Tag Archives: sawmill

Trifextra: Week Seventy-Two: SUMMER IS…

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SUMMER IS… in 33 words

Summer is ‘The Mill’!  Music in the air… everywhere.  There are violins, guitars, flutes, harps, accordions, drums of all kinds, harmonicas, banjos, cellos, tambourines, horns, pianos, squeeze-boxes, cymbals, lots of singing and dancing!

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The instructions for the Trifextra Writing Challenge this week were… “This weekend we’re asking you to describe summer in your own words. Thirty-three of them exactly, of course. Good luck!”

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Each summer high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, somewhere near Yosemite, about 500 souls gather for a conclave of The Sierra Music and Arts Institute… more commonly known as Sweet’s Mill.  The old timers just call it The Mill.  For 60 years now, on the site of an old sawmill, a music and arts retreat takes place in the form of a giant campout.  Musicians from around the world come together to share their knowledge and talents with others, and just plain perform.  Artists gather to demonstrate their skills and teach others.  There’s also drama taught, with two plays being produced.  Do you want to learn how to belly dance, flamenco, tango or swing?  Classes for that.  At night on different stages, there are performances to show off new-found skills, and for old friends to get together and jam.  And, lots of dancing!

I help out in the Arts Area.  I don’t play a musical instrument, but I write stories and take thousands of photos.  Here are two from last year.  The photo of the young man playing the steel guitar got me a ‘Best of Show’ ribbon at our county fair, in its category.  He was sitting at a table near the main stage practicing or maybe just playing… there’s a lot of that going on.  It made a great still-life photo.

But my favorite photo of all, is this one of a woman playing the violin.  For me, the story makes the photo, and I’ll tell how I came to take this one.  I had gone up to the Flamenco Camp, because I had never been there.  The Mill is over 200 acres, with different interest groups banding together in camps.  There’s Gypsy Camp, Flamenco, Cowboy, Meditation Meadow, Old Timey, Bluegrass and on and on.  There are still some I have to discover.  So, one day I went up to the Flamenco Camp and watched a maestro teach a group of children the fine points to playing a flamenco guitar. Some women practiced dance to the music on a small stage they had made.  As I was leaving, I heard the most beautifully haunting violin music.  I went toward some tents expecting to see the violinist, but nothing.  I followed the music up a hill through increasingly heavy brush, and finally in a small clearing I found a young woman playing a violin.  I snuck a photo and listened to her play.  She finally stopped, saw me and shyly smiled.  I asked if I could take her photo, and she beamed and posed for me.  They are nice photos of her facing me, but I like the first one I took best.  So, that’s kind of two faces of The Mill.  I’m leaving in two weeks… I can’t wait.

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Here’s one I wrote for Trifecta that I liked… I had a great time last summer listening to music and enjoying the creative camaraderie in our camp… and of course got some great photo.  There will be no music at the ‘Mill’ this year due to the lack of rainfall in California.

THOR’S WORLD TOUR… Adjusting to new surroundings

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Thor encounters the dreaded Yoshi!

Somewhere on a small island in the Great Pacific Northwest… just freed from prison…

I breath in a deep lungful of fresh air, a relief from the scent of dainty perfumes that have hung so heavy in my cape.  I detect a hint of ocean air, and I long for the sea again.  My eyes encounter a dazzling array of color from every corner imaginable, in this seeming rural landscape.

I find that my iron prison is high from the ground, held high aloft on a post. I will have to descend with care, as my strength has been weakened by exposure to excessive amounts of polyurethane.   It will be some time before my belt, Megingjörd, is able to regain full power.  I espy a soft landing spot and jump!

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I make it without harm and look for sanctuary while I garner the lay of the land. This is the first time I have been on my own, and not brought back into the world to the sight of leering eyes and painted lips bending over me.  Impossible to escape their grasp until they tire of playing with me, and eventually ship me off to another one.

I immediately encounter a threat from a giant creature that I have to ward off  with a blow from The Mighty Hammer… I am the God of Thunder!  She goes back to sleep.

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This place seems to be some kind of farm, as there are egg layers sequestered nearby, and I am hungry.  I enter the enclosure with as much stealth as I can muster… but a “Cock-a-Doodle-Do” soon gives me away and I am beset with feather bearing monsters.  I barely escape with my life, thanks to my Mighty Hammer!

