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), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Dark & Stormy Valley Writers

It was a dark and stormy night yesterday evening when Valley Writers celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Our guest speaker was multi-talented Mike Allen, who covers court cases—usually involving violent crime—for the Roanoke Times. However, he also reports on such diverse topics as (and I am not making this up—the following is a quote from Mike’s email to me) “government scandals, movies, aerial ballet, textile layoffs, tobacco farmers, wedding rings, Dairy Queen bluegrass, fake UFO landings, the Great Privy Race in Independence and, my favorite, the Ass-Kicking Machine of Burnt Chimney.”

Besides working a day job as a mild-mannered reporter (Why am I thinking Clark Kent here?), Mike also does a super job as a writer, editor and publisher of “eccentric and unusual stuff.”

For example, as a science fiction and fantasy author/editor/publisher, he edits the poetry journal Mythic Delirium, writes an occasional book (Strange Wisdoms of the Dead is his latest), contributes poems and short stories to several venues, and puts together anthologies (such as Mythic and Mythic 2).

The Valley Writers who braved the rains enjoyed not only hearing about Mike’s experiences in writing and publishing but also loved hearing him read some of his work. All of us were moved by his piece about a friend killed in the Virginia Tech massacre.

Take a look at his website and blog. You’re in for a treat.



Blogger House on the Glade Hill said...

I for one am determined to find the "ass-kicking machine of Burnt Chimney". Do you know where that is?

It sounds as though this will have to be my number one tourist destination!

Glad you had fun and thanks for sharing this info. I found it very interesting.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

According to, it's about 1/3 of a mile east of the intersection of Hwy 122 and Hwys 116/670. On Burnt Chimney Rd/Hwy 122, just east of the elementary school, south side of the road.

However, it apparently fell into disrepair a few years back.

If this is your tourist destination, you've either (1) seen it all, or (2) are easily entertained.

2:55 PM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

Thanks for sharing that. Sounds like a great time.

9:59 PM  

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