January Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our January meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Fort Davis Public Library in Fort Davis, TX. If you wish to carpool from Alpine, meet us in the Big Bend Telephone parking lot before we depart at 6:20 pm. (Note the new earlier departure time so we arrive with time to spare!)

Program: Jackie Siglin will talk about the Agents/Editors conference she attended in Austin last June.

Writing “Opportunity”: “Free for All” – Write about anything you wish! Fiction, non-fiction, whatever! Remember you can submit your writing to be published in the upcoming 2014 Chaos, which is an opportunity for your work to be published! (See “Call for Submissions” below.)

From the President’s Corner

Happy New Year!!  I hope all of you made resolutions for your writing.  This month mine is to finish the draft of my latest novel and get it sent to my readers. I’ve been working on it most days.  I find giving myself chapter goals or number of words really helps.  Even if I don’t write as much as I want, I still work at it.  And I don’t allow myself to feel guilty if I don’t make the goal every day.

While we are talking about resolutions, I thought I’d come up with a few for the Texas Mountain Trail Writers.

  1. Resolve to attend our conference:  April 11, 12, 13, 2014.  We give a good conference, it is in our beautiful Big Bend, and the cost is modest compared to others.  This year it will be $150 per person (early bird), and for that you get three speakers, all meals Friday night through Sunday morning, your TMTW membership, and excellent writing camaraderie.  If you are someone with a tight budget, start putting those dollars aside now.

  2. Resolve to send all your writings to Marian Frueh, our Chaos editor.  She will be so happy if your submissions come in early, instead of late.  This is a chance to have your work published at no cost to you, except membership.  She has the “Call for Submissions” in this newsletter in case you have forgotten the requirements.
  3. Resolve to take the writing opportunity challenge each month.  It forces you to write a tight piece (500 words), and it makes you write.  There is no criticism at the meetings and you are not required to read it if you don’t want to.  Be brave, go ahead. It is a good way to practice.
  4. Resolve to bring a new person to the TMTW meetings.  We love all of you out of town members, but we need some local growth.  If you know someone who is interested in writing, encourage them to come.

I’m looking forward to seeing you at the January 21 meeting in Ft. Davis at the library, 7 PM.  Aleta has volunteered to bring the refreshments.  I’m going to talk about the Agents/Editors conference I attended in Austin last June.  See you soon,


2014 TMTW “Writers Retreat” Spring Conference

Mark Your 2014 Calendar Now!

Texas Mountain Trail Writers’

23rd Spring Retreat
April 11, 12, 13 2014

The Texas Mountain Trail Writers
welcome you to their 23rd annual retreat
in the Davis Mountains of West Texas.

Mountain Trails Lodge between Fort Davis and Alpine
Check out the beauty!

Professional Published Speakers, Fabulous Food with
Fellow Writers, Awesome Scenery

More exciting details will follow soon.
(The authors/speakers are going to be FABULOUS!)

!!Save the Date!!

2014 Chaos West of the Pecos – Call for Submissions

This is a call for submissions for the 2014 Chaos West of the Pecos, the yearly publication of the Texas Mountain Trail Writers. All paid current members are invited to submit up to 4 manuscripts or poems with total word count no more than 6000. The conference haiku hike submissions do not count as one of your 4, though you are limited to one (Chaos-sized) page (about 7-8 3-line haikus without titles). If the Chaos-in-progress becomes too large, some submissions may need to be skipped. If you wish to have your submissions included in this year’s Chaos, your dues must be current. If you renewed your dues with the last conference or paid/joined us since then, you are good for this year’s Chaos. If you wish to check on the status of your dues, please contact our treasurer, Anne VanLoon for more information. (Please note that if you add us to your spam lists, you may never get into Chaos again, because all your mail will be going to the Junk folders.)

Please be certain that your name appears on each submission, including all attachments (including email ones), shown as you would like to have it in the publication. Send your submissions to Marian Frueh () or to Marian Frueh, 42665 State Highway 118, Fort Davis, TX 79734. Electronic submissions are preferred (Word, RTF, text, whatever you’ve got), but I’ll take it however you do it (as long as I can read it). I have a Windows PC, not a Mac, so it needs to be some generic format. I can read Open Office/Star Office format and PDF as well as those listed above. Handwritten or typed is okay if it is not too long (no more than 2-3 pages). If you send me revised versions, please make sure it says so, date it, and make sure your name is on the piece, not just the email or envelope. Any photographs you send will not be printed with your works.

