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Imagine This

August 2013

In This Month’s Issue: Stories from writers around the world A Funny Thing Happened to Me Tomorrow is just a word for never

Inspiring Pieces Remember to explore Tips on getting the dream job (or life or partner - you decide!) Chasing your Dreams

Competition Calling all graphic designers, photographers and cartoonists and everything in-between!

Features Melanie Toye Reviews Byron Bay Sleep over

Letter from the editor Have a blast reading our August edition of Imagine This online magazine. I love this month’s collection of short stories from writers around the world. Be sure to see what other published works they may have with the links provided and really discover another type of story. This month is dream chasing month, one of my personal favourite topics. Also included is my travel adventure to Byron Bay in New South Wales, Australia and three energy boosting tips you will appreciate. Also be sure to like fan pages and share with your friends the link to read Imagine This. It’s FREE! Please note, writers have submitted content from all around the world, so I have left spelling of their language as is, even if in another country, the word is spelt differently. Be sure to spread the word of this free online magazine and tell me what your favourite piece is at Yours sincerely,

Melanie Toye Editor of Imagine This Click here to become a fan on Facebook Interact on our blog at: Disclaimer Not all opinions in this publication are necessarily those of the publishers. No responsibility is taken by Imagine This Publications for any errors, misleading information or the validity of any third party content. This articles, information and anecdotes are not necessarily the original work of the editor or writers. Content thereof published by Imagine This remain the property of Imagine This and cannot be reproduced under any circumstances without prior consent. All published information, to the best of Imagine This knowledge is correct at time of publishing. Copyright Copyright © of all images included in content within this publication, unless stated otherwise, are from 123RF Stock Photos at All content submitted by a third party is copyright to the author.

Remember to explore

Written by Melanie Toye. Sometimes in life the biggest hurdle is ourselves. As a mother, I am constantly reminded that my child does not always care about the end result, because he finds fun through exploring. As a dream chaser and a woman who feels satisfaction in completing a task, sometimes trying to not put all of my focus on the end path is a challenge. For me the best journey is for me to create it and so far I have. But I can’t stop here and wait for dreams to magically appear. I need to chase them. But I also need to use my creativity and imagination to go where I have never travelled before. I need to explore different paths that may twist and turn, to one day soon have me arrive in my dreams. I always become a little nervous. When I fall into a routine. Because deep down I know I still need to add some spice to my every day and challenge myself to how I can achieve more. For some this could sound like hard work, others it may sound a little insane. But for now, it is who I am. And now too far in, to ever look back, the only way for me is forward. I will achieve my dreams. I don’t know all the steps to get there but I will build upon them as I go. Sometimes we just need a little push to help us to keep moving. The more you do, the more you will achieve. Follow Melanie Toye’s inspirational blog at:

Imagine you find a box. It is sitting in front of your door. It has your name on it. Yet you have never seen this box before. A gold lock stops you from opening it. You know you have never seen a key that could fit into this exquistive type of lock. You try to break open the box. But the box is solid, thick wood. You decide to wait, hoping, in time, the key will appear at your front door. Years, tucked away in the cupboard. You are doing a spring clean and find the box again. You remember the lost key. Yet something pulls you to just see if you can open the lid. The box opens. And you discover that you had the key all along. It does not matter what is inside the box. That is irrelevant. What matter’s is, you made the choice the day you found the box. To never stop exploring what you love from life. The key was your curious mind. Imagine This.

