My Page in Poems by Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas

Rockport, Massachusetts 2006Fantasy’s Friend

Setting my sail on a shimmering sea,
I invited you to skim with me.
Away from the shore to never-never land,
together we swept, hand in hand.
One day my hand unclasped your own,
I drifted then on the sea alone.
My heart became a desert trail
like waves of water, behind the sail,
which opened, then closed a shimmering plane
without you there to whisper my name.

I listen for your voice above the ocean’s roar.
If I could summon you back once more!
But I hear nothing and feel no breeze
to carry me over the shimmering seas,
which mirror your face in a puzzle-like shade
as I reflect on the error I’ve made.
How could I have been so blind
as to leave unlocked the door of my mind,
through which you escaped on the shimmering sea?
Oh, precious love, still sail with me.

© Copyright, Freeda Baker Nichols
From Poems by Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas, 1991

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Bluebird Kind of Day

As a writer, I sometimes need a day, like today, to slow me down. A day to allow my thoughts to dwell on my next idea for a story. Today was that kind of day.  A little rain. Lots of birds to watch. A few pictures to snap. Time for coffee this morning and tea this afternoon. No deadlines to reach. Nothing that I had to do today.  But I worked on photo101’s assignment in WordPress, and in doing that, I photographed a bluebird.

This beautiful bluebird is a sign of spring.  She and her mate are hanging around the birdhouse. The sparrows are around there, too. One year, the sparrows took over the bird box and the bluebirds built their nest in the trees. They are a gentle bird, the sparrows not so gentle. Herein lies conflict. This may be a springboard for a short story.  Or a poem. Surely, there’s a haiku lurking around here someplace.

But I won’t write it on my bluebird day.

In her book, “Basic Story Techniques” Helen Reagan Smith said “Writing itself is work; good writing is hard work.”

This has been a day of rest from my writing, with the exception of this blog post.  Instead, I chose to think of things to write, to experience joy and peace. To refresh.

Tomorrow is another day. It’s Thursday, and I wish for you a bluebird day!

—Freeda Baker Nichols

Bluebird

Creating Characters . . .

Creating characters is not easy.  But it helps when you think of BEST SOAP and make sure each of your characters represents Best Soap.

DSCF6133 (3) B = background

E = emotions

S = station

T = thoughts

S = speech

O = opinions

A = actions

P = physical descriptions

The small bar of soap in the center of the picture is from my New England vacation when I stayed at the Emerson Inn by the Sea, a lodging in Rockport, Massachusetts that has a “Ralph Waldo Emerson” room. It is said that the original hotel where Emerson spent time is part of the present establishment.

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This lovely bed and breakfast--the Emerson Inn by the Sea--is where Ralph Waldo Emerson spent some time.

This lovely bed and breakfast–the Emerson Inn by the Sea–is where Ralph Waldo Emerson spent some time.

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This post is the “first” of my new schedule. My goal is to post on Thursdays. This month I’m committed to photo101 with Wordpress and I will continue posting photos, at random. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate my readers. Thanks to all who view and/or comment. Do you know your comments are like stars above my Banner Mountain here in the Ozarks, where I first dreamed of writing?

Freeda Baker Nichols

Hi World! “Blogging 101”

“Blogging 101” suggests that I introduce myself to the world. So, hello world! To some extent, I already know you because I’ve been blogging for three years.  I’m a writer, poet, and an amateur photographer. I’m a wife, mother and grandmother.  I made my blog public to gain readers interested in the topics of fiction, poetry and photography. The title of my blog is “Freeda Baker Nichols, My True Sentence.”  I hope to consistently share my writing with many readers.  And with my every word, I’d like to say I love you and remember me!

Quoting Walt Whitman

“The secret of it all, is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood, of the moment–to put things down without deliberation– without worrying about their style–without waiting for a fit time or place. . .  By writing at the instant the very heartbeat of life is caught.”  Walt Whitman

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Photos & poem: Copyright, Freeda Baker Nichols

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All of a sudden! Lickety-split! I thought for sure, he'd had a fit! He jumped onto another limb and hid so well I couldn't see him.

