SEPTEMBER 2021 Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement:  Due to Covid-19 and its variants, our meeting venues are closed until further notice.  Our next meeting will be on SEPTEMBER 25, 2021, 3:00 p.m. (CT) on Zoom, hosted by the Fort Davis Library.  We will have no time limit and are most grateful for their willingness to host the meeting for us.  Please watch your email for invite to this meeting.  All due paying members will receive the invitation.

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

Program:  Gay Ann Kiser, noted author and teacher, will be presenting our program this month.  She is continuing her sessions on writing and this one will be on using imagery in writing. 

Moderator:  Robbie Ann Burns

Refreshments:  None

Visitors ALWAYS Welcome!

From the TMTW Steering Committee

Wow, where has the summer gone?  It seems the older we get that time flies by quicker than the blink of an eye!  We hope that your summer went well and your writing continued to blossom as the summer flowers.

Due to the Covid variants, our meeting venues are continuing to remain closed.  We hope that you will join us on Zoom so that we can continue our organization.  I am sure that Zoom will remain one of our venues always as we have several members who reside in other cities and States.  This method of contact has been great in increasing our membership and keeping our locals in touch when we are unable to meet in person.

Our calendar has been set through December.  At that meeting, we can determine our future meetings.  Looking forward to seeing you all again!

Robbie Ann Burns, Board Member


Gay Ann Kiser will be sharing Part 2 of her four part Fiction Writing Class. This particular Power Point illustrates how writers  can incorporate powerful imagery into their writing. Imagery can be done through narration, character description, settings, and dialogue. A portion of this demonstration will involve audience participation, so be sure and have your notepad and pens handy!



Photo Writing Prompts – Members’ Photos & Word Prompts

We are excited to announce that we are adding word prompts to our  monthly prompts which will give you a little more encouragement to write.  Remember, your first thoughts are worth jotting down to see where the story might take you.

TMTW members are invited to participate in choosing the monthly Photo Writing Prompts 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 .

Word Phrases:  1) Party Line   2) Welcome to My Home   3) You Can’t See Me


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

Submitted by Reba Cross Seals







Inspirational Quotes:

“I can shake off everything as I write, my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” Anne Frank

BRAGGIN’ WRITES: None reported this month.



Hi Texas Mountain Trail Writers,

My name is Mariya Vodyanyk and I’m a PhD student at University of California, Irvine interested in studying the relationship between writing and drawing and cognition for my first-year poster milestone. Currently, I’m conducting an online 1-2 hour study and am looking to recruit professional artists and writers.

I am reaching out to your organization in hope of a collaboration opportunity. If you could include any information about my study in your newsletter, list-serv, social media groups, or bulletin board, I would greatly appreciate your support and encouragement! The flier can be accessed and downloaded for distribution through the following link:

Let me know if you have any questions! Looking forward to hearing from you,

Mariya Vodyanyk



Today almost any information a writer might need is only a click away on the Internet. Whether you need writing tips, or to research your character’s hometown, or want to know how to start a blog, you’ll find websites hoping to answer your questions. The experts at Web Design Relief have searched the Internet to bring you the top resources and best websites to help writers succeed (including a close-to-home favorite!).

The Best Websites For Writers

The Write Life. Whether you have questions about publishing, freelancing, or blogging, you can find the answers here! The folks over at The Write Life also have their own helpful roundup of best websites for writers (psst!—Writer’s Relief is one of them!).

Grammar Girl. For all your grammatical questions, no matter how complex, Mignon Fogarty—aka Grammar Girl—has the answers!

Editors’ or agents’ blogs. Reading editors’ and agents’ blogs will help you learn about what types of submissions they are interested in.

NaNoWriMo. Writing a novel in just a month? We know it sounds stressful, but the object of NaNoWriMo is to do just that, and many writers say it’s the most fun they’ve ever had! The organization’s website, complete with tips and loads of connections to other writers, certainly helps relieve the stress of pounding out 50,000 words in thirty days.

Pitch Wars. In this mentorship program, volunteer authors and editors choose writers to mentor and offer advice on improving their manuscripts.


Click here to continue reading 15 Best Websites and to get live links to all of these great sites for writers!

Indignor House Publishing is starting a writing competition. This is just so exciting and wonderful that we want to share it with everyone we can.

Each year, a book of up to 25 submittals will be published and each published author will receive a free copy. The books will be available for purchase on Amazon, B&N, Books-A-Million, and other great bookstores. We plan on three venues, hard back, soft back, and e-book. Our first publication will be next fall. Submittals will be accepted September 1 through March 31st, beginning this September, and each year thereafter.

Stories are up to 5,000 words, so I calculate the book to be between 90,000 to 125,000 words. A good size book.

I’ve attached our flyer, and can you help distribute it please? It’s a great opportunity for new authors to become published. Each selected piece for publication will receive professional editorial services, just as our books receive.

I want to help others to see their work in print without them having to fork out a lot of money. Our company pays our authors for their work, we do not accept money from our authors. We are not a vanity press!

For our competition, 1st place wins $500, 2nd place wins $250, and 3rd wins $150, plus an award, a certificate, and a hard cover book with cover jacket. And their work displayed on our website, and if they have a manuscript ready, we will seriously consider it for publication.

