December Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our December CHRISTMAS PARTY POTLUCK will be held on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, at 6 p.m., in the Community Room of the West Texas National Bank in Alpine. (See details below.)

Christmas Writing “Opportunity”: Santa Times are “Secret” Times. (See details below.)

Bring Guests! Visitors ALWAYS Welcome!

From the TMTW Steering Committee: Trail Writers Know How to Party!

Join your writer friends in Christmas festivities in the warm and welcoming Community Room of the West Texas National Bank in Alpine on Dec.15 at 6 p.m. Bring your specialty Christmas potluck dish to share, and a gift for our Tricky Santa exchange. Price limit is $20.

The table will be laden with delicious treats, and gifts will be under the tree. After you decide on what you’d like to bring to eat (soup, sweets, sandwiches, or anything in between) zip Reba an email to make sure we don’t have five potato salads again! 🙂

Wear your ugliest or your prettiest Christmas rags. Bring a guest to share the merriment and enjoy the Christmas music. See you on Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Reba Cross Seals, TMTW Steering Committee

Christmas Writing Opportunity: Santa Times are “Secret” Times

Christmas is coming, and time to think about helping Santa with his list. But remember, keep it a secret! In fact, secrets are prevalent at Christmas, good ones and ones you prefer not to think about.

In 500 words or fewer, write a story about secrets at Christmas. Think about a childhood secret, a delicious memory you couldn’t keep to yourself, a family secret no one talked about, a secret town you discovered, a spouse’s secret, or any other secret that wiggles its way into your mind.

Send your work to Reba at , or come to the Christmas party and read yours to an appreciative audience. These words can be poetry or prose, truth or fiction, or a secret mixture of both.

Trail Writers Mourn Death of a Lifetime Member

Jack Longbotham, of Fort Davis and Clyde, Texas, passed away November 28, 2015, in Brownwood. Jack and his wife, Elizabeth Prude Longbotham, asked to become Lifetime Members of the Texas Mountain Trail Writers in 2004, as they enjoyed and appreciated the writers’ group and wanted to continue their association in perpetuity. They were active in our organization for a number of years and attended many annual retreats. The Longbothams were educators and ranch people. They were both writers, in particular, of children’s stories of the buffalo herd they maintained at their ranch in Clyde. Elizabeth intends to spend more time in Fort Davis and hopefully, will be able to attend our meetings again.


Kip Piper & Marti Knobloch are Calling for Stories and Poems for New Anthology!

Needed are humorous stories of ingenuity and resourcefulness

Marta Knobloch and Kip Piper, editors at MTC Publications, announce a call for submissions of stories or poems for the anthology, “Necessity is a Mother: Toolbox Tales When All Else Fails”.

The theme of the anthology is Stories of Positive, Practical and Often Comical Solutions When a Toolbox Is Not Handy.

This will be an anthology of stories about funny and wacky situations where a tool or tools are needed but not available, and the atypical and ingenious resources used to solve the problem.

We invite writers to share true, personal stories and poems about silly circumstances, amusing anecdotes, and much-better-than-expected outcomes when resorting to the use of items available as alternative tools when in a bind.

  • What was the problem?
  • What tools were needed and not available?
  • What crazy things or alternative tools did you use?
  • What inspired you to use the alternative tools?
  • What was the outcome?

Stories should be funny, entertaining and vividly descriptive so readers can enjoy the writer’s ridiculous experience.

Word length: Prose: up to 1200 words; Poetry: open line count.

Payment: 1 contributor’s digital copy in both PDF and MOBI format, plus 1 coupon for printed copies at a discount.

Copyrights revert to authors upon publication of this anthology, “Necessity is a Mother: Toolbox Tales When All Else Fails”.

Deadline: January 25, 2016.

Read anthology guidelines at:

Braggin’ Rights

Christmas-and-Mini-Books-Covers-1-3Just in time for Christmas, Kip Piper is excited to announce the release of four more Kip aDoodles adult coloring books: a Christmas coloring book, plus three “mini” coloring books: Mandalas, Geometrics and Patterns. The books are available in print, downloadable PDF, and Kindle format on Etsy and Amazon. You can visit her website at

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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