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Leaving the foul fowl behind, I enter a wood shop in search of a clue to my whereabouts.  Jumping on a workbench I accidentally activate a switch putting me in harm’s way.   I am saved once again, thanks to Mjölnir (TMH).  Must make a note to send a check to Mr. DeWalt for the damage.

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I come to a body of water and decide to go across.  A nearby boat seems the answer, but a family named Noah is busy loading it with animals and say I am welcome to join them, but they are waiting for the flood and it might take some time to float their boat.

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Not to be deterred, I take matters into my own hands and float across… no Princess Cruise, that’s for sure, but maybe that’s a good thing.

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THOR!!!  Someone calls my name.  A handsome gentleman tells he is my host and welcomes me to his island.  I tell him I am ‘The God of Thunder’, he says he knows that and invites me inside, to a table groaning under the weight of a sumptuous feast of garlic sausages, grilled chicken, ranch style beans and corn on the cob.  Breads of all description and fresh fruits and beverages are a welcome sight.  He is anxious to hear about my tour, but first has some distressing news… The Pink Haired Princess now has blue hair.  Oh, My Magical Mistress… what hast thou done?  ‘There must be a Witch involved’, is my first thought, then I remember she is a writer… and you know how they are.   I ask when I can see her, as my heart is blue, and he says he will see what he can do, but I must finish the tour first before finally joining her.  He invites me to go to a special island tomorrow full of artists and gentle people of the earth.  I am hopeful to learn more about this place.  I ask how we will get there, as I have not had much luck with water transportation of late.  He assures me there is no problem, as we will be ensconced in a fine Swedish automobile and catching something called a red-eye ferry.  ‘What new monster awaits’, I think to myself.

To be continued…

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Previously… The Arrival 

To learn more about Thor’s World Tour, and see where he’s been… THE GOD OF THUNDER IS TOURING THE WORLD

Friday Fictioneers: DEVIL OF A LUCK (Revised)

 Please let me know what you think.

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sandra-crook

DEVIL OF A LUCK… A Drabble

I have changed my short version.  After good advice from my friends, I decided to learn more about the writing process, and try to make my drabble better.  

The Devil rode into town one day and the sawmill closed.

Amy’s husband, always monitoring his police scanner, heard that Earl “I-drive-better-when-I’m-drunk” Hollister drove from Herb’s Tavern into a tree and now jail.

Destitute, no job, and no money for gas, Ken walked in a blinding snowstorm fifteen miles to the new super plant to claim Earl’s job.

Out on bail, Earl surveyed the damage to himself and his car, declared both fit to go to work. Hard to see, with the rain and spiderweb of a windshield, but he definitely felt the thud as he sped along the road.

 Original short FF version:

The Devil rode into town one day and the sawmill closed.

View original post 546 more words

Friday Fictioneers: DEVIL OF A LUCK (Revised)

sandra-crook

DEVIL OF A LUCK… A Drabble

I have changed my short version.  After good advice from my friends, I decided to learn more about the writing process, and try to make my drabble better.  

The Devil rode into town one day and the sawmill closed.

Amy’s husband, always monitoring his police scanner, heard that Earl “I-drive-better-when-I’m-drunk” Hollister drove from Herb’s Tavern into a tree and now jail.

Destitute, no job, and no money for gas, Ken walked in a blinding snowstorm fifteen miles to the new super plant to claim Earl’s job.

Out on bail, Earl surveyed the damage to himself and his car, declared both fit to go to work. Hard to see, with the rain and spiderweb of a windshield, but he definitely felt the thud as he sped along the road.

 Original short FF version:

The Devil rode into town one day and the sawmill closed.

Amy’s sister’s husband, always monitoring his police scanner, hears that Earl “I drive better when I’m drunk” Hollister has driven from Herb’s Tavern into jail.

Destitute, no money for gas, Ken is braving the blinding snowstorm fifteen miles to the new super plant to claim Earl’s job.

Earl surveys the damage to himself and his car, and declares both fit. Hard to see, with the rain and spiderweb of a windshield, but he definitely felt the thud as he sped along the road.

