April Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our April meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, in the Fiesta Room of the Hallmark Apartments in Alpine.

Writing Assignment: Under Texas Skies, 250-500 word limit. This is the same assignment as was for the conference. Any members who don’t have a chance to read at the conference may read at the meeting.

Refreshments: Elaine Davenport will provide refreshments for the April meeting.

From the Desk of our President

What a great retreat! We enjoyed hearing Texas Poet Laureate Larry Thomas talk about the path to becoming one. He challenged TMTW poets to have confidence in our creativity and used readings from his work to discuss different forms we can use.

Multi-talented Andy Wilkinson described how curiosity about his famous relative, Charles Goodnight, awakened his interest in historical research which he has used in poetry, books, articles, music and stage plays. He also recited poems and accompanied himself singing his lyrics to demonstrate the difference between poetry and song.

Beverly Six entertained with family folklore and showed us how to search for examples we can use in our writing. We had fun working in groups, particularly talking about our research and  family characters.

Phyllis Musgrove

Texas A & M University Press invites submissions to the forthcoming anthology

New Border Writing: A Still Life in Words
An Anthology of Texas/Mexico Border Writing

We are seeking submissions for a collection of the best fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction depicting life, culture, and issues of the Texas/Mexico Rio Grande Border tentatively titled New Border Writing: A Still Life in Words.  In his essay, “A Sense of Place,” Mercedes, Texas writer Rolando Hinojosa says,

For the writer–this writer–a sense of place was not a matter of importance; it became essential.  And so much so that my stories are not held together by the plot as much as by what the people who populate the stories say and how they say it, how they look at the world out and the world in; and the works, then, become studies of perceptions and values and decisions reached by them because of those perceptions and values which in turn were fashioned and forged by the place and its history.

We invite such writing about the Texas/Mexico border–“fashioned and forged by the place and its history”–in all literary forms:  stand-alone novel excerpts under 7,000 words, short fiction under 5,000 words, creative non-fiction essays under 5,000 words, five one page poems, or work in other literary forms (flash fiction, one-act plays, etc).  Although we are looking primarily for previously unpublished works, published works will be considered.

We are also inviting scholars to seek out previously unpublished works by classic border authors such as Américo Paredes, Jovita Gonzalez, John Houghton-Allen, Hart Stilwell, Gloria Anzaldúa, John Rechy, or others.

Works in Spanish will be translated by the editors in a bilingual format.  We particularly encourage writers to submit work reflecting a perspective from the Mexican side of the border.

Please send prose submissions to both and and poetry to Erika Garza-Johnson at .


Acceptances announced no later than August 31, 2011.

Editors: Brandon D. Shuler is a Literature, Social Justice, and the Environment Ph.D candidate at Texas Tech University. He recently edited the unpublished manuscript of Hart Stilwell’s Glory of the Silver King, due for release on Texas A&M University Press April 2011. He is currently editing the letters of Tom Lea and J. Frank Dobie for UT Press. Erika Garza-Johnson‘s poetry has been published in The Texas Observer, Bordersenses, LUNG, and La Bloga.  She is a graduate of the University of Texas-Pan American’s MFA in creative writing program and teaches composition and literature at South Texas College.  Rob Johnson is a Professor of English at the University of Texas Pan American.  He is the author of The Lost Years of William S. Burroughs: Beats in South Texas (Texas A and M University, 2006) and the editor of Fantasmas: Supernatural Stories by Mexican-American Writers (Bilingual Press, 2001).  He teaches courses on south Texas literature and frequently writes and lectures on border issues.

Minutes from March Meeting

Download minutes here

Demystifying Writers’ Demons One at a Time

One by One –  by Joan Upton Hall

Quit/ quite/ quiet

o quit (verb) (to discontinue something)
“Will you please quit tapping?” (stop)
“I quit!” (resign; desist)
Memory tip: “Quit” rhymes and ends with “it,” as in, “Please quit it.”

o quite (adverb) (extremely; very; certainly)
“I am quite exhausted.”
“That’s quite true.”
Memory tip: Quite rhymes with bite, and the two words end the same, as in,
“A dog bite gives quite a fright.”

o quiet (adjective) (silent or near silent)
“Will you please be quiet?”
“She’s a quiet, well behaved child.”
Memory Tip: “Think of the not-so-quiet growling of a stomach on a diet.”

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 .

One Reply to “April Newsletter | “Log of the Trail””

  1. Thank you all for hosting such a wonderful retreat. It was a treasure trove of helpful information and performances/readings by both Larry and Andy.

    I appreciate all the effort and energy that went in to making this event so successful.

    Marilyn Westfall in Lubbock

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