May Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our May End-of-Year Party & Potluck will be held on Tuesday, May 25, 2010, at Jackie Siglin’s house.

Party Details will be coming shortly!

From the Atelier of Our Prez:

If you’re like me, you like to “fall into” a book and stay there until the end.  And look forward to staying with those same characters in another story.  This week I accidentally discovered Canyon of Remembering by Lesley Poling-Kempes.  It was published by Texas Tech.  I fell into the story from page 1 and had it read in two days.  And wanted more.  Then I looked at the copyright date…1996!  Then I looked the author up online to see what other books she’s published hoping to find a series but no!  She’s got two non-fiction books out (one on the Harvey Girls and one on Abiqui) but no more fiction.  Durn it!  Maybe that one fiction book satiated her appetite; but it only served to whet mine!

The book was centered around Santa Fe and a little village 60 miles out of Santa Fe.  I used to live just east of Santa Fe and many of the names and locations the author used in the book were familiar to me.  Some of the characters reminded me of real people I have met; and some made me yearn to know them in real life.  As you can tell, this book spoke to me.

Our last meeting until the fall is May 25 at Jackie Siglin’s house.  Jackie will be providing driving directions to the event.  This is a potluck dinner.  More details on food assignments will be coming later.   Along with eating and visiting, we will elect new officers for the coming year.  I have already stated that I will step down as president; I’ve served two years in a row and I think it’s time for new blood.  Officers, if you choose to stay in your current position please let us know that evening.  I’d love for each of you to serve again…you’ve done a great job.  Everyone else, think about an area in which you’d like to serve.

I have very much enjoyed it.  It’s great (and relieving) to work with a group of people who are not afraid to take on projects and lend a hand when needed.  Thanks to all of you!

See you on the 25th!

May Meeting Writing Assignment

“Anything Goes!” Write something that is short and no more than 500 words. Make us laugh, make us cry, or make us think! Whatever you wish.

Haiku Hike at Paisano Encampment, April 11, 2010

2 poems selected from each person for May Log of the Trail

Basho Matsuo, 1644-1694, is known as the first great poet in the history of haiku.
Haiku usually reflects nature, but the lyrical sound often gives expression to emotions of love, fear, depression, and ecstasy, the components of real life.

The traditional form has 3 lines of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and 5 syllables.
Here is a traditional Japanese example:

In a lovely bowl,
Let us arrange the flowers,
Since there is no rice.

Examples from Texas Mountain Trail Writers Retreat Attendees, 2010:
Darrell White

Sitting here writing haiku
Of all the things that I do
I find peace in this.

A tombstone marks an existence
Who was this soldier or settler?
No matter, they found peace.

Ray Ifera

The sky is doubtful;
First the thunder booms and scares,
Then goes away whimpering.

Rain comes in cycles;
It taps, then roars, then drips,
Like our sliding years.

Donna Greene

Soul in search of peace
Walks toward distant mountains
Weeping sky surrounds.

Calling cards from cows
Decorate the desert trail
Marking way to home.

Kathy Waller

God made the country,
William Cowper said, and man
Made the town. It’s true.

Hashbrown casserole
Biscuits, gravy, scrambled eggs-
Can’t stop these haiku

Reba Cross Seals

A slice of moon pie
O, tasty, waiting morsel,
Soon to be devoured.

Clouds scuttle like crabs
Across a watery sky
Pinching, grabbing light.

Minutes from the TMTW April meeting: Download here

Writing the Rockies in Gunnison, Colorado

Greetings from Gunnison. . .

. . . where we had snow last night!  But, as usual, it is already gone, the sun is shining and we think (although we’ve had no official confirmation) that spring may well be on its way.

If that is the case, the Writing the Rockies writers conference must also be coming up.  As you probably already know, the conference dates have moved to late July this year to coincide with the summer residency of Western State College’s new low-residency MFA in Mainstream and Genre Fiction, Poetry, or Screenwriting.  Check out the new program at

We hope you’ll mark your calendars now and plan to join us for the ninth annual conference July 22-25.  We’ve got a terrific lineup of speakers, panelists, publishers, agents and others who’ll be around to visit with you on a one-to-one basis.  As you know, Writing the Rockies is not one of those conferences that allows you to see and hear the presentations only from a distance.  At WTR you’ll get to know the faculty as well as your fellow participants.

Check us out and get all the details about scheduling, faculty, lodging and whatever else you need at

If you have questions or comments contact either Mark Todd or Larry Meredith.

We wish all the best to you and we hope you’ll plan to make WTR an important part of your summer.

Mark and Larry

Trail Bits

After a brief 4+ month stay in Austin, Kip Piper is heading later this month to Virginia and the Eastern US for about 3 months. She promises to let us know of any adventures!

Demystifying Writers’ Demons One at a Time

One by One –  by Joan Upton Hall

Days, Times of year, and Directions

Days and Times of year:
Months (and even days of the week) are capitalized, but seasons aren’t, as in: “April and May usher in spring.” “Leaves changing  color in October signal fall.”

Directions are not capitalized, unless they are part of a name or a recognized geographical region, as in:
“We drove west to get to North Carolina.” “Having lived in the East all my life, different attitudes and manners in the West were new to me.”
Also terms like: South Africa and the Middle East.

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:

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 .

4 Replies to “May Newsletter | “Log of the Trail””

  1. Lovely haiku! Thanks for posting the poems.

    Marilyn Westfall
    (A fan in Lubbock)

  2. Great Log. Is your computer work taking you to VA? If so, what great experiences your job gives you.

    Good luck and God bless.


  3. Thanks! Actually, I am going to Virginia to be with my dad for hi 89th birthday. Since I currently don’t have a place to live nor any house sitting gigs, I’m going to spend the summer traveling and visiting friends. And I work my business on my computer, so anywhere I am, I have my mobile office. I am so blessed!

  4. Dear Trail Writers…
    I enjoy reading your thoughts and passions…
    These suggestion that show up in “The Demystifier”are a great help..
    Till later..GOD BLESS.. Sincerely from Sherman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


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