Don't go through life, grow through life. ~ Eric Butterworth

A funny thing happened to me in 2012. I died. Between 2000 and 2012 I was the victim of domestic abuse. As a man, it was not something I would admit, even to myself, because I was taught that guys should be tough and in control. My family told me so, especially during all I was going through. I was a newlywed, so I knew there would be bumps in the road. Everyone told me this. The expectation was that I should be able to handle myself and my family through the bumps. After all, I was a man. I was supposed to be strong and independent, not weak and needy. “Hello?” “Yeah, John.” “Hi.” “It’s Dad.” “I know. You name pops up when you call my phone.” "Oh, I didn’t know your phone did that.” It was 2001 and my dad still had a rotary. “Anyway, I called to tell you that you’ve gotta stop calling Mom about all this.” “Ok.” “I mean, she stays up late because she can’t sleep whenever you call. It’s just…it’s not good for her. She gets too worried and can’t sleep. You’ve got to stop.” He sounded emphatic, the way he sounded when he talked to clients who owed him money. He was nice to a point, and then he got serious. And I knew by his voice that he was serious now. He was past the point. “Ok, I get it. I didn’t mean to worry her.” “Yeah, well, that’s what ends up happening.” “Ok, got it.” I was an embarrassment. I knew that. I was drowning and, instead of swimming, I was looking for help. Guys didn’t do that. Guys pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. Guys bucked up. Guys put up or shut up. So what was my problem? The thing was, I would end up in situations with my wife that I had no idea how to handle. So I would call my mom and say, “Do you think this is normal? What should I do?” First she thought it was just the kinds of things newlyweds go through, but as

Cindi’s strange behavior kept happening, she started to realize this was something more. Frankly, she hadn’t really encountered anything like Cindi’s behavior either, so there inevitably was no answer she could give. I’m sure it was awful for her and, in turn, for my dad. I really didn’t want to bother them with my domestic problems, but the situation in my house was more than I could handle. Once I thought I had Cindi figured out, she did something completely new and threw me for a huge loop. I was so embarrassed at being caught unaware and out-maneuvered so often. We were in the middle of an argument one night and I’m sure I was saying all the wrong things because that’s what I did. Before I knew it, the situation went from bad to nightmarish. “I can’t believe I am still here!!!” She screamed. Our son Charles, only three months old, cried and twisted in my arms as I moved this way and that to hold onto him. I had nothing to say to that. Cindi went to the kitchen, twisted her feet into her sandals, and opened the door. “From now on, you’re on your own!” She screamed. I stood there with a crying baby and watched her open and slam the door. I moved to the kitchen window to see her run through the back yard. Where was she going? She opened the gate, went into the driveway, quickly got into the car, backed away from the garage, and screamed out of the driveway. As I was watching, I had set Charles onto the counter and against my chest as he cried. I picked him up, sat down on the kitchen floor, vexed, and held him up near my face. “Hey, little boy,” I half-whispered, “You’re ok. Hey, Charlie, no worries. What you wanna do? You tired? Hungry? I suppose you’re going to need something to eat, huh bud?” He was calming down a bit to the sound of my voice. Those big baby-sobs started to come as he reversed his own crying. “Well, what do ya say? Should we get some food? At least we can try to eat something; and if you don’t want to do that, you can sleep, huh?” He had begun to calm down as I slowly got up and held him close, all the time looking at him and talking quietly. “I know, Charlie, I know. It’s tough all over, isn’t it? Well, we won’t let that get us down. Nope, not us. We’re gonna be just fine.” He began to close his eyes. He was tired, the poor guy. I lay him down in my left arm. “There ya go. You sleep a little and I’ll see what I can do, ok? Yeah, you’re tired, huh? Just have a little break there, guy. Now we’re cookin’. Now we’re cookin’.” He was beginning to fall asleep and I was shaking uncontrollably. We were out of formula, so at two in the morning I went to the Rainbow Foods on Snelling and University to buy baby formula. There I was in the store with a sleeping baby in my arms, trying to remember what our Doula had said was the best kind. I took my best stab at it, went through the checkout, and loaded Charles back into my truck under the lights of the grocery store parking lot. "This is crazy," I thought. The air was cooling. When I got home, Cindi was back. There were two squad cars with flashing lights in front of our house. I was confused. "Now what?" I thought. I walked in the back door ready for anything at that point. She had come home, found us gone, and called the cops on me. She took Charles as I walked through the door and then she identified me to the officer. She bounced and rocked him, saying, “There, there. There, there. Shhh, shhhh, shhh.” I tried to explain that I was at the store buying formula, but she insisted she had been home and I had taken the baby from her. I tried to describe the situation as it had happened, but cops tend to believe the mother. When I showed them the baby formula I bought, they finally told me that if I left the premises there would not be trouble. If Cindi wanted, she could file for a restraining order against me. I was glad I did not have to go to jail anyway. Scenes like this played out over and over, each completely new and completely a surprise. I was figuratively bent over and fucked again and again because I believed my being subservient to my wife was the only way I could continue to see my son.

