May Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our May “End of Year Party” will be held on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at the home of Jackie Siglin, south of Alpine. (See more information below.)

Writing Assignment: Okay, Gang! Is third time a charm? These are GOOD topics! Let’s rock these!

500 words on one of the following of your choice:

  • Good Old Days (past, non-fiction)
  • The Devil May Care (horror, mystery)
  • What Lies Within (faith, inspiration)

Refreshments: It’s a Pot Luck!

TMTW “End of Year Party

Spring Potluck  May 21, 2013, 6 PM:  Our May meeting is always fun and full of sun!!   We’ll be at Jackie Siglin’s house.  The TMTW will furnish beverages and paper goods.  Please let Jackie know what you plan to bring so she can make sure we don’t have too much of something.  And don’t forget your writing opportunities:  Good Old Days (past, non-fiction), The Devil May Care (horror, mystery),  What Lies Within (faith, inspiration).  This is also the meeting where we elect officers for next year.  Please consider taking a job you haven’t tried before.  Our club needs all of us to keep it strong.

Please RSVP to me at OR RSVP to TMTW at , and directions will be emailed to you!

Hasta la vista,


Is It May Already?

David and I have a joke between us, “Is it Friday already?” The weeks seem to fly, and it’s similar to the way this writers’ year has flown. (Addendum: When you are young, and working 8 to 5, you say, “Is it Monday already?)

We are writers, and as we look back, I hope we can feel good about what we have written this past year. Remember the magnetic button Texas Mountain Trail Writers gave everyone at our retreat that said, “First drafts don’t have to be perfect. They just have to be written.” If you weren’t at the retreat, you might like to print this in some large font and put it above your desk. Mine is clipped to my reading lamp by my computer.

LAST CHANCE to enter our Best and Worst First Lines Contest for 2012-2013. I’m going to present a gift certificate during our end-of-the-year Potluck Party on May 21 in each of the two categories to the persons who submit the best and worst lines they have found this year in books. This gives you a week to get your entries in to me  HYPERLINK “mailto: . Be sure to specify whether you consider it the best or worst. Sometimes I can’t decide.

Our annual Spring Retreat in April at the Mountain Trail Lodge in Fort Davis was outstanding. Our attendees raved about the presenters, location, food, and organization of the retreat. Nina Amir, Juan Perez, and Bill O’Neal were such fun people to socialize with as well as furnishing us with great information and entertainment. We thank everyone for their praises, but also want you to know we study the evaluations carefully and will make a few changes that will enhance your stay next year.

Marian Frueh, the editor of our in-house publication, Chaos West of the Pecos, asked me to remind you to send her the stories you wrote for the retreat, as well as the haiku you wrote during Juan’s sessions. Earlier we reminded everyone who went on the early morning Haiku Hike to submit those. Marian’s email is  HYPERLINK “mailto:.

Several members of our group are planning to meet unofficially during the summer months without officers or organizational business just to discuss some topic each time. Jackie Siglin is the contact person if you are interested. Topics may include settings, other worlds, characterization, or some other topic of interest to writers.

Have a great, prolific summer, and look for us again next September!


Reba Cross Seals
Texas Mountain Trail Writers, president 2012-13

What is 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!

Camp NaNoWriMo was established in 2011 as a project of the Office of Letters and Light, the parent 501(c)(3) nonprofit to National Novel Writing Month and the Young Writers Program. 2013 Camp NaNoWriMo sessions will take place in April and July.

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel  (or screenplay, or whatever…) 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 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!

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 a few members to list, we will launch the online directory! Let us know if you have any questions.

Texas Mountain Trail Writers Meeting Minutes

April 23, 2013, Fiesta Room, Hallmark Apts

Reba called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm.

Jackie reminded members minutes are available on the log and all should read them before the meeting.  Minutes were approved as posted.

