Nothing Like Normal – #DailyPicsperation

Here’s my Daily Picsperation for the week.  Enjoy!

Nothing Like Normal

“I want someone normal.” His words rang out in Janie’s ears, hollow and empty like all the promises he’d made to her over the last year they’d been dating.

Standing by her bed, she remembered his dismissal as if he were still sitting beside her on that bench when he broke her heart.

“I’m not sure what happened to you lately, but this-“ He waved his arms up and down her body, accentuating her entire being, “isn’t the you I met and fell in love with. You’ve turned yourself into a pink haired, punk wannabe. This isn’t what I signed up for. I want normal. You know, you with your blond hair and normal friends. Not whatever this freak is you’ve turned in to.”

He kept repeating the word normal, making her feel even more alone and unloved by the second. If he’d wanted to rip every shred of her ego into miniscule pieces, he’d accomplished what he set out to do.

After he’d left, she’d walked back to her apartment, mumbling the word normal under her breath the entire way. Normal? What did that even mean? No one was actually normal. Everyone was hiding something, or pretending to be something they weren’t.


Whether it was laughing at something that wasn’t funny, or speaking with SAT type words to impress someone, people ultimately tried to fit in, one way or another. But when everyone is acting, what exactly is normal then? What is the benchmark when there isn’t a control group? Janie just felt exposed and confused by the entire exchange.

When it came right down to it, She knew better than anyone that pretending to be someone you weren’t ultimately just made you miserable. Perhaps Adam breaking up with her wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Maybe now she could just live. Shit, she felt like for the first time in ages she could actually breathe. Janie hadn’t realized how suffocating her life had been. She’d dyed her hair because she thought it would be fun, something her stuffy country club parents would hate. Everyone in college had started dip-dying their hair various colors, so why not the entire thing? And when her stylist had finished, Janie had fallen in love with the vibrant look.

In this one small moment of defiance, Janie felt more like herself than she ever had wearing her Lucky jeans and Abercrombie shirts. It felt right, and she sure as hell wasn’t going back to the way she was. She was still a good girl at heart, getting good grades and not doing drugs, but by the mere act of turning her hair bright pink, she dipped her toe into the shallow end of individuality and the water sure felt fine.

She was just about to jump in the shower before having to head to her afternoon class when her phone rang.

“Hello?” she asked, but was surprised to see Travis, one of Adam’s fraternity buddies calling her.

“Hey Janie, it’s Travis.” he paused, thinking about how best to phrase his next question. “Adam came back to the house and told us what happened earlier. Um… I just wanted to tell you that I think he’s an idiot. You’re beautiful, pink hair and all. I know it’s too soon to ask you out, but well…When you’re ready, let me know, ‘cause I think you’re pretty much perfect the way you are.”

Janie stood holding her phone in stunned silence. Travis was a bit of a loner in the fraternity but had always been respectful to Janie when she came over to the house. Not so much some of the other brothers.

“Uh, yeah. Thanks, Trav. I’ll keep that in mind,” she mumbled, still trying to process everything he’d said. But the more she thought about it, the more she remembered Travis’ kind eyes and relaxed manner. His handsome face and dark shaggy hair didn’t hurt either. Finally replying, “I think I’d like that. But yeah, I need a few days to get my head around it.” They’d ended up talking right up until Janie had to leave for her class. With a promise to hang out over the weekend, they’d hung up.

Pulling her hair up into a messy ponytail, she left her room feeling buoyed by his kind words. She strutted through the Commons with her head held high and her ego almost put back together with the knowledge that at least someone liked her, the girl who’d decided she didn’t want to be normal any more. And that felt pretty damn good.


Daily Picsperation Post – The Muse

The Muse 

“What are you doing up?” Kayla asked, looking adorably rumpled from sleep as she stood in the doorway to my studio.

Going back to my work, I flicked the brush to finish up a last bit of detail and replied “I got inspired.” She wasn’t nearly as nightowlish as I was and my coy response was met with a sleepy scowl.

Wandering into the room she glanced towards a canvas I’d wrecked the previous night. “I thought you liked working on portraits? What’s that?”