All of a sudden! Lickety-split!
I thought for sure, he’d had a fit!
He jumped onto another limb
and hid so well I couldn’t see him.

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.   http://bit.ly/1xHEXCL

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.

Sincerely,

Freeda Baker Nichols

A Critique Group “Worth Its Salt”

“Although critique is commonly understood as fault finding and negative judgment, it can also involve merit recognition,” states Wikipedia. 

My critique group, Central Arkansas Writers, also known as CAW, meets monthly as a closed group at a public library. At present, we have four members.  Each one travels an hour to the centrally-located meeting place. I drive down from the north, another comes up from the south and the other two come in from the east.  Each writer gives and receives an in-depth review of the works-in-progress. Our recent creations are as new as a little chick that hasn’t scratched yet or a newborn calf too wobbly to stand.

Clementine

Clementine

A writer’s feelings about a new piece may be sensitive when feedback indicates room for improvement. But with good-natured enthusiasm, our group works well together, as we have done for years. We take each other’s writing goals to heart.  At present, we are into novel-writing. Three of us have published novels and the other member has a completed novel ready to be published.

Our method is to send a new chapter by email the week prior to the meeting. We critique and bring the copies to the meeting. We then discuss each work explaining our suggestions, page by page, as the author of the piece listens without comment. Our aim is to encourage each other and therefore we add a smiley face or a check plus to show that certain lines and phrases stand out from the red-penciled areas.  As creators of fiction, we need to see the good marks occasionally. 🙂 CAW is definitely worth its salt.

CAW Meeting 2012-1

Rhonda, Freeda, Pat, Dot and Dorothy

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Rhonda, Pat, Freeda, Dorothy and Dot

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Central Arkansas Writers held one meeting at the historical Bevin’s-Dorr house in Batesville. Charter members– Dot, Nina who is now deceased, Freeda and Pat.

CALL of the CADRON - Copy

CALL of the CADRON

A Journey of Choice

A Journey of Choice

An Ordinary Day

An Ordinary Day

 

 

From my writer’s notebook . . .

unknown grave

unknown grave

Quoting from my journal:   “Start with a day that’s different. Begin your story that way. Put your character in a situation that is unusual for him. Get the reader curious. Make lots of conflict for your character. Help him to solve each problem, but in solving each one, a new and worse one appears until he has to make a sacrifice, which would seem to destroy him. But at the end, it turns out to be a choice whereby he  finds happiness along with a solution to his problem.”

Why Keep A Journal?

A very good blogging buddy of mine suggested that I write about keeping a journal. Inger Wilkerson’s interest in my blog has encouraged me since she first commented on my posts and her comments continue to inspire me.

So here goes. Starting a journal in our fast-paced world can be challenging. You might ask, do I have time to keep at it?  In ten years, why would I want to look back at what’s happening now?

Looking back into your journal doesn’t mean that you’re getting old and can’t remember very well. For me, re-reading an entry allows me to enjoy a memory which often brings a smile.  I do filter my thoughts before jotting them down.  I keep my journal notes as positive as possible.

As a writer, a journal is my place to store ideas for stories, poems or novels. It’s a place to write a sentence, a paragraph or maybe a name I like, which might become the name of a character in a book. And so, that’s why I keep a journal.

I have other notes, too, that refer to family. And I wish I had written more about my children, grandchildren, my parents and my siblings. Notes help me remember special times in my life. As I get older, my journal becomes a treasure.  The short writings bring back a vivid memory of something that likely would never resurface on its own.

I prefer a type of journal that has bound pages.  However, many of my notes are first scribbled on scraps of paper, backs of envelopes, my iPad or iPhone to be transferred into the permanent file later.

If you think you’d like to start a journal, why not begin now?  Write in it regularly. Have fun with it. Make it at least a weekly routine. Remember to date each entry.

I hope my friend, Inger, whom I’ve never met, will begin a journal. She has a lovely blog and I invite you to click over to her website and see what she’s up to. She blogs here at Art of Natural Living.