Welcome to my website.
I'm a retired teacher who lives in rural Franklin County, Virginia, where my roots run nearly 250 years deep. I'm close to—but not on—Smith Mountain Lake. From where I live, I can see the Blue Ridge Mountains. The history and culture of these mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountain Range, are a major influence on my writing, so most of my books and short stories have rural settings.

Since the early 90s, I've written articles, short stories, a little poetry and a couple of novels. In 2016, I self-published two books, Them That Go and Miracle of the Concrete Jesus and Other Stories.

I have been a blogger for several years. My main blog is "Peevish Pen," but I also have a genealogy blog, "The Naces of Lithia," and a now-outdated  "Frugal Living" blog.

Read more about me on my bio page.
Contact Becky Mushko here.

My Appalachian coming-of-age novel, Them That Go, is available both for Kindle ($3.99) and  in paperback ($10).

A secret revealed, a mystery solved, a life forever changed—Them That Go is rich in tradition, superstition, family ties, and secrets. In 1972, seventeen-year-old Annie Caldwell—who has the “gift” of animal communication—wants to be normal, but she’ll settle for being unnoticed. But what happens when she can no longer deny her gift?

Read more about Them That Go here.

I did several posts on my Peevish Pen blog about the progress of this novel as I wrote it. If the writing process interests you, check them out:

My collection of fifteen Appalachian short stories, most of which have been previously published, is Miracle of the Concrete Jesus and Other Stories. Many of these stories were recycled from my now out-of-print anthology, The Girl Who Raced Mules and Other Stories, and a few appeared in some of my ebooks.

These down-home stories all feature resolute women. The book is available from Amazon both as a paperback ($10) and as a Kindle e-book ($2.99). 

A page listing all the stories in Miracle of the Concrete Jesus is here.

My 2001 novel, Patches on the Same Quilt (set in the Penhook-Union Hall) area, was revised in 2014 (with a new cover) and is now available as a Kindle download  ($2.99) or as a paperback ($10). 

The print version is available from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

This novel is a series of related stories told by members of six generations of a Franklin County, Virginia, family. A boy's wish for a horse changes not only the direction of his own life but also the lives of his children, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter. 

As the boy's grandmother, the quilt-maker Gillie Anne, says, "We might not be cut from the same cloth, but we're all patches on the same quilt." Each character's story adds a patch to the pattern of interconnected lives.

Read more about Patches on the Same Quilt here.

My other two books of regional interest are Ferradiddledumday and Stuck. While both of these books for young people are out-of-print, copies and e-book versons are still available on the web.

 Ferradiddledumday, an Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin tale, is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The illustrated paperback, published by Cedar Creek in 2010, is available from Amazon, as is a Kindle ebook version (without illustrations). Reviews of Ferradiddledumday are here.

Part of my middle grade novel, Stuck, is set in Union Hall, Virginia, where I'm third generation owner of my family farm. Published by Cedar Creek Publishing in 2011, Stuck is now out of print, but some copies are still available in paperback from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.  A Kindle ebook version is here. Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 here.

Besides Miracle of the Concrete Jesus and Other Stories , I have three other short story collections available as Kindle e-books. The Best 'Un Yet (99¢) is a collection of five Christmas stories; Rest in Peace (99¢) is a collection of my three Sherwood Anderson Short Story Contest winners, and Over Coffee (also 99¢) is a collection of five short stories about awkward relationships.

I've had work in several anthologies from past years. Among them are Cup of Comfort for WritersAnthology of Appalachian Writers, Vol. III, edited by Bobbie Ann Mason; and Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Vol. II, edited by Silas House. I have two poems and a short story in  Voices from Smith Mountain Lake , a poem in Reflections from Smith Mountain Lake, a story in Skyline 2017, and a poem and story in the Virginia Writers Club Centennial Anthology 1918-2018.

One of my Appalachian short stories, "A Man of his Word" is on page 48 of the premier issue of Virginia Literary Journal. One of the Over Coffee stories, "The Roadhunter," appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Discover Smith Mountain Lake magazine.

Interview: "Featuring the Arts" 

On September 2, 2010, Janice Lee interviewed me for her "Featuring the Arts" show on  WSKV in Stanton, KY.