May Newsletter :: “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our End of Year Pot Luck  will be held on Tuesday, June 2, 2009, at the home of Edy Elfring in Alpine from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. See below for more information and directions.

From the Atelier of our President:

Remember the commitment I made at the beginning of this year to get in shape and work toward being “svelte” instead of “swelt”?  Well, I would like to renegotiate my contract.

In the first place, it took me three months to put together the Golds Gym workout bench I bought at Christmas.  In all fairness, it involved reading instructions and patience…two of my weakest areas.  And secondly, life got in the way…

There were cats to feed, movies to watch, places to see.

“Svelte” was 30 years ago.  I’m opting for healthy.  That’s my final answer.

Party:  Edy Elfring’s house

Please mark June 2 on your calendars for the final writer’s meeting/party at the home of Edy Elfring.  Remember to bring a covered dish (see instructions below).  This will be our last meeting for the summer.

Officer Elections:  It’s time to elect new officers for the coming year.  Think about which office appeals to you.  We will elect new officers during the June 2 meeting/party.

If you’re unable to attend, please email your nomination to me at .

Conference Sum up: Reba Seals, who’s also going to give us information on her pending trip to China, will present a sum up of the conference held at Paisano Baptist Encampment.

It’s been a good year!  I have enjoyed serving as la presidente.  I enjoy the diversity of the group and the group’s ability to become cohesive when duty calls.


Directions to Edy’s house:

From Alpine, come south on Hwy 118. You will come over Big Hill and as you come down you will see the sign for Double Diamond Ranch on the right. The first gate will be marked with white pillars, a winery sign and a lot of mailboxes. DO NOT TURN THERE.

Drive one more mile to the next entrance. It will also be on the right, with two white pillars, no mailboxes, no winery sign. Turn right off of 118. The street is Acacia. Come up Acacia to Juniper. Turn left. Take Juniper to Hackberry. Turn left. Keep coming up Hackberry – past the white cube house, through a set of stone pillars, then up the hill. Jackie’s house is 312. Go past that (the road curves) to Edy’s which is 307. Edy’s driveway is tough – might be easier to park below and walk up.

See you there!

Interview with Darrell White

41smcmglfgl_ss500-sm1. What is the title of your new book?


2. What is the setting?

New Haven, USA and Japan and France

3. What genre do you write?

I write for teens. Coming of age, or horror.

4. Is this your first book to be published?

No, this is my third. I published a book of poetry in 1976. My first novel, The Red Silk Thread, was published in 2003. Valerie is the third book.

5. Who published your books? How did you meet them?

Wordwrite.Biz Inc. and Special Delivery, both located in Alpine. I met the owners, Steve and Joan Neubauer, through their son-in-law Rick.

Darrell White at Book Signing at Morrison's True Value Hardware in Alpine, Texas
Darrell White at Book Signing at Morrison's True Value Hardware in Alpine, Texas

6. Where are your books sold?

The Red Silk Thread is sold at the local bookstores in Alpine, Texas and at Morrison True Value in Alpine who at this date has sold 111 copies. It’s also sold on line at and Valerie is currently being sold at Morrison True Value, but then on line only.

7. Do you appear at book signings? Are any in our area? What are the dates?

Yes. at Morrison True Value in Alpine May 16th, 2009. Hopefully one in Marfa, TX, in June 2009.

8. Do you have plans for another book? Can you give us a sneak preview?

The next book, Angel or Imp of Woe! is with the editor now! Hopefully it will be completed this summer. This book deals with a ten-year-old boy and his friends who are all supposed to die on a bus trip. Jared, who gets brief visions of the future, realizes that the bus is going to be in an accident seconds before it happens and tries to save a girl named Kelly, not knowing that it’s because of her that all the children on the bus will die for she is an angel of Death. Jareds’ trying to save her changes the future and brings the imp name Blue into Jared’s life, or death. Depends on how you look at it.

