November Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our November meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the Fiesta Room of the Hallmark Apartments in Alpine.

Program: “In Search of Your Right Brain” by Eleanor Taylor.

Writing “Opportunity”: The word limit is 500 words.  Choose from

  • Taking a Chance
  • Thanksgiving: Past, Present or Whenever
  • Pick a cliche (your favorite or just any one will do) and build a story around it

Refreshments: Delicious treats from Phyllis Musgrove.

President Ramblings

The sunlight rolled into my bedroom about seven this morning. What a glorious thing – the end of daylight savings time.  I sip my coffee, watch the red tinge the horizon, enjoy the quiet before time to walk the dog.  Wait – am I supposed to be writing my president’s column for the Texas Mountain Trail Writer’s November newsletter?  Why, yes I am.

Pardon my slip into interior dialogue.  Elaine Davenport’s program for our October meeting has me trying my hand at it.  I’m starting a new mystery novel and already her tips are making my characters more lively.

We have two local participants in NaNoWriMo.  Anne VanLoon who accepted the official challenge and Marian Frueh, who made up her own short story challenge for November.  If you have their emails and want to send them an encouraging note, please do so.

Our next meeting, Nov. 15th, will be in Alpine at the Hallmark Apts. Fiesta Room.  We have had some new people join us since September, and I hope they will continue to come.  Last month we had 15, a full house for the table at the library.   We look forward to seeing that many and more in November.  Eleanor Taylor will have a great program planned and of course, we will share our writing opportunities.

Our Christmas party will be December 13.  Mark your calendars and stay tuned for details.

Happy writing,  Jackie

Minutes from October Meeting

Please read the minutes before attending the next meeting. Let us know at the next meeting if there are any corrections. Thanks!

Download minutes here

Be sure you have the latest version of Adobe Reader! To download, go here:

Demystifying Writers’ Demons One at a Time

One by One –  by Joan Upton Hall

Quotation marks with commas & end marks

• With comma or period – Place these before quotation marks whether or not the words or phrases are part of the quote, as in:

        She misspelled the word “memoir.”

He said, “She misspelled  the word ‘memoir.’ ”

“Here,” he said, “is a copy of  Mindy’s Memoirs.”

• With question or exclamation marks – Do NOT enclose these in the closing quotation marks when a word is used as a word—only when it’s part of the quote—same for phrases and quotes within quotes, as in:

I can’t believe she misspelled the word “memoir”!

“Did you read her memoirs?” she asked.

“Did she really say, ‘Play it again, Sam’?”

He whispered, “Whatever you do, don’t yell, ‘Fire!’ ” (part of the quote here)

NOTICE: Single quotation marks for quotes within quotes. (American English convention; opposite for British English). Please notice how quotes within quotes are shown above.

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 .

Minutes from September Meeting

Please read the minutes before attending the next meeting. Let us know at the next meeting if there are any corrections. Thanks!

Download minutes here

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