June Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: “Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime!” Our June meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the Fiesta Room of the Hallmark Apartments in Alpine.

President Ramblings

Summer Meetings are Back!!

Start the summer with writing intentions!  Join the TMTW for our June meeting – June 18 at 7 pm at the Fiesta Room of the Hallmark Apts.   Anne VanLoon, fresh from her November experience with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), will tell us how to participate in their newest opportunity, Camp NaNoWriMo.  This is a way to start your novel, accomplish goals, and get that first draft out of your head.  Camp NaNoWriMo provides online support, tracking tools, a deadline and best of all, it’s free.  Come to the meeting, learn about this unique summer writing camp, and join in the fun with other TMTW members.

Refreshments are on your own, although we may have coffee.   See you there.

Jackie Siglin
TMTW President

Camp NaNoWriMo

Ever dream of writing your novel in a month other than November? Risky enough to stoke the flames of your inner campfire? Willing to forge rugged new paths through the wilderness of creativity? Daring enough to step foot in a rustic cabin or pitch The Blue Tent of Whoa™?  Then join The Office of Letters and Light at Camp NaNoWriMo!


Based on November’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Camp NaNoWriMo provides the online support, tracking tools, and hard deadline to help you write the rough draft of your novel in a month… other than November! 2013 Camp NaNoWriMo sessions will take place in July.

  • What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month’s time.
  • Who: You! We can’t do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let’s write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.
  • Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties.
  • When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster. Writing begins 12:00:01 AM on April 1, and again on July 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by 11:59:59 PM on the last day of the month. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

Come join us in the land of the bold, the ambitious, the relentless; come spend a month of wild literary abandon at Camp NaNoWriMo 2013!

TMTW May Minutes and Potluck Party at Jackie’s

May 21, 2013

A short business meeting was held after we had our delicious potluck.

Officers elected for next year:

President: Jackie Siglin
Vice President: Darrell White
Treasurer: Anne Van Loon
Secretary: Elaine Davenport
Chaos editor: Marian Frueh
Webmaster & Log editor: Kip Piper
Conference Triad: Aleta Belcher, Janith Stephenson, and Kip Piper.
Reba Seals will assist in securing presenters.
Social chairperson:  Edy Elfring

Summer meetings: Jackie, Eleanor, Anne, Darrell

Best First Lines Contest:

1st Place and winner of $25 gift certificate: Frank Carden, Las Cruces, NM
Honorable Mention: Glenn Willeford, Alpine, TX
Honorable Mention:   Elaine Davenport, Alpine, TX

Worst First Lines Contest:

1st Place and winner of $25 gift certificate: Judi Oberhueser, San Angelo, TX
Honorable Mention: Barbara Blake, Marfa, TX
Honorable Mention: Cindy Symington, Austin, TX

TMTW Revitalization Project:

Suggestions for stirring interest in TMTW are below. Please add what you can and email Reba and Jackie

(Can we get a grant???)  Looking to recruit new members.  We have a great group of members, but need more local help with being officers, running conference, and other coordination jobs.  It’s also time for new ideas.  The following are some possible suggestions:

  • Make an attractive trifold color pamphlet we can leave at Chamber of C, hotels, B & Bs, the libraries, etc. (Kip volunteered to help with this)
  • Use the library meeting room for various activities for something different. Cannot use their kitchen, but can bring in food.
  • Reminder:  the meeting room is separate from the rest of the library.
  • Use Kokernot Park for special functions.
  • Use Railroad Park for promotion activity.
  • Start another critique group with current one as a model.
  • Present one day workshops on easy to teach writing subjects such as Haiku, flash fiction, etc.
  • Have a Reading Round-Up in which the public can bring works to read of 500 words or fewer.
  • Have Genre Basket Turn-Over writing game in city park and serve ice-cream and cake or cookies.
  • Consider having a one-day memoir class this summer. Nearly everyone has a story they want to get out there.
  • Have a book signing for all indie books in area – especially for those who are TMTW members (play that up)
  • Have a book fair.
  • Have note pads printed with our Writing Into the Sunset logo on them.
  • Develop a flyer to put up at Sul Ross, grocery stores, etc.

Jackie will coordinate the summer meetings.  The June one will be on NaNoWriMo.  Anne and Jackie will meet to organize this.  Darrell will help with publicity.  These meetings will have no business, no refreshments, and be an open forum for people who like to talk about writing to do that.  Suggestions for July and August are some back to basic writing, writer tool box – character, plot, etc.


It is important to nail down three things early:  the place, the date, and the speakers.  Janith, Reba, Aleta will hold a meeting in early Sept. to take care of these things.  Kip will help from long distance.  Janith will be out of pocket starting in October and isn’t sure when she will return.  Jackie will bring back the Editor/Agent conference program to Reba for possible speaker ideas.  Reba said that it is a good idea to send a save the date announcement out sometime between Sept – Dec.  The rest of the publicity can wait until January.

Reba is going to work on a timeline for the conference.  (with help from others).  Jackie is going to work on a how to book for the conference (with help from others).  Perhaps by Sept.  both will be done.  It should make it easier for anyone to put on this conference.

Darrell will check on Avalanche deadlines.

Jackie agreed to be President, but it is important for the group to know she will be gone in Sept., Oct., and possibly November.  Reba will host the first meeting at her house – another great round of genre swapping.  Darrell and Jackie will work this summer on planning a speaker/topic for October.  Darrell will take over the President duties at the meetings when Jackie is absent.

Braggin’ Rights:

Eleanor will have book signing at the Ft. Davis library, June 6, 5 pm.  It will be a book signing love-in.  All are invited.

After the meeting:  Elaine volunteered to be secretary (muchas gracias) and Edy to be the social chair (danke).


Jackie Siglin (with help from Reba Cross Seals)

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 “June Newsletter | “Log of the Trail””

  1. Hi all, I hated to miss this year’s retreat but hopefully I can make it next year. I want to announce that after working with two small press publishers the past seven years, I’ve wet my feet in the Indie Publishing arena.

    I’ve published a time travel titled Birdie’s Nest—a female Texas Ranger finds herself in 1890 Waco, Texas. A blurb is available at both Amazon and B&N. And I received the rights back to Desires of the Heart, a previously published novella set in 1947 UK. After revisions it is now on the two online book store sites.

    It has been an experience to say the least. I know I have a few formatting issues in the books but nothing serious. But, next time should be easier.

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