Treasurer’s report – Feb 28- March31, 2013   Anne

Checking: Starting Balance:                5,254.68
Dues:                             192.50
Paypal transfer:                     500.00
Retreat registration:                                1,1001.00
Chaos printing:                       1,100.00
Mailings:                        15.84
Planning lunch:                    60.90
Ending Balance:                          5,871.44

Starting Balance:                      392.65
Registration:                            1,734.78
Dinner guests/retreat:                            26.58
Dues:                               42.78
Programs, buttons, name tags:        307.00
Cash to checking account:            500.00
Ending Balance:                 1,389.79

Additional notes:  Retreat final costs and a few refunds are still being collected and should be available with next month’s report.  I will create a full and separate list for the retreat in addition to the usual Treasurer’s report.  Dues are payable for the 2013/2014 club year.  Extra copies of the Chaos are available for 9.00 each.

The cost of the Chaos was less than what Anne gave to Marian so there will be a money coming back from that.

Old Business:

Kip needs the list of new emails for the log.  Anne will send those to her.  People are reading the log (maybe not the minutes or the writing opportunities).  After Kip sent out the notice on WordPress being hacked, she had a lot of questions.

We are always looking for new members.  Aleta suggested there be a link on the log to our PayPal way of paying dues.

Poetry Thursdays are still going at Front St. Books. There was a nice turnout for last week when members of the TMTW read.   Larry Thomas will read April 26.  Thanks to Jean Hardy Pittman for doing this.

New Business:

Kip will be traveling most of the summer.  She is thinking about starting a blog on her travels.  Nina’s talk was an inspiration for her.

Brags:  Great conference.  People come because we do a great job!

Summer meetings:  People interested – Jackie, Anne, Elaine, Kip, Eleanor?  Jackie will contact Eleanor re helping with these meetings.  Anne is interested in NaNoWriMo discussion.

Donna Greene made it safely to Louisiana.  We miss her.

Anne and Kip will arrange to sell extra tote bags, Chaos, buttons on our website, using PayPal.  Discussion was held as whether we as a non-profit can do this.  Anne said yes because we are trying to make back our costs, not a profit.  We paid retail for the items.  This is like a yard sale.

Discussion was held as to whether this will hurt people who have their articles in the Chaos.  If it is for sale outside of our membership, does that make it more than an in-house journal.  And does that mean that the article has already been published once.  All of our writers retain their rights and are not paid either with a book or money.  The publication is small – prints 100 per year which makes it insignificant.  We did not answer the question re is this considered a publication for purposes of contests, etc.


A big thanks to all our members for doing the never ending tasks required to put on this conference.  We went over the evaluations from the conference – most things were positive.  The biggest problem seemed to be the amount of time for our individual readings.  It was suggested that we might change the schedule a bit next year and/or perhaps think about dividing the readings into sections. This year the weather was too cold for us to use the outdoor eating area and we had to start the evening speaker late.  Perhaps we could make sure dessert is served in the meeting rooms.

Possible topics for next year were discussed.  Several felt we needed to be sure we are balanced with fiction/non-fiction speakers.  Participants seem divided on whether they want teachers or entertainers (ideal world, the speaker can do both).  Interest is still there in research techniques.

The venue got great reviews, except for the bathroom situation.  Not much we can do about that.
We did have a mic setup this year and a handicap ramp.  A suggestion was made that those who bring dogs should have the rooms together.  Two years in a row the sweet dog left alone in the room next door barks its head off while the non-dog owners have to cope.

Publicity question shows people found us on the internet, through friends, and in newspapers.

Suggestion was made we consider having our Friday reception in Ft. Davis if we continue to use the Mountain Trails Lodge.  It would make less driving for all those who stay there.

Thanks to Elaine for bringing a delicious cheesecake.  Yummy!

Our next meeting will be our  spring potluck at  Jackie’s House.  May 21 at 6 pm.  Let her know what you are bringing.

Writing opportunities:

Good Old Days (past, non-fiction)
The Devil May Care (horror, mystery)
What Lies Within (faith, inspiration)

Respectfully submitted,

Jackie Siglin

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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