Friday, September 27, 2013

Shades of Pink Teaser - Olivia by Madeline Sheehan

Every day until the end of September, I will post here the blurb for one of the stories from the Shades of Pink charity anthology, as well as a teaser, and a short bio for the author. The anthology will be available on October 1st, with all proceeds going to breast cancer research but you can donate today and get it 5 days early! I invite you to come back, share the links for these teasers, tell your friends about it... It's all for a good cause! And if you tweet about it, you can use the hashtag #shadesofpink :)

Today, a glimpse from Olivia by Madeline Sheehan

Home. What is home—where your family lives or a state of mind?

The whispers, judgment, sting of reality—that was why I left my home. When I did, I had life experiences most only dream about…until something rocked my world.

This is my journey, and it led me to the last place I ever expected.

They say you can never go home again. At least, Thomas Wolfe said it once and someone else agreed, and so on until it became a famous and overused quote found in movies and books, and yelled from the mouths of homeless men on street corners. It has even been tossed around in New Age coffee shops by faux existentialists who wanted to appear deeper than they actually were in a pathetic attempt to fill a void caused by society’s exhausting and debilitating attempts at turning mankind into thoughtless, nameless, faceless robots consumed by consumerism.

But I digress.

Regardless of who said it, in what context or for whatever reason, and despite the countless ways it can forever be interpreted…

It just plain isn’t true.

Because one can in fact go home again.

Okay, so maybe you can’t actually go to your actual home because, say, your house burned down or an atom bomb took out not only your house but the entire town you lived in and therefore you literally have no home.

But that’s neither here nor there.

What’s here is George Webber and George Webber apparently couldn’t go home again.

But everyone else can.

We can physically get in a car, on a plane or bus or train, hop on a bike, put on our running shoes and literally…go home.

In all probability, George Webber could go home again too.

Although George Webber was a fictional character birthed from the mind of Thomas Wolfe, who may or may not have been speaking from personal experience, I assume the statement referred to Webber’s emotional home, not his literal one, meaning that his past was just that. His past. He couldn’t go back.

Back to my point.

Home. What is home?

Is it the actual four walls with a roof that sheltered you as you were raised? Is it the town or city where you grew up? Is it wherever your family is, or maybe your friends? Or is home simply a state of mind?

The answer is…

I don’t know.

I’m not even sure there is an answer. I think home may very well be a subjective term, different for each and every individual. Home could be the farm where you grew up, or the new house you just bought. Or home could be wherever your mother is. Or your dog. Or your favorite blanket.

Home could be lying in the middle of a wheat field, your eyes closed, the sun warming your bare arms and legs, listening to the sweet, simple sound of…nothing.

Do we usually associate home with happiness?

I guess it depends on whether you’re the glass is half full or half empty kind of person. Or whether your father beat you, or your mother was a street whore who smoked meth and brought home strange men with less-than-honorable intentions.

Not that I know anything about either of those scenarios. I was born and raised in a small town in upstate New York. The only thing my father ever beat on was the cars and trucks he worked on at his auto body shop, and my mother was the furthest thing from a meth-head street whore. No, my mother was a combination of Mary Poppins, Betty Crocker, and June Cleaver. My two siblings, an older sister and a younger brother, were both carbon copies of our parents who settled without question into the same sort of life.

My sister actually bought the house two doors down from my parents, and my brother bought one only three blocks away. Both my siblings married, had children of their own, a dog and a cat, white picket fences and neatly mowed lawns, decorative mailboxes, and quite possibly a garden gnome or two.

Often I envision them having block parties and family barbeques, the children playing while the adults sip beers, halfheartedly argue politics, and laughingly complain about their expanding waistlines.

And then there was me.

The odd one out. The black sheep. The misunderstood sort of girl that small town residents whisper loudly about as she passes by.

“Drugs…it has to be drugs.”

“Television is to blame, I tell ya. Too much television.”

“It’s her parents I feel sorry for. Having to be seen in public with her. Can you imagine?”

“She’s a Satanist. I saw a special the other night about teenagers who killed a man and drank his blood. One of these days we’ll be watching a special like that about her.”

Now, you’re probably thinking I was some white-faced, robe-wearing, Marilyn Manson-obsessed Goth freak when in all actuality I was simply a tee shirt and jeans kind of girl who happened to have her nose pierced. Just because I wasn’t a real big fan of the color pink didn’t mean I wore studded leather collars. I didn’t even have a defiant streak of color in my hair, just a tiny little silver nose stud that was hardly noticeable unless you were standing right next to me.

Total. Freak. Right?


I was a quiet kid. I thought more than I spoke, read books more than I watched television.

Madeline Sheehan, a Social Distortion enthusiast and devoted fan of body art, has been writing books since she was seven years old. She is the author of The Holy Trinity ebook trilogy and Best Selling Undeniable Series. Homegrown in Buffalo, New York, Madeline resides there with her husband and son.

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