Peering into . . .

the inner workings of Alison Miller Woods

I Draw a Squiggly Line: A Year Later August 29, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 9:39 pm
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squigglyline_alisonmillerwoods.jpg

When I was young, my family used to play a lot of card games. And, as it often goes, those game nights wouldn’t work out the same for everyone playing. Sometimes there would be a winning streak for one person, or a losing streak for another (i.e. my mom always winning).

Thus started the family tradition of a squiggly line.

If you were continually losing, you took the score card and drew a squiggly line on it. That meant that everything would change for you and – no more losing streak!

Well, I DRAW A SQUIGGLY LINE!

Last August (2016) I was tired of not getting everything I wanted to accomplished. I had no mental energy to do anything beyond work and family. And I wasn’t doing that very well either. So I decided to start a bullet journal because it seemed like a system that would work well for me. It started out well. I had August all written out (and September because I was that on the ball). I had things like Back to School Night on the 22nd. Kids start school on the 23rd. I started one semester of work on the 24th and the other job started on the 29th. Then…

August 21st I added in: E.R.

August 22nd I wrote in: surgery.

And August 26th: Home from the Hospital.

September has same-day surgery to place my port catheter. And the start of Chemotherapy.

My bullet journal fizzled out after that point.

I would like to go back and write about it all (at a future point) because I couldn’t write during the experience. I don’t mean to say ‘couldn’t’ like it was so horrible I couldn’t bear to write. I just didn’t write about it. I didn’t get all the reading done that I thought I would either. When I wasn’t actively running my kids around or working I was more or less vegging out or sleeping.

I am extremely grateful for blessings, miracles, amazing family and neighbors, and modern medical science. I know that my case did go like many others and I’m not sure why. I am grateful for another shot at all of this. I’m grateful to be here to hear my baby’s latest goofy phrases, send my oldest off to college, and every other kids’ step in between.

There are residual effects from the chemotherapy. It has taken a long time to feel close to being myself again. And so now, I draw that squiggly line and say that the past does not define me or where I am going now. I am changing how things are going. I may try that bullet journal again (where I actually drew the squiggly line in the photo) but I am taking back control of my schedule and my goals.

If  I were a tattoo person, I think I would like to get two of them. A semicolon and a squiggly line.

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The Precipice September 27, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 11:59 pm
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I am standing at the precipice.

Toes curled over the edge, contemplating.

Just a few short feet below the edge floats a swirling bank of clouds. Blocking the way down. Is it a short drop into a safe pool of water? Is it a horrifying plummet with jagged rocks below?

I don’t know. Because I can’t see.

Tomorrow I begin chemotherapy for colon cancer.

What hides in the Stygian unknown? I have no frame of reference for what will happen. I understand the process that will occur tomorrow. But how will it effect me?

I hear stories of the ‘short drop’ variety and others of the ‘screaming and flailing’ flavor. What will be my experience?

I obviously won’t find the answers to these questions until I jump. It’s like life, I think. Sometimes the anticipation–the ‘not knowing’–is worse than the reality.

And if we want to fly, we always have to jump.

I choose flight.

My cancer story started last month and a lot of what I have been struggling with before that discovery makes more sense now. I haven’t been actively writing for a long time. The exhaustion went to the bone. It felt like my very soul was worn out.  So while I haven’t been able to work on the stories I love lately, it looks like I will have a bit more practice in the realm of creative non-fiction.  🙂

 

WonHundred Word Wednesday: He looked at his phone, turned pale, than quickly left the room. June 17, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 12:10 am
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June 17 2015

Today’s prompt is: He looked at his phone, turned pale, than quickly left the room. Here is my take on the 100 word story based on that. 

            The party was running full swing. The bass notes from the music thumped through the whole house.  Melanie glanced at her watch. Still hours until her parents would be home. No worries yet.

            This party would cement her place as head cheerleader. It had too.

            “Hadn’t you guys heard?”

            Melanie brought her attention back to her friend.

            “They said he got a strange text. A picture. The next day he disappeared.”

            “I don’t believe it.” Melanie scoffed.

            Ben’s phone signaled a message. He looked at his phone, turned pale, than quickly left the room.

            Every phone in the room rang.

