From a Writer’s Files

YThis story is from my files, dated many moons ago. Back when I worked as a substitute teacher.

As the kindergarten kids told stories to the class, one five-year-old boy told how he and his brother, a fourth-grader, saw a deer. His brother shot at the deer and the deer jumped over a fence. The boys went over the fence. The younger boy had to help his brother through the fence. The boys chased the deer, which apparently had just been nicked by the bullet. The deer ran toward the lake. A car was coming, and the little boy told his brother to wait and they waited until the car passed. Then they went on after the deer. Their dad came running up and was about to shoot the deer, but the brother said, “Wait, Dad. I want to shoot it.”

So the brother shot and missed the deer but the bullet went into the water and hit a fish. It didn’t hurt the fish. They caught the fish. Then the dad shot the deer and according to the boy, it was a “Twenty buck.”

When the two boys returned to the house, they went by a pond, where they saw a rabbit. The older boy threw a rock and hit the rabbit in the side, but the younger boy threw a rock and hit the rabbit in the head and killed it.DSC_0084  best

“You really are a fine hunter,” I said and the five-year-old boy agreed.

As a member of Writers of the Foothills, I feel sure that this boy may never become such a great hunter as he imagines he is, but I’ll bet if he shoots to become a writer, he will hit the bull’s-eye.

© 2014 Freeda Baker Nichols

While Sleeping Hunter Dreams

Fast Asleep

The yellow leaves come down.  The gusting wind
unhooks their stems from limbs, releasing them
to furl and swirl through cooling air.  At last,
no more hot summer days.  The chill of frost
on morning-glory vines sets out to kill
their will to live and bloom in blues and reds.
The wasps, too numb to sting, fly slow in search
of clefts to shield them from the coming freeze.
The ladybugs attach to windowsills
like beggar lice to slacks of velveteen.
A buck with eight-point rack meanders through
a hunter’s yard where large, synthetic buck
stands bolted down–a target for son’s bow
and arrow.  Snorting buck begins to paw.
A fight commences when the antlers lock.
The phony head falls off.  The buck holds high
his rack, big headedly, returns through fog
to oak-lined woods while sleeping hunter dreams.
The autumn sun arises bright and round
as basketballs—or pumpkins, carved like jack-
o-lanterns, snaggle-toothed and smiling by
the porch, October thirty-first.  Wild geese
fly south.  They bid adieu to all who hear
their cry.  The cold and blowing snow appears
and mummy-wraps the world in softest white.

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols


November 09, 2013

Writing Attitudes    (Note: borrowed this from somewhere. Found in my notes on writing tips)

1.  Write with nouns and verbs,
rather than adjectives and adverbs
2.  Don’t overwrite or overstate

3.  Avoid rhetorical questions
4.  Stay out of your story
5.  Break all these rules —

Hemingway did.  Faulkner did.

English: Hemingway posing for a dust jacket ph...

English: Hemingway posing for a dust jacket photo by Lloyd Arnold for the first edition of “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, at the Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho, late 1939. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Portrait of William Faulkner

Portrait of William Faulkner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)