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November Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our November meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 18, 2014, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the AEP Room of the Alpine Public Library in Alpine. Please Note change of location!

Program: The program will include a variety of writing exercises perfect for writers of all ages and abilities. In addition, the meeting will be the Mid-Month Motivation for participants in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Presented by Anne VanLoon.

Writing “Opportunity”: NEW for this year! Picture Writing Prompts! See more info and this month’s prompts below…

Refreshments: To be provided by TMTW.


From the Traveling Laptop

Here it is November already! The air has finally taken a firm turn to cooler, even though there is still the occasional “teaser” warm day. And the smell! The air smells so crisp and fresh! I inhale deeply and can almost not get enough of it.

Speaking of November, our NaNoWriMo opening day on November 1 was an unqualified success! We had 12 attendees, including 4 new faces – as young as 8 years old! – as well as Dr. Francis and 3 Sul Ross students. Anne VanLoon expertly guided us through the NaNoWriMo registration process and facilitated several flash writing exercises that got our juices going. Many of us stayed the entire time and put a hefty dent in the beginnings of our novels! A wonderful time was had by all!

As you can see above, the program for this month’s meeting will include both writing exercises for all attendees, as well as a mid-month check for those participating in NaNoWriMo.

Then finally on Monday, December 1, we will host a NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up Party at the Alpine Public Library from 7 to 9 pm. At the Wrap-Up Party, winners will be recognized, participants will be congratulated, and there will be an open discussion of the experience. Come support your fellow writers!

Remember, next month is our annual Christmas Party! New Location, too! Watch here for more details…

Kip Piper, Steering Committee Facilitator


Another facet of the new Texas Mountain Trail Writers 2014-15

Picture Writing Prompts

Writing inspiration this year will come to you monthly in the form of two pictures from which to choose as a writing prompt.

The usual rules apply, 500 words or fewer, to be read at the next meeting if you wish. The genre is your choice. The works will be collected for inclusion in our annual journal, Chaos West of the Pecos.

If you are not a local Alpine/Fort Davis member and/or cannot attend meetings, but would like to participate, email your story to Reba at moc.l1417180003iamg@1417180003slaes1417180003ssorc1417180003r1417180003. We hope you enjoy this new form of motivation.

Here are October’s Picture Writing Prompts. Click on the photos to enlarge.

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old Motel sign

 


Trail Bits

UnknownFrom Reba Cross Seals

I recommend highly a book for fiction writers is called Stein on Writing by Sol Stein. He wrote many novels, was a university prof., plus was an editor & publisher for many years. When I say it covers the basics, I don’t mean it’s simplistic. I just means it covers basics like Creating Tension, Successful Plotting,Fascinating Characterization, Good Dialogue, Love scenes, Foreshadowing, Backstory, etc. As much as I’ve read through the years, I learned a lot the first time I read this a few years ago, and learned a lot more these last two weeks while rereading it to start a novel. It also has a section to show how the same focal points apply in nonfiction.


Call for Submissions:
Circulatory Systems: Current and Connection

Movement. Connection. Current. The dictionary defines circulation as “the movement of blood through the body” or “a passage or transmission from person to person or place to place.” But there are circulatory systems all around us: connections to each other, to the external world, and to our internal worlds. What keeps us connected? What do we do when those connections break? What makes the movement of a circulatory system vital? How do we enter, leave, or take part in a circulatory system, when they often have no clear beginning or end?

For our Spring/Summer 2015 issue, Circulatory Systems: Current and Connection, Nimrod International Journal is looking for poems, short stories, and creative nonfiction pieces that play with the idea of circulatory systems. Ideas of what to send might include work about

  • Rivers, roads, and other pathways that connect us and take us on expected or unexpected journeys
  • Movement, passages, and transitions of all kinds
  • The human body or medicine
  • The connections of family and relationships, both those that renew us and those in which the circuit must be severed
  • Cycles of history, rituals, etc.
  • Technology—the circuits of computers or the connecting webs of social media — and how they can bring us together or pull us apart
  • The myriad connections and currents of nature, including the ways that we fit in as humans and/or writers
  • Surprise us! Send something that plays with the theme in a way that we haven’t even thought of!

