One of the simplest ways to write a query in OpenOffice Base, while still not having to be a programmer, is to use the Design view. Or even if you're as comfortable with SQL as anything in life, design view is still kind of a pleasant little tool.
To create a query in design view, open the database file, click the Queries icon, and click the Design View option.
You can click Add to add the table or tables to the query, then double-click each field you want in the query. It appears in the query design area. Add your functions, criteria, etc. Run the query if you like.
Now, let's say you have a sudden attack of the SQLs. You can just choose View > Switch Design View On/Off and the view will change to SQL.
Here's the SQL view.
Make the same menu selection again and the view changes back.