To Write is My Dream

Along the way to Piggott

Along the way to Piggott

Writer on location at Piggott
Freeda Baker Nichols at Barn Studio where Hemingway wrote at Piggott, Arkansas

When I return to Piggott in the fall,
I often write of Ernest Hemingway.
An author, among others, he stands tall.
His books appeal to readers still today.

Although I write
my best,
my work does not
compare to his.

His masterpieces line library shelves,
the titles bold as black and silver braids.
My dream to write becomes reality
when I return to Piggott in the fall.

c Copyright 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols

This poem, in the Dorsimbra form, was written recently at the Writers’ Retreat at Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center at Piggott, Arkansas. While I was at the retreat, the staff hosted a book signing and reading. I read from my book, “Call of the Cadron.” I read also from my poem collection. Two other authors  participated in the reading and book signing–Jo McDougall, mentor for the retreat, who is the author of a memoir called “Daddy’s Money”, and Donna Austin, author of “The Sunflower Principle.”  We read in the living room of the Pfeiffer House, which belonged to the in-laws of Ernest Hemingway.  It’s always inspiring and exciting to write in a location where a famous author visited his relatives, and wrote stories in the barn studio.

The Pfeiffer-Janes House

A Character called Calypso–(From the Files)

(Journal entry) Thursday, November 17, 2011, 2:50 P.M.

As I write this in the barn studio at the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center, the sun is shining.  The weather is cool. I’m at the Fall Creative Writers’ Retreat and for the fall session, Roland Mann, of Oxford, MS,  is the Mentor. Most of the attendees are writing in the Educational Center.  (Roland’s Ramblin’ Weblog may be read at www.rolandmann.wordpress.com )

One other retreat attendee is here in the barn studio, also writing.  Her name is Kayla. I’ve been here before and I’ve written here before but today I want to write something about Calypso for my short story.  I want to write at least one line for that story as I sit here in Hemingway’s restored studio. (End of Journal entry)

February 27, 2012.

I completed one chapter of the story and that portion of the fiction piece was printed in the anthology  “New Thresholds,” November 14-18, 2011.

I’m writing this story in first person, present tense, using the viewpoint of the main character, Calypso.  She is an accomplished artist who has never sold or even given away any of the paintings she’s created over the past twenty years. There comes a time in her life when she must sell some of her art work. When her favorite painting is stolen, Calypso sets out to find the thief and discovers a trail that leads her into a life-threatening situation. My story is getting a life of its own and leaning toward a mystery. New to me but it’s beginning to be fun to write.

In Calypso’s story, after an intruder leaves her house, she finds a crumpled piece of paper.  On it these words are highlighted: Her hair is brown, lined with copper stripes; she will disappear, too, just like the dew on the red, red rose at the Villa Claire.

 So, that is a peek into my files and a glimpse of my true sentence.

cCopyright, 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols

Not Quite Hemingway

Because of my interest in writing, I’ve attended the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Creative Writers’ Retreat in the quaint little town of Piggott, Arkansas for the past several years. To a writer, it’s an experience like no other. The barn studio where Hemingway wrote stories, including parts of “Farewell to Arms”, is inspiring to the retreat attendees who are working toward success in their own writing fields.

My interest is in both fiction and poetry. While attending the retreats, I’ve penned two poems, among other works, and today I’d like to share one of the poems. Keep in mind that poetry can be fiction or fact, and the part of this one that says my books are sold on Amazon—well, that part is fiction. It’s a dream!

Now I share this poem:

Not Quite Hemingway

I’ve come back to this place once more to write
where Hemingway composed “Farewell to Arms.”
I doubt my novels ever will shine bright—
I don’t possess the Papa Ernest charms.
I cannot kill the wild, ferocious game
nor win at poker at the studio.
The barn that bears the famous author’s name
inspires but does not help my words to flow.
If only I could write one sentence true
then I would leave my legacy in bold
imprints the way best-selling writers do.
Their books stand out on shelves like slabs of gold.
My books are sold on Amazon these days
but lack the polished look of Hemingway’s.

cCopyright, 2010, Freeda Baker Nichols
From Legacy, Creative Writers’ Retreat XIV, November 2010
Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center
Poems by Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas, 2011