NaBloPoMo#30 Viewpoint, Character, and Plot

“No writer sitting down at his typewriter can be absolutely  sure what will emerge.” This quote is by Foster-Harris in The Basic Patterns of Plot,  Copyright by the University of Oklahoma Press, fifth printing.

At my typewriter, I have found his statement to be true and as much worth remembering as Hemingway’s famous line “all it takes is one true sentence.”

My copy of  “The Basic Patterns of Plot” was in my hands more than it was on the shelf as I studied how to write. The worn copy is still the favorite of my how-to-write books.

From the correspondence writing classes through the University of Oklahoma, and from this book in particular, I learned the basics on viewpoint, character, and plot.

According to Foster-Harris, “The purpose of the viewpoint is to locate, focus, limit, and define the story.”

My novel, Call of the Cadron,  is told from the viewpoint of the protagonist, Jordan Diane Maxey.  A few chapters are presented through the viewpoint of two other characters.

Call of the Cadron came off the press in May 2012. I self-published it through my company, Nic Baker Books.  I still have much to do to market the book but I’m having a good time.  Just to hold my book in my hands is the fulfillment of a dream.

Do you have a favorite book that has helped you through a struggle in writing?

I highly recommend The Basic Patterns of Plot, which is out of print now, but sometimes it’s available as a used book. Even though it may be a costly item, I can tell you it’s  worth it.        —Freeda Baker Nichols



NaBloPoMo#28 Runs in the Family


granddaughter (Photo credit: anothernamedrose)

Runs in the Family

An appliqued red apple in the corner
of the scarf caught my eye.
The scarf covered the scratched
walnut finish of the pie-cooler that
was Grandma Lizzie’s hand-me-down
from her mother. The apple looked
good enough to eat.

“How do you write poetry?” Grandma
asked, the spring I visited her in the Ozarks
when dogwood blossoms appeared
like snow across the hillside.

“Oh,” I began, wondering how
serious she was.  “I start with a word,
or phrase maybe–” I stammered.
“Then I persist until something                                                                                                                                                                                                         
clicks and sentences tumble out, as
though they’ve broken free from a
locked cell.  They land on the page–”

“As gently as the baby quail
you found?” she asked.

The baby quail! Orphaned, it had
come running to me, hungry and thirsty.
I gave it too much water, and it died.

“Yes, Grandma. Like the baby quail.”

itty bitty baby quail

itty bitty baby quail (Photo credit: cskk)

Poems, too, need the right amount of words,
or they die.

“But tell me, Grandma, how did you make
the apple look so real?”

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

NaBloPoMo#27 No Sanctuary


No Sanctuary

The white-tailed doe ran through the woods alone.
She’d left her fawns in patch of thick, green fern.
Obeying her, the twins appeared as stone
and waited silently for her return.
A pack of coyotes
sneaked through the brush
where the young ones lay.
At sound of their cries,
the doe rushed back to patch of thick, green fern,
which now lay trampled on the still-warm ground.
Her nostrils flared and burned as though with fire.
The white-tailed doe ran through the woods alone.

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

NaBloPoMo# 26 Grand-Daddy Graybeard

Flowering Ash (Fraxinus ornus) - Habit: Prunel...


The grand-daddy gray beard’s blooms,

snow-white against a green-leafed pad,

each year made lacy white bouquets

and caused me to remember Dad.

How he had found the small ash tree

and Mama spoke as to kid,

“You can’t transplant when in full bloom,”

but that’s just what my daddy did.

And then the bush thrived years to bloom

each spring when all things new

burst forth as red, red robins sang

when skies shone rain-washed blue.

The gray-beard weathered winter ice

the day my daddy died,

then bloomed with cold and tender buds                                                                                                                                                                               DSC_0561 -1

because my mama cried.

Then in the spring she, too, took sick

and soon she went away

and as they closed the casket lid,

it seemed I heard her say.

“You can’t transplant when in full bloom.”

But that is what was done

and now the flowers in God’s Bouquet

out-number the rays of the sun.

