A pig kissing contest? Absurd!
of such disgrace?
I will not try to kiss his face.
Forget the dough.
I will not go
to kiss a Poland China mug.
I am too smug.
Oh, dear! Oh, me!
It is beneath my dignity
to do a jig
and kiss a pig.
Freeda Baker Nichols Book Signing for “Call of the Cadron.”
It was noon on a Wednesday– November 13, 2013 to be exact–and there I was at the Dirty Farmers Community Market in my town. I’d been invited to come in for the express purpose of signing my book. In other words, a book signing. I was the first of a few local authors invited to bring in our books. This was my second book signing for my first novel, “Call of the Cadron.” One gentleman bought a copy for his wife. Another person bought my children’s book for her granddaughter. That gave me a chance to sign my name a couple of times. Got my picture taken, too. One copy is here and another is on Facebook. The one on Facebook doesn’t even tell who I am or give the name of my novel. So if anyone wants to know what the Cadron is–It’s a creek! A real creek in Arkansas. But my book is not about the Cadron. It’s about the characters who live along that creek. Only, it isn’t true. Not one word. But I’m supposed to be writing at least one true sentence even in fiction because that’s what Hemingway said was how you could learn to write. I’ve been trying that. That one true sentence. And I just don’t know if that’s so or not. But it might could be.
My first signing for “Call of the Cadron” was at a book store in another town, back in April. If I recall correctly, I sold one book. Most people walked on past my table to buy whatever it was they came for. Which was not my book. I’m sorry to say. To admit, actually. The newspaper in that town had run a great article about me and my book, with a picture and all. And the person who bought that one book from me had already bought three when the books first came out.
Oh, at the Dirty Farmers Community Market, one man wearing a black cowboy hat went past my books and bought some hot peppers and green tomatoes.
Sometimes, road trips are not what they seem. They are not always smooth and uneventful. Even the fast lane is sometimes slow. My husband and I found that out recently when we took a short day trip. We were cruising along a highway when we met a truck and the driver flashed his lights. Was there a state trooper up ahead? Or was there an emergency somewhere along the road? Soon we learned the reason for the motorist’s warning. We came upon an unusual-looking fire truck parked in the middle of the highway on a hill. Two firemen were hosing down a grass fire on the road shoulder, near a housing area. After a while, one of the firemen motioned for us to go on. We continued our drive, looked up at the sky to see the contrails of a plane already out of sight. Flying would definitely be the fastest way to travel. But then we would have missed seeing all the sights that make my lovely home state of Arkansas so dear to my heart. Some days, it’s good when things in the road slow you down. 🙂 —Freeda Baker Nichols
Royal portable typewriter (Photo credit: alexkerhead)
My first story was written by hand and then typed on a small, Royal portable typewriter. I lived in Spain at that time, in an apartment just outside the gate of Torrejon Air Base. My husband was in the U.S. Air Force and with our children we lived in a three-bedroom, second-floor apartment. My story was based on my experience of living the nomadic military life and my concern about its effect on our children. At that time, we had a son and a daughter; later we had another son and another daughter.
My first title to that story written in Spain, was “A Home for Jimmy.” It has not been published. Markets for that type of story changed before I had a chance to offer it for publication. When I entered it in a contest, I titled it “The Air Force and Daffodils.”
Still in my files, this story has a home somewhere — perhaps it will help fill the pages
of a collection of Short Stories by Freeda Baker Nichols. That’s my aim. 🙂
In a drive across Banner Mountain, recently, I snapped this photo of a barn that’s been part of the landscape for a number of years. I can’t say how old this barn is. But it is still in good condition and speaks of times gone by.
Many of my poems tell about the way of life at Banner in my early years. When I was a child, my folks owned a cow named “Buttin’ Jerse.” She would butt people if she got a chance. I don’t think she had horns, but we kids stayed out of the barn lot, out of her reach. She was the only mean cow my folks ever owned. I remember another cow named “Hawkins.” She was given the last name of the man who sold her to Daddy. She was a good cow. She gave lots of milk.
When I was a child, I didn’t need to take a field trip with my class to visit a farm. I lived on one, and I thought everyone else did, too. Mama and Daddy grew an abundance of vegetables in their garden. We had an orchard of peaches and apples. Daddy butchered hogs each year. We had chickens for eggs and for meat.
To serve chicken for dinner, Mama killed a chicken by wringing its neck. You know that expression, “I could wring his neck?” Mama really did “wring the neck” of a chicken!
That’s something I’ve never had to do. And I’m glad! But if I had to, I might could do it.
At my book signing today, at the Dirty Farmers Market, I sold and autographed a couple of books. Not many, but people who visited were friendly and were busy buying the handmade crafts that are displayed in the first half of the shop. The back half of the shop contained fresh produce as well as a café serving homemade soups, breads, desserts and coffee. Also baked goods were for sale. The aroma from all these goodies was certainly tempting as I sat waiting for someone to buy a book. By selling two books, visiting, handing out cards and inviting people to check out my blog, I consider the event successful. Thanks to the Farmer’s Market for being wonderful hosts. It was a pleasant afternoon.
tomatoes and butternut squash
Freeda Baker Nichols at Book Signing at Farmers Market
If “To Write” is my destiny, then why am I blogging? Am I blogging because “they” said I should? “They” being the pros, the published authors, the mentors, speakers at writers’ conferences, my colleagues.
Somehow, I can’t picture Hemingway holed up in the barn studio, clacking away on his typewriter to instantly send his masterpieces out to a world of instant readers. Only that, and nothing more. No, I cannot picture that.
Do I blog to keep my name out there? If a name is only a name and nothing more, then why does it matter what my name is? No one will remember me by my name. They will only remember me by my stories, as readers remember who it was that wrote the Harry Potter books. J.K Rowling. The two go hand in hand.
So until I write something memorable, my name will remain overlooked among the great writers of my time. I do have a published novel, children’s books, and a poetry book. Many anthologies, newspapers and magazines have published my poems, articles and features. One of my photos captured an Honorable Mention once in a contest and was published in the Arkansas Times.
Now, if I could publish a book of my blogging material, wouldn’t I be mighty pleased?
The sun is changing now for night–
a pink delight.
I watch it fade
When darkened clouds turn dapple gray,
I turn away
with aching heart
to find that part
of me has died. I then erase
your happy face
the day we met.