Devil of a luck for Ken.

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The second I saw the photo Sandra Crook gave Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (or maybe she swiped it, she does that) to use for the Friday Fictioneers prompt, I knew the first line of my story.  The only problem, as I got going… it got too long,  and ended up 333 words… I didn’t want to change it… perfect for the Trifecta Writing Challenge I thought.  So taking a page from my pal Jennifer at elmowrites I decided to edit my Trifecta story to fit the 100 word limit for Friday Fictioneers (that us purists use), and show both versions.  Find the Fictioneers’ stories here…

Here is my original Trifecta story… 

The Devil rode into town one day and the sawmill closed. All bought up; all the little operations in all the little towns… now left destitute in his wake. And that’s why Ken is braving the Frazer Valley wind, howling down from Alaska and piercing his threadbare coat like the teeth of a wolf doing the howling. An alchemy of chance changed his luck when Amy’s sister’s husband, always monitoring his police scanner, heard that Earl “I drive better when I’m drunk” Hollister had driven his Dodge Charger straight from Herb’s Tavern into rearranging the best seller display inside the Serendipity.

Ken was trudging his way ten miles to the new super plant through rain that was falling sideways and hitting him like a hail of rubber bullets. No money for gas left him on foot, and he was determined to be there when the shift changed, as they would be needing a man to operate the roof truss cutter. Getting any job there required that someone get dead, hurt, or go to jail. Earl had accomplished two out of three, by not buckling up and paying a late night visit to Carol’s bookstore with no intention of reading. Ken intended to have Earl’s job.

Being a former high school football star helped when it came to getting a ‘out of jail free card’. Earl surveyed the damage to himself and his car, and declared both fit to go to work. The Teriyaki Stick and a bottle of ’5-Hour Energy’ from Lucky Market got his juices flowing and he hit the road. It was hard to see, with the rain and spiderweb of a windshield, but he definitely felt the thud as he sped along the road. ‘What’s one more dent,’ he thought, ‘it’s going in the shop anyway’.

Flung into the bushes by the impact, Ken wondered at his supposed good luck. ‘Only one orange car like that around, guess I won’t be getting Earl’s job after all’.  The Devil brought hypothermia.

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Constructive Criticism always welcome…

Trifecta Writing Challenge #72: DEVIL OF A LUCK

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DEVIL OF A LUCK… A 333 Word Story

The Devil rode into town one day and the sawmill closed. All bought up; all the little operations in all the little towns… now left destitute in his wake. And that’s why Ken is braving the Frazer Valley wind, howling down from Alaska and piercing his threadbare coat like the teeth of a wolf doing the howling. An alchemy of chance changed his luck when Amy’s sister’s husband, always monitoring his police scanner, heard that Earl “I drive better when I’m drunk” Hollister had driven his Dodge Charger straight from Herb’s Tavern into rearranging the best seller display inside the Serendipity.

Ken was trudging his way ten miles to the new super plant through rain that was falling sideways and hitting him like a hail of rubber bullets. No money for gas left him on foot, and he was determined to be there when the shift changed, as they would be needing a man to operate the roof truss cutter. Getting any job there required that someone get dead, hurt, or go to jail. Earl had accomplished two out of three, by not buckling up and paying a late night visit to Carol’s bookstore with no intention of reading. Ken intended to have Earl’s job.

Being a former high school football star helped when it came to getting a ‘out of jail free card’. Earl surveyed the damage to himself and his car, and declared both fit to go to work. The Teriyaki Stick and a bottle of ‘5-Hour Energy’ from Lucky Market got his juices flowing and he hit the road. It was hard to see, with the rain and spiderweb of a windshield, but he definitely felt the thud as he sped along the road. ‘What’s one more dent,’ he thought, ‘it’s going in the shop anyway’.

Flung into the bushes by the impact, Ken wondered at his supposed good luck. ‘Only one orange car like that around, guess I won’t be getting Earl’s job after all’.  The Devil brought hypothermia.

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The Trifecta Writing Challenge has issued ALCHEMY (noun) as this week’s prompt… as always, 33 – 333 words based on the third definition…  an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting

Click on the Trike for instructions on  how to play… and to read some great stories.
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