Meeting Announcement: Due to Covid-19, our meeting venues are closed until further notice. Our next meeting will be on , March 27, 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: Pam Breithaupt – How many times have you ever thought what your life would be like if you’d taken a different path?
Moderator: Robbie Ann Burns
Visitors ALWAYS Welcome!
From the TMTW Steering Committee
Spring has sprung and flowers are blooming! I don’t know about anyone else, but sure wish the wind would settle down a bit. I know that pollination is enabled by some wind, but I swaney, we’re going to have things pollinated all the way from California with these winds! I do hope that you are seeing the beauty that is out there for us to enjoy. We had planned to have Tumbleweed Smith to present our program this month, but for the first time in a year, he is going to be able to visit with his son and family. Family always come first in our books! We look forward to his presentation for next month’s meeting.
Robbie Ann Burns, TMTW Board Member
Program: Pam Breithaupt
How many times have you ever thought what your life would be like if you’d taken a different path? Here’s your chance to try out possible scenarios.
Make a list of several times your life might have changed direction. Note your age, people involved, locations, career choices, etc.
One example: My second summer in college when I was 19 I fell in love with a guy who was 30. Imagine if I had married Bill instead of marrying Jack when I was 23 (and he was 49). Oh, and what would my life have been like as stepmother to Bill’s four little boys whose mother had died in a car accident (7, 5-year-old twins, and a 2-year-old)? Could I have still become a school teacher as planned? ! ?
Choose several examples of crossroads in your own life. Write a few paragraphs, or a page describing that life in story form. We will each read at least one example and take a little time to expand on one of your ideas.
Note: This idea was inspired by reading Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library. The author creates an unhappy woman who is given the chance to explore parallel universes.
The Midnight Library’s introduction:
‘ Between life and death there is a library,‘ she said. ‘ and within that library, the shelves go on for ever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices. . . Would you have done anything different, if you have the chance to undo your regrets?’
Quotes I love from Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library:
She realized that you could be as honest as possible in life, but people only see the truth if it is close enough to their reality. As Thoreau wrote, “ It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
You don’t have to understand life.
You just have to live it.
We only know what we perceive. Everything we experience is ultimately just our perception of it. It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Never underestimate the big importance of small things.
Every life contains many millions of decisions. Some big, some small. But every time one decision is taken over another, the outcomes differ. An irreversible variation occurs, which in turn leads to further variations. . .
The sky grows dark The black over blue Yet the stars still dare to shine for you.
Will my life be univaculously free from pain, despair, grief, heartbreak, hardship, loneliness, depression? No.
But do I want to live? Yes. Yes.
A thousand times, yes.
She didn’t want to die. And she didn’t want to live another life than the one that was hers. The one that could be a messy struggle. A beautiful messy struggle.
Zoom Meeting: Saturday, March 27, 2021, 3 to 5p.m.
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 Prompts submitted by Jerri Garza
It Must Be True
The Battle That Wasn’t
This month’s photo writing prompts are the images below, should you like to use them.
Submitted by Marti Stebbins
“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” – Isaac Asimov
“Waiting for inspiration to write is like standing at the airport waiting for a train.” – Kerrie Legend
BRAGGIN’ WRITES: No reports this month
Prose writers—Apply for our 2021 Mentorship Program, plus upcoming classes & events
Back by popular demand, Gemini Ink is relaunching its mentorship program after a 2-year hiatus. Apply to the Gemini Ink 2020 Mentorship Program and be one of two writers chosen to work one-on-one with a nationally recognized author. The 2021 Mentorship will be dedicated to prose—fiction, nonfiction, essays, short stories, novels and more! We are delighted to announce that our mentor will be award-winning author and seasoned writing teacher Kurt Caswell.
The 2021 Gemini Ink Mentorship Program is open to prose writers of all levels from all 50 States. https://geminiink.org/2021-gemini-ink-mentorship-program/
CONTESTS & NEWS FROM OTHER WRITING VENUES:
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.
Each year Black Lawrence Press will award The Hudson Prize for an unpublished collection of poems or short stories. The prize is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes are awarded on publication.
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.” .
“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.”.
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: http://bit.ly/3tsHyTE
Questions about a new author website or need a facelift for your existing site?
Visit our website at www.WebDesignRelief.com or call our office at (866) 405-3003.
Our blog has lots of free information about websites that work for writers.
Voice and Vessel webpage has compiled a very nice spreadsheet of contest lists for poetry and fiction. Their webpage is”
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.
CMO @ Inside Edge Publishing
Author News and Resources
Writer’s Relief, Inc.
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.
Dianne Goettel –Check out this site – www.blacklawrencepress.com. 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- https://www.teachertreasures.com/2018/1/22/photo-writing-prompts/
Writing Forward: Creative Writing Prompts for Crafting Compelling Imagery- https://www.writingforward.com/writing-prompts/creative-writing-prompts/creative-writing-prompts-for-crafting-compelling-imagery
The Balance Careers: Photographs as Creative Writing Prompts- https://www.thebalancecareers.com/photographs-as-writing-prompts-1277698
Check out :
Lone Star Literary Life Holiday Gift Guide : lonestarliterary.com
Writers’ League of Texas http://www.writersleague.org/
WWA Membership News – Fall 2019 https://westernwriters.org/
Written Word Media https://www.writtenwordmedia.com/
Word Slayers – https://wordslayers.net/blog/f/were-feeling-generous Corrected link
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 .