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.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


The Cottage Curio gig this morning was fun. Three of us—Dick Raymond, Marion Higgins, and I—are all members of the Virginia Writers Club. We sat in the “red room” for some meeting and greeting with folks from all over the country, while Cottage Curio owner Peggy Shifflett did some meeting and greeting on the back lawn.

Dick, Peggy and I are all members of Valley Writers. Marion used to be a member of Valley (and still pops in sometimes), but she and I have also been members of Lake Writers since its formation in 2000. Peggy and I are in the Roanoke Valley Pen Women; Marion was guest speaker at our last meeting. Marion and I had met Peggy last year at the last event that Ibby Greer held at the Grove in Rocky Mount before giving up the Blue Lady Bookshop (on the grounds of the Grove). The Blue Lady was a great place for local writers; so is Cottage Curio. Dick also attended a bunch of events at the Blue Lady/Grove. Are you following this? See how our paths overlap?

Most of the folks that Dick, Marion, and I greeted were wives of pediatric surgeons who were seeing the sites while their husbands attended meetings. A few were people we already knew, such as Ibby Greer. Dick and I used to write for Blue Ridge Traditions when Ibby was editor. Our paths overlap again.

Marion, Ibby, and I all drive PT Cruisers. Marion, Dick, and I have all written freelance articles for Prime Living. The last article I wrote for Prime Living was about Peggy and her new shop, Cottage Curio. See how connected we are?

As people came in, Marion, Dick and I took turns reading from our works. Marion read from her book of humorous essays, When Men Move to the Basement. I read from my humor collection, More Peevish Advice. Dick read some humorous poems and a bit from Blue and Gray Ballads. Marion and Dick have both contributed letters to my “Peevish Advice” column; some of their letters are in the book, More Peevish Advice. “Peevish Advice” started in Blue Ridge Traditions before moving to the Smith Mountain Eagle in 2004. Wow! More connections!

Dick also played his ukelele.

Hmmm. Here’s where the connections start to unravel and the paths veer off. . . .



Blogger Debi said...

And your farm is right around the corner from me. Plus, you showed your horses against my neighbors' horses who feature in some of my stories. Does that count? What's that thing about six degrees of separation? Or is this all just a small town thing because everybody knows everybody?

10:59 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

And don't forget the New Jersey connection!

The older I get, the more I notice how things are interconnected.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good theme about interconnectedness of yesterday's event.... Looking forward, Peggy

11:14 AM  
Blogger Marion said...

Let's not even mention the fact that my husband has been mistaken for Becky's husband at ham radio gatherings & the person even mentioned how much he laughed at MY column...

4:17 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

That's right! Marion and I have been mistaken for each other!

Fortunately, no one has ever gotten us mixed up with Dick Raymond—yet!

But Marion's husband is named Dick. . . .

4:26 PM  
Blogger Ibby Greer said...

And Dick Raymond and my husband both are members of St. Thomas of Canterbury Anglican-Catholic Church in Roanoke, where Valley Writers meets...and I discovered (for us in Rocky Mount) Peggy when a customer who had bought all of Becky's books ordered "Red Flannel Rag," which, after reading it, myself, I called Peggy up out of the blue and arranged to have her as an author. The Blue Lady Bookshop may not have a physical presence anymore (neither does the person for whom it is named, but she is certainly very much with us here!), but Blue Lady Books will continue to host author events (helps if authors drive PT Cruisers, to keep the theme up) here at The Grove. I lived in NJ for a year :) Does that count?

5:26 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

It counts.

Plus your husband also drives a PT Cruiser.

8:03 PM  

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