Stories and creative nonfiction may be up to 7,500 words; poetry may be up to 8 pages. All work must be previously unpublished. Please mark both your cover letter and the outer envelope with “Spring 2015 Theme.” Send a SASE for response. Writers living outside the U.S. may email their submissions to *protected email* with the work pasted into the body of an email, but writers living inside the U.S. must mail their submissions. Fiction should be typed, double-spaced with 1” margins on all sides, one side of plain white paper only.  Poetry should be typed, one side of plain white paper only.  You may submit poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, but we ask that they be sent as separate submissions.

Postmark Deadline: November 30th, 2014. Manuscripts accepted beginning September 1st, 2014.

Publication Date: April 2015

Send manuscripts to:

Nimrod Journal
The University of Tulsa
800 S. Tucker Dr.
Tulsa, OK 74104

Questions? Email ude.a1417180003slutu1417180003@dorm1417180003in1417180003; call (918) 631-3080; website: www.utulsa.edu/nimrod

 


As Seen on …

Submitted by Judi Oberheuser

Yep, that’s me – except for the Facebook and Twitter signs. As to #9, I physically correct the books I read.

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Submitted by Reba Cross Seals

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Submitted by Kip Piper

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Join or Renew Your TMTW Membership

Membership in the Texas Mountain Trail Writers can help you grow as a writer, whether you write purely for fun or for a living. AND we accept dues payments online at our website! For more information, click here.


Final Note from the Editor:

Have news? Toot your horn, clang your bell, raise your roof! Tell us your news and stories – or writing news in general, such as publications you would recommend, contests, book events, etc. Send your Braggin’ Rights and Trail Bits to gro.s1417180003retir1417180003wliar1417180003tniat1417180003nuoms1417180003axet@1417180003wtmtk1417180003sa1417180003.

TMTW Invites You to NaNoWriMo

Click on the image below for larger view

TMTW 2014-11 Poster sm

October Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our October meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 21, 2013, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Fort Davis Public Library in Fort Davis, TX. If you wish to carpool from Alpine, meet us in the Big Bend Telephone parking lot at 6:20 pm so we can depart at 6:30 pm and get there a few minutes early!

Program: “Fiction Fandango” A series of 6 (yes, SIX!) flash writing exercises! Presented by Dr. Francis Theron and Sul Ross Composition Class Students. The exercises have been developed and will be presented by the students. This should be a fun, creative and exciting meeting – one not to miss!

Writing “Opportunity”: NEW for this year! Picture Writing Prompts! See more info and this month’s prompts below…

Refreshments: CALL FOR REFRESHMENTS!!!! Since there will be 24 (Yes, 24!) SRSU students and 2 faculty members attending the meeting, along with at least a dozen of our TMTW members, for a possible total of 35+ people – we need help with the refreshments! If you can, please bring along a snack to share. Please email Kip at gro.s1417180003retir1417180003wliar1417180003tniat1417180003nuoms1417180003axet@1417180003suksa1417180003 if you are bringing something. Thanks!


From the Traveling Laptop

It’s the middle of October, and according to the calendar, three weeks into Fall. But here in the Big Bend, Mother Nature seems to have not received the memo. With highs in the 80s, some days still need the air conditioner! However, you can tell Fall is teasing us, with her cooler nights and daytime breezes that have a refreshing chill.

Continue reading October Newsletter | “Log of the Trail” →

September-in-August Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: NOTE CHANGE OF DATE AND TIME! Enjoy networking with other local writers from the tri-county area at a Potluck Dinner with the Texas Mountain Trail Writers on Tuesday, September 9, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sunny Glen home of Reba and David Seals. (See more info below in “TMTW September Potluck Supper”.)

Format for Meeting: Potluck Party and Writing Round-Table (See more info below in “TMTW September Potluck Supper”.)


From the President’s Corner

This summer I had the privilege to work with five other members of the TMTW on our steering committee. We went over the surveys which local members submitted in May, and after three months, have come up with what we think is an excellent plan for our organization.

I want to thank Reba Cross Seals, Kip Piper, Anne VanLoon, Darrell White, and Nancy Beckwith for giving their time and energy to this work. We laughed, discussed and tried our best to listen to what our members had written. Our report is in this newsletter, along with information about our first meeting of the year which will be Sept. 9, 2014. Please note that this is a change from our usual third Tuesday of the month schedule. It will be a fun meeting, and we hope many people can come.

Continue reading September-in-August Newsletter | “Log of the Trail” →

July Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: There are NO monthly meetings for July and August 2014.

Watch for our September meeting announcement!


From the President’s Corner: Summer greetings to all of you.

