January Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our January meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 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: “Vintage Western Writers and their Style of Writing” presented by Darrell White and David Seals

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

Refreshments: Delectable delights to be provided by our speakers, Darrell and David

From the Traveling Laptop

Ah! The “joys” of winter in the Big Bend! Today is another of several foggy, icy days here in the high desert mountains. But I’m the lucky one! I spent three weeks traveling to Virginia for the holidays. While I was gone, I missed the “Big New Year’s Ice Storm” that hit the Big Bend. This massive storm unfortunately caused much tree damage and power outages. Some people were out of power for 5 days! We are so blessed with dedicated and passionate/compassionate utility repair staff who worked through miserable conditions to restore power for everyone. Gratitude and appreciation are inadequate words!

Now for me, as the new year begins, I am building my “Vision Board” of my goals and dreams. It is a wonderful task to help you focus on what is truly important to you and what you want in your life! One component of this year is to continue my books series, which I put aside a few months ago. I am excited to dive back in!

Next week is our first meeting of 2015. As is tradition, our January meeting will be at the Fort Davis Public Library in Fort Davis, TX. I am looking forward to Darrell’s and David’s presentation as both of these gentlemen are avid western enthusiasts! Please join us for the evening.

This is also the time of year we officially announce our annual Spring Writer’s Retreat! This year it will be held on Friday, April 24, and Saturday, April 25, 2015. Yep, just Friday and Saturday! This year we are offering an exciting new format that we hope will be of great fun and value to you. Watch here for more details!

I hope to see you next week! (Fingers crossed that the January weather cooperates!)

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 January’s Picture Writing Prompts. Click on the photos to enlarge.

Photo 1: Pioneer family seeking homestead, 1886 Nebraska


Photo 2: Saving the pieces, Canyon de Chelly, Arizona


Photo 3: Sand storm rolling over Midland, Texas, Feb. 20,1894


2015 TMTW “Spring Writers Retreat”


April 24 & 25, 2015

New Exciting Format!

More information coming soon!

Braggin’ Rights

BOOK SIGNING & LOVE-IN (In the spirit of the “sixties”). The book?  “Wet My Mouth with Honey, The Sequel.” The author, Eleanor B. Taylor, will talk about love, strife, and the struggle for peace in a nation immersed in illegal war—and a movement who tried to change the world during the years of 1967 through 1975. WHEN: Thursday, January 15 WHERE: Marfa Public Library, 115 E. Oak, Marfa, Texas TIME: 5:30 p.m. Come along for an informative evening, a lot of fun, and good munchies.

TMTW Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

December 9, 2014

Meeting started at 3:30 pm
Attending were: Kip Piper, Jackie Siglin, Reba Cross Seals, Ann Van Loon, Darryl White and Nancy Beckwith

what could we do differently next year?
Publicity- Marfa Public Radio- earlier advertising

Christmas Party
Kip will send out RSVPs
1601 W Sul Ross
6pm potluck
be careful parking with the columns at end of driveway

April Retreat
Save the date: April 24-25
Honorarium: 200$ plus expenses
Jackie will contact Becka Oliver
Have writers bring a piece of work with them to work on during the retreat when they get ideas
Need a place for reception since Front Street Books Annex has been sold.
Jackie will contact library to use it for Friday evening reception and Joan for catering

Meeting with Jenny in January to use lodge, Kip and Nancy will go talk to her
Need to set up conference price

January Meeting
Darryl will meet with David to plan meeting
Old West – end of Civil War to 1910

Feb-March : keep small
Reba will help with these months as she isn’t doing the conference
Feb: love letters, Laura?
March: Nancy?

Meeting adjourned at 4:35 pm

The Writer’s Monthly Review Magazine

SUBMISSION CALL for the February 2015 Issue

The second issue of The Writer’s Monthly Review Magazine will be at the printer less than three and a half weeks away. Deadline for submissions is set for January 26th so get those articles in. I’d like to see articles dealing with rejection, articles dealing with manuscript format, articles dealing with everyday life of a writer, conference and workshop news, dealing with editors … you get the picture. If anyone has market news or updates please send those to me as soon as possible.

I would also like to see inspirational articles for each issue – keep the length between 500 and 2000 words.

Please, please get those manuscripts in to us before the 26th.

Also I’d like to stress to each of you the importance of getting in your subscription before the end of the month. Email me at if you need a subscription form. You can pay through PAYPAL or by check or money order. The email address for our PAYPAL account is . You don’t want to miss a single issue of our magazine. Stay on top of market needs and what’s going on in the writing world. Subscribe today. YOU ALSO GET A FREE CRITIQUE OF ANY STORY, ARTICLE OR 10 PAGES OF POEMS WITH YOUR SUBSCRIPTION THROUGH JANUARY 31ST.

Please, please put your name, address and email on each manuscript and shortly following each article add a short bio. Manuscripts will not be read if they don’t have names, etc.

Thanks for everything. We need your subscription support so please consider subscribing today.

Marcella Simmons, Editor/Publisher

 Launch of The Texas Press

We are delighted to share the news of the launch of The Texas Press. The official launch date for The Texas Press is March 2, 2015 (Texas Independence Day) but we are accepting manuscripts beginning immediately.

It is exciting that The Texas Press will be able to fill a void in the publishing industry. Since 2003 the state has not had a comprehensive commercial press totally devoted to Texas publishing.

With Texan’s compulsion to tell stories, combined with an abundance of remarkable writers, numerous authors in Texas have published successful books with publishers outside of Texas, while books about Texas have been very popular with readers worldwide. Even though Brown Books Publishing Group has always published Texas books by independent Texas authors, this new division will capitalize on that success and expand options.

The Texas Press authors will now have the support of an established publishing infrastructure offering manuscript development, award-winning creative design, national and international marketing and public relations, and reach global distribution supported by local fulfillment.

The vast and varied state of Texas, with its exciting history, multi-cultured population, unique and beautiful landscapes, major cities and economic powerhouse, are all fertile sources for the new Texas Press books.

For more information or to submit a manuscript please contact Beth Robinson at 972.381.0009 or .

Beth Robinson
Acquisitions Director
Brown Books Publishing Group Celebrating 20 Years of Publishing Excellence
16250 Knoll Trail Drive, Suite 205
Dallas, TX 75248



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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