November 2019 Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our November meeting will be held on SATURDAY, November 23, 2019, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the West Texas National Bank meeting room in Alpine, TX.

Progrom:  Personifying Personification, Robbie Burns

Photo Writing Prompts:  Members’ Photos (See description below)

Moderator:  Elaine Davenport

Refreshments:  Jerri Garza

Visitors ALWAYS Welcome!

From the TMTW Steering Committee

Turkey Time for Texas Mt. Trail Writers                           

Your brain is full of cornbread stuffing.                                   

It’s dressed up with commas and verbs.                                                   

The gobble and babble in your ears

Is Webster’s’ thesaurus of words.

But unlike Tom you aim for a life

Beyond this year’s Thanksgiving Day,

Because somewhere, someone needs to hear

The profound words you have to say.

Don’t count holiday calories or woes

In this happy, thankful season,

Just count your many blessings and

Remember you’ve got good reason.

Pen words of simple gratitude,

A message, a poem, a letter,

Choose some dear friends, and thank them

For making your life better.

After writing your words of thanks

For ‘puter, writer friends, and health,

Find joy in your writer’s journey,

And thank God instead of yourself.

Reba Cross Seals, TMTW Steering Committee            

Our meeting is Saturday, November 23, 3:00 p.m. –  5:00 p.m. at the West Texas National Bank in Alpine, TX.  The program is by Robbie Burns.

Have you ever tried to personify personification?  Our program will consist of Confronting Your Demons by using your imagination and descriptive words with dialogue exchange and could be a possible self-analysis.  This will take some thinking about:  things that are invisible, your emotions, worries, and weaknesses that might be or have caused trouble in your life.  It, possibly, could have been enrichment to your life.  Use your imagination and give it human form, giving thorough description.  Imagine conferring with this form and show your dialogue with this form.  Write a conclusion about this form.

Possible Topics: Fear, Failure, Weakness, Lack of Self-confidence, Love, Lust, Faith or Lack thereof, Facing God or Devil, Religion, Envy, Vanity, Pride, Guilt Illness, Disability, Money, Expectations (from others or yourself), Relationship with technology or other?


KUDOS to our member, Rachel Barrett!

Rachel submitted five western screenplays to the Western Festival in Willcox, AZ in early October.  All five were accepted as finalists and two of her screen plays brought home trophies.  Congratulations, Rachel!


Here are some sites you might check out for more information:

Writing as a Path to Awakening
Albert Flynn DeSilver Grab your FREE copy of Albert’s popular book,
Writing as a Path to Awakening
His guided meditation program,
Creativity Meditations for Writers & Artists

More Info:

10% off Editing Services for Your Book

Editorial Services of LA

EDITORIAL SERVICES OF LOS ANGELES offers everything from line editing with a detailed and specific critique letter + free query letter edit, to self-publishing edit and book page layout, to ghostwriting, book packaging, and creative and developmental literary consulting.

More Info:


Creative Writing Workshop in the Vineyards of Tuscany



Alison MacLeod     May 3 – 9, 2020

Tobias Jones     September 6 – 12, 2020

Writing Retreat     October 11 – 17, 2020

In Vino Veritas is a residential writing workshop in the vineyards of Tuscany featuring personalized encounters with teacher/writers, morning workshops, guided wine tastings, and wonderful Italian cuisine. Limited to a maximum of 15 participants, In Vino Veritas brings together a small group of international writers who work on memoirs, fiction, and poetry, learning about writing in the morning and wine in the evenings. All is accompanied by exquisite food and conversation.
In 2020, we are thrilled to announce three exciting sessions. Alison MacLeod, author of Unexploded, long-listed for the Booker Prize, will lead a Fiction workshop in May. Best-selling author of The Dark Heart of Italy, Tobias Jones will lead a Non-fiction workshop in September. And for those who do not want to attend a morning workshop, a Writer’s Retreat in October affords the opportunity to find inspiration in the landscape and wines of Tuscany, while discussing your day’s writing at mealtimes with the other writer-participants. For more information, see our website:
The backdrop to this exciting week is the Donatella Cinelli Colombini wine estate in Trequanda, between Florence and Siena. The day begins after breakfast with a three-hour workshop. The afternoon is free for writing, reading, swimming (in season!) or wandering through the vineyards. In the evening, wine flows over long Italian dinners that include sommelier-led guided tastings and exquisite food pairings. Some star-filled evenings are dedicated to readings.
Participants stay in superbly comfortable private bedrooms in rustic buildings in the middle of the vineyards. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner feature Tuscan specialties, like the famed Chianina steak, and produce comes from local farms in the Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or the very gardens of the Cinelli Colombini estate itself (vegetarians won’t get bored!).
Please do not hesitate to contact me for an electronic brochure.
Thank you for your attention. Cin-cin! Cheers!
Suzanne Branciforte

