December Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our December CHRISTMAS PARTY POTLUCK will be held on Tuesday, December 14, 2010, at the home of Reba and David Seals in Alpine at 6:30 pm.

Celebrate Christmas with the Trail Writers

The Texas Mountain Trail Writers of Alpine, Fort Davis, and the Big Bend area invite members and guests to a Christmas party in the home of Reba and David Seals in Sunny Glen on Dec. 14, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. Guests are asked to bring a covered dish and to call Reba at 837-2919 naming their choice.

For the traditional Chinese Gift Exchange, each person is requested to bring a wrapped gift under $10.

Another tradition is a Christmas writing assignment of not more than 500 words which you may read aloud at the party.

If you are unable to attend, please email your story to *protected email* and someone will read it for you if you wish. Members sent suggested titles for the assignment, and you may choose from the following four:

Christmas Future
Seven Pearls of Christmas
Christmas on the Trail
The Lost Present

Hopefully, one of these titles will push your creative button, so unleash your imagination and get to writing!

Please RSVP to 432-837-2919 by Dec. 8. All out of town members who might be in the area would certainly be honored guests.


Writers’ Festival at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

Dear Writers:

I am the director the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Writers’ Festival. I’ve attached our poster and call for papers. Feel free to pass these on to any interested writers. We are in the midst of preparing a new website, complete with registration form, schedule, and video. It should go live soon! Follow us on Facebook until our website premiers.

The festival will be Feb 17-19: bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson is our fiction presenter and acclaimed poet Paul Willis will lead our poetry sessions. We would love to have you send your proposals for fiction or poetry readings. The fee is $175, which includes two workshops. Hopefully, we will place you in the workshop that you would like to attend.

Please send me any further questions.

Thank you,

Jessica Hooten
Assistant Professor
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
101 Heard Hall
900 College Street
Belton, TX 76513


From Reba Cross Seals: Here’s some fun from one of my favorite bloggers.

Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent

A Little Fun for the Holiday
Posted: 23 Nov 2010 11:00 PM PST

  1. A day without sunshine is like night.
  2. On the other hand, you have different fingers.
  3. Forty-seven percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
  4. Ninety-nine percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
  5. Remember, half the people you know are below average.
  6. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
  7. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
  8. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.
  9. Support bacteria. They’re the only culture most people have.
  10. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  11. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.
  12. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.
  13. How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand.
  14. Okay, so what’s the speed of dark?
  15. When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
  16. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
  17. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?
  18. Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.
  19. What happens if you get scared half to death – twice?
  20. Why do psychics have to ask you your name?
  21. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, What the heck happened?
  22. Just remember — if the world didn’t suck, we would all fall off.
  23. Light travels faster than sound. That’s why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  24. Life isn’t like a box of chocolates. It’s more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today might burn your butt tomorrow.

Minutes from November Meeting

Download minutes here


Demystifying Writers’ Demons One at a Time

One by One –  by Joan Upton Hall

Sesquipedality (using big words)

  • Using a “big” word when a simple one furnishes the exact meaning needed is like a mathematician using the fraction 16/64 instead of 1/4. *Garner says, “Build your vocabulary to make yourself a better reader; choose simple words whenever possible to make yourself a better writer.”
  • Consider your purpose and audience:
  1. If you want to communicate with a wide readership, use simple words to make meaning absolutely clear.
  2. If you want to educate your readers, use challenging words along with context clues that show meaning.
  3. If you’re writing for only a few erudite readers (especially in a specific profession), use exotic words that truly cannot be simplified, words your target audience probably knows.

Memory Tip:
A writer once praised for readability
Feared critics would call it banality.
So she put in big words,
The longest she’d heard,
Then was shunned for her sesquipedality.

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: moc.l1496043787oa@ll1496043787aHumj1496043787. More problems like the above are demystified in the booklet, 50 Writers’ Tips. Find more at http://www.JoanUptonHall.com/books.htm.


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.s1496043787retir1496043787wliar1496043787tniat1496043787nuoms1496043787axet@1496043787wtmtk1496043787sa1496043787.

Celebrate Christmas with the Trail Writers

The Texas Mountain Trail Writers of Alpine, Fort Davis, and the Big Bend area invite members and guests to a Christmas party in the home of Reba and David Seals in Sunny Glen on Dec. 14, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. Guests are asked to bring a covered dish and to call Reba at 837-2919 naming their choice.

For the traditional Chinese Gift Exchange, each person is requested to bring a wrapped gift under $10.

Another tradition is a Christmas writing assignment of not more than 500 words which you may read aloud at the party. If you are unable to attend, please email your story to *protected email* and someone will read it for you if you wish. Members sent suggested titles for the assignment, and you may choose from the following four:

Christmas Future
Seven Pearls of Christmas
Christmas on the Trail
The Lost Present

Hopefully, one of these titles will push your creative button, so unleash your imagination and get to writing!

Please RSVP to 432-837-2919 by Dec. 8. All out of town members who might be in the area would certainly be honored guests.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*