That’s a hard sentence to write and a hard thing to admit. However, I can write this today because I was able to let go of the guy who couldn’t talk about these problems. I was able to stop blaming myself for a situation over which I had no control. The old me was embarrassed and hidden. That guy died when I began to be able to talk about this stuff. But did I really die? In my high school yearbook, all the seniors had a chance to put a quote under their senior picture. You know, inspiring things like, “Blab bla bla for tomorrow.” But I couldn’t help writing what I thought was the funniest quote possible: “1975-2012” which appeared right under my name. Strangely, during 2012, I started to become a little worried that I had inadvertently predicted my own death. I have come to realize that in a very real way, I actually had. The fearful me, the guy who was scared to talk about his feelings, ceased to be in 2012 and John Emil Augustine, the pseudonym I took on, began to untangle the events that first lead to my life of hiding from myself. When I wrote, it helped me and it helped others. I have been rewarded since then by people who have fallen in love with my story and who have understood it and even learned about themselves and their own journeys by reading it. That is what we are doing here on this planet, sharing in each other’s failures and triumphs, and I believe I have a role to play now that I am again alive and brave enough to share my own saga of abuse and hope. Whether I literally or figuratively died thus became immaterial. The result of my admitting my vulnerability was like a death; so like a death, in fact, that the part of me that was too macho to admit what happened will never walk this earth again. That guy is literally dead and only exists as a memory. There are many guys out there in a similar situation to mine. I meet them all the time during my day job. Guys talk about these things just like women do, but it takes the right circumstance to bring most guys to even broach the subject of their own abuse, much less recognize and deal with their feelings about it. Most guys will not readily step up and talk about the feelings that I delve into with my story unless another guy starts the discussion. Nonetheless, guys need to do this as much as women. I was lucky enough, despite my family, to find someone who was kind and loving – who bailed me out when everything looked grim and I when I felt useless. I knew I didn’t deserve the help, but I got it anyway and it saved my life. I came to learn that help appears to those who hang in there and survive and that there is an end to suffering, though it may not seem that way at the moment. To put what I am writing in perspective, my story and I are not what is important. The hope as the result of having survived abuse is what is important, and it is a hope that we all need. My message is a well-traveled, universal message, and it is that there is a way out through help, hope, love, and mercy. These things will come to you when you look for them, and can be provided by you when you are looked to for them. Watch for these moments. This is why we are here on the planet and I am just one bearer of this message. Love and Mercy JEA

Tips on getting the dream job (or life or partner - you decide!) Written by Paula Mills Is there such a thing? You bet there is. It just depend on if you are willing to give it a shot. The dream job is your dream. The dream life or partner is your dream. Not the glossy magazine version or what you best mate, teacher or parent deems as the perfection. Lets put it another way. It’s your ideal. It belongs only to you. Yes, I hear you say. But how do I get it? OK, let’s start at the beginning. Who are you? Life is not black and white and neither are you. We are fluid in mind and matter and who we are changes and develops over our life time through our experiences; in other words our core matures and expands but the essence of what we are is consistent. What we deem attractive or interesting, enjoy or dislike is generally influenced by the immediate external around us. Our friends, colleagues, family and mass social opinion all contributes to what we assume to be the ‘right’ path; we conform. Sometimes our focus relies only on what is socially expected or normal behaviour. This in turn drowns or at best dilutes true self. We achieve only the job, lifestyle or relationship that is expected of us or indeed what someone else expects for them, and thus assumes the same for you. It pays the bills and feeds the dog. But if you are still reading this, I will guess you know in your heart of hearts it’s not enough and that gut emptiness that sits dormant most of the time inside of you is a live time bomb waiting. Whether you are stuck in job you hate, or your lifestyle. Or maybe it’s your relationship with others that you simply tolerate rather than enjoy. Take a step back from your ‘now’ and have an honest and open conversation with yourself. This exercise strips back to the core of you and from there you can take the next step in being who you truly are.

