Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), and several Kindle ebooks.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Lit stuff

I spent last weekend at the Appalachian Writers Association Conference in Bristol, TN, where I had a great time, met some interesting people, reunited with some folks I’d met at the 2005 conference, and generally learned a lot.

My kids’ book, Where There’s A Will, was in the running for the Appalachian Book of the Year, but, since there were only three nominees in the juvenile lit category—and five are required for winner to be named, no prize was awarded. As a sort of consolation prize, I was given a complimentary table to display my books.

In the open mike session, I read “Buck-Nekkid.” (My favorite short story is “You Ain’t Buck-Nekkid and You Got Enough to Eat,” first place winner in the 1996 Lonesome Pine contest. It’s in both Where There’s A Will and The Girl Who Raced Mules & Other Stories.) A lot of poets, essayists, and fiction writers participated in the open mike session. Everybody who read was good!

A pleasant surprise was placing third in the Harriet Arnow Award for Short Story with “The Query Letter from Helen.” I won enough to pay my gas money home! A bigger surprise was getting an honorable mention in the James Still Award for Poetry. There were some GOOD poets competing, poetry isn’t my strong point, and I’d dashed out the poem—“Promise Kept" (about my old mare)—a couple of days before the deadline.

Today I spent a pleasant afternoon picnicking with some lake folks at the Smith Mountain Lake State Park where I read from my books and talked about how I used local stuff in my work. Then I did a bit of Ida B. Peevish. Good food, good company, good time—and good pay!

Plus the rain held off until I was almost home.

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