January “Log of the Trail

Meeting Announcement: Our January meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 19, 2010, at the Fort Davis Public Library in Fort Davis, TX, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. If you wish to carpool from Alpine, meet us in the Big Bend Telephone parking lot before we depart at 6:30 pm.

Writing Assignment: Write something for the 2010 CHAOS

From the Atelier of Our Prez:

Happy New Year!

We’re frozen so far this brand new year but already have much to be thankful for.  Hopefully soon Phyllis Musgrove will be able to write her latest adventure for us, and we’re thankful she’ll soon be able to.

Phyllis had a car wreck Friday a week ago.  She’s now recovering at her daughter’s house in Grapevine.  Her daughter tells us not to expect her back in Alpine for three weeks at least while Phyllis undergoes rehab.  Bottom line is that Phyllis will recover and her dog Lady Bug, who ran off when the back window of the car was smashed out, has been found.  We’ll let Phyllis fill in all the other story details for us when she’s able.  Her address at her daughter’s house is:  Phyllis Musgrove, c/o Angela Brown, 804 Wonder Way, Grapevine, TX  76051.  I know she would appreciate hearing from you.

Reba Seals and Jackie Siglin are co-chairs for the Retreat committee this year and are already on task!  We’re returning to Paisano and plan to have another fun, successful retreat there.

My sister Denise came to see me for Christmas this year and we stayed at Crow’s Nest in a cabin for a couple of days.  She got to see snow…a rarity in Louisiana where she lives.  We spent those two days eating (of course), hiking, and playing Mexican Train.  Lots of fun and a chance to get caught up with each other.

Our first meeting of this new year is in Fort Davis, Jan. 19, at the library from 7 to 9 PM.  All those commuting from Alpine meet at the Big Bend Telephone parking lot by 6:30.

Okay gang, a new year!  Let’s hit it running!


Mark Your Calendars Now!!

Dates for 2010 Texas Mountain Trail Writers annual retreat in West Texas have been set.

April 9, 10, 11, 2010 will be the time for all writers and lovers of the written word to be at the place, Paisano Baptist Encampment, seven miles west of Alpine in the Davis mountains.

Dynamic speakers are being firmed up and the roster will come out soon. Mark your calendar and watch for more details.

CHAOS Submissions

It’s getting to be that time again! Start sending me your submissions to CHAOS. Check http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2010-chaos-call-for-submissions/ for submission guidelines.

Demystifying Writers’ Demons One at a Time

Demystifying Writers’ Demons© Punctuating interrupted dialogue:
To show character’s lines of dialogue being unfinished, consider who does the interrupting.

  • Use an em-dash (or double hyphen) if another character breaks in.

“I’d like to order-”
“They make a great salad plate here.”
“Well, I’d really like a chicken fried-”
“Okay.” She shrugged. “If you don’t care about the calories, it’s your business.”

  • Use an ellipsis (three periods) if the speaker interrupts herself or trails off.

“Are you saying I’m fat?”
“No, no, you’re…look, don’t get oversensitive just because…”
“Because what?”
“Personally I don’t like my belt so tight, but if you do…” She waved her hands to dismiss the subject. “Go ahead and order. After all, the important thing is to get acquainted on our first date.”

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 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 .

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