Exercise (1) Keep an Emotion diary. It’s not for long, a couple of weeks of writing it down will give you a heads up. I am not talking pages of ‘he said she said’. Far from it; it has to be quick and with a trigger. We generally set our mind on auto pilot particularly those experiences we constantly repeat and don’t enjoy. When you are not listening to yourself this mode of your emotion, or how you react to a situation can sometimes feel like it’s the other person or the external situation making us feel that way. The truth is the emotion you display or feel is your core screaming to be heard. Write the list of emotions (see below list for ideas) Stick it up on your fridge, cello tape it to your PC or nail it to the loo door if it helps. Each time you feel that emotion, write down what you were doing at that time, and who you were with to give you that emotion.

        

Anger Bored Irritated Sad Happy Energized Excited Stimulated Proud

Keep it up and a pattern will emerge. Be it a task at work, elements of your social life, people you mix with. It’s the first build block to discover who you are. Don’t try and analyze it yet. Do the exercise first, and then lock your notes away for a couple of weeks. The next step in the next issue! But if you cannot wait that long or do you have a burning question feel free to email in to You can follow Paula’s blog by visiting:

A Byron Bay Sleepover By Melanie Toye A winter retreat in one of Australia’s most untouched, scenic landscapes, Byron Bay, is a moment in time that will take your breath away. For a long weekend, my husband and I took the two and a half hour drive to Byron Bay to go camping at Suffolk’s Beach. We arrived to a campsite and are surprised to see the Safari Tent we are calling home for the next few days. This is not just an standard tent, the Safari Tent is decked out in kitchen appliances and electronics, including a bar fridge, kitchen sink, microwave, to a lounge, a double bed, lamps and a fan and even an outdoor setting. My husband’s first realisation that we are going to be living without a TV dawned on him quickly and was funny to watch. We unpack and then go walk the grounds. A brief walk up a steep road brings us out onto the sandy beach. We look around, not a person in sight. Winter is the time to go camping in Australia, if you want to avoid large crowds. There is something magical in being in an enchanting location, all alone. There are large mountain cliffs at either end of the beach. One of which holds the Cape Byron Bay Lighthouse. On a wintery day such as this, you can see the light flash as it turns full circle. Immediately, I wish I had brought my notebook, as the setting is haunting and glorious at the same time. Yet I embark on the break away and live in the moment.

The evening does not go as seamless as any camping trip does. The loud noises of the birds, the cars driving past our tent, to the short bed, leaves me awake for most of the night. Even with the calming waves rocking in and out, sleep evades me. The sun soon rises and we go for a walk around the tropical setting of the campsite to take in the fresh air and surroundings. We soon have some visitors join us for the rest of our stay and the relaxation of the group, drinking a hot cup of coffee, chatting around the wooden seated area, fills our warm hearts. Night falls. We sleep. As dawn breaks, we hear the other tent is already up and ready. They cook us the ever delicious holiday breakfast, bacon and eggs on toast. Such a treat. We discover their first night held not much closed eyes. It must be the second night, tiredness just takes over. We all spend another day on the quiet beach front, on the sandy shore, playing in the sand, going for walks along the sea edge and even daring to walk ankle deep into the cool water. My husband finds the prefect sized rocks to throw to catch the waters’ ripples and I look at the nearly perfect shaped shells laying in the sand. The sunniest day of all is our last day. We drive home, relaxed and with cleared minds. Getaways are ideal for a change of scenery, spending quality time with friends and family and taking a break from the news, electronics and even cleaning.

