October Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our October meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 21, 2013, 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 at 6:20 pm so we can depart at 6:30 pm and get there a few minutes early!

Program: “Fiction Fandango” A series of 6 (yes, SIX!) flash writing exercises! Presented by Dr. Francis Theron and Sul Ross Composition Class Students. The exercises have been developed and will be presented by the students. This should be a fun, creative and exciting meeting – one not to miss!

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

Refreshments: CALL FOR REFRESHMENTS!!!! Since there will be 24 (Yes, 24!) SRSU students and 2 faculty members attending the meeting, along with at least a dozen of our TMTW members, for a possible total of 35+ people – we need help with the refreshments! If you can, please bring along a snack to share. Please email Kip at if you are bringing something. Thanks!

From the Traveling Laptop

It’s the middle of October, and according to the calendar, three weeks into Fall. But here in the Big Bend, Mother Nature seems to have not received the memo. With highs in the 80s, some days still need the air conditioner! However, you can tell Fall is teasing us, with her cooler nights and daytime breezes that have a refreshing chill.

This time of year makes me want to just curl up in a chair, read a book, or work on my Christmas knitting projects. I am totally uninspired to do anything! Are you having the same problem? What do you do about it? Do you just “go with the flow” or do you push yourself out of it? Right now, I’m going with the flow. I’m trusting my mind and body that I need this respite before the next big spurt of energy.

A spurt of energy such as… wait for it… this November, TMTW is hosting a series of local NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) events! Check the information below for a teaser of what’s in store. We are very excited to offer this to our members and the Big Bend community!

As for the rest of the TMTW year, we are still looking for program facilitators for the March 2015 meeting. It is really easy, and we’ll help you every step of the way! See the blurb below or email me at for more information.

But I get ahead of myself! Next week is our October meeting which will be presented by Dr. Theron Francis and the SRSU Composition Class students. It is wonderful they have volunteered to develop and present the October program, and offer new, fresh ideas! Please put this meeting on your calendar and join us for what is sure to be a fun and inspiring evening! If you have any questions about where, when, refreshments contributions, and carpooling, please email me at .

I hope to see you next week!

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.




TMTW 2014-11 Poster smNovember NaNoWriMo “Come Write In”

Texas Mountain Trail Writers’ member Anne VanLoon will be hosting public events for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) during the month of November. We are excited to offer this opportunity to for experienced and newbie writers to try their hand at writing a novel.

Even a few of our TMTW members are sticking their toes in the water! Reba Cross Seals has never thought of writing a novel, but this event has inspired her to give it a try! Kip Piper has had a novel bumping around in her head for awhile and is going to use NaNoWriMo as the way to get it out of her head and onto paper. Are we nervous? You bet! It can be daunting! But with Anne VanLoon’s expert guidance, this will be a delightful experience!

The events dates are below. Watch out for more details… Put the dates on your calender… and Come Join Us!

  • Saturday, November 1 – NaNoWriMo Launch! Alpine Public Library from 10 am to 3 pm. Come when you wish! We’ll introduce you to NaNoWriMo, how it works, and help you get started.
  • Tuesday,  November 18 – TMTW Monthly Meeting. Alpine Public Library from 7 to 9 pm. NaNoWriMo Progress and Support.
  • Monday, December 1 – NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up. Alpine Public Library from 7 to 9 pm. Winners announced! Prize Drawing for Winners. Open discussion on the experience.
  • Plus other “checkin” opportunities throughout November.

For more information, you can check out the NaNoWriMo website at www.nanowrimo.org. But don’t worry! You can wait til November 1 to get started!

Looking for Monthly Meeting Facilitators for February 2015

We are looking for a pair of talented members to facilitate the February meeting. You can pick your own topic or get inspiration from the list we have. You can do the presentation yourselves or find a speaker and work with them. HINT: The TMTW Steering Committee suggests contacting local poet Larry Thomas and engage him for a poetry reading / write-in.

The program you plan should take 45 minutes to an hour and include a hands-on writing activity. You are also asked to get the information about the meeting in the two local newspapers (we have the email addresses), to provide the refreshments, work with Kip in designing the publicity posters, and to let Edy Elfring know about paper supply needs.

To give you an idea of what you might choose to plan, here’s a few possibilities which were submitted by our members in the survey.

  • character development
  • writing basics – dialogue, plot, how to get started, etc.
  • how to do one sheets
  • copyright law
  • emotions in writing
  • research techniques
  • inspiration techniques to get you writing
  • marketing your work
  • critiquing your work

We want the meetings to be fun, to give our members a chance to write, and to be part of a writing community.

Please let Kip Piper know by email which month YOU would like to facilitate!!!!!

Brazos Writers Fiction Contest
Helen Sheffield Memorial Writing Contest

Announcing this year’s Helen Sheffield Memorial Writing Contest sponsored by Brazos Writers, the writers’ group in Bryan-College Station.

This year’s contest is for short stories:
Word limit: 7500
Entry cost: $45
Winning prize: $400
Deadline: midnight, Oct. 31, 2014.

Entries should be submitted electronically, and may be paid by check or PayPal. Complete information is at BrazosWriters.wordpress.com/2014ContestRules.

Click Here to view the Brazos Writers 2014 Contest Poster

Thank you!

Karen Riedel
Publicity Chair
Brazos Writers

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: www.utulsa.edu/nimrod


Braggin’ Rights

A Z Hays is now under contract with a publishing company in Houston and is working on a new novel.  Addiitionally, the company wants to renew and publish his and Jerry Raun´s Cemeteries in the Big Bend book.  So he has many irons in the fire. One item everyone might wish to know is that his 2014 essay on Israel at 13,000 words is now available on Amazon Kindle.  It can be downloaded by going to Amazon and then typing in ¨Glenn Willeford Books.¨

As seen on…

Submitted by Kip Piper



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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