Now you can check out the other authors’ stories based on the same prompt! Enjoy 🙂 

Miranda D. Nelson http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Jenna Eatough http://mistglenmoon.net/blog/

Kaye P. Clark: http://kayepclarkwriter.blogspot.com/

Jenifer Lee: www.myfam-i-lee.blogspot.com/

 

WonHundred Word Wednesday: With him, she’d had some wonderfully stable times June 15, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 10:24 am
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June 10 2015

Last week’s prompt was: “With him, she’d had some wonderfully stable times.” My 100 word story on the prompt follows:

            She stretched and patted the side of her horse.

And then did a double-take.

            The horse’s coat was changing from the usual midnight-black, to fire-engine red. She sighed and looked over at her companion, Jeff. He had already dismounted and begun to set up camp. With him, she’d had some wonderfully stable times.

            But stable wasn’t supposed to be her thing, was it. Was she one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, or wasn’t she?

            “War?” Jeff’s voice called across the campground. “Goin’ somewhere?”

            “I guess I am.” She indicated the horse’s color change. “End of times and all.”

Now you can check out what the other authors did with that same prompt! Enjoy 🙂 :

Jenna Eatough http://mistglenmoon.net/blog/

Kaye P. Clark: http://kayepclarkwriter.blogspot.com/

Miranda D. Nelson http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

 

WonHundred Word Wednesday: It started with a chance meeting on a film-set. June 3, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 12:10 am
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June 3 2015

 

Today’s 100 word flash fiction has a very shiny visual aid. I figured that looked more ‘Hollywood’. Right?  Hmmmm, maybe not. 

Despite the garishness of the glitter, we will move on. The prompt for this week is: It started with a chance meeting on a film-set. This is my take:

            It started with a chance meeting on a film-set. Jake tried, unsuccessfully, to ignore her for hours. But those eyes. And she was so sweet.

            So of course he had to take her home. Who abandons a tiny kitten like that anyway?

            Now grown up, Ginger was the queen of his castle. And she was a viciously good judge of character. Whenever Jake began dating someone, he always had to introduce them to his cat. She would let him know—in no uncertain terms—what kind of person the girl was.

            Kim was the first to pass the Ginger test.

Now you can see what the other authors did with that same prompt! Enjoy-

K.R. Wilburn  http://www.krwilburnbooks.com/blog

Miranda D. Nelson http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Jenna Eatough http://mistglenmoon.net/blog/

Kaye P. Clark: http://kayepclarkwriter.blogspot.com/

 

WonHundred Word Wednesday: He had kept their mother alive in their thoughts. Too alive, perhaps. May 28, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 11:15 am
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May 27 2015

Day late and a dollar short, but I have my flash fiction! We are doing 100 word stories based on a set prompt. This week’s prompt is: He had kept their mother alive in their thoughts. Too alive, perhaps.  Here is my take on the story: 

 

Kim entered the kitchen and immediately dropped her coffee. It splashed over her feet, but she didn’t notice. She stared at her brother.

“Tim. This has gone too far.”

He whirled around, threw his hands to his hips, pursed his lips and tapped his foot. “I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The tapping continued.

“I miss mom too, Tim.” Kim hesitated. He had kept their mother alive in their thoughts. Too alive, perhaps. “But, you’re wearing her robe. And talking like her.”

Tim ran his hand over the pearl buttons. “It’s a house coat, not a robe.”

 

Now you can see what other authors did with the same prompt. Enjoy! :

Miranda D. Nelson http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Jenna Eatough http://mistglenmoon.net/blog/

Kaye P. Clark: http://kayepclarkwriter.blogspot.com/

 

WonHundred Word Wednesday: The text message simply said ‘very clever’ May 20, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 9:29 pm
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May 20 2015

Today’s prompt for our 100 word story is: The text message simply said ‘very clever’.

            Nicola leaned back from the keyboard and stretched—cracking her back and then moving on to all her other joints. She stared at the computer screen with the hypnotic blinking cursor. The blinking cursor signaling the end of her masterpiece.

            This is the virus that will show them. This will show corporate that the lives of those downwind really do matter.

            With a deep breath, she uploaded it onto what had once been thought a secure server.

            And then sat back to watch.

            Her phone buzzed and she hesitated, unsure of her success.

            The text message simply said ‘very clever’.

 

Now you can see the others’ take on it:

Jenna Eatough http://mistglenmoon.net/blog/

Kaye P. Clark: http://kayepclarkwriter.blogspot.com/

 

 
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