Wood, Michael

Mike Wood "The Worst Writer in the World" was born in Colorado, grew up in Louisiana, enlisted into the Marine Corps from Texas and currently raising his two boys in California.    

It's 3 am Somewhere

posted Apr 13, 2013, 8:06 PM by Michael Wood   [ updated Apr 13, 2013, 8:06 PM ]

It's 3 o'clock somewhere

posted Jan 25, 2013, 11:47 AM by Michael Wood   [ updated Oct 21, 2019, 4:01 PM by Bruce Rowe ]

Wow it’s 3 am… why I am still laying here in full combat gear. Yep that last mission, in that hellhole they call a city, had us out for 8 hours straight but so what. Man I need to get something eat before our next call. but all I can do is watch my boys as they write their letters home or play that video game like it’s the last super bowl in the world. (haaph) The game was on pause the whole time and the TV was froze like we dumped it on the dace floor at the prom. It only seems like we were gone to get some popcorn or a drinks, not that we had been out dismantling IED’s or conducting post blast investigations. Ooo I can’t forget our standard RPG attacks, poor saps, most of they had no aiming skills what so ever which was in our benefit of course but most likely they were only shooting at us because their families’ were being held at gunpoint. Wow I still can’t get over the aftermaths of those deadly IED’s attacks. You know one of these day we have to let the mortuary services beat us to the scene. Ooo of course I got o love our friendly sniper. He is like that creepy neighbor that always waves but there is just something not right with him. Difference here is our friendly neighbor isn’t taking pot shots at us with a sniper rifle that is silenced, I wish the sniper would would wave that would make my job so much easer. …. (sigh) I need to get up, take this gear off and write that letter that I have been putting of to my boys. But it could be any moment before we get the next call… the call for me to put my Marines in harms way again. Yes its our JOB, our mission… but... but dammit , these are My Marines, My boys, they mothers have entrusted me with their sons life's…. Yes… they are protecting our nations freedom, our way of life and the very world my sons are growing up in. …But why should my boys at home be any less important? Yes… my Marines could go on to be the next Chesty Puller but why doesn’t my own flesh and blood deserve the same devotion.
They all are kids, they all could change the world so how do I balance my passion that I believe in. It should be equal as they are all my boys… But.. If I had the choice I would never second guess giving my life, before sending one of Marines home draped with a flag. Hmmmm… this isn’t getting any easer to analyze. I know what The mission is but what is MY mission… who am I protecting?.. Some one else could do just as well, leading My Marines… or just as well, being a father to my boys... …I think I have to change My mission. Ok Ok I need to get up, I’ll check on my Marines and make sure they are drinking water..(shock pause). Crap why is Cpl Smith running this way? SSgt we got another 9 line! Without another fraction of a thought, my EOD security team dropped everything that mean anything, running out the door, lock and loaded,ready…ready to defend… to defend our brothers in arms.

Wow it’s 3 pm and am so ready to spend time with my boys again. This summer has been the longest we have been apart since I left Active duty 6 years ago. But it is what it is as they seamed happy visiting their mom in Quantico. Man is it load in here with that stupid TV commercial. I hate those commercials that make you scrabble for the remote to turn down the volume. It looks like the two vets in the corner hate it as much as I do becomes they don’t look happy that it interrupted their conversation about classes and partying. (laught) I remember those days like they were yester….. what am I kidding my self, that was decades ago and In here I am no spring chicken. I still feel at home here… but with that uneasy felling of the unknown. All of the veterans in here are nice, they said hi and asked if I had any questions when I walked in the door but they didn’t ask my name. It was like I was expected but yet they couldn’t tell if I was just passing through. Well in here I haven’t earned any stripes yet but I am ok with that now.
… I have a lot more answers than I use too. And for that peer advisor that is helping that veteran on benefits, I want to interrupt so bad. I could make it so much clearer on the the changes for the benefits but he is learning, learning to lead as a civilian leader. You know what … I can see it now, I know wow I can help, I can make a difference in these emerging leaders. Yep we all have our missions, that’s why we are here but why didn’t I chose a school streamline for professionals again? Ok ok that’s right; I want to help more veterans than I have in the past. Why not live the life of a veteran that is figuring life out… all over again. (hummm) But what happens when I get to that point again were I have to compromise…. Compromise my ability of a being a devoted single father to help others? … Well I need to sit up anyway…. Hey that must be Nancy walking in… Hi Michael, Let see what great things we can accomplish.

