Tonight, it seems that I should write and yet I find I’ve nothing much to say. But I will begin with this paragraph in hopes tomorrow the words will flow, or perhaps the day after tomorrow . . .


And so, this is tomorrow . . . “Call of the Cadron” is my first novel, published in 2012. The picture at right shows my well-worn, underlined copy of “The Basic Patterns of Plot” by Foster Harris.  It’s the book I studied through the University of Oklahoma’s Journalism Correspondence Course, some years ago. It was my guideline for plotting my first novel, and it’s still my guide as I pursue my writing goals.

Successful writing is many things–winning a poetry or writing contest, being published by magazines or newspapers, self-publishing, having your work accepted by a publisher or sharing your masterpieces on social media. And when a reader compliments your stories by saying, “When are you writing something else for the paper?” and then she continues to say that she clips your stories and saves them, that’s when you know beyond a doubt that writing is your destiny–and that’s all that matters.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL # 51 –“Call of the Cadron”

Excerpt from “Call of the Cadron”

“She slid her right index finger onto the smooth, metal trigger of the 30-30, the rifle heavy in her hands. She stood still, her eyes fixed on the swishing evergreens. The thumping sound grew louder. She froze. Crashing through the cedars, a huge black bear came snarling, growling, and clawing. At sight of Jordan, the furry creature roared viciously. It lumbered toward her. Something was terribly wrong! Jordan shivered at the thought of emptying her rifle into the distressed animal–and not killing it. How many shots would it take?  Jordan didn’t know.

Adrenaline coursed through her, giving her a sudden surge of strength. She stood, rifle ready, not taking her eyes off the agitated bear. Would it consider her friend or foe? Would it pass by or charge to kill? Nothing mattered but this moment and how to survive. Her hands kept steady on the rifle.

The bear reared on its hind legs and kept snarling. Blood spurted from its left shoulder where a broken arrow spread open the flesh. With an agonized growl, the bear charged.”


BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL # 44 (from my files)

As I shred old copies of my writing, I sometimes come across a note that makes me stop and think. Like this note within a folder, marked CADRON– “Writing is no longer fun. I work at it but I do not enjoy it. I seem to have lost something in the shuffle of life.
Today I must start the novel. First, I will give it a name. ALONG THE CADRON

The Cadron Drifts Eastward


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.”

Years later, here’s the book in published form.    CALL of the CADRON




Books have always been important to me. I still have a children’s book my first grade teacher gave me as a gift. “The Little Red Hen” I loved that story.

When I was about thirteen years old, a sweet neighbor lady gave me the gift of a young-adult novel. “Mimi’s House Party,” by Anne Pence Davis. It was my first real book. I wish I still had that book but I have no idea what happened to it. A few years ago, I ordered a copy of it from Amazon. But it came without the attractive dust jacket. It came as a used book from a library. Very plain without the jacket. Glancing through the story, I can’t say I recall even one line or one scene in the novel. I do recall being happy to have a book of my very own.


Time went by . . .  I grew up out there on Banner Mountain. My older siblings left home to seek their fortune. The day came when I married and left my beloved homeplace, too. Said “So long for now” to my most wonderful parents and joined my husband, the man of my dreams, in his travels with the Air Force, his career choice.

Years went by . . .  each of our four children was born in a different state. When my husband retired from the Air Force, we returned to Arkansas and settled down not very far from Banner Mountain.

In 2012, I wrote my very own first novel.  My younger sister, an artist, painted the cover. One of my daughters helped me choose the title and she and my other daughter proofread and critiqued for me. Also my critique group offered many good suggestions. Creating and publishing this book has been an amazing adventure. Because I self-published, it’s not yet on Amazon. But it may be ordered directly from me. It may be ordered here.

Call of the Cadron

My novel is a Christian Romance. It’s family-oriented. I’ve had fun writing and publishing it. I hope readers find it worthy of their time spent in reading it. I’d say it’s just right for a rainy day read to lift your spirit.

Whether you order it or not, I appreciate you as a follower of my blog.  Bloggers need readers, just as authors do. Watch for my next installment of Banner Mountain Girl. 🙂

Excerpt from Call of the Cadron

Archey Fork Park 30 Apr 2006 004

He remembered her face in the moonlight that night beside the creek as its waters sang in hushed tones. You are my love, Jordan, and you must meet me at the place where hearts unite despite the obstacles. You must, Jordan. I hear our destiny in the singing of the Cadron. Surely, you can hear it, too, my darling. ( from “Call of the Cadron”.)

My Interview by Southern Authors

Dear Readers,

What a pleasure to share with you this interview by Southern Authors!

Here’s the link which highlights my recent interview.

Writers need readers, and I appreciate each of you, who view my writing, who comment and who follow my blog, here on WordPress and my Facebook Author’s Page.

Tomorrow, Southern Authors will spotlight my book, Call of the Cadron.


Freeda Baker Nichols

One More Excerpt from “Call of the Cadron”

For a chance to win a copy of my book, go to the post of May 15, and find “Call of the Cadron” Give-Away and leave a comment in the comment section below the post. The winner will be announced Monday.   Also, the post is on my Timeline in Facebook, and you may also comment there.   # be-a-winner.


Excerpt from novel:

“They mounted the horses and rode down Moccasin Trail toward Spy Cave Falls, the waterfall hiding the entrance to the cave.

Jordan found comfort in riding beside Garrett. His strong hands on the reins reminded her that he could also be gentle. He was from a solid background, from a family with an unshakeable faith. His voice, rich and masculine, picked at her heartstrings. Something about him drew her thoughts to him almost daily now.

But she liked Michael, too, with his carefree ways, his sense of fun, and his ability to laugh even when life turned tragic. He talked freely of his family but she sensed that he kept much of his past to himself. The thing about him that worried her most was whether he had framed Garrett. She must confront him with that at the appropriate time.

Right now, a cow must be rescued from the cave.  Jordan and Garrett had responded to the urgent situation at hand.  Like a team.”


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