TMTW Blog Website Q & A

Questions from a TMTW Member:

In many, many ways I like the new site and how the Log works, although I still haven’t figured out everything. I really like that I can scroll through w/o it taking a whole 10 min. and just follow the link to certain things I don’t know about, need to know more about, etc. For example, although I did read and enjoy Donna’s essay just now (congratulations again, Donna!), if I had not had the time this morning, I could have come back to it later. That is a plus for me when I’m scanning and wish to come back later.

However, I don’t understand all the references to Yet Another Related Post Plug-in. Who is that and why are they in our newsletter? Is that a paid advertisement?

Also I don’t understand the calendar and the partial stories that appear when I click on the highlighted dates.

The whole thing is professionally done and please don’t think I am complaining. Usually on other websites I don’t scrutinize things closely. If I don’t understand them I just skip them and go on.

Other comments?


The blog website format has a little different functionality than traditional sites – which also ultimately makes it not only more user-friendly, but also better listing in the search engines.

Yet Another Related Post Plug-in: This is a cross-reference tool. However, I accidentally added it also to the sidebar. I have removed it from the sidebar. Where it does appear is at the end of each entry, there is a list of related posts. That means that these related posts address similar or the same topics. Like I said, it is a cross reference tool so people can view all posts on similar topics. And no, they are not a paid advertiser! Sorry – no income there. LOL!

Now, on the calendar and partial stories. When you click on a date in the calendar, it shows all of the posts on that date and just excerpts of each post. To go to the full post, simply click on the post title.

Keep those questions coming! I want to be sure everyone is comfortable with the site and how it works.


Braggin’ Rights

Summer Plans for Reba: As soon as the recent Spring Writing Round-Up Retreat in Alpine was over, Reba Cross Seals began turning her attention to planning her upcoming trip to China during the month of July. Reba is going with a group of 40 people from the United States to a river city in southern China as a cultural exchange English teacher. She will have a classroom of about 25 Chinese teachers of all ages who have had several years of studying the English language in the classroom, but are not able to converse in it. Some of her accompanying group will teach middle school pupils which is when the English lessons start in China; some will teach in high schools, and others will teach college students. The Chinese people will pay the schools for their lessons in English, however the U.S. team is going as non-paid volunteers, paying their own way, to help share American values and build peaceful relations abroad.

Reba is busy now with a type of writing not taught at the recent Retreat, that of writing lesson plans! Her many years of experience in the classroom come to her aid now. She should return with many plots and plans for new stories and articles for years to come.

Jackie Siglin’s short story, “Expiration Date,” was published in the May edition of the Big Bend Gazette. She has been receiving many nice comments from people who have read it.

Trail Bits

San Angelo Writer’s Group invites all writers to join them if in town. In June, their speaker will be Jeffrey Lisson, local attorney that specializes in writers’ issues. Hope some of you can make the meeting June 9. Carol Smith can send directions. They have a social half-hour from 6:30 to 7:00. At 7:00, the meeting starts. Carol Smith

Demystifying Writers’ Demons©
One by One

Epitaph & epithet confusion

Confusing these words can cause serious miscommunication.

  • An epitaph is an inscription (as on a gravestone) in memory of a deceased person.
  • An epithet is term used to characterize a person or thing; an abusive word or phrase.

When a hard-of-hearing widow bought a fancy tombstone for her deceased husband, the stonecutter asked, “Shall I carve an epitaph on it?”
“Heavens, no!” she answered. “Just because I called him some choice epithets when he made me mad doesn’t mean I want ’em in print throughout eternity!”

A bigot spray-painted ugly epithets about Joe, in which they questioned the matrimonial state of his mother. When people asked Joe what he thought of this, he answered, “Perhaps he was merely practicing the epitaphs he feels he deserves to have printed in his own memory.”

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 a few of them at

Minutes from the TMTW April meeting: Download here

Final Note from the Editor:

Remember, this is YOUR newsletter! 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.