We will be responding to each submittal with a critique. I would have loved to have had an honest critique when I was first starting writing.

Let me know if you have any questions and I hope you can help to distribute information about our competition.

Lynn Yvonne Moon

CEO / Owner      

mobile (757) 373-7752

Want a free Tales2Inspire sampler book? 

Get it here. 

Share some media marketing time with Lois:



    Lois W. Stern

     Click for: 

 Free Tales2Inspire® sampler 

Contest Guidelines

Tales2Inspire® books


Share some media marketing time with Lois: 




Hello from Book Brush! We have handy tools to help authors create their own professional looking ads, social media graphics, design book covers and more. We’d like to see if your organization would be interested in a free, live session on book marketing with the Book Brush tools.

Let me know if you’d be interested in scheduling for 2021 or early 2022 and we’ll look at the calendar! Seeing Book Brush in action is a fantastic way for us to show how authors can use our tools to make book marketing fun and easy.

Take care,



Kathleen Sweeney | Customer Service Manager | Marketing Lead

a: Book Brush
e:  | w:


The Worst Opening Line to a Novel About Retirement Writing Contest

New Contest For Writers, “2021 – The Worst Opening Line to a Novel About Retirement”.

Sponsored by Mike Keenan, “The Retirement Coach.”.

Like the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, the inspiration for this contest, this is the ideal contest for poor writing, as we seek the worst opening imaginable in one sentence to a novel about retirement. There’s no entrance fee and no limit to the amount of times you enter..

Make your opening worse than the examples that follow, and you have a decent chance of winning..

Long opening example –.

“Sheldon approached the menacing, pot-holed road to retirement like a perplexed motorist for the first time entering a roundabout in a foreign country, quickly slowing his previously-owned, rust-stained, fender-battered, oil-leaking Chevy, while wondering sideways if his financial planner was indeed truthful, worried his wife’s penchant for expensive travel might rapidly deplete his coveted nest-egg, suddenly consumed with the thought of economic safety measures as a large, interloping truck carrying cattle moved aggressively into his lane, blocking the view of his egress such that he was forced to spin around in complete circles several times like those difficult gravitational tests that apprentice astronauts are forced to endure before regaining equilibrium as well as the desire to press on despite incessant warnings by jealous colleagues that he might have pulled the retirement plug too soon like an anxious adolescent male experiencing his first sexual encounter with a well-practiced older woman, and pondering if he should have engaged in that regretful once-only affair with his secretary, who certainly proved that she was far more adept than a mere typist, able with her talented tiny digits to massage far more than mere words in that ill-advised tryst at Motel 69, too close to the highway, the incessant traffic noise almost as loud as his shocking groans of pleasure on that fateful night.” .

Shorter example

“Retirement loomed on the horizon, and quite anxious, Donald entertained mixed feelings about how it might suddenly penetrate his life like Dr. Carlson today, casually putting on a plastic glove and forcefully inserting his fingers far too deep in search of an enlarged prostate as Donald lay pensively on that very table where Carlson had performed a vasectomy on the other side of his body, seemingly so long ago when he was young and virile.”.

Email entries to The Retirement Coach at .

Please include your name and mailing address..

The winner receives a suitable prize along with inclusion in a podcast, three dailies and one weekly that publish “The Retirement Coach,” as well as multiple Facebook pages along with the adulation of the writing community..

Submissions are due by Sept. 18, 2021.

Entries will be posted on Facebook:


Questions about a new author website or need a facelift for your existing site?

Visit our website at or call our office at (866) 405-3003.


Our blog has lots of free information about websites that work for writers.

Check out:

International Directory
of Writing Workshops, Writers Conferences, Book Festivals, Organizations & Professional Services

Voice and Vessel webpage has compiled a very nice spreadsheet of contest lists for poetry and fiction.  Their webpage is”

The Big List of Where to Submit Your Poetry Manuscript in 2021


My name is Destiny Rutherford and I am the Chief Marketing Officer here at Inside Edge. At Inside Edge we offer publishing services to all writers and authors at any level and with any genre. Our goal here is to help upcoming writers with getting their name out there and their work published. We have worked with many high profile clients from all over and really enjoy offering our services to those that are interested. Feel free to give me a call at 832.687.9236 or email me if you have any questions! 

Thanks, looking forward to hearing from you.

Destiny Rutherford 

CMO @ Inside Edge Publishing

Author News and Resources

Ways Writing Can Help You Cope With Stress, Anxiety, And Feeling Overwhelmed

Writer’s Relief, Inc.
(866) 405-3003

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:

Dianne Goettel –Check out this site –  They offer critiques of one’s manuscript by different experts.

Websites using images to assist with writing:

Thanks to Reba Seal’s submittal:  It’s called Visual Hunt and it finds photos of Creative Commons and public domain images. Hope this info helps you now or in the future.

Teacher Treasures: Picture Quick Writes, Picture Narratives-

Writing Forward: Creative Writing Prompts for Crafting Compelling Imagery-

The Balance Careers: Photographs as Creative Writing Prompts-

Check out :

Lone Star Literary Life Holiday Gift Guide :


Writers’ League of Texas

WWA Membership News – Fall 2019

 Written Word Media

Word Slayers –   The Word Slayers YouTube Channel


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’ Writes and Trail Bits to .











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