There is a novel one might find interesting at this site:  Submitted by Charles Wood.


I Truly Enjoyed,

Hokey Dokie😹

Fascinating how the English language changes over the decades.

Murgatroyd! Do you remember that word?

Would you believe the spell-checker did not recognize the word Murgatroyd? “Heavens to Murgatroyd!”

The other day a not so elderly (I say 75) lady said something to her son about driving a Jalopy; and he looked at her quizzically and said, “What the heck is a Jalopy?” He had never heard of the word jalopy! She knew she was old … But not that old. Well, I hope you are Hunky Dory after you read this and chuckle.

Here are some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology.

Don’t touch that dial, Carbon copy, You sound like a broken record, and Hung out to dry.

Back in the olden days we had a lot of moxie. Heavens to Betsy! Gee willikers! Jumping Jehosaphat! Holy Moley!

We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley; and even a regular guy couldn’t accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!

Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when’s the last time you heard anything was swell? Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A; of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes, and pedal pushers. Oh, my aching back! Kilroy was here, but he isn’t anymore. We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!” Or, This is a fine kettle of fish!”

We discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent, as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards. Poof, go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind. We blink, and they’re gone.

Where have all those great phrases gone? Long gone: Pshaw, The milkman did it. Hey! It’s your nickel. Knee high to a grasshopper. Well, Fiddlesticks! Going like sixty . I’ll see you in the funny papers. Don’t take any wooden nickels. Wake up and smell the roses. It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff! (Carter’s Little Liver Pills are gone too!) Leaves us to wonder where Superman will find a phone booth… See ya later, alligator! Okey-dokey. You’ll notice they left out “Monkey Business”!!!

Mike Thompson

Check out : Lone Star Literary Life:


Inspirational Quotes:

“Only a generation of readers will spawn a generation of writers.” Steven Spielberg

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” J.K. Rowling

Photo Writing Prompts – Members’ Photos

TMTW members are invited to participate in choosing the monthly Photo Writing Prompt by submitting good quality, sharp ORIGINAL (YOUR photo – not someone else’s) images in JPG format to Jerri Garza.  Do not send anything from the Internet as we would be subject to heavy fines.

Send two to four images no later than the 10th of each month to Jerri at .  Jerri will then send four selections to Robbie for inclusion in the newsletter.  Please have images at high resolution for publication. There is no monetary compensation for TMTW use of members’ images.  Images must be received by the deadline for use in the writing prompts.  It is not required to submit images for writing prompts participation.

The writing guidelines remain at 500 words or fewer, Times New Roman, 12-point font.  If you wish, you may read or have your Opportunity read at the monthly meeting.  You can choose to write about one, several, or all images.  If all images are selected for the Writing Opportunity, then attempt to combine the images into one related assignment.

Use these as they are or use anything they might inspire in you.  You can also choose not to read, but whatever your choice you can always submit it for publication in Chaos.  Black and white versions of members photos may be included in the Chaos if anyone chooses their photo as writing inspiration.  Submitting a photo implies permission to reproduce as TMTW chooses and we will credit the photographer in every instance.  Questions? Email Jerri at .

November’s five photo writing prompts are the images below, should you like to use them.

Submitted by Jerri Garza

Submitted by Robbie Burns

I’d like to invite all members to view our television series entitled “In Search of the West Texas Wordsmith,” which airs every Saturday at 3:00 P.M. over the Basin PBS station.  Each episode is a 30-minute interview with a West Texas writer.  Hope you’ll join us! – Tom Parks, host

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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