September Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: NOTE CHANGE OF DATE AND TIME! Enjoy networking with other local writers from the tri-county area at a Potluck Dinner with the Texas Mountain Trail Writers on Tuesday, September 24, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sunny Glen home of Reba and David Seals. (See more info below in “TMTW September Potluck Supper”.)

Format for Meeting: Potluck Party and Writing Round-Table (See more info below in “TMTW September Potluck Supper”.)

From the President’s Corner

I welcome everyone to the new 2013-2014 Texas Mountain Trail Writers year. I will be acting president for the next two months, as our intrepid president Jackie Siglin will be traveling. We have a lot planned for the next few months, like our opening meeting Potluck Supper with fun, interactive writing round-table games. In October, we will celebrate Halloween with a spooky writing assignment. I hope to see you at the Potluck Supper on the 24th at 6:00 pm (instead of our typical third Tuesday). Be sure to read Reba’s “TMTW September Potluck Supper” announcement below!

Darrell White, VP

TMTW September Potluck Supper

Food and writing, two staples in the life of writers, are openers for the first meeting of the new season. A Potluck Party will be at the home of David and Reba Seals in Sunny Glen, Alpine, September 24 at 6:00 pm. NOTE CHANGE OF DATE AND TIME!

All members, guests, and area writers interested in the organization are invited.

A writing round-table game is planned under the oak trees, along with great food. Please notify Reba at 432-837-2919 as to what you would like to bring in your pot and how many guests on your arm. There will be no business meeting, but there will be some fun announcements.

Braggin’ Rights

Beth Garcia announces that her first traditionally published novel, “The Reluctant Cowboy” was scheduled to be released on August 28th. The eBook edition will be available but it will take a couple of weeks for local bookstores to have it. Here is a bit of info about the book:

“Take an unconventional love story and mix in the heart-pounding excitement of bull riding, the struggle of growing up, a cruel and self-righteous father, a long-legged blond with a red Mustang, a tiny rancher with a huge heart, a horrendous crime in a small town, a rodeo clown, an immense ranch in far West Texas, horse training and rehabilitation, rodeos, cowboys, people who love Jed, and a few who hate him. The result is an entertaining, fast-paced coming-of-age tale set in the awe-inspiring scenery of the Big Bend country of West Texas. Hold on to your hat!”

One of Jim C. Parker’s poems, “Riding The Air In Vietnam”, was published in the September-October 2012 issue of The VHPA Aviator, a bimonthly magazine. Then, in the January-February 2013 issue of The VHPA Aviator,  his article, “Dustoff Down In The Delta”, which included a poem and three photos, was published.

Barry Zavah joined authors reading from their stories published in the 2013 Annual West Texas Writers’ Anthology on August 11th at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Midland.  Barry’s story, Our Family, recounts his feelings and insights watching the Cinco de Mayo celebration in Alpine — his first — in 2007, stemming from his Russian-Turkish, Jewish grandparents heritage and shared by our country’s many immigrant families.

Reba Cross Seals is excited to announce she has had a New York agent offer to represent her book, Meditations for Widows: Four Steps from Grieving to Thriving! Now the agent will start shopping the book around to publishers, the next step to (hopefully) getting it published. Reba says she wrote the book 15 years ago and put it on the shelf, then about two years ago took it down to polish and try to publish. She credits her critique group for helping her make it shine, and Nina Amir, author and coach, for helping hone and sharpen her proposal. Securing an agent is just the first step to publication, but a big one. Reba’s prayer for this book of meditations for it to help other women successfully travel that terrible grief journey in a comforting and Christian way.

Since the August TMTW Newsletter, Kip Piper has published four more Amazon Kindle books in her new “Make Money Online Entrepreneur Series”. The books include: “Your Core Business, Niche & Competitors”, “Blogs & Emails: Your Link with Your Customers”, “Affiliate Marketing 101” and “Driving Traffic with Organic SEO”. 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 Reba Cross Seals

Okay, guys, now it’s our turn!

Writers Write

Forbes Top-Earning Authors
1. EL James – $95m
2. James Patterson – $91m
3. Suzanne Collins – $55m
4. Bill O’Reilly – $28m
5. Danielle Steel – $26m
6. Jeff Kinney – $24m
7. Janet Evanovich – $24m
8. Nora Roberts – $23m
9. Dan Brown – $22m
10. Stephen King – $20m

Submitted by Reba Cross Seals

“Oxford comma”

In punctuation, a serial comma or series comma (also called Oxford comma and Harvard comma) is a comma placed immediately before the coordinating conjunction (usually and, or, or nor) in a series of three or more terms. For example, a list of three countries might be punctuated either as “Portugal, Spain, and France” (with the serial comma), or as “Portugal, Spain and France” (without the serial comma).[1][2][3]


The Chicago Manual of Style, Strunk and White’s Elements of Style,[4] the United States Government Printing Office,[4] most authorities on American English and Canadian English, and some authorities on British English (for example, Oxford University Press[4] and Fowler’s Modern English Usage) recommend or require the use of the serial comma.[4] Newspaper style guides (such as those published by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, The Times newspaper in the United Kingdom, and the Canadian Press) recommend against it, possibly for economy of space.[19]

The differences of opinion on the use of the serial comma are well characterized by Lynne Truss in her popularized style guide Eats, Shoots & Leaves: “There are people who embrace the Oxford comma, and people who don’t, and I’ll just say this: never get between these people when drink has been taken.”[20]

In Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, the serial comma tends not to be used in non-academic publications unless its absence produces ambiguity. The Australian Government Publishing Service’s Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers (6th edition, 2002) recommends against it, except “to ensure clarity” (p. 102).

Submitted by Reba Cross Seals

Fun Fridays – September 13, 2013: Watch today’s wonderful video about the writing life. “When its Done” is a parody of the famous song “Cups (When I’m Gone). This was created by Sue Fleiss a children’s book author. You can find her blog at “Saving the Rejects.”

Seen on Facebook

483987_560183737352714_1811670001_nDo you remember the image at right from the August TMTW Newsletter? Well, ever-vigilant Judie Oberheuser has this to share:

“I sent my daughter a copy of the picture in the newsletter of the pretty dress in the bookstore. She asked me if I caught the references. I didn’t. Don’t know if you did, so I’ll tell you.

The girl/woman is dressed like Belle in Beauty and the Beast and Belle likes to read – ergo the quote about the bookstore.”

Thanks, Judie!

Submitted by Reba Cross Seals

(Editor’s Note: Am I detecting a “comma” theme in Reba’s submissions this month?)

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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