Peering up from behind my canvas, I chuckled to myself that she thought my paint splatter of frustration was my Pollock like tribute. “Oh, no, that’s where I vent my frustration. This is what I’m working on now,” I answered, pivoting my easel towards her. It was a portrait of her sleeping in my bed. The sheet had pulled down off of her body, leaving her perfect back, and a sliver of her breast showing, and in the light of the moonlight, I couldn’t do anything but jump out of bed and sketch her. But the charcoal wasn’t capturing her creamy skin the way I wanted to remember it, which is how I ended up in my attached studio trying to recreate her perfect figure.

Her hand immediately went up to her gaping mouth, her eyes quickly tracking between my face and the painting. Her awe was quite endearing. We’d only started dating recently, and she’d never seen any of my work.

“Is that me?” she gasped, tracing her finger around the image of her, prone on the bed.

I pulled her close, not caring that my paint stained fingers would likely leave an indelible reminder of my chosen profession all over my t-shirt she’d put on.

We stood together, my arms casually draped around her waist as we both appreciated my unfinished work of art. “When I’m done, I think this is going up in my bedroom. I don’t want to share you with anyone,” I whispered into her ear, nibbling on the lobe.

“Why didn’t you show me before?” She spun around, kissing me softly. Glancing around my messy workroom she demanded, “I want to see them all.”

My last girlfriend never cared for the paint that was perpetually stuck beneath my fingernails. She was a beautiful and intelligent woman, but she never really understood my creativity and the intense urge I felt in my blood when my muse started speaking to me. It was a force I couldn’t stop, even if there was a dinner reservation I was likely going to miss because of it. Watching Kayla move around my room, her eyes catching every minute detail, every loving brush stroke I never thought anyone but myself would notice gave me pause. For once, maybe I’d found the person who would understand my passion, and instead of using it against me, would help forge a glorious new side of my work.

This is a piece that was posted yesterday on the Daily Picsperation blog.  There are some amazing authors who write for this blog.  Check them out if you have time.

Thanks & happy Friday,


Heroism isn’t just for Heroes – Daily Picsperation post

So… with the holidays I completely forgot to post my Picsperation post from December 27th onto my blog.

I post on the Daily Picsperation Blog every other Thursday (My next story will post this Thursday, January 10th).  Check out all the wonderful authors that write some fantastic pieces on this blog.

Heroism Isn’t Just For Heroes 

The sun rose, just like every other day.
Brilliant and warm, a soothing force in a busy world.
A young man, incapable of rational thought, grew angry at his mother’s love.
Not just her love reserved for him, but for her occupation, and those few under her tutelage.
He barged into a school, blasting his way into infamy.
This Christmas, twenty-six people are in the heavens watching over their families instead of celebrating with them.
And a town mourns the heroes that kept some of their young, safe from a madman.

In the dead of night, a blaze was lit.
A madman decided to raze his community, wanting to see the block engulfed in flames.
His shots rang out among the screaming sirens. Soon two lay bleeding on the frozen ground.
A patrolman driving by stopped to offer assistance, but not before half of the block was leveled to ash.
He thought of the fallen men first, and did his duty to serve and protect.
Yet another hero in this winter of discontent.

It doesn’t matter if they wear a badge or a gun.
What matters is the goodness in their heart.
Their knee-jerk reaction to stay and fight, rather than flee and take cover.
Hearts overflowing with the abundance of love for mankind.
Throwing themselves into harm’s way, rather than let others suffer.

Today, please look around and thank those unsung heroes for all they do for our world.
Without them, it would be a tragic and depressing place to be.

Godspeed to everyone who lost their lives this year because of senseless violence.
May the New Year be filled with thoughtful reflection on how we can all help our neighbors.
Cheers to all the heroes out there, for you make each of our lives better.

Note: The Webster, New York shooting of two firefighters hit particularly close to home for me, being that it occurred near my hometown. Being a mother of two small children, I was horrified by what happened at Sandy Hook.  I hope you will allow me some leeway in my photo prompt this week, but I needed to get some of my emotions out through words. Wishing you and your family a safe and peaceful 2013.