Fabulosity Is You! Melanie Toye reviews …

If you want a simple approach to change, this is it. I got into the groove of this uplifting, confident building and empowering book, from the very beginning. Fabulosity Is You! has reminded me simplicity is key when it comes to life. This includes from quality, style and colour of your wardrobe, to home-made recipes to make your own face creams. The value and respect held in intimate relations and how to deal with a broken heart and more. Fabulosity Is You! touches on it all. It’s a fun, light read that is also catered to improving yourself from the outside to within. I personally enjoyed reading it. See other books by Winsome Green:

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Healthy Body and Mind Make an effort and be social

Talking and connecting with people really adds joy to the day. As a writer and a homebody, I sometimes crave talking to someone. But I am also selective. Yet sometimes being selective, makes us lose a really vibrant and diverse relationship, by friending someone who may not walk amongst our social groups. I am discovering the people I do enjoy chatting to non-stop are those are different to me, in age, background and interests. Yet our vales and integrity is what draws us together. If you are given an opportunity to attend a social setting, go to it. Sometimes we become too comfortable and don’t attempt to meet new people. Well the world is huge and everyone has an interesting story to share, so why not meet someone new today? Introduce yourself to the colleague you see at the other end of the room or just make small-talk to the passer-by in the park. It reminds you that there are still nice people in the world, all around us.

3 Tips to Increasing Energy

1 – After you eat carbs immediately clean up, go for a walk, ride the bike, just be moving for at least ten minutes. Carbs are hard to digest and moving around helps immediately after eating them and you will have more energy rather than feeling sluggish. 2 – Take out the coffee, soft drinks and tea from your diet. These are energy wasters. You will experience a two day slump but then you will realise you have more energy than you did before. 3 – Do at least one thing that is fun every day. Just one thing. you know what gives you fun, so do it. If you don’t know how to have fun, learn what fun is through experimentation and exploration.

Melanie Toye’s latest children’s eBooks. Click below to see all her eBooks available from Amazon,, Barnes and Noble and many more!

Chasing your Dreams

What is your dream? Do you dream of being a singer, dancer, author or even get a chance to ride in a formula one race car? Almost everyone has a dream that they have thought about doing, “someday”. But when is that someday? Why not start going after it now? Take singing lessons, dance lessons or whatever your heart desires. Can’t afford the lessons then ask around there are people willing to trade things for singing lessons. If you are a great gardener you can exchange produce for singing lessons. This is just one way of chasing your dream. Our dream was and still is to become authors. It started a few years ago when my youngest son, Charlie, was challenged with writing a book and getting it published. Charlie is a kid who had trouble catching on in school. He was always writing stories or reading a book for more inspiration. Charlie accepted the challenge from the principal and asked me to help. Neither one of us had any idea of where to start or how to begin getting published. First thing we had to do though was write the book. We wrote the story and then realized it needed editing. So we did to the best of our ability. Then we asked around for people who could help us to edit it. We had a very small budget so we couldn’t afford to pay for some of the higher priced ones. We found a young lady who was a part time teacher just beginning. She helped us to edit it as best she could as well too. In the mean time we had been reading up on how to get published by going to our local library and checking out books with tips and suggestions of how to go about it. Their first step was finding an agent. We submitted query letters many agents over the next couple of years with no luck. In the mean time I started looking on social sites like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and the likes to see how they started or how they were doing it. We found a wealth of information and people willing to help us out on most anything from book covers to editing. We networked, we learned about marketing, promoting and how to best help others on their journey as well. We found it really helped if we assisted others who were just

starting out as well and established authors too. We have made many friends along the way and even managed to find a small publishing house to take us on! We now had the professional editing we so desperately needed as well as a company to help promote our work. Do we have a degree in English? No. Do we live in an area where there are books stores around every corner? No, but we still are going after our dream because if we don’t who will? “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve problems of the human race.” - Calvin Coolidge By Wendy and Charles Siefken

Calling all graphic designers, photographers, cartoonists and everything in-between! Imagine This is hosting our very own 'Imagine This cover design competition.' All you have to do is create a cover image that suits our image. The most creative design that works with our theme, wins. The winner will receive their cover image on the next edition of our online mag and a a copy of Entice Me eBook and the boasting power that your creation is featured online, right around the world! To submit your entry: the final image will be inserted into a word document and then PDF, it must be A4 size and high quality resolution. To receive the eBook, you must have a kindle download software (available here for free: and have access to to claim your prize. Entries open: 23 August 2013 and close 10 October 2013. The winner will be announced on 11 October 2013 via wordpress blog site and the winning cover image will be in the October Issue, published in late October 2013.

“Do you know Palm Beach?” the old lady asks me. “It’s where all the movie stars live.” She pauses and I follow her blue eyes as she stares out beyond the skyline; we both take in the moment of where we are - waiting, on the concrete, outside the closed bank doors that frame the soulless High Street of our suburban hell hole. "It’s different from here….” She trails off. Its seems, from the dismal expression on her face she feels the same way as we turn to each other to block out the bland, grey street- scape. ‘I’m 85’ she tells me and smiles. It’s a proud warm smile. I want to congratulate her, but I don’t want to sound condescending. So instead I smile back. “I’m moving up here with my son and his family. But it’s a big move.” She explains to me. “It is.” I agree “But you only have to do it once” I say, figuring she needs the reassurance. “I’ve been in that house for 50 years.” “It’s a good time to de-clutter.” “I have Cancer.” I don’t offer an apology. There is no sincerity in that reply today, and I know she does not want one. She is not quite resolved to her fate yet. Her blue eyes, youthful, look odd against her creased, over powdered skin. I sink into them as they reflect her minds eye and her ocean view. I bite on my bottom lip and almost taste the salt in her sea air; desperate to feel it for her. She does not belong here. But here she is – with no where else to go. I leave the old lady in her thoughts as the bank doors open, and I go about the rest of my day. But, I cannot forget her. What will happen in years to come if my daughter decides Australia is not her home? I wonder as I load up the groceries into the car. Will this be our fate in years to come? Tomorrow even? I ponder and I hug my little girl a little bit tighter, as I tuck her into her bed. Will someone look out for her if I am not here to look out for her tomorrow? Who is that someone? Meeting the old lady opened up a Pandora Box, that I had no desire to take a peek into let alone fling the latch wide open. But now, as I have – I think I must look inside. No-one knows what tomorrow holds. Live for today and the now – and yet I do not. Always deciding tomorrow is that day. So what to do? I have two choices: I can wait, plan, dream for tomorrow or I can get on with it now. I will tell my husband I love him now – rather than think it after he leaves . I will pull on my gum boots now and jump in muddy puddles now, rather than wait for the Sun. I will buy the gorgeous dress now rather than wait for the sale. I will experience life now and not just plan the dream for tomorrow. I will take the chance now, have the fun now and take that leap of faith now. I will stop waiting on the tomorrow, as the one thing I have learnt its the one day that never comes. Follow Paula Mills on Facebook here:

Be Seen Feature your business and products in Imagine This. Contact Melanie at:

Imagine This caters to a world-wide audience. The United States, Australia, Canada, the UK and even France are among the top readers, reading Imagine This. Be seen by an international audience and advertise your business in Imagine This online magazine. Here is how: It’s very simple, there are three ways you can have your business promoted: 1- Donate a product to be used in a competition or giveaway which will be featured in Imagine This. 2 – Sponsor the production and creation of Imagine This, includes free advertising and promotion throughout Imagine This editions for 12 months. Seeking sponsorship payment of $600. 3 – Advertise your business for six months. Here is what it includes: During the six months advertising, every month your advertisement will be featured plus within the six months one full page spread will be devoted to your business. A draft article about your business will be sent to you for approval prior to publication. The size of your monthly advertisement will be a quarter of an A4 page. Normally this advertising would cost AUD$495. We have a current offer that is AUD$299 for six months coverage. That is only $49.83 a month!! By taking part in this promotion, your brand will be seen in the best light, around the world. You will also be supporting authors to continue to do what they love doing – fill the world with imagination. To feature your business and products in Imagine This, contact Melanie at:

Once you say you're going to settle for second, that's what happens to you in life. ~John F. Kennedy

Imagine This August Edition  

The August edition is now out and more imagination and inspiring as ever. A male abuse story brought me to near tears when I first read it,...

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