March Newsletter :: “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our March meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 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.

Speaker: Barbara Blake – “The Character Arc: A Journey of Change”
Refreshments: (You know who you are, we hope!)
Writing Assignment: Something Irish (500 words or less)

From the desk of our president:

March winds and April showers? Don’t we wish? Wild fires? Brave pilots and big yellow helicopters that drop retardants on them? Skunks and their early morning perfume? A morning with one percent humidity? Vertigo and my sympathy to fellow sufferers?

Take your pick or think of a better one. Perhaps you can turn it into a poem or story.

Happy days, restful nights and productive writing to each of you.

Phyllis Musgrove


Barbara Blake’s Presentation at the March TMTW Meeting

Author Barbara Blake will present a short program entitled “The Character Arc: A Journey of Change” at the March 15 meeting of the Texas Mountain Trail Writers.  Barbara is the author of the book A Guide to Children’s Books about Asian Americans (England: Ashgate Publishing Co.,

1995), and co-author of the books Bridging Cultures (New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 1994), and Creating Newsletters, Brochures and Pamphlets (Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 1992).  She is also the author of “Cultural Diversity Resources” [chapter 13], Children’s Media Market Place, 4th ed. (Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 1995) and her new book Community Outreach(New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.) is slated to be published this fall. Barbara holds a M.S. from the University of North Texas, as well as a M.A. and B.S. from the University of Central Arkansas.


2011 Spring Writers Retreat UPDATE

March 18 is the Early Bird Deadline for registering for the 2011 Spring Writers Retreat: April 8, 9 and 10, 2011

The retreat will be held again this year at the Paisano Baptist Encampment west of Alpine.

For more information and to download the registration form, see our Retreat Overview.


Minutes from February Meeting

Download minutes here


Demystifying Writers’ Demons One at a Time

One by One –  by Joan Upton Hall

“That” overuse

If you are looking for ways to tighten your writing style, search your manuscript for the word “that.” Each time you find it, try reading the sentence without it. If the sentence stands on its own without the word, get rid of it.
Examples of “that’s” adding flab to sentences:

“Charles knew that he would have to take a stand against the bully someday, he just hadn’t realized that it would be today.”

“Have I told you lately that I love you? Have I told you lately that I care?” (Note: These words to an old song only needed the “that’s” for rhythm’s  sake.)

“It was a fact that the car cost more than he could afford.”  (Get rid of two more wasted words here, and say “It was true the car cost…”)

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.l1496043639oa@ll1496043639aHumj1496043639. 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.s1496043639retir1496043639wliar1496043639tniat1496043639nuoms1496043639axet@1496043639wtmtk1496043639sa1496043639.

“That” overuse

If you are looking for ways to tighten your writing style, search your manuscript for the word “that.” Each time you find it, try reading the sentence without it. If the sentence stands on its own without the word, get rid of it.
Examples of “that’s” adding flab to sentences:

“Charles knew that he would have to take a stand against the bully someday, he just hadn’t realized that it would be today.”

“Have I told you lately that I love you? Have I told you lately that I care?” (Note: These words to an old song only needed the “that’s” for rhythm’s  sake.)

“It was a fact that the car cost more than he could afford.”  (Get rid of two more wasted words here, and say “It was true the car cost…”

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