With out a fraction of a thought, I pick up everything that means anything, walk out the door, locked and loaded, ready.... ready for the challenge.......ready to serve againl…

Mike's Play

posted Jul 24, 2012, 1:43 AM by Michael Wood   [ updated Dec 19, 2012, 12:17 PM ]

 This performance features a script written by Mike Wood who took park in the Military Recollections playwriting program by Playwrights Project. In Recollections, participants reflect on their past experiences, and they learn playwriting techniques to transform key moments from their lives into dramatic vignettes. The writers are encouraged to take creative liberties to combining their past experiences with their current wisdom; and they're asked to reveal these moments through dialogue and action - creating scrips for professional actors to preform. 
This program is made possible by...

Program Facilitator and Teaching Artist
Erika Phillips

Rhys Green
Javier Guerrero
Justin Lang
Wendy Waddell

The Polaris RZR XP that I never won

posted Jul 23, 2012, 1:30 PM by VWG SDcounty   [ updated Aug 1, 2012, 1:55 PM by Michael Wood ]

How would you use a Polaris RZR XP 4 900?
For this combat veteran turned full-time single dad of two boys, the Polaris RZR XP 4 900 would be the family adventure vehicle that we have dreamed about for years. It would also be a means with which to help others. Between combat deployments and providing a stable home for my family, so much has gotten lost in translation. Helping others with their recovery continues to be my “vehicle” to recovery. 
As a passionate promoter and coordinator of various groups dedicated to helping wounded warriors, the Polaris “Phantom 4” would be a welcomed resource. I would set up outings every chance I could, to reach out to veterans who would benefit from the therapy of the great outdoors. This would help build comradery and peer support for all, but also give us the sense of belonging. Whatever the outcome, my own therapy is to continue helping others overcome their own life challenges.
The RZR XP 4 900 would take us to camping spots in the national forests and all over California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and beyond. My 9-year-old would improve his pocketknife skills and learn, alongside his dad, to not only be a better fisherman, but also a better person. It would help us blast through sand dunes that we could only watch others play on before. My 6-year-old would smile and invite new friends to ride with us instead of saying “Daddy, Daddy, look! Did you see that off-road vehicle? I wish we had one of those!”
This vehicle would be a major conversation starter about how rewarding it is returning from combat and overcoming challenges on so many different levels. We would explore popular trails as a family, while helping others blaze new trails in their own healing process. With the support of Polaris and the Wounded Warrior Project, my family will learn the value of time spent together while helping other warriors recover lost time with their families.
There is a small window of time to enjoy and nurture our children, and by the grace of God we have been given a second chance to open that window. The complexity of single parenting, economic times and the effects of combat has not only made it more challenging and stressful for my family, but has also forced my kids to grow up so much faster than most. Winning this contest would help me enjoy this precious time with my boys, while they gain a deeper understanding of how important it is to give back. The Polaris RZR XP 4 900 would help us change the world as we see it, one adventure at a time.
What would it mean to you to win a Polaris RZR XP 4 900?
Some people consider winning the lottery the perfect dream, but for me, winning the Polaris RZR XP 4 900 would be the perfect reality. My world revolves around raising my two boys and the needs of wounded warriors that are greater than my own. I realize the importance of my reality and the road I belong on.

Surviving and healing from the wounds of combat is a journey in it’s self, as the road can get very dark. With the support of family, friends and others leading the way, that road becomes an adventure. With the Polaris “phantom 4” I would not be able to hold back my tears of joy as I watch the smile emerge from warriors’ faces as we blast down that trail of recovery.
As I grow wiser, I strive to give my boys the foundation that they need to be successful. My journey has taken me places, prepared me and made me a better guide for my boys. That moment of my boys having the time of their life, as we ride together in the “Phantom 4” is that guiding light that I’m heading in the right direction.
My reality changes all the time with the journey of others around me. Not only do strive to help them but watching them succeed is my longing. For me to be able to stop and enjoy life, not only with my family, but with warriors in the great outdoors, in a RZR XP 4 900, is my perfect reality.  
The “Phantom 4” is my adventure vehicle for my family and friends. I would go from udder speechlessness, to almost frighten screams of excitement, to humble gratefulness if I had won it. My perfect reality is adventures, relaxation, excitement and the strength of my family. But MY perfect dream… the warrior that is in greater need, winning the Polaris RZR XP 4 900!