We have had rain, and the hills are blanketed in emerald grass. New flowers pop up every day, and a humidity haze hangs in the morning air. It is a wonderful time to be here watching the dessert bloom.

And while you are taking in this amazement of color, I hope you are also making plans to attend one or several of the Writers League of Texas programs being offered in August right here in Alpine. In case you’ve missed their emails or thought they didn’t apply to you, here is a quick summary.

2014 Summer Writing Retreat held at Sul Ross, August 2-7. The cost is $329 for members. (Remember we have a deal with the WLT – you can get membership with them for only $15 per year.) These classes are outstanding!!

Continue reading July Newsletter | “Log of the Trail” →

June Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: There are NO monthly meetings for June, July and August 2014.

Watch for our September meeting announcement!


From the President’s Corner: Summer, Surveys, and Steering

Summer is here with a vengeance, and the triple-digit heat has kept me inside writing under the ceiling fan. Our May end-of-the-year TMTW potluck was fun. The food was fabulous, and the conversation great, including a good discussion about the future of the TMTW.

As the local members know, I, acting as president, sent a survey to them in May, asking them to think about the purpose of our group, what we can do to increase local membership, and if we want to be organized in a different manner. After the potluck discussion, six members — Reba Cross Seals, Darrell White, Anne VanLoon, Kip Piper, Nancy Beckwith, and Jackie Siglin — volunteered to serve on a steering committee to consider the survey results.

The first meeting of the committee was June 2. We started reading the surveys, finding many positive comments and a good number of ideas for programming. Our plan is to meet again in July and August, and to be able to give our thoughts to the rest of the membership by the end of the summer.

Continue reading June Newsletter | “Log of the Trail” →

May Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our May “End of Year Party” will be held on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 6:30 PM, at the home of Jackie Siglin, south of Alpine. (See more information below.)

Writing Assignment: 500 words on one of the following of your choice:

  • “Who Are You?” Tell about yourself from birth to now! (Nonfiction or fiction)
  • “What If?” Write about if you could change something; no more than 5 changes

Refreshments: It’s a Pot Luck!


TMTW “End of Year Party

Spring Potluck, Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 6:30 PM: Our May meeting is always fun and full of sun!! We’ll be at Jackie Siglin’s house. The TMTW will furnish beverages and paper goods. Please let Jackie know what you plan to bring so she can make sure we don’t have too much of something. And don’t forget your writing opportunities: “Who Are You?” Tell about yourself from birth to now! (Nonfiction or fiction) and “What If?” Write about if you could change something; no more than 5 changes. This is also the meeting where we elect officers for next year. Please consider taking a job you haven’t tried before. Our club needs all of us to keep it strong.

Please RSVP to me at ten.d1417180003nebgi1417180003b@1ak1417180003salad1417180003ekab1417180003 OR RSVP to TMTW at gro.s1417180003retir1417180003wliar1417180003tniat1417180003nuoms1417180003axet@1417180003suksa1417180003, and directions will be emailed to you!

Hasta la vista,

Jackie


From the President’s Corner

May is here and our April retreat is over. It was a great event with outstanding speakers and a chance to be with writer friends both new and old. I hope it inspired you to get down to the writing business, to put your seat to the chair and let your imagination flow from your head to the paper. I know that’s what I’ve been trying to do. I finished my third novel right before the retreat, then sent it out to my beta readers. Wouldn’t you know it? They found some things they didn’t like!! Now I’m trying to fatten my descriptions, make a character’s motive clearer, and cleaning up confusing sentences. I’ve set a goal and plan to send it to a contest by the end of the month.

Your writing isn’t the same as mine, but I bet the desire to improve is the same. Maybe you’re at the beginning of a new work or in the middle muddle. Maybe you are collecting ideas or already have that first book on the market. Whatever it may be, keep going. That’s the best writing advice I know.

The local members of the TMTW are having their May potluck at my house on May 20 at 6:30. If you happen to be in the Big Bend, please feel free to bring a dish and join us. I’m happy to give directions over the phone. (432 364-2399). This next year is looking to be an exciting one for our group. We have several opportunities to consider, and we are thinking of some changes to the way we do our work.

I want to thank all of you who came to the retreat. It was wonderful to see you.

Jackie


10155193_549327381847753_1857377403_nBraggin’ Rights

Beth Garcia‘s crime novel One Bloody Shirt at a Time has won an award from the TX Authors Association! First Place in Crime Fiction by a Texas Author. She’ll be in Austin on June 21st for an awards banquet, and then at a book signing the afternoon of June 22nd, at Malvern’s Books! If you live in or near Austin, please go see her at Malvern’s! Way to go, Beth!


