December Newsletter | “Log of the Trail”

Meeting Announcement: Our December CHRISTMAS PARTY will be held on THIS SATURDAY, December 16, 2017, from 3-5 p.m., in the Community Room of the West Texas National Bank in Alpine. (See details below.)

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

Party Refreshments provided by Reba Cross Seals

Guests, friends, spouses, writers or not.. ALWAYS Welcome!

From the TMTW Steering Committee

Welcome Snow—Stay away Ice Storms!

For the many of you Trail Writers who have had summer picnics under that large oak tree with us, this is quite a different sight! Two inches so far, Thursday, December 07, 2017, and supposed to snow all day. Beautiful yes, but we fear the huge ice storms that often take our power lines, huge, huge oak limbs, and last year even snapped off a power pole in our back yard.

Saturday, December 16, from 3-5 pm, in the activity room of the West Texas National Bank will be our annual CHRISTMAS PARTY. We have a new gift exchange game planned (bring a wrapped gift under $20 for each person attending.) Guests are encouraged and welcomed.

Gwynne Jamieson’s outstanding writing program with guests is ready, and there will be sweet and savory goodies galore.

Writing fodder, yes! Below are Jerri Garza’s photo opps to get you started, but venture away from these if something else has captured your imagination. Plan to read aloud your story, essay, or poem if you choose.

Merry Christmas!

Reba for the Steering Committee: Robbie Burns, Jerri Garza, Elaine Davenport, Pam Breithaupt, Reba Cross Seals, and Kip Piper (ex-officio)

December Program: Texas Mountain Trail Writers, Award-winning author Elizabeth A. Garcia, and The Back Room present a stimulating program on “What a Character – How a Mystery Weekend Works!”

The presenters and attendees will be discussing how fictional character development can include people with predictable characteristics & behaviors (based on assumptions from their title or origin or sex, age…) who can also show unexpected “twists” or surprises to advance the plot.

Photo Writing Prompts NEW! for 2017 – 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 Kip for inclusion in the newsletter.  Please give your images a title and have images ready 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 .

December’s four photo writing prompts are the images below, should you like to use them:

Submitted by Robbie Burns

Submitted by Pam Breithaupt

Eleven Stories (and the Maui Writers’ Retreat)

A new year-long workshop in creative-writing designed to spur the creation of eleven new short stories.

We need 50 writers by December 31, 2017, for this to fly.

It’s for writers who want the absolutely highest level of craft instruction and inspiration.

Thirty writers have registered so far.

It’s $17.50 a month, for twelve months, and the only way we can keep it so cheap is if we get to fifty.

Stories Through the Ages Baby Boomers Plus & College Edition

Entries are now being accepted for Stories Through the Ages: Baby Boomers Plus 2018 (deadline June 15, 2018) , as well as College Edition 2018 (deadline February 15, 2018):

For questions or inquiries regarding the book or contests, contact


Jacqueline Peavler
Managing Partner
Living Springs Publishers LLP


Submissions Now Open for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2018

Creative Writing Award Prizes include:

  • £1,000 for each winner (Poetry and Short Fiction)
  • Publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual
  • Consultation with Redhammer (Short Fiction Winner)
  • Full Membership to The Poetry Society (Poetry Winner)
  • One year subscription to Granta
  • Selection of books courtesy of Bloodaxe and VintagePoetry entries should be no more than 40 lines and Short Fiction entries should be no more than 2,000 words. Works previously published are also accepted and you may enter as many times as you wish. Entries are open until 31 August 2018.

Submit 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 .