a reality to thank everyone here, but expressing my gratitude to Steve, Kessika, Jessica, Lilia, Jo-Anne, Heidi the cover design wizard, Genevieve, Pamela, Wed night CC group, our Indiegogo donors, MaryEllen, Karen, Skipjack Publishing, the Goddard College MFA community and the Houston Writers Guild is a good place to start.

I birth books. I am too busy. I have too many deadlines. I am very blessed.

Through my work at Spider Road, I have been able to celebrate flash fiction. I’m excited that Spider Road’s upcoming collection, Approaching Footsteps, will contain a bonus section of flash by recent contest winners and judges. As I am one of the 2015 judges, my flash fiction piece about a single mother who was sexually assaulted at work, “Kit-Cat Clock,” will be included. It’s a tough topic to write about, and my flash story went through many (many) drafts before I felt that I had depicted my character, Candace, and her pain well. At the Spider Road Press birthday party and flash fiction awards ceremony, I read the following excerpt from my piece. A lovely audience member told me afterwards that the excerpt could be a stand-alone micro fiction piece. I hope that you enjoy this snippet of Candace’s story:


Detective Virginia Dubois brought me a Styrofoam cup of weak coffee. Could I identify him? The lack of physical evidence would cost me. She couldn’t make any promises. Driving home, I wondered what cops promised the ponytailed UNH girls, the moms with Lego pieces in their pockets, the librarians carrying The Norton Anthology of Nice. As the P.T.A types whispered, I’d been around. Not a lot of single, white moms with brown-skinned babies north of Manchester. Three consecutive stoner poet boyfriends had been in and out of my one-bedroom before they went back on the road. A leather skirt and a bad-girl-with-a-heart-of-gold wink kept my landlord flirting and my rent under nine hundred a month, but hadn’t won me any friends. Never heard back from Virginia.


I look forward to sharing more of “Kit-Cat Clock” with you when Approaching Footsteps is released in November. Thanks again for every page read, every review written, and every encouragement uttered! We’re all in this together.