If I Were a Writer . . .

DSC_0450 - Copywould I write for all the world to see? Or would I guard my journals fiercely, as though no one else should ever read one paragraph, one poem? But then one day, my works might be discovered molding in a rusty file cabinet, hidden from everyone’s view, except the person who bought the estate, where the old file cabinet still sat in a corner, rusting, molding….

© Copyright, 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

Thunder boomed and lightning flashed.



Thunder boomed, and lightning flashed. The thunder roared louder. Wind rattled the windows and rain pounded the tin roof.  A
streak of lightning cracked a nearby oak, shattering it into splinters.  Michael shut the door and moved away from windows. The storm passed quickly and a light rain continued to fall. (Excerpt from my novel, Call of the Cadron.)    c Copyright, 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols

Book a Flight for Me

This is the last day of January 2013, and today’s post contains the 31st poem I’ve written and posted during this month. Because I missed the deadline to join a group of bloggers writing new poems this month, I decided to write on my own and post daily.  This came about at the suggestion of my  lovely friend, a poet Catherine Johnson      who has a beautiful blog. Her reviews of books, especially children’s books, are helpful and interesting. She’s a good poet. I recommend a visit to her blog.  You will be amazed at her talent and energy.

After today’s poem, I will not be posting every day.  I’ve loved every day of creating a new poem, and I’ll miss posting each day, but I want to get back to my short story, and the marketing of my novel, Call of the Cadron. I’m planning a couple of book signings in the spring.

The poem I’ve chosen for today is a tercet form with varying refrain.

Book a Flight for Me

Watch the river run downstream
where the hot sun sends its beam
and the fish are like a dream
and catch a perch for me.

Feel the warmth of the setting sun
when the day is almost done
where the great race horses run
and make a bet for me.

Look up at the turquoise sky
see the big airplanes go by
how they travel way up high.
Book a flight for me.

c Copyright 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

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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

Dust Cover — Peaceful, like the Cadron

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. But I wonder if maybe you can. The colorful painting for “Call of the Cadron,” my first novel, which was painted by artist, Yvonne Baker Hall, (who happens to be my sister), seems to depict some conflict, some sadness, some happiness, perhaps. Despite that, the cover looks peaceful, like an invitation to sit down and read a while. Find out what happened in the lives of Jordan Maxey, Garrett Jones and Michael Younger in the little place called Old Piney Town in Arkansas, in 1983. 

Novel springs forth from a poem . . . and author’s memory of a creek–


The Cadron drifts westward
with its secret and song.
Two hearts wait patiently
yet ever so long.
One will claim ownership,
the other must leave
desolate and destined
forever to grieve.

Excerpt from Call of the Cadron

c Copyright 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols

Call of the Cadron

Now released! 

Copies of my first novel have arrived! And I am pleased to actually hold the book in my hands.

 I’m grateful to my sister, Yvonne Baker Hall, of California, who illustrated the lovely dust jacket. She is an accomplished artist whose paintings have received many awards. She is listed in “American Artist of Renown” and her work is published in “Art of the American West.”  

Yvonne’s artistic talent highlights the setting and characters in my book in an amazingly beautiful way.  Her colorful painting portrays a major scene in my story.

My novel is set in 1983 at Old Piney Town, a fictional location in Arkansas, U.S.A.  The main characters live in a community along a peaceful creek, called Cadron.  Although there is a Cadron Creek in Arkansas, in the book the name is used as fiction.

The story begins when  tragedy strikes the Maxey family, whose livelihood is cattle farming. A car accident has left Ned Maxey paralyzed and  his wife, Sarah, in an extremely nervous condition. Their daughter, Jordan Diane,  just out of college and eager to begin her first job as a school teacher, postpones her career to manage the farm.

 Complications arise that challenge Jordan. Not only is she responsible for running the farm, she also must care for her three younger sisters, Tanya and Katie, ages nine and seven,  and Shelley, a rebellious teenager. 

A sub-plot involves the stubborn Shelley. She falls in love with a man of questionable morals. Jordan risks losing her sister’s devotion when she attempts to guide Shelley away from her seemingly destructive path.

The story is intertwined with another element of romance when two handsome men both set their hearts on winning Jordan’s hand in marriage. With her own traditional values, she,  like her sister, must make a choice.  Will she choose Garrett or Michael?

Segments of the book include  adventure and mystery.  How did the runaway cow disappear? What caused the death of the prized Limousin bull?

The villains use guns and deceit in attempts to achieve their goals.  The heroine has her own favorite rifle and knows how to use it.

Even in modern times, country folk still cling to their guns.  My characters  use their rifles to protect their property and to defend themselves against rattlesnakes, bear, and anything else that might threaten their freedom to live peaceably in their own environment.

As the characters ride horses to round-up stray cattle, the story takes on an atmosphere of a Western. That’s how my 13-year-old grandson describes my book, which he read with interest.  Aimed at a general audience, I classify my novel as mainstream.

I hope every person who reads my novel will find the reading time worthwhile. That’s “my true sentence.”  

Ernest Hemingway made writing sound easy when he said, “All you have to do is write one true sentence.”  In addition to that, it certainly takes a lot of other sentences to put a book together.  But each step of the way, from the beginning to the end of this book, has been an adventure.

Be happy turning  the 200 pages as you read the 51, 800 words.  Writing the book was a pleasure and sharing it is a joy.

Happy reading, CALL of the CADRON!

Published by:         Nic Baker Books.
                                    PO Box 1073
                                    Clinton, Arkansas 72031-1073

6 X 9 inch, Paperback or Hardback

For information on ordering, contact:
Freeda Nichols at  freeda.nichols@gmail.com
or write to the above address .

What’s in a Title? What’s in a Name?

 Like people with names, books must have titles. Titles of stories and books are important and not always created by the author of the work.

And a newborn foal needs an appropriate name whether it grows up to run a race or to run across a meadow on a fine summer day with a boy guiding the reins.

Story titles do not necessarily represent story content. But some do. Perhaps many do in a subjective way.  “Gone with the Wind” represents the end of an era.  Margaret Mitchell’s working title for her book was ” Tomorrow is Another Day.”

I used a working title from the start of my first novel until near its completion.  A member of my critique group, Rhonda Roberts, whose advice I trust,  suggested that I change the title and she gave reasons why.  After working with my original title for such a long time, this was a difficult decision. Finally, after sifting through a number of titles based on Rhonda’s reasons  for a change, my daughter, Tracy Broadwater,  an avid reader, and I came up with the exact wording for the title. To both of these young ladies, I say “Thanks for my title:  “CALL of the CADRON.”                                  

The characters in my novel sometimes ride horses. Names of horses in the story are: King, Beaut, Sundance, Hobo, Gumbo and Duke.    

        I don’t know the name my grandsons will choose for the foal in the picture below.  But I’m certain they will decide on a very special name for such a fine little filly who arrived at their place just one day ago, on a sunny April morning.

cCopyright, 2012, photo by Freeda Baker Nichols

Crackerjack and newborn foal

Crackerjack and newborn foal