November Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our November meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 18, 2014, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the AEP Room of the Alpine Public Library in Alpine. Please Note change of location!

Program: The program will include a variety of writing exercises perfect for writers of all ages and abilities. In addition, the meeting will be the Mid-Month Motivation for participants in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Presented by Anne VanLoon.

Writing “Opportunity”: NEW for this year! Picture Writing Prompts! See more info and this month’s prompts below…

Refreshments: To be provided by TMTW.

From the Traveling Laptop

Here it is November already! The air has finally taken a firm turn to cooler, even though there is still the occasional “teaser” warm day. And the smell! The air smells so crisp and fresh! I inhale deeply and can almost not get enough of it.

Speaking of November, our NaNoWriMo opening day on November 1 was an unqualified success! We had 12 attendees, including 4 new faces – as young as 8 years old! – as well as Dr. Francis and 3 Sul Ross students. Anne VanLoon expertly guided us through the NaNoWriMo registration process and facilitated several flash writing exercises that got our juices going. Many of us stayed the entire time and put a hefty dent in the beginnings of our novels! A wonderful time was had by all!

As you can see above, the program for this month’s meeting will include both writing exercises for all attendees, as well as a mid-month check for those participating in NaNoWriMo.

Then finally on Monday, December 1, we will host a NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up Party at the Alpine Public Library from 7 to 9 pm. At the Wrap-Up Party, winners will be recognized, participants will be congratulated, and there will be an open discussion of the experience. Come support your fellow writers!

Remember, next month is our annual Christmas Party! New Location, too! Watch here for more details…

Kip Piper, Steering Committee Facilitator

Another facet of the new Texas Mountain Trail Writers 2014-15

Picture Writing Prompts

Writing inspiration this year will come to you monthly in the form of two pictures from which to choose as a writing prompt.

The usual rules apply, 500 words or fewer, to be read at the next meeting if you wish. The genre is your choice. The works will be collected for inclusion in our annual journal, Chaos West of the Pecos.

If you are not a local Alpine/Fort Davis member and/or cannot attend meetings, but would like to participate, email your story to Reba at . We hope you enjoy this new form of motivation.

Here are October’s Picture Writing Prompts. Click on the photos to enlarge.


old Motel sign


Trail Bits

UnknownFrom Reba Cross Seals

I recommend highly a book for fiction writers is called Stein on Writing by Sol Stein. He wrote many novels, was a university prof., plus was an editor & publisher for many years. When I say it covers the basics, I don’t mean it’s simplistic. I just means it covers basics like Creating Tension, Successful Plotting,Fascinating Characterization, Good Dialogue, Love scenes, Foreshadowing, Backstory, etc. As much as I’ve read through the years, I learned a lot the first time I read this a few years ago, and learned a lot more these last two weeks while rereading it to start a novel. It also has a section to show how the same focal points apply in nonfiction.

Call for Submissions:
Circulatory Systems: Current and Connection

Movement. Connection. Current. The dictionary defines circulation as “the movement of blood through the body” or “a passage or transmission from person to person or place to place.” But there are circulatory systems all around us: connections to each other, to the external world, and to our internal worlds. What keeps us connected? What do we do when those connections break? What makes the movement of a circulatory system vital? How do we enter, leave, or take part in a circulatory system, when they often have no clear beginning or end?

For our Spring/Summer 2015 issue, Circulatory Systems: Current and Connection, Nimrod International Journal is looking for poems, short stories, and creative nonfiction pieces that play with the idea of circulatory systems. Ideas of what to send might include work about

  • Rivers, roads, and other pathways that connect us and take us on expected or unexpected journeys
  • Movement, passages, and transitions of all kinds
  • The human body or medicine
  • The connections of family and relationships, both those that renew us and those in which the circuit must be severed
  • Cycles of history, rituals, etc.
  • Technology—the circuits of computers or the connecting webs of social media — and how they can bring us together or pull us apart
  • The myriad connections and currents of nature, including the ways that we fit in as humans and/or writers
  • Surprise us! Send something that plays with the theme in a way that we haven’t even thought of!

Stories and creative nonfiction may be up to 7,500 words; poetry may be up to 8 pages. All work must be previously unpublished. Please mark both your cover letter and the outer envelope with “Spring 2015 Theme.” Send a SASE for response. Writers living outside the U.S. may email their submissions to with the work pasted into the body of an email, but writers living inside the U.S. must mail their submissions. Fiction should be typed, double-spaced with 1” margins on all sides, one side of plain white paper only.  Poetry should be typed, one side of plain white paper only.  You may submit poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, but we ask that they be sent as separate submissions.

Postmark Deadline: November 30th, 2014. Manuscripts accepted beginning September 1st, 2014.

Publication Date: April 2015

Send manuscripts to:

Nimrod Journal
The University of Tulsa
800 S. Tucker Dr.
Tulsa, OK 74104

Questions? Email ; call (918) 631-3080; website:


As Seen on …

Submitted by Judi Oberheuser

Yep, that’s me – except for the Facebook and Twitter signs. As to #9, I physically correct the books I read.


Submitted by Reba Cross Seals


Submitted by Kip Piper


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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