  Photo credit: Wikipedia (Zemanta)

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

   Photo credit: Flowering ash tree Wikipedia (Zemanta)

NaBloPoMo # 25 Almost

Pear Tree


Leaves are colorful,

Falling now, and sad,

I watch them go.

True love I almost had.

Your eyes met mine

On a day in December.

Look now into my eyes,

Tell me then you don’t remember.

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

Fallen Leaves

NaBloPoMo#24 Pony of Mine


Pony of Mine

Pony, take me south to see
mountains, meadows. Lucky me!
Take me past the waterfall
trot by woods where trees are tall;DSC_0772
prance along the forest trail
by the stream where leaf-boats sail;
race the wild ones you’ve befriended,
play until the day has ended.
Tell your newfound friends goodbye
as the sun drops from the sky.
Make your little feet take flight
homeward bound before the night.
In your stable may you sleep,
Little Pony, mine to keep.

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

NaBloPoMo# 23 Moss and Memories

Moss and Memories

Clear water drifts through swimming holes,
across flat rocks, down waterfalls,
through canebrakes full of fishing poles
where owls are practicing their calls.
The milky way and moon still shine
above a field of weeds and thorn,
the place our heifer, Clementine,
delivered a small calf one morn.



By coal-oil lantern’s golden light,
I braced the calf’s unsteady feet,
in shadows deep and late at night,
so that the calf could stand and eat.
Moss grows now where choppin’ block stood
in shade of leafy black jack tree.
When Daddy split the kindling wood,
he handed small pine chips to me
to place inside an apple crate,
behind the stove in our front room.
The paling fence and broken gate
still stand and pink azaleas bloom.
I love the smog-free mountain air
around our house of weathered boards.
Each spring,  Mama planted with care
speckled beans and big, dipper gourds.

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

NaBloPoMo# 21To Keep Love Blooming

English: Cemetery gate, Tarbat Old Church

Gateway to the garden

To Keep Love Blooming

Beside the gate, the yellow roses bloom.
She planted them when she became a bride.
He gave the bush to her when they were young.
He loosened up the soil with rake and hoe.
Despite the snow and ice and floods, the rose
bush grew and blossomed every year in bright,
silk buds. The petals disregarded sun,
and children’s hands that picked them for bouquets.
His hands last picked them for St. Valentine’s.
When tears like crystal glistened on green leaves,
she took a root to plant next to a mound.
Now, roses bloom inside another gate.

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

Photo credit: Photos provided by Zemanta through WordPress

NaBloPoMo#20 Pictures, Prose and Poetry

cowboyMy blog seems to have turned into pictures, prose and poetry.
As an amateur photographer, I love picking that one good shot out of ten snaps.
I feel the same about poetry.  I might write ten in order to get one that interests an editor or a contest judge. Pictures and poems are fun to work with,  but fiction is my favorite type of writing.  When I was a teenager, I attempted to write short stories. Probably I still have some of them in my files. I don’t know why I like to write. But the desire and dream to write became a part of me when I wrote my first poem on that Big Chief tablet, at age nine.
I continued to write stories after I married. But when the children began to arrive, my writing dream and time for it disappeared beneath Birdseye diapers and was lost in rock-a-bye-baby tunes as I nurtured four babies. Not all at once, mind you, but spaced just far enough apart to keep me in mommy mode from the firstborn’s arrival until the last one left home. Those years were the best years of my life, but when the nest was empty, I clicked over to writing mode and began my adventure into the publishing world. Writing is not a hobby, it is my destiny. Although I have only a humble beginning of published works, the venture has been worthwhile.  As a mommy,  or as a writer, you gotta believe in your babies.  It’s just as the country song says, “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.”  So writers, “Don’t let your stories stay too long in your files. Find them a home on the shelf.”           –Freeda Baker Nichols

Books by Freeda Baker Nichols

Books by Freeda Baker Nichols

moon glows through the pines in cool of the autumn night-- harvest is over

moon glows through the pines
in cool of the autumn night–
harvest is over
© 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols