December Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our December CHRISTMAS PARTY POTLUCK will be held on Tuesday, December 15, 2009, in the Fiesta Room at the Hallmark Apartments in Alpine at 6:30 pm.

See Party Details Below!

From the Atelier of Our Prez:

Happy holidays!  This season my family combined my parents’ 60th anniversary, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all in two days’ time in Natchitoches, Louisiana.  I drove, which is a 12-hour push to the wall one-way drive.  Going over I broke up the trip and stopped at a friend’s house close to Dallas; but coming back I checked in on the predicted weather for Alpine, and when the woman at the Texas Tourist Center right across the Louisiana line outside of Shreveport told me that Alpine was expecting three days of snow, I put the pedal to the metal and pushed as hard as I could to get back to Alpine before the “blizzard.”  Two wrecks and one huge traffic jam caused by road construction on I-20 delayed me by three hours.  So it took 15 hours to drive from Natchitoches to Alpine.  I got home at midnight; needless to say I was worthless at work the next day (but probably not more than usual).

All that to say that I already feel like I’ve had Christmas, so the upcoming Christmas party will be more gravy on the potatoes.  Bring it on.  We always have such great times as a group, and it’s always fun to hear what our members write.  We each have very different “voices” and all the various sound bites of our writings come together to form a beautiful recording.

Let’s don’t forget the Dirty Santa gift.  Reba Seals will explain our tradition with that.  And you each have an idea of what food to bring.  Please invite a guest.  In the meantime we are still gathering names of possible presenters for our Spring Writer’s Conference April 9-11, 2010.

Santa’s almost here…better be good!


Food assignments for the Christmas Party Potluck are as follows:

  • Brisket: Donna Greene
  • Members whose last names start with A thru G, please bring a veggie dish
  • Members whose  last names start with H thru O, please bring a salad (Jackie Siglin will also bring one)
  • Members whose last names start with P thru Z, please bring a dessert.

Reba and David will bring a dessert and an appetizer.  Darrell will bring rolls and perhaps some soft drinks.

Members, please email your RSVP to: ask”at” Guests are welcome and encouraged to attend.

CHRISTMAS PARTY Writing Assignment!

You have a Christmas Wish. It has to be selfish in the sense that you can not share it with anyone. You can wish for anything as long as it’s not a cure or a super power. And the main thing, it’s very doubtful you will ever get it. Doesn’t sound too hard  since I said you couldn’t share it. 500 words is your limit.

DIRTY SANTA Gift Exchange Rules

Party fun around the Christmas tree is named Dirty Santa, and I’m sure the elves are behind this. Each guest draws a number from a basket from 1 to however many people are playing.  The gifts, $10 limit, do not have names or numbers on them.  The person who has drawn number 1 gets to choose the first gift and open it in front of the group. Then the person who has number 2 has a choice of opening another package that they choose, OR taking the first gift opened by person number 1 who has to give it up.  If that option is taken, the first person then gets to choose another gift to open (which could be stolen later by someone else!)

CHAOS Submissions

It’s getting to be that time again! Start sending me your submissions to CHAOS. Check for submission guidelines.

January Meeting Writing Assignment

Bring something you are working on for the Chaos. No more than 1500 words. Cannot be anything you written and read so far at a TMTW event. Try to have it ready enough for us to send to Kip for inclusion in the Chaos.

Minutes from the TMTW October meeting: Download here
Minutes from the TMTW November meeting: Download here

Demystifying Writers’ Demons One at a Time

Demystifying Writers’ Demons©

Bare/ bear

  • Bare means naked, exposed to view, just enough, while bear has many meanings. Here are few sentences that may help you sort them out:
    • I can’t bear for a dentist to drill my teeth without anesthetic. But shy as I am, I recognize the necessity to bare my body for a doctor’s examination.
    • In the old verse, “Fuzzy-wuzzy was a bear….had no hair,” this member of the ursidae family was a bare bear.
    • The demand to bear arms (carry weapons) is quite different from a woman’s demand to bare arms by wearing a sleeveless shirt or dress.
    • Two sets of tracks in the mud were those of a grizzly bear and a barefoot human.
  • Bear can have multiple other meanings, as follows:
    • to bear witness (testify)
    • to bear pressure (exert or apply)
    • to bear a child (have or give birth to)
    • to bear pain (endure)
    • to bear fruit (develop or make)
    • to bear toward a direction (move)
    • to bear a load (carry or hold)
    • to bear a name (have or claim)
    • “like a bear” (as in size or irritable disposition)

Principal parts (tenses) when used as verbs: bear, bore, (have) borne, bared, bared, (have) bared

Do demons bedevil your writing? Similar, confusing words? Grammar, punctuation, or capitalization rules? “The Demystifier” will clear up the mystery (primary reference unless otherwise noted: Garner, Bryan A. Dictionary of Modern American Usage. N.Y.: Oxford University Press). Address questions and comments to freelance editor, Joan Upton Hall at: . More problems like the above are demystified in the booklet, 50 Writers’ Tips. Find more at

Final Note from the Editor:

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