Trail Bits

Submitted by Jackie Siglin

BookWright and Blurb to Amazon: Two new additions to Blurb’s indie publishing platform. Here’s the link for more info: https://www.blurb.com/newsletters/blurb-to-amazon?utm_source=MAR-691&utm_medium=email&utm_content=12am-04_23_14-body&utm_campaign=042214US_MAR-691_NL16_AMAZON&ce=email_general


As Seen on Facebook

Submitted by Kip Piper

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Join or Renew Your TMTW Membership

Membership in the Texas Mountain Trail Writers can help you grow as a writer, whether you write purely for fun or for a living. AND we accept dues payments online at our website! For more information, click here.


Final Note from the Editor:

Have news? Toot your horn, clang your bell, raise your roof! Tell us your news and stories – or writing news in general, such as publications you would recommend, contests, book events, etc. Send your Braggin’ Rights and Trail Bits to gro.s1417180003retir1417180003wliar1417180003tniat1417180003nuoms1417180003axet@1417180003wtmtk1417180003sa1417180003.

April Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our April meeting IS CANCELLED! Watch your Inbox for details on our May meeting.


From the President’s Corner

The TMTW annual retreat will start this Friday, April 11, at 7 p.m. with the reception at Front Street Books in Alpine, TX.  Our local members are excited and busy doing their jobs this week to make sure this is another outstanding event.  We have a few slots left, so if you are a last minute planner or just realized you are going to be free, please sign up and join us for the weekend. The retreat is a wonderful place for both beginning and advanced writers, and provides an intimate setting in which to meet fellow writers and the speakers.

Speaking of the presenters, here’s what I’m looking forward to hearing from each of them:

Becka Oliver brings us knowledge of the publishing world. Many in our group have made their decision re self-publishing or trying for an agent.  I’m still on the fence and when I read things on the internet, it seems I’m not alone.  Publishing is changing every day and I’m excited to hear her opinions.

Continue reading April Newsletter | “Log of the Trail” →

March Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our March meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Fort Davis Public Library in Fort Davis, TX. If you wish to carpool from Alpine, meet us in the Big Bend Telephone parking lot before we depart at 6:20 pm. (Note the new earlier departure time so we arrive with time to spare!)

Program: Kip Piper will present “3 Killer Steps to Build Your Author Platform”. Plus we will review the preparation of upcoming TMTW Spring Conference Retreat.

Writing “Opportunity”: 500 words on “In the Dead of Winter”

Refreshments: Aleta Belcher


From the President’s Corner

March 9, 2014 and the clocks have changed.  My dog, Bella, gets me up at her usual 6:15, but it isn’t.  It’s 7:15, and black as pitch outside.  We’re saving daylight, for sure, on the farthest west edge of the central time zone!  Every year I grumble, although there seems nothing I can do, short of starting a likely to lose one-woman campaign for early risers.

All this said, while I drank my dark morning coffee, I started thinking about what I could change.  Height, no. Weight, hmm, maybe.  Attitude – always!  I have been working on this writing stuff for a long time, and there are days (dark or not) when I get discouraged.  I know what I want out of my mysteries – the fun of writing them, the thrill of making them better, and someone to love them enough to publish them.  I’ve achieved parts of these dreams, but not to the extent I would like.  There are times when I’m at the quit/don’t quit line.

Which is why the TMTW conference is good for me and can be for you, too!!!!

Continue reading March Newsletter | “Log of the Trail” →

February Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our February meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the Fiesta Room of the Hallmark Apartments in Alpine.

Program: Bring something to read – something you may be working on.

Writing “Opportunity”: 500 words on “Love is in the Air”, or topic of your choice.

Refreshments: By Cindy Symington via Edy Elfring.


From the President’s Corner

Editor’s Note: Our illustrious president, Jackie Siglin, is enjoying climes south of the equator. And the rest of us are furiously preparing for our upcoming Spring Retreat! So read on for more information about the retreat and other writing news!


2014 TMTW Annual Spring Writers’ Retreat Speaker Focus: WC Jameson

Texas Mountain Trail Writers in their February Log of the Trail want to feature one of our outstanding presenters for the April 11-13 retreat. The others we’ll brag about will be in our next edition.

Continue reading February Newsletter | “Log of the Trail” →