June Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Remember: There will be no meetings during the summer. Join us on Tuesday, September 15, for our next meeting. In the meantime, we’ll be sending monthly newsletters with summertime information!

From the Atelier of our President:

The sun is out, hip hip hooray
It’s time to run and laugh and play
Pet the dog, comb the cat
Put on shorts and fishing hat

Years ago I wrote this little ditty for Vacation Bible School curriculum to mark the end of the school year.  And, it’s the end of our “school year” as well since we more or less follow the school schedule.  Time to travel, play with grandkids, tend to the garden.  Edy Elfring and her helpers gave us a great sendoff last Tuesday night at her beautiful home on the mountaintop.  We had a great turnout…22, I think.  Plus several dogs and cats and at least one child!

Among other things we elected new officers.  And, this is our time to renew our memberships.

Thank each of you for your participation this year.  Everyone also goes beyond the call of duty which makes this group so unique.  We’re all different; but those differences complement each other.

I’m looking forward to our upcoming fall activities.  In the meantime, enjoy a much deserved break!

Donna Greene

Writers League of Texas Summer Workshop

Sul Ross will again host the Writers League of Texas Summer Workshop.  TMTW is giving $200 as a scholarship to any member who wants to attend the 2009 Writers League of Texas Summer Writing Retreat. If you wish to attend and apply for the scholarship, contact Donna.

Way Out West Texas Book Festival

July 31-August 1, 2009
Espino Conference Center, Sul Ross University
Alpine, TX


Braggin’ Rights

Edy Elfring shared her book’s proof at the June 2 meeting. Faraway the Candle Softly Flickered, which tells about her first fifteen years living on an island in the Baltic Sea, will be out soon.  We are looking forward to her book signing.

Jackie Siglin shared the good news that she is one of five finalists in the Writers League of Texas Manuscript Contest YA category.  They will announce the winner at the League’s Agent and Editors Conference in Austin, June 26-28.  The winner gets a free session with an agent.

Trail Bits

Barney Nelson will conduct a photo workshop Sept. 14-16 which will cost $100 for the two days.  You may contact her at  www.shootwesttexas.com.

Demystifying Writers’ Demons©
One by One

Sit & set confusion

Confusion between these different verbs occurs because they use the same or similar words in different tenses (as does “lie/ lay”). Getting the principle parts straight should help.

  • To sit means “to lower yourself to a sitting position.” It takes no object (in other words, it’s an intransitive verb).
    Principle Parts: sit, sat, sat – “Now I sit in a chair.” “Yesterday I sat there.” “I have sat in many different chairs.”
    “When I tell my dog to ‘sit,’ I expect him to also ‘stay’ until I call him.”
  • To set means “to place” and requires an object (transitive verb).
    Principle Parts: set, set, set – “Now I set the plate down.” “Yesterday I set it down.” “I have set flowers on the table as well.”
    Also: “He set his story in ancient Rome.” (meaning “located”; with “setting” meaning “location”)

Memory tip: Think of it this way. To sit is usually something you do with your rear. To set an object somewhere is something you do with your hands.

Then those inanimate objects continue to sit (stay) where you set them as in:
“I couldn’t remember where I set my keys down.”
“Then I found them sitting on the credenza right where I’d set them.”

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 one above are demystified in the booklet, 50 Writers’ Tips. Find more at http://www.JoanUptonHall.com/books.htm.

Minutes from the TMTW May (June 2) meeting: Download here

Final Note from the Editor:

As we all know, during the summer, great things can happen! 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 ">.

Kip Piper

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