August Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our last Summer meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the Fiesta Room of the Hallmark Apartments in Alpine.

From the President’s Corner

I came away from last week’s critique session with a real appreciation for goal setting and writing.  Of our group of six writers, four had made the commitment to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo.  Of the four, three of them had written their goal, 50,000 words in one month.  While the words aren’t perfect, nor the punctuation either, they all have a big start.  One writer, long stymied by just not getting it down on paper, said, “I have so many good ideas here.”  She can’t wait to expand her words, to polish them into a novel or several short stories.  Another writer who has had the outline for her novel, got the rough draft finished.  Her sense of knowing where she is going is remarkable.

I have not participated in NaNoWriMo, but I did modify their idea and set a goal to finish the rough draft of my novel this past spring.  I challenged myself to write 1000 words a day on the days that I could and to have the 50,000 words completed in 3 months.  I used a little calendar and wrote down my progress each day.  (NaNoWriMo  has fun charts)  You know what, I made it!!  The rough draft is done, and I’m on to the revision.

Many books advise the most important rule to writing is getting your seat in the chair.  I’ve always believed that to be true, but I liked adding the goal setting as an additional push.  NaNoWriMo will have their next contest in November.  Maybe you’ll sign up?

August 20, 2013 will be the last of this summer’s meetings.  It will be at the Fiesta Room of the Hallmark Apts. in Alpine at 7 pm.  Our discussion topic will be characters.  Please plan to attend and bring any tips, suggestions, or ideas you have on making characters come to life on a page.  Also bring your questions.  This is a very informal meeting and all are welcome.

Jackie Siglin

 NEW TMTW Members Listing

We are adding a new section to our website: TMTW Members Online Directory! And we invite YOU to be added to the Directory.

How? It’s easy! Simply let us know you want to be included in the online directory by sending us an email at along with the following information:

  • Your name as you wish it to appear in the online directory
  • Link to your website
  • A photo of yourself

You do NOT have to submit all of that information – just what you wish.

WHY would you want to be listed? A listing increases your visibility in the online world. A link to your website from another website (like this one) shows the search engines that you have “link authority” and helps improve your ranking in the search engines. Plus it’s a great marketing tool!

As soon as we have about 10 members to list (we have only a couple so far), we will launch the online directory! Let us know if you have any questions.

Braggin’ Rights

After attending the spring conference of TMTW, Wayne and Linda Calk were inspired to start writing weekly blogs.  Wayne Calk’s blog is “Chuck Wagon Musings” at, and Linda Calk has two blogs, “Southwestern Kaleidoscope” and “Language Lover’s Blog”

Kip Piper has just published on Amazon Kindle the first book in her new “Make Money Online Entrepreneur Series”. Book 1 is titled “Free Up Your Time: VA’s, Outsourcing and Goal Setting”. Kip’s intention is to publish at least 20 books in the series, with a new book each week. The series will be a full training course on how to start, build and grow an online business. Sign up for her newsletter at for announcements about future free books and special bundles.

Trail Bits

Submitted by Kip Piper

Here is a great article describing the author platform and how to develop one.
Why Having a Platform May be the Only Way to Sell Books

Smart Edit Goes Pro

Submitted by Anne VanLoon

Here’s a post about the uses of SmartEdit. Lynn is a professional writer and is not paid for any of her reviews or anything she posts on her blog. She has gone over this as a user and someone who regularly edits her own work. I don’t have a complete list of our group on my work computer, so I’m sending it out to everyone I can think of and hoping that you can help fill in the blanks.

Smart Edit Goes Pro

Last summer I discovered a freeware editing program called SmartEdit, which analyzes any text you feed to it and provides lists of and stats on adverbs, clichés, repeated words and other problematic content with the text. The program was so useful that ever since I’ve been recommending it to other writers.

In December SmartEdit went pro, and while it is still available for a ten-day free trial, a license to use the program beyond that now costs $69.95. While I wish there was still a freeware version available for writers who have no funds, I understand that the developer has to earn a living, too. The real question for me was, is the pro version worth the investment? I decided to buy a license, put the program through its paces and find out. (Continue reading this article…)

Another way to say “walks.” Writers Write

Submitted by Reba Cross Seals


Seen on Facebook

Submitted by Reba Cross Seals






by Loretta Diane Walker

For the skin of words
in which you house
fragments of  yourself.
For the distance your dreams
traveled to pitch a tent on the page.
For your poems that took off their boots
to walk barefoot through consciousness.
I carve your name in a stone of gratitude.

Join or Renew Your TMTW Membership

Membership in the Texas Mountain Trail Writers can help you grow as a writer, whether you write purely for fun or for a living. AND we accept dues payments online at our website! For more information, click here.

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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