Please also give me a snail mail and/or email address in case I encounter any problems. Some editing may be done to improve grammar, spelling or clarity. Printed submissions should be in at least an 11 point font (12 point preferred), and should be an easily readable font, such as Courier, Arial or New Times Roman. The scanner has great difficulty with small, overlarge or unusual fonts.

Please note that suitability to our publication, ease of editing (readability) and the number of other submissions will determine what actually gets printed. The better your editing of any piece, the more likely you’ll find it in the Chaos. Any email submission should get back a confirmation of receipt. If you don’t get a confirmation, I didn’t get it! If you would like a list of submissions to date, please email me.

Please get your submissions in by February 28. Our conference is scheduled for April 11-13. Sooner is better.

Here’s a list of the 2013/2014 writing opportunities if you’d like to submit one that you didn’t turn in at the meeting. Attendance at the meetings or conference is not required for submission of the writing opportunities, just membership. Remember, submissions need not be just these idea starters. If your submission is one of these writing opportunities, please say which one.

  • Conference 2013 – If Tombstones could Talk (nonfiction), Around the Campfire (Western horror), OR Down in the Valley (romance)
  • March 2013 – The Good Old Days (memoir or fiction), The Devil May Care (Mystery/Horror), OR What Lies Within (Faith/Inspiration)
  • April 2013 – (Same as March)
  • May 2013 – (Same as March)
  • September 2013 – no assignment
  • October 2013 – Something spooky
  • November 2013 – Falling Leaves
  • December 2013 – One character from a work gives a gift to another (possibly from another work)
  • January 2014 – “Free for All” – Any topic and genre of choice.

Braggin’ Rights

Submitted by Jackie Siglin

Two of our authors at their book reading on December 19, 2013, Front Street Books, Alpine, TX

Edy Elfring
Edy Elfring
Eleanor Taylor
Eleanor Taylor

From Kip Piper

This week I am releasing my latest book bundle, List Building Bundle: 4 Books to Make Money Online – For Beginners and Dummies. AND I am giving it away for FREE on Thursday and Friday! This book bundle gives you the essential tools, guidance, and instructions necessary for authors to develop an Author Platform. If you want to receive an email announcing exactly when this book bundle and my future books are available for free, be sure to subscribe to my email list at www.kippiperbooks.com/subscribe.

Trail Bits

social-media-best-times-postSubmitted by Reba Cross Seals

Here’s a New Year’s gift to all my writers friends which I think you will find helpful. Whether published traditionally or indie, we are urged to promote, promote, promote. I found these facts on a site called mediabistro.com and I want to share them to make your new year a bit more productive.

Most effective times to post on:

(At the right is a graphic chart of the “Best Times”. To download this image to your computer, simply right click on the image and save to your computer!)


  • best times – weekdays 6-8 a.m., 2-5 p.m.
  • worst times – —all weekends, 10p.m.-4 a.m.
  • 80% of mobile users check phones early each morning
  • people don’’t often much during work hours


  • best times – weekends, 1-3 p.m.
  • worst times— -8 p.m.- 8 a.m.
  • short tweets under 100 characters more likely to be answered
  • ask for retweets will be more likely to be retweeted
  • use two hashtags on each tweet for best results


  • best time – 7-8:30 a.m., 5-6 p.m.
  • worst times – Monday and Friday, 9a.m.-5p.m.
  • best before and after work hours
  • Tuesday & Thursday most use from business people
  • work hour posts receive less traffic


  • best times – 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
  • worst times 6 p.m.-7 a.m.
  • night times worst by far


  • best times- – Saturday mornings, 2-4 & 8-11 p.m.
  • people stay on this site over 16 min, longer than any other


  • work best when posted regularly & consistently
  • work best when posted on same day each week
  • post best time for your demographic
  • post links to your blog from best times of social media
  • best times – Monday, Friday, & Saturday at 11 a.m.
  • worst times 11p.m.-8a.m.

source: mediabistro.com

As Seen on Facebook

Submitted by Reba Cross Seals


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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