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Washington, D.C.-born Terence M. Mulligan may look like a long-lost member of the Doobie Brothers, but don’t let that fool you: The man doesn’t want to go rockin’ down the highway; he simply wants to write about it. Published by Arlington, Va.,’s own Minimus Productions, Children of the West: Short Stories is 85 pages of hard-core drifter fiction (wayward protagonist, general malaise, San Francisco, Snickers-sized joints) written by a man still learning his craft. Although Mulligan suffers the usual array of writerly growing pains, he does have a nice way with profanity, and that’s a major plus as far as I’m concerned. With any luck, Mulligan will read from the “Children of the West” trilogy that kicks off the collection and features some of his strongest writing. If he doesn’t, ask him to sing “Jesus Is Just Alright” until he caves. He reads from his book at 7:30 p.m. at the Galaxy Hut, 2711 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 525-8646. (Sean Daly)