by Michael Wood

2012 WGF's Veterans Writing Project

posted Apr 23, 2012, 5:18 PM by Michael Wood   [ updated Jan 25, 2013, 5:17 PM ]

Wow what a weekend!!!      I have to say I am still in awa.
I attended the veterans writing seminar put on once a year by The Writers Guild Foundation. The mentors levels of professionalism and accolades were above reproach. From the very first moment the staff made me feel like I belonged there, even if I am the worst writer in the world. It was a safe place to share and learn from some of the best in the industry. I made new friends and a lot of networking connections that money can't buy. It was fun, interesting but most importantly...it helped every Military Veterans in attendance, sometimes on many different levels,  in so many different ways, don't believe me ask anyone of them.  So from the worst writer in the world, you have to mark your calendars next year as you can't miss this amazing opportunity of a life time.  

Here is some of the information that was provided during the event. 

- Writing exercises that some of mentors used during the workshop, document attached  below.   
- Short video, Larry Andries giving us some pointers that he has learned over his amazing career.
- Check out http://www.wgfoundation.org  for more information.
- Few of the writing prompts /exercises that I participated in.   

For the group I was in, Mrs. Winie Holzman and Matt Ward were the mentors. They were amazing, sweet and so funny. I learned so much from them and had fun doing it. Here are the exercise that they provided had us work on. 

- Round robin introductions with 3 facts about us but ... 1 has to be a lie. We had to guess the lie.
- We were given two descriptive words that could be completely different. We had to write character dialog with a time limit of 10mins.  
- We did the exercise again but with some visual props that she put out and new words.

This is the one that I really like as it opened my eyes to what can just flow of of you.
- number 1 through 6 and list 6 cars in your life that you remember the most on a sheet of paper.
-now turn the page and write at the top the name of the car that sicks out the most from your list.
    Now close your eyes, your sitting in the drivers seat looking out the front window. What do you see? Look to your left out the window what do you see. Look down at your feet what do you see, what do you feel, what do you smell. Look to the right, what is happening? Look through the back window what do you see. What do you hear, what do you feel!!!
-now turn the page, and write at the top a name of your car. Now write for 10mins beginning with 
I am 
- This exercise we had the choice from many different magazine pictures of people. We picked one had to give them a name, we had a baby name book to help, and write about ether a dream they had 
 last night or something they are worried about. 10 to 15 mins
- The next exercise used mixed up proverbs, which most of them didn't make any sense. My was "Bad news is the best Medicine" Our charter  from the last exercise had to explain how they fist came across that proverb and how it changed their life. 

 Our homework assignment 
  A couple is in bed and here a noise down stares, one of them finally get up to check it out. They don't return for 20 mins.  Once they do return the other one asked what it was and why it took so long. The one that returned stated that it's nothing, every thing is fine and goes back to sleep.
- Now write the what happened in those 20 mins.

- next exercise was to write a letter to someone that we have something unresolved with them.  
- now write the letter back from that person to you.

- now write about a problem that you have with someone in your life. 
- now have that person talk about why they are right or justified. 

- Picked a movie title that we knew nothing about and wrote a pitch for it.  The one we picked was Play Dirty

That should be most of them and if you are so inclined to read what I came up with keep reading, if not the last note i have to pass one is, Write every day, keep writing no matter if its junk, just write.

 My car Exercise - 88 hyundai excel

 I am scared shitless as my foot hits the floorboard of my hyundai after trying to stomp on the brakes as the car in-front of me comes to a screeching halt. I'm looking in the rear view mirror  waiting for the care behind me rear end me but my car isn't stopping. 
    Main street is nice, old Spanish architectural in the main part of town that I live in... Wait why am I here, Why did if follow this girl I meet in Jobcorps here. I don't like Texas, I like her family, well I like her mom, nice boob job, her dad is weird , I think that's her dad but I don't think that she is the one for me... interesting...
    Crap I have no breaks. What a peace of shit. I am about to plow into this family in-front of me because my car is a peace of shit.
    But it is cool, it's a 5 speed and I bought it with my own cash, it's mine and the engine sits sideways under the hood, how cool is that. 
    As I pull up on the emergency break to slow the car, my hart is racing, I could have died in a town  that I thought that I would never live in, in a car I thought that I would never drive all because of a Girl... 

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